Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's our 2 year wedding anniversary today!!! (November 27th)

I guess I could say all those typical things... wow time has flown by, it's been the best two years of my life, it seems like just yesterday....I'd do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing... But I'd rather talk about the most important part of an anniversary... GIFTS!

So two years is your cotton anniversary according to what I've read. There's not much you can do with a gift in the category of cotton really. I mean you have clothing, bed sheets and q-tips (cotton swabs). That's about it. I really thought hard about the q-tip gift but didn't think I could pull it off without getting sticks and rocks in my stocking for the next 5 or so years.

I went with the most obvious cotton... the clothing. I didn't want to just give clothing though, it had to be special clothing. Let me tell you... the clothing I came up with is about as 'special' as they come.

I decided to decorate a shirt for Marco to celebrate our anniversary. As I still haven't gotten that Beadazzler I've been asking for for Christmas I decided ironing on was the best bet. I was discussing this idea with my friend Alexandra and we decided it was a brilliant idea, cheap, easy and just so darned clever.

So we schemed up a plan to meet at her house on Saturday for some food and an ironing party. I bought two long sleeve t-shirts to decorate and had been thinking of ideas for weeks. Alexandra bought special printer paper to print our images out and all you had to do was iron it on. Simple enough, no?

Three hours into 'project anniversary' and a small breakdown on Alexandra's part, we decided maybe it wasn't as simple as we thought.

The directions were in Dutch which really wasn't a big problem, so we thought. Between the 4 of us (me, Alexandra, her partner Theodore and her son, none of us speak Dutch as a first language) we decided the directions said you just print out the images, place them on the t-shirt, add heat and Voila! So we did our printing, cut out the images and turned on the iron. As it was warming Alexandra began thinking. If we iron on the images this way the writing will come out backwards won't it? We took another looksie at the directions and decided that even though we thought it said you didn't have to mirror the wording that the directions had to be wrong. We were sure it was this companies first time producing such an item and they didn't realize their mistake!

So back to the computer to mirror the images. I'll be the first to admit that I am not computer savvy. I can do the basic functions, get my way around Word and really that's about it for me so I wasn't much help. Alexandra's computer was... let's should I put belongs in a museum next to T-rex. It was a little less than up to date and even less likely to cooperate with us.

After a few hours of copying, pasting, pdfíng, saving, shutting down, losing it, choosing colors, re-doing it, e-mailing it to the other computer, shrinking, stretching, centering, printer problems, fonting (is that a word?) we finally got the images mirrored and printed out. Just in time, too, as we used up all the paper!

So Alexandra bravely ironed the first image onto the t-shirt (this is where the breakdown comes in). The paper wouldn't come off the image. We decided she didn't heat it enough. She ironed it again. Still wouldn't come off. Again and again and again. The paper was still stuck to the t-shirt. With her nails she decided to just pick the paper off and see what was underneath. (breakdown ensues)

"Sarah! It's stuck! It's not coming off!"

"What do you mean."

"This *beep* *beep* paper won't come off! It's stuck!"

"Here let me try."

I took the shirt and tried to pick the pieces of paper up off of the image. My finger immediately went through the burnt dried out cloth. She baked it to a crisp. I'm almost certain that if she'd have continued ironing within another minute the shirt would have been engulfed in flames.

I started cracking up laughing of course. Alexandra wasn't so much laughing as almost in tears.

Her son came over to see what was going on and within minutes diagnosed the problem. Had we bothered to do a little experimenting with the paper prior to printing and ironing we would have seen that you have to peel the paper off before ironing, leaving just the image to be ironed on. This also meant that none of the wording had to be mirrored, it needed to be the right way. That's 3 hours of our lives we'll never see again!

Thank God we hadn't ruined the originals that we thought were unnecessary. Once she got the hang of it Alexandra had the t-shirt ironed on and ready to go within 15 minutes. We wrapped it up and I was on my way home, one t-shirt done and all the wiser.

Being the child that I am I couldn't possibly wait until our actual anniversary to give the gift to Marco. I had to see the expression on his face when he opened it. He actually seems to like the gift but shortly after opening it asked "is this all I'm getting?"

I made my way to the shops today... where are those darned q-tips?

It says your third anniversary is leather. I wonder how good Alexandra is at tanning hides?!?!?!

(I'll post pictures of the finished product in a day or two)

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