From OKC to London - A Travel Love Story

Vacation (noun) - Freedom or release from duty, business or activity.

Recently, my husband Isaac and I traveled to the UK for 17 days exploring Scotland first then moving down to England. To be immersed in such magnificent beauty together brings about feelings of peace, gratefulness and awe-inspiring happiness. 

We believe travel refreshes us individually and as a couple. We are challenged in new ways. We learn new things about each other. And it broadens our perspective of culture, life and love. 

During our trip, we laughed in moments that we usually wouldn't laugh about back home. I danced in an open field, just because it was so breathtaking. We giggled when a Scottish police officer gave us a parking ticket just because we loved the way he talked. I sang worship songs while hiking and breaking a sweat.

During the last part of our trip, we spent several days in London and hired a photographer to follow us around for a couple hours while we took in the breathtaking sights of Big Ben, Westminster and the House of Parliament for the first time.

I wanted such a sweet, joyful time in our marriage to be captured while in the midst of a historical, majestic and romantic place. 

All photos were taken by Jesse McGhie Photography. 

5 Reasons to Learn Modern Calligraphy // OKC Modern Calligrapher

Modern calligraphy is all the rage right now, and learning how to do it is even more popular. But why learn how to write pretty in this 21st century digital age?

1. You can break the rules

Unlike traditional calligraphy that follows a specific set of lettering rules and stays perfectly inside the lines, modern calligraphy allows you to "bounce" your letters outside of lines if you desire, develop your own style that can be similar to cursive and opens the door for more creative freedom. 

Modern calligraphy letters can bounce around on the page. They have a mind of their own. :)

2. It can be therapeutic and an anti-stressor

I have found that once you get over the hump of learning how to use the nib, understand how ink flows and get a groove down while learning letter forms, pointed-pen, dip calligraphy is quite therapeutic. 

Feeling the pen glide across the page while ink is slowly flowing out feels peacefully delicate. Because you simply cannot do calligraphy in a hurry or with an anxious mind, the practice of the art forces me to slow down and rid my mind of any stressors from the day. 

Even if pointed-pen calligraphy is just not your thing, brush calligraphy is just as fun and therapeutic. Brush calligraphy can be achieved using many types of markers, like Tombow markers, or by using a small paint brush. 

3. It keeps you smart

I keep hearing that hand lettering and cursive is not being taught as often in public schools anymore, and that is such a shame! However, researcher have found that when we write letters and words with our hands we learn better, are more successful, creativity is inspired and so much more according to thefederalist.com. 

Although this article focus on hand writing with pens and pencils, I truly believe hand lettering using calligraphy as adults can have the same type of benefits. 

Wrapped up in my own little world calligraphing. 

4.  You can make your friends and family feel loved

Writing birthday cards, addressing envelopes and making handmade, framable art are the best ways to make your friends and family feel loved. Who doesn't love something handmade with your time and skill poured into it? 

5. Teaches patience

In the beginning, calligraphy can be quite frustrating, because you are learning how to use a new tool that your hand is not used to holding. Even to an experienced calligrapher, there can be frustrating mishaps like ink splatters and just honest human error. 

To succeed and keep on learning, you must be patient with yourself and the art form. I've learned that I am naturally not a patient person. I want to be good now, and I want the projects done in my own timing. 

But calligraphy projects can often take longer than you expect simply, because you cannot rush a work of art. Be patient with yourself and you will reap great and beautiful rewards. :)

Flowy and peaceful modern calligraphy font

* Bonus reason: It's fun! 

Can't forget the best reason of all, modern calligraphy is so stinking' fun! I love it, and I love having a skill that will last a lifetime. I love writing with a tool that was used hundreds of years ago when writing letters. I love making beautiful art and sharing it with the world. :)

If you live in the south, join me for my next beginner calligraphy workshop in Oklahoma City. I love meeting other lettering enthusiasts. :)

 

Summer OKC Calligraphy Workshop Series Recap

This summer, I taught two beginner modern calligraphy workshops at West Elm in Oklahoma City.  So often calligraphy is seen as "pretty handwriting." I love the chance to set a high standard in my community for calligraphy as a skilled art that requires patience and a lot of practice. I love encouraging other women to learn a new hobby and appreciate the art as well. 

I want to thank Robyn Icks Photography for capturing beautiful photos of the events, and helping me set up and take down for each event. You are a rockstar. I also want to thank West Elm OKC for your hospitality, kindness and the space you allowed us to use as creatives. 

For the July workshop, Blair of Blair Sims Events helped plan the design, and "look and feel" of the evening. She did such a great job, and I loved Blair's help during the event. And Angie from Borrowed Charm was so kind to let us use some of her decor on this evening. 

Take a look through the photos of the events, and I'd love for you to join me for one of my Fall workshops starting in October! Purchase tickets on the workshop page. 

Oklahoma Wedding Planning: When Should I Hire a Calligrapher?

You love the pretty, personalized look of calligraphy and you realized the task of perfectly writing out 250 addresses for a fancy event is very daunting and stressful. So, you decide you want to hire a calligrapher for your wedding invitations. At what point in the planning process do you involve a calligrapher? How long do they need to do this? Or are you wondering if you are too late or too last minute?

Although every calligrapher is different in his or her pace and timeline of projects, it is always best to involve a calligrapher early on in the wedding planning to secure time in their schedule.

I always suggest reaching out to a calligrapher and invitation designer at least 6 months before the wedding, if not more. 

As a calligrapher and invitation designer myself, I prefer to have ample time to put careful thought and attention to detail to my bride's invitations. I love meeting with the bride in the very beginning to begin to develop a relationship with her and understand her entire vision for the wedding day. I strive to match my design and calligraphy with the vision of the event. 

For me, turnaround times are determined based on when you need to mail your invitations and what projects are already on my calendar. But to give you a rough idea, I typically ask for a 2-4 weeks for 100 invitations or less, and 6-8 weeks for more. 

I'm always willing to work with your wedding planner or stationer to discuss timing. I also ask that you involve me in the process of choosing and ordering your envelopes. Some envelopes simply won't work with pointed nibs. Even if the invitations are not done being designs and printed, I can still get the envelopes in my hands to begin work. 

But of course if you're the last minute gal stressin' about your envelopes, please call me. :) I'd love to see what I can do to help. No need to stress, we want your guests to feel loved when they get your invite in the mailbox!

And I want you to have an heirloom, a piece from your wedding day, to remember this special time in your life. 

Now Selling Calligraphy Artwork

Now Selling Calligraphy Artwork

My online shop is now open! Now, you are able to purchase original, hand-written calligraphy art work straight from my website.

Pride and Prejudice calligraphy quote available in  online shop.

Pride and Prejudice calligraphy quote available in online shop.

When you purchase your made-to-order custom art, each piece is hand-written from scratch and mailed to your door-step for you to feel the delicate and intricate calligraphy ink and frame in your home, bedroom, office or gift for a loved one. 

Of course, I still take requests for custom pieces, however, this online shop highlights my favorite, romantic and feel-good words written with beautiful, calligraphy ink that will make your soul smile. 

Home is Wherever I'm with You calligraphy quote available in  online shop. 

Home is Wherever I'm with You calligraphy quote available in online shop. 

Pamper yourself with hand-written words that will brighten your day or motivate your soul. 

Never mass printed, this calligraphy art is made especially for you and with love.  

Calligraphy old hymn art available in  online shop. 

Calligraphy old hymn art available in online shop. 

I hope you enjoy and feel loved :)

Rachel

In My Own Little Corner - Introducing My Design Space

Introducing My New Design Space in Oklahoma City

In my own little corner, in my own little chair / I can be whateverI want to be / On the wings of fancy I can fly anywhere / And the world will open its arms to me
~ Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

Although I can design invitations or create calligraphy anywhere, creating at my kitchen table on a daily basis was becoming a difficult task. It was messy, all over the place and felt disorganized. Plus, I had to clean up so we could each dinner every night. So, I decided I needed a desk and chair in my own little corner to think, create, design and make pretty things. 

So, we made room for a small, well-lit area in the guest bedroom of our home for my design business. It's perfect and lovely. And it makes me feel happy. 

The vintage desk and chair were given to us by my in-laws. The desk used to belong to my husband's Grandma Mary and the chair is from England. Each show much love and use, yet so much character and inspiration. 

I wanted to share with you where I now spend my time writing beautiful words in calligraphy and creating pretty wedding invitations and designs. I hope you enjoy! 

My own little corner to think, ponder and create pretty calligraphy, invitations and designs.

My own little corner to think, ponder and create pretty calligraphy, invitations and designs.

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

My ever-growing collection of nibs. 

My ever-growing collection of nibs. 

Here sits my lamp for nightfall, collection of nibs and a framed photo I bought by  Robyn Icks Photography.  

Here sits my lamp for nightfall, collection of nibs and a framed photo I bought by Robyn Icks Photography. 

Ah, a clean sheet of paper, fresh black ink and a nib to write whatever my heart desires. 

Ah, a clean sheet of paper, fresh black ink and a nib to write whatever my heart desires. 

Modern calligraphy written in my  Danielle font style. 

Modern calligraphy written in my Danielle font style. 

My desk space to create pretty things. 

My desk space to create pretty things. 

Because who wouldn't want fresh roses on their desk for inspiration?

Because who wouldn't want fresh roses on their desk for inspiration?

Gorgeous fresh yellow roses for inspiration and happiness. 

Gorgeous fresh yellow roses for inspiration and happiness. 

My collection of vintage and useful books.

My collection of vintage and useful books.

Part of our wedding vows that I wrote in my  Bethany calligraphy font style  to remind me of the promises we made to each other. 

Part of our wedding vows that I wrote in my Bethany calligraphy font style to remind me of the promises we made to each other. 

All the scratches, bumps and bruises give my desk character and shows the love it has been given over many decades. These drawers on both sides of the desk give me wonderful storage too!

All the scratches, bumps and bruises give my desk character and shows the love it has been given over many decades. These drawers on both sides of the desk give me wonderful storage too!

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Expert help should be arranged for well in advance to avoid last-minute confusion. Otherwise father may be irritated, mother jittery, the bride in tears, and the groom cross. - Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 1956
This quote from my grandmother's etiquette book makes me laugh every time I read it. But really, it is still so true today in 2015. 
Weddings, big or small, can be stressful. There are so many moving parts and emotions flying around. It's a big day - lives are changing, a last name is dropping off, two families are merging together, parents are giving away their young daughter and two love birds are vowing before God and family their commitment to one another. 
Your wedding day is a big deal, and this day deserves expert help in at least some areas of the planning process for a smooth and happy experience. 
Sometimes with so many close relatives involved and emotions flying around, it can be difficult to make decisions. It can be difficult to actually enjoy your engagement season and not feel stressed with so many decisions to make and things to do. And of course, you want it to be flawless and beautiful. 
Hiring wedding professionals to do the time-consuming work and research for you while also giving you an unbiased opinion on what will look best, will alleviate much of the stress and tension. Professionals from photographers to planners to invitation designers know exactly what will look best for your wedding, because they do this kind of thing for a living on a regular basis. 
They know what they are doing, and they are good at it. Trust them, lean on them and just enjoy your engaged time with your spouse and the day that you will one day tell your kids and grandkids about. 
Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Low on wedding cash?
Determine a couple aspects of the wedding planning that are most important to you or give you the most stress when you think about having to do them Set aside the budget to hire professionals for those couple areas.
Maybe the idea of you or your mother dealing with all the set up, decorating and coordination on the wedding day makes you cringe, and you don't want coordination to to get in the way of enjoying your day. So, set aside some extra money in the budget to hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. 
Maybe sending out beautiful, classic invitations that give your guests an exciting first glimpse into your special celebration is important to you. Leave the designing, paper selection, printing, assembly and envelope addressing up to a professional who has the time and experience to give you an amazing product and less stress. 
Professionals I Recommend
Of course for wedding invitations for calligraphy, I would love for you to come to me. However here in Oklahoma there are other amazing options as well like Paper N' More or Chirps and Cheers in Oklahoma City. 
For photography, Erin Goodrich Photography located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Magnolia Adams Photography in OKC are both amazing. Erin shot a lot of the beautiful photos on my website!
For wedding planners and floral design, I would definitely recommend Talia Morgan of Inspire Events and Design or Forever Cole Events both in OKC. Erin Goodrich Photography also offers day-of-coordination
If you are not in the Oklahoma area, there are so many wonderful professionals all over the country. Meet with them, get to know them, grab coffee with them, read reviews and go with your gut! :)
Comments? Advice?
For all the married couples out there who have already gone through the wedding planning, what is one part of your wedding you wish you would have hired expert help for and why? What do you wish you would have just spent an extra few hundred dollars on just to alleviate stress? Comment below! :)

Live Life

Keep Calm and Live Life

The other night I listened to KC Clifford at a house concert. Her folk-style music, lyrics and personal descriptions of the songs really spoke to me. While sharing honest stories about her life, struggles and joys, she shared some inspiring words that her grandmother said to one her.

"You have one life to live. Go live it, and the rest will work itself out."

Live Life

Throughout my life, I tend to be always looking forward to and planning the next big thing. When I was a young girl, I wanted so badly to be 13 - a teenager. Then, 16 so I could drive. Once I met my husband, it seemed like I was planning our wedding in no time. A couple years of marriage, and we are talking about babies. Life really is one big moment after another. It makes it difficult to smile at the moments that are happening now when we are always looking forward to things we don't have. 

But what if we just stopped for a minute and reveled in the now a little bit more? 

I don't want to look back on life one day sad that I didn't enjoy the sweet moments that were actually happening. The next big things in my life will happen eventually, and it will all work itself out. But I need to live the life I have right now and enjoy it to its fullest. 

So right now, I have a husband who is so kind, thoughtful and loving. We have two dogs who make us laugh and give us so many snuggles. We have a quaint home that gives us a roof over our heads and a warm place to sleep in a safe neighborhood. And I have developed a fun and challenging design business that gives me a chance to meet such beautiful, kind and talented individuals. 

What should you be cherishing right now in your life?

Cinderella Inspired Wedding Invite Set

Cinderella Inspired Wedding Invite Set

After I saw the new movie Cinderella in theaters this year, I was immediately inspired to design a super girly and enchanting wedding invitation set. The big sparkly blue ball gown, the shoes (those shoes!) and the overall magical feel of the movie put me in the romantic spirit. This invite is a modern take on a wedding invitation fit for a royal bride. 

Modern Cinderella Wedding Invitation

The cream and light pink envelopes and inserts are slightly shimmery to give a magical, fairy tale feel to the paper. 

Modern Cinderella Wedding Invitation

The reply card is given the same amount of detail as the rest of the suite. Perfect for all your royal guests. 

egp-84.jpg

The black, romantic calligraphy is written with a modern hint. 

Cinderella RSVP

If you love this blog post and the photos, please share with your friends!

Photos by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Patience in Letters

Patience in Letters

When I took a calligraphy class with Frameworthy Designs in Norman, Oklahoma, Tara Forth, owner and designer, began the class talking about the importance of patience when you are learning calligraphy. What she said has really stuck with me through my journey of learning and practicing my hand lettering. 

I have not by any means mastered calligraphy, but I do feel that it is an art that has come naturally to me. I love the feeling of stroking the ink-filled nib up and down on smooth creamy white paper. I love making flourishes on my letters, and I love the end result. It's beautiful, and it's my own. 

Tara reminded us in the class that our handwriting is unique to us. We should embrace our own hand lettering, and not try to make it look exactly like someone else's handwriting. 

Although I strive to make my calligraphy look streamline and overall flawless, it wouldn't look like true handwriting without little bits of imperfections throughout. It wouldn't be unique to me without tiny pieces of imperfections that no one else's handwriting would have. 

So when I have been practicing for hours  trying to make it perfect and getting frustrated over a flaw, a little voice inside me whispers the word patience.

Be patience with yourself, I hear. There are beautiful and wonderful things for those with patience.

There is strength in patience. 

Learning calligraphy is teaching me and reminding me of the importance of patience. I know It will shape me into a stronger woman - exactly the kind of woman I want to be. 


 

Most Important Thing You Need to Know During Wedding Season

The Most Important Thing During Wedding Season

While practicing my calligraphy the other day, I wrote this quote and framed it in our master bathroom as a reminder of how we can keep our marriage great. 

As we are right smack in the middle of wedding season, months that are full of fluffy white tulle, bouquets of flowers, sparkling objects, invitations and all the beautiful details that make up one romantic day for a wedding, my mind is on the things that matter the most in a marriage. 

Isaac and I are celebrating three years of marriage this month. It seems like yesterday that I was picking out my invitations, floral arrangements and planning my wedding day. These details are all so much fun. In fact, I love the planning so much that I decided to get into the wedding business myself with this invitation business. 

But whether you are a bride planning your wedding or a newlywed, I want you to know one thing that is more important than choosing the right color of bridesmaid dresses, flowers or even your invitations (which I would love to design!). Marriage, a real marriage that will last, is not build on how romantic your wedding day is or how well written your vows are, but it is build on learning to forgive each other, keep no record of wrongs and choosing to loving each other through the every up and down of life. 

Even if you just got engaged, it may not feel like it now, but marriage will be hard sometimes. Once you get back from your honeymoon (maybe even on your honeymoon!), you will need to forgive and learn to be patient with each other. Real love and a real marriage that will last is based on patience, kindness, forgiveness and self-control. 

Have fun when planning your wedding and the festivities the day of, because it is an unforgettable experience, but don't lose sight of the details of a marriage that are the most important and will make your love story last a lifetime. ;)

My First Year of Owning a Business

I received a phone call today from Google Plus. 

"Do you own a business?" the representative said on the other end of the phone. 

"Uh, yes? I think you have the wrong number?" I stammered back. 

She did not have the wrong number. Since I launched this web site a month ago, she was calling to confirm my business contact information for Google. I told her that I'm not used to officially admitting that I am a small business owner. 

I still have a ways to go and so many "to do" lists to grow Rachel Kathryn Designs. But when I look back over the last year and everything I have accomplished, I feel very proud. 

Although my love of paper started when I was a child, I began learning how to design just over a year ago. Once I started learning, i became a little obsessed. I spent all my free time learning how to change colors, place pretty florals in just the right place on an invitation and learning all different kinds of beautiful fonts. The beauty of design is the learning never stops. After a few months of learning, I began designing invitations pretty quickly and quickly had my first handful of clients. 

Next I went on to learn all about paper (my favorite part!). I love, love, love all the sizes, weights and textures of paper options that are available for your invitations. I want to touch them, smell them and own them all. Kinda silly, I know. Like I said my obsession with paper started long ago. (I used to collect boxes and boxes of Post-It notes, blank journals and Hello Kitts note pads. 

And just a few months ago, I dove into learning all about the art of calligraphy. Calligraphy takes practice, practice and more practice. I love making beautiful words and phrases. 

I desire to create beautiful sets of invitations for your special events in your life. By meticulously choosing the right paper, fonts, colors and even the envelope the final invitation communicates your wish for your guests to  join you in celebrating a very noteworthy event. 

I feel so overjoyed when I hand off off those final invitations perfectly packaged together to my clients. The paper is so perfect and so smooth. I'm almost sad to see them dispersed in the mail for fear the mailman will indeed "mess them up." But I feel complete when I see the smile on my client's face and a sigh of relief that I took great care of something so special to them. 

So, yes I am a small business owner. It may be small, and I may still (and always will be) learning the art of invitation making. But, I deliver a beautiful product from start to finish with great detail and care. 

Rachel

 

 

 

Welcome to my new site!

I am so excited to launch Rachel Kathryn Designs website! Thank you so much for visiting and taking a peek around. I'd love to chat with you and say hello. If you live in the Oklahoma City area, let's meet for coffee! If you live outside the state, let's skype or have a phone chat! Getting to know you and your style is the best way for me to provide you with the best invitation for your event!

I will be posting tips, tricks and advice about all things invitations. As well as my own personal journey with design and paper. Check back often!

:)

Rachel