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)

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.

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


former bride, fellow mama

I've been patiently waiting to share a project that I finished this winter for a former (and favorite!) bridal client of mine. Her very thoughtful husband commissioned me to do a watercolor portrait of Lindsey & their daughter Carolina for Christmas. The two of them are framed with some floral motifs that I used on the wedding invitation I designed for them, and It's such a nice thought to know that that pretty girl is the result of the very special promise that they made to each other that day. Many more happy years of mamahood to you, Lindsey! 


glenora winery wedding

Just finished up a very gardentastic wedding suite for a fellow RIT alumnus (and former resident!). The bride requested that I include the arbor at the winery where the ceremony will take place, and gave me a glimpse into the bridal bouquet inspiration. I love the combination of envelope colors she chose to go with the shimmer silver pocket, too - the lady has got taste! Oh, spring weddings are just so pretty! krystina1



a decidedly patterned diptych

I find that I'm often pretty embarrassed by how much time has passed since I've done a painting. I mean really really painted.  I do a lot of watercolor pieces for wedding invitations, but my acrylic paint has simply been neglected. I miss it, and then when I pick it up again, it fights with me for a while before things pull together. I'm really pretty happy with my most recent piece, which is a diptych that I just finished for my parents. Each panel is 12x24". I was caught somewhere between decorative italian renaissance scrollwork and more contemporary patterning, but I think I found a compromise. Time to head to their happy new home! mom



pretty pastels

My latest wedding ensemble. They will be printed on a soft white stock, but just for fun I had a set printed on bright white to pair with dual tone gray envelopes. I'm torn. I think I'm liking this cream color after all, but I do love my grays! Thank goodness it wasn't my decision, haha! DSC_3224


a big dining & dancing day!

One of my favorite wedding invitation ensembles of recent: a Sedona, AZ & vintage lace themed set. This was particularly fun because it was for my very very first childhood friend, and she's just plain cool! I love the way the red rock turned out on the RSVP, and they were printed on a flecked cardstock, which looks great with the paper bag envelopes. That prickly pear cactus is pretty neat, too. caitlin1



Birth Story promotional goodies

Oh, gosh. Has it really been this long since I've blogged?  Yikes.  I've had a very busy start to the year, to say the least.  I just wrapped up some promotional pieces for a private film screening of Ina May Gaskin's Birth Story.  I have to say, I'm really pretty interested in seeing the film, and it sounds like a lovely event. I was working on these posters with a seriously awesome woman here in Rochester, Colleen Flaherty, who owns her own pregnancy fitness business. Go check out Baby Bump Academy to see what she's all about & get inspired! RABN1


brides & babies

Well look at me. Getting all fancy with my matching coffee, twine, & binder; and my table, specifically cleaned off for my first bridal consultation of the year! wooo weee!  I'm excited because my calendar for January and February is quickly filling up with new weddings, and it's a nice mix of different colors, themes, and responsibilities.  I like to alternate between envelope calligraphy jobs and custom invitations to give my hand a break or test out some new design ideas. consult-table

This calligraphy piece is heading to the nursery of a cute little girl, of this super awesome bride, and is meant to coordinate with a most beautiful rug from Anthropologie. It's one of my more colorful pieces to date, and I'm thinking it will look pretty darn magnificent to a child's eyes!



And finally, the thank you notes that we sent out for Liam's 1st birthday. That boy makes me melt!


to our son, who is one!

Honestly, I just can't believe it's 2013. Really, truly. I spent all new year's eve thinking about where I was one year ago on that day: at home with michael, my parents & brothers, playing board games, counting minutes & contractions, and walking many laps around our kitchen. Who knew (we did. or at least hoped) that half a day later we would be snuggling our new son, and knowing in that moment that nothing else would ever steal our hearts away from that little boy. liam-favorite

Happy 1st birthday to you, Liam! You have made our hearts so full of joy, our lives so richly blessed, and our house just a little bit cuter.







family rules: a wreath

This illustration was done for a very good family friend to give to her daughters. Lots of good advice in here for raising a strong, honest, just plain caring family! I tried to go for a contemporary take on the traditional wreath. I think it's nice that it feels seasonal for the holidays, but can be left out all year.

you're so kind!

New lino-cut thank you notes with kraft paper envelopes from last week's show.  Although I really love carving stamps by hand, I currently prefer printing them with ink pads rather than block printing ink.  Who knows, I may return to the traditional way if i decide to use a light ink on darker paper (and have room to spare on the floor while they dry), but for now this is oh so convenient. Oh, the beauty of being able to change my mind! I'm hoping to get them up in my etsy shop for the new year, along with a selection of sale cards from past seasons. Everyone loves a good deal, am I right? linotys


And some photos from the RIT winter show last week.



A tiny original painting from last year that I finally framed.


life is precious

In my heart I felt called to do an illustration honoring the children of Sandy Hook.  It helped to envision them being welcomed into their safe new home, and in the tiniest way, has brought some comfort over the last few days.  While I still ache for the grieving families in Connecticut, I mostly feel thankful that I can spend this time with the people I love, celebrating with Liam on his first Christmas.  And even though it should be the reality of every moment of every day, life has never seemed more precious than now. lifeisprecious

RIT winter craft sale 2012

I've been busy with last minute holiday card preparations for the annual RIT winter craft sale.  This will be the only craft show I am doing this holiday season, featuring several new holiday designs and thank you's, along with some clearance cards from past years.  I am also proud to announce that I will be able to accept credit cards this year. I'm making it easy! So stop by the SAU lobby & Fireside Lounge on Friday, December 14 from 10-4pm for a jolly good time supporting fellow RIT staff and alumni! holidaycards


inspired by: coldplay & christmas lights

I just love the grand spectacle that is Coldplay. This video has so much whimsy- it sort of feels like a children's pageant, doesn't it?  When the camera pans out, the stage looks so miniature and magical. Holiday music is so nice. [youtube]

those Christmas lights light up the street down where the sea and city meet may all your troubles soon be gone oh, Christmas lights, keep shinin' on