Category Archives: invitations

Save The Date

This is the best ‘Save The Date’ I have ever seen! Far exceeds anything made on paper. I love it!

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FYI – I will be taking the month of February off from blogging. I hope to be back to a more consistent blogging pace in March.


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A ‘Yes’ Person Makin’ Books

Are you a ‘Yes’ person?  I can be at times, which is why you didn’t see me much last week. This past Friday I took a short, but very much, little break in my day and read this. For me, the money doesn’t even matter when it comes to saying yes to things. I may need it or I may not, but I still end up saying ‘yes’ most of the time to something that I just don’t have the time for. I believe it’s mostly because I don’t want to disappoint someone when I say ‘no’.

302494977_c4a98ccd55{image from here}

When it all collides I end up dropping anything I have planned for myself and/or my personal life. All for what?! I end up worrying more than concentrating and more than enjoying the opportunity to create something new. I get a bit stressed and find myself skipping meals. And it’s not uncommon being alerted to the fact that even though I’m no longer a teenager does not mean I won’t get zits from certain stresses!

So it’s time for a little change, a sit down for some goal setting and to assure myself that saying no, especially to pro-bono service, is okay. How about you? What do you do when you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to too many things, whether service or work related? Do you have any tips or suggestions that have been helpful?


The past year or two I’ve studied more and more about book binding. Above is a photograph of part of my Mother’s Day gift I made for my mother. I love the pattern on this paper. I’m seeing patterns like this everywhere! I’m seriously considering designing a new invitation with a similar pattern. I believe it was first seen as an exterior design pattern on cathedrals, churches and abbeys. If I recall correctly from my architectural design class at university, it’s called quatrefoil. Even though I didn’t study graphic design at BYU, at least I can say I’m using something artistic I was taught there in my current job.

My favorite way of book binding so far has got to be coptic binding, which is the style of this book. I always thought it was a Japanese technique, but when I took the class I was surprised to learn  it was actually developed by the Egyptians. Amazing that a technique used as early as the 2nd century is still being used today! Talk about an undying art! I’m so happy to have learned this technique and hope to learn more.


At the end of each extended calligraphy class I’ve taken the students would have a project they worked on for the class term and we would all put a book together with shrunk down images of our art. But my interest into book arts didn’t hit me until I took my first book binding course at my local Paper Source. After one class I was hooked. I can’t recall the instructors name for the life of me, but I’ve taken additional classes from her and I love her teaching style. Her style is to work with you, not just tell you what to do step by step. She actually makes a book along with you and waits until you’re ready to continue. Seems pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how rare it is that some instructors follow this way of teaching.


Here is a picture of the inside front cover of the book. The calligraphy on the right was written with my folded pen nib. I think the calligraphy sucks. I’m hoping in the future I’ll see progress from the sorry site of this.98004003Later this month I’m taking a Basic Bookbinding course. I’m sure that will be fun, just like all the others I’ve taken from Paper Source. I’ll be sure to update you on the results.

Later this week I’ll be away on a very important trip. To all those at the National Stationery Show right now, I’m so envious, but very excited to hear and see all how it went. They say the first couple days are the busiest.

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Filed under book binding/book arts, calligraphy, invitations

Letters Of Joy (Part IV)

Books, cards and even more books. Michael Jacobs not only knows how to make ’em, he makes them into pieces of art. They’re almost like puzzles or origami.

My third and final class at LOJ was titled ‘Triangle Book’ taught by the extremely talented artist, Michael Jacobs.

MichaelJacobsTriangleBooks72{image from here}

This is how the conference brochure described the class:

“You’ll be asking “How many ways can it open?” when you make this unusual book project. Triangle book is versatile, sculptural, and fun to operate, with a huge variety of ways to insert pages. View lots of samples for inspiration.”

I had been looking forward to this class all day. I’ve taken a few different book binding classes and absolutely love learning the art. I’ve found that many calligraphy artists also dip into book arts and even letterpress printing and vice versa.

ruler{image from here}

Once Michael began to talk about making the book, the class became fast paced. He’s very particular about measurement and spent a lot of time in the beginning talking about that and other tips. I haven’t tried this yet, but as an experiment take two different 12″ rulers. They can be from the same company or different. Lay one out on the table with inches going 0″ to 12″, left to right. Now take another ruler, going from 12″ to 0″ left to right and line the two rulers side by side with the o” from one ruler lined up with the 12″ mark of the other. Notice how different they are. Apparently most rulers can be all over the place. Again, I haven’t tried this, but it sounds interesting. Michael mentions his favorite ruler, pictured above, here. Despite it costing around $20, for him it was well worth it. I, myself, am not this particular, but it’s interesting, nonetheless.

papergrain{image from here}

There were various other things discussed in length before we got to the book. Some important, like the grain of paper (even though we were making a triangle book, so didn’t make much difference) and you can read some more tips he shared with us on his web site here. It’s all interesting and he’s got a load of information to share.

The class was intended to be able to make two different triangle books, maybe three. Once we got to making the book on our own, it felt like a race to try and get as much done before 5 o’clock came. A few people zipped right through it, but the majority of us were at a more normal pace. I was able to make one book and had almost all the pieces cut out for the second, more complex book and had to finish that at home. I’m not sure, but I don’t think anyone made three.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of taking pictures of his samples. I even had my camera with me! Duh!!! I don’t think I put the second more complex triangle book together correctly. I mean, it works and it opens and all that, but visually, in my mind, I pictured it a different way and I don’t care for how this one opens. This is why there aren’t many photos in this post. Sadly, there were no printed instructions for his more lengthy and complex triangle books either.

However, I’m not finished trying. I have an idea in my mind for an invitation, in fact. Whether it be for a birthday, wedding, shower, announcement, anniversary, or just a fun random party, I think this could be an unforgettable invitation to an unforgettable event. Once I have it all worked out I’ll have the photographer take pictures and share it with you here.

One teaching style unique to Jacob’s, and I really liked this, is how he refers to his students. Most of the time you hear teachers refer to their students by name or calling the class to attention with ‘Class, pay close attention to…’ or ‘Everyone come up to the front and…’. Michael refers to all his students by calling them artists. ‘Artists, pay close attention to…’ or ‘Artists, come up to the front and…’. It got me thinking about that very word, artist. When does it feel right to title yourself as an artist? Is everyone an artist? Do you have to have a degree of some sorts? Do you have to be a selling artist to feel entitled to the title? Should you have studied ‘x’ amount of hours? Should you have active membership in some sort of association? I’ve thought about this before regarding the title ‘calligrapher’, but the same applies here. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your comments.

Michael Jacob’s has many, many other artistic talents and if you would like to see more of Jacob’s work check out his web site and gallery.


Jacob’s also has a couple books published.


They’re both available for purchase here or here.

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Filed under baby announcement, book binding/book arts, calligraphy, invitations, weddings

Work, Work, Work

I thought I would share with you some things I’ve been working on.


Okay, so the address isn’t perfectly center, but it’s still a good sample to show you. The gouache I mixed is actually a brighter yellow, but I think it looks more on the orange side on the purplish color envelope.


This looks like the right color. Okay, back to work!

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White Chocolate Envelope

Yes, yes, I know I haven’t updated you on how the envelope exchange is going. That’s because I’ve been behind on that work. But I finally finished my January envelope!


I hope it looks like January to you. It feels like January to me. Black like the short days and long nights. White like the snow that seems to never quit. Then the white blossoms with just a hint of yellow in the center in the hopes of Spring bringing new life when you get tired of all the white stuff.


I painted the handmade envelope on black Arches watercolor paper with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. I used some yellow watercolor paint to dot the center of the flowers.


I had one heck of a time addressing the envelope. I was trying to use one of my white Sakura Gelly Roll pens and it would not work for me. I found another and had the same trouble! It wouldn’t even come out white! Like the pigment had separated from the rest of the liquid and the pigment wasn’t even making it out to the tip of the pen. Does that make sense? Has that ever happened to you? If so, how did you fix it? It was so annoying and you might be able to tell that the first line of the address is not looking like the rest because of that issue.


So I ended up using a glass dip pen to finish the rest of the address on the envelope. Needless to say, not  my best work. I mixed up some Dr. Ph. Martin’s again to the right consistency to write with.


I wrote the name in a flourished copperplate letterhand. I used my oblique pen with a new nib I’m trying. It’s a Gillot 404 I purchased from Paper Ink & Arts. I’ve heard some people say it’s their favorite. It’s definitely stiffer than the Brause EF 66 nib I learned on and have been using ever since the recent change, but I’m still going to give it a try.


I sealed the envelope using ivory wax from Atelier Gargoyle with my peacock stamp, which was made in Italy. Doesn’t the wax look just like white chocolate? Yum!


Here is another photo from the NW Flower & Garden Show. This was very unique and contemporary and I love how the circle area frames up the other part of the garden so perfectly. The look of the wall inspires me when it comes to invitation design. You may see something similar to this in the future and I’ll try to remember to reference this photo when sharing it with you.

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Filed under calligraphy, envelopes, gardening, invitations, paper, watercolor art/paintings

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Bride & Groom


…or is that Mr. President & Madam First Lady? Didn’t Michelle Obama look like a bride in that beautiful dress?


Beautiful white chiffon, it even had a train!


The designer? Jason Wu. He’s only 26-years-old!!! People are calling him the next Oscar de la Renta or Carolina Herrera.


Did you hear that the designers of both of her outfits yesterday had no idea she was wearing their designs until they saw her on TV? What a surprise & an honor it must be for them!


The age of digital. Look at all the camera’s in this shot above. Who wouldn’t want to take a photo of the bride…I mean the new First Lady…in that gown?! Gorgeous!


Here are some of his fashions released for his Spring of 2007 line found on


It is said that Jason Wu focuses his designs on the hourglass figure of the female body.


I think he’s definitely mastered that.


I’m not usually one to remember who wears what, but the fact that this man is 26-years-old and has a lifetime career ahead of him amazes me! So many people don’t really know what they want to do for a living at that age, myself included when I was his age, but he obviously is doing what he loves. At least it seems that it comes through in his designs. I think we’ll be hearing his name a whole lot more in the years to come.


You can also feel President Obama is doing what he loves. All day yesterday and last evening felt like the celebration of a new beginning, which it was, but it’s so similar to the feelings surrounding weddings too.

I heard the inaugural invitations had been engraved on Classic Crest paper from one of my vendors, Neenah Paper. Neena Paper seems very focused on the environment. They include an eco calculator where you can select your paper type and quantity and see results of how much environmental impact it has, i.e. how many trees were used to make the paper, how much water was used, etc. Give it a try!

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Filed under invitations, paper, weddings

Did Everyone Get The Memo?

Do you watch the Golden Globes and other fancy award shows for the dresses? Me too! Sunday night I was wondering if everyone got the memo to wear something white, off-white, cream color or antique white. Anyway, it looked like wedding dresses everywhere on the red carpet. Swap out the clutch for a bouquet and you’ve got yourself a bride.


Of the wedding white dresses, I think Elizabeth Banks‘ dress (top left) was my favorite. All you soon to be brides, or just people who want to chime in, which one is your favorite?



As far as bling goes, I was absolutely swooned by Eva Mendez‘s turquoise & gold necklace (just above, top right). So beautiful against her skin tone! She looked fabulous, Darling! Not sure about the swag of fabric in front of the dress, but she made it look good and the necklace for sure was beautiful!


I had two favorite dresses from Sunday night’s Golden Globes, which were not white, worn by Jenna Fischer (left) & Rumer Willis (right). They both were just so beautiful! Don’t you just love the purple color of Willis’ dress? All night, as she would stand next to the presenters waiting for speeches to finish, I kept thinking how I loved that color. And the colors in Fischer’s dress are so nice together too. It looks like a good color combo for invitations. Or how about brides maid dresses?

You can find a lot of color inspiration watching red carpet events — not just in fashion. But when it comes to red carpet fashion, it definitely looks like white & cream were the hot colors Sunday night. Can’t wait to see what the Oscars bring!

{all images from}

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