Sunday, July 2, 2006

No time for leisure!

It seems like most New Yorkers are staying put this long holiday weekend -- the subway was as crowded as ever today and the highways and streets haven't been that much better. We didn't go anywhere this weekend either but at least started to complete more tasks. On Saturday we started off by seeing a sad apartment in Forest Hills. The apartment was nothing out of the ordinary -- quiet street, somewhat close to the train station, but it didn't jive at all with me. I didn't like that the kitchen was in the middle of the apartment, and like the bathroom, had no window. The size was alright but I was really put off by the ditzy owners (the woman even had the hair twirling, but she was not blond) -- they were clueless about whether it was cooking gas or electric, how much of the maintenance was deductible, and I didn't buy their story about moving to a rental in Astoria.

Afterwards, we set about making the next component of the invitations -- something to put on the outside so that it's not so plain. My intention was to put our monogram thingy that I spent many hours designing in Illustrator, which consists of a double happiness character with our joined initials, but no matter what combination, our initials just looked weird when stamped on (it looks fine on the computer and printed out though). So in the end, we stuck with just the double happiness character, stamped on with what appears to be dark red ink in some light but more magenta-like in other light. We also embossed the 240+ little things with a clear powder so that the stamped image is smooth and a little raised. This was quite a messy project (thank goodness it was not very hot nor humid as the powder sticks to anything that is moist, like sweat and even oil from your hands, and b/c it is powder, we couldn't turn on any fans). After stamping (this started to hurt my fingers b/c you have to press quite hard to ink it and to get a good impression), you sprinkle the powder on the wet ink before it dries, tap/brush off the excess powder, then you melt it all over a heat source, such as a toaster. I stamped and sprinkled while fiance melted. Then I cut each thing to about 1.5" square while fiance started to trim the directions sheet (which was a disaster to print, as it is double-sided). I assembled about 15 full invitations, complete with ribbon and stuffed RSVPs, for the relatives in Hong Kong since FAIL is going there in two days and will distribute them for us. I find that a little strange as none of them will be coming and they are getting it probably a full month before everyone else is. Plus my mother, last minute, decided not to do this for our side of the family and insists on mailing it herself. Whatever, I really don't care right now. I'm less enamored with how certain parts of the invites turned out also, though it looks nice sealed in the envelope. Whether I decide to change some things here and there till I'm more happily satisfied or not, I'll post pics of how the invites turned out once they are mailed out/distributed.

In the meantime, for those interested in getting customized stamps, I ordered mine from Simon's Stamps, which arrived very quickly and is decent quality. I had heard good things about Stampworx 2000 -- they are even recommended and used by Martha Stewart Magazine -- but they never responded to my email. I suppose if I really cared, I could have made a trip to their office somewhere in Gramercy Park I think, but I chose to go the easier way by putting the order through the Boston-based Simon's Stamps -- their website is so easy and convenient to use! You can upload your images, preview it, and receive your stamp within a week. I also thought that if Martha endorses Stampworx, they must jack up the price -- anyone who's ordered from them can confirm? My stamps are a bit small (all less than 2") so they cost about $8 each and shipping was about $2. The one bad thing is that I made the mistake of ordering a regular wooden handle stamp (as opposed to the wooden block art stamp) for one of them and it is a little harder to use b/c the surface for the art stamp is raised more so that even if you press it deeply into the stamp pad, ink doesn't go where it shouldn't. Sometimes the corner of the wooden handle stamp touches the ink and leaves an impression behind even though it's not part of the design. So, lesson learned, be sure to order the art stamp!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say that it's great!! My future husband is Chinese (I am not) and while he's very western, his parents are very into the traditions. I love reading your take on the lucky numbers and the real meaning of things!!!

Also, it sounds like your apt search is not going so well. I don't live in NYC but my sister does and she recommends her building at 353 East 83rd Street. If you go straight to the building mgmt, there is no broker fee.

I'm definitely going to subscribe to your blog and if you have any insight on the tea ceremony, please let me know as each time I ask his mom about it, I get a different explanation and answer!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say that it's great!! My future husband is Chinese (I am not) and while he's very western, his parents are very into the traditions. I love reading your take on the lucky numbers and the real meaning of things!!!

Also, it sounds like your apt search is not going so well. I don't live in NYC but my sister does and she recommends her building at 353 East 83rd Street. If you go straight to the building mgmt, there is no broker fee.

I'm definitely going to subscribe to your blog and if you have any insight on the tea ceremony, please let me know as each time I ask his mom about it, I get a different explanation and answer!

Plumsauce said...

I would love to see your invitations once they are done! I love seeing wedding DIY projects!