Registries for Everyone!

websites, weddings

I recently saw this sweet post on Birchbox that discussed things every bride can think about to have a less traditional looking wedding. It got me thinking that I work with brides and grooms, moms and dads, every day who are beautifully less traditional in many ways, and have made some very fun choices in their registry lists. Here are my top picks for registering for a big life event!

etsy wedding registry

For the happy couple:

HoneyFund: I think in this modern day, where many couples are marrying later or living together first, it’s a reality that they don’t need or want as many physical gifts. Help the happy couple fund their trip of a lifetime and make amazing memories!

Heath Ceramics: Beautiful handmade ceramics ranging from vases and decorative items to functional tile and dinnerware.

JuliBox: If you know the happy couple is into craft cocktails, this is a fantastic gift that supplies unique monthly boxes of booze – enough for two people to have two different cocktails!

Register for Activities: Tickets to Jazz Fest, for example, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant, a wine tasting excursion or a baseball game. Create a custom registry of fun couples things to do in your first year of marriage!

Etsy: Has an easy-to-use wedding registry feature so you can make sure you’re getting the one-of-a-kind gifts you hope for!

 

For the new homeowner:

Wine Clubs: Are a great way to be party-ready (or just everyday-ready?!) at all times. If you aren’t sure about all the random wines you may get from wine clubs, you could always register for a membership at a specific vineyard.

Angie’s List: Ask for a membership to Angie’s List and you’ll be thrilled you did it later. I can tell you from experience, it’s hard to find good help around the home, especially if you are one of only a few homeowners in your immediate circle of friends!

Netflix: A gift subscription to Netflix is a great gift for people who will be home, decorating, painting and generally getting settled into a new space.

 

For the parents-to-be:

Stay local, y’all: You’re more likely to get personalized help and advice. You’ll be able to order exactly what you want, without worrying if it’s in stock or not. In New Orleans, ZukaBaby is a fantastic choice, complete with parenting and nutrition classes for the community.

Cloth diaper delivery service: Pick something local to you, but in New Orleans, family-run Better Bottoms is available.

College savings plans: Look into the 529 Savings & Prepaid plans, for example. Or start a high-interest savings account or purchase savings bonds. Or do a flash drive with Deposit A Gift.

 

On a side note…

If you are getting married sometime soon, then you might want to check out #BridalBabble and #WeddingWednesday hashtags on Twitter on Wednesdays at 4pm EDT. It’s a great collection of wedding industry professionals and brides and grooms who tweet-chat about pressing questions, concerns and tips for the big day!

Happy gift-getting!

What Now for the Not-so-Alternative, Alternative Couple?

design, weddings

The other day I received word from one of my favorite wedding inspiration blogs that I probably shouldn’t advertise with them because my style of wedding design isn’t quite “aligned” with what their readership is looking for. I love this broad generalization, because I patronized their website when I was getting married! Regardless, it was a nice way of saying “thanks, but no thanks.” While I appreciate their candor and also the fact that they aren’t taking money from me while secretly knowing it would result in zero return on my investment, the correspondence has me thinking:

Where do the non-traditional couples, who aren’t quite “alternative” fit on the wedding spectrum?

I like to think I can create something for any type of bride or groom. I have had clients in most of the 50 states and a few areas of Europe. My pieces range from “southern” and sophisticated to totally loud, mish-mashes of themes. What I love most about my happy couples is that every single one of them comes away with a completely unique product! Weddings are about expressing how the couple feels about one another and creating an inviting space for the guests. A lot of the blogs out there today make couples feel like they have to fit into a mold in order to have the picture-perfect wedding that could be featured in a magazine. This is not true! There is a lot to be gleaned from the traditional, on-trend wedding blogs out there, but it’s easy to let them sway you into thinking you must pay a million dollars for your wedding to look like what is popular now.

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For the rest of you, paying for your weddings largely yourselves, wanting a unique experience for your friends and family, hoping to be able to have money leftover for the rest of life and working full time jobs that leave little time for DIY days, my hope is that you find something on the Fried Green Blog and in my design that fits your budget and gives you peace of mind in your wedding planning.

I’m speaking to you:

1. You don’t want to go into debt over your wedding, but love high quality details.

2. You want a unique experience that people remember for years to come.

3. You love personalization, but aren’t necessarily design-y or crafty on your own.

4. You aren’t in this for the cookie-cutter aspect of having a wedding.

It’s important to remember that your wedding stationery (among everything else!) reflects you and your future spouse, not trends, blogs or what’s popular on Pinterest. There’s a large, beautiful area between the wedding extremes (the space between comic book themes and misty-lacy-vintage) and I feel like that’s the area where most of us fit. It’s an area that is affordable, expressive, fun and approachable with fewer couple-disputes over what the big day looks like and costs. It’s a place for the non-alternative, alternative couples. Maybe you call it “non-traditional” or “modern.” You know who you are.

The internet can be an overwhelming place where you begin to feel obligated to conform to the trends, but I can attest that some of the happiest brides and grooms I have worked with have been the ones that bucked the trends and created an experience that was all their own. Forget what you’ve been told and head down the aisle in your own special way! You’ll thank me, your future spouse will thank me and you’ll have people talking about how special and memorable your wedding was for years to come.

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Ryan McGinley’s Advice for Young Artists

business, design inspiration, fine arts, photography

Or any artists, really. This is solid advice, y’all.

“Be busy. Seek and find a way to do what it is you want to do. Identify what that thing is and do it. Don’t stand around too long having conversations about it. Do it. Refine it. Do it more. Try it a different way. Keep at it until you break through to the next level. Don’t talk or think yourself out of doing it. Put one foot in front of the other and let it happen organically.”

Read/watch Ryan McGinley’s Advice for Young Artists on VICE.

ryan mcginley photography

 

Photo from VICE, copyright Ryan McGinley.

 

Weekend 10 Photographs

design inspiration, photography

This time of year in New Orleans is absolutely perfect, in my book! Lovely sunny days mixed with the occasional downpour. Not too hot, no more cold nights and abundant flowers and beautiful gardens backed with white puffy clouds and blue skies. In full disclosure, this post is also for the #Weekend10 giveaway by Maile Wilson for an Epiphanie Bag, but I thought I’d share these quick shots with y’all so you can be jealous of the incredible spring we’re having down here! I’d also like to shout out to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz and Peche for the sno-ball and cocktail (and congrats to you both on your well-deserved 2014 James Beard Awards!), respectively, and to Bacchanal for the wine and beautiful courtyard.

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New Projects and Graphic Design Web Bits

branding, design, design inspiration, fine arts, freelance, guerilla art, outdoor art, weddings

Things are heating up in New Orleans, and the graphic design projects keep coming – each project fabulous and each client amazing. I seriously cannot ask for better clients. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with ISeeChange on some branding items (logo not included) for an event they took part in. I love what they are doing to try to get every one of us involved in climate change from a local, grassroots level. It’s social, it’s fun and it’s important! Check out Julia and her fantastic team and see what they have going on at ISeeChange.org.

I also got to see the finished product for the shaving soap labels I worked with Sweet Olive Soap Works on. I love, love, love her products and was super excited to design these labels! Check out her fantastic array of natural skin care products.

new orleans shaving soap

I shipped off the last of a wedding package I designed for a fantastic couple in Virginia. They had the most unique and inspiring ideas to use for the designs. I am extremely pleased with the way everything turned out. Look for a post dedicated just to their items soon!

new orleans wedding graphic design

If you have some time to do some perusing online, I came across a few design-y articles I thought y’all might enjoy!

More Tips for Your Big Day!

design, freelance, weddings

If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know I love a good wedding. I love the details, the sparkles, the happiness, the fancy shoes. Though wedding season in New Orleans never really takes a break (some of the best weddings in our city are winter weddings!), wedding season is ramping up in the frostier parts of the country and I’m working with some amazing brides and grooms this spring who are throwing truly unique parties to celebrate their love! I can’t wait to see how they all turn out.

I wanted to share with you an updated list of things to think about to make your big day even more special and memorable for you and your guests. Last summer, I shared with you a few Tips for the Modern Wedding that I think are still super relevant. I wanted to expand on that list, so keep reading for my next few Tips for the Modern Wedding!

Minimize the number of vendors you pick out of thin air.

  • By this I mean, did you pick a vendor out of an internet search list? There’s nothing wrong with that, but once you find a vendor you love (say, a photographer) you might want to see if they can recommend a related vendor, like a videographer.
  • Your stationer might know an embroiderer and screen printer, your caterer may know a great florist, etc.
  • Vendors love giving their amazing vendor friends and colleagues referrals,which can drastically cut down the time you spend searching blindly on the internet and hoping for the best.
  • Your vendors are getting to know your taste and wedding style, so they will be able to help steer you toward appropriate and related services.

Boozing on a budget? Crowdsource your choices!

  • When my husband and I got married, we decided to leave liquor off the table, mainly for the sake of our booze budget. We had our wedding in the heart of Virginia wine country and had a hard time choosing wines for our 100+ guests to enjoy for an entire evening. Our solution was to hold a tasting at our home a few months before the wedding.
  • We bought a wide variety of single bottles from our favorite vineyards around the state and did a blind tasting and light snacks with some friends who had varying tastes in wine. We ended up with two reds and two whites that were overwhelming favorites, but not necessarily what we would have picked on our own.
  • These wines, along with a keg of local brew, were plenty to keep our guests dancing and happy all night! (And we had yummy leftovers for several months!)
  • Another option we considered was limiting to wine and beer and one signature cocktail. This is another way to skirt the big budget booze and still have all the options. Find a cocktail that represents something special to you as a couple, or splurge on both “his” and “hers” themed options.
  • Remember, pre-mixed cocktails in a carafe or pitcher is best if you are skipping the bartender altogether. Ask your caterer if they will do the mixing for a small fee!

Put those maids to work. Nicely, of course!

  • Host a wine and cheese party and have your bridesmaids help you with DIY decorations, pre-cutting ribbons for chairs, handmade signage, painted mason jars, and all kinds of other tasks. Remember not to overdo and scare your lovely maids off, but one or two Pinterest parties would be really fun!
  • This is also an easy way to include junior maids if you’ve gone that route. It can be challenging to find a way to make them feel included, without taming your bachelorette party or skimping on the fancy lingerie gifts.

Don’t be afraid to have your guests DIY.

  • Pour your own beer and wine is no longer tacky in this day and age! Add some ice buckets to your centerpiece and then no one has to get up during dinner.
  • Buffets are amazing for both budget and ease of use – and the bonus is that you can easily appeal to picky eaters and food allergies.
  • Photo booths are amazing for capturing your guests all night without having to pay a photographer and assistant for the whole event – the prints also make a great take-home gift.
  • I’ve loved the idea of having many small vases/jars of flowers as the guest seating cards. When all your guests grab them and sit, they form one big arrangement on the table! This would work well with potted plants too – which could double as a take-home!

My favorite part about modern weddings is the lack of rules. Everyone can ditch tradition, guilt-free, and have a totally unique wedding! Remember to enjoy the planning, it should be fun!

Fresh Off of Winter Break!

design, design inspiration, galleries, invitations, Uncategorized, weddings

I don’t know about you all, but my winter was consumed by being a hermit. I cannot express how excited I am to see the light at the end of the super cold tunnel! Wedding season is getting into full swing and I’m working on some amazingly fun projects this spring! I can’t wait to see what else 2014 holds for me. How are y’all doing? I would love to hear what exciting things you have going on this new year!

I can’t believe it’s been since before Thanksgiving that I’ve written, but it was a much needed break, and I’m getting into a serious routine over here. I’ve begun graduate school at University of New Orleans in the Arts Administration program – a goal I’ve had for years, but have only just acted on. So far, it’s fun, if busy, but I’m enjoying every minute and soaking up every bit of information I can. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you in life, it’s when an opportunity presents itself, you need to take it!

Other than school, I’ve been working on a few new projects that aren’t quite to the point of sharing, but they are very exciting. I’ve also been making an effort to get out and see more art, and finally made it down to the Contemporary Arts Center. I also stopped by the Before I Die wall outside the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which is the next museum on my list of places to stop in.

Before I Die Wall

I took a couple recent trips around the Royal Street galleries, and these dioramas caught my attention in the windows of the Antieau Gallery:

antieau gallery

antieau gallery royal street

We took a Thanksgiving trip to Birmingham, Alabama and came across an incredible book store downtown full of vintage maps and advertisements and more paperbacks than you could imagine. The whole downtown has such a specific vibe. It was a really great trip.

birmingham bookstore

birmingham poster

And of course, I’ve been busy adding to the Fried Green Etsy shop and creating custom pieces. Please don’t hesitate to ask about custom work. I am thrilled to work with new clients and help solve your design problems! Also, I’m now on Instagram! Let’s be friends! @FriedGreenEmily

fried green design robot invitation

fried green design cards

fried green design wedding invitation

 

Stay tuned for wedding tips later in the week! I have some brand new ideas and tricks I’ve picked up to help you prep for your big day!

 

 

 

Seeking Design Inspiration

architecture, design inspiration, outdoor art, photography

I’ve been in need of some graphic design and artistic inspiration these last few weeks. I’m trying to clear out the headspace, turn off Netflix and get out into the world a little more. Getting trapped in the Every Day can put a lid on creativity really quickly. On a philosophical level, I’m trying to make sense of all my time spent on social media, and in doing so, I’m seeking out deeper meaning from hours logged on blogs and Twitter. I’ve picked up a few gems this week that I wanted to share with you. These are just a few beauties in a sea of constant chatter.

One of my recent clients, a couple getting married on Bayou St. John, were so inspired by where they live, they dedicated their wedding programs and venue to the area. It has gotten me thinking about the space I occupy in New Orleans and the space it occupies in me.

new orleans wedding invitation

In my down time (of which I am trying to create more) I’m focusing on the minutia of daily activities. Commuting across town can be a real drain on one’s existence, but during my commute there is an opportunity to be on one of the highest points in the City and see incredible weather systems from a 360 view. I have never seen sunsets like the sunsets in New Orleans.

new orleans sunset

During the day, I work in an area of town that is pretty stark, situated alongside Lake Pontchartrain. I require much urban time, so I head back into the thick of it for lunch many days. I am always amazed at how dedicated people are to their space on the urban landscape. Every square inch is an opportunity to make a statement. I feel like I’m squandering my personal opportunity of a yard. (Note to self: Must work on that.)

bywater new orleans garden

The other morning, the Fried Green Husband and I went on an adventure to buy plants and came across our second sunrise of the morning. Sunrise over Brown’s Dairy, to be exact.

new orleans sun

My last bit of New Orleans inspiration comes from the deterioration and history of our town. There is something constantly surprising about the level of erosion on the surfaces and infrastructure here. It’s beautiful and a little heartbreaking, but mostly I’m drawn to the “what it could be” and “what it once was” of the situation. It’s amazing. Like a blank canvas in a lot of ways. It’s like staring at a blank canvas, but being overrun with ideas. It’s amazing.

new orleans house

fountain armstrong park new orleans

Celebrating Museum Day in New Orleans

design, design inspiration, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, poster, sculpture, vintage design

Two weekends ago, the Fried Green Mister and I took full advantage of the Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live and visited both the WWII Museum and Longue Vue House and Gardens. If you didn’t get out to any museums for Museum Day this year, I highly recommend marking your calendar for next year! It was pretty crowded, but not totally out of control, and a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck. We did about $75 worth of awesome activities for $10!

In efforts to keep this post from droning on for days, I’ll give you a photo summary of my favorite things from our day:

longue vue house

Longue Vue is a secret den of fantastic modern art in New Orleans. The owner was an avid art collector and there are some unique pieces housed in the sunroom.

longue vue art collection

longue vue modern art

longue vue gardens

longue vue art gallery

longue vue house new orleans

The World War II Museum was incredibly well designed, though I had a hard time finding any information the exhibit designer for the original portion of the museum, Gallagher & Associates seems to be tied to the new Boeing section with the full sized planes. I have always had grand dreams of being an exhibit designer…

wwii museum new orleans

 

At museums from this period, I’m always taken with unusual propaganda posters. It always seems like there was so much more thought put into the propaganda during WWI and WWII. You just don’t see pieces like these anymore.

wwii museum posters

wwii propaganda posters

wwii museum new orleans posters

 

Design is Everywhere

design, design inspiration, freelance, guerilla art, invitations, outdoor art, weddings

My whirlwind summer has come to a close and I’m settling into some really fun graphic design projects. I just wanted to take a little time to share a few snapshots from my last several months of absence from the blog! Design is everywhere, so as you make your way around every day, seize the opportunity to find the beautiful in the mundane. If you keep your eyes open and your head up from your smart-thing-of-choice, you never know what you might see!

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I cannot confirm this as a Banksy – because it seems to lack the telltale environmentally integrative storytelling – but this prisoner of Warner Brothers and Paramount (as indicated on the black balls) was spotted in the Marigny just off Frenchmen Street one evening while I walked on a street I’d not taken before. Either way, it was unexpected, clever and has been deemed important enough by someone to cover it with plexi. I love how ruthless New Orleanians are getting in the fight for decent renegade street art. There was a great live discussion recently at Nola.com with local muralist Brandan Odums and nola.com’s Doug MacCash. You can read my own loud mouth opinions over there too. I was particularly struck by the term “low brow” being tossed around last year at the G40 Art Summit in Richmond, Va and have been contemplating the idea ever since. Why would one type of art be more low brow than another? Is it style, environment, artist, concept, simply personal taste? Where is the line?

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This beauty was spotted in the Lower 9th Ward recently, and I had to get a quick, slightly blurry, snap of it. I’ve seen similar work around town and am always fascinated by the amount of detail and symmetry.

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Now, is this clarinet “high brow” since it’s on a hotel in the middle of a tourist district? And because it’s there to mark a space of historical importance? I digress… It was well crafted and I love the scale, either way.

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I’ll close my graffiti rant post with this one that is probably not terribly new to Richmond anymore, but was new to me last weekend. Greg Mike mural at 821 Cafe. I’d love to have some time to go visit all the new pieces that have been installed in Richmond since I moved!

Changing subjects, now that these items have been mailed out, I can share with you a set of wedding invitations I designed for an amazing couple out west:

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And a new set of wedding invitations I’m working on for a fantastic pair of transplanted Virginians:

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So much more to come! The fall is shaping up to be really exciting!

If you’re in the New Orleans area, there is a great speaking engagement tonight at Design WIthin Reach on Magazine by the lovely folks who run Good Fucking Design. I’m hoping to be able to check it out!