Anniversaries, the traditional way

Earlier this month my husband and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary. We exchanged gifts made of cotton. Last year, we exchanged gifts made from paper. 

We've decided that we're going to follow the year-by-year categories of traditional wedding gifts. Since I'm a bookmaker, I was especially excited about year one's paper gifts and that's probably why we started off with the tradition. I think the themes make the gift giving so much fun. The materials give us a place to start with the gift-giving brainstorming, and then we get to come up with a contemporary idea to fit within the traditional boundaries.

Last year, Tony surprised me with a little handbound book made by Ruth Bleakley. The book features hand-drawn jellyfish illustrations, which was especially fitting because jellyfish are some of my favorite creatures and they often appear in my own artwork. (Ruth is a book artist and illustrator living in Cape Cod. To see more of her work, visit her etsy shop or her blog.)

I know I've mentioned before that my husband loves maps. (He couldn't resist getting one of the East Nashville maps at Porter Flea a few weeks ago.) So for his paper gift last year, I got him a silkscreened world map from These Are Things. We also own their map of Europe, so between all of these we have quite the map theme developing in our home decor. 

This year, the theme was cotton. Tony picked out a bird pillow for me, which is now adding a lively splash of color in our new living room. The pillow was made by Janae Easton of Platypusfile, who I met back in May at the Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa. Each of her bird pillows is made from vibrant fabrics and a vintage button, and each one is named after an opera singer. My bird's name is Josella Ligi. 

I got my husband two cotton t-shirts from Out of Print. I settled on the To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye shirts, because I liked their designs best, they are some of our favorite classic novels, and because we read them together in high school back when we first started dating. The shirts from Out of Print are based on book cover designs, and with each shirt sale they donate a book to a community in need. 

Next year our theme will be leather. I've already got my eye on these lovely handmade leather bags...