Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Mod Files Vol. 4: A new spin on our Save the Dates

A5 Trieste Save the Date in Ivory

It’s been a while since a Mod file so for anyone reading who does not know what I mean this is nothing to do with the Ministry of Defence (the Uk equivalent of the Department of Defense often called the MOD) nor the 50’s and 60’s subculture. This post is about wedding stationery and specifically how working with my customers we’ve adapted or modified (hence the name, The Ad files would sound like it was about advertising) stationery to better suit our customers.

Recently I’ve been lucky to work with the lovely Sue and Daniel, who placed an order after receiving one of our sample packs in the post. They live nowhere near where Artemis Stationery is based (in the Heart of the West Country) so the order was placed via email. The first part of their order was for Save the Dates and that’s what I’m going to talk about in this post.

In truth any of the Artemis Stationery items can be used as a Save the Date though on our site we list the our postcard sized items as Save the Dates as most of our clients who order are not looking to spend a fortune on this particular item. So 80% of this year’s Save the Dates have been our single sided post card sized item, they start from £1 and I think offer fantastic value as they’re designed with every bit of care and attention that every other item we design and make receives. The other items sold as Save the Dates this year have been the new magnet items (this is really great as they had really only been shown on our Facebook page for much of 2012).

Sue and Daniel wanted the postcard sized Save the Date but had a lot more information they wanted to give out at this stage than is typical. In the past we’ve done this with adding in an information sheet but this time around the information had to be on the Save the Date. Sue and Daniel asked if I could print on the reverse, a really good suggestion but the card stock used doesn’t allow this as only one side is made to receive ink. Many printers could do this but I believe our printing setup allows for a very high quality of print and the card stock feels great to the touch. As well as the information sheet the magnet which is double sided (by virtue of the card being folded around on itself and glued where it meets so the magnet can sit inside) also didn’t appeal. The option that did appeal was to make the item larger but do it in a way not done before. This was to use an A5 sized item, not unique in itself but we decided to keep the same design as the standard postcard save the date and put the information to the side of it where as traditionally we would have just made the design larger but not enlarged the text so much to fit the extra information in.

In a follow on post we will be showing how the design for this item proceeded. The stationery design used here is Trieste, visit it now on our website: Trieste. Like all of our bespoke stationery, we go to great lengths to make the design personal and unique to you.

Welcome to A S Invites

Trieste trifold invitation

Welcome to ASinvites.com the new blog for Artemis Stationery and Artemis Prints. I’m leaving the old blog behind for a nice shiny new blog. The old blog has seen a lot of posts recently and is beginning to fill up so before it turned into a long festival of scrolling I’ve moved the blog to one which is hopefully much much easier to navigate, has more space to show off pictures and finally it’s got a proper web name now!

I’ll be posting about stationery (which is probably to be expected), general wedding issues, the odd post for fellow wedding industry professionals. This will include more mod files where I show some of the ways our stationery has been changed to better suit our clients and colour inspirations. We’ll continue to go through example wordings and ideas for various types of stationery items. Just use the menu on the left hand side to explore all the categories.

I’ll also be taking time out to show off some of the stationery ranges and talk about the different types of stationery items that can be made. It’s a great place to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer. So come join me and say hello.

Useful Twitter Concepts and Apps

If you use twitter either for business or for fun here’s some useful resources and ideas if your ‘building’ your twitter profile.  I’m by no means a twitter expert, I’ve just wrote this post as met some folks who know less than me and I thought I’d turn a long email to them into my next blog post.  I use twitter for my bespoke wedding stationery business which you can visit here.

Image from Christmas card designs available at Artemis Prints
Follower to following ratio – ideally you want this to be over 1 as in an ideal world you want to follow less people than follow you.  This makes you look more important and that followers are not only following you for the follows.
There is also a big crunch point on twitter and that’s the 2000 following mark.  It will only let you follow more if your follows are high also, near the 1 to 1 ratio.  This also means if you see someone with 2000 follows and 1000 followers they’re a poor bet for follow backs.
I’m not over this as I seem to follow back pretty much everyone and also there are places I feel are important to follow for industry news etc that as yet do not follow back.
Networking – twitter is mostly business to business though some people do have high numbers of real follows, these tend to be blogs but sometimes businesses like stationers or photographers have them to.  There’s two things to take from this.  Be nice to bloggers – if they retweet you goes to more potential customers and look at what businesses with high levels of non-businesses as followers do to attract keep their non-business followers engaged.
Engage – people ask questions and you think you know the answer try and help, even if the questions not specifically to you.  You can definitely gain with social media but you have to be prepared to give time and knowledge.
Public – twitter is a public forum, although most things you say will only be seen by a portion of your followers remember everything you say on there can be searched for by anyone around the world.  Having a conversation with a contact can help your profile look active but I think that unless it’s positive or neutral keep it off twitter.  As recent events have shown you can be sued for what you say on twitter if it’s incorrect, unproven or against the law to do so.
Now some apps
usequitter.com – this one tells you who has unfollowed you in the week.  This can be useful if you were only following someone to be polite etc.  Don’t sweat unfollows though, they really are nothing personal at all.  I like this as some people build followers by following people and then unfollowing once they follow back as many people won’t notice the unfollow – I do strongly dislike that behaviour.
manageflitter.com – I use this to clear out dead wood.  Sometimes I follow people in the hope they’ll prove good or sometimes in the hope they follow back though normally a combination of the two.  Flitter also lets you spot people you follow who say nothing or little.
Quitter and Flitter are useful I think for everyone but these next two tools are more useful for the business user
http://gremln.com/ – this lets you schedule posts across a variety of social media.  This is good to keep you posting all day long.  Even when not at the computer.  Look at people who seem to have twitter sussed to see what they say.  It’s good to flag blog posts.
http://hootsuite.com/ – another social media manager, it’s worth seeing what you get along with.  I think this is generally more popular than gremln.
Thanks for reading, why not come and tweet with Artemis Stationery today.
link to Artemis Stationery on twitter ==> Say hello!

Vintage Christmas Place names – free to download

As promised in yesterdays blog post today’s post features two more Christmas place names which are free to print and download.  Today’s design have more of a vintage inspiration and feature holly and snowflakes.  If you’ve seen the bespoke wedding stationery site you may recognise the holly as it’s been borrowed from this design –  Natale (click to see it on the main site)These two designs feature a lovely natural fibre paper background, matching ribbon and a ‘Merry Christmas’ message on the back which is one of my current favourite fonts – Mountains of Chrismas (works well for Halloween to).

You can see them on this page but follow the link here to Artemis Prints to download them.  They’re made to print 6 to a page of A4, once printed onto card all you have to do is cut and fold.  I suggest you crease the card along where you’re going to fold before you fold them.

Check Artemis Prints for lot’s more personalised Christmas products.

Christmas Place names – free to download

It’s Christmas time! And I’ve got some nice free stuff for you today. If it wasn’t given away by the first sentence it’s Christmas based.

There’s not one but two surprises. Both of them place names you can download and print yourself to brighten up your Christmas table. The designs are based on the range of designs sold on the Artemis Prints website where I sell non wedding stationery stationery. Both vibrant designs which should keep any little one’s in your family happy there is a green and red Christmas tree place name design along with a blue and red Snowman design.

You can see them on this page but follow the link here to Artemis Prints to download them. They’re made to print 4 to a page of A4, once printed onto card all you have to do is cut and fold. I suggest you crease the card along where you’re going to fold before you fold them.

Come back tomorrow as we’ve got two more Christmas downloadables for printing or if you like the designs check Artemis Prints where they’re available for purchase with the names printed on or as cards or gift tags.

Colour Inspiration – Gold Christmas Decorations

Still time for another Christmas post!  This time colour inspiration.  As in the other posts this article is meant to inspire and help you work out colours that work well together by either looking at the real world or your photo albums.  As makers of bespoke stationery we can work with a wide variety of colours to make invitations and stationery for our clients. This time the inspiration is taken from a Christmassy scene, a close up of a Christmas tree and it’s decorations.   I’m going to focus on everything but the tree as dark green has never been a popular choice of colours from my clients.  Though gold and green can work really well together.  The colours from this post work really great for a brown – cream colour theme.  A different way of at looking at brown colours (chocolate, coffee and autumn leaves being some of the most popular).

Firstly the disclaimer, yes this is not a real tree and yes the lights are part of the tree.  That does pose the question what happens when the lights go wrong, but on the plus side they’re so well distributed and you have no wires to worry about it saves oodles of time.  I can just whack a couple of strings of light up on a Christmas tree and not agonise over their spacing:( 
 
As said the colours from this image makes a really great golden brown colour guide.  Something I think that works well for winter weddings when the daylight is getting limited by 4 and you’ll be under artificial light for most of the wedding.  This shows how warm those lights can be and I think if you’re getting married next winter and decorating yourself it’s well considering lot’s of lights (soon to be in post-Christmas sales).   Though best check with the venue first and maybe go for LED as they have the least chance of causing frustration.  Or it’s a reason to get married near Christmas in a venue that has it’s own really great decorations.
This is where the colours were taken from and is shown on the second image below.  The six digit values are the RGB colour codes
  1. Is from the darkest part of the bauble in the foreground 230D02
  2. Background colour 562600
  3. A mid-range colour taken from the gold coloured detail on the  bauble A0590B
  4. From a non-gold detail part of the small bauble DA8100
  5. From the candle in foreground B47629
  6. From the ribbon on the bauble FDCB50
  7. Colour of the light FEFEFF
Interested in using these colours with some of our bespoke stationery?  Contact us and let us know what colours you want to work with.

Dragonfly stationery range

Arezzo is one of our more unusual stationery ranges.  The design features two dragonflies flying in tandem across the page. 
Each dragonfly have been illustrated to a high degree of detail.  With particular time and effort spent drawing the individual cells that make up the dragon fly wings trying to catch the essence of these fantastically detailed wonders of nature.  They are also semi-transparent allowing them to be seen through.  Dragonflies make a good alternative to butterflies for use in wedding stationery or would work well with a mixed order comprising it and Naples.    
Like all of our bespoke stationery and invitations the dragon flies can be changed to any colour to fit in with different colour schemes.  All of the font’s used can also be changed allowing the style of the invite to change.    
See the stationery range here or if you like this you might want to see the butterfly featuring range Naples.

 

Colour Inspiration – at the Taj Mahal

As said in my previous post on finding Colour Inspiration (see it here http://artemisstationery.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/colour-inspiration-above-clouds.html) finding colour inspiration for an event like a wedding can be tricky.  But as a maker of bespoke wedding stationery I do get to talk colours with a lot of people.  Fortunately most people by the stage they think about stationery and invitations have a few ideas so there’s a base to work from.  But if you’re struggling looking for inspiration in the world around you or your photo albums may be a way to go.  With the stationery designed and made by Artemis Stationery we can print practically any colour so choosing a colour palette that’s unique and personal to you can be a really great way of making something that’s truly personal.
Today’s example is from a warmer climate.  Nothing to do with the Snow Patrol song, though check it out if you fancy, one of my favourites.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4_ZZ_IEHiQ From the subcontinent (India) and specifically the Taj Mahal no less.  Though I thought I’d avoid the obvious and use the Mosque at the site for this example.  The mosque has lovely dusky burnt red and terracotta colours so this example is great if you’re looking for colours to match in with those.    The mosque stands to one side of the main White building which is a mausoleum.  Which may sound a little morbid for wedding inspiration.  But there is romance beyond the construction.  The beautiful mausoleum and World heritage site could be summed up as what one man built after the death of the women he loved.  Admittedly one man with a fair bit of lose change to employ many highly skilled craftsmen!  The building was completed in 1653 and was commissioned by the Shah Jahan Emporerer of the Mughal Empire after the loss of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died during child birth. 
I’ve picked 6 colours off this picture using the colour picker tool found in many art programs.  You can use the colours of this post either by sampling the picture directly or using the colour boxes.  For those who know the hex values for the colours are (from left to right)
#5C3641,
#B66C6B,
#E79A7C,
#FEFBEF,
#E5DECE,
#D7BAB2
I encourage you though to try it with images you already have or go out and photo things you like and try.  It’s a great way to find colours that work together.  I’d love to hear what people come up with.

Christmas Music table name ideas – pt 3

Christmas table name ideas from music

Christmas Music table names – music and songs are a key part of the festive period. As such it’s a great source of inspiration for many fun table name ideas. Whether it be modern songs, retro songs, Christmas carols or hymns, any of these could bring an extra touch of Christmas to a party, wedding or other occasion by using them as table names.

Of course there are plenty of other ideas and recently I’ve been going through these. There’s been two previous posts (Click one or two to see them). The first covered the weather and reindeer names while the second focused on seasonal and festive food. These posts are meant to give ideas for table names but this one is going to have a focus on music so you might well be able to base a playlist off it or use it as ideas for quiz questions.

I’m looking at table names as I make bespoke wedding and event stationery and I often get asked for suggestions. You can visit Artemis Stationery here, the link goes to the bespoke Christmas stationery collection page.

Winter snow picture of a frost covered church in Sweden for card design
Winter snow picture of a frost covered church in Sweden for card design

Photos on this page are from our print store Artemis Prints. See the store here for lots of great Christmas and printed items with all original designs.

Christmas Carols and Older songs
Auld Lang Syne – words by Robert Burns
Away in a Manger
Deck the Halls – Thomas Oliphant
The First Noel
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Good King Wenceslas – words by John Mason Neale, music Piae Cantiones
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – words Charles Wesley (amended by George Whitefiled and Martin Madan), music by Felix Mendelssohn
The Holly and the Ivy
I Saw Three Ships
In the Bleak Midwinter – Words by Christina Rossetti music by Gustav Holst
Jingle Bells – James Lord Pierpont
Once in Royal David’s City – words by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander music by Henry John Gauntlett
Silent Night – writeen by Franz Xaver Gruber and Josef Mohr, English translation by John Freeman Young
While Shephards Watched Their Flocks – words by Nahum Tate

Winter snow picture of a church in Mudford Somerset
Winter snow picture of a church in Mudford Somerset for card design

The Crooners and early/mid 20th Century Classics
Do You Hear What I Hear – Bing Crosby
Frosty the Snowman – Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson 1950
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland 1944
Jingle Bell Rock – Joe Beal and Jim Boothe 1957
Let it Snow – words by Sammy Cahn and music by Jule Styne, 1945
Marshmallow World – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra 1966
The Little Drummer Boy – Katherine K. Davis 1957
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole 1961
Winter Wonderland – words by Richard B Smith music by Felix Bernard, 1934
White Christmas

More Modern
All I want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff 1994
Christmas is All Around – Billy Mack 2003
Christmas Wrapping – Spice Girls 1998
Don’t Shoot Me, Santa – The Killers 2007
Do they Know it’s Christmas Time? – Band Aid 1984
Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea 1988
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues 1987
Happy Xmas War is Over – John Lennon 1971
I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard 1973
Last Christmas – Wham 1984
Little St Nick – The Beach Boys
Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters
Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade 1980
Mistle Toe and Wine – Cliff Richard 1988
O Holy Night – Celine Dion 1988
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie 1980
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

The earlier songs tend to show who created the song where, later songs tend to show who performed it.

Sources
Wikipedia
The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/dec/22/consumer-christmas-music-sales-royalties
About.com http://top40.about.com/od/holidaymusic/tp/Top-100-Christmas-Songs.htm