Thank you for all of the love and support this little corner of the internet has received over the past several years. As friends and family members were getting married, their weddings fueled the inspiration for this blog. But as seasons of life change, my focus, along with those nearest and dearest, shifted away from the wedding planning stage and I began to neglect this blog.

I have decided to indefinitely retire Calligraphy by Shannon in an effort to pour my attention into my lifestyle blog The Scribble Pad where I will be merging past and future inspiration boards and parties. You will still be able to place orders for calligraphy, custom invitations, and hand stamped items through my etsy shop. And as always, you can stay in touch with me under my moniker, The Scribble Pad on my blog, etsy shop, facebook, and even twitter! I look forward to sharing this new adventure with you.

Matching Calligraphy and Invitations

One of the projects I have been working on is developing additional calligraphy styles or fonts. Because I am self trained and lack the "formal" foundation of the strokes, I lean heavily on my own handwriting. I could do most of my calligraphy in my sleep, but it looks like my handwriting. Not necessarily what a bride and groom have in mind when it comes to their vision of wedding calligraphy. This year I have had two great opportunities to create a new style of my calligraphy to compliment the wedding invitation.

Here are a few examples from a Newport wedding this summer. The wedding was certainly nautical with lots of flair, but very little flourish - swirly formal calligraphy was not the correct match for this modern dock-side wedding.

The bride and groom sealed their envelopes with a compass on the back flap of their envelopes. The perfect touch! They were able to find a coordinating stamp and included this on all of their wedding materials from the program to the welcome messages for out-of-town guests.

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Country Fair Bridal Shower

Old fashioned country fairs hold a warm place of nostalgia in our hearts. They bring back memories of childhood for countless generations. Fairs are full of warm home-made pies, field games, checkered table clothes, and waving flags.

Well, this is exactly the emotion that the Maid of Honor had in mind for her baby sister's bridal shower!
The bridesmaids and ladies from church each brought a homemade pies from peach to cherry. We spend the day before creating a custom banner of waving flags. Tables were set up in typical old fashioned fair style. Field games included a bouquet toss into the baskets pictured above. It was a fantastic setting, a beautiful day, and certainly brought back floods of memories for everyone in attendance.

Guests were thanked with the family's whoopie pie specialty, a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Each treat was individually wrapped in custom labeled baggies.

And the guest finished off the table with piles of gifts which are wrapped in perfection - the bride's favorite colors, pink and green! It was the perfect bridal shower set in rural PA!
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How to Make a Floral Monogram

Without the flowers? Yes! Tissue paper or crepe paper can work magic affordable solutions to costly buds. All you need is the desired styrofoam shape, beautiful tissue or crepe paper, craft glue and a few golf tees! The look is fantastic, and more important, integrating a monogram into your wedding is a simple and cost-effective way to personalize your wedding!

  1. Prep your styrofoam. Trim it to your desired shape and size. We chose circles since it was easy! Outline your desired letter.
  2. Cut your paper into 2 inch squares. This is where crepe paper is fantastic - it is quick and easy to cut!
  3. Pour your glue. Paper plate or bowls make accessing the glue a breeze!
Now you are ready to get started!
  1. Use a golf tee to punch a hole in the styrofoam
  2. Remove and wrap the tee with paper
  3. Dip the wrapped tee in glue (so the glue only gets on the paper)
  4. Insert into previously punched hole
  5. Remove tee (paper stays in place)
  6. Repeat - 1,000s of times!
Here is an example of Christine and Brendan's monogram half-way through:

  • Be sure to punch holes close together to create a full look - you don't want to see any styrofoam.
  • Don't forget the edge! Either wrap with ribbon to keep on punching holes.
  • Work the boarder of the letter to ensure straight lines and a clean look.
  • Have fun!
To see the finished product and our inspirations, see our previous post: DIY Floral Monograms

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DIY Floral Monograms

Floral Monograms add a decidedly personal touch to any affair, particularly weddings. As a couple created a monogram together, what better to put on display? There are some beautiful inspirations from everyone from Martha Stewart to our friends at Wedding Bee and Style Me Pretty. We even found a new wedding blog, Manolo Bride, while looking for examples of monograms. Here is what we found:

Top: Style Me Pretty, Manolo Bride, Martha Stewart, Wedding Bee
Bottom: Martha Stewart, Manolo Bride, Martha Stewart, Wedding Bee

These beautiful monograms can often come at a hefty price, but are a project that can be done yourself. Looking for DIY inspiration led us to none other than Lindsay Smith of Smith Photo Studios! Here is the wedding monogram she created for her own wedding:

In addition to being a fabulous photographer, Lindsay is pretty crafty. Well, after Lindsay's approval and guidance one of my brides, Christine and I decided to get crafty as well! Here is what we came up with:

It is a pretty crafty DIY Monogram if I do say so myself!

Next post: How to create this monogram!

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Whit and JD are Moving to Hawaii

...well actually they are just getting married, but this is how they announced their engagment!

I received notice from Whitney that they were moving to Hawaii and that she needed my address. It certainly got my attention. Who wouldn't want a friend who lives in Hawaii? Well, after getting everyone's attention, Whit and JD gleefully shared that Hawaii was just a hoax, but their engagment is the real deal!

I am so excited! They are going to make a terrific marriage.
You can follow their story on their wedding blog: http://whitandjd.blogspot.com/

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Birthday Party Calligraphy

...and no gifts please!

I often have the joy of designing and creating invitations and cards for family events. This past spring, my grandfather threw a birthday brunch for my grandmother. Recognizing that her Alzheimers was not getting any better, he wanted to cherish the moments they would both remember. Well, when my grandfather wants to rally the family, he calls my mom and puts her in charge. And when my mom is in charge, she calls on me for the creative touches to pull a party together! So I started planning...

We canvased my grandmothers 3 daughters (my mom included) to build an address list of old co-workers and friends to share in the celebration. And we only had four weeks!

And I furiously worked on an invitation and lost sleep over how to convey to a lifetime of friends that no gifts were needed to celebrate another wonderful year! I tend to throw my heart into all activities involving my grandmother and this invitation was no different. The wording was very important to me, and here is what I came up with:

May your presence and good wishes be your only gifts

I decided to skip the easy route (much to my husband's dismay) and hand stamped each and every invitation...twice! Here are the supplies I used, all from Paper Source:

And the final product:

(I blurred the details for privacy)

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New Photographer: Smith Photo Studios

After invitations and stationary, the second most important part of any event is the photography. I have developed a growing list of photographers I have worked with and grown to respect. All of their info is on the right side of my blog.

I recently added a new photographer, actually two; a husband and wife team from Pennsylvania, Michael and Lindsay of Smith Photo Studios.

These two young photographers are growing their business like crazy right now! They have only been doing wedding photography for a few years, but have already turned around some fabulous work. They are a terrific couple and would be certain to capture the memories of your special day. Oh, and one more plug, Linday and I grew up together, so I am particularly excited to be featuring her on my blog!

Even if you are not in the Pennsylvania area, check them out as they have frequently traveled the eastern seaboard for weddings!

Here are some of my favorite photos they have taken:

I love the rough contrast of the brick and cobble stone to the warm embrace of this couple!

A spiral staircase + a bride! What could be more fun?

This uber creative shot is fantastic...but I am not sure if my arms bend that way!

This was featured as a "sneak peek" for a wedding, and could not have enticed me more!

I love how these fancy groomsmen look infront of the tudor!

Don't you love these photos?!? Check Michael and Lindsay out at Smith Photo Studios.

They also publish a great blog: http://smithphotostudios.com/wordpress/

And you can be a fan on Facebook!

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Summer and 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

This is how I will be spending my evening...watching the fireworks display beautifully behind the Washington Monument. It is one of the most patriotic scenes you can imagine. I hope you all have wonderful and safe 4th of July celebrations this evening.

I don't know about you, but my summer is flying by. I cannot believe it is already the 4th of July! I have three weddings to attend this month, two of which I did calligraphy for, one of which I helped plan. I am helping with three additional weddings between now and the new year...and that doesn't begin to explain the calligraphy jobs I have in the queue! Plus, I have my fingers crossed that a good friend will be firming up the details for a three day wedding bash in Maine next 4th of July weekend! :-) Needless to say, I have weddings on the brain!

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by my calendar, I decided to take some time and outline posts for the month as clearly my month is full! I was shocked to find that I did not post once in June, NOT ONCE! How have all you faithful readers let me get away with this? How did I not realize that time was slipping by? Well, now that June is behind us, I promise some excellent details for July, from new photographers I am parterning with to lots of real couple stories, I even have a few DIY projects up my sleeve! Be sure to check out all the good I have to share! It is going to be a fabulous July!

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Baby Shower Favors

As promised, here are adorable baby shower favors that are as easy as pie, edible baby pacifiers!

First, the supplies:

Ring shaped mints (I used life savors)
Jelly beans or other similarly shaped candies (I used Mike'n Ikes)
White frosting
Candy Bags (available at arts and craft stores)
Wax Paper (for easy clean up!)

Use the frosting to bind the colored candies to the first ring. Complete the top of all "mini pacies" and let sit for at least an hour then use frosting to attach the bottom rings like so:

Again, let sit for at least an hour. Then insert in candy bags and finish with a bow!

Here is the final display, along with a note to guests in sweet calligraphy:

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On Holiday...

My hubby and I have gone on vacation...

Be back soon!

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Wedding Stamps

I am impressed with the postal service. They took the wedding season into consideration and released the new wedding stamps almost immediately after the rate increase! Here are the new stamps!

Check out more at: www.USPS.com

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Baby Shower Invitations

Nursery Rhyme Theme

So this is not really wedding oriented...but you know what they say:

First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes a baby in a baby carriage!

I recently was asked to help plan a baby shower, fron the invite design to the calligraphy and finally the favors. Here is what I came up with:

(Please excuse the grey boxes, they were requested to protect privacy.)

The couple did not know if they were having a girl or a boy, and the party was being thrown by the soon to be paternal grandparents. We wanted to stick to neutral colors, so we picked turquoise and yellow. The invites turned out better than I could have imagined, and I was able to match the calligraphy ink color almost perfectly.

(The paper we used was iridescent, so it was hard to capture the image!)

Added bonus: Party Favors! (Coming soon...)

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Jen and AJ: Chapter 2

Have you been following Jen and AJ's story? Here are the previous to posts: Intro and Chapter 1.

Chapter 2:
AJ has given me flowers nearly every week since we’ve been dating. Yes, it has shocked me too. People have asked me whether receiving flowers each week has made them less special… I have grown to expect them on Tuesdays when he will typically pop by my office with a bouquet (my co-workers now watch for him) but it has never made them less of a gift. In fact, it has proven that he consistently cares about me and the little things I love. He is looking for ways to make me feel special even though he doesn’t need to “pursue me” in the technical sense of the word anymore… and I value that far more than the actual flowers.

As I’m working with floral designer Erica Thebarge it has been fabulous to have so many gorgeous options at my fingertips. She was wonderful at our first meeting and let my mom, sister and I look through all of her floral books; she knew every flower and how they would look in arrangements. I’m looking at my choices with the question: “what would have the most meaning?” Does the flower I choose make any difference in how happy and healthy our marriage will be? Of course not, but it is fun to honor a tradition that AJ started about 45 weeks ago!

Right now I’m leaning toward an arrangement of ivory flowers with an adorable tag hanging from the vase that reads: “Hydrangeas: The First Flower AJ Brought Jen” or “Roses: Given for the First Time at the Proposal”.

The flowers in the photograph were done by Erica Thebarge for Danielle and Warren's wedding.

Photograph taken by Faith Hall Photography.

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More Nautical Invitations

Searching for Nautical themed invitations has recently taken over my spare time. I have forgotten how much fun it can be to search through millions of wedding invitation options. (...and what a daunting task it can be!) I have been focusing on "Not Just Navy." After coming across quite a few colorful, but yet still elegant nautical invitations, I thought I would expand my search. Here is what I came up with:
I love the deep orange coral of the top left invitation. The yellow boarder and evelope liner work so well with the turquise shell of the invitation on the right. And the Save the Date on the bottom left has a sublte touch of glam with gold embossed seashore items.

Teal, turquise, aqua and more. I love the light and airy feel. Any of these invitations would be perfect for a summer beach wedding, yet they all remain refined enough for a semi-formal affair. The bottom left, with the partial shell is my absolute favorite!

(all invitations above can be found at: Papyrus)

Finally, for a nautical invitation suite with an updated look and feel, check out Joycebella Invites:

I love this invitation suite so much, I am racking my brain for an occasion to use it! Perhaps I can have a second wedding planned around this incredible invitation? I am not so sure my husband would go for that one. :-)

Thanks to Michael of Smith Photo Studios for the great tip!
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Earth Day: Green Weddings

Today is Earth Day. Take this reminder to view how you are planning your wedding, and how you can care for our planet in the process. Here are some tips to keeping your wedding green:

1. Earth Friendly Invitations: Earthly Affair has the most beautiful invitations that are gentle on our planet! Other places to check out:
(I have mentioned this company before and have heard rave reviews!)

2. Organic and Local Food and Wine: Many restaurants and caterers now offer local options. Be sure to ask when you are inquiring about services. As for wine, check out: The Organic Wine Company and Organic Wine Journal to learn more!

3. Green Gifts: From wedding registry to favors, you can go green. Check out Beau Coup for great green favors and Sweet Earth Chocolate for edible treats. For your registry, consider items like organic bedding and bath towels, bamboo for your kitchen, and Energy Star for any major appliances your nuptuals may require!

4. Sustainable Dress Options: Visit my Save Money post about wedding dress options. And, check out this post from Style Me Pretty!

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Wedding Inspitation

I love inspirational quotes, powerful verses, and beautiful prose. Over the years I have been gathering these words for their possible use some day. Well, I have decided to share them will all of you. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I have. Perhaps you will even find a good use for them!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

― Thornton Wilder

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Real Couples: Sara and Caleb

Do you remeber all the way back to October when I shared the calligraphy I did for my friend Sara's wedding? I even gave you a Sneak Peek of her photos in January! Well, about that sneak peek...I am just now, in April finally giving you a few of their wedding photos! Here are the pictures Sara sent me of their beach front photo shoot:

Their wedding was an absolute blast! It encorporated Sara and Caleb perfectly, from their laid back style, to their love of the outdoors and travel. Their cake topper was a pair of hikers! They had dancing, a candy buffet and a make your own sundae station for dessert. They invited guests to sign their skim board, and collected cards in a lobster trap. I was so greatful to be able to join them for their special day!

To see more of their wedding photos visit: Kristen Dawn Photography

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