We recently had the pleasure of working with an amazing local bride on her letterpress wedding invitation suite. A gorgeous customization of our Plume design (by Amy Graham Stigler), these invitations were printed with two custom-mixed ink colors to match her wedding color palette – perfect for an elegant evening reception!
ink: custom pantone 7490 at 20% + custom pantone 7449 | fonts: nysa + jubilant | paper: 2-ply white | invite size: a-7 | liner: classic color pattern in custom pantone 7449 | edge painting: custom pantone 7490 | client coordinator: chris gannon | in-house designer: sarah walroth
by Sarah Walroth, In-House Designer.
We absolutely love it when a Bella Figura couple sends us their wedding pictures featuring their letterpress wedding invitations. Today we have the privilege to show you a Real (local) Wedding from Syracuse! Christian and Giovanna chose our sophisticated Pavilion (by Amy Graham Stigler) design in Espresso and Dusty Pink inks on our 1-ply ivory paper. They carried the floral theme all the way through with delicate hand painted porcelain vessels wedding favors.
Hendricks Chapel was the perfect location to exchange rings and vows. Giovanna’s family traveled from Italy to witness their love.
These striking photos were taken at Syracuse University – one of the many gorgeous locations in our lovely city.
With the new year here, we wanted to show off a few photos from our recent open studio event, which took place a few weeks ago. We had the most fun introducing the local community to letterpress and showing off our print shop and new offices! We invited the local public, media, clients, vendors, friends, family and anyone with an interest or passion for printing and the arts to come pay us a visit. In return, we had printing demonstrations, tours, giveaways, an excess of sweets and goodies from a local bake shop and loads of letterpress fun. We decorated with DIY paper chain garlands for the Christmas tree and colorful paper bunting strung from the cross beams in our office, all of which were created from gift wrap from our sister company, Smock. Our friend and amazing wedding photographer Alice G. Patterson spent the day with us and captured these snippets from the day and her photos already have us excited for next year!
Here at Bella Figura, we love the opportunity to work with couples from all walks of life in designing and printing the letterpress wedding invitations of their dreams. Getting to know our clients is such a joy for us – we love when they share photos of their weddings and then come back to us later for letterpress baby announcements! So we thought we’d share a bit of insight into what makes the team at Bella Figura tick. First up, a little look behind the scenes with Bella Figura Client Coordinator, Tiffany…
Describe your typical day during the week…
6:00 – Alarm goes off. Typically I will hit snooze until 7:00 because I went to sleep WAY too late due to either (a) having been up all night reading whatever latest book has captured my imagination or (b) my dog snoring…she snores REALLY loud!
7:30 – By 7:30 I am showered and out the door way earlier than I need to be…but honestly, mornings are boring to me so I usually just head into the office early rather than sit around killing time.
8:00 – As soon as I sit down I check my email first thing so I can tackle high priority items right away. Sometimes things will pop up – a last minute venue change that a couple wasn’t anticipating or a change in bridal party members – and the sooner I can address such changes, the earlier we can get things taken care of on our end to help make sure our clients are pleased with the pieces we’re printing for them.
10:00 – By now my day is in full swing. Depending on the day it will involve a lot of answering calls and emails, preparing specs for clients to review, proofing text, and working with our designers to get proofs to couples for their review. Every day is different, which is half of the fun.
1:00 – At 1:00 it’s lunchtime which means lunch with the ladies, our time to reflect and talk about the important things in life – food we like, food we eat, food we know we shouldn’t eat, and food we should eat but don’t really want to. You know, we keep it real. Sometimes we talk about some beautiful letterpress wedding invitation set we just printed…but more often than not, we talk about food.
3:00 – Late afternoons can get pretty busy, so I’m often pretty busy working on getting whatever information I can to those brides and grooms who need something. We take great pride in extending the best of customer service, so I like to know I’m leaving the day with a clean slate every night and that I’ve done everything I can for the day before taking off.
6:00 – Six o’clock is quittin’ time around here so I’m typically on my way out the door and preparing myself for having to weave in and out of traffic to get home.
What is your favorite Bella Figura design?
Sonnet. It is just perfect! The design is entirely feminine and sweet and it really conveys the feeling of a celebration of love – I can’t get enough of it.
What are your favorite color trends right now?
I am really into purple and gray right now, and I have seen a lot of couples pairing either amethyst or aubergine ink with pewter for their letterpress invitations. I personally love the softness of lavender and pale gray inks paired together, it’s so feminine and sophisticated – just gorgeous!
What’s your favorite tip for keeping letterpress budget-friendly?
I think putting your money into a really fabulous invitation (2 ply paper, corner rounded, edge painted, calligraphy accents etc.) and then opting to print the reception and reply information right on the invitation is my pick. Sure, it’s less traditional but it’s a great way to save money and cut down on paper consumption. I am a stickler for tradition, but the thought of a heavily embellished knockout invitation that stands alone appeals to me.
If you could go anywhere in the world on a vacation/honeymoon, where would you go, why, and what would you do?
Ireland. It is such a lovely country and the people are incredibly warm and personable. Ireland is home to many of my favorite things – horses, Guinness, and amazing landscapes (not to mention men with fabulous accents!) I am planning a trip there in May of next year and I am so excited!
What are your top 5 prized possessions?
Aside from a letter my grandfather wrote to my grandmother when he was in Europe during WWII, my most valued possessions are my books. My favorites (of my obscenely large collection) are: Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I could not survive knowing I wasn’t able to grab any one of them at a moments notice!
For first time visitors to Syracuse, where are your favorite places to shop, eat, and hang out?
I am a country girl through and through, but I do think Syracuse is a great city to visit. With that said, for me the real beauty of this area lies outside of the city limits in some of the neighboring towns. We have some of the most stunning landscapes around, and nothing makes me happier than to gaze out at miles and miles of pristine farm land occupied by grazing sheep and the patchwork effect of newly planted crops. Central New York has beautiful lakes, quaint towns, lots of outdoor activities and tremendous restaurants. Syracuse itself has some not to miss attractions – don’t miss Dinosaur BBQ for the best ribs EVER! – but I would highly recommend a leisurely drive to Cazenovia or Skaneateles to soak in the beauty of the hills, the trees, and the land, particularly in the autumn months when the foliage is incredible!
Here’s our take on a little inspiration board inspired by all things Tiffany. We picture a beautiful wedding in the hills of Ireland with stacks of old books and other vintage ephemera used for centerpieces, Guinness served in pint glasses that guests could take home as favors, rich purple hues, and a bride in a fabulous flowing dress being whisked away on a horse. And the invitations? Letterpress wedding invitations by Bella Figura in our Sonnet design, naturally.
Bride with horse photo by Emily Porter Photography
Wreath photo by Eleise Theuer
Letterpress reply card by Bella Figura
Ring pillow via The Knot
Centerpieces from Once Wed
Bride with bridesmaid photo by Sweet Monday Photography
Landscape photo via Wallace Travel Group
Guinness from fresh expressions
Bride and groom by Carrie Patterson Photography via Snippet & Ink
As part of our continued efforts to be truly eco-friendly, Bella Figura subsidizes CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships for all employees. Many of us happily take advantage of the opportunity to have fresh, local, organic produce delivered once a week by a local organic farm, Grindstone Farm. The veggies and herbs are always incredibly fresh and delicious and have typically been picked within just hours of reaching us. Because the Delevan Center, the old warehouse we call home, is the Downtown Syracuse drop off location, our CSA deliveries literally come right to our door. We love seeing what awaits us as we fill up our bags and head home to cook – half the fun is figuring out what to do with all the cool ingredients we don’t always see in local grocery stores!
Typically, we get an assortment of great lettuces, kale, fresh herbs like cilantro and dill, broccoli so delicious you’ll never want to eat anything other than organic broccoli again, garlic scapes, cool daikon radishes that resemble white carrots, and lots and lots of beautiful red radishes. As the season is progressing, so are the crops, and the veggies we receive every week are changing up, but we’ve continued to get a lot of radishes, which led a few of us to start looking into recipes that use radishes and ideally the radish greens too. After a while, we’ve found ourselves at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them other than slice them up for salads. After some hunting around, one of our letterpress printers, Carrie, who is one of the finest artisans we know to ever run an Original Heidelberg windmill, found and tweaked the following recipe that was so good, we just had to share it in the event any of you are at a loss as to what to do with all of your radishes. If you like food with an Asian flair, you will love this recipe.
Asian Hamburger Skillet
- 1lb lean hamburger (although many of us are vegetarians so we substituted the Morning Star ground “meat” instead)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced about 1/4″ thick then cut into 2″ lengths
- 1 bunch of radishes, cut in matchsticks
- 1 bunch of radish tops, cut roughly into 1″ pieces
- 4 carrots, julienned or cut into 1/4″ slices
- 1-1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (although we’ve also tried General Tso’s sauce and it was delicious!)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large sauté pan, cook hamburger (or meat substitute) over medium high heat, until just beginning to brown, breaking into small bits with spatula. Stir in onion and radishes and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in carrots, radish tops, ginger paste and fish sauce and cook 5-10 minutes until onions are softened and hamburger is cooked through. Sprinkle with lime juice (if using) and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately…and don’t forget to let us know how you like it!