(Wow, an Emily Dickinson verse that doesn’t make you want to stick your head in an oven.)
Two things you need to know about my mum: 1. She hates being the centre of attention. 2. She has a sweet tooth.
So with a significant birthday on the horizon, the family knew she would never suggest a party, and if we tried to arrange it with her knowledge she would have felt the need to do all the work both planning and during the party (just like every. party. my parents have ever hosted). It was clearly going to be up to us to arrange the celebration she deserves, so the plotting began!
To keep it low-key (see point 1), we decided on having only immediate family and close friends for a decadent afternoon tea (see point 2). I deliberately left out the B-word altogether and the ‘let them eat cake’ theme be the focus, so that it had the feeling of being a party that she would like rather than one that was actually in her honour.
With the Marie Antoinette connection (and Mum being a bit of a francophile), I had fun adding some French touches like the fleur-de-lys cut out, oui/non reply card and hints of a ‘revolution’. The palette was inspired by the colours and delicacy of macarons. I love how the curly calligraphy makes it look fun and girlish, apparently like Marie herself.
Honestly I am SO thrilled to be adding this collection, Marie, as it’s my first letterpress product. To make letterpress more affordable, I have also included some fill-in invitations, which conjures up images of a baby shower, bridal shower, birthday or even just a decadent girls’ afternoon.
Phew, that feels better. I have been itching to share this big project with you so it feels great not to have to keep it a secret any longer!
Make sure you come back tomorrow when I’ll not only be posting my regular Fab & Free instalment (hint: it matches these invitations), plus I’ll have a second post with photos of the cake buffet that I set up for the party.
Stationery orders and enquiries here.
If you love the look of hand-addressed envelopes but can’t squeeze the cost of professional calligraphy into your wedding budget, then this technique could be the answer for you.
You will need:
- paint pen
1. If you had your stationery professionally designed, ask your designer to recommend a suitable font to coordinate with the invitations.
2. Print the address in a slightly darker colour than the envelopes.
3. Trace over the letters with a paint pen. Lay each envelope out seperately to dry; stacking them could cause smudging or transfer onto other envelopes. You may need to do a second coat, especially if you are doing text that’s lighter than the background.
To be honest, they didn’t turn out quite as well as hoped. If I had a chance to do them again, I would do a couple of things differently. Here are my tips:
Don’t make the type too small
It makes accuracy difficult and letters may even ‘fill in’.
Increase the letterspacing
Since the pen is so much thicker than the printed letters, they ended up very squashed or even overlapping. (Obviously I’m using professional design software for this but you can still do this function in Word).
Use the most opaque pen you can find
It will give you the most solid colour and alleviate the need to do extra coats. I used a brand called Decocolour (purchased at Lincraft) and it was OK but it would have been much more effective had it been more opaque. If an any readers have found a more opaque paint pen, please share with us!
The venue for The Man’s and my upcoming wedding, The State Library of South Australia, is one of a row of beautiful historical buildings on Adelaide’s main cultural boulevard (and my favourite part of the city). Nearby are some gorgeous old they-don’t-make-’em-like-they-used-to street lamps.
In keeping with the venue’s era and the literary theme, I took inspiration from the highly ornamental and typographical advertising posters of the Victorian age. I had fun playing around with a ridiculous variety of typefaces.
The poster-style invitation was folded and wrapped in a belly band that I screenprinted onto the same lovely textured paper of the envelopes. I lined the envelopes with vintage book pages as an added touch to the theme.
The venue is also home to some of the state’s archives. Imagine my luck finding this etching of the original part of the library made just after its construction – perfect for our RSVP postcards.
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t too keen on our wedding invitations being stamped with a History of Corrugated Iron or Footballers of the Year, so it was off to eBay to find some pretty vintage stamps. DIY calligraphy completed the evelope.
It’s safe to say I’ve never been so excited about a design job than the stationery for my own wedding. Sometimes, though, designers can be their own worst client, so I made sure I began the process with plenty of time for exploring ideas and changing my mind. As it turned out, my concerns proved unnecessary as the concept was established fairly early on – although this left me with way too much time to refine, refine, refine and of course at some point you have to step away and say ‘I’m done’. But done they are, and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.
There is something special about letterpressed stationery, for the same reasons that paper-based communications will never die out in our digital world. The heavy paper has a high rag content for a subtle touch-me texture and the characteristic deep impression instantly takes the everyday to special (or the already special to wow!). I am dying to do some letterpress work (hint, hint).
From top: wedding invitation by Perky Bros. | save the date by Sweet Harvey | wedding invitation by Parrott Design Studio | business card by the very talented typographer Jessica Hische (I promise I didn’t only include this because her client shares two-thirds of my name) | birthday card by Mitchell & Dent