Digitizing & designing: a wedding invitation suite with calligraphy

After months of dabbling, sketching, and designing, our wedding invites are finally printed, stuffed and on their way. With the help of Bold American in the wedding decor department, our wedding DIY projects have been quite minimal, which for this self-proclaimed DIY addict was a bit of a surprise. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been without any DIY-ness. I decided pretty early on that I wanted to take on our invitation suite myself. This escalated into a multi-month love/hate relationship with hundreds of envelopes, ink and hours in Adobe Creative Suite. Last week it all paid off, when these beauties arrived from Wedding Paper Divas. invite suite dennihy I’m still gushing over here as to how they turned out. For the script, I knew I wanted to use my own calligraphy, as I had already invested in classes, practice and all of those envelopes. So how hard could digitizing handwriting be? Well, it turns out very. Basically, it goes from scanning at a very high resolution, cleaning everything up in Photoshop and finally vertorizing the image in Illustrator. I found a few great tutorials online, including this one, but it turned out Molly Thorpe’s Skillshare class was my saving grace. I already have her book, and swear by it for letter variations, so it didn’t come as a surprise that the class did not disappoint. Here’s a handy dandy gif to show the difference in each step. calligraphy gif It took some getting used to, but I found the more time spent in Photoshop, the less I spent in Illustrator. To get the thicker downstrokes I was looking for, I found it required a very flexible nib and then a setting in Illustrator that would allow me to use the live paint bucket tool. For the actual design, I knew I wanted to compliment the navy envelopes I had ordered from Paper and More months earlier (to give myself time to actually hand address 250 envelopes for the first time), and I was thrilled when I came across this Photoshop brush set from Creature Comforts that was exactly what I envisioned to pull in our gold, navy and fall theme. From there, everything came together pretty quickly and while I already adored Wedding Paper Divas from our Save the Dates, I was excited to learn they have an upload your own design service in addition to their beautiful designs. invitesuite Whew, mark this one in the done category. A very big, flourished and inked check mark. Two months to go! Disclaimer: a big thank you goes out to the team at Wedding Paper Divas for providing me with the printed invitation suite free of charge. However, all opinions, excitement and love is 100% authentic and my own.

To the midtown miles…

I’ve officially crossed Peachtree, up the stairs at 14th and back into the Promenade for the last time. After four years, my company, Moxie, is moving to a bigger office space. Which while exciting, is sadly no longer in midtown. I could list on and on the experiences I have 1230 Peachtree Street to thank for, but it feels the best to start and end with running.

midtown running

If the UGA Botanical Gardens were my meet cute to my run relationship, midtown is where I feel in love. Over the past four years, I’ve logged hundreds of miles on the streets here, learned to love hills and trained for my first (and second, third, fourth and fifth) half marathon. I’m sure I’ll be back, but it most likely won’t be several nights per week.

A la Jimmy Fallon…

Thank you, to that stretch from Monroe to Beverly to Peachtree for teaching me what it means to climb a hill and how it feels to make it to the top without dying.

Thank you, Ansley Park for your extra wide streets, allowing me to steal an extra mile when the fall sunset came too quickly without fear of being hit by a car.

Thank you, midtown neighborhoods to your Halloween and Christmas decorations, for well, just being plain pretty.

Thank you, Atlanta Beltline for the always smiling faces and the search for the Beltline cat or that lady that pulled her dog in a wagon to kept me entertained on those hot, no shade afternoons.

Thank you, Piedmont Park for an endless array of leaves for crunching. It seems fall in Piedmont is allowed to go on three times as long as anywhere else in the city.

And finally, thank you, to the running community of Atlanta for being out there with me during a pop-up thunderstorm, blooming of spring flowers or even the ever elusive winter flurries that sent the rest of the city into hiding.

Midtown running 2

To midtown making me into a runner. Thank you.

London Calling

As I write this post, I’m finally regaining control over the jet lag beast after a whirlwind week in London, and what a little adventure it was. My first time out of the country (passport stamp to prove it) with six days of listening to those lovely British accents and heck of a lot of tourist moments to prove it.

When I found out there was a chance I would be heading across the pond for business, I purposely kept my excitement level at about a two all the way up until the point I crossed through international security on Thursday evening – from there, all bets were off.

I traveled with two of my favorite coworkers, making the journey that much more exciting. We started the trip with a stop at Ecco for a drink – a Long Live the Queen seemed appropriate enough.

Long Live the Queen

Side note – how sparkling are the floors of the new international terminal at Hartsfield? Maybe I’m the only one who is dazzled by them every time I’m flown out of that are.

We landed around 7 AM London time, so I was beyond grateful to our hotel for the early check in around 9:30 AM. Bags dropped and we headed off to find food – sleep later. After lunch, we wandered over to Tower Bridge and Tower of London. In honor of World War I, there is currently a poppy installation that is absolutely breathtaking. I had caught a glimpse earlier in the week through US media, but was more drawn to Duchess Kate’s coat that time around, so it was such a pleasant surprise to see the grand scale and painstaking detail in person.

Tower of London Poppies

The next few days continued with more adventures, which seemed to also conveniently align with either champagne or sunshine. Rather than give you a play by play, here are the highlights broken into three categories.

1. Activities that included a glass of champagne

First up, a champagne tour of the London eye.

London eye

London eye champagne tour

London eye view

Second, a stop at Harrod’s.

Harrods Champagne Bar

Finally, not a champagne stop, but this adorable little owl drink at Night Jar – a fantastic speakeasy.

night jar owl

2. Tourist stops I wasn’t afraid to obnoxiously photograph (which was everything)

During the month of August when the Queen is away, Buckingham Palace offers tours inside. I would highly recommend it.

Buckingham Palace

I couldn’t resist a double decker bus begging me to share with the home state.

share a coke

3. Morning run routes that allowed me to see more of the city (and look like a sweaty, lost tourist)

Run club over Tower Bridge – at a balmy 6:00 AM.

tower bridge

While the 40 kid line kept me from an actual photo of platform 9 3/4, I couldn’t resist making a trip to Kings Cross.

kings cross

While the week has been packed with work as well (hello sixteen hour days), I was so thankful to get to spend some time making the most of this incredibly gracious, welcoming and charming city. My next international adventure will be to Belize in just a few short months with a slightly different travel agenda and companion (hello honeymoon) and I cannot wait.

tea

Until then, I’ll be dreaming of those delightful British accents and tiny tea pots.