One of the best parts about District Bliss is getting to connect and work with some amazing + talented creatives! Meet CharmCat!

We’re throwing it back today! CharmCat was the rad designer who created our signage at our VERY FIRST NYC Vendor Social! CharmCat, aka Ashleigh Pritchard, specializes in “artistic wedding invitations, custom maps, and everyday stationery designed with original watercolor artwork created uniquely for you!” Her designs are all hand-painted and customized to help bring your vision to life! If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind invitations, she’s your gal!

Ashleigh posted this awesome blog sharing her creative process that led to the gorgeous gemstone inspired signage for our NYC Vendor Social! We just had to share! Keep on scrolling to read Ashleigh’s blog post about her process and be sure to check her out!

Painted Wedding Invitation Process

I create wedding invitations that feature original paintings. But that’s kind of abstract and hard to grasp. Plus, as an artist, I’m a really visual learner. I recently started video taping myself whenever I paint, so you can see just how my painted wedding invitation process goes.

How I went from concept to a complete painted wedding invitation design featuring jewel tone gemstones.

Step 1: The Client

Many of my designs are inspired by custom work that I do for a client. Repurposing my work not only cuts down on the time it takes to make an original invitation design, but it cuts down on the cost to you as a client.

In this case, the client was District Bliss, which puts on fabulous events where vendors and engaged couples can socialize without the pressure of selling or being sold to. Their events currently take place in Washington, D.C., and New York City. And they are fabulous, so go buy a ticket!

The Sara(h)s emailed me to say they needed some signs and name tags for their NY social this past February. They were going for a jewel-tone theme and sent along their ideas on stationery:

“As for the design on the cards, I was thinking maybe some 3D diamonds/stones piled up in one corner of the card (like if someone just dropped a pile of diamonds and they fell naturally).”

Step 2: The Concept

And I was off! I browsed Pinterest and stock image sites for inspiration (yep, even I use Pinterest!). When I find images with the right color or angle, they get printed and put on the inspiration wall. I do this every time I paint.

Inspiration images of gemstones taped to the wall, ready to be used as painting reference. A vital part of the painted wedding invitation process.
Pictures of shiny things!

Artists are experts at copying. Especially with something this geometric, I needed lots of references to get the shapes just right. It’s a vital part of the painted wedding invitation process.

Step 3: Actually Painting!


I spent three hours painting. I threw away the first two paintings I did. I know a timelapse video makes it seem easy, but it’s the hardest part!

Step 4: Digitize and Design

After the painting was done and dried, I swapped out the video camera on my homemade stand for a DSLR. The painting was photographed in all its glory and detail at super high resolutions. Like, I could print some of these poster-size and you couldn’t tell! This way I can get the best print quality.

When I paint designs that include multiple elements, I always paint them separately. In the case of these gemstones, once in Photoshop I split them one from the other so I can move them, rotate them, and make my own custom clusters. I can also change the color using Photoshop. In this case, although I painted in all purple, I chose to do a combination of purple and turquoise to match the jewel tone theme.


Step 5: Print

Since gemstones are sparkly by nature, and the decor for the event included glass and candles, I thought shimmer paper would be amazing with this design!

Gemstone painted wedding invitation design printed on shimmer metallic paper.
Gemstones design printed on shimmer metallic paper.

Last Step of the Painted Wedding Invitation Process: Enjoy!

The original signs and name tags were finished off by layering the shimmer printed paper over purple and teal cardstock for a real pop of color. The shimmer didn’t stand out as much because the event was dark, but everyone loved their classy gemstone tags!

Photo courtesy Photos from the Harty | Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography |
Photo courtesy Photos from the Harty | Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography |

This painted wedding invitation design is the newest design, now available in the shop! Save the dates, invitations, thank you cards, menus, and more.

You can also take a peek at my page about the painted wedding invitation process for more info.

Question: What do you think of the painted wedding invitation process?

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This is a guest blog. Original blog post here.