With all the weddings and bridal showers that keep appearing on my calendar these days, I find myself having the same debate, over and over (and over…):
To stray from the registry, or not to stray from the registry?
On the one hand, these people clearly took the time to cherry pick and tell us – their family and friends – exactly what they want. Do I really think I know better than they do?
But then, on the other hand, my inner Martha Stewart can’t handle the idea of buying some thing for someone, peeling off the sticker, putting it in a bag with some tissue and calling it a day. A gift that doesn’t involve some combination of brainstorming, envisioning, making several trips to Michael’s, cutting, gluing, tying elaborate bows, and/or washing glitter off my clothes feels too… I dunno… easy. It’s just how I’m wired. You craftaholics understand.
So, in answer to the question at hand – to stray, or not to stray – I say, a little of both. Honor their wish list, and add some flare.
I was recently invited to a friend’s bridal shower, so naturally I kicked things off by checking out her registry. I immediately narrowed down the list based on my price point and personal preferences, and I was left with…. a bundt pan.
Because nothing screams “pizzaz” like a bundt pan.
Clearly I had work to do. My mind immediately went to ‘function’. What good is a bundt pan with no recipe to use it for? And so, the ideas swirled, and I grabbed the necessary supplie and fuel (yes, that’s a venti… don’t judge me…) and got to work.
I tracked down a few spectacular-sounding recipes for bundt cakes (thank you, Pinterest) and raided my supply box for a way to craftify them. Enter: Glitter. Lucky for me, I had lots of lovely paper scraps on hand that coordinated nicely together, thanks to years of frequenting Michael’s and compulsively overspending. Whoopsie. I also think there’s something really special about a recipe that’s lovingly hand-written, so I put my crafty handwriting to work too.
Once the recipe cards were ready and to my liking, I wrapped them up in a neat little bow and tucked them inside a card file I found at Staples.
Last but not least, I’m a sucker for killer gift wrap. And I mean killer gift wrap. More often than I’d like to admit, I find myself at Paper Source spending more on wrapping supplies than I spent on a gift itself. And this, my friends, was no exception. Throw on a lovely bow from my ribbon stash leftover from Christmas, and I was ready to rock and roll.
By the way? Favorite. Wrapping Paper. EVER.
Voila! A registry gift with flare. Putting all of this together brightened my day, and reminded me of how fulfilling it is to put personal touches on the gifts I give to the people I hold near and dear.
Do you stick to the registry, or do you lean toward more personal gifts? Perhaps a combination? Share, s’il vous plait!
As a little girl, I remember adoringly watching my mom as she scrapbooked on summer afternoons. (That aggressive red squiggly underline is trying to tell me that ‘scrapbooked’ is not a word. Overruled, squiggles! It is now.)
She’d spend hours riffling through family photos, meticulously cutting paper, digging for the perfect sticker, adding bits of her beautiful loopy handwriting to tie the page together… and it made me desperate to turn my own memories into something so lovely and special. I am so the ‘apple’ to her crafty ‘tree’.
Recording memories in a thoughtful, artistic way is something I wish I had more time to do. Would I love to be able to flip through colorful, handcrafted books filled with sentimental photos and memorabilia? OF COURSE! But with a job, a growing social life, and ten years’ worth of photos waiting to be craftified… who has that kind of time!?
Thankfully, scrapbooking seems to be evolving to match the busy-busy-go-go-go lifestyle we all know so well. Project Life by Becky Higgins and K&C Company SMASH are two products lines I found and like in theory, though I haven’t tried either one. Each is designed to simplify and expedite the scrapbooking process.
Personally, I’d love to get back into a routine of artistically documenting my life as it’s happening, but I hesitate to commit to buying products and getting started until I’m convinced I’ve found a system that’s convenient and time-friendly enough for me. At this moment, Project Life seems like the strongest candidate in my book – it provides some structure (a must for me), encourages a balance of pictures with journaling, and allows for a pretty, uncluttered aesthetic.