Where to Start When Planning Your Wedding

You’re engaged!! Congratulations! …and now what? Once all the excitement and bubbly from an engagement wears down, things start to get serious quickly. I was recently engaged, back in October 2016 and I thought I would start sharing some of the insight I’ve gained so far throughout this process. When I got engaged my first question was.. “where do I start?”

Tips for Planning Your Own Wedding

Photo by Vivian Sachs | Table Sign by Ink & Matter

Wedding planning can be high stress early on, but it can also be extremely fun. The first thing I did was make a Pinterest board. Don and I had a broad idea of what we wanted, so I had a loose starting point. We knew we wanted something outside, super casual, and fun. So I started pinning outdoor weddings that I loved. I quickly realized that I wanted lots and lots of natural greenery and simplistic florals and decorations (I’m far from an over the top extravagant person, as is Don.)

How to Pick Your Wedding Date & Season

Picking a rough date and season was the next step. We both agreed pretty quickly that we wanted late summer or early fall. Since we wanted an outdoor wedding in western New York, winter and early spring/late fall were out of the question. The beginning of summer is usually crazy busy for me, so picking our time of year was an easy decision. When one of my best childhood friends told me she would be getting married mid-September, we eliminated that date. We knew we also didn’t want a holiday weekend, so we eliminated one more (Labor Day), and finally settled on the last weekend in August since the remaining September dates were booked at our venue. Easy enough!

Searching for Wedding Venues

Once we determined what we wanted and when we wanted to get married, we started looking for venues. I started on The Knot and Wedding Wire, then just started googling wedding photographers in the Buffalo area, which is where we knew we would get married. We visited 3 venues total, and I actually found the venue we ended up choosing (the last one we visited) from a photographer’s blog. Her photos were stunning, but what really grabbed me was the location. It was simple and naturally beautiful – exactly what we wanted. They provide only the location – everything else was up to us, which is also just what we wanted, so it was perfect.

So there it is! The first 10 months of wedding planning in the books. We’re having a longer engagement (almost 2 years by the time we get married) since we’re paying for most of it on our own, so wedding planning has been slow so far. Now that we’re just over a year away, things are heating up. I’ll keep this blog updated somewhat regularly as planning gets more underway!

Looking for wedding day decor and details? I can help! My goal is to take the stress out of your wedding planning process by providing seamless, easy, and comfortable wedding calligraphy services for you. Send me a message to get some more information!

Working for Reforestation: One Tree Planted With Every Purchase

I have some exciting news to share! I am officially registered as a Reforestation Partner through OneTreePlanted! What exactly does that mean? Well, starting from January 1st, 2017, with every purchase made from Ink & Matter, one tree will be planted somewhere in the world via OneTreePlanted. OneTreePlanted is a non-profit organization based in Vermont, focusing not only on collecting donations, but also in educating the world and spreading awareness about deforestation and the impact it has on our planet.

So, why am I doing this? As we all know, paper is almost always made from tree pulp. As most of us also know, the stationery industry is pretty much entirely paper based. And while I try to use as many recycled and repurposed items as possible and avoid wasting paper, the paper use is inevitable when it comes to owning a stationery design business.

Reforesting the Planet, One Tree at a Time

Ever since I started Ink & Matter, I’ve been extremely conscious of my paper use and the potential impact this could have on the environment. I recycle everything I don’t use and encourage those who purchase items from me to do the same. But it doesn’t feel like enough. Trees are being destroyed on a regular basis, due to various industries and disasters such as wildfires. In the most extreme cases, entire forests are being destroyed. OneTreePlanted offers an opportunity to finally give back to the environment by planting trees in the areas that need it most.

Where will the trees go? As of right now, all of my donations will be going towards planting trees in Indonesia (I will be rotating through the other options regularly.) Indonesia is currently facing quite a deforestation crisis. According to OneTreePlanted, 85% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by forest destruction and degradation. The country’s poorest residents are suffering as a result, living with some of the worst health standards in the world.

The Reforestation Impact

Trees planted in Indonesia have a huge positive impact on the local population. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and consumer of palm oil, which is great for their economy, but terrible for the environment. The palm oil industry is not only destroying forests, but also leads to an increase of carbon and other pollutants in the air. Trees planted in Indonesia absorb the carbon pollution and improve air quality.

The rainforests of Indonesia, recently named one of the most biologically diverse biomes in the world, are home to all kinds of animals. Trees create new homes for the animals living there, who have been faced with shrinking forests and destruction of their natural habitat. Indonesia’s largest rainforest, the Sumatran rainforest, has been given just 20 years left to survive by leading scientists. I feel it’s incredibly important to help reverse the damage that’s already been done.

Finally, the planting of trees in Indonesia helps bolster economic prospects, and improves living conditions for indigenous communities and environmental standards. Local communities benefit by selling the fruit, allowing local farmers to make a steady living. On top of all of this, OneTreePlanted works with programs that help build schools in these areas and donates to incentive school programs, so it’s an organization I’m very happy to support.

What does this mean for you? I hope this allows you to feel good about serving our planet, as much as it does for me. Prices will not be going up – this is coming straight from my revenue. Our planet has taken a beating and it’s important for me to give back in whatever way I can. After all, the earth does provide us with a place to live and beautiful lands to admire. It’s the very least I can do.

Thank you for supporting me and in turn supporting our wonderful planet.

– Amber

Upcoming Holiday Events in Buffalo, NY & East Aurora, NY

img_0610Hey friends! The holidays are a crazy busy time for all of us, and nothing is more needed than last minute shopping destinations. I’ll be at a couple locations this December with calligraphy and hand lettered products, as well as on-site custom calligraphy for gift tags. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

Thin Ice Gift Shop Trunk Show
719 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Saturday, December 3rd, 11 AM – 5 PM

Handwritten custom gift tags, unique gift ideas, home decor, and holiday cards. Click here for more information.

Elm Street Market
Elm Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
Saturday, December 17th, 5 PM – 9 PM

Click here for more information.

Calligraphy Workshop Recap | East Aurora, NY

I taught my first calligraphy workshop back in May, at the beautiful Roycroft Inn, located in East Aurora, NY. We were able to set up on the peristyle and enjoy the perfect weather while eight lovely ladies learned calligraphy!

img_0208One of the highlights of the day was teaching the THREE left-handed calligraphers I had. They were all amazing! Some lefties think that calligraphy would be impossible for them, but I’m here to tell you: I saw with my own eyes that lefties can pick up calligraphy just as quick as a rightie. It was interesting to see the different techniques in action (since I’m not left-handed), while also watching each and every student learn at their own pace.

By the end of the class, most of the students were connecting letterforms and some were even writing out their own quotes and sentences. In just two hours, eight students were able to learn the beautiful art of modern calligraphy. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!

I will be teaching a few more calligraphy workshops at MUSEjar, also located in East Aurora. You can get more information on how to register here. Hope to see you there!

Modern Calligraphy for Beginners Workshop in East Aurora, NY!

workshop5I know what it’s like to try to learn a new hobby. You see all the beautiful pictures on Instagram of people doing awesome things, maybe pick up a book off Amazon or your local bookstore on the topic, and then let it sit on your shelf for weeks and months while you find the motivation and time to sit down and do it. Getting started in calligraphy is not a difficult thing to do, but taking a workshop can give you the extra push and tips that will excel your practice.

I’ve always wanted to teach classes on the topic, so I’m excited to be teaching my first ever at the beautiful Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, NY on May 25th! You’ll learn to assemble and use a pointed dip pen, how to create basic letterforms, and extra tips for continued practice. You’ll get all the information in two hours that it took me weeks to figure out on my own.

Calligraphy takes practice, patience, and more practice!

While you won’t be an expert right away, with enough practice and continued patience, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful, complete pieces of calligraphy artwork. We’ll not only have fun learning it, but you’ll gain insight on what has helped me to avoid the kinks and get past the difficulties of writing with a pointed pen.

Feel free to contact me for more information or sign up today for my Modern Calligraphy Workshop!