Friday, August 30, 2013

HAND LETTERING: You Are My Favorite Distraction

Sometimes I get so in the zone, working away, that any distraction seems irritating. Then, once I shake it off, I realize how much I appreciate and love certain distractions, like my husband, my dogs, a friend,  or just a beautiful day begging to be taken advantage of. Remember to enjoy your distractions! This weekend will be one big distraction for me! It's one of my best friends bachelorette parties and I can't wait for a whole weekend of distraction!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Custom Wedding Envelopes

 These are some recently completed, custom save the date envelopes, I designed for a client. She had already ordered her Save the Dates elsewhere when she found my website, but wanted special envelopes to compliment the items she already had. She saw the invitations I had designed for a previous event and wanted to start there. I changed the colors and fonts to better compliment her Save the Date and off we went! The bottom image is the package on it's way out the door. I always like to alphabetize the recipients so it's easy for the client to double check that everyone's there! This job was a perfect example of how no matter what you need or want, no job is to small! Hurrah for having exactly what you want for your wedding! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HOME: Kitchen Banquettes

Pictures from left to right, top to bottom: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

I've been thinking about kitchen banquettes quite a bit lately. We are doing a handful of DIY projects in our kitchen, and part of me wants to add a banquette while we're tackling that area. These are some pictures I'm liking, the only problem, our kitchen table is round and there is really only one strait wall along which to build the bench. So I might need to buy or build a new kitchen table. I've got to think about it! That being said, there are a couple of awesome thing about banquettes that are making me want one.
  1. Storage: "I have too much kitchen storage" said NO ONE EVER. I could really use some more space for storing items I don't use frequently but still want to keep in the kitchen. The benches are a great place for extra storage space.
  2. More seating: You can always jam more people on a bench which is great when you have a couple extras over and don't want to eat in the dining room. 
  3. Built in details are awesome: Banquettes look great and are added value in your home
  4. Fun graphic opportunities: The bench cushions are a great place to have fun with fabric prints! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chalkboard Door Hand Lettering Art

 Front door awesomeness! When we moved in, these double front doors were a weird off white and felt like they should be letting you into a creepy basement as opposed to being part of a welcoming entryway. I painted them with chalkboard paint which is just generally awesome, but then I found CHALK MARKERS, which made it even MORE fun! I sketched out a new design that I wanted to put on the front door and went to work. I laid it out in regular chalk, and then did it all in detail with the chalk markers, which are a lot like paint pens. The new art has definitely made our front entryway so much better, and I think all my hand lettering practice has been paying off!

Monday, August 26, 2013

EVENTS: Fun Cake Toppers

 1. Gold Animals   2. Stuffed Animals   3. White Whales   4. Silhouettes   5. Robots  6. Heads

I love cake toppers that really show a couples personality. Another plus, is that doing something a bit different can often be a bit more affordable!  One idea (like the picture on the top left) is to buy inexpensive plastic kids toys and spray paint them one color and positioning them in fun ways for a unique look. Another idea, is to find cute salt and pepper shakers (like the photo in the bottom right) and use them as your cake toppers! Check out Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and antique stores for unique designs! Another simple idea (like the picture in the middle right) is to cut out your silhouettes in a heavy card stock paper for something truly you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hand Lettering: Be a Nice Human

A little more hand lettering before the weekend! I thought "Be a Nice Human" was a good thought for  the weekend! Whenever I travel and find similarities with people from far away places, or even have a random conversation with a stranger at the grocery store, I can't help but notice how good I feel after making a connection with another human being. Like somehow these small connections make the world a littler friendlier somehow. So, be a nice human, it makes everyone happier. Have a good weekend! I have lots of projects and work to catch up on this weekend, here's to being productive!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Graphic Wedding Invitation

These graphic wedding invitations just went out in the mail this past month. I had such a great time designing these for Elaine and Steve. I knew I wanted to do something different for them, their wedding day will be fun and casual with a rustic feel. We new there was a lot of information we wanted to include in their invitation but didn't want to have an enclosure packed with multiple inserts to convey all that info. Instead, I designed a tri-fold invitation with an incorporated pocket for the RSVP card and envelope. This layout allowed us to include all the information about their wedding, pre-wedding events, reception, post reception party, a map of the area and more, all in a streamlined and cohesive format. This invitation and general format will be added to the store soon! On another note! I just figured out how to create an animated gif which is super exciting! (It's the animated photo above so you can see how the whole thing opens up!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HOME DECOR: Marquee Signs

I love marquee signs. They bring tons of character to a space, all the while having the added benefit of being an extra light source. We have one in our living room, and I often have to stop myself from buying more. That being said, there's no harm in making my own right? I think that'll be a future project for sure.

1. Real   2. Handmade   3. Whistle   4. Love   5. Vino   6. Let's Spoon

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY Lace Watercolor Art

I've been doing some watercolor experiments for a set of vows I'm turning into art for a client. I liked one of the results so much that I decided to turn it into a little piece of art for myself. When I designed the gallery wall for our guest room, I incorporated one frame in a standard size so that I could swap it out with other art as the mood struck. I thought this was a perfect new piece to fill the frame. This is a simple way to make great looking art, and you don't have to be an artist to make it!


  1. Watercolor paper
  2. Clear glossy spray paint
  3. Doilies, paper or fabric would work
  4. Watercolors
  5. Large watercolor brush


  1. Tape down doilies in a pattern you like, remember, where the doilies are will be where the watercolor ends up.
  2. Spray the clear spray paint all over the paper, do a couple coats to make sure you have full coverage. The spraypaint will prevent the watercolor from absorbing into the paper. Let paint dry for an hour or two.
  3. Using a large watercolor brush, cover the whole paper in water. Then dip the brush in the colors of your choice. To make the colors mix together well, pick colors close on the color wheel and don't use more than three colors. Good combos would be pink, purple and blue or green, blue and yellow, you get the idea. Add water to make the colors bleed together and just play around to get a mix you like. Make sure not to go back over the colors too many times, you'll risk making them muddy. Once you're done, let it dry, cut out the parts you like best, and put them in frames!
  4. If you want to add something else, like text as I did, scan it into your computer and add a fun phrase, quote or music lyrics. This was a little calligraphy doodle I did while in Asia, the jet lag was getting to me a that point!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wood Wedding Decor

Bringing natural wood tones into your wedding can lend an air of rustic relaxation. One of the easiest ways to incorporate wood decor is in your centerpieces, table numbers, and place settings. Small wood stumps are great for creating levels of interest in your centerpiece arrangements, or if you'd rather keep it simple and clean, gather your flowers in a wood box. The wood and string table number is a simple DIY with lots of impact. You can get small slabs of raw edged wood at your local craft store for reasonable prices and there are so many possibilities for how to use them!

1. Elevated Birch Centerpiece   2. Wood Table Number   3. Wood Flower Box   4. Wood & String Table Number   5. Wood Chargers   6. Stump Centerpiece Accent

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hand Lettering: We'll Never Be This Young Again

Time to get back into the hand lettering practice, I decided to use a couple more flourishes this week! While on the plane home from Thailand, I was listening to Matt Nathanson's new album, Last of the Great Pretenders, and in one of his songs he says "We'll never be this young again". It's a sentiment I really like, because even as we grow older, and things change, we are still the youngest we'll ever be, and we should live accordingly! The photo is one I took while in Krabi on our vacation, the sunsets were amazing.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

3 Year Anniversary: My Favorite Parts of Our Wedding

 Today is Chris and my three year anniversary! I can easily say that our wedding day was the best day of my life thus far, getting to marry my best friend and boyfriend of over 10 years, all while surrounded by our favorite people in the world was simply perfect. Luckily for me, marriage has only made our love bigger and our relationship better, I couldn't feel more blessed! That being said, working on our wedding really opened my eyes to a new design passion and the creation of Wouldn't it be Lovely, so the wedding fun would never have to end! I thought today was the perfect time to share some of my favorite things from our wedding day, things that I would recommend to anyone getting married.

  1. In lieu of traditional pew decor, I hung pictures of Chris and I throughout our relationship, luckily we had been dating since we were 15, so we had plenty of pictures to choose from!
  2. After the ceremony, waiting outside the church, we had an ice cream truck to surprise our guests with a little snack! We paid for it ahead of time and made a custom sign for the side. This made the receiving like SO much more fun! 
  3. Our reception site, at Mass Horticultural Society, had so many great places for pictures. Having a site with many picture locations was great and lead to more amazing photos than I know what to do with.
  4. Our custom made cake toppers were so worth it and still make me smile every time I see them.
  5. Two things for this picture: One, Chris and I took weeks of dance lessons, we still wern't great, but the time spent taking those lessons was time spent together having fun away from all the wedding craziness. Two, I wanted those hanging antique bulbs SO BADLY and am still glad that I spent all that time researching to find someone who could hang them for us.
  6. Spending hours upon hours making paper flowers for the walls made the carriage house where our reception was held feel so special and personalized. I had seen a Chanel runway show with hundreds of paper flowers and knew I wanted a similar look. Having a custom art installation really brought everything together.
  7. For the father daughter dance, I knew we needed a song that was upbeat or else I'd be bawling my eyes out. I chose Doris Day's "Papa Won't You Dance With Me" and my Dad and I learned to dance the polka so we could do it up right! I always think it's more fun to watch people dance to something upbeat than a slower song. 
  8. Instead of spending lots of money on centerpieces, I scoured ebay for months buying milk glass vases and filled them with flowers from a local flower mart. When all was said and done each vase cost about $2 and the whole centerpiece arrangement at each table around $40.
  9. For our last dance, we took everyone outside, handed out sparklers, and danced to the song that was playing when Chris had asked to to be his girlfriend 10 years earlier. It was a wonderful way to end the night!
  10. Last but not least, building the photo wall was something I would do again in an instant. It produced some of my favorite pictures of the night, and was so much fun! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

HOME: Inspiration for Kitchen Shelves

1. Window Shelf   2. Blue Lower Shelf   3. White Lower Level Shelf   4. Floating Lower Level Shelf   5. Corner Shelves   6. Slot Shelves

When we moved into our house, the kitchen really needed some love. We didn't have the money to do any major rehab, so it was a bunch of DIY projects and it's still not quite done. I painted all our cabinets, we got a new countertop and new appliances (except the frig, we'll do that soon hopefully). I've been holding off on the backsplash because I've been thinking about moving our top cabinets. Right now there is about 7 inches between the top of the upper cabinets and the ceilings, it's a complete waste of space as not much fits up there, and it's a pain to get things down from there. I've decided that I want to take them down and rehang them so they are flush with the ceiling. It sounds hard, but it really should be a weekend project. Once I move them up, I really want to put a shelf below them like in some of these pictures. Kitchens are places that need MAXIMUM storage. I figure if I add those shelves, and some shelves in one of the corners where I can put my cake stands, some of my current storage issues should be solved! I'm hoping to tackle this project when we get back from Asia. These images are the perfect inspiration to get me excited to do that!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Home DIY: Wood Dog Gates

Recently, we had a little doggie mishap. I thought it was time to test Truman out of his crate while we were out for dinner. He's such an angel when we're home, even when we're outside and he's alone inside he never gets into trouble. You can probably see where this is going. We left him out in the mancave while we were gone. We had two kiddie gates on the stairs to keep him down there. When we returned, there was a hole in the couch cushion, the door to the laundry room had been forced open and two shirts and a towel were ripped to shreds, last but not least, the dog gates had been ripped out of the walls. AWESOME. We've established that Truman doesn't like being left alone. That being said, it was still time to make some new dog gates for when we want to keep the dogs in one room or another. I wanted something a bit nicer than anything I could find online, so a project was born. The only supplies needed for this projects are a couple of 1x3in lengths of pine, some 1/2in plywood and some wood screws. The whole project took about a day, the painting taking up the majority of the time. You can see the process and "how-to" below.

We needed two gates, one at the top of the stairs to the basement and one at the bottom. As the bottom one had to attach to the railing, I had to be creative with the latch, using a sliding door lock on that one and a standard gate lock for the top gate. I just used standard door hinges to attach them to the walls, making sure to screw them into the studs to insure they can withstand a Truman attack.

  1. Saw
  2. Drill
  3. Paintbrush

  1. 1x3in lengths of pine (I used about 30 ft per door, my doors measured 36in wide x 24 in high)
  2. 1/2 plywood 2ft x 3ft
  3. 30 wood screws
  4. paint or stain depending on the look you want 

Wood Prep:
  1. Cut wood to length, the frame on the front and back of the plywood need 45 degree miter joints on the long side of the wood. You need 4 of the shorter length and 4 of the longer length for both the front and back of the plywood. The top edge should be the same length as the plywood so they all line up. The final outer frame needs 45 degree miter joints on the short side of the wood to create a nice clean edge.
  2. Whatever the width of your door is, make sure the plywood piece is 3 inches shorter to account for the outer frame and room to swing. 

Process: See drawing above!

Monday, August 12, 2013

EVENTS: Fun Wedding Actvities

Games! I LOVE games. At RISD (my college) I would always try to get my roommates to play boardgames with me and they HATED me for it. That being said, my friends from highschool LOVE game and we play all the time. I think a wedding with extra entertainment for the guests is so much more fun. As the Bride and Groom, every single second of your wedding day is exciting and amazing! For your guests, thats not always the case, there is a lot of time to mill around and wait for things to happen. Why not fill those times with games and activities?

Hula Hoops, Croquet, Ring Toss, Bolo - Lawn games are so much fun at a wedding. Great for before the wedding when guests are waiting for you to arrive, and during cocktail hour when you are busy taking pictures. Lawn games also make for great candid photos of you and your wedding party smiling and having fun with the guests! You never know who will surprise you with their mad hula hoop skills! 

Ping Pong- I saw this when I was planning my wedding and wished that my venue would have been able to accommodate it! You can get an old ping pong table on craigs list for around $60. With a fresh coat of paint in your wedding colors it because an amazing gathering place for guests to have some friendly competition!

Cootie Catchers- Set these at the tables to break the ice and give guests something to do while they wait for dinner to be served.

Trail Mix- I love the idea of setting this out before the ceremony so guests can put together a little snack to munch on while they watch the show!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Asia Travel Part Three: Bangkok and Chiang Mai

  Ok so let me start off by saying, our day at Elephant Nature Preserve in Chiang Mai was the BEST DAY EVER. It is a truly amazing place, were they have made a home for elephants rescued from all over Thailand. The stories of the elephants lives before they were saved are heartbreaking, the abuse and neglect these elephants suffered is tragic and all too common. That being said, they are now living in an amazing environment where their caregivers open up their doors to tourists to help give them the life they deserve. We were able to feed, bathe and spend time with the elephants for a full day. I was ecstatic, to say the very least (as you can see from my manic grin in the photo above). I just have to say, if weren't a designer, I'd follow my 10 year old selfs dream of working with elephants or dolphins (I'd take the poor pay to have an elephant bestie).
On another note, Bangkok was pretty fabulous also. The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho were beautiful and unlike anything I've ever seen.  Bangkok feels different from other Asian cities I've visited. It has so much character, which is saying something in a world that increasingly feels like "anywhereville" where cities can start to feel interchangeable because of outside global influences. The tuk-tuks, temples, and ambiance make it memorable and unique. Next stop, Krabi, for some quality beach time.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dyed Fruit Centerpiece

 I recently stumbled upon an old fruit still life drawing I did back in college which got me thinking about fruit centerpieces. I decided to do a fruit centerpiece with a twist. I peeled three pears and an apple and dyed different parts with neon food coloring. I cut little slits in the pears to slide in the table numbers I had printed out. By covering the fruit with lemon juice once you peel them, it keeps them from going brown, makes them smell nice too! Fruit can be a great and less expensive alternative to floral centerpieces at an event!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

HOME: Entryway Inspiration

The first impression someone has of your house is the entryway, so you want it to be a reflection of you. I've been thinking about what I would want in our entryway, it's still a little makeshift right now, but there are certain elements that I think every entryway should have and I put together this little montage to display them.

  1. Coatrack: because who wants to deal with the coat closet every time you walk in the door? Not me.
  2. Art: whether you go with one big piece of art, or a gallery wall. you should definitely fill the walls of your entryway with something you love. I'm loving these beach images right now, so fun and colorful!
  3. Clock: a clock in the entryway is key so you can know when it's time to get out of the house! This clock has hanging pinecones reminiscent of coo-coo clocks which I love.
  4. Mirror: every entryway should have a mirror so you can do a final check before you are out the door and on your way!
  5. Container: we have a little container by our door for dog treats (so the pups are well behaved then the UPS guy comes calling!) but they are also a great catchall for spare change and whatever else lines your pockets.
  6. Letter Holder: something to hold your mail is also key, we all know how the mail can end up in messy piles. How cute would this little dog be holding all your letters?
  7. Console: I love this console for by the door, lots of little drawers for all the things that end up there. A drawer for keys, dog leashes, gloves, hats, batteries, a flashlight and more. Plus, this one is great because there is plenty of room underneath the drawers for shoes!
  8. Rug: last but not least, the rug in your entryway should be easy to clean, and able to withstand heavy traffic. I love the edges of this rug, so lovely and unique.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Home Before and After: Stairs

Not too long ago I put together a little post for stairway inspiration. I knew I wanted to do something with my stairs, as you can see from my "Before" photos, the white risers don't do too well against shoes and dogs in our house. Even when I scrubbed them they would never truly be clean. The railings were also a wierd bulky shape and the paint was peeling off regardless of frequent touch ups. I taped off the risers and painted them a mid-tone grey, it's a nice contrast with our wall colors and the wood steps all while remaining neutral in the very likely situation that I decide to change the color of the walls at some point. To keep them from staying TOO neutral, I bought new banisters (you can have them cut to length at Lowes, and are only a couple of dollars a foot) and painted them a lovely mint color. Banisters like mine are so easy to repaint or replace since they are strait, so I figured why not? I also took down the rod iron railings to the basement and spray painted them white so they would look a little cleaner and blend better with all the white trim. I'm so happy with how they came out, our house looks cleaner already!

Monday, August 5, 2013

EVENTS: Unique Wedding Escort Cards

 Escort card displays part two! I wanted to do another post about wedding escort card displays. There are just so many amazing possibilities out there! I love the idea of a little snack incorporated into your place cards, so that the guest has something to eat right away! I would be pumped to get a donut with my table number!

1. Oranges- so colorful and sweet!
2. Ribbon Prizes- for the newlyweds who want their guests to feel like they've won a prize!
3. Donuts- because it's awesome.
4. Brown Paper Bunting - cute and easy, also a great photo backdrop!
5. Name buttons- so no one has to do introductions! No awkward forgetting of names either!
6. Copper Gardening Labels- such a great idea, perfect for an outdoor wedding.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Asia Travel Part Two: Ho Chi Mihn and Fuzhou

Today is My first full day in Thailand! Horrah! Chris and I met up in Bangkok yesterday and are ready to explore! Last week I finished up my time in Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam, and spent four days in Fuzhou, China. It's funny when you're working in a foreign city how little of it you sometimes see. In Hi Chi Mihn, we're right in the center of the city and it's easy to get around, and there is so much to see. The buildings are colorful and interesting, so different from what you see in the US or Europe. You still have to be careful of course, one of the girls I'm traveling with got mugged by a man on a scooter and was dragged down the street a bit. She's banged up but overall alright. Just goes to show that you always need to be on your guard.

Fuzhou on the other hand, is not a photogenic city. There are two extremes here, what seems like hundreds of identical brand new sky rises that are mostly uninhabited, and dilapidated old buildings that are packed with people. Every picture I took during the day just looked like a wash of grey. Grey sky, grey river, grey roads, grey buildings. At night, it's a different story, in the nice parts of the city, everything is awash in bright colorful lights and the unsightly parts of the city seem to disappear into the shadows. I may be giving Fuzhou a hard time, I didn't get out much when I was there, besides dinner (which was delicious) and driving to the factory, I did not see much of the city. Lets just say I'm happy to be on the the fun part of this trip, I'll check in soon with an update from Thailand! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wedding Sparkler Holders

I love sparklers at weddings. Whether you use them during your first dance or as you leave the reception under an arch of sparklers held up by your guests, they make for great fun, and greater pictures. Once way to make your sparklers even more special is to have little holders, like the ones I designed here, made for you. By doing this, you let your guest know just when you'd like them lit, and can even leave a little message for them as well. I'll be adding these to the store soon!