It started with three of these little chipboard albums (which I have had tucked away for quite a while, since Mom and Dad gave them to me after finding them in the clearance section at their favorite discount craft shop).
Then I had a stack of pictures printed (from digital files and traditional negatives!), depicting some of my favorite moments from my friendships with the three women I wanted to invite to be my attendants at the wedding.
There was also a beautiful deep purple cardstock - one of the wedding colors - involved in some tracing and hand-cutting. (And yes, there's probably an easier way to have done that...but I couldn't think of anything, so I stuck with the old-fashioned method.)
I also got to use chalk ink for the first time. It was a very successful effort - perhaps too successful, considering how much brown ink ended up on my hand.
There was also some printing on kraft-colored cardstock in a typewriter font that I am so thrilled to have found (and easily installed!). I had wavered between hand-writing the message inside each album and printing it...and I'm glad I went for the printed version. It looked so much more finished.
Ultimately, I ended up with three lovely little mini-albums - one for each woman - that I could only hope captured the joy their friendships bring to my life, from the first moment we have captured on camera to the present. And inside each album - on the last page - was a message asking each of them to be in our wedding party.
Then each album was wrapped in brown paper and sealed with a cream ribbon bow (with little loops on the border - no idea why I like that style of ribbon so much, but it's such a sweet finishing touch!).
And because two of the three albums had to be delivered by mail, I had to add a little note to them, to make sure I got to at least hear their reactions when they opened their gifts.
Originally, I was worried that these albums would never, no matter how hard I tried, turn out even half as good in reality as they looked in my mind. But you know what? With some planning and thoughtfulness, I could not have been happier with how they turned out. I am so proud of these little albums, and seeing (and hearing) how touched each of the women were in receiving them warmed my heart so deeply. (That each of them said yes was a nice bonus.)
Which means success for the secret project, and a big "yay" for the first of what I'm sure will be many wedding crafts.
Where I am: home
What I'm reading: the October issue of InStyle magazine
(Interested in a step-by-step of how the albums were created? More photos and details are posted here.)