State Shapes Wedding Invitation

I don’t know if Linda knew when she sent me this photo with her wedding invitation that I intended to post it on my blog. state_outline_wedding_invite

But I did. Twice.

state_shape_wedding_invite_suite

Linda and Eric are one of my very favorite stories. Designing their wedding invitation was truly a labor of love. And almost a love while in labor as their wedding date was the same as my baby’s due date.

state shapes outline wedding invitation

Linda is from Colorado. Eric is from Utah (my hometown actually, and somewhere in my parent’s basement is a great awkward photo of the two of us in the same prom group.) The two decided to have a destination wedding in Historic Nauvoo, Illinois, in the gorgeous Nauvoo LDS Temple. Linda wanted an invitation that illustrated this using her bright and fun color palette. Eric just didn’t want it to look too girly.

nauvoo temple wedding ceremonyI created graphics for each state and an emblem with an outline of the Nauvoo Temple. I paired a sleek and modern typeface with a clean slab serif to add some vintage charm.

state shapes outline wedding invitation lds

The vellum overlay featured a graphic of the US with an adorable L (loves) E monogram which helped illustrated a couple whose life stories extend across the nation. They are a couple who loves to travel and even took an epic road trip for their honeymoon covering 15 states! The reverse of each item in the invitation suite was printed with this cute prairie grass pattern in a different color – a nod to the pioneer past of the city of Nauvoo.

linda_eric

And although these two are a stunning couple even while making pig nose faces, here’s a shot that better illustrates their true beauty.

Western Vibes First Birthday Announcement

I’m excited to share with you some of the projects I’ve been working on over the last year. I’m especially excited to share this one with you because not only is this first birthday announcement pretty cute, It features my greatest creation of all time – my little Baby Man.

western style first birthday announcement

I created this first birthday announcement to send to all our family and friends who couldn’t be there to celebrate Aldo’s big day with us. Facebook and Instagram (and all those other apps I’m too old for) are great for helping me feel my loved ones are a part of Aldo growing up, but nothing beats a real life memento showing up in the mailbox.

western style first birthday announcement

Especially when it comes with a cheesy mug like this one.

western style first birthday announcement

I was short on time so I got a little lazy and purchased a graphics pack from Hustle Supply Co. on Creative Market to create the image emblem. The cool font is called Longshore and is also from Hustle Supply Co. The triangle pattern in the background helps add a little Southwest/tribal feeling. And of course I had to put a little buffalo in the corner because I’ve decided it is Aldo’s spirit animal. Strong, stoic, smart and stubborn, just like my little guy. Oh, and huge – yeah, 26 pounds at one year old…

On making time to make things.

natalie_bussio_2015It’s been over a year since I posted anything. I know.

See, the plan was: 1. Have baby  2. Realistically struggle with trials of  being a new parent 3. By month three baby sleeps through the night, and conveniently naps for greater than or equal to 3 hours a day. Time for blogging and business.  Oh, and trade in stretchy pants for the cute pair of AG Stevie’s waiting in the closet. 4. HAVE IT ALL.

So – in real life my baby turned out to be more of a cat napper and has only just started sleeping a 9 hour stretch at night. And stretchy pants are the best. Naturally, lack of sleep and lack of productive daylight hours led me to the decision to put the blog/business on the shelf indefinitely. I still worked on a few projects for clients and friends here and there, but I was always nervous about committing to new projects knowing my entire schedule now depended on a very demanding, very stubborn, very little person.

But lately my heart has been longing to be creative again – in more ways than “how to entertain a toddler when it’s 107 degrees outside”. After a year of motherhood I still feel generally clueless, but one thing I have learned is you have to make time to make things happen. So here I am, rededicating myself to making things happen…by making things.

I considered taking a new direction with this blog – I mean those mommy bloggers always seem to have their act together, and I do have the requisite child…but lets be real. I can barely get my kid to wear pants – there’s no way I could make my life appear as fabulous and perpetually well lit as those mama blogging pros. So I’m sticking to what I know and love – invitations, logos, and special details for special events.  I’ll be documenting the projects I take on while sharing what inspires me.

Oh, and I want to talk more about my enchanting desert home. Las Vegas, I love you. I’m right where I belong. West is best.

It’s good to be back

natalie.

Rustic/Modern Baby Nursery

I am so pregnant.

This being baby number one I’ve experienced all sorts of weird things for the first time. First genuine give-it-to-me-now-or-I-might-die craving (Strawberry Pop Tarts). First stranger at the grocery store giving me horrible, unsolicited, misinformed medical advice. First time turning to my side to walk between two parked cars and realizing I’m just as wide turned this direction and shall not pass.  It’s like every day is just bursting with exciting, totally off-putting surprises.

Of course there are good “firsts” too like hearing my little guy hiccup during a sonogram.

It’s taken me a few months, but I’ve finally gathered enough twigs, leaves, and fibers to create a comfy nest for this little baby and I want to share what I’ve come up with.

Rustic baby nursery

I wanted a rustic, masculine feel while still clean and soft.  I chose a neutral palette of gray, dark brown, and cream and accented it with a little navy blue and a mustard yellow. The gorgeous wall color is “Sharkey Gray” by Martha Stewart – it’s very mellow but warm which helped it match beautifully with the brown elements in the room.

Rustic baby nursery

We painted the entire room gray and then came back and painted white horizontal stripes on one of the walls  after it was dry. I really wanted a cool, western (NOT country) piece of art to hang above the crib. I loved the idea of a skull or antlers, even though some of my friends thought that sounded pretty creepy for a baby’s room. I looked all over but couldn’t find the perfect piece. I was completely blown away when my extremely talented friend Harmony Rodriguez surprised me with this painting as a baby shower gift.  I think it’s  just perfect.

Rustic baby nursery

Most of the skull image is actually painted on a piece of burlap which wraps around the canvas. Such a creative idea. The burlap along with the metallic paint add so much dimension to the piece.

Rustic baby nursery

I love the color and texture of this large metal letter – I guess I’ve committed to giving him that “A” name now.

Rustic baby nursery

My big project for the room was  building this pegboard to hang over the dresser.

Rustic baby nursery peg board

Rustic baby nursery peg board

Rustic baby nursery peg board

 

After finding the perfect metal baskets to fill with diapers, lotion, etc. I filled in the rest of the space with various decorative items. Right now the pegboard it’s definitely more form than function, but as the little guy grows I’m sure it will become a handy storage and organization tool.

Rustic baby nursery

A pair of barn wood crates hung on the wall make for a great place to display books and photographs.

Rustic baby nursery

Mike was heart broken when we discovered that his beloved, extremely comfortable “Grandpa Chair” didn’t fit in our living room. I hope he feels a little better knowing that it’s found a good home in his son’s room. It will be a lovely place to sit and rock the baby – if I can ever get Ruby to give it up.

Camping Themed Baby Shower

I’ve told you about my two little sisters, Katie and Liz, the ones that I absolutely adore. Well last weekend they gave me another reason to just cherish them – they threw me the most dreamy baby shower you ever did see. Is it weird that I’m going to take all their hard work and post it on my own blog? Maybe?

Y’know…I don’t care. They did a damn fine job and it deserves to be shown off.

Deer, camping themed baby shower invitation

Okay, so I did insist they let me make the invitations. Because that’s sort of my thing.

camping baby shower

My littles came up with the idea of doing a camping themed baby shower. Katie and Liz spent weeks  gathering, collecting and shopping for adorable little rustic accents to decorate the space with. It was all these little details that beautifully brought the theme together.

camping baby shower centerpiece

The centerpieces included glass bottles collected from thrift stores filled with woodsy flower arrangements and metal pails from Ikea which held a copies of our ice breaker game.

accents

The antique lanterns are my dads because he’s cool like that.

baby_shower_onesies

 The party was held at The Center – a quaint community space located inside the beautiful, historic Christopher’s Herb Shop building on Main Street in Springville Utah.  I loved the charming tin ceiling and thought it was the perfect setting for the baby shower.

camping baby shower food

Most of the food was catered by Ginger’s Garden Cafe, which is conveniently located in the same building. Gingers is an absolute gem – an unlikely find in Utah county.  Their menu is vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free friendly and with a focus on whole, natural, and local ingredients their food is real and real good for you. Gingers provided a delicious white bean chili, turkey pesto wraps, and a veggie tray accompanied by freshly made basil garlic hummus and their signature ranch dressing. Side note – Their ranch dressing is so delicious I could see myself being in a committed relationship with it. I also requested a giant batch of their freshly made lavender lemonade – my favorite. The food was so great, and with several of our guests having food allergy concerns it was amazing to be able to tell them to go ahead and dig in without fear.

muffins

smores_bar

We also served yummy cornbread muffins, trail mix, mixed berries and fruit. My sisters even found a way to serve s’mores at our camping themed party by way of a handy chocolate fountain.

baby_food

Props to my sisters for coming up with baby shower games that did not involve 1) me revealing my weight, 2)melted chocolate bars in diapers or 3)creepy plastic babies – all those awkward things at baby showers that just make me squirm with embarassment. Instead we did a fun game where you match up animals with their baby animal counterpart. (Did you know a baby monkey is called an infant? I hate that so much.) We also did a baby food taste test game where we were given six samples of baby food flavors and had to guess which was which. Liz came up with the genius idea of serving the food samples in these cute disposable artists pallets.

decorate_onesies

onesies

The third activity was decorating onesies. We provided our guests with an array of iron fabric and stencils to create appliques as well as embroidery hoops and thread. They came up with the cutest ideas! Mike especially loves this Utah Jazz creation lovingly made by his sister. It was great to do this activity last because it allowed people to stay and mingle while they worked, or if they had to get going that was fine too. It also gave me a chance to get to talk with everyone who came which was so nice because I love and miss all those ladies so much.

baby shower favor

My sisters allowed me to help in one other way – the thank you favors. I filled 8 oz canning jars with homemade granola, and finished them off with a navy gingham lid insert and a little thank you tag. You can purchase a digital download in my Etsy shop to make these favors yourself!

Again, a very huge thanks to my sisters and mom  for creating the baby shower of my dreams. It was such a blast sharing this day with so many of my amazing friends and family.

I’ve received several requests for some of the materials I used for the baby shower. I was unable to locate where the baby animal guessing game came from, so I’ve designed a similar one myself. Below you will find links to download PDF files of the baby animal guessing game and answer key, baby food game forms, and the welcome sign.

Baby Animals Guessing Game

Baby Animals Guessing Game Answer Key

Baby Food Taste Test Game

Baby Shower Welcome Sign

Thank you Favor Kit – For Sale on Etsy

It’s NOT Okay, Cupid

Several months ago I was hired to create a logo and some promotional materials for the web series “It’s Not Okay, Cupid!”  Each episode is based on a real life message received from a real life creep on the online dating site OKCupid.com. The series is written by/created by/stars Stefanie Grassley and Julia Tokarz – 2 seriously talented ladies whom I loved working with to create these items. 

When the series was accepted into the Independent Television Festival, Stefanie and Julia decided they needed some materials to help promote their screenings. The ladies provided me with some great photographs which I used to create a poster and post card.

poster_final_web

Julia and Stefanie wanted a design that was girly, fun, and bold. I used similar colors as the OKCupid website to draw a relation between the site and the series and repeated the “talk bubble” graphic to illustrate the girls being inundated with messages from all manner of weirdos. 

The postcard design was really similar but with a little more information. The blank talk bubble on the back was left as a space for the girls to write in specific information about screening times or other text depending on the event. 

postcard_final_web

Here’s Julia and Stef with one of the posters at the festival. 

notokaycupid

 

This project was a lot of fun especially because it was different from what I usually do. Julia an Stef are so creative and funny, working with them was a dream. Check out their web-series at www.itsnotokaycupidtheseries.com

 

 

“I need a ride home”

I have two sisters who are quite frankly my favorite. First there’s my little sister – bold, funny, and brave she has an inexhaustible sense of adventure and a killer smile.Then there’s my littlest sister, a genuine tender heart, an old soul, who’s as sweet as she is savvy. The three of us together is something magical – an interesting and intricate balance of wit, inside jokes, criticism, and general weirdness.  Last week we fulfilled a dream long held by each of us. A dream born on sick days and lazy summer mornings. Yes, we were part of the studio audience at a taping of The Price is Right.

We did our research and knew that contestants are not picked at random – in order to “come on down” you have to stand out in a crowd.  Our first step was to create a bold, clever and original t-shirt. We probably spent more time coming up with this then we did planning the spontaneous trip.  Accounts vary on who’s genius brain actually arrived at the solution, but when it came out of her mouth we all knew it was gold. Behold.

price_is_right_shirt

With each of us sporting one of these beauties there was no way any CBS producer would pass up putting our mugs on TV.

The day of the show we arrived at the studio at 8:30 and were ushered into waiting area one. We filled out paper work, got our iconic name tags and chatted with the pages (who really did look exactly like Kenneth Parcell that one time he worked at  CBS).  After 2 hours we were moved to the second waiting area where we…waited. and were constantly reminded by staff that anyone, anywhere could be a Price Is Right producer so you better behave if you want to win a car. This is probably just their way of bribing tired, cranky strangers to get along.

As hoped, our T-shirts got us a lot of attention  – several people commented on how clever they were and they made for great conversation starters.  Around hour 4 when we were finally interviewed by THEE all powerful producer our shirts did spark some silly banter between us and I thought for sure he would remember our cute little faces come “come on down” time.

After 5 hours of waiting we were finally let into the studio and yes, it was fabulous, tacky, magic. We were beyond excited when we were led to our seats in THE VERY FRONT ROW. The show started and the room erupted into chaos. The cheering and screaming and clapping was so out of control I couldn’t even tell what was happening. It was thrilling and exhausting. As we watched the reactions of each person called down, called on stage, or told they had a chance to win “A NEW CAR” it became apparent to my sisters and I that being a contestant on this show required a level of crazy we did not ourselves possess.

We didn’t make it to contestants row after all, but the folks at The Price Is Right must have thought we had something to offer viewers at home. Our front row seats put us right in the middle of the action  hugging and high fiving each person as they made their way to the stage to play a pricing game. We got to feel like we were a part of the show and and got an above average amount of camera time, which in my opinion was like the crew giving us an honorable mention. During one of the commercial breaks Drew Carrey himself struck up a conversation with us –  “So you need a ride home?”

Better luck next year right? And to all of my elderly and unemployed friends, the show will air mid October – look for us on TV!!!

price_is_right_shirts

 

Confetti Wedding Invitation

Kristin and Nathan’s wedding invitations were a blast to create. This fun couple chose a palette of beautiful jewel tones for their wedding colors and wished to incorporate all of them into the invitation design. Lots of bright colors –  An intimidating prospect for this neutral-loving minimalist, but a worthy challenge.

confetti_wedding_invitation1

To create a joyful and fun feel I chose a confetti theme. To elevate the design from the birthday party realm I wrapped the invites with a band of vellum and pink baker’s twine.

confetti_wedding_invitation2jpg

The suite included an invitation, a ceremony insert card and a second insert with registry information and a map on the reverse.  I also created a custom wrap-around label to match.

confetti_wedding_invitation

I printed on a bright white, heavy card stock. The paper is matte, but the ink is nice and glossy giving the invitation a clean and polished look.

confetti_wedding_invitation_closeup

Those confetti dots may look simple, but they were the most difficult part of the design.  Designing something to look random and unintentional is a lot harder than you would think. It was a painstaking process, but it was important that the circles didn’t look too perfect and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

Best wishes to Kristin and Nathan!

The Quirks of Being a Pug Owner: Part 1

pug sitting on top of couch cushionsI believe pugs are born with a genetic disposition to perch themselves on the top of the couch cushions.  My first couch was a hand-me-down from my husband’s parents who’s pug Jojo spent so much time lounging in this position the cushions became deformed beyond recognition. I thought my new couch would be spared the same fate until one day, totally out of the blue, the seat of the couch was no longer enough for dear Ruby. No matter how hard I try to break her of this new habit she can’t be kept down.  Am I the only one dealing with this strange quirk?