Mexican Blanket Invitation:  Behind the Scenes

Mexican Blanket Invitation: Behind the Scenes

A few years ago, I was walking into the grocery store behind a gentleman wearing this shirt. (Sorry it’s a terrible photo, but I was on the move.)

IMG_8024I loved the bright colors and how it reminded me of a Mexican blanket, and I immediately thought it would make a great invitation.  I re-created the look by using various widths of stripes and bright colors – adding a few “stitching” details to make the design look more like a textile.  While it’s a simple design, t’s the look I was going for – and it’s been a popular option at the store.  This “Mexican Blanket” design is available in two sizes – 6×9 and 5×7 – some are pre-packaged on our shelves (for customers who want to print their own), but  we can also print these as a custom job and change up the colors.

IMG_9144smWhat do you think?  Inspiration really is everywhere, friends.  Keep your eyes open!

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Over the past three years, we’ve had the pleasure of working this pretty special girl right here —> Shannon.  She’s always got a smile on her face and our customers love her as much as we do!

DSC_0217 smShe’s a great student, a hard worker, a thoughtful friend, and now – a beautiful Bride-to-Be.   Our team has watched Shannon’s relationship with Austin blossom from the beginning, and even though we’re sad to see her move on (we don’t want her to leave!!!!)… we ARE excited for this next chapter in her life!  So naturally, the Barque team wanted to send her off in style with a Bridal Shower.  I mean, parties are what we DO – of course we wanted to throw one for one for her!DSC_0084 smThe fantastic hand-lettering details were created by another talented Barque team member – Kelsey.  {find her on Instagram  @kelseylainee}.  Don’t you love this chalk sign?  She also did all the mini signs for our snacks.DSC_0050 sm

DSC_0066 smThe gorgeous strawberries were handmade by our resident Party Queen, Suzanne.  She’s pretty much a pro when it comes to party mechanics and details.  She was also kind enough to host the shower in her home – and it served as the perfect backdrop!

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DSC_0067 smWe purchased the bride’s favorite thumbprint cookies from Simply Decadent Bakery, and the Keesha made the Artichoke Lemon Pesto Dip (we carry it in the store and it’s a crowd favorite at parties).

DSC_0091 smFor the floral arrangements, we decided on a combination of simple white flowers and vegetable garden accents.  I had seen one similar to this from Southern Living awhile back, so I was anxious to try it for myself.  I made a few modifications to their tutorial here, but I love how it turned out!DSC_0087 smThe larger arrangement also had hints from the garden with various pops of color from carrots, brussels sprouts, orange beets, artichokes, kale, collard greens and radishes.

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DSC_0047 smShannon’s guests showered her with so many great things!

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DSC_0135 smDo you recognize any of these pretty ladies from the shop?  :)

DSC_0106 smNone of us wanted to play cliche “Bridal Shower Games”, so instead we opted for something PAPER related (shocking) – Milestone Mail for the happy couple!  Guests were asked to choose a milestone event, write it on the front of the envelope, then write them a blessing or word of encouragement to read when that milestone occurs.  It should be a fun way for her to remember these guests and how much they care for her – even years down the road!

DSC_0185 smThe hostesses of the shower gifted Shannon a big basket of kitchen goodies – and we made each item special with words of well wishes.


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DSC_0224 smWe ended the shower with a sweet photo of our “Barque twins” – aren’t they the cutest?  {By the way, Emory and Kelsey did some serious wrestling to get those balloons to cooperate – it was a windy day!}

Shannon, we are proud that you’ve spent the last three years working for us and we wish you nothing but happiness in this new chapter of your life!

Love, the Barque Team

[ If you’re planning a Shower soon, you might want to download our Shower Planning Sheet – this idea came from a customer who has throwing showers down pat!  Thank you for the great idea Tomi!]

Weekend in Greensboro

Weekend in Greensboro

For my birthday this year, I had the pleasure of visiting Greensboro, North Carolina for a long weekend.  My friends Tony and David moved there last summer from Dallas land opened a gift/stationery store there called Party Chick and Paper.  It’s a really cute shop with LOTS of fun products (believe me, after shopping “around town” for a few days, I can say they have the best selection in town).  The entire weekend was chock full of good food and drinks, laughter, and fun new friends – and it was one of my favorite weekends in a long time.  (As a bonus, David gifted me a first class airline ticket both ways… now THAT’s a good friend!)

IMG_6323smThis is a shot in Tony’s store – isn’t the invitation room fun?  They call it the Personalization Porch – quite Southern.

The guys really wanted me to “soak it all in”, so we had a FULL schedule for the weekend, checking out the town.  To start, on Saturday morning, Tony and I visited a local Farmer’s Market, which was quaint and interesting – lots of yummy looking produce and interesting handmade items.

IMG_6314smAnd quail eggs.  Which I bought just because I wanted to try them. (aren’t they pretty?)

IMG_6315smSince it WAS my birthday, Tony thought we should stop by a local sweets hotspot, Maxie B’s. It was such a cute shop that offers cake by the slice – and offers to warm them up for you too!

IMG_6316smEven though I’m NOT a sweets person (I know, I’m weird), this cake was DIVINE – Girl Scout Thin Mint.  We only had a few bites because we were technically on our way to lunch, but we just had to get a little cake in to make the birthday official.

IMG_6154smAfter our stroll through the Market and cake tasting, we went to Lindley Park Filling Station for lunch, which was really fun.  It’s a tiny little place with amazing food – I had the Reuben sandwich with vegetable curry soup.  I didn’t think I’d love the soup (I’m not a big curry fan), but it was deliciously addictive!

IMG_6168smWe also spent the afternoon touring Downtown Greensboro, checking out the local shops – quite charming.



IMG_6200smLOVED this idea – might have to use it myself for when Lucy comes to the shop!

IMG_6199smI was also introduced to this Gin (made near Greensboro) – even the ceramic jug is cool.

IMG_6226smFor my Birthday Dinner, David cooked for us at home – steak, baked potato, panko stuffed tomatoes and his famous roasted green beans with shallots.  He even humored me and put a fried quail egg on top.

IMG_6319smOn Sunday morning, Tony and I decorated for St.Patrick’s Day.  It’s one of our favorite holidays (and his birthday), so it’s fun to go through vintage “treasures” and set them up around the house.  I especially loved this little “wishing well” in his collection.

IMG_6320smAfter the hanging O’ the green, we went to brunch.  For, you guessed it, more good food at 1618 Seafood Grille.

IMG_6260smWe both agreed that this is how every salad should start – wrapped in bacon. Ha! (fried oysters and “salad”)

IMG_6321smThe seared grouper on a cheese grit-stuffed bell pepper was amazing.

More shopping.  More fun, especially meeting up with their friends – such a great group of friendly people!

Then the grand finale – dinner at Lucky 32 on Sunday night.  David worked there in college, and his recommendation of the fried chicken (only available until it’s gone on Sunday night) perfectly hit the spot, served with collard greens and gravy of course.


After all of that, it’s no surprise that I had to ROLL onto the plane home… but it was such a nice, relaxing weekend.  Thanks for having me fellas – Greensboro treated this Texas girl right!



Guest Room Refresh

Guest Room Refresh

After living with my poor decision to get a chevron duvet cover long enough, I decided the guest room needed a refresh.  Nothing major – I left the furniture and layout of the room the same – I just replaced the textiles to give the room a whole new look.  I was surprised how just a few new items made a big difference:

  • navy blackout draperies
  • white duvet cover and pillowcases
  • white sheets from LL Bean (these are my absolute favorite sheets!)
  • blue patterned throw from In2Green – it’s made from recycled t-shirts and we sell them at the store.  I just love how cozy it is and that it’s machine washable.
  • pink Mexican blanket – I got this at a gas station for $20 in Sweetwater, Texas (driving home from a weekend trip to Dallas)
  • wool pillows (made from heirloom vintage Peruvian rugs/blankets) – these were by my favorite detail!  I just love the bright colors and textures.  They were one of my favorite finds from Market!

I know a lot of people are scared to have white bedding, especially with pets – but I think it makes a bedroom so serene.  It’s worth the extra trouble.  Anything to make my guests feel more comfortable in the guest suite, right?

Now, who’s coming to visit?


No Spring Chicken Custom Invitation

No Spring Chicken Custom Invitation

This year I had the pleasure of designing the 50th birthday invitation for my friend Tony.  He’s been one of my favorite people for over a decade, and I wanted his invitation to reflect his fun personality!  Normally, when I think of Tony, I imagine all things green and shamrock-covered (he was born on St.Patty’s Day), but the inspiration for this event came from his love of chickens, the South, and all things vintage paper (we both collect antique paper decorations).

Tony’s party featured Southern comfort food and was hosted at a favorite local restaurants in Greensboro – Scrambled – so I thought these coordinating cocktail napkins would be the perfect addition. (PARTY IN THE HEN HOUSE!)

Sadly, I wasn’t unable to attend the festivities in person, but I’m honored to have played a small part in the fun.  It’s always feels good to celebrate loved ones by highlighting their style and letting it shine!

Congratulations on living half a century, Tony!

[ Design details:  This invitation incorporates bright, cheerful color like red, turquoise and yellow, but the fonts are eroded to give it a “vintage postcard” feel.  The chicken, of course, is a focal point, but the wording plays on it nicely – “He’s no spring chicken, but he’s still mighty fine!”… and even though you can’t tell in this photo, the back is a turquoise and white gingham pattern, keeping in the “Southern” theme.  The cocktail napkins are a natural color with red ink to match.]