Marcus + Jillian’s Whimsical Kraft Paper Letterpress Wedding Invitations

I love the whimsical design elements and natural color palette in these kraft paper wedding invitations, sent over by Matthew from A Fine Press.  Designed by Laura Helm of Ashton Events, the invitation features hand drawn illustrations and hand lettering – all letterpress printed in soft white and gold by Matthew – and accompanied by navy and lavender envelopes for a fun pop of color.

From Matthew: We did a tone-on-tone theme for these invitations, using a transparent white ink for the return address, a shimmery lavender ink for the RSVP envelopes, and white and gold inks for the invitation and RSVP.  The whole invitation was printed on French Paper (Muscletone 140# kraft paper, Construction nightshift blue A7 envelopes, and Pop-Tone grapesicle 4-bar envelopes).

This is a great example of the compatibility between letterpress printing and  hand-drawn illustrations.  Laura created the illustrations in black ink on white paper, at which point they were scanned and sent for platemaking. 

Thanks Matthew!

Design: Ashton Events

Letterpress Printing: A Fine Press

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Matthew R Photography

p.s. Don’t forget to enter the save the date giveaway from Delphine!  Check out details right here!

Kate + Rob’s Sea Creature Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Kseniya from Thomas Printers sent over this totally adorable wedding invitation for an upcoming beach wedding in New Zealand.  Designed by Katie from Rocket Ink, the invitation features a four-color illustration of native New Zealand marine life on one side and text on the other, along with a reception card and other enclosures.  So pretty!

From the bride, Kate: We will be married on New Zealand’s northern west coast overlooking a black sand beach – it’s one of my favourite stretches of beach and such a magical place.  We both love the ocean and wanted an ocean theme to our wedding.   Rob and I are both advertising creatives (copywriters) so doing some lovely artwork was really important to us; our invitations include illustrations of native New Zealand marine life.

From the designer, Katie Gastley of Rocket Ink:  Kate and Rob wanted to incorporate indigenous creatures into their wedding invitations.  I did a lot of research on the typical New Zealand wildlife and illustrated them throughout their pieces.  This particular design was definitely a pet project!

From Kseniya of Thomas Printers:  This invitation is almost like a book jacket illustration, with the beautiful underwater scene on one side and all the wedding details on the other.  The four colors of the design are so harmonious together: bright and cheerful without being overpowering.

The jellyfish was my favorite; I loved his delicate tentacles and beautiful brown-black color.  Katie and her client wanted a very substantial paper, so we used 220# cotton Lettra in a warm ecru, which was heavy enough that the letterpress impression could be palpable on both sides. 

Thanks Kseniya!

Design: Rocket Ink

Letterpress Printing: Thomas Printers

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Rocket Ink

*Thomas Printers is one of my fab­u­lous spon­sors; for more on my edi­to­r­ial poli­cies please click here.

New Giveaway! Save the Dates from Delphine!

I’m walking around the New York International Gift Fair looking for fun booths and products to share with you a bit later this week.  But in the meantime, we have a super fun giveaway from one of my favorite stationers – Delphine!  Delphine is known for bright and colorful wedding stationery , and they recently began offering the option to print patterns on the back of their flat printed wedding invitations and save the dates.

Today Erika from Delphine is offering one lucky reader the chance to win 100 save the dates with matching envelopes and printed return address!  The winner will choose their favorite design from the collection and have the ability to customize the colors and fonts using Delphine’s exclusive customizer tool.  Each save the date is flat printed on beautiful cotton paper for a luxurious feel.

So here’s how to enter:  Visit Delphine and select your favorite design from the collection.  Then come back here and leave a comment with your selection and your wedding date!

You’ll have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2012 to enter the giveaway.  One winner will be selected randomly and notified via email.  Bonne chance!

Delphine is a member of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beautiful work right here!

Photo Credits: Delphine

*This giveaway is sponsored by Delphine.  Official sweepstakes rules here.

Printable Papel Picado Wedding Invitations from EM Papers

It’s always so fun to hear the story of how a designer was inspired to create a particular design.  Today, Eleanor from EM Papers is sharing the story behind one of her printable wedding invitation designs – a gorgeous red and white invitation suite inspired by the traditional Mexican folk art known as papel picado.  I love the bold red and white color palette and hand drawn motifs!

From EleanorSeveral years ago, when she turned 30, my sister decided to throw herself a ‘Treintañera’ since she had never had a Quinceañera.  I designed the invitations for her, using traditional design elements found in papel picado and native Mexican folk art motifs, and my dad printed them letterpress. I later turned the invitation into a blank card but always felt that the design was ripe to be extended into a full wedding suite.

One of the challenges when designing my download and print wedding stationery, is that I have to anticipate all of the constraints my customers might have.  For example, not everyone has a home printer than can do borderless printing, so I don’t use full bleeds on items like programs and table numbers.  This design had so many little elements, like the hand drawn lines and sun/starburst figure that it was easy to pick them up throughout the line and keep the whole suite coherent.

Thanks Eleanor!

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

Photo Credits: EM Papers

*EM Papers is one of my fab­u­lous spon­sors; for more on my edi­to­r­ial poli­cies please click here.


Friday Happy Hour: The Stone Fence

This is a very simple, three hundred year-old drink, just updated a bit with the addition of bitters. The Stone Fence pre-dates the United States, made by colonial farmers with what they had easily at hand: apple cider from their orchards and rye from their fields. Rye was the grain and drink of choice until settlers made their way into the Kentucky Valley, discovered they could grow more corn there than they could ever eat, and made bourbon into America’s spirit.  This is an old drink, but don’t dismiss it as an antique: this is the sort of drink that wins battles.


Read below for the full recipe!

The Stone Fence

2 oz Rye Whiskey
Apple Cider
2 Dashes Angostura or Aromatic Bitters


Combine the whiskey and bitters in a highball glass filled with ice, then fill to the top with apple cider and give it a stir.  Garnish with a bunch of bruised mint leaves and enjoy. 


Bourbon works here, and dark rum would be historically accurate too (rum probably predated rye in the Stone Fence), but the spiciness of the rye is a nice balance to the sweetness of the cider.  If you want to really recreate the original version of the drink, use hard cider (just drink this one carefully).  The result is a drink that is sweet, tart, spicy, and as refreshing on a summer day as it is warming on a cold New England night.


So here’s the bit about winning battles: on the morning of May 10th, 1775, Ethan Allen led 83 of Vermont’s Green Mountain Boys to capture Fort Ticonderoga from the English.  Allen’s plan?  Rush into the fort and see what happens.  The lone sentry fled, the Green Mountain Boys began rounding up the sleeping English soldiers, and Allen charged into the officers’ quarters.  Allegedly a giant of a man, he demanded they surrender “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”  At least, that’s the legend.  The English promptly surrendered and no one died.  Where did they get their courage to charge into the fort, guarded by professional English soldiers backed by canons, and audaciously demand its surrender?  Allen and his Boys were up all night on the 9th planning the attack and drinking Stone Fences.  A few hours later, on the morning of the 10th, they were almost certainly still drunk out of their minds.  Allen’s men then looted all of the fort’s liquor and probably kept on drinking.  So goes history.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper