First off, I want to apologize for not having posted something to let all of you know what was going on with me and why I wouldn't be around for a while. The reasons I have been MIA for the past 2 weeks are two-fold. The first thing was that I contracted a severe case of poison ivy and the itching and burning nearly drove me mad! I had never had a reaction to it before so I didn't even put 2 and 2 together until the rash was full blown over both legs, both arms, back and chest. I even had a few blisters in my ears and on my face. I suffered with it, smearing Calamine Lotion all over me, for days but the rash continued to spread despite my efforts to contain it.
While all of this was going on, I was commissioned to make a word book for a former co-worker's granddaughter who just turned one year old. Because I needed the money so badly and it had been a while since I made one, I took the job. Immediately after that fateful decision was when I began to break out with the rash and the incessant itching and burning ensued. I only had a week to complete the 8-page book so I had to work on it several hours each day. It turned out beautifully and was delivered on time. However, I didn't have time to take pictures before I handed it over so I asked my friend to take pics of each page and send them to me. Her daughter and granddaughter live in Corpus Christi so she drove down for the baby's birthday and should be back some time tonight. I really hope she got the pictures because it turned out to be my favorite mini that I have done so far. It's all fairies and butterflies and is so fanciful and sweet. By this time, the rash was taking over my poor ravaged body so I took all the money I made from the job and went immediately to the doctor on my way home from delivering it. I hated spending my hard-earned money on the doctor but I hadn't had a good night's sleep in over a week and I just couldn't stand it any longer. They gave me a prescription for Predisone which has helped tremendously in starting the healing process and eliminating the itching and burning.
I was also commissioned to make a signature photo mat for the daughter of some of my friends who are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary at the end of this month. She had a surprise party for them last night about 50 miles from where I live. I managed somehow to finish that on time too and delivered it yesterday a few hours before the party.
So, now that those things are behind me and I'm on the mend from the poison ivy, I'm back with a few new projects that I worked on in between the other jobs. At the request of one of my devoted followers, today I'm going to show you the photo mat I made for my friends. I have two different versions and I ended up not using either one but because I finished it just minutes before I had to deliver it, I didn't get a photo of the final version. I will try to get my friend to take a picture of it after she gets it framed so you can get the full effect. In the meantime, here are the other two versions I had started with.
I added the black frames in Photoshop so you can see how they look completely finished. The version I ended up going with, looks more like the second one here except that the little title jacquard is a quote from John Keats that says "Two souls, with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one." I stamped it in Mememto Tuxedo Black ink onto smooth white heavy cardstock and layered that onto black smooth cardstock and then onto textured silver foil cardstock and popped it up on the bottom of the photo mat beneath the flourishes as seen in photo 2 above. It turned out very pretty and the happy couple loved it.
The photo mat is 16' x 20" and the opening for the photograph is 8" x 10". These are available as ready made items in the framing department at Michael's in a few different sizes and come with a black pen so that each of the guests can write a short personal message of congratulations on the mat. This particular mat is a double thickness and the inside opening is beveled to add a dramatic effect and costs around $22 unframed, of course.
I had several other ideas which included white paper roses, clear or smokey crystal flourishes and similar title placquards. But those options would have required special framing due to the dimensions of the embellishments. I decided to maintain a minimal profile and classic appearance so that it would fit into a standard frame with glass insert.
Have a super week, all! I'll have another new project for you tomorrow.