Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Glitter Sprinkled Cupcake Birthday Card

This past week, it was my friend Katherine's 29th Birthday. I recently have been in a little cupcake phase, especially from Sugar Sweet Sunshine in NYC, so I thought that for Kat's birthday card, I would design a cute cupcake. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm going to be starting to show some of the initial sketches for some of the cards and invitations that I make.

I started out by drawing out a simple cupake with two layers of frosting on top. I thought of putting numbered candles on the top of the cupcake, but in the end, I decided to go with a simple lit candle. As you can see, my writing is pretty illegible when I think I'm the only one who's going to be needing to read it. I might make things a bit neater now that I know I'll be taking more photos of these sketches in the future.

Once I began creating the cupcake in Illustrator, I decided to add in a bit of purple into the cupcake along with the original pink and brown. I hand glittered the first layer of frosting so it looked like it was sprinkled with sanding sugar. I also hand-glittered a purple flower on the side of the cupcake and on the back of the card, along with the candle and flame. The card was personalized with "Kat" on the cupcake liner and was printed on pearlescent white metallic cardstock. The metallic brown envelope matched the chocolate cupcake, and I hand-lettered "Katherine" in white ink.

Doesn't this card make you want to unwrap the cupcake and eat it? I loved using multiple colors for the hand-glittered elements, and will probably try to do that more often in my upcoming designs. If you would like me to design a card for your friend's upcoming birthday, email me at


Monday, September 28, 2009

Adorable Baby Thank You Cards

Recently, I was asked to design thank you cards for guests who attended a one year old's birthday party. I love baby related cards because they are always so cute! Many times, they include lots of pastel colors, and fun fonts.

I started off as I usually do for any custom requests by sketching out a few designs on paper. Either a ball point pen or a fine sharpie marker on the back of junk mail, the back of a napkin, or sometimes on a fresh sheet of regular letter sized printing paper. I thought it might be kind of cool to show how these sketches relate to the final product, so in this post and in some future posts, I'll be taking photos of the actual sketch I used before I transform it into a card or invitation in Adobe Illustrator.

As you can see, it's quite a rough sketch, but enough for me to get a good idea if it would work well for a card or not. I put together about six different sketches, and fully designed two of my favorites in Illustrator to send off for some feedback. The only client requirements were that I include "Thank You" and that there be some blue in the card, so it was pretty fun to be able to have the freedom to try anything.

The final card was based on the sketch that you see above. It's a blue flower with the birthday boy's name "Dylan" in the petals in colorful letters. The flower covers the corner of a rounded frame with little blue dots that match the inside of the flower. The flower was hand-glittered for some sparkle and texture, as well as the flower on the back of the card. The card was made of a pearlescent white metallic cardstock, and the envelopes were light blue.

I packaged the set of 20 cards by tying them in ribbon, wrapping them in tissue paper, and placing them in a silver box. Let me know if you like seeing the design sketches, and I'll make it a point to add more later on. If you would like to get some custom cards made, contact me at!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Modern Stainless Steel Ring Box

A couple of weeks before my brother-in-law's wedding last Saturday, Paul and Che Lai were reviewing their day-of timeline with me, and describing their many wedding details. The son of a couple in the wedding party was the ring bearer, and so I asked what he was going to carry the rings on. They said that they didn't have time to really think about it, and would probably just have the ring bearer carry the jeweler's ring box down the aisle.

I knew that they only had a couple of weeks left until the wedding, and still had many last minute things to accomplish, so I offered to make "something" for them that the ring bearer can use to carry their rings. They took me up on my offer, and I said that if they didn't like it, they could just use the jeweler's ring box.

Now, it's not like I make things like these every week. But, it was an opportunity for me to be creative and try to come up with something hopefully great, which I always love to do. Their wedding theme was modern, with colors of gray and mustard yellow. I first thought about filling a 5"x 7" silver shallow box (which I already owned) with dark gray river stones, and then tying the rings on yellow ribbon coming out from the center, with possibly a fresh yellow cymbidium orchid on the side. After thinking about it more though, a 5"x 7" box is actually quite large, and that much of an area of stones for a 6 year old to carry might be heavy and a would-be-disaster if it was accidentally flipped upside down.

So, it was time to look for something smaller. I was NYC's floral district, and found the perfect box for $8 at Jamali Garden (149 West 28th Street). It was a 3"x 3" stainless steel box, which really fit their modern theme well. Along with some yellow grosgrain ribbon from M&J Trimming (1008 Sixth Avenue) and a bunch of little marble stones, I had everything I needed.

When starting to construct, I began by attaching the ribbon to the bottom of the box with some tape. Then, I crumpled a bunch of magazine pages and started to fill in the box slowly, taping down the pieces as I moved up in the box. The reason for the filler is so the heavier stones are only along the top of the box. If the entire box was filled with stones, it would be heavy for the ring bearer, and it also would be hard to glue everything down if there were only all loose stones. After the majority of the box was filled with paper, I used some foam material to cover the paper. Paul used this material to line the drawers in their kitchen, and had some extra lying around their condo. Then, I filled the top of the box with marble stones. After I figured out how many stones I needed to cover the area, I dumped them all out, and then started to individually glue each stone down with wood glue.

Paul had some extra tags leftover from their out of town guest bags, so as a finishing touch, I placed one tag on the front of the box. Just to make sure that rings could be tied on properly, I borrowed the bride's engagement ring to test out the ribbon. It worked out great, and after seeing the final product, Paul and Che Lai were really happy with it! Here are some photos of my ring box project.

Doesn't it look like the perfect ring box for a modern, gray and yellow themed wedding? They actually liked the stainless steel look so much, that they went back to Jamali Garden and got the matching 8"x 8" stainless steel box to hold their wedding cards at the reception. If you would like some help creating pieces for your own wedding, contact me at


Monday, September 21, 2009

A Mario's Castle Wedding Card

This past weekend, my brother-in-law, Paul, got married to Che Lai at a gorgeous country club in Connecticut. When it came to creating a wedding card, I knew that it had to be something special. Paul loves to play video games in his free time. Not only will he play them, but he is also a collector of limited edition guides, games, controllers, and anything else that you can get in a limited edition. That means that he would actually buy the limited edition, and then NOT open it, and tuck it away in a bin to keep it in pristine condition. I think that truly demonstrates how serious he is about video games!

So, for the wedding card, I decided to pay tribute to the most classic video game there is: Super Mario Brothers. The idea behind it is that Paul is about to finish the game, and he jumped onto the flag pole and rode the flag down to the bottom of the pole, then met his princess, Che Lai, in the castle. I designed all of the elements of the card, with cute touches like the flag on top of the castle with the groom's last name initial. Personalized the card with their names under a hand-drawn bride and groom. I also hand-glittered the heart, the cloud, and the flag for some added texture and shimmer. Instead of having text like "Congratulations to the newlyweds," I wanted it to relate more to the video game theme, so I included "they lived happily ever after" along with their wedding date.

I was really happy with the way this card turned out, and they loved the card! If you have an idea for a custom card for your friend's wedding, birthday, or special event, let me know by emailing me at!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

500 colored pencils - to admire or use?

Back when I was little girl in elementary school, my oldest sister, Julie, gave me a little pack of mini colored pencils in a Hello Kitty pouch. I remember how cute and tiny they were, and how much I loved them. I brought them with me to school to put in my desk. I would take out the colored pencils to admire them and then put them back in their respective places in the pouch (rainbow order, of course). But, they were so pretty that I never used them, because I wanted to keep the tips perfectly sharpened and keep all of the pencils perfectly even. Basically, I enjoyed them more as a piece of art vs. actually drawing with them.

Now, 20 years later, I received an email from my friend, Erica, saying that her friend sent her a link to 500 pencils, and she thought of me. Thanks, Erica! Instead of a magazine subscription or flower of the month subscription, this is an amazing colored pencil subscription. Social Designer sends you a beautiful set of 25 pencils, for 20 months. In the end, you have a massive collection of 500 pencils. You can also subscribe to unique display cases so your collection can hang on the wall, flare out like flower stems, or curve against each other in flowing shapes.

photos from Social Designer

Aren't they just gorgeous? Now, the issue is that I think that with these beauties, I would be back to my habits of childhood where I would just roll them under my fingers and then put them back on display. I technically already do have a set of around 50 colored pencils that I use today, so really... these 500 pencils would probably just be for looks. Because of that, I most likely won't be subscribing, but maybe this post has inspired someone to take the plunge to get the 500 pencil collection? Let me know so I can have colored pencil envy =)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

M&J Trimming in NYC

When visiting New York City over the past weekend, I was looking for some ribbon supplies and went to the M&J Trimming store for the first time. I walked in and automatically, my jaw dropped, eyes widened, and the camera had to come out for a photo. Holy cow, this store is gorgeous. They have an amazing selection of lace, ribbon, beads, crystals, buttons, and appliques. I wanted to touch everything in that store to just be able to take in all of the materials and textures. Well, I actually did touch a lot of things, but certainly not even 1% of everything in the store.

I was able to find the exact shade of ribbon that I needed, and will definitely be back to visit for my next project. M&J Trimming is located at 1008 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10018. Even if you don't have something particular that you need, I would definitely suggest just checking it out. The store will inspire you to get creative!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Kristin and Anand's Garden Wedding

Last Sunday, Fiona and I were the day-of coordinators for Kristin and Anand's wedding. The wedding with 230 guests, was held at the bride's family home in Norwell, with the ceremony situated among the lovely gardens. Chiavari chairs were lined up on three sides of the garden, with the center being a stage for one of the most interesting and beautiful ceremonies that I have ever seen. There were two officiants: one a Unitarian reverend, and the other a Hindu priest. The interfaith ceremony consisted of classical music from a flute and harp, and then an array of Indian music, with elements like the "Tying of the Thaali" and "Pradakshanam around the Sacred Fire" mixed in with "Exchange of Rings" and "Declaration of Marriage". It's not every day where you get to see the bride and groom walk around a fire in the middle of a ceremony!

Here are the only photo teasers that I got from the wedding photographer, Eric Limón. I am so excited to see the rest! The first is a photo of a framed drawing that Kristin had done when she was a young girl. The other two are of the picturesque wedding ceremony.

The bride wore a stunning Melissa Sweet strapless dress, and carried a simple bouquet of white mini calla lilies. The bridesmaids wore chocolate dresses, with bouquets of long-stemmed white calla lilies.

The color theme of the wedding was a mix of white, green, and chocolate. White organza linens draped the guest tables, which were topped with large topiaries and dozens of votive candles. A really nice personal touch on the wedding were rocks that were added on the soil of the topiaries. The rocks were picked from Duxbury Beach, where the couple got engaged, and had words written on them like love and strength. A birdcage lined with moss served as their card box, and a basket full of wrapped jordan almonds were the guest favors. Guests enjoyed swordfish piccata, garlic roasted spinach ravioli, and pan seared filet mignon with fig demi-glaze for their dinner. They were also treated to a cute car cake from Dessert Works along with a fabulous three flavor gelato station.

One thing about this wedding was that everyone there was ready to party, and it showed! Guests were on the dance floor even before bridal party introductions began. When dinner started and plated salads were being served, guests packed the dance floor and didn't even need to eat first before partying the night away. Everyone was having so much fun, that the newlyweds asked their 10-piece band, Soul City, to play for an extra 45 minutes until midnight because they didn't want their night to end. Here are some photos that I captured on the night of the wedding, with the first being a tree that guests walked under before reaching the reception tent.

Kristin and Andy, it was a pleasure working with you both, and such a honor to be part of your wedding. We wish you all the best in your future together!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

My gorgeous flower arrangement

A couple of days ago, I received a phone call from my friend, Lainey, saying that she had something to drop off. Little did I know, that I would be receiving a gorgeous flower arrangement from her! It was a thank you gift for referring numerous clients and friends to her for wedding makeup services. It was such an unexpected and nice gesture, and I'm so happy that I get to enjoy these flowers in my home.

Fiona and I often refer different vendors, and it's all based on their work, and our past experience of working with them. We don't collect a commission from any vendor, and we don't believe in it, because then it's just about getting the money, and not about the quality of the vendor. Basically, if we like working with someone, or think that they provide a fabulous product or service, we'll recommend them. In return, vendors that think highly of us and our services, will recommend Pink Orchid Weddings to their own clients. We don't offer any type of kickback to people who refer us. It's easy, simple, and the right way to do things, in my opinion.

Now, that doesn't mean that I have to refuse any gorgeous flower arrangements that might come my way, does it? I hope not!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Massachusetts Horticultural Society Wedding

This past Saturday, Fiona and I were the day-of coordinators for Sok-Cheng and Tony's wedding at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley. Mass Hort is a beautiful 36-acre horticultural center with various gardens with flowers, plants, sculptures, and fountains. The ceremony backdrop was a gorgeous fountain, with a pink aisle runner lined with white candles and pink rose petals. It was a beautiful sunny day, and wedding guests were given parasols and sandalwood fans before the ceremony.

The wedding color theme was a mix of chocolate and pink. Bridesmaids wore floor length Bari Jay gowns, with pink cymbidium orchids in their hair. The bridesmaids bouquets were a mixture of pink roses and cymbidium orchids. The bride's bouquet also had a mixture of pink roses and cymbidium orchids, and it was beautifully wrapped in pink ribbon french knots with crystal embellishments all the way down the stems.

The reception for 235 guests was held in a tent just next to the ceremony area, decorated with paper lanterns, and tissue pomanders. The centerpieces included high and low arrangements of roses, curly willow, gladiolus, hanging crystals, and hydrangeas. The chocolate organza linens were topped with the cutest guest favors called Unique Cakes. The bride and groom had 10 different kinds of Unique Cakes, which are actually hand towels that look like they are types of cheesecake, ice cream, and other dessert. There was enough variety so every guest at each table had a different favor. A mix of Lindt stracciatella "cookies & cream" chocolate truffles and milk chocolate truffles were available to guests throughout the night.

Not only was this a beautiful venue, but guests were able to enjoy a traditional lion dance performance at the start of the reception, and a delicious ten course Chinese banquet catered by China Pearl. Dishes included bride and groom favorites: "Sok's Peking Duck" and "Tony's deep fried crab claw".

A special thanks to our assistant, Lian, for helping us set up all afternoon. The professional photos will be coming later, but for now, here is a small sneak peek of some of the wedding details!

Sok-Cheng and Tony, we wish you a lifetime full of happiness, and thank you for allowing us to be part of your incredible day!