Category Archives: Fun Fonts

green wedding shoes feature!

I am officially calling today: green thursday! Why?

bow tie & bustle and some of my favorite wedding peeps were featured today! Our Montmartre Inspiration Shoot made its way onto the front page of Green Wedding Shoes!!! Green Wedding Shoes is only one of the most spectacularly awesome and popular wedding blogs out there, and the amazing Jen Campbell featured our shoot today on her blog! I’m incredibly honored to have my very first styled shoot posted on her site, and I am so thankful for all the amazing friends and industry pros that assisted me in making it happen!

Photography: Monica and Seth of MoHinesPhotography

Floral Design: Teressa of Cashmere Floral Design

Desserts: Judy of Tallant House

Makeup: Cris of Glamour Cris

Hair: Brittany of Bartlett Bridal

Dress: Pricilla of Boston courtesy of Calla Bridal

Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella

Studio: Chalk Studios

Event Design, Styling and Coordination: me as in bow tie & bustle

Hair accessories, veil and paper goods: bow tie & bustle


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Filed under Antiques, Bow Tie & Bustle, Brights, Buttons, Cakes, Color Obsessed, Decor, Dessert, Details, Envelope Liners, Fabric, Favors, Florals, Fun Fonts, Inspirations, Invitations, Paper, Paper Suite, Props, Reception, Styled Shoot, Themes, Travel, Vintage Finds, Weddings

montmartre inspiration shoot: part un.

I’ve never felt more alive than I did when I was in Montmartre. Montmartre is about a 20 minute metro ride outside the center of Paris and is an area of the city that has this raw, dark, whimsical edge to it that just makes my heart sing. It may be the monstrous hills that make you question your choice of attire for the day; or the Basilique du Sacre Coeur which entices you to gaze up towards the heavens; or the graffiti soaked rooftops and store fronts that bring a certain juxtaposition and mystery to the all the gray; or the big red windmill that stands proudly above the Moulin Rouge almost forcefully enticing you to catch a glimpse of the most famous cabaret of all; or Place du Tertre which is overrun with artists and portraitures alike; or the rows and rows of cafe chairs that when occupied make you feel like you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones. It would be near impossible for me to pinpoint just one thing that’s most spectacular about Montmartre…put simply: it’s all fabulous, it’s all Parisian and it’s all inspiring!

For the past 5 months I have spent an immense amount of time looking inward and asking myself where my passions lie and what types of things truly fill my soul. One thing I’ve realized most is that details (and I mean every detail, down to chipped paint and busted door locks) make me truly happy – and I’m talking pure genuine, butterfly in your stomach, smiling to the point of exhaustion happy. And over the past five months I’ve realized that there was this intense need/desire/burning sense of urgency within me to create a styled inspiration shoot paying tribute to my favorite place in the world, while also celebrating all of the little details that make life fabulous!

Many of my intentions as a wedding designer and coordinator is to encourage other’s to see the beauty in life’s details and to encourage brides and grooms to intertwine these details into their wedding day. I encourage them to pinpoint the things that feed their own souls, that reflect their own personalities and relationship and to make these things known and present on their big day.

I’m absolutely giddy to finally be sharing the neverending stream of details of the design with you…can you say: french macaroons, vintage umbrellas, a big black tulle bow, antique green gloves, a red bike, a pinwheel backdrop, vintage furniture, chalk, miniature bonne maman jellies, buttons, stunning flowers, dominos, a tree-branch umbrella, mouth-watering pastries, graffiti, a yellow chandelier, and red lips?!

Along with the support of some amazing wedding creatives my little slice of Montmartre came to life, and I couldn’t be prouder! But before I let the oogling begin, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to: Monica, Teressa, Cris, Brittany, Judy, Jodell, Yachi, Gretchen, Seth, Adam and Erik – this shoot would not have come to fruition with out your amazing contributions and talent!

Oh and these photographs….compliments of the AMAZING duo of Monica and Seth Hines – you two are beyond.

My stunningly beautiful friend Gretchen. She was the absolute best person to be our model for the day as she is achingly gorgeous and was just a bride herself this past fall! Also, what is a Parisian photo shoot without a little Eiffel Tower??!

Gretchen’s makeup was flawless. Cris did such an amazing job giving Gretchen those fantastic bright red lips!

We were privileged with the most amazing lighting in Chalk Studios.

Red, green, yellow and black instantly took front stage in the design, as these colors are key players in this area of Paris. I handcrafted this paper pinwheel backdrop using brightly colored and patterned card stock…my fingers were sore for days, but it was SOOOO worth it – I loved how it turned out. The pinwheel concept was meant to pay tribute to the many beautiful windmills throughout the hills of Montmartre.

Brittany of Bartlett Bridal did an amazing job on Gretchen’s hair creating a low messy bun with just the right amount of loose pieces….so adorable!

A french shutter was an absolute MUST. And isn’t that bouquet to DIE for! Teressa from Cashmere Floral Design has some serious talent!

I’m soooo in love with this distressed turquoise green french bistro chair I found in the rain in a “junk” yard. It reminded me of all the exquisitely distressed chairs in Paris.

One of my favorite shots of the day.

Calla Bridal generously loaned this adorable Priscilla of Boston gown which I chose because the silhouette reminded me of the many carousels throughout Montmartre. I added a petticoat underneath to give it even more flair.

The black bow! OOOHHHH! I couldn’t imagine this shoot without a humongous bow on top of Gretchen’s head. I used black tulle to create a “headband” sort of piece with the tulle singing loud and proud atop her head. I wanna wear this thing around town!

Nothing says “french” more to me than a gigantic baguette! The adorable wicker basket is actually a purchase from Paris.

AND the umbrellas. Aren’t they just fantastic?!! All the umbrellas are vintage and were provided by Bella Umbrella in Seattle. I wanted to incorporate the umbrellas because they reminded me of the intricately decorated carousels in Montmartre. I’m so head over heels for the yellow one above!

This “umbrella” on the other hand was a fantastic piece found by Erik who owns Chalk Studios where the shoot took place. Us Seattleites couldn’t imagine not using it in the shoot….so cool!

I was so excited about these green gloves. I found them at an antique store and just had to incorporate them. The number 13 in dominos represents the “wedding day” which took place on February 13th.

Judy from Tallant House was able to craft the most adorable French macaroons…yummy!

There was no way I could design a Parisian shoot without incorporating a bicycle! This one an old vintage Schwinn that I had painted red.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the rest of the details including a graffiti wall, desserts and more!

Event Design, Styling and Coordination: bow tie & bustle | Photography: MoHinesPhotography | Floral Design: Cashmere Floral Design | Desserts: Tallant House | Makeup: Glamour Cris | Hair: Bartlett Bridal | Dress: Pricilla of Boston courtesy of Calla Bridal | Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella | Studio: Chalk Studios | Hair accessories and veil: bow tie & bustle | Paper Goods: bow tie & bustle

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Filed under Antiques, Bow Tie & Bustle, Brights, Buttons, Cakes, Decor, Dessert, Envelope Liners, Fabric, Favors, Florals, Fun Fonts, Gift Tags, Graffiti, Inspirations, Invitations, Lighting, Liners, Paper Suite, Props, Reception, Styled Shoot, Themes, Travel, Twine, Vintage Finds, Weddings

50 and Fabulous

A couple of months ago, I received an inquiry from one of my sister’s closest friends, Dani. Dani is absolutely adorable. She has one of the biggest grins I have ever seen, and she is amazingly sweet and kind to my sister (a BIG plus from a sister’s point of view)! I got to know Dani a whole lot better when we were both bridesmaids in my sister Sarah’s wedding this past August, and was tickled to get the opportunity to create a paper design with her.

Like Dani, her mom is this beautiful woman that just exudes radiance, and appears to have an energy that people gravitate towards. I’ve only had the opportunity to meet Dani’s mom once, but I knew the moment I met her that she is one extremely special woman. So, it was an utter surprise, and total thrill for me, when Dani sent me an email asking me to help her create a birthday invitation for her Mom’s 50th surprise birthday party this October.

I asked Dani to share a few things with me about her mom: “My mom is extremely outgoing, vivacious and the life of the party. Everyone wants to be her best friend, you can’ t help but love her. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know and loves making the people she loves feel special“…she went on to state that her mom loved earth tones, and that she wanted the invitation to have a “50 and Fabulous” type theme.

It only took me a split second to find the perfect decorative paper that completely inspired my design. Just like Dani’s mom, this paper was something I instantly gravitated towards the second I entered the store, and one I couldn’t help but love. This exquisite Italian paper is laced with varying shades of gold, orange, green, yellow and bits of blue; it is stunning. I bought every ounce of the paper from the store, and rushed home to begin the design. Coral was chosen as the primary color of the invitation, because it just seemed to be the perfect compliment to Dani’s mom’s personality.

Dani, thanks for giving me the opportunity to be included in such a special celebration for your Mom. I hope the surprise party goes splendidly!

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Kellan the Baby Cub

“More work for you???” was the title of their message when Brendan and Steph asked me to help them create their baby announcements. Little did Brendan and Steph know, but “more work” was the last thing I would ever use to describe their announcements. Anything related to Brendan and Steph is NEVER work. They are two of the kindest, and thoughtful souls I have ever met. I have known them for more than a few years now, and the more I get to know their adorable little family, the more amazing I realize they are.

When inquiring about what they were looking for in an announcement, Brendan made very few requests, but did ask that I include both him, Steph, and their son Eamon on the announcements as well – making it more of a family focus. I brainstormed ways to merge a family “feel” into their baby announcement, and when I found this adorable zoo print paper I knew exactly what to do. The lion on the paper was utterly adorable – babyish, but boyish all at the same time. A lion cub it was.

I was beyond excited to get the opportunity to meet baby Kellan in July at Anna and Lars’ wedding, and seeing the four of the Murphy’s together (Brendan, Steph, Eamon, and now new baby Kellan) made my heart all warm, and mushy. Knowing that I was getting to be involved in such an amazing time in their lives was a total thrill for me. Announcing baby Kellan through my paper designs is such an honor, and I want to congratulate Brendan and Steph on their new bundle of joy. He is beautiful you guys!

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Birthday Balloons

I have a friend. Her name is Vanessa. “V” for short. She is a doctor. And very cool. And very smart. And someone I admire. And my BFF. She lives far away. In Peoria, Illinois to be exact. And I miss her. A lot. I mean, A LOT.

I’ve known Vanessa for more than 8 years now, and I am so lucky to have her in my life. She is, to this day, the closest friend I have from my college years, and any time I spend with her is such a blessing. I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time with her in Chicago a few months back, and I had the time of my life. Vanessa is one of those friends that is just so easy to be around. You never have to question where you stand with her, and she is always able to shed some amazing light on anything for which you are seeking advice.

I love her to pieces, and wanted to send her a birthday card along with her gift that would hopefully bring a smile to her face. V works REALLY LONG hours, and is so dedicated to her career, so I wanted to remind her how important it is to take time for self-care, and pampering time. I filled a basket with all things “spa” like, and included a card with fabric birthday balloons as a finishing touch.

Happy birthday V! I love you!

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Bunches of Thank You

Over the past several months, I’ve hemmed and hawed over whether I should create a stationary “line”. I am so in love with creating custom designs, meant to suite the needs of the individual customer, and I have no doubt in my mind that I will continue to create as many custom designs as I can get my hands on.

BUT, I have been intrigued by the idea of creating something for the masses. I contemplated where to start, and immediately thought of a thank you note design as my first line of greeting cards. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for the perfect thank you note to pass along to a loved one.

I set out to create a line that was bright, cheery, and got the point across : thank you bunches!

This post goes out to all of my friends, and family, (especially my BPP family) who have given me their unwavering support over these past few years. I am who I am today, because of you loving me, and I thank you so much for that. Here’s to you…my “Bunches of Thank You” line…

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Baby Ladybug

Oooohhhh! I am so excited about these announcements!

Awhile back I was encouraged by my friend Emma (okay, so I’m calling her my agent now – joking of course, well…not really) to approach Aly, the director of Becoming Parents Program (where I work), about creating her baby announcements. Aly was expecting a little baby girl, and had been calling her “ladybug” during her pregnancy. I thought the nickname was completely adorable, and I was inspired to design an announcement for Aly before she even said “yes” to my offer.

I found these incredibly sweet and delicate, hand-painted ladybug buttons at a fabric store, and knew immediately that they had to be incorporated into the design. It also just so happened that a “ladybug” print (actually these cute little flowers made to look like ladybugs) came from out of nowhere and instantly became the envelope liner. I finished off the look with some “baker’s twine” and voila! Baby ladybug – June Elizabeth’s birth will be officially announced!

Congratulations Aly and Allie! Really excited for you (and Sam too!).

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A Shower of Love

Over the past several months I have been extremely excited for my good friend, Emma, and her fiance, Jason, to get married. Emma and Jason are quickly becoming some of mine and Adam’s closest friends in Seattle. Finding a great friend is tough enough, but finding a great couple that you AND your spouse have things in common with, AND enjoy hanging out with is hard to find.

I have worked with Emma for quite some time now, and her spunky east coast personality, and HUGE heart make her such an amazing person to be around. I am going to miss her terribly in September when I am no longer with Becoming Parents, but I know that Emma and I will remain close friends for many, many years to come.

Emma and Jason are getting married on September 18th in upstate New York, and I wanted to throw Emma a bridal shower with her closest girlfriends before her big day. I set a plan to decorate her shower with bright girly colors, and decided to use canary yellow, gray, purple, red and hot pink as the primary colors for both the party and her shower invitations.

For the past several months, I have been wanting to use these tiny heart buttons I found, and I thought that Emma’s shower invitation just might be the perfect way to incorporate them into my designs. I stamped an umbrella onto white cardstock, embossed it, and then hand stitched the heart buttons to represent raindrops. I wanted the umbrella and “raindrops” to not only represent a “shower of love” for Emma, but to also symbolize Emma’s life with Jason in Seattle.

Check em’ out! And Happy Bridal Shower Em!

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Wanna Get Away?

Travel is something I live for. Really, I don’t know who I am without at least 1-3 trips on my “to do” list. It’s to the point that I can’t see one of my Seattle buddies without them saying “Adam just sent me a text for poker night. Where you headed to now?” I get a ton of grief about my constant traveling, but I know it’s something that feeds my soul, and luckily I have a spouse who understands my travel obsession, and supports me in any new endeavor or adventure I set my sights on.

I vividly remember my final train ride on my European honeymoon, and bawling my eyes out because for the first time in 4 years I didn’t have a single trip on the horizon. I quickly got home and planned a trip to Cabo San Lucas with some of my closest girlfriends, because I honestly didn’t feel like myself without my travel bug at bay.

I’ve never quite understood where my infatuation with travel comes from, but can always remember being extremely jealous of friends who would travel to far off lands. Every time I come within yards of an airport I feel a rush of excitement and yearning to hop on the next available plane to…well…anywhere!

Over the past several years I have been afforded AMAZING opportunities to visit family, vacation with close friends, and now to take a personal trip to Europe. A lot of this comes from setting traveling as my ultimate priority, but also from a career in nursing which allows for extended time off and a continued aching desire to increase my cultural competencies.

As I prep for my upcoming solo trip to Europe (a trip I’ve been waiting my WHOLE life for) I contemplate the endless amounts of places to visit and ponder the reality of traveling alone….eeeks! My honeymoon a year ago fueled my desire to see more of the world, and with an imminent layoff from a job I love at the end of September, what better time to pack it all up and jet set for 6 weeks or so, right?

With plans to spend about 4 weeks of my trip alone in Paris (blogging, cafe-ing, walking, sleeping, eating, antiquing, pondering, biking, discovering, and anything else with an “ing”), I also know that I want to spend about 2 weeks or so, hitting up the trains, and visiting various countries around France.

Now, despite what my friends and family might say, being alone is not something I necessarily fear, but actually something I quite enjoy from time to time. I am totally stoked for a few weeks to myself to figure out the “next step” in my life, whether that be continuing on my nursing career path, or braving some new adventures. With that said, I wouldn’t mind spending a couple weeks or so with good friends traveling from place to place expanding my view of the world.

As a means of inquiring about who might be available to take a leave from work, or school, or motherhood, or residency (hi V!) to travel with me, I created a little greeting card for a few of my closest girlfriends. I thought it would be fun to send a card rather than an email, text or phone call, to ask if anyone was interested in spending a couple of weeks or so away from home.

I found this AMAZING map of Paris and cut it to pieces to create both an envelope liner, and various parts of the card itself. I used vibrant turquoise colors to accent the look of the card, an amazingly funky font, and finished the design off with a tiny Eiffel Tower charm tucked in the envelope.

With hopes to get a “heck yes!” response from at least one of my gal pals, I sealed the envelopes and sent them on their way. Now just one step closer to the trip of lifetime…

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A Seattle Visit

A little over a month ago, my parents and sister Coli came and visited me and Adam in Seattle. I was so excited for their visit, especially since it was my Dad’s first time to Seattle; and I LOVE seeing my city through the eyes of a newcomer. Every time I explore Seattle with a friend or family member who is visiting for the first time, I learn something new and exciting about this amazing city.

I am BEYOND in love with Seattle, and moving here with Adam almost three years ago (wow!) was the best decision I have EVER made. Well, of course, second to marrying him!

It was so fun to have my family out to visit, and I had been wanting to send them a little note thanking them for coming to see us. I found this adorable paper, that reminded me of raindrops, full of pops of green and pink colors which I used for the card and envelope liner. I added some lime green twine, and a teenie tiny Space Needle charm to complete the design.

I miss my family everyday, and wanted them to know how much it meant to have their presence in our home. Love you guys!

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A New Abode

We all know at some point that we will have to “grow up” and move away from home to find our own niche in the world. Some of us resist this more than others, and some of us even beg to come home. Okay, so yes, I have done this once….maybe twice! ; )

Well one of the things that grown up’s do is buy houses. Yes, buying a house is a MAJOR “big kid” step in my opinion, and one I greatly admire of my friends who have already made this step. This past week, one of my best girl friends, Rachel, just bought her first home, and I am SO PROUD of her! I felt honored to go over to her new place and help her pick out her paint colors last week. It was such a thrill to see the excitement on her face, and hear about all of the amazing plans she has for her new home.

I can’t wait to see Rachel’s house when she really makes it her own, and I wanted to make a card to congratulate her on her new adventure. I wanted the card to not only scream “congratulations you’re a homeowner!”, but also reflect Rachel’s personality as well. I used bright eclectic colors and included a type key font on the card that I felt gave it that vintage “anthropologie” look that Rachel and I love so much.

I can’t wait to deliver this greeting card to my friend Rachel, the homeowner. Congrats my friend!!

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Filed under Envelopes, Fun Fonts, Greeting Cards, Housewarming, Just Because

Birthday Puzzle

My supervisor (really my AMAZING friend), Barb, is one of the most fantastic, thoughtful, and kind women I have ever met. When I first made the transition to Becoming Parents Program from my previous hospital position, I was a bit nervous; but Barb’s bright and smiling face immediately put me at ease. For the past two years, Barb has been one of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my career (and life) decisions including my decision to pursue my paper passion…thanks Barb!!

I love Barb so much and was so honored to be able to spend Wednesday evening with her and some of my favorite colleagues to celebrate her birthday. We went to this YUMMY italian restaurant on Capitol Hill called Machiavelli’s and ate pasta and tiramisu. To celebrate the day, I created a “puzzle” birthday card to wish her a happy birthday. I used bright colors and balloon character font to really make the card sing “happy birthday.” I had a blast making this one and was so excited to see the smile on Barb’s face as she turned the various paper colors to reveal her “WISHING YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY” message.

I cannot imagine my life in Seattle without knowing Barb, and I hope that our friendship continues FAR beyond my time at BPP. Happy Birthday Barb!

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Funky Fonts

I spent hours yesterday searching for new funky fonts to add some spunkiness to my newest designs. I fell upon this AMAZING typewriter font, which is my new *favorite*, and is sure to make it onto many of my upcoming creations.

I had never really contemplated much in the past about how important fonts might be to my paper projects. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I got my first tattoo with my sisters (weird right?!) that I really started thinking about the significance of a “good” font.  I had spent a few weeks searching through hundreds of font styles for our tattoos, and realized that there are some fantastic fonts out there that I hadn’t even thought to use in my designs. The only other time that I can remember having “serious” thoughts about fonts was when I was creating mine and Adam’s wedding invitations last year.

When I 1st started designing our wedding invitations, I found a “cute” font style on Word and decided I wanted the lettering to stream across the invitation from edge to edge. It was not something I had seen offered by the stationary shops in our area, so I thought “why not make our own?” After hours and hours of Adam sizing the wording to the invitations to fit “just right” we decided in the end that the look was a bit too informal for the style of wedding we were hoping to create.

Working with new fonts over the past couple of days spurred my memory of that first draft of our wedding invites. I decided this morning (at 2am when all my ideas usually start brewing) to use my new favorite font to create a birthday card. I used all lowercase lettering and typed the words “happy birthday” over and over again until they covered the entire span of the card – edge to edge, just like I had wanted last year on our first draft of invites. I think it’s my new favorite design…

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