In Erin’s words….
Once we had the design finalized, Roger and Jessica with Flourish Letterpress had us over to practice our ombre technique on the paper to make sure that everything would work and look beautiful. We weren’t letterpressing watercolor paper, so we had to find the right paper that would take the paint and also letterpress correctly. After researching ombre techniques, I decided that hand watercoloring the paper would achieve the best look and be able to be repeated the easiest.
After examining the overwhelming watercolor color options at Meiningers, I decided on a 50/50 mix of Holbein Artist’ Water Color inks in Jaune Brilliant No. 2 and Shell Pink (note – after running out of paint after 8 tubes and an emergency trip to Meiningers only to find that Shell Pink was out of stock, we made do with using Brilliant Pink instead towards the end. Consistency was kind of thrown to the wind, but everything still turned out great!). With the paper type and color chosen, Roger was off to cut out the paper.
And HOLY MOLY, it was a lot of paper. He gave us just under 1000 pieces of paper to ombre paint!
I tricked recruited Andy and my mom to help and it took us a really long time. Many a nights were spent listening to Glee Cast on Pandora while our kitchen table turned into Crafting Central. We were anxious to get the Save the Dates out, so we focused on those first and handed them off to Roger and Jessica for letterpressing in advance of the rest of the suite. In fact, we just wrapped up the ombre painting for the invitation and the reception pieces last week. I’m really excited to see how they look after being letterpressed! And Andy and I are both relieved this enormous DIY project is a wrap!
Stay tuned for pics of the final product!
If you are interested in undertaking a project like this, here are some tips I learned along the way:
1) Figure out how to properly care for watercolor brushes. I had to buy a few replacements as mine kept going funny. Also, if you have a dog that gets jealous when you aren’t petting her and sees you painting every night for 2 weeks instead of petting her all night, make sure to put your brushes away or you may come home to this.
2) Recruit help and let go! I tried the first night to paint everything myself and quickly learned that I would go crazy if I didn’t have some help. So after teaching Andy the correct way to use the paint brush and embracing that it was beautiful for each one to look different, I ended up with the best painting partner and we now have some great memories.
3) If you mess up on one, let it dry and come back to it later. I found that the more water and more paint I put on just made it worse. However, it was really easy to review the “drying station” and pull the ones that needed a little more work and fix them in a couple minutes.
4) Do not leave red wine next to your giant stack of cut paper. I dodged a bullet with this one and missed the paper by an inch. My rug wasn’t quite as lucky
I can’t wait to share the final invite suite! Stay tuned!