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Featured on 100 Layer Cake

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I am over the moon that our “Mexi-Modern” Wedding Inspiration shoot is featured on 100 Layer Cake!  I am excited to share some more pictures as well as the original sketches for the design.  The inspiration for this photo shoot came to me when I stumbled upon a book cover I found in my grandmothers library.  The spine was color-blocked with teal, French blue, terra cotta, bubblegum and citron green.  This unusual combo surprisingly worked, and I knew I wanted to bring this palette to life with a modern yet crafty design, but needed the perfect opportunity. A few months later, I received an email from Tim Mannle, a Connecticut based wedding photographer who was going to be visiting New Mexico. He asked if I would put together an inspiration shoot at a venue in Santa Fe.  Coincidentally, the Center for Contemporary Arts was interested in highlighting their modern space as an event venue.  The perfect opportunity had presented itself!

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Using geometric design cues and throwing a touch of neon in to the color palette, the theme Mexi-Modern was born. The handmade elements of painted terra cotta, yarn crafts and thread tassels are reminiscent of Mexican folk art and these were paired with patterns of ikat and geometric motifs.  The clean setting of whitewashed brick walls and raw concrete was the ideal urban space to allow this modern mixture of craft and contemporary really pop.  This modern shoot blended the perfect amount of craft and contemporary.

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The concept for the ceremony scene was a bare tipi structure made of large wood poles.  I created “Ojos de Dreams;” a melding of the Ojo de Dios Mexican yarn crafts and the Native American dreamcatcher.  The result was a graphic and bold design, and paired with rustic wood and yarn, these magical pieces embodied the “Mexi-Modern” theme perfectly.  Our “tipi” was decorated with geometric garlands in teal, blue and citron  and the “Ojos de Dreams”.

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The metal, industrial chairs were also decorated with tasseled garlands and hand-embroidered pillows. Embellished maracas and tambourines rested on the seats for the guests to cheer on the bride and groom as they walked down the aisle.

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The bridal bouquet created by Melissa Paquin of Renegade Floral was lush and textural with blooms in peach, pale yellow, coral and ivory.  Cascading ribbons with geometric patterns paired beautifully with the thread tassels in neon yellow, coral, teal and blue. The grooms unique orchid boutonniere even had a few tassels on it!

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To juxtapose with the lush bouquet and to keep with the contemporary space, my wing-woman Johanna Frenz took on the wardrobe styling and she put the bride in an ivory jumpsuit!  It was fabulous with a pair of cobalt J.Crew pumps, a woven sash of Ecuadorian fabric, and a hot pink peony in the bride’s hair.   This unexpected look fit right in to our Mexi-Modern scene.

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Bringing the design for the tablescape to life was one of my favorite things to create.  A weathered wood table was topped with ikat fabric runners and edged with blue, teal and neon tassels.  Set diagonally on the runners were long wood boxes filled with sand, a spot for the punch of whole citrus fruits and fresh flowers to gather.

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Hot pink taper candles, set in brushed gold candlesticks brought a festive vibe.  I painted terra cotta chargers to echo the geometric motif and keep the color palette alive.  Individual place settings were kept modern with clean lines of the flatware and place cards made of laser cut wood.  We had the ikat fabric to match the napkins and stitched geometric hems in neon thread.

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Of course, we had to include the tequila shots, poured into classic Mexican glassware, and accented with key lime slices and salted rims.

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The tequila also made another appearance on our Paleta Bar.  Johanna also happens to makes a mean popsicle and to spin-off the classic Mexican paleta, she made them a little booze-y; the “Tequila-Limon” and “Guava-Colada” pops.  What a great alternative dessert or even a signature cocktail for a summer wedding!

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We collaborated with Cassie Templeman of Peanut Press for the print elements. She knocked it out of the park with her design and we were over-the-moon thrilled!  It was clean and modern but still carried the thread of our Central American folk-art motif. 

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To complete the invitation suite, Cassie wrapped it up in neon cord, made custom laser-cut wood elements, and sourced the perfect vintage stamps.

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To think that this idea first began with an arbitrary mix of colors on a book’s spine…and the result was a photo shoot that combined handmade folk art and modern neon. We were blown away that it worked! Every element added a particular touch that helped to create this cohesive and distinct mash-up, Mexi-Modern!

Click HERE to see the feature on 100 Layer Cake

Concept + Art Direction ~ Jessie Baca of Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Styling, Paletas~ Johanna Frenz of Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Photographer ~ Tim Mannle / Stationery ~ Cassie Templeman of Peanut Press, / Floral ~ Melissa Paquin of Renegade Floral / Make-Up ~ Svetlana Britt / Models ~ Nicole and Kai Kuller / Venue ~ Center for Contemporary Arts

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The Makings Of: Aaron and Johanna’s Wedding Invitation

I’m excited to be sharing a new series called “The Makings Of.”  Here, I will be showcasing behind the scenes tidbits of current projects I’m working on with my clients.  To me, the best part of any creative endeavor is the process and the path which the artist takes to get to the final product.  Today, I’d like to share with you the makings of Aaron and Johanna’s wedding invitation.  What you must know about them first, is that they are hands down, the coolest.  They’ve got style and pizazz and are basically dream clients.  I love that they are looking for something out of the box and are totally cool with my quirky ideas.  Together we have cooked up a modern and whimsical invitation suite that is perfectly unique and totally “them!” Let’s talk paper, shall we?

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I do love a good invitation.  One that screams from the mountain top, “Get ready, this is going to be one AWESOME wedding!”  Well, Johanna and Aaron’s invite screams, “THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WEDDING EVER! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PARTY PANTS ON!!”  I must say, since it was designed and printed in-house, I am pretty darn proud of how this turned out.  Johanna and I really turned up the DIY gears on this one…printing, spray painting, wrapping, cutting, calligraphing.  The studio was a-whirl with all things paper!

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Of course we started with a color palette.  To me, any successful design stays tried and true to the original scheme.  It gives consistency and most importantly, will always be the sounding board to which you return when deciding if something matches.

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Once the color palette was solidified we chose our materials.  We ordered pre-cut cover stock paper from Paper Source in the perfect color scheme.  Oh, paper, it’s the best!  Then Johanna gave me a copy of a doodle she used for some notes to her bridesmaids.  Our motif was beginning to take shape.  I scanned the image and loosely copied the design to echo on all pieces of the invite suite.  We chose a font that mirrored the geometric and modern feel and accented with a script font for just a touch of whimsy!

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Then came the details.  To me, this is what OCD dreams are made of!  We got down with some serious spray paint….the backs of the invite were sprayed a fluorescent coral to match the accent on the front of the invite.   The coral reception card was cut on a diagonal and accented with an opaque white triangle to add more depth and the RSVP card got a metallic triangle detail of its own too!  Then, we sprayed one side of the fig paper with a coat of shiny gold and cut giant pieces of confetti!   The entire suite was wrapped with coral and gold thread and placed into a gravel colored envelope.  I calligraphied the names on front to match the script font on the invite.  Did I mention that I LOVE consistency?!?

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One of my most favorite things about this invite suite is the cheeky RSVP.  I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have something other than “Decline with Regret” as an RSVP option. Johanna decided to give her guests three options:

“Will be there with our party pants”

Will be there with no pants”

“Darn, Can’t make it”

Hee hee, I love it!  How stoked would you be if this came in the mail?  I just love that when you see it, you immediately think of Aaron and Johanna and know that one seriously good time is on its way!

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Holidays at the Hitching Post

Hi All!  I wanted to offer you a glimpse into the rather colorful holiday decorations here at Casa Baca.  I’m rarely one for a traditional red and green Christmas…unless we are referring to New Mexican chile…I’ve been know to have Christmas trees decked out in ALL orange, or ALL even turquoise!  This year, I wanted to get funky and super colorful.  I was feeling a circus-y, Folk art-y handmade Christmas.  My color palette stemmed from bright orange, pink and turquoise with touches of shiny gold tinsel, natural kraft paper and even neon textiles.

 

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I decided that I wanted Circus Zebras to grace the tree.  “Why Circus Zebras?” you ask; I have no idea.  I’m not sure if a Circus Zebra is a real thing, but for a whimsical tree, who cares?!  I made these by painting and scanning an ink drawing, then printing a bunch in black and white on a thick card-stock paper and then got to detailing.  Oh boy, here’s where the fun is!

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The zebras got neon saddle blankets. So fancy, huh?

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Ohhh, and glittered stripes…my kind of zebra!

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Circus/ Folk artsy fart-sy inspiration is never complete without some crepe paper fringe, right?!

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Neon poms and a backing of soft felt.

Apologies, I forgot to take a picture of the tinsel that was sandwiched in between the paper and felt.  It was just some regular ol’ tinsel form the dollar store, trimmed to edge the zebra perfectly.  (Also not pictured: the hot glue burns that came with sandwiching that bling).

VOILA!  The finished zebras!  They were the perfect addition to this year’s wrapping paper scheme.  Let’s talk about that shall we.

I rarely buy wrapping paper as I’ve had a giant roll of kraft paper hanging around for the last 8 years….I might be finally reaching the end!  But I like to start with a neutral palette and then get crafty with the ties and trim that grace a package.  To me, this is the best part, better than the present itself.  I remember on Christmas asking my mom (I mean Santa) just to wrap a bunch of empty boxes because the unwrapping was the most fun to me!

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That said, the pressies were adorned with fringed crepe paper, felt cut-outs, neon yarn and poms, gold paper disks and more gold tinsel!  Call me a total nerd, but I love when the presents under the tree totally match.  It must be from all those years of reading Martha Stewart and seeing the styled Christmas shoots where everything coordinated.  Dang you Martha, I blame you for my OCD/Christmas snobbery!

So yeah, the ornaments match too.  Luckily, I have about a thousand ornaments and I LOVE them all.  But, I would seriously need at least 7 trees in my Casa to display each one, so every year, depending on the tree theme (Geeze, I’m a “themed tree” person, I want to punch myself…ugh) certain ornaments make the cut.  I recently acquired a collection of vintage yarn ornaments from Equador.  They belonged to the mister’s grandmother, making them the best kind of vintage.  I also had a set of felt doves that I made years ago.  With the colorful lights, they are just happy and perfectly Folk-arty

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Oh, the rest of the house, you ask? Well, my goal was to have a bunch of blooming bulbs gracing every square inch. Needless to say, I started my paper whites about a month too late (I’ll be lucky if they make it here by March), but the green-thumbed-I-sing-to-my-bulbs-and-they-bloom-magic Marsia Millefiori gifted me with the most beautiful Amaryllis, making me jumps and squeal with delight!  I stuck two little Christmas Clowns that I made in the pot to hang out.  I smile huge every time I walk past.

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I hope you all have a beautiful holiday season.  I’ve so enjoyed the crafting and prepping for Christmas.  Hopefully I’ll be doing snow angels in a few days…or at least snuggled on the couch watching a Christmas Story on repeat.  xo!

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Sabrina and John featured on 100 Layer Cake!

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I am over the moon!  Sabrina and John’s spectacular wedding day is featured on 100 Layer Cake!  This was one of my favorite weddings of 2012 and I’m so excited to finally share it with everyone.  Working with Sabrina and John was a dream…we hit it off right from the start and our collaborations were fueled with some serious creativity!

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Sabrina designed her invitation suite and the contemporary aesthetic and neon palette served as the inspiration for the rest of the wedding.  The Center for Contemporary Arts, provided the most incredible raw, urban backdrop with it’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls.  The fact that guests were able to mingle and dine within the actual art exhibit was so unique!

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Sabrina and John got down with some buttons!  Instead of traditional escort cards, the created a pin for each of their guests with a fun fact.  They were great conversation starters and provided such a unique and personal touch from the bride and groom.

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Since the meal was being served family style, we didn’t want too much on the table.  I made cement-looking vessels out of hypertufa and planted them with succulents (if you missed the tutorial, it’s here).  Accented with a script table number, the settings were simple, urban and threw a nice little wink to the Santa Fe landscape.

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To soften things up and to bring the ultimate marriage of modern and organic was the living wall that I built for Sabrina and John’s ceremony backdrop.  Combining elements of rusted re-mesh grids, wire, moss and muslin, we gave a nod to the Southwest with Choya cactus, air plants and succulents.  This was by far my most favorite project of the season.  Here’s a fun lil’ behind the scenes video for you!

Living Wall from Jessie Baca on Vimeo.

Click here to see the feature on 100 Layer Cake, to read about their amazing menu and to see the full photo gallery, click here.

Photo one, Karen Kristian, All others: Articulate Photo

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The backdrop for the ceremony was a living wall that I built for Sabrina and John.  It combined urban elements of rusted re-mesh grids, wire, moss and muslin and we gave a nod to the Southwest with dried Choya cactus that I gathered form the hills, air plants and succulents that I had been harvesting all summer.

A very special element to their ceremony was the music.  Contemporary songs like  Heartbeats, by The Knife, On Melancholy Hill, by the Gorillas and Ceremony by New Order were played on Spanish guitar by the talented Yves Lucero. It was so wonderful to hear the songs out of their original context and with a acoustic sound.

Cocktail hour took a step out of the ordinary too.  To honor Sabrina’s love of synchronized swimming, classic Esther Williams movies were projected over the bar while guests enjoyed the delicious passed hors d’oeuvres.  Instead of traditional escort cards, Sabrina and John created a pin for each of their guests with a fun fact.  They were great conversation starters and provided such a unique and personal touch from the bride and groom.

Food was also extremely important to Sabrina and John.  They wanted their guests to enjoy a fulfilling meal that had cues from the ingredients of New Mexico while still maintaining a unique direction.  Guests dined on a stellar family-style meal designed by Marja Custom Catering which started off with the most amazing yellow tomato gazpacho with a red tomato sorbet and a shishito pepper. The main course included Red Chile Calabacitas Enchiladas, Flat Iron Steak al Chipotle and Poblanos Rellenos filled with grilled shrimp and Arroz Verde.  The dessert was my favorite part; we served mini churros with local Kakawa dipping chocolate and a blood orange sorbet with sage syrup.

It was a magical night!

This wedding is featured on 100 Layer Cake.

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Photographer~ Karen Kristian, Supplemental Photos (one, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, sixteen, nineteen) Articulate Photo / Invitations, Programs, Place cards, Menus,~Designed by Bride, Printed by Smudge Ink.   / Hair and Make-up~  Jess Evans / Ceremony and Reception Location~ Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM /  Rentals ~  Classic Party Rentals /  Catering~ Marja Custom Catering / Bridal Bouquet and Personal Flowers~ Artichokes and Pomegranates / Ceremony Backdrop Design~ Jessie Baca / Ceremony Musician~ Yves Lucero / Lighting Design~ Santa Fe AV / DJ~ Celeste Worl

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Sneak-y Peek-y

I wanted to give you a quick glimpse of a few of the goodies for this weekend’s wedding at the CCA.  The aesthetic is modern meets the high mountain desert and I’ve been getting down on some serious crafting here in the studio. I am so over the moon excited for it, I can hardly contain myself!

Personalized Pin Place cards…say that ten times fast!

Fabulous programs attached to….SPIRIT WANDS!!!

Bent wire table numbers. I like that the numbers are spelled out..I think it adds charm!

And, my most favorite project to date, the LIVING WALL!  This will be the stunning backdrop for the ceremony.  Blending the raw, urban elements of metal and wire with native Choya cactus, succulents and air plants has never looked so good.  Can’t wait to show you the short movie we’re making to document the process!
Till soon!

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