A starry affair, midnight blue wedding inspo


One of my favourite invitation sets for this year is the ‘Starry Night Sky’ Invite, fully inspired by the Matara Centre venue’s ‘starry dome’ and the couple’s love of the music video for ‘Tonight Tonight’ by the smashing pumpkins. I love a theme (and especially an unusual one).

The couple wanted something with an edge of vintage, incorporating stars but not too dark and wintery. We created a crisp white invitation with vintage graphics of stars, ‘gold’ edging and dark blue backs. Day stationery followed the style of these, with ‘Reserved’ table tickets, name tags for dresses/suits, menus and a welcome sign/itinerary.

Once all the items are sent to print, my input in the day is done really - so I love seeing the final photographs, and seeing how their vision all came together. Here’s a little collection from their beautiful day by the talented photographer, Howell Jones.

Old fashioned wedding inspo and the results


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....

Cheltenham bake-off cakes & floral finds


Living walking distance from local goodies makes treating myself at weekends all the more tempting. I've also discovered that my local Flower Man (actually called 'The Flower Man') sells country-inspired beauties like hydrangeas and delphiniums - miles away from your standard squished petrol station carnation. One (or two) of these at the weekend make the house look good for well over a week, and inspires me to keep the place tidy (ish).

In the spirit of keeping tidy - we decided the time had come to get rid of our mis-matched plates, when we moved in together a couple of years ago we amalgamated a bit of a weird collection. After some research and debating ('no I don't want plates with dachshunds on', 'how much?!') we settled on some black and white ones from made.com - this site is pretty reasonable for good quality decor when you compare with the high street.

Another local treat includes some chocolate swiss rolls (that were actually inspired by a technical challenge on bake-off) and blonde brownie from my old haunt, Brew & Bake. Getting my full gran on, I also went to the charity bookshop for a Cath Kidston covered edition of 'The Provincial Lady'.

So so old, and florally bold.

Red doors and typographic prints galore


I've gone a bit print mad, I think it's because I've filled the house with everything else all that's left are the walls. From song sheets from Antique shops to John Lewis for cheap abstract prints (Simon C Page - Moonlight on the bedside table). Another purchase includes an Anthony Burrill print, big, typographic and mint green - which now sits at the bottom of the stairs. Wes has only slightly ruined it for me by saying it reminds him of the Justin Bieber song.

Recent jollies include a trip to Berkeley, where this is little else but a castle (which was actually closed). But we did have a nice nose around, staring at the stunning old houses and their beautifully coloured doors. I had outside-house envy.  

Retro-inspired decor updates ready for winter

Working my way into winter means finding more home updates (as I shall rarely be leaving the house now), and being a renter means I like to invest in home decor items that I can take with me.

One of my new obsessions is the retro-inspired Orla Kiely, so I went for a discounted 70's pattern bedspread. It actually goes pretty well with our graphic diamond-dot cushions from H&M, and our bedside table penguin book (!).

After a recent stay at a lovely Airbnb in Brighton I felt inspired by the decor and bought another retro item - a 'menu' peg board for the kitchen, found cheaply on very.co.uk. More wall hanging pieces include some Instagram prints from lalalab - framed and hung up along the stair case.

Our Aztec/Geo cushion filled home & 'The Theme'

Since moving in 6 months ago, I thought I'd be 'there' by now. Over the decorating and the cushion-buying, but unfortunately it's a Pinterest-fuelled obsession that won't quit. Constant ringings of 'the theme!' in my man's ear when he places down a mismatched item (racing helmet ornament, golf clubs, cap hanging on a guitar) don't go unnoticed.  

My main source for inspiration is made.com and Pinterest - but, being the daughter of a hardcore carbooter - I'm keen try to find cheaper alternatives. H&M is a gold mine for funky cushions and bedding, Dunelm's great for lighting and Ikea for some standard furniture pieces (e.g. the white lockers). That said, there are some items you can't scrimp on. We invested in a beautiful Edelweiss dining table and desk from made.com - along with a geek bear print, geo cushion and rose gold lamp. The table is covered in a 70's 'tablecloth' I got from a summer fete years ago.

One addition I wasn't thrilled with was our extra fridge which had to live in the study. 'It's ruining the theme!' I cried. One of my dad's less ridiculous ideas was to make a print for it. After much (much) research and discussion we decided on a vintage map of Cheltenham, which luckily we could measure and artwork ourselves. It reminded me of the Instagram map, and so I stuck some of our polaroid prints on to the locations.

Another new addition has been a Crosley Turntable, which was a gift until the discovery of the 'Purple Rain' vinyl and now it is a gift for me also. Luckilly the orange fits in perfectly against our wallpaper, and of course - into the theme. 

A refreshing take on wedding cocktails

I'm always happy to hear a bride's ideas on how to liven up a wedding party, and even more happy to be asked to design something to bring the idea to life. This time we were asked to design a vintage-inspired sign to detail the bride and groom's favourite cocktails to the guests. Taking our inspiration from vintage typography, top hats and ribbons - we designed and printed this retro sign, ready for the bride to prop up at her wedding party alongside their 'mojitos' and 'berry breeze'.

Christmas walks & crackling fires


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...!

Hot chocolate, pine cones and prints

The cold weather has definetly given me that festive feeling. This weekend I visited Daylesford for a lovely hot chocolate and browsed the christmas decorations wondering if it's too early to start putting them up (is it too early for the tree?). As a small compromise I decided to design a Christmas print. My 'Christmas colours' this year are paper brown, retro red and minty green so I used these with some elaborate type to create a vintage-inspired look. It reminds me of old christmas films and now sits in my lounge waiting for the tree to add the finishing touch (see the picture below and spot the Lola curled up on the sofa). I feel like I'm branding christmas - stay tuned for matching cards, gift tags and wrapping...

I also sent to print a design I'd been working on a few months ago. Inspired by a quote heard on Mad Men 'Ante Bellum. Everything as it was.' This peace-inducing print now sits in my study, accompanied by some pine cones... 

Scraggy puppy or perfect pooch?

Being a dog lover myself, I've noticed how people love to share photos and tell funny stories of their dog. So when somebody asked me to design a print for their friend, showcasing the character of 'Boo-Boo' the dog, I indeed, 'lapped it up'. I learnt many things about Boo-Boo/Boosy - that she loves rabbit chasing, tennis balls and barking at the TV. And all these character traits lent themselves quite well to a quirky typographic print.

Talking of dog's and 'scraggy puppies', I have recently acquired my own. Meet Lola below (dedicated prints to come soon I'm sure) and take a closer look at the 'Scraggy Puppy' print.

And don't worry if you have a perfect pooch or even a cuddly cat, you can still order this print. Click here to go to my instagram for even more Lola pictures (I'm convinced everyone will find her as beautiful and cute as me). 

The arrival of our Greeting Card package

It has been a busy few weeks for The Ink Closet, but that is no excuse for not keeping the blog up to date. Especially when we've had the arrival of some pretty things! Amongst working full time I have also been working in the background on requests from friends/clients etc.

One exciting project has been a package of Greeting Cards. I can not credit myself completely with the idea though - one of my lovely friends said she had trouble finding cards that she loved to give to friends and family and wanted a set that she could use for any occasion. She asked if I did cards and if I could use my prints on the front (see, pretty much all her idea!). After smacking myself for not thinking of it first I happilly agreed and got to work on them. As well as doing some extra designs and tweaking them to make them more 'give-able', I designed some patterns to go on the left inside page - as this bit is often forgotten about and a good space for some extra beauty... A subtle message is also included in each to tie in with the front ('For you my deer...' - Floral Stag on the front).

I added a few extra to the order for myself and recieved them just in time for the weekend. To tie them together I added a branded wrap and a string bow.