Month: September 2011

Cabbages and Kings

I came across this poem today after not having heard it for years. I’ll stick it at the bottom of the post. In the meantime, I was inspired to create an Etsy treasury (which you can find here) to go along with it. Please enjoy =)

Cabbage Rose Boutonniere by AccentsandPetals2

Bridal Crown Wrap Bracelet by Serrelynda

Mon Petit Chou tote by PluckedandPlumed

Walrus and the Oysters necklace by fairytalesbybluebird

Flying Piggy toy by andreavida

Moonstone Crown Ring by SugarCity

 

I Am The Walrus painting by poordogfarm

Cabbage Watercolor Print by carolspaintingroom

Oyster Bowl ring by lajoailliere

Cabbage Patch Scarf by BGVintageMart

Fairy Tale Throne Necklace by spacepearls

Cabbage Rose Photography Print by dolcechic

The Boiling Surf print by EnvisionePhotography

Flying Pig print by sharethebeauty

Shabby Rustic Crown Hook by CamillaCotton

Walrus and the Carpenter Shell Bracelet by rhymeswithluck

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

T
he moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
‘It’s very rude of him,’ she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!’

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
‘If this were only cleared away,’
They said, ‘it would be grand!’

‘If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?’
‘I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

‘O Oysters, come and walk with us!’
The Walrus did beseech.
‘A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat —
And this was odd, because, you know,
Thay hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And think and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.’

‘But wait a bit,’ the Oysters cried,
‘Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!’
‘No hurry!’ said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.


‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,
‘Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed —
Now, if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.’

‘But not on us!’ the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue,
‘After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!’
‘The night is fine,’ the Walrus said,
‘Do you admire the view?


‘It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!’
The Carpenter said nothing but
‘Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
I’ve had to ask you twice!’

‘It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!’
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread to thick!’

‘I weep for you,’ the Walrus said;
‘I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

‘O Oyster,’ said the Carpenter,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.”
–Lewis Carroll

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Sitting at the airport…

Well here we go with a totally random post that really has nothing to do with stationery; although that IS where the story began:

I know, I’ve been slacking on the blog the past few days. I’ve been busy with several invitation projects, not to mention helping my sister start her own etsy shop (lots of discussions and logo sketching later, she should be up and running in a couple weeks! Keep your eye out for a big huge “Grand Opening” post on that!!), and planning/prepping for my girls weekend in NYC.

When I first started my business, things went slowly at first. I had tons of time to spend conversing with my clients about all sorts of details, and really got to know some of them pretty well. I still make sure that I make time to converse with my clients, I don’t mean THAT, but it used to be a lot less focused – I had time to meander onto lots of other completely unrelated topics.

Right at the beginning I designed some invitations with hills and birch trees on them. My intention was to use these for my best friend’s wedding this past July (we ended up using a different design – I’ll post pics of all of this when I’m back in front of my laptop), but I thought I’d put them in my etsy shop in the meantime.

I was contacted by a girl named Sabrina from Calgary who was having her wedding at a castle in Scotland (ironically, I had my wedding at a castle that was built as a replica of a Scottish castle – and this is only where our similarities began). She loved the birch trees and we began working on customizing them for her fabulous destination wedding, which was only a few weeks after mine.

Since I was in full wedding planning mode (I planned my entire wedding in 7 months) and since she was one of the first brides I worked with, we ended up emailing a lot and getting to know each other pretty well. We started discovering strange similarities between us, our childhoods, even our shoe size (I have boats for feet, so this is unusual to meet someone with the same size feet – sorry Beans, but you know it’s true!). I eventually named the invitation after her (which started my tradition of naming my invitations after the first bride that purchases the design), and we kept in touch.

So fast forward almost 2 years, and she tells me she’s flying to NYC to run in a 9/11 memorial race – the Tunnels to Towers race. Google it, I can’t figure out how to paste a link from my smartphone right now! I figured since that’s really not too far from me, I would take the 45 min flight and finally meet her in person.

So here I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight.

I can’t think of a better place to spend a weekend than NYC, by the way. There is so much to do, and so many things to see. I know it’s pricey to stay there, but you could really just plop yourself on a park bench and see more in a weekend that way than you would in many other places. The street food is amazing. The fashion, the subways, the clubs and baseball games… There’s just so much to choose from.

I’m lucky because I live about a 6 hour drive west of the big city, so even driving isn’t too bad – or in this case I scored a $49 each way jetblue flight, which is probably less than I would have spent on gas.

Anyhow, I’ll have pics when I get back I’m sure. But now it’s time to board, so I’m off!

Work, work, work!

I’ve been slacking on the blog tonight for a few reasons:

  1. I was asked by Hedonist Artisan Chocolates to design some holiday cards. I designed the art for their Valentine’s Day Truffle Collection this year, and they were sweet* enough to ask me to do some more work with them! (Incidentally, they are running the “Art on Chocolate” series again this year, and I can’t wait to see who designs it this time around! You can read about the series here (and their chocolate is available for domestic shippinganywhere in the country. Goat cheese truffles? Yes, please!).  Below is a photo of the final chocolate project (they are so stinkin’ cute):

2.  I have been working on a new invitation design!  This has taken up most of my free time this week, in addition to the awesome invitations I’ve been putting together (small gallery to follow). Check it out and please let me know what you think of it!

Now tell me that isn’t adorable.  Check out more color variations in my etsy shop and keep an eye out for more new designs to be added in the next couple weeks!

3.  I’ve been updating my photo gallery on facebook. You would think this would be a fairly quick procedure. However, locating all of them on my laptop took me quite a while =)

4.  I’m assembling a big order for a wonderful couple who are getting married in November at a winery. You’d like to see photos? Well why didn’t you say so?!

I know it’s kind of hard to see in these photos (and I will post some nicer ones eventually) but there is a faint grapevine graphic on these in a lovely blush color.

And now, my friends, it’s time for me to get some sleep or I will be completely useless tomorrow =) Happy Saturday!

*sweet – get it? Because they’re chocolatiers?

Moustache Thursday

I spend a good deal of time on Etsy, making changes to my shop, browsing around for fun things I wish I could afford to buy for myself, or just looking for inspiration for upcoming projects.

A few months ago I created an Etsy Treasury featuring the moustache (if you don’t regularly check out the Treasury section, you should. It’s incredible. Of course, it may lead to all sorts of unplanned purchases). I think many people find the moustache to be creepy (ok, I sort of do too – probably too many episodes of “To Catch a Predator“), and I wanted to showcase the moustache in its non-creepy form. I think when moustaches are something other than a random tuft of hair growing on the middle of your face, they actually have the potential to be cute, vintage, and in many cases, quite comedic. For example:

This is Jeffrey Moustache, who won the silver medal in last year’s English Moustache competition. (photo by Jeffrey Moustache himself, taken from www.worldbeardchampionships.com).

This year, The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held October 8th in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am not making this up, I’m taking this directly from their website:

“Beard Team USA, which represents the United States at the World Beard and Moustache Championships, is thrilled to be holding the championships in Amish Country, where the local Amish farmers have been growing beards for America for over 200 years.  As part of the festivities, contestants, their friends, and fans will have the opportunity to attend Amish Camp, where they can live with and like the Amish for 24 hours.”

Competitors can enter into eight different moustache categories. EIGHT. That doesn’t even count the goatee or the “Full Beard with Stylized Moustache” categories.

I’m still waiting for the day when someone asks me to make a moustache wedding invitation for them. And I certainly will be thrilled to do it! Lots of people use moustaches in their photo booths at their wedding, but you can easily integrate them into your post-wedding life!

moustache ring by Isette

golden moustache necklace by kerenasaf

chocolate moustache lollipops by FiveSisterz

moustache travel mug by LennyMud

moustache decal by kathwren

MOONSTACHE, get it?
moonstache print by ilovedoodle

moustache keychain by DeeHewitt

I Moustache You a Question” painting by abandonedstache

moustache scarf by piprobins

Boy met Girl Wedding Invitation by vicentine

So, yeah, it can be creepy and weird (not to mention pedophilic), but I say if we embrace it into our lives, the moustache can be pretty fun.

Chocolate Weddings!

I have made a sincere effort to bring you something new every day, even on days like today when everything I’m doing seems to be taking longer than expected, and as a result, I am rushing through everything!

I do have something wonderful to share with you, however. I came across this post on GreenWeddingShoes and just fell in LOVE with this invitation:

And can we please talk about this gummy bear?! It weighs 5 lbs and is equivalent to 1,400 regular sized gummy bears. I actually bought one of these for my dad a couple years ago for Christmas. You can get them in 7 different flavors HERE.

Not to mention the chocolate bouquet. Yup, chocolate. An edible bouquet.

So it got me thinking about a chocolate wedding! What if chocolate was your whole theme, not just the color of the bridesmaid dresses and the flavor of the cake? Perhaps you would purchase items like these:

slice of cake favor boxes by imeondesign

pearl bracelet by AMIdesigns

teal and chocolate earrings by fineheart

cupcake magnets by Stefaniaiovon

love is sweet candy tubes by InTheClear

Hershey Kiss Stickers by reneeorr

Candy is Dandy posterby ChattyNora

Monday

 

Well, I hope everyone had a fab weekend. Here’s what I did:

Threw a Jack and Jill bridal shower for my friend Katie who’s getting married in Key West in November! We had a great time, the weather was awesome, the food was amazing (and the beer pong was fun too!).

I’ve decided to showcase her theme here today (which was chic BBQ), since I don’t really have all that much else to talk about. Besides, even though summer is (almost) over, you can still throw together a great BBQ at the last minute in the fall.

Honey BBQ Smoked Beef Jerky by BulkBeefJerky

Cloth Gingham Napkins by PeppermintPinwheels

S’mores Y’all hang tag by misspicklespress

Hairpiece by motifcaprice

BBQ Invitation by OliveandStar

Custom Beer Pong Table by ChippewaFive

Firepits are great if you live in an urban area but still want to roast marshmallows! They are available almost everywhere (I recently purchased one in a high-end grocery store), and range anywhere from $35 – $500 depending on the model.

Popcorn Machines are so cool. First of all, everyone loves popcorn. Second, They give a retro vibe to your party. And popcorn is a healthy snack! I’ve seen these everywhere, at Target/WalMart/Sears/amazon.com plus they can be rented from a variety of party supply places if you don’t want to have to find a place to store it in your kitchen!

BBQ Bottle Tag Favors by TieThatBindsParties

Throw in a few of your favorite lawn games to get people moving around – ladder golf, bocce, Kan Jam – and you have a great party even when the weather cools down!

September Showers Bring… Peacock Feathers?

About a year ago I was browsing through Etsy‘s Alchemy feature – for those of you who don’t know what that is, it was this AWESOME place where people could post a request for something they would like custom created for them, and sellers could put in bids on how they would create it, post preliminary sketches or photos, and set a price on the item, then the buyer could determine who they wanted to create it. I scored a good number of jobs this way – it was beneficial to everyone. The buyers usually saved a little bit of money, the sellers got a little more business in addition to the normal traffic to their shop – it was GREAT. And then Etsy nixed it. Probably for good reason (there were a lot of “I like this, but can’t afford it, who can make the same thing but cheaper” kind of requests, which only leads to stagnant creativity and feels pretty crappy for the person who spent countless hours creating the original), but still. I feel a little shafted and miss my Alchemy.

ANYWAY.

So I was browsing through Alchemy and someone had posted a request for an invitation showing a bride holding a bouquet of peacock feathers. Genius. I am the peacock bride. I am Peacock Printing. Why did I not already think of this? My Peacock Bridal Shower Invitation was born.

 

Ever since, this has become my best seller! I have done a number of variations of this invitation. Changed background and hair color:

Not to mention the veil and an endless supply of font variations:

Skin tone:

As well as many other variations, like for different wedding related events (brunch, bachelorette party, rehearsal breakfast, etc):

(notice the flower in place of the feathers here)

I even had a bride ask for an ostrich feather detail instead of peacock feathers!

I don’t have a photo of either of these, but I also did a variation with the bride wearing a KY Derby hat, and another with the bride holding a pocket watch for a ‘around the clock’ shower.

So what’s my point, you ask? You think I just want to show off some of my work? Well, yes (shameless link to shop). But also, this is a nod back to yesterday’s post re: my clients giving me ideas that I’ve taken and ran with. The possibilities are endless!

But speaking of nice invitations with personality and why it’s important to have them, a friend of mine (who was married last weekend! Woohoo! Shout out to Mrs. Klimek!)…

 

…recently shared a bridal shower invitation with me that looked something like this:

…except it was much worse.  It was horrifically scrolly, had zero personality, and was on excruciatingly flimsy card stock. Maybe 65 lb max.  I’m assuming this shower was thrown by an 80-year-old woman on the groom’s side of the family, because that’s the only explanation I can come up with as to why you would EVER get invitations like that for a FRIEND or your DAUGHTER.

That’s not to say that you can’t find cute boxed invitations at your local Wal-Mart or Target (actually, Target has some REALLY cute ones! Check these out too!).

But seriously, people. Why not spend a little more to have them customized with your friend’s wedding colors at least? Or have her name on them in a lovely scripty font rather than written in your sloppy handwriting (you know who you are!)? You know what, you don’t even need to buy them from me. Just promise me you won’t spend all that money throwing your best friend a shower and then skimp on the invitations!

I’m always saying that invitations are important because they set the tone for the event, be it a wedding, a shower, a luncheon, a birthday party, or even a movie night. Do your save-the-dates have to match your invitations? Of course not. You can change themes, colors, etc after you’ve sent out the initial notification to your guests.  But it will confuse people if you have a totally casual save the date and then a super formal invitation, or vice versa. It won’t make sense to have a gold leafed invitation on a pearlescent card stock, protected by a sheet of vellum and then wrapped in satin ribbon if you’re having an outdoor BBQ reception.

Choose your tone, and then stick to that. You’ll be happy you did, and so will everyone else!

Balance

I’ve been so busy lately. My best friend got married last month, and in the weeks before her wedding I don’t think there was a spare moment to be had. I even put my shop on hold and halted all production for a full two weeks just so that I could focus on completing the projects I had on my plate at the moment and still have time to focus on the wedding.

 How beautiful are they, by the way?

As it turned out, the wedding was perfect and in my post wedding slump I turned my shop back on and got back to work.

It didn’t take long for the frenzy to return. 

For those of you who don’t know, I have a full time job in addition to my labor of love. It’s difficult, especially in the summer, to put in 8 hours at the day job only to come home, curl up with my laptop, and most nights not have a free moment to go outside, watch television, do the dishes, or even have a simple conversation with my husband.

Over time, this wears on a person.

How does one balance all of this frenzy and still maintain a clean house, a happy marriage, a balanced temperament?

  • First and foremost, I have an obsessive kind of love for stationery that is essential to making this work. If I didn’t love what I do, I would be crazy for submerging myself into it completely. What kind of person sacrifices their free time, their relationships, and their sanity to do something they don’t enjoy?
  • I have an absurdly understanding husband who knows when to leave me alone so I can work. Even when I’m barking at him. And in the meantime, does the dishes, mows the lawn, cleans the house… he is the best. And I don’t tell him that enough.
  • I am a perfectionist when it comes to tying bows, I have adhesive application down to a science. I have a great material supplier that provides a top quality product that I would not be able to survive without. All of these things come together to streamline assembly – I’ve figured out the quickest ways to do the most complicated and time consuming tasks. 
  • I’m not afraid to ask for help. Just last night, I was faced with “do I go hang out with my girlfriend who is visiting from out of town, or do I stay home and assemble pocket invitations?” Answer? Bring your pocket invitations with you, and have your friends help you assemble them. Genius. Everyone does 20 and they’re done in 30 minutes, instead of me staying home and doing 100 by myself all night long.
  • My clients are awesome. Every person I work with is different in many ways, but they all have this trait in common: they are all absolutely awesome. Many of them have had some wild ideas that I never would have come up with on my own (see my tuxedo invitations here), which helps to expand my repertoire while making their event unique. And I love that.
  • I learned to build my free time into my production time. Sure, if I sat down and did nothing but invitations for 24 hours straight I’d be able to get everything done in a day, but I would go insane in the process. I need to reserve some time every day for sleeping, eating, designing, blogging, maybe a shower? So I bumped up my production time accordingly. This way if I have a bad day, or if there’s a problem with the printers, or I have a little fender bender, or if I just feel like curling up with a book, I can do that and not feel guilty about it. I have already set the expectation to the client of when they will receive their order, and as long as I stick to that, everyone’s happy.

I guess the moral of the story is, do what you love, and it will love you back.

Grey Weddings

I’ve seen a huge uptick in grey weddings lately. Brides seem to be turning to this neutral as their main color, accenting it with fuschia, mustard, apple green, or even teal (which is a VERY hot wedding color this year!). I am currently working with a bride who is using a palette of white, platinum, dark grey, silver and black, all balanced out by a silhouette Chicago skyline running along the bottom of her pocketfold invitations (check back in a couple weeks for photos).

Here are a few ideas for incorporating this versatile color into your wedding color scheme!

invitesbyjen.etsy.com

seraphine.etsy.com

mikiye.etsy.com

MeandMatilda.etsy.com

thejerseymaid.etsy.com

bbond0520.etsy.com

augiebycarrie.etsy.com

BridalShoppe.etsy.com

houseoftelsa.etsy.com

Stationery vs. Stationary

Please allow me to take a moment to express a pet peeve of mine.

sta·tion·er·y

[stey-shuh-ner-ee] noun

1. writing paper.

2. writing materials, as pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes.

sta·tion·ar·y

[stey-shuh-ner-ee] adjective, noun, plural -ar·ies.

1. standing still; not moving.

2. having a fixed position; not movable.

3. established in one place; not itinerant or migratory.

4. remaining in the same condition or state; not changing: The market price has remained stationary for a week.

Stationery is what people write on, send in the mail, display at their weddings and events, and has been used as a means of long distance communication for quite some time now. Stationary is what I was this weekend on my annual camping trip. It doesn’t so much annoy me in general, but when I see people who CREATE stationery as their means of employment spelling it wrong or using the wrong form, it drives me NUTS. I suppose there is some sort of explanation for why it makes me crazy – but without boring you with stories of childhood spelling bees, graduate classes in Literature, or hours poring over magazine copy, I’ll instead direct your attention to this fabulous etsy find:

This particular listing has been sold (last month), but if you love it as much as I do, if you ask nice perhaps the seller will make another one just for you.

*Incidentally, while you’re there, take a look around at shopsaplingpress‘s other items – many of them made me laugh out loud.

Some of my favorite etsy listings this week:

Beautiful Peacock Watercolor by JessicaIllustration

Lavender Zircon Necklace by anakim

Hand Stitched Flower by SevenLayerDesigns

Leather iPhone Case by TheFigLeaf

Hand-Painted Peacock Feather Wine Glasses by marywibis

and finally…

…even though people think Labor Day marks the end of the summer season, it actualy extends til almost the END of September! So my free shipping still applies until September 22nd if you use coupon code SUMMERSHIP at checkout!

Erica