Category Archives: Birthday

Bow Tie & Bustle

It’s official! Bow Tie & Bustle is here! Yep! After months and months, and weeks and weeks of working on this new business, my website is officially launched! Check it out at: www.bowtieandbustle.com. Bow Tie & Bustle is an event design and coordination business in Seattle, WA with a focus on the unique details that make us who we are. My time in Europe reminded me of how much I love the little details in life and this business is a clear reflection of that love. My hope is to continue incorporating my love for paper as well, so if you know anyone who is in need of a unique design or decor styling for a wedding, photo shoot, party or paper product, keep me in mind : )

There is still much more to be done: a new blog (coming soon!), a networking and inspiration blog for brides/grooms and vendors alike with a focus on the Pacific Northwest, an upcoming Parisian inspired (who could forget about Paris!) photo shoot with my dear friend and photographer Monica Hines and much, much more! I can’t wait to share all the details of the new biz, and am so excited and thrilled to be following my heart AND my gut! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Bow Tie & Bustle!

Thanks to all who have supported me in getting here. I couldn’t have done this without the love, hugs, listening ears, and word of mouth that so many of you have kindly offered! Thank you! Thank you!

For now, a sneak peak at the “Bun in the Oven” photo shoot I was involved in a couple weeks ago…thanks to MoHinesPhotography for the amazing photographs!


Me setting up the shoot at one of the most adorable couple’s home. Thanks to Jenn and Ryan Strom for allowing me to be involved in their baby bump shoot!

The entire design for the shoot came from an idea that literally made me jump out of bed one morning…bun in the oven…a vintage timer…baby bump…oooooh! Look for an upcoming blog post on this adorable photo shoot!

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Filed under Baby, Birthday, Bow Tie & Bustle, Business, Engagements, Greeting Cards, Inspirations, Invitations, Parties, Personalized, Self Exploration, Themes, Weddings

50 and Fabulous

A couple of months ago, I received an inquiry from one of my sister’s closest friends, Dani. Dani is absolutely adorable. She has one of the biggest grins I have ever seen, and she is amazingly sweet and kind to my sister (a BIG plus from a sister’s point of view)! I got to know Dani a whole lot better when we were both bridesmaids in my sister Sarah’s wedding this past August, and was tickled to get the opportunity to create a paper design with her.

Like Dani, her mom is this beautiful woman that just exudes radiance, and appears to have an energy that people gravitate towards. I’ve only had the opportunity to meet Dani’s mom once, but I knew the moment I met her that she is one extremely special woman. So, it was an utter surprise, and total thrill for me, when Dani sent me an email asking me to help her create a birthday invitation for her Mom’s 50th surprise birthday party this October.

I asked Dani to share a few things with me about her mom: “My mom is extremely outgoing, vivacious and the life of the party. Everyone wants to be her best friend, you can’ t help but love her. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know and loves making the people she loves feel special“…she went on to state that her mom loved earth tones, and that she wanted the invitation to have a “50 and Fabulous” type theme.

It only took me a split second to find the perfect decorative paper that completely inspired my design. Just like Dani’s mom, this paper was something I instantly gravitated towards the second I entered the store, and one I couldn’t help but love. This exquisite Italian paper is laced with varying shades of gold, orange, green, yellow and bits of blue; it is stunning. I bought every ounce of the paper from the store, and rushed home to begin the design. Coral was chosen as the primary color of the invitation, because it just seemed to be the perfect compliment to Dani’s mom’s personality.

Dani, thanks for giving me the opportunity to be included in such a special celebration for your Mom. I hope the surprise party goes splendidly!

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Filed under Birthday, Brights, Envelope Liners, Fun Fonts, Graphics, Inspirations, Invitations, Parties, Personalized, Themes, Unique Paper Prints

Birthday Balloons

I have a friend. Her name is Vanessa. “V” for short. She is a doctor. And very cool. And very smart. And someone I admire. And my BFF. She lives far away. In Peoria, Illinois to be exact. And I miss her. A lot. I mean, A LOT.

I’ve known Vanessa for more than 8 years now, and I am so lucky to have her in my life. She is, to this day, the closest friend I have from my college years, and any time I spend with her is such a blessing. I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time with her in Chicago a few months back, and I had the time of my life. Vanessa is one of those friends that is just so easy to be around. You never have to question where you stand with her, and she is always able to shed some amazing light on anything for which you are seeking advice.

I love her to pieces, and wanted to send her a birthday card along with her gift that would hopefully bring a smile to her face. V works REALLY LONG hours, and is so dedicated to her career, so I wanted to remind her how important it is to take time for self-care, and pampering time. I filled a basket with all things “spa” like, and included a card with fabric birthday balloons as a finishing touch.

Happy birthday V! I love you!

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Filed under Birthday, Brights, Fabric, Fun Fonts, Greeting Cards

Birthday Puzzle

My supervisor (really my AMAZING friend), Barb, is one of the most fantastic, thoughtful, and kind women I have ever met. When I first made the transition to Becoming Parents Program from my previous hospital position, I was a bit nervous; but Barb’s bright and smiling face immediately put me at ease. For the past two years, Barb has been one of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my career (and life) decisions including my decision to pursue my paper passion…thanks Barb!!

I love Barb so much and was so honored to be able to spend Wednesday evening with her and some of my favorite colleagues to celebrate her birthday. We went to this YUMMY italian restaurant on Capitol Hill called Machiavelli’s and ate pasta and tiramisu. To celebrate the day, I created a “puzzle” birthday card to wish her a happy birthday. I used bright colors and balloon character font to really make the card sing “happy birthday.” I had a blast making this one and was so excited to see the smile on Barb’s face as she turned the various paper colors to reveal her “WISHING YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY” message.

I cannot imagine my life in Seattle without knowing Barb, and I hope that our friendship continues FAR beyond my time at BPP. Happy Birthday Barb!

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Filed under Birthday, Brights, Fun Fonts, Greeting Cards

A Birthday Box

I was REALLY excited last week when my good friend Apple asked me if I could make a little box for her stepdaughter Kameko for her 9th birthday. She was planning to give Kameko some little Japanese trinkets, and wanted something in which to place them. I asked her to give me an idea of who Kameko is and what she likes, and after Apple listed off a few things I immediately had something in mind.

When I was younger, my grandmother taught me how to decoupage and I have adored it ever since. That same year, I made a special wooden box for my mom that included 3 little wooden eggs inside it, representing one for myself, and one for each of my sisters. I decoupaged the outside of the box with all the things that my mom loves and also decoupaged each egg with things that represented each of her daughters. I remember my mom really loving the gift, and to this day she still has the box sitting on my grandmother’s hutch in her bedroom.

I wanted to make a box for Kameko that would hopefully be something she treasured and would keep for many years to come, just like my mom. I started with a plain wooden box that I found at a craft store and used some bright and colorful Japanese, Italian, and Indian papers to decorate the outside of the box. I also included various beautifully ornate paper pieces that I was gifted for my own birthday this year.

To top the box off, I included Kameko’s name on the side of the box using these fantastic cardboard vintage school letter cards I found while browsing an antique fair in Chicago last month. I also added a gorgeous gift tag to the box so that Apple could write her own personal greeting to Kameko.

I had a total blast making this little birthday box, and look forward to hopefully creating more in the future. I want to wish Kameko a VERY “Happy 9th Birthday” and thank Apple for giving me the opportunity to create a personalized gift for someone so dear to her.

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Filed under Birthday, Boxes, Brights, Decoupage, Gift Tags, Personalized, Unique Paper Prints

Funky Fonts

I spent hours yesterday searching for new funky fonts to add some spunkiness to my newest designs. I fell upon this AMAZING typewriter font, which is my new *favorite*, and is sure to make it onto many of my upcoming creations.

I had never really contemplated much in the past about how important fonts might be to my paper projects. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I got my first tattoo with my sisters (weird right?!) that I really started thinking about the significance of a “good” font.  I had spent a few weeks searching through hundreds of font styles for our tattoos, and realized that there are some fantastic fonts out there that I hadn’t even thought to use in my designs. The only other time that I can remember having “serious” thoughts about fonts was when I was creating mine and Adam’s wedding invitations last year.

When I 1st started designing our wedding invitations, I found a “cute” font style on Word and decided I wanted the lettering to stream across the invitation from edge to edge. It was not something I had seen offered by the stationary shops in our area, so I thought “why not make our own?” After hours and hours of Adam sizing the wording to the invitations to fit “just right” we decided in the end that the look was a bit too informal for the style of wedding we were hoping to create.

Working with new fonts over the past couple of days spurred my memory of that first draft of our wedding invites. I decided this morning (at 2am when all my ideas usually start brewing) to use my new favorite font to create a birthday card. I used all lowercase lettering and typed the words “happy birthday” over and over again until they covered the entire span of the card – edge to edge, just like I had wanted last year on our first draft of invites. I think it’s my new favorite design…

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Filed under Birthday, Envelopes, Fun Fonts, Greeting Cards

18 and road tripping…

Last month I got to spend an amazing few days with my sister Coli. Coli is my youngest sister, turning 18 (holy cow!) on March 6th. Coli, like me, LOVES to travel and just recently obtained her very 1st passport! She had yet to leave the country and I thought it a prime opportunity for us to take a little road trip up to Vancouver B.C. during her visit to Seattle over her spring break.

I wanted our trip to not only be filled with fun, sightseeing, laughter and lots of shopping : ), but also be a moment in time that was memorable and meaningful for the both of us. I have struggled a bit (okay a whole bit) in the past year realizing that my baby sister is “growing up” and will soon be heading off to college. I knew this trip had the potential to be incredibly special and I kinda viewed it as our last “childhood” trip together.

As a means of also making the trip a birthday celebration, I decided to include an overnight stay at the St. Regis  (gorgeous hotel by the way) as a birthday gift to Coli.  I didn’t tell her I was planning to have us stay overnight or what we would be doing during our time in Canada, but instead sent her a birthday box with a paper creation tucked inside, in the hopes of clueing her in on our trip details and to get her excited about our trip.

Using cardstock, scrapbooking doodads, and ribbon, I created a trip itinerary flip book. I filled the pages with all of the sights and adventures we would see/do during our time in Canada. I attempted to use as many bright colors as possible to make it fun and eye-catching and also included these cute little red envelopes that I found at a paper crafting store . I attached the red envelopes to a few of the pages and included little “tickets” inside for Coli to redeem on our trip ; )

I am so lucky to have a sister like Coli. She is intelligent, beautiful, creative, amazingly gifted, and a woman I greatly admire in my life. I love her to tears and had the time of my life on our trip. Here are some pictures of my paper creation for Coli and my favorite picture of her from our time together. I love you Coli!

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Filed under Birthday, Invitations, Parties, Personalized, Travel