A Country Picnic {Part 1 Invitations}

A Country Picnic {Part 1 Invitations}featured


It is hard for us to believe, but our little baby just turned 11 months old! That means it’s time to start planning the big 1st birthday party for Avonlee Rose. This post is going to be the first in a three part series chronicling the process behind how two artists give a party. We hope to inspire you with hands on party ideas that both stretch your dollars and your creativity. It all starts with the invitations…

Inspiration & Concept Sketches

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One of Avonlee’s favorite things to do is to soak up the sunshine on a blanket. These recent shots were taken on a beautiful day at our little farm and were the inspiration for our picnic party theme. There is nothing like spreading a blanket on the grass and enjoying a meal with family and friends. So why not make a party out of her beloved pastime!

Cover – Theme & Intro

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To introduce the theme of our party I painted a small watercolor. A gingham blanket spread on the Kansas prairie, topped with a simple picnic lunch and fresh wildflowers. Then Michael used black ink to clearly announce the theme to our guests.

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We used watercolor and calligraphy on the cover of the invitation to communicate the nature of the party. This is an interesting way to help establish what our guests can expect at Avonlee’s birthday celebration, before they even open the invitation. Plus it was a lot of fun!

Inside Top – Call to Action

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For the top inside section I chose to focus on a single rose from the picnic basket. This carries the theme into the main part of the invitation, while cleverly giving a nod to Avonlee’s middle name, “Rose”. The simple rose motif leaves plenty of room for the next part of the invitation – the call to action.

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Though we both love to do calligraphy, Michael is definitely the master at patiently and perfectly rendering a beautiful piece. We love collaborating on projects together, like the hand painted monogram pillows we sell in our shop (A shameless plug, I know). I like how this bold, yet feminine script he chose for the party invitation works seamlessly with my painting.


I think I first knew I would marry him someday, when we collaborated on a design piece in college. Instead of finishing each others sentences, we love to finish each others’ artwork. The blend of our two styles creates a kind of harmony.

Inside Bottom – Information

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The bottom inside section continues the rose motif. This is the last panel that our guests will see, so the information that we want them to remember the most goes here. This is where we share the date, time, and location of the event, as well as RSVP reminder and contact info. I wrote this part, so you will notice that the calligraphy is far from the perfect work my hubby does. To finish, I simply hot glued the three little paintings to a card stock form and added some jute bows and buttons for rustic texture.

Final Product


Well, here is the final product! The process of creating our own invitations from the concept to the finished product, took about three days (mainly because we have two crazy lil girls who need a lot of attention). The innovations cost us $0 because we only used supplies we already had laying around our studio. More importantly, we had a lot of fun creating something meaningful for our guests. I think this will also be a keep-sake for those who want to cherish the special occasion of Avonlee Rose’s 1st birthday!


Hope this was a post you felt you could really sink your toes into, observing behind the scenes of the artsy happenings of Bryarton Farm Art & Design studio {our living room for now}! If you enjoyed learning what it takes for two artists to create a piece like this, or if you have any questions for us, please leave a comment below. We love hearing form you…


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