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.


wiggly party

My son was set on having a Wiggles party for his 3rd birthday. I was hesitant about incorporating the Wiggles aesthetic into my party-planning, but couldn't crush his party dreams. Plus, there are only two Wiggly Play Centers in the world and we live 10 minutes from one of them. In the end, I used the Wiggles' basic primary colors for the invites, favors, and party decor. I was happy with the design elements and he was thrilled with the party!

The cupcakes were chocolate with cream cheese frosting. For future reference, I must remember that James doesn't like cream cheese frosting! Buttercream for sure next year.

For the favors, I made a CD of James' favorite songs and packaged it with some red, yellow and blue candy. The playlist included some Wiggles songs mixed in with other kids songs. James' CD also included his very favorite song at the time, Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies." I didn't know if that was loved by (or appropriate for) all 3-year olds!

To complete the theme, I made labels for the kid-sized water bottles. Making custom labels is quite easy and always makes a big impact!


happy back-to-school

For the first day of school, I print out a sign with my daughter's grade, the year and teacher's name.  The photo becomes the perfect record for her scrapbook and does not cause me to tax my overly full memory guessing what year it was from!


juju's 60th birthday surprise

For my mom's 60th birthday, my sisters and I planned a small surprise party, inviting a handful of her closest friends.  For the invitation, I used a charming vintage photo of my mom paired with more modern type.  We asked each of her friends to write a short message, a lengthy anecdote, or a fond memory to include in a birthday book we compiled and presented to her at the party.


We served a sampling of hors d'oeuvres, choosing to focus our efforts mainly on the desserts.  This was, after all, a party for my mom who always served us "just enough" savory food (meaning not nearly enough!) paired with multiple desserts.  I made a Sweet & Salty Cake festooned with "flags" printed with my mom's favorite sayings.  I also made my favorite homemade yellow cake with cream cheese frosting and decorated it with graphic polka dots made from royal icing (this was inspired from a story my friend, Brooke, worked on at MSL).  My sister, Emily, made "J"-shaped sugar cookies and my sister, Sarah, made Pierre Herme's Chocolate Mousse.



I carried the design theme throughout the party with tented food cards and custom water bottle labels.


The highlight of the evening was a presentation of "Juju's Favorite Things" (my sisters and I pretended we were Oprah).  These included her favorite magazines, recipes, music CD, soap, mascara, etc.  Each guest received a number and each number corresponded to a favorite thing.  My sisters and I took turns presenting each "thing" and telling why it was our mom's favorite.  Each guest went home with one of the favorite things (if we were really Oprah, everyone would have gone home with one of each!).


Finally, sets of personalized notecards were laid out for everyone to take as a favor.  The perfect end to a perfect event.


birthday "b" favors

The party preparations continue for Bea's 1st birthday.  I always have good intentions of keeping things simple – it is, of course, the first of many more birthdays to come.  Along those same lines, however, it is her first birthday after all, and I have to make it great!

The favors thus far are handmade alphabet coloring books with each child's name and letter printed on the cover.  They are very simple to make – I just copied the interior pages on white text weight paper and then printed the covers on a heavier weight, bright yellow cardstock.  Then, my husband (the seamstress in the family), stitched each book down the center with a sewing machine.  A box of colored pencils will accompany each book.


My next project was bumblebee hair clips.  I first made three different sized loops of grosgrain ribbon and secured each with a drop of hot glue.  I then made "wings" using a translucent white ribbon and more hot glue.  I made a little bee "head" with a smaller piece of ribbon, tucking two pieces of waxed twine inside for the "antennae".  Next, I covered a silver clip with ribbon, attached the "bee" to it, and Voila!....charming little "bees". 


I was quite proud of the end results.


b is for bea's bumblebee birthday

My baby is turning 1 in a week and I'm throwing her a bumblebee / letter "b" party (her name is Bea, after all!). 

The color palette is yellow and orange.  Here's a sneak peek at the invite. 
More details to come.


daisy baby shower luncheon

My sister, Emily, just had her first baby – a little girl – and my sister, Sarah, and I decided to throw her a girly, daisy-themed shower to celebrate.  I suggested, in keeping with the theme of the party, that Emily name her daughter, "Daisy"; she respectfuly declined.


The menu included Ina Garten's turkey basil sandwiches, heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, chicken tortellini salad, bread sticks and fresh fruit.  Crepe paper daisies were hung above the buffet.


The color theme was pink and yellow. The dessert table looked especially lovely with coconut cupcakes (personalized with small flags that read "Baby Girl"), shortbread cookies covered in pale pink frosting, French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon, and Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse Parfaits with Strawberries.  Yellow and pink candies added to the colorful spread.


For favors, my mom made lovely daisy-shaped sugar cookies; I designed favor tags to match.


I can't throw a party without redoing the water bottle labels. In my opinion, it's all about attention to detail that makes a good party!

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