party invitations

up, up and away

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greetings!  hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of july!  i’m here today with an adorable party one of my clients threw for her baby boy last month.  she had the idea of the big, silver balloons spelling out his monogram at the party, and i thought…what about a balloon *with* his monogram for the invitation?  i thought the add of light blue gingham was perfect for summer and sweet for a little guy turning 1.

balloon boy gingham invitationi think the little curly string is my favorite part!balloon monogram invitation

blue balloon wordingin the etsy shop here.  i also just added a red version, too!  can easily change the colors to pink or something girly too.

i also made foldover food signs, a beverage sign that was framed and a graphic used for custom napkins.  love how it all came together!  and don’t miss the floral arrangements – gorgeous!!IMG_3084





IMG_3235it does float by in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it?  {sniff}  happy 1st birthday bennett!!


anchors away

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the jig is up.

my well-thought out plan of small, minuscule, basically non-existent parties for rush’s birthday went as far as it could go.  somewhere between 3 and 4 he realized, hey – we’re always going to other peoples’ birthday parties doing something fun…and giving them cool presents…and eating a bunch of cake!  what the HECK?!  so off to the bouncehouse we went for my little man’s 4th birthday party.  my intention with this soiree was to make it SO NOT a big deal.  i planned it for a weekday (don’t want to impede any weekend plans!  no big deal if you can’t make it!) from 4:00 – 6:00 (i am always looking for something to do with the kids between those hours and thought maybe another harried mom would find solace in an activity then too – and have the kids’ dinner taken care of!).  we held it at the sort of ghetto bouncy place around the corner from our house and i bought a ‘package’ full of drinks, tickets and plasticware.  we invited his preschool class and a handful of other kids we see regularly with playdates – i.e., HIS friends.  (this is going to be tough for me because i naturally want to invite all of my friends.)

so this is the plan going in – simple.  ultra simple.  and then i found vintage lighthouse stamps on etsy.  rush LOVES lighthouses.

lighthouse stamps

from then, it was decided.  classic red and navy nautical, with emphasis on lighthouses.  so naturally, an invitation in similar fashion had to follow…


lighthouse invitation

in the etsy shop here.

and we had to have summer floral arrangements, in silver bowls.  i mean how many times do you turn four anyway?


this was actually the simplest floral arrangement ever – hydrangeas from the yard stuck into green floral foam, in two sort of matching silver bowls that i purchased for $5 each at my church’s flea market.  

i found this wooden lighthouse in an antique shop in florida last summer, and it was the perfect centerpiece.  it usually sits in rush’s room.

lighthousefood was easy – annie’s cheddar bunnies, chick-fil-a nuggets and a little fruit kabob.  the skewers, plates and napkins all came from target!

IMG_3459the cake…i LOVE my cake girl.  katie from sweet peeps always does a bang up job!  i sent her the invitation and she created this coordinating beaut.



loved the little sailor’s knot detail.

lighthouse cakei wasn’t going to do favors, but then i found the most adorable red striped bags…

favor 1

inside there were fish stickers, a whale lollipop and some little sea creatures that grow when you put them in water.


i think the birthday boy was a teensy bit excited about his party.

excited muchhis sister was stoked about jumping…


his little friends are all so sweet.


all FOUR (sniff) candles were blown out handily…

blowing out the candles


and just like that, another year ticks by.  i’ve been seeing all of the photos on facebook of back to school cuteness, but really getting hit hard by the kids going off to college.  those kids were little just yesterday, it can’t be time for that yet!  it’s unbelievable how fast this parenting thing goes.  this article made me ugly cry last night just thinking about what’s to come.  our house may be a complete disaster with toys and books strewn every whichway 90% (ok ok, 100%) of the time but i know i’ll miss the mess and noise when it’s gone.

but sometime between now and when rush heads off to college, we have GOT to figure out how to take a decent family photo.

burnette famone of these days…



a lowcountry rehearsal dinner

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rbb and i had the most fantastic weekend at the wedding of my dear friend heidi and her betrothed, sam.  i love a wedding weekend that is just that – a weekend affair.  through all of the events, we got to know so many of their family members, their friends from nyc and from growing up, and by the time we pulled out of the farewell brunch on sunday, we had loads of fun new acquaintances.  i’ll do a full post on the wedding and all of the unbelievably beautiful details after the profesh photography comes in (and was it ever a gorgeous wedding and bride!!), but in the meantime, i bring you the rehearsal dinner style!

being a destination wedding just outside of hilton head, south carolina, sam’s mother wanted to capture all that the lowcountry had to offer.  really, how can you not take advantage of such beauty…

belfair entrance, avenue of the oaks

i loved where her head was!  we designed an invitation with a slight nod to a nautical theme with an anchor, tied it in with the verbiage (perfectly goes with getting hitched, right?) and a dose of gingham for spring and also to represent the casual nature of the outdoor affair.

anchor close up

anchor rehearsal dinner invite

nautical rehearsal dinner invite 2

in the etsy shop here.

we also designed matching place cards, which were then attached to oyster shells. (love)

nautical place cardsaside from a torrential downpour during cocktail hour (which honestly made for a great story and gave everyone a reason to huddle together under the pavilion / bar and get to know one another!), it was an absolutely lovely event with loads of sweet and funny toasts to the bride and groom.

here are me and my san diego cronies (l-r: brooke, brin, me and giovanna – aka my twin, people are always mixing us up and it happened a good many times over the weekend!) on our way out the door to the dinner.  hard to believe it’s been over 10 years since i moved there…but whenever these girls all get together, it’s as if no time has passed.

my san diego ladiesand we had to get a picture with the BRIDE!  there’s heidi on the left at the karaoke after-party – so. much. fun.

63181_4085814163711_115864667_nthe bride and groom, karaoke lovers extraordinaire (sam proposed singing karaoke!!), on the eve of their big day.

912866_10200597079025635_735562355_nso, so, so happy for these two!!  i have to share a line from sam’s toast at the rehearsal dinner because it was one of these sweetest things i’d ever heard.  he said that no matter how successful he was in life, nothing he achieves will be as successful as what he was planning to do the next day – marrying heidi metcalfe.

i mean…  i’m tearing up just thinking about it.  cheers to the LEWISES!!!!!


minted design competition

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soooooo i had kind of an interesting night last night. i was in my office working while rbb watched the masters that he had DVR’d while he was studying yesterday (CFA level II – it’s a bitch.  you know it must be bad if my golf-loving husband is not watching the final day of the masters live).  p.s. i assume y’all know what minted is?  i’m sure you got a christmas card or two from someone with their logo on the back.  it’s an online invitation/card company full of boutique designs from people who have similar shops to mine – so while it’s a big company, it’s not THE MAN as others i can think of (tiny prints – i’m looking at YOU).  they are good stuff.  the quality is top notch and they have lots of cool options, like die-cutting, that you can do.  it’s a neat community of designers, and i wouldn’t mind sharing a few calliespondence designs with them!


here’s how it all went down.

10:30 p.m. – (thinking) i wonder how people sell their designs on minted.  that would be fun.  i guess they submit them somehow.  oh yeah, i probably need to do that for holiday cards.  already?  can it be?

10:34 p.m. – check out minted’s holiday card submission policy…where is it…i think i missed it…oh, well here’s something.  what is this?  a design competition on children’s birthday party invitations.  hmm.  i have a few of those.

10:40 p.m. – (read through requirements and look at templates)  ok, maybe i’ll do this.  when is the deadline.  APRIL 15th AT 10AM!?  that’s tomorrow morning!  crap.

10:41 p.m. – 12:01 a.m. – prepare a slew of invitations to be the proper size format.  tweak.  tweak some more.  tweak just a hair again.  and then when you think they can’t be tweaked anymore….tweak.

12:02 a.m. – 12:42 a.m. – submit a bevy of children’s party invitations online, which includes things like proper font names, a wordy description of the invitation and a quippy name for the design.  oooookay.

12:43 a.m. – DONE!  YESSSSS.

12:44 a.m. – guess i should check out my competition.  let’s see here.  omg.  omg.  omg, these are all AMAZING.  WHY DID I EVEN ENTER?!  what a waste of time.  crap, there’s another really good one.  and another.

so CLEARLY i am new to all of this and my hopes are not all that high, but i’ve been getting some notifications from people that “like” my designs – i think that’s how you vote.  if you are so inclined (no worries if it’s not your thing or you don’t have time – we’re still friends), you can see all of the calliespondence designs HERE.  it should look somewhat similar to this…  (and don’t worry if one of your invitations is featured – all of the email addresses and street addresses were changed!)

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 1.48.40 PM

i’ll keep you posted if you’ll be able to purchase a calliespondence for minted invitation anytime soon :)  and thanks for voting, if you get a chance to scoot by there!


up up and away

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i just love a 1st birthday party.  babies are so sweet at that age, and it’s such fun to see what they do with their first taste of cake.  plus, it’s a children’s birthday party where you can actually catch up with your friends, which doesn’t so much happen once they get bigger and the parties transition to being all about the children instead of the adults (what the hey!?).  this was not my friend shannon’s first visit at the rodeo, who at the time of this 1st birthday party, also had a 2 year old and a 3 year old!!  shannon seems to have an inexhaustible party brain – all of her children’s soirees are done to a T and so original – and super fun too!

she went with a balloon theme and used a palette of light blue, navy blue and grey…

1st birthday invitation - balloon

in the etsy shop here.

balloon party invitationthe party was nothing short of perfection.  shannon always, always blows my expectations out of the water. oh, did i not mention in addition to her three kids in three years thing she’s got goin’ on, she’s also a big deal in the local mortgage world?  yeeeeah. and why do i have trouble making it to the grocery store again?

birthday monogram wreath

photo-184 copy 2

balloon party food table 1
balloon party food - donuts


photo-184 copy 5
photo-184 copy 6

photo-184 copy 8

here are carlton, sweet birthday boy knox and shannon!  love this family.


omg. so cute.

birthday boy

i think all of the partygoers enjoyed themselves (and there i am in the magenta gingham shirt, with my back wisely to the camera as i clearly did not wash my hair this day due to the evident bun situation).

partygoers chowing down

….rinne especially had a great time, you can see, as the last child standing at the food table.  girlfriend likes her grub.

photo-184 copyfavors were balloon shaped cookies – and a real balloon!

photo-184 copy 3it was a fantastic celebration for a sweet little guy.  happy birthday KNOX!



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frogs, snails and puppy dog tails is a little inaccurate to me.  from what i’ve seen with my own little boy, it’s cars, trucks, dinosaurs, tools, cars, airplanes, soccer balls, trains and more cars.  and maybe plain ol’ dirt, if you’re allowed to add a substance.  my friend and client andrea has two adorable boys, so she is well-versed on all prior mentioned subjects – and especially dinosaurs.  she threw her 3-year-old son a darling dinosaur themed party, as darling as one of those can be! she held it at a local NYC kid gym (no cleaning up: bonus!) and borrowed her party hues from their decor…

little boy dinosaur party invitation


dinosaur birthday party invite

new in the etsy shop here













sweet birthday boy.  happy 3rd birthday connor!!  rawr.


new year, new practices

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greetings!  2013 is here.  isn’t that kind of crazy to think about?  i still remember ringing in 2000…i used my fake id to get into moondogs with a bunch of girlfriends who also used their fake ids (or maybe pass backs) to get in.  that was the bar in buckhead we would frequent when we were home from college, in no small part to them going pretty easy on ids.  it was always some kind of urban lore that there was this one fraternity at georgia tech that moondogs owed so much of their revenue to, they hung a composite on the ceiling of one of the bars.  WHO KNEW i would later be married to one of the faces on that composite.

life is funny.

life is also funny in the way that when i started calliespondence, i never really imagined how it would go.  i truly thought it would be a success if i could end up in the black on every order.  first it was just my loyal friends placing orders, then friends of friends (most of whom then became friends) and maybe one more degree, sometimes.  every so often, i would get a random inquiry and think it was SO CRAZY.  i mean, i could not believe that anyone i didn’t know would want to order from me.  with the opening of the etsy shop in 2012 and now printing my logo and website on the back of every card, i correspond with people that i’ve never met for most of the time i’m working now.  it is amazing to me, and not one bit lost how incredibly blessed i have been to stay busy doing what i love.  when i envisioned calliespondence, i just wanted it to be a little something i could do while kids were napping or at preschool or off to bed at night.  i never imagined i would even be close to working at capacity for those hours, and to need more time.  but you see, more time doing calliespondence would mean less family time.  and there is no amount of coin that is worth that, especially while these little people are little for just a fleeting moment.  so friends, i am going to have to introduce some new initiatives for 2013!  some of you might not like them, because it does involve saying “no” a little.  i know i’ve talked here before about how saying no is crazy hard for me.  i’m getting better at it though…

here goes.  don’t hate me. :)

ORDER MINIMUM:  the minimum for any single order is $50, with no exceptions.  that means if you need to order calling cards let’s say, they are $1/per.  you will need to order 50 qty. of one kind to meet the minimum – you cannot order 25 of two designs, or add 20 calling cards to a notecard order that is $100.

THERMOGRAPHY: due to the waning availability and slow turn-around time, i am having to discontinue thermography from my offerings.  flitting between a flat and letterpress printer does put enough miles on my car already though :)  i love thermography and will always hold it close to my heart, as it was the very first printing method that calliespondence offered.  this might change at some point, but for now, only flat and letterpress printing will be offered.  economy or luxe.  it won’t be so bad, i promise!

FLAT PRINTED PERSONAL STATIONERY (for grown-ups*): instead of customizing each individual order, i will now be offering three designs of flat-printed personal stationery for adults.  yahoo!  i have hand-picked my favorite three, and will offer them in any colors and liner pattern you so choose.  those elements are always customizable on any calliespondence order, you know.  and from time to time, i may do a limited edition item, which will be all sorts of exciting.  i will still offer custom design for letterpress stationery orders.

* please note that BABY and CHILDREN stationery process will not change.

here are the options for flat printed personal stationery for adults:

1) modern monogram.  one of the first designs i did, and i feel like it still has the same crispness as it did then.

modern monogram 2

modern monogram 1

2) corner script.  fun and fresh.

stationery 2

corner script mockup

3) scallop backer.  i just LOVE the sweetness of this card!  especially paired with the more masculine all caps, sans serif font. (this is a design that was new for holiday 2012, so i only have a generic example – more to come though!)

scalloped notecard


INVITATION PRICING:  i absolutely adore designing invitations.  it stems from a deep love of parties in general, and it’s so fun to dive in with a client to brand their party invitation appropriately!  due to the increasing demand, i am having to alter the base invitation price, but the breakdowns will remain the same, as well as the prices of the add-ons.  you can still order any number of invitations that you need (even if it’s…32!).

pricing for flat printed invitations with envelopes in color of your choice:

15-25: $3.50/per

26-50: $3.00/per

51-100: $2.75/per

101 and up: $2.50/per


+ pre-printed envelope liners: +$1.00/per

+ custom designed envelope liners: +$1.50/per

+ invitation back printed: +$0.50/per

+ cardstock backer: + $0.50/per

+ return address label: +$0.50/per

+ wrap-around ribbon: +$0.50/per

…and i think that covers it!  man – these aren’t even resolutions and i’m worn out.  enough change for one day.  i’ll be back next week with some regular blog programming (remember that?!) and definitely some tidbits!   i have lots backed up from crazed holiday months…

happy new year!!!!


serena & lily inspired baby shower invitation

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i actually should title this post “better late than never.”  i loved this invitation back when i did it, meant to photograph it and put it on the blog but never got around to it.  well, the shower was a year ago july, and i did the baby of honor’s birth announcement in december (which will be showcased with the holiday birth announcements, coming soon!).  i mean, that’s embarrassing.  it’s a good thing i am doing this big website update because it forced me to get a TON of projects camera ready and hot to trot on the internets!!!

ok, so the cute gals who put on this shower used the mama’s crib bedding as a color palette for the shower – great idea, no?  i thought so too.  i really love nearly everything serena & lily do.  where WERE they in 2009 when i was shopping for crib bedding??!!

not a bad match, right?

i especially loved doing this invitation for lara because we go way back.  all the way to heards ferry elementary…she was in my younger brother brannon’s class, and then many years later she became a sorority sister.  how fun is that!

and now she is a gorgeous mama to a precious little boy.  congrats lara!

seventy with style

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ok, we need to talk about milestone birthdays.  do you fall into the camp of celebrating them with a soiree attended by your nearest and dearest, or do you prefer to do something big for yourself, like take an overseas trip…or i suppose there are those people who choose to not observe them at all.  boo.  me?  i say PARTY all the way.  it kills me that rbb just turned 35 and we didn’t do anything big.  i’m going to make up for it at 40, mark my words!

anyway.  this is all beside the point, which is i guess to say that i love people who want to see a big year come in style.  my neighbor and friend margaret’s father recently turned 70 and her mother threw him a fabulous fete at their home.  what fun!

we did a #10 size for the invitation, featuring gold and navy ink mounted on a navy cardstock backer. the envelopes had the round twist ties which i think was perfect.  i love the stately invitation paired with the rustic, kraft paper ties on the envelope.

the party was nothing short of fantastic.  margaret is known for her good taste, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree you know!
margaret’s beautiful mother lighting votives.

looks like a good time for sure – and that’s a way to mark a milestone birthday!!


new invitation design

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does it seem like forever since i’ve done a post on … how you say … paper items … oh yeah, stationery??  supposedly what this whole blog is about.  and i tell you, i would change the masthead above…but i lost the design file in my computer crash and whenever i think about trying to figure out how many pixels long and high it’s supposed to be, i suddenly remember that i have bills that need to go out in the mail in five minutes.  or a load of laundry to fold.  so it stays.  but if i could alter it, i think i would change it to “musings on stationery, motherhood and making a house a home.”  wow, that looks a lot lamer on paper than it sounds in my head.  eh.  i’ll just leave it and apologize for all of the non-paper posts.

but – i actually have something paper-related to say!  there is a new design in the wheelhouse of calliespondence.

behold….CIRCLE.  i know.  the name is quite groundbreaking.

i love the turquoise and navy colorway, but can think of so many other combos that it would look ravishing in.

here’s another variation that i did recently for another baby shower.

it’s square!  and i also literally just snapped these pictures on my desk.  right now.  real time.

for sale via etsy shop here.  or of course you can always just email me to go the old fashioned route.

circle – welcome to the family.  we’re glad to have you!