Tuesday, November 18, 2008

She's Crafty!

Greetings and salutations all! A couple of weeks ago I had to make a quick stop at the Paper Source (I know, twist my arm, huh) for some cream colored paper to print out a sample for one of my lovely custom brides. Or rather, that is to say: one of my customers, who is a bride, who is getting custom invitations. I haven't ventured out into the mail order bride sector just yet! Anyway- I was looking around at all the crafty things and like a 4 year old touching every last thing in the store and I got to thinking, "I'm crafty and all but I don't send out invitations or do cute things or own a stamp set or decorate my house at holidays/changing of seasons to make it look like a Martha/Real Simple/Domino spread DESPITE the fact that I have a whole section in my binder dedicated to just that. Sure there was the Game which was pretty cool but that was in February!" I think that the people who would enjoy my work are the people that would do those sorts of things and I know that I really didn't get the wedding nuances until I went through it myself so I've decided to start living to my craftiest potential and fire up some neurons so they might spill over into the work areas of my life. After all how do I free myself from the box of mailing conventions if I never send actual mail out?!

But kind of like Jack the Pumpkin King (ooh hold please- I've said the magic words- need to put on "Miss You" by Blink-182) my first attempt to bring craftiness to the every day went a little awry. I blame Daniel Silva (I just finished Moscow Rules) and an overactive imagination. So here's the set up: my Mom and I went out to eat when I was in my home town for a bit to this restaurant that has been around forever but I knew about in a general way but never went to. It was fabulous- they had a cheese platter and a good wine selection. Cheese is paramount to my friends and I (remind me to tell you about the cheese plate competition that happened a couple of months ago). I decided that next time my 2 good friends and I are in town, we would all go and have fun. The problem was that they both live in NYC and therefore catch rides home with each other sometimes. If I TOLD them what restaurant I was talking about they'd go without me out of desperation for something new around the homestead. So instead I have told them that such a place exists but refuse to mention its name. This prompted one friend to search online for an extended period of time but my secret is still safe. Oh- I should mention- this started roughly 8 months ago and the first time we'll all be home again is-- ding ding ding! THANKSGIVING! Enter craftiness. I wanted to send them a lovely invitation inviting them to our much awaited outing but after having read Moscow Rules all I could think of was inviting them to be abducted from their homes KGB-style. And I only had my husband's crappy black and white printer with gross college stains still on it to print it on since I need a bit of a break from Kinko's.

So this is what was sent to my friends on friday morning:
How do you invite someone somewhere without telling them where? Translate it to Russian! Bitchin' right? The top name has been changed to one of my friend's Secret Agent Name for her protection. :) The strange black holes are me replicating in photoshop where holes were punched out. Unfortunately when I started this process I thought I owned a hole punch. No such luck so I had to do my best at cutting circles with a box cutter. Hint- if you ever need to cut circle with a knife, carving pumpkins, sending russian secret invitations to your friends, etc- it's best to cut an octagon then go at it in a circular fashion, where you'll probably go wonky and end up with a misshapen oval.

You may be thinking "Hm why did you old timey army black out the place if your friends don't speak, read or write Russian or anything close?" I'm glad you asked! Because one of them SOMEHOW translated it. I figured I'd be safe since it wasn't online or anything so they couldn't copy and paste back and forth in using a handy tool like this: http://translation2.paralink.com/. But I had a nagging suspicion that these girls are as devious as I am and thankfully covered my bases. Muhahahahahaha!

So it's not exactly pretty and flowery and wedding-like but it was fun to see how you parse down the information for an invitation (time, date, place and who it's from so they don't call the police or anything). I almost included an "I'll pick you up then" but whatever- it was funnier this way.

Now it's onto Holiday Cards! Excuse me while I vomit slightly but I've been also working on corporate holiday cards which is like being in the 5th ring of Hell because they want to be holiday-ish but not offend anyone in the galaxy and it needs to go through 238907 layers of beaurocracy before a decision is made. I need a couple of weeks away from that or my Christmas will resemble live action someecards.com, although- how awesome would that be? Right now I'm leaning towards and updated American Gothic but I fear it's too... silly? obvious? done?

Which reminds me- did I ever post my moving card here? I fear not. It's on the main website (which is due for a redesign any day now so for any TFMD version 2 lovers- get your fix now!) but I'll post here as well:

We had our real info (obviously) and some fun bits about the house underneath that I just reverted to actual Monopoly card stuff for the dummy version. And speaking of monopoly, wanna waste some time: http://www.mentalfloss.com/quiz/quiz.php?q=486

Monday, November 3, 2008

New fonts

Not too long ago I received a wonderful- "hey you haven't bought anything in awhile here's a $20 with no minimum purchase" coupon from the lovely folks over at veer.com which is basically as close as I've ever gotten to the toys'R'us sweepstakes where you have 5 minutes to run through the store and get what you can. SO I bought me some lovely fonts. They were both around $20 and I couldn't decide so -- I got both.

The first is very art deco old school wonderfulness: Estilo.
When I went to go create these samples, for some reason the only things popping in my head were tongue twisters which, though fun to say, usually only showcase a lot of the same letter. I wanted to do a pangram (sentence with all the letters of the alphabet) with it as well but that sort of puzzlry is way out of my league and "the quick brown fox..." was feeling a little played out. Thankfully big huge type foundries have the same thoughts and have sponsors several contests about it. The pangram above is from a typophile.com contest and written by Joe Pemberton.

Second we have RTF Amethyst which I love as an alternative to the very used in wedding invitation: script fonts.That tongue twister is also the one that I am the very worst at. Although I did read one while I was looking for new tongue twisters that I don't think we ever did in theater classes and probably for good reason "I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate, And I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant plucker's late." Tee hee.

So there are my two new awesome fonts that are looking for wedding invitation homes.

Two slightly related projects on the horizon are: 1) to revamp the website to maybe add places for customers to add feedback, definitely to places for customers to add to delicious or digg, and maybe some larger rotating images on the homepage and 2) to come up with a quiz for new customers- specifically custom customers (these tongue twisters appear to have me on an alliteration kick). The other day I was talking to a bride trying to get an idea of what she was looking for in invitations but she didn't really have a theme or a strong connection to the location of her wedding-- all she really had were her colors. So I was trying to illicit a little more info from her but I kept asking for descriptive things that she wanted her wedding like romantic or modern but after talking with her for a bit I realized I'm probably not going to ask "Do you want your wedding to be elegant... or fairytale... or dramatic?" and have the bride go "No, actually, I'd really like my wedding to be trashy and fugly."

I think the biggest variation you get with people trying to describe their weddings is "classic" or "modern" which even of themselves-- creates BIG ranges. So in the back of my mind I was thinking-- "Man this all sounds so familiar. I feel like I've been through this before" and, no, not with my own wedding but when I bought that book that I had read about in Domino then coveted for a year and finally bought about 6 months ago-- YUP-- Style Statement by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte.

I got about half way through and I did start getting an idea of what my style statement would revolve around but I couldn't find any good words to encompass it (it was the concept of stories/imaginations-- yes, the girl who designs wedding invitation for fictional characters loves stories-- I know, you must be shocked but it was kind of a cool a-ha moment for me) anyway- and then ended up hiding the book on myself while I was frantically cleaning for guests.

I was recounting this whole ordeal to a photographer friend who does weddings as well who had just come from an initial meeting with a client and had had a similar situation and after asking a couple key questions about what the groom liked to do fell into a wealth of wonderful ideas where to shoot their engagement photos. It just so happens I am traveling back down below the Mason-Dixon where she lives so we are going to try and make this all happen this week.

Aren't you excited? I looooove learn more about yourself quizzes. Actually I think I'm going to go work on my style statement right now.

And lastly-- if anyone is looking for a good bridesmaid's gift or a gift to give to a bride or, hell, an "I had a bad day and I need compensation" gift-- Bath and Body Works "Perfect Cashmere" items are so wonderful. I just received the knit lounge set, the robe, and the slippers for my birthday and I AM LOVING IT.