Category Archives: Invitations

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

A Shower of Love

Over the past several months I have been extremely excited for my good friend, Emma, and her fiance, Jason, to get married. Emma and Jason are quickly becoming some of mine and Adam’s closest friends in Seattle. Finding a great friend is tough enough, but finding a great couple that you AND your spouse have things in common with, AND enjoy hanging out with is hard to find.

I have worked with Emma for quite some time now, and her spunky east coast personality, and HUGE heart make her such an amazing person to be around. I am going to miss her terribly in September when I am no longer with Becoming Parents, but I know that Emma and I will remain close friends for many, many years to come.

Emma and Jason are getting married on September 18th in upstate New York, and I wanted to throw Emma a bridal shower with her closest girlfriends before her big day. I set a plan to decorate her shower with bright girly colors, and decided to use canary yellow, gray, purple, red and hot pink as the primary colors for both the party and her shower invitations.

For the past several months, I have been wanting to use these tiny heart buttons I found, and I thought that Emma’s shower invitation just might be the perfect way to incorporate them into my designs. I stamped an umbrella onto white cardstock, embossed it, and then hand stitched the heart buttons to represent raindrops. I wanted the umbrella and “raindrops” to not only represent a “shower of love” for Emma, but to also symbolize Emma’s life with Jason in Seattle.

Check em’ out! And Happy Bridal Shower Em!

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Filed under Announcements, Bridal, Buttons, Envelope Liners, Fun Fonts, Invitations, Parties, Stamps

Wanna Get Away?

Travel is something I live for. Really, I don’t know who I am without at least 1-3 trips on my “to do” list. It’s to the point that I can’t see one of my Seattle buddies without them saying “Adam just sent me a text for poker night. Where you headed to now?” I get a ton of grief about my constant traveling, but I know it’s something that feeds my soul, and luckily I have a spouse who understands my travel obsession, and supports me in any new endeavor or adventure I set my sights on.

I vividly remember my final train ride on my European honeymoon, and bawling my eyes out because for the first time in 4 years I didn’t have a single trip on the horizon. I quickly got home and planned a trip to Cabo San Lucas with some of my closest girlfriends, because I honestly didn’t feel like myself without my travel bug at bay.

I’ve never quite understood where my infatuation with travel comes from, but can always remember being extremely jealous of friends who would travel to far off lands. Every time I come within yards of an airport I feel a rush of excitement and yearning to hop on the next available plane to…well…anywhere!

Over the past several years I have been afforded AMAZING opportunities to visit family, vacation with close friends, and now to take a personal trip to Europe. A lot of this comes from setting traveling as my ultimate priority, but also from a career in nursing which allows for extended time off and a continued aching desire to increase my cultural competencies.

As I prep for my upcoming solo trip to Europe (a trip I’ve been waiting my WHOLE life for) I contemplate the endless amounts of places to visit and ponder the reality of traveling alone….eeeks! My honeymoon a year ago fueled my desire to see more of the world, and with an imminent layoff from a job I love at the end of September, what better time to pack it all up and jet set for 6 weeks or so, right?

With plans to spend about 4 weeks of my trip alone in Paris (blogging, cafe-ing, walking, sleeping, eating, antiquing, pondering, biking, discovering, and anything else with an “ing”), I also know that I want to spend about 2 weeks or so, hitting up the trains, and visiting various countries around France.

Now, despite what my friends and family might say, being alone is not something I necessarily fear, but actually something I quite enjoy from time to time. I am totally stoked for a few weeks to myself to figure out the “next step” in my life, whether that be continuing on my nursing career path, or braving some new adventures. With that said, I wouldn’t mind spending a couple weeks or so with good friends traveling from place to place expanding my view of the world.

As a means of inquiring about who might be available to take a leave from work, or school, or motherhood, or residency (hi V!) to travel with me, I created a little greeting card for a few of my closest girlfriends. I thought it would be fun to send a card rather than an email, text or phone call, to ask if anyone was interested in spending a couple of weeks or so away from home.

I found this AMAZING map of Paris and cut it to pieces to create both an envelope liner, and various parts of the card itself. I used vibrant turquoise colors to accent the look of the card, an amazingly funky font, and finished the design off with a tiny Eiffel Tower charm tucked in the envelope.

With hopes to get a “heck yes!” response from at least one of my gal pals, I sealed the envelopes and sent them on their way. Now just one step closer to the trip of lifetime…

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Filed under Brights, Charms, Envelope Liners, Fun Fonts, Greeting Cards, Invitations, Just Because, Themes, Travel, Unique Paper Prints

The Bachelorette

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it more than once on this blog, but I love my sister Sarah. I really do. And she is getting MARRIED! Soon! And of course as the wedding approaches, the festivities to celebrate the bride are quickly approaching as well!

In July, I get the opportunity to host my sister’s bachelorette party back home in Denver. Now, when I initially took on this task I thought, “oh no, the old chick is planning the party” and had no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. But after some deep contemplation, I realized that “hey! I once used to be ‘cool,’ and have made a few rounds in Denver myself!”

After some “googling,” I set a plan for the party and got squared away on the invitation design to hopefully spark some excitement for the guests and for Sarah.

I wanted to keep most of the party a secret from Sarah, so I kept the details of the invitation pretty vague, but gave the guests an idea of location, time, pertinent lingerie sizing, and the basic agenda of the evening. I decided to use 3 different colors of paper to not only follow Sarah’s wedding colors and theme, but also to make the invitation a bit unique for the bachelorette party itself.

I used bright red brads to hold the invitation together and completed the “show some love” invite by hand stitching a heart on top of the invitation using red thread. I have ALWAYS loved the concept of incorporating unexpected items into my paper designs and was so excited when I found this turquoise, green, red and yellow striped fabric from a funky vintage fabric store in downtown Seattle. I finished off the hearts by distressing the edges to give them that worn, vintage look to complement Sarah’s 50’s wedding theme.

I completed the design by tucking the invitations in a string tie envelope and continuing the colors of red and turquoise on the address labels using colorful cardstock.

I CANNOT wait to head home in a few weeks to really get the celebration started with the bride and her friends and family!

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Filed under Bachelorette, Envelopes, Fabric, Invitations, Parties, Personalized

That First Glimpse

I’d been itching for the opportunity to create another wedding invitation design since I finished mine and Adam’s wedding invites last year. Wedding invitations are probably one of my most favorite paper projects, because in my opinion, the wedding invitation is UBER important. The wedding invitation is often the very first glimpse your guests get of the overall “feel” of your wedding, and they can be that extra special touch that gives your guests an idea of what is to come. I love when wedding invitations are included as one of the details that set the whole stage for the overall theme of the wedding.

So, it was no surprise that I was OVER THE MOON earlier this year when my sister Sarah got engaged AND said that she would allow me to design her wedding invitations! I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to create an invitation that was spunky, upbeat, and colorful (just like Sarah) and represented the style and theme of her upcoming wedding.

Sarah decided a few months ago that she and Tristan would use the colors red and turquoise as their primary wedding colors and would also incorporate a “50’s Diner Theme” into their wedding details. I was so excited to hear about their plan because I knew the theme afforded me the opportunity to do something REALLY fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love the look of a traditional wedding invitation, but I also LOVE exploring ways to create wedding invitations that represent the overall theme and look of the wedding and get the guests really excited about what is to come….which I have to say often includes extremely bright colors and funky papers – two things that have not traditionally coincided with a wedding invite.

Here are a few pics of the invitation I created for Sarah and Tristan’s wedding this August. I ended up using two different kinds of decorative paper to give the invitations their own little personality. I can’t wait for Sarah and Tristan’s big day and I hope their guests enjoy this “first glimpse” into the theme of their big day! Congratulations you two!

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Filed under Inspirations, Invitations, Weddings

Look Whoooo!

I was so excited to get the opportunity to create Maili’s baby shower invitations. I worked with Maili during my time at UW Medical Center and I adore her! I actually saw her last weekend and she has to be one of the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen – she was glowing!

Emma and Kate (hostesses of the event) were in the process of searching for invitations when Emma suggested that I make the invites rather than her and Kate purchasing them offline. I jumped at the opportunity especially since Emma and Kate were kind enough to give me creative liberties, only requesting that there be a few shades of blue in the design; AND I had never made a baby shower invitation before.

I have always wanted to do something with owls (they are so cool!), and while searching through baby shower invitation wordings online, I came across the adorable idea of stating “look whoooo’s expecting” as the opening statement on the invite. The statement turned out to be the perfect tie-in to my owl design.

The owls came to fruition through hours of cutting out different shapes to create my own owl “ideal”.  I wanted there to be a mamma owl and baby owl, and as I started the process of cutting all the tiny little pieces by hand I thought, “there has to be a better way to do this!” I checked out a few paper shops in Seattle, and came across circle punches that were the perfect size for the owls eyes. As for the rest of the design it is all from scratch and hand cut. I had so much fun making these invites!

I hope you love them as much as I do, Maili! Congratulations my friend, you are going to be an amazing mommy!

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Filed under Baby, Baby Shower, Invitations