by Hope Johnson
1224.jpg

blog

Posts tagged wedding invitations louisiana
THE WHITE SPARROW BARN | Save the Dates

Meet Sarah Jones and Chris Mohring. Are they not just the cutest couple you've ever seen? I have not had the pleasure of meeting the groom to be, but feel super connected to him through Sarah. Sarah is a former colleague of mine. We both graduated in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University and spent much of our studio lab hours together, covered in ink and elbow grease. 

I'll be honest. I was beyond thrilled and honored really when Sarah contacted me to design her wedding stationery suite. Sarah Jones was entrusting me with one of her wedding planning elements and I KNEW stationery was on her top three most important to-do's. 

Sarah majored in Printmaking back in college and had such a talent creating these magnificent sheets of paper, using that paper for sculptures and installations for gallery shows. We hadn't talked much since graduating other than tid-bits through social media. So I was thrilled and filled with a bit of nostalgia reminiscing about old print lab days at LSU.

I have to tell you that reconnecting with you and reimbursing myself in my old life of being ink and paper pulp covered has completely stirred up my art bug all over again.
— Sarah Jones

I cannot tell you how many time I physically squealed after reading one of our emails. When she mentioned that the design process uprooted her old art life, I may have actually teared up. Okay, I did. Sarah had pulled out some old paper installations to sketch some ideas of using them as a repurposed installation behind her head table at her and Chris's reception.  

Speaking of the venue, this barn. THIS BARN. The White Sparrow Barn sits in an open field in Union Valley, Texas and is the most charming barn my eyes have ever seen. Part of the process of custom designing a stationery suite includes inspirations from colors, florals, and sometimes the venue itself. Once I heard the words "The White Sparrow Barn" from Sarah, I issued another squeal. 

I had about one hundred and one ideas floating around in my head, but knew I wanted to tie in the handmade paper to Sarah's past and that simplicity and the work of the hand would best suit this suite.

A simple shade of grey ink, handmade cotton rag paper, hand illustrated barn sketch and lettering ...and we have Sarah and Chris's save the dates. The wedding day stationery that will follow, well, we will just save that for another day. ...and there goes another squeal.


A special shout out to Texas photographer, Chloe Gonzales. She beautifully captured the essence of these two for their engagement shoot. I am looking forward to being smitten all over again with the upcoming wedding photos!


paper and ribbon | silk & willow
design and printing | yours truly
lovely engagement photos | chloe gonzales

 

 
 
eight questions I asked myself

AN INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF

I had a crazy idea to express my passions and heart behind TLBC through an interview with myself. Although no client will likely ever ask me these questions directly, I still want the answers there. I want my heart open to all of you, I want a real connection between not just my work, but me personally. 

 
 

TELL ME ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SMILE?
I'm a stationery designer for the creative bride looking for something extra special for her wedding stationery. I love flowers, simplicity, and handmade cotton paper. ...and cookies.

WHAT IS YOUR STRONG POINT?
I have always been creative at heart. The designing and planning comes naturally to me. However, what I love more than anything is connecting the bride to the project. I aim to resonate with each design decision, connecting back to the couple's story, so at the end of the day, the guests open this invitation, that no one has ever seen before, and say "oh this is SO Hope and Michael." 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?
I truly believe that stationery tells a story. One person meets another, they fall in love, the ring is given and the preface to this beautiful marriage begins. No two stories are the same, and if the wedding invitation is the cover to your book, representing the beginning of your marriage, no two covers should be the same.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU'D LIKE YOUR BRIDES TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
I want my brides to resonate with not just my work, but me personally. I approach each project as an interior designer would approach a blank space. It's a true collaboration. My brides bring as much to the table as I do and by the end of the process, we are going to be great friends. 

IN A WORLD GONE DIGITAL, HOW DO YOU HOLD TRUE TO PRINT?
How can I not? With the world at everyone's fingertips, there are fewer and fewer tactile items filling up your hope chests. From the wedding alone, other than your photographs, the invitation is one of a few things you'll actually preserve. I hope it hangs on your wall as a little reminder as to why you and your spouse chose each other.

WHY SHOULD A BRIDE OPT FOR A CUSTOM DESIGN OVER A PREDESIGNED PIECE?
Custom work simply paints an entirely different picture for you and your guests. For instance, I'm working on a commissioned project for one of my spring brides. She brought me a photo of a marigold painting that hung in her grandmother's home when she was a child. She wanted to incorporate this in the stationery design. Her mother is a florist and will be designing the floral arrangements that will display at her wedding. So of course, florals are a big symbolic element for her design. Another client of mine is an artist and spent her college years making handmade paper using recycled cotton. She is to be wed under the lights of this show-stopper barn in Texas, using her old paper installations as a backdrop to the head table. Her stationery will of course be letterpress printed on handmade, cotton-rag paper with these beautiful deckled edges... You simply cannot manufacturer tailor-made pieces like this.

WHAT DO YOUR CLIENTS FIND IMPORTANT?
My brides are often artists or designers themselves, or formerly one or the other. I frequently work with brides that, back in college, majored in printmaking ...or the interior designer that is overflown with ideas, but needs help putting them together. My brides definitely get it. They get that each element of the design has to have a viable intention. 

WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL DESIGN?
My design style is very organic, very simple actually. I love a single color letterpress print run on cotton paper. It's the pop I look for, that little something extra--a splash of watercolor across the names, incorporating hand lettering or illustrative artwork... I adore the final touches of assembly; wrapping all of your pieces in cotton twine with a sprig of eucalyptus tied in, a hand addressed envelope with vintage stamps ...those are the things that make my heart sing. 


Are we a match? Are you reading all of this saying "YES!, That's what I've been looking for." Well then nice to meet you. See, I adore working with that inner artist in you. That's what I like to bring out in my brides. If your heart melt when you pick up a piece of silk ribbon, if you feel like you need to squeal when your fingertips meet the texture of handmade cotton rag paper ...well I look forward to hearing from you! We're going to be great friends.

 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | rustic barn wedding for the mississippi bride & louisiana groom

What a pleasure it's been to work with Ashley King (future Caruso), future lawyer and sweetest person alive. Growing up in Mississippi, she was surrounded by cotton fields and southern landscapes that would make anyone's soul feel warm. It's no surprise that she fell in love with Blake, a Louisiana boy, who is as easy going as the cotton field winds she grew up around!

Ashley and Blake wanted a simple save the date and a coordinating wedding invitation. Recycled kraft paper was a must for her, so I knew this would be a breeze for me. Recycled kraft paper and I are best friends. 

Ashley's save the dates were letterpress printed in a dark charcoal ink on recycled kraft!

The wedding invitations were printed on a cotton paper (how appropriate) paired with the same recycled policy envelope as the save the dates. The ink matched the envelopes and all together, these two pieces are the sweetest and simplest duo my eyes have ever seen.

Another great thing I love about these invitations is the way we incorporated Blake and Ashley's wedding website as their rsvp option. Many brides opt out of having a response card simply for the reason that they're not always returned. Wedding websites are becoming more and more popular as a way to have readily accessible information in regards to the wedding, rsvp included. For a non-traditional wedding stationery ensemble, this is the perfect way to include the extra information without the extra pieces. 

I am so happy to be a guest at this wedding this upcoming January. My husband and I are great friends with the groom, and now we get to grow our relationship with Ashley. Their love is as amazing as the rustic barn they will wed at, in the strawberry fields of Louisiana and I just cannot wait to witness the atmosphere and joining of the Mississippi bride and Louisiana groom. 


 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | the right way to do glitter | louisiana wedding

Blake and Lauren. Blake and Lauren have been a couple for as long as my husband and I. Graduating from the same high school, marrying our high school sweethearts ...a common small town love story. 

I've curated lots of work for Lauren's hosted parties over the years, so when her and Blake became engaged, I was over the moon to work together on her biggest hosted event yet! After our initial chat, I knew she'd want to pair simplicity with a little something extra. 

One of the first sentences out of her mouth: "I think I want to add some bling." My initial thought was to tell her she was crazy, but I knew we could do this right. There is certainly a tasteful way to incorporate shimmer and shine.

Lauren and Blake are having a traditional Catholic wedding mass and wanted the stationery to reflect the formalness of the church ceremony. The design was based around a subtle boldness, two opposite words that complimented each other so well through out each wedding piece that completed this suite.

BLACK, BLUSH, AND SHIMMER

The black text was balanced with luxe blush pink and soft white envelopes. ...the shimmer was just the perfect icing on the cake. The invitations and response cards were letterpress printed on cotton paper. The envelopes looked luscious with a shimmer envelope liner that really made the piece pop. All wrapped up with a letterpress printed seal mounted on a black band, this suite was complete.

Lauren's wedding shower invitations were the preface to the wedding stationery. A softer grey and a touch of floral gave Lauren's guests a visual sneak peek to the wedding stationery that was soon to come. Then, the programs added the appropriate accessory pieces to really finalize this whole "black, blush, and shimmer" wedding stationery suite.  

Wishing the future Huvals the happiest of all wedding days this weekend. I'm sure the wedding will sparkle as much as the sweet couple and their stationery. All my love to these two!

xx,
Hope Johnson

 

The Keeping Room | Baton Rouge Wedding Stationery

Almost a year ago, I contacted The Keeping Room in Baton Rouge in hopes for some interest in carrying TLBC's product line. Many clients and friends have referred me to this shop, so I thought, well hey, let's check it out. After speaking with Amanda, the owner, we trained off on how I got started and where I have my work printed. I told her I own my own letterpress printing business. This conversation lead us to a collaborated wedding stationery album. After months and months of preparations, designing, testing, and of course printing, TLBC and TKR has combined our efforts and talents to create ten, one-of-a-kind wedding collections. ...with full intentions of watching it grow to more.

IMG_7570.jpg

We are BEYOND thrilled to have all of our work alongside The Keeping Room's work inside one big album! So we of course celebrated along with some fantastic fellow businesses in the wedding industry. Joined in to help us celebrate was Alli Sims, who owns a fantastic wedding planning service as well as Cupcake Couture. Also joining in and displayed a beautiful wedding gown was I Do Bridal Couture. Plantation Florist supplied nothing short of the most lovely floral arrangements my eyes have ever laid eyes on. While we all swooned over the pretties, we did so by munching on some amazing eats from Gourmet Girls. (see sources below)
 

I got the bright and crazy idea to bring my first table-top press along for a ride. I really wanted everyone to get an idea of the process that goes behind letterpress printing. Success. Our guests were able to pull their own print and got a feel (literally) for the labor that goes behind printing. Of course, the work is done on a much larger press, but the concept all the same and I believe everyone left with a new appreciation for letterpress printing.

SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. These people are amazing. (see references below)

This collaboration has really lead us to focus on supporting local businesses. The in-house customer service and one-on-one attention we are able to give each couple establishes a more personal relationship that doesn't end at the wedding day. The evening was absolutely lovely. If you didn't get a chance to stop by, don't fret, The Keeping Room isn't going anywhere. Stop by their beautiful shop off of Perkins Road and ask to see the new album! I am looking forward to working with TKR and new couples to tailor each suite to their ideal wedding stationery. Ode to new adventures!


sources
wedding stationery | THE little BLUE CHAIR & The Keeping Room
florist | Plantation Florist
catering | Gourmet Girls
cupcakes | Cupcake Couture
wedding planner | Alli Sims
wedding gown display | I Do Bridal Couture
 

How I found a 100 year old letterpress.

When I first graduated college, my first to-do on my agenda was to find a tabletop letterpress. These presses were hard to come by. They were made well after the letterpress had been invented for the purpose of teaching. They were small, compact, and could fit nicely on a table. I knew this press was to learn the craft and hobby I began dabbling in, so I searched and searched until I found the one I wanted. 

After a few years, I quickly realized it was time to upgrade. My new search: a Chandler and Price New Style Letterpress ...and when I say new, I mean 1920s instead of 1800s. It's crazy how mad I get at my Epson printer, but I can run this age old printer just fine. So, I searched with all of my resources to find the press right for me. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

IMG_1244.jpg

me: "hey, what's your weekend like?"
husband: "fairly free, what's up?"
me: "we should go to Marlin, Texas!"
husband: "go where?"

I don't care what google maps said, it was not a 6.5 hour drive, it was more like 8 hours. Eight hours to Marlin Texas, a mile long town about 30 miles outside of Waco. The press was acquired by an antique store, put on eBay and BAM, in comes Hope. 

We packed up the truck with snacks and hooked up the heaviest duty trailer we had to haul home a near 100 year old, 1500 pound letterpress. Husbands with a know-how are the best and I cannot thank mine enough for putting up with my adventures and eBay bids. A day and another 8 hour drive later, we were home. Unloading this press and getting it in to my shop had to have been one of my most stressful moments ever. 

IMG_1286.JPG

We all got our hands dirty, but within a two week period, I went from my tabletop compact press to a much bigger beast. I'm so excited about the doors this leap has opened. ...and rightfully so, I named this letterpress Marlin, after its home town.