The Party Animals Suite

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have a few DIY wedding posts and pretties lined up for all of you, because, frankly, that’s where my brain has been and where my hands have kept busy.

Graduation and my wedding date are looming and the projects keep piling!

I love it.

Cam (the fiancée) and I, being both engineer and artist, had very strong feelings about having a handmade wedding.

However, we also had very strong feelings of not wanting to be crazy people that kill themselves trying to impress the world with our craftiness. When it’s all said and done, we want ourselves, our families, and our guests to remember the process and the wedding as being one filled with FUN, love, special memories and neat lil’ handcrafted details.

So, we picked where we would and would not invest our creative energies:

Food? Leave that to the pros.

Music? Spotify got that. So do helpful musician friends.

Dress? Oh, how convenient, I found a pretty one I love right here in Atlanta…oh! And it’s on SALE.

Decorations? Ok…we might want to tackle some of that. Let’s say 25% is on us to make awesome.

Invitations and paper products? Handmade all the way.

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Cam and I dreamed up our Save the Dates last summer and it was such a crazy, intense and fun process bringing them to life.

They are bookmarks made from wood veneer and fine papers. We’ve been calling them “The Party Animals Suite” for the animals I illustrated to remind us of our dearest friends.  They will be cropping back up in our invitations and thank you notes, as well.

It took all of his engineering prowess to make the laser engravers at the GT Labs bend to our will, and I spent more time than I care to admit with a gold paint pen on those puppies.

In the end we made some beautiful bookmarks that are a true reflection of our combined abilities and relationship: art and science, beauty and functionality and paper and wood.

We can’t wait to give them to our friends. They look, smell, and feel so good.

We’ve spent so much time with them that they feel like our children, and I’m a little scared to send them through the big, bad, postal service. But we must!

I’ll bring you some more wedding love soon…

xoxo

Rachel Eleanor

Have your print and eat it, too

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Last night I worked on fish prints!

Yes. Fishy fishy fish prints.

If you can get over your revulsion for handling dead fish, you can make some gorgeous prints.

Fish printing, or gyotaku, originated in Japan in the mid 1800’s when fisherman wanted to record their catches. Since then, it has evolved into its own art form.

If you are a tactile person who loves graphic nature prints, then this is the DIY for you.fish.prints.8

You will need:

Paint Brush

India Ink (not toxic, if you want to eat your fish afterwards!)

Paper (Preferably thin washi paper, but you can use any kind)

Dead fish

Paper Towels

Paper Bags/Trash Bags

Step 1: Cover the surface you will be working on with your paper bags or trash bags.fish.prints

Step 2: Take your fish (which should be gutted) and stuff it with paper towels so it won’t ooze. Gross I know.

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Step 3: Place you fish on your work surface. Using your paint brush, apply a thin layer of ink to your entire fish. For a cool effect, don’t paint over the eye. You only need a very thin layer, you want to be able to see the texture of the fish scales. No globs.fish.prints.3

Step 4: Press your washi paper onto your fish. Press firmly and pat and give your fish a little fish massage, making the ink soak through.fish.prints.5

Step 5: Lift a corner and peek. If your print is too light, massage your fish a little more. Be sure to press the paper around the edges of the fish.fish.prints.7

Step 6: Lift paper and enjoy your fish print!

What I really want to know is which of you will be brave enough to cook your fish afterwards.  Send me a pic of your print and your meal!

xoxoxo

Rachel Eleanor

Listening to: Tam Lin by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer

Paint Dipped Pots

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I keep little pots of herbs in my kitchen most of the time. It’s convenient, economical, and it makes such a difference in my food! You can pick up a small plant for under $3.00.

The weather is changing here in Atlanta. The warmer temperatures are getting me excited about Spring and gardening. Last weekend when the highs were in the 60’s I dipped some terra cotta pots in bright white paint.

I love the dipped look. It’s something that you can only get with dipping an extra thick coat of color.  I think it would also be fun to try some bright colors or neon.

I used a satin finish interior paint that I had leftover from another project, terra cotta pots, masking tape, and bottles from my recycling bin to keep the pots elevated while they dried.

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Wash the pots and allow to dry. Tape the drain hole on the inside of the pot, this will keep the paint from seeping inside when you dip. I poured the paint into an old plastic container to allow for more space. You can dip either end of the pot. I also experimented with letting the paint run. I love the way they turned out!

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