welcoming a new year

While this isn't a recent envelope, it was a favorite color scheme from this past year (mint & grey is my weakness) and it is one that makes me excited for new brides, new palettes, and new address calligraphy adventures for 2016. NOW, who needs me, and who will let me do fancy brush lettering? What do we all think of the new pantone colors for this year?!

All of me & all of the blues and golds

This palette totally gets me. When I caught wind of the colors of this wedding & heard mention of the first dance song, my mind was already swirling with a mix of geometric and organic patterns in blues & golds.  The lyrics I chose to use were just begging to be lettered into some modular illustration, and I would be lying if i said i wasn't a sucker for the traditional diamond wedding reference. The gold calligraphy accents have been a thing for me in 2015, and because I was recently gifted a new set of Finetec gold watercolor pans, i anticipate this young love budding into something truly magical!

(Also, first post of 2016 in the books! Not a resolution, but I'm doing my best, haha)

tiffany blue for every bride

This has to be one of my favorite color & style combinations, yet. This tiffany, robin's egg blue was so fresh & carefree feeling with the tails extending off the envelope. While I don't have a sample set of the entire ensemble in hand, it was paired with a beautiful letterpress invite overflowing with pattern and coral accents- stunning!

paint in gem tones anyway

This summer I was asked to do two very special pieces for a fellow RIT Alumnus. Working larger than my usual size, they were definitely a welcome challenge. For the Mother Teresa quote, I carved a linoleum block stamp to use over a raw edge watercolor border. It was a mixed technique experiment that pleasantly surprised me, & one that I definitely think suited the author. The second piece was custom vow artwork, co-written by the very sweet Mr. & Mrs. (I'll keep those sentiments mostly private, but there are some snippets shown below).

Calligraphy & Illustrations done with watercolor, gouache, & ink. Sized 18x24" and 16x20" on watercolor board.

the luckiest

I am going to have a truthful moment with you all right now: posting in a timely fashion is not a strength of mine. This custom song lyric piece is so far past due, that I am literally slumping in my chair just considering that this is my first update since November. To my dedicated subscribers- Thank you, & I'm still here!

This watercolor calligraphy piece was done at the request of an extremely kind former client, who wanted a special wedding gift for her friend. The wedding was to the tune of a charmingly rustic, pastel, garden party theme. If i do say so myself, I think even Ben Folds would feel all the heart flutters.

rochester haiku project: inspirational places

This month I had the pleasure of collaborating with Rochester Brainery & Joe Bean Coffee on a First Friday show of 20 calligraphy pieces. Each piece featured a haiku written by fellow Rochesterians about places around the city. It was incredibly fun to see the variety of inspiration drawn from familiar parks and establishments, & i think a lot of that was reflected in the collective individuality of the corresponding artwork. 

The show is up until the end of November, so please stop by to view the collection before they all go their separate ways. More than half of the show has already been auctioned off to provide free seats to several Brainery classes. And (shameless self-promotion), check out this December workshop that I'll be teaching! I will be sharing my favorite resources, materials, & techniques, AND you'll be taking home a handful of envelopes and writing tools. :) Get prepared for that holiday card writing!

i will carry you

A fun anniversary commission for a former bridal client. My first time using gouache in a long long while & a fun experiment in doing an original piece on cardboard. Lots of playing around with layering & splattering techniques, alongside lots of trial & error testing the absorbent properties of the board. I'm quite happy with the organic feel of it.

agrotourism themed wedding shoot

When I look at these photos, one of the first things I think to myself is: "can I please get a do-over of my wedding?! Pretty please?". Because honestly, how breathtaking and whimsical are the colors and details of this mock wedding?! I am so honored to have been asked to contribute paper goods for this styled organic farm shoot, & so lucky to have done so amongst some serious talent. Carla over at Costamagna Design was the genius behind the design, & the stunning photos were taken by Jenn & Ben of Ayres Photography (I promise to share the other contributing parties once I have a full list).

I'm convinced. Farms + brightly colored quilts & flowers + tents & light garlands + food & drink stations = pure wedding bliss.

Photo credit: Ayres Photography; Invitations & Calligraphy: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography; Invitations & Calligraphy: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography; Invitations & Calligraphy: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography; Sign: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography; Farm to table menu: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

Photo credit: Ayres Photography;  Cocktail menu: Kelly Place

Photo credit: Ayres Photography

paint all the flowers

This has to be THE most floral piece I have ever done. It also has to be one of my favorite floral watercolors ever. I think it's the combination of the graphic negative space, the colors, the variety of flowers, & obviously The Avett Brothers. Plus, it is going to one seriously cool bride. I'm working on some other 'day-of' things for her now, and I just can't wait to see photos of everything put together. I anticipate it being one stunning wedding day. 

Psalm 139, for my son

This past sunday was a particularly special one for me. Firstly, it was Mother's Day, and what mama doesn't feel extra loved on a day dedicated to celebrating all that we do to raise children that are kind, generous, & full of life-giving spirit? I was especially aware this year of how full my heart is, just watching my two boys sit and stare at each other with beaming smiles & loving pokes. Contributing to this already blessed day, we also celebrated Henry's baptism. We were so proud to have him welcomed into our church community, and spent the rest of the day celebrating with family. It was a perfect Sunday.

I had created a special piece for Liam at the time of his baptism & have been excited to make something for Henry. Psalm 139 has always been one of my favorites, but I really like this more complete version of it.  Almost immediately after I had finished, I was in tears.  My hope is that these pieces are ones that my sons treasure into adolescence and beyond, not only because I made them, but because they are beautiful passages that carry truths about & wishes for them. 

 

 That gold ink!

That gold ink!

 Love, mom

Love, mom

 

home

Can I just say, illustrating first dance song lyrics is one of my favorite things. There is such a wide variety in sentiment, wedding style, and the personalities of the bride & groom.  The combination of all of those things into one piece is part challenge, part surprise, and always just plain fun. There's something so nice about having a memento for your home that doesn't have to read as wedding-themed, but is just as significant. 

  A piece for some very dear friends of ours, who I hope are blessed with a lifetime of love & laughter! 

A piece for some very dear friends of ours, who I hope are blessed with a lifetime of love & laughter! 

 

it's golden from where i sit

Lately I've been feeling just so blessed to be able to work from home, even if it only amounts to 15 minutes of real productive time until the boys are in bed. When I look at Liam's little play area on the other side of the studio baby-gate barrier, I can't help but laugh at how both spaces are full of so much love and chaos.  There is no such thing as order in this shared room when it's time to play with paper & ink or cars & trucks.

I just finished a seriously fun bunch of wedding envelopes this month.  I found a new favorite gold ink & was thrilled with how it turned out on some very beautiful luxe blush envelopes. This was the second wedding suite that I did calligraphy for with Ilana of Sugar and Type, the first of which was just featured on the Oh So Beautiful Paper blog today! I am obviously thrilled and flattered! 

 my golden haired boy. i love him so much. when I look at this photo I like to pretend he was interested in watching me work, but he was just waiting for me to play the lion king soundtrack. 

my golden haired boy. i love him so much. when I look at this photo I like to pretend he was interested in watching me work, but he was just waiting for me to play the lion king soundtrack. 

radiant orchid watercolor suite

Now this is a trend I can get on board with: the abundance of pantone's 2014 color of the year for this wedding season! The radiant orchid inspired palette is my new love. This invitation ensemble was so wonderful to work on, I'm afraid I will never stray from my current purple anemone & lilac obsession. Or at least I will never tire of painting flowers. We will find out after my next calligraphy project, that's for sure!

spring 2014 stationery

With the heat wave this week, I have to admit; I've got floral fever. I'm ready for lots of fresh wildflower bouquets on the kitchen table, and tiny crocuses poking out along our front walk any day now. I'm going full force with the bright colors, and I aim to not stop until fall. Who's with me?!

I printed a handful of new stationery designs for the Boutique Bridal Party a few weeks back, and I'm hoping to get them in the shop by the end of the week (maybe wednesday night, as 10 more inches of snow pummel Rochester).  After this next storm, I'm sure everyone will be in the market for some thank you's!

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a dip pen kind of winter

If i'm going to be stuck inside, i'd rather be playing with bottles of colorful ink than counting the minutes until spring finally sticks. It has already proven to be a busy year for wedding calligraphy.  I'm always excited to try new combinations of colors & envelopes, scripts & blocks. The trend lately seems to be a muted palette: lots of kraft, cream, gray, mint, & blush. I'm loving it! And how about those gold letterpressed confetti dots, courtesy of greengirlpress? So stinkin' pretty.

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Jeremiah 29:11

This last weekend I got to celebrate my beautiful niece Emily at her christening.  I always love working on new calligraphy pieces for family because there is an entirely new dimension to the care and love (and time!) put into them. For this one I spent a whole evening (I got a little carried away) researching flower meanings to find something that would fit the passage that I was using. After much thought I decided on alstroemerias, commonly known as peruvian lilies. Aside from being completely beautiful flowers, they are said to represent friendship, wealth, & prosperity. I also included a tiny daisy for innocence and purity. A close contender were blue irises, which symbolize faith & hope. Maybe next time! Anyway, I was really excited about the way that everything turned out. It's perfectly little girlish for now, but hopefully she doesn't grow out of it for a while. Welcome to the church, pretty little lady!

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chalkboard menu: revisiting colored pencil lettering

I have to say, it has been a few years since I've given much thought to colored pencil lettering, & I'm so glad to have had the chance to revisit an old favorite medium a few weeks ago. I had a custom order from one of my bridal calligraphy clients for a chalkboard menu to be framed at the reception. After experimenting with white charcoal, conte crayon, and several colored pencils, I decided on a Prismacolor premier colored pencil. Pretty standard. It worked great on the black illustration board that I bought & ended up looking remarkably similar to a chalkboard finish, without the impermanence. I'm thinking it might be time to work some pencil back into my watercolors!

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alphabet print

Why is it so hard to use free time appropriately? I always wish that I had the discipline to crank out a new design every few days, but sketches just seem to linger on my desk. Like this one below, many hours are spent perfecting the sketch, which doesn't see watercolor for .....sometimes weeks. How tragic! I am happy to report that this one is finished & will be available as a print in my shop soon. I've been wanting to do something that feels equally at home in both a nursery or kids room & in an office or other living space. I think this turned out simple and colorful (in that muted sort of way) enough for either. I'm quite happy with it.

abcprint

What's the trend these days, 8x10s or 9x12s? What would you all like to see?

i thank you God

Oh, how I love doing calligraphy of e.e. cummings poems. I always feel that they lend themselves so well to different treatments of each line, and I love playing up the color variations with them too. This was for the cover of a wedding program for that beautiful Rochester wedding invite I helped work on. I'm hoping to get a photo of the menus I collaborated with Cecelia on, too. I imagine that all the lovely details of that day were just, YES. The very best wishes to the bride & groom! ithankyougod