This weekend I was able to finally complete a project that I’d been brainstorming for a long time. It’s a very special DIY and one of the most important things that I own. For a little backstory, when Chris and I got married we had people at our wedding write us 50 notes – one to open every year on our anniversary for 50 years. All of our family members wrote one and we left the remainders on the various tables for our friends to leave us their two cents. We’re coming up on our third wedding anniversary this summer, so we’ve opened two letters so far. One is from my Grandma and Grandpa Garzia. They weren’t able to travel for our wedding, so we wanted their advice as soon as possible. The second note was written by my Grandpa Ramsey on behalf of him and my grandmother.
I am so blessed – lucky, whatever you want to call it – to have such close family and to have such strong relationships with my extended family. My Grandpa Ramsey and I were as thick as thieves. He loved his grandchildren so fiercely and we loved him just the same back. A short time after my wedding my strong as a hurricane grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. He didn’t take it lying down and fought his best – kind of like every other part of his life. He passed just over a year ago and there’s still a hole in all our hearts. That’s where this meaningful DIY comes in using the note he wrote for us to open on our second anniversary.
The note reads: “Congratulations on making it to your second anniversary!! On ours, we were living on Grandpa McClurg’s farm and Grandma hated the loneliness and isolation that went with farm life. Things were much better for us when we moved to Florida and ultimately got you as our Granddaughter, and things have been more good than bad over the years. Grandma and I wish you a happy 2nd anniversary and pray that you can be writing one of these notes in 50 years. Chris: I hope you’re taking care of our little girl like an honorable man should! Grandma and Grandpa Ramsey”
This obviously means so much to me and I wanted it displayed in a prominent way in our home.
I did a little sprucing up in our kitchen last month, and I’ve had this empty space left that I’ve been brainstorming on. I like a little blank space, but this wall between the cabinets and doors needed something special. I thought of the note that we opened on our second anniversary, with some very special words from my grandpa. Ever since we opened it, I’ve been keeping the note in my studio, trying to decide what to do with it. That wall seemed perfect for something graphic as well as something important to Chris and me.
I stumbled across the idea of “Engineer Prints” on Pinterest and I’ve seen them featured on several blogs. But, for a while I was too intimidated to go to Staples and get this cheapo prints made! Don’t ask me why. Finally last weekend I took the plunge, drug my friend Kathryn along with me, and got a picture of Chris and I enlarged for a blank wall in my studio. Apparently the engineer print craze hasn’t caught on so much here in Central Virginia, because the folks at Staples looked at me kind of crazy when I asked for my 4 x 6 photo to be blown up to 24 x 36. But, we got it done and for $3.77 I had a huge black and white print for my studio.
I felt very confident taking my Grandpa’s note in (Kathryn with me again), but they obviously didn’t remember me from the previous weekend. When I explained what I wanted – just a sample of handwriting – I was asked, “Are you a lawyer?” I’m not sure why that asked that, but I’m assuming they thought I was looking into fraudulent signatures. Mhm. MKG, esquire.
Both times I went in, for the picture of Chris and I and for the note, they would say, “Well, this is probably going to end up pixelated because it’s so small. It might not look very good.” I didn’t have that problem with my photo or the note, so don’t let that deter you if you get the same line! I told them to go ahead and try it, and after scanning it in, uploading to their computer, and printing – I had a 24 x 36 inch print of my grandfather’s note to us! I was so thrilled that they could get the whole note on the print, including the date he wrote at the bottom.
On our way home we stopped for a poster frame. They were 40% off and I was able to use my teacher discount making the frame total under $17. All we did was slip the print in the frame, find out where on the wall to hang it, and then I made Kathryn stand on her tiptoes while I rummaged for a hammer and nail. We nailed it in, brushed the lint off the frame, and immediately loved it. For under $20 and about 10 minutes of work time, my space was filled and I get to see such a meaningful note every day.
I’m so thrilled with how this came out and it already makes my heart feel full seeing what he wrote whenever I pass through the kitchen and dining room. I think it’s also a really interesting piece that will create conversation for family and friends.
Have any of you tried our an engineer print? Can you believe that a color print the same size costs almost $40! The black and white is just fine with me!
xo, MKG, esquire