I've been playing around with painting in a single color, adjusting tones and shadows to give depth and contrast.  I recently did two pieces in shades of grey and black (and apparently blue.  I'm not actually sure where the blue came from, I can only think that there was a tiny bit mixed in the palette with the black - it wasn't noticeable until it had dried!)

I finished these two commissioned pieces last week - they measure 15x11 and are painted on Arches cold press watercolor paper and will be finished with a deckled edge before being shipped off to their new owners!

You can also see a bit of Paige's invitation artwork below the black and white.

Design House of Moira Original Artwork
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AuthorVictoria Rothwell

 

 

 

 

I've been pretty obsessed with marbling lately, and this suite is nothing short of all sorts of marbled goodness. 

Gold engraved lettering, pale silk ribbon, and marbling in shades of grey, it just doesn't get any better!

The entire suite was topped off with a gold wax seal, bringing in formality and tradition.

Design House of Moira

A destination affair with Strawberry Milk Events, Laura Gordon and Engaged! Magazine in the Emerald Aisle produced some really dreamy images!  I had the pleasure of collaborating with these lovely ladies on a gorgeous invitation suite,  featuring lots of calligraphy, gold and teal foil printing, custom wine bottle labels and tags, and vintage postage. Check out the full magazine feature here!

Letters for Love | Design House of Moira

I've worked with Claudia of Fig.2 Designs (@fig2design) in the past, and it was my absolute pleasure to team up with her again on her Letters for Love project, supporting Sweaters and Sustenance (@sweatersandsustenance) who provides warmth in the form of coats and sweaters but also in the form of care and a helping hand. 

Myself, along with 7 other calligraphers, have teamed up with Claudia and her amazing design and printing team to create a collection of love cards in support of this cause.  Lettering from:

Me! Design House of Moira @designhouseofmoira

Molly Jacques @mollyjacques

Laura Hooper Calligraphy @lhcalligraphy

Graceline Art - Jenny Sanders @jenny_sanders_

M M Ink Studio - Moya Minns @mminkstudio

Fleur Calligraphy - Kathryn Christenbury @fleurdeletters

Paperfelt - Brenny Giovis @paperfelt

Poppy & Scooter - Jessica McSweeney @poppyandscooter

Claudia has us each write "love" or a love quote and features it on the front of the notecards.  This years theme of pink and navy is just darling!  My card this year features the verse, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" from Jeremiah 31:3.  If you're in the market for Valentines Day cards, hit up the Fig.2 shop and help us support this amazing cause!

Letters for Love | Design House of Moira
Letters for Love | Design House of Moira
Posted
AuthorVictoria Rothwell

About a month or two ago, I started doing something that may seem pretty straight forward, but I had never thought of before (it was a bit of a 'duh' moment).  I started creating artwork for no other reason than creation and practice.  As an artist, it's actually a bit of a conundrum.  I personally know that I have a hard time sitting down and just creating something without any guidelines or parameters.  I never know what to paint - or to paint at all.  I could sketch, but what would I sketch?? 

So a began letting color be my parameters and not worrying too much about what I actually painted.  I also started letting the watercolor behave as watercolor should, and not worrying so much about it being "perfect".  I allowed the paints to bleed together, the reds play into the greens and the blush into blue. 

A funny thing happened - the more I practiced, the better I saw my work getting.  Shocking, right? Who knew that practice improved one's skills! 

Another unexpected thing happened - when I started posting my latest work on social media, I received much higher praise/likes/accolades than normal!  My most liked post on instagram EVER was a bronze gouache leaf painting!  I was somewhat (totally.  I was totally) blown away! 

So every other day or so I sit down to create something for the fun of it, but now I have a whole pile of gorgeous watercolor artwork.  What will I do with all this artwork? 

Well, after several requests, I've decided to sell it!  They're my babies, but my walls are full and they need to go to good homes. 

Check out my shop to pick up your favorite piece!

Design House of Moira | Original Artwork

So as we welcome 2016, I have launched the first round of artwork for sale.  Each piece is unique and original, so if there's a piece you love, snap it up before someone else does!  And don't forget to check back for new pieces to be added!

To celebrate the launch, I've also added a free printable to celebrate 2016!  Find it in the shop, download and don't forget to share how you use it with #moiraart

Design Hous of Moira | Original Artwork | Free Printable


Posted
AuthorVictoria Rothwell

So I'm a little behind in showcasing some of the features I've had the pleasure of working with.  Ok, a lot behind.  Later this week, I have the full feature from Engaged! Magazine featuring this invitation suite, but for now we'll take a look at some of the paper details!

The suite is foil printed in a pale antique gold and teal on cotton paper with deckled edges.  We alternated the colors on each piece, keeping the overall look balanced.  The final suite was stacked up and topped with a thin piece of velum with an illustrated angel, a statue featured at the castle.  The whole thing was then wrapped with a thin piece of parchment reading "from this day forward."  I also created tags for the guest welcome baskets and custom wine labels to follow the same design. The place cards also featured deckled edges and gold ink.  Stay tuned this week to see the whole feature from the magazine!

First photo from the lovely Laura Gordon.

 
Design House of Moira | Creative Workshops

 

2016 has brought some really exciting new things for me so far, and we're only a week into it!  I have a really awesome second announcement in a few days that doesn't even have anything to do with workshops!

I've taught calligraphy workshops in the past both in hosting them myself and teaching at Paper Source for several years.  I love teaching and being able to share my passions and obsessions with others, but I've really strayed away from it for a while now and I miss it!  I have so many passions and loves, and anyone who knows me personally know that those passions tend to overflow into all other aspects of my life.  There are so many hobbies I've collected over the years, experiences I've learned from, and business mistakes and successes and I want to share that!

That all being said, I've decided to teach a series of workshops throughout the coming year to touch on all sorts of things.  My current obsession and the focus of my attention is how to make money as a creative; creating a solid and consistent brand, and using that brand to target your ideal client and learning how to turn that into a money making business.  I'm obsessed with studying it and can't wait to share it!

Many of the workshops will be geared towards creative businesses (experienced or inexperienced!), but don't fret!  There will be plenty for the hobbyist as well!

2016 brings another big change in my life.  I'll (FINGERS CROSSED) be moving soon (yet again.  This will make five major moves in two years, in addition to another 6 moves in and out of storage units and a 3,000 mile cross country move).  Johnathan and I are house hunting for our forever home and are getting our currenthouse ready to sell.  Something that is in the forefront of my mind as we house hunt is finding a home that has a large enough space or studio that I can host workshops in my own home (I mean, how awesome would that be!!).  It would make set up a breeze and I would be able to host anything from an intimate class of just a handful all the way up to a full sized class. 

Being from California where everything is so spread out, I love how (relatively) close together everything on the east coast is!  I would love to also be able to host traveling attendees who are driving in from other cities to attend (Hello, DC and NYC, I'm talking to you girls!).

Right now, I'm asking for anyone who is interested to get signed up so I can see which classes are the most requested and who's interested, that way when I have some dates solidified, I'll be able to let you know. 

Head over here to get signed up!

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AuthorVictoria Rothwell
 
Design House of Moira | Illustrated Wedding Invitations

 

 

Working with a bride and groom to create something this unique and reflective of their wedding day is such a pleasure.  Being able to bring in that fine art aspect as well as hand lettering and calligraphy just brings a look and feel so different from anything you can find in the pre-designed realm. 

Working with a designer on a custom piece is like watching a dream come to life.  Around here, we begin with a sketch to show our ideas of how the artwork with work and play from one piece to another and to help our clients see our vision.  I keep every sketch I've ever done - I love being able to flip back trough them!  We work together selecting the printing method, paper, assembly detail, calligraphy style and artwork that go into each design, all based on the couple's person story and their style. 

One of my main goals is to make this process as painless as possible!  All of our clients also have access to our full stamping and stuffing services - meaning, we assemble, stuff, stamp, address, and seal your invitations, so all you need to do is mail them!  That's just one of the perks of working with a custom designer.  You will also get a bit more guidance on all the little details - like what printing is good for you (how would you know, you've never done this before!)  how much your final pieces will weigh for postage, or what wording etiquette should you use - we'll take care of all those details for you and take as much off your plate as we can. 

Design House of Moira | Custom Illustrated Invitations


Why choose custom, you ask?  Let's talk about it!  There are so many options out there for your wedding initiations; they come in all shapes, sized and price points.  So how do you decide?  Should you print at home?  Order a pre-fab design from a reputable website?  Go with something you aren't so thrilled about?  Take the leap and go for something you love?  Dig yourself into the DIY hole?  Go crazy and pull out all your hair just trying to decide? 

Custom is a really fun option, but it isn't always for everyone.  Trust me, you're talking to the queen of DIY - it's how I got into this business in the first place..."puh, this whole graphic design thing cant be that hard, I can totally do this!" I would ALWAYS rather do it myself and figure out the process than have someone else do it, so if you're a DIYer, I feel ya! However, DIY or pre-fab isn't for everyone either. 

A few years ago, I had the epiphany that I wanted to limit myself to custom only designs, and I wanted to restrict myself and not offer the "I have something for absolutely everyone" mentality.  I had done the graphics approach for about 3 years at that point, and I just wasn't loving it.  I wanted to offer something totally unique to myself and my company, so I began offering artwork based designs only.  You do see this approach more frequently now, but when I first started playing with the idea about four and a half years ago, there really wasn't anything like it in the market (except Julie Song, who's work makes me swoon!)

 

Design House of Moira | Illustrated Calligraphy Wedding Invitations


A couple who chooes a custom deign usually has a few things about them:  They know exactly what they like!  They're usually confident in themselves and know that they wants the details of their wedding to totally reflect their personal style.  They may be looking for flexibility or something a bit more fun than the invitations they've seen in the past, or wish to have original artwork of their venue created for them.   Sometimes it may be that they've never seen something they just love, but know the work of the artist and are confident in building something together.

Give us a shout if you're interested in finding out more about creating a custom design for your wedding!

From our amazing photographer on the project, Cadence Kennedy, "As an artist and photographer, I am constantly inspired by color, light and art. I started dreaming of an "indigo" inspired styled shoot after learning of "Cyanotypes" a few years back. Cyanotypes are deep blue photographic prints which originated during the 1800's. They are created by laying botanicals or objects on top of light sensitive paper, exposed to the sun, then developed."

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

Photography: Cadence Kennedy //  Florals: Aurora Botanica // Styling: L 'atelier Vert // Calligraphy: Design House of Moira // Curation: Orchard + Broome // Dresses: Stone Fox Bride // Backdrop: Starling On Bond // Hair: Hair by Tiffany Hayden // Makeup: Jillian Cleary

A bit earlier this year, a project I collaborated was featured on 100 Layer Cake!  It was a pleasure to collaborate with Emily Wren on this moody project. 

The invitations were a gorgeous, deep aubergine, watercolor washed plum and featured coordinating hand marbled paper as the envelope liners.  The over the top flourished calligraphy was printed in white foil and then addressed in matching calligraphy.

Design House of Moira | Watercolor Wedding Invitations | Victoria Rothwell

Photographer: Emily Wren Photography / Location: Power Plant Productions / Event Design: Confetti & Co. / Floral Design: Kate Farley Design / Hair & Makeup: True Beauty Marks / Calligraphy: Design House of Moira / Desserts: Cake Life Bake Shop / Catering: Birchtree Catering / Rentals: Maggpie Vintage Rentals / Dress: Carol Hannah from Lovely Bride Philadelphia / Jewelry: Egan Day / Models: Gina (owner of True Beauty Marks) & Mike

The time has finally arrived!!  Registration for our Modern Calligraphy Summit this upcoming Spring 2016 is finally OPEN!!  We have put together a really great video that talks more about the summit and what to expect. 

We are offering an early bird special through August 18th, and the rate will go up after that so make sure to register soon! 

We have brought together 9 amazing and unique calligraphers from around the world to share, lead and guide you through this incredible calligraphy summit.  We all have different styles to share and cant wait to share them with you!

Follow my direct link to be eligible for a special treat from me (just a hint, I think it will include a new print of my favorite art quote "I art, therefore I bullshit" hehe.  I'll include a second print that has a bit more of a romantic air to it.).

Register HERE!!

Modern Calligraphy Summit - Moira Design Studio - Victoria Rothwell
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AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Good morning and happy Monday!  The 9 instructors of the upcoming Modern Calligraphy Summit have a special treat for you today!  We sat down with Ashley Lurcott, the host of our Summit, and chatted about our favorite tools and why we love them!  Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a 30 minute video, get to know us a bit, and kick start your week!

(Post Script: I'm a total dork on camera)

If you singed up yesterday, you'll have a link in your email.  If not, sign up here and join in the fun!

Modern Calligraphy Summit | Victoria Rothwell | Moira Design Studio



I am so thrilled and excited to be teaching in the upcoming Modern Calligraphy Summit!!  Myself, along with 8 other incredibly talented ladies from around the world will be teaching this upcoming February.  The Summit will be an entirely online conference, so anyone can join in, no matter where you're located!  I'll be teaching a course on flourishing.  Follow the ink below to get our FREE cheat sheet, Top Tools for Calligraphers - a list of all our favorite tools of our trade!  Stay tuned, early bird enrollment opens soon! #moderncalligraphysummit

Follow the link for our Top Tools sheet!

 

Modern Calligraphy Summit - Victoria Rothwell



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AuthorVictoria Rothwell
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...inspired by the still life painting of the old masters full of dramatic colors and gorgeous, light textures.  The photography for this project was so lovely, light and airy; I just fell in love with the finished images! 

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

the invitation for this suite included taupe watercolor with gold foil.  the invitation was topped with a crested monogram and surrounded by a border.  I loved combining the contemporary watercolor with the moody colors.  The invitation was layered with a deckled edge velum with the "ever mine" quote on it.  The entire suite was wrapped in a raw edged linen with a matching monogram.

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

Shot by the lovely Cadence Kennedy

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

Vendors: Photography: Natalie Franke // Styling: Kruse & Vieira Events // Florals: Intrigue Designs // Invite Suite & Paper Goods & lettering for table: Design House Of Moira // Calligraphy: Poppy & Scooter // Linens: BBJ Linens // Rentals: Select Event Group // Cake: Wildflour Fine Baking Co.// Welcome Basket: Marigold & Grey // Hair & Makeup: Behind The Veil // Gown: Kate McDonald Bridal // Tux: The Black Tux

If you've ever had the pleasure of checking out the work of Natalie Franke, you're in for a serious pleasure!  I worked with her, along side Kruse and Vieira Events for the gorgeous two-day Bayside Workshop in Queenstown, Maryland.  The swoon worthy photographs were featured on Grey Likes Wedding last week!  Here are the invitations I create for the workshop, with more lovely pictures to follow!

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio

CITRUS SMASH
Yields one cocktail

2 oz top shelf gin
1-2 tangerine peels
1⁄2 oz simple syrup
1⁄2 oz lemon juice
1oz soda

Instructions: Muddle tangerine peels and simple syrup in flat-surfaced glass. Add gin, lemon juice, and top with soda. Serve on the rocks.

Moira Design Studio | Flutter Magazine

Enjoy a free printable of the Citrus Smash cocktail here!

 

Michelle Leo of Michelle Leo Events is one of the amazing leaders in our industry, so when she approached me to create a suite for her bride, Sara, I was honored!  The suite we created is one of my all time favorites (I know I say that a lot, but how could I possibly pick a true favorite?!). 

We wanted to keep the suite classic, elegant, and interesting with some texture and gold.  The suite was printed in gold foil on 220lb stock in a pale ivory and a textured aubergine.  The main invitation was adorned with antique lace appliqued in the corners, each hand cut from a larger lace piece (on the plus side, it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would!).  The envelopes were both lined with pale fall leaves and the suite was tied up with thin velvet ribbon.  The aubergine envelopes were then addressed in flourished gold, and into the post they went! 

The overall wedding was simply spectacular and it was such a joy to work with such an amazing team!

 

For the menus, we kept with the moody aubergine stock - we loved the way the color stood out against the taupe linens.  The main lettering was all done by hand in calligraphy, then mixed with a classic and clean block type.  The place cards continued the moody color scheme with each guests name in flourished gold ink.

Moira Design Studio | Michelle Leo Events | Martha Stewart Weddings

Photography: Alixann Loosle Photography

Location: High Star Ranch

Event Planning: Michelle Leo Events

Catering: Culinary Crafts 

Flowers: Urban Chateau Floral 

Videography: Chris McClain 

Officiant: Rev. Kamrin Carver 

Stationery and Calligraphy: Moira Designs  

Cake: One Sweet Slice  

Music: Joe Muscolino Band  

Rentals: Diamond Rental

Hair and Makeup: Studio Enizio 

The second horoscope project I had the pleasure of pairing with Flutter Magazine on was the Taurus horoscope.

APRIL 20 — MAY 20: You love to keep things simple, but you also enjoy the luxuriousness of fine items. Splurge on a simple custom-made lace dress on your special day. Add elements of nature into your décor by using fruits for fun coloring. With earth being your zodiac element, utilize woods for texture to compliment the citrus on your tables. Gift your husband a leather embossed wallet on your wedding day (Will Leather Goods has a great selection!). He will carry it with him everywhere he goes. Set your sights on Costa Rica for an unforgettable honeymoon adventure.

Moira Design Studio | Flutter Magazine

As seen in Flutter Magazine, Issue No. 6

Photography: KT Merry | Design + Styling: Joy Proctor | Floral Design: Amy Osaba Events | Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Makeup and Hair | Jewelry: Sofia Kaman | Furniture: Found Vintage Rentals | Commissioned Cream Backdrop: Katherine Bell of The Habitat Factory | Cocktails + Recipes: Melissa Piña of Soiree Center | Tableware + China: Small Masterpiece | Horoscopes: Briana Westmacott | Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes | Dress: Anne Barge, 617 via Lovely Bride | Invitation Suite: Design House of Moira