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Spring Knitting

13 May

Spring is here and that means warmer temperatures and chilly offices. Perfect lacy wrap weather if you ask me. So I’ve rounded up my top ten patterns for some cozy spring knitting.  All of the patterns come from Ravelry and most are for purchase, but 9 and 10 are free patterns. I picked up some Stroll Tonal sock weight yarn from Knit Picks in the Thunderhead grey color and the Nefertem pattern. I can’t wait to get started.

s-k-bp-1

1. Andrea’s Shawl by Kirsten Kapur
2. Nefertem by Kirsten Kapur
3. Juneberry Triangle by Jared Flood
4. Damask by Kitman Figueroa
5. Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur

6. Celes by Jared Flood
7. Be.Leaf by Kitman Figueroa
8. Xeni by Kitman Figueroa
9. Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn
10. Spearmint Tea by Kateryna Golovanova

Lisa and Brandon’s Save the Date Tags

20 Jan

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
Paper:
100# Cougar White
A1 Envelopes, Basis Aqua 70#
Xpedx

Size:
3.5 x 5 inches, (A1)

Printer:
Lenny’s Copy Center

Michelle and Jared’s Magnet Save the Dates

19 Jan

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
Paper:
12 mil. magnet, gloss coating
A6 Envelopes, Cougar White 70# txt

Size:
4×6 inches, (A6)

Printer:
Overnight Prints

Papercuts

1 Jan

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

2 Nov

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.

Enjoy!

Our Wedding Invitations

1 Nov

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
Fonts:
Albemarle Swash and Arno Pro

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

Materials:
Red & White Baker’s Twine
Sobo Craft Glue

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

Rehearsal & Dinner Invitation

28 Oct


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

27 Oct


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

Free Printable Recipe Cards

11 Aug

Free download and print recipe cards with 4 different designs to choose from, or download them all! Each card is 3×5 and prints 4 to a page.

Download files here.

Inspired by: Mason Jar Chandlier

10 Aug

I am absolutely loving this diy mason jar chandelier tutorial. Its a really clever spin on an everyday object. I don’t know about you, but I happen to adore mason jars, especially the vintage Ball Blue jars with the old zinc lids. Do you see where I’m going with this? In November, after my life slows back down to semi-normal I am definitely going to be putting this on my to do list. We are using the vintage Ball Blue jars as part of the centerpieces for our quickly upcoming wedding, so I’m going to have 50 jars laying around just waiting to be used.

A huge thank you to Kara Paslay for this great tutorial.

Kitty Got Hat – Knitting Pattern Freebie

28 Jul

Well, this one has been in the works for a little while now and its finally ready to make its debut.

This adorable knit kitty baby hat pattern is all yours for the making, download here.

I’d like to add that this is the first pattern that I’ve ever created and I am terribly excited about it. It’s not anything fancy or complicated, but it sure is cute. So enjoy and send me your pictures! I’d love to see them!

Free Printable Party Invitations

20 Jul

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!

Inspired by: Cuteness

12 Jul

Blame it on the cute factor. I just can’t help myself. I whipped this adorable hat up over the weekend. And I wasn’t the only one enamored with it. Free Froggie hat pattern available here.

Favorite Products: Sobo Craft Glue

6 Jul

In my fantastic, seemingly never-ending wedding invitation assembly line, Sobo Glue is one of my most important tools. It holds down paper like a champ. Just a little squiggle, smooth it down and let it dry. It sets in a couple minutes and is completely dry in an hour. For good measure, I like to set my stack of drying invitations under a heavy book on an even surface for 24 hours to ensure that they dry flat and wave free. Sobo is inexpensive and readily available at most craft and art stores. I usually pick mine up at JoFabs with a handy 40% off coupon.

The New Privacy Fence

5 Jul

Over the holiday weekend, we put a privacy fence in to make an effort to barricade in our devilish perfect little Westie. In the last couple weeks he has escaped twice.. two days in a row. Thankfully the first time the neighbor found him wandering around her backyard and carried him home thanks to his id tag. And the second time I happened to check the mailbox and saw him doing his business in the front yard, this time no collar or id tag. He managed to somehow unhook his collar and I am still amazed and confused about this fact. Anyways back to the issue.. privacy fence. We had been putting it off, mostly because of procrastination and avoidance. But we planned it out finally and decided to just get it done. I don’t know what we were so worried about. It was a thousand times easier that I thought it would be. A couple hours the first day to dig the holes and get the posts in and a couple hours the second day to add the cross beams and attach the planks. So simple and it looks amazing. The best part of this project is the fact that we did it for under $75 and a contractor quoted us about $750. Totally, completely worth it!

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