Artcadia Service Update

Hi everyone, I have some rather big news…I’ve been debating with myself, wondering whether this post is career suicide or not, but anyone who knows me understands my work ethic - that I don’t let people down and will go to the ends of the earth to deliver the goods, in whatever sense that may be!


Our little business started off so tiddly, just me, my computer and an old Arab treadle press. Within 12 months of starting out, my husband Richard came on board as printer and over the years we expanded even further and at this point in time we fulfill between 15 to 20 orders per week of luxuriously lovely paper goods. Sadly in Spring 2015, Richard and I separated, we have continued to work together successfully but now we feel it is time for us to part ways in business.


So, where does that leave Artcadia? To be honest, I don’t know. My first thought was to continue our current service offer; me sticking with all design work and outsource the printing. I must admit, relinquishing control and not being able to oversee the process from start to finish is something I find quite unsettling, although I understand many designers work successfully in this way. Finding a trade partner that offers what we produce currently with a quality of finish I’d be satisfied with may be a struggle. If anyone has any contacts in this area I would be so grateful to hear from you.


Another option would be for me to cover both design and print. As a busy mum of three tiny little people, this would certainly mean scaling back. I could not turn around the volume of orders we currently handle. However, this is something I would happily explore as it would keep me fully in the driver’s seat.


Option 3, close the door for good. As a marketer and graphic designer, I have always kept my hand in what I love, branding and assisting start-up businesses. Having built up a decent portfoilio of clients, it may be best for me to fully embrace this, channeling all my energy into design consultancy.


Option 4, all of the above. There is some necessity in keeping things ticking over, it makes good sense to explore all options over the next few months and then figure things out once I’ve got a firmer idea of the best way forward. A sort of limbo - Rather than throwing myself, potentially catastrophically in at the deep end.


So, I’m not making any big announcements and absolutely do not want to concern any of our customers or industry friends. In whatever way possible, for the time being it is business as usual. With that said, this is a desperate plea for input, advice and guidance. Whether that is in the form of a trade printer recommendation, referrals for design consultancy work or just a pep talk.


I am going to be taking a break though! I have not firmed up dates yet, but I’m thinking between mid September and mid-end October I will likely be turning away new orders (still fulfilling any outstanding ones) – As I am going to need time to buckle down and focus on the future. This may potentially involve a rebrand of Artcadia, changes to the actual service offer, complete website overhaul etc etc; A proper good brainstorming and regroup session. I will keep you all posted on this and will notify anyone who I believe will be directly affected by any downtime.


Hope I haven’t bummed anyone out! This is not a farewell – I actually feel genuinely positive about this. It is my Erin Brokavich moment to shine as an independent woman (pass the sick bucket!) Onward and upward I say!


Speak soon, take care all.


Vici x

We're still as green as ever...

I’ve just been chatting to Farrah over at Bridge’s magazine. She popped me an email enquiring about ‘green’ wedding stationery for an upcoming feature. I realised that being eco-friendly was one of our key USPs when we started Artcadia back into 2009. While we’ve developed our brand and moved into the luxury end of the market, this is still at the forefront of our offer.

Brides are savvier than ever and as such companies like ours have to make sure we tick all the boxes. Obviously style and design grab interest, but quality of product, where things are made and how they are produced matter a great deal.

With that in mind, I thought I should blog an up to date overview of our current standard. 

Artcadia strives to practice progressive, eco-friendly printing where possible. Our letterpress and hot foil items are printed on 600gsm 100% cotton papers. These are made using recycled cotton rag by a UK Paper Mill. Being eco-friendly doesn’t compromise the luxurious element of our stationery. Our papers are super thick, luxurious and have a tactile texture.

Recycled Cotton Papers - Hot Pressed for a lightly textured finish

Recycled Cotton Papers - Hot Pressed for a lightly textured finish

Our non-metallic letterpress inks are made from soy, these are 'greener' than more commonly used rubber based inks. 

Soy Letterpress Inks

Soy Letterpress Inks

Our digitally printed items are produced using FSC accredited papers, some 100% recycled wood pulp. Our digital printer, a HP Indigo, is one of the greenest on the market to date.

 We often advise customers to use wedding websites where possible for their 'further details/particulars'. We also suggest using an email address for RSVPs. Cutting down on the number of insert cards not only saves a little money, but also makes for more eco-friendly stationery.


Custom Wedding Venue Illustrations

Incorporating your wedding venue can add a lovely personal touch to your stationery. We can create a line drawing style illustration of the building using a photograph.

Here’s a portrait of Stubton Hall in hot foil.

A simple line drawing lends itself to letterpress or hot foil

Black Letterpress and Gold Hot Foil Printing - 600gsm Cotton Stock

We exercise a little artistic licence. Some architectural details are highlighted while other less attractive features, such as dustbins or gravestones can be excluded.

Custom Wedding Venue Portrait

Depending on the amount of detail, a guide price for a venue portrait would be £65. We can incorporate the image in save the date cards, wedding invitations, menu cards and other coordinating items. 

DIY Geometric Paperweights

Paper weights are a great way to dress your desk and add some colour to a boring office. Save your pennies and make your own at a fraction of the cost.  This idea mixes modern graphics, with bright colours.

Since not everyone is an artist, these give a pleasing result without too much difficulty ...


DIY Geometric Paperweights

All you require for this project is: 

  • Smooth stones
  • Masking tape
  • Acrylic pains
  • Paintbrush

Materials required

Simply stick the masking tape over the stones to create a clean edge when painting.  When the paint is dry in one area, move your masking tape over that edge to keep it clean and then mask another segment of stone and paint again.

Use masking tape to give clean edges

Leave one segment free of paint to show the stone

Images and tutorial via Giochi di Carta. 

Edible Floral Ice Cubes - How to

A cool new way to enjoy the beauty of flowers: Freeze them in ice cubes to brighten drinks - A great way to add a dash of colour to your wedding reception.

Make your own floral ice cubes


  • Water
  • Edible Flowers
  • Ice Cube Tray

STEP 1.  

To suspend flowers in the cubes, work in layers: Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so the ice will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. Fill to the top, and freeze again.


For ice that's especially clear, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This limits impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.


Use only edible flowers, such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons, that have been grown to be eaten (to ensure they haven't been treated with chemicals).

Add to cocktails or soft drinks for a special touch

10 reasons why we should win The Perfect Wedding Magazine 2013 Award for Best Wedding Stationery

1. Customer feedback – Not a day goes by when we don’t receive either a handwritten thank you or email from a happy customer.

2. Turnaround time – Not many letterpress stationers can claim to print and deliver within 7 working days, even during peak season. We work round the clock, 7 days a week to ensure this is possible.

3. Communication – Our response time to emails is lightening fast. Whether it’s a reproof of a design or a quotation, you can guarantee a speedy reply, day or night, 7 days a week.

Artcadia Stationery Co.png
Artcadia Stationery Co.png

4. Quality of product – Our materials outshine other stationers. We use high-grade papers for both letterpress and digital print. Our print quality is top notch, we don’t consider anything but perfect acceptable.

5. Original design – We steer away from fads and cloning others design work. We offer an extensive collection of designs, while some are a little whimsical; we think they are timeless, tasteful and always-on trend. New ranges are developed, so things always look fresh.

6. Responsible – We use FSC accredited paper stock for digital printing and tree free 100% cotton papers for our letterpress printing. Our HP Indigo printer, used for digital print is the most environmentally friendly printer on the market today. Our vintage letterpresses use soy inks.

7. Patriots – Our materials are sourced from UK suppliers and manufacturers.

Artcadia Stationery Co.png

8. Bespoke – We offer a custom design service which is second to none and doesn’t cost the earth. Artcadia is favoured by wedding magazines, stylists and photographers, to provide bespoke items for styled shoots.

9. Inspiration resource – Our website, blog and social media sites offer inspiration and advice relating to all things ‘wedding’ – We are always on top of key-trends and reflect this is our product development.

10. Personal service – From initial enquiry to finishing and packing, our service is personal and hands on. Not one aspect of our process is automated which ensures we always deliver what the customer wants, tailored to their wedding day style.



I hope we've offered a compelling argument to why you should give us your vote - If you feel we deserve the win, please pop over to Perfect Wedding Magazine and vote now. 

DIY Dip Dye Firework Favour Bags!

This is such a fun idea for wedding favours. Courtesy of the brilliant Oh Happy Day


Dip Dye Firework Favour Bags

Dip Dye Firework Favour Bags

These can be dyed in any colour, perfect for tying in a colour theme at your reception. 

You'll need:  Muslin Drawstring Bags, Fabric Dyes, Hot Water, Bowl or Bucket for Dyeing, Paper Towels, and Rubber Gloves (not used but recommended!)

For full tutorial, visit Oh Happy Day

Dip Dye Firework Bags

Dip Dye Firework Bags

Fill with fun party poppers and sparklers

Fill with fun party poppers and sparklers

Our Top 5 UK Wedding Venues

St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel - Euston Road · London

A memorable wedding venue framed on all sides by Victorian design and detailing, offering many unique opportunities for great wedding photography, a real gem in the Capital.

Kew Gardens, The Nash Conservatory - Richmond Upon Thames

The Nash Conservatory has floor to ceiling windows on three sides which provide a wealth of natural daylight. It is licensed for civil ceremonies and civil partnerships for up to 200 guests. 

The Electric Cinema - Birmingham

Why not hold your memorable day in the oldest cinema in the country?  The art deco glamour of The Electric Cinema provides the most romantic setting for your wedding. With raked seating and a central aisle the main theatre on the ground floor lends itself perfectly to marriage ceremonies. Enjoy your most special day with the immortal backdrop of the silver screen.


Preston Court, The Kentish Barn - Kent

The 17th century Kentish Barn can be used for civil marriages, renewal of vows, naming ceremonies and civil partnerships on every day of the week.

This is a simple but enchanting building which can seat up to 120 people for ceremonies and receptions. There is a maximum capacity of up to 150 guests in the evening.

The Decorium - North London

The Decorium, a neo-classically designed complex inspired by Roman architecture, highlights traditional Regency style with its impressive columns. 

This superbly appointed and exceptionally unique fully air-conditioned venue offers sumptuous comfort in elegant surroundings, with excellent features and versatile facilities, combined with the character and splendour of the past. Licensed for civil ceremonies.

Julita London - For 'the' wedding dress

I’m so thrilled to write about Julita. Founded by fashion designer Jo Kuniewicz-Murray, a friend whose wedding dress stopped me in my tracks.

Jo is the talented designer behind clothing. After struggling to find ‘the’ wedding dress for her wedding set in Richmond Park’s enchanted woodland she set about creating something quite spectacular.

Jo's gorgeous plunge v back dress - designed by Jo herself

Jo's gorgeous plunge v back dress - designed by Jo herself

The dress is timeless with a modern vintage look. Floaty silk georgette embellished with vintage lace and pearl beading, completed with a dramatic detachable separate train.

A sexy plunge v back, but demure front neckline and sleeves.

Jo also designed the veil that is based on a mantilla style, but also incorporates a blusher.

The dramatic detachable train

Jo with her husband Richard

Stunning photography by Blink

Jo has since continued to design bespoke gowns and veils with increasing success. Julita has grown into a design house with a distinctive signature. The belief is that every bride should wear their dream gown, which realises the bride’s unique vision.

Designs are inspired by a love of vintage silhouettes and aesthetic, together influenced by the vibrancy and lightness of soft flowing fabrics. Gowns are made to measure with the highest quality silks. Embellishment is meticulously detailed with lace, sourced from France and Italy, and adorned with pearl hand beading, highlighting the silhouette.

The bespoke designs reflect natural timeless beauty, grace, elegance and personality, drawing on everything as individual as each bride-to-be. Julita stays true to its philosophy; exploring what brides want with creations that exist outside of the current trends and echoing a sense of Jo’s emotive, enchanted and ethereal style.

The below images are of another one of Julita's designs. 

Jo used Guipure lace flowers to embellish Melanie Ralph's wedding dress. This represented her childhood growing up in the Lakes, Mel loves wild flowers. There is also a hidden butterfly in the lace, again,  a happy memory being surrounded by nature and the beautiful scenes, so romantic.

Born in London, Jo was introduced to fashion at an early age by her mother. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Jo has over 9 years experience working as a fashion designer, which instilled her love of haute couture with an instinctively feminine handwriting and contemporary approach to design and styling. Design is innovative, with the focus on layering, textures, exceptional quality, construction and fit. Fairytale creations embody qualities of lucid dream-like scenes and stories of sophisticated beauty. The design house is named in memory of Jo’s Godmother and aunt, Julita,
 a keen dressmaker, who had her own atelier in her native Poland for over 30 years.

Images by Tim Simpson Photography

The process begins with a consultation to discuss ideas and share your aspirations. Julita’s archive of fabric, lace, trims, fashion references, mood boards and sketches will inspire. This consultation is followed up with an appointment with more concise research, resulting in sketches from which a design will be discussed. After taking detailed measurements, a toile in similar mock fabric will be made.  The design adjustments will evolve throughout the numerous toile fittings required to create the block for the truly unique gown. Once the design is finalised, the pattern will then be adjusted according to the alterations of the toile. The dress will then be cut in the fabric of your choice and any further alterations will be made to the fit. Once the dress is finished to a high standard, all the embellishment and detailing will be added.

The initial consultations are free and without obligation. The price of a bespoke gown depends on the fabrics and trims selected, therefore Julita can work to a wide range of budgets.

Every girl dreams of ‘the’ dress, so for further information contact Jo at 

Donkey Sanctuary Awarded Wedding License

Being rather animal obsessed I love seeing couples get their dogs and various pets involved in their nuptials. We've been asked to incorporate four legged friends in many a stationery design. We are yet to design a donkey themed suite, but I hope that's soon to change!

Couples looking for a truly unique venue for their wedding can now choose to say ‘I do’ at a Devonshire Donkey Sanctuary, which has this week been awarded a licence to hold weddings and civil ceremonies.

The charity has a choice of two venues for ceremonies: a formal garden room or the warm and cosy setting of a donkey stable. The headquarters are set in beautiful Devon countryside with stunning views and is home to 500 of the 15,500 donkeys that the charity has provided sanctuary for since forming in 1969. Profits from weddings held will go directly to supporting The Donkey Sanctuary’s projects worldwide.

Image via Pinterest

For more information or to arrange a visit to view the facilities on offer, contact Claire Shapcott on 01395 578222 or

By choosing The Donkey Sanctuary for a wedding or special occasion, not only will couples be able to choose a spectacular and unique locations that’s sure to make it a day to remember, but will also help to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of donkeys in need and the people who depend on them.