Tag Archives: watercolor

A Peek Inside Gus & Ruby Windows: Colorful Wisteria

Summer is here, the gardens are growing and our windows are lush! This window was inspired by the beautiful booms I’m seeing everywhere and the buzzing bees, our little city is feeling so alive. Below I’ll explain how to make these hanging paper wisteria and watercolor honeycombs.

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For the blooms you will need:

  • Tissue paper (3+ colors per color palette)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Watercolors, paint palette (or a plate) and a big fluffy paint brush

Below you can see the shapes I cut out to begin the process of creating the paper petals. You want them all to be a little different so there’s no need to get a template going for these. Just imagine you’re stretching out the shape of the number 8. I stacked about 5 pieces of tissue before cutting them to make the job go a little more quickly.

Cut out different sizes, you’ll end up forming them from the center, so again, it’s no biggie if they aren’t perfect. You could even just cut out a long oval shape if that’s easier for you! As you cut out the 3+ colors of your tissue paper, remember the lightest tissue should be the largest size and the darkest should be the smallest.

You’ll watercolor wash the lightest color tissue paper you’re using. I used the same light color for both color palettes, a color called French Vanilla. You could use white or any other light color that will pick up the watercolor pigment.

Grab a glass of water and your painting supplies. Decide which colors you’ll be using, I recommend sticking to either warm colors or cool colors. Pool some water on your paint palette and add color to create a wash to blot on the ends of the petal shapes. It will sort of flow towards the center as the tissue absorbs the water. Let these dry before you disassemble the stack of tissue, this is important! The tissue is super fragile when it’s wet, ya know? The other thing is that this part of the process is simply put, just not that pretty. Don’t fret, we’ll get to the beautiful blooms soon!

Just look at those scraps! -insert heart eyes emoji-

Once the water colored tissue has dried, gather it all up with the other colors. Sort everything out by size. Start with your littlest petal, take three pieces and stack them and rotate them form the center so you end up with a flower-esque shape. Pinch the center and twist to create your three-dimensional bloom. You can see what this looks like below.

Repeat this step with all of your petals, keeping them separated by size. Once you have a big ol’ pile of flowers in each size you can stop twistin’ and start stringing! String your needle and thread and make knot at the bottom of the thread so that the bottom bloom stays put. You might need to tie it a few times over.

Start by stringing the smallest and darkest blooms through the bottom (think of going in where you’d see a bumble bee buzzing). Add more of that color until you have a couple of inches. Begin adding the next color until you’ve strung about a foot and then finish it off with your water colored petals. Each long bloom should be different and unique! Add more of a darker color sometimes if you want, or make them all one color!

Below Samson-cat (my always-helper) is showing the blooms before they’re hung up. You can see some of the fun color fluctuation!

For the honeycomb you will need:

  • A sheet of foamcore
  • Watercolor paint and a brush
  • A pencil and ruler
  • Exacto blade and cutting mat
  • Needle a thread

First things first: go to town watercolor painting your foam core. I used lots of yellows and some orange. Let it dry, it might curl up on the sides when in dries. No biggie, you’re gonna cut it up.

Use your ruler and pencil to make a hexagon shape the size that you want each honeycomb to be. A hexagon is a 6 sided shape, a shortcut for sketching your own is to draw a quick circle and draw lines to create 6 even slices, then connect the outer lines: a hexagon is formed! …Or print this out.

Trace hexagons all over the backside of your foam core. Follow those lines with your Exacto blade until you’ve cut out all of your tracings. Make sure to protect your surface with your cutting mat.

Grab your needle and thread and stitch the honeycombs together. Hang then up each individually or from a dowel. Hello honeycomb wall, what a fun photo backdrop or party decoration for a summer event!

As always, it’s so fun to how you make these projects your own. If you instagram, hashtag #gusandrubyDIY so we can see your beautiful creations!

Watercolor Wishes

We’ve been seeing lots of watercolor inspired design recently and we’re just loving it. The dreamy variation of color and tone, the natural, organic edges and soft hues of this lovely technique make us swoon.

From the watercolor washed business cards we did for Nole at Oh So Beautiful Paper to gorgeous wedding invitations to sweet greeting cards, watercolor is making a splash in all parts of the stationery world.

Dive on in!

(above photos by Oh So Beautiful Paper)
(above photos courtesy of Printerette Press)
(above photos courtesy of Smock)
 (above photos courtesy of Fine Day Press)
(above photo courtesy of Studio R Design – new album coming to the shop soon!)
 (above photos courtesy of Moglea)

(above photo courtesy of Sycamore Street Press)

Designer Spotlight: Fine Day Press

Watercolor inspired design is sweeping the wedding world these days and we couldn’t be happier about it. The gorgeous gradients, soft romantic colors and hand-crafted feel of watercolor work makes our hearts flutter.

So, it’s no surprise that when Ashley Austin, the incredible designer behind Fine Day Press (whose amazing cards and note-sets we carry in the shop), launched a watercolor inspired wedding album we scooped it right up.

Not only are the painted backgrounds striking on their own, but Ashley’s superb eye for typesetting and gorgeous library of fonts allow for the perfect set of tools to craft custom designs that truly sing. To top it off, the invitations are flat-printed, making them a perfect budget-friendly option!

Take a peek at some of the inspired designs below and then call or email us to set up an appointment to see them in person.

(all photos courtesy of Fine Day Press)

Designer Spotlight: Printerette Press!

I am just beyond excited to finally tell y’all about one of our newest albums: Printerette Press. When Whitney and I discovered Printerette Press at the National Stationery Show this past May, we squealed out loud in her booth as we poured through her album.  For reals, friends, this album is LEGIT. 

I’m totally ga-ga over just about everything that designer Catherine Polacek has put together for this gorgeous line.  The work is all beautifully printed by hand on her 100 year old press in St. Paul, MN, but it’s her whimsical design and illustration that really spoke to me.  We had been looking for a hand-illustrated line to add to our collection of invitation albums and all the pretty in the Printerette book just took my breath away. 

I did a serious happy dance when I came upon her Lake of the Woods suite (immediately below) and her Redwood suite (2nd suite below).  Each illustration is done by hand and can be totally customized for your event/venue/whims. We’ve already had a couple customize one of these with illustrations of the camp where they’ll be married next month.  It was mucho adorbs.

And, as if custom illustration on your invitations is SUPER RAD enough, Printerette went ahead and added watercolor detailing (digitally printed) to some of her letterpress designs. Watercolor + beautiful printing + totally fresh design = Awesomesauce.  Check out a few of the Printerette designs below and then schedule an appointment to come in and swoon over this album in person.  You will fall in love (all over again).