|Blue shoes photo cred @saramoe|
Mike and I got married October 27, 2012 in a bookstore in New York City. We spent our first wedding anniversary with a morning trip to the Taj Mahal followed by dodging cockroaches on a train in India and watching Breaking Bad. We knew we would be on the road for our first year milestone, so we decided on no gifts because a honeymoon around the world should cover our bases. But, I cheated this promise before I even made it.
A few weeks before we got married, my friend, Sara Moe, who is an incredibly talented photographer, writer, and mother, offered to throw in a boudoir photography session along with the wedding package she was doing for us. Since the first wedding anniversary is traditionally paper, and every bride is looking their best just before they get married, this was the perfect gift! The hardest part would be keeping it to myself for a year. For anyone who knows me, getting all prettied up and taking sexy pictures was definitely not a comfortable idea. However, with the help of a couple friends, Sara's very calm nature, and some champagne, Sara put together an amazing shoot that turned out to be kind of empowering and super fun.
|Walnut & Maple Keepsake Chest made by @artifactwoodworks|
On our wedding anniversary, I surprised Mike with the boudoir pictures after we survived almost crashing into a cow because our tuk tuk driver was drunk, and had made it safely to a hotel room after a 9 hour train ride. We finished the night with the only place in Khajuraho that served pizza and beer.
Needless to say, Mike felt bad that I had cheated the promise which he had honored. He didn't have any gift for me. But, like all of Mike's gifts, he waits until he finds the perfect item and this time he nailed it.
|Curly maple top to keepsake chest by @artifactwoodworks|
While on the road, I stayed in touch with friends mainly through Instagram. During this time, an old and dear friend from high school started up a pretty impressive woodworking hobby that has quickly become a start up business. For every piece he posts a picture of, I fall in love with the next one that much more. I had mentioned to Mike that maybe I would commission my friend Mike Corwin for a couple things once we were back and on our feet.
Two days ago, after a very intense week where Mike and I are discovering the dips of marriage like struggling to find a job, transition, settling back home or into a new city for him, he came through the door with my old friend, Mike, and this gorgeous handcrafted walnut and maple keepsake chest. I felt like I literally had my breath taken away. I was so shocked to see my friend, so touched by Mike's thoughtfulness and attentiveness, and so awe-struck by how beautiful this piece of craftsmanship is! A few details on this awesome anniversary gift (still totally in the theme of paper):
The chest is constructed from walnut and hard maple, mitered construction with hard maple splines for decorative reinforcement, an oil/varnish blend with wax topcoat, a custom hard maple pull and brass hardware to pull it all together.
I have a terrible confession: I still don't have any of my wedding pictures printed and none of my photos from traveling. But now that I have the perfect place to hold the moments I have cherished the most in my life, I am anxiously awaiting their arrival.
I also hope to acquire many more custom pieces from my friend, Mike Corwin, who you can follow on Instagram @artifactwoodworks. His website www.artifactwoodworks.com is in the making.
Did I mention he is also a dynamite musician? Get him while he's hot, folks.
|Me and Mike Corwin|