Wedding Guest Maps

As we reflect on this years season, we can’t help but think about the MANY cities we were in…well not really in person, BUT we designed a great selection of Wedding Guest Maps.

Chicago, New York, San Antonio (Tony and Axelle Parker #9), Atlanta, Palm Springs, Minneapolis and many more.  We are currently working on our Paris Fold-Out Wedding Guest Map to reveal soon. Sometimes we forget that our name is not Rand McNally, the details that go into the wedding guest maps and it’s unique icons is at times over the top. Details like changing the roses to yellow for our Texas client and adding in bridal flowers that the bride will be carrying in her color theme for Georgia we LOVE details!

Our Wedding Guest Maps include up to 12 destination icons in the art fee. Clients can pick from anything…their wedding locations, guest hotels to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant. We encourage them to get as personal as they want, much like our invitations that we design…our goal is for the guests to “see” a piece of our clients in them, make them stand apart from just “an invite”

1045180_860536110626189_1342242393737446934_nchicago and new york guest map

wedding guest map Tony Parker

FUN FACT about our maps is along with my signature, I always include (hidden, like Where’s Waldo) the number 821 in part of the boat numbers, taxi number or even in the row team boat. EIGHT21 Studios is a “sister” company that was started when my dad passed away (August 21st) and my sister moved here from California. She is a Graphic Designer, and Carol Woldhuis Designs ruler gal, “grid-girl” and does most all the research and maps grids for our Wedding Guest Maps, then I take over with PAINT.

eight21 studios

Happy Derby Day!

horse 2

Once a year many gather in Kentucky for that one BIG race…This year it is the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs and I am jealous for those that are there. As a kid I would spend summers in New York and my aunt and uncle would take me to the race track. No big beats, just a lot of fun and excitement. Recently we have made a traditional to go to the Arlington Race Track on Mother’s Day….not sure we will be able to go this year with the kids and their schedules but we will make it a Rain Day for another date. Good family fun! and who knows you might win a bit of the “green”.

Mother's Day Race Track

Happy Mother’s Day 2012 #821 Miss You Dad-




Chicago Custom Artwork

Chicagoans LOVE their city, why wouldn’t you love it? We have drawn and designed many locations of Chicago Custom Artwork for our clients over the years. Why not bring the Chicago places you love into your wedding stationery. Use the Chicago Custom Artwork as… Save the Dates, Table Designations, and even complete Guest Maps. Our Guest Maps can be drawn including up to 12 locations (for any city) not just Chicago, it makes a great way for your “out-of-towners” to navigate the BIG, windy city.

What Chicago location holds a special meaning in your life?

Chicago watercolor Guest Map

Chicago Custom Artwork Wrigley Field

Chicago custom artwork Cultural Center



Hand Painted Calendars – Ranunculus

In creating some products for #NSS aka National Stationery Show. I decided to create a complete 12 image collection showing the color mood of each month, while using the already hand painted image concept that was used for the Starry Night artwork that will be featured in the new 2013-2014 issue of ChicagoStyle Weddings magazine. These Hand Painted Calendars -Ranunculus are a slim line calendar that is great for inside a cabinet or cubicle. Fun and colorful, just something to make you smile when you look at it, or a great gift!

One of the flowers that keeps coming up in wedding floral work is RANUNCULUS, known to some as buttercup. The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for “little frog,” from rana “frog” and a diminutive ending. This probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs. The name buttercup may derive from a false belief that the plants give butter its characteristic yellow hue (in fact it is poisonous to cows and other livestock). A popular children’s game involves holding a buttercup up to the chin; a yellow reflection is supposed to indicate fondness for butter.They are soft and delicate, feminine and colorful all at the same time.

The movement that occurs in the swirls is visually pleasing. Much like in the inspiration piece for Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh… the swirls and movement keeps a viewers eyes interested and engaged in the painting. Looking and the depth and color dimension of each circle and swirl. Moving from one to another and back, essentially keeping them focused on your image for awhile. (the whole idea) Case and point of why people stare at ART and why one person may see one thing and another may view it differently.

The hand painted calendars are printed on a glossy white 4″x10″ stock that is notched out at the top with a white wire calendar hanger for space saving hang ability.


Check out our Etsy storefront to purchase these calendars.

Birds of Paradise Wedding Invitations

Catching up on posting a few of your past jobs. Today we are featuring the vivid Birds of Paradise wedding invitations that we created for Stephanie and Rich who planned a very quaint ceremony back in March in Kona, Hawaii and now are planning a fun and tropical reception slash after party. When they came to Carol Woldhuis Designs back in October, Stephanie had already tried to put together some invitations, but just wasn’t what her “dream” was.

The original wedding was to all take place in Hawaii but later the couple changed a few details and we made some shifts ourselves. The idea of the boarding pass fit perfect for a tropical, destination celebration and we all felt it would serve as a great invitation still when planning the celebration. After talking more with the couple in the design stages, (like most consultations)…a relationship is built. We discuss all sorts of things, and listening to Stephanie talk about her son and how they will be a family of three. I found it fitting to use the birds of paradise flower.

Birds of Paradise: Strelitzia /strɛˈlɪtsiə/ is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa, also known as the crane flower. Most often the bright orange spokes that pop out come in a grouping of three…two usually pop first and then the last. What a great concept for blending a family of three. At least that is how my “artist mind” thinks sometimes.

We had fun with the wording, keeping the etiquette proper but making the wording about the couple’s personality.

perforated Reply card

Vibrant hand painted Birds of Paradise Wedding Invitation
Using the rich gold shimmer tones on the boarding pass cover gave a balance to the vibrant watercolor image. Not stopping there, the design team added the extra “shimmer” to the flower which gave it that finishing touch! The clients were great to work with and were overjoyed with the end result.

Birds of Paradise Wedding Invitations
As we say at Carol Woldhuis Designs…where ART meets Stationery. Interested in creating that special one of a kind invitation for your next event? Let’s Chat and dream up a perfect one-

Stephanie and Rich found us in Wedding Guide Chicago magazine, check out our featured watercolor Chicago Guest Map in the latest issue!


Peonies Wedding Invitations Custom ARTWORK

A vendor friend and event florist posted this picture of a peony from her garden on FaceBook. The picture came across and I knew I wanted to create and paint custom peonies wedding invitations from Alexandra Jusino of Exquisite Designs Chicago. With most of our wedding and event invitations it is that easy…have a favorite flower or image you want to incorporate into your wedding invitation suite? We can do that!

Our designers start with the inspirational photo or piece, this is where the sketching and doodling begins. Once we are happy with the overall artwork design we take it to the next stage…paint. Acrylic or Watercolor? Carol often prefers watercolor as the blending and delicate touch is enhanced more when working with florals such as peonies.

Carol Woldhuis Designs often finds  inspiration and artwork from all sorts of things and places. ART is everywhere if you can just train your eye to see it. Look at the HEART that appears naturally in the petals, what a perfect flower for a wedding and custom invitation ….

LOOK for more ART and INSPIRATION this weekend- Enjoy!

Peonies Wedding Invitations
Hand Painted Peony

To all my Stationery friends….

I know I have posted on this topic before….BUT here you go again, in a video format ha!
This clip from CBS news is why we do what we do! Writing Thank You Notes do make a difference-
It doesn’t have to be a novel, but people LOVE to get a written note of “thanks”
So keep up the good work, it is a valued profession.Cheers my “Stationery Companions”!



This quote is so true! It brings me back to my soap box days of hand journaling in scrapbooks. The delight one gets when they head to the mailbox and among the bills and junk mail there is a letter so perfectly addressed with love and care. Upon opening it you already recognized the hand writing and sender…a beautiful arrangement of words from this special person who thought enough of YOU to send a hand written note. Do not let this ART become extinct, pick up a little note card and jot a few lines to someone special in your life today! It will be a gift to BOTH of you…a treasured one that can be saved for years, not left in some “inbox” or “e-card”.

Its a RIGHT brain kinda of day…

This past weekend we went to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier.
They had a display area called Footwear: Women’s Stories
It was a very interesting display, and if you think about it…the shoes we wear tell a lot about the type of person we are.What shoes do you have in your closet?


Massa’s Cafe– Hmmm….I could so own this Gelato place right on the shoreline of Navy Pier…
maybe a long LOST relative! 
Dad, are they on the genealogy tree? 
You always wanted to have a little hotdog stand…what about Gelato? 
I think a definite “bucket list” adventure for my sister and I to investigate-

Definitely a RIGHT Brain- kinda DAY

We had to go up and touch them to see if they were REAL…not exactly sure how they made these rainbow roses but they are very cool. Why have just one color?…when you can have a RAINBOW!

Photo: #TSE 2013 Chicago

What does your favorite or personality color say about you?

Your Personality Color
While you may not exhibit all the character traits of your personality color, you will find yourself somewhere in the description. You may also find you exhibit some of the negative traits, particularly when you are stressed.

If your favorite color is red, you are action oriented with a deep need for physical fulfillment 
and to experience life through the five senses.
If orange is your favorite color, you have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, 
whether it is physical or social challenges.
Choosing yellow as your favorite means you have a deep need for logical order in your everyday life and to be able to express your individuality by using your logical mind to inspire and create new ideas.
If green is your favorite, you have a deep need to belong, to love and be loved, and to feel safe and secure. You need acceptance and acknowledgment for the everyday things you do for others – 
just a ‘thank you’ is sufficient.
Lovers of blue have a deep need to find inner peace and truth, to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs without having to change their inflexible viewpoint of life to satisfy others.
Indigo lovers have a need to feel in harmony and at one with the Universe and to be accepted by others as the aware and intuitive spiritual beings that they are.
If purple or violet is your favorite color, you have a deep need for emotional security and to create order and perfection in all areas of your life, including your spiritual life. You also have a deep need to initiate and participate in humanitarian projects, helping others in need.
If your personality color is pink you have a deep need to be accepted and loved unconditionally.
If turquoise is your favorite color your deepest need is to create emotional balance in your life, to be able to express your hopes and dreams no matter how idealistic they may be 
and to make your own way in the world under your own terms.
If your favorite color is magenta, you are a non-conformist who sees life from a different point of view.
Lovers of brown have a deep need for a safe, secure, simple and comfortable 
existence with supportive family and friends.
Lovers of black have a need for power and control in order to protect their own emotional insecurities.
If white is your personality color, your deepest need is for simplicity in your own life and to be independent and self-reliant so you do not need to depend on anyone else.
With gray as your favorite color, you are the middle of the road type, cool, conserved, composed and reliable. You tend to conform just to keep the peace.
If silver is your favorite, you are intuitive and insightful and have a strong 
connection with a higher spiritual guidance.
With a personality color gold, you radiate charisma, personality and individuality, 
making others feel relaxed and valued in your company.

Kildeer Dist 96 and Evening of Floral Design

Working back at Josephs Events has given me the opportunity to blend my stationery with floral design. I was part of the team the took part in this fund raising event this past fall. Our goal was to design items for raffle to help children with financial needs. This was one of mine..taking the roses from a past client I printed off the artwork on vellum and wrapped a 9″ cylinder while adding candle light. The box was made by our art department at Josephs, cutting windows out and inserting the vellum message added dimension and height. I used cube lights to under-light the box. 
We definitely had a lot of fun! …and District 96 raised much needed funds.