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.


spider-man birthday

Angie gave my boys Spider-Man pajamas for Christmas and as a result, James quickly became obsessed with all things Spider-Man. This included a Spider-Man birthday party, of course. I wasn't thrilled to design a Spider-Man invite, but I was glad I could make my boy happy.

We held it at a local inflatable jump place so there wasn't much decorating for me to do. I did make some spiderweb cupcakes with toppers. The webs were made by drawing concentric circles on top of the cupcake frosting with black icing. Then I lightly pulled a toothpick across the circles to get the web effect (as seen here). I need to remember to make them again for Halloween!

There were also Spider-Man water bottles and Spider-Man puzzles and treats for the favors. I guess that's a sign of a fun party when you don't have time to photograph everything! This party happened a few months ago and James has since moved on to other character obsessions. Now he's totally into the Incredible Hulk and Captain America. Who knows what his party theme will be next year (I hope I don't have to design Hulk invitations)!


stairs - before and after

I always have ideas for decorating my house, but it takes me forever to actually do them. I've been wanting to paint the trim and base of my wooden staircase for some time and it finally got done this week. I'm mad I waited so long because I love the new look! Amazing what a little paint can do.




80's-themed birthday

My oldest daughter, Charlotte, turned 9 last month. To celebrate, I threw an 80's-themed party at a local frozen yogurt shop. It was the perfect venue for the tween set: all-you-can-eat frozen yogurt and unlimited arcade games.... what could be better?


I love the tradition of taking a photo of each of my children on their birthdays with a number sign. I honestly can't believe that I have a 9-year old! Where does the time go???


We filled jars with various candies and the guests had fun trying to guess the amount in each. The winners took home the loot. I knew the oversized jars I keep collecting would come in handy for something!


I designed an "All About Charlotte" multiple choice quiz which her friends had fun trying to answer.


We also played multiple rounds of Bingo which was a huge hit. I found a cute vintage Bingo set here.


To fit our 80's theme, I designed a Ms. Pacman cake. I made my favorite yellow cake and baked it in a jellyroll pan. I then cut out a circle, using an inverted metal bowl as a guide. The entire cake was frosted with my favorite cream cheese frosting.


Coordinating water bottle labels were a finishing detail.


valentine faces

My girls love a good art project and I was inspired by an idea created by my friend, Brooke over at Inchmark.

It all began with a template I drew (click on the link at the bottom of this blog entry for your own). I printed the template on cardstock, cut it on the crop marks and then scored it so it would fold over. My girls then got to work, personalizing each illustration for everyone in their classes.


This is an excellent activity for all ages – even my 3-year old loved it! We found it works best if you use a black pen to draw all the details and then add a bit of color at the end using colored pencils or crayons.


Once the illustrations were complete, we filled pretzel bags with the girls' favorite valentine candy. The bags were the perfect width for the tags but a bit long, in my opinion, so I cut them down a bit and then stapled them at the top. I used double-stick tape to affix the valentine foldover faces to the bag of candy (I didn't want any staple marks to ruin the illustrations). Quite simple and quite darling, if I do say so myself!


photo booth valentines

This year my kids decided to make photo booth-inspired valentines to hand out to their friends at school. I hung some pink wrapping paper as a backdrop and took pictures of them holding signs I printed out. I created a template in illustrator with a black border around the pictures and printed them out on glossy photo paper. Easy!

They didn't think it counted as a valentine without a treat or candy, so we included some pixie sticks and red and pink pencils. We stuck them on the back with a little piece of double-stick tape and wrapped a piece of bakers twine around to secure them. Rees and James are excited to hand these out at school. Although, truth be told, they would also be thrilled if I would let them pick out the store-bought valentines at Target.


a movie party

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice holiday break and are getting back into the swing of things (I'm still trying!).

My daughter, Amelia, turned 6 just before Christmas and, considering the busyness of the season, I needed a relatively simple and painless party idea. A movie-themed party was the ticket! (pardon the pun)...


The first step was the invitation which I ordered from Shutterfly. In my opinion, it turned out darling (full disclosure: I designed it for Shutterfly). A popcorn motif quickly followed.


For the "popcorn" cake, I made my favorite classic yellow cake and baked it in a jelly roll pan. Once the cake was completely cool, I wrapped it well in Saran Wrap and placed in the freezer so it would be easier to cut into the shape of a popcorn box.

The night before the party, I removed the cake from the freezer and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut the edges of the cake to resemble a popcorn box. I then made my favorite cream cheese frosting and decorated the cake to resemble the party invitation. For the "popcorn," I made my mom's delicious candy corn and artfully arranged it on the top of the cake. Quite easy and Amelia was thrilled with the results!


The party favors couldn't have been easier. I ordered them here and then made cute labels to affix to the front of each bag.

I felt a wee bit guilty that the party was so easy. However, considering the season, this was the perfect low-stress party and everyone seemed to have a fabulous time. And that is, after all, the most important thing!


animal jewelry organizers

My husband, Charles, has been busy. Our two oldest daughters have always wanted to participate in my annual 'Girl Next Door' craft show but we have never been able to quite come up with the perfect project. This year, Charles was inspired to get the girls involved and create jewelry organizers using wood and animal figurines.

The girls have had a blast choosing which animals to feature on which piece of colored wood (an Australian-themed organizer anyone?). Didn't they turn out cute? Charlotte and Amelia are counting down the days until they can sell their wares at the craft show (the proceeds of which will be their Christmas gift fund). The price per piece will be around $15.

Additionally, Charles let the girls design necklaces to sell, using some of his hand-rolled glass beads. These will be priced at under $10 each.

The show is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 29th from 7-9 p.m. If you are in the Las Vegas area, stop by and say "hello." I would love to meet you. For more information and for directions, click here.


will's 2nd birthday

October was a busy month for my family so I wasn't quite sure how I was going to squeeze in a birthday party for my almost 2-year old. I decided to use Cortney Novagratz's no-nonsense philosophy and just bake a cake and open some presents (she has 7 kids!). Will is currently obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba so that was the theme for his "party." He recently spotted some Brobee vans at Nordstrom and was thrilled when his grandma bought them for him.

I made a banana cake and adorned it with paper cut-outs of the Gabba characters. It was perfect for Will!

The thank you notes were inspired by the Yo Gabba Gabba logo. I don't think Will appreciated these, but I'm glad they helped tie the theme together. All in all, Will had a great birthday and he didn't even realize he missed out on a real party!


our latest holiday cards

We have spent the last few months designing and refining our holiday card collection for Shutterfly and we are thrilled with the results! We just wanted to share a few of our favorites with you. You can check out our entire collection here.


Witches' Tea Party 2011

The highlight of my October is definitely my friend, Kelli's, annual Witches' Tea Party. The work and preparation that goes into the event is unbelievable. The food alone, is worthy of a sonnet.

Kelli (far right), along with her "witch assitants," Jen, Megan and Susan, put on the most beautiful party this year.

For appetizers, we feasted on skewered caprese salad, nibbled on homemade parmesan crackers and sipped hot apple cider.

The tables were lined in black tablecloths with burlap runners and artfully placed branches, and candles.

We ate outside, under lighted tents and thankfully, the Las Vegas weather cooperated for the evening – it was a perfect night.

Each witch posed for a photo taken by the lovely Brooke Weidauer who also took all the photos above. Thank you, Kelli. You have totally outdone yourself yet again and deserve a spa vacation!