Monday, December 22, 2008

Shout outs!

Everytime I think of the concept of a "shout out" I'm immediately transported back to frantically dialing FLY 92.3 (hometown teenie-bopper radio station) on my piano phone in the middle school but in this case I can't think of a better way to describe a "thank you" for other blogs who've mentioned the Future Mrs Darcy! (this is in Portuguese- if you google the URL you should get a "translate this page" option)

Thanks everyone!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

You saw it here first!

Unless you just came here from, that is. So in a creative rut today, I decided to head over to minted and see what their contest of the moment was. It's kid's birthday which I don't know much about but I figured it would be a fun little exercise to try it out so-- ta da!

Alex, the child in question, had possible themes listed as : Pirates, Party in the park, Clown at party, Art party, Musician at party. I figured the intersection of clowns (circus), musicians and art is Hatch Show Print (I know, I mentioned them last post too). But really to be 100000% honest- I went to a burlesque show for my friend's birthday party this week so I think that may have got my mind in the old school poster mindset. I didn't write that in my inspiration section, though, because I didn't want to freak out parents in case they could see it later! No one wants to be in a "child's birthday" mindset then fall down a rabbit hole to "pasties". :D

Anyway-- be fruitful and vote for me when voting round opens in the New Year!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Colour (see, it's fancier that way)

If it hasn't been said before- I love color! In my ideabank there are various screen shots that are just small blocks of color that I saw and loved. Like this vibrant red-orange:

And this deep inky blue:

And I also LOVE color names which is why my office ended up Celtic Gray (back walls) and Firelight (bookcases). The sloped walls are chalkboard paint in Charcoal.

I was driving the other day and these ads for Indian Tourism and nearly ran off the road.

Especially the last two. Would you feel free-er if someone ask you what your wedding colors and you could say "Watercolours" or "Technicolour"? It wasn't until I was through with my planning that I thought-- there really wasn't any reason I should have stuck to green and white and black. I could have thought "Deep in the forest" or "Dingle Penisula Landscapes" and maybe come up with more cohesive ideas.

So again, keep thinking and think different.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Love it!

I've been meaning to post for a couple of days now but instead I've been sulky and pouty that web design fairies (kin to underpants gnomes and single sock dryer eaters, naturally) haven't whispered sweet nothings in my ear for my website re-design BUT while wandering aimlessly through my delicious tags I came across something so wonderful I just had to share:

Hatch Creative Studio I think I must have kept skipping over them in delicious b/c I was confusing them in my head with Hatch Show Print (I'm unsure if their website is apart of the Country Music Hall of Fame or I just couldn't find it so I linked to a google image search) which is quite awesome as well but just in a different way.

Back to Hatch Creative Studio:
When you lead off your images with this one- you know everything else you see is going to rock.

So cute. And then the next picture:

I RESOLVE to do an arrangement in my house like that this spring. We had mushroomy things and pod flower things (like the 5th over) in my centerpieces and I loooooove it.

Definitely check them out for planning info and ideas. I don't think I've been so excited to refind a website in awhile. They list themselves as having "fresh ideas from a cage-free thinking environment" and I think is very necessary to shake off all the dust and preconceptions (especially with weddings!) and look at things in a new way.

I mean, look at this...

...I know! I'm practically reduced to guppy fish mouth. Now, not that you needed any more incentive, I'm sure, but let me wet your whistle a little more and say... they have an artichoke bouquet. Run over there ASAP: Hatch Creative Studio!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

She's Crafty!

Greetings and salutations all! A couple of weeks ago I had to make a quick stop at the Paper Source (I know, twist my arm, huh) for some cream colored paper to print out a sample for one of my lovely custom brides. Or rather, that is to say: one of my customers, who is a bride, who is getting custom invitations. I haven't ventured out into the mail order bride sector just yet! Anyway- I was looking around at all the crafty things and like a 4 year old touching every last thing in the store and I got to thinking, "I'm crafty and all but I don't send out invitations or do cute things or own a stamp set or decorate my house at holidays/changing of seasons to make it look like a Martha/Real Simple/Domino spread DESPITE the fact that I have a whole section in my binder dedicated to just that. Sure there was the Game which was pretty cool but that was in February!" I think that the people who would enjoy my work are the people that would do those sorts of things and I know that I really didn't get the wedding nuances until I went through it myself so I've decided to start living to my craftiest potential and fire up some neurons so they might spill over into the work areas of my life. After all how do I free myself from the box of mailing conventions if I never send actual mail out?!

But kind of like Jack the Pumpkin King (ooh hold please- I've said the magic words- need to put on "Miss You" by Blink-182) my first attempt to bring craftiness to the every day went a little awry. I blame Daniel Silva (I just finished Moscow Rules) and an overactive imagination. So here's the set up: my Mom and I went out to eat when I was in my home town for a bit to this restaurant that has been around forever but I knew about in a general way but never went to. It was fabulous- they had a cheese platter and a good wine selection. Cheese is paramount to my friends and I (remind me to tell you about the cheese plate competition that happened a couple of months ago). I decided that next time my 2 good friends and I are in town, we would all go and have fun. The problem was that they both live in NYC and therefore catch rides home with each other sometimes. If I TOLD them what restaurant I was talking about they'd go without me out of desperation for something new around the homestead. So instead I have told them that such a place exists but refuse to mention its name. This prompted one friend to search online for an extended period of time but my secret is still safe. Oh- I should mention- this started roughly 8 months ago and the first time we'll all be home again is-- ding ding ding! THANKSGIVING! Enter craftiness. I wanted to send them a lovely invitation inviting them to our much awaited outing but after having read Moscow Rules all I could think of was inviting them to be abducted from their homes KGB-style. And I only had my husband's crappy black and white printer with gross college stains still on it to print it on since I need a bit of a break from Kinko's.

So this is what was sent to my friends on friday morning:
How do you invite someone somewhere without telling them where? Translate it to Russian! Bitchin' right? The top name has been changed to one of my friend's Secret Agent Name for her protection. :) The strange black holes are me replicating in photoshop where holes were punched out. Unfortunately when I started this process I thought I owned a hole punch. No such luck so I had to do my best at cutting circles with a box cutter. Hint- if you ever need to cut circle with a knife, carving pumpkins, sending russian secret invitations to your friends, etc- it's best to cut an octagon then go at it in a circular fashion, where you'll probably go wonky and end up with a misshapen oval.

You may be thinking "Hm why did you old timey army black out the place if your friends don't speak, read or write Russian or anything close?" I'm glad you asked! Because one of them SOMEHOW translated it. I figured I'd be safe since it wasn't online or anything so they couldn't copy and paste back and forth in using a handy tool like this: But I had a nagging suspicion that these girls are as devious as I am and thankfully covered my bases. Muhahahahahaha!

So it's not exactly pretty and flowery and wedding-like but it was fun to see how you parse down the information for an invitation (time, date, place and who it's from so they don't call the police or anything). I almost included an "I'll pick you up then" but whatever- it was funnier this way.

Now it's onto Holiday Cards! Excuse me while I vomit slightly but I've been also working on corporate holiday cards which is like being in the 5th ring of Hell because they want to be holiday-ish but not offend anyone in the galaxy and it needs to go through 238907 layers of beaurocracy before a decision is made. I need a couple of weeks away from that or my Christmas will resemble live action, although- how awesome would that be? Right now I'm leaning towards and updated American Gothic but I fear it's too... silly? obvious? done?

Which reminds me- did I ever post my moving card here? I fear not. It's on the main website (which is due for a redesign any day now so for any TFMD version 2 lovers- get your fix now!) but I'll post here as well:

We had our real info (obviously) and some fun bits about the house underneath that I just reverted to actual Monopoly card stuff for the dummy version. And speaking of monopoly, wanna waste some time:

Monday, November 3, 2008

New fonts

Not too long ago I received a wonderful- "hey you haven't bought anything in awhile here's a $20 with no minimum purchase" coupon from the lovely folks over at which is basically as close as I've ever gotten to the toys'R'us sweepstakes where you have 5 minutes to run through the store and get what you can. SO I bought me some lovely fonts. They were both around $20 and I couldn't decide so -- I got both.

The first is very art deco old school wonderfulness: Estilo.
When I went to go create these samples, for some reason the only things popping in my head were tongue twisters which, though fun to say, usually only showcase a lot of the same letter. I wanted to do a pangram (sentence with all the letters of the alphabet) with it as well but that sort of puzzlry is way out of my league and "the quick brown fox..." was feeling a little played out. Thankfully big huge type foundries have the same thoughts and have sponsors several contests about it. The pangram above is from a contest and written by Joe Pemberton.

Second we have RTF Amethyst which I love as an alternative to the very used in wedding invitation: script fonts.That tongue twister is also the one that I am the very worst at. Although I did read one while I was looking for new tongue twisters that I don't think we ever did in theater classes and probably for good reason "I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate, And I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant plucker's late." Tee hee.

So there are my two new awesome fonts that are looking for wedding invitation homes.

Two slightly related projects on the horizon are: 1) to revamp the website to maybe add places for customers to add feedback, definitely to places for customers to add to delicious or digg, and maybe some larger rotating images on the homepage and 2) to come up with a quiz for new customers- specifically custom customers (these tongue twisters appear to have me on an alliteration kick). The other day I was talking to a bride trying to get an idea of what she was looking for in invitations but she didn't really have a theme or a strong connection to the location of her wedding-- all she really had were her colors. So I was trying to illicit a little more info from her but I kept asking for descriptive things that she wanted her wedding like romantic or modern but after talking with her for a bit I realized I'm probably not going to ask "Do you want your wedding to be elegant... or fairytale... or dramatic?" and have the bride go "No, actually, I'd really like my wedding to be trashy and fugly."

I think the biggest variation you get with people trying to describe their weddings is "classic" or "modern" which even of themselves-- creates BIG ranges. So in the back of my mind I was thinking-- "Man this all sounds so familiar. I feel like I've been through this before" and, no, not with my own wedding but when I bought that book that I had read about in Domino then coveted for a year and finally bought about 6 months ago-- YUP-- Style Statement by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte.

I got about half way through and I did start getting an idea of what my style statement would revolve around but I couldn't find any good words to encompass it (it was the concept of stories/imaginations-- yes, the girl who designs wedding invitation for fictional characters loves stories-- I know, you must be shocked but it was kind of a cool a-ha moment for me) anyway- and then ended up hiding the book on myself while I was frantically cleaning for guests.

I was recounting this whole ordeal to a photographer friend who does weddings as well who had just come from an initial meeting with a client and had had a similar situation and after asking a couple key questions about what the groom liked to do fell into a wealth of wonderful ideas where to shoot their engagement photos. It just so happens I am traveling back down below the Mason-Dixon where she lives so we are going to try and make this all happen this week.

Aren't you excited? I looooove learn more about yourself quizzes. Actually I think I'm going to go work on my style statement right now.

And lastly-- if anyone is looking for a good bridesmaid's gift or a gift to give to a bride or, hell, an "I had a bad day and I need compensation" gift-- Bath and Body Works "Perfect Cashmere" items are so wonderful. I just received the knit lounge set, the robe, and the slippers for my birthday and I AM LOVING IT.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eye Candy

So, much like Persephone I've been lured back into the dark scary world of Corporate America (via my new office in the attic) which is why you hear crickets on the blog.

But there have been wedding designs creeping in there and breaking up the monotony. Firstly being my lovely cousin who I'll refer to as: (surprise) Lovely Cousin who is getting married... soon.

It's the seaside equivalent of the new Adam + Eve. Like if those crazy kids went for a destination wedding. The colors my cousin is using in her wedding are what I'd call "Fall-but-not-orange" colors. Chocolate, cranberry, sage, creams... which just saying makes me want to cook rich foods but also buy decadent fall boots. Anyway-- ta da!

I've changed all the names to their most generic.

Also I've been working on some custom wedding invitations. No, I'm not going to post hers before we've settled on the very last details, but I will post a design that was in one of my first rounds that she decided to pass on. It's simple. Like really simple but I loooove it. Maybe it's because I'm a font nerd, who knows? Oh note to self-- post new fonts that are in play.

I love that inky navy blue but I also like the flowing colors so it's whatever floats your boat. I chose Napoleon and Josephine because I've been reading Lauren Willig books but I'm not 100% sold on it. Anyone have any other suggestions for couples?

I hope you like it! Unfortunately the fonts will have to wait until next time because I'm going to a concert tonight and need to remember how to put on makeup before I go out!

Have a lovely tuesday night everyone!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A place for everything and everything in its place.

When I was planning my wedding I relied almost entirely on my "ideabank", my delicous, and my binder.

My "ideabanks" are various folders on my desktop, mostly for design inspiration but then to wedding inspiration and home inspiration. Whenever I came across an image on a blog or a website (even if it wasn't specifically "wedding"), I control-clicked (I'm on a mac) and "saved image as..." into the correct folder. Then when I had a decision to make I opened all my pictures and looked for little lightbulb to go off over my head.

If there was a whole website that I liked then it went in my delicious feed. I had a catch-all "wedding" tag but also a "flowers" tag, "bridesmaid" tag, "gifts" tag, "centerpieces" tag, "guestbook" tag, and even a mysterious "penmanship" tag. Again, when there were decisions I felt comforted by having my resources at hand. I remember why it's so important when a friend of mine who is planning her wedding asked me about birdcage veils (which I didn't have in my wedding) and I only have vague recollections of seeing beautiful pictures in blogs I've read but couldn't remember a name or a website if I tried.*

{My wedding binder is currently hiding but I'll look for it more tomorrow}

And the last of my planning trifecta was my binder. I'm a magazine junkie and once I got engaged it was open season. Then I found Martha Stewart Weddings. [insert Homer Simpson donut drool]. Over a year after my wedding and I'm proud everytime I'm able to leave the check out line at the grocery store and I don't succumb to its gorgeous layouts. Has anyone seen the rannuculus spread from last year? AHHHH!! AMAZING! The problem was despite grabbing all my flags from my domino magazines and then reinforcing with post it flags-- it was too much to search through. Thus was born the binders. I have 1/2 inch binders with clear inserts for everything. In this case it started with wedding then lead to "WOW that box is heavy. I need to go through all these magazines before I move" :) I wish it was more discipline than that but have you ever tried to lift a box full of magazines!!??

But after all of this my question is this: brides, bridesmaids, planners- what do you do to keep you information overflow from taking over? And is there anyway The Future Mrs Darcy can help?

Let me know! Also I was running through some custom ideas for a lovely local bride and I stumbled on something I looooooooooves. But this is one of those cases where I've got a design and now I need a couple. What's a blogger to do? Do I smell ... contest?!

*Check out Brooklyn Bride for bird cage veils as well as Or if you're feeling reeeeallly crafty- I ... um... made some extravagant hair pieces with feathers and fake pearls and veils for my friend's 30th on a whim last week. :) Cone party hats were totes overrated for her fabulessness.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Good find!

Hey everyone I stumbled upon these great planning sheets from Russell + Hazel:
(image from Russell+Hazel)

They have 57 (!) FREE templates that can help you lay out budgets, vendors, contacts, and a ton more. And as not to add to an ever growing pile of "wedding related" papers, keep all your free templates organized in their stylish wedding binder too. It costs $75 and includes:
- Signature Binder
- 12 Section tabs with pockets
- Planning notebook
- Organized adhesive note set
- Sheet protectors
- 2 business card pages
- 10 8-1/2 x 11" pages
- 5 Multi Format pages (holds 11 x 17" or 8-1/2 x 11")

Oh and peace of mind. :)

And what I like the most is that it doesn't SCREAM wedding. You can take it to work or leave it on your coffee table and no one will know that you're consumed day and night by how to get peonies for your October wedding!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Newest Oldest Invitation on the block.

The very first invitation I did was for the VP of Marketing of the company I worked for 2 or 3 companies ago. It was set on her horse farm in Virginia and she wanted a simple natural look. Allie and Noah invitation actually evolved from one of the original ideas that I sent over but the one she went with has been lurking on CD in my drawer for the past 4 years. My cousin is now getting married, again in Virginia but on the other side of the state on the Chesapeake, and was looking for something simple and natural and I knew that rang bells somewhere in my head. So upstairs I went and rooted through all my yet-to-be-unpacked-once-my-office-is-finished-office-boxes and resurrected my first ever wedding invitation. I tweaked it a little from my old boss' and I think I try and find some sea grass for my cousin but now without further ado-- my Oldest yet Newest wedding invitation: Adam and Eve.

I'll let you know when it's available to buy on Etsy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

One Last

So I got my dates confused and the Minted contest lasted until SATURDAY, not Friday as I originally thought, so I made another one.

It's a little... drier but I think people dig that probably more than the outlandish stuff so who knows? Ha, now watch this one win!

Anyway, I thought a little vespa would be fun.

I think it's a pretty good lot all of them together. The contest was fun and hopefully will pay off in the end but I've learned that people make a TON of these, I think just to throw them all at the wall and see what sticks in some cases. Also I've learned to not post them until the last possible second. Later in the same day I posted the one with the red and green airmail stripes (the first of the previous post) someone else posted 2 new designs air mail stripes. Now, I'm not saying I invented the concept of air mail 50 or so years before my birth somehow but I make mine and then there's a knock off an hour later? I know it seems silly and trivial but that design is the one I'm most pleased with how it came out and to see someone pony off of it makes me feel mine is less worth while for some reason.

Anyway- end rant. I'll let you know when voting begins.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Minted Contest!

Hey everyone! I'm not sure if you've heard of Minted or it's great contests but I finally remembered to check back there and have been gung-ho about their new Thank You card contest. I thought I went a little crazy with 7 designs until I saw most of the other designers whose designs I like submitted more like 17, 18, or HOLY CRAPOLLA 33 designs. WOW completely wished I'd checked those stats out before the last day you're allowed to submit! I would have done my super Vespa idea.

Anyway now's the part where I beg you to go to Minted and vote for my designs. Yeah I won't even beat around the bush with that. Please vote for me. :)

Here's what you're looking for:

And if any of these win then you can buy them on Minted's site!!!! YAY!!! And if the don't win, I'll sell the ones I like best in 90 days when their hold is relinquished. Ooh and I won't tell you which ones I like best for vote vote vote for your favorites.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quick someone invite me to a wedding...

...I need to justify buying this dress from Anthropologie. :)

So in other news... the etsy store seems to be getting some traffic which is fantastic! Unfortunately etsy hasn't joined forced with google analytics so I can only judge by people who add the store as a favorite.

The last couple of days I've been working on some smaller non-wedding projects for those other aspects of your life like friend's birthdays, moving, and new baby cards. Well actually not birthdays yet but I'm planning on it so if there's a message you think would make your life easier if it were on a card- let me know.

Ummmm... L.C. if you happen to be reading... STOP!

Now that we got that out of the way-

Here are the two baby related cards: (one is naughty and one is nice)
I'm going to get pricing on the moving card for myself today- oh- I forgot to mention- my husband and I just closed on our house and have been renovating (trial by fire style, as we don't have much experience but watch a lot of DIY TV) a lot this past week. That's how the moving card idea came out. Anyway, I'll post some before and afters... once we get to the "after" stage. :)

If you just NEED these baby cards or moving cards notnowrightNOW just let me know. Otherwise keep an eye out on etsy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

News and Updates

Hey Happy Almost Really Truly Summer everyone! So after roughly a million years- I think the etsy site will be up and running soon! I've been speaking with 2 sets of printers recently to try and figure out pricing. I've also set up a small site to show them what the designs look like so you should take a look too:

It shows off the entire line of some of the invitations you may have seen on the site here. It's not quite soup to nuts but you can get a better idea of what more than just an invite and RSVP would look like, and, as always, if you want a piece that's not listed, I'll make it for you! See, isn't that easy?

Oh and since it's friday this is completely NOT wedding related but hilarious and if there was an office out there that regularly did this- I would go back to an office.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

TGIF Boys and Girls!

Hiya! Some good news on the etsy front- after not hearing from a printer I've done business with before I've decided to bite the bullet and find someone in the Boston area and - HOORAY - they've already gotten back to me to tell me they'll have pricing on Monday. Also to get everything ready for said printer I had to put my nose to the wedding grindstone and flush out some of the designs so I have a bunch of new things to show you. Today we'll go with something a little different: Ferris and Sloane from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, of course.

Fans of the movie can note that the "wedding" is being held at the Art Institute of Chicago which was there they had that nice little musical montage in the movie but after I added that as the place I couldn't help but think what an amazing venue it would be. Who would give a crap about having just the right peonies when you are surrounded by such fabulous artwork?! So if that inspires you and you find a museum for you, send me pictures!

(p.s.- the RSVP isn't that ginormous- the invitation is just being shrunk to fit in the window!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gift Ideas for Guys- Part 3

Well here is the conclusion of the Gift Ideas for Guys series. The first two are here and here.
This brings us to the end of our rope. You've tried things that he might rather YOU buy for him, places to go and things to do right here to the land of randomness, because you still have no idea what to get.

1- Carnivorous Plants from 2- Unofficial MacGyver Handbook from Amazon 3- Golden Tee for your TV from Amazon and 4-Beer of the Month Club from the aptly titled

As you can see there's a certain "toy from the crazy uncle you only see once a year" quality to these gifts but you know those were always the toys that went over best at Christmas.

First we have the Carnivorous Plants from which is only the tip of the iceberg for the toys and gadgets they offer. My husband and I recently got the carnivorous plants along with the Annoy-a-tron, the Firesteel Knife, Airzooka Air Gun, Cool Shooters Ice Shot Glasses, Thundercats shirt, and Japanese Puzzle for a giant cornucopia of craziness birthday present for a good friend of ours. My husband has been strongly campaigning for small dueling helicopters ever since as well. Now as you can probably tell from the list of things we bought it's not all computer/science geekiness but there's a general spectrum of toys and gadgets and things from childhood where you can probably find SOMETHING. Also it's great if you need to round out a smaller gift that you've already got but feel it might not be enough on its own.

Secondly, we come to MacGyver which probably represents the largest segments of things I bought my husband simply because they started releasing the DVDs right around the time we started dating. The book was probably one of the last MacGyver presents but it show dedication to the MacGyver cause on my part (or at least I believe so). Now I'm not saying everyone would be thrilled with MacGyver DVDs or books BUT maybe there's something that you picked up about something he loved when he was younger. Did he watch Goonies everyday of 7th grade but you notice he only has the VHS? Was he shocked and amazed you didn't know what Airwolf was? Well the great thing about a lot of these is that they floating around the bottom of the bargain bin so you can get a little something nostalgic pretty inexpensively. And sure, it won't be something that he'll use everyday of his life, but it does show you've been listening and you're willing to watch his stuff (after all how much Sex in the City have you put him through?)

Next we have Golden Tee for the TV. I think it might have gotten this for my brother-in-law and I'm not sure I'd have put it on the list except for the fact that my friend's boyfriend is a Golden Tee nut! He is crazy for the Golden Tee and so are all of his friends. Then I remember that my husband has been known to feed in like $10 at a time to said game when we're out. $10?! For real? Photo Hunt is only 50 cents! Anyway, I feel there are a bunch of games that are sort of 80s technology that are still around and could be pretty fun! Check out Amazon as well as the game section of Target to see what they have.

Lastly we come to the Beer of the Month Club. Not the most earth shattering idea but let me tell you from experience- getting alcohol delivered to your door can make you giddy. Every time I've either given this or received it I've had to go with the quarterly plan but by all means if you're rich go for the monthly version! [Send some to me too] Also beer (or wine) is not where the "of the month" club begins and ends. This site says it has over 120 "of the month club" options from cigars to ties to steaks to oils (eating variety although I'm sure if you search you'll find of the massaging variety). I think best of all this is a gift that you ultimately forget about then BAM! new season- there's more! But they are a little expensive so if you're in a super creative mood, last Valentine's Day a friend of mine drafted an idea for a gift of the month for each month for her boyfriend. It was kind of a combination of every gift I've mentioned on the list for a whole year. Now that's a little crazy (and much too expensive we realized) but if you can think of small items of the month- let us know!

And with that-- it's time for some breakfast and some This Old House on DVR.

Stay tuned for some information on my soon to be opened Etsy store! That's right- no more teasing you with invitations- it's time to buy and cross one more thing of your list soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gift Ideas for Guys- Part 2

Here we have the second installment of Gifts for Guys- Shindigs and Hootananies! Commonly known as events , parties or the like. Sometimes is the perfect gift isn't a popping out in your head maybe something you can put a bow on is in order. Many times, I think that these can be the gifts that are remembered the most because it's not here- use this- it's a built up to the event and several hours of fun after. Also great for those living in small spaces- memories are don't take up any unnecessary space next to your couch or on your desk.

1- Scavenger Hunt; 2- Tickets to show; 3- Surprise Party; 4- The Game

So the descriptions of these are a little odd as you can see but I'll do my best to explain. #1 is one of the ideas that I have not COMPLETELY done myself but I was at the end party. This was something my friend's brother did for her birthday and it was insanely well thought out. He hid things in stores and in Churches and bars and created sudoku puzzles and she had a blast. This definitely falls under the category of "Not expensive but INCREDIBLY time consuming". Also probably not for everyone but if you have an Indiana Jones or a Dan Brown fan on your hands- give it some thought. Oh and make sure to either have party and the end or the whole group come along. Don't give them the answers though- no cheating! If you like the concept but don't have the time check out Watson Adventures located in NYC, Boston, DC, Chicago, Philly, and LA. Also read on to #4 which might work too.

But we've got #2 to go over before that. #2 is probably the simplest idea but again when searching for something physically- we tend to over look the simple. Get him tickets to his favorite type of event. We have always enjoyed comedy shows so I went for some Dave Atell and Lewis Black tickets a couple of years ago but for you it could be a band he loves, tickets to a game, tickets to go see a live taping of a show (I've always meant to get us Daily Show, SNL and/or Conan O'Brien tickets but be forewarned- some of these rely on lotteries or stand by and are not guaranteed). And if you don't live in driving distance to NYC- probably not for you either (Sorry! Don't be too sad though, it's probably been spring where you are for much longer). Some places to scour for tickets are Ticketmaster, Craigslist, and StubHub. I'm people have a much longer list of place so if you have a favorite spot to get the hardest to get tickets just let me know and I'll update the list.

#3- Get someone a dark dank cavern? OH contraire! That dank cavern is filled with untold amounts of beer! Yes you DC residents might recognize it as Brickskeller, which happened to be where I had a surprise party for my husband a couple of years ago. Obviously this is best for a birthday party but maybe not. Maybe you're really creative and use it for something else. (But if you are please let me know so we can all copy you!) At the time I didn't know all of his friends as well as I do today so I enlisted the help of a girl he works with to handle the work crowd, our friend from college to handle the college crowd and one of his friends from home to handle the home crowd and whipped them into shape to try and get as many people as possible there. Friends of his came down from all areas to visit, fun was had by all and people who were just used to hearing the others names in passing got to meet. Sidenote if you plan this undertaking yourself- if you are accompanying the surprisee get someone to corral people who are waiting. We happen to walk in and run into two of his friends on a bar run (which is ridiculous b/c we had a waitress) who stopped and were like "Hey. Umm. Happy Birthday"

Ahhhh #4. The Game. This proves how ridiculous I can be. My husband like games. A big Deal or No Deal fan. (I actually won $20 at a superbowl party on his friend's "home made" version on index cards- woohoo!). Sooooo the Game is the reason I started writing this post, only I didn't know it yet. Valentine's Day this year I was STUMPED what to do. I searched the blogs and articles and scoured gift sites and NADA. So I tried to think what he might need the most and at the time- he needed to get away. Somewhere there wasn't phones ringing or a computer to do work on and the weekend after Valentine's was a 3-day weekend this year. So now the question was where to go. There was a deal on a really nice hotel on travelzoo so that was an option but we've also always talked about going back to the town we went to college in and going to the places we used to eat and drink. But which trip to choose? Well it was his present so I decided I'd let him choose but decided to make it a bit more fun than that. I got two boxes from Target and some silly things that represented each trip (a lobster for a trip to the beach/ a keg cup for a trip to where we went to college are two examples) and drew a nice map on the lid of each and then a big 1 or 2 on the lids. The morning of Valentines Day I made a trail of Hershey's Kisses to the boxes and said he could pick one, look inside and he'd then decide whether he wanted that trip--- OR (Price is Right style) he could pass and he'd have to go with whatever was the in second box. He pick the first one (beach) and off we went. It's a little tricky since I couldn't book anything until he picked but it all turned out well in the end. We even got upgraded from our Travelzoo deal to a suite!

Ok. SO there you have it! Part 2. There's still one more so until then... I have some Rachel Ray Papa al Pomodoro!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Allie and Noah

Like sorbet after a big meal, I'll slide some more previews into the mix between our Gifts for Guys posts.

This is the only one of my designs I've used a photograph before. You usually don't think of photographs in wedding invitations but, in fact, I think this is really traditional and classic looking. I hope you enjoy!

(I don't know if I've written this before but if you are a bride interested in any of my designs, just let me know. Let me know your information (via comments or (quickest method) email) and I'll get you prices lickety split!)

And, don't forget, stay tuned for the next installment of Gifts for Guys!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gift Ideas for Guys- Part 1

So as promised about a month ago, here are some gifts that I think are good for the hardest group to shop for: guys.

Let me start out by saying that I'm kind of a present-giving nutjob. I always try to find the absolute perfect gift for people so much so that I kind of wish that birthdays were set up where once a year when you found something for someone you'd just gi
ve it to them then and then on their actual birthday make them food. This is because I always find the "so-perfect-they-don't-even-know-they-want-this-but-will-love-it" gift in March who someone whose birthday is in October. Or something like that. And it doesn't make sense to me to get it in March and hold onto it b/c it may no longer be perfect in October or they may find it and buy it for themselves and then I suppose I'd have to find a receipt to return it. That doesn't usually go over well.

But I digress... I think men are so hard to shop for because a) you can't just buy them what you want like you can with a lot of girl friends or sisters and b) when they want something THEY BUY IT. No, "arg should I shouldn't I?", they just buy it. Doesn't matter if it's December first and you've been asking him what he wants for Christmas/Hannauka. He'll buy it for himself. Le sigh.

So I feel like I've come up with some good ideas over the years which you can spin and make yours. Yay! I'm going to stick to things that I have actually bought over the years mostly for my husband (but also some things we got for his friend who was at one time our roommate and best man at our wedding.)

Starting off:
1) t-shirts from, 2) Grooming Lounge Gift Certificate, 3) Sephora Scent Sampler Gift Certificate For Him, 4) Silk Boxers

While it's kind of stereotypical to think that men hate shopping unless it's for the new big screen tv or something, in my case, it's totally true. Now I nearly got my husband a cashmere sweater for Valentine's Day (there was such a sale at Macy's!) my general feeling was "He'd like it but blah". Threadless shirts on the other hand are fun and cool. I found Threadless when they mentioned it in a little sidebar in my college's monthly magazine back in 2000 and I think between the two of us, my husband and I have roughly 20 Threadless shirts. The t-shirts are made from user submissions, voted on, and then printed on American Apparel shirts. If you think you're not seeing anything on Threadless and you're looking for funny shirts also check out,, and there are a slew of other that are all escaping me now.

Number 2, The Grooming Lounge is from our days in DC (although they've apparently opened another store in Atlanta). They do, as the name implies, all sorts of male grooming. Hair, face, nails, skin, massages, all the things YOU'D want in a nice day spa EXCEPT the Grooming Lounge is all leather and wood and Old Boys Club rich looking.

[Start Scene] In the midst of Christmas shoppers in a horribly narrow Boston area mall, the crowd parts to reveal a slightly bedraggled woman clutching a fistful of narrow paper strips. As she passes people she can be heard muttering "top paper is Lacoste, then Calvin Klein, then Lazzaro, ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Ralph-NO NO STUPID STUPID! Calvin Klein, Lazzaro, Ralph Lauren, Oooh my head hurts. Lacoste, Calvin Klein, which one to pick, which one to pick? Lazzaro, Ralph Lauren, I liked Lacoste but maybe the Burberry. Wait was this Burberry Brit for Men or Burberry Touch for Men... AHHHHH" She fall to the ground in madness. [End Scene] Soooo needless to say the Sephora Scent Sampler for Men basically saved my sanity this Christmas. Not only because it saved me from all my little sheets of paper (though if you do go that route-- here's a hint-- BRING A PEN not all of the colognes have pre-printed sheets at the department stores) but also because a fragrance smells different out of the bottle than it does once it reacts with your body chemistry.

And lastly, silk boxers. Come on, they're fun! I actually recommend the faux silk boxers that Target sells because how many guys that you know check the labels or - shock - hand wash some of their clothes?!

Ok this has been about 5 times longer than I expected so stay tuned to my next installment of my gifts for guys and if it's so super incredible dire that you get a present right this very minute, hey, take a deep breath then go check out my favorite online stores.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And now for something completely opulent!

For this Valentine's a preview that tres romantique as well as pain in the ass-- which is the two sides of Valentine's Day I've heard from my friends today!

Satine and Christian from Moulin Rouge. It's featured here in the over-the-top magenta and aqua but as always in available in your specific color.

Ooh la la! Satine and Christian Invitation

Detail of the Satine and Christian Invitiation

Also, I know it will be about a year late (or early depending on your view) but in the next couple of days I'm going to try and round up the best gifts for men and the best gifts for women because despite my scouring the web for the last week I didn't find much.

Have a wonderful Valentine's everyone and if your day isn't looking so bright, remember, there's a good chance you have a 3 day weekend this week! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Logo and design

So after much hair pulling and pacing I've finally agreed upon a logo for myself! Drum roll please... Here you have it:
One of the reasons I've been excited to throw myself back into the sometimes crazy realm of wedding is because I had accumulated so much information... AFTER I had already set everything in motion. Also, I find it's a lot easier to to pick things when it's not for yourself. Hence the ease of creating invitations and the stress of creating a logo for the company.

But after about 20 wholly different ideas then another 20 after I redesigned the web page I think I've got one I'm comfortable in
sickness and health, through good times and bad.

And those dashes around the logo remind me I have several more individual invitation designs to unveil. This one was inspired first by Holly Golightly (and Paul, too, I suppose) from Breakfast at Tiffany's then an aqua and green wedding palette I saw in Martha Stewart Weddings, then that lovely font used by Blueprint and a pattern from a book I have.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Day at the Office!

My Mr. Darcy is doing well with his new software: firepublish AND our new office chairs came so we can finally put our dining room chairs back around the dining room table! HOORAY!
The office chairs are Boss Chair model B580. They around $150 which (we found) is quite a steal as far as office chairs go.

But since office chairs aren't the prettiest thing to look at, how about a sneak peak at Rose and Jack from the Titanic...

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Complete Jane Austen

So with a business called "The Future Mrs. Darcy" it would be pretty remiss of me to not mention The Complete Jane Austen on PBS Masterpiece Theatre which starts... right now. Or 7 minutes ago making me get MY Mr. Darcy to go pause it on the DVR while I make the following graphic and refresh my wine.

Also for everyone else's nerves who are shot like mine, I'm pleased to report Jane Austen is 100% Manning free (nothing makes me care about sports than a bracket and potential win)