a cwd photoshoot

My new homepage images are up and I couldn't be more excited! A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a selection of my work with the very talented photographer, Jason Patrylo. I usually work with him on footwear photoshoots, so switching it up to stationery was a nice change of pace. Here's a little look at the behind the scenes action:

My first stop was loading up on props at Target, of course. Anything and everything glittery, gold and bright made it in to my cart. 

My favorite part about a photoshoot is playing with the accessories! I could experiment all day with tchotchke additions, but I tried to keep it pretty minimal. Jason did an awesome job with lighting, color correction and all the little extras that make an eye-catching photo. 

After a little retouching action, I walked away with six fun photos that I am very proud of. Looking forward to more like this in the future!

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2016, you were more than okay.

Looking back at 2016, I am filled with excitement! I was able to own a home for over a year now and not burn it down. I've seen more shoes than most girls could dream (oh hey day job). I still have the world's cutest puggle AND I've gotten to work on some really cool projects! Here's a run down of some of my favorite projects from 2016. I'm looking forward to what 2017 will bring! 

10.  Heart of Gold Candle Co.  is a little side gig that my gal pal, Alex, and I started to raise money for those in need. This holiday season we acquired over $1,000 for Stray Rescue St. Louis in candle sales! Making some fab smelling candles for a good cause while having fun... A win - win for sure. 

10. Heart of Gold Candle Co. is a little side gig that my gal pal, Alex, and I started to raise money for those in need. This holiday season we acquired over $1,000 for Stray Rescue St. Louis in candle sales! Making some fab smelling candles for a good cause while having fun... A win - win for sure. 

9.  Joe Buck Classic  for St. Louis Children's Hospital

9. Joe Buck Classic for St. Louis Children's Hospital

8.  Drake's First Wild Rumpus

8. Drake's First Wild Rumpus

7.  Hairloom Salon:  Branding for a third generation stylist

7. Hairloom Salon: Branding for a third generation stylist

6. A stylish welcome for sweet  baby Harrison.

6. A stylish welcome for sweet baby Harrison.

5. St. Louis Children's Hospital  Celebration Coffee

5. St. Louis Children's Hospital Celebration Coffee

4. A Merry Little Christmas for  Baby Lucy

4. A Merry Little Christmas for Baby Lucy

3. A very near and dear to my heart  Farm Party

3. A very near and dear to my heart Farm Party

2. Red, White and Party Hats! Happy  First Birthday, Baby Vin!

2. Red, White and Party Hats! Happy First Birthday, Baby Vin!

1. The  McZimz  got hitched! Woo-hoo!

1. The McZimz got hitched! Woo-hoo!

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stylin' and profilin'

Did you know that most of my days are spent art directing photo shoots for Famous Footwear? I have had the pleasure of working with great brands, such as Nike, Converse, Adidas, Circus by Sam Edelman and SO many more. I do everything from wardrobe and prop shopping, model selection, location scouting, retouching coordination, and the list goes on... it keeps me very busy, but I absolutely love this part of my job! Here are a few images that I have worked on lately. 

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All photos shot by Jason Patrylo & Judd Demaline of Caleres, Inc. (AKA the best photographers around!)

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a year in review.

2015 was a very busy year for CWD! Here are my TOP TEN fave projects of the year.  

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a thoughtful thank you.

I find myself too often sending a quick “Thank You!” via text or email now days, but I LOVE a handwritten note any day of the week. Stationery is a great way to express your style! From paper texture to size or color, the possibilities are endless! I always have a few different styles on hand, which is easy to do when you’re creating so many fun things for people! 

Sometimes thank you notes can seem daunting - especially when you have stacks to tackle after a shower or party. The first thing to do is just sit down and put your pen to paper! Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Keep a Checklist.
Organization is always a life saver. When you receive multiple gifts due to a special life occasion, plan on keeping record. It’s beneficial to keep a notebook on hand to list the names of those that gave the gift, their address when available, the gift given and date received. If you’re SUPER organized, start yourself an excel spreadsheet. (and impress all your friends!)

Jot it down on scratch paper first. 
It happens to the best of us, you’re writing a note on your beautiful stationery and all of the sudden you misspell a word or write the wrong color of gift. I find it best to start out by creating a draft on scrap paper. This spares your stationery from scratches and mistakes, and also helps your mind begin to get in the writing mode. It’s best to ‘start writing’ to get going. Even if you feel it’s silly or the content is not flowing, just write. You are sure to come up with some sentences that you can paste together.

What to Include.
Make each thank you card personal to the guest you’re writing it to. Specific details such as descriptive colors, sounds, inside jokes or feelings will give your note a fun personal flair. Mention how much you love the gift and how you can’t wait to use it. If it’s a cocktail shaker – say how you’re excited to make your fave cosmos at your next party. When writing a note to a friend, keep it in a chatty format as if you were speaking to them. I guarantee any and all kind words will be appreciated.

When to Send.
It’s important to keep in mind timing when you’re sending out your cards.  Enjoy your honeymoon or a little breather after your party, but try to shoot for your guests receiving a thank you in the first three months after the event. I try to shoot for one, but hey, we’re all busy! Try to make it a priority  - if someone took the time to do something nice for you, quickly and simply return the favor with a kind note. Try to tackle a few notes per day as to not get overwhelmed.

Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to end your note in a positive, uplifting way. Being positive is contagious, whether in person or in a written note. 

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local is the new black.

It is always so much fun teaming up with Local Grown Plants. We recently collaborated on their 2015 Trade Show Booth. CWD designed everything from the booth signage down to the stickers placed on the mailers. 

wedding wording wisdom

You just got engaged and you’re ready to announce it to the world! First things first: save the dates and wedding invitations. You have to set the right mood for your big day! This should be easy, no? You get on Pinterest and look at hundreds of samples and swear to follow Emily Post and Martha Stewart’s wedding etiquette rules. This is where it may become daunting, but I say rules can always be bent! It’s good to know the traditions, but from there you can determine how to express your personal style...without being tacky!

First up: Save the Dates. These usually aren’t very complicated, as long as you list both of your names, event date, location and indicate that an official invitation is coming. The rest is totally up to you. Full names or just first names? Long winded or simple facts? City name or exact venue? Your save the dates can be as casual or formal as you want them to be! 

It’s when you get to the wedding invitations that things can become tricky! For traditional invitations, the wording is more or less fill in the blank. Here is an example:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Reeves
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Courtney Elizabeth
Spencer Ross Toder
Saturday, the twenty fourth of October
Two thousand fifteen
at four o’clock
The Ritz Carlton Beach Club
Sarasota, Florida
with reception to follow

The invitation to attend the wedding ceremony is usually extended by the hosts—traditionally, the bride’s parents—who request either “the honor of your presence” (in a church) or “the pleasure of your company” (elsewhere, like a beach club!). If it were up to Emily Post, numbers would be spelled out and British English spellings would be used to invoke formality. 

Well, times have changed and families come in all shapes and sizes. Plus the notion of a woman’s parents giving her away may not be for everyone, right? Rather than simply doing things exactly as they’ve always been done, you are free to tweak the wedding invitation to make it completely your own. The most common change to the hosting line is reflecting that both sets of parents are hosting together:

Together with their families
Courtney Elizabeth Reeves
Spencer Ross Toder

It also can reflect that the couple has chosen to host the wedding themselves:

Courtney Elizabeth Reeves
Spencer Ross Toder
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage

When situations arise, such as divorced or deceased parents, deal with it through a similar change of the hosting line. Here's an example:

Courtney Elizabeth Reeves
daughter of Kim Reeves
and the late Steve Reeves
request the honor of your presence

Details cards are traditionally used when the ceremony and reception locations differ from one another. They should include the time, place and if necessary, address, of the venue and can be the place to specify attire. I like to make them double sided and include hotel and any other information that you feel the guest will need to know. 

With prices of weddings sky-rocketing over recent years, you may me cutting out the formal dinner. Clarifying that it’s a cocktail party rather than a dinner party on a details card will help guests know what to expect. If you are looking for a less traditional approach, you can use “Join us for cocktails and dancing.” This is where the wording can get fun and the options are endless! 

One last note, never list your registry information on an invitation. Those details are reserved for showers and parties leading up to the big day. You are asking people to be in your presence, not to give you presents! 

Remember to have fun with the wording of your invitations. They set the mood for your celebration and are a reflection of who you are as a couple. Cheers!

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