26 July 2009

Organize } Portfolio Samples!

In organize mode ... my "organizing desk" which is now located centrally in the family room.  Feeling just a tad too claustrophobic in the studio with me, the little one and all the animals (2 cats: Shadow & Wyle and 1 dog: Chase).  

My view from behind the table!  It's a little daunting - but - will be well worth the reward!  I'm assembling my portfolio samples (which I rarely have time to do because I'm pushing orders out the door - always figuring my stuff can wait), organizing what I need to photograph and cataloging everything for my new portfolio books.  Yeeee hoo!  All while watching "Harry Potter Weekend" on ABC Family with the little one.  Who by the way would not allow me to photograph him for this post.  Bummer.

Rewind } The Archives

I have sooooo many invitations that I haven't photographed yet - some going back to early 2008!  I dragged out the giant invitation archive last night and decided, on a whim, start organizing it all.  And then this morning I needed to shoot some of my finds.

This mostly came out of a need to catalog and store each invitation in a way that I can easily share them at consultations.  And the organizing pressure is on since Martha and I move into the newly renovated meeting space next weekend (well that's the goal anyway!).  More on that later.  We are soooo excited!!

Invitation for a favorite client of mine who, together with her sister, hosted a reception in honor of their brother's recent wedding in Thailand.  I was all about the envelope liner on this invite and really loved how the color palette came together - the muted colors with that crazy pop of limey-yellow.  

Double sided postcard invitation for a house warming party.  The Dupras Family, also a previous wedding client of mine, hosted a down-home country shindig at their new diggs.  As simple as this invitation was - it is on my list of all-time favorites.

I have to admit I am already thinking about the holidays!  This invite was for a holiday party celebrating new ownership & renovation of the salons.  I don't know what it is about the holiday season that makes me feel like I need to glitter everything in sight!

I have to say one of my favorite clients of all time - the Ciapessoni Family ordered these invitations for a 60th birthday celebration.  It's always a creative challenge designing an invitation for the dude's out there and still keep my girl-y little twists in there.

My son's 4th birthday invitation.  We loooooove Scooby around here.  Seems like I never get the time to really go nuts on my own party invitations - boo, hoo.  I'm always trying frantically to get them done in the midst of everything else going on.

Feelin' the tiki torches yet?  This was a super-quick invite for my good friends, The Braner Family.  Ashli graduated high school this year and they hosted a BBQ beach inspired bash.

This one was fun!  Introducing the double sided invite.  One side girly - one side all boy.  My friend Coleen has twins and triplets.  Yes!  I know.  For the twin's, Falyne and Karson, 5th birthday I came up with the double sided invite - you choose who's party your attending - one event two invites all in one. 

Sooooo, that's it for this morning.  As I go through the rest of the archive, I'll pull more invites - photograph 'em and post 'em up!

25 July 2009

Addressing } Guest Addresses

Who has time to address all those envelopes???  Calligraphy is my favorite and I always recommend a hand scripted envelope, but what if you don't have the budget or the time to hand write your envelopes?

Big No-No - Labels.  Why, oh, why would you ruin your beautiful invitations with a mailing label?  There is one exception to No-No labels.  If you are doing, say, a designer label something that goes along with your invitation suite (like the one I did in the recent Boxed Up! > Super-cute Baby Shower Invites post) then I'd say that is perfectly acceptable.  But those standard white (or even clear) mailing labels simply look awful.

My recommendation to the addressing dilemma if you must print addresses - is to print directly on the envelope.  Using a coordinating script and maybe even a dash of coordinating artwork.  Digitally addressing through SJD is reasonably priced and looks beautiful.

22 July 2009

Boxed Up! > Super-cute Baby Shower Invites

Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em!  This baby shower invitation was for my good friends, (first time mom-to-be) Jacqueline and (grandma-to-be) Pamela this abso-fricken-lutely adorable invitation was a tad over the top - but after all that's how we roll.  This is what happens when I'm set free to create as I please.  Tee, hee, hee.  

After a little brainstorming session for a shower theme that was a little different from the ordinary - we settled on an Alice in Wonderland inspired "Un-birthday Party" theme.  The invitations would be whimsical, story book-ish and set the perfect tone for the grand soiree.  

A bright pink box, roughly tied ribbons, antique gold accents, all highlighted with pinks/limey green/mustard yellow/coral-y orange and tiffany blue throughout.  Adorable!  It's a little hard to see from the pics, but the boxes were lined with bright green moss.  And a sparkly little butterfly to top it all off.

These babies just went out to guests and I am loving hearing about all their comments!  Expect a post towards the end of August sharing pics from the party.

18 July 2009

Tip > How Many?

"How many invitations do you think you need?"  The very first question to clients calling to place an order.  And interestingly enough ... most clients give me the number of guests they are estimating.  Ah ha!  But this is not how many invitations you need.  You'll need about 1/2 your guest list, plus some, plus a few extras.  My oh, so very sophisticated formula! 

Here's a sample - say 200 guests, figure 100 (this is the 1/2 - remember you'll have some couples and families), plus about 10% (this is the plus some - for those singles) and a minimum of 10 extra (I usually recommend 15-20 extra - guests (oops!) you may have forgotten, lost invites, and new friends).  That would be around 130-150 invitations.

16 July 2009

Out of the Studio > Thursday, July 16th

I'll be out of the studio all day today on a fishing trip with my boys.  Will return calls tomorrow and emails this evening.

13 July 2009

Big Weekend > Finnen Wedding

A few fab detail photos I took from the Finnen Wedding this weekend.  Yours truly handled the stationery touches for the day ... wine bottle labels, table cards, menus, fun bride & groom signs and escort cards.  I'm not posting too many floral and over all look shots ... saving those for Martha and Alison to share with you on their blogs!

When Annie, with Studio Z, publishes the REAL photos from the wedding on her blog (BTW her photos will blow my amateur attempt out of the water!) I'll be sure to share the link.

Congrats Rebecca and Ryan!!

Catering: Mama Kim Cooks
Entertainment: Steve Bloom
Photographer: Studio Z {Annie}

10 July 2009

Big Weekend > Wine Bottle Favors

This weekend I have the pleasure of being a "day-of-vendor" (setting up escort cards, table stationery, programs and the like - I never get to do this so I'm super-excited!) and floral assistant to Martha (Blooms by Martha Andrews) at the wedding of Rebecca and Ryan.  The wedding is going to be gorgeous!  I'll be sure to share pics and vendors on Monday ... but had to post the little wine bottle favors I worked on last night into the wee hours of the morning.  They came out adorable!  Thinking I may have a future in the wine label biz!!

Rebecca, Ryan and their families are truly a pleasure to work with and am so honored to be a part of their special day.  Thank you to Alison (Alison Ulshoffer Events & Design) for introducing me to them! 

03 July 2009

Spelling It Out > Attire

The devil is definitely in the details!  Some helpful guidelines to follow when you want to make a point about what guests are expected to wear.

Black Tie

A Black Tie invitation calls for formal attire. Men wear tuxedos, women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates.

Formal usually means the same as Black Tie, but in some trendier cities like New York or Los Angeles, it could mean a black shirt, no tie with a tux. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates. 

White Tie

A White Tie or Ultra-formal invitation requires men wear full dress, with white tie, vest, shirt. Women wear long gowns. 

Black Tie Optional

A Black Tie Optional or Black Tie Invited gives you the option of wearing a tuxedo or formal dress,but it should clue you into the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates.

Creative Black Tie

Creative Black Tie leaves room for trendy interpretations of formal wear. He can go more modern with a tux -- maybe a black shirt, no tie. She wears long or short dresses or evening separates.

Sometimes, themed parties call for dress codes like Texas Black Tie or other variations of Creative Black Tie. In that situation, you can have more fun with it, choosing a dressy look with a theme (for him, it could be a tux with boots and for her it could be a long dress paired with Southwestern style silver belt and jewelry).


Semi-Formal or After Five means that tuxes are not required, nor are long dresses. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate dark suits for him, and a cocktail dress for her. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for her.

Business Formal is the same as Semi-Formal for him, but for women it suggests that women opt for more tailored dressy suits and dresses (nothing too slinky or sexy).

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail Attire means short, elegant dresses for her and dark suits for him. 


Informal is often interpreted as the same as Casual but it actually calls for the same dress as Semi-Formal -- dark suits for him, short dresses for her -- especially when associated with a wedding or special event.

Festive Attire

Festive Attire is usually seen around the holidays, with the mood of the party being Informal or Semi-Formal. For her, it means to choose looks with a bit of sparkle or holiday bent (i.e. a beaded sweater with black pants, a red silk blouse with a black skirt).

Dressy Casual calls for dressed-up versions of casual looks. For him, it could be trousers and a sportcoat, for her a dressy pants look. Jeans, shorts, T-shirts and other casual looks are not appropriate for Dressy Casual.

Casual generally means anything goes.

Photo courtesy of: Blooms by Martha Andrews.