My Re-Imagined Wedding Suite

My husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary at the end of June.  Planning a wedding is a whirlwind.  It was a crazy and hectic time in my life as I balanced work and wedding planning.  But as I remember those days, weeks, and months leading up to that day, I have a lot of fond memories. 

Our day definitely wasn’t perfect.  The weather blew in this crazy rain and temperatures dropped into the high 50s for my outdoor, late June wedding in Ohio.  You would never know from the pictures, but it was definitely unexpected weather.  All of the little details I spent so much time on, like centerpieces and decor, were not able to be set up because of the crazy wind.  

But, you know what?  It didn’t matter.  The day was so fun.  

As I was working on some portfolio samples for Limn House's wedding and calligraphy services, I decided to take a revised approach on our own wedding invitations.  I designed our first wedding suites, but they didn't have as much spunk and illustration as I would have loved to include.  

I asked myself a couple of questions:

  • What elements of our wedding did I really love and want to show off?  
  • Looking back, what would I change?

Our wedding was pretty laid back because of the changing circumstances of the weather.  My hair went flat; my bridesmaids were freezing cold so we all wore mismatched sweaters over our dresses; my dress had mud caked into the train at the end of our ceremony; I danced like crazy and ruined two different pairs of shoes in the mud.  But I loved all of that.  We had a band, and everyone hung out in my parent’s backyard all night.  It was laid back and fun and really just felt like us.  

(All wedding photos by  George Street Photography )

(All wedding photos by George Street Photography)

I wanted to bring that laid back quality to our invitations. They didn’t need to be completely pretty, just a little smudged and rough around the edges.  Our colors were grey, white, and a peachy pink, so I used my simple palette to create a few illustrations and watercolor washes.  I created one portrait of Yosi and I and a simple lace design element that I could use in various ways through the other invitation components like RSVP cards and Accommodation cards.  

I decided what I really wanted out of our re-imagined invitations was that “handmade” look because, really -- that’s what our wedding was.  It was handmade in our backyard.  Our friends were the band, and the DJ, and the officiant, and the coordinators.  We handmade our wedding so our re-imagined suites needed to have that feel.   

Finally, following our theme, I went with basic kraft paper envelopes and designed a liner that pulled the suite together.  

Also, if I had it my way, the wind would’ve stayed away and I would’ve created some pretty, custom illustrations for each table to go with our rustic, vintage-y vibe.

All in all, this was a really fun little memory project.  If you’re interested in calligraphy or my design services, check out our Wedding Services page.  We would love to work with you! 

And remember - have fun on your wedding day.  Be you!  The details help pull your vision together, but how you enjoy the day is what you'll always remember.

Try This: Draw Animals with Calligraphy

I was having a horrible horrible week last week motivating myself to get working.  So, I went on a ton of bike rides (hoorah for summer!), tried to pinch myself and to remind myself how lucky I am to carve my own path, and then just spent hours and hours and hours doing calligraphy.  There’s this calming flow you get just drawing letter forms and creating them with the pointed pen - the soft and then weighted strokes blending in together to create meaningful phrases, words.  Ahhhh....  So, as I was poking around for some fun sketch ideas, I immediately wanted gooey ink and flowy marks. So, what better way than to combine some animal sketches with calligraphy?

This project reminded me of an assignment from my 2D design class in college my freshmen year.  It was really fun and a quick study.  Grab your sketchbook and follow along!

1 |  SKETCH YOUR ANIMAL

I picked a giraffe because I really wanted to use an “S” shape for the long neck, it was just in my mind.  But, experiment.  Pick your favorite animal and sketch it out in pencil so you can erase later!

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2 |  SKETCH OUT YOUR LETTER FORMS

I began looking at the different shapes that outline the animal’s overall form: the curve of the neck (the “S” shape), the rounded nose, the curled back ear, the under belly, its long long legs.  And then began to draw letter forms to accentuate these shapes, making sure they helped to define the form and add movement and detail to the animal’s shape.  I used big letters in the middle of the body, and smaller to create the legs and smaller features like the ear and hooves. 

3 |  INK YOUR LETTERS

Grab your pointed pen or your favorite pen or marker and begin to ink your letters.  Pay attention to the weight of each letter and alternate weights to accentuate different shapes or foreground/background elements.  This was pretty easy to do with the pointed pen, but you’ll have to experiment in more detail with a pen or a marker.  

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4 |  ADD DETAIL

I felt like my giraffe really needed some additional lines to help the forms. I added some subtle marks near the face to complete the eye, nose, and mouth, and around the legs and around the body to help complete the forms.  Think in subtle terms, don’t go crazy.  You want your letters to pop out and create the overall body shape.

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5 |  ERASE YOUR PENCIL DRAWING

Let the ink dry and then erase your earlier sketch and pencil lines.  Voila!  Your finished piece!  I also scanned my drawing into the computer and added some color and cleaned it up a bit more.  A fun project!

And, because I really really loved the look of the giraffe’s face, I draw a dog’s face too to get some more detail.  There’s a lot of potential in this kind of illustration style.  Check it out and send me your progress.

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100 Days of Illustration

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Earlier this week, I announced via Instagram my participation in #the100dayproject.  I’m a little late to the party (by about a month), but I’ve been seeing a lot of other artists partake and here I am, needing a little bit of inspiration, so I thought I’d jump in.  

A little background research - #the100DayProject was started by a Yale University professor who challenged his students to make something for 100 days and document it on Instagram, which then took off globally.  It’s now run by Ella Luna, whom just has a new book out based on her viral blog post, The Crossroads of Should and Must.

I was having a really rough week last week as I finished up some projects I had been working on for quite awhile.  It always feels a little anti-climactic, you finish up some work and you’re patiently awaiting “the next big thing” or for something to soar and make you really excited and inspired.  Inspiration doesn’t always come easily and I find that if I take some needed time away to reflect, or instill a bigger goal or challenge, I’ll stick to my guns and get moving (and get really excited about it).  And of course, taking that challenge public gives me even more incentive.  Instagram is a great platform for creative sharing - just post a simple image of what you’re working on.  I’m most impressed by those artists who are really carving away at a very specific challenge and their work follows a specific style.  

My first thought was to participate as a way to get drawing everyday, but one of my big goals is to expand my shop products and carving time for that work (and creative development) can feel really challenging when I have other things needing attention each day.  So, perfect timing for this 100 day challenge, a goal - a daunting 100 days (that feels like a whole lot!) to make 100 new products, greeting cards, ideas.  I can’t promise the moon, ie that I’ll have fully fleshed out designs or that each idea will be gold, but I’ll have a lot of practice and time to narrow down my selection as I weed through the process.  

So, the challenge has begun this week!  I started by finishing up a few designs I had already started.  You can follow along on Instagram if you’re interested, and I’ll be sharing periodical updates here on the blog.  Onto some new sketches and ideas!