Yesterday, I told you the beginning of my suitcase story. Today, I’ll show you how we turned this girly craft store item into a “manly retro vintage” suitcase containing a book for (and featuring) Eddie Vedder.

Jennette, my Card Box Fairy, started work on the case and a few days later, I received two photos of its new look. I was floored! It looked even more amazing than I anticipated it would. I still can’t even fathom how she did this without removing the hardware.

Jennette couldn’t get the hardware off, so she covered around them…can you tell? I can’t! She even covered the inside lip of the case…

Covering the inside was going to require something a little more unique. So, we tracked down some completely awesome shiny reptilian-like patterned paper in black. It looks like snakeskin, except it’s made of paper! So awesome…

Looking much more masculine in snakeskin!

Then, it was my turn. Jennette did the hard part. I had the easy job…I got to fill it up.

Every suitcase should have its owner’s initials somewhere. I must have done about 10 different versions of this with “Ed”, “Eddie”, “Eddie Vedder”, “Mr. Vedder”…finally, I remembered that Jennifer always referred to him as E.V. I liked just using the initials. That way, it didn’t seem like I was presuming to know what name he preferred to be called.

 

My first idea was to decorate the lid, so that when the case was opened there was a little “clothesline” going across with some photos, hanging by miniature clothespins. I asked Jennifer for some photos that might be appropriate and she sent me some adorable pics of her son as he discovered his mother’s trunk full of “Picture in a Frame” balloons the morning after the book’s launch party in Australia. The trinkets took me forever to do! I had no idea where to put them all until my sister suggested I string them up with the photos and create a chain of dangly things. So, I rounded up various pieces of chain and bought a bunch of jump rings, found my jewelry-making pliers and whipped up my chain of trinkets.

 

I wanted the book to have something special around it, so I got a bunch more chain and wired on a bunch of vintage medallions bearing words that, I thought, best summarized Ed’s “vibe”.

I attached the medallions to a black leather strap I found and punched the holes into myself . It’s amazing how resourceful I can be with tools in the middle of the night when my husband isn’t around to rummage through the garage and hammer nails through leather. It’s also amazing how sharp tweezers can be! That’s what I made the holes with!

Now would be a good time to point out my fill. See all that paper shred the book is sitting upon? Of all the ideas I had, this one is my favorite. I made the paper shred by typing up the lyrics to about 15 songs and then running them through the paper shredder. I printed them on various earthtone colors so that even the fill had vintage-hues.

Jennifer told me I had to give myself some kind of credit. But, since it wasn’t just me working on this thing, I dragged Jennette’s name on there with me. She thought it was pretty cool that Ed might glance upon her name for a few seconds. I had to concur.

Another trinket to note: Ed also digs old typewriters. I found this metal typewriter in a bargain bin and picked it up, figuring it might come in handy some day. Glad I did! It was perfect for this suitcase! The only problem is that, while it looked fab in this display, I forgot that the suitcase would have to be picked up! It was just loose in there! I really hope it didn’t fall out and break someone’s toe or something…
You might also note my super-awesome paper shred in this photo

And so, you’ve seen all the pieces. Now, here’s the whole thing…Behold!

Picture in a Frame enclosed in a suitcase, wrapped in leather, surrounded by trinkets, sitting on a bed of words

And that, my friends, is the most important thing I ever made in my entire life. But, it’s nothing compared to the beauty, talent, and creativity displayed upon each of the 98 pages in Jennifer’s book. Just being involved on the coattails of her journey was one of the most rewarding, insightful experiences I’ve ever had.

The thing that inspired me most about Jennifer’s quest to take Ed’s portrait was the way in which she did it. So many people line up at the back door of concert arenas or case the lobby of whatever hotel is hosting the band. They do that so they can get that 15 or 20 seconds of undivided attention: an autograph, a photo, maybe even a hug. But, that sort of thing never appealed to me. It didn’t to Jennifer either.

I read an article, once, in which a very young Eddie Vedder was talking to an interviewer about getting to meet his idols and the interviewer was asking him if being a music fan gave him a better understanding of the insatiable interest of his own fans (for those of you that don’t know, he was kind of a big deal in the early 90s). He said,

“If you really want to meet your heroes, go and work as hard as you can so they can respect you at their level, then you can have a conversation.”

And that’s just what Jennifer did. She used her own talent and her own creativity and not only met her hero, but worked with him. And that has made her one of my heroes.

To buy Jennifer’s extraordinary book, Picture in a Frame , click here to go to pictureinaframebook.com

To read more about Jennifer’s journey and see the photos she took during her campaign, go to iwanttotakeaportraitofeddievedder.com

Need a photographer for your wedding? Take a look at Jennifer’s wedding posts!

You can also find her updates and book reviews on Facebook

And, just to throw it out there, here’s a link to Eddie Vedder’s latest solo album, Ukulele Songs.

Have I linked everything now? I’m just full of endorsements today! Too bad I don’t get paid for these…Hmmm.

Editor’s note: the suitcase found its way to Pearl Jam Headquarters in Seattle. We know it was received, but we’ve not heard anything from them, yet. We’re hoping we do, but it’s probably not necessary. The experience was worth it for me. :)

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