New Punny Valentines for 2017

New Punny Valentines for 2017

One of my favorite products to design are punny valentines, and I love to draw inspiration from my collection of vintage designs.  I found these at an antique store in Greensboro – aren’t they fun?  The fish is from the 1920’s!

IMG_5653sm(The inside of the fish says:  It’s not a fish tale that I love you)

This year, my mom came back with me after Christmas, so we did a little brainstorming session for this year’s punny valentines during the drive.  Ultimately, I decided on 5 new themes:  Texas, S’mores, Cactus, TexMex and Baking – all available on our website while supplies last.  Each package comes with 12 cards (3 of each of the 4 designs) and red or pink envelopes.






What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?


Behind the Scenes Holiday Gift Tags

Behind the Scenes Holiday Gift Tags

This is the first year we’ve offered custom holiday gift tags, but we’re not sure why it’s taken us so long – everyone seems to love them!  In fact, we’ve had several requests for “everyday” custom tags too – for birthdays and weddings and year-round gift giving – so those will be on the horizon soon.

The goal was to come up with 6 designs to start, but once we got rolling, it was easy to crank out a few more..  This sketch-to-finished file was easier than most – it only took about an hour to finalize them all.  Here’s what the original sketches look like:


It’s always fun to see how they transition and change into the final product…  Ta da!


Our custom gift tags are reasonably priced – 25 for $15, 50 for $25 and 100 for $45, and you can buy them by clicking the button below.  They’re easy, convenient and turnaround time is about a week.  (They’re also great because you can keep them on hand to tie onto gifts year after year.)  Don’t see a design that fits your style or matches your go-to gift wrap?  No problem!  We can create a custom design for you – just stop by or give us a call to figure out what will work best for your needs.


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!)


Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and we’ve got a few ideas to help make your table decor easy and beautiful!  Check out our setting.

  • Paper turkey placemats
  • Matching turkey place cards
  • Gold stripe paper table runner
  • Natural turkey  (mixed with a few mini pumpkins and faux fall leaves)
  • “Fancy” folded napkins (from the Napkin Folding book – so many great ideas that are surprisingly easy!)


We also think a stash of foam cups and coasters are a must – you never know when you need more cups or coasters on hand when family is in town!


{natural turkey centerpiece $49.99, turkey place cards  $5.99, turkey placemats $26.99, gold stripe paper runner $21.95, sleeve of 10 cups $7.99, box of 100 letterpress coasters $29.99, napkin folding book $6.95}


Meet Linda McMillan

Meet Linda McMillan

Graduating high school or college is a milestone, so it’s only fitting to have a photo session to commemorate the event.  Luckily, we’ve partnered with our friend Linda McMillan to make your life a LOT easier!  She’s a very talented photographer, and she consistently provides amazing Senior Portraits for her clients.  Linda’s most popular package is the Signature Session, which includes 3 outfit changes, 2 hours of photography, professional hair styling and airbrush makeup, plus online gallery viewing and ordering for one month… Talk about the royal treatment!  We love the idea of getting all GLAMMED up to capture your senior year.  If you’re going to document the occasion, you might as well look and feel your best!

*Like the sound of that?  Keep reading for more information on how you could WIN a Signature Session!*

Linda also gives every client a Senior Swag Bag after their session… which happens to include some personalized folded notes from Barque (wink wink).

As icing on the cake, Linda’s Senior Swag Bag also contains an exclusive coupon from us for a discount on custom graduation announcements!  It’s simple – bring in your photos from Linda, peruse our samples for ideas, visit with us about fonts, colors and paper options, and we’ll work with you to create the perfect announcement.  It’s a win-win.  Fabulous graduation photos to cherish AND custom announcements as fun or quirky as you are.  (Hey, you’re heading out into the “real world” – your big debut should make a splash!)

Honestly, we’ve been a fan of Linda’s work for awhile now, so we jumped at the chance to collaborate with her on this.  She’s our kind of people – and we think you’ll like her too.

For more information on booking a session with Linda McMillan Photography, check out her website HERE.  Then come see us – we can’t wait to help you create the perfect announcement!

*** PSSST – For a limited time, we’ve partnered with Linda McMillan Photography and Beauty by Brooke for an awesome Signature Session GIVEAWAY that ends on September 1, 2016.  See details pinned to the top of our Facebook page HERE.  ***

enter the giveaway

Giveaway ends on September 1, 2016.  Other restrictions may apply.  This promotion is in no way  sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

get more info
Fiesta Floral Invitation: Behind the Scenes

Fiesta Floral Invitation: Behind the Scenes

We create a LOT of custom invitations, but this spring I designed one of my favorites thus far – a festive Mexican floral with stripes.  In my head, I envisioned the flowers on a Mexican embroidered shirt – so that’s where I started for inspiration.  As you can see in the screenshot below, I found several photos of Mexican embroidered shirts for ideas.  Then I created a few flowers to start playing around with.  Slowly, with lots of moving and rearranging, the floral design started to come together.  The final part of the process is where it REALLY starts to firm up – selecting the final colors for the design.

fiesta floral screenshot

I love how this invitation turned out – it’s fun and cheerful and makes me all kinds of happy!

(And for those of you who have wondered “how it’s done”, now you know. )