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!

This Bride: Polished Pearl

Letterpress wedding invitations with folk inspired envelope liner

The folksy sweetness of our Juniper envelope liner pattern transitions from season to season depending on the (up to) 4 ink colors you chose. Here the summertime inspiration of Garden, Sherbet, Papaya and Cream inks compliment our Handdrawn wedding invitation sent by Aileen and Sam for their summer celebration in Italy.

Letterpress wedding invitations | Bella Figura

letterpress inks: pewter + papaya | paper: bella cotton 2-ply white | foil edging: copper shine | envelope: bella cotton white | envelope liner: juniper pattern in garden + sherbet + papaya + cream | customization #17449

papel picado inspired letterpress wedding invitations

For their spring wedding in Colombia, Bridget and Victor chose our papel picado inspired Barcelona design. A romantic script font, pastel pink ink and Rose Gold Shine foil gave this festive design a soft, feminine makeover.

papel picado inspired letterpress wedding invitations | Bella Figura

letterpress ink: whisper | foil stamping: rose gold shine | paper: bella cotton 2-ply ivory | envelope: bella cotton ivory | envelope liner: classic color pattern in whisper | customization #21898

Sarah Hanna Travels – Adventures in France, Part III

We’re back with more of Sarah Hanna’s travel adventures today! Sarah is an incredibly talented calligrapher who is currently splitting her time between California and the beautiful village of Cassis, France. This week we’re taking a look at French cuisine as part of Sarah’s day-to-day in Cassis.

Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna in Cassis, France

The weekly market Every Wednesday and Friday is a farmer’s market in the center of town. You can buy everything from produce to flowers to bikinis….life’s essentials.

Sarah Hanna travels: fresh produce is available every week at the Cassis, France farmer's market
Sarah Hanna travels: Market day in Cassis France

Left: the window of a local patisserie. Right: market day in the center of Cassis, France.
Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna - at Absinthe Restaurant in Paris

Absinthe Restaurant in Paris There is another form of art in France – food. I was a very happy girl at Absinthe Restaurant in central Paris. Petits raviolis in a langoustine cream sauce? Oui, s’il vous plait!

Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna - at Absinthe Restaurant in Paris

A message to the chef It was all so delicious, I had to write a message to the chef in what was left of the langoustine sauce!

Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna - eating at home, French style

Eating at home – French style But you don’t have to eat out to dine elegantly. It’s true – the French are worshipful about their plates. Here are two examples of what ‘eating at home’ looks like in France. Food is art in France.

Bella Figura designer travels with Sarah Hanna - eating at home, French style

Sarah Hanna at the children's cooking school in 'La tête à toto' boutique in Cassis, France

The children’s cooking school at La Tête à Toto boutique The owner Marie said that if I was going to take photos, I had to be a student the class. Twist my arm! We are making potato croquettes and home-made nutella….which was so delicious that I can never buy nutella again.

The children's cooking school at la tete at toto boutique in Cassis, France

The children's cooking school at La tête à toto' boutique in Cassis, France

Many thanks to Sarah for sharing another glimpse of her life in France! Next week we’ll share Sarah’s travels to Morocco!

This Bride: Modern Gold Glamour

by Jessica Tierney on July 8th, 2014. Category: Bella Bride | No comments

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Rustic Glam: Chelsea Petaja’s Inspiration for Harvest

For a Harvest inspired celebration, Chelsea Petaja envisions glamorous gowns, romantic candlelight and gilded decor – all perfectly fitting for this elegant gold foil stamped wedding invitation. Save on this design and more by Chelsea through the month of July – she’s our July designer of the month! 

Chelsea Petaja's inspiration for Harvest, a foil stamped wedding invitation from Bella Figura

Harvest | dress and bouquet | dresses | glassware | candles | couple

Enter to Win $1500 from Bella Figura in our 2014 Do Good Contest!

Our Do Good promotion is back! Enter our contest to win $1500 in stationery from Bella Figura. Everyone who enters will be eligible for 25 free invitation sets with an order of 50 or more. It’s easy to enter! Here’s how it works: we want to see what good means to you — is it volunteering at your local food pantry, or giving blood? Planting trees or spending time with patients at the local children’s hospital? Whatever your good deed is, we want to hear about it! Upload a photo or video on Instagram to share what you’re doing to make a difference, and we’ll give you 25 free additional invitation sets just for your good deed! The grand prize will be awarded to the person with the ultimate good deed. No purchase is necessary to enter, and the contest is open to entrants worldwide! Want to be inspired? Check out last year’s winner, or take a look at the entries we received in last year’s contest!

Enter to win $1500 in stationery from Bella Figura! Everyone who enters gets 25 free invitation sets with an order of 50 or more

RULES AND DETAILS:

Entry period: Your good deed must happen between July 2 – July 23, 2014. Submissions must be uploaded to Instagram by midnight onWednesday, July 23, 2014 to be eligible.  

Prizes: Everyone who follows the guidelines above and uploads a photo or video of their good deed to Instagram will be eligible for 25 free additional invitation sets with the purchase of 50 or more [you must purchase at least 50 invitation sets]. This promotional offer is valid on orders placed through October 15, 2014. “Invitation sets” include an invitation, reply card + envelope or reply postcard, invitation envelope, and any coordinating embellishments (this includes envelope liners, pocketfolds, edge painting, etc.). One lucky winner will win $1,500 that can be used towards their next order at bellafigura.com. The $1,500 grand prize must be redeemed by December 15, 2014. The grand prize winner will be announced on Monday, July 28, 2014.

Criteria: We’re letting you determine the definition of “good.” For the free 25 invitation sets, anything you consider good will work. For the grand prize, we’re looking for inspiring actions that bring us hope; that demonstrate the power of an individual to do good; and that show us how the world can be a caring and beautiful place. Please be sure to get a photo or video of yourself in action!

Judging: The team at Bella Figura will vote to select one winner for the grand prize based on the criteria listed above. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 28, 2014.

Other details: the Buy 50 Get 25 promotional offer can be combined with our other ongoing discounts – save 10% when you order 6 printed pieces or more, or get free favor cards if you’re donating to charity – but cannot be combined with our Designer of the Month promotion. The grand prize cannot be combined with any of our other ongoing discounts or promotions. Grand prize winner may take advantage of Buy 50 Get 25 free promotional offer in a separate order.

Meet Designer Chelsea Petaja – our July Designer of the Month

Our Designer of the Month for July is Chelsea Petaja! Chelsea joined the Bella Figura family this year and has 5 new designs for 2014 – and they’re all on sale this month! Chelsea’s style is modern yet sweet and has a hand-crafted look. Several of her new designs are on the rustic side and would be perfect for a fall wedding! Chelsea gave us a little peek into her home – where she lives and works with her husband Tec Petaja.

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja

Living, working, loving and entertaining out of one place ain’t no joke. My husband and I recently moved into the same studio space (a reclaimed garage in our backyard) which makes our living quarters just a little tighter… and a little more revealing about our individual working habits. (Like my humming and Tec’s lack of an internal monologue. Ha!) But when setting up our space, I ran across this quote by William Morris that helps me to be honest in my design aesthetic: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” For me, white and bright with pops of color and pattern are beautiful. My computer is useful. My drafting table and desk are both. I’m surrounded by artwork and photographs and sketches that are meaningful, but when they become mundane, I switch them up so that this is a space of creativity and inspiration–a space where imagination can wander and emails can be sent.

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspace

Bella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspaceBella Figura designer Chelsea Petaja's workspace

Take a look at some of Chelsea’s designs below – her entire collection (including invitations, save the dates, social notes, and more!) is on sale for 10% off during the month of July (and you can save an additional 10% if you order 6 printed pieces or more!). Have questions about this promotion? Please, be in touch!

Designs by Chelsea Petaja are on sale through the month of July 2014!

Harvest by Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura is on sale through the month of July 2014!

Wreath Crest by Chelsea Petaja for Bella Figura is on sale through the month of July 2014!

The fine print: this offer is exclusive to designs by Chelsea Petaja and does not apply towards the purchase of other designs. Orders must be placed by 11:59pm Eastern on July 31, 2014 in order to receive this offer.


This Bride: Rustic Summer

Rustic Thicket letterpress invitation + wedding inspiration from Bella Figura

bride | rustic thicket letterpress invitation - on sale through July 31, 2014! | table setting