Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garlands by Paper n Stitch

Um, this seems like an odd request because I love the garland and the tutorial is great, but, um, can my husband-to-be and I borrow your tree?

(Trail: Mint, Paper n Stitch, photo: Jeanne Ciasullo)

Stitched Envelope (by MistyBliss)

This is the beautiful work and photography of Michelle at MistyBliss (found by way of Mint.) I love how stitching looks on paper. I'm always hesitant to try it. I'm not exactly sure why. I stitched vinyl and paper together once without losing an eye so...

Michelle has a lovely blog. (Oh macro photos!!)


Decorative Tape (from NothingElegant)

Decorative tapes are kind of the coolest thing ever. I wish they'd officially land here in the USA. Thanks to the internet it's possible to buy them but they are slow to catch on in craft stores. These fantastic rolls are just some examples of all the cool stuff on NothingElegant's etsy store.

See if Z and I had a registry, it'd have stuff like this on it. (And that's why we're probably not having gifts.)

(Trail: Ffffound, NothingElegant)

Hanging Air Fern (Pigment via Oh Joy)

This is a shop, Pigment, Joy from OhJoy found in her new town of SanDiego. You can buy these Hanging Air Fern from their online shop. What an amazing look.

Tape Invite (Heather Toupin)

This is another image from the talented Heather Toupin. Heather does custom made invitations. (Her email for more information is on her Flikr profile page.)

I may need to start another tag called, "Z and I are not this cool." Or ZINK for short. B/c I know people who are this cool and when they get married I will give them Ms.Toupin's name and say EMAIL HER AND DO (something almost exactly like) THIS! And then I will get one in the mail! (Squeal!)

Invites (by Rolaine)

Shades of what our kitchen table is going to look like in a few months. These invites were done by Rolaine, a graphic designer and web designer.

Baby Steps

It hit me yesterday perusing the blogs. At first I thought it was the standard blog panic (ohmygodthere'ssomuchhereI'llneverbeabletodohalfofthis) but it eased into a very important realization: I have no idea where to start.

I have ideas. (Oh don't I have ideas.) And I have tons of people offering help. But before I launch the army of the willing I want to be sure I'm not going to waste their time on something that may not work. I want to know the entire plan (and that it will work) before I start any of it. The result? Nothing. The result is absolutely nothing.

I'm doing things. Sure. This morning I finished the rough draft carving of a stamp that may become our save the dates. Occasionally I'll pop in an episode of Bones and cut some flags. But do the flags match anything? Will they actually look good in the yard? Should I save some of the material for the flowers? What color will the table cloth be, will it even match anything?

Questions begot only by more questions.

The only other big party I've planned (and big b/c of the preparation not b/c of the number of people) I learned a valuable lesson. (Oh this sounds so silly.) But basically it's like they teach you in community organizing, "Some time is not a time. Some place is not a place. Some one is not a person." Vagueness doesn't amount to anything. The same thing was very true with colors for New Years 09. I kept thinking, "Oh I want some version of gray, blue, yellow...and maybe brown." But the blue kept changing and it wasn't until I found a ton of fabric at Goodwill that was a very specific blue did I know that THIS blue was THE blue and everything else (food, drinks, color of ribbon on favor liquors) would be matched to this from here on out.

Because we're doing our wedding ultra low budget and because we're trying to do it without creating a bunch of new things, we're not really having a color palette. I've loved this idea for as long as I've been thinking about weddings. But maybe that's a mistake. Maybe I need to say this one color is the base of everything. Even if it's a warm neutral tan. If it doesn't match THIS then keep looking. I just need a starting point. Something solid that everything else can be judged against.

It sounds so trivial I know, and yet for this, it's that first step of a thousand. Knowing that I'll be walking in this direction for a long time, I'm still trying to figure out where to place my foot.

Handmade Invite (by Heather Toupin)

This is a lovely handmade invitation by Heather Toupin. Love the type and border. Someone is into Nouveau..and so am I!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Art Nouveau Invites (from Mew Paper Arts)

The more I looked around on Mew Paper Arts various web spaces, I couldn't help but love her design.

(The colors aren't quite my style but this is my kind of design. Oh yikes! Also these and this.)

Check out her blog and her etsy store.

Pencils! (by Laura Normandin)

I saw this post on Design*Sponge and then totally forgot about it. I'm glad I checked Weddings and Cookies blog today because there it was noted again. Great idea for scraps (or not scraps.) Thinking about envelopes in the last post you could totally do this same thing with envelope innards.

(Post from Design*Sponge guest blogger Laura Normandin of Wren Handmade.)

Clever Thank Yous (by Inchmark)

I kind of love anything that uses the insides of envelopes (second one from the top). I started saving envelopes a few years ago and occasionally still come upon a stack flayed open and shoved in a drawer somewhere.

These oh so cute thank you notes are from Inchmark.

Recycled Quilt Flowers (from Jane Joss)

There's a great tutorial by Jane Joss over at Design*Sponge on recycled quilt flowers. The picture on the left is from their etsy store, which has a bunch of their creations for sale.

I've tried this stem technique before and it's a lot of work. Floral tape seems to vary in how well it sticks. But if it can look even half as great as this, it seems totally worth the time. I love the effect!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Nightmares

If you know me very well at all you know this: I have very active dreams. Very. Active. Mostly they are either nightmares or stress dreams and usually involve me being chased by a rebel army or trying to find that one pair of socks while flights keep taking off without me. If I get over 6 hours of sleep, my night will involve some sort of zombie, alien, or car chase. But in all these years of crazy dreams, I've never had a stress dream about a wedding. Well, my brain has discovered a new source of nighttime fun. The wedding nightmare.

Now these stress dreams may involve my wedding or they may (as started last night) involve other peoples' weddings. But I find it fascinating that after 10 years of nightmares, zero of which were wedding related, my brain has made this thematic jump.

No, thank YOU, random firing whatevers.

It makes me wonder how my brain gets its source material. I get nervous about missing flights, sure, but I've never actually had to drive my car along a Sudanese hwy knowing a rebel group was ahead. Quick double check? Oh, right, never.

So why now? I mean the obvious answer is because now I'm part of wedding planning. But this isn't a brain leap of huge proportions. I guess I'm less surprised about the 6 wedding related nightmares in the past 3 weeks than the fact that I've never had this as part of the nighttime fodder before getting engaged.

Oh God. Imagine the nightmares if we ever get pregnant.


Pretty Packaging (by OhHelloFriend)

Etsy people are amazing. I might say magical. OK, definitely magical. This popped up on Ffffound and it's a simply a post about how OhHelloFriend is finding some fun new ways to send customer's their purchases. OhHelloFriend sells jewelry. Her packaging is just so lovely. It's this kind of care for detail that I love.

Visit her etsy store here!

Illustration (by Pierra Abraham)

Fantastic illustration done by Pierre Abraham. I know this will make a designer cringe, but I kind of want to put in a little red arrow to one of the random little houses with the words: Be There. August 14.

(Trail: Different Abraham image popped up on Ffffound.)

Damask (by Elka of Dopludo)

When I saw this from Elka of the Dopludo collective on Ffffound I squealed with delight. I've been thinking about how to create damask designs combining things Z and I both love. So for example it'd be the makings of classic cocktails and also craft supplies. This is totally inspiring and reminds me to keep at it.

Posters (by Andrew Bannecker)

Andrew Bannecker is an illustrator living in D.C., but you've probably seen his work in any countless number of magazines. So many couples commission the artistry of letterpress. How cool if more of them commissioned artists/designers. It means you'd get something like this from the amazing Erin Jang over at Indigo Bunting blog.

Bannecker also has an online shop.

Blog trail: Ffffound, DesignWorkLife, Bannecker home page)

Bottle Design (by Sopocani Juice)

Z and I will probably make liquor to give away for favors. Z makes them (basically vodka + fruit + time) and then I make the label. Ever since discovering The Dieline and Lovely Package, I've come across some great bottle ideas. I love the these Sopocani bottles. We won't be designing the glass for our bottles, but I like the idea of really utilizing the label as part of the overall product design. In this case: not a rectangle.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Letter Play

I am just playing around with the Richard Perez letter style. OK, I should probably say a totally debauched version of the Richard Perez letter style.

This could be a small magnet. I suppose it should have the actual date...but I got lazy and didn't want to make two additional numbers.

(Also, if you click on it, it becomes GIGANTIC. I think Illustrator lied when it said 600 pixels.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lovely Paper Roses (by Wendy of Dozi Design)

THIS is exactly what I mean about dinner parties. I came across this post on DoziDesign when I was searching for something completely different. Wendy set this table up as part of a church event. So lovely. Also she has a great tutorial on how to make the flowers. (She said originally this came from a Martha Stewart some 10 years ago.) This may become part of my weekend plans.

(DoziDesigns also has an etsy shop. !!!!)

Schmadzie Invites

These hit a lot of what we want:
1. Clever
2. Handmade
3. Use recycled products

I love how there are different versions of the same design. These are from Schmadzie's flikr stream.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Save the Date concept (Edel Rodriguez poster)

Edel Rodriguez has an amazing portfolio. Being a sucker for all things poster, the Posters & Graphics are my favorite. This image was on Ffffound today and it seems that something like this would be a great concept for a save the date. Now excuse me, I have to get back to viewing Rodriguez's, I mean, my day job. I have to get back to my day job. Seriously. Rodriguez makes that very very difficult.

Look Up (by Ashley Ann)

This is from Design*Sponge's Before/After series. Photographer Ashley Ann came up with the idea, and it's pretty impressive. I think the point of the post was about the super cool palette bed the person made (yes with big wooden palettes*...not with the ones that conjure notions of Paris and berets. That would be a different thing all together.) But, notice the piece of art hanging from the ceiling. How cool to have a different variations of that hanging over each table (instead of flowers) at an indoor reception.

*Oooooh "pallets!" get me again. Apparently if you use the right word it conjures exactly what it should. You know, a PALLET. Made of wood.

Garlands in Wondermilk Cafe

Images from the Wondermilk Cafe popped up today on Ffffound. Their shop looks more like a fairytale than a place to buy delicious sweets (although how perfect a place to buy delicious sweets.) It's apparently in, um, well, *cough* Kuala Lumpur. So! If you are ever in Malaysia...go there!

Also, they somehow snagged the domain: Awesome.

Their flikr stream is full of magical images from their beautiful shop as well. Worth the look.

Notebooks (by Abba)

These Kraft Series 02 would be a great gift. At $12 each they are probably a little too expensive to do as favors but I need to remember them for some occasion in the gift future.

Oh and apparently this product sold out more than a year ago. *ahem*

Still a great looking product!

Gramkin Paper Studio- Peacock Invites

This lovely wedding package is from Gramkin Paper Studio. I couldn't find this particular set on their site or etsy, but they have some pretty other fantastic stuff (like THIS thank you card) in their store.

Also, this design is perfect for something like a fancy cocktail or Halloween. There is something smoldering about the design. I've wanted to throw a Halloween party for awhile where everyone has to dress up in masks and fancy dresses. (Think Romeo and Juliet.) These are the invitations to THAT party.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Handmade Cherry Blossoms

Check out these handmade cherry blossoms from Death By Cupcake. That was a lot of work. I know b/c after spending an evening gluing felt leaves onto a dead branch I can think about how long my 20 leaves took to cut and glue and compare it to how long this centerpiece must have taken with all those blossoms. Good Lord. (Totally worth it!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Table Design (by Chelsea of Oh My Dear)

This is the kind of thing that totally excites me about weddings. People put real design thought into them. This also has a touch of installation art, for which I'm a sucker. It makes me want to have dinner parties. Hell, it makes me want to get to know people in our actual town so that we have people to invite to dinner parties.


Well anyway. The real point is that this is beautiful work by Chelsea of Oh My Dear. She did this table for the always inspiring OnceWed. Follow the OnceWed link and look at the other pictures. It'll make you want to have a dinner party as well.

Chandelier Table Piece (Daniel and Laurel)

OnceWed has a bunch of pictures from a really fabulous looking wedding. You know the couple, Daniel and Laura, has good design when you see a chandelier being used as a table decoration. I'm looking for candelabras. The photographs are by Jose Villa.

Custom Backdrops (by Smilebooth)

I really want a photobooth at the wedding. We did one for this past New Years party and besides the fact that I still owe everyone a CD full of photos it was basically a success. So imagine how happy I am when I see something like the fun work of Ashley Meaders of Smilebooth. Their homepage is hilarious and they have great pictures once you get past the lips. (The lips!!!)

(via OnceWed)

Unless Someone Like You (Save the Dates)

Z and I are not this cool....but oh I wish we were. OK, so save this for a Valentines Dance Party. The record's label would have tiny little hearts.

These fantastic Save the Dates are from Unless Someone Like You via Brooklyn Bride. The image on the left is just a taste of all the great designs they have over at their shop.

Felt Garlands (by Anastasia Jamin)

Brooklyn Bride posted these awesome felt garlands from AnastasiaJamin. Her etsy store is all sorts of great.

Dance or Not to Dance (oh and balloons)

When I find myself pondering, I mean really deliberating, such deep questions as the one above I get uncomfortable about the whole wedding thing. I'll leave THAT issue to another post but Z and I are debating the dance thing. I love to dance. So do a lot of my friends. Z does not love to dance. Neither do a lot of his friends. I'd always assumed that a wedding means dancing. Sometimes that is a great thing (EMILY and JOHN!!!) and sometimes that's not a great thing. OK, so I've never actually been to a wedding where the dancing was lame. But it's one of those things that in my mind could seem really forced. And everyone fears the empty dance floor.

Last summer Z and I went to a wedding where there was no dancing. Instead the younger group of the wedding joked away the evening drinking and marshmallow roasting around a fire pit next to a river. It. Was. Awesome. Also kind of liberating. You mean we don't need to have dancing?

Z and I are loving the fire pit idea. But I still kind of like the idea of dancing as well. We don't want them too close because we want the people at the fire pit to feel like they can actually have a conversation without yelling. So this morning in my sick haze (putdownyourdietsodamustdrinkwater!) I realized my parents' living room would be the perfect dance floor. Aaaand that gives me a reason to fill the ceiling with balloons that have little silver hearts (or Z&K letters) and beads dangling down.

I'd like to think that the idea went: "Hey we can dance in my parents' living room. How would we decorate that? Oh balloons with hanging things!!"

But really it went like: "Balloons with hanging things would be cool. Where could you put THAT in an outside wedding? Too bad we're not using the living room. Hey we could use the living room for dancing!"

So now there is a dancing possibility AND another room full of installation potential.

Welcome to Z's hell.

Owls! (from TrueLuckiPenni)

These are as cute as the sunshine below. Originally I had this whole idea for super elegant invites but now I'm thinking something more fun. I mean, our wedding will probably be us drinking beer in plastic cups out of kegs (Fine Oregon micro brews of course...but kegs none the less :) It's going to be cheap and homesy and full of fabric flowers. Why shouldn't the invites reflect that?

These oh so adorable owls come from the talented TrueLuckiPenni. Check out her etsy shop and her blog.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm continually amazed at what artists do. Shelley Kommers created this Shine mixed media print. I love the idea as something like this for the save the date or invite because it's just so happy. It expresses in a single punch what I feel like a wedding represents.

Shelley has so much eye candy on her etsy site. She also has a lovely blog.

(Trail: Ffffound by way of Illustration Friday)
Now this would be a cool palette!

Also artist Evan Nagan has more images from this campaign, "What comes after nest?" and they are all just as great!

(As always, found via

Seesaw Design blog I love You (and your mast)

Seriously go to their blog and look around. How can you not when their mast looks like this?!?!

Garlands: Frieda Maria

I think Frieda Maria is a stylist. I'm no longer sure I know what that means. BUT I do know she has beautiful images on her site. Also, a picture of garlands. (!!!)

Trail: Fffound, SeeSaw Designs blog

Also, I just looked at the header of SeeSawDesigns and I'm in love with their blog mast. In. Love. I'm posting it.



Trinh Vu, Izabela Pluta, Matthew Perkins: catalogue

This is the catalogue from an exhibition of three Australian artists (Trinh Vu, Izabela Pluta, Matthew Perkins). I find that catalogues from art shows are often beautiful in their own right. I love the front page being smaller than what's behind it. Really allows the pattern to shine.

Richard J Evans Typography Faucet

Ooooooooh. I love this. More great pictures at Definitive Touch site. Makes me think it'd be cool if someone made clear resin letters or hearts and then put them in clear glass flower vases. When the vases were filled with water it would look like the resin was ice, but it wouldn't melt. It'd work best if each vase had only a few long stemmed flowers inside.

Hair Fashion- Sweet Grass Mill Style

I'm late to the game, but I'm in love with all things feather right now. I'm going to start wearing fabric flowers in my hair (b/c why only do it at a wedding? Must take advantage of this oh so PERFECT style while it's still in) but it would take me a little more courage to wear something like these amazing creations by Sweet Grass Mill. Her Esty store if lovely. Maybe I'll start planning a Halloween costume around one of these. Is there a relevant superhero? (B/c I tried making one up once for a party and I don't think I got points.)

Image: SweetGrassMill

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Render Time Can Kill You

What is it about the panic? Too much caffeine? The fact that I ate 2 brownies for breakfast and then went off and looked at size 2 model brides while my work project renders. (Seriously, why is it taking soooo long?) The anxiety slowly carved into every pore and then just sat.

So I got up and moved around. Took a few pictures of last night's project and let the ideas in my brain toss and settle. I need a plan. I need a plan with dates and deadlines and who does what. I need this sooner rather than later so that when the habitual nerves kick in I can direct them to the Google document with all the relevant structure and they then can go whither and DIE.

Totally unrelated: Yesterday at the beginning of work I used the term "My wedding." My parents were both standing there. So was Z. As soon as I said it sounded gross. I feel like a wedding is innately plural ownership. A plural word. It can't be "my" it can only be "our." I was totally embarrassed and vow never to do it again.

Friday, July 17, 2009


1. Take a light colored fabric and then carve a few block prints and make your own tablecloths. The design would need to be fairly large.

2. Could do the same thing on paper.


3. Use a wallpaper or fabric with a design.

With any of these cut out a few of the images (would work best with birds, butterflies, etc) and tape them to random seats, favor boxes, flowers, etc.)

Source: Purple Area featured Tapetorama)

Tiny Boxes

Many Christmases ago I made something like this for my sister. My version just had matches inside but I love the idea of using match boxes and filling it with candy.

This is the adorable work of Brooke Reynolds over at Inchmark blog.

Actually, this size box would hold the favors I'm plotting really well. Hmmmm......and a quick Google search has this basically the only place to buy them. I'll keep looking but that's not a bad starting point.


Aaand we're back. I'm looking at basically 8 straight days of work ahead of me so... Hiphiphurray!

First up, this Trove wallpaper is a great idea for an installation. Basically one could do it life size or enlarge it. Create or have a single glass light source and then string hundreds of tiny paper butterflies out from it but massing them in particular areas. Or do the same idea but make everything larger.

This might be a fun idea for our livingroom...and I don't even *like* butterflies.

(blog trail: Ffffound > WhatPossessedMe > AptTherapy)

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm not sure what you're called

OK, so remember this post? Tonight I played around and came up with the image on the left. I'll leave it for a few days (let the burns on my fingers heal) and decide what I think when I get back. I find myself gravitating more toward fabric flowers than any sort of cardboard/paper. The fabric gives the flower a real tactile quality.

Good night and see you on Friday!

Garlands! (Photo by Olaf Szczepaniak)

More garlands! (Another great photograph from Olaf Szczepaniak via Decor8) My triangles are probably too small. I may need to rethink my tactics.

(Also, now I can add my Dad to the list of people who doesn't think making my own garlands is a good idea. People may not get invites but darn it there's going to be garlands!)

Love Letters

Ask people to write a letter to someone they love. Or perhaps just find love letters. Short poems about love (not all super happy) and then frame them without glass in painted Goodwill frames. Or maybe advice from people attending. (No "Don't go to bed angry" crap.) Take them and:
1. Cover the base of a tree with the frames.
2. Hang them in a hanging installation down from a branch. A strong strong branch.
3. Put them randomly everywhere. A tree here. A fence there.

I want to have some installation at the wedding* and I feel like I need to figure out what it is sooner rather than later so that I can get started.

*Because I love love love installation art and when else am I going to have people want(ish) to help me rig shit up in trees?!?!

How could I make that flower?

Our wedding will probably have very few cut flowers. When you're having a wedding on a super budget the things you don't care a ton about are the first thing to go. Neither of us has very strong feelings on flowers so...

However. That doesn't stop me from loving what I see on blogs all over. But mostly I'm looking at them with one single thought in my head: Can I make that out of paper or fabric? Some flowers translate well. Some don't. And if I want to make all the table arrangements I need flowers that aren't killer complex. (So for example, the orchids I was trying to make are going straight into the garbage can :)

I've done a fair amount of paper/fabric flower construction over the last few months. I'm still in the experimental phase and need to refocus on this. Ideally I'd like to figure out a bunch that work well together, figure out how to teach other people to make them, and then have a construction party with a ton of wine and many pairs of good scissors.

(Image source Martha Stewart found via Miss Labrador on WeddingBee.)

Garlands by Branch and Birdie

More garlands. Great fabric! These are 8" long and sold by Branch and Birdie. And oh yay! She's a Portlander!

(found via Miss Mouse at Wedding Bee)

Plates by Millamella

I've been reading Print & Pattern blog for years now. (Years? Years!) Friday PP posted these fantastic plates by Millamella. One centerpiece idea I've been toying with is using mix and matched plates. (Making them into tiers...Lord knows how..and then putting the heads of fabric flowers and other pretty odds and ends on them.) Long story short: I'm on the look out for great designs. Millamella has that in spades. Check out her Etsy shop. Lots of neat stuff.

Book Centerpieces

Here's another great idea for a non-flower centerpiece from Aerin & Jeremy's wedding being blogged about over at Vintage Glam Weddings blog.

Photo taken by Jessica Hill Photography.

Olaf Szczepaniak Inspired 2

Here's another Olaf Szczepaniak (via Decor8). I'd love to see this as a centerpiece. Maybe create 3-5 per table. Stack them up on little levels so they all aren't at the same height.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Olaf Szczepaniak Inspired

Holly over at Decor8 had some photographs from Olaf Szczepaniak . His website is full of inspiration. Like this glass house. Someone could make a much simpler version out of plexiglass and thin wood. Then fill each with plants as this photo shows or maybe an entire scene.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The First Numbers

Zach and I spent the final 45 minutes of the drive discussing Wedding Trouble. We've set a working budget of $4,000. This is really low for even so-called budget weddings, but the more I think about it, the more it seems really reasonable. And I like reasonable. I like reasonable a lot.

So in a year full of number we have two: Budget and people. With our gust list maxed out at 200 that means everyone gets $20. For everything. Something will have to give and I know that. But everything needs a starting point. This is ours. And it's a good one.


That's all I got.

Oh except to say this incredible installation is done by Sara Morishige (by way of OhJoy).