“Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite

About a year ago, I started a mammoth wedding project with some of my favorite clients, the Lozen family. Lisa, the bride-to-be, was living in Chicago at the time finishing up law school, so a lot of the consulting had to be done via email, over the phone or with her mom, Jackie. The first thing to decide with any wedding suite is how you want the wedding to feel…formal? Casual? Chic? Unique? The colors, fonts and paper types will convey the atmosphere, and the invitation really sets the tone for the event. As always, we went through various different ideas. Lisa and Jackie wanted simple and clean but elegant and classy. The colors for the wedding were green and white, and they wanted very minimal color (if any at all) on the invitation. Honestly this was a challenge for me; I love color and a little funk. Black ink on white paper was going to be a little tricky, but I love being pushed out of my comfort zone. I threw out some letterpress options, pocket folders, laser cuts and DOZENS of designs. It wasn’t until Lisa found an idea in a magazine for a booklet-style invitation that we landed on “it.” I did a pearlescent white folder with a double-faced white satin knot, with the main invitation mounted to the inside. They picked a swoopy (that’s a technical term) font and a simple layout. Once this piece was chosen, the rest of the invitation elements fell into place. I did custom map cards for the ceremony and reception, and wormed a little color into the project with a chartreuse, custom-patterned envelope liner.

Booklet Wedding Invitation with Satin Knot, "Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Booklet Wedding Invitation with Satin Knot, “Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Full Invitation Suite, from the "Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Full Invitation Suite, from the “Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

In the midst of designing the invitation, we needed to send out a Save-the-Date announcement as well. Lisa and her fiance Chris had some amazing photos taken in Chicago, and sent me two images to use for two different versions of the card. I put some very simple wording on the card, and to my delight Lisa asked for a scalloped edge on the cards. (Hey, a little funk!) I used some simple white matte envelopes and sent them on all their way.

Photo Save-the-Date Announcements with Scalloped Edge, copyright Cordial Punch Press 2013

Photo Save-the-Date Announcements with Scalloped Edge, copyright Cordial Punch Press 2013

When it came time for reception materials, I brought the scalloped edge back on the Menu Cards and Welcome Card for hotel guests. (Jackie made AMAZING gift bags for the hotel guests…it was a “Michigan” theme with Bells Beer, Faygo pop, Better Made Chips, Peanuts from Comerica Park and Saunders Chocolates. Everything was tucked into a really great reusable tote with a graphic of Michigan and all the cities on the front. Very cool.) I also incorporated the chartreuse pattern from the envelope liners onto the backing mat for the Menu Cards, and the same pattern was used on the front of the Ceremony Programs. Escort Cards were basic white tent cards, and I did a few miscellaneous pieces like a sign for the Groom’s Cake and a sign for an Address Card station, as well as Table Numbers. Everything was clean, coordinated and I have to say, perfect. I love when clients think of all the tiny details and want them to match. It really takes an event to another level. And speaking of tiny details, my favorite elements have to be the little Slider Flags. A Late-Night Snack of Slider Burgers and Hummers were brought out at the reception, and Jackie asked me to make about 100 personalized flags to stick into the buns. So clever!

"Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

“Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Layered Menu Card with Custom Scallop Edge, from the "Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Layered Menu Card with Custom Scallop Edge, from the “Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Booklet Ceremony Program, from the "Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Booklet Ceremony Program, from the “Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

About a hundred happy little flags!

About a hundred happy little flags!

Custom Mini Flags for Slider Burgers at the Reception, from the "Swoops & Scallops" Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Custom Mini Flags for Slider Burgers at the Reception, from the “Swoops & Scallops” Wedding Suite from Cordial Punch Press, 2013

Ready to Drop!

Ready to Drop!

All in all it was a HUGE, FABULOUS project and from what I hear, the wedding was amazing. Cheers to the happy couple and the awesome Lozen family!

Mr. & Mrs. Chris & Lisa Serra!

Mr. & Mrs. Chris & Lisa Serra!

**On a personal note, as the wedding approached, I discovered that I was going to be due with my third baby very, very close to the wedding date (yikes). Sounds stressful but this has happened with EACH OF MY CHILDREN. My first son was born just a few days before my first wedding project, and with my second son, I stopped at a UPS Store to mail a box of wedding elements on the WAY to the hospital. So although it sounds nuts, it always works out somehow, as it did with the Lozen’s wedding. I had my last little meeting with Lisa and Jackie on Tuesday, August 20th where I dropped off a huge box of all her reception materials, and guess who was born the VERY NEXT DAY? My daughter, who has impeccable timing, phew!

Custom Cornflower Rehearsal Dinner Suite

I’ve done so much work for this family I practically know their addresses by heart! This invitation suite was for their son Ryan’s rehearsal dinner invitation, and although I took the summer off to focus on my three booked weddings (and grow another baby) I carved out time for this longtime client. The couple’s wedding invitation had a small floral motif, and the colors were cornflower blue and white. My instructions were classy, not too fancy, simple and use the title “The Night Before”. I knew I had a great star-like flower graphic another wedding suite that was never used, and immediately thought this would be the perfect project for it. (It’s so satisfying to see a discarded design find a new a life!) Changing the opacity on “The Night Before” and overlapping the type seemed to just fall into place, and I just LOVE white type for the rest. They also wanted custom mailing and return addresses printed, so I popped one of the flower-stars onto the envelopes to pull it together. The cards were printed on 100% Felt, which is a lovely, thick, natural paper. This was a smooth, quick little project that is now one of my favorite designs.

Custom Designed Cornflower Rehearsal Dinner Suite Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press www.cordialpunch.com

Custom Designed Cornflower Rehearsal Dinner Suite
Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press


Custom Designed Cornflower Rehearsal Dinner Invitation, 5x7" Printed on 100% Felt Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press www.cordialpunch.com

Custom Designed Cornflower Rehearsal Dinner Invitation, 5×7″ Printed on 100% Felt
Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press


Custom Mailing Address to Coordinate with Invitation Design Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press www.cordialpunch.com

Custom Mailing Address to Coordinate with Invitation Design
Copyright 2013 Cordial Punch Press



Hoosier Love Birds…Double Save the Date Cards

There’s been a little trend with Save-the-Date Cards lately…send out two versions because you can’t decide which photograph you like best! Not a bad problem to have. Does it also say something about the future bride and groom when all the photos are so cute and great no one can narrow it down to just one? This particular happy couple happens to be one of my younger cousins, Chelsea, and her fiance Neil. They met at Indiana University, of which both are recent alumni. (Hence the Hoosier spirit of the cards). They had an amazing photo shoot and couldn’t decide between what we dubbed “the wine basket” and “the college shirts.” I mentioned that another bride of mine had the same dilemma and ultimately decided to order two versions. She jumped on the idea so here we are! Design-wise the layout is almost the same, and I just love how the typography came together. Combining too many fonts can be tricky but I think I found a pleasant balance. The back of both cards is the same; the black and white “date blocks” that they specifically set up with the photographer. (Clever!) I started in a completely different direction for these and it’s always funny where things end up. Early drafts never compare to the end result, and some day I’ll be daring enough to show those too.  Looking forward to the wedding invitation soon!

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards..."College Shirts"

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards…”College Shirts”

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards..."Wine Basket"

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards…”Wine Basket”

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards..."College Shirts" Detail

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards…”College Shirts” Detail

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards..."Wine Basket" Detail

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards…”Wine Basket” Detail

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards...The Back "Date Blocks"

Hoosier Love Birds Save the Date Cards…The Back “Date Blocks”

Little Sweet Sailboats for Baby Alexandra

I haven’t worked in an office setting since my first son was born in 2008. I left to stay home with him when he was born, and although I made some really awesome friends at that office, I never would have thought that five years later, we would still get together and hang out. (But I’m eternally grateful that we do!) There have been more babies, Christmas nights out, patio parties…usually accompanied by wine, food, and more wine. Recently, we had one of the funnest reasons to throw a party: a new baby is on the way. I jumped all over the invitation (surprise, surprise) and instantly thought of pink sailboats. The new Mom and Dad have a very classic, clean and chic style, like they just stepped out of a J Crew catalog, lol. So I thought a soft, nautical vibe would be perfect. I drew up a sail boat illustration with some clouds and sunshine, and a ship’s wheel for the return address. For some cute karma I incorporated leftover pink card stock from their wedding invitations as a backing mat for the shower invitation, and added a jute bow as an embellishment. I can’t resist envelope liners so I added a purple one to the inside and sealed up the envelopes with pink washi tape.

For party accessories, I wanted to do a version of the nail polish favor I’ve seen on Pinterest. OPI brand makes a pretty pink shade called “It’s a Girl!” and according to the pin, you just add a little round thank you tag and there you have it. I wanted to get a little more creative with it (and honestly, the $9 price tag on OPI polish was undesirable). So I wandered around Ulta (a makeup store) and found a nice pastel array of colors that worked perfect. I got pastel pink, yellow, purple and blue. I also found mini nail files which fit next to the bottle nicely. I wrapped them both in the same jute and attached a little flag on a toothpick that said “To Pretty Up Your Piggies”.

One of my other ideas was to drink our beverages out of mason jars. Thankfully my best friend cans her own jelly, so she had a bunch of jars for me to borrow. She also suggested putting a cupcake liner over the top of the jar BEFORE screwing the lid on, and then poking a straw through the paper. SO CUTE. I found some pink “It’s a Girl!” liners at Hobby Lobby and also picked up some blue striped paper straws. (I’m in love with paper straws.) I pulled out the jute again and wrapped the jar up to make it coordinate. We served sparkling lemonade (and wine!) in the jars and in case you’re curious, yes you can drink wine with a straw!

I popped some more flags onto cupcakes for dessert and my part was done. Our amazing party hostess (she should get paid for these things, she’s up there with Martha Stewart) served the best lunch and decorated perfectly. The weather cooperated for once and we had a great day. Now we’re all waiting for little Baby Alexandra to make an appearance so we can get together again…

Sunshine & Sailboats Baby Shower Set

Sunshine & Sailboats Baby Shower Set

Sunshine & Sailboats Baby Shower Invitation

Sunshine & Sailboats Baby Shower Invitation

Return Address Illustration

Return Address Illustration

Mailing Address Illustration

Mailing Address Illustration

Our amazing table-scape

Our amazing tablescape

Cupcakes! Yes, they're as good as they look.

Cupcakes! Yes, they’re as good as they look.

Nail Polish Party Favors

Nail Polish Party Favors



Avenger’s Assemble Expansion Pack…Superhero Birthday Party Decor

Ever since I posted the blog entry about my son’s Avenger Birthday, my site stats have blown up. And ever since I listed them in my Etsy Shop, I’ve been drowning in orders. Seems as though a lot of people dig the Avengers…or at least the superhero theme. For two clients in particular, I’ve also provided some party accessories. After seeing my own party pictures, both clients were interested in decals for beverage dispensers and tent cards to “name” the food. (Gamma Ray Grape Salad, anyone?) And both clients also ordered superhero “belts.” Now I cannot take credit for this idea; this was the brainchild of one of them. She was making a candy bar with round, glass jars, and wanted some sort of belt to wrap around them symbolizing a character. She sent me some cute names for the candy and which character to pair it with. Her party wasn’t Avenger specific so there was some “universe-crossing” happening…Superman and Thor can be friends for an afternoon, right?Since I knew she was going to need a little wiggle room when it came time to put the belts on the jars (some were slightly bigger/smaller) I knew the “buckle” needed to be adjustable, as well as the length. Originally I was going to use felt, but ended up with craft foam. After getting all the pieces cut out, I put a tab on the back of the “buckle” so it could literally slide back and forth on the belt. I also used Velcro closures so there could be more length adjusting as needed. (I have pictures illustrating this, keep scrolling.)

She also needed some candy bags for the kids to fill up, and she wanted a few blank tent cards for food to be named later. I was in a pinch getting her order out so the best pic I have is from my cell phone.

After this party was complete, I mentioned the belts to another client, and she loved the idea. Instead of a candy bar, she wanted to wrap them around mason jars and fill them with goodies as guest favors. Needless to say she needed a lot more than seven…more like eighteen. She was exclusively using Avengers, so she opted for the most popular six: Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow. She also opted for food cards on sticks rather than tent cards, so she could stick them right on in the food (kind of like I did with mine). I was originally going to use a painted stick, but as I was assembling them I started to worry about the paint and wet food. It freaked me out enough to abort the idea and use colored plastic straws instead. Seems cheap but they actually work out great. The colors are perfect, she can easily cut the sticks to size, and since I used bendy straws she can even manipulate the top to bend in any direction.

I was a little more organized and had time to take proper photos too, thank goodness. I noticed that the belts perfectly fit a Solo plastic cup, and some cute little tin buckets I had from Wes’s party. I have a feeling these little buddies would fit many wonderful things. Another side note about her party…she wanted a color envelope instead of the clear one. So I found a comically bright (no pun intended) yellow envelope and threw a nice word burst return address on there. I have to say I kind of really like the color envelope. It’s whole different look for the set. Here’s how her party suite turned out…

Avenger Superhero Party Pack

Superhero Food Decals

Superhero Food Decals

Avenger Superhero Party “Belts”

Avenger Superhero Party “Belts”…Adjustable Slider

Avenger Superhero Party “Belts”…Velcro Closure

Avenger Superhero Party “Belts”….So many uses!

Avenger Superhero Party “Belts”…Thor Sucker Bucket

Why I Never Throw Supplies Away…Pretty Tented Place Cards

I hoard art supplies. Like random art supplies (aren’t all art supplies random? No.) Things like silver necklace chains, buttons, ribbon of any shape, length or material, miscellaneous adhesives, etc. It all stems from my grandma who is the giver of all my artistic talent and, ahem, hoarding tendencies. I always keep things no matter how many I have left, because you just never know when they might come in handy. Gift tags, special birthday cards, project for my boys (yeah right) or in today’s case, place cards for a Silent Auction and Tin Can Auction. This last June friends of friends lost their little daughter in a car collision when they were struck by a drunk driver just a few miles from my house. Friends of the family are hosting a benefit to help them pay with medical bills (other family members, including children, were hospitalized), funeral costs, and I imagine some therapy or additional support. The organizers put together an awesome Silent Auction and Tin Can Raffle, and I volunteered to make the display cards for the items. And because I’m a hoarder, I had a lot of materials to work with to put together pretty, sweet little place cards to honor Olivia and this generous event. I had plenty of white card stock (from Avenger decor), Starburst-shaped rhinestones (from baby shower invitations), and purple tulle (my wedding invitations).

For the sake of ease, I made the cards a little different so the organizers could differentiate between the two sets of cards. The Tin Can cards were had green accents and the Silent Auction cards had blue accents and purple bows. All the cards got rhinestones and were the same size/style. I tied the bow to the back instead of the front, so it peeks through but doesn’t crowd the design. I really wanted these to be special, sweet and appropriate for the event.


Tented Place Cards with Embellishments


Tented Place Cards with Ribbon & Starburst


All Hallow’s Eve + Bloody Fingerprint Mess

I love Halloween. Like, a lot. I’m not sure why, but it’s definitely my favorite holiday. I may or may not have purposely planned my first son’s birth around October. (His birthday is October 20th.) a friend of mine is throwing a Halloween party this year; the grown-up kind. No smiling jack-o-lanterns, friendly ghosts and happy vampires. Adult, spooky, scary stuff. When she asked me to make invitations I was pretty psyched. As a matter of fact she asked me around 11PM one night over FB and my brain was exploding with ideas. Way to get jazzed up right before bed!
My plan of action was dark, vague shapes, a scratchy/scripty font, maybe some landscape imagery. I tried to use some old-fashioned wording, i.e. All Hallow’s Eve instead of Halloween, and also added a big full moon. I threw in a touch of red and put a gradient on the title. The front ended up almost totally black, so I made the back the opposite. Something about the white ghosty imagery is extra spooky to me…

I opted for a Luxe Shape instead of the standard 5×7″ rectangle, and found a vintage-style newspaper print for the envelope liners. I threw the return address on the back flap inside a black gothic graphic, and combined two of the fonts from the invitation for the mailing address. Then it was time for the fingerprints. Way back at the beginning I came up with the idea for bloody fingerprints on the envelopes and I was determined to do it. I tried a few different methods, like red stamp ink, marker, etc. Finally I busted out my tacklebox of oil paints and pulled out Dark Cadmium Red. I covered my fingers and got to work. No lie, it was messy. There was red paint everywhere, which was awesome because oil paint doesn’t come out very easily, if at all. I got pretty lucky and didn’t do any permanent damage (that I know of). I think I went a little nuts, but the envelopes look pretty sweet. I was doing a lot of dabbing the next day to lift off some superfluous paint and praying it would dry quickly so my friend could get them in the mail. I even went the extra step and gave them a coat of hairspray. When in doubt, hairspray. It sets everything!

Hopefully the post office doesn’t freak out!

Hallow’s Eve Party Invitation Suite
5×7″ Luxe Shape Invitation + Envelope with Custom Return + Mailing Address with Liner

Hallow’s Eve Party Invitation Suite
5×7″ Luxe Shape Invitation + Envelope with Custom Return + Mailing Address with Liner

Hallow’s Eve Invitation, BACK

Old-Timey Newspaper Envelope Liner

Custom Mailing Address + Couple Extra Fingerprints

Fingerprints allll over the back. Muah!

Come One, Come All…Vintage Carnival Birthday Invitations

Last week I was presented with a challenge…design, print, pack and ship a set of 40 birthday invitations with a ‘vintage carnival’ theme in less than a week. I received the email on Sunday night, and dropped the completed set in the mail on Friday on my way up north with my dudes. What happened in between was a little hectic to say the least. Just a few months ago I did a set of carnival invitations but this client wanted something completely different, and I’ll be honest, it was difficult. ‘Vintage carnival’ means a lot of ribbons, scrolls, intricate graphics and complex typography (to me anyway). Plus it needed an ‘old timey’ feel, so I muted a lot of the colors and turned the opacities way down. I also got to use my new gradient mesh skills that I learned doing the Darling Delilah project. And the biggest hurdle: you can’t force creativity. Period. It just has to come on it’s own, and sometimes it’s pretty friggin’ slow. ON TOP of this project I was also finishing up other clients so I could have a nice weekend up north with my family. There were many 2AM nights and my older son watched A LOT of Disney Junior so I could work during the baby’s nap time. Plus I needed to get all my kids’ stuff straight so we could pack and leave first thing Friday morning. In the end, I never packed any pajamas for myself but love how the cards turned out. I opted for a Linen Stock for the invitations, and Brown Kraft Envelopes. I designed a matching return address label, and made it nice and big to also act as a seal. I forgot to mention this party sounds kinda sweet and I totally want to go!

Vintage Carnival Invitation Set


Vintage Carnival Invitation Suite, Front


Vintage Carnival Invitation Suite, Back


Vintage Carnival Invitation Set, Envelope + Label


Close Up of Linen Paper








Out of the Vault…Chocolate Brown & Cornflower Blue Chic Wedding Suite

I’d like to get more of my past projects loaded up my blog, so I’m kind of picking them one at a time. I did this wedding last year for a cool chick who’s day job was planning wedding and events at a local concert venue. Seeing so many other weddings, she knew exactly what she wanted and had every tiny detail planned and coordinated. Her direction was “trendy and chic.” The funny side note about this wedding was I literally had my second son right before her date, and was emailing her from the hospital about Escort Cards. I had originally planned to sneak to the venue and take pictures but after complications sent me back to the hospital that didn’t happen. So I had to settle for my own photos, bummer. I would’ve loved to see her decor!

The suite included a flat 5×7″ Main Invitation Card, a double-sided Map & Directions/Hotel Info Card, a Layered RSVP Card with Color Envelope, Belly Band Wrap, Layered Monogram Card (to seal Belly Band), Patterned Envelope Liner and Color Envelope. In addition she also received Booklet-Style Ceremony Programs, Layered Tented Escort Cards, Layered 4×9″ Menu Cards, Layered Table Numbers, Folded Thank You Cards and “In Lieu of Favors” Signs. (They made a donation to the Humane Society, great idea.) Yep, that’s a lot to stuff! But it all turned out fantastic and came together really well.

I should add that the bride did all the assembly herself to save some bucks. I’m always happy to let the clients assemble themselves! (It’s fun for like, for like, five minutes and then you realize you have a loooong way to go.)