Simply Jessica Marie

Earl Grey French 75 Cocktail Recipe

Recipes, SJM ShopJessica PeddicordComment

Hooray, it's the first cocktail recipe post of 2018!! The 2018 Cocktail Calendar was inspired by my all-time favorite type of cocktails: brunch cocktails. The kind that turn Saturday and Sunday mornings into long afternoons gabbing with your best friends - you know what I'm talking about!

I wanted to set the tone for the 2018 cocktails with one that is both festive yet relaxing. One that welcomes the new year with as much excitement as it does balance, if you will. What is it? An Earl Grey French 75! And y'all, I cannot waaaait to try it out this month!

Earl Grey French 75 Cocktail Recipe | 2018 Cocktail Calendar by Simply Jessica Marie

earl grey french 75

serves 1


  • 1 ounce of your gin of choice
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of Earl Grey honey simple syrup (see recipe below!)
  • 3 ounces of champagne
  • ice
  • a lemon slice or twist for garnish


  • 1 cup of brewed Earl Grey tea
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of honey (depending on your preferred sweetness)


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine your Earl Grey tea, sugar, and honey. Let them boil until the sugar dissolves and the honey has melted into the water (whisking the mixture will help!). Strain the mixture, and let it cool. 
  2. Combine your gin, lemon juice, Earl Grey simply syrup, and ice into a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake your concoction (for about 20 seconds), and strain into your favorite champagne flute.
  4. Top it off with champagne, and garnish with a lemon wedge or twist. Enjoy immediately!

recipe inspired by cookie and kate and beautiful booze


The Earl Grey French 75 would be perfect paired with lavender macarons!

2018 Cocktail Calendar by Simply Jessica Marie | Watercolor Cocktail Calendar | Photo by SC Stockshop

photo by sc stockshop

2018 cocktail calendar

If you love brunch cocktails as much as I do, you are going to LOVE the 2018 Cocktail Calendar!! 

Each month of this brunch inspired 2018 Cocktail Calendar features a different illustrated cocktail that is perfectly fitting for that month and season.

I will post the recipe for each month's cocktail here on my blog the first Thursday of every month, giving you plenty of time to incorporate the drink into any brunches you are hostessing or attending!

If you try this recipe or display your January calendar design in your home, I'd love to see! Share on Instagram with the hashtag #sjmcocktails and tag me @simplyjessicamarie so I can follow along and share your photo on my page/stories, too!

A Story about Copyright Ownership from an Artist's Perspective

LearningJessica PeddicordComment

Tonight, I wanted to share a personal story with you about a time when I lost hundreds if not thousands of dollars on potential sales - all because I didn't have a clear and professional contract. If you're a fellow artist/calligrapher/stationer reading this - while I wish you won't be able to relate to this at one point or another, I have a feeling you probably will.

before i dive into the story, take a peek at the 2 contracts i swear by here - at 40% off through tonight at midnight!

Stationery and Calligraphy Template by The Contract Shop | A story about copyright ownership from an artist's perspective

A couple years ago, I designed a beautiful custom wedding crest for a sweet SJM couple, along with some complementary watercolor floral paintings that we used throughout their wedding invitations. When we finished designing their invitation suite, it was time to chat about their day-of details!

I provided my couple with a list of options for their day-of designs, including welcome favor tags, programs, a ceremony backdrop, menus, place cards, and more. To stay within budget, they chose a couple of the options and said they would forego the others (is this raising a red flag for ya?).

A few weeks after their beautiful wedding weekend, I saw a photo from their wedding featuring their wedding welcome bags - and I was FLOORED.

They had taken the artwork I created for their invitations, and used it to print their own welcome tags, welcome gift labels for at least 4 different items (each with a unique design), a wedding weekend itinerary card, and water bottle labels. And they likely printed more details, but that is all I could see from Instagram at that point. 

What made matters worse? Not only did they print my artwork without my permission (making me feel like they didn't respect me as a businesswoman - and that the designs I created for them didn't have enough value to be printed professionally), but they also manipulated the artwork from their designs. They digitally picked apart flowers that were a part of their crest and invitation, creating ew designs of their own. Again - all without telling me, and all without my permission.

maybe they didn't know any better...

Now I have to say - I honestly, truly love my clients - that couple included! And from chatting with many clients since this instance, I've found out that most clients who don't work in the art or wedding industry simply think that if they pay for custom artwork, they deserve the rights to the digital files of said artwork for free to use as they please. An understandable assumption if you're not familiar with copyright law, but...

Did you know that's not the case? Did you know:

  • hat you legally own the rights to all artwork you design - whether it is a custom commission or a shop product design? 
  • That the artwork made by you is immediately protected by federal copyright law - whether you register it or not? 
  • That if you find out that a client id print your artwork outside of something you created and sold to them, that you have the right to invoice them for the value of that piece?
  • And that no one else can alter or sell what you create (unless they pay for a license to do so - in which case they still can't alter your designs - just print and/or sell them depending on your license agreement)?

I knew all of those things, but since I didn't have a professional contract at the time when I designed that wedding artwork and stationery - there wasn't a whole lot I could do. The random contract I googled and edited on my own definitely didn't have a copyright ownership clause, it didn't protect my business, and it definitely wouldn't have held up in court.

what would i do now, with a solid contract?

If I had a solid contract at that time, I could have sent them a simple, professional email saying how beautiful their wedding was - but that as per our contract, I would be sending over an invoice for the designs they printed with my artwork. 

But because I am ot a fan of confrontation and prefer to love on my clients from the beginning, I would have instead simply referenced our contract at multiple touch points during our design process.

I would have made it super clear during our original day-of details convo that if they would like to commission me to create some of their day-of details and print others on their own - that all they'd need to do was purchase an extended license agreement for those designs, and everyone would be happy as a clam! No hurt feelings, no money lost, no awkward convos, and no legal issues. 

what you can do to protect yourself

the two contracts i swear by:

*Please note that the print release contract is technically for photographers, but I've chatted with Christina (the owner of The Contract Shop) and she said all we need to do is swap the language of photos/photographer for art/artist, calligraphy/calligrapher, or stationery/stationer and it would be PERFECT for us to use as our print agreement, too!! 

And at $29.40 on sale - you can't beat that!!

have any questions?

I know how tempting it can be to fall back on the "welllll, this free Google contract is probably okay" mindset, until it's not. Unti you've lost out on money like I did.

Have questions before investing in a solid contract this year? end me an email and let me know! I'm happy to chat and help you decide which contract is best for you.

Also, please know that I'm in no way a lawyer and this isn't legal advice, but that I 100% trust in Christina (she's a fellow calligrapher so she really gets us!) and the contracts she creates.

PS - Skip all the way to the bottom? I know that was a long story ;) Here's my stationery & calligraphy contract, and here's the print release contract I use when I send digital files of artwork to clients. They're both 40% off (no code needed!) until TONIGHT at midnight!

his blog post contains affiliate links, but I would 100% still share this email even if I wasn't an affiliate. I own and use both of the contracts I mention in this email, so you can trust that I believe in them!

Gift Guide - Gifts Under $50 For Her

SJM ShopJessica PeddicordComment

Hey friend! As a quick reminder, all non-custom items in the SJM Shop are 20% off with code HOLIDAYCHEER at checkout, and the Printing and Production Partners Guide is just $99 (down from $137) with no code needed! 

The sale ends tomorrow at 11:59 EST (because if you're like me, you always forget at least one person's gift during Cyber Weekend sales - so I wanted to give you another day to shop & save!).

Speaking of gifting, maybe you've scanned the SJM Shop once or twice, but just cannot decide what to get for each of the ladies on your list. So, I thought it would be fun to share an SJM Gift Guide with y'all today: Gifts Under $50 for Her! (aka, for your best friend, for your mama, for your newly engaged friend, etc.!)

Gift Guide - Gifts Under $50 For Her | Simply Jessica Marie

1. Christmas Tea Towels 2. Oh Hello Love Mug 3. 2018 Cocktail Calendar 
4. Merry Christmas Y'all Art Print 5. Mrs. Mug 6. Art Supplies Pencil Case

gift guide: gifts under $50 for her

for mom & grandma

If your mom & grandma are anything like mine - they both love to cook and bake! Not only that, but any time I get my mom a Christmas gift, my grandma lways wants the same exact thing. 

So, I thought it would be a fun idea for you to gift your mom & grandma these darling Christmas Tea Towels this year! Get them a matching set (the Merry Christmas Y'all tea towel has been a shop favorite!), or mix and match and let them choose their favorites. hey're sure to love them - and will love baking cookies with you on Christmas morning using them. A tradition that's sure to be continued for years to come!

for your sister

Sure, you could get your sis another candle or sweater (hey, nothing wrong with that!). But, I'd recommend getting her something that she'll use every day that will make her think of you! What's that? The Oh Hello Love Mug

Quite literally say hello to your sister each morning over coffee - whether you still live together, or you're miles away like me and my sis are. Even if she's too young to enjoy coffee, she's sure to love using it with some hot cocoa this year!

for your best friend

Oooh your bestie. The girl you love most in life, and who you've probably already gotten every gift under the moon for over the past handful of years! What can you get her that's new and exciting this year? I know she'll LOVE the 2018 Cocktail Calendar!! 

The calendar will sit pretty on her desk at work or at her home - and it will remind her to schedule as many brunch dates as possible with you in 2018! Plus, with 12 free watercolor art prints (one on the back side of each calendar page), you're really gifting her 13 gifts in one :) Win win in my book!

for your hostess friend

Do you have a friend who oves hosting all of your holiday parties? If so, I have the perfect gift for her - the Merry Christmas Y'all Art Print!

Bring this gift framed and ready to hang (here's my fav frame to pair with it - from Target, of course!) early in December when she hosts her first holiday gathering. That way, she's able to get lots of use out of it throughout the entire month! And, she's of course going to bring it out year and year to come, thinking of you each time she passes by it in her entryway as guests pour into her home.

for your newly engaged or married friend

We all know that the holiday season can also be called engagement season - and what better gift to give a newly engaged or married friend than something that celebrates just that!

eep it classic with this black and white calligraphy Mrs. Mug - a mug that is sure to fit all of your engaged and married friends' home decor styles, and one that they'll not-so-secretly get excited to use daily! 

for your artsy friend

Do you have a friend who has been a long-time painter, or one who has decided to make her 2018 resolution to learn a new artistic hobby? If so, she's sure to love this Art Supplies Pencil Case

The case is both the perfect travel companion, and the perfect spot to hold all of her art supplies on her desk to keep things tidy! They perfectly fit paintbrushes (without the bristles bending!) and can hold up to 30 paint tubes in one case - letting her love exploring a variety of colors.

Bonus gift idea? Stock the case with a few of these paint tubes (here is my favorite brand!) to encourage her to paint something pretty this upcoming year!

don't forget to package them pretty!

Once you've selected the most perfect gifts for all the ladies on your list - make sure to grab a handful of watercolor gift tags to make pretty gifting a breeze this year!

My suggestion? Grab one of each of the variety packs - the Nutcracker Gift Tags Variety Set and the lassic Watercolor Christmas Gift Tags Variety Set. That way, you can choose a unique design for each gift you wrap - one that fits the personality of each lady in your life!

SALE DATES: Black Friday - Giving Tuesday (11/24 - 11/28)

SALE CODE: Use code HOLIDAYCHEER for 20% off your order!

SALE ITEMS: Everything except custom designs are 20% off

5 Best Black Friday Sales for Creatives

SJM Shop, Learning, DesignJessica PeddicordComment

Happy Black Friday, again!! I am SO excited to share 5 of my absolute favorite Black Friday sales with y'all today, specifically for creative entrepreneurs and artists. Most of these sales only come around once a year, and will make a huge impact on your business throughout the rest of this year and into 2018! 

Of course, as we head into Small Business Saturday tomorrow, I also wanted to say thank you oh so much for your amazing support of my small business this year! All of the artwork I create is for y'all, and in return you keep me continually inspired to be a better artist and businesswoman. And for that, I am forever thankful!

Alright y'all - now time for my favorite sales roundup!

The 5 Best Black Friday Sales for Creatives, Artists, Shop Owners, Stationers, and Calligraphers | Simply Jessica Marie

5 best Black Friday sales for creatives

The Contract Shop | 40% Off

I'm sure you've heard it time and time again - it is absolutely necessary as a business owner to have a solid, professional contract. But I know, I know. It can be daunting to even know where to start, right? Most lawyers have hardly any experience with our creative industry, so they don't know how to begin making contracts for us.

That is why I LOVE my friend Christina Scalera's The Contract Shop. Christina is both a creative, and a lawyer - aka, a lawyer for creatives. She GETS our industry, because she's in it, too. She listens to our needs, and creates contracts contracts that set us up for success and protect us and our clients.

And today through Monday, her entire shop is 40% off. She only has this sale twice a year, and this is the last time for 2017!

Make this year the year you get "legit" with a professional contract, tailored to you. Whether you're an artist, calligrapher, stationer, photographer, wedding planner, workshop host, or any other gamut of creative - she has contracts for just about everyone. Click below to see which best fits your unique business!

SC Stockshop | 40% Off - Ends Tonight!

Are y'all tired of me talking about how much I love the SC Stockshop yet? Sorry, because I'm going to do it again!

I can't even begin to express how many ways I use SC Stockshop photos.

  • I use them to display my shop products (saving me SO MUCH MONEY AND TIME from hiring a photographer to do a photoshoot each time I launch a new collection)
  • I integrate them in my social media (perfect for posting in a pinch!)
  • I even use them throughout my client price proposals (I've had clients RAVE about how beautifully mine stand out compared to the other artists they were considering!!)
  • And I use them to display client design mockups so they can confidently see how their invitation suites and paintings will look far before they get to see them in person (it gets them both excited for their pieces, and calm because they can envision how they'll look once printed - much more realistic looking than a mockup on a solid colored background!)

Shay also only has this sale twice a year, with this sale being the last one of 2017. All of her photos, including the amazing brand builder sets, are 40% off through tonight at midnight with code STOCKUP40 at checkout!

Once a photo is sold out, it won't return to the shop - so grab your favorites ASAP! Then begin to have fun playing with your new "toys" as I like to call them :)

PS - Want to watch tutorials about how I use SC Stockshop photos before investing in them? Click here to read and watch all my free trainings! 

Adobe Creative Cloud | 20% Off - Ends Tonight!

I literally use my favorite Adobe programs (Illustrator and Photoshop) daily. As an artist and stationer, I need these programs in order to professionally scan and edit my artwork, as well as create stunning layouts for printed products and web graphics.

If you've been considering taking the leap and investing in Adobe Creative Cloud, now is the time to do so! They're having a 20% off sale that only lasts until tonight, and won't be back until next year!

I personally have the entire cloud rather than investing in individual programs, because I do use some of their other programs (like inDesign) on occasion, too. It's much more affordable as a bundle if you want more than 2 programs! Plus, they're always updating the programs and you get free upgrades with Creative Cloud. SO nice.

ConvertKit | Free 30 Day Trial

You've probably heard the saying that you don't own your social media followers, but you do own your email list. And not to beat a dead horse - but with all the algorithm changes and the looming Net Neutrality act potentially disappearing on Tuesday (meaning people might have to pay more to access social media) it couldn't be more true that email is king. 

Earlier this year, I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit. And y'all I could not be happier that I did! This email marketing platform is insanely smart and powerful, but simple to use. 

I use it to segment my subscribers into different groups (really important since I have different emails that I send to artists, artists specifically interested in the SJM Art School, brides/wedding vendors, and more - that way I don't bug people with emails they simply don't want so they don't hit that dreaded unsubscribe button!)

I also use it to create forms throughout my website and social media that allow y'all to easily sign up for freebies and exclusive trainings - and instantly get access upon entering your email address.

And today through Monday, you can sign up for a FREE 30 Day Trial - something they pretty much never offer and truthfully won't again for a looong time! That way, you can test it out, get nerdy with making subscriber lists and awesome forms to get your followers to sign up for your newsletter, and fall just as in love with it as I have.

Don't miss this opportunity to grow your online business!!

Blick | Up to 30% Off + Free Shipping

Blick is my go-to online shop for all art supplies. They by far have the widest selection of art supplies, from watercolor paper to watercolor paints, paint brushes, paint palettes, and SO MUCH MORE. It's essentially my equivalent to my J.Crew obsession, but for art supplies!

Use code WKD2017 through midnight (CST) 11/27/17: 15% off $69+, 20% off $99+, 25% off $159+, 30% off $239+, free shipping on $25+! 

My personal favorite pick from the sale? These Arches Watercolor Paper Pads, which are 50% off (no code needed!). Arches is the creme de la creme of watercolor paper, and this is an insane deal!! I've never seen it this affordable.

To see even more amazing deals, click the link below!

Other Amazingly Mentionable Sales

Well y'all, I couldn't just stop at 5 awesome Black Friday Weekend sales. Here are some (incredibly) honorable mentions that I know y'all will love, too!

I hope you enjoy these Black Friday sales for creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, calligraphers, and shop owners! Hopefully they're a fun treat for yourself - but also spark some ideas of what to get as gifts for your creative friends this year, too!

The SJM Black Friday Weekend Sale

SJM ShopJessica PeddicordComment

I hope y'all had a marvelous Thanksgiving with family yesterday, and you're eating leftover pie for breakfast this morning! If you're like me, rather than waking up at the crack of dawn to brave the crowds, you're still lounging in your PJs restful and happy, knowing that you can both support wonderful small businesses and find gorgeous unique pieces for your loved ones from the comfort of your couch. A win, win? Absolutely!

Are you still a little sleepy from all of that turkey yesterday? I completely understand, friend! While I'd love for you to read through all of the inspiration behind my new collection, here's the quick recap of my holiday sale and giveaway details!


sale dates: 11/24 - 11/27
sale: 20% off all products*
coupon code: HOLIDAYCHEER

*sale excludes custom orders

I am SO excited to share my SJM Holiday 2017 Collection with y'all this morning!! This year's designs are all about traditions and nostalgia - from decorating your home and watching it transition into a winter wonderland, to welcoming loved ones into that home, baking cookies with one another, and listening to The Nutcracker's soundtrack dance through the hallways.

I hope these designs evoke a sense of awe and joy, and make your heart happy thinking of the traditions you have either created with your loved ones, or will create in holidays to come!

Not only is my holiday collection launching this morning, but so is my 2018 Cocktail Calendar! Y'all, I am SO excited about this year's calendar - it's my favorite yet! Why's that? Glad you asked, there are a few reasons! 

There's nothing quite like gathering on a weekend morning over brunch to catch up with friends, is there? Whether you go out for brunches or stay in - a little something bubbly takes regular breakfast to a talk-all-morning kind of day.

If you have guests over quite frequently, it might seem daunting to try new recipes and cocktail concoctions for each gathering. My advice? Try these 12 unique brunch cocktails - one for each month of the year! Some months I recommend sticking to the classics (in the ongoing battle of mimosa vs. bloody mary), and others I encourage you to branch out and try something uniquely tasty. All 12 are sure to be crowd pleaser!


Y'all asked, and I listened! Earlier this year I polled you on Insta stories asking if you'd prefer the calendar to come with a stand, and an overwhelming 88% of y'all said yes! And I'm so glad you did, because these stands are a work of art in and of themselves.

They're delicate brass lacquered stands that will not only be the perfect companion to hold your calendar throughout the year - but are also the perfect stands for photos and other art once 2018 is over.

I only have 70 of these beautiful stands, so quantities for the 2018 cocktail calendar are limited! They always sell out each year, so make sure to snag yours on Friday before they run out!



Last year, I introduced a new feature to my calendar: an art print on the back side of each month. That way, once you are done using your calendar for the month, you can simply flip it over, frame it, and use it as seasonal bar cart decor! And I'm bringing that back again this year, but switching things up juuuust a tad.

This year, each calendar month and coordinating art print will simply be focused on the painting itself, rather than having an accompanying cocktail name in calligraphy. Why? Because I wanted to treat each of these prints as my modern interpretation of a still life painting set at a brunch table. Something a tad more fine art, while still being incredibly fun and whimsical.



Although I won't be listing the cocktail names on the individual calendar pages, the back side of the calendar cover is an incredibly darling menu! That way, you know what each painting represents, and what recipes you have to look forward to throughout the year!

Each month's brunch cocktail recipe will be served fresh on the first Thursday of every month here on my blog - giving you plenty of time to prep and plan a morning get together with your best girlfriends.


So, what are some of my favorite sale products? Of course, I love the 2018 Cocktail Calendar, especially June's mimosa bar illustration! I also love the (new!) Merry Christmas Y'all Tea Towels, which are both perfect for baking and decorating. Perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift if you ask me!

The Cozy Christmas Scene Art Print (available both as 8x10 and 11x14) is such a classic choice, one that will definitely be pulled out to display year after year! And, don't forget to not only give thoughtful gifts, but package them beautifully to create extra excitement for your loved ones! This Nutcracker gift tag variety set is so perfect, as it comes with two of each of the five designs to create a set of ten gift tags! That way, you can select the perfect tag to fit the personality of your unique friends and family members!



The holiday products aren't the only things on sale this year! So are all of the other non-custom items in the Lifestyle Shop, the Artist Shop, and the Wedding Shop.

My favorite (and y'alls, too!)? The Printing and Production Partners Guide, but of course! Today through Tuesday, grab this must-have guide for stationers, calligraphers, artists, and shop owners for just $99 - no code needed. Save yourself the stress, time researching, and dollars wasted working with not-so-great vendors, and swipe the exact printing and production partners I use to create all of my wedding stationery and shop products - and package them like a pro.


*My holiday sale excludes all custom orders, and my design calendar for custom commissions is currently full through mid-February 2018. However, I have such a heart for custom designs that I want to be able to allow you to give the gift of art this holiday season! So, I wanted to share these fun personalized gift certificates for you to purchase along with the custom artwork of your choice - so you can let your loved ones know that they have something extra special coming from me!! Head here to learn more about the gift certificates and how you can get one to bring some cheer this season. PS - while custom art isn't on sale, these gift certificates are! Yay!



And as a friendly reminder - see the graphic above to know when to place your order for holiday delivery! 

Did you make it all the way to the bottom of this post, friend? If so, go grab an extra slice of apple pie for breakfast - you definitely deserve it! Have such a wonderful and restful weekend, friend! If you're like me and like to celebrate each holiday in it's entirety, today will be spent swapping fall decor for Christmas decorations! Cue the Nutcracker soundtrack by Tchaikovsky.....