wrapping up 2009 with real wedding updates

Catching up with some real wedding updates! Business finally picked up around mid-July (after launching my designs in late spring of 2009 and then moving cross-country later that summer), dropped off a bit, and then got busy again in mid-October and, I'm happy to report, hasn't died down too much since. It's been an interesting juggle since previously, I was primarily a stay-at-home-mom to my 18 month old son, not wanting to begin the daycare transition until I had some sort of steady income to offset those costs. But it turns out launching a business while taking care of a very active, not terribly fond of long naps, little guy is challenging to say the least. So in 2010 I'll have three full week days to devote to my custom invitation and stationery business, among other pursuits. Hopefully the orders keep coming! For now, a round-up of the last quarter of 2009...

Natalie & Justin
My first wedding invitation order involved customizing the tea length butterfly motif ensemble available in my shop. The challenge: add several colors to an already busy palette.

I added a simple graphic to the invitation design, one additionally butterfly punch, and some hand-stamping to the decorative wrap for an ensemble that incorporates all six of the couple's wedding colors in an elegant design.  The decorative wrap really pulls everything together, don't you think?

Rachel & Sam
In October I did a large thank you card order for a newly engaged couple who contacted me the next month for save-the-dates.  Repeat customers are the best! 

Both the folded thank you note and A2 save-the-date with ribbon detail have a Pacific Northwest feel for a wedding that sounds like it's going to be an extremely classy event, with a palette of silver, gold, and green. Just lovely, and a blast to work with.

Mariana & Luis
Around this time I also began working with the sister of a bride on a customized version of the snowflake motif ensemble, available here

We tweaked the font, palette, and printing style (my first thermography order!) to match the details of her sister's event and I was really pleased with how this order turned out.  I'm working with one wholesale printer who offers both letterpress and thermography and it was, of course, a bit of a learning experience (their turnaround time adds about two weeks to my overall process), but I'm pleased to be able to offer these printing upgrades.  I paid a little extra out of pocket to have a few additional sets printed so that I can offer prospective clients thermography samples now, available in my shop, along with samples of all of my other designs.

Amanda & David
For this couple I created a custom save-the-date photo magnet with paper backing and a hand-stamped, lined envelope to coordinate with the Autumn Leaves design, available here.

We couldn't find an envelope liner that worked with both the fall theme and specific colors (replacing the gold in the original design with yellow here) so I decided to search for a simple stamp that could be used on the inside of the poppy orange liner.  In the process, I discovered another shop on Etsy - Sugarskull7's hand carved rubber stamps - and had a custom stamp made that coordinates with the original wedding invitation design.  It wasn't created in time for this order but I plan to put together another fall design that will use the custom stamp in some way. Stay tuned for that!  And if you're in the market for rubber stamps, check out Sugarskull7's shop!

Currently in the works (but not quite ready to show & tell) are a tea party themed bridal shower invitation and my first screenprinted design!  Metallic silver ink on black card stock!  Can't wait to show off that one...

Here's to lots and lots of weddings in 2010! Happy New Year!


fresh from the Makery: a belated happy holidays!

My holiday greeting to you, like my cards this year, is late.  I made my cards, I think for the first time ever, which is hard for me to believe considering I've spent most of the past dozen or so years making art and stuff and selling paper goods in some capacity.  It's kind of like going for a manicure, I guess - the manicurist never has time to do her own nails, you know?

But not this year.  This year, of all years (trying to essentially launch a business while caring for a budding toddler full-time is no easy feat - lots of folks do it, I'm sure, but not me, at least, not gracefully), I decided to make my own, mainly because I spied these stickers standing in the check-out line at Michael's.

Pink on a Christmas card!

I used the sticker as the envelope seal and the rest of the design of the card came from this small detail, including the palette - chartreuse, turquoise, and red - to the illustration used on the front (vintage ornament silhouettes, of course)...

 ...and the flashy red paper used for the envelope liner.

Here's to an equally sparkly 2010!


vote for me!

After voting for someone else's project, I figured what the heck, right?  I have a few holiday projects under my belt, after all.  So I submitted my Mother's Cookies Holiday Circus Animal ornaments to the Michael's Handmade Holidays contest.

You can rate all the projects that have been submitted to the site (click here to rate mine!). Up for grabs are Michael's gift cards each week and a grand prize that involves a trip to New York City to see the Martha Stewart show (including an unofficial detour to the Doughnut Plant...yum).

So you should vote for me...I don't get out much (evidenced by the fact that I make animal cookies out of felt).


orange is the new red & green

Thanks to regular reader and "Fiskateer" Kimberlee, aka Java Diva, one of the lead Fiskateers, Angela, contacted me a few days ago about being a guest blogger on their site. I was honored to have been asked and got to work right away on this candied orange slice ornament (orange is their thing, you know, as in the orange handles on Fiskars products, and I've been wanting to do a candied orange slice project with the French embroidered knots I've been obsessed with lately, and the project seemed timely, what with the whole citrus at Christmas tradition...). You can read more here.

I'm not giving this one away, or putting it up for sale in my Etsy shop. Nope, I think I'll add it to my own tree that we plan to get and decorate next weekend (which means Christmas is less than three weeks away...WHAT?!).

Now back to the online Christmas shopping and making cards...


a steampunk-inspired butterfly motif wedding invitation ensemble

I managed to make it through the entire month of November without a single blog post!  It was a busy month of inquiries, several of which turned into orders, which of course I'm extremely excited about and keeping my fingers crossed that the business keeps up.  But before I get into any "real wedding" updates, let me first catch up on a new design I added to the shop a few weeks ago.

After seeing this cake featured on the Sunday Sweets edition of Cake Wrecks, I was motivated to create a Steampunk-inspired wedding invitation.  The "inspired" part is important since I can't claim to know much about this genre before seeing this cake, but I fell in love with the palette and saw an opportunity in the combination of the clockwork imagery with the more feminine butterfly motif (a motif I've used before), the Victorian era fonts, and the use of copper shimmer paper and embossed hand-stamped details.

The result is a horizontal tea-length invitation in soft white and pool blue, layered over copper shimmer card stock, and tied together with a navy satin ribbon that matches the ink used for the text and one of the two stamps used on the left portion of the panel.

The response card is also hand-stamped and embossed, using the single butterfly stamp also used on the invite.  As always, samples of this design are available in my Etsy shop.  The palette was really the inspiration for this design but the colors are, of course, completely customizable, whether your wedding is Steampunk-inspired or not!