anniversaries for sweethearts

Thursday was Michael and my 4th anniversary. Wow! How can a period of time feel like an eternity, and also like the first day of our lives together just began yesterday?  Since our wedding, we've lived in 3 different cities, and moved 6, maybe 7 times.  Pretty much we are professional packers, furniture arrangers, & home makers.  I am very glad to have been settled into our house now for one year this week!  It feels nice to have some constancy, since Liam has already turned our lives upside-down (in a truly awesome way!). Michael gave me this beautiful succulent from Arena's, where our wedding flowers were from. Seriously, it is so cool.  It doesn't need to be planted; it just gets a quick spritz of water every week. I just love that guy; he is so sweet!

The pieces below were done for one of my bridal clients from last year.  She chose to have calligraphy pieces of her and her now husband's vows to match the envelopes I addressed for them.  They are quite large, about 14" tall, and will be matted and framed together.  Such a nice keepsake- happy one year to them!

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 very mom monday

This is my plan today: enjoying the rain (from inside), reading my favorite new purchase "Mom, Inc. The essential guide to running a successful business from home" (this book is so good, there will be a post dedicated to solely this soon), and continuing with day 2 of our rice cereal adventures. Have a lovely Monday!

one month

As many of you know, I have taken a short break from posting while I adjust to motherhood & help introduce the world to our son Liam Michael Place.  He was born on New Years' day, which makes him one month old today- how time flies! He is our most tiring and rewarding creation, and fills us daily with the greatest joy. I am looking forward to sharing more about this wonderful new life soon.

I have new projects to post shortly- lots of wedding invitation jobs are coming up, filling my sketchbook with florals, banners, and chevrons.  Can't wait to share!

2011: la fin

These are some of the last creations of this year, so what better time to share them than on the last day of 2011?  The table below is one that I refinished for a most wonderful aunt. The color of the top is best seen in the photo from a few posts ago.

And a final custom calligraphy piece.  I wish the metallic inks translated from my scan!

So excited to share some new projects of 2012, including a few wedding ensembles, printable invitation templates, desktop wallpaper calendars, and my greatest creation yet!  :)

Happy New Year!

calendar fillers

With the holidays approaching, I've been getting into appropriately seasonal projects.  I have a few exciting collaborations in the works with Amy of greengirlpress, which I am particularly looking forward to, including a limited edition watercolor calendar & a lovely chilly weather christmas card. Stay tuned for more updates!

I have been spending too much time on pinterest, being inspired by lots of things that distract me from my to do list.  Below is a result of one recent pin.

Tomorrow is the Annual Craft show and fundraiser at Mercy HS from 10-4pm.  This will be one of only a few holiday shows for me before the baby comes, so come on out to 1437 Blossom Rd and support local artists and alum. Cecelia Hayes will also be there with her lovely rose pins!


changing season creations

I am loving this weather!  It's always so refreshing to be comfortable in jeans and a tshirt or sweatshirt outside, and it's perfect for furniture refinishing.  This piece we came across at our favorite church flea market, which I mentioned a few posts back. We had been on the hunt for a buffet, and this happens to match in a quite extraordinary way to the china cabinet that we got from the salvation army a few years ago.  Can't wait to give this a good sand and polish it up!  We are planning on white for the top and sides, and sanding down to the natural wood grain for the front.  I'll post progress photos as we get working on it.

The most recent invitation that I've done, for my lovely cousin Molly.  She is accenting a very classic black and white wedding with tiffany blue and an eggplant purple, which I think will be so elegant. I loved the different elements here, especially my new baker's twine & metallic teal ink envelope calligraphy!

This is a sneak peak to something that I'm working on for my fall and holiday shows.  I've been making felt ornaments for a few years now, and thought this year that I'd create designs to coordinate with some of my more popular prints.  I plan on selling them as a packaged set, with some sort of gift wrapping. I will post more of the combinations next week.

Still keeping up with tiny little baby creations.  This one was knit from a (free!) pattern on the lion brand yarn site. I attempted making this after being inspired by the adorable blabla knit stuffed animals.

summer somethings

Is there anything more beautiful than the end of summer sunsets?  This one from the weekend made me want to slow down time and sit in that moment forever.  So much calm and peace.

Now and then it's nice to know if  someone is expecting a boy or a girl, especially when you have the opportunity to make the baby shower invitations.  Of course, I was then able to go overboard with the pinks, ginghams, and plaids, scalloped edges, flowers and hearts.  Plus, I just love onesie graphics- darling!

I think this is such a unique choice for a wedding song, and I had a fun time working on a design for this custom piece.  The bouquets were going to have sunflowers, with accent colors of eggplant and green.

treasuring old & new

This last weekend was our church flea market, where we always seem to be able to find great treasures.  This year we really made out well though.  I left with a few nice planters, linens, baby things, and a nice buffet that will be perfect for our new dining room.  My favorite find though was an old framed Jesse Wilcox Smith print from the Mercy HS Library.  I am in LOVE with this picture, and Jesse Wilcox Smith is one of my favorite children's book illustrators to date. Did I mention that this was only $2?  Talk about a steal!

Last year I picked up this old frame. It's 2x3 feet, and I intended to use it for a painting that I have here, but I found a new purpose for it for last weekend's Hearts & Crafts show.  My dad had some old insulation panels in the garage, which worked out perfectly for a homemade cork board.  I went on a hunt that evening for some fabric and (after some fancy stapling) I was done!  Easy breezy.  It sure beats rummaging through a pile of prints on a table - you can't beat the convenience of visibility!

I've been trying to work on my branding a bit.  My blog makeover from a few weeks back has inspired me to focus on other aspects of my brand too.  I had this stamp made with my new logo, which I hope to use on some packaging or maybe even the envelopes in my cards.

Some new things for our nursery.  I'm sure (like me) that you're all wondering when this closing will be so I can finally stop talking about the mystery house.  We are still hoping for one week from today (cross your fingers!).  Will the anxiousness never end!

bunnies & books

Last week I purchased 3 patterns from Tara Murray's etsy shop, and I have to say I'm already in love with them after making up the first hat.  This is way too adorable, and includes several different sizes for newborn up through toddler age. I can't wait to make up the remaining patterns that I received: the lamb bonnet and the winter booties!

I have had the greatest time reading this book that I got out from the library a few weeks ago.  Kari Chapin put out Handmade Marketplace last year, and i've been filled with so much inspiration and encouragement already as I read my way through each chapter.  There are many things that I've already done to get my creative business off the ground, and so so much more information to absorb for marketing ideas and tax prep. Between the stories of support and tales of crafting blunders, all I can say is read this book and get making!

masters & milestones

Where did the time go!?  It seems like not all that long ago we were anxiously awaiting Michael's financial aid offers, and now he's a Masters Architecture graduate!  He is an amazing man and husband and deserved every bit of celebration from this last weekend.  I'm so proud of him and all the time and hard work he's put in to this program over the last 2 years!

As long as I am sharing all of the excitement of our lives, we do have another bit of news:

.....we are having a baby!  Expecting our first little blessing's arrival at the beginning of the new year- so so thrilled to be an almost mom  :)

hidden potential

Saturday was the opening reception for Michael's thesis work, Hidden Potential, at UB's Anderson Gallery.  I was thoroughly impressed with how the installation turned out- featuring palettes of raw material, and photographs of the rubber tire processing warehouse, alongside his experimental casts. He had a really wonderful turnout, including a handful of family members, friends, professors, and gallery administration. I think Connor enjoyed his first gallery experience, too!  The exhibit will be up until May 1st or so. So proud of him!

end of the march chapter

Many of you have asked about the Small Press show from a few weeks back, so here goes!  It was held at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, which was actually an old methodist church from the early 1900s.  It really is an awesome space, as you can see from the photo below, featuring an enormous organ and stained glass picture windows.  The show itself had a nice variety of vendors, ranging from independent publishers, screen printers, book binders, zine artists, and general crafters. I shared a corner of the building with some wonderful ladies. Christine specializes in custom hand bound journals, wedding guestbooks, and reusable felt notepads at concepcioun.  We bonded over our common need for warmth and food during those long hours. Check her out!

Think I might turn this sketch I did from an old Vogue Bambini magazine into a little painting. Love that girl's attitude!

show love day

I love today.  I am such a fan of pink and red and hearts overload.  I was a little late on getting any decorating done, but I did manage to take these flea market find cups out with my doily. So fancy!  The stage for my valentine's display is our newly distressed road side desk, which I finished up a week or so ago.  Another surface to cover with miscellaneous studio clutter.  Yay!  I 'm still trouble-shooting the underside of the desk... I think darker maybe?

Go on and do something lovely and pretty today, Valentine!


a hearts&crafts memoir

The Hearts & Crafts show this weekend was a great success!  We had a lot of people come out and wander through.  The space was fun to work around at Java's, since the tables were quite tiny.  I found an old washboard with shelving in it (and a lot of character) at Goodwill last week, which worked out perfectly for some smaller items and received many compliments.

I shared a cozy corner with some really nice vendors, and swooned over many others.  Sam makes charming vintage button accessories.

I also got a truly wonderful calendar from Amy at greengirlpress.


Looking forward to a few more shows this spring, and trying to talk myself into one of Carla's "fabric cutter upper and piecer backer together-er" scarflettes like this one!

my world it smiles

A recent piece for a very fun friend's wedding next month.  Kara is a fellow calligraphy lover and fantastic designer!  I love the colors she chose, especially those calla lilies!  If you've ever seen the color of her hair, you completely understand. I also have to post a photo of my new (and first) little nephew, Connor Ryan!  I am so in love with this little guy, and I know I am going to enjoy making him all sorts of sweet baby boy things!

many things; an overdue update

I haven't posted in a while, so I have many little bits of things. Some are finished pieces, some are in progress, and most are just parts that I still need to find a home for.  With wedding season coming up, I won't be showing everything that I'm working on either. I got two really wonderful books out of the library last week; "Folk Art of Rural Pennsylvania" and "The Decorative Arts of Sweden". They were very fun to look through. Lots of ceramic painting, carved furniture pieces, and birds. I spent all afternoon sketching my favorites. They remind me a lot of the save the date that I was working on a few posts back.

Next Wednesday I am going to be one of the featured artists at the WAM event at the Stillwater. It starts at 7pm, it's free, and there is live, local music! I am very excited to be a part of this month's 'creative mixer'. Thanks Erica!

To update on the children's wardrobe that I'm refinishing, the hardware I bought came in! I found these beautiful knobs on the anthropologie site, and I love them! They are made in India out of carved resin, but I like to pretend they are jade.

Last week we had great weather, and I was able to spend a good amount of time outside stripping and sanding the drawers. I finished a lot of the top and sides of the wardrobe too, but didn't take any photos.  I got a little ahead of myself thinking about painting already, and went to Home Depot to check out swatches. I decided on "kiwi squeeze" (a light green), for the outside, and "pooh bear yellow", which is actually a light orange, for inside the drawers and cabinet area. Bad timing with the week of rain we are seeing, but now I'm prepared!

To satisfy my need for crochet in the evening, I have been using up some leftover yarn on this small lap size afghan. I've never done this ripple pattern before, and I think I like it.

Also, the start of a large scale doily that I've been working on from one of many pattern books of my Great Aunt Mae's, from 1980. I have a lot of fun working on doilies.

Lastly, things that don't belong. Yet.

I plan to use those flowers on small paintings and on frames for finished calligraphy pieces. I finished one last night, and really love the idea of the artwork spilling onto the frame. Each flower is hand cut and stitched together with beaded center.

the march of many things

I always feel, as I've told many people this week, that things pick up in spring. Everyone is in a better mood. Enough time has passed since the holidays, and now I find that even I am looking for new and bright things to bring in the new season. I've had a few job requests come in, which I feel is only the beginning of a busy busy few months. Last night I finished this calligraphy piece for a christening. It is a Jim Brickman quote from his song "never alone". I had never heard it until I was asked to use this quote, and think it is something that won't necessarily be outgrown from a nursery in a few years. It is 16x20" on illustration board, hand brushed with watercolor.

A few other things that have been making me smile lately:

This photo that Michael took of the sunset last night.

This wonderful ornament from Cecelia.

And the cutest birthday present, polka dotted, potted plant from my dream boat. It's a pink hypoestes!