The graphic is a modified version of the cover of the anniversary card that I gave Andrea. The background picture is from Mexico (edited with a few masks, and I think 8 layers total). The foreground is from our wedding, along with the Webdings font heart (just type the letter ‘y’).
It all started almost a year ago when Andrea and I were deciding what we wanted to do with our wedding invitations. We talked about it quite a bit, and came to the conclusion that we would design our own from scratch, then have them professionaly printed. The one thing Andrea wanted the most was a monogram with our initials on it. She is definitely more creative than I am, but I am also a bit better with computers than she is. So, we decided that I would be doing the monogram (with her careful eye of attention always over my shoulder!).
I am no professional graphic designer, nor anywhere close to it. However, I have dabbled around with computer graphic design before, and enjoy it some too. I think that the first draft of our monogram came out to meet the eye of my super-observant “quality assurance officer” (Andrea) just before the end of January. Overall, she liked the general idea of it, but it still needed a lot of work, she thought. Back to the designing board I went. Over the next month, that process repeated itself multiple times. With each time, though, I was getting closer. The normal response was. “Ohhh, I like it…but what about this?” I am thinking to myself, “C’mon, it’s just a silly monogram!” One obstacle later on in the process is where the three letters: D, S, and A intersect in the middle. As I saw it, we had two options: a funny looking polygon at that point, or just a blend of all the letters together–which didn’t look that great either. One night I was dilly-dallying with a school paper and accidentally typed a heart with the “Wingdings 2” font. Eureka! I threw that in at the intersection point, Andrea liked it, and that was that.
Finally, sometime in late February of 2009, the stamp of approval was applied. It was a go! I finished up the rest of the invitation and sent it to the printer, Vistaprint (which I would highly recommend). The invitaions came back just how we wanted them.
Andrea ended up liking the monogram so much that she thought it would somehow make a great wedding cake topper. We thought of several ways to accomplish that, and eventually gave up. Just in time, though, she had a superb idea that she mentioned to her dad, Mr. Leslie. Maybe he could cut it out of some kind of metal and shine it up. She declared to him that that would be his wedding present for us if he could do it. For the next few weeks, Mr. Leslie spent time on our cake-topper. Tin snips and a die-grinder were his main tools. I came into the workshop a few days before it was finished and saw it. It was perfect! He had taken a brass door kicker and cut our monogram out of it using a blown-up cutout we had given him. On the day before the wedding, he finished polishing it up, and gave it to our cake designer. From there, she set it on the cake perfectly.
Also as a wedding present, my Uncle Keith and Aunt Teresa etched our invitation into a glass photo frame using the invitation we had sent them.
Moving to Pennsylvania, the monogram was packed away in a box until we moved out of the church Prophet’s Chamber and into our home in early August. Soon after we moved in Andrea got to work on it again. She surprised me one day with the finished product. It was mounted in a frame, and she wrote our names at the bottom, saying, “The Dustin Speckhals Family–Established May 22, 2009.” And there it hangs in our living room…
Coming sometime between Thanksgiving Day and Saturday: another redesigned blog banner with a Christmas theme!