Friday, May 28, 2010

Inspiring Spaces

I absolutely love to look at home studio photos, or really any creative office space. I love to see how they organized their materials and samples, what color palette people choose to go with— I could go on and on. I will preface the rest of this post by saying that about 6 months before we moved to Atlanta, we finished a basement renovation and I moved my office there to make room for our first child's nursery. The space was everything I wanted—organized, different from the rest of the house, there was a spot for everything.

Fast forward 3 years and we've just finished another renovation in our new house to make room for Baby Girl who is scheduled to make her debut in 3 weeks. I loved my Richmond studio so much that I just wanted to recreate the same space here, and luckily, it turned out even better! It's a little bit bigger and I've got some new additions to the room, but it turned out just how I wanted it and I love coming down here. I still have a little bit more of organizing to do, and the blank space on the white pegboard wall is where I plan to have a swivel mounted flat screen so it can be seen from the desk, the assembly area, or the kids can watch a show if they are at work with me.

Enjoy the pictures, and for those of you have been asking to see them, I apologize for the delay in this post. Somehow I misplaced the download cord to my camera in the process of moving all of my stuff and the replacement cord just came yesterday.

P.S. Excuse the poor quality of the photos— I'm still trying to figure our new camera out!

1. My desk and the pegboard wall for storage
2. Ribbon and hanging paper storage
3. The assembly area, view from the desk
4. Chair & bookshelf that separates the desk area and assembly area
5. Cutting table
6. These cheery binders sitting on the desk just make me happy. I guess I'm not that hard to please!
7. Hanging file storage and pens and pencils in pegboard racks
8. My co-worker. I think he might be shredding some paper in this pic, a favorite pastime of his. Not the best trait when you have an office full of paper products!

And after looking at these photos I realize I am not showing the black chalkboard-painted column in the middle of the room and my checkerboard Flor rug in front of the desk. I'll try to add another photo of that soon— Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little something for the mommy-to-be...

For those of us that are expecting, it's so much fun to get little gifts for the impending arrival. But it's also so fun to get a little treat for yourself, too! I recently did some stationery for my friend Courtney who is expecting her first child. The inspiration was her need for thank you notes for shower gifts, baby gifts, etc. We looked at a few options but ultimately she decided to go with the first one with the pram, seeing as she can use them after her little one is here, too. They are so fun I think I'm going to make some for myself to tide me over until I can use our little one's monogramed notecards (that are yet to be made) after she arrives safe and sound.

I think these would make a great shower gift or just a little "thinking of you" something for a pregnant friend or for yourself if you are expecting. And practical, too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fajitas + Margaritas

As you can tell from my last few posts, summer is the perfect time to host a gathering in my book. The colors are bright, attitudes are relaxed, the sun goes down later and most everyone's up for a good time.

One of my favorite invitations that I've done in the last couple of years is for a Fajita + Margarita  couples shower. The invitation would translate perfectly in a few instances: for a couple honeymooning in Mexico, a neighborhood party, even a laid-back rehearsal dinner. And for a girls night out you could rename it to Senoritas + Margaritas. The possibilities are endless, and it sets the stage for an easy meal with appetizers of chips, salsa and guacamole, there's no guessing on the drinks, maybe just add some Corona or Dos Equis, and you can grill the meat and vegetables keeping everyone outside and you out of the kitchen and mingling with your guests.

Here are some images and links for inspiration:

mexican paper flags 
guava margaritas 
strawberry margaritas 
bright and cheery centerpieces
utensils & napkins (this is shown for a Fall party, but switch up the colors and add a few bright flowers and it would be so cute)
seared spicy fajitas
grilled corn with chili powder and lime
tequila soaked fruit
Mexican ice cream sundaes with cinnamon chocolate sauce

And if you really want to get carried away with the theme:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dinner Alfresco

This week I also finished up invitations for a dinner alfresco, alfresco being Italian for "in the open air." The theme behind this affair is a casual pizza dinner where my client is having a chef come in and cook gourmet pizzas on a woodfire grill. She was hesitant to title the event a pizza dinner as she didn't want her guests to think they were ordering Papa John's for the group! So I was charged with coming up with phrasing and a design that conveyed both an Italian feel and the casual elegance of the evening. Enter the phrase "alfresco". It says, Italian, outdoors, and sounds a little sophisticated, right? I thought so, too.

To match the mood, I decided to go with a Tuscan look meant to mimic the pattern of a stone woodfire grill. Here's what they went with—

Here are the other options:

I'm assuming most don't have a gourmet kitchen or woodfire stove on their patio, so why not keep the theme and take the menu in another direction. For a complete menu meant to be served alfresco, take a look at this one courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, of Food Network fame.

For decor, think rustic like terracotta pots that can be used to hold utensils if you are going buffet-style, or maybe breadsticks in the center of the table for an intimate seated dinner. I also like the idea of cork placecard holders for a seated dinner. You can buy them here, or make your own.

Here's an ideal setting for an outdoor Italian dinner, in my book.

And don't forget the wine! Buon appetito!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Summer FĂȘte

Every once in a while I design an invitation that I absolutely fall in love with. Here is my most recent one, and I can say that I emphatically love this design. I'm not sure why, I think it's the colors and graphic pattern of the paisley— Anyhow, this just screams rooftop cocktails with paper lanterns to me. But, if you don't have rooftop terrace accessible, outdoor cocktails in almost any setting would work, too.

Here is the invitation setting the tone with color and mood:
To keep the mood light and festive, how about serving these colorful cocktails—

And for decor, you can't go wrong with these pretty paper lanterns.

For the table settings, I love these origami votive wraps.

To keep things simple in the way of food, keep things easy by having alot (quantity-wise) of a few make-ahead items, rather than getting too complex with multiple appetizers. Stick with things that don't need to be grilled or cooked, such as fruit skewers, cheese and crackers, etc. For more menu suggestions and tips, click here.

Doesn't this make you want to get out the tiki torches and invite a few friends over?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where is the time going??

Well, if I have any readers left out there since there has been nothing to read as of late, I sincerely apologize for my horrible blogging lately. I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my last post, it feels like it was just yesterday—

To fill you in, things have been hectic here with my new studio office renovation (which now is complete, thankfully!), moving the ridiculous amounts of stuff that I have into this new space, and getting it all pretty and organized thanks to the relentless and tireless efforts of my multi-talented and positively wonderful mother (and hell-bent to finish a project so she can see the end result before getting back on a plane home) who came in for the weekend to help me. We worked into the wee-hours of the morning for 3 days, and managed to get the studio 95% done, the other unfinished side of the basement completely organized and cleaned out & up, and still managed to have some fun with my son and puppy while my husband had his own fun on a trip with his brother to New Orleans for JazzFest. I joked with Mom that she will start telling her friends that she's going on a mission trip rather than visiting her daughter next time she comes!

I am almost finished putting the space together, however, and promise to do a post complete with pictures in the next few days since all of the pattern and color inspire me! I've also been inspired to do several other posts and have a list of ideas to share with you forming so hopefully I'll get back into the routine very soon! Between lack of sleep, being very pregnant, two (well, soon to be two) new rooms in the house, and a few other things I am bubbling over with new ideas of things I want to try and will share with you. Taking inventory of all of my paper samples, swatchbooks, and wedding magazines inspired me as well!

Ok, enough rambling for now— I have 2 of 3 jobs packaged up and ready for UPS and need to finish the 3rd before naptime (for my 2 yr old and puppy!) is over!

Thanks again for your patience and I promise for better posts soon!