Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Wedding Invite

I have to confess, there must be about 100 wedding invitation websites bookmarked on my browser. I'm not sure that I want to admit exactly how many hours per week I spend flipping through these websites, however, I'd imagine that if I spent that time writing, I probably could have completed my own multi volume encyclopedia collection by now. So yeah, I was pretty sure that I'd seen every clever idea out there.

I was wrong.

Instead of the standard 5 plus piece wedding invite suite, this one was made of 3 simple pieces, a paper Save the Date, the Main Invite Envelope (a DVD sleeve) and the Main Invite (a DVD). All pieces were designed by the groom. If I've ever seen an invitation suite that oozes "labor of love", this is surely it.

Save The Date:

Photo Credit:

Video Invite:

If your invites mean as much to you as these obviously did to this couple and make your guests smile as much as this one made me smile, ya done good kid.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hey Cowboy! {Hawaiian Style}

My husband and I are visiting his parents in Maui. I must say, of all the places you have to travel to see your in-laws, Maui ain't too shabby.

Since my husband grew up here, I've had a chance to experience not only the decadent resorts and twinkling beaches, but also get a bit of the "local" flavor. Literally, in the form of Ramen (and all this time I thought it was just a dusty package of freeze dried noodles with an unidentifiable package of some type of salty substance found on the bottom shelf at the grocery store), and figuratively, in the form of Hawaiian history.

I must have visited the town of Makowao more than a dozen times before I realized that almost all the storefront signs looked like they could have been plucked right from the middle of the Wild Wild West.

Take a look:


After I made the genius realization that this town had a cowboy feel to it (and was feeling quite astute in my observational skillz), my husband informed me that the word "Paniolo", (as written on the sign welcoming you to and from this town, see picture below. A sign that I've also seen countless times) means Hawaiian Cowboy.

I googled "Paniolo" and found this (I couldn't find a direct link to the part about Paniolo's, so I copied it here from Wikipedia), it's a darling little piece of history.
"Hawaiian Paniolo

The Hawaiian cowboy, the paniolo, is also a direct descendant of the vaquero of California and Mexico. Experts in Hawaiian etymology believe "Paniolo" is a Hawaiianized pronunciation of espaƱol. (The Hawaiian language has no /s/ sound, and all syllables and words must end in a vowel.) Paniolo, like cowboys on the mainland of North America, learned their skills from Mexican vaqueros.

By the early 1800s, Capt. George Vancouver's gift of cattle to Pai`ea Kamehameha, monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, had multiplied astonishingly, and were wreaking havoc throughout the countryside. About 1812, John Parker, a sailor who had jumped ship and settled in the islands, received permission from Kamehameha to capture the wild cattle and develop a beef industry.

The Hawaiian style of ranching originally included capturing wild cattle by driving them into pits dug in the forest floor. Once tamed somewhat by hunger and thirst, they were hauled out up a steep ramp, and tied by their horns to the horns of a tame, older steer (or ox) that knew where the paddock with food and water was located. The industry grew slowly under the reign of Kamehameha's son Liholiho (Kamehameha II).

 Later, Liholiho's brother, Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), visited California, then still a part of Mexico. He was impressed with the skill of the Mexican vaqueros, and invited several to Hawai`i in 1832 to teach the Hawaiian people how to work cattle.

Even today, traditional paniolo dress, as well as certain styles of Hawaiian formal attire, reflect the Spanish heritage of the vaquero.[64] The traditional Hawaiian saddle, the noho lio,[65] and many other tools of the cowboy's trade have a distinctly Mexican/Spanish look and many Hawaiian ranching families still carry the names of the vaqueros who married Hawaiian women and made Hawai`i their home."

Well, ya learn something new everyday.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Faux Bois

I Spy: Fabulous Faux Bois, from the French word False Wood (according to Wikipedia).

Any idea why Faux Bois is to this year what Silhouettes were to last? I can only think that is has something to do with the shift to more organic, natural feeling & looking materials. Is it an economic statement? Less flash more natural? Dunno.

Two things I do know however:

1. it's everywhere
2. I loves it

Baby Blocks: Get yours at Something's Hiding in Here (also found on my daughters bookshelf) :

Stationary from Umbel on Etsy:

Packing tape, found at TapeSwell:

Lamp shapes, find these at Dot and Line:

Fabric from Hawthorne Threads:
Moleskin notebooks from Mara Jane Creations:

Find out how to add Faux Bois to your holiday season in this month's issue of Martha Stewart Living. Finally a yule log I can love, an edible one. Find out how here: And gift boxes too! Find out how here:

There's even a whole blog dedicated to the love
of Faux Bois, It's (K)not Wood .

Where have you spied Faux Bois? Send me pictures and I'll post 'em!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Here! December Paper Source Catalog

Yippie! The December Paper Source Catalog is here!

Fabulous Faux Bois (stayed tuned for a forth coming post dedicated to Faux Bois):

Super fun imprintables...Christmas letter anyone? :

Paper Amaryllis:

Get yours here.

p.s. Did you know Paper Source has a blog?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Books by Their Cover

We're told not to judge a book by it's cover, even if these weren't classics, they would be an exception to the rule:
Over at Design Sponge, designer Coralie Bickfor-Smith was interviewed about her cover designs for release of hardbound, cloth covered classics for Penguin.

Ohh lala:

Check out the rest of the interview over at .

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Papercraft - A Book for People Like Me...

Hi. My name is Kristen, and I'm a paper addict.

The day after I wrote the Playing With Paper post, I came home to find a beautiful package on my doorstep. In the la la land of my brains, the gift was wrapped in hand silk screen paper with a raw dupioni ribbon and left by a secret admirer, there might have even been a horse involved. However, in hum-drum-blah-boring reality, the "present" was my Amazon order in a standard corrugated box left by the mailman.

Anyhoodle, inside the box was Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper, edited by Robert Klante, Sven Ehmann and Birga Meyer, published by Gestalten in Berlin.

There are really no words to describe this book without sounding like a complete wacko. How do I know that I would sound like a wacko if I tried to convey my thinkings? Because of the odd and slightly frightened sideways glances I received from my husband as I squealed, groaned and tried to slow my rapid breathing each time I turned a delicious glossy page.

So I won't bore you with my opinions & ramblings, I'll just say this, if your someone who lives for creativity with paper, buy this

Here are a few bites:

Any idea what this is?
It's a close up of a bunch of torn pieces of paper. Big whoop, right? Until, of course, you zoom out and see that the bits are so meticulously placed to become this...

If you know of any other books like this, please oh, please oh, would you let me know :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lovely Paper

I'm always on the look out for lovely paper. Whether it be personal stationary, wedding stationary, journals or misc. ephemera I just...can't...get...enough.

My favorite design house as of today (although my ADD does not allow me to hold onto favs for very long) is, by far, Wiley Valentine. Their colors, textures and overall style make me want to take a pile of their stationary, throw it up in the air, let it fall where it may then proceed to roll around in it.

I bought this boxed set back in Seattle and am down to my last card & envelope. Honestly, I just can't see any occasion worthy of parting with my last card. So there it will sit, lonely in it's lovely box, on my shelf.

*disclaimer*My photos came out a little on the pink side, the paper is actually a bright white.

They also do a luscious line of wedding stationary. Oh to have a wedding do over...and an unlimited budget...

You can find these at Minted.

Another thing they do that I think is just TOO fun, they take their misprints, extras, etc. and cut them down into bookmarks. You can find these little treasures on their Etsy page...

What designers do you think everyone should know about?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playing with Paper

My husband I celebrated our 2 year anniversary last month. He's a pretty hard person to buy gifts for, he doesn't want many things and the things he does want, he buys. I had seen paper cut artists on Etsy and thought this was the perfect excuse to finally get my own custom piece.

I worked with Paper Cuts by Joe. I sent Joe a photo from our wedding and within a day he sent me a digital proof of the final piece. A week later I had the finished product. It was SO much lovelier than I had expected:

Fiddling around the interweb I found some other artists using paper is crazy ways that are just too fun not to share.

The first is a typography paper cut by Made by Julene, it makes me weak in the knees:

You can find her cuts on Etsy (of course), her website and see her latest work updated on her blog.
The instructor in my graphic design class turned me on to a paper sculpture named Peter Callesen. He takes single sheets of paper and cuts, tears and sculpts them into tiny pieces of art:

If you're looking for something a little more attainable, you can buy these delicate little paper cut pop up cards through Publique Living:

And finally, my girlfriend Amanda sent me over this link a few weeks ago. It's really incredible how the artist, Yulia Brodskaya took a hokey little paper craft, Quilling, and just blew it up! Gives me butterflies, what about you?

What artists make your heart pitter patter?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Baby Block Shower Invites

My sister & her husband are expecting their first child (the 4th grandchild for my parents bringing the total to 4 girls and 0 boys!).

Besides being super excited for my sister, any time I have an excuse to make stationary, I do a little happy dance.

I have no idea what made me think of a baby block, but once I come up with an idea, it HAS to be done. If I don't do it, I twitch. A little obsessive? Perhaps.

Coming up with the idea is easy, figuring out the "how" is the tricky part.

Wandering through the holyland (some might call it Micheal's), I saw these plain flat boxes. My first thought was to screen print w/ my Gocco. But considering my mostly hate/hate relationship with the curse-ed little machine, I decided that printing on full sheet labels, then cutting down to size was the way to go.

I printed the letters B - A - B - Y behind the text.
And then, of course, is the envelope design. Above the address reads, "Won't you please join us?". The back reads "Some Assembly Required"

Was this an easy project? No.

Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fashion, Function & 'Fridgerators

In my next life, I would like my entire kitchen to make me feel like I'm living in a bag of Skittles.

I found this website listed in the back of some design mag. Since then, I've been trying a multitude of different things to try and convince my husband that the kitchen we remodeled not 7 months ago could really use some updating. Alas, even my Jedi mind trick failed, ho hum...

Are you ready for this:

Can you imagine?



AND dishwashers!

If dropping $1700.00 on a dishwasher just 'cause it's cute doesn't seem interesting to you, Big Chill sells the front panels separately for only $525.

So, if anyone can come up with a way to convince my husband that a pink fridge really IS just the best idea I've ever had, would ya let me know? Thanks!