Behind the Scenes: Thoughts behind the Christmas Card

Y’all I live for Christmas cards. Creating them and receiving them. They are one of my “things”. I literally think about them all throughout the year. I’m inspired by everything around me: playful patterns on clothing, unique color combinations, various typography, saved Instagram posts, design layouts in magazines or on billboards … the list goes on. Each year, I try to keep my personal card fresh and different from past years. It’s a way for me to push my creativity, but also a way to make the card special for those receiving it. The ideas live in an organized disarray in my head until I start the design process. This year, I compiled my ideas, outfit choices, inspiration, etc. in a secret Pinterest board … do y’all have secret boards?

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This year, I knew there were a few elements I wanted in my card: playful family shot at home that was backlit with a bright and airy feel, pops of color, simple design. After I nailed down our outfit choices (a mix of old and new pieces), I called in my favorite go-to, my sister-in-law/amazing photographer, Stefanie Cascio. She, too, had been invited to my “secret” Pinterest board so she knew the feel I was going for, and boy did she nail it this year! Not only did she get the look and feel, but she captured us in a way that is so real.

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After seeing the photos, my crazy, design-oriented brain gets to thinking. I usually have at least five different ideas come to mind right away, and I usually always mock up various cards before coming up with one that feels just right.

One of the girls’ favorite Christmas movies is the Santa Clause (among Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Christmas Vacation, Elf, the Grinch, Eloise at Christmastime … we’re Christmas people). I used a quote from the Santa Clause movie that is so fitting for the girls this Christmas, “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” In other words, you don’t need to see something to believe it; according to Judy the Elf, if you believe in something in your heart, it exists. I know the idea of Santa will begin to be questioned in the next few years, and this year I wanted to hold on to and savor every bit of magic associated with the Big Guy.

This is the final product. A 5.5″ x 8.5″ flat card enclosed in a vellum envelope filled with pink confetti. Magic! I think it will always be one of my favorites.

flat cardIMG_0659Outfit Details: H&M Rib-knit sweater // Mignonne Gavigan Mini Jackie Earring // Distressed high-rise jean // Girls’ drop-waist dress in pink // pink hair ribbon


mood board.pngGrowing up in Baton Rouge, you’re bred to bleed purple and gold. Tailgating, football, and Mike the Tiger are all rites of passage. As a child, LSU football, basketball, and baseball games were events I loved going to with my family and friends, and as a mama, it’s a time I still very much cherish with my family and friends. I especially love football season! It’s also the best time to wear all your favorite transitional, summer-to-fall purple and gold pieces.

You know I love an easy blouse to pair with simple cutoffs or skinnies depending on the weather. Throw in the perfect accessory (usually a good statement earring) and a comfortable shoe (because lots of walking) and you’re set! And if your stadium has gone to clear bags, you must check out STARK!

Shopping Details: Lilac Sleeveless Multi Frill Oversize Shirt // Tie-Neck Top in Oxford Cotton // Gingham Ruffle Smock Top // Yellow Gingham Blouse // Lavender Tate Top // Tie-shoulder eyelet top // Yellow Eli Top


Outfit DetailsTie-shoulder eyelet top // Mignonne Gavigan Neon Yellow earrings // Black Release-hem skinny jean (under $40) // Cheetah Sneakers // Quay Kylie Sunglasses // Stark Annie clear bag // Girls LSU cheer uniforms // Two Sisters Bows LSU Bows




I have been a long-time fan of Le Papier Studio. Founder, Vana Chupp, takes the craft of silhouettes and constructs the most beautiful keepsake jewelry you’ve ever seen. A couple years ago Mark had a custom tiny silhouette charm necklace created for my birthday; it’s become a piece of jewelry that I wear daily and hardly take off. I am so excited to add the family tree bar bracelet to my collection – with updated silhouettes of the girls, of course!

Le Papier Studio works with your favorite photographs to create Custom Silhouettes of the people, pets, and special moments in your life. From those treasured pictures, Le Papier Studio creates one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces: silhouette portraits and exquisite jewelry, and perfectly personal accessories. All custom silhouettes created by Le Papier Studio are kept on file for any future uses you may have.

To personalize any of Le Papier Studio’s products with a custom silhouette from your photographs, start by selecting the desired product. Each custom silhouette they create is subject to a one-time-fee ($10.00). Please note that each person, pet, makes for one custom silhouette – a family of four (dad, mom, two kids) will require four silhouettes. Use this as a guideline when selecting the quantity of Custom Silhouettes for your order.

Once you have selected your desired product, and the “create custom silhouette from my photos” option, you can upload your photo/s right on the order form. You can do this by clicking the “Upload photos” button. You will see the uploaded photos when you add the product to the cart.

Here’s an example of our latest before and afters. Notice that Vana can create something pretty amazing from a simple iPhone photograph:


Tips for perfect silhouettes

  •  Place subject in front of a well-lit background, facing either left or right.
  • Only one side of the face must show on the photo and entire head should be in the photo.
  • A relaxed face helps to show the features (eyelashes, nose, lips) more realistically although  smiling faces are cute too. It’s up to you how you want to photograph them.
  • If photographing more than one person, take individual pictures.
  • Remember to take the picture straight at eye level, standing about 4-6 feet away.
  • If person has long hair (past the shoulder line) put it up. Ponytails, braids, messy buns really do make for cute silhouettes and add character to the piece of art.
  • For full body silhouettes, take a picture of the people standing, walking away or towards the camera.
  • When photographing babies, try taking the picture when they are asleep. Hold the camera directly above their face, with only one side of the face showing.

About Le Papier Studio

Le Papier Studio is a boutique lifestyle brand that manifests the sensibilities and personal style of its Founder and Creative Director, Vana Chupp. The brand inspires women to keep memories close and cherish the magic of special moments forever. They utilize client’s favorite photographs to illustrate the people, pets, and special moments in their life. From those treasured pictures, we create one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces: silhouette portraits and exquisite jewelry, and perfectly personal accessories.

Le Papier Studio was established in 2008 in an effort to satisfy Vana’s creative passions while fulfilling an even higher calling, being a mom. Vana continues to be the safe keeper of a family’s memory and works with clients personally on each order to help evoke the magic of that moment forever.

Le Papier Studio has created a special code for all Mama etc. readers! Use code LPS20 for 20% off your purchase on all silhouette prints and jewelry at through Friday, September 8. 


IMG_8966IMG_8886IMG_8949IMG_8842IMG_8830IMG_8848IMG_8796As a mama, I’ve told you before that my wardrobe usually takes a backseat to my girls’. While their outfits are usually planned out a season in advance, I tend to dress for ease. I’m drawn to simple pieces that can be worn many ways and multiple times. I also love a bargain; a lot of my clothing comes from Gap, J.Crew, Target, Old Navy, H&M, Zara, etc. On most days you can find me wearing a blousy top and jeans (skinnies or cutoffs depending on the season). While the combination is fairly simple, it’s in the accessories that I like to play up the look … and don’t mind a splurge!

Since having children, I’ve learned to simplify my wardrobe, yet up my accessories game. I’m a huge fan of jewelry genius, Mignonne Gavigan. Y’all, she is the real deal! Her accessories collection is defined by impeccable details. Each piece is handmade. Her craftsmanship and use of luxe materials cannot be matched.

Mignonne Gavigan, known by others as “Maggie”, has worked in NYC as a designer for years. Her “scarf necklaces” made her famous and launched the accessories collection in 2014. Now her collection includes earrings, bracelets, and scarves that appeal to mixed tastes. Her designs are a mix of high fashion, street-style, and vintage finds that come together into a fun, refreshing, and unique aesthetic. Mignonne Gavigan brings couture elements into unique, wearable jewelry designs.

What I love about Mignonne Gavigan pieces is that they easily elevate my “mama” style. They bring a bit of couture to the everyday. While her pieces are perfect for a night out, they are so wearable with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. In this post, I’ve styled two of my favorites – the Rayna Earrings and the Mason Earrings. I love how they take a simple outfit and elevate it to something special.

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Outfit Details: Mignonne Gavigan Rayna Earrings // Le Papier Studio Tiny Silhouette Charm Necklace  // DIFF Dime Sunglasses (blue mirror) // Zara striped v-neck top //  Gap true skinny jeans // Rose Gold Superga Sneaker

Mignonne Gavigan Mason Earrings // Quay Sunglasses // J.Crew tie-neck top // Old Navy Cuffed Boyfriend Denim Shorts (3″)

By the way, my precious husband took these photos for the post (If you look closely, you’ll see him in the reflection of my sunglasses). He did a great job, didn’t he?!


Mood BoardAs a mama, getting myself dressed is usually something that takes place in record time. When we have somewhere to go – whether a birthday party or running errands around town – I never have as much time as I once did before children. I’ve learned to simplify my wardrobe, yet up my accessories game. On most days you can find me wearing a blousy t-shirt (usually white) and jeans (skinnies or cutoffs depending on the season). While the combination is fairly simple, it’s in the accessories that I like to play up the look – earrings especially. Earrings are such a great way to elevate your mama style. They add impact in such an easy way. I’ve completed a round-up of some of my favorite statement earrings. You can see Mignonne Gavigan and J.Crew are obvious favorites!

Shopping Details: Mignonne Gavigan Polly Earrings // Mignonne Gavigan Double Pom Pom Drop Earrings // J.Crew Beaded Flutter Earrings // MISA Ombre Tassel Earring // J.Crew Arty Sculpture Earrings // Mignonne Gavigan Mini Madeline Earrings // Bauble Bar Gabriela Fringe Drops // J. Crew Leather-Backed Sequin Petal Earrings // Mignonne Gavigan Rayna Earrings // Mignonne Gavigan Burst Earrings // Mignonne Gavigan Mary Hoop Earring // Elizabeth and James Stevie Earrings



Outfit DetailsMignonne Gavigan Polly Earrings // Le Papier Studio Tiny Silhouette Charm Necklace // J.Crew Ruffle T-shirt (in store) // Gap true skinny jeans // Rose Gold Superga Sneaker


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Ruffles, usually a staple for little girls, have been popping up in mama’s fashions lately. It started with fluttery, cascading sleeves and has made its way to nearly all pieces in womenswear. One of my favorite trends right now is the ruffled midi skirt. It’s an easy piece to wear as a mama as it allows you to easily chase little ones while still elevating your style.

I love how the feminine, ruffled skirt pairs well with a variety of tops – from poplin button-downs and off-the-shoulder statement tops to simple graphic tees. The look also goes from day to night with a quick shoe change – sneakers to heels. Ruffles are so fun to wear right now! I love the playful, girly touch they add to classic pieces. This look is here to stay!

Shopping Details: Who What Wear for Target Women’s Ruffle Wrap Skirt // J.Crew Collection Ruffle Skirt in Striped Shirting Fabric // ASOS Wrap Midi Skirt in Cotton with Ruffle Hem (Khaki) // ASOS Tall Wrap Midi Skirt in Cotton with Ruffle Hem (Light Pink) // ASOS Wrap Midi Skirt in Cotton with Ruffle Hem (Pale Pink) // J.Crew Ruffle Wrap Skirt in Cotton Poplin




IMG_2285IMG_2280Outfit Details: Dondolo Striped and Floral Bloomer Short Sets // Gold Salt Water Sweetheart Sandals // Gold Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lo Sneaker // ASOS Pink Ruffle Skirt // Gap White Poplin Shirt (similar) // Mignonne Gavigan Mary Hoop Earrings // Rose Gold Superga Sneaker // Le Papier Studio Tiny Silhouette Charm Necklace 









DL-2224 (1)BackI recently posted about beach lifestyle photoshoots and what to wear; however, studio shoots are a bit different in my opinion. Below are a few things I like to remember when styling my family for studio photoshoots.

  1. Coordinating pieces but not matching. Stick with a common color. Or possibly let one piece be the inspiration for the shoot, and coordinate the other pieces to it. While I usually stray from all white or all black for a lifestyle shoot, I think this is a rule that can slide when in a studio setting. In our last two studio shoots, I’ve chosen an all-white palette and a black-and-white palette. In my opinion, black or white pieces, with beautiful textures and details, offer high contrast that really pops in black and white photography. You want your family to shine, and your clothing to compliment the overall look.
  2. Classic pieces. When choosing outfits, choose classic pieces that withstand the test of time. Pieces that you will look back on in twenty years and not regret.
  3. Dress comfortably … especially if young children are involved! This is important regardless the location of your shoot. Remember you will be sitting, standing, running, dancing, etc. You don’t want to be constantly adjusting your straps or tugging on your too-short dress.
  4. Have fun and be you! If you do, I promise you will end up with some beautiful photographs.