Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Monograms

More and more Brides are coming to us, and even beginning the process, with getting their monogram or "wedding logo" designed!

It's even where I started four years ago planning my own Wedding!

Once I had the logo and colors done, it was an easy way to make sure everything in our Wedding flowed and followed in the 'feel' of our summery island fete.

Designing a couples' logo can be as easy as liking a certain font, or a difficult as trying to define two distinct personalities into one little piece of art...but that's really symbolic of the whole deal, right?

For a special couple we're working with right now, we put together the following options to choose from to blend her traditional and elegant style and his preference for a crisp and clean aesthetic.

Which one would you choose? I know which one they LOVED....turns out it's a blend of two!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Card Madness!

It's time to cast your vote....for your Holiday Card!

We are gearing back up around here and are offering TWO great specials for today!

Click the above image to visit our newly expanded colection of pre-designed cards ready to order! They are all printed on luxe cardstocks and have accent-printed coordinated backs and complementary envelopes pre-chosen. Take the guesswork and hassle OUT of Holiday cards!
Today only, Receive 10% off your total order with the code

If you didn't find one that perfectly suits your needs, don't fret! We specialize in Custom Designs!
Our wait list is filling up FAST and will close November 19th so don't delay, reserve your spot today!

Today only.... Get $10 off your design fee with code

Click any of the pictures to be taken to our online store, or to browse previous Custom Work, please visit , under the 'Haute Holiday' Gallery.

Questions or photos can be emailed to

Happy Holiday Card Shopping!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jason Update 10

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have not been better at updating since we have been home! It's been a bit of a whirlwind since we have returned, which I am sure is no surprise!

Jason is doing better everyday with his mobility, and we got a great report yesterday at the Neuro Followup. He gave Jason a machine that stimulates his bones to grow and removed his staples.

The Ortho Followup did not go quite as well, and he is actually having surgery this afternoon on his wrist/arm to screw the broken bone there into place. I have been pretty blase about it after all we've been through, but it is a four hour procedure and he will be put under general. Please pray that once again his body will respond well and that the surgeon will be able to steady the bone easily. They also did some new rounds of Xrays on his shoulder that they will go over today with him.

We have been well taken care of this week! Jason's mom has been here taking care of him and making dinners, plus my mom and some firends have offered both meals and a helping hand around the store trying to get back on track!

On that note, many of you have asked if we are able to complete your orders or take on new ones, and the answer is absolutely YES! This weeek we mainly focused on trying to get things people were waiting on "out the door!" Next week, I will focus on proofs and getting back in the swing. We are absolutely still doing Christmas Cards, and my working is more important than ever with Jason out for 4-6 weeks. I have moved one of my computers home and found a great online service to file-share and sync my files so I can work from home in the mornings and evenings, and be at the store during the day. My customers have been so wonderful and supportive, and I wouldn't have expected any different!

Jason and his mom went yesterday to try and locate his car and see if anything of his personal belongings could be salvaged. Apparently is was a sobering experience. Jason said of the 1000+ cars on the yard, his car was the worst. It was unrecognizable. They could not even check for any items becuase there was inches of glass on every surface, and they couldn't reach in for fear of further injury. He promised to take me back and show me "what a miracle looks like." I already knew.

I promise I will keep up-to-date on any more happenings and the results of the Ortho today. Thank you for your sweet comments and support....and of course prayers!

xoxo hh

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jason Update 9

Alas...We are settled in at home! Sorry it has taken me a while to update...we have been very busy trying to settle in, catch up, and get a routine somewhat figured out.

Thank you all so much for the encouragement, support, and outpouring of love.

Jason is doing well today but is still in a lot of pain, and increasingly stiff. He can barely even move his left shoulder now, so we are anxious to see an Ortho doctor this week!

I got to give Jason a REAL shower today and changed his dressings, so I got to see for the first time the incision and staples in his neck! It is so crazy to see -- it is all of five inches and 20 staples. And literally, they look like classic Swingline Staples from my desk.

Jason's mom and dad arrived this evening and his mother is going to stay for the week and help us out. I am so excited to have an extra set of hands! Jason has been very sweet today, but there is just so much he cannot do for himself; it's pretty, I need to get back to work and make sure we can catch-up on and complete a bunch of projects on the horizon.

Thanks to all...We truly are so grateful for every call, hug, text and prayer sent our way.

xoxo hh

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jason Update 8

Thought you all might enjoy seeing our smiling faces last Thanksgiving. I know I think blogs with pictures are always more interesting!!! :)

I am very sorry I did not get to update yesterday; I know many of you texted me with bated breath making sure everything was fine. Fine we are.....exhausted, too.

Wednesday night and Thursday morning/early afternoon were very tiring and tedious. Jason could NOT get comfortable and was in so much pain, plus pretty incoherent with the meds. He would be out-like-a-light and then suddenly wake up with some complaint, sometimes even phantom complaints wanting to know what was running down his back {nothing!} or something along those lines. We hardly slept a wink and I was up-and-down constantly. Needless to say, I didn't make it home yesterday, but Lynsey came and brought me clothes and toiletry items, and it looks like we'll be going home soon!

So, to fill you in on how we got there, here's some re-caps I can think of!

He has much more mobility today and we have already walked him around, done stair exercises, got his drain out, got his push release medicine out, taken him off the oxygen, brushed his teeth, and we just got our shower chair delivered so he can bathe soon! Eating his breakfast a little bit ago, he told me he was pretty certain this was the most productive two hours we had experienced here.

The Neuro doctor spent a good deal of time with us this morning explaining the drill and where to go from here. He will have a followup in roughly two weeks to remove his staples and check everyting, and then they will probably only see him one time after that.

As for Jason's hand, the orthopedic Doctors said they'd like a follow-up next week, but we got permission to see an Ortho back in Galveston if we'd like, so BP if you're reading, expect a call! The only doc who has seen his wrist is the ER doc who set it, so we are unsure of the treatment course needed, if any, for this.

Jason's dad has headed back to Arkansas and is returning over the weekend with Jason's mom in tow, so hopefully next week we can really care for him downstairs and get over his stiffness and pain some, and the maybe by the following week move back up into our 'real' house.

His strength and balance are pretty off still, but it is still such a joy to watch him up and walking around! We think he looks like Kosmo Kramer walking around with the crazy hair and tall & skinny frame next to these itty bitty nurses and PTs. Seriously, we are giants here....his feet hang off his bed and his gown is a bit of a miniskirt. ha! I seriously hope my brother-in-law never has to endure this! He is 6"9 and seriously would be miserable! :(

I have been so encouraged in the last 18 hours....I really feel like things are getting better every hour. The Neuro Doc did warn us that some days may be awesome to the point where you feel like you've "crossed the bridge" and then the next will be awful, so there is just a natural ebb and flow associated with any recovery.

On another note....How did I not know about "The Chocolate Bar???!!!" Apparently this slice of Heaven that resides here in Houston has been mysterously off my radar. I mean, I am baffled! Yesterday I was brought two different kinds of icecreams from there, and then also an 8" high piece of chocolate cake covered in bricklebits, and I am HOOKED!!! Seeing as both sets of friends that brought me these delicacies have known me for about 15 years, I am just horrified they've kept this from me. After dessert, late night, and BREAKFAST this morning, I still have about two layers of the cake left, and it's off limits! I seriously have not even offered it to my patient.

Soooo, anyhoo....We have a few more things to check off our list, but it looks like we will be released either late tonight, or possibly tomorrow morning. This is amazing to me as yesterday morning I thought I should start forwarding my mail here. Once you round a corner, things seem to snowball and really improve. Many people have asked me about our 'plan' once we're home, and the main plan is to get Jason better! They told me the worst thing he can do is stay in bed all day, so anyone who would like to come over and visit, watch a game, share a meal, or just hang out...PLEASE know you are welcome to! I don't really want to put my phone number on here, but am pretty good at checking texts and okay on emails if you want to check... hayley{at} (Use the real "@" sign, but for some reason I think you're not just supposed to write your address for phishing!) Jason will most likely be unable to head into work for a few weeks, but I will have to start asap, so lunchtime or daytime visitors would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all so very much for your kindness, love, prayers and support! We have felt so lifted up and are eternally grateful.

Love, hayley

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jason Update 7

Although I of course am not too fond of being in the hospital, I love looking around our room. It's obviously much better this evening with Jason's "ruggedly" handsome face in here, but it's also life a little life story wrapped up in 100 sq ft.

My sweet and lovely friends have filled our room with flowers, food, cookie bouquets, toiletries, at least 50 magazines, photos of Jason, me and Kashmir, and even a beautiful framed picture of our "Theme Hymn" that very well may be my favorite gift we've received.

Jason's friends have filled the room with obnoxious stuffed animals, including but not limited to an "It's a Girl" fluffy pink elephant, Buzz lightyear balloons, toddlers, brand new babies (we loved meeting you Liam!!!) and most importantly laughter... and some Fantasy Football banter.

It's so awesome to look around the room and see exactly what roles we play. I am such the nester and nuturer, and Jason is hands-down the fan favorite. I always said (even in our Vows Ronnie scripted) that Jason has always made me cooler. He has always said I've made him a better person. In such a trivial, and yet symbolic way I think you can look around this tiny room and see the merging of our two distinct personalities into the life we share. Thank you all for the parts you all play in our life.

Okay, enough of my "alone with my thoughts" drabble...I know you want an update!

We both did get a bit of rest and Jason is snoozing now, waiting for his "push release" pain medicine. He returned from his ct scan and we struggled for a while trying to get him as comfortable as possible. Even in the ER, he never indicated his pain as more than a "6" on the 1-10 spectrum, and this afternoon he was grumpily insisting over and over again he was a 10. Seeing him so agitated has been one of the hardest parts so far. He wasn't believing us that he was up higher, or straight, or in the 'right' position, or that it had only been five minutes since we asked for his medicine. I can tell he is in great pain just by how much his disposition suffered this afternoon. His doctors came in around 3:30 and explained once they got him open they realized it was a little more unstable than they thought and that's what took some additional time, but he responded well and it went smoothly. They also brought us print outs of before/after/during XRays of the Rod insertion, and then a great image (i was a little fuzzy on really interpreting the aforementioned images) that clearly shows the rod placement and his incision, with exactly twenty sutures. They were able to do it posterially (through the back of the neck) and both rods go through all three vertebrae (C4, C5, C6). Things Jason did not know until they came in were that he will suffer a 10-15% reduction in range of motion when healed, and that they had to cut his hair in the back.

After they left, we both were left alone for a few hours and got some good rest. This evening a couple of Jason's best friends came by to see him, including Sarah and Dave again. I feel like they are my personal 'Google.' With Sarah's medical knowledge and Dave in Spine Device Sales I feel so at peace with them explaining things to me! They both thought he looked good, and we all reiterated how pleased we were with the decision to operate especially knowing it was a little worse than they thought.

So, now that the big fish have been fried, we seem to be thinking more about other issues. His broken nose seems to be really brusing and irritating his left eye, and right now he has started running a fever. They gave him some antibiotics and fever reducer and may run some cultures, possibly even around of xrays or something. We don't want his body weakening! We also may try to get a follow-up with a hand Doctor tomorrow to just evaulate his broken wrist again. He is definitely already getting restless in one position, and has begun to cough up a lot of junk probably settling from laying down in one position as well. All things to just keep an eye on and pray don't materialize into anything bigger.

I have not been out of Memorial Hermann since 11:31pm on Sunday evening and am hoping to be able to get home tomorrow and bathe, grab some fresh clothes, and tidy up our down stairs living quarters for when we come home. Many of you know our home is stilted, so our main house and bedroom is on the second floor, with only exterior stairs going up to the decking where you would enter our front door. Though we will work on climbing stairs immediately, we are thinking it will be best to live for a while downstairs where there is no stairs and oddly enough, a handicap accessible bathroom courtesy of the previous owner's elderly parents they took care of. The area is definitely not as comfy as upstairs, but we are so glad to have it as an option and take up residence there...again. We actually lived there for a month and half in the wake of Hurricane Ike after our downstairs repairs were complete in month five and they had just begun our upstairs. Yes, for those of you in the blog-world who don't know us well....suffice it to say we've had a lot of obstacles in our three and a half year marriage. Sometimes you just have to laugh and wonder what made God think we were so strong??? When Jason and I were getting married, I decided to learn a little more about our last name, 'Hardcastle', and actually it is a reference to Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower, the Righteous run in to it and they are safe. In my head somehow that transitioned really well, but now I've been sitting here staring at the keyboard trying to eloquently tie this all back in, and I am afraid I'm fresh out of eloquence. I do know the Lord is our shelter and has been through the literal and metaphoric storms we've weathered and that we are in His safekeeping.

Thank you all for your love, encouragement and concern. I wish I could hug every single one of you! Someday soon.... xoxo hh

Jason Update 6

He's ba-ack!!!!

We have Jason back in his room, albeit temporarily at this point...he is going to be taken for another cat scan shortly to verify everything is put back together correctly.

Upon wheeling him back in, he was still pretty unresponsive, when mom (the Peg-stir to some) called out, "You're home!" He opened his eyes and said "I'm home?!?" Then, of course we just explained back in his room-home.

He did well in surgery and has been stablized and cleaned up a little but is in a lot of pain and very very tired. He has a great new team of nurses that seem to be much more thorough and aware of his special needs at this point in the recovery. He said he was having crazy dreams coming out of the anesthesia and was relieved to know he was back in his room and hadn't broken all the rules "going under" or in post-op. He also seems to think there actually was someone in a bed next to him trying to escape! I am a little skeptical if that happened or not, but you know Jason...he loves to tell a good story!

We are letting him rest right now and waiting on the CT, but everyone seems in good spirits about his operation. I'll update again once the doctor visits or we get anymore news. I am gonna take a little breather as well now that I have him back by my side. My guess would be if you are wanting to come visit, that between 4-7 would be good hours tonight.

Thanks for all the prayers, texts, edible bouquets, flowers and food! I haven't had to leave here once to get a thing -- everyone has been taking such good care of us and we so appreciate it.

Love all around, and praise to our almighty God for having his hands over Jason during this time!

Jason update 5

Dr. Schmidtt just called me and he is complete with the surgery. He will go to recovery for a while before we hear anything else! A weight has been lifted just to know he is closed up. Thank you for your prayers!

Jason Update 4

Jason is still in surgery. There seems to have been a lot of mis-information. We were under the impression it was a two hour surgery that would begin at 7am. The took him back at 6:25am for prep, but my first update was at 10am, and they said they had just begun, he was doing well, and it was a six hour procedure. Thanks for all the texts and emails. I am pretty worn thin right now so I so appreciate all of the texts, but please forgive me if i haven't responded right away! I will update again when I know anything new.

Jason Update 3

Jason is in surgery right now. His anethesiologisy resident and afternoon nurse came by and said he is in surgery and they'll be back in our normal room this afternoon. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jason Update 2

Thank you all so much for the love you are showing to Jason and me! We are humbled by the outpouring of messages, calls, and of course visits! Of course I always knew Jason was pretty special, but I told him tonight I tought he might be the most loved guy EVER. We are for sure the rockstars of the "Neuro" floor. :)

Jason is sleeping peacefully next to me and they should start prepping him for surgery in about six hours. I am pretty awake for the first time today thanks to Codi and Omar's chocolate delivery, and Leah and Erin's late night antics and "Everything-Kroger-Sold-we-thought-you-may-like delivery!" I feel so blessed in such a stressful time to say that our hospital room has been filled with much laughter and few tears. Jason's spirit is so strong, and even laying flat back keeping his neck straight in intense pain, he is making all kinds of hysterical comments. I know the surgery will be the hardest part for me (besides the drive up having no clue what i was driving up to) because he wont be right here next to me. If you know us well, you know we are usually pretty laid back and fun people but I am so in awe that even in his dark hour, his personality still shines through and is so endearing. The man I married may be a bad driver, but he's a great friend and it has been so sweet to see the number of friends that have come up to see him. We have his Andre Johnson (the Texans player that won Sunday's game for them to you non-Houstonians...or non-male readers) jersey they had to cut off of him in the ambulance hung on his wall AND his doctor's name is also "Johnson" so all his buddies seem to think that is an excellent 'sign.'

I realize I may be rambling a bit but I just can't even express the gratitude for the way we have been lifted up. I just feel certain Jason will be back to his lively and strong self soon and thank you so much for joining me and our families in prayer tomorrow at 7am over his operation and team. The attending physician is Dr. Schmidt, and I have been praying for him all night that his hands will truly be the instruments for healing from the Lord.

I always think the Lord gives you a scripture or a song to relate things to and calm your spirit, and for the past few hours I have literally been playing "Great is thy Faithfulness" in my head. Jason and I both LOVE old hymns and I just wanted to close with the lyrics that are bringing me such peace. There IS a bright hope for tomorrow, and new mercies there WILL be in the morning. Great is his faithfulness to us!

Love, Hayley

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;There is no shadow of turning with Thee;Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!Morning by morning new mercies I see.All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!Morning by morning new mercies I see.All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Jason Update 1

Hello, all! Some of you know already, and as I do not have a personal blog and facebook is blocked at the Hospital, I wanted to put up some updates on Jason.

Sunday evening I was at home tidying the house after Jason's friends from Oklahoma had visited, and was waiting on their return from the Texans/Chiefs game when I got a call from Kacey (the wife of one of the said friends) that they had been in an accident. Luckily they had left with them and were traveling only a few cars behind and were able to help and contact me literally as it happenend. Jason was driving on 59N and realized his lane was ending and needed to get over last minute. He saw a small window of opportunity before a bus traveling alongside him, and thought he could merge and then gun-it and be in sync. He slid in and the car did not respond, and the bus tried to stop and miss him but could not and clipped his car and pushed him sideways into the barricade. When he hit it, it sent his car spinning and it flipped two to three times before landing facing oncoming traffic. Miraculously, Grant (front passenger) and Zach (back passenger) both we able to crawl out as soon as they landed. They were all wearing seatbelts, and the driver side of the car definitely took the brunt of the impact. Kacey and Tyler were able to run over as soon as they could pull their car over and Tyler kept Jason talking and still until the first responders could arrive. I left my house and headed north the second Kacey called. I phoned my family and tried Jason's dad as well, who was already in Houston at another hospital with Jason's cousin who was having an emergency appenedctomy. Jason was conscious but obviously injured and very bloody. They had to cut open his door, and then finally also the roof to extract him. Me, the ambulances, and Meghan & Ken who came right over to park my car and handle that so I could run in with paramedics, all miraculously arrived at the same time to Memorial Hermann. Praise GOD that no one else was injured, that Jason's organs and vitals were "Rock Solid" the entire time according to our overnight ER doc, that Kacey was right behind and able to call me instantly, and that he is in such great care here. The parademics on the scene that had to use the 'jaws of life' to even dislodge Jason could not believe Grant and Zach crawled out and were even in that car!

We spent the next thirteen hours in the Trauma Center and are eternally grateful to the staff there, but also our dear friend Sarah, who after working a whole shift as an ER doctor at another hospital, came straight over and was Jason's personal advocate and physician. Grant and Zach were checked out and cleared by 2am and my dad delivered them to their beds for the night. So, after three CT scans, Xrays, lots of tests and stabilizing, here's the run-down. Lots of scrapes and bruises, only a couple needing special care or stitches, a broken nose, a broken wrist, and a broken neck. We;ve discussed backwards and forwards if its better to start with the biggie, or work up to it? I don't know!

Well, as Cara and I decided, he's the "winner of the losers!" Yes, he has a broken neck, but it is a pretty "good break."... as far as a broken neck goes. It broke outwards away from the spinal cord and body, so he does not have any paralysis or brain damage or vessel pinching. Praise God! His only physical limitation right now is his whole left shoulder and arm, which are very beaten up and then casted from his elbow to hand.

Yesterday was a brutal waiting game. A few of our very sweet friends all came by, some bearing 'essentials' bags for me, treats, stuffed animals or even the BEST Pappasitos ever, but we knew very little until we could get the MRI, which took nearly 24 hours to get in to once it had been ordered. We just found out at 3 today that he will have to have surgery to stabilize the vertebra. He broke the C5 if you are one of our Medical-dork friends (you know who you are!)and wanting specifics I may-or-may not be able to provide. They will operate in the morning and will be here a few more days in recovery after that. The surgery is at 7am tomorrow, and will rod and fuse the C5 to the C4 above and the C6 beneath. Please pray for Jason's body to be responsive and for the doctors hands and minds to be steady and clear. Any surgery has its risks, but obviously neck/spine surgery has special concern.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Jason is in good spirits and is constantly cracking me up with his dry wit. He loves visitors and is at Memorial Hermann Med Center, but tomorrow am will be in the OR. If you would like to come tomorrow, check back and I'll update when he can accept visitors post op.

Love, Hayley

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finally a Fall Chill in the Air....

..And we are in the Halloween Spirit!

Here are a few of our favorite fun images from Halloweens present and past! Enjoy!

Why not beat the rush and send a Halloween Greeting?

A fun, not frigtening, children's Halloween!

In the pink version, or the classic orange, this design delights!

A classic pullout, punkin' cute!

Sophisticated and clean, it falls perfectly in suit.

Let us know if we can help you with any Halloween Greetings, Parties, or Treat Stickers/Tags!
No Tricks, it would be a treat!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to School Specials!

Haute New Luggage Tags!


It's that time of year again and we've created the perfect addition for your childs' back to school backpack! These cute luggage tags are all uploaded to our *NEWEST* website that is about to be fully up and running. We currently have over 20 different designs to choose from for both boys and girls, and youngsters to young at heart!

These trendy personalized luggage tags are great for diaper bags, suit cases, gym bags, back packs or where ever you feel works best.

On sale now for 1 for $10, 3 for $25, for 10 for $50. Feel free to check out our new site and all our luggage tags at

Thanks for stopping by!

"Flower Flip Flops"

"Surf the Waves!"

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hello, everyone...if there is still anyone checking!

Recently, our friend and fabulous blogger-mom-fashionista-friend Meredith posted about her birth announcements that we did for her sweet second son, Slade!

Everything Meredith does is with style and panache, and so we were trilled to get to take all her ideas and put them into one special card.

Check out her blog and her super cool announcements....

Announcing Slade...

Friday, August 13, 2010

August Galveston Monthly

Hello, Blog World!

A lot has changed at HH Design House since we last posted a few months back! It's been a whirlwind, but we will try and get back into the swing of things!

We have a great article and feature in the August Issue of Galveston Monthly and thought those of you beyond the circulation area might also enjoy reading what we had to share! Enjoy...and we'll be back soon!

Personalization 101

I have heard it blamed on the fact we’re Southern. Perhaps it goes back to having a name that is spelled a bit differently than people always attempt to spell it, and thus never sold prefabricated at the souvenir shops boasting everything from keychains to shotglasses with more consistently-spelled names emblazed across on each one. Or even more, maybe it stemmed from the great affinity I have for the letter “h”. At any rate and however it was arrived upon, the love of things personalized and a deep need to slap a name or monogram on everything has been a long standing fixation, and no time more-so than at present, when personalization is all the rage!

Although I was the rare breed that always loved and anticipated “Back-to-School” each August, I think much of that was driven by having all new school supplies; The perfect excuse to stamp my moniker on new bags, notebooks, and writing instruments. As the personalization craze has heated up over the last few years, nothing is safe! Seeing people personalize their dishes, towels, sheets, flip flops, tumblers, bags, clothing, phones, laptops and cars has become so commonplace, that I rarely even take a second-glance when I see monogrammed and personalized gear for our four-legged friends. Yes indeed, even my dog has a custom drinking bowl with her name, and a bed with her monogram!

In the last five years in the social correspondence industry, I have been asked many questions in regards to personalization and the etiquette involved. There are times a certain monogram style is more appropriate than others and times when a name or surname might be best. Is your head spinning from the name-game? I’ll try and briefly answer a few common questions we field.

1. I want to personalize something… “Name or Monogram?”
The answer is BOTH! If you are going to spend the time and money to get an item personalized, go all the way. It is truly so special to have something with your full name – it’s one-of-a-kind! We do a lot of stationery that has a monogram on the face or top center, and then the name beneath. This format works well for both men and women, and nearly any age. Monograms are a prerequisite on Birth Announcements, a huge trend in Weddings, and a staple in any seasoned writer’s paper trousseau.

2. What is the composition of a three initial (traditional) monogram?
There are two times you would use a three-initial monogram: for an individual or married couple sharing a last name. First off, the individual monogram is anchored in center by the Family surname (or ‘lastname’) flanked by the first-name initial to the left and the middle initial to the right. For example, “Mary Jo Schroeder” would read “M S J” often with the middle initial larger or more detailed. Secondly, for a married couple sharing a last name, it is once again anchored with the surname initial in the center, and the initials of the husband and wife flanking either side. For Wedding Receptions, often the wife’s initial is to the left and the husbands is to the right (think of standing at the altar), while later in life it tends to be the husband’s initial first on the left with the wife on the right. This is a matter of personal preference though, and if the three letters spell something one way, by all means try it the other!

3. I want to use a monogram on my Wedding Invitation. What is proper?
This is one of the most common questions I receive planning Brides’ Wedding Stationery. Most traditionally, the Bride’s family always hosted a Wedding, so it was her family’s crest or her own monogram at the top of the formal invitation. This has waned in popularity as it has been more commonly acceptable to use a single initial, a duogram, or even a three initial monogram for the more progressive bride.

4. Initial…Monogram…Duogram…WHAT?!?
A single initial is the perfect choice when something is symbolic of an entire family (like glassware or a Christmas Card) and using a three initial monogram would only symbolize an individual or married couple. A Traditional Monogram is three initials – the surname in the center and two names on the side. You may only use this style if you are an individual who has a middle name or a married couple sharing a last name. So what on earth to do if you have no middle name, are not yet married, or are married but have different last names??? Enter, the “duogram.” Duo meaning two, this is a monogram comprised of only two initials; for individuals usually the first and last name and for couples with different last names (whether married or engaged) it is generally the two initials of the first names. This was the perfect design solution for both my wedding ensemble, not wanting to use our married monogram before we were, and also my business logo.

5. How do I write out names?
Believe it or not, this is something that I coach on a lot for invitation addressing and also personalization. For married couples, the wife’s name goes first followed by the husband’s full name. With our Southern manners many women often question listing their own name first, but the reasoning is entirely out of respect to a man and his name. Simply, one does not separate the man’s name, and the wife is added to the beginning to honor that. (ie: Hayley and Jason Hardcastle) If that makes you uncomfortable, consider the more formal approach, “Mr. and Mrs. Jason Hardcastle” or the more casual approach, “Jason and Hayley,” sans surname. For a family name, it can be listed as plural, but leave out that apostrophe! That makes it possessive. For instance, on a notepad or Holiday card, “The Hardcastle’s” is incorrect, it should simply be “The Hardcastles.”

6. What are your favorite personalized items?
I am a HUGE sucker for personalized stationery and notepads! Most everything on my desk has either my name or the store’s name on it. I also love the initial charms by Stella & Dot so you can make your own necklace and tell a unique story by the letters, birthstones, and sentiment charms you select. I am also loving our newest offering right now, our custom luggage and bag tags! We have tons of cute patterns and designs and they are so simple to pop on a backpapck, gym tote or lunchbox! Our Styrofoam cups and napkins are always some of our best-sellers as well!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Hump Day: Bringing it Back!

Hello Blog World!

If we still have any loyal followers checking in...we apologize for our long absence. However, once you hear (read) what we've been up to, I think you'll pardon us.

When we last blogged we were in the midst of preparing for our busiest time of the year...Holiday Card season! Are ready for this??? We did 9,650 Holiday Cards for 2009!! We were very proud of that accomplishment and at knowing we helped spread Christmas cheer and goodwill to many, many people.

So, you're probably now thinking, that's impressive but it's February...well we didn't kick up our heels and rest after the trees and twinkling lights came down. Oh no, we launched full force into preparing for Galveston's Mardi Gras season. For which, we did 2,700 invitations for various Mardi Gras events. WHEW! Yesterday marked the end of the Mardi Gras celebrations, the last parade wound it's way through the historic streets of Galveston Island. Fun as it was, we collectively breathed a sigh of relief. Today is a gorgeous day on the Island...sunny and bright, rewarding us with its beauty for a few months of being crazy-no sleep-BUSY. We'll take regular old busy for awhile. So we gaze out the windows of the store at the beautiful day, reflecting on how best to update (and not bore) you with a "catch up/we're back" blog.

That's right, I said store...did we forget to mention in between all that we opened a STORE? Hayley is now the proud owner of "Happenings by HH Design House". We squeezed in an official opening and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting mid January. Happenings, Hayley's latest endeavor is located at 523 Tremont, the corner of 23rd and Church Streets. Stop by and check it out!

Scroll down to view pictures from our grand opening! Come on inside.....

Shop Dog, Kashmir, on Guard!!!


532 tremont street

downtown galveston island