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Sketchbook Series in NYC

Do you know how to draw? For the past few years I’ve been making my event design sketches on Illustrator. Honestly, they could be better. I went to art school, which I guess means that I have a tad bit of knowledge on how to draw something with pen and pencil. When Mary said she was bringing her Sketchbook Series to NYC, I jumped on the chance to learn from her. She has a crisp, modern, easy to understand way of sketches that I know my clients would love. She is the guru of event design drawings.

Luckily, as I went to buy my ticket, Stacie Shea asked me to make a backdrop for the Sketchbook Series students to draw in exchange for a seat at the workshop. YES, PLEASE. Stacie helped on the logistics for the conference, Reveriemade did those beautiful flowers, Lael Cakes created that succulent tower of goodness, and Nuage Linens let us use their studio and sequin tablecloths.

We all collaborated on the look and feel that we wanted the class to have. Using NYC as a natural inspiration (look at those views from Nuage Linens!), we worked off of this inspiration board.

Metallics, bright pops of colors from spring peonies, some hearty succulents, and the architecture of the city all came together to create a cake table that was used as the main drawing model for the class. I created a backdrop of mixed metallic NYC building silhouettes. The crisp lines really played beautifully off of the softness of the peonies.

Oh, and did I mention the gold metallic ceramic vases? All flowers should be in geometric, gold, ceramic, super shiny vases forever and ever.



Keep it modern. Keep it simple.

That should be my new life motto.

Here I am. Trying my best. I highly recommend Mary’s Sketchbook Series class. It’s only day, which is not a huge time commitment when it comes to industry conferences. You’ll leave with the skills that most of your competitors probably don’t have. Which puts you a leg above the rest. Congratulations.

Wonderful photos provided by City Love Photography.

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DIY Drink Stirrers

Drink stirrers are the type of DIY party project that you can mindlessly make while partaking in an Inside Amy Schumer marathon with one hand on the tacky glue and the other deep into a bowl of snacks. Because no craft is done properly without a nice snack assortment and a funny, silly show. Preferably sitting on the floor like a six year old playing with legos.


Maybe that’s just my favorite way to be creative: surrounded by colorful cardstock and gummy bears.

Hook up your Cricut machine, grab the svg file for these party drink stirrers in Design Space, and get your craft on.





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Caitlin & Scott / The Making Of

Remember Caitlin and Scott’s forest-like, colorful, and completely full of whimsy wedding that I showed you last week? Remind yourself of their amazingness at that post where I showcased their wedding at Red Maple Vineyards.

This post is a deep dive into the design process of their wedding. I like to explain wedding and event design to couples by drawing the comparison to interior designers. Interior Designers show you a mood board. Then based on that mood board, they use their years of experience to choose textures, furniture, lighting, artwork, and decorative pieces to create a beautiful, cohesive room. I do the same thing, but the room is the wedding.


Here, let’s start with the mood board:

Caitlin and Scott love color, handmade details, and greenery. They didn’t want a ton of giant floral arrangements or anything that looked too stuffy. I can totally get on board with that. They craved a fun atmosphere and wanted the decor to reflect that. Most of all, they wanted their guests to feel comfortable, relaxed, and ready to have a good time. A lot of weddings in the blogosphere, actually, don’t feel comfortable. Do you feel comfortable, relaxed, and ready to have a good time when the centerpiece on your dining table is 10′ tall and full of crystals and dripping in orchids? I know I don’t.

To me, a fun, whimsical atmosphere means tons of color, simple patterns, just enough decor on the tables to make an impact, and a few statement pieces that I’ll think about for years to come. Here is what we designed for them:

Red Maple Vineyard has a breathtaking spot on a hill for outdoor ceremonies that comes with an existing wooden arbor. You mean I don’t have to schlepp a whole arbor and spend hours setting it up??? Hey Red Maple Vineyard, I’d like to make out with you.

The challenge was how to decorate the arbor to make it, A) not look that rustic (remember the design board from above? It’s a colorful, contemporary aesthetic we are going for), and B) not hide that view of the valley. The solution was hundreds of strands of polka dot, peach, and metallic gold ribbons.

Next up, the sixteen 8′ wooden farm tables. Again, Red Maple Vineyard has these tables already provided. This plus the arbor makes them basically the best venue ever. The cost of renting wooden farm tables is about $175 each. Multiply that by 16, plus delivery and pick-up, and you’ve dropped a few grand on tables. Finding a venue that has these tables ready to go for you to use is basically a needle in a haystack.

We wanted to add pattern, color, height, and shine to the tables without covering up their beauty. Caitlin and Scott didn’t have actual flowers as one of their priorities, which means that I got to play with giant palm fronds. The greenery gave the tables some height in the tent while still feeling airy, light, and comfortable. We used modern white vases, gold metallic bud jars, and clear class candlesticks for the centerpieces. Ya see those table runners? Those are up next…

I hand cut linoleum stamps and block printed the table runners with both a triangle and polka-dot pattern.  There are many places to rent upscale table runners, although none quite fit the bill for this wedding. I took my creative ingenuity and textile design background to custom make the perfect runner patterns to bring all of the decor together. If you can’t find it, make it.

From Design Board to sketches to the final product, this wedding evoked the whimsically, colorful, greenery-filled space that the client desired. That, my friends, means that my job here is done.


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