{Featured} Maggie Choate of Chalk Treatment

Recently I came across a very talented Chalk artist Maggie Choate of the shop Chalk Treatment ,  her style of work is so creative and beautiful that it is a must see. Unique piece of artwork that will add a special touch to your occasions and celebrations. We did an interview of her to know more about her work and style. Enjoy!

 

1.When and how did you become interested in your field of work?

I’ve always admired chalkboard art. Years ago when I lived in Seattle, I noticed a lot of chalkboard art cropping up at my local grocery store and in my neighborhood pubs and cafés. At the time, I was happily working as a graphic designer with a background in illustration but I missed doing things by hand. I started sketching again, working with pastels and chalk, playing with lettering and experimenting with bright colors on dark paper. A few years later, a friend (who knew my passion for chalk art) showed me a help wanted ad for a Trader Joe’s chalkboard artist. I gathered my portfolio of illustrations, went for the interview and got the job.

Wedding Chalkboard - Wood Sign

Wedding Chalkboard – Wood Sign

 

2.How long have you been in this business?

I had the idea of starting my own chalkboard business while I was working at Trader Joe’s as a chalkboard/sign artist. In my last few months at Trader Joe’s I decided to launch myEtsyshop and found myselfquite busy almost immediately. I was furiously working on orders when I got home from work and on my weekends. With my husband’s support, I was able to devote myself toChalk Treatment full-time about a year ago.

 

Chalkboard Sign - Wedding Celebration

Chalkboard Sign – Wedding Celebration

 

3.What 3 words describe your work?

 

Vibrant, Fun, Unique

 

4.What are some sources of inspiration or influences on your work?

 

My main influence is (of course) Dana Tanamachi. Her lettering style is so elegant and yet simple…as is her philosophy. She was talking about the nature of chalk in an interview and called it“a humble medium”. She also said that almost everyone has memories of it and that there’s an element of nostalgia about chalk that takes people to a simpler time and place. I just love that idea…it speaks volumes. I also think it’s amazing that she doesn’t seal her work (I do). Her work is completely temporary and I think that’s oddly beautiful. I also admire Sean Wes. His hand lettering is sublime and he offers these amazing workshops for people who want to learn the art of hand lettering and/or improve their existing hand lettering skills.

 

Chalkboard Sign - Eat Drink & Be Married

Chalkboard Sign – Eat Drink & Be Married

 

5.How large, or established, is the business/organization you currently govern? Are you looking to grow?

Right now, it’s just me. Eventually I’d like to have a few more artists to collaborate with and would REALLY like someone to help withal the administrative stuff.

 

6.Tell us about your most recent project? What was the most difficult and/or relaxed aspect of it?

 

Recently I created a “proposal” chalkboard for a wonderfully romantic man who had reached out to me about a year ago through my Etsy shop asking for a custom digital piece. He wanted me to take a quote he likedand create a print that looked like chalkboard art for a book of photos he was putting together of his adventures with an amazing woman he’d met. His idea was to give her the book as a unique (and clever) way of asking her to be his girl. I created the artwork, he put the book together and…she said YES! Smart girl. About a month ago, he reached out to me again and this time he asked for a large hand-made custom chalkboard sign. He had a beautiful quote that he wanted me to bring to life in chalk and he told me that he was going to use the chalkboard to propose to her. He promised to keep in touch and let me know how it all turned out…and, I’m happy to say that they are now engaged! The most difficult part about this particular job was making sure that each line in the quote had it’s own kind of emphasis – that required a LOT of different lettering styles and textures. It challenged me on many levels but once it was finished I was able to take a step back realize how honored I felt to be a (small) part of the beginning of something wonderful.

 

Custom Quote Chalkboard

Custom Quote Chalkboard

 

7.What sets your business/ organization apart from others of an identical nature?

 

I create each piece by hand from start to finish. I really want to give people something unique to their personality, something they can show off, – knowing it’s the only one of it’s kind. For the budget conscious, I also offer chalkboards with a ready made designed layout…but even these are customized to fit each individual. Since the overall design has already been done, I can come in and add names, dates, special quotes, etc. It helps me to create something personalized and unique to the person who ordered it AND keep the price down. I also make sure to keep myself open for completely custom orders. I truly enjoy making something 100% unique and meaningful. Each order starts with a conversation and a sketch. I like to get to know someone a bit before I start their chalkboard so that I can give them something tailored to their specific style.

 

 

8.What do you enjoy most about what you do?

The freedom to play with lettering! I’m a HUGE typography geek and I love working with decorative letter forms.

 

9.What are common misconceptions about your services?

Some folks think that I screen-print my chalkboards (for mass production) or that I use chalk paint pens. NOPE! No screen-printing, and most definitely no mass production. As far as materials go, I like working with actual chalk (and chalk pastels). I’ve worked with the chalk paint pens in the past and they’re great for certain applications but I prefer the real deal.

 

10.If you could have any superpower on the job, what would it be?

If I had the power to create more hours in the day, I’d be on top of the world! Sometimes I feel like I need more time to accomplish everything I want to do.

 

11.Are you a home-based business? Or have you established your own office space?

 

I am a home-based business. I’m lucky enough to have a room in my home that I can dedicate 100% to my business.

 

12.Where do you see yourself in next 3-5 years?

 

I’d like to be the “go-to-girl” for custom chalkboard art. That (and pride in my work) is why I take such care with every single board. I want each board to be absolutely perfect. I’m working towards getting to a place where I can hire one (or two) more very carefully selected and trained artists to help with “order overload” so that I am able to take on more orders at a time. Because each board is a custom piece, they take a good chunk of time to complete and I don’t (yet) have the aforementioned super power to add more hours into my day

 

 

13.Your most successful/best selling product ?

The most popular items by far are the “For the Bar” chalkboards. These are very individualized – with fun/quirky headlines and vibrant illustrations. I’ve done numerous versions…each one of them unique to the person who placed the order. People really seem to love them – they make a stand-out impact and they come in a variety of sizes and styles.

 

 

Chalkboard Sign -For the Bar!

Chalkboard Sign -For the Bar!

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The Importance of The Card Box

Author Rene Krejci

Wedding Card Box

Photo courtesy of RCK Weddings & Design LLC

 

I attended a wedding awhile back as a guest. I had a card to give with cash in it. I went over to the gift table to put my card somewhere and I noticed there was no card box or basket to put the card inside of. I thought to myself ‘How can they keep track of all the cards without a card box?’ Months went by and we never received a thank you for the monetary gift. Could it be that the couple just over looked it and didn’t realize that they had not sent a thank you? Could it be that they just lost the card and didn’t even know we gave them a card with cash in it? Or could it be that maybe they just didn’t have proper etiquette to even send a thank you.

Well, we’ll never know what really happened, but I can tell you that having a card box to secure your cards with monetary values in them is very important. A box with some sort of enclosure is very important so that thieves don’t have easy access to taking your cards.

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Do people actually steal money from weddings?’ The answer is YES, YES they do. As a wedding coordinator I have never had it happen to one of my brides, but it happened to a relative of mine. When I coordinate a wedding, I have one of my assistants assigned to the gift table at all times. The assistant monitors the table and watches for suspicious behavior.

There are many types of card boxes out there. You can make your own or you can buy them. They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made out of just about anything that fits you and your style of your wedding.

Personalized Card Box

Personalized Card Box

unique card box ideas

Photo courtesy of RCK Weddings & Design LLC

Wedding Card Box Idea

Wedding Card Box Idea

 

Cute Wedding Card Box

Cute Wedding Card Box

 

Do you have any ideas to  to share? Let us know in your comments.

Would you like to have your wedding featured? Use the Contact Form, we would love to feature you!

 Author Renee Krejci is a wedding planner and owner of RCK Weddings & Design, LLC.  She has been planning, designing and coordinating weddings and events for 14 years. She is a wife and mother of 2 living in Virginia. Renee was a DIY bride and loves giving tips and ideas to aid the DIY bride.

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{Sponsored} Weddings of a Different Color

Wedding trends come and go, and recent years have seen plenty of shifts in different types of weddings. There has been a resurgence of barn and rustic weddings, with burlap and lace adorning nearly every surface while southern cocktails are served in mason jars. Coffee and mimosa bars have shown up on every Pinterest page for the increasingly-popular brunch wedding that’s seemed to take off for those wanting a more intimate gathering. Cake has been replaced by self-serve candy stations, individual pies, and popcorn bars.

 

Nina by Anya Bridals

Nina by Anya Bridals

With more couples opting to make their weddings a creative reflection of themselves, is there any such thing as a “traditional” wedding anymore?

 

Getting cake smashed in your face and trying to blindly toss a bunch of flowers over your shoulder can seem like such silly things to do when you could be dancing and otherwise enjoying one of the biggest parties of your life. That being said, most never dream of breaking one cardinal rule: wearing white on your wedding day.

 

Virginia by Anya Bridals

Virginia by Anya Bridals

Although it’s been a bit slower to take hold, there has been an increasing shift away from strictly white weddings. Brides today embrace color. Celebrities have always been known for bucking tradition, and many notable stars have ditched the white lace in favor of something a little more exciting.

 

Carmen by Anya Bridals

Carmen by Anya Bridals

Shades of pink have been a popular choice for celebs, including Gwen Stefani’s ombre dress, Reese Witherspoon’s soft blush, and Jessica Biel’s pretty pink ball gown worn to tie the knot with Justin Timberlake.

 

Rosa by Anya Bridals

Rosa by Anya Bridals

 

Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton in a sunny yellow, and who could forget Dita Von Tesse’s deep purple gown or Sarah Jessica Parker’s show stopping black wedding dress

Sarah Jessica Parker's black wedding dress

Sarah Jessica Parker’s black wedding dress

 

Ella by Anya Bridals

Ella by Anya Bridals

Many designers have also been showcasing colored wedding dresses on the runways, including

Vera Wang (who released an entire line of pink-hued dresses for Fall 2014), Oscar de la Renta, and Monique Lhuillier. We all know runway trends don’t necessarily translate well into the “real world,” but both Zac Posen and Vera Wang have colorful options in their collections at David’s Bridal that are very wearable (and affordable) for the everyday woman.

 

Daphne by Anya Bridals

Daphne by Anya Bridals

If you want to add some color to your wedding look, but aren’t ready to make your dress your “something blue,” there are options to incorporate color in striking ways that still fall in line with tradition. Many bridal stores, like Anya Bridal, offer dresses with colored sashes that can match your bridesmaid’s dresses or wedding color palette, as well as gowns with colorful accents and details.

Brooke by Anya Bridals

Brooke by Anya Bridals

 

Ansley by Anya Bridals

Ansley by Anya Bridals

Wedding fashion, just like the rest of the fashion world, will always see trends come and go, and then come back again. It’s safe to say that white will likely always be the dominant wedding dress color for many brides, but colorful dress may continue to rise in popularity over the next couple of years. Whether you just dip your toes into the water or embrace the trend fully is up to you, but women looking to add some color on their special day will soon find more retailers stocking dresses and accents of every shade.

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Plan a Perfect Bachelorette Party with these Must-Have items

Author Maya Savanovich

A bride’s bachelorette party is a night where you’ll let loose, bond and create memories that you will (depending on how many drinks you have) remember forever! Although the night certainly isn’t complete without the beautiful bride and all her best friends, it’s also not complete without the right supplies. By stocking up on all of the items that are absolutely necessary for this party, you will ensure that the party is as good as it can get! So, grab a pen and make a list of the items below, and you’ll be on your way to having an absolutely amazing night with your friends.

1. Name Tags

If you’re going out with the girls, then name tags are going to be fantastic to have for each girl. Even better, there are tags that are specifically made for bachelorette parties, so they say which member of the crew you are (for example: bride, maid of honor, bridesmaid). Want to have even more fun with these? Then write fake names! You can each have a new identity for the night, why not? Source

 

Name tags

Name tags

Bachelorette Name Tags

Bachelorette Name Tags

 

 

2. Matching Shirts

Matching shirts are great for bachelorette parties because they will keep your group together and make everyone easy to pick out of a crowd (like a packed bar). You can have these made from a number of websites, but you can also make them yourself. Keep these when the night is over, and you’ll have a keepsake that each person can enjoy for many years to come.

Tip: Have each girl have people sign the shirt every time she takes a shot or does kisses someone. This is a fun way to personalize the shirt, and you can get creative with different challenges.

fun purple martini Bachelorette t-shirt

fun purple martini Bachelorette t-shirt

 
3. Costumes 

If you’re not going to go the matching shirts route, then dress up with cute costumes! This is the only time other than Halloween that you can dress up, so feel free to wear something sexy and cute. Burlesque costumes are generally the most popular for bachelorette parties because they look great on anyone and are so feminine. Everyone can wear a different costume that they like the best, or everyone can be matching with the same thing for unity.

 

20s burlesque french cabaret can can dancer hens night party costume

20s burlesque french cabaret can can dancer hens night party costume

4. Pajamas    

If you’re having a sleepover after going out (or are staying in for the night), then celebrate the occasion with some cute pajamas that are made just for the occasion. These will be welcomed comfort after a night out in tight clothes and high heels, and will be pieces that you can wear over and over again. Some of these can even be customized, if you want to make the pieces extra special.

Beautiful Bridesmaid Pajamas

Beautiful Bridesmaid Pajamas

 

 

5. Bridal Tiara

The bride is the one who definitely needs to stand out on a special day like this, so make sure you give her a bridal tiara that she can wear with pride! These come in a lot of different styles, so have fun with the one that you choose for your friend. There are even some that have blinking lights on them, which will ensure that everyone sees the bride when she walks into a room.

bachelorette tiara

bachelorette tiara

6. Cocktail Shaker    

If you’re going to be making drinks, then you need a cocktail shaker that you can use to make them! Have one of these handy so you can make sure you serve all the girls just what they want. Don’t forget the glasses, but make sure you choose plastic or a strong material, because glass is easy to break when you’re having a lot of fun!

Tip: Personalize these and they can be great party favors at the end of the night.

cocktail shakers

cocktail shakers

 

7. Shot Drinking Game        

Need a way to get the party started? Then grab a shot drinking game and you’ll be on your way in no time! One great drinking game with shots is a roulette drinking game, which is where you fill some of the glasses with alcohol and some with water. You spin the wheel, and whatever you land on is what you drink!

shot glasses

shot glasses

Any of these supplies are going to make a bachelorette party that much more special and unique. But, don’t forget about the bride and what she likes. Always cater to her style and personality to make sure you get thing that she will enjoy on her big night out. On top of everything else, remember to have FUN and make memories (oh, and don’t forget your camera).

Any tips to share with us? leave a comment :)

Would you like to have your wedding featured?  Use the Contact Form, we would love to feature you!

Maya Savanovich is a wedding and a fashion blogger. She loves writing about wedding and fashion trends, advice and tips. She has written for several wedding vendors and has contributed articles to various well known wedding blogs and websites. She loves a challenge and is always on the lookout for beautiful wedding pictures and awesome ideas.

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Dressing your Bridal Party – A dream or a nightmare?

Author Kerry Jackson-Rider 

Dressing your bridal party seems like a really hard job to me
especially as more brides seem to be choosing all their girlfriends to
be bridesmaids plus a maid of honour plus little flower girls and page
boys. I’m not sure where this trend even started but I guess if you can
get them all to pay for their own outfits it’s not too bad for your
wedding budget. However, this will throw up another problem in that
most of them will undoubtedly want to have a dress which they can wear
again (I’m thinking 27 Dresses now!) so how do YOU make sure you get
what you want and please everyone else at the same time?

It’s hard to find a style which suits every body shape and what length
do you go for and which colour as you will probably have maids with
blond hair, red hair and dark hair (hair up or down is a topic for
another day!). When I was a bridesmaid – a very long time ago! – I
remember I had a horrid stiff satiny floor length dress which was
probably very ‘on trend’ at the time, a flower ring in my hair and a
posy – I wish I had a photo for you but I don’t! There were just two of
us with the other girl being slightly older and we were dressed exactly
the same.

I wonder how many of you hated your bridesmaid dress and wish you could
have worn something else on the day? Did you feel uncomfortable or self
conscious all day long? I see lots of weddings and dresses and can
quickly spot the bridesmaids who feel conspicuous in what they are
wearing, strapless dresses tend to create a particular anxiety and we
all know the feeling of wanting to keep adjusting it continually. One
shoulder styles don’t suit everyone neither do short, calf length or
long options and each of us knows when we feel most comfortable. I
personally prefer to see long flowing comfy dresses in chiffon in a
pale colour. This is one of my favourite photos – I love how
comfortable everyone looks and also the pastel colours which blend
beautifully and lend themselves to a variety of backdrops and wedding
styles from casual to traditional. I think the dresses can be either
long or short so long as they suit the wearer and make them feel
relaxed and comfortable. It’s a long day after all!

Pastel Bridesmaid Dresses

Pastel Bridesmaid Dresses

My next question is should the Maid or Matron of Honor wear a
different style or even a different color so that she stands out? See
my Top Tip #4 below for some suggestions on this.

Short Bridesmaid dresses

Short Bridesmaid dresses

Flower girls are such a cute addition to the bridal party especially
with colored sashes and baskets of petals. There is a trend for super
pretty’ tutu’ style dresses with little pumps and I don’t think you can
go too far wrong with this formula which is guaranteed to get your
guests oohing and aahing!

Flower girl dress

Flower girl dress

Page boys or ringbearers look sweet in little suits which can match or
tone with the groomsmen and the overall color/ theme of the wedding.
This one is a lightweight cotton with shorts which is great for a
Summer or outdoor wedding.

Ringbearer Dressing

Ringbearer Dressing

David’s Bridal have a great service called
‘Dress Your Wedding’ which enables you to look at different colours,
styles and accessories and experiment virtually with the look of your
entire bridal party. They say, “When you think “bridesmaids’ dresses”
you might think of long, flowing gowns but more and more of today’s
brides are choosing short bridesmaid dresses for their wedding. That’s
because many bridesmaids find short dresses to be comfortable and
flattering plus they love that they can wear their dresses again for
parties and other special occasions”.

Martha Stewart also has some great advice here

Peter Som says, “Women are having more fun with fashion in
general—they’re aware of trends and open to taking risks—and they’re
bringing that spirit to their weddings. You don’t have to become
someone else (read: more traditional than you are) for that one day.
You don’t even have to wear
white!”

Here are my Top 4 Tips to help you choose your bridesmaids’ dresses:

1. If you’re going to let your maids choose their own dress style be
sure to give them a swatch of the exact color and fabric that you want
or you will end up with a complete mish mash of shades and textures.
2. Be clear whether you want all short (mini) or long (maxi) or a
balance of each OR a whole range of lengths i-e. mini, knee length, calf
length, maxi.
3. Think about the season and the location of your wedding. For
example, I personally wouldn’t want to wear red velvet in the Summer or
a long, clingy or satiny dress on a Caribbean beach

Emerald green satin bridesmaid dress

Emerald green satin bridesmaid dress

4. Add a splash of color with a sash or shoes – I like colored shoes
as long as they tone with the dresses and flowers AND this is also a
great way of enabling your MOH to stand out without being too different

Different style, same color bridesmaid dresses

Different style, same color bridesmaid dresses

 

Do you have any ideas to  to share? Let us know in your comments.

Would you like to have your wedding featured? Use the Contact Form, we would love to feature you!

Author Kerry is the founder and owner of Kerry Jackson-Rider Luxury Wedding Planning and is a leading UK & International Wedding Designer and Planner.
With over 10 years experience in Wedding and Event Planning.

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