black and white bridal shower invitations

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Love these simple shower invitations, a collaboration with Suzy Lee of Dear Darling Calligraphy. That girl can WRITE. 

Also, in case you didn't hear, printing services are up on the website! You can now easily order custom photo cards (like the above) along with greeting cards, stationery, envelopes and even custom liners. Super excited to make your designs come to life.

hello little love | baby shower invitations

One of my dearest friends is having a baby this spring! I created custom invitations for her Valentine's shower with a watercolor heart motif throughout. Such a fun, sweet project to work on.

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To make these I hand-painted a variety of watercolor hearts and scanned them into Photoshop along with custom calligraphy.  I also painted a solid area of watercolor to use as a custom liner. I had a tough time deciding between the heart pattern/solid watercolor for the backer/liner...do you think I made the right choice? I think it could go either way, but something about the sprinkling of hearts on the back of the invitation is just too sweet.

These are giclée printed on 118# Reich Savoy (100% cotton) paper.

And just for fun, here's a screenshot from the moment after Allison announced (via Skype) that she's pregnant. :) I love you, Al, and baby girl Mathias too!

 

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inspired words | heaven filled me

I really love these lyrics from one of my favorite songwriters, Josh Garrels. He is a wonderful poet, incredibly talented musician, and admirable in so many ways. He recently ran a campaign where all of his albums were offered for free download, with just a request that listeners leave "tips"--100% of which he donated to World Relief in their efforts to bring peace and restoration in the DR Congo where the conflict and  terror is unimaginable.

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Monique's Baby Shower

My dear friend Monique is having a baby in several weeks!! I had the pleasure of creating the invitations for her shower. She picked out the colors and the chevron pattern based on decisions they made for Baby Penny's nursery and I loved the pale orange + mint together. I overlaid the chevron pattern with a subtle watercolor design to get some slight variation in the color. We used gray top-open envelopes which worked out great with the oversized hang tag shape!

 

 

Monique's mom and sisters threw her the most adorable party! There were so many thoughtful details and the food was amazing. It was a huge blessing to be able to be there (the day we were packing up our trailer!) although it kills me that I won't be around for the birth of her sweet baby--the gender of whom is yet to be determined :) Luke and I are so blessed to have Monique and her husband Gavin in our lives. We miss them so much and can't wait for precious Baby Penny to arrive.

 

 

 

 

Mo, I love you and miss you so much! You're going to be an AMAZING mommy.

Succulent Garden

Anyone can make a succulent garden, but if you want a really really good one, you have to go to Sassafras in Rochester, where I learned everything I know. :) I used to love making them when I worked there. We always had them for sale in the store. Aww, now my mind is wandering back to the shop in all its amazingly designed and lovely smelling glory. How I miss you Sassafras!

The one I made tonight is from Home Depot succulents, a vase from AC Moore and a few materials I collected from the wooded area outside our apartment. I selected three succulents (3.99 each) of varying sizes and heights. You want your succulent garden to be interesting, so make sure the plants you pick aren't all uniform.

Fill the container not quite halfway with dirt. It looks more interesting to have the plants nestled down inside the vessel you're using. Think terrarium-style! Set your first succulent down inside. The one you see above is called Echeveria, and you shouldn't touch the leaves with your fingers because it will leave a mark. Grasp the succulent from the stem only and be gentle--but don't worry if you lose a few leaves in the process!

If your succulent has two stems, divide them up to find the best arrangement! Pull them apart at the roots gently and get rid of some of the soil before you place in your desired spot in the garden.

Varying heights add interest and a sense of depth.

I even broke up these smaller guys so one could rest deeper inside the garden. The next step was to add moss...

But I noticed there was a little spot for the other half of the tall guy. Carefully, I placed it in and packed soil all around so he'd be secure. Then it was time to accent with moss and a few little stones I found! Succulent success!

 

One thing Maura taught me is that an arrangement ALWAYS has a "front". I decided this angle was the front of mine. I liked the differing depths and the peeks of moss and stone. Everything looked right in little succulent world.

Here's the back of my garden. Do you see a little secret planted with the succulents?

I've had my eye on these mini letters at Michael's for a little while now. And who couldn't use a reminder to "GROW" every now and then?

And there it is.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can sell this product in my etsy shop due to having no idea how to ship it. There's no way I would put this baby in the mail! Feel free to contact me directly about buying it if we know each other and could arrange delivery at some point. :) For now, it lives happily in our apartment and I don't mind one bit!

An Injured Leg & National Parks

Today started out like any other day...until I took out a large chunk of my thigh trying to kill an ant. I swear, my injuries are so LAME. Last time I drew copious amounts of blood was when I sliced off my fingertip cutting cardstock with my guillotine paper cutter. I mean, that's not even cool. This morning I climbed on top of our old-dresser-turned-tv-stand to reach an ant on the wall and, when jumping down, didn't realize there was a drawer slightly open. I hopped down without looking and my upper thigh made contact with the solid wood corner, which dug in deep as all my weight came down on it. Ouch. I'd show you a photo and try to convince you it's a bullet wound, but it's really gross and you wouldn't believe me anyway since I just gave away the real story. And the worst part of it? I didn't even kill the ant.

In other news, I feel like a failure as a blogger. It's really hard to get back into blogging once you've been away from it for awhile, but I miss it, and maybe one or two of you out there miss it too. Part of the problem is that my crummy point-and-shoot camera is broken. Can't have a blog without fun pictures, right? A small part of me actually believes that I'll be a better blogger if I get a nice camera...but I don't think that's in the cards anytime soon, so I'll have to take a field trip to Best Buy and see if I can figure out what's wrong with my ol' Canon Powershot.

Once that's done, I'll get around to posting some photos of our humble apartment. Today I wanted to share some awesome vintage posters I dug up while searching for something to fill these empty frames that have been taunting me in the living room: 

We got them on sale at Ikea for $10 apiece and there they have rested on the couch frame with nary a nail in the wall since we're indecisive about what to put in them. Luke wanted to frame up some maps, but I wasn't feeling that 100%, so I scoured the interwebs for a cool variation of framed map art and came across this vintage California state map...

...and thought "Oooh. This could be perfect if I could hunt down Pennsylvania and North Carolina." (What is it with me and my obsession with home-states? I do not know.) Two problems: one, I couldn't find cool vintagey PA or NC posters anywhere. Two, although Cali is a nice tall state that works well as a portrait-oriented image, PA and NC are both short and wide. I want to hang the frames vertically side-by-side--probably not going to find any prints of our short, stubby states oriented the way I'd like. So I kept searching, and my hunt yielded these amazing vintage National Parks posters from the 1930s:

  

 Love at first sight. The colors, the images, the vintage lettering and quotes--they all called out to me. Not to mention the very cool story behind these posters designed by Dorothy Waugh, an artist of the New Deal era. President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal to help boost the economy (and morale!) as America was at the height of the worst depression in history, and developed cultural programs in which artists were employed by the federal government! Now those are tax dollars I can be proud of. Waugh became the art production supervisor of the National Park Service. She designed these two particular posters and later went on to teach typography and design at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. That's my kind of woman! All this and much more gives me a whole lotta love for National Parks. I want to visit many of them with Luke in my lifetime. You never know, maybe having these hung on the wall will spur us on to future travels. So far he's been to Yellowstone, I've been to Acadia...what's your favorite National Park?

Blue & White Embossed Save the Dates

I'm creating two invitation suites this summer, each for very close friends. Both are very different to represent the two different styles and tastes of my friends and what they want for their weddings. I wanted to share Becca's Save the Dates with you today, and later on I'll show you Allison's as well.

Becca's wedding colors are based on the kilt Bobby will be wearing for their wedding. Two shades of blue and a thin stripe of red make up his tartan pattern, but to warm things up a bit I suggested she add in a shade of marigold. The red and marigold make a minimal appearance while the blue and white take front and center. I loved the bright white against the night blue, but the only way I was able to achieve that was by hand-stamping each number and embossing them one by one. It took some time, but the end result was totally worth it!