Thursday, November 8, 2012


For those of you who have followed my blog for the past 5 years, you’ve watched my business grow and change – definitely for the better. I started my blog as a way to express my personal interests, business ventures, passions and inspirations. It has been a wonderful journey and I am thrilled to announce my brand new home My new home base will be a place of color, inspiration, design and most importantly, a constant reinforcement of my love for life, family and career. Over the years, I have dabbled and entertained many ideas, career ventures and opportunities and wanted a place to show all of these to my readers.

Grab a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to browse the new blog where you’ll find details on Twist Paper,EMMA J DESIGN and all of the unique parts of my career.

Every single day, I wake up feeling inspired by my surroundings and motivated to make strides in my personal and professional goals. I cannot thank you enough for all of your love and support over the years and I am thrilled you’ll be joining me for what the future brings.

Next up for me?

Filling this new blog with details of my wonderful and colorful life.


Saving the best for last, stay tuned for my new online shop of luxury personalized paper and goods!

Aren’t you SO excited?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Wedding Paper Timeline

We have created this handy Wedding Paper Timeline for all of you Brides out there! Feel free to print and use as a guide throughout your wedding planning process. If you have any questions or would like to talk with us about designing your wedding paper - just drop us a note

Visit to view our wedding portfolio.

Inspired by DVF

There are so many inspiring women in business, fashion and art - one that I am often inspired by is the infamous Diane von Furstenberg. Not only did her creation of the perfect wrap dress make women everywhere feel beautiful, but the inspiring story, constant motivation and positive demeanor has made her into a true icon. Diane is a great example of how women should grow more confident and comfortable with themselves as they become older and wiser. I look back at myself 1 year ago, 5 years ago and even 10 years ago - I really didn't know myself yet. Even though I still have some growing to do, I am thankful to feel so confident and comfortable with myself. As I grow older, learn new things and gain new experiences, I learn to trust myself more. Trust my gut. This is definitely hard to do at a young age...I discover more about myself everyday. I do believe being an only child has had a very positive effect on me. Not only has it made me comfortable in my own skin, but it has also made me very comfortable spending time alone, reflecting and entertaining myself with my muses, interests and passions. I have never had the urge to constantly surround myself with people - I'm perfectly fine spending time alone and often prefer it when I need to relax and rejuvenate. I believe this is important for everyone - to trust what YOU love, not love what everyone else is loving. Rather than focusing on what others have, we should focus on what makes us happy and unique. What makes US special and not like everyone else. In a world of changing trends and styles, find what makes you smile and have the confidence to love it no matter what anyone else says or thinks. Love YOU for YOU - life will be so much easier.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Eggplant Custom Monogram Wedding Invitation

Bride Whitney desired a color palette of fall colors and eggplant purple. Using details from the Texas State Capitol and her wedding location, we created a custom monogram to adorn the top of her save the date and other accessories. Her wedding invitations were letterpress printed on Crane Ecru luxurious paper. Whitney’s father, Texas State Senator, John Whitmire, also inspired the stately look of her wedding invitation wardrobe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gold Floral Wedding Invitation

Bride Kimberly wanted a masquerade-inspired invitation to set the tone of their ball reception at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. With a color palette of shimmery gold and floral detailing, we were able to complete her invitation with a vintage monogram.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gold Engraved Monogram Wedding Invitation

Bride Grace wanted a very traditional and southern wedding invitation. She wanted a very formal feel so we engraved her hand-lettered invitation in gold on Crane ecru paper. The edges were trimmed in gold and her custom monogram adorned the top of the invitation. She is still getting raves about her invitations to this day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coastal Chic Wedding Invitation

Inspired by their wedding location in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Kelly and Wyatt requested coastal details in a sea foam and coral color palette. We printed their wedding invitations and accessories on a luxurious creamy textured paper.

Wedding Planner: Morgan Gallo Events

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Branding Design for Libby Lane Press

I had the pleasure of meeting Nicolle at Stationery Academy earlier this year and I was thrilled to meet her, become friends with her and watch her new brand come to life. Nicolle's business focused on party paper and styling, but she yearned for the business of custom weddings. We felt Libby Lane Press needed a more polished look in the effort to appeal to brides seeking custom wedding papers. Nicolle commissioned the talented Lindsay Letters to hand render a beautiful logo for the new look of Libby Lane Press. We took the logo and further defined her color palette, custom patterns, letter style recommendations and logo abbreviations. Below is the before and after so you can see the transformation - we are thrilled with the results and are pins and needles waiting to see the new website!

Libby Lane Press : BEFORE

Libby Lane Press: AFTER

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I choose THIS kind of love.

Sarah Buck Photography

I thought I knew what it meant to love things. I loved my husband. I loved my home. I loved my career. I loved my family. I truly loved everything about my life. (Well, maybe not my parents living 4+ hours away, but I have faith that will change one day.) But overall, I loved everything else. It turns out, I had no idea what real love was. I thought I did... but I have been proven wrong in the past 10 months of my life. 

It's hard to believe Rhett is almost 10 months old. Just a year ago, I was wrapping up the nursery details and counting down the weeks until the big moment arrived. Where does the time go? Everyone says that time flies and to cherish every moment. We have cherished every single second - every laugh, cry, tear, bottle, meal, diaper change - knowing these days are limited - we have never wished this time away. It saddens me to hear other parents wish their child would hurry up and walk or hurry up and crawl, etc.  - it always seems as though they are wishing their baby's life away. They are never this tiny again and I don't want to be the one looking back and wishing I had treasured these moments more. I have no regrets and I don't wish Rhett would grow faster. I miss snuggling and swaddling and everything else between. 

The everyday routine (or lack thereof) sometimes gets the best of me. I feel like my daily life is an episode of The Amazing Race - always trying to get the most done before time is up. A good friend told me from the very beginning that I needed to lower my expectations for my daily to-do list. I knew I needed to trust her advice and I have grown to believe it more every single day. Some days are so successful they make my head spin, while others are a complete wash. I'll take that though. I am so unbelievably fortunate to work from home, run a very successful business, make and produce everything my son eats and drinks, and have the support of my husband and family. We are surrounded by everything we could possible want or need and it humbles me. God is truly amazing and I always seem to have peace about my life and that everything has a purpose. My husband can tell you that I hardly stress the big things. I don't worry about finances, I don't worry about our home and providing for our family, I don't worry about my business - I am always confident that God will provide everything we need. I might stress about dinner not being cooked or the proof I didn't send today, but all of that doesn't matter in the big picture. It's definitely not what life is all about.

My life is about true love.
True love for this redheaded blue-eyed baby boy.
(and, of course, my other redheaded blue-eyed man)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hiring a professional : WEDDING INVITATIONS

Throughout the 10 plus years I have been working in the paper industry, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and unfortunately, the DIY disasters. In a new world of DIY everything, your invitations should not be one of them. Please hire a professional for this timeless piece of your marriage as your invitations will be something you treasure for many years to come. Here are my top 5 reasons to hire a professional to design or print your wedding invitations.


Thinking about printing your invitations at home or at work? My guess is your printer doesn't provide archival inks and offset printing quantity. What does that mean? 5 years from now, you're going to look at your wedding invitations only to discover the ink has started to fade and turn yellow or brown. Over time, the design will mostly disappear leaving you with a faded piece of paper that has also started to yellow and fade. Stick to offset printing, letterpress, thermography or letterpress and 100% cotton papers so that in years to come, you can share your invitations with your children and they will see it in the same way you intended: classic, timeless and representative of your wedding day. I still have a copy of my grandparent's folded traditional wedding invitation - still in the same condition from almost 75 years ago.


Graphic designers and Stationers have specific software they license to create invitations and graphics. This software is extremely expensive and they are trained to use this properly. When it comes to the artwork on your invitations, a seasoned designer can properly illustrate graphics for your invitation - either from scratch or from trusted libraries of design elements. Attempting to use clipart from your word program or pulling images from the internet will not result in a good quality image. All images on the internet have been reduce in resolution so they will often appear blurry. Images needs to be at least 300 dpi in resolution to be used in graphics and printing, while all web images are only 72 dpi in resolution. If you do choose to design your own invitations, please do not take artwork from other designers' websites and samples - this is highly unethical and unfair to these professionals.


Graphic designers and Stationers have extensive libraries of fonts available for commercial use. Their sources will far exceed the font selections available on your computer. We take time to study font trends, purchase updated versions and new scripts to make available to our clients. From choosing a classic font designed by a calligrapher or a block print that will stand the test of time, we know what will best in the design and what will not look dated after a couple of years. Chances are, if you can find fonts on a free font website, they have been in the market for quite a few years and are starting to look dated. Best to stick to classic fonts and hand-rendered lettering.


Oh, how this is SO important for your wedding invitations. Referring back to my blog post a few weeks ago, this is just the icing on the cake - there are many layers to the correct wording on wedding invitations. So many in fact, that a true professional will know all of the proper etiquette rules for your wedding invitation wording. Through their experience, resources and etiquette guides, they will provide you with the correct name order, host lines, time, date and location specifics. I cannot tell you how many wedding invitations I have seen over the years with improper wording and etiquette. A few of the most common mistakes are: 1) Using "Requesting the honour of your presence" while getting married outside of a church setting. This is reserved for a house of worship ONLY. 2) Including the Zip code in the address line, 3) Not including full spelled out names of parents and bride/groom and 4) Not spelling out the state on the envelopes - this is just to name a few! In addition to wording etiquette there are specific ways your invitation should be layered in the envelope, addressed and mailed. 


The paper industry is a very broad industry - there are hundreds of paper options available to the public, trade-only and designers. We have the experience to know how designs will look on specific papers with chosen printing techniques. In most cases, the printers you have at home will not be able to support a thicker stock appropriate for wedding invitation. Paper and envelopes often get stuck in the printer leaving you with frustration and an unsuccessfully printed invitation. It is also important that all of the paper is purchased from the same company. Paper runs can vary at times leaving you with varying shades of whites or ecrus. Buying from discount sites can sometimes leave you with mismatched envelopes and paper. 

Whether you work with me at EMMA J DESIGN or one of the many talented stationers available to brides like you, please let us assist you in designing a unique and timeless invitation for your wedding day. 

Have questions?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good Thoughts

Came across this gem on Pinterest this morning and wanted to share such a wonderful thought. 
Feel free to pin, share and post on your inspiration board for everyday inspiration.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Branding for La Paperie ( Savannah, Georgia )

We've had the opportunity of working with our favorite local stationery store in Savannah, Georgia called La Paperie. Owner, Debbie Lewis wanted a new look for her luxury paper business that better represented the Parisian feel she had in mind. Using French inspired antique lettering, we designed a custom monogram and calligraphy letterstyle.


Engraved Business Cards
Engraved Stationery

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fashion Week Favorites

I've been living vicariously through my favorite fashion bloggers, Pinterest boards and Instagram photos this week at NYC Fashion Week. Wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces that made it down the runway!

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monogram Etiquette

Due to the popularity of the invitation etiquette post I did a few weeks ago, I decided to touch on monogram etiquette. Here are examples of name usage, order and format to be used in monogram design and personalized goods. If you would like to commission a custom monogram design, drop us a note to get started.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What is a Brand Stylist?

What is a brand stylist you ask?
A brand stylist is exactly the type of exclusive service I offer with EMMA J DESIGN

It all begins with a vision.

YOUR vision.

Where do you see your business or brand in 5 years? 10 years?

It is important to invest the time and effort from the ground up. Some of the strongest brands in the industry have stood the test of time and lasted through trends in the industry, changes in economic status and business success.

Rather than starting small, why not start big?

The first time you hand out your business card is just as important as the hundredth. First impressions are everything, especially in this industry. You obviously want your first impression to be fabulous so start now. Start with your vision and let us help you carry it through your business every step of the way. From choosing your final color swatch, selecting the type of paper for your business cards or how you should execute your new look in your office or studio, we help you style the entire brand all the way through.

Every detail will help bring your new brand to life.

Drop me a note if you're interested in getting started.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mid-Week Inspiration

I don't know about you, but I always need a little pick-me-up on Wednesdays.
{ My personal favorite shade for everyday is Russian Red by Mac. }

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Custom Monogram Design

Couture monograms are designed to be unique to you and your style. From traditional to modern, monograms can be any customized to your personality and unique vision. Between vintage lettering, custom illustrations and hand-rendered fonts, we have the ability to create truly one-of-a-kind monograms for use on stationery, invitations, giftware, acrylic items, party accessories and embroidery. Couture monograms may be designed a la carte for $250 or as part of your invitation or stationery wardrobe. Here are a few bespoke designs we have customized for our favorite clients.

If you are interested in commissioning us to design a couture monogram for you, please drop us a note

Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Things: LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Wishing everyone a wonderful Labor Day Weekend - hopefully we will be catching a few Savannah blue crab, enjoying some limoncello and catching some rays.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dazzle them, Darling

Wear your favorite shade of bright red lipstick...everyday. 
Order prosecco to 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
Dash into work today in your best'll feel more motivated than usual.
Dress up to go shopping...heads will turn.
Eat dinner on your fine china...tonight. You'll feel fancy.
Write a love note to your hubby...leave it by his coffee cup.
Listen to Frank Sinatra today...I promise it will put pep in your step.

Don't be boring, do something everyday to put a little dazzle in your life.

Monday, August 27, 2012


In case you didn't notice, I have been gone to far away places with my two favorite boys. Well, not really too far, but it was far enough for us. We took a short trip over to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for the entire week - a much deserved first official family vacation. It is always nice to get away, recharge, ponder new ideas and rest up for a fresh start. This trip has timed nicely as I am finishing off a busy summer with Rhett, attending Stationery Academy and wrapping up details for a busy fall wedding season. 

After leaving Stationery Academy, I felt invigorated to take my business to the next level. I'm toying around with so many ideas and just trying to fine tune the direction. First up will be creating a whole new blog full of fresh ideas, inspirations, spotlights on my favorite work and stylish snippets from my day-to-day life. Next up, only time will tell. From an online store of luxury personalized paper & gift goodness to hosting cocktail party design sessions at our local paper shop, the ideas of flowing! I would love to know if there is anything you would love to see for my custom paper & branding company EMMA J DESIGN, everyday paper line TWIST PAPER or just me! Drop me a note - I love to see client's ideas come to life. 

More dazzling things to come - stay tuned.