Tuesday, December 29

Happy New Year Wishes

The very best New Year wishes from everyone here at eInvite in West Boylston, Massachusetts. Thank you so much for giving us the honor of creating your invitations and announcements. We look forward to 2010.

Noroc, Salud, Sláinte, À la votre, Beifall, Acclamazioni, Saluté, Aclamaciones, Jambo, Prost, Chia, Gëzuar, Shucram, Genatzt, Gan bei, Serefe, Na zdraví, Skål, Maljanne, Jamas, Kassutta, Okole maluna, L'chaim, Budmo, Apki Lambi Umar Ke Liye, Kampai, Saha wa'afiab, Sanda bashi, Salam ati, Mabuhay, Na zdrowie, Saude, Na zdorovje, Choc-tee, Oogy wawa

...and in most places all over the world, the word "cheers" is one that is pretty universal.

{If you don't see your language here, if you could add the word/language you use for "cheers" in the comments, that would be wonderful!}

Monday, December 28

8 Ways to RELAX…

{image via green-form}

Interim holiday break before the new year...a few ways to bring it in with some relaxation and refreshment tips!

1. Live in the moment – Stop the anxiety about what will happen tomorrow or the next day. Cleanse your thoughts of these worries. Take care of the things you have control over and don’t do yourself in over the things that are out of your reach. Live in the moment, enjoy your family, friends and personal time.

2. DEclutter your world – The space where you live and work can really influence your mood with subliminal messages. Take some time to organize your world and clean house on the “stuff” that has accumulated. Clean and cleanse your space. It is pretty amazing what reorganizing a room can do for you.

3. Reflect – Take a few minutes at least once a day to clear your inner space and relax your thoughts. A constant hurried life can take a toll on even the most organized people. Learn to silence your brain for a few moments and become FREE of the madness. Detach, go to a happy place and regroup. This kind of relaxation benefits you in so many ways. Try a Zentangle, deep breathing, yoga, or just stop and rest your mind.

4. Do what you think, and stop the procrastination – Relaxation is a product of something, of getting to a place where there is peace. Prioritizing your days and your life give you a long term strategy on relaxation. Create lists for your days and your year! Remember all the things you need to do and don’t forget the things you always wanted to do. Why live in a pressure cooker when you can reap the rewards of efficiency every day! Now have a chocolate.

5. Live YOUR dreams – Dream a little everyday. Believe in yourself and stop the natural tendency of trying to take care of everyone around you. Life is hectic and days fly by so fast. Listen to the inner voice inside of you and forget trying to be all things to all people. Remember all your big ideas. Use that energy to push yourself and plan for adventures. Remember that the thoughts and outspoken words of others can limit your ideas. Let them go and celebrate what your inspirations are. So many people are making huge changes to do this lately!

6. Unplug – Put your phone, computer, and electronic leashes down. Step away from the inbox, ignore the red flashing button, do not answer the chirp of the wild twitter birdy. Take time to concentrate on yourself, your friends and family. Be a little mysterious for a while, enrich your days with REAL stimulation instead of electronic mania that takes so much of our day! So, when you are finished looking over our blog, you can detach, disconnect and hit the refresh button. Wink.

7. Shake it up – Life can get very stale, and we humans are creatures of habit, which makes the whole monotony thing a constant balance. Change up your routine, your schedule, and your activities. Get active and try new things. Enjoy nature and the world around you. Your surroundings probably have a lot to offer and you just never stop to enjoy them.

8. Most of all, Remember the people close to you – We work, work, work and try to balance our lives. Take time to schedule meet ups with friends you haven’t seen, family that would love a visit, or a trip you have been longing for. Become inspired and excited for adventures big and small. They are addictive. Relaxing with friends is some of the best stuff life can offer!

Enjoy the last few days of 2009 and embrace 2010!

A New Year~

Cheers to all the little things and the wonderful people that make your life special! Now relax and pour yourself some bubbly.

Season's Greetings

We hope your holidays have been full of mirth and magic!
- the eInvite.com crew

Image: "Graphique" card by Checkerboard.

Monday, December 21

Simple Holiday Decorating Ideas

With a foot of snow outside our door, it is certainly feeling like the holiday season in Massachusetts! I love these holiday decorating ideas from Real Simple—perfect for the last minute, as they can be created with simple craft store finds like ribbon, blank canvases, bells and styrofoam balls. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18

Yay, for Houndstooth!

As of late, I’ve been noticing houndstooth everywhere and on everything. The lovely duotone pattern is no longer limited to woven wool or the Scottish Lowlands; instead, it’s become rather international. It’s been spotted everywhere from the runways in Paris, to the households of America, and everywhere in between. It's also shed its traditional color palette of black and white, opting instead, for more adventurous hues such as fuchsia, purple, green and pink.

Houndstooth really is one of those classic patterns that will never go out of fashion. It’s the perfect accent to any attire, whether it takes the form of a scarf, wallet, dress, or a pair of shoes, you can wear it anywhere and anyhow; it will always look classy. It’s also a great design element to work into any party theme. Oh, so perfect for a wedding, bridal shower, or even a corporate holiday party, it will add that special panache you’re looking for.

Above, I’ve featured just a few of my favorites that I came across while on the hunt for houndstooth. I especially love the Toffee Pumps by oh! DEER. That little touch of yellow patent leather, is oh so yummy! Also beautiful, are the invitation designs by Checkerboard. They would be perfect for a 30th birthday bash, or even a bachelor party, the possibilities are endless! Yay, for Houndstooth...now go get yourself some!

Mid-Winter Sprout

This past Wednesday, Worcester hit 18ºF.

What's worse than that?

Well, that was the high temperature for the day. Fortunately, as creatives, we're usually working about a season ahead in order to bring you delectable designs and inspirational images. This means that though our bodies and buildings may be in winter, our minds are in spring (though the opposite is also true... when we're in summer, our minds have to be in the holiday season, and that can be tough!).

One great way to bring a bit of spring into your environment (and in my case, into our photographs) is utilizing the power of flowers. Here in Worcester, one of my favorite vendors is Sprout. They are a floral boutique with many of the exotics that you can't find locally without going to Boston or New York.

Sprout's exterior is a little burst of color on this frozen street. The early snows have past, but the cold has set in deep and most vendors have pulled their advertising and storefront features inside. Thanks to Sprout's bright paint and distinctive sign, it's pretty easy to find. Far more important, however, is what lies inside:

When I look for a good florist or floral supply, I look for businesses that keep their merchandise moving and their displays fresh and well rotated. Every business needs to do this, but florists in particular, as even cut flowers are reactive to light, heat, water, humidity, and more. A shirt will gather dust, but a flower will actually react with its environment.

Even in these small photographs, you can see that the cut flowers are in clean, clear, cool water. Keep an eye out at www.einvite.com for promotional shots featuring Sprout's beautiful selection!

Thursday, December 17

Happy Holidays from eInvite!

We took a little break from the holiday rush to run out and play in the snow.

To all of our customers, vendors, friends and families...
Happy, Happy Holidays from the entire staff of eInvite!

Wednesday, December 16

How to have fun at work...

Each division here has been challenged to come up with holiday shananagans that are in line with a classic holiday special. The Art department pulled "Rudolph" from the magic snowman's hat. All day people have been coming down to snoop, {ie, the santa here is a spy from the finance dept, who was caught up in the holiday spirit with Herbie and 'Ol Yukon}. We also have reindeer glasses that you see snow through, designed this morning, by another arty elf.
More fun pix from our holiday mayhem coming soon!

Tuesday, December 15

Amazing Stages

{image courtesy of Telegraph}

An amazing floating stage erected for a performance of Verdi's "A Masked Ball" at Austria's Bregenz Festival looms over the audience on Lake Constance. Click the Telegraph link above for more examples of their incredible productions. This is an older one, but definitely my favorite.

Touch Someone

{image via richbugger and writer_sheri on twitter...thanks!}

For more great typography, visit the entire post on richbugger.

Monday, December 14

Turquoise Celebration

{image of Brocatto holiday greeting by Checkerboard}

Checkerboard was spot on with their insight for trend spotting and delivered us this gold and turquoise greeting. The chocolate envelope really compliments the card and the gold ink pulls it all together.

Xia viridiflora var minor was the only turquoise flower I came across, dear Cathy (ref:comment on last post), and it happens to be indigenous of South Africa. It is pretty stunning with the aubergine center. Massachusetts cultivation may give you the petal up on Turquoise flora!

If turquoise is one of your wedding colors this year, send us your insight on how you would use it!

Sunday, December 13

And the Color of the Year is...

Drumroll, please! Last week, Pantone announced the color of the year. To those of you whom follow the fashion and design trends (which we try to bring you here at eInvite's Insights), it should be no surprise that yellow (Mimosa Yellow, to be exact) is OUT and Turquoise is IN.

I have to admit, I am not a fan of turquoise. Not even remotely. However, it can be used beautifully in concert with other colors, and I'm quite certain we'll be on the lookout for good uses of turquoise in the future, to bring to you for your (and our) inspiration!

Friday, December 11

FREE GIFT for you!

Box of 10 beautiful notecards with any Checkerboard purchase ~

Just wanted to remind all of you lovely eInvite shoppers that it’s not too late to order holiday cards! Over the next couple of weeks, up until January 4th we are offering a FREE gift with any Checkerboard purchase. So, be sure to take a peek at some of the new designs Checkerboard has released. I’ve featured just a few of my favorites above, but you can see the full selection on eInvite.com. Once you’ve chosen the card you want, be sure to use code GIFT1 at checkout to receive your free gift! Enjoy and Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 9

Kseniya Simonova, an inspiration

Feel free to leave your comments! We love your feedback.

Monday, December 7

Apple Brand Identity

I came across this diagram of Apple’s logo, and thought it was very interesting how the design has evolved over time, from their first logo in 1976, to the second used from 1976-1998, to the current design.

Friday, December 4

Holiday Parties

a few things I love about holiday parties:
~ an invitation that sets the tone {eInvite.com}
~ a stunning red dress {ann taylor}
~ an exciting menu. cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with a twist {food network and elle décor}
~ stylish décor {west elm}
and of course, spending time with my favorite people!

Monday, November 30

Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday! Here at eInvite.com, we are offering 25% off on select holiday cards, stationery and invitations, as well as promotions on Checkerboard, Crane & Co. and take note! designs.

Welcome Back!

All of us here at eInvite's Insights hope you had a lovely holiday weekend (or week!) and look forward to continue sharing with you, in this holiday season and many more.

Happy Holidays,

The eInvite Team

Wednesday, November 25

Finger Food!

{Image via Fred and Friends}
Hello and happy almost Thanksgiving everyone! I have something particularly fun and a little kitsch for you today. Ever find yourself at a party forever juggling your drink with your hors d’ouevres? Fortunately, Fred and Friends has got the answer – these adorable little plates with rings that fit right onto your finger! Designed by Ken Goldman, these charming plates allow you to balance your glass and your hors d’ouevres, and look positively in control while doing so. Genius! What a great addition to any party; they’re especially perfect for New Years Eve! Be sure to check out the full line of Fred and Friends products, they’ve got a great selection of party friendly goods. Have fun!

Giving Thanks

{flower arrangement top left by Ovando New York, all other images via sweet paul}
Almost all the leaves have fallen here in New England. The chill is in the air. Frost is on the lawns where the dew used to be. Bare branches and the color of bittersweet adorns. It's so easy to bring the outside in and warm your homes for the holiday. I love the image of the table from Sweet Paul, who has the best inspiration for subtle simplicity with a modern vibe. Don't forget to bring flowers to dinner. This stunning monochromatic explosion of flora would warm the heart of any host.

May your holiday be full of family and friends, your home bustling with laughter and cheer, and may there be plenty of leftovers for thanksgiving sandwiches!

Happy Thanksgiving to you from everyone at eInvite.com!

Monday, November 23

Thanksgiving Table Setting

I love the idea of using natural elements for a simple Thanksgiving table setting. Previously, I found these cute ideas from Martha. This holiday, Sunset Magazine has me wishing we had kids coming to dinner. Too cute!

{Sunset Magazine}

Sunday, November 22

Street Art by SpY

Lately, I've been following the work of SpY, a street artist from Madrid, Spain. His work is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek and very playful. Street art can often be controversial, as art often is, but it would be hard to get upset at much of SpY's portfolio. The case in point can be shown through SpY's "For Security Reasons", a play on the CCTV camera, a device of state and private control, now ubiquitous in much of western Europe. Here, the CCTV camera is resigned to keeping watch over the heavens, a pile of bricks, some refuse bins, and the broadside of a brick wall.

Another project has SpY creating LED crosswalk signs, and using them to break pedestrians out of the ordinary interpretation of signs and symbols. While the green crosswalk person shines, SpY's adaptation allows the red crosswalk person to flee:

SpY's personal website contains a large number of installation pieces, all of which are enjoyable on a variety of levels, particularly: creative, social, and philosophical. If you get the chance to visit the site, definitely do so, SpY is getting more and more press coverage and will no doubt be a familiar name in the near future, not only in the creative world, but in the broader community as well.

Friday, November 20

The Ultimate Holiday Gift

{image via CNNMoney.com}

I don't know about everyone else, but it's really starting to feel like the holidays around here! We just put up our huge holiday sale on Wednesday that has some amazing product in it, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.So, in the holiday spirit, I wanted to share some of these incredible gifts that Neiman Marcus has just released from their 2009 Christmas Book. For a mere $25,000 you can have your very own cupcake car, which can reach up to 7 miles per hour and is sure to make your morning commute a little sweeter. Just bring your own snacks because it's not edible (I double checked).

{image via CNNMoney.com}

For $12,000 you can be stylish and eco-friendly with Michelle Brand's beautiful five foot long chandelier that is made out of the bottom of soda bottles. If you're super DIY-saavy, give it a shot yourself and let us know how it goes!

{image via CNNMoney.com}

The crown jewel of the collection in my opinion is the Mission One - the fastest electric bike in the world. On top of having a drool-worthy sleekness, it can reach 150 miles per hour and has zero carbon emissions. At $73,000 you may need to go through your friend's couches for the spare change, but it promises to be worth the effort.

What's your ultimate holiday gift?

Tuesday, November 17

Alexa and Ben's Simply Gorgeous Engagement

{Navy & White Save the Date by Crane & Co, via eInvite}

We posted a little while back about Alexa and Ben, who were the lucky winners of our $500 Twitter contest and an awesome couple in general. They were nice enough to let us share with you the simple yet gorgeous Save the Date they chose, as well as some pictures from their engagement. The pictures are so beautiful, I can't wait to see what they are doing for their wedding! Enjoy!

{courtesy of Ben Betz}

The happy couple, right after getting engaged. What a beautiful place to pop the question.

{courtesy of Ben Betz}

Some amazing shots of the ring. Absolutely gorgeous!

Dreams on Film

{image courtesy of livejournal.com}

Akira Kurosawa was a legendary film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor whose career spanned 50 years and influenced the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and countless other filmmakers. Of the small portion of films I have seen of his, one of my favorites is "Kurosawa's Dreams".

Released in 1990 Dreams is a collection surreal vignettes based on actual dreams the filmmaker experienced throughout his life. They range from the beautiful, such as a boys adventure in magically blooming fields and vistas, living dolls dancing, and a journey through Van Gogh's landscapes, to the nightmarish; a Japanese officer confronted by the ghosts of his fallen platoon, and nuclear apocalypse among Mount Fuji. Dreams is a visually lush and extraordinary experience by one of cinema's greatest visionaries.

Monday, November 16

Inspirational Artist

If you haven't seen this story yet, it is truly inspiring. After a 20 minute helicopter ride over the city, autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire, drew from memory every building in the New York skyline. To scale! Seriously amazing. Story and additional photos here.

{photos Daily Mail}

Sunday, November 15

Green Paper

I like beautiful paper. As an artist, and particularly as a photographer, paper is important to me. When used in a photographic print, a wide variety of attributes contribute to the quality of the paper. Things like texture, brightness, colorfastness, and galvanization: all make a major impact on the finished print. Paper becomes even more important when it's used in artwork that is intended to be handled, like invitations, particularly wedding and birth announcements.

Paper isn't necessarily green, and does have a spotted history. I grew up in a rural area where the rivers would run different colors, depending upon the dye of the day. But things have changed dramatically in many parts of the paper industry, and not just in the manufacturing standards, but in the ways that the pulp is acquired as well.

We typically associate paper with two types of fiber: cotton and wood. Both can be used in a sustainable way. Fine papers made in medium quantities tend to be a mix of virgin hard and softwood, with some fillers mixed in. Fine papers made in small quantities are often hand-laid and expensive, and often 100% cotton. These latter papers are often used for fine art and photography. The former, wood-fiber papers, tend to be used for fine stationery and invitations. Of course, you'll find plenty of 100% cotton sheets used for fine invitations too, but the price often increases significantly.

Nevertheless, we tend to be interested in just a few things universally, particularly when it comes to invitations, and other fine products that will be printed and handled. Here's a short list:

  • "Hand-feel" - This is how the paper feels in your hands. Is it soft? Hard? Do your hands dry out when you handle it? Does it feel luxurious... or industrial? All of these things are quantified subconsciously, the second we touch the paper.
  • Texture - This is simply the texture of the paper. Is it smooth? Rough? Does it have a pattern like a linen or does it show the machine chains from the manufacturing process?
  • Formation - This is a little bit harder to quantify for the lay-person, but it is roughly the description of how even the distribution of fibers and consistent the appearance of the paper. It's usually easiest to see formation by holding your paper up to the sun. Does the paper appear splotchy like oatmeal? Bad formation. Does the paper appear uniform like a thin skin of milk? Good formation.
  • Stiffness - This is pretty straight forward! However, I personally feel that a stiff paper is not a good paper by default. Stiff paper with poor hand-feel can look and feel like a manila work folder... not what you want in fine paper!
  • Color - Sometimes it's hard to remember, but paper has a color, and often it is quite distinct. Usually when we look at a photograph, or even a blank sheet of paper, we ignore whether the paper is slightly blue or slightly yellow; this is what we tend to call "cold" and "warm." A colder paper tends to be more blue in sunlight, a warmer paper tends to be more yellow in sunlight. There are color papers as well, like cream, ecru, chocolate, and these are much more overstated than the delicate hues between "cold" and "warm."
  • Coating - This is quite a tricky characteristic, as coated papers and uncoated papers can be manipulated in a wide variety of ways, often blending the line between the two, but a relatively easy way to tell the difference is to look at a magazine and look at a piece of watercolor paper. Magazines tend to be made with coated paper, watercolor paper is uncoated. Both can be very beautiful.
Considering all of these attributes, you can look at the difference between "green" papers and "not-so-green" papers. In the past, green papers were often thought to be recycled papers, with a lot of post-consumer waste. The quality of the paper was sometimes ignored, and the result was an ugly, limp, poorly formed paper. But things have seriously changed!

Now, not only have forestry standards changed dramatically (improving the sustainability of the wood pulp paper industry) but there are a variety of ways of mixing in PCW (post-consumer waste) and even using entirely different materials from wood and virgin cotton (such as hemp, or reclaimed cotton from recycled clothing). The balance is tricky, some of the recyclable processes take significantly more energy than the virgin processes, and in order to offset this, some paper manufacturers are purchasing their power from renewable sources, or even investing in their own power generation.

So you may be saying, "How in the world can I make sense of all this?" Well, there are a few things to look for:

  • Look for FSC certification. Once you find a paper you like, or if you're shopping for invitations, announcements, or stationery, see if it is is FSC certified. Retailers are beginning to make this information available to their customers, and often times the packaging will have the FSC logo printed right on it.
  • Research the brand. There's a big difference between marketing fluff and a genuine commitment to green initiatives. Green companies, particularly in the paper industry, make it their mission to be green. If you just see a few "Save the Earth" stickers laying around, and the company information looks otherwise "business as usual", then chances are that they aren't too green.
  • Just ask! You can get a good feel for how green-friendly a company is just by talking to a customer service person, or sending an email. Just as above, a green company is a company that makes it a core part of their business, not a marketing talking point.

Friday, November 13

Paper Quality, Process and Differences in Invitations

{a great example of offset metallic ink on red linen paper, this item has fun handlettering}

{a great example of embossed lettering on sparkly stardream paper}

{a great example of red foil stamping and offset metallic ink on jet black paper, this item also is
distinctive with the use of hand lettering on the card and the envelope, thermographed in red ink}

Viewing invitations and announcements online is so much easier with beautiful images, showing details of the processes used on each cards. Rich heavy papers with silver offset ink as seen in the first image, shine and compliment your holiday photo. Next I chose an embossed item, the script-y font and the deep rich embossing is so elegantly captured. The stardream paper sparkles and the image shows that. These wonderful details tell you about the items, in ways that words just can't. Some people may not read the descriptions listed for every card that can tell you a lot, but the images catch it all! Look at the last one, the way the deep red foil looks on jet black paper is so stunning.

Paper quality is important factor when choosing an invitation, the thicker the paper, the more supple it feels in the hand of the person you are sending it to. Layers of paper add to the impact, building up the thickness. Colored papers and offset inks, either flat printed like metallic inks on dark paper or thermography, where the ink is raised and textured really have a dimension to them that other processes just can't attain. They are also very custom and make quite a difference in your hand.

Another option is laser printing where all of the image is printed at one time, this can be very cost effective and a nice way to share your holiday greetings. So depending on your taste and your budget you can decide what kind of look you want to express yourself! I happen to like the black and red item. It is fun and funky with a lot of style. The hand lettering sets it apart and is unique. We have plenty to choose from, each has it's own personal style. Look at the alternate images and see every little detail. See which one fits yours!

{clicking the images here will take you to the item and even more amazing shots!}

A few meaningful words can say it all!

~ holiday cards from eInvite.com
~ jess's gorgeous girls
~ michelle's adorable sosie
~ wendy's beautiful caitlyn

Thursday, November 12

Dressing-up Cupcakes!

The other day here at eInvite, I was working on a project that required I draw some cupcake liners and so, for a quick visual guide, I did a Google image search for just that, “Cupcake Liners.” I never before realized how many different cupcake liners there are out there! The selection is huge, consisting of beautiful designs, perfect for any occasion, be it a birthday party, wedding, or baby shower! Here are just a few of my personal favorites that I stumbled upon, but be sure to check out the links below to see more. Enjoy!

{Images Lto R: Happy Flowers - Watermelon Cupcake Wrapper available at eInvite, Pink Zebra Baking Cups and Red Swirl Baking Cups available at Layer Cake Shop, Orange Designer Cupcake Liners via Cupcake Social on Etsy, Green Polka Dot Baking Cups via Layer Cake Shop, MINI Hillary Paisley Designer Cupcake Liners also from Cupcake Social, Green Candy Stripe Baking Cups at Layer Cake Shop, Muffin Cup Vestli Liv M available at Fancyflowers, Blue Sweet Flower Baking Cups and Brown Leopard Baking Cups from Layer Cake Shop, Muffin Cup Vestli Elenor Black M from Fancyflowers and Black Zebra Baking Cups available at Layer Cake Shop}

Monday, November 9

Winter Color Inspiration

I came across this image of silk tops the other day, and was immediately struck by the amazing color palette. It would be perfect for a winter wedding! My wheels are turning on how I can incorporate this palette into my own winter event.

{L to R from top: Silk Lumiere Cami, Jcrew; flowers, Style Me Pretty; Table Decor, Style Me Pretty; Baluster Edge Invitation by Martha Stewart, eInvite.com; Calligraphy, neither snow}

Sunday, November 8

Fantastic Type Work in Progress

Sometimes, type just "works." The designer is skilled enough that you lose sight of what is occurring technically, and the type just speaks. I came across a great piece of work in progress that seems headed in that direction, where the setting appears effortless. It is a work of John Boardley, an English designer in Japan. Mr. Boardly has the distinction of also being the creator of ilovetypography.com, a website dedicated to, well, typography. He created the website in 2007 and while it is a very niche website, it's just as popular as DaringFireball.net (a well known site for web development).

So, with further ado, take a look at his personal work:

If you get a chance, take a look. "Johno" works very hard to, as he says, bring type to the masses, and both ilovetypography.com and his own work deserve recognition. Enjoy!

Friday, November 6

Collages and Bunnies

{image courtesy of lookbookish.com}

Artist Ray Johnson, referred to as "New York's most famous unknown artist" and a crucial artist in the Pop Art movement of the 1960's that centered the likes of Andy Warhol. Unknown to the mainstream, but fascinating to his peers of that era, Ray was a unique visionary that refused to be commercialized, used or pinned down by expectations. Frequently changing his mediums, methods and styles, from painting, collage and performance art Ray always kept people guessing and amazing them with enigmatic new directions.

A fascinating documentary of his life and work, "How to Draw a Bunny", released in 2002, investigates his life from his art school days and beginnings in the New York scene through his many projects and performance up to his mysterious death, it is an intense study of an artist who saw his entire life as a continuous work of art. I recommend his work and this film to anyone as an example of someone who was not afraid to push new ground and experiment. Although Ray was not a famous and wealthy figure like Warhol, It is a lesson I find valuable even for people who may experience success, to keep from becoming complacent and resting on the laurels of fame.

Thursday, November 5

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away....

I'm sure that all of us here at eInvite and most of you have sung those opening lines to the Sesame Street theme at the top of our lungs. Whether you watched it religiously as a child like I did or have kids who currently watch it, it's been a part of our lives. Presidents, celebrities and artists have been on the show over the years, and it's inspired fashion, education and art.

So, for helping millions of children around the word learn to count to 3 and that Muppets also make fantastic friends, I wanted to say thank you and offer a big happy 40th birthday! As a small gift, share your Sesame Street memories below. Who's your favorite character? (Mine was Count von Count!) Do you occasionally flip by it and still stop? Do you have kids who love it?

{A blast from the past via Belmont University Marketing Forum}

Invitations: Ordering

{Cartouche Espresso Invitation by Martha Stewart via eInvite}

Ordering your wedding invitations:

When to Order

Order your invitations as soon as your date, time and place have been confirmed. Three to six months before the ceremony is what most expert planners suggest. The more time you give yourself, the less harried you'll feel and the more carefully you'll make decisions. Give yourself or your calligrapher at least a month to hand address, assemble, and stamp the invitations and reply envelopes.

The Value of a Preview

Look for a printer or on-line dealer who offers CheckMate Preview technology so that you can see an actual copy of your invitation--with all your custom changes--before you order. CheckMate lets you personalize the invitation of your choice with your own wording, ink color and lettering style, and then shows you an actual copy of your creation almost immediately! If your store does not offer CheckMate, ask the staff to request a paper proof from the printer before the ensemble is printed. There is usually a charge for each proof you order and it takes a few days to a week to receive. If you don't like what you see, you'll need to make changes and order another proof.

How Many to Order

To calculate the number of invitations to order, count one invitation for each of the following:

  1. Couple (married or living together)
  2. Family with children under 18
  3. Each child 18 years old or older and still living at home
  4. Single guest
  5. Fiancee/fiance of a guest
  6. Invited boy-or-girl friend of a guest

For example, in a house with one set of parents and five children (one child 17, one 14 and three children 18 and older), four invitations would be sent. One would be sent to the parents with the name of the 17 year old and the 14 year old on the line below the parents' names (on the only envelope if using a single envelope or on the inner envelope if using a double envelope set), and one each to the three siblings 18 and older.

After calculating the number of invitations, as noted above, add approximately 25 invitations to your order: 10-12 more for keepsakes, plus extras for the last-minute guests (and there will be last-minute guests.) Reorders later can be costly. Also, depending on how large your order is, add 25 to 50 additional envelopes in case of mistakes in addressing.

When to Mail

Most established wedding planners agree that you should plan to mail your invitations six weeks before the wedding. Make sure you have one completely assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine the correct postage. When you return with your invitations stamped and ready for mailing, ask to have them hand canceled. After all the care you put into selecting and addressing your envelopes, you'll want them to arrive in pristine condition for your guests' full enjoyment.

Destination weddings:

***Remember, if you are having a very detailed itinerary, more planning and foresight come into play!

Save the Date is a must:

Once you have chosen your destination and the date, you’ll want to inform your guests so they can plan their travel and lodging. Eight to nine months in advance is plenty of time. Save-the-Date Cards will tell them where and when the wedding will be held, and will give them their first glimpse of the celebration to come. More research on the bride and grooms end comes in advance of this. Watching flight pricing trends and scheduling accordingly to make it easier for all of you guests and their pockets, after all, you want them all there celebrating with you!

Getting there: invitations & the extra touches:

The perfect invitation will allow your guests to share your excitement the moment they open the envelope, and introduce the whole destination wedding idea. Your Invitations formally present your theme, setting the tone for your wedding. Response Cards are a simple way for your guests to secure their place at your celebration — and you’ll have a count of how many are attending. If your reception is to be held at a different site than the ceremony, you may want to send Reception Cards as well.

When they open your invitations, your guests will be excited and want to know where to go and what to do. A wedding blog or website can be helpful to give them the opportunity to peruse collected information you have already researched about the area. To make it easier once they arrive, have custom Direction Cards to all your wedding events. When traveling, you may be hosting more than just a reception. To help your guests enjoy all that your perfect locale has to offer, you may want to send Invitations for special activities to bring people together.

Destination weddings require a lot of separate pieces. When you combine your wedding ensemble, the magic is in the details! Some invitation sets are designed to keep your guests organized — and your invitations neat — with Custom Folders or Pockets that hold all the pieces of your wedding ensemble.

Schedules, agendas, programs and more:
How do you make your guests feel at home when they’re far away? A gift basket filled with local goodies will give them a warm welcome in their hotel room. To show your appreciation and bring your guests into the warm embrace of your event, include a Welcome Letter either in the gift basket, or by itself. You can also collect local maps and guidebooks for your guests, and suggest activities to do in between your events. Carry your wedding theme over to these and other materials, adding details that make your personality show through. These personal touches and thoughts go a long way. It is a nice way to greet everyone after their efforts and planning to be there to celebrate with you.

Have a little fun, go here and see your names on an invitation instantly!

Next: Wording your invitation

Wednesday, November 4

Neutrals and Plums

{images: jcrew infinity bracelet, jcrew bride's maids dresses, jcrew flower girl dress, balsa and coral bouquet by krislyn via 100 layer cake, headpiece by via etsy}

Neutrals and plums are everywhere, accented by magenta and maroon, bringing eclectic and rich tones to wedding days. A great fall or winter palette, it can even emerge into the spring with tones of the seaside lavender. A wonderful accent of black can be seen in the balsa and coral bouquet, designed by Krislyn, found on 100 layer cake. Lastly, etsy is rich with professionally handmade goods that add a wonderful unique touch to your celebration.