Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter.    May you be fortunate enough to spend this weekend with your family.

This looks like a 100 year old postcard to me.  

I love all the old postcards.  A trip to Ebay will get you hooked!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Using Antique Ephemera for Wedding Invitations

I have been silent on the web for a reason.  A wedding.   My daughter's wedding.  She's a very hard worker as a medical resident and has no time to plan, no time off.  In a previous blog I showed a fabulous "save the date" card.

I have been working on all the details, but as my husband says, spending too much time making every last detail perfect.

First, the wedding invitation has an old German woodcut from 1815. The caption on it is: "Vignette auf einem Dresdener Liebesbriefbogen mit Goldschnitt. Um 1815". Translated: "Vignette on a Dresden love letter paper with gold trim edges, around 1815."
The classic one knee proposal, with a couple wearing regency-era attire. This design is actually the "newest" design in the wedding paper ensemble.  (Names blocked out for a little privacy for my daughter.)
It was printed on a 100 year old letterpress using handmade paper made in Portland, Oregon. The invitations were all printed by hand.
Oblation Papers & Press
Oblation Papers & Press
The next thing we wanted was an unusual blotter paper to surround the invitation. For this scene, we found some vintage  watermarked paper and printed it with a french tablescape drawing from 1751.

It came out of an encyclopedia by Diderot. I guess the french really knew how to set up a table for an elaborate feast. Notice how the urns are not plants, they are filled with fruit. We are inviting people to attend a wedding and dinner celebration, so it seemed like the perfect engraving. It also looks like the garden ceremony site. We added the gate posts to that remind us of the garden at the wedding site.
The drawing was modified to act as a tissue blotter, going around the invitation. I wanted to use old parchment paper, which was impossible to find. The modern parchment as a slick, oily texture to it. Instead I used old typing paper - no longer made- with a deckle finish and a watermark. I scoured estate sales and got a stack for $2.

We added the gate posts to make the "back" side with the wax seal more interesting. It is very similar to the garden where the wedding will be.

We then finished it off with a wonderful wax seal of Aphrodite, the greek goddess of love.
The wax was another story. we tried a number of different colors, and settled on a soft pink pearlized wax. It is glue gun wax. You can make the seal ahead of time on Silpat, and then attach with a glue dot.  There are tons of videos on the internet on how to do this.
Lots of practice on the wax seals, these are mostly rejects, some good ones in there though.

The RSVP card design was from an old trade card from 1788. It is a business card, very elegant, don't you think? I love the use of the different fonts, and tried to do the same in the items we printed.

The original card is below, from the British Museum.
The Frame Maker business was located in the Portland Chapel (Later known as St. Pauls (1831)) in London, built in 1764, torn down in 1908. The Crown siezed many churches under the Dissolution of Monastaries and Chantries Act, and rented them out as shops, hence the location "Portland Chapel". My daughter grew up in the "Other Portland". It seems like a perfect choice!

We made our own envelope liner, since we couldn't find the perfect liner, but it required a lot of work. Below I am scoring the fold line before trimming to fit inside the envelope. I used a paper cutter's groove lines which worked exactly like the fancy board they try to sell you at Michael's.

I also used the flowers on the RSVP stamp, but not on the invitation stamp.  I thought that needed a plain stamp.

The "frame" on the outer envelope is also an Paris old trade card.  Of course we used a custom stamp design

Here is the original trade card:

The translation of the text is: "Choffard rue des Cordeliers, the first coach entrance on the right coming from the rue de la Comédie Française, at the house of a saddler. A PARIS. Pierre-Phillippe Choffard was an engraver who made his own business card. It is lovely, we couldn't resist the beautiful ribbon and old roses. Estimated date is 1760-1770.

I spent a lot of time hunting for the perfect fonts to use on the envelopes.  I settled on Burgues Script for the main script.

Then we were off to Bridal Veil on the Columbia River to get their special wedding postmark. It's a stone's throw from where my daughter  used to go to summer camp (ok, she would sleep in the barn at the nun's house, they called it camp).
Now I am waiting for the RSVP's to roll in.  Given the tremendous amount of work I put into this, I hope everyone enjoys receiving it. A good friend called and said she wouldn't be returning the RSVP, it was far to pretty and she had to keep it, would I mind? I am happy that someone thinks it is a treat to receive something so special!  I know for sure my daughter appreciates it too.  That makes me happy that she is delighted.

Off to worrying about other details....