Sunday, February 28, 2010


So I’m dedicating this entry to the infamous Martha Stewart….. My favorite Wedding Planner Icon

We recently had a request for bridal shower invitations. Maureen designed an elegant chandelier silhouette which I absolutely love! (Here are a few colors) and FYI – wouldn’t this be a great dinner party invitation??

I, on the other hand took a different approach.
When we get a request, I typically go to the internet and do a little research first. I try to find inspiration from sources other than existing invitations. So… who better to research bridal ANYTHING, than Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine!

Here’s my interpretation of a couple of her OH –SO-PERFECT-THAT-YOU-DON’T-WANT-TO-EAT-THEM cakes.

After desiging my non-editable cakes, I saw a photo with a “JUST MARRIED” banner and champagne table, and decided to make an interpretation of that.

Then, I thought… well – we will need a thank you design (a lot of clients have been purchasing matching thank you cards…

and we will need a logo (again – we are getting tons of requests for these)….

And why not have a bridal shower banner to go along with the card to complete the set???

(Of course, I wouldn’t have thought to make a package out of this…. That was Maureen’s doing… My savvy business partner is always finding a way to improve our talents – She’s so money, she doesn’t even know it!)

In any event, I had fun brainstorming and designing these bridal collections, and I hope I made Martha proud.

Like our style, but don’t see any examples – send us requests…. We love it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


….So we are almost 4 weeks into our latest business venture, and I wanted to share with you one of our recent orders we had this week. Not only was it a really fun party theme, but the client that found us, was Cause Haun – cofounder/designer for SEE KAI RUN children’s shoe company based out of Washington State.

Check out her website in case you haven’t had the pleasure to see her children’s shoe line.
OMG was our first reaction when we realized who we were working with…. An amazing shoe designer not only found ANDERSRUFF through ETSY, but she actually liked our work!!! If that doesn’t make your day, I don’t know what does.

In any event, Cause picked one of our favorite monster doll invitations. She cleverly changed the theme to A BOUNCIE ZOMBIE BIRTHDAY (it was listed as A MONSTER BASH BIRTHDAY). She also asked us to include a Direction Enclosure with her purchase, and a party logo to make stickers for her guests. See below:
(For privacy, party information was changed)

Invitation was changed to a 4"x6" from a 5"x7". (Her son Ocean is OH-SO-CUTE)!

Direction Enclosure - she wanted to give out more specifics of the party, but couldn't fit it all on the invitation design. We sized this to a 4"x3" (half size of the invitation)

She also wanted a party logo that she could print on stickers. We changed our zombie to look like he is bouncing.... so fun! These were formatted to a 2"x2".

As Maureen said earlier - details are EVERYTHING, and we love custom requests to enhance your party theme!

Hoppy Thursday, I mean Happy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

{Our Parties} Trains, Planes and Automobiles - A Transportation Birthday Party

Party Planning Central

I have an engineering background (crazy, I know) and so I am type A in a lot of ways - which helps with the need for being detail oriented for a party plan.

A few things I always do for my parties:
1) I like my invitation to set the tone for the party - everything from the theme, colors and "feel" of the invitation will help me decide how to decorate, what activities to do and what PAPER products to have ;-) (most importantly)

2) I like to use elements from the invitation to make logos, favor tags, stickers, food tents, cookie seals, envelope seals, etc.
At AndersRuff.Etsy.Com we sell a custom logo to match your invitation. That logo can be used for all of those elements in a really simple way!

3) Logos are GREAT for favor tags. See my example in the photos below. Its a great way to personalize your party and make it really special, all while tying in to the theme and feel of the party!

3) Thank you note - I always tie in the thank you note with the party. I pull out key elements from the invitation and put it with my child's name personalized on it. I also like to use the logo as a sticker seal on the back of the envelope, or printed on the envelope itself!

So hold on to your hats, lots of photos to come.... I mainly am showing how I used printed logos/personalized paper products to tie the party together. I may have thrown in a few cute pics too... ;-)

This example shows how to utilize our invitations/logos and thank you notes through AndersRuff.Etsy.Com to make a perfectly flowing party! This was my son, Pierson's 2nd transportation birthday party.

Here is the logo that I used on my invitation as well as throughout the party.

Used a version of the logo on my envelope to send out the invitations:

Thank you note: (paired this note with a chartreuse envelope and sealed the envelope with a LOGO sticker!)

here I used the logo elements to print out luggage tags to tie on the favors.

Again, I easily printed the logos on stickers and put them on the cups for guests to drink the "petro punch" out of.

We also used the logo on a little sticker that I put on the "airline boxed lunches". It had a description of the type of croissant sandwich inside. (Ham, turkey, tuna)

Inside the box lunch was a bag of chips, croissant sandwich and a fruit cup. On top of the fruit cup, guess what was on the lid? You guessed it - a party logo!

Logos could also be used for food cards/tents. In this case, I didn't use the exact logo because I had a punch that I used, but I would have used the logo had I thought of it!
"ships ahoy" cookies:
Train Track Trail mix

Junk yard (cake, cookies and other sweets) - again you could use your logo at the top of the cake!

Again, the logo was used for the cookie wrap to seal the top of the bag.

Here is my little birthday boy. Yes, I appliqued a little jon jon that I made. Yes, I am anal. Yes, his car does match the car on his logo. I am showing off now,... sorry.

Bye for now! ;-)

Bonus round - here are some fun things I did for the party:

Baggage Claim (favor pickup)


Meet the RUFFS! Sweet little Grayce didn't want to be photographed that day but you can just see how stinkin adorable her family is!
.. and meet the ANDERS.... You can tell we are all pretty wiped out! Peanut especially (Peanut is Pierson's nickname)


So Excited!

I have to warn you - I am NOT a writer. I am sure you will be able to tell that very soon. Adria is MUCH better at writing than I am. She seems to think things through before she writes. Whereas my ideas flow and I don't stop to think about what I'm saying - they just follow to my fingers to the keys and soon after I am left with a page of nothing. That is just me!

Anyhow... I am up at 12:12 pm. I swear, I have been staying up until 12:30 or 1 am every evening! I put my boys to bed at 7ish and the second they are down, I jump on my computer to play around with designs and publish new listings on our etsy site. We have been super busy with orders and its even more busy than we expected.

Adria and I sat at this little wine bar together about 2 weeks ago and to our surprise on my blackberry we saw that we had our first order and request from someone other than family/friends. We were so excited!

Well in the past 26 days we have been slammed and have "met" lots of wonderful people. I am LOVING what we are doing and can't wait to do lots and lots more!

It is so rewarding to create designs that others appreciate and can use to make their day or life event more special.

Thank you everyone for your support!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Dream Partner

"If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail."
Winston Churchill

About 3 years ago when I was self-employed, feeling soooo overwhelmed, and starting to resent my free-lance design business, I was dreaming of the day I would find another stay-at-home mom who would share my talents and partner with me. Never in a million years would I think that in order to do this, I would leave my hometown of Lancaster, OH… move to Fort Mill, SC (due to my husband’s job relocation) and find my dream partner in less than a month of living in our new town.


I dedicate this entry to my new business partner, Maureen Anders.

Top 10 reasons why Maureen is my DREAM PARTNER:

10. After knowing me for only 3 weeks, Maureen got me. She understood that somewhere in my crazy world of motherhood, I had talents and ambitions to do something other than paint my new house! She said to me as I was leaving her house one day, “You need to work”… I replied back “Doing what”? She said, “Graphic design”. I pleaded “Do it with me”… and that’s all it took. Our partnership is easy… and has been from the beginning!

9. Maureen is about 6 years younger than me. She gets modern technology. She is a blogger, a facebooker, a texter, an e-mail junkie…. connecting all systems to her blackberry…. She figured out how to connect our talents to the world in like.... 10 minutes!

8. Maureen’s style is: clean lines, elegant, sophisticated & meticulous. My style is: eclectic, colorful, layered & free-form. We inspire each other’s designs in a way I can’t describe… and it meshes together like paper and glue.

7. Maureen is a people pleaser. I am not. Maureen likes to spoil our clients. I made my Mom buy our first design at FULL PRICE. Maureen says yes to everything. I say no. Maureen pushes us to expand our talents. I stop us from overextending ourselves. We are opposites in so many ways, but at the end of the day we balance each other out to perfection.

6. There is no jealously between us. We love each other’s designs, and inspire each other to do it even better the next time. She is happy for me when one of my designs sell, and I am happy for her. We have each other’s best interest at heart, and it’s really quite refreshing…. AND THERE IS NO DRAMA!

5. I can be myself in front of Maureen…. My- no showering for 3 days, bad breath, swearing like a truck-driver-self. And she can too. What you see is what you get… with both of us!

4. Our kids get along great. Our husbands get along even better. In fact, we are recently learning that our husbands are BAD NEWS together… in a good way :)

3. We talk, text, email all day long. And we don’t care how often we bug each other.

2. I knew from the moment I met Maureen, that we would be good friends.

1. I just like her.

p.s. Here are 2 of my favorite recent designs... Can you guess who designed what?

Choice A: Bridal Shower

Choice B: Monster Bash Birthday

Are styles are starting to mesh..... I think either one of us could have designed these...

Did you guess right?

a. Maureen b.Adria

"Business on the front, Mommy on the back"

So this is JUST the type of thing that gets Adria and I excited... PAPER products. That is why we are in business! So when we received our new business cards from our amaaaaaazing professional printer, we about both peed our pants. LOVE.

Check em out! I will have to take a REAL photo of them soon, but here is the design:

The front has our "business" card and the back has our "mommy" calling card. I guess you could call it "business on the front, mommy on the back"

This will be a great way to have our cards - we can give people our info for our business and also show them a sample of one of our products - mommy calling cards. Also, if we meet a new friend, we can give them the card because it has our "mommy info" on it!

In love!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here we are!

Hi. This is Maureen and Adria. Now you can feel more like you know us. Hopefully we will get some better photos up soon.

Welcome to Anders Ruff Custom Designs Blog!

We are SO excited to now have a portal to share news, stories and information with our followers.

More to come!



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