Marie Antoinette Stationery

Though Marie Antoinette had a rather unfortunate end, her legacy as a fashionista continues to inspire us! We like to think she'd find some joy in that. This Wedluxe photoshoot certainly made us happy - it isn't often we get to pair our stationery with such delicious treats!

Photographed by Edison Photography

Happy Thanksgiving from the Team!

Thanksgiving is about more than the famous roast turkey. Way back when, it was a time to give thanks for a generous harvest, but with more folk living in cities with easy access to supermarkets, it's transformed into a day to appreciate not only your family, but the entire world around you.

What follows are a few of our favourite Thanksgiving traditions.

Take a walk in nature

The leaves are changing colour and the squirrels are rushing about gorging themselves on nuts. If you're lucky (and live in the right areas) you may even see herds of deer in full-antler, or have flocks of foraging wild turkeys leave behind stray iridescent feathers in your backyard. Is it any wonder then that Thanksgiving is a traditional time to enjoy nature? Long walks enjoying the fall weather and scenery are also a perfect opportunity to bond with family.

CHILL OUT

Don't let stress overcome you! You may feel huge pressure to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving activities and meals, but your family will enjoy it more if you let down your hair. Don't be afraid to veg out a bit - there's plenty of time for turkey and boardgames after you all watch Ghostbusters with a bag of chips.

Feast

This tradition is as old as time; the harvest supper was the topper to autumn equinox festivals across the world. Of course, the details vary, and in our culture they get rather specific. The particular foods we eat can be traced back to the first American Thanksgiving in 1621, that famous meal of pumpkin, squash, berries, wild turkey, fish and waterfowl that Pilgrims ate with the Native Americans. With the exception of fish, most of those items went on to become staples. Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, baked sweet potato, creamed corn, stuffed and roasted turkey, squash and beet salad, and of course pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream for desert. These foods, and their beautiful autumn colour-scheme, are an incredible tradition to share with your family.

GIVE THANKS

This one is a biggie. If you always want more, you'll never have enough. Instead, reflect on the small ever-day joys of your life. It's incredible that we're all here enjoying this world - don't let the daily grind overwhelm you. This is perfect day to let your family know just how much you appreciate them. One activity that accomplishes this is writing each other notes - this is a good idea if you have family members who couldn't attend, as they will no doubt tear up getting these notes in the mail! As Henry Van Dyke once said, "Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse."

 

September Equinox

I'm late. I'm late. For a very important date. No time to say "Hello, Goodbye".  I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Tomorrow is the September equinox.

Theres a fictional line floating above the Earth's equator - it's called the celestial equator, and the sun crossing that line is what triggers our September equinox. On the equinox, the night is as long as the day. From that point onward, night will slowly dominate, plunging the Western world into winter.

A more popular (though incorrect) name for tomorrow's event is Daylight Savings Time. In actuality, September 23rd is when Daylight Savings Time ends, and Standard Time begins. 

This means tomorrow we'll be turning our clocks backward an hour. 8am will turn to 7am, 10pm to 9pm - you get the picture.

It's an easy thing to set your clock, avoiding lateness for any important dates. Just ask our white-furred friend to the right - he can often be heard stressing the importance of punctuality.

Illustration by Emma Stothers

 

Girly Stationery Shoot

Pink is feminine, sweet and cheery. It can evokes Valentines romance or childish charm, making it the perfect versatile tool for any wedding. That's why we found it such a treat, designing stationery for this Perfect Pink Wedluxe photoshoot! Pictured below is our Adelaide line of stationery, shot by tenoversix photography - the pink garnishes it in floral swirls, overlaid by embossed gold wreaths. 

How to write a Thank You letter

When is a Thank You letter appropriate? The answer might surprise you - unless you're living under the same roof, it's not only appropriate, it's necessary. They’ve put, if not money, certainly time and energy into a thoughtful gesture for you. While firing off an email is easier and more immediate, nothing packs an emotional punch like a handwritten card. The next question has a longer answer - what on earth do you say? No need to fret - luckily for you, we have a formula.

1. GREET

People love  the sounds of their own names. Greet them with theirs! If you're wondering how formal to go (i.e. Dear Jane vs. Dear Mrs. Jones), imagine yourself greeting them in personal. Address them however you would in spoken word.

2. REACT

Describe the gift or action in terms of what it means to you. What do you plan to do with the gift? If it was an action (i.e. helping you to move) what did it allow you to accomplish? Be honest – don’t exaggerate your emotions.

3. APPLAUD 

Now's a good time to stat what you think of the person / how you feel to have them in your life. Customize your wording (do you have any inside jokes? What would be meaningful for them to read?)

4. ANTICIPATE

When are you seeing them next? Telling them you look forward to your next encounter is always a nice touch.

5. REITERATE

It's common to close with the classic “Thanks”. You only need to thank them once, so don’t overdo it.

6. CLOSURE

Finish with your name - you have to let them know who it's from, after all!

And there you have it - a personalized, emotionally devastating Thank You card. Finally, if sentiment isn't enough to rouse you into action, think on this - those who write Thank You letters are more likely to receive future gifts ;)

2015 Stationery Trends

Darcy Collection - Anista Designs

1. Faux Watercolour

Translucent bleeds of colour, especially when paired with florals, are hot right now. Free flowing pastels are a fun, modern way to keep your elegant script from appearing stiff and dusty.

 

 

 

Hadly Collection - Anista Designs

2. Marbled paper

One of the biggest trends of the year is rippling faux-stone. The style varies, with some stationery trying it's darndest to mimic real stone, and others using the faint patterning as a stylish accent.

 

 

 

 

Jade Collection - Anista Designs

3. Rustic homespun

You've heard of faux-watercolour, now how about faux-wood? Theses invitations are a perfect compliment to a rustic outdoors wedding. When photographed, they can also be unbelievably realistic.

 

 

 

Amanda Collection - Anista Designs

4. Foil EMBELLISHMENT

Gold is a timeless accent. Including splashes of it in the form of foil accents is a perfect way to get your glitz on without overwhelming guests.

 

 

 

Canada Day

Though we serve clients around the world, Anista Designs is a Canadian studio, and it's with great pleasure that we'll be celebrating Canada Day on July 1st!

In honour of Canada's 148th birthday, we thought we'd share 10 surprising facts about our country:

  1. Winne the Poo was inspired by a Canadian black bear named Winnipeg. The bear made quite the impression on A. A. Milne's son, inspiring Milne to create the popular children's franchise.
  2. Quebec city is the only walled city in North America.
  3. 10% of the world's forests reside in Canada
  4. Canada has one of the lowest population densities on the planet - we're 9th. Our country is huge and desolate, with nearly half of it covered in native forests.
  5. Alberta has a national park bigger than Switzerland. Wood Buffalo Park was created in 1922 as haven for the world's largest free-roaming herd of Wood Bison.
  6. Canada is the most educated country in the world - more than 50% of Canadians have a College degree!
  7. Canada's lakes, collectively, are bigger than the rest of the world's lakes combined.
  8. The longest international border in the world exists between Canada and the United States. Because of the good relationship between the two countries, this border lack military defence.
  9. The "Apology Act" allows an apology in court to be treated as a gesture of compassion and sympathy, and not an admission of guilt.
  10. The Hudson Bay area has less gravity than the rest of Earth.
can.jpg

Father's Day

Me and my father, forever ago

I didn't really think about Father's Day back in September of 2014.

I did, however, think about how good many of the days were then, and how unfortunate the situation was.  There were a lot of visits that, quite simply, made up for lost time.  The amount of special moments I had (as he spoke to me for the first time about candid business topics) and the overwhelming feelings of confidence and love were restored that September as I watched my Dad die from pancreatic cancer.  I certainly didn't think about what my first Father's Day was going to be like without him.  

Dancing with my father on my wedding day

I am certainly not alone in my experience of losing a father (you dear special people know who you are).  Today, however, I look to cherish and remember my Dad for the traits he instilled in me,  which I hope are recognizable to those who know me.  Moving forward, I "adopted" my Uncle as my fill-in Dad, (any self-respecting card maker needs one to send cards to, at very least!) More importantly, I stand in awe every day as my husband demonstrates what it means to be a understanding husband, attentive father and an honourable man.      

This doesn't go unnoticed because we have the most important job when we celebrate Father's Day.....we are raising two potential fathers of the future, Matthew and Andrew.  This Father's Day, I wish everyone love and happiness.  I look up to heaven and am glad I have someone looking out for me as I make my own attempts to raise two gentleman.

Happy Father's Day. 

My boys, Matthew and Andrew

Dad walking me down the aisle

Royal Role Models

Looking back at our history can sometimes be a bit...well, depressing. Certainly advances have been made, socially and otherwise. Yet, some historical figures still stand out as incredible innovators and role models, stunning specimens even by today's standards. As tomorrow is Father's Day, it's only appropriate that we find inspiration in the royal daddies of the past.

LEADERSHIP

Alfred the Great  (849-899)

This father of five earned not only the respect of his countrymen, but that of historians everywhere. Some even consider him "the most perfect man in history". While not fighting off a viking invasions, Alfred found time to translate ancient books that he considered "most necessary for all men to know" (yes ladies, brains AND brawn). With his wisdom and fortitude, he greatly improved the lives of his people, and lay down the structure for what would one day become England.

"I desired to live worthily as long as I lived, and to leave after my life, to the men who should come after me, the memory of me in good works." - Alfred 

INTELLIGENCE

HENRY II  (1133-1189)

Though he's not the best known King Henry, he's certainly the one that made best impact. This father of ten is said to be the "most effective monarch" to ever sit an English throne. He used his incredible energy and razor-sharp smarts to revolutionize British laws and institutions.

Fun fact: he was also the first Brit to use a heraldic design - his was a signet ring, decorated by either a leopard or a lion. Over the years, this design evolved into what is now the royal English coat of arms.

KINDNESS

Edward III (1312-1377)

During the reign of Edward III, England was ravaged by the Black Death. You might think the type of king shaped by this stress would be cruel and sinister, especially if he were crowned at the age of fourteen. Instead, Edward became famed for his mercy and unusually chivalrous nature. He fought to restore his kingdom to greatness, and made impressive improvements in legislation and the legal system. Despite his clemency, he also made tremendous military victories, restoring the relationship between the English people and their rulers.

BRAVERY

King George VI (1895-1952)

George VI is known as the "reluctant king". His charismatic older brother gave up his kingship to pursue a scandalous love, forcing the shy and modest George into the spotlight.

Another man might have wilted under that pressure, but not our George. He famously overcame his stutter to rise as a pillar of leadership and strength, providing morale to his nation during WW2. He suffered the same dangers as his citizens during the war, remaining in London despite the food restrictions and bombing raids. 

There's a lot you can learn from a lion, but even more you can learn from a mouse.

 

 

 

We hope you found these royal role models inspiring- and remember, it's not a bad time to tell your own dad how he inspires you.

Illustrations copyright Anista Designs 2015 - not to be used elsewhere without permission.

 

Summer Flowers Are Here

With summer comes cherry blossoms, and the opportunity for another Anista Designs photoshoot! We hope you enjoy these photos of the Vivienne, Adelaide and Angela collections posed among the blooms.

A card from the Vivienne collection, surrounded by resplendent pink.

Our handmade Angela collection invitation perches high in a branch.

We have flowers of our own in the Vivienne collection.

Doesn't our Adelaide collection look at home among the blossoms?

A Visit from Royalty

This Monday was a special one for Anista Designs. Exotic-looking Pangur paid us a visit and deemed the studio beneath her – though she did seem fond of Mathew, our tiny CEO.

After being released from her carrier by a harried intern, Pangur made the rounds screaming and sniffing our décor with disdain. Quickly the petite princess decided that, though not up to scratch, the studio would make an acceptable tribute. In the photo below, she strolls her new kingdom with her head raised loftily, modelling a handmade Anista Designs gift tag.

Little did she know, this realm already had a tiny king. Mathew, the son of Anista Design’s founder, Christa, was highly entertained by the imperious feline. He took his diplomatic duties quite seriously, accompanying Pangur on a survey of their territory, and occasionally pulling down a box for her to sniff and inspect.

At Anista Designs, we do appreciate our feline overlords - especially when they match our aesthetic so neatly - but at the end of the day, it came time to escort her royal rear back into the carrier. She screamed her outrage all the way out, watching with horror as her newly conquered kingdom retreated in her sight. When at last she had departed, we found she'd thoughtfully left clumps of loose white hair behind, to ease the lose of her company. This last considerate gesture brought tears to our eyes - though perhaps it was just allergies.  Farwell, Pangur, and may your tiny pink claws snare many a kingdom to come. They've already snared our hearts.

Upon hearing an intern remark on their hunger, she declared "LET THEM EAT KIBBLE."

What a poser - behind her is one of our popular items, a handmade Bride/Groom chair sign

Mulberry Blooms in Wedluxe

Renata De Thomasis wanted to create a "playful, whimsical, and fairytale-like atmosphere with a twist", and we love how Anista Designs stationery has featured in her dream. Below you'll see our handmade wedding invitations, placecards, and menus alongside luxurious Ines Di Santo gowns and lush, pastel flowers. You'll find even more dreamy photos on the Wedluxe article.

Anista Designs' Vivienne Collection featured in the new WedLuxe!

All sorts of beautiful happening in the Winter/Spring 2015 edition of WedLuxe.  We are quite excited to see our new Vivienne Collection featured in the 'Fleur Blanche' Style Shoot! Check out pages 146-151 to see our gorgeous invitation suite, thank you cards, wallpaper, signage and soap wrappers our anista designs team created! We worked very hard in collaboration with many talented people to bring together this beautiful  floral style shoot! Take a look and let us know what you think!