etsy

Pinterest – DO IT!

I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet. Just a few words about Pinterest.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Pinterest is this new website (well, maybe not entirely new anymore, but still kind of exclusive – you need to be invited to join (this sounds a lot more hoity-toity than it really is – if you need an invite, just ask)) where you can keep collections of items you find anywhere online. You post these items onto a “pinboard” – sort of like an old-fashioned cork board you used to have in your bedroom growing up (mine had a gold star chart, probably pictures of unicorns and all things sparkly, and the random Highlights magazine article).  Let me explain how it works:

So you’re obsessed with, say, giraffes. You’re cruising the internet highway in search of the perfect giraffe tattoo. When lo and behold, you come upon this:

 

It’s perfect. It’s just the tattoo you’ve always talked about since you were a little girl (when connect the dots was the epitome of “art”). But before you commit to it, you see this one:

This one suits your adult personality a lot better and you think it would go over a lot better at work and with your parents. Plus you wouldn’t have to worry about your kids drawing all over your legs while you’re asleep. Well with Pinterest, you can not only store them together in one place (thereby not cluttering precious hard drive space with scattered giraffe images), but you can also share those images with others – and FIND images from others who share your interests. Hence – Pinterest.

This is a PERFECT resource for someone planning a wedding and trying to organize the various themes they’re considering. Or a place to gather inspiration if they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. It’s also perfect when you’re thinking about reorganization, crafting, redecorating, traveling, or if you just like art, fashion, cool stuff, photography, animals… which I would hope covers most people. If you don’t find yourself included in any of those categories, then you may as well stop reading right now and crawl back under that rock.

So how it works is this: you sign up (email, password, the usual). Then you can link your twitter and Facebook accounts and find your friends. Then you and all your friends can “follow” each other’s pinboards (and the boards of anyone else whose collection you come upon and notice that they have the same exquisite taste in giraffes as you do). You can create as many boards as you’d like. You can pin as many things to each board as you’d like. You can re-pin things that others have pinned. Plus, each time you log in, you are brought to a homepage where you can see what your friends and those you are following have recently pinned. I’m not going to go into further detail because I’m assuming that by now you’re either a) already signed up or b) in the process of sending me an email requesting an invite.

You can follow me by clicking on this link. I have a bunch of boards dedicated to wedding stuff (and peacocks) because those are the things that I find myself obsessed about the most. I’ve also started a cross promotion with the EtsyWeddingTeam where a new theme is featured each week (this week it’s Vintage Weddings) so if you follow me (or any of us) you may find yourself inspired by a variety of items that would work for your wedding or someone you know.

Happy pinning!

It’s time for my honeymoon.

But before I get into that, though, I’d like to say a few other things.

First and foremost, let me just say this: December was a tough month for me, business-wise. It always is – people saving for the holidays, putting their wedding planning on hold, etc. I’m going to come up with a plan for this next year, so that I can start offering holiday cards, stationery sets, and other gifts that can be given to friends and family. There are so many ways I want to advance my business, but I’m just not finding the time to do so. I will MAKE time for 2012!

Second – a shout out to my friend Jess, of Seven Layer Designs. Her blog is a constant source of inspiration to me. I’m not sure if she knows that – I’ve told her, but I’m not sure she REALLY knows it.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t be taking the time today to write this if I hadn’t read her post last night.  Jess makes beautiful handmade stationery which she offers from her website or her Etsy shop.  I’m going to try to find some ways for us to collaborate a little.  She wants to branch into weddings/parties, and I want to branch into stationery. So it seems like a perfect meeting of the minds.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on my blog, and even longer since I’ve updated my website. These are the drawbacks of leading a double life. Allow me to express myself via math equation: 

((Day Job x Small Business) + Holidays) / Personal Life = Lack of Blogging.

I thought that with the ringing in of 2012 and Peacock Printing’s 2 year anniversary coming up in March, I would make a resolution to be more… well, just MORE. So here’s a short list to remind myself of my goals:

  • Improve at keeping up with technology – blog, websiteetsy shop
  • Bulk up my Facebook followers – find me and follow me and there’s a coupon code in it for you (if you’re already following me, jut ask and I’ll give it to you)!
  • Pinterest! If you need an invite to join, let me know. Then follow me! I’m collaborating with the EtsyWeddingTeam to post a new item from each member every week – spreads the word, gives inspiration to brides and crafters, and is just plain all-around fun.
  • Get some new designs in the shop! I’ve done a ton of custom work that I really should get out there.
  • Expand my inventory. I want to really start highlighting the extras – place cards, menus, programs, etc.
  • Save more, spend less. I’m such an impulse shopper.
  • Quit my job and do weddings full-time! This is a long-term goal, I am nowhere NEAR being able to do this yet – but it’s on the horizon. Exciting!

In the meantime, I’m going on my honeymoon.

I’ve been so spoiled with my travels lately – this is NOT normal!  I’ll be working til the beginning of February, and then I’m off to the Dominican Republic til Valentine’s. And then I probably won’t be going anywhere else for a while =) So I hope it’s worth it!

I’m going to be running some specials in March in honor of my 2 year business anniversary (and then probably again in June in honor of my 2 year wedding anniversary). Maybe a contest or two. While I’m gone I’m hoping that I can sketch out some new designs, using the tropics as an inspiration – so many bright colors, beautiful beaches, serene landscapes… and hopefully I’ll be back armed with a whole new inventory!

Happily Ever After

This has been the summer of weddings for me. First, my little sister got engaged!!! Super exciting!  And by the end of next week, two of my best friends will have been married this year. One wedding was an epic, week-long setup followed by an amazing reception and the best campfire singalong ever. The one next week is in paradise – Key West to be exact! SUPER excited! It’s basically a week long vacation with my friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth. On a resort. With snorkeling.

I fell in love with weddings when my friend Christine got married a few years ago. Ever since high school, there have been six of us girls who have remained best friends even though we are spread out across the country. Christy’s wedding was the first one of the bunch, and was the first time in 7 years when we were all together in one place at one time. Now, whenever there’s a wedding it’s like a big reunion and something that we all look forward to all year long.  It’s been an honor do create all the stationery for these weddings, and I’m always looking forward to the next one! I’m trying to convince everyone to do vow renewals in five year increments. This way we can continue to get together every year!

In the spirit of all these weddings, I’ve created an etsy treasury with a Happily Ever After theme. Enjoy!

 

Apple Cupcakes by HelloMySweet


Gold Accent Mirror by SecretWindow

The Queen poster print by ThisYearsGirl


Pirate Ship Wheel by rizOHcollection

Mermaid Pendant by billyblue22

Red Riding Hood by KMKDesignsllc

Happily Ever After Ring by peacesofindigo

Faerie Door by NothinButWood

Floral Flapper Crown by gardensofwhimsy

Fabric Pumpkins by Cr8something

Mushroom Pillow by abacusathome

Fairy Tale Newspaper by theFiligree

Blue Polymer Dragon by jenferfer

Rapunzel Sterling Silver Earrings by esmeweatherwax

Elf Art Doll Sculpture by ALittleCharacter

Fairy Tale Themed Greeting Cards by majalin

 

Pin(terest)stripes!

Ok, so I’ve finally gone and joined Pinterest. When I first signed up, I got this message saying that you have to receive an invitation in order to join, and that I had been put on the waiting list. I’m sorry, what?? Annoyed, I forgot all about it. Until 20 minutes later when I got another email that said I had received my invitation to join. Ok, not so annoying.

Then something wonderful happened. I signed in with facebook, and it AUTOMATICALLY linked me to my facebook friends so that I was following their Pinterest boards (for those of you that aren’t cool enough to have received your invitation yet, basically how it works is you just browse through all sorts of collections of things that other people have found, liked, and “pinned” to a virtual bulletin board. See something you like? Re-pin it to your own board (and you can create an exponential number of boards).

Hint – this can be very useful if you’re planning a party, a wedding, or compiling ideas for gifts you can make (or buy) for the upcoming holidays and need a place to stash all your ideas for sorting through later on.

Downside? It gets addicting. Quick. One click here leads you down a virtual rabbit hole of lovely things, and before you know it, you forgot what you had originally been searching for. Upside? In the meantime your brain has exploded with new creative ideas!

So I came across this photo:

 

…and I fell in LOVE with the stripey bridesmaid dresses! How original and fun, but notice how it still looks very modern, traditional, and vintage all at the same time?? Totally awesome. This got me thinking about using STRIPES as your wedding color! Pick a shade (in this case I stuck with black because of this photo, but you could really do any color stripe) and run with it! Check out my collection of beautiful items for your stripey wedding!

Printable Place Cards by ThePoshEvent
(incidentally, all of Brigitte’s items are printable, and they are also all extremely affordable and fabulous!)

Striped Tie by MeandMatilda

Wedding Invitation by fullydesigned

Ring Pillow by daniellehensley

Paper Pom Decoration by pomtree

Clutch by thesocialseam

Striped Wedding Band by AdziasJewelryAtelier

Striped Napkin by comfyheaventabledeco

Paper Straws by isakayboutique

Chevron Invitations by breavie

Striped Dress by pavlinadadakova

Cupcake Picks by DarlinglovesDapper

Favor Bags by ThePartyFairy

Bridesmaid Clutch Set by ao3designs

So there you have it. Perfect striped wedding. Enjoy! I hope to see some of you on Pinterest because I can tell you that’s where I’ll be spending oodles of time over the next couple days!

Halloween Weddings – but First Things First

Hello my faithful followers! I have been on vacation this past week visiting my new little nephew in Virginia Beach. Xavier Joseph, born on October 3, weighing in at 5.3 lbs is just about the cutest little guy EVER!

So now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk weddings. Halloween weddings, specifically.

Some friends of mine had a Halloween wedding a few years ago – a masquerade wedding, more specifically. It was quite fun to go to a wedding dressed in a costume, wearing a mask. But even if you don’t want your wedding to be a dress-up-free-for-all, there are still ways of incorporating one of the most outrageous holidays while still keeping it classy, San Diego.

Skull Wedding Invitation by KwirkCreative

Halloween Wine Charm Favors by VumbacaWhite

Treat Take Out Boxes by WeddingAmbience

Rhinestone Spider Hair Clip by Parisxox

Skull Bridemaid Jewelry by happylifejewelry

Cake Topper by CoolestToppers

 

Pumpkin Escort Card Holders by HomesAndWeddings

Name Your Poison Plates by AustinModern

Cupcake Toppers by JacquelynVaccaro

Bridal Head Piece by gildedshadows

Spooky Wine Bottle Bag by BloomandBarnacle

Screenprinted Dia de los Muertos Necktie by Cyberoptix

Bloody Save the Date by hawkdesigns

Black and Ivory Garter by GarterLady

 

Clay Skull Pins by handmademom

Skeleton Cameo Necklace by mysweetn0vember

Hopefully you will be attending some fun weddings that incorporate some of these awesome etsy finds this Halloween season!  CLICK HERE to see my treasury that includes all these items.

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

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?

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.