A few months ago I had a terrific gift idea for Jessi and I figured that Valentines day would make the perfect occasion… We were married on Friday May 31st back in 2013, but we kept the whole thing pretty simple. We got married at a retired Minister’s house just before lunch time… he was on oxygen (not kidding), and I would guesstimate he had 3,542 dogs in his back yard begging to come inside and see who came over. Afterwards we went to lunch, and spent the rest of the day getting things prepped for the housewarming BBQ wedding party we had planned. But as usual I digress… Even so we moved into the house back in November of 2012, neither of us were real decor savvy. The walls are far too bare, and there hadn’t been any photos hung up. So, for Christmas I started plotting.
As a little stocking stuffer I had a photo of us printed using Fracture. It was a picture from our first Christmas party together, and probably the first night a lot of our friends found out we were together. I’ll always remember that night sitting in my VW New Beetle trying to take a selfie of us… and me consistently blinking when the flash went off. We must have taken 20 pictures.
So, after she opened the photo. I asked her if we could hang it in our hallway. I told her I wanted to start hanging more things there, and that I wanted to treat it as a family photo wall. Cheesy, I know, but something that I think would special to us both.
Shortly after Christmas I put my real plan into effect. I wanted to find someone to create a unique Wedding Certificate piece. I knew I wanted it to be done by hand, with lots of calligraphy, but I had no idea where to look. I contacted several folks on Etsy without finding what I really wanted. Luckily I stumbled across Sally’s website. We exchanged several emails and a few phone calls throughout the next couple weeks, she helped me pick out the style of calligraphy and provided some example text while I edited and made perfect for us. I even went as far as to spend a bit of time in Photoshop pasting and transforming some graphics I found into a horrible looking Japanese Cherry Blossom tree.
But somehow, she was able to create something beautiful from this hacked up monstrosity… The first thing I got back was a concept drawing of her own. She told me that she just wanted to get the overall shape down, and that the finished product would have much more detail. I was overwhelmed. For the first time I could really start to picture the finished product. I sent both of these photos to some of our female friends that I could hopefully trust to keep the secret. The overall consensus was extremely positive.
After another week of waiting in anticipation, Sally sent me a photo of the final product. When I opened the pictures, my jaw absolutely hit the floor. This complete stranger was able to produce something that I could barely describe, something that only existed as a picture in my head.
I happily sent her the final payment for her work and eagerly waited for the package. While we waited I purchased a frame, and an archival mat. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at hiding things like this, so once it arrived I ended up showing her… and I am happy to report that she LOVES it. But I also realized we had a problem. The artwork wasn’t exactly centered on the cotton rag paper she did it on, which meant I had to get a custom mat cut. No one in town did that sort of thing in-house, so I ended up ordering a couple of mats from Archival Methods. They ended up being a great company to work with, they turned my order around and shipped the very next day. So, here it is… hanging up in our hallway.
We haven’t signed it yet. Honestly, we’re a bit scared to. We’ve both been practicing our signature… trying to come up with something that would be presentable. Maybe we’ll get brave tomorrow and sign it on Valentines day. =)