Easter Orchid Extravaganza

My husband Brian and I had the pleasure of hosting my aunt and uncle and a few friends for Easter brunch following church last Sunday. Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I find great joy in bringing loved ones around the table to share in the holiday celebration. I have fond memories from childhood of spending Easter with extended family at my grandparent's home in Louisville, Kentucky. The South would be in full bloom by then, and when we had grown out of our Easter bonnets and egg hunts, my grandfather would always give the ladies a fresh flower corsage. Thus the fresh bright orchids with matching LAURA ANN Orchid Collection illustrated place cards, along with colorful Easter eggs, brought a touch of home to our NYC table. The plastic eggs in each fruit bowl contained a Cadbury egg for dessert. The jelly beans added a pop of color, and dessert before breakfast if desired! We each drew two jelly bean filled eggs from the glass bowl at the end of brunch to select a lucky winner for the Whitman's chocolate centerpiece. Murphy's Law that our winner was the only non-chocolate eater, but he shared!

LAURA ANN Orchid Collection place cards alongside fresh orchids set the Easter table theme. Easter eggs and jelly beans added an extra pop of color.

Aunt Cathy helped toss the Greek salad using a recipe that we recently made at a Greek cooking class girls night.

Brunch included Greek salad, fruit salad, spinach frittata and raisin walnut bread.

LAURA ANN Orchid Collection place card (set of 18 cards, $20).

A family moment following the feast!

Manhattan Love Production Party

As a graphic designer and illustrator of wedding stationery suites, I have the unique pleasure of sharing in the love of my clients, giving visual communication to their emotions. With Adam and Marianne I also had the joy of working with them to bring the stationery pieces themselves to life. At LAURA ANN, I help clients find the printing (or digital) solution to best fit their needs, and I love it when clients jump in for a "do it yourself" stationery project.  I was delighted to lead a production party with the bride and groom to be and their lovely friend.

Adam and Marianne brought the LAURA ANN "Manhattan Love" collection to life for their New York City nuptials at the chic, modern Tribeca Loft venue. The illustrated island of Manhattan and the couple's initials with a heart in their wedding color became custom marks used from their thank you notes, to the menu, program, escort and table cards, and even the cake and photo booth (wedding day photos to come!).

The bride and groom found black and white photograph postcards of iconic New York City landmarks to inspire their table names, inscribed on the back with hand calligraphy as table cards. Look closely and you'll see that the heart moves on the map to match the location of the landmark!

Cheers to Adam and Marianne!

A Romantic Storybook Invitation, with the Luck of the Irish

Monday, March 17th is Saint Patrick's Day! It also happens to be Irish Arts Center Book Day 2014 in New York City.  Books and the Irish will always have a fond place in my heart as I think back warmly to my cousin Alberto's wedding to his sweet bride Betsy on the eve of Saint Patrick's Day last year. It was cold in Minneapolis but spring in spirit with touches of Irish green from the flowers to the shoes and the invitation suite.

LAURA ANN_Storybook Collection_Inspiration

The literature lovers wrote the story of their love into the details of the weekend, starting with a LAURA ANN illustrated bookmark save the date. The couple shared an image of the bench where Alberto proposed, which I illustrated and wove through the stationery suite.

The couple's initials drawn together on an open book became a signature mark throughout the stationery suite. The invitation featured three book pages with romantic quotes and a wedding weekend illustrated map. The reply card designed in the style of a library card reminded guests when their response was "due back."

The wedding day decor carried through the literary theme, from escort cards handed out in card catalog drawers, to hard back books stacked elegantly with the centerpieces. Literary themed table names matched romantic quotes designed for each table by LAURA ANN.

As a final touch, the bride and groom sent thank you notes with a wedding portrait on the same bench where they got engaged, with the bench illustration to match on the inside. Sounds like a storybook romance to me.