Monday, August 18, 2014

Finally Finished!

A year ago yesterday, August 17, 2013, a couple of young friends of mine from our group of cottage friends got married.
Laura and Sean
A couple of months before the wedding, I had this idea to make them a book as a gift.  I asked various friends and family members to send me copies of their wedding pictures along with any words of advice they might have for the bride and groom.

It took a while to collect all the submissions but I made a start on the book.  Due to one thing or another, I didn't get the book finished in time for the wedding.  Luckily for me, I hadn't told the happy couple what I was up to, as it was meant to be a surprise, so they weren't waiting for it!  I went off to France a few weeks later and then a few weeks later to Mexico for a week, and before I knew it, it was Christmas time but still, the book wasn't finished.  I thought I would be done in time to send the book to them for Valentine's Day but somehow that didn't happen either.  More time passed, another cottage season arrived and I kept working on the book when I could.  It occurred to me that since their first anniversary was approaching and the traditional gift for the first year is paper, that would be the perfect time to give them the book. So I knuckled down and finally got the book finished last week.  It wasn't so much that I was procrastinating about finishing it (although I'm sure there was a little bit of that going on), it was more that I was enjoying the process of putting it together so much, I didn't really want it to end.

The theme of the book was the ABC's of a happy marriage.  Since they are both teachers, the alphabet seemed an appropriate place to start.  Here's how the front cover looked, after layers of gesso, gel medium, Dylusions ink and various embellishments, such as a portion of a magazine page, adhesive alphabet letters, lace, crocheted pieces, paper flowers, buttons, a paper clip and a pencil stub:
Believe it or not, I found that pencil stub on the ground somewhere and it was exactly that size and it says "school board".  I kid you not!  Sometimes, found objects serendipitously appear like that.
As you can see from the photo above, I used a set of index card tabs and assigned each couple a letter based on a letter from either their first or last name.
For example, Andrea and Jeremy represented the letter "A".
I used dictionary pages to decorate each index page and circled a word for each letter that was relevant for a happy marriage, such as "humor", "love" and "understanding".  The letter Q was a bit of a challenge for several months until I found this image on the Internet just last week (!!):
and suddenly the word "question" seemed to be the perfect solution! (Luckily, the index tab said "XYZ" so I used the word "yes" for that one! And one of our friends is named Zen so he and his wife Kathy filled in the last page quite easily for me!)

I kept the back cover quite simple, using a piece of scrapbook paper with an alphabet design:
It was so much fun putting this book together, knowing there were many years of successful marriages behind all of the photos and advice provided by our friends and the bride's and groom's parents.  I am pleased to report that the still newlyweds were very happy with the gift, here's a picture of them looking through the book with some of our friends:
Happy Anniversary, Laura and Sean!

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