Posts filed under ‘Paper’

Woot, Woot, FAIL

I’m all for celebrating little victories.

First victory of the week! We’ve been married 65 days, give or take a few, and we are slowly making room for my crap… or as Mr P lovingly called it “our crap”.  The “stuff-that-needs-to-come-in-the-house-and-find-a-home” pile has gotten small enough to actually move it into the house. Woot Woot!  This small pile Piles in general causes me much anxiety (a whole post for another time) but I think I’m OK with our progress on the merging of two houses so far. Go team Pretzel!

The aforementioned pile and what is that I spy? Why yes that is a hideous ballroom dancing trophy… another post for another day.

Last week I realized we were under 80 days away from our second reception in Indiana.  Whoa…  I had a mini freak out moment when I realized that our invitations for this party needed to get in the mail by the end of September.   With the help of our amazing photographers (gosh I love them!) and from some “cows” I am halfway home on the invitations.

Like I said, little victories… Today in the mail I got the cutest moo postcards and mini cards.

I swoon!

That’s the start of some 2nd reception invitations there!  I couldn’t contain myself and had to mock-up an example.

Come on, I know what you  are thinking it and you are very observant.

“hummm… Pretzel, I hate to tell you but there is no info on your invitations”

I  tried real hard to outsource 100% our invitations but my trusty pal, “Loco the  Gocco”, was feeling a little forgotten and I felt guilty.  I couldn’t resist letting him get in on at least part of the invitation.   So now I just have to figure out what to print on the back.

Just as I am basking in the glory of progress on the “household merging” and the “invitation making” my eye catches sight of a major FAIL.  Did you see it in the photos above?

No? I’ll wait while you go back and look.

Need some help?

Apparently I would like to “Inroduce” you to Mr and Mrs Pretzel. GAHHHH!

Somebody *Pretzel points at herself* was so excited to order these postcards that she didn’t proofread the text.  I showed Mr P, who shook his head at me and rolled his eyes.  I  fixed the error and ordered more of that design (an additional $40 because of my lack of attention).

Two small victories and one major fail… I guess that means that I am +1 for the week so far, right? *Sigh*

Anyone else find a typo in their invitations?

*Confession, we actually had one in our 1st invites too… “Nuptal” instead of “Nuptial” but nobody noticed that we know of…

September 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Mapmaker Mapmaker, Make Me a Map…

…cause my map attempt at a map was a little sad.  I studied the tutorials here on the Bee and diligently created myself a wedding map.  I was proud of my little map… for a time.

When it was go time, I couldn’t figure out how to work it into the invitation suite- it looked out of place…  a little amateur.  I tried not to focus on it because Mr Pretzel and I had never discussed having a map made for us and we certainly hadn’t budgeted for it.

Then I saw PChip’s invitation suite, designed by the talented Miss Snapdragon.  I love the suite so much I sent the post to Mr P.  Out of the blue he replied with “We need a map like that” (love that man!)  We discussed the expense and agreed to go for it. I shot off an email to Snappy titled “Mr Pretzel loves your maps”.  It was short notice, but after a couple of weeks Snappy came through with the most fabulous Pretzel map.

Map by Pantomime Papers

Both Mr P and I brainstormed locations and icons in Seattle that meant something to us.  From the top of the map the icons are as follows:
Airplane: The airplane represents Boeing, which is not only where we both work, but where we met each other.

Bonfire with Crab and Clam: Golden Gardens Park in Ballard is famous for sunsets and bonfires (and our rehearsal dinner location)

The Fremont Troll: This public art piece lives under the Aurora Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle and is clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle. It is derived from Scandinavian story Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Nest: Our townhouse purchased last year.

Celtic Cross: St Brendan’s Church not only our Ceremony location but is also our home parish. Saint Brendan was an Irish Saint renowned for his legendary quest to the “Isle of the Blessed.”

Mac ‘N’ Jacks Brewery: We love beer, especially local favorite Mac ‘N’ Jacks African Amber.  The bottle depicted is a half gallon growler- a common method for purchasing small quantities of micro-brew beers.

Jimi Hendrix: The legendary Jimi Hendrix was a Seattle area native.  On a street corner in Capital Hill you will find life-size bronze statue of Hendrix.

Rachel the Pig and Pike Place Market: Pike Place market is the oldest continually operated public farmers’ market in the US. Rachel is the market’s unofficial mascot. Rachel is a 550 lb piggy bank which collects $6,000-$9,000 annually by the Market foundation to fund the Market’s social services for low income individuals.

Safeco Field: Home of the Seattle Mariners!  Mr P loves baseball and Miss P loves to knit at baseball games.
Did you know that Nintendo of America owns the Mariners? You can actually order food and drinks from you Nintendo DS during Mariner Games.

The Engine Room: Once the engine room of the pre-prohibition era Seattle Malting and Brewing Company and the makers of Rainier Beer, the Engine Room is now used for events such as our reception. The whole brewing complex is featured in a ink drawing on our invitations.  The drawing was done specially for Mr and Miss Pretzel by Miss P’s sister-in-law’s sister-in-law.

Miss & Mr Pretzel: ’nuff said!

Starbucks: Even though Miss P is a die hard Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinker, Starbucks reigns supreme in Washington. If you are visiting, you won’t find a DD’s in the whole state but there is a Starbucks on every street corner.

Oxbow Park: Located in same the quirky Georgetown neighborhood as the Engine Room, Oxbow park pays tribute to Seattle’s sense of humor.  The park contains two structures, a giant cowboy hat and a giant cowboy boot, which had previous lives buildings at the Premium Tex gas station.

Even though it wasn’t planned, the map is one of our favorite elements of the invites.  We plan to have a larger scale version printed to hang in our home soon.  I know it isn’t in everyone’s budget, but Snappy has converted two die hard DIY-ers to leaving some things to the professionals.  We have some tips if you are thinking of having custom maps made.

  • Get your SO involved You might be surprised by the ideas that working together generates.  Mr P and I are advocates of involved fiances but even if your fiance hasn’t been very hands on with wedding planning this is an opportunity to partner together on a fun project.
  • Come to the table with some ideas It helped that Snappy and I had met before, but remember a lot of times the designer won’t know you or your personality.  Tell them stories about you as a couple or why certain locations are important to you.  Describe activities that you like to do together.  If you think of something after your initial consultation email it- little bits of information can be incorporated as the design is taking shape.
  • If you aren’t feeling something, speak up! Mr P and I initially had Microsoft on our list of locations.  As the map was taking shape we realized we don’t really have any connection to Microsoft and it wasn’t “doing much for us”.

Did you create your own map, outsource the design, or forgo maps all together?  If you could do it again, would you do it differently? Why or Why not?

June 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment

Mail Call!


Hi Hive! I checked the mailbox today and you’ve got mail! Wanna see?

Ohhh… pretty craft paper envelope!

After carefully opening, what is this I spy? (PS I wonder how many guests rip into envelopes from the top with a letter opener and miss the fun liners)

Ohh… The belly band has a BUCKLE!

Oh look, more info on the back.  Gotta loosen this belly band cause its snug as a bug.

Ohh… the belly band was hiding some good info.

Together with their families, Miss Pretzel and Mr Pretzel request the honor of your presence at the Nuptial Mass Uniting them in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony Saturday the __ of July, two thousand ten at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Catholic Church

1234 Lovers Lane

Buzzville, Washington

Directions, RSVP, Party… those are words I understand!

Flip the Directions card and RSVP card over to reveal a custom map and… what is this? A beer coaster? Let me look at that RSVP card again.

The thick cardboard coaster contains eco-friendly RSVP options: online and via voicemail.  “After you RSVP put a drink on me” (how I wish I had thought of that when we were designing these bad boys).

Well there you have it. The Pretzel invitation suite.

  • All card-stock was cut in bulk at Kinko’s and corners rounded with a corner punch.
  • Blank thick cardboard coasters purchased at
  • Invite, RSVP coaster, and Reception card were Gocco-ed.
  • Directions and map were printed at Kinko’s
  • The envelope and belly bands were printed on my laser printer.
  • The envelope liner and buckle were cut with our Silhouette Machine.
  • We used a wide assortment of scrapbook papers for liners and corresponding belly bands
  • We used used left over colored card-stock, a 3/4 inch circle punch and Xyron sticker maker to create the stickers that hold the belly band together.

Assorted liners

Can’t get enough of those buckles!

love, love, love the gocco!

easy peasy recycled stickers

Coveted hand cancel!  Actually the coaster made the invite rigid enough that the post office insisted on hand canceling them- Yay!

The RSVPs are rolling in-mostly via our website. I think most everyone figured out the whole RSVP drink coaster deal, although a couple guests have refused to use it as a coaster telling us it is too pretty to put a drink on.  Its amazing how much more relaxed Mr P and I are now that the invites have flown the nest.  Checking this off of the list really got us over the hump of “we have too much stuff to do and not enough time”.  Now we have a sense that all we have left is manageable.  Funny how that works.

Did you feel a sense of relief when you put your invites in the mail?

June 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

The Invites Have Left the Building

I repeat, Pretzel invitations have left the building and arrived at their destinations.  You know what that means?  I can finally share with you the labor of love that has consumed months of Mr Pretzel and my life!

OK, maybe not months but with full disclosure I will admit that we spent a LOT of time on this project.  Before showing you the invitation p0rn, and who doesn’t love some good old-fashioned paper peeping, Mr P and I want to share a little about the very messy creative process that brought us to our end product.

If you remember we are the proud owners of a PG-10 Super GOCCO. We purchased the unit for the express purpose of creating our wedding paper products.  We were very smitten with our Pretzel designed and Gocco’ed Save the dates.

If you remember we had to learn to work out our creative differences, to blend ideas and articulate vision.  It wasn’t always pretty and it made us love the product all the more.   In reality, we are amateurs and as happy we were with the save the date design we weren’t sure we could repeat the performance. We suffered from OMGhowthehellarewegoingtotopthis-itis.  Had we  peaked?

We had some vague ideas of elements we wanted to work into our design:

Kraft Paper

We joke that kraft paper is our 6th man or our “other” wedding color.  Ok, it’s really not a joke- it has become our “neutral” to offset our bright color palette.  It has become a popular invitation element but we knew we wanted to incorporate it in our suite.

Source (this is one of Mr P’s favorite inspiration pieces)


We used this element in our save the dates and we couldn’t resist incorporating it into our invites.  Like Kraft paper, the ampersand is slowly working itself into our wedding theme.


Drink Coasters as Invitation element

I am not sure where I first saw a save the date drink coaster, but I can tell you it was after we had designed and printed our save the dates.  Both Mr P and I felt like it was a missed opportunity and I was hell-bent on using drink coasters in our invites. Come on we’re having a BEER themed wedding!


Belly Band as Inside Envelope

At first I thought belly bands were a frivolous invitation element (sorry but it is true). Sure they could look pretty and keep your invite pieces corralled but their main purposed seemed to be purely decorative.  When I discovered I could use them as a replacement for an inside envelope I wanted to jump aboard the belly band wagon. You see, as much as I thought belly bands were unnecessary I had a deeper detain for inside envelopes.  I was against inside envelopes from the get go but they do serve a purpose in providing a space to indicate all of the members of the household invited to the wedding.  A belly band could be printed with the same information and look 10x cooler.  I explained the situation to Mr Pretzel and even devised an embellishment we fondly call “the buckle”.

A consistent typeface theme

When we chose our typefaces for our Save the Date we weren’t looking ahead to what the rest of our invitation suite and wedding paper products would look like.  I felt strongly that our invites should contain no more than three typefaces and that these typefaces should be what we use in all of our wedding paper items.  When I pressed Mr Pretzel to help me  he was skeptical. “Why do we have to have consistent fonts?” he asked.  I showed him all of the wonderful paper goods from Mrs Cupcake and I didn’t even have to argue the point.  He agreed that the impact of setting a typeface theme was worth it.  Settling on the fonts was a different matter.  Mr Pretzel kept coming back to the big top styled Cast Iron font from our save the dates. I felt it necessary to balance it with a script font that contained glyph-like elements.  Apparently Mr Pretzel has something against swirly script fonts and the “Great Glyph Debate of 2010” raged.  I gave in and promised to use the glyph-like elements sparingly.  In the end the fonts balanced each other nicely.

Cast Iron, Champignon, Champagne & Limousines all free fonts from

Armed with all of these inspiring elements I sat down to start laying out some design ideas.    Then I hit a design quandary.  When I laid out all the text on the invite it seemed like something was missing.  The fonts looked amazing but it was missing a graphic element.  Mr P to the rescue! He suggested a vintage image of the pre-prohibition brewery where our reception will be held.  This gave us our final inspiration element.

Vintage Brewery Drawing

I was off to the internets to find a high quality image of the building that I could re-purpose.  Regrettably it seems that no such image exists.  I did find a lower quality image for inspiration and set to figuring out where I could find an artist to do a pen and ink rendering of this image.


Early in planning I remember being a wee bit jealous of other brides who have amazing friend-ors.  Until recently I was convinced that we didn’t have friends/family who could help us with professional services for the wedding.  The artist we were seeking came to us in the mail –  literally. Months earlier we received this beautiful Christmas card from my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law – or SIL’s SIL. That would be the wife of my brother’s wife’s brother… I think.

Upon closer examination I realized that the card was a reproduction of the SIL’s SIL artwork. She is a landscape architect and a wonderful artist. Going out on a limb, I sent her a random note. Imagine my elation when she said she would be happy to help us out.  Apparently my niece has been telling her lots about Aunt Pretzel’s wedding.

After nailing down all of these elements the design was relatively easy.  Mr Pretzel and I barely butted heads on this one, save the “Great Glyph Debate of 2010”.  I dare say we are actually getting the hang of this co-design business.  As for not being able to top our save the dates, I dare say we are just as happy, if not more so, with the final product.

Did you fear being more “in love” with your Save the Dates than your invites? What were the design elements you chose to carry through your paper products?

June 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

I am Mrs Pretzel

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