Watercolor Birthday Invitations

I had a fun little job last month, I painted some flowers for a birthday invitation and can I just say, I love that people send out invitations for birthdays. Not just kiddie invitations, I mean, those are great too. Grown up invitations, how fun.

Occasionally, people ask me about my process and how I design things. Sometimes I’ll paint individual elements and then piece it together in photoshop. Others, like this, I do all in one pass and then tweak colors and scale with photoshop. I wanted to show the original painting to see how and where it differs! Colors doesn’t always come out how I would like with paint, but I don’t let it phase me and just keep moving forward.

This suite ended up being printed on white gold metallic paper. I’ll print small jobs on my home computer, but will mount the invitation on one to two pieces of paper with spray adhesive to give it some extra rigidity. It carries a little more presence that way than a flimsy sheet of paper. I’ll post a how-to someday just so I can clearly explain what I’m talking about. The triple thick paper got paired with a matte wine envelope and gold addressing top it all off!

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If you’re interest in custom invitations or announcements email me at gloriajoyink(at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll get you set up with a quote and help your ideas come to life!

Leather Initialed Tote

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I love problem solving. There’s something so thrilling to me about finding a solution by repurposing and combining other items. Lately, I’ve found myself in need of a giant bag. Whenever I get home, it takes me three trips to the car to unload everything I couldn’t grab the first or second time. Or when I’m meeting a client and have to bring three bags with me, a purse, computer bag and a second purse to hold my paper samples and portfolio. I got lucky the other day and thought about this problem while I was in a place to do something about it. Usually I’m in the car on the way to work, in the shower or crawling into bed. You know, you always think about the need to do list when you’re in no way able to do anything about it.

So I find myself in Target the other day and everything is on sale, endorphins are at a high and I throw this bag into my cart after browsing the swimsuits and head straight to the toddler clothing without thinking twice. It was exactly what I needed, simple and unpretentious. I literally wanted a bag to dump everything inside of, a la Mary Poppins.

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Armed with the right sized bag, I wanted a little extra pizzazz. I was recently in West Elm shopping for a leather sofa (not mine, sad face) and had some leather swatches from the trek. I almost threw them away, but WHO THROWS AWAY LEATHER. Certainly not me. These samples are free, by the way. I thought about a few different things, ultimately deciding on a single letter G. Then I turned to my good friend Helvetica and printed it out exactly as large as the swatch. It helps to have a design program. I default to InDesign, always. Can I just take a moment and proclaim my obsession for fonts? I can’t go to MyFonts without buying something. I seriously want ALL the fonts.

UntitledI had two free samples from West Elm and flipped over the one I ended up using. In retrospect, I might’ve used the smoother one for this if I were to do it again, I think I like the contrast between the fabric and leather better. Who really cares anyway. Moving on.
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Once the paper letter was cut out, I laid it on the leather to create my outline. I used a sharpie that wasn’t too far off from the leather so if my cut wasn’t precise there wouldn’t be black marks on the leather I would have to keep trimming down. I also used a ruler and exacto knife for the straight edges. Worked better for me that way.
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I got it all cut then cleaned the edges to get ready to apply it.

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I used my favorite adhesive, Super 77 and put a thick coat on the back of the letter. The only thing I don’t like about that spray adhesive is how it gets all over my fingers. This coming from the girl who accidentally superglued her knees together and spent ten minutes freaking out about getting it undone. I mean, I always wanted to be a mermaid, who didn’t, just not like that.

My tips for spray adhesive are nothing new, have an adequate surface underneath, overspray happens and it’s hard to get that tacky out, make sure it’s in a well ventilated area, and do a test spray. The glue tends to build up on the nozzle from previous use and what I think will spray straight on isn’t always the case; so says the side of my face. How boring glue is, sorry.

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Here it is all done! The glue keeps it on pretty tight and haven’t had any problems with it yet.

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So there it is, the bag that says, “Why yes, I made it out of the car with all the diapers, socks, shoes, hot wheels, coffee cups, phone, loose papers and fast food bags all in one trip.” Now if only this bag would vacuum my car. That would be heaven.

Thrifting Finds

I love antiquing, scouring craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. There are just so many items out there that deserve a new home and many great deals to find. I browse Craigslist on a regular basis and while, there plenty of people trying to make a buck and overpricing their makeover finds and plenty of fake leather, there occasionally a few gems crammed in between.
Untitled UntitledThis is my gem. I saw this chandelier listed for $60 and emailed about it right away. I loved the petals on it. It’s something I haven’t seen a thousand times over so I was totally drawn to it. Plus, sixty bucks, I couldn’t say no. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it at first, but I decided I’ll hang it in my living room. Bye, bye, ceiling fan.

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UntitledI found these glasses with gold rims and filigree from a thrift store and couldn’t pass on them. I’ve had a thing for glasses lately and have been wanting to collect any and everything. Space is a bit limited at my house, so I’m “curating” the collection and putting some in storage, makes me so sad.
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UntitledAt another antique store, I passed by this flatware set and remarked how it was pretty great, upon closer inspection, realized what a great deal it was too. A full set of 12 brass and teak flatware, not missing a single thing. Some of which is still unopened. It also included 9 serveware pieces all for $60 and even got the world’s cutest brass golf club for Beckett. He’s already put the flatware to use, and I can’t wait to myself! I want to use this everyday, just not sure if that’s a great idea. But oh boy, am I in love with this flatware.
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Chandelier Makeover

It all started with Craigslist. I browse the local antiques and furniture section on a regular basis and saw a chandelier I HAD.TO.HAVE. It was interesting, pretty and cheap. The trifecta. So I bought it. And got it home. It is brass and came with 6 black shades in decent condition, but I preferred the new-to-me fixture without the shades. (Photos to come, I promise.) This new fixture is a little large and the only reasonable place to put it is in the living room. Attic, not an option. Cause I love this chandy.

UntitledAnyway, it’s sitting in my living room waiting to be polished and hung, but was feeling a little frustrated that it didn’t really go with my dining chandelier and they’re literally right next to each other. I didn’t need it to match, just not feel so disjointed. So I decided to see about changing the style of the dining room light. Above is before the edits.
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First up was the black shades, which I liked! Surprise, it’s free. That’s awesome. I still felt it needed a bit more so I gave a lame first attempt at gold leafing. Not a total fail, it was just going to take way more time than I was willing to invest to brush glue on by hand so I went the drive thru route instead of the sit down restaurant and this time, for me, it was better that way.

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It helped to remember that the extension came off completely, so I didn’t have to deal with anything while hanging.

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I brought in the best spray adhesive known to man, Super 77. This stuff is seriously the best spray adhesive. Every so often I need to pick up an emergency can of spray adhesive and can’t always find this stuff in the store so I’m forced to pick up whatever other brand is there and I will say, nothing compares. Once you’ve used this, it’s hard to use anything else. I try to always have some in inventory and I really think any crafter should have this.

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I layed it all out and sprayed it with the adhesive getting it coated all the way around.

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Then I straight up dropped it in my bag of gold leaf. I’ve had this bag lying around for way too long and haven’t used it. I didn’t know if this method would work and at that point I figured I might as well try.

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Well it did work. I scraped as much excess of when pulling it out of the bag, brushed the rest of the flakes off with my hands, screwed them back in to place and stepped back to bask in the satisfaction of accomplishing the mission.

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Lights on, lights off. Can’t wait to get the other light up!

The Snow Day Effect

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Snow fell on and off in Tulsa the past couple weeks combined with freezing rain, sleet and ice leaving Beckett and I stuck inside for a few days. THIS IS GOOD FOR NO ONE. I’m only partially kidding, we made the most of it. Did some art, sledding and a little biting off more than I can chew. Sort of.  I started a project that I have absolutely no expertise on. The tile got torn up on my entry way. So I’ve been stuck scraping up thin set like it’s my job. In fact, the whole entry is getting a makeover, all TWENTY square feet of it.

It started several months ago with the paint getting stripped off the door, I never really did finish that project. So keep that on the to do list. The tiny “Entry” is one of two spaces in my house without texture on the walls which means, wallpaper. Add that to the to do list. Can’t forget the torn up tile, put it on the list! Statement ceiling and new light fixture? List, list. While none of those projects individually is unmanageable, it is a touch difficult to keep things on track with a two year old on the loose. Beckett has definitely hit that phase where you have to keep an eye on him at all times. He sees mommy using the big tools and he wants to too.

My mind has been abuzz with decorating lately. It’s my favorite, my safe spot. It’s where I feel completely free to explore my creativity without having to please anyone. Lately, I’ve had the itch to take on a project and that’s just what I did. I’m sure most DIYers at heart know, that itch combined with free time usually equals a can of worms. I thrive on it. Problem solving and making things pretty. That’s my jam. Hope it all comes together quickly.

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Save the Date Postcards

Early last year when my sister got married, I was cranking out projects left and right. I’m finally now getting my act together and documenting a lot of those things. It’s so great for me to be able to see my body of work and realize that oh yeah, I totally was creative last year.

So here is my sister’s Save the Dates. I even took their photos for their engagement, you can see more of that here. We kept things really simple, but true to the style she wanted the direction of her wedding to go in.
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If you’re interested in custom invitations or announcements email me at gloriajoyink(at)gmail(dot)com.I’ll get you set up with a quote and help your ideas come to life!

Watercolor Bridesmaid Luncheon Invitations

Here’s some invitations I painted for a Bridal Luncheon last year. The goal was something soft, girly and sweet. Mission accomplished. The invitations were printed on a simple, crystal metallic paper and paired with pink, glitter envelope liners and mint metallic envelopes. This was a small job with a quick turnaround, so mostly created this set of out papers and envelopes I had at home! It’s surprisingly one of my favorites.

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If you’re interested in custom invitations or announcements email me at gloriajoyink(at)gmail(dot)com.I’ll get you set up with a quote and help your ideas come to life!