Thursday, July 30, 2009

Designer Mugs for Designers

Do I need to spend $125 on coffee mugs? Nay.
Can you see why I'd want to? Yes? Good.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Highlight Books for Everyone!

I wanted to share some recent personal projects that incorporate my fabtabulous Highlight Books. I first introduced this concept last fall and I'm so excited with the response. If you have an idea for your very own Highlight Book, you can shop my Etsy site or send me an email at to get the ball rolling.
Take a look at my two pet projects:
You met niece #1 right here. She's growing like a weed. I put together this Highlight Book for my sister-in-law to remind her that just two short months ago, her baby girl was teeny tiny.
I made this book for my husband to commemorate our recent trip to Italy. He keeps it at his desk at work and probably dreams about amazing scenery, great wine and incredible food. At least, that's what I do when I look at it.
You can have your very own Highlight Book for $15. Minimum order of 3 books. The process is simple: you send me your favorite high resolution photos and I do the rest.
In addition to the obvious uses (weddings, babies, travels, anniversaries, etc.) Highlight Books can also be used for fun invitations, favors and other event accessories. In the most recent issue of Bride & Bloom Magazine, my Highlight Books were featured as wedding invitations. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, Pt.4

As I mentioned in Part 3 of this week's guide, great design can be found at the grocery store if you look hard enough. And where there is great design, there is inspiration to be had to create the perfect event.
Case in point:
I have been obsessing for awhile over Pellegrino. Simply put, it's water in a fancy bottle. But look at that gorgeous green glass! And the pretty blue shades with a small pop of tomato red. Ka-pow! This color palate lends itself to so many looks and all I had to do was stop at Safeway (or insert your local grocery store here).
Think about the last time a package or pattern or photo caught your eye. What about it made you stop for a better look? Was it the color? The texture? The feeling it evoked? The lesson here is this: inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes right under your nose. Literally. Pay attention to these visual cues. They may just solve all of your design dilemmas so you can live happily ever after.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, Pt.3

I touched on the subject of budget briefly in yesterday's post, and today I want to bring it front and center. Clearly, budget will play a role in any event design. And clearly, many brides and hostesses have had to cut back given the current economic roller coaster we all seem to be riding.

If you can't afford to hire an event designer, or rent fancy schmancy linens - take heart. Nowadays there are so many resources out there for guys and gals just like you. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Costco -- although I avoid this behemoth of bulk goods come the weekend, if you plan a trip during a weeknight, you're more likely to avoid the crowds. Costco has an amazing selection of fresh flowers, and they take special orders. In addition to floral, check back often for their ever changing selection of table accessories. A friend of mine had her heart set on silver chargers, but couldn't afford to pay what her reception venue was charging. At that same time, Costco just so happened to be offering the very same silver chargers. She found another girlfriend who was also getting married who also wanted silver chargers and they went in on them together. Great idea for brides who have friends getting married -- if your styles are similar in any way, consider going in on some of those little accessories to save big.
2. Craft Stores -- do not overlook your local craft store, or even the big box chains such as JoAnn's or Michael's. Many of these places offer coupons when you sign up for their mailing list or e-newsletter. Think of all the supplies you can get, many times at a 40% savings or more. Ribbon, craft punches, fabrics, and gift bags to name a few.
3. Home Goods -- ahhhh, Home Goods. Have you been? If not, you must. Aisle after aisle of every accessory for the home you can imagine. This might not be the place to go if you're planning a large wedding, but for smaller events this is one of my favorite places. You'll find picture frames for your table numbers, glass jars for your candy bar and other odds and ends at crazy reasonable prices. Virtually every display table I have ever worked on included a trip to Home Goods.
4. IKEA -- you had to know it was coming, right? You know all the obvious reasons to go -- candlesticks, vases, blah, blah, blah. I also love IKEA because they now carry a great selection of fabrics. If you're crafty, consider hitting up IKEA's textile department for DIY table runners.
These are obviously just a few ideas and anecdotes to help prepare a stylish soiree. Great design can be found at the grocery store if you look hard enough. So get out there and look! And tell me where you went--I'm always on the lookout for a great source of inspiration.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, Pt.2

In Part Two of the Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, I want to focus on your individual taste. I touched on this in Part One with regards to choosing the best venue for your vision. But let's dig a little deeper, shall we?

Aside from some of the obvious questions you'll need to ask yourself (How big is your event? What kind of budget are you working with? How much time do you have to plan?) you should also consider the following:
Aside from bridal magazines, you can find a wealth of inspiration by delving into the pages of your favorite catalogs. Seek out patterns, color combinations, place settings and floral arrangements. Interior Design and Decor magazines are also very helpful.
To create the perfect color palate, consider taking a field trip to your local home improvement store. Paint swatches galore, my dears. Some of the home decorating shops have even gotten into the fray -- Pottery Barn now offers seasonal paint selections that complement their furnishings and decor items. Click here to view their current color selections or request a fan deck.
If you are planning a wedding and have already selected a dress, steal this trick: gaze at your dress for as long as you want and jot down as many adjectives that describe your fetching frock. Now take a look at what you've written. Voila! Inspiration in list form. Take this list with you to your vendor appointments and you'll effectively communicate your vision. Easy, right?
Some other things you might consider when designing the perfect event are the little things that make up your everyday style. What influences you? Do you travel? Dine at fancy restaurants? Love to explore the outdoors? All of these things can assist you in defining your ideal event style. Look inward at the things you love and you'll be more likely to create an event that truly represents your individuality and creativity. And have fun!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, Pt.1

I've worked with enough brides to know that one of the most common, yet frustrating challenges in planning a wedding is coming up with a beautiful, cohesive design. And I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be a designer to create a gorgeous wedding or special event!

This week I'll be sharing some common pitfalls, tips and tricks to help you determine what will work best for you event. Today I want to talk about space. Specifically the space you have chosen to host your event.
"Consider Your Space"
Repeat this like a mantra. I'm serious. If you are getting married at a gorgeous, historical country club, please don't try to recreate an industrial/modern loft reception. Instead, consider your space. Consider the architectural details. Consider the carpet. Consider the chandeliers. Consider it all. Work with what you have and enhance it. Just don't try and turn it into something it's not.
For example:
You are having a wedding at the aforementioned gorgeous, historical country club. Perhaps it has a beautiful ornate chandelier, traditional floral carpets and velvet draperies. You can easily enhance the space with some yummy linens (shimmery satin, damask prints or nubby silk would be pretty), lots of candlelight (antique candelabras?) and some fantastic floral to finish the look.
And if you haven't booked a space, consider your personal style before signing the dotted line.
If you have your heart set on a bold/modern look, do some research and find a venue that would cater to this look.
More examples:
Resorts/Ballrooms are great for big and fancy. Each place will have it's own distinct style, though - so be sure to look around to determine if it's right for you.
Beaches are great for low key and casual events. They are also very versatile. You can do modern beach just as easily as you can do vintage beach.
Country Clubs tend to be beautiful and traditional. Not always the best choice for the "modern" bride. But they do serve as a terrific backdrop for the classic beauty.
Garden Weddings are great for earthy and traditional brides alike. Like a beach wedding, they can be more relaxed and casual. On the other hand, gardens can serve as a great canvas for extravagance.
Offbeat venues such as museums, parks or other cultural attractions allow for more free flowing design. Just about anything goes (within reason -- always make sure to check with the venue before taking it upon yourself to "decorate".)
Of course everything that I mention above is just my opinion. If you want to do a retro 50's themed wedding in the ballroom of a fancy resort, there's nothing stopping you. I just personally find that you suffer far fewer event-related headaches by tuning into your surroundings to make it work. (Thank you, Tim Gunn.)
What are you doing to "consider your space"? I'd love to hear all about it. Even if you are a major rule breaker. Go ahead and share with the class.

Monday, July 13, 2009

House Numbers for Tables

Table numbers at weddings are an often overlooked accessory, but if you really give it some thought you can come up with some fabulous options. Incorporating a house number into your table decor is one such option.
If you're on a tight budget, consider visiting your local hardware store. Craft stores are also a good resource for wood numbers that can be finished any way you like.
Numbers can rest against a centerpiece, framed or even placed on chargers or napkins for a bold graphic pop.
Take a look at a few house numbers I spotted on the web:
Classic, elegant, traditional. And they come in six different finishes. Standard House Numbers, $8.50-$10 each, right here.
Neutra House Numbers in Aluminum. Mid Century Modern at its best. $48 each, right here.
Clean and classic. Signo House Numbers, $18 each right here.
Obviously there are tons of different options for stylish table numbers, this is just one suggestion that I've personally been dying to try. What fun ideas have you seen? If you're a bride, how will you designate table numbers to you guests?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jewelry Storage That I Want

I have been on the hunt for a spectacular jewelry receptacle for more than a year. A year. Why the reluctance to commit, you ask? Three words. Too many options. Just when I think I've found it, I happen upon a new stylish find that makes me second guess myself. Take a look at some of the contenders:
Option #1 is actually a cake stand. A rather fabulous cake stand. But it would work perfectly as jewelry storage. It's modern and white and shiny. And cheap. $20 right here.
Option #2 is also not necessarily intended for jewelry, but is also fabulous. Also shiny, modern and white. And even cheaper at $12.50 right here.
Option #3 is a jewelry holder! It's the exact opposite of what I'd imagine I'd like -- girly, vintage and dainty. But I like it nonetheless. Actually, I like it a lot. $59 right here.
Option #4 appealed to me because it's very similar in style to my own bedroom furniture. I thought it would be cool to have a miniature dresser sitting on my dresser. But my dresser is from IKEA and this jewelry box costs almost as much as the big girl dresser. I don't think I can justify this expense. $139 right here.
What would you do? Do you have some fabulous jewelry storage I should know about? My Target earring collection will thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Business Cards for Splendid Communications

I recently completed a logo design and business card project for the lovely and talented Liene Stevens of Splendid Communications. You may also know Liene as the owner Blue Orchid Designs. (If you haven't read the Blue Orchid Blog, please do so now. Really.)
Liene just launched Splendid Communications, as a way "to help companies discover and maximize their online voice in order to effectively increase their brand presence and add to their bottom line." Liene was headed to Grand Cayman to speak at Engage!09, a conference for wedding professionals who work in the luxury bridal market, and needed some business cards to share with her fellow attendees.
This was a very last minute job, but the cards came out beautifully, and I was excited to see that Liene had even taken a quick snap of her new cards with her iPhone and shared with all of her devoted Twitter followers.
Here is the finished product. I'm so excited to have had the opportunity to work with Liene on this fantastic project. If you are in need of a logo design or other business collateral, please get in touch! Shoot me an email:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

As Seen in Arizona Bride Magazine

The new issue of Arizona Bride is now on newsstands and I'm so excited to see that both Shannon & Cody and Teresa & Mike's weddings have been featured! In addition to these beautiful weddings, my work was also featured in an invitations piece entitled "First Impressions".
Special thanks to Victoria Canada Weddings & Events for the opportunity to work on these two extraordinary weddings and to Arizona Bride for featuring my work!

Monday, July 6, 2009

As Seen in Bride & Bloom

So excited to share that Kelly Ashworth Design is featured in the new issue of Bride & Bloom magazine! When the ultra talented, super funny and all around nice/celebrity/wedding planner/online media expert Liene Stevens of Blue Orchid Weddings asked me to contribute to a feature she was putting together, I was ecstatic.
We had a very short amount of time to put this together, but I was really excited with the low key vibe of this particular project. Liene was told to work around shades of yellow, so she opted for a casual picnic-y look with special focus on attainable chic that would be easy for the everyday gal to recreate.
Pick up a copy of Bride & Bloom at your local newsstand, or subscribe right here. Here are some of the highlights from the photo shoot:
This lemon tart from Sweet Pea Bakery is making my mouth water. I need the recipe. Or directions to the bakery. Stat.
Favors were incorporated into the table decor in the form of pretty bottles of lemonade with tags denoting a donation for Pink Initiative. This is a great idea for brides who want to show support for their favorite cause and still keep their guests well hydrated with a delicious beverage!
I created accordion style invitations in shades of spring green and yellow, and tied them together with some cute gingham ribbon I found at my local craft store. (You may notice the bride and groom's names: James & Pamela. Will my obsession with "The Office" never end?)
Gorgeous table decor and florals in shades of yellow, green and white courtesy of BBJ Linen, Tri-Rentals, and White Poppy Floral. And the one and only Darby Elizabeth of Darby Elizabeth Photography captured these beautiful images. Thanks to Liene for this amazing opportunity!