2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Gentlemen

I have a total affinity for menswear (see my tomboy chic pinboard here); it's all about the basics and the FIT. It's not uncommon for me to tag along on shopping trips with Matt and get all Tim Gunn on him by pointing out that suit jackets with a lower stance create a modern silhouette. Throw in some fun gadgets along with handsome accessories and you've got a fantastic stash of goodies for your dude.

1 // A tough guy utilitarian jacket
2 // This aftershave layers a musky scent paired with his cologne
3 // Print Polaroids from your Instagram! Need I say more?
4 // A fun weekend project prevents those pesky beer runs
5 // My husband has a pair of these; the flat-front frames are flattering on everyone
6 // I gifted one of these to a dude who now carries and uses it all the time

Check out gift guides for men of seasons past here and here

DIY lettering gift tags

I often prefer to print directly on tags and labels over my own dinky handwriting. For this reason any time I send out a greeting card to family and friends I end up printing addresses directly on the envelopes (see here and here). This print at home method on my inkjet printer doesn't always fare well and often times results in paper jams, misalignment, and a waste of far too many sheets of paper and my TIME. I'm a sucker for good gift wrapping (see my Pinterest board here) and wanted to make pretty parcel tags for my Christmas gifts this year without royally screwing up my printer.

I came across this post from Indie Craft Parade showing how to make your own chalkboard lettering signs transferred from printouts. Genius! I decided to give this a go using pencil and pen and my trusty font library.

I've long since admired Nelly Script for its dreamy flourishes that I can't even come close to replicating by hand. It also just rings holiday cheer.

I printed out my name tag on regular printing paper sized to fit on my parcel tag.

On the backside of the printout I covered the area of the letters with a pencil scribble, then flipped this backside onto the parcel tag.

On the frontside I traced over each letter, applying pressure for the pencil scribble to transfer.

Lifting up the paper reveals a faint transfer that I then traced over with a ball point pen to complete.

Voila! You can transfer any graphics or fonts you like onto abnormal surfaces without busting your printer. Give it a try!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Kids

For years I've been donating toys every Christmas to local toy drives. I'll usually pick out one toy for a girl, one for a boy and one game to round out the spectrum. For a few years as a kid my family fell on hard times and these toy donations made it so that we had something to open on Christmas Day. Today, I feel so fortunate for my successes and continue to give back to these organizations that helped our family feel blessed during the holidays. If you can, please consider donating a toy this year to Toys for Tots or FESCO Family Shelter.

1 // Can I have black & white heart leggings???!
2 // Every time I go into a Vans store I squeal over their baby shoes
3 // A fun arts & crafts activity + eternalizes their little fingerprints
4 // Wooden blocks are just way prettier than plastic ones
5 // I want a kid JUST for this (jk); toys made from their DRAWINGS!
6 // Anything with a pup hero is gold in my book

Starting new traditions...

How amazing are these gold foil lined envelopes? I was so excited to be able to send out a holiday card this year sharing our new little family (pup included). It'll be so much fun over the years to chronicle the growth of our family every holiday season with a photo card. I'm already looking forward to seeing what our family will become next year!

Card design: Victory Paper Designs // Photography: D. Lillian Photography

Free download >> December desktop calendar

Plans for a Tahoe weekend snow trip is in the works so I can't help but create a color palette of creamy whites for this month's desktop. I used to disconnect from the white on white look but paired with the proper warm imagery like a stack of firewood or whimsical cotton snowballs I think I'm warming up to the stark palette. Happy Holidays friends! xo

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // Graphics by VPD

{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Gal Pals

Happy Black Friday if that's your jam today. Mmm, I think I'll just stay in bed all warm and comfy and do some virtual shopping for my gal pals thankyouverymuch. There have definitely been times when I'm shopping for the ladies in my life that I'll fall in love with something so much that I'll end up snatching up the gift for myself too. Pretty much anything gold and shiny catches my eye in that must-have way, so I assume the same can be said about my gal pals.

1 // What modern gal doesn't love a statement necklace? "None" is the answer.
2 // Ladies understand the need to have sweats that don't look like they're from Costco.
3 // This company makes books out of your Instagram photos! Like a chic scrapbook.
4 // Prettier than iPhone headphones, and COOLER too.
5 // For Girls Night In. Pairs well with a cabernet and The Princess Bride.
6 // SugarPaper for Target??? Yes please.

Check out gift guides for the ladies of Christmas past here and over here.

Blue Penny Films website

Site design by Victoria Kutsuris
Good news! We've published our website for my sister and mine's film business, Blue Penny Films! With a name like Blue Penny it was easy for me to design a corporate identity of blue dots set on a black film background. A color + a tangible object = no duh branding. A big thanks goes out to my work colleague, Michael who helped me code the thing and put up with me flip flopping and changing my mind throughout implementation. We're excited to hit engagement season with the proper tools in place to showcase our business! More to come soon!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: The Hostess

I'm far from gifted in culinary talents; give me a can of soup and I'm a happy camper! That's what makes Thanksgiving all the more special for me is that I finally get to partake in a home cooked meal that isn't of the canned varietal. Of course I will need to show my appreciation to our hostess {in this instance MOM} for said meal, and have rounded up some appropriate gifts that should do the trick nicely. This will kick off my weekly Holiday Gift Guides and will continue on into Christmas to include gift ideas for all those special people on your lists.

Though I may not be blogging on the regular anymore, this is one of those columns that I like to make time for every year; I even used to write a regular gift guide column over 10 years ago {oy!} for my high school newspaper, so you know this has been my jam from way back. So let's get back to that hostess, shall we?

1 // This elegant glass bottle looks good sitting out on the counter
2 // These botanical sachets fill closets with a yummy berry scent
3 // A series of 5-course dinner meals organized by season
4 // Colorful woven basket to fill with trinkets
5 // Chalkboard labels lets you personalize these cute jars
6 // This baguette board just looks like the holidays!

Check out previous gift guides for the hostess here and here!!

Free download >> November desktop calendar

Though the weather outside may be frightful, I'm feeling all kinds of warm and happy to be able to celebrate the holidays with my ever growing family this year. This will be me and Matt's first holiday season as a married couple which means a Kutsuris family Christmas card is a must. In addition to picking up a husband, Matt's sister's boyfriend proposed last weekend! I'm so happy with our little growing family.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // Graphic by Victory Paper Designs

I captured the aforementioned proposal as part of Blue Penny Films' mini channel, Blue Penny Too, which are a series of camera phone snippets from our everyday lives. It was an honor to be included in the whole process which included the cutest jack-o-lantern set up which took my sister-in-law by total surprise. Congratulations to these two, I can't wait to help dive into the wedding planning process!!

My exciting new business venture!

Throughout my career I've been fortunate enough to meet and collaborate with some extremely talented individuals. Whether they be fellow Graphic Designers or Photographers or any other creative profession, the general consensus is usually the same: these people are just all around creative individuals in their everyday lives. I'll often meet a Photographer who has a killer wardrobe or an Interior Designer that just gets branding and identity; they don't just limit their creativity to their chosen career paths. I LOVE being a Graphic Designer, but there are also so many other design fields that I'm passionate about...one of which is FILM.

In the era before YouTube, my sisters and I would film skits on our dad's JVC VHS camcorder. I think it spawned off of us being total couch potato kids who were able to observe and pick up on production cues like dialogue overlaps and scene sequencing.

The idea of making films was revisited early this year with my younger sister, Saralyn, over some late night cocktails at my house. It was really just a silly string of shots from our iPhones that we added a Smashing Pumpkins song to (here it is, don't judge), but something about us working together to stage shots and edit the final "movie" was so much fun and just CLICKED. This led to us making me and Matt's engagement video which we played at our wedding reception.

Late summer rolled around and our good friends Tabi and Ryan were finally tying the knot after dating for nearly 5 years! We knew we had to fire up our film cameras (real ones this time) and document this momentous occasion. We did our due diligence and researched film styles for countless hours on top of enrolling in classes and workshops to learn how to (come close to) perfecting our craft...and so with one finally in the can, it is now my pleasure to introduce you to Blue Penny Films!

We couldn't have asked for a cuter couple to be the subjects of our fledgling film. Tabi and Ryan were married at a secluded winery in the rolling mountains of the Placerville area. Their ceremony site boasted gorgeous panoramic views which showed off an amazing sunset. We can't get over how fun and sweet these two are together, it made documenting the day that much easier.

To begin with Blue Penny Films will be focusing on weddings (I am a wedding fanatic afterall) in the San Francisco Bay Area, so if you or somebody you know will be getting hitched in the area make sure to send 'em our way! I'm so excited to be able to work with my sister and best friend on something that we are both truly passionate about, I can't wait to see what the future of our business holds!

Images from Blue Penny Films on Instagram // Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Vimeo

Free download >> October desktop calendar

I love getting creative with Halloween costumes! The past few years Matt and I have come up with homemade couples' costumes that results in spending a large portion of October scouring nearby thrift and fabric stores. Our hearts are newly broken over the loss of our all-time favorite show, Breaking Bad...so there may be a Heisenberg and blue meth costume in the works...as long as it's not inappropriate to be dressed up as blue meth at the pumpkin patch.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // Graphics by Victory Paper Designs


{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!

Free download >> September desktop calendar

Remember when you were in school and September marked the start of a new year? I always wanted to pull a Winnie Cooper and show up for the first day of school with a drastic new look worthy of a slow motion entrance through the halls. Unfortunately in real life that wasn't as easy as removing braided pig tails and thick rimmed glasses...like duh, that chick was already a hot girl just charading as a nerd!

Anyway, it got me thinking about our year to year lives as adults and the fact that we only have the New Year holiday as a chance to start anew. Can't we still take September as an opportunity to have a mini start-over? Maybe a chance to freshen up our wardrobes for Fall or promising ourselves to perform better at work. I know I'd like to finish up some projects around the house for it to look presentable for company over the Holidays...maybe the house itself could be deemed worthy of its own slow motion entrance?? (gasp!)

Goodbye summer, you've been a BLAST.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // Graphics by Victory Paper Designs

{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!

Free download >> august desktop calendar

I'm excited for August; August will mark the beginnings of a new business venture for me that's been in the works since pretty much last winter! I'll keep the details to myself for now, but just know that there's something big and exciting on the horizon. It can be scary to start new projects and I can only hope that the pieces fall together as planned. I'll keep you guys updated as the story unfolds, but until then here's a desktop calendar with a mood board to keep you moving!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // Graphics by Victory Paper Designs

{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!

Victoria Kutsuris, Graphic Designer

Since I recently changed my surname I thought it was also high time to update my personal logo and business cards to reflect this change! I've been dying to do this for awhile since my old logo felt very heavy and outdated from the work I've been producing lately. The arrow actually comes from a matching tattoo that Matt and I just got while on our honeymoon in Maui! Our tattoo has two crossing arrows so I felt it was only fitting to have one singular arrow to represent me as an individual. I love the fact that the cards are square; it's a more appropriate shape for the circle to fit in and also makes it stand out a little from the crowd.

{ Victory Paper Designs }


Blair Sneddon Photography
Victory & Co. is a design blog and studio portfolio written by Victoria, a Graphic Designer, Stationeer, aspiring Cinematographer and newly minted wife residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a wedding enthusiast and entrepreneur, Victoria founded Victory Paper Designs in 2011, a paper goods shop with an emphasis on wedding invitations. Her fresh approach to stationery lends hand to a style that is light-hearted, bold and whimsical. Victory Paper Designs has been featured in numerous online publications including Oh So Beautiful Paper, Paper Crave, Poppytalk's Handmade Market, and Sweden's Elle Interiör.

You can view our engagement sesh, wedding invitationswedding and house tour here!

Our Woodsy Greenhouse Garden Wedding!!

Today I'm super excited to be able to share my wedding photos with you guys! It already seems like so long ago; I've already been getting super comfy with my wife status and name change {it's "Kutsuris" now if you're curious}, it's hard to believe it's been just a little over two months now of being a married lady.

I think I slept for about 4 hours the night before. I'd like to say it was from the sheer anticipation of the day to come but in reality a DIY disaster resulted in me staying up 'til midnight trying to fix. I'm just gonna say this: florists really know what they're doing. What was once in my head of a big bouquet of ranunculus, ferns and succulents instead resulted in last minute Safeway lilies and carnations. Damn you Blogosphere for making me believe I'm capable of Doing It Myself.

That disaster aside, I was so happy to be marrying my best friend that day. The whole day really seemed so surreal.

We were married at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens in this grove of huge Redwoods. It really was such a magical experience; walking down the aisle and seeing Matt for the first time took my breath away.

Processional: The Black Keys, The Lengths
Bridal Walk: Fiona Apple, Across the Universe
Recessional: Electric Light Orchestra, Mr. Blue Sky

Yes, I cried reciting my vows. It was beautiful.

Matt's Best Man, Komron, is hella juiced.

Lol, this picture. "Act like you're excited to see his ring!"

Our reception took place in the Garden's conference room which was converted from a greenhouse. This means succulent guest favors were a must. Being a Graphic Designer and all, I of course had to make all the signage, posters and decorations which tied in from the theme of our wedding invitations. HUGE thanks to my crafty Bridesmaids and surprisingly willing husband for slaving over crepe paper and scissors for countless hours.

I don't think it was until I got to the reception that I actually started enjoying myself. Having to run around and coordinate across the HUGE 34 acre garden was no easy feat {there were a few annoying times when VIPs got lost in the Gardens}, so once we got to stay in once place and have a drink or two, fun times were had.

I put together a photo slideshow that showed pictures of me and Matt from babies to present day. It made my mom cry. That's what I was goin' for. The slideshow was followed by a video Saralyn and I had made using our iPhones during the engagement shoot. It's amazing the things you can do on your phone! It's kind of led to this new obsession, we can't stop filming now. You can watch the slideshow and video below if you like!

Our first dance was to Norah Jones The Nearness of You

I loved seeing all of our guests with our temporary tattoos! It was so special to see even my granduncle sporting one!

Apparently when one smashes cake in their new spouse's face it's gotta be in their whole face.

The day was seriously a whirlwind that spit us out and resulted in us passing out in our hotel room at like 9pm {we stayed at the always classy Claremont...oh, and there was a high school prom there that night. Way to steal my thunder 18-year old girls in low cut gowns}. A honeymoon was a MUST the next day, thank you to our guests for contributing to our Honeyfund and making Maui a reality for us!

I'm so lucky, I get to spend the rest of my life with this guy. XOXO

Photography: D. Lillian Photography & some shots from Matt's Aunt and various guests // Venue: Berkeley Botanical Gardens // Florals: Blooms By the Box & Oakland Flower Market // Matt's suit: Express // Victoria's gown: David's Bridal // Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew // Bridal party hair: Not Too Shabby // Officiant: Heartfelt Weddings // DJ: California Disc Jockey // Reception decor: Victory Paper Designs // Cupcakes: Taste of Denmark & cake by MOB // Cake topper: Better Off Wed // Guestbook: Three Trees Bindery // Thank You postcard: Victory Paper Designs

Our wedding invitations!

Once we had booked our wedding to take place at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, I knew I wanted our invitation suite to reflect the venue and the overall theme that would carry into the day. We decided on a suite that had wood paneling throughout with a subtle recreational park theme and then feminized it a little with pops of pink of gold.

A bellyband with our signature logo that would be seen all over the reception and signage held together the entire suite nicely.

We used our stamp from Molly Jacques for our returns and reply envelopes. The custom postage stamps were made using Zazzle.

I hand illustrated a map of the Garden's grounds which are divided into separate growing regions. I folded it into a tri-fold and labeled it our wedding "field guide" for guests to use to navigate the massive gardens.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I'll be sharing our wedding photos!! xo

Invitations: Victory Paper Designs // Postage stamps: Zazzle // Return address calligraphy: Molly Jacques // Envelopes: Paper Source

Free download >> July desktop calendar

Within the past few years I've started making annual traditions with my friends and family. It's nice to have something to look forward to each year and share with my loved ones. Two summer traditions I'm looking forward to most include a Fourth of July weekend trip at Matt's brother's house, which basically consists of living in our swim suits and partaking in homemade Bloody Mary's all weekend. The other is our annual sister and misters trip where me and my sisters drag our men to some random location and force them to bond over the fact that when the three of us get together we pretty much can't stop giggling and teasing each other the whole time. Those are my ideas of the perfect summer. Hope you have some fun plans in store!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // Graphics by Victory Paper Designs

{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!

Free download >> June desktop calendar

Our honeymoon to Maui definitely got me itching for the beach in more of my day-to-day activities this summer. Sure, Northern California beaches aren't quite up to par with Hawaii, but even just basking in the sun and sand and admiring the waves with a cold drink in hand {emphasis on the drink} is on my agenda this month. Happy summer friends!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5  Graphics by Victory Paper Designs

Free download >> May desktop calendar

I'm currently in the full swing of things at work and am pretty much digesting corporate design day in and day out. I'm definitely missing working with clients whose design aesthetic is usually similar to my own; I'm taking a mini break from my freelance and VPD work while I do a little thing called getting MARRIED. I'm so super excited for our wedding, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to work after our honeymoon designing all kinds of pretty things. In the meantime, here's a little inspiration board to keep the creative juices flowing for 'ya.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // Graphics by VPD