bridal series: learn calligraphy! [closed]

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Happy Friday! I’m super excited to (finally) introduce a new bridal series on City Tonic! Over the next few months, I’ll be posting some wedding-related features as I plan my big day (and sharing any tips I learn in the process). Hopefully the series will be fun to read – whether you’re planning your own wedding, or just occasionally indulging in some wedding daydreaming via Pinterest (we’ve all been there).

Okay, to kick things off, today’s post is all about calligraphy! As soon as we decided on our wedding date (and knew we’d be fast-tracking the planning), I started designing our Save the Date cards since we’re inviting lots of out-of-town/international guests. I’m a bit of a DIY addict, so I thought I’d attempt to address my envelopes rather than hire a pro calligrapher. I’ve always admired beautiful hand-lettering and “modern” style calligraphy, but the task of actually learning how to do it felt pretty daunting. Then I found out about the insanely talented Ashley Lurcott and The Lettered Bride. The Lettered Bride offers a DIY calligraphy kit that sets you up to learn the technique without any of the guesswork. The calligraphy kits available at big art stores teach the old-fashioned, more traditional calligraphy style — but Ashley’s DIY kit comes with instructions for the playful and trendy calligraphy style you’ve probably seen all over Pinterest. The Lettered Bride’s guide booklet introduces the art of calligraphy in steps that are clear and digestible; the hand-drawn examples help you visualize how the direction and pressure of your strokes will end up forming those pretty little letters and swashes. Plus, the kit comes with the best pens and inks to get you started and tons of practice sheets on which you can perfect your lettering skills.

I actually ended up becoming obsessed with calligraphy, once I got past the first few unsuccessful (and hideous) attempts. It’s extremely relaxing and can deliver some really impressive results. Plus, the ink options are endless. Obviously I had to buy all the neons immediately. It was a little bittersweet dropping my Save the Dates at the post office after all the quality time I’d spent with them, but now I’m super excited to start designing my invitations and addressing the envelopes all over again. (I’m a crazy person.)

Feeling inspired? Ashley has generously offered to gift a DIY kit to one lucky reader! Even if you aren’t planning to address a massive amount of envelopes, calligraphy is an awesome skill to learn. So, enter now and cross your fingers!

The contest winner is Caryn Just – congrats!

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new! custom blog design

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Happy Monday! I just wanted to take a second and announce a new service I’ll be offering through City Tonic in the coming months: custom blog design! As you may already know – I work full-time as an Art Director/Designer and I have a lot of professional experience with branding and design projects. Since I’ve really enjoyed designing, coding and refining my own blog, I figured it would be fun to help out anyone in need of some design assistance.

Here’s the deal: I can work with you to start a new blog and create a brand identity – logo, color palette, custom-designed assets and more. Or I can simply provide a facelift to an existing blog. If you’re just looking for some minor design updates, I can help with that too (examples include: custom social media icons, adding an “about me” section to your sidebar, font and color tweaks, etc.). I am very comfortable working with WordPress, but can also help out (in a more limited capacity) with Squarespace blogs. Additionally, I’ll be offering branding services to help extend your blog’s identity – like business cards, stationary, e-newsletter templates and more.

If you’re interested, check out the details here and fill out the custom blog request form so I can see what you need. Thanks!

DIY: mixing flowers and succulents

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I think everyone loves succulents. If you ever peruse Pinterest, you’ll likely encounter a few succulents nestled into an artfully-designed bridal bouquet or centerpiece (they’re almost as ubiquitous as mason jars in the Pinterest world). So they’ve been trendy for awhile, but I am not complaining. Personally, I’m a big fan of any plant that doesn’t die at the first sign of neglect.

Beyond that, I really like the texture and depth succulents add to floral arrangements. The soft, dusty green variety are my favorite – so beautiful paired with coral and pink flowers. The best part? The succulents used in your arrangement can be replanted in soil long after the flowers wilt (like, two weeks later) and still thrive. Resilient lil’ guys!

Here’s my process for creating bright, happy arrangements using succulents and flowers (…perhaps unfit for a Pinterest wedding, but they do look lovely in my apartment). PS: check out more floral inspiration here.

You’ll need:
  • 2-3 succulents of varying sizes (medium/large)
  • an assortment of fresh flowers (I used a mixture of anemone, peonies, lisianthus and spray roses)
  • floral foam brick (soaked in water)
  • vase or planter
  • thin wire and green floral tape
  • skewers or chopsticks
  • wire cutters
  • floral shears

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Finished arrangements:

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mixing succulents and flowers, floral arrangements with succulents, DIY succulent arrangement, succulent trend, how to make floral arrangement, peony flower arrangements, succulent bouquets, boston flower exchange, home decor ideas, decorating with fresh flowers, style at home, how to arrange flowers for home, bright flowers during winter, where to find peonies and succulents boston, floral inspiration, boston style blogger, boston fashion blogger, boston style blog, boston fashion blog, boston lifestyle blog, home design blog boston, home decor boston
Flowers are from the Boston Flower Exchange and succulents are from Berry’s Greenhouses.