If you haven’t read my last blog or seen my recent social media post, my husband and I moved to Cambodia mid-February. There were some complications with our travels and it ended up taking us extra time and a trip to Singapore to get the visas we needed to stay here long-term.

Now that we’re settled in Phnom Penh, I’m jumping full force back into Letter + Adore.

For my first 3 years in business, I focused my time and energy on custom client work. I thoroughly enjoyed working with all my clients; however, I just won’t be able to keep it up as we get ready to expand our family.

With big life changes also come big business changes. Instead of custom calligraphy projects, you’ll see more product lines and fun collections coming to Letter + Adore in 2018. Here’s a quick rundown…

1) Release a rubber stamp line.

I am currently working on the Snail Mail Collection of the stamp line. On April 11, 10 new return address stamp designs will be hitting the shop, along with a few non-custom designs to add a fun touch to your envelopes! *Hint* The first 50 orders will include a bonus gift.

calligraphy return address stamp

2) Open up a digital shop by the end of summer.

This is something I’ve been mulling over for years and 2018 is finally the year to do it. I am slowly building a library of digital files to share with you before the end of summer. In the Letter + Adore digital shop, you’ll be able to purchase hand lettered svg files, printables, and calligraphy worksheets.

3) Create an Enneagram collection.

Ever since a friend from our life group shared about the Enneagram last fall, I have been hooked. If you’re a personality assessment junkie like me, go take this free Enneagram assessment now and let me know your type in the comment below. I have learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses, my tendencies in interacting with others, especially with my husband, and the areas that need growth. By the way, I am a 4, the Individualist.

Learning about the Enneagram has inspired me so much I decided to create a collection around it, including at least one product for each type.

4) Create a semi-custom invitation suite line.

As much as I love working with each individual couple to create the perfect invitation suites unique to them, the back and forth process just won’t fit in my current stage of life. I also understand that many couples are looking for elegant designs but don’t necessarily have the budget for full custom suites. With all that in mind, I’ll be working on a semi-custom paper goods line this fall with a projected launch date in January of 2019.

So there you have it…the 4 main projects I have slated for 2018. In addition to those, I also have a few smaller projects; like adding a wedding collection and business collection to the stamp line, designing more greeting cards, creating a Christmas collection with brand new products, etc.

Now I would love to hear what you have planned for 2018. Share with me in the comments and let’s achieve those big goals together this year!

Posted on March 19, 2018

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for months, but I wanted to wait until everything is settled before I give you an update.

My husband, Jake, and I spent a lot of time in 2017 talking about work-life balance, starting a family, and finding purpose in our daily work. These conversations eventually led to possibly moving to Cambodia, where I lived between the ages of 10 and 18 and where my parents still live.

Up until September, it was just an option. You see, it’s a little more complicated for a green card holder to move outside the US than just buying a plane ticket and packing up her life.

In October, we sent in my US Citizenship application.

In November, we started going through every corner of our apartment, donating things, selling things, and packing things up.

In December, we received an appointment notice for an interview on January 4th. We got excited that things are falling into places so we purchased our one-way tickets.

The week before Christmas, we moved into my in-laws’ house to transition.

On January 3rd, I got a phone call from the USCIS office saying they will be closed on the 4th due to a snow storm but I had the option to come down on the 3rd for my interview and oath.

I passed my interview and test but we encountered some technical difficulties and I had to come back on a different day for the oath of allegiance.

On January 8th, I took the oath and became an American citizen.

But I didn’t get to change my name from Hailun Xia to Helen Xia McVety as requested because a judge wasn’t present at the rescheduled appointment.

Here’s the problem, the name I used to purchase my ticket was Helen Xia McVety.

We didn’t want to risk not getting my name changed and getting a new passport in time for our February 11 flight, so we spent the last 2 weeks working with Expedia to get my name on the plane tickets changed to my current legal name.

It’s been a stressful month and it’s been a month since I last posted on social media. I feel so bad that I’ve just disappeared online but this social media hiatus has been so good for my soul. I simply haven’t had the mental capacity to create new content…

So why am I writing this post now? Well, as of this Monday, everything is squared away for our big move in February!!

How is Letter & Adore changing in 2018 with our move?

1) What Letter & Adore will be offering from 2018 forward

Since I will be spending the majority of each year in Cambodia, shipping hand painted signs from the other side of the world won’t really work. However, I have found ways to offer my custom hand lettered designs as printed signs, acrylic signs, wood signs, and fabric signs. The options are still endless!

I have recruited an amazing friend here in South Portland, Maine, to handle shipping. You can be rest assured that everything will still be made in the USA to ensure quality and reasonable turnaround time.

A full list of services and pricing coming soon!

2) I am taking on a limited number of weddings this year.

Although my main focus for 2018 is to spend more quiet time with God, explore Southeast Asia with Jake, and getting my body ready to carry a baby, I still want to serve my brides and serve them well. Thus, I will be taking on a limited number of weddings this year. If you’re interested in custom invitations, signage suites, day-of paper woods, be sure to fill out this inquiry form to secure your spot as early as possible.

Image by Silverbell Photography

3) Letter + Adore is going digital!

I’ve been mulling over this idea for years now and this international move is pushing me over the edge to finally open a digital shop. Of course, this is a huge undertaking and probably won’t be ready to launch until the end of 2018, but I want to give you a rough idea of what will be offered. In the Letter + Adore digital shop, you’ll be able to purchase original calligraphy cut files, printables, and calligraphy workbooks. More info to come on this!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. It’s my heart’s desire that by making these changes, it will allow me to serve you in a more focused and creative manner.

I’m so excited about all the changes coming to Letter & Adore as well as my personal life in 2018! I’ll be spending the next month working on updating the website to reflect all the changes. In the mean time, you can follow along our journey on Instagram and/or Facebook.

Enough about me, tell me something exciting happening in your life in 2018! I’d love to hear and share your excitement 😃

Posted on January 23, 2018

It’s Letter & Adore’s 3rd anniversary and I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone with you!! Did you know that I opened my online shop exactly 17 days after Jake and I got married? A lot of have changed during the past 3 years: my lettering style, the products I offer, the branding, but most importantly, how I serve you.

Three years ago, I simply wanted a creative outlet. I made beautiful things to fulfill my creative needs. But now…

Now, I create for YOU. Documenting your most treasured memories is at the heart of Letter & Adore. That is why I want to give away something extra special this year – the “Remember When” Keepsake. This was my 3rd anniversary gift to my husband and one that we will cherish for a lifetime. It’s a collection of your favorite shared memories over the year(s) in watercolor and calligraphy. If you’re a sentimental gift giver like me, you’ll surely enjoy this giveaway!


Here are just a few ideas of how this can make a great gift:

  • Wedding day gift for your bride or groom – your favorite memories leading up to your wedding day
  • Anniversary gift for your spouse – your favorite memories in a year of marriage
  • Anniversary gift for your parents – their favorite memories in a year of marriage
  • Mother’s day gift – your favorite memories with mom
  • Father’s day gift – your favorite memories with dad
  • Gift for your child – your favorite memories and/or milestones in a year of your child’s life

Join the Celebration!

Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for your support and encouragement along my creative entrepreneurial journey! Now head on over to Facebook or Instagram and find this post to enter the giveaway.

Posted on July 22, 2017

I can’t believe we are halfway through 2017. Where did the time go? I started off real strong this month with wedding show prep and some fun projects. But for the first time in my life, I’m suffering from seasonal allergies. I either wake up with a puffy face or feel tired all day from low-quality sleep so it’s been hard trying to get things done the past few weeks. Below is a recap of my June highlights.


2017 Wedding Showcase at the Barn at Silver Oaks

I attended the 2nd annual wedding showcase at the Barn at Silver Oaks in Winthrop, Maine. The venue owners, Gene & Veronica, recruited an awesome team of talented wedding professionals. It was my first time lettering live at an event and I offered the first 25 couples a hand lettered marble tile place card. I was SO nervous I could feel my hand shake while painting, but the reaction from each couple when they picked up their marble tiles made it all worthwhile!

* I have another wedding show coming up in August at Hardy Farm in Fryeburg, Maine. If you’re within driving distance, definitely come say hi!

Photo by Ashley Dorso of Silverbell Photography

My very first mirror seating chart…and it’s a giant one!

Creating a mirror seating chart has been on my wedding calligraphy bucket list for a while. You can bet I was over the moon when I got the request from Danielle of Daniella for a wedding at the Westin Portland Harborview. When I took the job, I thought I’d be lettering on a standing mirror about 2 feet by 6 feet. Nope! This mirror measures 6’4″ x 7′ 2″ and is mounted on the wall, on top of a credenza.


Styled Shoot at the Barn at the Kennebunks

There’s a new wedding venue in Southern Maine, The Barn at the Kennebunks! Isn’t it beautiful? I loved watching Sarah and Terri of Lulu & Co Event Design style each section for the shoot, while Brittany of 207 Weddings captured every little detail.

Once the shoot is published, I’ll share more photos and the complete vendor list with you!

wedding welcome sign at the Barn at the Kennebunks


July is a big month for me. Jake and I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary on the 5th. I’m turning 26 (although I still feel 19 most days) on the 11th. And the 22nd marks the 3rd anniversary of Letter & Adore. Stay tuned because I’m going to plan something to celebrate this milestone with you!

What have you been up to this month? I want to hear all about it!

Posted on June 28, 2017

At the end of 2015, I stumbled across One Little Word® by Ali Edwards and the idea of focusing on one single word for an entire year intrigued me. Although I get excited about planning and goal setting at the end of every year, I have had a difficult time referring back to my goals and following through. So for 2016, I decided to give it a try and focus on one single word/theme rather than a list of goals.

Reflecting on 2016

My word of the year for 2016 was planted. It was our first year living in one state with no intention of moving in the near future, so the word came quite naturally.

word of the year 2016
My 2 main focuses around the word were:
1) Get involved at a local church
2) Connect with local wedding professionals and creatives


My husband and I are so thankful to have found Eastpoint Christian Church. We love the hearts of our church, our core values, mission, and vision to reach the Greater Portland community.


Business wise, I really wanted to meet and connect with like-minded creatives that are local to Maine. I am so happy to have discovered Maine Wedding Network last January and attended all 3 meet ups (aka Fireside Chats), during which I met so many passionate wedding vendors. In June, I was invited to work on a styled shoot at a beautiful farm with a full team of talented wedding creatives.
Although there were challenges, disappointments, and failures, 2016 was truly a great year. Being encouraged and supported by other Christians and like-minded creatives has really helped me feel planted. After 6 years of moving around the US, I can finally call this place home.

My 2017 word of the year is relationship. 

Yes, “relationship” seems to be an obvious next phase to being “planted”, but it surely wasn’t the first word that came to mind when I started thinking about my word of the year. You see, I have a tendency jump the gun and start planning for the new year before reflecting on the past. Now that I’ve decided on relationship, I can’t even remember what other words I thought of.


I generally like to break my life down into 6 categories (Faith, Self, Marriage, Family/friends, Community, Business) and I love that the word “relationship” can be applied to each. Instead of writing down a list of goals for the entirety of 2017, I decided to make a mind map with specific ideas and actions I can take to improve my relationships.


word of the year 2017 mind map

Have you picked a word of the year for 2017? What did/will you do to help yourself focus on your word (or theme) for 2017?

Posted on January 2, 2017

I started building this e-commerce site back in June thinking I’ll get it ready to launch by my 2nd shopiversary on July 22, which obviously didn’t happen. My summer was filled with wedding orders and I ran into a bunch of issues building the site. Some time last month, I had started to feel really discouraged and that I was in over my head with this project. Instead of giving up, I pushed through. I did more research, joined WordPress help and support groups on Facebook, and asked friends for help.


Now 5 months later, I’m so excited to say that letterandadore.com is finally live! It’s been a long and hard journey but this week, I’m reminded that “you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Are you working on any challenging projects? Don’t be discouraged when you feel like you’ve hit a wall. Push through and you’ll get there. I hand lettered the quote “You can do anything you set your mind to” by Benjamin Franklin and created an 8×10 print just for you.



  1. Fill out the form below
  2. Right click on the image and save to your computer
  3. Print & hang

Posted on October 29, 2016