Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis the Season to Celebrate!

Thanksgiving is over, I am full, rested, and relaxed.  Most of my holiday shopping is done thanks to some great online deals and free shipping, so that means my Christmas season is wide open for family, fun, and celebrations!  I have a few holiday parties to attend and I am excited to kick off the season of festive cheer.

Recently I created some holiday party invitations that are so pretty, I just love them!  They are printed on metallic paper, mounted on red cardstock.  These invitations are a perfect for a holiday party or the design could easily be used for a Christmas card:

Besides celebrating the holidays, there are a lot of people around me celebrating babies!!  No matter what the season is, babies are always fun and exciting.  This invitation is for one of my best customers - she always has fun ideas and themes for showers and this invitation was no exception.  The theme for this baby shower was "Super Baby" and the idea turned out so cute!  These postcard invitations perfectly fit the theme and were a very unique and fun way to invite guests to the shower.

The last item I am going to share is not something that I made, but something made by my friend, Ayca, at Adornments.  Ayca is a very talented jewelry designer, currently stationed on the west coast.  I go to her for all of my jewelry needs and love her custom work.  Recently I sent her a piece of sea glass that I had picked up this past summer while vacationing in Homer, Alaska.  I asked her to use her creativity and make it into a necklace for me.  To my surprise and delight she took the seaglass and turned it into one of my most cherised keepsakes.  After wire wrapping the seaglass, she attached 3 birthstones to the top - my birthstone, my husband's birthstone and the birthstone for our baby that is due this coming May!!  Isn't that the most thoughtful and cool thing ever?!  This necklace now represents a memorable family vacation as well as my little family - it gives me goosebumps and makes me smile!

Cheers to all of the fun and joyful things to celebrate during this season!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

C'mon, Baby!

The talk of babies is running rampant in my family these days as my sister is only 2 weeks shy of her due date and my husband and I recently found out that we are expecting!  It seems like babies are the topics of most conversations lately, so I decided to keep that trend going and talk baby on the blog!

Recently we had 2 showers for my sister.  I previously blogged about her invitations and the bunting that I created.  I'd like to show you some of the other accessories we had at the shower:

This sign inviting guests to take a party favor:

I saw this printable on Pinterest and thought it was so cute!  Each guest filled out their "wishes" for the baby - what a special keepsake to have:

I created these favor tags that were adorned on all of the prizes:

Now, I have to share two things that my super creative Aunt Pam made.  She has always been rather crafty and creative, and I have to give her mad props for these adorable accessories.  She made a centerpiece diaper cake and diaper wreath, decorated with all sorts of fun things for the baby.  These were such a unqiue gift idea and might I add some awesome decorations!

Hopefully my new niece/nephew makes their appearance soon, I can't wait to meet him or her! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pinterest Love

Oh, I am so in love with Pinterest.  This site is full of so much inspiration, I find myself searching and searching for hours sometimes!  My boards are beginning to get rather full, so I decided that it was time to actually produce something from my "I can do this" board! 

My sister is having a baby and due in a month.  Therefore, with 2 showers on the horizon, I had the perfect opportunity for some crafting.  We are hosting 2 small showers and my sister does not know what she is having.  These 2 events gave me some great opportunities to create some cute stuff!

What I did for one shower is create this bunting banner (I think that is what it is called!).  I have seen a variety of bunting projects on Pinterest and my friend at Remaking Memories blogged about her bunting inspired save the date cards. I figured that I had to take a crack at this crafting trend.  The process was super easy- I cut triangles from scrapbook paper and cut out letters with the CriCut.   Once the letters were cut, I used scrapbook adhesive to stick the letters on.  Then, I punched holes in the triangles, strung them together and, voila!  What I ended up with was this:

Isn't it cute?!  I love that the colors are not your typical "baby" pastels, instead they are more modern and certainly gender neutral.  This was so simple to make and  very budget friendly.

My sister and I were also  inspired by a "Pea in the Pod" theme that we found on Pinterest.  For her other shower, we decided on that theme, pulling tons and tons of inspiration from the site.  I created shower invitations that perfectly fit with the theme.  They were printed on shimmer paper and matted on shimmery soft yellow cardstock.  The poem on top reads, "A pea in the pod, a bundle of joy, is Heather's baby a girl or boy?".  I stuck with the yellow, green and gray color scheme and the result was a very cute invitation:

So, if you need a fun way to relax, start browsing on Pinterest - you will be glad you did!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Everyone Loves A Prize!

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to share with you a fantastic giveaway happening.  Check out Little One's Crochet on facebook, she is hosting a fabulous giveaway, with over 30 prizes!

Sealed Expressions is participating in this contest- we have donated 25 free 4x6 glossy birth announcements or invitations, like the ones below:
So hurry up and check out this great giveaway!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A post - long overdue!

Wow - I have been gone awhile! Between starting the new school year and a busy schedule, I have neglected my poor blog.   Today's post features a few projects so I can catch you up on all of the things I have been creating:

Earlier I blogged about the wedding stationery of Suzanne and Chris.  Their wedding set was classic and regal and their final piece completely coordinated with their overall theme and feel.  Below are the thank you cards created for them.  The cards were printed on white cardstock, with the swoosh design that adorned their stationery and featured the same fonts and colors as the rest of their wedding stationery.  What we finished with was a simple and classic thank you note that completed their set perfectly:

Next up is a baby shower invitation that I am in love with.  These shower invites were created for a mommy to be that does not know the gender of her little one just yet.  The clean gray, yellow, and white added a sophisticated touch to this adorable baby buggy design:

Finally, I get to show off these fun invitations!  These are so special because a) they are for a super special girl and b) this special girl had a hand in the design process.  Her birthday party was tie-dye themed and these invitations were such a fun way to invite her guests.  The birthday girl is quite the little budding artist and it was so fun to have her work with me to design something perfect for her party.  The end result was bright, cheery, and pretty much awesome invitation!
Later in the week I will be sharing with you a new pea in the pod baby shower invitation & some fall wedding postcards.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall Fashion Giveaway!

My friend, Katie, at Remaking Memories, is hosting a fantastic Fall Giveaway!  Head over here to enter!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cake Balls - A 2 Day Adventure

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Samantha turned 21.  Her mom hosted a fabulous party filled with food, family, drinks and CAKE BALLS.  I had never heard of cake balls but was quick to try one at the party.  I quickly found out that I was in love.  These things were amazing!  I proceeded to eat a few too many cake balls throughout the night and found myself thinking about them in the days after the party.

I was snooping around online and came across the website for Bakerella.  She has an entire section of her website devoted to these tasty treats.  Her recipe for red velvet cake balls had me drooling and it was then that I realize that I had to try to make these myself.

Now, a little background about my culinary skills.  I have none.  My sister Heather is the baker in the family, as are my grandmothers and aunts.  I have the creative gene, however that gene really has not influenced my skills in the kitchen.  I was really set on making these cake balls though, so I psyched myself up for them by telling myself it was simply an Art project with a new medium.  I could totally handle that, right?

Well, Day 1 of the cake ball adventure started.  I was following this simple recipe:
-Bake any boxed cake mix (I chose devil's food)
-When cake is done, take it out of the oven and crumble immediately
-Let cake cool
-Once cool, mix crumbs with one jar of frosting (I chose cream cheese)
-Roll mixture into bite size balls, lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper
-Freeze for 30 minutes or until cake balls are firm
-Once firm, dip in white or millk chocolate, refridgerate, and serve

Sounds easy, right?!  WRONG.

I started the adventure with my sister -she had high hopes in making some rather fancy cake balls.  I was sticking to plain chocolate.  By the end of the evening, I had burned 2 batches of chocolate and ruined one strawberry cake.  I still had my devil's food mix and was able to dip them.  Online you will find photos of beautifully smooth cakeballs that look divine, like this example from Bakerella:

Now, please feast your eyes on the tragedy that was my first set of cakeballs:

How awful!!!  This nightmare was the result of hours of work and frustration.  I had watched 2 YouTube videos, read articles and researched my dipping skills.  Obviously, it is not as easy as it looks!

So, I went to bed feeling defeated, but I wasn't ready to give up just yet.  The next day, my cousin and good buddy, Emily, came over and we got to work.    We made our next set of cake balls a little smaller and worked hard to perfect our dipping:

Emily was a good dipper and this was what we got in our 2nd round - a big improvement I must say!

In the meantime, my Aunt purchased Bakerella's book and brought it over.  After some more research, we realized the key to great presentation would have to involve a candy mold.  So, we got one and the results were so much better than before!

However, as we worked, we realized we still had some issues.  Note the size difference of these two!:

 After we put the cake balls in the molds, we let them sit in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  We then spooned chocolate on the top and the result was so irresitably cute!  I was so proud of us!  AND, the kicker is, not only did they look great, but they tasted awesome!

So, all in all, the cake ball process was pretty intense and fun.  One boxed mix made 112 cake balls - that is a lot of work!  However, they were cute and delicious and I was finally able to put my craving to rest.  My final thought - I'm sticking with creating stationery and purchasing tasty treats.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Goodies to Share

Throughout this past year I have been branching out and creating invites and stationery far beyond just wedding invitations.  One trend that I love is having all parts of your wedding coordinate, like this wedding set I created last year:
(Photo courtesy of Elizabeth K Photography, isn't she talented?!)

It allows the bride and groom to establish their own wedding "brand" per say, and it also allows me to play around with other stationery.

Coordinating invitations and programs seems especially important to brides.  Earlier in the summer I created this invitation:

And recently was able to create a coordinating program:

I also create a lot of misc. invitations and stationery.  Recently I was asked to create a bachelorette party invitation that was girly and fabulous.  I came up with this black, white and hot pink invitation, featuring a little bling:

I thought these invitations were simple, yet fun.  I am sure these girls will have a fun night on the town!

Stay tuned to the blog later on this week to read about my adventure attempting to make the oh so delicious cake balls, it was quite the experience!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zebra, Bling, and Pink, Oh My!

Recently I had the honor of designing a few items for my cousin's diva style 21st birthday party.  My cousin is a fabulous girl and she loves all things shiny, bright and fun.  So, in coming up with a theme for her party, the idea of bling was a no brainer.  I designed these 4x6 invitations to give guests a hint of the party to come: 

For the party I was also able to make one of my favorite products - personalized water bottle labels.  I customized these labels based on a previous design that I had and tweaked it so it fit Samantha's party theme.  The water bottles looked sleek and they were a nice addition to add to the decor and overall theme:

Earlier in the year I had designed these labels for a bachelorette party.  I was able to easily tweak the design so that it fit this party.  The photos below were taken by my friend at Elizabeht K Photography - she does such a great job!
These water bottle labels can be created for any event - how fun would it be to have these at your next party?!  It's the little details that make the difference and this product will surely wow your guests!  Whether you have a wedding, shower, birthday party or girl's night coming up, consider these personalized labels to add a little fun to the decor!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just a Note...

Awhile back I blogged about these birthday invitations:

Now, I am excited to show you the adorable coordinating thank you cards that Layla's mommy ordered for her!  These thank you notes coordinate with the party invite and showcase pictures of Little Miss on her 1st birthday, enjoying her cake.  What a fun idea!

I have been creating more and more thank you cards lately, it seems to be a trend to have thank you notes that coordinate with the other event stationery.  I couldn't agree more!  The thank you notes below were made to coordinate with baby shower invitations that I created earlier in the summer.  What I like about these is the fact that yes, they coordinate with the stationery, but they also could be used for any other occassion.

A few weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to take a family trip to Alaska.  Nothing can compare to the majestic beauty of that state.  I had my camera in tow the entire trip and came home with over 490 photos!!  I decided to have several of my photos printed and made into notecards so that I can share the beauty that I encountered with others.  The set below features some beautiful flowers, taken in Talkeetna, Alaska.  The vibrant colors and the delicate beauty of these caught my eye and I just had to grab a snapshot of them.

Here is where the fun comes in.  It's been awhile since I have ran any sort of contest, so I figured why not now?  These notecards (set of 8) will be given away to one lucky winner, to be chosen Friday at 1pm.  Here are the rules:

You can receive extra contest entries by doing one or more of the following:

- +1 entry for following my blog
- +1 entry for commenting on my facebook fan page
- +1 etnry for being a fan of my facebook page
- +1 entry for sharing my facebook page with your friends

(Be sure to leave a comment for each +1 entry, so that it "counts". Meaning, leave a seperate comment if you are a facebook fan, blog fan, etc.) 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The ROOTs of Friendship

Part of what I enjoy about this job is creating a special piece of artwork for two people that they will always cherish as a part of their wedding memories.  Though some view wedding invitations as simply a piece of paper, I personally look at them as a special momento, that introduces wedding guests to the night of magic ahead.  Each invitation that I create is special and unique, whether a bride changes the colors or the font or creates a whole new design, each one is special.

What makes this job even better is when I can create something special for people that mean a lot to me.  I am blessed with a large family and many close friends, so thankfully I have this opportunity from time to time.  Everytime a family member or friend asks me to create stationery for them, I am honored.  I feel honored that they trust my creativity, artistic ability and expertise to handle a task that is so important.

This wedding set that I will be showing you today is certainly a special one.  It is special for a couple reasons: 1) I have never created a wedding set like this and it was a wonderful creative challenge 2) it was for a special friend that I have known for years.

Before even discussing ideas with the bride, I knew this was going to be pretty awesome.  She is a very classy girl and I just knew it would be fun and easy to work with her on this.  Once we got rolling, it was even easier.  She was super duper organized, knew just what she wanted, and once she, myself, and her uber-creative sister put our heads together, we came up with a complete wedding suite that was basically all around fabulous.

Let's start with the bridal shower invitations.  These 5x7 invitations were simple, cute, and classic.  Featuring a monogram that ties in with the invitation, they were the perfect start for this wedding set:
Next up is the amazing, outstanding, fabulous, totally cool work of art that is her wedding invitation.  Notice how the stationery starts to coordinate from this point on - I love that.  For the invitation, the bride chose a metallic black vertical pocketfold inviation with dark purple matting behind the invitation and sealed with a monogram, matted on the same paper:

Now, because these invitations were oh, so beautiful, and my photos could not do them any justice, I had my friend at Elzabeth K Photography snap some professional shots.  Aren't they great?!

One thing I love about a wedding is when the bride and groom are able to add personal touches and details to make the day truly represent them.  This was the case with this wedding and this next part was truly the most unique and fun place card design I had ever done.  The bride and groom are avid sports fans, so rather than numbering tables, they wanted to represent their favorite sports teams by naming the tables.  Each table was labeled with a team name and logo, like this:

Then, to top it off, guests did not pick up place cards to direct them to their table, they picked up tickets that looked like tickets to a sporting event to direct them to their table.  How fun is that?!  I was so excited making these, they were just so fun and so unique, I loved everything about them!

And of course, I had a really cute keepsake made for them by Remaking Memories, but I was not able to get a photo of it to post.

Overall, this wedding set was a lot of fun to create and I am so happy with how it turned out.  I am also so happy for my friend that she found her true love.  Cheers to many, many years of happiness, Suzanne and Chris!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Around the World in 10 Fonts

Memorial weekend was a big weekend for me.  My sister-in-law got married in Michigan and my best friend tied the knot in a private ceremony in Sayulita, Mexico.  My sister-in-laws wedding was perfect, and my bffs reception on June 4 was 1st class all the way.

Let me explain a little bit about my best friend.  She is a free-spirited, fun-loving, go with the flow, cheery, intelligent, and basically all-around awesome girl.  She is the owner of the website Adore to Explore and it just so happens that she is a travel writer, freelance journalist and around the world explorer.  She and her equally charismatic husband travel the world in search of fine cuisines, spectacular sights, and adrenaline pumping experiences.  Together they have trekked around the globe and are currently doing so again in an effort to spread the love through humanitarian efforts.

Though one paragrah cannot begin to explain the life of Erin and Jason, I think you can start to get the picture about their unique lifestyle.  Needless to say, their wedding reception was less than ordinary.  It was an event with an around the world, vintage travel theme that was carried out through the most perfect details.  The meal featured cuisine from all around the world, highlighting some of their favorite international feasts.

If I went into detail to describe the ways that their reception was awesome, I would be babbling on and on forever.  So, instead, I will just focus on how I fit into the picture, ;).  But really, their reception should have been featured in a magazine, it was seriously 100% amazing!

At each place setting, there was a neatly folded napkin.  Inside the napkins, these menus were tucked in for each guest.  The menus were simply awesome.  A design based solely on the use of fonts, these menus were simple, classy, and basically fabulous.

Now, I cannot take credit for this design work- the initial design started with my graphic designer cousin, Todd.  He came up with the initial framework and design, I just did the tweaking.  But, as you can see, these menus set the stage for a sensational meal in a first class way:

At each bar, there were two of these menus, which featured specialty cocktails suggested by the bride and groom.  The bar menus coordinated perfectly with the dinner menus and were again designed by the uber awesome, Todd Solgat:

As you can see by the stationery, this wedding was unique, personal, and all around spectacular.  Cheers to van den Schneids, may your life be blessed with many travels and warm memories!