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The Baby-Q Trend

The Baby-Q Trend

I've never been a big fan of baby showers. Just the idea of a whole group of ladies getting together to play silly games (chocolate squished in a diaper anyone? Who even came up with that?), and the whole 'ooh - ahhs' over the baby related gifts which many find mandatory to open during the actual event, always felt a little awkward to me. I guess not having gone through pregnancy previously, it was never an invite I looked forward to receiving.  

When we found out we were having a baby, my views on this, well on a lot of things changed. Falling pregnant is sometimes a hard and bumpy road and getting to that point is a highly emotional and relationship-testing triumph that should be celebrated. So if a baby shower is the way you want to celebrate, who am I to judge? Bring on the finger food and confetti!!!

Personally, having gone through this journey with an incredibly attentive partner by my side, I could not see myself celebrating this new life form without the man who helped create her... so we decided to ditch the baby shower idea and go with a co-ed baby-q instead.

We decided to have a casual Sunday bbq to which we invited our closest friends (including partners and kids) as a nice way to catch up before our lives turn upside down and we run our schedules around a baby human. I didn't want a registry, it wasn't about gifts (although our guests still generously showered us with them), it was just about spending time together, and although it was a hot one not ideal for a backyard event, it was a special day we will cherish and remember.

Busy with client work, I ran a little behind with our invites but from the first draft I knew I wanted to completely hand letter the design, even if it did turn out a bit rough. I started with quick sketches on paper, using a variety of styles, before redrawing them on a dot grid page to try and get the straight edges on both sides (process sketches below):


Once it was inked and digitised, I chose to have them printed with white ink on buffalo board to stray away from it looking too baby-ish and also keep the casual vibe of the day. 

The finished print:

Sometimes it's good not to dwell too much on the imperfections... you might actually really like the end result!!


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My Christmas has come early! Trade Show Press from NSS 2017

My Christmas has come early! Trade Show Press from NSS 2017

(Featured image by Nole at Oh So Beautiful Paper Blog

When I sent an invite to Nole from Oh So Beautiful Paper blog to visit me at booth 1464, for the Frankie's Girl debut at the National Stationery Show this year, I did not expect her to visit. Well with something around 800 exhibitors (I don't actually know the real figure, that's possibly incorrect) I thought surely I'd be missed. Saying I was a little over the moon when we met in person (at my booth!!) is a complete understatement.

A couple of months later, she has posted a blog of new exhibitors from NSS 2017. See it here:

And guess who's been included... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE with a capital M :) See it here:

A couple of snapshots from the site:

I seriously can't contain my excitement and somehow feel like this must have been a mistake. Well I'm taking it!! Huge thanks to Nole for my inclusion, you are an inspiration and because of your blog I have aspired to create beautiful things, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but the journey is and will always be the best experience.


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National Stationery Show NSS 2017

National Stationery Show NSS 2017

On Easter Sunday it'll be exactly a month before we leave for the bright lights of New York and get ready for our debut at the National Stationery Show 2017 (WOOHOO!!!). Frankie's Girl will be exhibiting at Booth 1464.

The National Stationery Show (NSS) is a yearly event held over four days - this year it's from the 21st to the 24th of May at the Javits Center in New York. The event showcases products from the paper and giftware industries.

From the site itself:

"The NSS attracts a diverse global attendance of buyers and industry professionals from stationery, card and gift shops; bookstores; bridal shops; party stores; department, chain and specialty stores; large chains and “big box” mass retailers; online retailers and mail order catalogs; as well as special event planners, corporate marketers, importers, distributors and manufacturers’ representatives."

Clearly it's a big deal for those who work within one of these industries and definitely the biggest deal of my career to date. It started with sheer distress (considering that I applied for the show with only a handful of greeting card designs and only a couple of months to get a decent collection together). There were a plethora of emotions that ran through me, added to that some anxiety, depression, doubt, sleepless nights... laying in bed wide awake at 3am wondering what I'd gotten myself into... ah fun times!!! Within all this commotion, I somehow managed to pull it all together and get it - or most of it - done. I'm not completely there, but the finish line is definitely in sight.

Now all the tension is turning into complete excitement and I'm relieved that I have taken the chance, pushed myself and my work, physically and emotionally to a level that I'm happy to show off. It's ok to be proud of yourself once in a while right? Damn right!!! (Tap on the back time!)

The thing is, I've dreamt of attending this show as an exhibitor for so many years. However, life seemed to always get in the way... or maybe that was just my own doing (highly likely)... Not feeling that my ideas were good enough for the multitude of talented stationers out in the big wide world was not the greatest feeling to endure as a creative. But one of the most important lessons I've learnt and I am constantly reminded of in this life, is the need to believe in yourself. You are highly capable. You are strong. You are worth it. Now go get 'em!!!!

What's that saying? If you love what you do, you won't work a day in your life... well I love it, so planning to keep this party going for as long as I can. For the moment I am waiting on the next lot of my cards to arrive from my very patient printers, putting together the catalogue and finalising the last bits and pieces I need before we jet off.  

Farewell for now and see you at the show!!

Frankie's Girl xoxo

For those attending the show come see us (Sarine and Frank) at FRANKIE'S GIRL BOOTH 1464. For those you aren't attending I will keep you updated on instagram (frankiesgirldesigns) of what we get up to in NYC :)



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