Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brenna and Jeffrey's Gray and Orange Floral Pocketfolds


Love love love these invites. So much. Let's just get right to it. 

Brenna and Jeffrey are a beautiful couple that I met with much earlier this year. They were getting married in November but wanted to incorporate florals into their invitation. 

I am seriously giddy over this floral pocketfold. 

And then you open it and the giddiness just continues.

Fonts are Melany Lane and Bentham.

The insert and RSVP card are tucked in the side pocket.

The artwork Brenna and Jeffrey picked is some of my favorite so far.

I love the simple RSVP.

And this will round out the year of invitations. :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Brynne and Shawn's Friendsgiving Invitations

I just wanted to pop in really quickly to show off a Friendsgiving invitation that I did for a former (wonderful, delightful, I'd-work-with-her-again-in-a-second) bride, Brynne. Brynne and her husband were having friends over the Saturday before Thanksgiving for a "Friendsgiving."

In case it's too small:


1. the act of gathering with friends for good wine and even better food.
2. giving thanks for the friends in your life.

Brynne picked these orange (I swear, they're orange) envelopes to go with the kraft paper she selected.

And just to tie the invitations in with the day, we put together some place cards for Brynne and Shawn's guests.

 I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether with friends or family. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That Time I Ran A Lot

If you follow this blog, you know this was The Year of the Marathon. Back in May, I blogged about my goal of running 26.2 miles, and on October 20 of this year, I actually achieved it. It was more than just a goal I checked off a list though - it ended up being a crazy/challenging/rewarding journey that lasted about six months total.

A few words about the journey:

The training was....intense. I have to say, I came to highly respect any human being who has ever trained for a full marathon while simultaneously raising children. Seriously, I can't even imagine. There was a week where we ran 40 miles total. To say it was a major time commitment is an understatement.

Besides the actual miles being intense, the amount of things I would give up was a bit surprising to me, too.

Because it was my first time, I was scared to do anything on Friday nights in the event that it would seriously mess me up for my Saturday morning runs. Because of this, I would be in bed around 8 or 9 PM every Friday (my husband was ecstatic about this). But then I would be afraid of how I would feel after the long runs so I would not make any plans on Saturday evenings either. All in all, my social life THRIVED during this time.

However, because I truly dedicated myself to our training, I felt prepared to run on race day. I knew I would finish it somehow, I just wasn't quite sure how horrible I'd feel at the end.

Turns out, I didn't feel all that bad right after. Granted, since it was my first race, I took it easy, especially for the first half. I wanted to save up my energy for the end, which worked a little except that I'm not sure that all the energy in the world could have helped me for those last 6 miles. They were just as hard as everyone said they'd be, but I somehow managed to keep my feet moving, even though they had been sore since about mile eight.

But I finished. I saw my family waiting there at the end and it gave me the burst of energy I needed to complete the race. And after I found my family, we walked over to the World Vision tent where there was a celebration. And as we walked in, I was introduced as a first time marathoner. WUT?

I then started my week of recovering from the marathon, which involved a lot of avoiding stairs/discretely going down stairs sideways when they couldn't be avoided/ibuprofen/laying around.

But what surprised me about the recovery is that it was mental as well as physical. I actually feel like processing the whole thing took more time than I would have thought. The whole week after, I just kept thinking, "did that really happen? did I seriously just run a marathon?"

Somehow, I actually did.

I'm still not exactly sure how, but I think it had something to do with the fact that (a) I ran with a group from my church and (b) I ran to raise money to provide clean water for the Democratic Republic of the Congo through Team World Vision. I honestly cannot imagine completing a marathon without either of those things.

The fundraising was probably the thing I was looking forward to the least at the beginning of the race. Not because I didn't think World Vision was a worthy case, but because I absolutely dread asking people for money, even if it's not for me.

But what I underestimated was just how giving people are. By race day, people had donated $2500 for Team World Vision. And believe me, at about mile 23, it was so incredibly helpful to remember that people gave money to my race so that others could have something we so often take for granted.

So I wanted to do a little something to thank everyone for donating, and since I have a large amount of affection for infographics lately, I thought I'd put one together to commemorate the whole experience (with space to write a thank you on the back).

Here it is.

The font in the ribbons is a little hard to see in the photo. It reads:

26.2 miles ran
2 international border crossings
50 lives changed ($50 provides clean water for 1 person for life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. $2500/$50 = 50.)

My favorite part of the race was something I mentioned on the card: (Estimated) miles Luke ran with Jenny. At about mile 19, Luke, my husband, jumped in and ran for a few seconds with me. During those few seconds, some guy on the sidelines yells to Luke, "yeah! good job!" Seriously, bro?

I was happy with my final race time. I wanted to get in around 5:15, but when I rounded the corner and saw that I could make it under 5:30, I was thrilled. I think at the end, even if it had said 8:30, I'd have been happy.

So now I feel like I have a little bit of my life back. I'm still running, but just a few times a week on a treadmill, trying to get my speed up. Even though this marathon took up such an enormous amount of time, I really feel like I came to love running throughout this experience. I'm not sure if it was because I ran the long runs with a group, or because I ran sans headphones and just tried to enjoy the process...whatever it was, I genuinely look forward to doing this whole thing over again next year, most likely for Team World Vision again.

For those who made this first marathon so memorable - whether it was by donating to TWV or running with me or just being supportive in general - thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Josh and Leah's Bright Baby Shower Invitations

In high school, everyone should have a friend like Josh. 

Josh and I met sometime around junior year and became quick friends. We had several classes together (mostly AP classes, which he was in because he was smart and I was in because I have no idea) and I remember us always walking together from class to class, chatting about our days and most likely, laughing (Josh is hands-down one of the funniest people I've ever met). We hung out outside of school and I got to know his family, too, who are equally as funny as Josh. Josh was a consistent friend throughout my upperclassmen years and I am so grateful for that.

One day, about five years ago now, Josh called and said he had someone he'd like me to meet. One morning, we got together at my house for breakfast and Josh introduced me to Leah, the girl he was going to marry. It took about two minutes to realize that he had found a good woman, one who he'd be happy with for the rest of his life. They were married in 2009, and now they're expecting their first baby. 

When Josh called to tell me that Leah was pregnant, he pretty much immediately asked if I would do the baby shower invitations. My friends are, of course, in no way required to do this, but I'm always honored when they do. 

I ended up working with Josh's mother-in-law, Jane, on these and here's what we came up with. 

Jane wanted bright colors, which was perfectly fine with me considering almost everything I design for myself is filled with bright pink, green, and purple. It felt very natural to do the same for these cards. :)

I love the baby carriage the most. Jane found the little poem we used. It reads:

Ten little fingers
ten little toes
boy or girl
no one knows!

Josh and Leah aren't finding out the sex of their baby. I am in complete awe of them doing this, especially since it's their first.

Fonts are BebasContext Reprise, with a tiny bit of Champagne and Limousines.

It was so fun to create this invitation for Josh and Leah, and I was honored to be included in their day. It was a beautiful shower for a beautiful couple. :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Juniper Eva's Baby Announcements

Let's be honest about one thing:

Making friends is WAY harder when you're an adult. 

After you get out of college, you feel like you should be set. Like you're a 10 on the social scale. But let me be the one to tell you this: college has deceived you. 

The thing about college is that it spoon feeds you friends. You cannot NOT make friends in college. I was in a dorm my freshman year with probably 80 other girls my same age. It took about two days for me to make my first friend, and by the end of freshman year, our floor was like a sisterhood. 

So when I got out of college, I was like, "Yo, world! I'm here and I'm an AMAZING friend!" And oddly enough, that was met with crickets chirping. Which meant that I spent a lot of Saturday nights at home watching Trading Spaces (which would be sad except that show was awesome).  

A few years after college, I started working at a home health care, only because I couldn't find a teaching job. I started to make some acquaintances, and even a friend or two, and I actually enjoyed working at my job. 

Then one day, interviews were held to bring on a new person in our department.  As was custom at our work, we started stalking the front door, in hopes that we would sneak a peak of one of the candidates. Our department was small, and we'd had our share of completely insane people come through (one girl literally sent an email to our boss on a particularly snowy day, telling her that she couldn't come in because a black bird told her not to. i'm not even joking. i may or may not have done a dramatic reading of it to my family), so it was important to make sure this new person was a good fit. 

On one of my trips to the front of the office to see who would be sitting there waiting to be taken in for an interview, I saw a girl. She was about my age, and looked nice, and I kid you not, as I discretely attempted to look at her out of the corner of my eye, a thought went through my head:

"We are going to be friends."

GUYS. I promise I'm not crazy. I swear. But that happened. 

And guess what?

That girl was hired. And within about three hours of her working in our department, I knew that my premonition was true. Her and I were going to be friends. 

And we are. Really good friends. Like the kind I thought I'd never have again post-college. A true friend who I could share anything with and who I constantly have crazy text threads going with at all times. Texts that we have both admitted reading to our spouses because we think we are hilarious. Those kinds of friends. 

I no longer work at that home health care. My friend - Debbie - doesn't either. I moved on and started this invitation business, and she moved on and had a few adorable babies. But we're both so thankful that a job that seemingly didn't fit into either of our "bigger pictures" brought us to each other.

So when Debbie had her second baby, Juniper, she asked me if I could make an announcement for her. 

And I told her that I couldn't because a black bird told me not to.

KIDDING, Y'ALL. Here they are.

Her family is precious, right?

I cannot get enough of this Bebas font. And I thought Melany Lane and Helvetica Neue balanced it out nicely. As for the design, while I'm always fearing that chevron is a week away from going out of style, I'm 100% confident that stripes are here to stay.

On the back, we just did a simple greeting.

There you go. A cute little baby announcement for a cute little baby. Here's to new friends after college and the adorable offspring they produce. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Corinne's Baby Shower Invitations

A little while ago, I worked with a friend, Izzy, to design some wedding shower invites for her sister-in-law. She came back to me a month or so later and this time, needed some baby shower invites. But she was very specific - she wanted non-baby shower baby shower invites. :)  Here's what we came up with. 

She wanted fall colors - navy, gray, and orange.

Fonts are Bebas and Champagne and Limousines, with just a touch of Anderson Four Feather Falls

All addresses are fake, and I was not the real return address. :)

I really loved how these turned out, and I think we definitely accomplished a non-baby shower baby shower invitation. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trisha and Dave's Detroit Themed Wedding Invitations

Now that Trisha and Dave's Save the Dates are out and the shower's been thrown, it's time for the invitations. 

Trisha decided to use gate cards for her invitations, which means this is what her guests saw when they opened the envelope (can we just pause to admire the lovely coral color of the envelopes, by the way?): 

A sneak peak at the invitation...

And here they are...

(I feel like the invitation's arms are open wide and there should be a heavenly "ahhhhhhhhh" that accompanies this picture.)

We used a new font, Bebas, for the entire invite.

And it's printed on the same map we used for Trisha's business calling cards.

I know I say this about every bride, but I truly love Trish's style. :) Can't wait to see what she has in mind for the wedding extras for the big day!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Madison's One Year Birthday Invitations

Emily came to me a few months ago now wanting to know if I could make invitations for her little girl's first birthday party. I grew up at the same church as Emily and her family. I hung out with one of her sisters pretty frequently. I get my hair cut by another one of her sisters. And yet another sister used to go on youth retreats with us as a leader. Add in the cousins and aunts of Emily's that I know and I may as well be her relative, too. 

So when Emily asked me to make a pink and orange birthday invitation for her daughter Madison's first birthday, I was all in. She gave me an inspiration board of pictures to go off of, and here's what we came up with. 

First of all, I am head over heals for the pink and orange combo right now. And of course I love Samantha Pro as the script font and Champagne and Limousines (a new favorite) as the block font.

Not to rush to the back of the invite too fast, but there's something there that is my absolutely favorite thing yet...

A little Minnie Mouse head!

Emily wanted to incorporate Minnie in the party and I thought this would be a cute way to bring the adorable mouse in. I can't even tell you what it is about little Minnie that I love so much. How good she looks in pink and orange? How cute and small she is? I have no clue, but I'm anxiously awaiting the next time I can pull her out. 

So that is it. An orange and pink birthday party invitation for a sweet little one year old (I actually haven't met Madison, but I assume she is a delight). I happened to see Emily at a shower right before the party and there were going to be 50+ people there and a bouncy house, so I'm assuming they had a great time. :)

Want to see more invitations from Vivian Elle? Visit our Etsy Shop!