Curious George-Inspired Birthday Party Invitations for Lawson

Happy Leap Day everyone!  Julie from Duet Letterpress sent over the most adorable letterpress invitations that she designed and printed for a first birthday party last summer.  These invitations were inspired in part by the invitations that Julie created for her daughter Emily’s first birthday, featuring both an invitation to the birthday celebration along with a certificate marking important milestones during Lawson’s first year.

From JulieTo celebrate Lawson’s first birthday, his parents threw him a party inspired by Curious George.  They wanted something similar to Em’s invitations, but in the style of his party.  In addition to Curious George, the party was a vintage take on classic stories.  Rustic red, pale blue, navy, and a cheerful yellow made up the party’s color palette.

Lawson’s foot and hand prints were letterpress printed true to size.  Lawson was tiny at birth, and his feet were only 1 3/4″ long!  We made the “year of firsts” card a different size from the actual invitation and bound them together with yellow twine.  Finally, a two color, letterpress printed, wraparound mailing label was affixed to each pale blue envelope.

Thanks so much Julie!

Photo Credits: Duet Letterpress

Diana + Mike’s Wood Engraved Save the Dates

I think it’s so cool when couples incorporate non-traditional materials into their wedding stationery – and save the dates are the perfect opportunity to try something unexpected and unique!  Rachel from Jolie Jolie created these wooden engraved save the date hang tags for a recent couple.  So fun!

Check out more from Jolie Jolie right here!

Photo Credits: Jolie Jolie Design

Paige + Michael’s Elegant Calligraphy Wedding Invitations

It’s no secret that I love the combination of beautiful calligraphy script and letterpress printing, particularly when it comes to wedding invitations, so naturally I’m completely smitten with the most recent collaboration between Sarah of Parrott Design Studio and calligrapher Betsy Dunlap!

Sarah incorporated Betsy’s calligraphy into a sophisticated and elegant letterpress wedding invitation that features the roman numeral of the wedding date.  I love the subtle mix of soft gray tones in the text with the delicate matte gold tones of the envelope liner and roman numerals.  So pretty!

Check out a bit more over on the Parrott Design Studio blog right here!

Design and Letterpress Printing: Parrott Design Studio

Calligraphy: Betsy Dunlap

Parrott Design Studio is a member of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of Sarah’s beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Parrott Design Studio

*Parrott Design Studio is one of my fab­u­lous spon­sors; for more on my edi­to­r­ial poli­cies please click here.

Brady’s Silhouette + Bow Tie First Birthday Party Invitations

Happy Monday everyone!  We’re starting the week off with some adorable invitations for a first birthday party!  Designer Emily Ley sent over the fun images of the invitations for her baby boy Brady’s birthday party, created by Amber of Pitbulls and Posies along with the help of a few other friends.  The silhouette and bow tie concept is just too cute – read below for the full details!

From EmilyBrady’s first birthday party was so much fun. We decided we wanted it to be sweet and young and classic… so we chose a “Southern Picnic” theme and used bow ties to tie the entire affair together.  I knew I wanted the invitations to be tactile and to be Southern and sweet and with the personality of a playful little boy.  I emailed my dear friend Amber Moon, of Pitbulls and Posies, and she went right to work and together we conceptualized the most adorable invitations I’ve honestly ever seen.

I took a photo of Brady and sent it to Amber, she traced his sweet little head and created these little wooden silhouettes which she then screen printed with the party information we designed together.  She also designed and created box liners to hold the sweet little silhouette.

Meanwhile, my friend McKay of Oatmeal Lace Designs designed and created bows and bow ties for all of Brady’s little friends.  The invitation read “On your neck or in your hair, kindly wear this bow and we’ll see you there!”

Thanks so much Emily!

Invitation Design: Pitbulls and Posies

Bow Ties: Oatmeal Lace Designs

Vintage Stamps: Brightly Designed

Calligraphy: MJ Paperie

Photo Credits: Emily Ley

Friday Happy Hour: The Norwegian Wood

We have in our bar a bottle of Akvavit, a strange, superb Scandinavian liquor that tastes, of all things, like caraway seed.  It’s fantastic and complex, but strongly reminiscent of rye bread – it’s not the easiest flavor to blend into a cocktail.  So, our bottle has been sitting there for a while, unused and unloved.  Until now!  A recent web search revealed this fantastic winter drink by an awesome Portland bartender, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, that does justice to this odd spirit and has quickly entered my rotation.

Read below for the full recipe!

Norwegian Wood

1 oz Akvavit
1 oz Apple Brandy or Calvados
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Combine all the ingredients, stir well with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel and enjoy.


Scandinavians have been drinking Akvavit since at least the 16th Century as a tonic for all sorts of ailments, as its name – from the Latin aqua vītae or “water of live” – suggests.  Traditionally, Akvavit is consumed unadorned, paired with food or in a Christmas toast.  There aren’t many cocktail recipes that incorporate Akvavit, which is why I was so delighted to find Mr. Morgenthaler’s recipe.

Here’s what you’ll get: an enormously complex, bold, well-balanced (but boozy) drink.  I was honestly surprised at how good this drink was when I first tried it.  The Akvavit’s caraway seed flavor is a major component but doesn’t dominate the drink; it’s a little sweet and a little spicy and a lot herbal. It brings foremost to mind the warmth of a roaring fire on a frigid northern night.


Akvavit is the Scandanavian cousin of English dry gin.  Both start as a neutral spirit that is then distilled again with botanicals to impart flavor: juniper is the most prominent for gin, and caraway dominates Akvavit.  But just as gin is more than just juniper, Akvavit also carries such flavors as dill, fennel, coriander, clove, anise, and cardamom.

I don’t expect most people to have at home a bottle of Akvavit or Chartreuse (an amazingly complex liqueur made by French monks from a secret combination of herbs, spices, and flowers).  But here’s what I strongly suggest: that you pick up a bottle of one or both and give them a try.  Americans have been conditioned by hundreds of varieties of flavored vodkas to expect spirits to taste exactly like a thing, whether that thing is vanilla or raspberry or pears or bubble gum or espresso.  Instead, Akvavit and Chartreuse are big, bold, complex Old World Flavors that are as impossible to pin down as they are memorable.  If you haven’t already, branch out and try something new.  You might find yourself a convert.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper