Author Archive

November 6, 2011

1200 lbs. of Cast Iron

Wow! It was such a busy summer/fall… I can’t believe it is already November. I have been wanting to post some photos of the new Chandler and Price Press for quite some time, so I am happy to finally get around to it. This press was built in 1904 and weighs about 1200 lbs. Max had it specially restored and I couldn’t be more excited about how great and smooth it runs.

We started our adventures in letterpress on the a Kelsey 5×8 Model P table top press and although it printed great… it does not compare to the quality of printing that comes out of the new C&P. Lines are crisper, impressions are more even and overall quality is through the roof. We spent the summer getting to know it while printing all kinds of different invitations. We have brand new Namesday cards coming out and we can’t wait to get the Christmas cards finished up. Stay tuned!

November 2, 2011


Since we got the new press, we have been having so much fun printing some amazing invitations. For all kinds of occasions. Graduation ball, showers, weddings, anniversary parties and more! Here are some photos of our favorites! Click on the photos to get a larger view.

I have to say. I loved working on all of these, but I think this Matryoshka card was my favorite. I just love how the colors came out and it was so folksy.

November 2, 2011

Anniversary Party

Olya and I planned a 40th anniversary party for my parents this past summer. Here are photos of some of the details. Their wedding and their history included a lot of daisies, so we wanted to incorporate that on some level. We stuck to a (mostly) yellow and grey palette. Details included letterpress straw tags, M&M box favors, and a deviled eggs and salt bar.

September 5, 2011

The Party with the Barge and the Circus

I am so excited to FINALLY get these photos up. Thank you to Joe Budd of for the fabulous photos.

For a fresh coastal decor, we used crisp white linens with mahogony chivari chairs. Turquoise and green vintage glassware with bright colored flowers in hot pinks, reds and oranges.


This was probably one of my all time favorite events to plan. First, my client was fantastic and put a lot of trust in me (which I love).  He basically just let me do what I thought would look nice. Second, his assistant was super fabulous and I can not think of a better personality to have worked with. And third, the concept was a perfect mix of new challenges, beautiful and fresh design and super fun details.

It went like this.



Menu items included an oyster bar, crab legs, cioppino, artisan cheeses, and many more coastal delicacies

We rented a venue (Pier 23) that was situated on the Bay in San Francisco. Pier 23 is a well known “dive”, but serves up some of the best authentic San Francisco style grub. There was a back patio where the main event took place. Outdoors with a fabulous view!

We had so much fun taking out their casual patio furniture and replacing it with some beautiful decor. Also creating a swanky lounge area and dance floor.

We had a vintage photo booth with fun and funny props. We designed a special logo/message that printed on each photo page. Specialty cocktails included cosmos and mojitoes

We rented a tent to cover part of the patio and added some great lighting for ambiance

The biggest challenge was renting a barge that would travel from a pier south of the venue, carrying a circus troop (and their equipment) and dock at the railing along the patio. This happened right after dinner was served. The circus troop would perform and then climb over the railing to join and interact with the guests after the show. I was so amazed that they were able to do this. The barge was about 110 feet long, and their clearance was about 117 ft. Talk about parallel parking.

I absolutely loved (as I always do) working with James from Creative Laser Media . He always goes above and beyond and is soooooo pleasant to work with. I can’t say enough about him.

The cruise ship was a added and unplanned surprise. But it definitely added to the ambiance

And I can not say enough about the talents of the DJ. DJ Aykut is unbelievable and knows how to get people on the dance floor! OMG… the poor staff. All of them, the restaurant and us, were desperately bopping our heads, wishing we could get out on the dance floor. It was ridiculous.


Performers included aerial acts, body contortionists, parkour and break dancers

Performers included aerial acts, body contortionists, parkour and break dancers


March 17, 2011

Packaging Designer…

Ok, so it looks like this is going to be my first post, which feels weird. I am starting right in the middle of my life. I am feeling like it should all start at the very beginning. Like I should talk about how I got here. My history, what school I went to, how event planning turned into invitation design, that turned into greeting cards and blah blah blah. But that would be boring and I guess you have to start somewhere. These greeting card bands just happen to be the project I am working on today/this week. If I had figured out how to use this blog last week, I might have had more exciting event planning stuff going on, but oh well.

Hmmm… Maybe I will start with the things I would like to be when I “grow up”.

This is a list I put together and it is in no particular order…

event planner
travel writer
owner of a bakery or restaurant, or baker
bar owner
textile designer
Martha Stewart
newspaper columnist
lounge singer
American Idol host
pilates instructor
graphic designer
letterpress printer
packaging designer

I think I’d have to live at least 10-15 lives to really do all the things I would love to do. But I guess I am happy dabbling in some of these things as much as I can. I am an event planner and that really lets me do a lot of the other things on my list.

Also, I have been designing Russian and/or Orthodox greeting cards for the past couple of years. I just recently turned to printing on a letterpress printer. (That is material for a whole slew of posts at a different time) Mainly I have been printing Easter and Christmas cards. I could never find a Russian Easter/Christmas or Namesday card that reflected a more updated style, so I figured I should just start making them. It’s been an organic process, evolving as each season comes around. Although, one thing that keeps changing, that shouldn’t, is how I package my cards. Each season is different, but I really want to get it consistent and recognizable.

One of the problems is that as much as I like to design invitations and greeting cards, I like to design how these things are packaged. (I happen to believe that good packaging sells the item) So much so, that I am afraid I sometimes lose my focus. Am I designing greeting cards or packaging? I noticed a similar thing when I started my event planning company. I would get lost in the “creating a business” part. Creating a logo, creating a website and creating an over all identity. I sometimes wondered if I enjoyed that process more than the actual business itself. Not so… but I guess it is part of the passion for design. There are so many avenues to get creative, it’s easy to get sidetracked.


I have been working on packaging ideas for my cards for quite some time. It seems to change every season, but, like I said, I have been trying to find something consistent. I am really excited about these bands… although I can’t decide between the bolder flower border or the smaller/softer border.  Also,  I am still debating whether to use boxes or clear bags in which to keep them. I have ordered samples of both and hopefully they will be coming in the mail today or tomorrow.

I am sure it will evolve as time goes on, but I am really trying to pick something and stick with it. I have done ribbons and wrapped the cards with tracing paper. (I love(d) the look of tracing paper for some reason) I was also trying to do something with glassine paper, but that just wasn’t working.

So let’s hope that these new bands stick!