Halloween Masquerade - Mom's 60th Surprise Party

If I could throw a masquerade party every year, I would.  It's intriguing, beautiful and a roaring good time.  This Halloween, my mother turned 60 years old, so we thought a surprise masquerade party was in order.  I'm thrilled to share the photos! Floral design: AC Floral & Event Design; photography & photo booth: Joseph Dominguez;  venue: Berlinetta Lounge @ The Mystic Hotel in San Francisco, stationery & calligraphy (obviously): me.

One of my favorite details shots of the night.

One of my favorite details shots of the night.

Click through the gallery below for more!

Calligraphy practice guide sheet

I've revamped the calligraphy guide sheet that I provide my students in class, and wanted to make it available to anyone who'd like to use it.  You can print it out on standard laser paper, which is smooth and doesn't have the tendency to feather the ink, which inkjet paper does.  Page one shows how to use the guides, and the second page has the guides only.

Happy calligraphing!  xo, Bianca

How to use the calligraphy guide sheet.

How to use the calligraphy guide sheet.

10% off of 2015 Wedding Invitations

Planning ahead certainly has its perks!  Book Little Miss Press for your 2015 wedding invitations by October 31, 2014 and receive 10% off of your order - custom design included!  No, you don't have to finalize them in October.  All I need is a signed contract and deposit to put together a timeline and keep a spot for you on my calendar.  So, not only will you get 10% off, but you can be assured that your invitations will be delivered on time, if not early!  One less thing to worry about - hooray!

Oil Painting Bliss - "Haughty Aphrodite"

I've really been reaching in all creative directions lately, suddenly being taken by a large appetite to MAKE things.  I've always had that in me, but lately it's ballooned, as if to make up for years of ignoring that appetite.  One of the big things on my list has been to fill up some wall space, specifically with oil painting... more specifically, my own oil painting.  I've had a 20x30 canvas collecting dust for a year now, originally purchased to go above my bed, planned to be covered in a dashing arrangement of paints that I still have yet to totally plan out.  A whole year!

Maybe 20x30 was too ambitious to start out with after not picking up a paintbrush in a sadly large number of years.  This 10x10 canvas seemed more approachable, so I sat down at 5pm on Tuesday and had at it.  What fun!  I was completely absorbed, and didn't even look at the clock until midnight.  I forgot how amazing that feels, and vow to do it again.  And again.  I finally tore myself away at 2am, only to wake up and jump right back to it for a couple of hours, six hours later.  "Starving artist hours," as my mother put it (rest assured, I have plenty to eat in my kitchen).  Here's what came out of it:

"Haughty Aphrodite"

"Haughty Aphrodite"

What a sense of calm it gave me to dive back into something that I love so dearly.  It was a poignant reminder that I need to spend more time doing things that I want to do, and stop putting them off because "I'm too busy."  I know you know what I mean!  So, do yourself a solid favor, and go do something you've been putting off for a while (that you WANT to do).  And if you're one of those amazing people that have figured out how to plug such a thing into your busy schedule on a regular, or semi-regular basis, hopefully you'll share some inspiration on how you do it.  

Either way, meet "Haughty Aphrodite."  She started off as a simple practice painting of the Aphrodite of Milos statue that's in the Louvre, but while I was working on the shadows of her nose, I saw a glimmer of a sneer that had formed out of the brush stroke.  So, I went for it and finished off that sneer.  Then,  I  reworked her mouth (long live oil paint!) to match the expression, and then painted in an arm so she could throw some attitude with that hands-on-hip pose.  It made me want to know, even more, what her original two arms looked like.  Any hypotheses? 

Luggage Tag Save the Date

How excited would you be to go to a wedding if you opened up a box and saw a Coach luggage tag with a smart little save-the-date tucked inside?  Especially when it was beckoning you to the beautiful wine country in Napa?  That is exactly how this travel inspired save-the-date was delivered to some very lucky guests.  And with everyone flying in to the destination wedding, the "love is in the air" message was quite fitting.  The insert was designed with a vintage travel ticket in mind, with arrival and departure dates and destination printed on a old-paper textured background.  Bonjour! Luggage tag save the date

Beaulieu Gardens wedding featured on Style Me Pretty

Kimberley and Chad's Napa Valley wedding was a true stunner, and we were over the moon to see how it turned out after working on all of the paper and calligraphy items.  With a fresh color palette used with a mixture of patterns, the invitation suite was a breath of fresh air.  The back of the invitation was printed with a contrasting wreath pattern, shown on the menus.  Photography by Lisa Lefkowitz and planning by Kristi Amoroso.  Check out the full gallery featured on Style Me Pretty, where you can also find the amazing team that was behind the event.  










Crown Mania

I never buy anything on Etsy.  I am scared to explore because I'm afraid I'll buy everything on Etsy.  Today I decided to go on to find someone to make me a custom business card case, since I decided to make things hard on myself with an abnormally sized business card (but soooo worth it- stay tuned for pictures).  Within three minutes I'd abandoned that project and found these:

They have crowns on them.  I had to buy them, for obvious reasons.  Thank you to BacktoZero on Etsy for making my day!  (Check out the store- lots of cute washi tape and miniature bunting.)