Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Heavy Metals: Sterling Silver Paper and Ink

The holidays are just around the corner and as Christmas and Hanukkah decorations are going up in the store windows here in NYC, I find myself getting inspired by the festive color palettes.

Silvery tones compliment a winter wedding perfectly with its icy cool shimmering tones. At a recent wedding of a friend, I scripted navy blue place cards with silver ink. The effect was classic and striking all at the same time.

Silver ink on navy. This elegant combination added a bit of shimmer and shine to a fall wedding.

But using ink isn't the only way to incorporate silver tones into your wedding. Choosing silver card stock  with black ink is no less eye-catching.

Silver place cards with black ink. 

Metallics add shimmer, shine and are a perfect highlight to any wedding color palette.  Tomorrow - going for the gold.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Colors - A Little Rouge Goes a Long Way

Ah, I remember my school days when seeing red ink on my paper meant a not-so-great grade.  But I've recently done several calligraphy projects with red ink.  Despite my initial trepidation, I was bowled over by the elegant and eye-catching effect of the warm crimson letters on the page.

For a unique twist on calligraphy, don't forget to think about ink color choice. Calligraphers can find matching shades to every color of the rainbow using watercolor gouache (opaque watercolor paint that comes in tubes).  For now, here are some pictures of the "It" color of the season.

French red ink on ivory - menu, wine list and escort cards that are perfect for a rustic fall vineyard wedding

Red ink paired with extra large sweeping calligraphy makes a dramatic and elegant statement on wedding envelopes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DIY Envelopes: Pretty on the Inside and Out

Halloween has only just passed, but retailers are already stringing lights and hanging garlands. That's right, folks, 'tis definitely the season.  Before long, it will be time to put those Christmas cards in the mail. And what better way to make them even more special than by lining your envelopes in pretty paper?

As a calligrapher, it my job to prettify the outsides of envelopes with loops and swirls and curlicues, of course.  But my latest project involved making the insides of envelopes just as pretty as their hand-scripted outsides.

Lining your own envelopes can easily be done with some paper, scissor, a glue stick and some patience.  To make it virtually fool-proof, pre-cut liner templates can be used to trace the shape on the liner paper

I used variety of patterns and textures to match my envelopes. I simply selected the corresponding liner template to match the envelope size. Then all I had to do was trace, cut, slip the liner inside and glue.

Because just like your mom always told you, it's what's inside that counts.

The finished product - a beautiful little surprise when opened.

  I purchased these liner templates from Paper Source. The kit comes with templates for a variety of envelope sizes.

I used a variety of papers - from gift wrapper to scrapbooking. Just trace the template on the back of your paper and cut.

Use your imagination....envelope liners can range from elegant and opulent to fierce or festive.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Treats - Monogram Macarons and Jack-O'-Macs

Even though it looks more like Christmas than Halloween this snowy weekend in NYC, the spirit of the Great Pumpkin (gotta love Charlie Brown) is in full swing at Curlicue headquarters.  While calligraphy is my great love, baking is a close second.

My baking obsession for the last year has been to master the French macaron. This sweet confection is elegant, delicate and beautiful to look at - just like calligraphy.  So why not combine my two obsessions?

I made a box of festive treats for my sister-in-law and monogrammed a couple of fleur de sel caramel macarons and nestled them amongst a patch of Pumpkin Spice "Jack-O-Macs."  Happy Halloween!

My first monogrammed macarons for my sister and brother-in-law.  Who would have thought that the smooth surface of a macaron would make an ideal little writing canvas?
Gold ink on Black Cardstock
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Jack-O-Lanterns

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Congratulations, Julia and Bruce!

Working with brides and grooms on the wedding stationary is such a happy task, but it makes it even sweeter when couples send me pictures of their big day.

Here are a few shots from new Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gover. After I did the envelopes for her invitations, Julia approached me to help her with some signs for the candy table and her unique seating chart idea. Instead of traditional escort cards, Julia wanted to display her guests' names on window panes.  Such a charming way of bringing some garden chic indoors!

We wish Julia and Bruce all the best!

Window Seating Chart

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Curlicue Designs Re-Design and Website Launch

After a summer hiatus, Curlicue Designs is back and better than ever.  Today I'm happy to announce the launch of our new website. Come check out our newlook at www.curlicuedesigns.com .

There are plenty of projects that are underway this fall and our new blog - Curlicue Designs: Something Blue -  will be bringing you all the latest news on Curlicue's latest projects and inspirations.

For any fall / winter brides who mention this post, I'm giving a 20% discount off their total order for any calligraphy services.*

*Discount offer expires November 30, 2011.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Congratulations, Jessie and Justin!

As a calligrapher, I love getting photos from brides to see how they incorporated calligraphy into their wedding day. This weekend, Jessie and Justin got married at Bedell Cellars on Long Island. Gorgeous bride and groom, gorgeous weather (Hurricane Irene was held at bay, thankfully!) and a stunning venue made it an event to remember.   

Even with all the excitement of the wedding and getting ready to take off for the honeymoon, the new Mrs. Prunell sent along a few pics of the calligraphy Curlicue Designs did for the wedding. Congratulations again, Mr. and Mrs. Prunell!

The cork place card holders were an elegant way to tie into the wine cellar theme.

As a special surprise gift to her groom, Jessie asked me to pen the lyrics to the song of their first dance. I loved penning the words to the timeless "La Vie En Rose"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Window dressing: Seating Chart Ideas

Even though we haven't been posting over the summer months, Curlicue Designs has been busy, busy, busy helping brides get ready for their fall weddings.

One bride approached me with a unique project. Instead of traditional escort cards, Julia wanted a seating chart that would be mounted in windows.

We used clear acetate for the window panes and a paint marker. The result? A stunning and unique visual display that would be perfect for any garden wedding reception.

The purple background is just for contrast so you can see the lettering handiwork.

Here's a sample of what the finished product will look like.  Photos courtesy of http://confettievents.blogspot.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

White Hot Ink

With temperatures soaring, summer whites are all the rage right now. It's oh-so-crisp and pristine. Why limit white to your summer wardrobe?  White ink on colored envelopes is unexpected and adds great visual impact to your wedding stationary.

White ink can be a great modern twist on a traditional formal font or it can compliment a chic, contemporary one.

Another great thing about white ink, you don't have to put it away after Labor Day.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have a Seat : Escort Cards vs. Place Cards

Seating arrangements can be the source of stress, aggravation and confusion for many couples planning a wedding.  Coming up with a plan to make sure that people are happy, conversation flows and that

While many people use escort card and place card interchangeably, there IS a difference.

There are a number of creative ways of displaying escort cards, from hanging tags, to  Simply put, escort cards are cards that indicate which table your guest is seated.

Place cards designate the exact place at the table each guest should occupy.  

Now which should you choose? Escort cards seem to be the popular choice these days with couples designating tables, but leaving it up to guests to choose their individual seats. 

Sometimes, place cards are required by the venue to indicate to servers guest meal selections. Ask your venue ahead of time whether or not they have specific requirements.  And sometimes, place cards are utilized to help ensure that certain people get to sit together - or that other people don't get too close!

Whatever you decide to use for your wedding, there are fabulously creative ideas for either escort cards or place cards which we'll cover soon! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Picking wedding vendors can be a truly nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn't have to be.  You can always ask for referrals from friends and contact vendors to provide references. However, with WeddingWire you can lookup vendors and see what past clients have to say.

Curlicue Designs' storefront on WeddingWire has just opened. Check out our great reviews!  In less than a week, we've garnered enough positive reviews to earn our first designation. Thanks for the support everyone!

Monday, June 27, 2011


The monogram. Classic. Elegant....and with the way that I love to put my own monogram on everything, perhaps a sign I missed my calling for marketing and branding. For a bride who is about to take on a new last name, a monogram can be a fabulous way of celebrating and marking the change.

Like with an invitation or a return address stamp, a calligrapher can create and digitize a monogram for you that you can use in a variety of ways. Apart from wedding stationary and signage, here are a few ways I incorporated our monogram into the wedding - did I mention that I LOVE to put monograms on everything?

This was one of the wedding favors I had at my own wedding. I scripted the "M" and had a graphic designer work her magic. We took the digital file and had it printed on enviro-bags.

A custom monogrammed tag  we used to put on attendants'  gifts.
We used the same monogram for a backdrop for a photobooth.
I printed these round stickers myself and we used them to seal the bags for our candy table. 

The pleasure of your company is requested....

Like I discussed in my previous post on customizable stamps, a calligrapher isn't just limited to addressing invitation envelopes. An experienced calligrapher should also be able to help you design and create an invitation template which you can bring to your printer.
Finished product, letterpress printed.  By Bella Figura.
Template invitation ready to be scanned for printing.  By Curlicue Designs.
Finished product. Calligraphy by Jennifer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stamps of Approval

This week, I was charged with the task of creating return address stamps for a client. What a great, easy, inexpensive and thoughtful personalized item that would make the perfect gift for newlyweds, a housewarming or as a hostess gift.

Custom calligraphy address stamps are a great cost-saving alternative to having your printer do the return address on your envelopes or having a calligrapher do each envelope by hand.

Many sellers on Etsy offer such stamps. However, your own wedding calligrapher can help you DIY.

Have your calligraphy create a template of the address and scan it at a high resolution. You can then upload the graphic to a service Simon Stamps which can then turn it into a custom stamp. Voila! - a beautiful return address that matches the calligraphy on the front of the envelope for a fraction of the cost.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Splashy New Beginning!

And after months of preparation, Curlicue Designs is online!   And my, oh my, what a banner week we've had - a brand new Facebook page, a blog and featured in a new photo shoot on the Ruffled blog shot by talented photographer Sam Nichols.

The website is in the final construction phases, stayed tuned!  In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the photoshoot. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For the love of calligraphy...

Every day when I sift through my mail, my eyes are always immediately drawn to the increasingly rare envelope that is hand-addressed. Whether it’s a wedding invitation or not, something about seeing your name and address handwritten on the front of an envelope makes it stand out.

Etiquette and tradition would dictate that wedding invitations have to be written “in the bride’s hand.” However, technology has given new invitation addressing options to the modern-day bride. A myriad of font choices and labels are not only convenient, but can also produce stylish, machine-neat results in a minimal amount of time.

Brides spend a considerable amount of time and expense shopping for their wedding invitations. Not only does the invitation give crucial details to a guest as to date, time and place of the event, but the choice of invite is the first indicator to the guest as to the kind of wedding it will be and the style of the couple getting married.

While convenience and cost-savings using pre-printed labels can’t be beat, for the bride that wants her invitations to be set apart from the crowd, consider calligraphy. Whether you do it yourself or hire an expert, the swirling hand-inked invitations are sure to be noticed and appreciated by your guests.

Though some might call calligraphy “dated” or “overly-traditional” – calligraphy comes in a variety of fonts and styles, which can be matched to reflect the tone of your affair.
Formal or beachy, classic or contemporary or anything in between – your invitation says a lot about you. And so should the way that your wedding invitation is addressed.