Hip Hip Hooray We’ve Got New Birthdays

So that title didn’t work out quite as well as I was hoping, but we’ve got a new line of birthday cards nonetheless. And with every new line I launch I get more and more excited, because that means we are that much closer to having a full line of greeting cards, which is my ultimate goal right now. So to kickoff our birthday line we have seven, fresh off the press, beauties. They are all 5″x7″, hand illustrated and printed on natural recycled cover stock. Click on each image to go to the shop listing for more information.

Get ‘em while they’re hot.
Inside: Just don’t count ‘em.

Happy Birthday
Inside: Live it up.

Have a super birthday!
Inside: Hope it’s more exciting than a flying dog.

Mmmake a wish
Inside: You know you want to wish for more cake.

It’s your birthday!!
Inside: Hot diggity dog. Enjoy!

Inside: Happy Birthday!

Daily Project Inspiration

I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately ​from the daily creative projects of other designers. They range in subject matter and method of creation, but they do share one big common factor – to create. I am a maker by nature, I thrive on it. During my internet surfing it has really become clear to me that this is a great way to push yourself to create new work, build a portfolio of diverse pieces, learn new skills, expand your visual styles and show off your creative talents. Some of the daily projects that have inspired me are:​

Daily Dishonesty by Lauren Hom
Hand Written Letters by Mary Kate McDevitt
The Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische
Daily Drawings by Chris Piascik
365 Patterns by Fifth and Hazel
365 Patterns in 2013 by Ollibird
#365 Drawing Project by Sarah Jane
Logo a Day by Dear Miss Modern (this is a little different, but same principle)

I’ve been thinking about starting one of my own for a while now, and have a few rules that I want to follow. 1.) I want to do something unique. 2.) I want create my work based on a theme. ​3.) I want to showcase varied styles of work within that theme. 4.) I want this to remain a fun endeavor. I’m still hashing out the specifics like length of time, type of work, and how often I will realistically be able to post new pieces – keeping in mind rule #4, but I’m really excited about this. The project is going to kickoff on March 21st with full details and how to get involved if you’re interested.

Without the Doing, Dreaming Is Useless


I love new ideas. Ideas are my most favorite thing in the world. And I too suffer from creative paralysis. Does that phrase hit home with anyone else, “creative paralysis”? The first time I heard it something clicked and I realized that I’m not the only one that deals with it. The mental overload of projects and possibilities can be overwhelming. I stumbled across this video today while keeping up on my rss feed and completely fell in love with it. If you are a creative professional and are anything like me, you might just identify with this talk like I did. It’s completely brilliant and insightful.

The process goes a little something like this. I get a genius idea – maybe my best idea ever. I research and gather and procrastinate just a little bit, sometimes more, then finally start working. Then the artistic decisions eventually start to stall out the progress I am making. There are so many choices to make and questions to answer. “Which way is the best direction to go? What should I do here?” This continues until my idea haunts me and I avoid even thinking about it. Not long after the project comes to a complete halt as my brain goes numb with overload of possibilities. I couldn’t restart it again if I wanted to. I begin to loathe my idea. It sits in my studio and stares at me day after day. Then my idea turns on me and I begin to doubt myself and my abilities. But something happens, the time passes and all of the sudden the idea has a new life again. I’ve grown, and learned and I have a new light to bring back to the project. So I work and work and work until its finally finished. I feel accomplished. I’m on top of the world. My creative confidence is soaring. I now understand that the idea wasn’t ready when I first thought of it, something was missing. It needed time to develop subconsciously. No, I wasn’t ready for it. I needed time. Everything is right with the world. Onto the next brilliant idea. Sound familiar? Me too, friend.

One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you take things on as you are ready for them. And that’s okay. Things have a way of silently passing by when you aren’t actively seeking them out. So get ready, give yourself time and trust your instincts. Just don’t wait until you are 100% ready because the day will never come. 90% is perfect.

I highly recommend reading Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It follows along the same topic line and is hugely inspirational and motivating.

It is not just you.

Sigwalt No. 9.. Come to Mama

Ebay is genius. I can’t say I’ve always thought this, but I definitely think so now. I recently won a bid for a glorious vintage Sigwalt No. 9 clamshell letterpress made in 1888. She arrived late last week, 15 pounds, 12 inches tall, 18 inches long. Fully restored and awaiting new rollers. Isn’t she beautiful? I can’t even express my sheer excitement to get this girl into production. I am a longtime admirer of letterpress printing, but new to actually making my own prints. Its going to be a learning experience, but its going to be great. I’ve been compiling resources for supplies and advice and plan on posting that for reference once its closer to being completed.

What nobody tells beginners..

Although I am not a beginner anymore, this video really spoke to me. I wish I could have watched this back in 2005 when I was about to graduate from college and enter the real world. Better yet, I wish I could have watched this back in 2001 when I was graduating from high school. Back then I felt lost. I didn’t know how I would ever make it as a creative, all I knew was that I had to try – I had to figure it out somehow. All my life I’ve felt this anxiety like my work wasn’t good enough and that I’d never be able to compete with all of the amazingly creative people out there. Even today I still feel it, but it has morphed from a doubtful, overwhelming anxiety into an intense drive to be better, shine brighter and to produce awesome work. That relief can only come from confidence in yourself, your abilities and your work. Greatness is built with practice. I think that this is such a wonderful, heartfelt message that can apply to so many different people in and out of the creative field. It’s a powerful 1 minute and 54 seconds.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Baby Lemanski: ETA 1/31/2012

In preparations for their coming baby, Lori and Nick asked me to create baby shower invitations for them. With a little magic, glue dots, baker’s twine and a Silhouette SD machine we landed on an air planes in the clouds theme. These were double-layered 5×7 invites with a white coverstock front and Kraftboard backing. I used the Silhouette SD to cut clouds out of the Kraftboard and strung the cutouts on red & white baker’s twine that was wrapped twice around the invites and tied in a pretty little bow for an extra touch of something special. Baby Lemanski is expected to arrive January 31, 2012. More photos available on Flickr.

Lisa & Brandon’s Wedding Stationery

Lisa and Brandon’s wedding has come and gone. It went off with out a hitch and everything was absolutely wonderful. I thought it was about time to share a few more pieces of stationery I worked on for them, the programs, seating chart and table cards.

The programs consisted of 3 long sheets tied together at the top with a black satin ribbon. A Catholic ceremony requires a lengthy program and luckily we had some extra space on the last page that allowed us to include the same quote from their invitations “My whole heart, for my whole life.” So sweet.

The seating chart was a new adventure for me that turned out very nice. The board measured 24″x36″ and was displayed near the front entrance so everyone could easily find their seat. The chart was alphabetically ordered and included tables named by locations that Lisa and Brandon have visited together.

The table cards were made to match the seating chart. The front listed the name of the location and a picture of that particular place, while the back had a written description of the time they shared there. It was a lot of fun for everyone to go from table to table reading about their adventures together.

After the wedding was over I received the nicest letter in the mail from Lisa’s mother thanking me for everything. They are just the sweetest family. Congratulations Lisa and Brandon! I couldn’t be happier for you two.

How Design Conference 2011

Oh I am totally going to this. And I am really excited about it! Working in a small department and being the only designer can sometimes really drain my creativity and the motivation I need to push my designs to the next level. I really miss being able to talk to other designers and bounce ideas off of one another. Sometimes I feel like I am on my own little design island sending messages in bottles. The island being our building off campus and the bottles being instant messages and blog posts. That’s a little dramatic, but you get the idea. I have been actively making a solid effort to create fresh designs for all of my new projects, but sometimes its tough no matter how hard I try. Hopefully this conference sparks some new creativity, methods, and inspiration for me. I really can’t wait to hear from other professionals in my field and learn from them. Get ready Chicago. More info on the conference here.

New Website Announcement

I am happy to announce the launch of my new website www.jaymesloandesign.com. This is my online personal portfolio showing off my latest design projects in web, print, illustration and wedding stationery. It also connects to my Etsy page for easy stationery shopping, and offers a freebies section for free downloads of some of my original designs.

The whole process took about 6 weeks from starting the designs, to coding, to testing and making it work properly with major browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. (IE7 was a special treat to deal with that I very much enjoyed.) And although six weeks felt like an eternity to me, it really wasn’t since I created the design, learned html and css (thank you to those of you who I’m sure I asked my share of dumb questions to!), coded and debugged everything on my own. The idea of coding my own website was extremely daunting for me and it has been in my queue for a long time, but I am so glad that I finally did it. It’s not perfect, there are still some things that need to be addressed and I’m sure it doesn’t live up to pro developer standards by any means, but having an aesthetically pleasing and functional website that I built from scratch is such a rewarding feeling and I plan to keep making it better as time goes on. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Coming soon: The Rust Belt Market

While driving home the other day I noticed a coming soon sign in the window of a previously empty building in downtown Ferndale. Assuming it was going to be another restaurant or something of the sort, I didn’t think much of it beyond “neat, that building has been empty for way too long,” that was until I read the description of what it was going to be. To my joyful surprise, the most amazing thing e.v.e.r. was going to take over what was once Old Navy. And my heart skipped a beat when I realized it.

The Rust Belt Market, a year-round indoor weekend marketplace, is setting up shop. This is going to be an amazing opportunity for local artists to create, exhibit, sell, and interact with peers and community face to face. Not only is this going to be a powerful tool for selling your goods, it is also going to be an invaluable resource for inspiration, networking, marketing and expanding your clientele. Think a weekly brick-and-mortar Etsy-like arts & crafts fair in a mod indie environment.

“Our atmosphere will be one of camaraderie with fellow creators..” Doesn’t this just energize and inspired you to get involved? I’ve already put in my request to become a regular vendor. This is such an exciting opportunity for local artists/crafters/designers and our community.

I encourage all of you local crafties out there to get involved and help this movement thrive. It is going to be a huge addition to the city of Ferndale, as well as Metro Detroit and Michigan as a whole.

Learn more about The Rust Belt Market and how to become a vendor here.

Michelle & Jared’s Rehearsal Invitations

When Michelle and Jared asked me to design their rehearsal invitation for them, they knew they wanted an Italian inspired illustration that included a man in a gondola with a bride and groom. So I got to work doing a little brainstorming and then a little sketching. My original sketch was rough, but it put us on track in the right direction. I added the candy-striped pole and included a stone bridge since both of these are very common out on the Grand Canal in Venice.

We all really loved the way it turned out from the style to the colors. Custom illustrations are always so much fun for me to work on and am so glad Michelle and Jared gave me the opportunity. I hope they have a fantastic rehearsal and a wonderful wedding and life together!

A7 white envelopes Xpedx
4 color
Printed by a local print house

Michelle & Jared’s Invitations

Michelle and Jared’s wedding invitations were a labor of love and worth every second we spent planning for her June 2011 wedding. Michelle first contacted me in August 2010 with a strong vision of what she wanted her wedding suite to be. A peacock theme guided these elegant invitations with real feathers, metallic bronze belly bands and golden initial wax seals. They are a simple yet elegant design on cream cover stock with brown and teal inks. Their set consisted of a tea length invitation layered with a shorter directions/accommodations card, and a shorter yet r.s.v.p. postcard. Once assembled the suite was wrapped with the belly band, sealed with the wax seal, and then a peacock feather was inserted in the front of the packet to top it off. And if that wasn’t good enough, that went into a matching policy envelope where Michelle and her helpers embossed the return address on the back to give it just another touch of awesomeness. I absolutely love everything about these invitations and so did Michelle and her fiancé Jared. We also made personalized place cards for her reception, save the date magnets with a matching theme and an illustrated rehearsal invitation with an adorable Italian theme. More on those rehearsal invites coming soon. To see more pictures of Michelle and Jared’s wedding suite, check them out on Flickr.

Qty. 100
Cougar Natural 80# cover – Xpedx
Postcard printed by Overnight Prints
Policy Envelopes – LCI Paper
Feathers – Feathermart
Wax Seals – LetterSeals.com
Belly Bands – LCI Paper

Lisa & Brandon’s Invitations

Lisa and Brandon’s wedding invitations have been in the works for a long time. Brandon asked Lisa to marry him in September 2009 and once I heard the news, the first thing out of my mouth was “I’ll do your wedding invites!” I mean, after the initial “Congratulations!” and “Wow, you’re ring is gorgeous! Let me see it again.”, of course. So here we are a year and a half later with the finished product. Their theme was based on their wedding colors, black and teal, so we played that up in a big way with teal stripes, glossy black borders, a black metallic matte on the invitation, and a black metallic belly band to hold the whole packet together inside the vibrant teal envelopes. The envelopes were printed front and back in a rich black, using the same fonts as in their invitation suite. Hopefully the Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama will be able to attend.

By far, my most favorite part of this suite is the quote on the top of the invitation that Lisa wanted to incorporate into the design somehow. “My whole heart, for my whole life.” Isn’t that just perfect for a wedding invitation? I sure think so.

Qty. 150
15pt cover stock
Gloss coated
Onyx Metallic 100# cover – LCI Paper and Xpedx
Onyx Metallic 80# text – LCI Paper
A7 Blu Raspberry Envelopes – LCI Paper
Printed by Overnight Prints

A is for Antonia

Sweet little Antonia’s baby announcements, commissioned by her mom and dad, are probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever done. Jenn and Tony knew they wanted something different than the same ol’, same ol’ and that her nursery was going to be jungle themed. So I took that and ran with it to create this hand illustrated, monkey-tastic announcement for their beautiful bundle of joy.

Qty. 100
5″ x 7″
15pt cover stock
Gloss coated
A7 white envelopes – Xpedx
Printed by Overnight Prints

Special hand delivery (with an ulterior motive to see the baby)

Garden of Love

The USPS is releasing their new stamp collection, Garden of Love, May 19, 2011. These beautiful designs were created by José Ortega and are going to be a wonderful addition to wedding invitations and rsvp cards. I can’t wait for their spring debut. More information about the collection here.

The Dangers of Envelope Wraps

a.k.a. How to Get the USPS to Hate You

Envelope wraps are all the rage right now and I totally get it. They are cute, easy, quick and they save you from having to write out a ton of addresses over and over again. I’m all about them. Well, I was all about them, until my most recent trip to the post office to get Lisa and Brandon’s Save the Date Tags weighed for mailing. I was ever so unkindly informed from Ms. USPS herself that they “don’t like these labels” and “we’ve been having a huge problem with them.” (I got the look of all looks, like they just figured out who had been torturing their staff for the last year). In fact, they didn’t like them so much so that they refused to even weigh the piece for me so I could buy the postage. Their reason? Well, the short version is that since a machine reads the addresses, a machine can’t tell which side is the front and which side is the back of the envelope. Since the address is on the same level on both sides, the machine could easily mistake either side for the front. Even having your return address on the back flap is apparently a problem (even though that puts the addresses on different levels). My question for Ms. USPS was, since they have a person loading all of the mail into the machine, why can’t that person take care to make sure that they are loading it in the correct way? (All of this could be avoided.) This question was not answered in anyway except for the fact that you can take your chances on mailing out letters like this, but you could get them all returned to you instead of being sent to the intended recipient.

In all my years of mailing things, I have never got a single piece of mail returned to me, never, not once. I used these same kind of labels for all of my wedding pieces last year, except the invitations, and even those had the return address on the back flap. I must have mailed out over 300 pieces when all was said and done, and not a single piece of mail was delivered back to me by mistake. Maybe it was luck and the person loading the mail was on their game that day, I don’t know.

Below is the original mailing label for Lisa and Brandon that two local post offices refused to accept. Their solution was to remove all of the wraps on the back, cut them on the fold and glue the return address to the top left corner on the front of the envelope. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. Not only would that look absolutely horrendous, those labels were glued on with super strength glue. They were not coming off.. ever. And we were not about to redo every label and buy all new envelopes. So I created small return labels to glue on the top left front corner and made a little sticker to place over the return address on the back. Though it was not the ideal solution, problem solved. Those labels can be seen here and here.

So the moral of my story is that envelope wraps may not be as great as we all once thought. You can take your chances on them and see what happens, but as far as my customer’s invites go, I won’t be making them anymore. They are more of a hassle than they are worth and you don’t even get a semi-guaranteeable delivery. Not worth the risk on something so important.

Lisa and Brandon’s Save the Date Tags

Lisa and Brandon’s Save the Date Tags turned out so cute and we are all happy to say they they too, are in the mail. This project was definitely an experiment for me since this was the first time I’ve designed a set of tags for anything, let alone a save the date, but as soon as Lisa told me about it, I knew it was a great idea that we just had to do. I also knew trial and error was going to be a big part of this project from the paper to the printer to the envelope wraps. More on those envelope wraps to come. A big thank you to Lenny’s Copy Center for being able to print 100# cover, which was a necessary request to make these tags have the sturdiness they needed, when the larger print shops couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it. I called every print shop in the book and they all turned me down because it wasn’t a big enough job for them to want to take it on. And not only could Lenny print them for me, he charged half the price of my usual printer. (Score!) Once we managed to get them printed, the tags were hand cut into a tag shape, hole punched and tied together with a thin black twine. They came in a set of three, tags one and two had their general save the date info, and on the third tag Lisa and Brandon wanted to use one of their beautiful engagement photos taken by E.C. Campbell Photography. Her photography is amazing guys, you should check it out if you haven’t already. More on Lisa and Brandon’s wedding coming soon. We are currently in the process of designing their wedding invitations and stationery, which will follow suit on the teal and black theme from their save the dates.  More photos of their save the dates here.

The Details
100# Cougar White
A1 Envelopes, Basis Aqua 70#

3.5 x 5 inches, (A1)

Lenny’s Copy Center

Michelle and Jared’s Magnet Save the Dates

Michelle and Jared’s Magnet Save the Dates are in the mail! Their wedding is coming up fast and we are in the process of finalizing their wedding invitation suite. (Meaning more posts on this couple’s designs to come.) For their save the dates, they wanted to create 4×6 inch magnets that reflected their invitation design with a modern twist. Keeping in the same teal and mocha colors as their invites, we mixed up the fonts and incorporated the peacock feather illustration. Want to see more of their save the date design options, check them out here.

The Details
12 mil. magnet, gloss coating
A6 Envelopes, Cougar White 70# txt

4×6 inches, (A6)

Overnight Prints


If any of you remember from a previous post “Inspired by: Madebyjulene” I was talking about how much I loved her papercuts and how I had a plan to make the most amazing wedding invitations ever created. Well, those wedding invitations didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but in the process of trying to make them, I made this instead. I should clarify, I handmade this instead. Even though the “most amazing wedding invitations ever created” were a bust, we still had some super amazing wedding invitations that we both loved, and this turned out to be a nice little addition to our home decor. It reminds us of our wedding with a tree, love birds and the Whitney all rocking our dining room wall.

My secret weapon die-cutting machine turned out to have some issues with Windows 7, which was terribly disappointing. So in the pursuit of awesomeness I designed this in Illustrator and hand cut it.

Luckily though, I was able to high-jack the fiance’s (now husband’s) computer, hello Vista!, and make these little birdies. Cute, right? To see the “secret weapon” in action, here is a short video. We used these little red bird tags for our wishing tree at our wedding reception instead of a guest book. Potted manzanita branches, red birds, eyelets, baker’s twine, and white gel pens.. glorious. Everyone had a lot of fun writing the tags and we had a ball getting to read all of them after them wedding.

Plan B: Faux Calligraphy

Much like many other elements of our wedding these pretty envelopes were my plan B. B meaning better. I originally had silver metallic envelopes that I handwrote everyone’s addresses on in uniform capitals. They looked okay, but were a long way from the impression I wanted to leave when people received the invitation in the mail. What to do, what to do. I thought about that for a long time. And I was lucky enough to have a long time to do so, since I finished assembling my invites in June and was so very patient while waiting to finally mail them out in late August.

My heart wanted calligraphy, but knew I was not about to hire a calligrapher for $2 – $5 an envelope. Respectfully, no thank you, not on this DIY budget. I also considered printing them out on my printer, but unfortunately CMYK doesn’t have some magical combination to make white ink that will show up on red envelopes. Then I came across a simple, yet brilliant idea that I call faux calligraphy.

The idea is to set-up your envelopes (5.25 x 7.25 for an A7 envelope) in a editing program like Microsoft Word or in my case, Adobe Illustrator, then print the addresses on the envelopes in a color that is slightly different than your envelopes. Once you have them printed, trace over the letters with a pen of your choice. The Uni-Ball white gel roller pen worked very well for me. Setting up the file and getting it to print correctly took some practice and I can definitely say that I untangled many envelopes from the death grips of my printer. Word to the wise, order extra envelopes – I’m not joking. Tracing was actually the easiest part, even with needing to double trace to make the ink more solid on the paper. White ink tends to be semi-translucent.

This is a time consuming endeavor, but completely worth it. I want to reinforce the “completely worth it” part of that statement. I have received more compliments and oohhs & aahhs on these babies than I can even count. Plus, with the cost it would take to outsource to a professional calligrapher your savings could really be substantial by rolling up your sleeves and putting in some diy hours. We invited 95 guests and had only 40 envelopes to address. By busting out my faux calligraphy super skills I saved about $200. Imagine if you were having a 200+ guest wedding. $$$ Cue the Apprentice theme song.

I found these two posts about faux calligraphy helpful. These ladies did a nice job going through the details.
DIY Calligraphy – Addressing Envelopes by Ugly Kitty
Calligraphy 101 on Weddingbee

More pictures available on Flickr.


Our Wedding Invitations

Some say that the devil is in the details, but I believe that the details are where greatness is born.

These invitations were a labor of love. They had to be perfect. I designed and redesigned mock-up after mock-up, but nothing was just right. Then I thought of using the shadowed images of pine trees in conjunction with the red birds that I love oh so much, and voilà!, this suite was born. Once I figured out the look I wanted, all of the pieces came together quickly.

I made the envelopments myself with GMUND wood grain embossed paper and attached a black metallic matte on the inside left, which the invitation was attached to. On the inside right of the envelopment I created a combination reception /directions card with a small map at the bottom. The rsvp card and return envelope were placed inside, and the envelopment was tied together with the most adorable red & white baker’s twine. And to top it off, the entire packet was placed in a red envelope that had hand addressed calligraphy, another labor of love by yours truly. I have to just say that I love the invitation suite, but I adore the envelopes. In fact, I adore them so much they are going to have their very own post with all of the crafty details for you to drool over.

Over all, my fiance and I love everything about them, every single detail. And I feel like I really achieved my goal of a semi-rustic, semi-elegant look with a playful feel to it. They are exactly what we wanted and tie into our wedding perfectly.

Check out all of the wedding invitation pictures on Flickr.

The Details
Albemarle Swash and Arno Pro

Cougar 100# Smooth White Cover
Onyx 105# Metallic Cover
GMUND Limba White Wood Grain 111# cover
Fire Engine Red A7 and 4-bar envelopes

Red & White Baker’s Twine
Sobo Craft Glue

Size: 5×7 inches, (A7)
Print Method: Digital Laser
Colors: CMYK

Rehearsal & Dinner Invitation

Our rehearsal invitations were more on the casual side. I used the shadowed pine trees (also seen in the wedding invitations and throughout our day of stationery – more on this to come) and designed the cute little string lights to give it a cheery, light feeling like you are attending a backyard bbq. Though we aren’t having a backyard bbq at the beginning of November in Michigan, we are having pizza, wine and dessert at our new house. Since a lot of our family and friends are from the north and aren’t familiar with the rehearsal location in Downtown Detroit (or how to get to our house from there) I designed a map for the back of the invitation. And like our bridal shower invitations, I created envelope address wraps to mail them out. I love the look of the wraps and the fact that I can coordinate them with the design of the invitation.

More pictures of these invitations are available on Flickr.

Production Specs
Size: 5×7 inches
Print Method: offset (outsourced to Overnight Prints)
Paper Stock: 15pt (or 160#) cover
Colors: CMYK
Coating: Gloss

An Autumn Bridal Shower

Bridal shower invitations made up of brown, cream, burnt orange and leaf green to match the autumn theme of our shower. I created the vector oak leaves illustration to use on the invite, address labels, shower games and the thank you card.

More pictures of the set are available on Flickr.

Invitation Production Specs
Size: 5×7 inches
Print Method: offset (outsourced to Overnight Prints)
Paper Stock: 15pt (or 160#) cover
Colors: CMYK
Coating: Gloss

Kitchen Recipe Cards

Colorful kitchen recipe cards. Set includes 20 cards with 5 of each design: dutch oven, whisks, spatulas, and utensils. Available in five different colors for you to choose from: blue, green, purple, red and mustard. Available on Etsy.

jaymesloan.com has a brand new bag

I’ve recently updated the look of my site. I wanted something a little fresher and a little more punchy. Punchy?!? Sure let’s go with that. I’d love to hear what you think! Do you love it? Does it totally stink? Take the poll and let me know.


Want to try something new? Going for a rustic or nature inspired look? We’ll I’ve got just the thing for you. In my quest to create the most amazing wedding invitations ever, I came across the GMUND Savanna paper collection. It has an exotic wood grain embossed finish in eight different earth shades (depending on where you buy it). It is the first wood embossing in the paper industry that really has the character of wood. Savanna paper is made with chlorine free cellulose, is pH neutral, fade resistant and FSC® certified.

I purchased the Limba (white) 111# cover stock at LCI Paper. My favorite little paper supplier, Blue Dot Paper Shop, now also has it available in smaller quantities (= smaller price) if you don’t need as much of it.

Printing on a laser printer is not recommended, inkjet works best in this case. Do a test print, preferably on a sample sheet before you purchase a whole pack. I can’t say that loud enough. My original plan was to print my design out on this paper at a print shop, but I learned otherwise and this happy accident turned into using my Limba paper to create the envelopment folders for my wedding invitations, rather than them being the invitations themselves. With its sturdy weight, it worked perfectly for that and turned out better than what I was originally planning to do, and single-handedly formed the entire theme for my upcoming wedding. Who knew paper could be that influential? More on this to come later.

If I haven’t been as influential to you as GMUND was to me and you aren’t ready to commit just yet, the good people over at GMUND will gladly send you up to 5 A4 samples free of charge. Did you read that? FREE OF CHARGE. Go! Get some GMUND!

Free Printable Party Invitations

Celebrate in style with this adorable write-in birthday party invitation for free download and print. A perfect way to save money while still having professionally designed work. For best results print on a heavy cardstock, careful not to scale the image size. Design will fit to a standard letter-sized piece of paper for printing. When trimmed down to the crop marks invitation is 5×7, perfect for an A7 (standard greeting card) envelope. Happy partying!

More colors? Visit my Etsy shop!

A new blog to LOVE

The Modern Mansion: Musings on a Simple Life. Read it. Love it. Be inspired.

My very best Lori, has recently started up a new blog about all of the things she loves in life. She is incredibly talented with an amazing taste for all things design ranging from interiors to fashion to events to graphics to you name it – honest. She is formally trained in interior design, recently married to the nerdiest coolest second nerdiest guy ever (my fiance being number one – but it was a close race) and has an adorable house that her and her husband are in the process of making into their dream home. She is an amazing resource and her blog promises some serious inspiration for life.

Check it out. But be warned, you’re going to fall in love.

Next Up: Fountain Bistro

Most recent on my project list is a web site design for a new restaurant called Fountain Bistro at Campus Martius Park.

A press release by Crain’s Detroit Business gives more details on the new bistro and says it is slated to open before the end of May.

This is a JPAA production.


Gallery Redesign

Announcing a completely overhauled Gallery, for your viewing pleasure, of course. New projects have been added and old ones taken away, with a new refreshed look. I am hoping everyone finds it a little more user-friendly and a little less chatty. Its all about the work anyways, right?

Enjoy! And for those of you who can’t get enough, my complete works are available on Flickr.


Project: Amanda & Iain

Well I’ve been posting about the progress of Amanda & Iain’s wedding stationery for a while now and I am happy to report another successful project has come to a close. The entire set turned out absolutely amazing. Their stationery included: custom peacock art, save the date, invitation, r.s.v.p., thank you card, ceremony program, menu signs, and favor signs.

More information about it in my Gallery and photos of the entire collection are on Flickr. Enjoy!

Sneak Peak of 2010

I’ve been working hard on redesigning jaymesloan.com. The mock-ups are done and now I’m getting the html/css ready to go. This is the first web site that I have coded myself, so its definitely a little slower than I’d like. But I’m learning a ton and absolutely loving it.  I’m really excited about the new site and the features its going to have. By the time the new site launches my Etsy store will also be up and running with pre-designed, customizable wedding and event stationery sets, as well as block printed notecards. 2010 is going to be an exciting year!

Peacock Love: Save the Dates

The Peacock Love Save the Dates are done and shipped out! I think they are absolutely freaking adorable. The font is totally to die for, if I do say so myself. They view slightly bright on screen, but when printed on a deep cream paper they have a wood burning kind of feel to them, perfect for the couple’s venue.

Invite concepts..

for yours truly. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I am engaged! Engaged to the most wonderful man and I honestly couldn’t be happier. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I am absolutely loving every second of it. Winter wedding 2010 here we come. I am sure I will change my mind, oh I don’t know, about a million and a half times before then. But for now, this is where I’m starting.

Silver metallic matte. Cute red love birds. Ornate scrolling ornamental border. What more could a girl want?

Peacock Love

Another Peacock Love project is here for an entire wedding stationery set for a lovely lady from PA. Concept art is done and out for review and Save the Date designs are underway. They are getting married at an ADORABLE lodge in Hartland, MI and I’m so totally jealous and excited for them. So with the idea of a lodge in mind we are going for woodsy, rustic, peacocks. So exciting!

JPAA In Full Effect

Let the partnership begin! I have recently joined forces with one of my good designer friends under the title JPAA (Jay Pelc and Associates). We have been unofficially working together for a while now bouncing ideas around and getting creative feedback from each other about the projects we are working on. And since we each had our own freelance work going on outside of our day jobs we decided that it only makes sense to start joining forces. This makes it possible for us to take on more work, reach more clients and be more creative than ever before. I am very excited about our partnership and we are both looking forward to taking on new projects together. More info about JPAA to come.

Medical Alumni Reunion & Clinic Day 2009

Medical Alumni Reunion & Clinic Day May 9, 2009 is just a couple short days away. All of the pieces have been completed and our fingers are crossed that the next few days go smoothly. Shown below is the post-registration brochure. Top image: covers, front and back. Middle image: inside – print version. Bottom image: inside – variation not used in print. I happen to be partial to the inside variation (bottom image) rather than what went to print, but in the end everything turned out nicely and we are happy with all of the pieces. View the gallery for more.

map brochure cover

map brochure alt 2

map brochure alt 1

Feather Stamps

Feather StampsOne of the things that Angela wanted for her Peacock meets Art Deco wedding stationery was to have a stamped looked on the pieces. What better way to incorporate that than to actually stamp it on! I know, genius. So that meant I got the rubber stamp block out and the carving tools and got to work. This is the result. They turned out nicely, I think. Angela decided to use the first one on the left. That will be stamped onto all of the envelopes and this design will carry onto the rsvp as well. Printmaking is a fun and simple way to give your work a fresh, custom look. I think I will be putting the rest of the feathers to work on note cards. More pictures available on Flickr.

Angela Wedding Set Printmaking Set