A Work in Progress: My Guide for Hand Lettering


My process for creating a hand lettering guide | A Fabulous Fete

The time has FINALLY come! Can you guess how long i've been working on drafts of my first lettering guide? YEARS! It was just never "perfect" I guess, which is nuts because when is anything perfect? Luckily Blurb Books reached out with an offer I couldn't refuse. They wanted me to use their self-publishing platform, get creative, and share what I came up with. A hand lettering guide was the obvious choice. So today, I'm sharing the first steps of the journey to publishing the prettiest little lettering guide ever.

Sneak peek of a very special guide I am finally putting together! Read more about what it is on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
How to begin every project... moodboards | A Fabulous Fete

Moodboard Creation

I always start a new project with a moodboard. Whether it's a shoot, an invite, or something more detailed like this book, it's always great to set the tone and decide what feeling you are going for.

I will definitely dive deeper into the whole process of creating a moodboard, but, what I typically do is scan all of my recent "likes" and pins in search of a common thread. I will usually see a color theme, styling similarities or even materials that I am obsessing over. I print, pull and tear, then bring them all together on a board. At a glance, you can see a solid direction at where you should go with all of the little pieces that will eventually make up your final project. For example. I realized that I wanted a ton of variance in my lettering to show you guys examples, I wanted go with lots of neutrals and a pop of pink + green, and finally, I wanted there to be a lifestyle/art element to the whole thing. I will share what that is later... but ALL of that from a few pictures I printed! 


Making of my first lettering guide | A Fabulous Fete
Lettering samples for a guide to hand lettering | A Fabulous Fete

The Good Stuff

If you're going to get the guide, you're in it for the lettering how-to's, so getting all of that out of the way first was my next step. I knew this would be the most time consuming part as well as what I really had to put some thought into. Obviously there were the letter guides, but deciding how I wanted to show you different styles and brushes was a whole other process on it's own. I decided to just spend a few hours lettering whatever came to mind. I looked at quotes, wrote words that popped into my head, and then made lots of notes on how I wanted to use them. While I will probably go back and add more once the book starts coming together, doing this "brain dump" put a really good dent in the main content for the guide.

I will touch on everything from how to mix your paint, to troubleshooting. So you can expect a little more than just some letters and a few practice sheets!


Watercolor hand lettering | A Fabulous Fete
Choosing paper types for my hand lettering guide | A Fabulous Fete

All About the Paper

Finally, I chose the perfect paper. My moodboard definitely helped me as I knew I wanted to go with a natural texture and matte  (ish) finish. Thank goodness for the swatch kit from Blurb! I would've chosen something completely different if I hadn't see these in person.

A huge perk, especially because I am creating something you will write on, was being able to test the papers. I wanted something high in quality and durable enough to hold up to all of you ladies and gents putting watercolor on the actual sheets. The 2 I had originally chosen were perfect. No warping or bleeding... so now I have to make the final decision!

Editing my brush lettering guide | A Fabulous Fete
My favorite way to have my desk | A Fabulous Fete

For me, the hard part is done. Next I will be uploading everything to photoshop to begin the editing process. This is where all of that fun color is going to come into play. While I have an idea.. I never like to nail it down to early. So I really can't wait to see how the final product ends up. Blurb also offers plug-ins as well as free desktop software you can use to design your book (shown above). I will be creating most of the pages with heavy lettering elements as pdf's in photoshop, then laying out with their indesign plug-in, as that is what I am comfortable with... but they really do provide you with so many options for all skill levels!

I hope you guys are excited as me! I will be sharing the actual book (which will be available in less than a month!) soon here on the blog with info on snagging your own. In the meantime though, head over to Blurb if you were interested in publishing something for yourself! They have everything from magazines to luxe photo books that would showcase an event of vacay perfectly.

 

Post in partnership with Blurb Books

September Mood '17


September Moodboard | A Fabulous Fete
 

If I could just do moodboards for the rest of my life I would. Pulling together pretty images from all over the place to create one feeling? Yes please. So who knows why I stopped... maybe life. But, I want to bring them back... because they're worth it and they're fun and I want to share some of my favorite images at the moment, maybe a fun quote or illustration, and the overall theme I'm feeling for that month in particular.

Someone said this morning (on instagram) that they woke up and got to put a sweater on because it was 55 degrees out. That is 100% not the case in California so we're going to keep on celebrating summer over here (even though deep down I really want to wear a sweater too). I'm currently leaning towards warmer colors, hoping to plan a few getaways before the cold sets in, and really want to get back into entertaining mode. Between work and real life, I have just wanted to sit on the couch and zone out. But I miss setting a table, or at least a bar cart, planning a menu + cocktail, and really taking time to think out favors and florals (even if they're simple branches and palms). Anyways, here is what's currently on my inspo board helping me channel the September I want;)

Sources: dancer // draped silk // tropical foliage // white top // girl reading // pillows // table setting // straw bag // girl in hat // oranges // mustard ribbon

What's on your moodboard for September?

 

Our At Home Rosé Tasting: What We Would Buy Again


Summer might be over, but that doesn't mean we have to put the rosé away. See our fav's on the blog | A Fabulous Fete

 

I want to start by saying, we are not in any sense of the word, experts in the wine world. We do however, know what we like and why we like it. So with all of the craziness over rosé exploding these past few years, I wanted to finally set out to find one, within budget that I loved.

Sure, we've been drinking rosé for a while, but honestly, I just buy was seems like a decent deal, doesn't have a strange neon pink hue, and has a cute bottle. Not the most scientific or useful way to choose a wine. I had a few go-to's when buying, but I knew that there were so many others out there I needed to try. And while I'm still on a mission, I think this little tasting exercise we did was super helpful in figuring out how to buy new bottles in the future.

So, I want to share what we bought, what we loved, and why.

 

Ranging from $6 to $20, see which rosé was our fav and why! | A Fabulous Fete
 

When we went in search of a few bottles to try, I really wanted to try several price points. I know $$$ doesn't always equal quality, so we wanted to give them all a chance. These four ranged from $6 to $20. The La Vieille Ferme at $6, Le Canon at $10, Phebus at $15 and Miraval at $20.

For me, it's easy to know if I like something or not. Is it good? Do I want to tell everyone about it after? Is it worth the price? BUT. I know there are a lot of factors that go into why it is good... so we broke our tasting down into a few categories to rate each bottle on. 

  • The smell, was it fruity, woodsy, earthy? 
  • The flavor, well duh... what did it taste like?
  • Body, was it light, medium or bold?
  • Acidity, did it have a tart or smooth finish?
  • Alcohol level, was there a distinct taste of alcohol when drinking?
 
What I Tried This Weekend: An at home Rosé tasting | A Fabulous Fete
Our rosé tasting winner, see what else we tried | A Fabulous Fete
How to hose a simple wine tasting at home | A Fabulous Fete
Our rosé tasting at home, see what brands we bought and what we loved | A Fabulous Fete
 

So what did we think? We'll start with the most inexpensive.

La Vieille Ferme, $6: This wine was very light, but was not very smooth while drinking or in the finish. It had high acidity levels and I could taste the alcohol coming through the flavor of the wine. I really wanted to like this (hi cute label and nice price point), but will not be buying it again. Honestly, if someone poured it at a party, I may not have had the same reaction. But sitting next to the others and going back and forth between them, this was definitely in last place for me. My husband agreed with the notes above but didn't have as harsh of a NO to drinking it as I did;)

Le Canon, $10: I've noticed that many of the rosé's I've purchased in the past and loved, have had this lighter color to them. But the flavor to this was the least memorable. Maybe that's a good thing, it's easy to drink. But I was looking for something with more flavor. In our opinion, this had the lowest acidity levels of the 4. It had more floral notes than fruit (as the next 2 had), was the dryest and smoothest of them all. So overall, great for $10 if you're looking for something simple and light.

Phebus, $15: The winner! This one had so much flavor, we would definitely pair this with some sort of heavier dinner option (if you were looking for one to pair with food) because of how flavorful it was. It had a darker color, so I wan't expecting to like it as much (but did obviously). This one had a more fruity smell and flavor, like strawberries. The acidity level sat in the middle of the four, so it was a bit more tart while drinking, but had a smooth finish. If you were going to buy one, I'd go with this.

Miraval, $20: So this has been my go-to when I want a goooood bottle of rosé. And it will probably stay that way if I am just grabbing something at the grocery store (the others above were from a wine shop, so not as easy to find at our local store). Out of the four, this is definitely the cleanest and most crisp. It has an earthy smell with a touch of citrus fruit making it PERFECT for these hot summer days (it's like 105 here right now, SICK). It is slightly tart and a bit dry... meaning you're could easily drink the whole bottle (haha). I find that these go down so much faster (dangerous) when they aren't as sweet. It doesn't leave that film in the back of your mouth/throat that sugary drinks have. 

Now that we have all of the boring technical stuff out of the way... here's what I think all of these would be perfect for... in order of my favorite to least;)

  1. Phebus, this is going to be my summer dinner party, or after work when it's hot af, go-to.
  2. Miraval, buy this if you're planning on spending the day by the pool, or lake, or ocean... it's easy to drink and so refreshing.
  3. Le Canon, get this if you're trying to ease into rosé, or if you need an end of summer hostess gift. I feel like it's pretty well rounded and something a lot of people would like.
  4. La Vieille Ferme, I'd save this one if you're having a large party and have to feed a ton of guests. While it wasn't my fave, it wasn't bad. It is better than lots of cheap rosé I have tried though. So if you need something inexpensive, i'd go for it.
 
Hosting our own rosé tasting at home on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
 

In the summer, when rosé consumption is at it's peak, our weekend snack is always a cheeseboard. While we still have a little meat and a few nuts, we like to switch out a lot of the heavier ingredients for things like fruit which is perfect to pair with your rosé. So if you're going to be hosting one last summer get together, this would be my rec for filling up your guests!

We used gruyere and brie, grapes, pears, figs and a little salami. So good.

 
Sunday funday cheese plate at home | A Fabulous Fete
How to quickly put together an impressive cheeseboard with minimal effort! | A Fabulous Fete
 

I hope that helps those of you looking for a little rosé knowledge! Obviously there are SO many to try, and trust me... we're on it. I will share if I find something amazing.

But what are your favorites right now? I might put it on my list to taste!