Daily Archives: August 11, 2015

invitation retrospective

A few weeks ago, when I posted a photo of the girls’ birthday invitations on Instagram, a friend of mine asked if I’d do a little post on the girls’ birthday invitations like I did a little retrospective on the holiday cards I’ve made. I thought it seemed like a fun idea, but quite honestly I filed it away for a later time (and then promptly forgot about it).

But… this weekend the whole family embarked on a good round of clean up / throw out around the house as we get ready to start another school year. And M and I are making some changes to the way our studio / den is set up to help support our house addition project (more on that soon, I promise). Which meant that I came across my file of old birthday invitations last night and I thought, why not? I spread them out on the bed and M and I looked at them all. Before work yesterday morning, I photographed them. If you know us personally, or have been reading here over the last eight years, then you’ve seen many of these. But for me it’s still really cool to pull them out after all these years. It’s amazing how many details I’ve forgotten, and amazing just how much of the girls’ personalities and influence are reflected in them.

E 1

E, First Birthday

The inspiration for this one was a birthday card I found for her. She’s always loved elephants.

E 2

E, Second Birthday

Every invitation was a little different. I cut flowers out of the floral sheets to make potted arrangements on the front, and then I copied those flowers in cookie form.

E 3

E, Third Birthday

I loved her ice cream party so much. You can probably tell that I had a new circle cutter that I was very proud of! Making this card inspired a set of homemade ice cream bingo cards that we still have.

E 4

E, Fourth Birthday

I loved the simplicity of this card, and colorful vellum was a favorite of mine for several years!

E 5

E, Fifth Birthday

This card was inspired by a couple of boxes of clearance car mobiles from Pottery Barn Kids. I cut the cars off the mobile and incorporated them into decor. I loved the envelope details on these, but I’m not sure how great they looked after they went through the mail!

E 6

E, Sixth Birthday

Her idea for a Monster Art Party might be my favorite theme ever. These were inspired by the monster plates we found at the bookstore, and the idea for the cut out letters came from a stack of magazines that I was purging. E and I cut little letter piles for days!

E 6(6)
F 1

F, First Birthday

I actually found a Martha Stewart birthday kit that I bought for the tiny little wooden monkey head cupcake toppers. It came with invitations, so I used the monkey face on one side, added the pink bow (my girls always have bows in their hair), and hand wrote the other side.

F 1(1)

E 7

E, Seventh Birthday

After six, the parties usually get a little smaller. For this party, E invited her two closest friends for a pretend sleepover and nail art party. She was a big part of the design inspiration and execution for this one, and for all her invitations to follow. (I like the peace sign formed by the two fingers.)

F 2

F, Second Birthday

Oh my goodness, this might be the most complicated invitation ever. But I love them.

F 2(1)F 2(2)

E 8

E, Eighth Birthday

Another great party theme and inspiration wholly from E. We had a blast making these Egyptian themed invites. Luckily we only made about twelve since we hand drew those hieroglyphs on each one!

F 3

F, Third Birthday

I stumbled upon dozens of clearance bottles of these paper flowers and bought them up in February. I’m pretty sure it took me from February to July to make these and hand write the invitation in rainbow pens!

F 3(1)

E didn’t have a ninth party with friends – instead, she got a room makeover, a family party, and a sleepover with a best friend.

F 4

F, Fourth Birthday

F wanted a Farmer’s Market Party at the Fountains and I told her I could deliver. I liked the riff on all the F’s for this one. I used the cookie cutters I had to trace and make the fruits and veggies. The edible versions were some of the cutest cookies ever. I need someone to have a Farmer’s Market party again so I can use them!

E 10

E, Tenth Birthday

E had a huge tenth birthday party with a gumball machine. This was my favorite invitation that we’ve collaborated on to date. It also inspired a future Halloween costume.

F 5

F, Fifth Birthday

I tried to keep the details for this party simple, but I couldn’t NOT make an invitation. I used a lot of glass beads and glitter on these – that snow cone paper was a find, for sure.

E-F 6-12F, Sixth Birthday and E, Twelfth Birthday

You’ve seen this one recently – the girls’ combined birthday party. I still love the simplicity of this, and how happy the girls were with the final design.


So there you have it – the last twelve years of parties. Once we get past six, we tend to dial them back a little – but soon enough will have a ten, a thirteen, a sweet sixteen! Ugh. I think I’ll stop that line of thought right there. Besides, it’s time to shift gears to… holiday cards!

Do you have a favorite? I tried, but I love them all because they all remind me of something special about each girl and those days that we come together to celebrate them.