Saturday, August 6, 2011

Response



Two months ago, my partner in crime at the office, Jana 2.0 (yes, we have the same name) was looking for ideas for her wedding guestbook. She's a scrapbooker, sewer, and crafter herself, and loves to try fun, crafty things. She was hoping for a guestbook that was more than just a list of names. I came across this idea and pinned it to my Pinterest wall. I shared the photo with her and she fell in love.


Jana and her mom and sister did all the planning, buying of stamp pads and pens like the ones above, and rather than using a pre-bound book, they taped a dozen square scrapbook-format pages divided into grids of 9 squares to two tables covered with brown craft paper. Hand wipes, bright markers, and stamp pads completed the setup. So simple and fun, and it actually took LESS time than the standard guestbook, since people gathered around the tables and "signed" with their whole families. I liked the feel of it, how people gathered and looked at the previous signatures and laughed together. Everyone's favorite was a blotchy green one with a cowboy hat drawn on over a smiley face and signed "GRAMPS".


Jana had asked me to help out at the tables and help direct people to how to create their signatures. I noticed that I got 3 standard responses from guests. 


1) "Oh no! I am not creative!" (usually accompanied by a helpless hand gesture usually known as the "no touchy!")


Most people in this situation either tried their hand at it, but sourly regarded their results, comparing their work with everyone else's, or called out to spouses or children who were "the creative one" to work out the signature. Some, after initial dismay joined in as encouraged by their families or friends. 


2) "ugh! This looks complicated!"


One woman refused to do even a basic fingerprint. Instead, she signed her name stubbornly with a bold black marker and marched away, shaking her head at the presumption of the married couple at wishing their guests to do more. She probably complained about the food, too.


3) "oh! We get to PLAY!"


These people, though far in the minority, were like children told they could have as much candy as they wanted. They ran between the two tables looking for just the right color marker. They turned their fingers every color of the rainbow. They spent 10 minutes cartooning tiny faces on each thumbprint person. The created scenes in their small box, they turned thumbprints into balloons, butterflies, heart shapes, and small animals. Some were satisfied with their "work", some less so, but they all enjoyed the process.







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