Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Song Wedding Frame

(Or "Result Of Looking Back on my Wedding, Part 2")

Now, I must admit: I was not exactly artsy-craftsy with my wedding. Granted, I don't think I would've had the time to be artsy-craftsy. Given the utter chaos of everything, the fact that everything somehow came together in the end still amazes me. But, now, with my first anniversary fast approaching, I figured some more crafts (at least ones that don't involve me melting down like a soap opera primadonna) commemorating aspects of my wedding were due.

I have been reassigning old knick-knacks to various functions. I have been making bangles out of extra ribbon. But this one was completely from scratch. The idea came from the same place as all good ideas in 2012 come from: Pinterest. However, I could only find the idea. No instructions could be found. So I decided to raid Michael's and just wing it.

The first thing needed was the lyrics to our first song -- which was "The Adventure" by Angels & Airwaves. It's not exactly Elvis's "Fools Rush In" on the "Orthodox First Songs" scale, but the song had a long and sentimental history with us. I had also put my English degree to use and found deep meaning and connection in every single line of every single lyric (With the love and the hope and the adventure and -- see that line about trees reaching for the sky? It's like it was meant to be made in a tree craft! Oh my, I'm getting the vapors again…) Because that's about as much use as an English degree gives you.

I googled up the lyrics, opened up Photoshop and pasted them in. After a little finagling, I arranged the words into roughly the shape of the side of a tree.

I printed out about 5 copies and, after some trial and error, I drew out the tree. My abilities to sketch a bare tree don't exactly rival Tim Burton's creative team's, but I'm happy with how much of the lyrics I was able to keep -- and how the bridge of the song makes up the trunk. Once I was happy with the design, I went over it with a thin sharpie and carefully cut it out.

Now it was time to get out the craft supplies, which were simple enough: a 8 x 10 frame with a 5 x 7 matte, plain-colored cardstock, scissors, scrapbooking tape, and two colors of thread (gold and silver).

I first used my scrappbooking tape to attach the tree to the matte. I did my best to eyeball where the scrapbooking tape should go on the back of the tree, but I wasn't too worried: whatever wasn't sticking to the matte would stick to the cardstock.

For the center portion, I cut out roughly a 7" x 9" rectangle of blue cardstock. I taped up the edges of the cardstock and placed the tape to the backside of the matte.

Afterward, I carefully drew a heart on red cardstock. If you have a stencil or shape punch, I suggest using that at this time, as making a symmetrical heart from scratch sucks. To keep both hearts identical, I cut out this heart and (carefully) used it as a stencil to create the second heart.

After cutting out the second heart, I wrote our first initials on the hearts: A for Abby, I for Isaac.

Now it was time to hang up the hearts. I first cut up the gold and silver thread so that I had 3 strands that were roughly 2" in length (1 gold strand, 2 silver strands), and 3 strands that were roughly 3" in length. Starting with the cluster of 2" strands, I twisted the threads together and fed it under the low branch until the top edge of the tree hit the middle. This meant you could see more of the top portion of the thread than the bottom. I folded the thread over the branch and repositioned the threads until both ends met and placed a swatch of scrapbooking tape over them. I then pressed my "heart" on top of the scrapbooking tape.

Then, lather, rinse, repeat for the second heart/longer cluster of strands. Remember to try out the second heart's position and make sure it coexists nicely with the first heart (good advice for getting married as well, might I add).

I should also add that, while making this project, I spent a copious amount of time listening to Angel & Airwaves's "The Adventure" and perpetually being on the verge of smile-crying. Much like getting married (and making the paper flowers), this project was emotionally consuming but very worth it in the end.

Here is its proper spot in our home, above one of our DVD racks and accented by an out-of-season Christmas candle (and right below pictures of our honeymoon).

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