{happy weekend!}

Happy Friday everyone!  This has been an incredibly full week for me; if you follow me on twitter you may know that I spent most of the weekend and the earlier part of this week up in New Jersey and New York, working on a project with my Dad and seeing some of my fellow bloggers in town for Bridal Market.  On Tuesday, I attended a taping of the Martha Show – and if you’ll allow me to geek out for a quick second, the bloggers in attendance got to take a photo with Martha and Darcy Miller at the end of the show (that’s me in the red sweater on the right)!

So much fun!  Now that I’m back at home and the weekend is almost here, I’m looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the cooler weather here in DC.  But in the meantime…

…a few links for your weekend!

…and just in case you missed it, a quick round-up of this week’s posts:

That’s it for me this week!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you all back here on Monday!

{image courtesy of martha stewart living omnimedia}

Crane Stationery, A Tour – Part 3

As promised, I’m back with a third installment of our tour of Crane & Co stationery.  After visiting the platemaking and printing facilities at Crane Personalized Design Services, we moved over to the Crane Stationery Division, located in a separate building in Dalton.  This is where all of the non-custom stationery orders are filled, from boxed stationery sets to holiday cards to designs in the Crane Studio Collection, as well as where envelopes and packaging materials are assembled.

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

{I love that so many of these buildings date back to the 1800s – the building architecture alone is completely fascinating}

Crane Stationery Tour

Our first stop in this building was a large warehouse room, where Crane keeps all of the different sheets of paper used as envelope liners for stationery and wedding invitations:

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

{so many lovely envelope liner sheets!}

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

From there, we went to the envelope room – with the biggest paper cutting machine I’ve ever seen!

Crane Stationery Tour

{stacks of paper waiting to be cut down to size}

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

{if you look closely, you should be able to see the outline of the envelope template above}

In the next room, another huge machine – this one takes the envelope-size paper and folds it into actual envelopes.  The envelope machines are truly enormous, I think each one was about 25-30 feet in length!

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

{finished envelopes coming out of the machine and being counted}

From there, we went into a larger room, similar to the printing floor at Crane Personalized Design Services.  In this room, all of Crane’s boxed stationery sets and stationery collections are assembled and packaged for delivery.

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

{a cool installation and painting on the wall as you enter the main room}

Most of us probably don’t think much about the actual stationery packaging, but Crane makes all of its own boxes.  The box machine (I’m sure the machine has a formal name, but I didn’t catch it) is probably the biggest machine that we encountered during the entire tour!

Crane Stationery Tour Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

Crane Stationery Tour

{that’s all glue above!}

Crane Stationery Tour

I tried to capture the entire process, but static images just can’t really give you the full effect – luckily the folks at Crane have captured the process on video!

After gawking at the box machine for a few minutes, we moved on to another room where hand borderers create the colorful borders on personalized stationery and writing notes.  I took photos of a hand bordering demonstration at the National Stationery Show, which you can see here – it’s truly an amazing skill.  Again, Crane has helpfully provided a video of the process:

Up next, the final stop on our Crane & Co. tour – the museum!

{all photos by me | video courtesy of Crane & Co.}

Sneak Peek – Martha Stewart Weddings Fall Issue

The new issue of Martha Stewart Weddings is coming to newsstands in just a few days, but in the meantime I have a little sneak peek to share with you!


The Fall issue will be devoted to all things fashion (fitting for September, no?), and when it came to stationery the editors decided to focus on wedding invitation designs inspired by the elements of fashion, including pleats, scalloped edges, tuxedo details, sheer fabrics, fanciful flourishes, and stitching.  The story includes six of my favorite designers and three amazing calligraphers – I can’t wait to see everything in print!


By the way, have you been following the opalescent series on The Bride’s Guide?  I love this invitation suite from Sideshow Press.

{image credits: Cover by Ditte Isager and invitation photography by Johnny Miller/Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2010}

NSS 2010 – Part 11

Whew!  Eleven recap installments later and I’m finally ready to wrap up the coverage of this year’s Stationery Show.  I saved the most photo-heavy booths for last, so let’s dive right in!  First up, the Crane booth, where I caught a glimpse of the new Studio collection as well as old stationery and invitation favorites:

Crane-NSS1{love the grosgrain ribbon lamp and fold-out folio for seating card displays at a wedding!}

Crane-NSS2{cards from the new Studio collection}


Crane-NSS4{gorgeous embossing details on this wedding invitation}

Crane-NSS5{crane & co.}

Did you know that every single card from Crane’s bordered stationery collection is hand painted?  This year, Crane brought two hand-bordering artisans down to the Stationery Show to demonstrate their craft:

Crane-NSS-Hand-Bordering2{a bone folder is the only tool used to create a uniform width for each border}

Crane-NSS-Hand-Bordering7{the final product!}

Next up are a couple of what I affectionately refer to as the “mega booths” with several participating exhibitors in one booth area.  First, the Ladies of Letterpress booth, featuring Pistachio Press, Thomas Printers, May Day Studio, Paper Mill Designs, Ink & Iron, Hazel and Violet, Dandy Lion Press, and Flywheel Press!

MayDay-Studio-NSS1{may day studio}

Hazel-Violet-NSS1{hazel and violet}

Thomas-Printers-NSS2{thomas printers}

Pistachio-Press-NSS1{pistachio press}

Ink-Iron-NSS1{ink & iron}

Flywheel-Press-NSS1{flywheel press}

Papermill-Press-NSS1{paper mill designs}

Next, the Let {her} Press booth featuring Bird Dog Press, Paper Stories Letterpress, Paper Parasol Press, Robin Beth, and Lucky Bee Press:

Bird-Dog-Press-NSS2{bird dog press}

Paper-Parasol-Press-NSS2{paper parasol press}

Paper-Stories-Letterpress-NSS1{paper stories letterpress}

Lucky-Bee-Press-NSS1{lucky bee press}

Robin-Beth-Letterpress-NSS1{robin beth}

I also stopped by the Vigo booth to check out the latest from Delphine, as well as cards and gift wrap from 1973 and many others:



Foil-Stamp-Metallic-Cards-NSS{I love the foil stamping details on these cards from sanna annukka}

The-Claudettes-NSS{cute cards from the claudettes}

Vigo-Gift-Wrap-NSS{awesome gift wrap}

So that’s it from this year’s show!  If you missed any of the recaps from the show, you can check them all out right here.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s show!

{all photos by Oh So Beautiful Paper}

*Delphine is one of my fantastic sponsors, for more information about my editorial policy please click here.

Real Invitations – Liesl & Jeremy, Part 2

I'm back with more of the beautiful wedding paper ephemera from Liesl & Jeremy's gorgeous wedding, this time focusing on some of the printed wedding details and online material:

Despite a million other things to do, we decided to put a lot of time
into designing most of our own printed and online materials.  This was a
great collaboration, with Liesl having a ton of creative design ideas
and Jeremy with the computer and graphics skills to make it happen. 

also ended up being a key part of our wedding because it was through
all this stuff that our personalities really showed through – making
the whole wedding seem very us and very unlike a typical wedding.  Just
what we were going for!

In addition to the Save the Date postcards, the list of elements that Liesl and Jeremy co-designed is quite extensive:

Wedding web site
We spent a long time putting this all together and giving it the right
feel.  We wanted people to know this was a party, not a boring formal

Picture 1

Table name cards.  Our reception had 13
tables which, coincidentally, is also the number of ranks in a standard
deck of playing cards.  We decided to name each table after a card rank
(Adventurous Aces, Quixotic Queens, Suave Sevens, etc.):

La Vie Photo15

We custom-designed each of the 13
cards that went on the tabletops, finding thematic photos to go with
each card.  This took a lot of work but was so worthwhile!

La Vie Photo25
La Vie Photo23 

La Vie Photo27

Escort playing cards.  First, we got
several decks of custom playing cards printed up.  We based it on a
print we found of a hot-air-balloon with someone's name on it; we photoshopped out the old name and replaced it with "Liesl and Jeremy." 
We also added a space to write each guest's name:

La Vie Photo28

Seating Chart.  The guests would find
the playing card with their name on it and turn it over to reveal the
table where they would be sitting. 

La Vie Photo31

La Vie Photo36

for out-of-town guests.  Each guest received a gift basket with various
goodies (candies, champagne, etc.) and we also enclosed 2 postcards
with custom “Liesl and Jeremy" designs on them:

La Vie Photo14

Postcard 1

{bottom photograph by Liesl & Jeremy Elson}

information for out-of-town guests.  A simple sheet telling hotel
guests how to use the shuttle between the venue and the hotel; we
decided to print something beautiful and thematic rather than a boring
old photocopied black & white sheet:

Shuttle Info

{design by Liesl & Jeremy Elson}

Kissing Booth Sign.   We designed a sign that directed people to our photo "kissing" booth to take their best kissing shot for us to put into our guest book:

La Vie Photo13

Now that you've seen all the photos – here's what Liesl and Jeremy said to say about the design inspiration behind their wedding ephemera:

didn't have one unifying inspiration for our wedding, but rather an
overall feel we wanted to create.  We really wanted to avoid any and
all "traditional" wedding themes and ideas because it seemed to us that
so many weddings get lost in formalities and trivial details that can
suck the joy out of the whole experience.  We also really wanted it to
be unique so we worked extra hard to break with tradition whenever
possible.  So we thought about what was most important to us for our
wedding and we decided that it should be stress-free, incredibly fun,
and wildly inappropriate.  A fabulous party for everyone help us
celebrate in style.

We drew most of our inspiration from
vintage French cabarets, burlesque and can-can dancers, the sensational
larger-than-life circuses of the 1920's and 30's, and a bit of the Mad
Hatter's tea party to keep things interesting and unexpected.   We had
so many subtle inspirations, many of them very different from each
other, but all with the common art deco theme, even my vintage 1920's
wedding ring.  We wanted to do the same for our music so we hired a
traditional Klezmer band (accordion, clarinet, brass) to evoke the
exotic gypsy-esque music played for Jewish wedding celebrations in the
1920's.  We chose The Ruins for our venue so it could feel like we'd
descended into our our rabbit hole to a rare undiscovered place. The
backdrop of The Ruins provided a vibrant, eccentric and timeless
setting, and like us, a bit over the top with a few surprises.

We picked out mostly art deco styled ephemera to keep with the classic
vintage feel, but made sure to use the sauciest and most amusing
artwork we could find to create a really wildly entertaining
atmosphere.  We wanted to be sure that everywhere our guests looked,
they'd want to laugh and remember that we aren't following any
proscribed set of wedding rules or etiquette, we aren't taking
ourselves too seriously, and we clearly want people to have a good time
WITH us, not around us.

I hope you've all enjoyed Liesl & Jeremy's wedding ephemera as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you!  I love how every design element just oozes a sense of fun and playfulness – while still maintaining a cohesive design approach!  For more photos from Liesl & Jeremy's gorgeous wedding, check out the La Vie Photography blog here and here.  Thank you so, so much to Liesl and Jeremy for sharing their designs with us – and to Kim at La Vie Photography for sending over so many gorgeous photographs!

{unless noted otherwise, all photographs by La Vie Photography}