about us

Blonde Designs is an inspirational blog focused on invitations, parties, and good design. We are Angie Gubler and Kristin Rees, best friends, graphic designers and moms.
We are both former art directors at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, respectively. 
We own Blonde Designs, an invitation and stationery company.

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Sunday
May122013

ninja party

I can't believe James is seven! This year he wanted a ninja party to celebrate.

I cut eyes out of sticker paper to turn some balloons into ninja faces.

The boys loved having a card to keep track of their ninja tasks and scores.

The punching bag in our garage was turned into a ninja so the boys could test their fighting skills.

The highlights of the party were the ninja masks that my sister, Laura, made for each guest out of stretchy black fabric and the swords that my dad created out of pipe materials. I wish I would have documented the sword how-to, but I was too busy helping! The boys had a great time building their swords and then trying them out on the obstacle course.

They used their swords to swat at the piñata.

 

The favor bags were filled with treats and candy from the piñata.

And finally, the cupcakes were topped with mini ninjas that I cut out of cardstock. James and his friends had a blast. Can't wait to see what he chooses for his theme next year!

 

Wednesday
Apr172013

polka dot party

My oldest daughter, Charlotte, just turned 10. I can't believe she's now in double digits!

To celebrate, we threw a polka-dot-themed party with 25 of her closest friends (not sure what I was thinking with this many kids!).

I designed a similar invitation for Shutterfly that is available here.

 

I love that we have the tradition of taking a birthday photo with a sign every year. It's fun to see how my girls change from one year to the next (this year we acquired our first pet, a long-haired Persian Ragdoll named "Pirate").

 

The party was held at a bowling alley and I made cupcakes to make it a bit easier to serve. I made my favorite cake with cream cheese frosting and topped each cupcake with a graphic oversized gumball (thank you to my sister-in-law, Natalie, for this ingenious idea!).

 

Water bottle labels were designed to match the invitation.

 

While the guests were waiting for their turn to bowl, we had questionnaires for them to fill out and prizes were awarded to the winners. This was a huge hit and Charlotte loved it!

 

The favors continued the theme with candy dots, gumballs, polka dot yo-yo's and old-fashioned candy sticks. All in all, a very successful party!

Monday
Feb112013

2013 valentines

My kids and I finished up their valentines over the weekend. They came up with the themes and I helped execute them. Everyone was happy with the finished product! James is obsessed with ninjas so we made little ninjas by covering blow-pops in black tissue paper inspired by this Pinterest find.

Rees loves chocolate so I helped her make a candy wrapper for Hershey bars.

William loves cars so these valentines are perfect for him and his preschool friends!

Wednesday
Dec052012

holiday bingo

I just designed a Bingo game for the Springs Preserve and thought I would share it will all our lovely readers. If you click on the image above, you can print out 8 different versions to play with your children over the holidays.

My girls live for our annual tradition of Thanksgiving Bingo. They especially love that my dad finances the festivites, offering crisp bills to the winners. My daughter, Charlotte views it as a great way to make some quick holiday cash for gift shopping. Whatever the prize, I hope you and your family enjoy!

Friday
Oct192012

shutterfly holiday cards 2012

Our 2012 holiday card collection for Shutterfly has launched and we are excited to finally see our designs online! Kristin and I started designing this collection back in February and we are happy to have something to show for all our late nights spent designing at our computers.

Now, the hard part is deciding which design to choose for my own personal holiday cards. My goal is to get my cards ordered by the end of October so I have one less thing to worry about when the holidays start rolling around!

Have you decided what you are doing for your holiday cards?

Wednesday
Oct102012

kids' ATC swap

Last year, my girls participated in an ATC Swap hosted by Bright Eyes + Blue Eyes. 

What is an ATC Swap?

ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. An ATC is a specifically sized card, upon which a small work of art is created. All ATCs are 2.5"x3.5". Watercolor paper, Bristol Board, or illustration board may be used for the card.

Any medium can be used on the card. Watercolor, collage, pencil sketching....the list goes on and on.

Basically, you can think of an ATC as a tiny blank canvas.

In the swap, each of my girls were put into a group of approximately 6 children her age. Charlotte made six ATCs and mailed one card to each of the other children in her group. Amelia did the same thing--she mailed one of her tiny art pieces to each of the other kids in her group. Bea is thrilled that she is finally old enough to participate this year (the ages are 4-12).

A few days later, the mail goodies started rolling in. What fun it was to receive ATCs in our mailbox from children literally from all over the world.

My girls keep asking when they can do it again! Well, the time as come my friends. I highly recommend you sign up here. Your children will thank me. :)

Monday
Oct012012

halloween house

I can't believe it's already October. My girls and I spent the weekend getting into the Halloween spirit, putting up spooky decorations and making a haunted Halloween house.

 

A few months ago, I bought a set of cardboard houses here and the largest one proved the perfect starting point for our haunted house. We first painted the entire house with black acrylic paint. Then, to liven it up a bit, I sprinkled the top with black glitter. I'm totally obsessed with the Martha Stewart Crafts line at Michael's, especially the glitter – it comes in about a million different colors.

Then the decorating fun began! I covered all the windows from the inside with wax paper and then started adding various accoutrements – miniature pumpkins, window detailing, moss, spider webs in the windows, etc. I found most everything at Michael's. For my paper bats flying out of the chimney, I used a few pieces of wire that I curled around a pencil.

All in all, my girls and I were quite happy with the results. It took us one evening and was a relatively painless craft. Happy Halloween decorating! :)

Friday
Sep142012

the diminutive review

My sister-in-law, Natalie, has 3 adorable children: Henry, and twins, Lily and August. Natalie manages to dress them in the chicest clothes and shoes and I am always in awe. In addition to her superb fashion sense, Natalie is also a bargain hunter and has a gift for finding the most amazing deals. I am so thrilled that she has recently started a blog to share her finds.

Natalie says that, "to dress a child thoughtfully needs not be prohibitively expensive." In her blog, you will find resources for buying beautiful, well-designed clothing at surprisingly low costs. Diminutive clothes, diminutive style, diminutive prices. Hooray!

My oldest daughter, Charlotte, loves Sperry Topsiders and I can guarantee, we will be purchasing a few pairs thanks to Natalie's finds above.

I hope you enjoy this new blog, I know I will!

Friday
Sep072012

a fish party

Happy Birthday Bea! My baby turned 4 this week and to celebrate, we threw a fish-themed party in our backyard. I always love throwing parties at home... it takes me back to my childhood days of homemade cakes, pinatas and pin-the-tail on the donkey.

 

Bea's birthday falls at one of the craziest times of the year – right after school starts. In anticipation of the back-to-school rush, I tried to do as much party planning as I could the beginning of August, before we left on vacation. That way, I could come home and not feel totally overwhelmed. Invitations were addressed and sent out about 3 weeks in advance. Favors were ordered and all the party supplies were purchased. I enjoy things so much more when I spread out the "to do" list.

 

The cake was one of my favorite parts of the party. I made a chocolate cake in a jelly roll pan and put it in the freezer about 2 weeks before the party. The morning of the party, I made my favorite cream cheese frosting (2 blocks softened cream cheese, 2 sticks softened butter, 2 t. vanilla, a large bag of powdered sugar). I followed the cake directions here for assembling and decorating the cake. Bea was thrilled with the results!

 

Miniature water bottles were the perfect size for pint-sized guests.

 

Small izzes complemented my color scheme perfectly as did the brightly colored straws.

 

I wasn't sure if all of Bea's 4-year old friends were water safe so we rented a water slide as a swimming alternative. Needless to say, the slide was the hit of the party. No other games were necessary and we could barely get everyone off the slide, even after the party ended!

 

Guests nibbled on pizza, wedges of watermelon and cut up veggies. The oilcloth tablecloth is from IKEA.

 

Each little guest went home with their own fish water gun, miniature plastic sea creatures and a bag of Swedish fish.

 

The new party line from Target carries these darling colored bags. I also love their birthday banner.

 

The birthday girl loved her party and when it was over, Bea quickly changed into her new outfit and accessories. I am dying over these shoes!!!

Friday
Aug312012

back-to-school signs 2012

I'm back. Forgive me for my blogging absence. 

I can't believe the summer is over. It literally flew by and included trips to the beach and Zion National Park, afternoon swims with friends and evening bike rides that ended with popsicles. Needless to say, I didn't get much work done! :)

Now we are back in school. Bea is in preschool again (I had her repeat since her birthday is right on the cut-off date and I'd rather her be the oldest in the class, rather than the youngest), Amelia is in 1st grade and Charlotte is in 4th. We had our traditional back-to-school dinner last Sunday and ended the evening with a scavenger hunt throughout the house that ended in the backyard with new backpacks and lunch boxes. My girls were thrilled!

I have had numerous requests for back-to-school signs for this year and I am happy to oblige. If you click on the picture below, signs are designed for preschool through 5th grade. Enjoy!

Looking forward to a great year!