Inspired by...

I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. Here are few examples of what inspired me for wedding invitations I designed for past and recent challenges on Minted. 

My Elegance Entwined wedding suite (for sale here!) was inspired by this dress
 shown in Marie Claire, June 2010

This rich and masculine wedding invitation called Italian Stitch, was inspired by dishes we received as wedding gifts three years ago. I just love how they look like leather! 

And lastly, my Love Story wedding invitation was inspired by this sweet banner I had seen on Etsy. You can see more of Saratops items for sale here!

It's been a while!

Hello, blog - remember me? This little girly is why I've abandoned you. :) Here's a snapshot of Lane's baptism invitation that was sent out recently. I felt sooooooo...... guilty for not designing a birth announcement for her. But I've always said I am my own worst client. With that in mind, I should probably start on our holiday card asap! 

Freshly Minted: The 'Stay in Touch' Business Card Challenge

Here are few business cards I designed for Minted's latest challenge. These received editors picks and will be available for purchase with the launch of the new category! It was lot of fun trying to think of small businesses or hobbyists that could use a modern business card. Plus I always like an excuse to get out the watercolors and paint. I've been wanting to paint lemons for a while. I think it's another sign that I'm itching for summer. :)

"Although it seems that as a society we couldn't get more digital, the business card is far from dead. Whether you're a small business owner, freelancer, or networking blogger, when you meet someone in person you need to be able to give them your contact details in a way that they'll remember the person behind the card." - Minted

Bitter Sweet (for a mentor or life coach)

Babysitter's Club (for a teen babysitter)

Baker's Twine (for an independent baker or pastry chef)

Green grass? Birds chirping? Really?

This beautiful print by Katie Daisy, owner of the wheat field, exemplified everything I loved about today! It was 60 degrees here in Ohio and the birds were finally chirping again. That never happens in February in Ohio. It was a great reminder that spring is around the corner!

We hope to put this print and maybe a few others by Katie
in our daughter's nursery. It's just so sweet and I've always loved the sound of happy chirping birds. 
Hopefully she will too! 

Here's another favorite of mine. 
I could look at these all day! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Almost three years ago, I married my Prince Charming and my dreams have been coming true ever since. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself. :)

Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share a few photos of our wedding day. We got married in Dublin, Ohio on a beautiful day in June in 2008. It rained that afternoon but only enough to bring us extra luck! I still enjoy reminiscing over our photos. And I tell most brides, "Don't skimp on the photographer because you'll cherish photos forever!"

Fireflies listed as Top 10 Invitations in 2010

I'm so excited to see that "Fireflies" was listed as one of the top ten most memorable wedding invitations of 2010 by!!! This design has truly been my pride and joy for the past year. It's everything I love wrapped into one design - it's magical, nostalgic, simple and romantic! I've sold 50 suites just in the beginning of February (woo hoo!) and my fingers are crossed that they will continue to sell these next few months before summer weddings begin.

Freshly Minted Wedding Invitations! 2.12.10

Wedding season has officially begun in my mind! I'm thrilled to have three new wedding suites available for sale on Minted. Here are a few pictures of the new suites.

Elegance Entwined

36 Reasons: Posted 8-30-2010

There are more than 36 reasons why I love my husband but that's the number I stopped at since it was his 36th birthday after all. I thought it was a good sign that I could come up with more. :) 

I wanted to share this cute birthday garland idea because I saw how much joy it brought to both of us. This would also be a wonderful surprise for anniversaries or for kid's birthdays. I'm sure you could use the date in place of the age if necessary.  

I found the idea for this birthday garland on this wonderful blog Inchmark and added my own personal touch.  I hung the 36 notes starting from the doorway he entered, wrapped them around our kitchen, continued on to the rail of our deck, and had the final card placed on his birthday gift near where we'd be enjoying dinner. 

Each note had a reason why I loved him written on the inside.  When we took the notes down, they were placed in an envelope with 36 hearts printed on the front to match the notes. I hope this inspires you to show someone how much you love them!

Style A Day for Photoshop: Posted 8-27-2010

Luv a freebie? Check out Photoshop Style a Day to receive these great styles! Most are only available for free for the first 48 hours after release so sign-up for the emails. Photoshop styles are super easy to use, don't be scared. 

  • Simply download the style file (personal use = freebie! commercial use = only $2.00)
  • Open your photoshop creation and either select or make a type layer. The cool part it that your text can remain live. Great for revisions!
  • Go to your styles palette (if hidden, go to windows > styles)
  • Click the options bar under your styles palette and select load styles
  • Once that new style is loaded (few seconds) you can select your text layer again and click the style you'd like to apply from the styles palette. And voila!

Don't forget to play around with different fonts and sizes to get the result you're looking for. Now go play!

Sketchbook Phobia is a Real Problem Posted 8-18-2010

Pretty sketchbooks scare me. Period. Same with bathtubs but we won't go there.
I have several sketchbooks sitting on a shelf that I haven't been able to get past the first page. Give me scrap paper, a napkin, a receipt - anything but a perfect-in-every-way sketchbook. Please... it's pure torture to make those first marks. It really is. 

So the even bigger dilemma is what to do with the scribbles of ideas strewn out all over my desk. Part of me wants them organized while the other part of me wants to add to the mess - keep scribbling - keep brainstorming! 

Then the reality of a having a messy desk hits again. So I'm blogging instead. 
Procrastination has never been a problem for me. :)

this guy has the right idea  photo via

Logo design - what it takes. Posted 8-11-2010

I saw this a year ago and just had to track it down again as I was mid logo development for a tech company. If you've ever wondered what really goes in to making a logo, then you need to watch this video. As a client, it's eye-opening. As a designer, it's peace of mind knowing that even the simplest of designs take research, time and multiple iterations. Simple may look easy, but that doesn't always mean it is.

Country Couture - a West Virginia Wedding Posted 8-11-2010

Country couture - the two words my cousin used to describe her recent West Virginia wedding. What else would you call a wedding that involved a custom designed bridal gown embellished with ostrich feathers from head-to-toe, three lovely bridesmaids I might add, and a reception held at a place called Coonskin National Park. Country couture it was! And everyone had a blast!

Here's a glimpse of the lovely bride and the stationery I designed as my gift to the newlyweds. The floral motif that was used on the stationery and at the reception, was a wispy line illustration that complimented the feather accents. Her colors were plum and rich raspberry. She even found chocolates wrapped in the same accent colors that became sweet embellishments on all the tables.
{invitation and feathery thank you}
{the lovely bride}

I adore this office nook! Posted 7-13-10

Oh how I wish I could shut the doors on my office space like this one sometimes. But if my office looked like this, I would probably never close the doors! How refreshing is this little nook of a work space. So charming, so simple! I wonder if the hubby would think I was crazy if I packed up shop and moved to a spare bedroom closet....Mmn.....I'm a little tempted after seeing these pics. :)

It's been a while... Posted 6-9-2010

It's been way too long since my last post - guilty as charged. Since then, I've...

- Celebrated the big 29 with my closest girlfriends on a trip to Florida. My birthday was technically in February but we decided to take a trip to celebrate all of our birthdays this year - before we turn 30 (or before kids.) We had a wonderful time! 

- The hubby and I finally moved into our home! Technically we've been living in remodel mayhem for several months, but it feels so good to have all of our furniture out of storage. I've heard it can take months to settle in so I'm trying my hardest to squelch the perfectionist in me and just be patient. What's another few months of mayhem, right?

- Been staying busy with freelance work, mostly for a client that rhymes with shmerkins and is known for pancakes. :) They're a loyal client and a good group of people to work with! I feel blessed for being able to do what I do from home. Plus the flexibility definitely helped with all the moving projects we've tackled in the last two years.

- Surprised to see one of my Minted submissions for the Make a Wish Birthday Party Challenge on Design Mom! - it's #4. I submitted three designs last minute so I was very surprised to hear any of them got recognition. My other pottery party design received an editor's pick - yay!

- And lastly, as promised - SATC2! Saw it on opening night with two of my closest friends. The event entailed SATC look-a-like drag queens, cosmos, and a fashion show - how fun is that! We enjoyed the movie regardless of the reviews and that's all that really mattered. Here's a pic of us with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. lol

That's it for now!

Doodle Dandies: Posted 4-28-2010

I cannot get enough of these whimsical little illustrations from Hermes Paris. I wonder if they took a photograph of the piece on a white background then told the illustrator to go to town! Reminds me of when my mom used to scribble a line on the back of a place-mat and told us to draw something from it. We'd have a full blown masterpiece by the time our food was served. It was way more fun than staying in the lines of a coloring sheet. :)

SATC ASAP: Posted 4-21-2010

Have you seen the previews for the new Sex and the City movie? My friends and I are practically twitching just waiting to see it in the theaters. It's been exactly 2 years since the last one. I remember because this June will be our 2nd wedding anniversary and my best friends treated me to the premier the day before my bachelorette party. It was such a great time and we're looking forward to seeing this one together too! Here's the new theatrical trailer - with extra footage!

On a design note, here's a fun project that I did right around the time of the first SATC dvd release. It was for an annual fundraising event held by the Capital Area Humane Society. We called it Rex and the City in hopes that the movie would help generate buzz about the event. What better way to bring together fashion, fun and a little love for our furry friends!

Rex and the City: folded invitation with belly wrap

Rex and the City: poster and print ad

A Fabulous Little Community : Posted 4-20-2010

We recently moved to a wonderful little community outside of Columbus, OH but that's not the community I'm talking about. If you haven't heard of Minted, I suggest you check it out the next time your doing a little surfing. Not only is it a store full of fabulous and original stationery, but it's also a community of creative people who compete, critique, share design advice, and most of all support each other's ambitions in the stationery world. The idea behind the company is absolutely brilliant and the owner, Mariam, blogged about the company's beginnings today.

I'm a total newbie to minted but my first entry "fireflies" ended up winning some awards. I was totally shocked by the incredible response it got. My other entries weren't so hot. But that's ok. There's somewhat of a learning curve to this process so I'm just excited to be a part of the community. Now I just have to figure how and when I'm going to be able to keep entering the competitions! There's a new contest about once a month and they are totally addicting! 

Here's a fun review of my wedding submissions from start to finish. I've had several comments from people saying they wish they could have seen the fireflies design in the beginning. So here it is before and after a couple iterations in between. I'm actually a little nervous to show this - but who needs pride anyway! :)

Fireflies - Before and After

Pink Lemonade - Before and After

Love is Key - Before and After