Posted on | April 7, 2013 | Comments Off
Recently Gillian and Justin Parkhurst contacted Sky of Blue Cards to design an invitation suite for their tenth wedding anniversary party. They are a fun, intelligent, gorgeous couple who have built their 10-year marriage on a deep love for each other and their two sweet girls. They wanted their party to be an intimate gathering of family and friends – people who have really made a difference in their lives over the course of the last 10 years. Both Justin & Gillian are graduates and former athletes of University of California Berkeley and fiercely devoted to their alma mater. Gillian wanted us to use a font that had similarities to the Cal logo but with a modern, hipster twist; she described “something you’d see screened on a cool graphic tee”. I found “HomeRun” which we agreed was perfect. We experimented with colors, including Cal colors (blue and gold), but ended up with my favorite pairing right now – a grayish lavender and charcoal. (p.s. my husband and I are re-doing our upstairs in these colors!)
We started with Save The Date cards and then continued to build on that design to create the invitations and RSVP self-mailer cards. The envelopes we used were a shimmer white A2 with their address printed on the back flaps.
Next I designed a stamp for them and had it manufactured by Simon’s Stamps. (red rubber on a maple block – I very highly recommend these guys for custom stamps!) We used the stamp on some of the table pieces.
Gillian and I made a trip to Paper Source in Palo Alto and selected their slate colored place cards which we stamped with white ink and wrote their guests’ names in opaque white pen. Gillian and Justin wanted to leave personal notes for their guests at each place-setting, and for those we selected white enclosure cards and slate enclosure envelopes. We printed the graphics on the note cards and they hand-wrote their personal notes. On the enclosure envelopes we had so much fun heat embossing the front with their custom stamp in clear, which looked very sophisticated and gave it a dark charcoal glossy varnish effect on the slate paper.
Lastly, we printed the menus vertically with charcoal colored text on #10-size plum colored note cards from Paper Source.
Their evening was as beautiful as they are and my husband and I were honored to attend. Here they are on their special night. May they have many, many more happy years together. They’re *just getting started…
Photographs courtesy of Barbara Snekkevik & Kerrin Mitchell.
Please drop us a line if you’d like us to create your own custom piece that reflects you and sets the stage for your story.
Coming soon… Theresa’s 50th birthday party invitations!
Posted on | February 12, 2013 | Comments Off
On a very rainy Friday morning a few months ago, dozens of lovely ladies braved the downpour to check out our first ever Sky of Blue Cards Holiday Open House, generously hosted by Donia Bijan, author, chef, and my cousin (whom I adore).
When we first planned this event, Sky of Blue Cards pledged to donate 10% of all sales to a charitable organization of Donia’s choice – Raising a Reader Bay Area. I’m very happy to say that we were able to write a check for $300 to Raising a Reader!
Raising a Reader supports early literacy by engaging limited-income families in daily book-sharing. They reach these families through preschools, daycare centers, home visitor programs, and child care providers. Each week children get to bring home a red book bag filled with children’s books that they share with their family, thus stimulating early brain development, early literacy, and most importantly a lifetime love of reading. We were so proud to be able to make a donation to a such an amazing program and we hope we get the chance to do it again. Click here to sponsor a reader now.
Here’s a short video of Raising A Reader at Martin Luther King Child Development Center in Oakland, CA:
Here are some pics of Donia’s cozy home converted into our little pop-up shop:
Donia prepared yummy platters of delicious goodies for our patrons, making each and every person who walked through her door (soaked!) feel warm and welcome.
My BFF Theresa was there too. She and I were armed with our Square credit card readers attached to our iPhones, happily ringing up customers who were patiently lined up.
Thank you so much to my cuz and my BFF for making that day such a success. Thank you to all who came out and purchased their Sky of Blue paper goodies – you are the best!
Posted on | December 22, 2012 | 2 Comments
By now most everyone who knows us is aware of the fact that Sky of Blue Cards is the exclusive letterpress card line sold in Barneys New York stores across the country. We are so proud of that fact that we’ve basically yelled it from the mountain top for the past 6 months. Here is a little photo essay of our road to Barneys, including a very sweet note from my daughter on the day that we received the actual PO. Also included is our “Barneys Packaging Party” where ten or so of my BFFs came over and packaged up boxed cards, hundreds of them. Here you go – enjoy!
Posted on | October 30, 2012 | Comments Off
Sky of Blue Cards is about to celebrate our 4th anniversary and when we launched our company on November 13, 2008, I never imagined I’d develop so many friendships along the way. The greeting card business is truly one of the warmest and friendliest industries to work in and I’m so lucky to have found my way to it/in it.
My thoughts today are with our retailers, buyers, sales reps, industry editors & bloggers, fellow designers & greeting card manufacturers who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. These wonderful people are so much more than professional acquaintances and customers, they have become my dear friends whom I care about very much. On behalf of Sky of Blue Cards, I’m sending all of my friends back east hopes for safety and comfort for themselves, their families and businesses. We will be checking in with you in the coming days…
Our hearts are with you,
Posted on | September 17, 2012 | Comments Off
Sky of Blue Cards bids adieu to Corinne Nelson today (super sad face!!). She is off and running and leaving us to pursue her education at the University of Oregon. I am so incredibly happy for her and excited that she has so much in the way of life experiences ahead of her. I can’t wait for her to get out there and begin this new chapter.
Corinne has been working with me as my assistant since last January. She very quickly proved that she could do anything around here. I always describe her as pro-active; more often than not her sentences begin with the words “I went ahead and…” She organizes our studio with cute little labels, packages up merchandise, makes countless sales calls, writes orders, fills orders, and manages our inventory and customer relationship management software. Not to mention, she has definitely spent a lot of time making runs to our local FedEx office, Staples store, and to local stores whose owners look forward to seeing her smiling and friendly face come through their door with their orders. I’d be remiss if I did not mention how much hard work she put into getting us ready for the Stationery Show last spring. When I returned from New York she was as excited as I about our new accounts. The list of how she helps me is endless and she leaves behind big shoes to fill. But more than anything though, I will miss her sweet and energetic spirit in the studio every day.
Corinne, I wish you all the best. It’s been absolutely wonderful working with you… a true privilege. XOXOX, Karla
Posted on | June 13, 2012 | Comments Off
We are very pleased to announce that Sky of Blue Cards will be the exclusive letterpress holiday card collection available in Barneys New York stores across the country. We are over-joyed and honored to be a part of this standout American retail institution. Barneys New York epitomizes the highest standards in style, taste and luxury. Sky of Blue Cards offers chic, fun, whimsical and luxurious paper goods. We feel it’s a match made in heaven and we are beyond excited to be working with the one, the only, Barneys New York.
Gratitude for all good things…
Posted on | May 24, 2012 | Comments Off
Sometimes life gives you a wake up call… a reality check. A few weeks ago this happened to me.
Let me back up by saying for the past three years Sky of Blue Cards has exhibited at the National Stationery Show in New York City (the stationery world’s annual trek to Mecca, this year it was May 20-23). For the companies who exhibit, it is a huge undertaking requiring months of tireless preparation: press releases, booth design, new product development, catering orders, event invitations, freight scheduling, new catalog design, press checks, pre-show marketing, advertising, mailings, mailings, mailings and more mailings. It’s not for the faint of heart; it’s 3+ months of burning the candle at both ends. The other day my next door neighbor Gillian called me up to say “I woke up the other night to take care of the puppy and I looked up and saw your light on. Again.” Bottom line is that it’s all totally worth it. You meet the nicest people and get to spread the word about your line and pick up new retail accounts along the way.
About four weeks preceding the show I go into the zone. My family puts up with a lot from me during this time and I know it. My kids get reduced visits to the skateboard park, are late to various extra curriculars, and they are faced with a fuzzy-headed/super-tired mom every morning. But they still get a kick out of the excitement as my company prepares to go to New York. In fact, my kids and their friends Mia & Zoe who live next door, are so into helping that Mia wrote an essay about the mailing they all helped with last year. It’s awesome – check it out:
This year the day finally came when I was ready for them to help me again. Each of them were so eager to get her/his assignment. There was only minor fighting over who had the most important job. They were so happy. I was so totally fried. Then I got my wake up call. My next door neighbor Justin texted me to say that his girls could stay longer to help. Shrieks of delight ensued. I texted him back, “Did you hear that? I have no idea why they all love this work so much?” His response was, “I think they just like hanging with you!” That’s when I froze. I literally froze. It felt like one of those moments like you’ve seen in the movies a million times where the sound stops and the character just observes what’s happening around them in silence and slow motion and it’s all very dramatic. And after that moment I felt energized knowing nothing, not one thing, really mattered except these kids and our time together. It might sound goofy, but it’s true. We sang. We joked. We mailed off catalogs. Through it all I became very aware that times together like this were a gift and it won’t always be this way. They won’t always want to do this. It won’t always be cool, fun, and exciting enough to write about and share with your third grade class.
Thank you to my kids and to our neighbors’ sweet girls! You four are my superheros. You set me straight and gave me a fresh new attitude. Your superhero energy carried me through to the finish line in New York and I’m heading home right now for hugs and kisses. XO
Posted on | January 10, 2012 | Comments Off
Last fall Sky of Blue Cards had the great honor and amazing opportunity to design couture note cards for über-adorable celebrity newlyweds Susan and Robin Williams (yes, that Robin Williams). Susan and Robin were recently married and what better time is there to get custom stationery than when you are beginning your life together? I wanted their cards to exhibit everything they are: fun, funny (obviously), beautiful (she’s drop dead gorgeous, by the way), kind, and mostly – deeply in love. If ever there were two people who belonged together, it’s Susan & Robin.
I had two designs which I had created for them and I loved them both. I could not decide which one to go with, so what the heck – I had both of them printed up. My personal opinion is that the 2-color is “Robin’s” and the 1-color is “Susan’s”. Susan says they love both of them.
The above photo is of the one-color letterpress card, 7″x5″. The paper is Crane® Lettra, 110#, in fluorescent white. The text is set in “Samantha Script” (Upright Pro & Swash) with the “and” set in “Samantha Catch Words”. I had way, way, way too much fun with the Glyphs palette on those swashes. Way. Too. Much. Fun. This card is printed with Pantone 483 brown ink. (Most who are familiar with my designs know I’m in love with that particular brown.) Their A-7 envelopes are 80# text/120gsm Pearlescent Bronze and they look beautiful with the cards. This card is elegant, chic, and call me crazy, but with all the swashes intertwined the way they are, it just makes me think of their love and their life, now fully blended together in matrimony. Lastly, you’ll see two little birdies gazing lovingly at each other… what could be better?
Above is their 2-color note card, 7″x5″. It’s offset printed on Crane® Lettra, 110#, in fluorescent white as well. The colors are Pantone 483 brown & Pantone 584 lime-ish/green. The text is set in one of my favorite fonts, Perla (Alternate & Regular). The corresponding A7 envelopes are an absolute perfect match – Eames Weave in Tivoli Green. The chunky, woven surface texture of the envelopes make a happy match with this lovely card. This one also sports two of my signature birdies.
It was such a wonderful experience creating these cards, and I want to wish Susan and Robin a lifetime filled with love and bliss… happily ever after.
All the beautiful photography you see here was done by the fabulous Darilyn Kotzenberg, of DK Design Studio.
Posted on | December 16, 2011 | Comments Off
By Guest Blogger, Julia Crager
I don’t know if you all know this, but Karla, besides designing amazing stationery for Sky of Blue Cards, is also an excellent party-thrower. I thought I would get her to divulge some of her party-planning secrets to help you all with your up-coming holiday parties, or to inspire you to throw one.
Julia: What are the go-to basics every party must have?
Karla: Fresh flowers. Food (you need less than you think). Alcohol & ice (you need more than you think). Camera (if you can remember to take pictures). Very important – something fun that ties the event together, whether it’s something guests take home, or something fun you can do at the party.
J: Do you have any tips for the invitation process?
K: We all know the invitation sets the tone for the whole entire event – it gets people excited for the party. So, I always tell my clients to envision their event and how they want it to look and feel. Picture everything from what you want to be wearing, to whether you will serve dinner, or just pass hors d’oeuvres, or whether you will you use paper plates or china? Then make a guest list. If it’s less than 50 invitations, we can get very crafty and use all sorts of stamps and layer paper, etc. If it’s over 50 we think of our printing options. Should we print letterpress or offset? I always then go through the “Who; What; Where; When; Why;” so we don’t leave out any important information.
J: What are some party-planning tips that people might overlook?
K: On party day have absolutely NOTHING on your calendar other than setting up and preparing for your party. You have no time to go to the store that day, no time to get a mani-pedi, no time to take your kids to soccer practice. You should have everything you need for your party in your home and if you have kids or pets you should ask for help with them that day. Time never flies as fast as it does on party day. You are going at warp speed. My family actually likes to clear out of the house. I’m having fun, but I’m moving very quickly.
J: What was your favorite party that you ever threw?
K: Wow. That’s hard. They’re all so fun. Okay. My husband’s 40th birthday a few years ago would have to be one. And, a few weeks ago I threw a “Holiday Cocktail Party, Mad Men Style”. Everyone got dressed up 1960s style and it was very festive. My girlfriend Theresa helped me organize that party because it was so big. Since all they do on Mad Men is smoke non-stop and nobody we know actually smokes, we thought it would so much fun (and very non-PC) to put candy cigarettes all over the house in little bowls. We found one local candy store that still sold them. People loved them like crazy that night.
J: What was your most disastrous party-throwing experience, if any?
K: I had a dinner party a few years ago. I was so deep in the weeds… so desperately behind, that I made my poor husband call each and every guest to tell them to come an hour later. So embarrassing.
J: Any last words of wisdom?
K: Turn on some music, kick off your heels and clean up everything before you go to bed. You will not want to see it in the morning.
Posted on | December 5, 2011 | Comments Off
By Guest Blogger, Julia Crager
I’m getting ready to wrap up my time here at Sky of Blue Cards as Karla’s assistant (ah man!). I know I’m never going to find another boss as cool as Karla!! One of the first things we bonded on when I came to work for her last spring was music. Karla and I share a love for The Smiths, Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Adele, the list goes on…We often blast music while we’re working, and I wanted to share with you all some of our go-to favs. I hope they inspire and motivate you just like they do for us!!
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