Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stephanie and Michael's Modern Wedding Invitations

Like this invitation? Check out this similar design at Vivian Elle's Etsy Shop. 

I truly love working with different styles of wedding invitations. Each bride comes to me with such unique ideas and I love that they trust me to carry those ideas out. 

But every now and then, I end up with a wedding invitation that is exactly my style. And this year, I think this is the one. If I had been married this year, this is the invitation I would have created for my own wedding.

Stephanie was pretty open to ideas about her design. She sent me a few pictures that were her style and then she let me go to work.

I used Samantha Pro for the script font and Novecento for the block font. Both of these are my favorites at the current moment.

As for the colors, we went with a navy blue and coral, a pretty hot color combo for 2013.

All of the information Stephanie and Michael needed to tell their guests was put right on the back of their invite.

I'm seeing more and more brides who are keeping it so simple with their invitations and I love it. One piece of card stock and one envelope can still equal a beautiful wedding invitation.

Stephanie was SUPER easy to work with - so glad she chose Vivian Elle. :)

Lots of fun to come in the next few weeks - wedding invites, save the dates, bridal shower invites, baby shower invites -it's been a fun month!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One Six's Photo's Business Cards

I do so hope you're enjoying your summer. Thank you for continuing to read, even though I've been so inconsistent with my blogging. July is the month when my husband and I go back to work (just for 4 weeks) to teach at a summer program. I'm currently teaching 7th-9th graders how to start their own businesses. Funny, I know. 

But Vivian Elle stuff still goes on, even when I'm teaching. I just haven't really shown any of it yet. 

Before the fall wedding hoopla is unveiled next week, I wanted to show off some business cards I did a little while ago for the lovely lady I talked about in this post. 

Kelli from One Six Photo came to me earlier this year after we had finished working on her logo months earlier. She wanted a business card and so we came up with one.  

And then Kelli took a couple of super cute and fun photos of them, showcasing how amazing her photography skills are.

This seriously makes me want to get a bubble gum machine, if only to photograph my invitations on. :)

Not only does Kelli have some great photography skillz, it is rare you meet someone as kind and fun and encouraging as she is. If you're in the metro-Detroit area and you need photos taken, check her website out here. She is one talented girl. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So...the past few weeks have been a blur.

First, I took a trip to Wichita, Kansas to see this friend from college.

And meet this little girl whom you might remember from this post

It was wonderful to spend time with my friend Laura from college. We're usually with three other friends who we've traveled with for years now, but this time it was just me and her. We went to Liya's swim lessons and talked and ran together and talked and went to the zoo and talked and laid out and talked some more. I don't think I've ever had so much time with just her and it really is something I'll cherish forever. Also, she introduced me to House Hunters on HGTV. How had I never seen it before? What was I doing with my life?

After Wichita, I headed back to Chicago (where I flew out of to go to Wichita) and spent the 4th of July with the best friend, Amy.

We watched fireworks, sat out on her back porch, went shopping, ate at Pinkberry (I had Nutella on my ice cream...divine.), watched an 1980s PBS program on ice cream shops, ate Chicago style hotdogs, and just caught up on every aspect of our lives.

We were also to meet up with our friend-since-high-school-days, Dave, and his lady friend, Sarah (not pictured).

All in all, my vacation was great, but at the end of my week away, I was so thankful to be coming home to my husband and my home, my favorite place to be.

When I came home, we dealt with this little situation and we started working again at the summer program we teach at each year. It was a hectic week, but I was glad to make it out alive and with a new little friend from the Humane Society.

And that brings us to this week. I feel like the past few weeks have flown by and I'm just trying to catch my breath and it doesn't help that I randomly have a cold in the middle of the summer.

But I've been working on Vivian Elle stuff and I promise that once I'm done with this teaching gig, I'll start weekly posting again. I might even do one next week on some business cards that I did way too long ago now. But I have 3 wedding invites, 3 shower invites and a hostess brunch invite to show and those will be up the blog soon.

Until then, enjoy every bit of your summer, even if your husband gave you a cold, too (it helps me to blame him :)).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lava Bean

About 5 years ago, I saw my husband with a kitten for the first time. It was a little stray that ended up being my brother and sister-in-law's cat. I honestly felt like I'd never seen Luke love anything like he loved this little kitten. I immediately thought, "I have to make him this happy all the time."

It was shortly before Christmas and I realized that the perfect gift would be to get a cat for Luke. We were engaged and not living together so I decided that I'd get him a cat that could stay at my apartment until we got married.

I spent the next few days going back and forth to the local Humane Society in search of the perfect cat for Luke. I was hauling myself over there on my lunch breaks (I have never been good at just waiting until the appropriate time when I get an idea in my head - I must do it RIGHT THEN) and leaving work immediately when I got off to see if any kittens had been brought in.

On one of those trips, I walked into the Humane Society and a new litter of kittens had just been dropped off. There were a ton of people there for the holidays, but I found a worker and she told me I could hold one.

I selected an orange tabby and found a windowsill to sit on in a little hallway. I cupped my hands together and held this little kitten right there, knowing that this was the one for us. He was just really lovable and so content sitting there in my hands. It just seemed like a good fit.

I started to go through the procedure of adopting him. I had to wait a few days before I picked him up and I spent that time getting everything I needed to house a kitten.

(Keep in mind that I think we set our Christmas gift budget at $100.00. I think I spent $120.00 on a carrier/litterbox/toys alone. You might say I went overboard.)

So when I went to pick him up, I told the worker at the Humane Society which cat I was there for (I believe at the time his name was Prancer or Vixen or something like that since it was the holidays) and they brought him out. And when the lady handed him over to me, she said, "ohhhh...he didn't want to leave his sister."

You know what happened.

This little boy cat (right) and his little sister (left) came into our lives and we (correction: LUKE) named them Lava and Magma. I called them Lava Bean and Magma Girl. To say we immediately became obsessed with these cats is an understatement.

I've often said that if loving children is even better than loving cats, then I can't even imagine that kind of love.

Luke's often said that he doesn't think he'll ever love children as much as we've loved our cats.

Like I said, obsessed.

What made Lava and Magma so special is not just that they were the best little pets, but that they were the first things that were really ours. Mine and Luke's together. We loved loving on the cats together and we loved sending pictures of them to each other and we loved bragging about how awesome they were to anyone who would listen.

Lava and Magma lived with me in my first apartment and then they moved with me into the condo that Luke and I lived in when we were married. Two years later, we moved from our condo into my parents' house. Two months later, we moved into our first home. The cats were with us during every move. Constant little companions to us during each change in our lives.

Yesterday, we had to put Lava down. About eight months ago, we found out that he had an autoimmune disease called pemphigus. We spent the time between then and now going back and forth to the vet, trying different antibiotics and steroids in an attempt to keep him alive. He would get better for the first week or so of each new treatment and we would get really really hopeful, and then he'd just get worse again. Sores would show up on his nose, around his mouth, inside his ears, between his toes.

Last week I was gone for a week. I came back and within a day, Lava had sores all over his face and ears and so we called to make an appointment with the vet to get his steriod shot.

I put Lava in the car to take him into the vet. He immediately peed all over his crate. When we got him in the vet's office and he was weighed, he was down a little bit. I knew that both of these were bad signs and when the vet's assistant left the room, tears filled my eyes. Something in me knew that it was time to make a hard decision and I had already started to come to terms with that.

The vet came in. He was the same vet that had been seeing Lava the whole time. He was sympathetic to our situation and had tried to make decisions throughout the process that would help Lava. He looked at my little cat and asked a few questions and then become silent for what seemed like forever. I knew that he was figuring out a way to delicately say that it was time.

I started crying and I have no clue what I said during our conversation, but I do remember that I told him I felt guilty putting a not yet 5 year old cat down because of a skin condition. And then the vet told me that we've faught hard for Lava and that the fact that we felt guilty showed how much we loved him. And then he told me what I needed to hear - that making the decision to put Lava down was a perfectly acceptable and understandable choice at this point.

I asked the vet if we were able to do it right then. I knew that dragging it out would be too much. I called Luke and told him that I felt like it was time. He came right up to the vet.

We cried as I held Lava in the cradling position that I always held him in. Even though I thought I wanted to hold him until he was gone, in the end, we asked the vet if we could just go and if he would hold him until he passed. Then Luke and I left and went and cried in the bathroom of the vet's office together.

Lava was a great cat. He was so cuddly and so sweet and even our friends that didn't like cats said that our cats were different. Lava would cradle himself in my arm at night as I slept and he would always let me hold him for as long as I wanted (his sister lets me hold her for as long as she wants :)).

This is the last photo I took of Lava. It was two days ago and was actually a photo I snapped to send to my mom so she could see the pillows I got for our window seat. This is where Lava spent most of his time the last few months of his life. He wasn't himself and it always made me sad when I would stop to pet him as he laid in this room. I knew things were coming to an end.

Naturally, my mom commented that she liked the cat shaped pillow the best.
But I won't remember Lava for how he was at the end of his life. Instead, I'll remember him like he is in the picture below. Our first little pet together. So lovable. So sweet. So affectionate.

We're sad, but I know we'll move on. I understand that Lava was "just a cat," but I also think any pet owner knows that that's not really true. You open your hearts and you love these pets and they become a part of your life - a part of your story. Lava brought unbelieveable joy to our lives. So much more than I would have ever expected when I held him in my hands that day at the Humane Society.

We'll never have another cat just like Lava, but as my mom told me last night, we'll have another cat that we love just as much as we loved Lava. Until then, we'll keep loving on his sister, as long as she'll let us hold her. :)