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.

Pink and Green Polk-A-Dots

When a client contacted me about a pink and green polk-a-dot themed first birthday party for her daughter Keeli, I was thrilled to help create a vision for the day.  Keeli's parents were looking for a mix of high end and diy to make their party special, personable, and most significantly memorable.  Keeping the party age appropriate added to the whimsy of the event.  With pom-poms and lolipops and cupcakes with sprinkles, this birthday bash is sure to please.

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Idea Board 4: Purple, Violet, Lilac

Can you guest who inspired this board?

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DIY Flowers by Carly

Ladies and Gentlemen, she has done it again.  Carly is back with another incredible way to save money without sacrificing fabulousness! 


As I mentioned in a previous post, we are going to DIY the flowers for my wedding. Bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, you name it. Why? Because flowers are expensive and not very high on my priority list. So when I was back home in PA for my best friend’s wedding a few weeks ago I extended my trip a few extra days to do some things for our wedding with my mom. The most important (and daunting) thing on our to-do list was a flower trial run. We knew we wanted hydrangeas to be the main flower in all our arrangements. Not only are they big (big flowers= fewer flowers needed=less money) but you can get a great price buying them in bulk from a place like Sam’s Club. We also want to use roses (preferably big, peony-like garden roses), ranunculus, lavender or other purple buds, and probably some green hypericum berries and dusty miller for fillers. These are my main inspiration pictures:

both via

For the trial my mom bought hydrangeas from a florist and two different types of roses, plus purple wax flowers, dusty millers, and some eucalyptus from the grocery store. I watched a few YouTube videos on flower arranging, and took some advice from those who did their own flowers. Other supplies needed: nice sharp gardening sheers, vases, floral tape, ribbon to wrap the bouquet, and a glue gun or pins to keep the ribbon in place. Oh yeah, and the sticks.

Manzanita branches and other curly sticks are really “in” right now in the world of weddings. Case in point:
left / both on right

I love the look of that bottom right picture, and it’s actually serving as the inspiration for my centerpieces. But branches are expensive! Like, ridiculously expensive. Sorry, but I am not paying $15 for one bunch of branches. And those aren’t even the Manzanita branches, which retail for at least $10 per branch. So my ever resourceful mom had been eying a tree with very pretty, curly, perfect-for-centerpieces, branches on her daily walks with the dog. Problem was, these branches were not in our own yard, they were in the yard of a neighbor she didn’t know. So she did what every great mother of the bride would do- she walked up to their house, knocked on their door, and asked the woman if she could cut the branches off her tree. And the woman said yes. So my mom went back the next day in her SUV, armed with a saw, and cut those babies down. Unfortunately I deleted the picture she sent me of a trunk full of curly branches. But you can imagine my surprise getting that text!  {hooray, we finally get to hear THE story that Carly eluded to so many months ago!}

Awesome. So those were part of our supplies too. A tip for anyone else going this route: cut the branches in the winter before they start to bloom again in spring, and then store them in a dark, dry place. We had most of them in the garage, and also some under our back deck. The ones in the garage stayed dried, but the ones under the deck start to bud. We are planning on spray painting them a dark brown to really make them “pop.”

So after a little prep work and an hour or two of assembling, we ended up with these:

bouquet - close up - all together - boutonnieres
Overall I am really happy with how they all turned out. {Ignore the brown spots on some of the hydrangeas. We asked the florist a few days later why that happened and she apologized profusely, saying we must have gotten a bad batch.}

A few changes: I want to add more color to the bouquet, mainly purples and greens. The bridesmaids bouquet especially are a little too white for me. Plus once we get all the flowers we’re actually using (garden roses, ranunculus, etc.) it will give the bouquets added detail and variety. I also want to add more sticks to the centerpieces. I’m glad we did a trial run, because not only do I now know the changes I want to make, but it also helped us determine exactly how many flowers we need to order. We stored everything down in our finished basement since it was nice and cool, and all the arrangement lasted several days and looked great. Doing the trial run made me more confident that we can do this.

You can also do this. Some yourself some moolah and be really proud of yourself when you carry that beautiful bouquet down the aisle. Some suggestions:

  1. Make sure you think over all the logistics. We are going to order the majority of our flowers from Samsclub.com and fiftyflowers.com. They recommend Thursday delivery for a Saturday wedding, to all the flowers to rehydrate and open up in time. This means we need to be home when they’re delivered, unpack them, and put them all in water. This requires manpower and lots of buckets.
  2. Think about where you will do all your assembling. Fortunately, our venue told us that as long as there is no event there on Friday (which so far there isn’t), that we can assemble there on Friday. The process does get messy (lots of clippings, petals, glue gun gunk, etc.) so be prepared for that.
  3. Know what flowers are in season during the time of year your wedding will take place. I love peonies (who doesn’t?) but for an August wedding they are just not happening, unless I want to pay an arm and a leg. Which I don’t. Knowing what’s in season will keep your costs down and also mentally prepare you for what is realistic and what is not.
  4. Do a trial run, do a trial run, do a trial run. How else would we have learned that the eucalyptus we used in the centerpieces would turn the water bright green by morning? Yikes.

Any other brides out there having any DIY flower tips and tricks?
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Free Wedding Clip Art

Happy Friday Lovelies!  A treat for you today.  Just Something I Made had free wedding printables!  What could be better?  Enjoy these, and the glorious weekend ahead.
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MFB: A FREE Way to Organize Your Inspiration -- Pinterest

Hey folks! So this post is less about a project I'm working on (though there are many of those), but rather about a way to organize your inspirations.

You may remember my faux corkboard project from a few months back. I'm still using and loving them, but they have one main drawback -- they're at home, in my room -- meaning not near a computer, which gives me the greatest amount of sources of wedding inspiration.

What's an inspired lass to do? Sign-up for Pinterest!

Basically, Pinterest allows you to save all the beautiful pictures you love for your wedding (or anything else) all in one convenient location. No more saving to your hard drive, emailing yourself, or printing out random pictures. Instead, "pin" something to your board, leave notes about the image, and access it from anywhere. Best of all, you can share it with your friends (or fiance) easily by email or by "following" you !

Here's a screen shot of my main entry page, so you can get a sense of it:


I've already told two people about Pinterest today (not counting the millions of you following this blog! Ha!). I'm that obsessed, and I think you will be, too.

Here's a look at "my" page that features just my boards and the images I've pinned to them. You'll see a nifty "Vintage Americana Wedding" board in the bottom left corner. It probably even has some of the images from the inspiration board Shannon made for me a while back.


Anyway, I think Pinterest might be by invitation only right now, so if you need an invite, please feel free to leave your email in the comments section, and I'd be happy to send you one!

Happy pinning!

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MFB: DIY Website Reply Cards

Happy Friday! I may have mentioned a while back that I'm a cheapskate. This is still true, which is why my fiance and I have decided to nix a paper reply card in lieu of alternate forms of RSVP-ing.

When I was doing some airmail research, I came upon this most excellent invitation suite over at Jeremy + Kathleen. Their suite was absolutely darling, but not in the budget (which is, as I told a man at the jewelry store, is "as close to $1 as I can get").


Not only is this suite Life Aquatic (my favorite of Wes Anderson's generally hilarious films) and airmail inspired, it features a cute no-envelope-nor-stamp-RSVP!



So, of course, I fired up my Microsoft Publisher and set off to make something similar for our wedding. This is what I have so far -- pretty similar, but with a few tweaks.


I'm going to have them printed as postcards at Vistaprint, since I was so happy with how the Save the Dates turned out, and then I am going to ask some *dear* friends to come over with their sharpest pair of shears.

Then, I'm going to use the infamous Airmail Twine to tie the response card to the invitation.

Here's a mock-up I did using the dimensions of the postcard from VP, but with the sides snipped, and the rubber tag from my CVS Green Bag Tag that I removed, so that leafy little piece of goodness could fit in my wallet.


I'm on the fence about the size. I will probably make it a bit smaller, though I hesitate to add more cutting to the invitation assembly; cutting is not my forte, and my friends will probably kill me.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery by someone who decided to do away with a traditional reply card? Any regrets?
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Mason Jar Save the Dates

Lina has inspired me with her jar place cards/drinking vessels.  When I came across this lovely save the date, I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement.  View the full invitation suite over at Oh So Beautiful Paper.

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Chair Signs DIY by Carly

The lovely Carly is sharing a few more of her wedding details with us today. 

The topic for today is DIY decor! Some brides love it, some dread it- I probably fall somewhere in between. I’m not overly crafty, but there are a lot of times when I see something I like and think “I could make that for way cheaper!” Case in point: chair signs. Lots of couples are putting something on their reception chairs to distinguish their chairs (and get a cute picture). Here are some examples:




After deciding I wanted to do something like this, I did a little Googling, and came across this very helpful blog: Happily After All. 

You’ll notice that her inspiration sells for $30 plus shipping. I can definitely do better than that! So I set out on one of my first DIY projects. Fortunately I had already purchased two signs at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago, since they were marked down from $2.99 each to $0.99 each, post- Valentines days. (I knew they’d come in handy for something!) My signs are a thin tin/metal material, and looked like this:

They actually came with pink ribbon threaded through predrilled holes, but I forgot to take a picture before I took out the ribbon. I’m just glad the holes are already there and I don’t need to do anything involving power tools.

I pretty much followed Happily After All’s painting directions exactly, using two coats of black acrylic as the base, followed by one coat of crackle medium, and then one coat of off-white acrylic. You don’t need much paint- small bottles will definitely suffice. I let each coat dry completely before moving on, including the backs of the signs which I painted plain black. As soon as I started to paint on the white the crackling started happening! It was way more exciting than watching paint dry (sorry, had to do it).

Unlike Happily After All, I did not free hand my words. I blew up the words Mrs. And Mr. in Microsoft Word, using Edwardian Script ITC font and 375 point text. (Note- all you really need to do is print Mrs. Just do that sign first, and then when you make the Mr. just cut off the “s” first!). The trickiest part of this whole project was cutting out the thin stencils. Printing them on cardstock would have helped make the words less flimsy. After the word was cut out, I traced it on the sign in pencil, then went over it and filled it all in with Sharpie. It looks like paint unless you really look closely. Now all I need to do is put in the ribbon and hang them from our chairs!

The finished product:

Costs 2 signs: $1.98 (Clearance at HL)
White paint: $1 (Sale at Michaels)
Black Paint: $1 (Sale at Michaels)
Crackle Medium: $3.59 (Using Michaels 40% coupon)
Paintbrushes & Sharpie: Already owned
TOTAL= $7.57 plus tax! (Take that, $30 + shipping!)

Anyone have any easy DIY projects you’d like to share? You provide the materials, I’ll provide the wine!

Wanna know more?  Follow Carly on Twitter.
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Paper Crush: Egg Press

Are you a letterpress junkie like me?  Yup, thought so.  Head on over to Design/Story and check out the fabulous buys from Egg Press.
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Idea Board 2: Raspberry and Green Apple

Custom idea board for Karlene and Mike

Row 1: Tea Bag Favors “Love is Brewing”, Green Wreath, Monogram, Grass Menu 
Row 2: Wedding Shoes, Limeade, FlowersCake 
Row 3: Apple Place Cards, FlowersTie, Izze, Raspberry Champagne  
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MFB: Drinking Jar Tags

Hey all! Is anyone else as preoccupied with jars as I am? Mason, or otherwise, I love this trend in wedding decor for chic, homestyle, and fun decor. I think it will go great with our laid-back reception style.


I'm on a quest to collect as many jars as possible (at least 150) for our guests to drink from.

How to keep them all straight on the day of?

Enter the price tags my future-mother-in-law graciously gave me, left over from her real estate days. (A box of 1000 will run you $9.99).


{via Staples.com}

Add various Sharpies and pens, and you have yourself a party.


{via Amazon.com - $20.40}

I then created a rough draft of a legend of how these lovely folks are related to us.


Hearts and shades of pink for folks related to me and stars and shades of blue for those corresponding to my fiance. (I promise the end version of this, which will get displayed where folks pick up their glasses, will look much nicer)! Still, having this cheat sheet was clutch for keeping everyone straight, as was my guest list from Wedding Wire.


You can see the sea of red from my Irish Catholic family.

We'll tie the tags to the jars with AirMail Divine Twine.


The guests will pick them up when they are served Blackberry Limeade and Tamarind Iced Tea when they first arrive at the reception venue. It's DC in the summer; they'll need a cool drink!

The tags will then serve the purpose of place cards (when we add their table info on the back later), name tags, and to keep drinking glasses straight!

Fingers crossed that my next trip through the recycling bin will yield me some more glasses than the other night. Though more on that some other time. Enjoy the weekend!

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Party Supplies

Planning a party?  Be sure to snag this sweet deal from ACME party box company {hosted by Zulily}.  Get $30 worth of swag for half price {$15}

Some great goodies from ACME



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MFB: Invitation Draft

Hey folks! Just a quick post today on what I've been working on and a few quick tips for designing your own invitations in Microsoft Publisher that I've learned the hard way.

If you recall my post two weeks ago, I've been crushing hard on airmail-anything. As a result, this is what I've come up with so far. Keep in mind -- this is just a draft (the "and" is still bugging me, and the justification isn't quite right). Progress will be posted in a future MFB post.


A few Publisher tips I've learned along the way:

- Use "Word Art" for any large "banner" sort of items, like for our names here. It keeps you from having to adjust the font size a million times. Plus, you can stretch, turn, flip, and pretty much abuse it any way you need if you do so. Using a text box is much more limiting. Plus, you get all the outlining features, which are pretty neat.

- Shapes are your friends. In this example, I made the blue circle to mimic a button and string closure, as well as the airmail / par avion "sticker" to pay homage to some of the great airmail stickers I've seen on vintage airmail postage. Easy pee-zy.

- Save multiple files/versions. Trust me, you'll second think some of your changes, and it's great to be able to go back to a past version without trying to re-create you've already done.

That's it for now! Back to invitation creating for me. Comments and constructive criticism welcome. Updates to come. Enjoy your weekend!

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Winner Announced

Congratulations to Carly S. who won the Calligraphy by Shannon Giveaway hosted on The Scribble Pad! Carly has chosen to receive $50 offer the calligraphy for her wedding this August.
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Guest Blogger: Carly and Bobby

You remember Carly and Bobby right?  We voted for them, they won, and then had an adorable engagement photo shoot?  Well, Carly is going to be sharing a bit of her wedding process here with us!  We are so excited to have her blogging and cannot wait to hear what she has to say.

When Shannon asked me to write a few guest blogs about my upcoming wedding, I was thrilled! My fiancĂ© and I got engaged in October of last year, and are getting married this August in my hometown. Which happens to be about nine hours away from where we currently live. Oy. So needless to say, the planning process has been a little tricky, but at the same time, a total blast. We’re DIYing as much as we can and shopping for lots of good deals (I consider bargain shopping one of my hobbies anyway, so it’s really no different than my everyday life), all while trying to not get overwhelmed with the pressure to have a “perfect day”. Let’s be real, we all know nothing is perfect, weddings included. We just want our wedding to be us; classic, casual, and fun, both for us and our guests. We don’t have a wedding theme, our guys aren’t wearing tuxes, and we’re doing our own flowers instead of hiring a florist (brilliant idea or disaster waiting to happen? Time will tell).

Fortunately we’ve had a lot of help along the way. I’m very thankful for my super creative and crafty mother, who is probably making crepe-paper flowers as we speak (or hacking pretty curly branches out of a neighbor’s tree. But that’s a story for another day). I am equally appreciative of my future mother-in-law, who is a coupon champion and has happily taken on a few projects that involve hunting down the best bargains possible. Combine that with my dad who makes a mean Excel spreadsheet, my future sister in law who sends me regular emails with various price comparisons from different websites, and my darling fiancĂ© who is great at reminding me what matters and what doesn’t (aka- no one will care if the invitations are printed on “white” or “pure white” cardstock), I am one lucky lady.

Of course, I’ve also taken a lot of help from various blogs. Google “wedding blog” and you will get a zillion results, but I’ve found a few favorites along the way. I prefer blogs that offer inspiring pictures of real weddings, lots of doable DIY projects, and words of wisdom to keep this whole wedding thing in check. I try to stay away from blogs that insist I must wear a tiara, have a 7 tier cake, and dictate my bridesmaids’ outfits, down to their nail polish color. No thanks. My top favs are four blogs that are regularly recommended right here on Calligraphy by Shannon:

I hope these can be of some help to the future brides (and grooms!) out there. If Shannon allows, I will continue to write some updates throughout the next five months or so until our wedding. If you’re lucky, I might even tell the story of my mom, a saw, and an SUV full of tree branches. Happy planning ☺

{Carly, we totally want you back!  Write more, please.  And do tell about your mom.  What I am picturing is not very wedding related...}
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DIY Moss Monogram

Remember our past DIY floral monograms here and here?  Well, another blogger has lister her own how to, so I decided to share this simple craft that can add so much class to your wedding.

Life. Love. Larson. shared this fabulously simple diy moss monogram.

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Giveaway Hosted on The Scribble Pad

...so glad you came over to enter the giveaway.  Here are the details just to remind you:

The winner will have a choice between two options:

$50 off Addressing Envelopes 
{project must be at least $100, standard rates apply}

~ or ~

Custom Idea Board
{view idea board samples here}

let me craft a vision for your event
provide images and inspirations to guide your planning
and show you how your own style can shine through on your special day

to enter:

leave a comment telling us about which prize you would select and why

follow this blog
(and leave a comment saying you did so)

follow us on twitter
(and leave a comment with your twitter name)

retweet this giveaway
(and leave a comment)

like The Calligraphy Pad on Facebook
(and leave a comment)

blog about this giveaway
(and leave a comment with the link)

maximum of 6 entries (comments) per person
be sure to leave a comment letting me know for each additional entry.
and don't forget your email address in at least one of the comments!

Don't forget to check The Scribble Pad each and every day for a new giveaway this week.  
Closes March 31.
{US residents only}
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MFB: Airmail Obsessed

Happy Spring! Goodness knows, it has not come to Washington, DC a minute too soon. 75 and gorgeous. And Friday. Sigh. Life doesn't get better than this.

So, our Save the Dates are in the mail, and hopefully have been received by many of our guests. Of course, since there is no rest for the weary, it's on to the next thing: invitations!

I've know for a long while that we were going to go the "airmail" route for the invites, and I am enthralled by the sheer number of wonderful airmail related paraphernalia in the interwebs.

Here are a few of my favorites, so you can get a sense of my direction. There are a good number of invites, but also a few other bits of ephemera as well.





This picture is from Etsy seller Huntershideaway, but I actually found these same envelopes much cheaper on Amazon, for $2.15 / box of 40 (free shipping, too)! We'll be using those.




{courtesy of dafont, Postage Stamps by Dixie's Delight -- Mr. Washington is the letter "G"}


{I wish I could recall where this was from besides my archives!}



You'll note that these are no longer available...hmm...I wonder why...?

If you see any inspiration, feel free to leave it in the comments!

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Costco Wedding Dresses

Did you watch Good Morning America today?  If you missed it check this out:

Would you go to costco to look for your wedding dress?

I think I would be willing to give it a shot!
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