Simply Jessica Marie

How to Make a Mimosa Bar with 3 Mimosa Recipes

Recipes, SJM ShopJessica PeddicordComment

Mimosa bars are some of my absolute favorite ways to create an inviting brunch or party! I had one at my bridal shower (but swapped champagne for prosecco!), and it was such a hit! 

The best part about mimosa bars? They are so easy to put together. Just lay out a few ingredients, and let your guests do the mixing!

PS - who else flipped the page of their 2018 Cocktail Calendar this week? If so, let's toast each other with a virtual cocktail hour today to celebrate!

How to Make a Mimosa Bar | 3 Recipes | Watercolor Cocktail Painting by Simply Jessica Marie | SJM 2018 Cocktail Calendar

I'm sharing my three favorite mimosa bar recipes below: a grapefruit mimosa recipe, a classic mimosa recipe, and a raspberry lemonade mimosa recipe.

You'll notice that I'm recommending the same types of fruit for garnish for all three recipes. The reason for that is I recommend displaying all of the fruit out on the table in front of the juices and champagne (as seen in the photos!), and letting your guests decide which combination they prefer to create a unique mimosa all on their own!

Grapefruit Mimosa Recipe

photo by Blue Barn Photography from The School of Styling

grapefruit mimosa

serves 6-10 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle of chilled champagne
  • 3 cups of chilled grapefruit juice (about a pitcher full!)
  • grapefruit slices, orange slices, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill the champagne flute about 1/4 - 1/3 full with grapefruit juice
  2. Top off the juice with champagne, and stir lightly
  3. Garnish with your choice of fruit, and enjoy!

BRUNCH PAIRING SUGGESTION

This grapefruit olive oil cake from Sugar & Soul Co looks absolutely divine!!

Classic Mimosa Recipe

photo by Blue Barn Photography from The School of Styling

classic mimosa

serves 6-10 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle of chilled champagne
  • 3 cups of chilled orange juice (about a pitcher full!)
  • orange slices, grapefruit slices, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill the champagne flute about 1/4 - 1/3 full with orange juice
  2. Top off the juice with champagne, and stir lightly
  3. Garnish with your choice of fruit, and enjoy!

BRUNCH PAIRING SUGGESTION

Go all out orange with these orange cream scones from A Latte Food!

Raspberry Mimosa Recipe

photo by Blue Barn Photography from The School of Styling

raspberry lemonade mimosa

serves 6-10 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle of chilled champagne
  • 3 cups of chilled raspberry lemonade (about a pitcher full!)
  • grapefruit slices, orange strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill the champagne flute about 1/4 - 1/3 full with raspberry lemonade
  2. Top off the raspberry lemonade with champagne, and stir lightly
  3. Garnish with your choice of fruit, and enjoy!

BRUNCH PAIRING SUGGESTION

I'm dying to make this overnight raspberry cream cheese french toast recipe from Tornadough Alli - so easy to make and it looks so tasty!

Simply Jessica Marie 2018 Cocktail Calendar | Brunch Cocktails | Cocktail Watercolor Illustration Desk Calendar

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!! (PS - there's only ONE left in stock!)

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 these recipes or display your June 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!

What is the Difference Between Digitizing Watercolors and Vectorizing Artwork?

LearningJessica PeddicordComment

One of the biggest questions I get about the Digitizing Watercolors course is if it also covers vectorizing, which it does not.

Why doesn't it?

Because I truthfully do not vectorize my watercolors: it isn't necessary!

Through the methods I teach you in the Digitizing Watercolors course, you will end up with design files that are high resolution and ready to print on a large scale without losing the quality - no vectorizing needed.

But, I do vectorize black & white traces of my brush calligraphy and watercolor designs (ex: of custom crests) for a few reasons:

  1. Anytime I send a design to production for letterpress or foil, the elements that are pressed/stamped need to be vectorized.
  2. If a client needs their design in a black & white fully scalable format for something like a wedding gobo.
  3. If I were to design custom branding for a creative (a service I used to offer), and wanted to provide them with both the watercolor versions of their designs and the vectorized artwork - in case they have letterpress business cards printed!

You might be wondering: what's the difference between digitizing and vectorizing anyway?

Let me explain!

digitizing watercolors

Digitizing watercolors, the way I teach it, covers how to properly scan in your artwork at the best quality, edit your colors to best match your original painting, seamlessly remove your paper texture background without erasing any of the light colors in your painted design, brighten & refine your design so it pops and has life, and save your designs so that they are ready for both print and web.

vectorizing artwork

Vectorizing is the process of using mathematic equations and geometric primitives (points, lines, and shapes) to create art that can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity.

Can you see how these two processes of editing your artwork go hand in hand?

Here's a few examples below to visually illustrate what I'm talking about!

Digitizing Watercolors Versus Vectorizing Artwork by Simply Jessica Marie

This is Catherine & Francis' watercolor wedding crest I painted, alongside the black and white version that I vectorized

I provide my crest clients with both types of files, so that they can use their design on a variety of products (watercolor crest on signage vs. vectorized crest on gold foil cocktail napkins or embroidered linens for their newlywed home). A major selling point!

If you prefer to handle all of your own printing & production, you could also upsell your artwork (like crests, monograms, maps, florals) by showing your clients a brochure of printed options they could commission from you featuring their custom design (this could be done via a HoneyBook brochure, or in your online shop!).

Watercolor and Letterpress Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Vitor Lando Photo

Ashley and Adam's invitations featured a delicate watercolor floral border (digitally printed), with the body of their invitations and their names in calligraphy in a beautiful blue letterpress on double thick paper.

Knowing how to combine watercolor & letterpress is going to expand your service offerings and help you book clients who are interested in fine print methods!

Gold Foil and Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Callie Lindsey Photography

Karen & Connor's invitations featured their digitally printed crest, blue digitally printed text, and blush line art florals, accented by gold foil line art florals, calligraphy names, and even a gold foil crest outline for a pop of shimmer & shine!

Trust me, wedding clients love foil, and I want to help get you comfortable with offering it!!

SJM Art School Bonus:
My Vectorizing Artwork Formula & Video

If you've been reading through this post and have been thinking, "oh gosh, I really do need to learn how to vectorize!!" - I have a bonus that won't just save you money, but will also save you TONS of time, allow you to book more clients, and feel confident branching into new design territories like letterpress, foil, custom branding, and more.

What am I talking about?

I'm releasing a never before shared bonus for everyone who enrolls in the SJM Art School Semester Bundle:

My image trace formula for easily vectorizing calligraphy & line art designs!

The bonus won't just be the formula - it will be a bonus video where I walk you through all the steps I take to easily & cleanly vectorize my designs!

So, if you've been eager to learn how to both digitize your watercolors and vectorize your black & white artwork so you can confidently:

  • Offer a variety of professionally printed, high-quality products to customers & clients
  • Not only provide digitally printed stationery to your clients, but also fine print methods like letterpress & foil
  • Expand your ideal client/customer base, and increase your profitability
    • Because you know that the more you can upsell your artwork by providing additional products & services (like koozies, foil napkins, foil art prints, etc.) - the more you can keep existing clients coming back for more - rather than constantly having to struggle to find new clients
    • And...the finer print methods you offer = a higher profit margin for you, too!

...I invite you to sign up for the waitlist to become an SJM Art School Semester Bundle student! That way, you'll be the first to know when the classes (and bonuses like this one!) are available again!

People just like you have already made the decision to become confident watercolor artists - and they're already doing it!

Artists like you who are eager to learn the lessons and skills it takes to learn the basics of watercolor so you can feel confident in becoming a watercolor pro - AND learn advanced techniques like digitizing your watercolors & vectorizing your designs to turn them into profitable shop products & custom services!

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Because if you're needing a strategic growth plan that will hold your hand as you learn the basics, and then provide you with the exact step-by-step formula that I personally use each time I digitize my watercolors with the exact list of vendors I use to create high quality art prints/stationery/lifestyle products that you can build your own online shop with...

the Semester Bundle is the only comprehensive art school you'll need to experience real growth.

If you have any other questions, I am more than happy to help! Use the live chat tool on my site right now and let me know. :) (If I'm away, you can also email me!)

*Please note: this bonus will only be available to students who enroll in the entire Semester Bundle, not in the individual classes. The bonus will also be sent to all Semester Bundle students who have previously enrolled!


This blog post contains affiliate links for HoneyBook, but only because I personally use & love it, and know it will save you so much time by automating admin tasks and allow you to appear far more professional to potential clients. Win, win!

The Best Memorial Day Weekend Sales for Artists and Entrepreneurs

LearningJessica PeddicordComment

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! With all of the incredible sales happening this weekend, it can be hard to sift through all of the tempting J.Crew ads to find sales that will really help your business grow.

So, I thought it would be fun to put together a roundup post of all the best Memorial Day Weekend sales for artists and entrepreneurs!

Here are the sales I'll personally be shopping:

The Best Scanner for Watercolor Paintings

the best scanner for watercolor paintings

no coupon code needed

The exact scanner I use for all of my watercolor paintings and brush calligraphy is currently on sale from Amazon Prime! It's under $80, making it such a steal.

There are a lot of expensive scanners out there, and trust me - I tested many of them before falling in love with this one!

It's the best scanner for watercolors that I've found (no need for extra photography/film-specific features like the more expensive models), with the best scanning results hands-down.

And on Amazon Prime - you can get it for free shipping and have it in just a couple of days, such a win!

The Contract Shop 40% Off Sale

the contract shop 40% off sale

no coupon code needed, ends 5/28

It's that time of year - The Contract Shop is having their semi-annual 40% off sale!! This is the time when I always stock up on any new contracts I need.

This year, I asked Christina to create a contract bundle specifically for us multifaceted artists. Artists who offer original paintings, custom stationery, and/or calligraphy. A bundle that groups together all the contracts we'll need in a way that doesn't break the bank!

The bundle includes:

  • Fine art commissions & custom paintings contract template
  • Custom calligraphy or stationery contract template
  • GDPR compliant terms & conditions and privacy policy template
  • Print Release (what I send my clients any time I send them the digital files of their art)

And since it's 40% off, this is a deal that truthfully should not be missed - because the entire bundle of all 4 contracts/templates is just $479.40 (normally $799, and valued at $1214).

Y'all - just ONE of the full priced contract templates on their own is $455. Doing the math - you can get all 4 of these contracts/templates for only $24.40 more than the cost of one contract sold separately at full price!

Go ahead, do a little happy dance - I know I did!!

Watercolor Supplies

free shipping + 10% off at blick art supplies

coupon code: CENP

When I'm not shopping at my local art store, Blick is my go-to for high quality watercolor art supplies at affordable prices. They always have great deals!

This weekend, they're offering free shipping if you spend $39, plus 10% off orders of $79 or more!

If you've been meaning to pick up new paint tubes, brushes, or paper - now is the time to do so!

Here are a few of my favorite tried-and-true watercolor supplies:

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framebridge white hot frame sale

take 20% off white frames with code whitehot until 5/29

Framebridge is my go-to custom framing company, and y'all always love their frames! If you're looking to professionally frame your art for your own home - or if you need to frame artwork for a client - this would be the perfect weekend to do so!

Framebridge is offering 20% off all white frames with code WHITEHOT through Tuesday, 5/29.

Digitizing-Watercolors-Versus-Vectorizing-Artwork-by-Simply-Jessica-Marie.png

SJM Art School Vectorizing Bonus

no code needed, expires 5/30 at 11:59pm EST

I couldn't end this post without sharing Memorial Day Weekend excitement of my own!

All students who enroll in the SJM Art School Semester Bundle today through Wednesday, 5/30 at 11:59pm EST will not only receive all of the incredible 4 core courses and their amazing bonuses...

But you'll also receive a NEW bonus: my image trace formula for easily vectorizing calligraphy & line art designs!

The bonus won't just be the formula - it will be a bonus video where I walk you through all the steps I take to easily & cleanly vectorize my designs!

While I do not vectorize my watercolor paintings (I digitize them, not vectorize them - and I'll be sharing a blog post explaining the difference between those two processes this week!), I do vectorize the black and white traces of the artwork I create for a few reasons:

  1. Anytime I send a design to production for letterpress or foil, the elements that are pressed/stamped need to be vectorized.
  2. If a client needs their design in a black & white fully scalable format for something like a wedding gobo.
  3. If I were to design custom branding for a creative (a service I used to offer), and wanted to provide them with both the watercolor versions of their designs and the vectorized artwork - in case they have letterpress business cards printed!

If you've been dying to learn how to digitize your watercolors and vectorize your artwork, now would be the perfect time to become an SJM Art School Semester Bundle student!!

*Please note: this bonus will only be available to students who enroll in the entire Semester Bundle, not in the individual classes. The bonus will also be sent to all Semester Bundle students who have previously enrolled!

I hope this Memorial Day Weekend sales guide for artists and entrepreneurs is helpful for you as you're considering the investments to smartly make in your business this weekend!

If I missed any big sales that you're shopping for artists and entrepreneurs - leave a comment below to share with all of us!

Maple Margarita Recipe

Recipes, SJM ShopJessica PeddicordComment

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! While I wanted to share this recipe on Thursday per usual, I thought it would be fun to wait to share it on Cinco de Mayo since it's such a fitting recipe for this cocktail.

If you're planning brunch this weekend (maybe a continued celebration tomorrow on Sunday?), consider this Maple Margarita your go-to festive drink!

PS - who else flipped the page of their 2018 Cocktail Calendar this week? If so, let's toast each other with a virtual cocktail hour today to celebrate!

Maple Margarita Recipe | Watercolor Cocktail Painting by Simply Jessica Marie | SJM 2018 Cocktail Calendar

maple margarita

serves 1

INGREDIENTS

for the margaritas:

  • 1 1/2 ounces of your tequila of choice
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed, if possible!) note: you can use Cointreau instead of orange juice, but one of our favorite Mexican restaurants from Knoxville uses OJ, and it's delicious!
  • 1-2 ounces of maple simple syrup, to taste (see below)
  • the juice of almost one full lime (about 3/4 of a lime's juice should be perfect)
  • ice
  • lime wedges or orange slices for garnish

for the maple simple syrup

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup water

cinnamon sugar rim

  • a little maple syrup (for coating)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of raw sugar

DIRECTIONS

for the maple simple syrup

  1. Add the maple syrup and water to a saucepan (over medium-low heat).
  2. Bring to a simmer,  whisking the syrup as it heats
  3. Turn off the heat and let the simple syrup cool to room temperature. (It can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.)

for the cinnamon sugar rim

  1. Using a spoon (a pastry brush would work nicely as well!), coat the rim of your glass with maple syrup. 
  2. Stir the cinnamon and sugar together on a flat plate.
  3. Dip your glass in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

for the margaritas

  1. Fill your cocktail shaker with the tequila, orange juice, maple simple syrup, lime juice, and ice.
  2. Shake for about 30-60 seconds, until combined.
  3. Fill your glass with crushed ice, and pour your margarita on top.
  4. Garnish with your choice of lime or orange, and enjoy!

BRUNCH PAIRING SUGGESTION

The obvious choice for brunch food to pair with your maple margarita is waffles! If you're feeling extra fancy, try your hand at maple bacon waffles for a savory addition to your sweet brunch.

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!! (PS - there's only a few left in stock!)

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 May 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!

5 Tips To Add Personality to Your Wedding Invitations

WeddingsJessica PeddicordComment

I always love creating custom designs that are a visual portrayal of my couples' unique love stories, so that they become heirloom keepsakes that will be cherished for generations! Pieces that you will excitedly frame in your home alongside that stunning wedding portrait and your great grandma's monogrammed handkerchief.

But, when you're thinking through exactly how to add personality to your wedding invitations, it might leave you scratching your head. To help, I'm sharing five of my top tips for creating custom wedding stationery here with you today!

5 Tips to Add Personality to Your Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie

PS - I've created a custom wedding personality workbook guide for you to download below! The fun worksheets included will give you space to jot down ideas as you read through this post.

Tip One:

Think about what is most important to the two of you.

This one might sound simple, but it is where you should start! What do the two of you truly value in life? Do you absolutely love your job? Are there hobbies, activities, or date nights that y'all do together regularly? Do you have a pet you're obsessed with? Is your faith super important to you? Is there a family tradition you want to incorporate?

You might be thinking, "But Jessica, we're not that interesting...we mostly just watch Netflix together!" Trust me. That is what happens most nights here in the Peddicord household as well. But when you start thinking through the prompts above, I promise you'll uncover some truly fun ideas!

How can you then incorporate those personal ideas throughout your wedding invitations? My favorite way to do so is through a custom wedding crest! A symbol of your relationship that can contain these various icons in a beautiful, artistic way.

A crest that you can add to all of your wedding design details, from your save the dates and invitations all the way through to your menus and cocktail napkins!

Custom Watercolor Wedding Crest | Savannah Invitation Suite by Simply Jessica Marie | SC Stockshop Photo

photo by SC Stockshop

Tip Two:

Design your invitations not only with yourselves in mind, but also your guests.

While your invitations are a reflection of your personalities and love story, I also love thinking of them as gifts to your guests. Pieces of art that they'll want to keep, rather than toss in the trash after they've mailed in their response cards.

So, how can you keep your guests in mind through your invitation designs? I love recommending two ideas:

Idea One:

Add a beautiful art print on the back side of your invitation piece. Something special for the two of you, but universal enough that all of your guests will cherish it as well, and will want to keep it!

Think: calligraphy of a portion of your first dance song, a watercolor painting of Rainbow Row in Charleston if that's where you're getting married, or a beautiful floral illustration featuring one of the flowers you'll carry in your wedding bouquet.

Custom Watercolor Magnolia Charleston Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Photo by Shalyn Nelson at Bloom the Workshop | White Sparrow Barn

photo by Shalyn Nelson

PS - The reason why I particularly love adding an art print to the back of your invitation is because it is likely going to be a 5"x7" size, which is a commonly available frame size - making the likelihood of your guests framing this piece even higher (and easier for them)!

Idea Two:

Add a custom wedding map to your information/accommodations card! If you are having a destination wedding, or even if a handful of your guests are visiting from out of town, a watercolor wedding map of your wedding city will not only be a beautiful piece of artwork, but also a helpful guide for your guests!

Make sure to include both icons and landmarks that are relevant to your wedding weekend (ex: your venues) and places you'd recommend for sight seeing during free time (ex: your favorite date night spots, restaurants, parks, and shops!).

Custom Watercolor Wedding Map | Savannah Invitation Suite by Simply Jessica Marie | SC Stockshop Photo

photo by SC Stockshop

Tip Three:

Blend personality with classic details.

Often times, I will hear hesitations from clients that while they would love to go all out with bold colors and illustrations on each piece of their invitation suite, they're nervous about the reactions of their parents and grandparents.

I always recommend finding a happy compromise with your loved ones (especially if they are hosting your wedding). Ask them for their opinion, while also sharing the heart behind some of your design decisions.

Custom Watercolor Magnolia Charleston Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Photo by Shalyn Nelson at Bloom the Workshop | White Sparrow Barn

photo by Shalyn Nelson

How do you find a happy compromise? Blend a more traditional invitation with fun and personality-filled information/accommodations cards and response cards!

Your invitation is like the star of your suite. If your parents would prefer a classic, calligraphy and delicate floral focused design that features letterpress or foil and a clean layout - know that clean and classic can still have personality, too. Let's make those florals be the same ones you'll carry down the aisle! Or, the ones you grew up growing in the garden with your mom.

Ask their opinion about adding an artistic design to the back side of the invitation for a compromise, but listen to their concerns if they say no. We can add more personal touches to your other invitation suite components! Wedding artwork should be fun, not stressful :)

Tip Four:

Use a color palette you actually like.

These colors will be surrounding you not only during wedding planning and your wedding weekend, but also for decades to come through photos and artwork displayed in your home. 

Custom Watercolor Floral French Blue and Lavender Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Photo by Amy and Jordan Photography

photo by Amy and Jordan

How do you pick colors unique to the two of you? Make sure you use colors that y'all actually love - rather than what is trendy. What colors appear most throughout your home decor and wardrobe? That's a good place to start!

Are there colors that have stuck with you since you were little - maybe the color of your front door that welcomed you home every day, or a school color? Don't be afraid to use a unique color or two. They can always be softened by complementary or neutral colors!

Trust me - one of my regrets from our wedding was not incorporating orange into our palette (one of Zack's favorite colors, because of his alma mater, The University of Tennessee). If we have a vow renewal one day, you can bet it will be in our color palette then, likely paired with beautiful blues and other citrus tones like grapefruit, peach, and pink!

Tip Five:

Consider details that will last longer than your wedding weekend.

There is a stereotype that investing in wedding artwork may be silly, because it's "just one weekend." I love dispelling that stereotype! If you truly infuse your personality into your wedding artwork, those pieces of art will be ones you can easily and proudly transition into your home decor as newlyweds, too!

How can you transition your wedding details into your home decor? Some of my favorite ideas include having custom pillows created featuring your wedding crest or floral pattern, and art prints or original paintings featuring your wedding map or venue illustrations!

photos by SC Stockshop and Vitor Lindo Photo

Take a couple tips from my own home decor: display your wedding welcome sign or program canvas on an entryway table, and showcase your watercolor wedding portrait in your living room or bedroom! 

(PS - we had our guests sign the mat of our frame as our guest book alternative, and love seeing the names of our friends and family each time we pass by this painting in our home!)

photos by Callie Lindsey and Perry Vaile

Do these ideas have your wheels turning? I hope so! If you'd like a place to jot down all of those ideas, I have created a custom wedding design workbook for you to download below! Promise it's simple and easy to use, but will really help as you're trying to narrow in on artwork and design ideas.

Adding Personality to Your Wedding Design | Free Workbook Download | Simply Jessica Marie.

Dive into that free download above, but let me know in the comments below: what other wedding artwork tips do you want to know? What questions do you have? I'd love to help!