June 15 2011
I loathe wedding lists. There’s something so impersonal about clicking through thumbnails of drearily practical or extravagantly pointless household items – a romance reduced to a six-digit pass-code. Invariably, I put off this ordeal until there’s nothing left on the list but some tea towels and a chopping board, so I end up feeling both cheap and nasty.
So I was overjoyed to discover Paper Heart, a one-woman design studio that delivers bespoke prints for newlyweds. It was during the customary scramble for a last-minute wedding gift that I happened to receive a series of adorable cards from an ardent suitor (now my boyfriend). The irresistible missives were illustrated with a single word (“Bella”) or phrase (“You’re just my type”, inscribed beneath a drawing of a vintage typewriter).
The cards (£3.50 each) were hand-made by Nicole Thompson, a sassy Australian who looks like Louise Brooks. Nicole also designs wedding invitations, baby announcements, and thank-you cards, all infused with wit, charm and joie de vivre. But what caught my eye on her website were the custom-made heart prints – a summary in words of all the things that make a couple compatible, screen-printed in the shape of a red heart. All I had to do was compile a list of my friends’ favourite places, characteristics and passions, and hey presto! A personalised present for one very happy couple.
Screen-printed on 100 per cent recycled paper using water-based inks, the hearts come in two sizes: 42cm x 29.7cm (A3; £60) or 59.4cm x 42cm (A2; £110). Nicole will frame your print for you, too, for a small fee (£40-£60); ideal for someone as disorganised and indecisive as me. My friends were thrilled with their customised heart, although “daredevil skiing” and “dancing on tabletops” went down better than another of their shared qualities: “grumpy when hungry”.