Friday, December 26

Graphic Gifts!

I love the Colorways: Graphic Design article featured in the January 09 issue of Metropolitan home magazine. I appreciate the strong design statement these bold black and whites make. I was so excited when Emily gave me this cool black and white hand painted bowl for the holidays! I show a similar one in the image below. Designed and painted by artist Theresita. I saw Emily reading the same article a couple days ago.... love it when cool things inspire beautiful holiday presents!

From left to right:
{vita envelope liner on}
{3 images from colorways: graphic design article on}
{hand painted bowl by Theresita design}

Wednesday, December 24

Don't Break the Bank

1. Think outside the box:

Take it easy on the withdrawals and use that creative mind. The day after your wedding, you can look at your statement with pride. Think of your options and escape the ideals of conformity. You can save money and create sentiment simultaneously by using personal inspiration. Your mother's dress, your summer home, your grandmother's china are all parts of your history and perfect for creating nostalgic impressions. A family home can be used for your wedding, saving you thousands and making it a very intimate gathering. If you do go over budget, you can replenish your bank account but...

2. Dresses:

The bridesmaids are another thing. {It's the dress issue.} Do wrong by them and the forgiveness comes only after enough time heals the wounds...if you are lucky. {wink} Do yourself a favor and hook them, wrap them and style them pretty with dresses from Butter by Nadia for under $300. They are convertible numbers with some pretty creative options that even the celebs are loving. One dress, to fit any body type and style. The dresses have two prices for 2 lengths and many color options. You can purchase on the web at benny and or visit NYC for an appointment at two When you look at the price, should also consider the fact that they will LOVE them and actually wear them again. Pictured in the collage is a bridal option, free flowing and so inexpensive.

3. Creativity:

Ring: Etsy has the most unbelievable selections of jewelry for all tastes and price ranges. This Moissanite, Recycled 14k Gold, and Recycled Sterling Silver Wedding Ring, is made to order and for only $876 from McFarland Designs. The moissanite, "diamonds from space" originate from meteorites, so they are ultra pc and perfect for the conscious bride. Saving you thousands, leaving a sweet downpayment for a house that you can actually live in!

Flowers: My favorite florist, Cathy from Sprout has some great options for creating amazing centerpieces, simplistically and creatively. Showcase one element to create a fantastic presentation. It's all in the presentation. You can use whatever florals suit you and minimize cost by getting creative. Sprout is not short on that. So a good florist should be willing to think outside the box.

Invitations: Romance by eInvite is priced under $100 for 100 invitations. Visit our site and see just how many you have many to choose from in that price range. This line was created to offer great design at a great price. You'll want to send out invitations for Friday night cocktails, so maybe you should just stick to the wedding section!

{ images: dresses via, ring via etsy, flowers via, invitation via, gown via }

Tuesday, December 23

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons

Playing with paper is one of my favorite things so I like to make gift-wrapping fun and creative. Here are some easy ways to dress up a simple present.

1. Natural elements: A few small pinecones or evergreen sprigs can be attached to a ribbon or a raffia bow with floral wire for a homey, rustic appeal.
2. Ornament tag: Attaching an interesting ornament to the outside of a gift is exciting for the recipient and can be the little something extra that makes a package memorable...even if there are socks inside.
3. Heartfelt and handwritten: Instead of the "to: mom, from: me" label, how about a handwritten note on a folding notecard?
4. Forgo the disposables: A reusable and functional container with a ribbon around it is a great choice and doubles as wrapping. For example, a large wine bucket with wine and cheese inside, or a wire basket with cookie cutters and an apron.

Happy holidays, and have fun giving!

Monday, December 22

As a designer, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting script fonts. Veer is a great source for fabulous new fonts. These two, released this fall, caught my eye.

{L to R: Montague Script and Compendium}

Friday, December 19

Typography Philosophy!

All of this winter weather has got me down. I was in Phoenix to study color science last week (to ensure that eInvite's printing continues to be exceptional) and I returned to a week of storms here in New England. As I write, the snow is flying outside my home office. The weather has been so unforgiving that the President declared parts of Massachusetts to be disaster areas!

The unpleasant season has given me the chance to get back into my design and art textbooks. In my opinion, much of the art of inviting is focused on four things: the graphic design of the card, the construction techniques, the layout of the type, and the typeface itself. Lately I've been thinking about type and had an interesting discussion with Emily about it.

Two of the many philosophies in typography are "modernism" and "post-modernism." Unlike the art movement of the same name, post-modernist typographers aren't "weird for the sake of being weird" but rather, have drifted away from the modernist belief that type should be completely transparent.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, one way of thinking about it is the difference between a lightbulb and a chandelier. Light bulbs illuminate a room, but we generally don't pay them any thought. It's the light we're interested in. On the other hand, a chandelier gives off light, but also is meant to be looked at, and has aesthetic qualities that change the whole feeling of the room.

Type is similar! Modernist (lightbulb) thinking gave way to the development of typefaces like Arial and Helvetica, whose purpose was to be completely neutral, and to render no particular atmosphere to the writing. In theory, a person who read something written in Helvetica would pay attention only to what the words said, rather than how the words looked.

Post-modernists said, "Hey, you know what? You can't ever get RID of how type looks, it always creates atmosphere. Let's embrace that." Naturally, most of the people at eInvite are post-modernists, because we're concerned about the emotion and feeling that a piece of stationery conveys. On the other hand, I am a (recovering) modernist.

I am coming around to post-modernist thought in type design, though! It's somewhat difficult to explain how to recognize the difference between a modern type and a post-modern type. One way to do it is purely on emotional instinct: does the type feel faceless, meaningless? Then it's probably modern. Does the type seem to contribute to the atmosphere of the design? Well, it's probably NOT modern.

Think about driving down the highway: the roadsigns are all Helvetica (or something thereabouts). They're meant, in theory, to only give directional information, and not to convey any feeling about the sign itself (or the place to which you're being directed). Now think about the sign at your spa, or stylist. I would bet that they have some sort of really interesting type that conveys feelings of luxury or relaxation. So here's an example of type used to create a luxuriant atmosphere:

Warm Wishes

The recent ice storm and this COLD weather… all makes me think of how wonderful it can be to share something warm and cozy with your friends and family! A cup of hot cocoa and some delicious warm brownies.

Celebrate this season by baking some gooey mint chocolate goodness as seen on Martha Stewart and sending these warm cocoa wishes by Checkerboard on

Thursday, December 18

Networking with style

Invest in yourself, spread your wings, open your mind and work your web of contacts. These days networking and personal connections are huge. Consumers, employers and job candidates are wiser and savvier than ever. Relationships make a big difference in getting ahead in the world or even getting your child in the elite preschool when others are waitlisted. It's all in who you know. These days this old adage takes on alot more meaning. Viral networking on the web is gaining so much ground, not just the kids are using Facebook and Myspace. Linkedin says 30 million people are professionally networking through their site. Personal branding is a must.

I say, do it personally and with style. eInvite is now offering calling cards by Checkerboard with ultimate personal style, featuring handlettering by world renowned calligrapher, Maria Thomas. So, whether you are meeting mamas in the park and planning a playdate, or you are launching a new company, refresh your personal brand with a touch of originality. You are sure to get noticed.

Wednesday, December 17

Shimmer, Shake and Celebrate!

What better way to bring in the New Year than with a touch of gold. Symbolizing wealth and prosperity, a shimmer of yellow gold, honey, or bronze can set a positive tone to any New Year celebration. Whether it be an intimate gathering at home, or an extravagant gala atop a high rise, here are a few touches to make the evening sparkle!

From L to R:
Sparkling Setting, Martha Stewart
27 pc. Dark Chocolate Gift Box, Godiva
BR Monogram ombre T-shirt dress, Banana Republic
Linea Paolo 'Glamorous' Sandal, Nordstrom
Golden Fêtes, Moët & Chandon
Sequined Carolyn Jacket, J.Crew
Contemporary New Year's Eve Centerpiece by
Bubble elastic bracelet, Banana Republic
Sparkling Spirits Invitation, Checkerboard Inc. available at
Aldridge three-button suit, J.Crew Weddings & Parties

Tuesday, December 16

Destination: Somewhere Sunny

Perhaps it's the horrendous ice storm that clamored our region and left lots of central Massachusetts still without power, but I'm dreaming of tropical getaways today. My soon to be sister-in-law had a lovely destination wedding in the Bahamas five years ago that was an amazing way to gather everyone in celebration. It was all about salty hair, warm sand, fruity drinks, and intimate gatherings around a beachfront bonfire. Doesn't sound so bad right about now...

eInvite has some of the most fun destination wedding invitations and save-the-dates available. Enjoy! (clockwise from top left) Jet Set, Hibiscus, Fuchsia Festivities, Airplane, Play Tag, Passport, Boarding Pass, Par Avion.

And good luck to all those in the Northeast still struggling with the aftermath of the ice storm! Thinking of you all...

Keeping it Simple

Getting down to the fundamental features, creating original aesthetics with punch and pizzazz is always striking. I found the image of the pears via Sweet Paul who I admire for his originality and eye for style, and fell for the simplicity and the unique presentation. The colors pop and leave you looking for more sweet touches. I love the whimsy inclusion of the vintage leaves and the combination of deep red and this funky blue.

Continuing the color palette, I found this great handmade ornament on etsy by skychica, an internationally recognized glass artisan. All of these elements compliment the simple and elegant holiday greeting, echoing sophistication and originality. The red foil elements glow on the paper and your text is eloquently printed.

{Beautiful red pears with vintage velvet leaves via Sweet Paul; Sussical Holiday Ornament by skychica via etsy; Crimson Mistletoe from Checkerboard via eInvite}

Thursday, December 11

The ART of baking!

Inspired by beautiful composition on these wedding cakes…… sleek design, the unexpected bloom and great proportions make them a true treat for the eyes!
I bet it tastes pretty amazing too!

{april reed cake design}
{the etiquette of chocolate}

Wednesday, December 10

Express yourself

Holiday decor can also express your personal style and give a feeling of holiday warmth and sparkle. Look at the clothes you buy, the music you listen to, the magazines you read. Examine what you use to express yourself in your everyday life and build on your personality to let your style shine. It may take a little confidence and some effort, but well worth it. When you sit back in front of the fire with your mulled wine, you can admire your holiday home with a whole new spirit.

Gift giving at eInvite can also express personal style with a little panache for the style savvy.

{images: holiday wreath from McQueens via Livingetc magazine, Gold Murano Glass Pen Set via eInvite, Black Stationery Portfolio via eInvite, K82 Silver/Black Ballpoint Pelikan pen in a metal giftbox via eInvite}

Tuesday, December 9

Alice in (Winter) Wonderland

Add a little yellow to the usual green and a take a little away from the regular red and you'll have a spectrum of hues like magenta, blush, chartreuse and moss to bring some whimsy to your holiday home. Bring in some forest friends, experiment with pattern, light and scale. There's definitely some magic to be found in these psychedelic seasonals.

Featuring (clockwise form top left):
Inchworm Ornament from Anthropologie
Orquidea Cup & Saucer from Anthropologie
Pink & Green Holiday Photo Card from eInvite
Lumen Oil Lamp Shadow Projector from Uncommon Goods
Snowflake Tree Skirt from Pottery Barn

Monday, December 8

Red All Over

There are so many great choices this year for holiday cards, I am going to have a hard time deciding which to order. One thing is for certain—it’s going to be red! Here are a few of my favorites…

{L to R from top: Be Joyful by Crane & Co.; Dove of Peace by; Engraved Calligraphic Ornament by William Arthur; Selfless Santa by Carlson Craft; Harbinger by Checkerboard, Ltd.; Spray of White Berries by take note! Designs}

Friday, December 5

be BOLD this Season!

I am inspired by the cool fusion of a traditional color palette and bold modern design this holiday season. These beautiful, fearless designs make for some really fun holiday decor and shopping!

{burst rug from}
{bird pillow from}
{flower arrangement form}
{red greeting by Checkerboard from}
{red pillow from}

Thursday, December 4

Go Dutch!

Colorful designs, motifs and symbols reflective of traditional folk art are abundant as of late, on everything ranging from paper goods to home décor, fashion and beyond. Especially popular, are motifs reminiscent of “Pennsylvania Dutch” folk art, such as rosettes, tulips, hearts, doves and goldfinches.

In the 18th century, decorating everyday items with colorful designs was a common practice for the Pennsylvania Dutch. Everything from furniture, to clocks, to birth certificates were decorated with symbols that settlers had first been acquainted with in Europe. Over time, these motifs came to represent Pennsylvania Dutch ideology. They were often used as visual prayers that would protect the home and farm, bring good fortune, abundance and prosperity, or invite guests to be welcome.

Below, are some recurring motifs that I’ve been seeing everywhere this season. For fun, I’ve written a brief description of the Pennsylvania Dutch symbolism for each. So, that the next time you need to buy a house warming gift, order wedding favors, or decorate your home…you’ll be inspired to go Dutch!

• The goldfinch is the good luck bird of the early Pennsylvania Dutch. When shown alone it represents good luck and happiness. When two birds are shown together they symbolize a double measure of good fortune.

• The rosette offers good luck as well.

• Tulips represent faith and trust and when shown in a set of three, represent faith, hope, and charity.

• A heart ensures love and romance.

• A dove symbolizes peace and contentment.

• The eight-pointed star offers abundance.

• Scalloped borders represent smooth sailing.

• The Tree of Life symbolizes a happy life and joyful memories for all.

{Images from left to right: Fleet Red Organic Teatowel from Mibo; Cherry Picking screenprint by Ruth Green; Chicken Stock screenprint on wood panel also from Mibo; Wild Pods Mug by Fiona Howard; Dutch Woodcut Floral Gift Wrap from Papersource; New Wave Acapulco Dinner Plate from Villeroy & Boch; Ceylon Personalized stationery by Checkerboard; Tulip Wallpaper by ISAK; Cockerell two color vinylprint by Sarah Young; 100% Recycled Giftwrap from Rosehip Cards}

Tuesday, December 2

A little tribute to...Ol' Louie

If you are in the greeting card biz you certainly know who Louis Prang is. He is esteemed as the father of the American holiday greeting card. Immigrating from Breslau in a time of political strife, he came to the US in 1856 and lived in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Within ten years, he had mastered lithography and was printing entire lines of elaborate holiday cards. His work promoted the printing industry to what it is today and the "Prang" name can be recognized with art materials still found in stores. We can also thank him for being instrumental in developing art education and printing the first instructional textbooks.

Now for those of you outside the stationery industry, you may have never heard of ol' Louie. He is quite well know to us paper people. In fact, every year in May at the National Stationery Show in New York City, stationery companies get all decked out for the "Academy Awards" of the paper industry, "The Louie Awards". The award bearing his name is given for creative excellence in the industry. Behind every card, invitation, thank you note or announcement is a idea, designers, production teams and photographers. Creating paper greetings is an art, as fashion for your self expressions.
Fresh ideas, amazing design and new techniques of the highest standards manufactured today would make Louis Prang one proud printer. He may have started this American tradition, but today it is preserved, every single time you put a card in the mail.

{Images: Photo of Louis Prang from The National Museum of American History, The Smithsonian Graphic Arts Collection; Prang Christmas Card via Greeting Card Association; Flocked Party Reindeer by Meri Meri for eInvite.}

Fashion, in Life and in Art

If you were following Balenciaga this past spring, you probably noticed the house's FW08 take on the "little black dress." The ready to wear collection might not be in your closet now, but the fusion of classic, rustic, and modern is most certainly in season.

Chanel's "LBD" was a philosophical change. She moved color and cut from mourning to celebration: not just of life, but of taste. Ghesquière's take was yet another step forward, paying homage to history while adding a regional feel and looking to the future. I love this sort of fusion, when tradition and modernity clash, resulting in something beautiful and new.

A new fusion has occurred lately, combining economic uncertainty with the demands of the holiday season. Surrounded by these troubles, what better way to bring together the best of humanity, than a gathering that is relaxed and refined, not bacchanalian or epicurean? Celebrate good friends, good taste, and perhaps even start a new tradition or two. Invite your guests in a way they wouldn't expect. Not by Facebook or Twitter, but with something that will sit on the table and mull like hot cider, gathering excitement and gathering joy. Maybe we can't afford Ghesquière's little black dress this year. But we can celebrate tradition with tradition, friendship with friends, and craftsmanship with craft.

Of course, working here makes me biased, but there are more parallels between clothing and stationery than you might first think. When I started to become familiar with stationery, I didn't realize the depth of craft and research that designers put into their work. So, if you respect presentation in all matters of life, and want to bring together your loved ones for an event that brings together those rustic, traditional, and classical elements , consider using an invitation. They last much longer... and mean much more... than a few lines of text on a computer screen or phone.

Runway Photo Credit:, Marcio Madeira

Chocolate Cupcakes and Babies

Will chocolate brown ever stop being the always-appropriate accent color? I hope not. It reminds me of slowing down and getting the kitchen all nice and warm while the trees are bare and icy. Here's a collection of cuteness to melt your heart this Tuesday.

The cupcakes are the work of Emilie Hardman of The Conscious Kitchen, a genius and vegan treat-maker in Somerville, MA with an amazing blog. The top right one is described by Emilie as follows: "Cross Cultural, the unbeatable spicy Dagoba Xocolatl cupcake with a Vietnamese cinnamon chocolate mousse," and on the bottom left a "chocolate hazelnut cupcake topped with hazelnut vanilla buttercreme dyed an unlikely blue." Yes please.

The gorgeous chocolate and blue holiday photo cards from are super-affordable right now - it's the last day for the 40% off sale - $59.39 for 100. Yummmm. **Update: Sale extended through Dec. 15!!**

Monday, December 1


I received the new West Elm catalog in the mail last week and was immediately struck by the wonderful color palette of their new collection. In particular, these two pillow shots caught my eye. I love the muted, serene colors.

{images from West Elm}