diy :: Make Your Mail Better

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This is a fantastic Valentine’s Day craft but also a general “send mail” craft. And as I mentioned, a lot of my V-Day craft ideas went down the toilet with the whole being engaged thing, so this is what I’ve got for you. Good thing it’s pretty fun + versatile, eh?

If you hadn’t guessed, I LOVE mail. Getting, giving, making, decorating, and spending my entire trust fund on postage [because COME ON USPS]. Also, LOL trust fund. That was a joke. I have a rapidly emptying checking account just like other normal Americans.

Um but back to the craft. This one is super easy and if any of you are like scared of carving or making stamps from scratch because it’s hard (it can be difficult), THIS one is for you. It’s super simple and really hard to mess up, because it’s basically just a square with some corners cut off + a circle on one side. It’s a gift tag! As a stamp! Fun!

tools

Things not listed in the pic that you might need: a pencil or stencil to trace. I free-handed this jank, but if you want to get fancy or exact, an actual gift tag would be perfect. And an ink pad. I recommend ColorBox because it’s archival quality + doesn’t try out quickly + comes in a million shades.

Step 1: Trace / draw shape. I traced the mounting block so I’d know how big to make my stamp so it would fit on the block. You should note the size of whatever you’re going to mount the stamp on so it’s not too big.

Step 2: Carve. I used the flat blade in the speedball set, and the Xacto knife to be precise. The circle took some patience.

Step 3: Glue rubber stamp onto mounting block. Make sure block is cleaned + free of dirt or sawdust. Craft stores sell mounting blocks pre-shaped + glossed, but mine is just a piece of balsa wood sanded smooth. This is not The House of Fancy Crafts or Martha Stewart.

Step 4: DONE. Have a stamping party! Note: you DO actually need to wait for the ink to dry before writing on it. Also note, some pens might not work too well on top of the ink, especially if it’s not 100% dry.

stamp

Also, it might be obvious but I’ll go ahead and say it: if you are using a dark pen, black ink will not work. You need a lighter color (like white – pictured!). I did try black ink with a white gel pen and the results were questionable. Have fun experimenting with that one.

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The “Please Deliver To” stamp shown is from the every-talented Emily @ Em Dash Paper Co. I got a couple of her stamps for myself for Christmas + use them to decorate every piece of mail I send now. Except bills. Ok fine, sometimes bills. 

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You can sort of see when I tried using the skinny black pen shown, it didn’t work well, so I had to switch to my #1 favorite blue Le Pen, which worked beautifully. And yes this is a real piece of mail! Not a prop! Someone I know is getting this jank in the mail soon. Or possibly already has! Hashtag Mysterious!

postage

This USPS Vintage Seed Packet postage is my #1 favorite ever. Anyone who gets mail from me in the next 2 years will probably see these, because I bulk bought them before the price went up a couple weeks ago + now have 300 stamps in my possession.  I AM RICH WITH POSTAGE.

NOW for the fun part. Any of you going to attempt this? Anyone love decorating your mail? Any fun V-Day plans for the weekend? Let’s hear it!

I’m finishing up what has probably been an awesome road trip with Man-Piece right now, and I can’t wait to NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow. But if I do give him a card, you can be sure this gift tag stamp will be on it.

 

printable :: Valentine’s Day is Awesome or Something

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Valentine’s Day is Friday. I have mixed emotions about the day and the celebration in general. While I’m a huge fan of love, I’ve never really been a fan of this one day of celebration for whatever reason. Man-Piece has never taken me on an Official Valentine’s Day Dinner Date, nor will I allow him to in the future. If we go out on Valentine’s Day together, it will be pure coincidence. I happen to know that this Friday we’ll be visiting a friend in St. Louis, and therefore it will not be romantic or special at all. It will be a Fun Friday Among Friends! Alliteration!

BUT I MADE YOU A PRINTABLE ANYWAY. Because I’m so nice. But mostly because I also love YOU.

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Click any of the pics to download the PDF. Print + cut + give to everyone you love (or don’t) with your favorite calorie-ridden Red Dye #9. Because it’s fun, free, and deep down we all love love. Especially when it’s FREE. Yay.

Who will you send to? What are you favorite Valentine’s traditions? Anti-traditions? Candy? Fruit? Maybe it’s your favorite holiday of all time? Tell me. I promise not to judge.

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life + wedding :: The Best Kept Secrets of the Betrothed

I was supposed to make this really cute Valentine’s Day stamp and share a super fun tutorial with you yesterday, but I didn’t do it because being engaged is now taking up all of my time. I’m just SO ENGAGED with planning a 10 hour ordeal which will take place greater-than 400 days from now, I can’t function in regular life. Valentine’s Day crafts be damned!

At the age of 24, I thought we were in the wedding season of our lives. But now at 26, I see that 24 was just the pre-game. We are now in the high-scoring first half. I expect 28 or 29 might be half-time, and then early 30s will be the second half, followed immediately by babies everywhere, and I guess that’s the post-game tailgate LOL what a comparison. [In honor of Superbowl weekend, a little football analogy there.]

Anyway. After less than a month of being in this not-so-exclusive club of engaged people, I want to share some things I’ve learned, things that shocked me, things that made my eyes bug out repeatedly, things that made me cry, things that NO ONE EVER warned me about becoming engaged / being engaged / planning a wedding. So, YOU’RE WELCOME in advanced.

I recently read this list by The Knot of 10 things no one tells you about being engaged and let me just say, LOLZ they are all lame and dumb. Some true, but mostly they are lame. So again, you’re welcome, because THIS is the actual list of things no one tells you about being engaged.

Standard preface applies: everyone’s experience is different, there are exceptions, I tend to exaggerate and be melodramatic, blah blah blah. I DO love MP, all of this has nothing to do with my love for him + excitement of being married + growing old together, if I even NEED to say that. If you don’t like what I’m saying, feel free to click away. 

1 ::  This wedding planning business is probably THE MOST STRESSFUL THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Nuclear arms race included. Mothers everywhere are not involved in Nuclear arms races, therefore I WIN.

2 :: Everyone has an opinion. Literally (and I hate using the word literally, because it’s sort of redundant), EVERYONE YOU KNOW has an opinion. And may the Lord help you if you DON’T AGREE 100% IMMEDIATELY. Like, YES, LET’S ALL JUST DO THE SAME THING and it’ll be just great.

3 :: Catholic weddings. I just. There are so many rules. It feels like I have to get the Pope’s written consent to marry. Though, he is on Twitter, so maybe I can just tweet him for permission?

4 :: The MINUTE Man-Piece put this ring on my finger, my bank account went into the red. IT KNOWS.

5 :: David’s Bridal is THE WORST store in the world and I WANT TO BURN every email they send me. Helpful hint: DO NOT enter any sweepstakes or giveaways for your “DREAM” anything. It’s not worth it, even for $20,000 cash. I will spend 20k in therapy getting over the anxiety these emails give me. I’ve unsubscribed like a billion times and STILL my inbox chokes to death every day – nay! Every hour! With my DREAM this! And DREAM that! And a GIVEAWAY for confetti pooping unicorns at your wedding!

5a :: THEY CALL ME. ALL THE TIME. AFTER I ASKED FOR IT TO STOP. From an 800 number, and it’s the thing where you answer and a little machine tells a call center that you answered. Like, STOP IT. I don’t want to ANSWER the phone only to hear it ringing on the other side. “Is this Sara…Dee…um?” UGH. YES I’M ALREADY MAD WHAT DO YOU WANT. “We’d love to help you schedule your bridal appointment!!!!!!” Enough with the over-enthusiasm. Wait until I’ve been engaged for longer than 5 minutes. Kthanksbye.

6 :: The Knot is a beautiful publication, genius website, money making machine. But I do not want to spend $45 for set of 10 fuchsia Buddha place-card holders.

7 :: Fiances actually DO care about lots of this jank. Despite men everywhere claiming they don’t care about anything, “as long as they get to see us walking down the aisle” vom vom vom it’ll all be good. Liars. All of them.

8 :: The wedding industry perpetuates #7 behavior by parading around telling us women that we make all the decisions, we all have Daddy’s platinum credit card, and the world is just our shiny amazing “one-of-a-kind” and “YOU-NIQUE” (vom) wedding oyster, on the half-shell of course, in delicious red-wine reduction. And it’s OUR DAY and we can DO WHAT WE WANT no matter the consequences! THAT is why Bridezillas are a thing.

9 :: I just want to skip all the hard parts and decisions, yet still get my way (#8!!!), and play in a bunch of expensive dresses until I finally can decide on one, or maybe three.

Now. As for comments. I’m going to blanket comment so anyone who is considering saying any of the following, anything related, similar to, synonyms of, or metaphors for the following can save time, because I totally got this:

Everyone is there for me, everyone means well, it will all be ok, everyone goes through something bad, everyone just wants to help and be involved, it’s all worth it, as long as Steven loves me and I love him, I should elope, I should keep it small, I should – in fact, anything starting with “you should” is included in this, it’s not about everyone else, only about you and him…end scene.

THAT was the most therapeutic thing I’ve done since January 9th. I seriously can’t wait to wed Steven. And be his wife. And all of that mushy and serious love stuff. It really is SUPER exciting and I LOVE IT and HIM. I stare at my ring like 24/7 and imagine how awesome life will be. But. If only we could get through this without David’s Bridal harassment.