Palm tree and calligraphy letterpress invitations

Natalie and Sarah hosted a black tie affair complete with dancing and dessert in honor of their mother, Ann-Marie. Inspiration from the venue, jardin de palmeras, made its way to the invitation in the form of a palm tree from our extensive motif collection while Debi Zeinert’s hand calligraphy was a whimsical addition.

Palm tree and calligraphy letterpress invitations by Bella Figura

letterpress ink: shell | font: jubilant | paper: bella cotton 2-ply white | hand calligraphy: royal style | Union Street Papery | customization #22534

Roosevelt Letterpress Invitations Featured in Aviation Inspired Shoot

We loved the way our modern Roosevelt letterpress invitation set the tone for this vintage aircraft hangar inspiration shoot at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California. Photographer Shhivika Chauhan pulled together an incredibly talented team of vendors to create the shoot, which featured a feathery Rosa Clara gown with a vintage vibe, gold sequined tablecloths, and eye-catching florals from Green Petal Designs. Here are a few of our favorite shots from the shoot, but be sure to check out Le Magnifique to see more photos!

Bella Figura's modern Roosevelt letterpress invitation design was featured in an inspiration shoot by Shhivika Chauhan Photography

FLOWERS: GREEN PETAL DESIGNS | BRIDAL GOWN: Rosa Clara via NOVELLA BRIDAL | RENTALS: HARTMANN STUDIOS | GROOM TUXEDO: MENS WAREHOUSE | MAKEUP & HAIR: NICOLE PEREZ | LOCATION: HILLER AVIATION MUSEUM | STATIONERY: BELLA FIGURA | DESSERTS: INDIE CAKES | MODELS: HM MODELS | CALLIGRAPHY: BLOOMING QUILL | Lighting and Associate Photographer: DESIREE NGUYEN | Photography Assistant: IRYNA ISHCHENKO | Creative Styling and Photographer: SHHIVIKA CHAUHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Understated elegance: gold matte foil + pewter letterpress wedding invitations

For their wedding at Alabama’s historic Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, Kira and Robert customized our Laurent letterpress wedding invitations with a custom duogram and a modern die cut shape. The understated elegance of pewter ink and gold matte foil highlights both the hand-illustrated motifs and Sarah Hanna’s sublime hand calligraphy.

Understated elegance: letterpress wedding invitations | Bella Figura

letterpress ink: pewter | foil stamping: gold matte | paper: bella cotton 1-ply + 2-ply ivory | envelope: bella cotton ivory | envelope liner: augustine damask pattern in pewter | diecut shape: lincoln style | hand calligraphy: victoria style by sarah hanna | customization #22079 | Weddings Etc.

Rustic Harvest wedding invitation inspiration

This whimsical customization of the Harvest design still keeps it’s rustic charm but with a more playful and sweet look. It’s the perfect invitation for a fall celebration set in a barn in the middle of open acres surrounded by nature’s beauty. Harvest – and all of designer Chelsea Petaja’s inspired designs – is on sale through the end of July!

harvest customization | letterpress inks: antique gold + olive | font: sans capitals | paper: white | invite size: S-8 | liner: natural woodgrain pattern in antique gold | hand calligraphy accents: paisley style | original design by Chelsea Petaja | customization by in-house designer Jessica Tierney

Rustic and whimsical Harvest letterpress wedding invitation by Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura

venue | bride | desserts

Rustic Thicket Wedding Invitation Inspiration from Chelsea Petaja

Chelsea Petaja’s invitation inspiration behind her chic Rustic Thicket design includes natural earthy elements, lush greenery and modern flowy dresses. Hand calligraphy accents from Maybelle add an extra element of personalization to this new design from Chelsea – which is on sale (along with the rest of her collection) through the end of July!

Rustic Thicket letterpress wedding inspiration from Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura

Rustic Thicket  | ceremony location | dress | small bouquet | table bouquet and tablescape

Sarah Hanna Travels – Adventures in Morocco

We’re back with another round of our designer travels series. This week Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna is sharing her photos and stories from a recent, impromptu trip to Marrakech, Morocco. We’ll let Sarah take it from here!

Moroccan lanters seen during Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna's travels to Marrakech

Hand-made lanterns in Morocco One of the great things about Europe is how easy it is to country-hop. In the US, you might treat yourself to a weekend trip to New York, or tailgate two states over. Similarly, if you are in France, you could hop over to Marrakech, Morocco for the weekend. A carry-on and an hour and a half later, you could be strolling through a spice market…. Artisans and patterns abound in Marrakech, Morocco | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna

….or watching artisans make leather bags, or carve stone in the traditional way that has been passed down for generations. Patterns abound. And the calligraphic influence in the stonework is something to behold.

On the streets of Marrakech, Morocco | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna

Scenes from the streets of Marrakech. 

Cafe inside the gardens of Yves Saint Laurent

Coffee break at the YSL gardens in Morocco The gardens of Yves Saint Laurent are in Marrakech. A perfect rest from the bustle of the city and place to be inspired by nature and YSL’s own artwork.  At the Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna In the Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna

Henna artist in Marrakech | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna
Henna artist in Marrakech I definitely did not ask this henna tattoo artist in the square to paint a bracelet on my wrist. But she worked so quickly, she was done before I could say ‘no thank you.’ Instead, I thought, “Wow. I wish I could work that quickly to fill my Bella orders. Then it wouldn’t matter from WHICH time zone I was working.” 
Little sorority girl tip: Nail polish remover can take anything off. 
Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna hiking in Marrakech, Morocco
Climbing a waterfall…in flip flops. The trip was a surprise. I did not know where we were going until we arrived at the airport. I packed for Italy. Oops. C’est la vie!
Waterfall in Marrakech, Morocco | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna
Natural fridge in Marrakech, Morocco - the waterfall pours cold water over the bottles to keep everything cool
A brilliant natural fridge The waterfall pours cold water over the bottles and keeps everything cool. This is at one of the many cafes built into the mountain on the climb up the waterfall.
A restaurant built into a mountain in Marrakech | Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna
A restaurant built into a mountain in Marrakech grilled meats and vegetables at a rooftop lunch in Marrakech + Coke bottles with Arabic calligraphy
Rooftop lunch in Marrakech – grilled meats and vegetables. Tap water is not a great idea, but a coke with beautiful Arabic calligraphy is!

Hand Calligraphy Trends with Sarah Hanna

Asking “What styles can you calligraph?” is like asking a chef, “How many ways can you cook chicken?” If you understand your craft, you know that there are endless variations. And the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Understanding letter forms is the start to taking any font and adapting it for hand-lettered script. Today, Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna is sharing her favorite calligraphy trends — from the most popular styles and ink colors to the different ways people are using calligraphy to add an extra special touch to life’s most important events.

Trending now: without question, Victoria. I think that is because it is traditional with a personality. Generally, I match the script from the invitation – if that is my calligraphy, excellent. I can match almost any script, though. Black ink is and always will be the most classic, formal ink for addressing wedding invitations. I do, however, custom-mix a lot of gold, amethyst, and pewter.

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring her Embellished Victoria hand

Embellished Victoria hand calligraphed envelope – Sarah Hanna’s most lively style 

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway – the up-and-comer (Callaway is the new kid, but she is bound to be the next homecoming queen!)

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway hand calligraphed envelope 

A hand calligraphed note by Sarah Hanna, written on a Bella Figura Lace social note
The hand-written note is making a come-back! Just ask the New York Times. Emotion comes alive in a way that electronic communication simply cannot. I am often commissioned to calligraph a toast or a quote or something special to be framed. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy (or written by you)…just intentional. In the words of that brilliant booze-hound Don Draper, “Make it simple, but significant.”

Unique uses for hand calligraphy: I get a lot of interesting requests. I was recently asked to be part of a truly elaborate beach engagement! My client commissioned me to hand-paint their song on 4 canvas banners. She also had me calligraph promises on 30 different cards to be tied with ribbon to a tree over the candlelight picnic. Her girlfriend is a wedding photographer, and my client made up an alias email and hired her to photograph this special engagement…..but when she arrived to photograph the engagement, she realized it was for her! She said, yes, yes, yes!!

A client recently commissioned Sarah Hanna to create hand calligraphed promise cards for an elaborate proposal

The promise cards for the engagement was a really meaningful one. Wedding toasts and vows mixed with custom painting is a favorite. Right now, I love doing the custom nursery rhymes. And of course, every Christmas, the Santa letters are fabulous! And I am REALLY excited about my new line of Artful Correspondence - hand-illustrated correspondence card sets.

Favorite calligraphy trends: Art that has staying power always gets my vote. A symbol or monogram that can be used after your wedding (which look fantastic on dance floors!), the bride’s married name custom-designed so she can put it on letterpressed stationery and more is an excellent gift. I love these trends, especially the ‘avere’ ‘tenere’ chairs….mais bien sur!

A custom dance floor monogram penned by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

How did you get your start as a calligrapher? My mother Kaye Hanna is an incredible artist, master calligrapher, and my instructor. So, I am turning into my mother! Truthfully, if I end up with a fraction of her talent, I will be a lucky girl.

Blue Danube style hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Blue Danube hand calligraphed envelope 

London Script hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

London script – perfect for your thank you note to Her Majesty. Or your wedding at Ascot.

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelope

Embellished Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Embellished Honoured Guest – a fuller version of Honoured Guest

 

Colorful Cabo Wedding + Eleanor Invitations on Style Me Pretty

We worked with The Village Invites to create Tracy and Alexander’s vibrant Eleanor wedding invitations, which feature hand calligraphy from Elizabeth Hardin and bold fuchsia ink. Our Morocco motif was used on the envelopes and coasters in fuchsia and aquamarine inks and paired beautifully with the colorful stamps used on the invitation envelopes. We loved seeing photos from this colorful destination wedding on Style Me Pretty – be sure to check out the full gallery!

Colorful Cabo wedding featured on Style Me Pretty with letterpress wedding invitations from Bella Figura

Photography: InTandem | Event Planning: SIGNATURE, Event Consulting & Design | Wedding Dress:Susan Neville | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: Esperanza Resort | Reception Venue:Esperanza Resort | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo

Sarah Hanna Travels – Adventures in France, Part II

Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna has been sharing photos and stories from her adventures in France, where she’s currently spending time in the gorgeous village of Cassis. Today we’re sharing a few of the projects that Sarah has been working on in France – starting with La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, where Sarah calligraphed all over the walls!

La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, France
La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis A children’s shop owner in France (who happens to also be a chef featured in Vogue Europe) asked me to help with décor for her new venture. She was transforming the back space into a children’s cooking and art school, and she wanted me to letter on the walls. Cooking? Art? French? Where do I sign???
La Tête à Toto boutique cooking school for children in Cassis, France
Children’s cooking school (before)
Sarah Hanna calligraphs the walls of La tête à toto' boutique in Cassis, France
Hand-lettering at Tête à Toto It was great fun and a solid French lesson (thanks to Google translate). Up until now, I do most of my French vocabulary training at the grocery store….or when I get home from the grocery store and say, “Oh. I thought that was chicken.”  
La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, France - cooking school for children
The finished product

Sarah Hanna hand calligraphed the walls of Tete a Toto, a children's boutique + cooking school in Cassis, France

Fashion meets function under the sink 
La Tête à Toto boutique + cooking school for children in Cassis, France
The cooking school (after) 
Sarah Hanna recently began offering hand-painted social notes
Hand-illustrated correspondence cards In keeping with the ‘fait à la main’ style, this year, I am launching boxed sets of hand-painted correspondence cards. The paper I am using is Fabriano. It is the oldest paper mill in Europe and a favorite of Michaelangelo. Ooh la la! 
Custom lullaby with hand calligraphy and artwork by Sarah Hanna
Customized children’s lullaby I have a sweet spot for all things classic and creative for bébé. I have started to take lullabies and customize the words to fit the new family (for example: ‘If that Crimson Tide won’t roll, Mama’s gonna buy you a fishing pole’ for an Alabama grad mom and a dad who loves to fish). I ask a few questions about the couple and word-smith the poem myself. Then I hand-calligraph and illustrate the piece for the nursery. It’s a perfect gift.
Baby shower + lullaby photographs courtesy of Lauren Louise Photography.

Homespun Inspired Calligraphy Letterpress Invitations

Patricia Mumau wows us on the regular with her carefree calligraphy and illustrations. On this customization of our Balsam Calligraphy design, Sarah and John chose a mellow color palette paired with homespun touches like a jute envelope and textile inspired liner. They added a pop of color (and a shout-out to summer) with Watermelon colored edge painting.

Homespun Inspired Calligraphy Letterpress Wedding Invitations by Bella Figura

letterpress inks: sand + deep blue | paper: bella cotton 2-ply white | edge painting: watermelon | hand calligraphy: harrison style by patricia mumau | envelope: jute | envelope liner: modern herringbone pattern in deep blue | customization #13893