Merriam Frank

Cut & Paste Artist


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November 10th is a special day for me!

In honor of the 1 year anniversary my husband & I just celebrated (yay!!!!) I thought I’d share some pictures of the scissors-and-glue project that occupied a good 3-4 months of 2012 for me!

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Soon after we got engaged, I saw a picture of a bouquet made of book-page roses and knew immediately that I wanted to figure out how to make them for our wedding flowers! It was just too perfect: I’m a lifelong avid reader with an English degree & I’m occupied as a librarian. Plus, we were looking for all possible ways to cut costs and still have our dream wedding and hand-making the flowers definitely fit in with that goal! I read a couple of different tutorials and then practiced until I’d arrived at my own technique & rhythm.

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My basic process was: 1) slice the pages out with an x-acto knife (and here I have to say: I got a lot of disbelieving reactions that I was comfortable with destroying books… I saw it as no more destructive than essentially killing a living plant for the sake of a bouquet! And I was completely comfortable with it as they were not rare or out of print books and the destruction was not of the book-burning, censorship variety.) — 2) cut out stacks of petals in varying shapes & sizes — 3) individually curl the edges of each petal shape (for months I had little baggies of petals in my purse so that I could begin curling edges at the first sign of any downtime!) — 4) prepare the stem (wire that my honey cut for me) by hot gluing a tight tube of paper onto the end to be a base for the petals (by far the hardest/worst part to me!) — 5) build the rose onto the stem, hot gluing petal by petal from the inside out, shaping the rose as it grew! — 6) repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat…

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The project was near and dear to my heart, not just because it was for our wedding but also because I chose a special book for each of my bridesmaids & felt like the bouquets were a gift to them, not just an accessory to carry for one day & throw away!

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[If you’re interested: my sister and matron of honor’s bouquet was made from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott with a few roses from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, as well. My (other) sister and maid of honor’s bouquet was made from Pride & Prejudice with a few roses from Little Women! Both books are about close sisters and both are huge parts of our “family library” – we’ve all read them too many times to count, both separately and together, out loud! My cousin’s bouquet was made from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, a book from our childhood and fittingly about little girls who aren’t actually sisters but might as well be! And finally, my best friend’s bouquet was made from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells, one of my all-time favorite books and again, about close relationships between women who aren’t actually related.

My bouquet was made up of roses from each of their books (so that I could carry them with me!), coffee-filter peonies, and roses from my own special book, Betsy’s Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace. It’s the last book of a series that has been my favorite since I very first began to read it when I was probably no taller than the series itself, if you stacked it up in a tower! The books begin when Betsy is age 5-6 and continue through her life until her wedding and first year of marriage. (If you’ve never read them or if you have a little girl in your life to share them with, I couldn’t recommend them enough!!!)]

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I also made all the necessary boutonnieres and corsages, because hey, at that point I was on a roll! The only “special” ones were my groom’s and my dad’s though, because I had convenient scraps and because let’s be honest, his groomsmen weren’t going to care what book their boutonnieres were made from… ! My husband’s boutonniere was made from the same book as my bouquet, Betsy’s Wedding (because he’s “my Joe”! [the character she marries]…) and my dad’s was made from A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, which is our special book. I used to read him the stories every morning as he was going to sleep after working night shifts!

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They’re a different rose technique (spiral) better suited to lying flat on the corsages’ ribbon backing or the boutonnieres’ popsicle sticks. (Popsicle sticks might seem like an odd choice, but they stuck conveniently right into the button holes of the suits! No pins required.)

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All of these pictures were taken by our amazing wedding photographer Megan of Megan & Seth Photography.

I hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I’ve enjoyed reminiscing over them!!! I’ll be back next week with some more collages. : )

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