The Announcement Experience

December 15, 2016

Having custom announcements and invitations made can be easy if you know how to do it.

I made things a little easy on myself for my last big order.


  • I designed my own using Microsoft publisher. To be fair, I modified a design that comes with the program. I used some photographs we had made.
  • I ordered 120 invites, 200 address labels, 10 rsvp cards for older folks, 150 thank you cards, and one yard /driveway sign for $160. It's unlikely you would be impressed with my cardstock ;-p.
  • Had to have them reprinted because they couldn't properly trim a border. But they very nicely reprinted it with a modified design for free. Exactly what this sub led me to expect! Fair quality, but a good price with good customer service.
  • Edited to add pictures of the design. Pictures of the printed invite will be added later. Save the Date included to show you why I needed the border dang it!

As far as the sizes of the invitations, I think Vistaprint's are a little non-standard: a bit smaller than 5" wide, and a little more than 7" long.

I found the exact dimensions on their website once the first design I uploaded was the wrong proportions. I really wish I had found that sooner.

In Microsoft Publisher I just created a blank document of exactly the dimensions I needed.

At first I was just exporting my design as a really high resolution image, but then I discovered that they can read the native file formats of several design tools, including Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Photoshop. Either way, you still have to expand your image into their little design window, which drove me slightly crazy but was similar to the other online vendors.

Their customer service is fantastic. I forgot to put the RSVP date on mine, called them up just to see if they could do anything, and they reprinted them for free.

These were the steps for Vistaprint.


I have tried something simialr on Minted.

For minited the process liooked like this:

  • It was a square card, floral design. Not sure of the design name right now.
  • Total cost was around $450. We ordered 125 (I think), upgraded paper, and had a floral design printed on the back. This also included RSVP cards.
  • We adore them and everyone loved them. Since we did add a personal touch.

Everything was excellent. Our cards didn't go into printing the day we were told they would, so I contacted customer service. They apologized, worked to fix the problem, and then upgraded us to overnight shipping for free.

Wedding Paper Divas

For another celebration we went with Wedding Paper Divas:

  • Picked a pre-made design, heavy card stock, matte
  • Ordered 45 of each invitation, accomodations insert, rsvp card, and matching thank you cards. They cost $300.
  • Loved the cards, customer service was awesome with a design change I wanted, and they were printed quickly.

Excellent service. They do send by fed Ex with signature required so I had to go up there and pick them up because we arent home during the day, but thats barely a complaint.

Tags  |  Announcing  |   |  Genesis

Dealing With the Crafts

November 20, 2016

I spin wool, knit, crochet, paint, draw and love crafts! I have space limits on all my things: two IKEA cubes for yarn, two work in progress bags, one IKEA RASKOG trolley for my scrapbook notions, albums sit on my bookcase, one sewing machine trolley for machine and notions, and one small filing box for fabric.

I can have as much as I like as long as it fits within those limits.

I've joined my local guild of spinners and weavers where I can borrow a lot of the equipment I need. I even go there in person to work on my crafts! That's allowed me to downsize significantly on the material I keep at home. I only have three small plastic containers of craft materials.

When I downsized, I also convinced myself to stop buying any crafts supplies and use up what I have. Even though my stash is tiny (from what it used to be), I can always make do without needing to shop.

Because I love so many types or arts and crafts, I also tried to become more realistic with what I can actually accomplish. I have kids and a full time job, so realistically I may only have time for a few projects a month.

I downsized my stash and materials to reflect the life I have, not the life we all dream to have iinite free time.

Tags  |  Announcing  |   |  Genesis

I Love Soapmaking

September 12, 2016

I wanted to assemble a series of useful links that are often posted in response to frequently asked questions. If anyone has any suggestions for links, sections, or any thing else to add, please feel free to suggest away.

I intend to clean this up and add more detail as time goes on so you can feel free to bookmark it.

I was going to put them into different pages but like this it is a lot easier to get an overview of everything.

I wanted to assemble a series of useful links that are often posted in response to frequently asked questions. If anyone has any suggestions for links, sections, or any thing else to add, please feel free to suggest away.
I intend to clean this up and add more detail as time goes on.

Learning Materials
A Beginner's Guide to Soapmaking
Calculating the amount of oil for your mold
Castile Soap Recipe - All Olive Oil
How to Make Your Own Soap
Naturally Coloring Soap
Rebatching Soap
Shaving Soap
Smart Soapmaking Book
Soap Making 101 - Making Cold Process Soap
Soaping 101
Soap Making Forum
SoapQueen Soapmaking Tutorials Blog

YouTube Channels
Ariane Arsenault
Eden's Secret
Handmade In Florida
Missouri River Soaps
Royalty Soaps
Soaping 101

BrambleBerry Fragrance Calculator
BrambleBerry Lye Calculator
Liquid, Cream & Bar Soap Calculator
Saponify Soap Calculator Android App

Online Suppliers
Brambleberry Soap Making Supplies
Bulk Apothecary
Chelsea's Soap Garden
Essential Depot
Mountain Rose Herbs
Nature's Garden
New Directions Aromatics
Nurture Soap Supplies
Online Labels
Save On Scents
Soap Making Resource Supplies and Tutorials
Soaper's Choice
TKB Trading
Voyageur (Canada)
Wholesale Supplies Plus

Tags  |  Soapy  |   |  Genesis


September 8, 2016

God, I love the Konmari method. Mybiggest problem here is that a lot of the clothing that I've really loved has actually been mockups made with fabrics I didn't love.

I terms of fabric, there's not much that I'm unlikely to use at all. If I like it less, I'm more likely to take the risk of cutting into it. I'm less likely to use my favorite fabrics in the near future; it has to be a TNT pattern before I'll ever get up the nerve to use the good stuff.

I have been working on making a "use it or lose it" category for stuff I could use but don't love. It's not worth keeping long-term, and having a time restraint makes it feel less like there's a risk of waste by using them when I'm not sure it'll work out well.

It encourages me to use those fabrics while also releasing me from the guilt of getting rid of them if I don't.

I know Marie Kondo said that time restraints on things made her feel guilty like she should be using those things, but for me it makes me feel less guilty. I give it a reasonable period of time, and if I don't use it, then I can give it up without feeling like I'm getting rid of something I could use, since I've already demonstrated to myself that I'm not legitimately using it.

Here is some of my criteria:

  1. Get rid of anything I haven't used it in years and don't feel any attachment to. Stuff that somehow I've accumulated over years - fabric paint when I used it for ONE craft project, chalk that is never used, etc
  2. Get rid of low-quality art supplies if I have higher quality stuff around. Get rid of old materials past their prime.
  3. Test all pens and markers to see if they still work. If I don't like the color, ink flow, etc get rid of it.
  4. Get rid of materials that I don't like using
  5. Keep only sketchbooks and sketches that I LIKE. Recycle the rest. (Maybe take a picture first)
  6. I keep my art supplies within grabbing distance, on a basket cart, well organized, so that I am inspired to create art more often.

I don't feel guilty about hanging on to a lot of my art supplies (especially paints) because they were an investment in my creativity and art is an important, relaxing hobby to me.

Tags  |  Announcing  |   |  Genesis

Simple Ways To Make Invitations More Personal

July 8, 2016

There is an easy to way to make your invitations more personal. But you need to know your own strengths.

What kind of crafts are you guys best at?

The options (assuming you want to send paper invitations) include:

  • Illustrate or hand-letter your invitations. Possibly individually, possibly by creating a design that you'll have printed.
  • Design them using photoshop or a similar program. From here, you could just consider the graphic design DIY enough and have them printed, or if you have printmaking skills, you could learn to gocco, silkscreen, letterpress, etc. depending on what you have access to.
  • Do you have some other specific crafting ability that doesn't usually translate to a wedding invitation, like woodworking or sewing or something? Could you create a non-traditional invitation that incorporates that craft?

If you want to do something crafty, but know it is going to be too time consuming. The linen paper was a nice touch which helps make it "feel" more custom.

I have used it before, and I want to use it in the future for more projects.

What you want to do is choose pocket invitations but buying them from the fancy invite stores they're like $5 each. But if you look around many places sell the pre done pocket part.

For the inserts I'm going to create the design but then have them printed by vistaprint or similar because it's cheaper than getting the ink and cardstock to do it myself. To get ideas though I got the free sample packs from every single invitation place I could find online.

That way I could physically see and hold what I thought I wanted. I recommend grabbing the free sample packs to get an idea of what you want even if it's just what paper weight you prefer or what colors look right irl.