The power of letting go

Oh Swan Friends, I have had you on my mind for weeks on end. I know I have been terribly quiet. I've just been mulling things over, letting thoughts sink into my soul and allowing my heart to feel all its feels.

Thing is, I have decided to take a sabbatical from client work. Which mostly means a sabbatical from wedding work.

There, I said it. 

It has been such a hard decision for me to make and one that I dreaded telling you of. This work has been my baby. When asked about what I do, a smile would fill my whole being as I explain how lucky I am to have my days filled right to the brim with happy thoughts, pretty making, and love. This has been the bestest best time. I have loved it. 

But as we grow, we change and our needs shift. We start dreaming new dreams. New adventures grab at our heart. And so it is, that I have decided to step away from custom design work for now. I'm freeing up space to work on some of my other dreams: to create new products and work on projects I have had on the back burner. To learn, fine tune my skills and open my horizons. And guys, I am SO excited! It's been a while since I have been this excited about all the beauty ahead. 

Change isn't easy, but knowing that this space will allow me to share the pretty with an even bigger audience than before, makes me feel all tingly inside.

Much love, Anelle

Delft-inspired wedding celebration

Oh man, Kirsten & Kobus' delft-inspired wedding at the beautiful Hawksmoor House (expertly coordinated by BonTon and captured by Kristi Agier) is simply one of those weddings where you look at the images and wish you could be there. The relaxed garden party turned celebration under the stars is just magical!

If you love this look too, pop over to our Delft pinboard for more inspiration! 

Braai & Beer Gift Guide

We're celebrating this Heritage Weekend with a braai (BBQ). If you are doing the same, why not grab some of these Proudly South African products? While you're at it, our "Will braai for beer" print makes the perfect guy gift and you can easily download it from our Etsy Shop or from The Pretty Shop

1. Cape Brewing Company (CBC) Lager from YuppieChef
2. Barrett’s Ridge Garlic & Herb Beer Bread from Faithful to Nature
3. “Will Braai for Beer” downloadable art print by Seven Swans Stationery
4. Beardworx Soap Bar from BroShop
5. Original Free Range sliced beef biltong from Woolowrths
6. Rockin BBQ set from Superbalist
7. Arrow Leather Goods - Canvas & Leather Apron from YuppieChef
8. MasterTouch Charcoal Grill from YuppieChef
9. Jimmy Public Braai Spice set from YuppieChef
10. Boytjie Braai Sauce - Sticky Rib Basting Sauce from BroShop
11. Beer Bites CookBook from Big Blue


Understanding the creative process

Oh boy, the creative process can be tricky sometimes. You've spent countless hours sifting through designers websites, sent a couple of emails, looked at cost estimates and finally found the stationer of your dreams, yay! Then the first designs come your way and, sadly, it's just not what you were expecting.

Firstly, let me jump in and say that this is never the intention. The best thing in the world is receiving emails from happy clients and our hearts get so sad when we haven't hit the mark first time round.

It's also very important to know that it's 100% ok to make some changes on the first (and even second) version of your designs as it's almost impossible to get it perfect in one go. So please don't worry or panic if, when opening the email, you love the direction but want to see a second font or colour option for example :)

That said, if the designs come in and they're completely off base please don't run! Your stationer is there to bring your ideas to life – if they're not succeeding, let them know and you can get back on track. Remember that you chose your stationer for a specific reason and it's good to trust them and the process.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, we recommend the following:  

  • Sleep on it – don't email back the very moment you've opened the pdf and realised it's not on the right path. Take a moment, look back later and pay attention to the details – maybe there are some things that look lovely and it's just the overall colour that's not right. Or, perhaps, the style isn't what you had in mind but you like the way the text has been laid out. At the very least, even if on second look it's still completely wrong, you'll be in a calmer state when typing the reply ;)    

  • We're human – while we can completely understand the disappointment of receiving something that isn't what you had in mind, keep in mind that it is a process and that change is possible. You won't now be stuck with designs you don't like - your stationer should want you to be 100% over the moon happy with the final outcome and will be fully open to re-discussing the direction :) 

  • Keep chatting. Sometimes, in the creative process, we just need to take a step back, talk through the ideas again and re-look the brief. It's so easy to feel like now, because the first version was wrong, you're running out of time but allowing a bit of time for this process is so important. Read more about the importance of a good brief here and learn even more in our free stationery workbook

  • The best work often comes from delving deeper, great feedback and working together :) Sometimes it's those extra little details and personal touches that really make the stationery!

Let’s quickly summerise the above:

  • Take a moment to sit with the design and your thoughts before emailing your feedback.
  • Remember that your stationer is on your team and wants you to be 100% happy just as much as you do.
  • Keep chatting and be open to taking a step back to re-look the design before rushing ahead with no new direction.
  • Be willing to delve a bit deeper with your brief to create really beautiful stationery together!

In our next post we will be answering some of your wedding advice questions - keep an eye out for our Instagram poll to get your question on the list and, until then, happy planning!

The Swans

White washed wedding wonderland

Oh my. Am I in love with this styled shoot? No, I am absolutely, head over heels for it! The dreamy all-white table setting gives the feeling that you are floating on cloud 9... it is utterly romantic! In keeping with the fresh, minimalist take we designed beautiful perspex menus with whimsical hand lettering. Make sure to hop on over to Luxe Love for the full post!

This white washed wonderland was dreamt up by Kirsten Barclay and expertly bought to life by Catherine Zachariou of Cats Eyes and photographed by Robyn Thompson. Florals and vessels by Foraged Beauty and decor by Urban Tonic.

Inspiring Home Office

Spring is in the air and it is DEFINITELY time for a little office revamp! Don't you just adore this inspiring monochrome look?

1. Weekly Notebook Planner from AppointedCo.
2. Brass Pencil from AppointedCo.
3. Steve Jobs quote, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” downloadable art print by Seven Swans Stationery
4. Small Cylinder Vase/ Planter from Superbalist
5. 2017 Desk Calendar from AppointedCo.
6. Franklin Desk with Shelves - The Industrial Shop from Target
7. Zack Desk Lamp Set from Woolworths
8. Union Stoneware Mug from Woolowrths
9. Threshold Rustic Wire 2-drawer Organizer from Target
10. Pasadena Nesting Accent Table from Target
11. Mud cloth cushions from So Fine Goods