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Making My Visions a Reality?

January 17, 2011

As my 12 days of sequestration draw to a close, I’m feeling unfortunately unaccomplished. I had really hoped to finish a project while I was stuck at home, and it just didn’t happen. And you know why? It’s because I’m insanely picky and won’t settle for anything less than the exact vision in my head. You guys saw it with my last post, about my inability to find the perfect footed bowl. I just can’t bring myself to settle for anything less than what I consider perfect, and it is KILLING me!

One of the projects that I deemed tackle-able for this week was table numbers. My original plan was to collect vintage bird and flower illustrations and name the tables after the featured image. But then I thought about the escort cards and how I would assign each couple or guest a table. I need to be able to fill in the table selections at the last minute, and realistically, the only easy way to do that would be to give the tables numbers and then use a number stamp on the escort cards. Is it exciting or original? No. But it’ll preserve my sanity, so it’ll just have to do.

When I thought about table numbers with actual numerals, this was the first thing that popped into my head:


Wooden numbers in picture frames are nothing new to the hive. Mrs. Lemonade used gorgeous gold numbers with tea-dyed fabric, and Mrs. Crabcake recruited her adorable little lady to help paint hers. Inspired by their awesome results, and by some other fun ones I found online (here, here and here), I decided to make framed wooden numbers my new goal.

I figured I would start by finding wooden numbers. Most people had mentioned finding them at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, and I assumed I would, too. With visions of perfect numbers with beveled edges dancing in my head, I pulled on the ol’ Uggs (yes, really—DON’T JUDGE ME) and set out into the snow.

Here’s where the problems started. At my local Michael’s, I only found flat, Comic Sans-type numbers. I really, really wanted those beveled edges, and clearly the goofy variety wasn’t going to work, so I moved on. The next-closest Michael’s had more options. One set was 4″ tall with beveled edges, but they just looked too skinny and small. The next set up was 6″ tall, and they were HUGE. One number by itself probably would have fit in a 5″x7″ frame, but no way would I have fit a double-digit number. Hobby Lobby had no wooden numbers with beveled edges at all.

Bummed out, I decided to put the numbers on hold and look for backing fabric. Ideally, I wanted a mix of shimmery stripes (like our save the date envelope liners) and chinoiserie-style florals—all in our wedding colors, of course. I checked Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics, and struck out. No shimmery stripes whatsoever, except in really thick upholstery fabric, and all the florals looked like they belonged on a nightgown. Sigh.

That evening, after a lot of Googling, I found this paper:


Isn’t it gorgeous? I came very close to buying it, but the problems were this: a) it’s back-ordered at least 3-4 weeks, b) it’s not actually our wedding colors, and c) I really, really wanted to use fabric. I closed the site and kept looking.

I finally found some viable floral options at, and of course, immediately threw them into Photoshop to see how they would look with my imaginary frames (image borrowed from here), imaginary numbers (borrowed from here) and the linen colors I plan to use (royal blue overlay, lavender napkins). I also threw in some of my favorite flowers (flowers on the left from here and flowers on the right from here) and two of my mercury glass thingies.

Here’s option 1:

Fabric source

Here’s option 2:

Fabric source

And option 3:

Fabric source

I like ’em. I think I’ll probably pull the trigger and buy them, but I’m hesitant. Because we still have five and half months left, I’m afraid I’ll find something I like better. This has been my problem with completing projects thus far. The wedding still feels too far away! But I really do need to get some projects done, and if I’m going to do it, I need to loosen the iron grip on my vision just a teeny bit.

Of course, I still have to find numbers and frames. We looked at frames at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, and I didn’t see exactly what I wanted there, either. (I’m looking for ornate, vintage looking frames in an oval or rectangle shape.) But I’m optimistic … they’ve got to be out there somewhere!

Does anyone else have trouble committing to something that isn’t exactly what you pictured?

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