It’s been three weeks since my last post, and what a busy and fun-filled three weeks it’s been!

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I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for a dear friend a few weeks ago, and it was a first in so many ways: her first baby, my first baby shower hostessing experience, our first “large” gathering in our new home. It was also fun for me to engage in some of the other parts of party planning which I don’t see as often – food, entertainment, and decorating. Of course, the paper part was a given for me, and baby Luke already has his very own custom monogram.

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Jeni’s sister, Lizabee, and I teamed up to make fun bunting out of paper and fabric. Lizabee also came up with and set up the adorable onesie decorating station which was a big hit with our very creative guest list. I was also lucky to have my mother in law there to help us with all those last minute details and she also brought along some yummy tea sandwiches.

The inspiration was the idea of “tea for the tot,” so we did a “tea bar” in my mom’s antique baby bath. It was the perfect place to ice down some pretty glass bottles of different teas. I also experimented with making lavender simple syrup, which was a first, and it actually turned out pretty well I think. Little sugar cubes and lemons rounded out the tea bar. We also did a “signature drink” – a delicious and very pretty cucumber sangria.

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Here I am with the mother-to-be and my fellow host…

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It was such a fun day, and so nice to have so many good friends in our new home. Special thanks to the ever-talented Monica of Sablee who made our yummy scones and cupcakes too! Also, thank you to Jordan Tate, one of the new mama’s friends whom I was so happy to meet, and who is a very talented photographer and took these photos while I ran around like a crazy lady ;-)

This summer is flying by in a whirlwind of beautiful events, beach trips, and homeowner adventures.

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Our trip to Amelia Island, Florida, was so wonderfully relaxing. I disconnected almost completely from my phone and the internet and read the entire book Empty Mansions in four days. That’s what I used to do before I had a smartphone glued to my hand – read instead of bounce back and forth between social media outlets. I’m making a concerted effort to get back to picking up a book instead of my phone after our trip because it reminded me how much I love to be engrossed in a story. And by the way, Empty Mansions is a fascinating read.

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All spring and summer we’ve been diving in to various fun homeowner projects – well, not all fun ;-) Yesterday I finally found the perfect placemats and centerpiece for our new dining room table. I feel so oddly grown up to walk by this beautiful dining room and know that it’s ours. I’m not sure my cooking can live up to it – I think my decorating is probably better than my kitchen skills!

As enter the somewhat slower season for Charleston weddings, we have had quite a few fun events around town for us vendors. Cindy from Engaging Events through a wonderful 10 year anniversary party. Just look at that beautiful chandelier and draping in the tent!

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And the Southern Protocol girls threw an all out bash to celebrate the launch of their new space on Market Street. This is going to be fabulous. I had fun getting dressed up for the party and trying to figure out what “construction chic” meant, hehe.

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(photo by Jen Bearden)

I’m looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend, a baby shower I’m throwing the next weekend, and all the other good and wonderful things about summer. Not the least of which is the delicious produce. I bought 4 pounds of strawberries yesterday and I am quite sure I’ll eat them all. Better than 4 pounds of bread or chocolate, right?

How is summer treating you, friends?

And all of a sudden it’s summer. The heat and humidity have arrived in Charleston for sure, and I for one am ready to hit the beach! Wedding season definitely isn’t over yet, though, and we are loving being busy creating so many pretty, unique things for all the different wedding personalities out there.

Since we’ve been a bit distracted by all the programs and projects, it’s been awhile since we caught up on some of the press, and there are some very exciting ones to share!

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Ashlee and Jonathan’s incredibly romantic, intimate wedding from the winter of 2013 popped up on Style Me Pretty. It was a paper-rific wedding too thanks to the talents of Katherine Miller – personalized “placemats” with the menu spelled out in gorgeous calligraphy style writing, sweet escort cards and fun sparkler tags. Not to mention, completely personalized invitations with the guest’s name written on the invitation itself. All in black and white – doesn’t get more classic than that!

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Last summer, my friends Jeni, Sarah, Carly, and I pulled together a really fun “treehouse” photoshoot meant to be for a small, elopement style affair. It was a super hot day but it was fun to hang out with the girls and create something just for the sake of being creative. The pretty photos showed up on A Lowcountry Wed last week!

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Just out in print this past week, Charleston Weddings magazine has a stationery feature of which we were excited to be a part. Jackie and Chris had so much fun paper in their wedding, and their save the dates are still ones we pull out all the time when we meet with new clients!

Happy #WeddingWednesday!

..here she is in the old apartment, hanging out the in the background…

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…in the background no more, because she is RED!

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It’s funny how you can have not enough furniture or too much furniture or just the wrong furniture. Because my dad and I built this table together for my first apartment way back during my sophomore year of college, it’s not one I really wanted to get rid of, but it also somehow doesn’t fit anywhere in the house.

R came up with the genius idea that it would be an excellent serving table on the porch we love so much. Since the rocking chairs went blue with cheery red and white pillows, what better than to to have a bright UGA red serving table?

If anything, we are definitely ready for Fourth of July. :-)

We have really settled into homeowner life and I must say, it agrees with me. I’ve always been someone who much prefers a good book and a bowl of popcorn or a movie night at home to being out on the town, so having a little more space all to ourselves is just the thing.

With this wonderful warm weather, it’s also been a lot of fun to dive into “yard work.” I know it seems weird to call that fun, but isn’t it funny how as you grow up, tasks like that become so much less of an issue? I remember how, as a kid, it was the worst thing ever for my mom to tell me I had to vacuum the stairs or help in the yard,. While it may not always be my first choice of activity, I take a lot of pleasure in taking care of my life and home nowadays.

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My green thumb is still developing. Batting 50% on these little vincas. Hopefully the beautiful blue hydrangeas and lorepedalum (I’m learning the names of all sorts of flowers and shrubs all of a sudden) will do better in the front yard.

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The other fantastical thing about having a house is the grill. We got one a few weeks ago and we’ve had all kinds of fun with it already. Over Memorial Day weekend, we even tried out grilling pizza which, in my view, was a smashing success. There was something so nice and smoky it added to the crust, and it was so quick to make which was fantastic too. But my all time favorite grilling item: zucchini. It’s delicious. Try it.

Things are quiet around the blog, I know, but that’s because they are so busy in the studio. My previous estimate of program fans was grossly wrong – we will make closer to 2,000 during May and June. Coupled with all the awesome Fall weddings we are gearing up to make invitations for, it’s one giant paper party around here. Stay tuned for many sneak peeks and follow on Instagram for the on-the-go updates.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

I really love how these vintage travel invitations turned out. With a train ticket as our inspiration, we really created something with a vintage vibe by printing on awesome 140# French Paper that has a nice fleck and old-timey feel to it. A drawing of the venue, Magnolia Gardens, is faded into the background and nice traditional style block fonts remind me of metro signs and date stamps.

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We did a fun map along with the suite. For the design, we tried to mimic nautical maps and vintage style maps with some of the faded blue and shading. It’s a lot different than the maps we do more often, so I really fell in love with this one.

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With all this fun going on, it can’t just be a plain old response card! We did the response card like a luggage tag, complete with Air Mail twine. The bride and groom also included really fun wording – no simple yes / no options here!

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Happy Wedding Wednesday! We’re already halfway through the week :-)

This month, Paper Junkies is very on trend, with coral envelopes, a gold houndstooth liner, and pretty shimmer paper. For the card itself, I got back to my roots a bit and drew out a magnolia that graces the corner of the card.

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It was a lot of fun to create something rather classic feeling, especially after last month’s modern design. I hope it was as much fun to receive as it was to make!

Happy Thursday – Friday is nearly here! :-)

When we moved into the new house, we inherited some old porch furniture from the previous owners which we were more than happy to accept, not really having any of our own. Our move coincided beautifully with the arrival of spring, so the porch has quickly become one of my very favorite parts of the house. It’s no wonder then, that I sit out there and dream up ways to make it better.

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While the rocking chairs were fine like they were, the cushions were so faded and tired and I just thought a fresh coat of paint would really make them feel a little less like a free old pair of rocking chairs. In my head, I saw a vivid, smooth, lacquer-like bright yellow to really punch it up in our sea of wooden porch + furniture. I bought a couple cans of spray paint and got to work.

Unfortunately, my best laid plans quickly shattered. After two coats of yellow spray paint, I was left with this monstrosity.

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Holey moley that does not look like I imagined it. My best guess is that the wood was so dry and completely unsealed that it just sucked the paint right up, and I was left with the grain showing through in a very pronounced way that made the yellow look dirty and blotchy.

That’s about when Robert started wondering allowed if anyone’s ever sued Pinterest for giving them bad ideas. Determinedly, I decided I would not end on a Pinterest fail, and instead I’d embark on the rescue mission.

The guy at the Lowe’s paint counter gave me the insightful advice that I might just need to do a new color. Yellow is apparently a notoriously hard color when it comes to paint. Lesson learned. So the weekend before last, I got out the plethora of flat white paint we still have from our renovation, a paintbrush, and set to work “resetting” the rocking chairs. Let me tell you, it takes awhile to paint something with so many rungs and nooks and crannies by hand.

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Bye bye yellow.

Once I did that and let it dry overnight, I moved onto the new color: dark blue. I landed on it because it’s a color I like and also I knew that it would hide the grain if it still insisted on rising up and creating dark spots. The contrast would be a lot lower. So here we go…

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Tip: painting rocking chairs is an obnoxious task if you don’t prevent them from rocking. Some old 2×2′s made a good “platform” of sorts and also made it easier to paint the bottom edges / keep it off the plastic.

Thankfully, this plan seemed to work better than the first go round.

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So we are now the proud owners of the most thoroughly painted yellow-white-blue old rocking chairs ever. I am glad I did it because they are so cheerful now, but I sure didn’t set out thinking it was going to be a two week project. Has that ever happened to you?

I haven’t done Friday wrap up’s in awhile, although it doesn’t feel like that long, but it seemed like the perfect way to end a week when I’ve been bad at blogging. So, here goes nothing!

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It’s always such a challenge to find the time and devote the resources to “business improvement” activities. The daily tasks list is usually enough to deal with on its own, but I’ve been trying to do a little bit everyday to work on the big-picture list too.

One tiny piece of that puzzle involved making up our very own lovely letterhead, complete with pretty blue envelopes printed with our signature stripe. The final package came together this week and I’m in love. Among other secret projects, the letterhead is going to be used for the welcome letters we’re now sending out to new wedding clients. Little by little, we are improving the “customer experience” every day and I am so proud of that.

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On Tuesday, Charleston Weddings magazine and Middleton Place hosted a fabulous industry event and totally spoiled us all rotten. Strawberry cheesecake icecream, chocolate cake with peanut buttercream icing, champagnes with fruit purees, beautiful ambience, swag bags and the whole bit. It was well worth the trip across town, especially because it was a great way to hang out with so many good friends! Pictured here – the beautiful ladies of Yoj Events, from whom I stole the photo.

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It’s crazy time and that’s really all I can say about that. I estimate we will make in the neighborhood of 750+ program fans this month. So, yeah, we’re a paper-cutting bow-tying factory these days.

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This beautiful bride popped up on the Brides magazine blog this week. Her rustic but modern wedding suite is still one of my favorites, and it’s not a wonder since it looks a lot like what I did for my wedding. We totally got each other’s style :-)

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It’s not all weddings though. New websites have gone online in the last few weeks for Agaves Cantina, Terrace Oaks Antiques, Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens, Lowcountry Investment Advisors, and others. We also did some amazing collateral for Magic and More Travel and Pure Luxe Bride that I cannot wait to lay eyes on and take pictures of.

Otherwise, we’re just loving getting used to neighborhood life and home ownership. We planted flowers over the weekend and got a grill, which I am so excited about. We can’t wait to put it to good use this weekend. Do you have any weekend plans? Hope the weather is lovely in your neck of the woods & that it’s a fun one!

Few things are more exciting for an Etsy seller than when – out of nowhere – order after order starts piling up in just a few short minutes. I learned a long time ago that there is usually a very good reason for that small miracle, and it’s probably got something to do with the Etsy home page.

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I literally remember calling my mom and dad and R the first time I got on the home page – it felt like winning the lottery! And really, it still does. I actually haven’t found myself on the home page since November 2012 (something I attribute largely to my lack of treasury involvement)! So when I woke up this morning to a flurry of conversations and sales, I had a feeling there must have been a home page appearance unbeknownst to me. Luckily Craft Cult stores that information so you can find out when you made a front page appearance. Thank you to ShirlyRov on Etsy for making the beautiful treasury that got us there!

In other news, my copy of Stationery Trends magazine arrived a week or two ago as well and I was so excited to see Laura’s beautiful mint and peach invitations gracing the pages. Bridgit McBee took the lovely photo and I so appreciate it!

Otherwise, it’s a busy time of year for everyone with beautiful weather bringing graduations, weddings, garden parties and more. I have so much to share and no time to share it – slowly but surely, as they say, but for now I’m trying to enjoy the weather and family time as much as I can. Happy Monday friends!