Old fashioned wedding inspo and the results


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Inbetween my own wedding/mini-moon/honeymoon I've had the opportunity to work on some blooming LOVELY bespoke wedding stationery. I've just been too 'snowed under' to share them with you (read second to previous blog about wedding to get joke) - here are a few snapshots before they are ready to order.

The best part about bespoke invites - is learning about the bride and groom's 'theme for the day'. From starry skies (inspiration taken from their venue, The Matara, and it's star covered ceilings) to white roses against pink (bridesmaid dresses...), to a travel theme that tells the couple's story (a groom from Wales and a bride from Ploiesti). The next step is creating an invitation that fits in with everything on the big day - and can be followed on with welcome boards, menus, table names and so on. 

I need my own creative inspiration too, and apart from trusty ol' Pinterest there are random places I get this from. To get the creative motivation going I've taken a lunchtime trip to Brewery Arts in Cirencester to see their exhibition of vintage Lucienne Day prints. When a floral wedding style comes my way, a beaut bunch of reduced flowers bought from the fruit & veg shop or a browse through my vintage garden rose book will suffice. The (now sadly shut down) shop of InPrint in Stroud, was filled with large typographic prints, floral sketches and books, which gave me some old-fashioned inspo. In general, trying to resist relying on the internet is good for the soul....

Our crazy snowy wedding day


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Like other brides and grooms, a lot of time and emotion was put into planning our big day. It's no secret that I'm a bit perfectionist/control freak/stubborn ass (just a few words thrown my way), so things not going to plan was just not an option.

However, when the beast from the east reared it's head at our high up, snow-worthy venue on the day of our wedding I realised I'd better let all that go. Whilst (oh only slightly...) stressful, the day started to come together - bridesmaids/ushers/parents fought their way through the blizzard followed closely by guests clutching their heels and wedding gear. Realising the day was actually going ahead, I tottered down the aisle feeling in awe of the Dunkirk-spirit of our guests.

Wedding folk like the photographer/florist/band/venue/cake-maker (to name a few) went the extra mile to make sure we had a good day. Choosing who you want to work on your wedding day is a funny thing, and designing wedding stationery means I've experienced the other side of it. Most of it is down to choosing a style that you love and fits into your day, whether it's dreamy natural photography or crazy OTT cakes covered in chocolate and gold (!). 

Natasha from Honeydew moments captured some amazing stuff - click here to see the full shebang or scroll down to see a snippet from our crazy day where I got to marry my amazing fella, all coming together with the help of our bridal party/guests and these guys...

Venue: The Old Lodge, Minchinhampton

Photographer: Honeydew Moments

Florist: Flower Style Co

Dress: Grand Jour

Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M

Shoes: Benjamin Adams

Table plan: Dinky Ink Calligraphy

Suits: Slaters

Rings: Stow Jewellers

Wedding Stationery: The Ink Closet (Me!)

Cake: Ahh Toots

Music: John Adams

Vintage Christmas cards & home decor twinkle


This year's Christmas card design was a thinker, I needed to create something that worked alongside our designbytic branding but also, The Ink Closet. A touch of vintage never hurts at Christmas - and so, I found a cute Dachshund/lady picture and a Santa. I illustrated a Cheltenham-inspired stamp which put my 'stamp' on it, and worked in a designbytic pattern on the inside. Gift tags were also made to tie this in with the pressies.

My Christmas groove on, I went a bit crazy with home decor. Being our first Christmas in this home it felt like the perfect opportunity to find some new bits, Homesense was the perfect spot for this. The tree was covered in mostly 'white paper' decorations with a hint of red (no tinsel allowed). I also found a cute paper sign from Homesense, which I think is a Meri Meri goodie. When it's not falling down, it looks great. 

Merry Christmas

Christmas Cards and wrapping in a festive black and blue theme


The thing I love most about Christmas (and no it isn't because of the presents, or big bearded man coming down my chimney) is that I have the chance to be as creative as I like - taking inspiration from sources like Pinterest and Instagram. Effectively 'branding Christmas'. 

This years theme was none other than black and blue, with chevrons, black bows and hints of blue. All to tie in with the branding of our sister company, designbytic. Christmas cards were designed using my own Instagram photographs, taking at festive times of the year. Using a gold calligraphy style font over the top and a chevron print inside. These were posted out in a black envelope (again very designbytic) and sealed with a matching blue sticker.

My wrapping also had to tie in with this theme - but this time with the introduction of crepe bows, black and blue ribbons and illustrated gift tags (using the new fiftythree app on my Ipad) - against brown kraft paper.

It doesn't stop there, some Christmas cupcakes are to come - being lovingly baked by the fair hands of Cupcakes & Bakes (branded by us). Keep your eyes peeled for these, housed in chevron patterned cases and wrapped in branded blue ribbon (of course).

A Cheltenham wedding fair with style


Whilst this Sunday has been made up of daffodils and mother's day dinners - last Sunday saw me taking part in my first wedding fair with Cupcakes & Bakes

It was lovely to share a stand during what turned out to be quite a daunting task, for moral support and company throughout the day. Saying that - we both made an effort to get around and meet other suppliers. Everyone was lovely, in particular Laura Power and Penelope Gibson who were on the stands either side of us, and Glow Love Lights who I met on my walk around. I also saw a friendly face in Stefanie Trower who I had worked with on a photo shoot before.

The Cotswold Style wedding fair took place at the town hall in Cheltenham, which in itself is a stunning venue. This meant plenty of room for a stage to showcase the wedding dresses in regular catwalk shows, and a huge variety of suppliers. It was therefore important to stand out, and we were quite pleased with the results of our white crafty chic wedding fair stand. Paper pom poms, white crates and flowers decorated our display of wedding stationery examples, cupcake displays and websites showcased on our laptop/Ipad. 

In particular, and whilst I don't wish to blow my own trumpet (too much), our mini-leaflets went down a treat. The gesso paper stock made it look like quality pieces that people wanted to touch, unfold and (hopefully) keep. It was also a great ice-breaker and bridged the gap between a business card and our websites. I think a few first-timer tips may be in order...

1. Think about the overall look of your stand - choose a theme and stick to it. Remember you'll need something that ties in with your offering but makes you stand out in a competitive space.

2. Create different 'levels'. Paper pom poms that hung at the bottom of the table, and boxes/crates on the top created different levels to catch the eye. 

3. Be brave, get up and around and introduce yourself to other suppliers. Who knows who you'll work with in the future...

4. Ipads/small laptops are perfect to showcase your digital offering. 

5. Bring pick up pieces, be it business cards or mini-leaflets. It was a useful way to introduce yourself without seeming too forward.

Now I don't pretend to be a pro but hopefully these thoughts help some other first-timers, and here are some pictures from the event itself...

How to make Paper Pom Poms in 10 easy steps!


As promised, here are the 10 easy steps to making your own paper pom poms! To those who think 10 sounds a lot, I've just gone into as much depth as possible for what is (I promise) a really easy task.

I would love to see the results so instagram #mypaperpompoms to share your pictures, tweet it to @theinkcloset or share it with me on Facebook and I'll share it with my followers.

Tissue paper and scissors at the ready....

Step 1. You need scissors, a stapler and a few large pieces of tissue paper. Your choice of colour...!

Step 2. Fold over a large piece of tissue paper, about A1 size is ideal.

Step 3. Fold over again, so two folds in total (if you want your pom pom to be thicker and smaller fold over one more time)

Step 4. Cut each fold.

Step 5. You should now have at least four separate pieces of paper...

Step 6. Put all these pieces of paper together and start doing an accordion fold all the way till the end.

Step 7. When you have done your accordion fold to the end, fold over the final piece and staple it down.

Step 8. Round the two corners off using the scissors.

Step 9. Your paper pom pom should now look like this when you fan out each end...

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Step 10. Pull out each bit of paper (gently or it will tear) and puff it out. Do both ends making sure to puff out the pieces towards the middle.

The final result, should look something like this...! Remember to upload any instagram pics with #mypaperpompoms

A white and gold Baby Shower


For the past few weeks I have been been (somewhat indulgently), designing stationery and putting together decorations for my cousin's baby shower. This Sunday came the day itself, with afternoon tea at the Hampton Manor in Solihull, Birmingham. And as it is unknown whether it is a boy or girl, a white and gold theme was decided on (with hints of pink and mint blue).

I wanted the guests to have something to keep and the mum to have something special. So I designed some postcard sets - with a keepsake 'Thank you for coming' card and a postcard 'From me to you', with room for advice and well wishes from the guests on the back. These were tied together with a wrap that also doubled up as a table name. For an added touch I also created a 'Baby Bump' mini logo which sat on a gold circle tied around the postcards. 

I also needed a matching gift, and so I enlisted the help of Cupcakes & Bakes, to make me some cupcakes that matched the theme. They looked (and I'm sure tasted...ok so I may have tried the icing), perfect. With pink and mint blue cases and gold sequin decorations.

Taking on this look, posters were designed to decorate the table. But, seating 14 people, I gathered the table may need something else. Since visiting a wedding last year that had paper pom poms decorating the marquee - I desired to make some myself. With the help of pinterest I got set making gold and white pom poms that were amazingly easy and filled the table perfectly. A labour of love, yes, but also surprisingly therapeutic. Start choosing your colours and stocking up on tissue paper as my step-by-step guide will be coming within a blog later this week..

A DIY bridal twist on our Floral Wedding Invite


I love a bride who likes to put her own twist on things, and (if I do say so myself), our Floral Wedding Invite is perfect for that. As you can see from the example on our website, one bride has used a brown card case with transparent covering and gold wax seal.

But Katie's theme has touches of red and blue, which she has introduced with a red wax seal to stick down a lovely brown kraft envelope, and a midnight blue ribbon to hold all the pieces together. I was lucky enough to receive one in the post (which is always nice even if you haven't designed it yourself), and it was lovely to see our invitation take on a whole new look. See a few pictures below, and if you are also a DIY bride then get in touch as this may be the perfect invite for you!

Christmas walks & crackling fires


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As usual, Christmas has come and gone far too quickly. Our Christmas was eventful, travelling back and forth to visit family - but for one reason or another we got a bit more time at home this year. This meant more brisk dog walks (including a couple on the beach on Christmas Day before we headed home), and even more fires to warm us up afterwards. 

If you saw my blog about Christmas bunting you'll know how I intended to wrap my presents this year, and of course the lot was finished on no other than Christmas Eve. One of my presents was an Instagram poloroid print for my man. After designing a poster using lyrics from 'our song' and some sneaky investigation work to get his Instagram password, I could get some polaroids printed and stick them on accordingly. 

Feeling in the festive spirit I also made some chocolate brownies with icing sugar stars to decorate. It had been a while since I'd dusted off the baking kit, and hopefully (though I can never be sure with my baking) it went down well at the agency I was working at that day. Recipe here...

Next week I shall be heading off to Edinburgh for New Years Eve, a blog with pictures to follow...!

Wrapping up Christmas with mini-bunting


As you can probably tell from my christmas prints in the shop, I love designing bits and pieces for Christmas. From Christmas cards to prints, it should all follow the same look. I've also been thinking about my wrapping so I took a visit to The Range this weekend and ended up buying some retro patterned paper, mint green ribbon, red ribbon, stripy sticky tape and a huge amount of other neccessities (or maybe not so neccessary...). I also have a huge roll of brown parcel wrap which is cheap but looks quite old-fashioned. 

Ribbon, however, is quite expensive, so something else was needed to give the presents a quirkier handmade touch. I thought of using the patterned paper to make mini-bunting - and using some brown string (also cheap). It was much easier and quicker than I thought! See below a step-by-step view of how I made the bunting easily and effectively - so you can make your own. Pick some brightly coloured paper of your own or multi-coloured string to tie it in with your christmas. 

Pick some patterned/coloured paper that fits your theme. Preferably square shaped. You will also need some scissors, Pritt Stick and string of your choice.

Fold over your paper down the centre.

Fold the sides in so you have about three evenly spaced folds.

When folded, cut triangles on the fold. Do this on each of your folds to make the most of the paper. Don't worry too much about making them exactly the same size, when finished it's hard to tell!

Do this on a range of different patterned/coloured papers for variety. Then stick the folded triangles over the string using pritt stick and space out evenly.

Tie the ends of the string to the back of the string/ribbon wrapped around your present, or tape down. Preferably on a corner.

Wallah! The finished result. Very World War 2 in my case, but using the colour scheme of your choice this mini-bunting could suit any style.

An inspirational wedding shoot in the Cotswolds


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I recently got asked to take part in a vintage-inspired wedding shoot. A collection of people based in the Cotswolds and working in the wedding industry, came together with their different skill sets to work on the photoshoot at Old Down Manor. The photographer Stefanie Trower and the florist Stephanie Saunders to name a few. My contribution was, of course to bring along some of my vintage-inspired wedding stationery. It was great to get to know some fellow wedding suppliers, and I love the results! Hopefully you will too, see below some of my favourite shots...

Guest Blog - 'Homemade Weddings' by Charlotte Stafford


Guest writer, Charlotte Stafford, has kindly written a blog for us - with some great ideas on how to create that 'homemade wedding' feel. 

She's a lady that knows her stuff, being a freelance writer who loves exploring new ideas for interior design. She also has a love for textures, patterns and handmade items which can be incorporated into the home.

Enjoy...

Homemade weddings

Getting married has never been something to do ‘on the cheap’, but with the cost of weddings becoming ridiculously high, more and more couples are deciding to go down the do-it-yourself route for their big day. Not only does this cut down on cost, it also makes for a more personalised day.

A homemade wedding reception
Just because the decorations are homemade, does not mean they have to look cheap. Rusticity and vintage are both big style trends this year, so the simpler and the more handmade the decorations look, the better. Bespoke invitations and handmade decorations will enable the bride and groom to stamp a little of their own personality onto their wedding day, rather than leaving it to an the venue to decide on the design theme.

Themes
In terms of themes, flowers are almost essential. With craftwork becoming a booming hobby, there is a chance for the bride and groom to create some stunning fabric or paper flowers to use as bouquets for the bridesmaids, to decorate the reception hall with, or even to use as centrepieces on the wedding breakfast tables. If craftwork is just a little beyond the couple’s talents, they can find a selection of real flowers, and keep the prices down by going for less expensive varieties, even incorporating some wildflowers. They may be a little less glamorous, but do have a rustic feel. For a really personal touch, the bride and groom could let their guests know about their relationship journey and how they arrived at the wedding day, with personalised table names marking important places in their lives, their first date or the proposal. This theme could be extended to display the table plans for the wedding breakfast and other signage.

DIY centrepieces
No wedding breakfast table is complete without the centrepiece, which is usually a floral arrangement. For a stunning, elegant look, use classy looking holders, like Dartington Glasswear and fill with whatever is in keeping with the overall theme. Other ways of displaying flowers or herbs could be in a small rectangular ceramic planter or a small rustic wooden box. Other items that could be used in place of a traditional vase are wire birdcages, sans birds of course, and filled with pretty greenery poking out between the bars. As an alternative to flowers, try placing a selection of various sized candles in the centre of the table, either standing on their own or in attractive glass or ceramic holders.

Up close and retro in my home


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My home is often an explosion of retro prints, carboot gems and country-esque flowers. I also realised, when watching Kirstie's 'Fill your house for free' programme, that a lot of the things in my house were also free or ridiculously cheap thanks to relatives hand-me-downs, ebay and carboots. 

I am lucky in the fact that the country house I live in matches this style - and scattered around are a few statement pieces/areas that bring it all together. From pine cones on scales to a 'hideous' retro picnic throw on a dainty white chair - it's the odd combinations that work the best so I thought I'd share these with you...

Turning retro fabric scraps into something useful (and beautiful)


As a result of some late night eBay searching, I became the owner of some very beautiful (yet not very useful) pillowcases. Why would anyone buy some clearly old, second hand pillow cases? Only because I loved the print. I have a thing for 70's floral prints - especially when they're in feminine pink - so I couldn't resist. 

Washing line framing for my Instagram polaroids


Ok, so I confess, my printed Instagram prints have been sitting in their pretty silver packaging for a few weeks now. I state my reason for this is that I have been doing 'research' as to the best way to present them. In all honesty I don't really like lots of 'people pictures' around the house (you may be able to tell this from my instagram feed).

But I have found a compromise - and I'd seen a few similar examples of this on pinterest. All I needed was a ball of string and some wooden pegs! I also only needed one nail in the wall...this vertical hanging was definetly to my liking - and didn't need much space.