Friday, January 27, 2012

A few more Christmas cards

{All of these cards are now available at Vivian Elle's Etsy Shop. Click here to visit!}

OK, I'm going to just have to show a few more Christmas cards and call this my weekly blog post. It has been one of those weeks where you think "oh, good, it's almost Friday" and then you realize it's 8:30 on Monday evening. It's seemed forever long because we've packed a lot in.

You see, my husband and I are house hunting. Apparently, this is quite a time consuming activity. Pair the house hunting with engagement season being in full swing and I just feel a little more tired than usual. A little too tired to really blog about anything other than me being...well, tired (and a few Christmas cards, of course).

But I will say this - in the midst of this craziness, it's been the designing, the printing, the assembling, the stuffing, and the meetings with brides (or their wonderful moms) that have been completely therapeutic. I'm truly doing something I love and I can honestly say I'm working with some of the greatest brides right now.

Having said that, here are some more Christmas cards that will be added to Vivian Elle's Christmas Collection 2012. :) I need to let you know that the forever talented and kind Amy Sayre (of Amy Sayre Photography) wrote to her clients to ask if I could use their photos for my collection of cards. This is one gracious little family who said that I could. Get ready for one cute little guy.

And with those, I'll sign off. I'm fairly certain that this blog can't handle any more cuteness today. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas Cards!

{All of these cards are now available at Vivian Elle's Etsy Shop. Click here to visit!}

I know, I know.

It's January. If you're anything like me, you feel that Christmas should be done. Completely over with. You get a little annoyed when you see that people still have their lights up. You turn the channel when a commercial with anything Christmas-related comes on anytime after December 26 (yes, I saw one, and it angered me).

*Note - I did receive a belated Christmas gift in the mail today, which I had absolutely no problem with.

But even though I have some harsh feelings against Christmas after December 26, I have to say that this blog post is not so much about Christmas as it is about achieving my goals for 2012. So, in that spirit, it's my first post about some Christmas card designs. Yay!

If you remember correctly, one of my goals in 2012 is to get some Christmas designs up on my website. Well, I started this past week and after I did one, I immediately was so motivated that I did two more. And then two more after that.

So here are the first five Christmas cards in the Vivian Elle Christmas Collection. I'm really hoping to get at least one a week done and show a couple each month on the blog. The plan is to have these up on my website by August so that any folks who are interested can purchase some Christmas cards from Vivian Elle Invitations.
*Another note - I do not know any of these people. I just felt like being honest about this. You, too, can own these photos if you go to

How cute is that family?
That one's my favorite...I love the green and grey. And how adorable are those two little sledders? You'll see them again here soon (hey, I wasn't going to buy too many photos, you know?).

So that's it - the beginning to Vivian Elle's Christmas Collection. I've had so much fun putting these together and can't wait to do more. Next thing you know it'll be July and I'll be humming Christmas music to myself (which, btw, I was totally doing while I was making these).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mel's Housewarming Party Invites

This is a sad post.

Sad, because it could be my last post about my dear, wonderful customer, Melissa.

(Side note: not that she's made a statement saying she will never use me's just that it is the final project that I've been working on for her lately.)

Let's recap. I first did a shower invite for Melissa and then a baptism invitation for that same sweet little boy. You can see those here and here. Then Melissa (or Mel as I sometimes like to throw out when I'm feeling crazy) and her family moved. I did some "We've Moved!" postcards for her that you can see here.

But Mel isn't the kind of girl that is going to just move and then do nothing about it. Based only on her fabulous Pinterest pics, I knew she had a lot in store for this new house and she would obviously want to share that with their friends and family. So a housewarming party was a necessity.

Mel decided to have it right after the holidays so we didn't go with a Christmas-y theme, but we decided to still make it winter-y (ironically, winter has yet to show up very much in Michigan this year). Here's what we came up with.

I just loved the silver and the light blue together. And the snow flakes. And the Hiatus and Birmingham fonts (Birmingham is my new favorite...and it's free).

All in all, a nice farewell to most loyal customer in 2011. ;)

But before I officially put away all 2011 projects, there's just a few more that I wanted to share. As much as possible, I tried to incorporate paper products into my presents/decor over the Christmas season. So here are a few little snippets of things that were really fun to make, and hopefully made some special people happy.

1. A birthday gift for the best friend.
2. A fun countdown for the BFFs who will be making their trek to Michigan to visit me in March.
3. A little bookmark for the ladies in my book club.
4. My take on a modern Advent Calendar inside a glass dome for my husband and me.

So there you have it. I'm done posting invitations from 2011 and next week begins a new year of projects and a lot more to show. Each wedding will not only include invitations, but a lot of fun extras, like programs, menu cards, place cards, thank you cards, and some seating charts. Which only means lots of fun blog posts. :)

(Oh, and to throw a BTW in here...I already have three - three! - Christmas cards done. The unofficial goal now is to do one blog post a month showing some new designs. Those will be coming up in the next few weeks.)

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, January 5, 2012


At midnight on New Year's Eve 2005, my best friend, Amy, and I sat outside of a mutual friend's house in her parent's Trailblazer. We had lost interest in what was going on inside the house (to this day neither of us remembers exactly what that was) and decided that we'd retreat to the car and talk.

(Because I like blogs better when they have pictures, I've strategically placed old photos of Amy and myself in between paragraphs of this story.)

Amy and I in high school - please note the sweet scrunchie on Amy's wrist.
In the car, we talked about the year 2005. I was finishing up getting my teaching certification and about to start student teaching. I had just started dating my future husband a few weeks into December, so you could say I had several new things going on as I started 2006 that were exciting but a little scary (I tend to over-analyze everything, making it all much more scary than it ever needs to be).

Chicago 2007 - one of my many trips there throughout the years.
Amy had had a very different 2005. She had graduated years prior with a degree in journalism and moved to Chicago to pursue a job. However, she was at one of those super annoying in between jobs and was really unhappy. She was ready to be done with it. Overall, she was ready for a fresh start.

Morocco 2008 - we took a two week trip with a group of women from Amy's office.
At some point in our conversation, we decided that this new year needed to be awesome for both of us - Amy especially - and we decided to do something about it. We vowed right then and there that we would each come up with 5 goals for the New Year that we would share with each other. Then, at the end of the year, we'd look back on them and see how we did.

Amy and I repelling in West Virginia circa 1998.
So after we both returned home, we emailed each other our 2006 goals. (For the life of me, I can't find the email that details what they were.) Then, at the end of 2006, we emailed again to see how we did.  If I remember correctly, Amy accomplished most - if not all - of hers that year. I, on the other hand, only accomplished one or two. But we kept it up. Every year for the past seven years, about a week before New Year's Eve, we email and remind each other to work on our goals. A few days later, we send another email, critiquing how we did with our own goals and declaring our goals for the coming year. Some years Amy does really well and some years I do really well (brag - this year I blew my goals out of the water). But no matter how the year went, we keep sending our goals to each other, just like we did back in the beginning of 2006.

Amy and me singing what appears to be a powerful duet in someone's basement in high school.
So here we are and it's 2012. A lot has changed since the first year we made our goals. Amy met her now fiancé. I got married. Amy served as my MOH. Amy asked me to be her MOH. Amy started her own photography business. I started this custom invitation business.

So this is kind of a different blog post. I just wanted to start off the year publicly declaring a few of the goals I have for this business in 2012. It has been extremely helpful to have Amy to share my goals with, and I find that sharing things on the blog gives me that extra push to get things done, too.

I have five goals this year, as per usual, and two of the five are Vivian Elle related. Last year, my goal was just to get this business up and running. Check and check. If all goes well, the following will happen by the end of 2012.

1. I will be marketing in two new places and participating in a bridal show.

Right now brides will find me on The Knot and Wedding Wire. I'd like to find at least two additional locations to post my business cards or even advertise with a local newspaper. I am also starting to scout out bridal shows (this would be the biggest overcoming of my fears move ever) to see what I would need to do to get in one of those.

2. I will have a part of my website that is dedicated to Christmas cards.

So far, my time has been taken up with wedding stuff, which I absolutely love. But I realized this past year that I really enjoy doing Christmas cards and I want to work on getting some designs up on my website that people could just pick from and order however many they need, just like you can from Minted or Kodak Gallery or Wal-mart. I plan to start working on those designs next week and have them up by September or October.

So that's it. I'm starting out 2012 with very specific goals and I even have an action plan for each of them. The problem is that life always gets in the way and a goal that should take a week or two to accomplish (if I really dedicate time to it) will end up taking months and months. But I'm going to make my best effort and I have Amy (and now my blog readers!) to hold me accountable, which has always worked on pretty well in the past.

So here's to a happy new year, (hopefully) accomplished goals, and really great friends.

Amy giving her maid of honor speech at our wedding in 2009.