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

 

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!

alstroemeria-emily.jpg
alstroemeria-emily2.jpg

big boy dresser reveal

Gosh, it seems like this post has been a long time coming. Michael & I have spent a good amount of time refinishing a bedroom set that belonged to my Dad when he was a boy, and three coats of white oil paint later they ended up in my room. I have always loved them, but we agreed that they deserved a makeover if they were going to make it into Liam's new room. We finished the first dresser a few months ago and found it "a little" tough to motivate ourselves to start the second one from the beginning. I'm proud to say that they are finally finished & we have a little boy here who loves them!  And he is worth every bit of stripping, sanding, painting, staining, & sealing that it took to make these heirloom pieces his own. We just love that little guy!

dresser-progress.jpg
dresser-short.jpg
DSC_4970sm.jpg

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?

a dresser, reborn

I haven't worked on a big furniture piece in some time, and i'm pretty excited about this one. It will actually be two pieces: a short and tall dresser. They were my Dad's when he was a child, and my parents gave them a fresh coat (or 3) of white paint for my room as a little girl.  My initial inspiration was this Stuart Melrose piece. I have to say, the only thing motivating us to strip these down to the wood and sand them smooth is seeing the end result, which does make me a little giddy actually. Oh, that and being able to move Liam into his new big boy room to free up the nursery for baby #2 this December!!!  :D liam-dresser1

liam-dresser2

liam-dresser3

liam-dresser4

liam's first painting: curious excitement

This weekend Michael and I decided to spontaneously introduce Liam to finger paint.  I think we both realized fairly quickly that a drop cloth of some sort was in order. Oops. Watching him experiment with making marks (everywhere the brush could reach. you can see that we abandoned the confines of sitting down) and mixing colors filled me with an immeasurable amount of happiness and inspiration. Gosh, I don't know who had more fun: this boy, or his overly proud parents! DSC_3596

DSC_3605

DSC_3607

DSC_3625

DSC_3639

hand (writing & warming)

I recently finished up a big calligraphy job for the absolute nicest former coworker, Allison, from my favorite stationery store.  It was easy to become interested in illustrating and designing specifically for the wedding industry while I was around the inspiring, fun, & talented ladies at Poême ; so obviously I was thrilled to work on these.  And I think I might like this slanted addressing, too. allisonenv2

allisonenv1

It is nice to see a bit of freedom in my schedule now, before another wave of invitations begin. I've been finding tiny bits of time here and there to work on some adorably small projects (notice how cute that sentence sounds?).  I whipped up this 'pair and a spare' set of mittens just last week for a lucky little lovebug.

ruthie1

DSC_3020

lori & erin photography

A few months ago at the RYP Entrepreneur Expo, I shared a cozy corner with fellow RIT alumnus and friend from student government, Lori Coleman.  It's a funny thing that after nearly 5 years, we both found ourselves married, immersed in the whirlwind of creative energy that is the wedding industry, & greatly influenced by wonderful families and children. Lori had recently joined forces with another local photographer, Erin Perotta, and they were looking to brainstorm a new identity for themselves.  I will say this, those two have their act together!  We really only went back and forth conceptually a few times before the logo was, well, pretty darn perfect for them.  What we ended up with wasn't that far from the initial sketch, which was intended to capture a bit of each of their personalities ( if you've seen Lori's hair, you know what I'm talking about- this girl's got curls!).

lori-sketch

lori+erin3

Lori spent a nice afternoon with me in my studio a few weeks back to snap some photos for a spotlight she did on their new identity & of my work.  Gosh, I'm blushing just looking at it again! I love that she came to our home for the shoot. Being in my own environment made it feel more casual, and probably helped avoid a lot of those 'deer in headlights' moments (ok, Liam needed a little warming up). And they are darn good at capturing the perfect moments too! Go check out their completely adorable portfolio at lorianderin.com.

liam-studio

My studio buddy.  Love him!

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!

neveralone-nursery

 

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

liamthanks

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.

liam-1stbdaySM

liambday-envcal

cake-1st

bunting&balloons

cake-eating

12mo

a menagerie nursery

I am always beyond enthusiastic about doing work for past clients- the loyalty just warms my heart! This piece was for one of my first brides, who is now expecting a little girl! Her nursery is a menagerie theme, which is completely charming. Her sister suggested this poem, which was one that Lindsey had to memorize when she was in preschool.  Seriously, so cute.

like a rock: the pairing

I'm so happy to share the first finished set of my 'like a rock' linoleum print and hand sewn linen rock. It took a good deal of playing around to create the rock pattern, but i'm happy with the freeform-ness of it. The linen has a few metallic threads woven in, which coordinate in a nice way with the copper & silver ink of the print.  This first set goes to a most lovely expecting couple. Lindsay has such an honest, good heart, and I can't wait to read about her new motherhood routine amongst all of her other wonderful adventures. And that Nick guy has got a few talents of his own, too. The union of their passions has led to the creation of an awesome recurring event for Cincinnati. They are powerhouses!

I think it's a quite nice combo. Now, to hunt for some more frames to fix up!

a shower & a showcase

This last weekend I attended two majorly fun events:  One, a shower, to welcome the sweetest little girl Emmie to this world, and congratulate her super proud & beaming parents.  The other, a birthday party, showcasing the work of one lovely Amy Rau of greengirlpress. She somehow found a way to make our collaborative calendars from last year even more gorgeous. Bravo! I am very much looking forward to the official relaunch of her webpage, coming in November. This wonderful teaming up of Amy and I....well, we are about to bring lots of beautiful things your way. Be excited.

Spoiler alert!  Hmm, whose date could that be...

new jumping kicks

This week, Liam got a little blister on his toe from all the jolly jumper excitement.  Not a moment too soon, I decided he needed some shoes to wear (they will likely help him hop to unprecedented heights).  The pattern is from Twirlybird on etsy, and was so easy to follow.  I made them out of some denim I had from a pair of old jeans.  I am dying to make her hightop boot pattern, too. That little boy might need a few pairs of each!

wild, wild vacationers

We had a lovely weekend. Friday night we set off to Saratoga Springs, NY for my very good friend's bridal shower, and then onward to Old Forge, to enjoy wonderfully nostalgic porch sitting time.  I made the piece below of the couple's wedding song. It was all very fitting for their place, which used to be an old carriage house.  Adorable perfection.

I just don't know if this boy had any fun!

simple summer sweetness

We had a perfect weekend 'enjoying' the 90 degree heat. We ate dinner outside, worked on some new furniture refinishing projects & watercolors, and helped Liam break in his new pool.

 

Is there anything nicer than fresh garden flowers? I am loving the mix of these textured pinks and fuchsias on our table right now.

A new piece for a couple who shot their engagement photos at an apple orchard- how fun!

 

a blessing for my son

I did this piece for Liam for his baptism a few weekends ago.  There are so many things that I hope for him for his life, and I love that this blessing sounds so infinite and tangible at the same time.  I used a combination of watercolors, acrylic, ink, and fabric on illustration board. I'm thinking this is an illustration that he can grow into just fine!

a home for our favorite reads

I came across this pin a few months ago and had to hunt down some of these Ikea spice racks to repurpose into book shelves for Liam's room. Several weeks ago we took a road trip to Cincinnati and stopped at the Ikea out there to pick some up.  To our great disappointment, they didn't have them anymore! Thankfully, a dear friend was inspired to do the same for her little girl's room, and had some extras. And thus, my pinterest project was saved!