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!]

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.]


Let’s Flamingle!

Let’s Flamingle!

Earlier this year (after Market), we predicted that one of the HOT trends for 2016 was the flamingo… those pink feathered beauties were ALL OVER!… and we fell in love, so we jumped on the bandwagon.

Take a look at these NEW foam cups and koozies that just arrived!  They’re neon pink and perfect for the sunny weather!

{sleeve of 10 foam cups $7.99 + koozie $5.99 + flamingo picks $7.99 for a package of 24}

Easy Easter Candy Cups

Easy Easter Candy Cups

Need several quick, easy and affordable Easter gifts?  We love this idea!  They’re great for teachers, neighbors, co-workers or friends (and they cost less than $5 each)!

For this project you will need:

  • Easter foam cups (we think these “You’re Some Bunny Sweet” ones are just perfect – and a sleeve of 10 cups is just $7.99)
  • candy (these chocolate covered eggs were just $2.99 per bag)
  • white crinkle shred (or plastic Easter basket grass)
  • a few sheets of white copy paper, wadded up into a loose ball
  • ribbon (approximately 12″ each if you’re tying a bow)
  • Easter gift tag (ours are available i the store for just .99 each)
  • cellophane wrap sheets or plastic sleeves

First, separate the sleeve of foam cups.  Take one cup and gently stuff a wadded up sheet of copy paper in the bottom – this will make it strong so the candy can stay near the top of the cup.  Add a handful of the crinkle shred on top to make it about the same height as the cup rim. {Note:  You could also use the plastic grass instead of crinkle shred for this part – you just need a little “nest” for the candy.} Add the desired candy on top, slip the entire cup with candy into a plastic sleeve (or gently wrap it up in cellophane), add the ribbon and tie on the tag.  Easy – and SO cute!

BONUS IDEA:  These would make great favors for an Easter Party!

Change in Availability

To our Barque customers:

I am so grateful that many of you have come to rely on us (me) for all of your invitation needs.  I truly enjoy designing them – in fact, it’s one of my favorite parts of “the job”.  That being said, nonstop creativity isn’t easy, and it can be mentally exhausting!  For the past 8 years, I’ve worked all day, 6 days a week at the store and typically spent my Sunday “off” working at home too (between loads of laundry and yard work).  But I’ve recently learned something about myself:  When I get more “down time”, I’m better focused, refreshed and even more creative than ever.   Frankly, I need a better “life balance” – so I have time to visit my family on weekends, take mini vacations and enjoy “stay-cations” at home loving on my pups.  Don’t worry, I’m not talking about any extended stays in Hawaii – I’m just scheduling an extra day off for myself each week.

So, as of February 29th, I will not be available in the store on Mondays.

What does that mean exactly?  Invitation proofs and orders will only move forward Tuesday through Friday.   You may have to plan ahead more, or be willing to pay a rush fee if progress is needed on an invitation over the weekend or on a Monday (must be approved by me beforehand).

OF COURSE our entire staff will still make every effort to have your order completed as promptly as possible, but I do appreciate your understanding as we transition into this new schedule.  I’m confident that in the long run, this change will help me serve you better, cultivate more creativity within the store, and keep me sane [as I’ll ever be] as long as possible.

Thank you friends, for letting me carve out this time for myself.  I appreciate you!