Behind the Scenes Nutcracker Madness

Behind the Scenes Nutcracker Madness

I love designing custom invitations for our customers’ events, but when they give me complete creative freedom, it’s a lot more fun.

I was recently challenged with creating a custom invitation for a Christmas Coffee.  Off the top of my head, I suggested a Nutcracker and stacked teacups, and my customer immediately said, “go for it”, so I did!  This design was really fun to make, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  It’s fun, colorful and very cheerful (as a party invitation should be).

From time to time I share a behind-the-scenes look at my design process, and since this design is becoming a favorite so far this year, I thought I’d share more. Take a look at the photo below.  Does he look familiar?  The inspiration for my Nutcracker on paper came from one my own collection.  This guy is one of my faves – I call him Señor Nutcracker.


Until a few years ago, I thought Nutcrackers were creepy, but then I stumbled upon a handful of them at am Estate Sale.  For some reason, I felt compelled to “save” them, and since then, they’re some of my favorite holiday finds.

After I created the Nutcracker and Cups invitation, I went a little “Nutcracker crazy” (hey, if inspiration strikes, you go with it).  I wondered how it would look to have a Nutcracker invade a “Christmas Fiesta” invitation… so I designed two more ideas.  Aren’t they fun?!   We now have two options for your next Mexican-themed Holiday party – a custom design that takes about a week AND an off-the-shelf design that takes 2-3 days to print.  Either way, it will put your guests in the mood for mistletoe and maracas!  Ole!


And then I just kept going and created this custom gift tag…


Ok, ok, I’m stopping!!!!  (PS- this gift tag is a sneak peek.  More details on our NEW custom gift tags coming soon!)




So this new name, Barque, how do you say it?  [bahrk] – sounds like a dog’s bark or bark on a tree.

Now then, what does it mean?

According to the dictionary, it’s a sailing vessel, which is but for our purposes, Barque is a combination of things we love – paper, dogs and cooking.  It’s a pretty random combination, but it about sums up ME.

Paper (think bark on trees) + Dog’s bark + the “que” nods to French influence (and cooking). So in a vague and round about way, Barque encompasses our new focus: gifts, events on paper and puppy love.  Our goal is provide a unique selection of products and services, and I can pretty much guarantee that there’s not an existing store like it!

Below is our branding board, to help convey the style we’re going for with the new name and look, if you’re interested:


Two Electricians and a Pinterest Moment

Two Electricians and a Pinterest Moment

DSC_0847smYesterday I shared an unexpected Pinterest moment- with two electricians installing a new light fixture in my kitchen.  I know it sounds odd, but it was  fun.

I’ve had a new light fixture for my kitchen sitting in the garage for at least 6 months – putting off installation because  a) I didn’t want to take time off for an electrician to come  and b) hire a contractor to patch the ceiling afterwardsoriginal recessed hole

Well, I finally bit the bullet this week.

When the electricians started the installation, I had an idea {light bulb moment if you will}.  Instead of paying the contractor to patch the ceiling, I could cover the gap with some sort of object.  I’ve seen “medallions” at Home Depot, but that’s not really my style.  I needed something thin but large enough to cover the hole – like a book cover!book spine

When I told them my idea, the electricians gave me a funny look… but when I came back with some glue, I noticed both of them snapping pics with their phones.  They looked a little embarrassed until I grabbed my phone and took some too.  Then they didn’t bother hiding their excitement about the unique challenge.  They just kept saying back and forth, “Yeah, I think this could work.” (nodding)  It made me laugh when one of them said, “My girlfriend will just kill me if I don’t take photos of this.  She has me doing Pinterest projects just about every weekend.” {atta girl}

spine cut outFirst, I removed the cover from an old book (it was coming apart anyway), then I glued it to some scrap cardboard and trimmed the excess away with scissors.glued spine  One of the guys used a utility knife to cut the shape of the electrical box out of the middle (so it would be flush with the ceiling).  When hanging the fixture, they positioned the book to cover the gap and it was perfect!  In fact, I think the blue/gray color of the cover beautifully matched the finish of the fixture – success!

DSC_0822smLooks like a little creativity and resourcefulness saved me over $100 on patching the ceiling, gave the fixture a unique look AND  it was really fun!   As a bonus, the electricians gave me a 10% discount on their labor cost (because I think they rather enjoyed the project too).

What do you think?  Have you ever used anything unconventional to solve a problem in your decor?