Invitations: Jana + Eli

Client Feature, Design, Stationery, Weddings

JANA + ELI TOGETHERA little over a month ago my brother-in-law got married to his beautiful bride.  This is one of the weddings that I have probably been the most involved in, being a family member, bridesmaid (Seth was the best man), visual coordinator and of course, wedding invitation designer.  We all worked hard to make this wedding happen, from assembling countless of invitations to getting coffee and driving away with the bride and groom’s cake on our hood and it was so much fun.

When designing wedding invitations I ask all my clients about their engagement story, and ask them tell me if there are any icons, objects, or places that have real meaning in their relationship, for Jana & Eli it was the South Sister (where they got engaged). They wanted an invitation that would truly represent who they were, where they’d been and their wedding style: country vintage with a hint of modern and that’s how this design came along.

We followed that through with the decorations, using burlap as table runners, heirloom china, crystal and table cloths for the top table, Eli cut wood rounds for the center pieces, my mother-in-law used pretty sunflowers for the bouquets and our friend made chalkboard signs for directions.  Everybody got involved. Even my parents came out. And it was wonderful event.If you’re getting married in the near future, and would like visual direction and wonderfully designed invitations for your wedding, I’m currently booking for 2015 so get in touchPhotography by Victoria Carlson || See their engagement Story and Pictures

Invitation + JanaJana + Eli 0010Jana + Eli 0003 Top Table + Eli  Wedding PartyEli, Jana - Seth + I


New Studio Space

Design, Studio


If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that Friday was studio move day!  A few weeks ago I decided that it was time to step it up a little and get a studio space.  While I I’ve loved working from home for the past two years, I’ve also realized that I need some separation that a 600sf home just doesn’t allow.  My new space located at Armature Bend (by the Old Iron Works District) in Bend, Oregon lets me spread, hang client work on the wall for critiquing and just gives me room to grow.  I’m excited for this new stage and just seeing where it goes.


For the time being I have my desk, shelf and Helmut Newton poster up (that has been with for the last five years and to three different countries), but I once I get it closer to what I want it to look like I’ll be posting more pics!

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The studio is open Thursday to Saturday and theres’a little shop where my fellow creatives sell their artwork, so if you’re in town come and see me.  We’re also right next to Sparrow Bakery so come and grab an Ocean Roll and say hello!

And if you’re interested in seeing what I do when not on instagram or blogging you can see my portfolio here

Middle picture by Tambi Lane 

Mood Board: Jana + Elisha

Design, Mood Board, Stationery, Weddings

Jana & Elisha: Designed by Heylen Thienes

In case it hadn’t been pretty obvious from this post, there’s a wedding happening.  & I’m so excited! Not only because I love the two people that are getting married, but because I love weddings and every little detail that goes into making weddings beautiful.  Of course, it’s a lot easier when it’s not your own and you’ve already been through the process.  It’s easier to make decisions and experience has taught you what’s really important, what you’ll remember and what you won’t, what you should delegate and to whom.

As a bridesmaid and graphic designer it’s my pleasure to have been entrusted with the wedding invitations, I mean, look at that mood board.  I seriously cannot wait to see what these babies end up looking like. Stay tuned for the after effects.

A Little Peek

Design, Mood Board

Heylen Thienes | Mood Board

Sometimes all we need is a little breakdown so we can pick ourselves up again and let that wave of inspiration regain strength. I realized that designing for myself is a tough affair, but also one of the most rewarding ones.

I’m so excited about this next stage for my little business and its visual identity… I mean, just look at that inspiration board, it makes my heart and my eyes leap with joy! I’m still working on the details and being the perfectionist I am, it may still take a while.. but the end is in sight and I cannot wait to share it with the world! More to come soon

October: Favourite Things

Design, Exhibitions, Favourite Things, Networking, Vacation

This past month has been incredible.  So much has gone on, that it’s almost impossible to sum it up in just one post, nevertheless I thought I’d share a glimpse of what’s been going on…

I’ve been in London for the past few weeks and it has been incredible catching up with friends and family over tea and burgers and milkshakes (apparently this is the thing to do right now).

Since moving away, there’s a been a few things that I realized I’d wished I’d done more of, one of them being going to London’s markets, so a visit to Columbia Road Market (the flower market) with this fashionista was a must!


Another favourite thing I’ve done this month is going to some amazing art events and exhibitions including the Mira Schendel exhibition at the Tate Modern and the  Club to Catwalk London Fashion in the 1980s exhibition at the V&A


Left: Mira Schendel Graphic Object 1967 Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros © Mira Schedel Estate, Right: Courtesy V&A

On things closer to home, last month I shared about meeting the oh so lovely Becky Murphy and her book I’d Rather be Short, well this week it was published by Plume Books (imprint of Penguin Random House) and I couldn’t be more excited about it coming in the mail!  Being 5”4 I’ve been (lovingly) teased about my height ever since I stopped growing (so about 10 years)… I can relate to this book in more ways than I care to admit, which is what makes it so awesome, which obviously makes it a favourite for this month … Also Becky is super awesome in person and you should check out her blog!


I’d Rather be Short – Images Courtesy Becky Murphy – click to see more pics

Lastly, I got to meet up with the awesome Erin Annacker for Design Week Portland and listen to amazing women speak about our role in the Design industry, why it’s so important to tell a story and not just make things look pretty.  Also got to go Creative Morning PDX and listen to Drew Endy, which completely opened my eyes at how important design and communication is, and how for the past two years I’ve put it in a very small box! Time to change perspectives….


Have a great weekend!




On Being Fearless

Design, Vacation

heylenthienes_designervaca1Since I moved to the US and especially since I started working from home, I feel like I’ve become something of a hermit; in the sense that big social events and big groups of people tend to overwhelm me.  But sometimes, this little voice inside me will push me to do something daring and take me out of my comfort zone (like starting a blog).  Last weekend was just like that.  I went to Palm Springs to join 50+ (very talented) creative girls for DesignerVaca organized by Promise Tangeman.

heylenthienes_designervacaMy goal was simple: meet people, don’t get overwhelmed. Well, both happened. And it was amazing!  The wealth of knowledge I took from this event was beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and the people I met were some of the most talented, inspirational and courageous I’ve met.


I went in feeling shy and small (and exhausted from all the traveling), and left feeling inspired and challenged to push myself, personally and professionally to build my dream career.  My favourite quote on this was from Megan Gilger when she asked us – “What is the life you want to live? Go and create a business that’s going to fit around that and inspire”.  How amazing and challenging is that? That we can actually do that.  That all it takes is a little bit of courage and a fearless attitude  (and of course hard work, and not comparing oneself to others) to carve this out.

Life’s short, so why not live the dream?


Ps: I only knew one other person on that trip and I hadn’t seen her in over three years!

This is a Video by  Jaymee Zeller Harney, and it pretty much sums up the whole event!

Other favourite things from this trip:

Being told to not be intimidated by others and to go for it by Star

Talking about fears and risk taking with Jessica, Alicia, Shauna, Star, Lindsay, Jeniffer and Kayla – which is why I started this blog.

Sharing a room and late night conversations with Alicia, Kasey & Marlene

Driving in the mom van from San Diego ||—> Palm Springs with Morgan, Erin, Lisa, Erika & Candace

Talking wedding plans and babies with Cassie & Jane

Flipping and drooling through the pages of Knitting by Design by Emma Robertson

Remembering why I’d rather be short (thank you Becky Murphy for writing and illustrating this book – you rock!)

On heritage and living in modern day America with Liz

Talking to and falling in love with Julia’s stationery and Sarah’s home decor ….

Poolside drinks with every single girl on this list