When I married the love of my life Brian, I wore the most lovely dress, I still think it’s beautiful, but there is a strange practice of women keeping their wedding dresses in sad giant boxes for preservation and I had done just that.
Instead of continuing to keep my dress perfectly pristine in a box I decided I wanted to have a quilt made from my dress for my son Henry. My wedding dress was a symbol of my husband and my love so I took that symbol of love and made it into an heirloom quilt for Henry.
The main satin was used for most of the quilt and the bottom accent was used to create the alternating decorative squares. My friend Jess’ cousin Kim made it for me and I couldn’t be more happy with the design! She’s amazingly talented! I had Henry’s name and birthday embroidered on the center square using the same fonts as his painted canvas in his room and his birth announcement. Gotta love beautiful typography!
When I designed our fall porch party invitations with a diecut, I knew there would be wasted paper, but for me all paper should be loved and the least amount of waste is respectful to the earth. So I designed the size to work with our Christmas card as well, so the waste would create a custom frame for the photos we sent for the holidays.
These letterpressed frames & photos accompanied our annual Christmas letter. A custom designed letter with a simple accordion fold to make it a self standing mantel piece. The beautiful photography of Stacy Kron from our summer photos on one side, and our more candid shots on the other with a short letter telling of our year worth of adventures. Simple to create but a stunning piece that I am proud to share with our family and friends.
2012 Porch Party Invitation Cards and the left over paper.
The finished porch party invites with the patterned backside.
The giant stack of left over paper!
Put to good use with our Christmas cards as a photo frame.
Our custom accordion folded Christmas Card & Letter! Front side is a selection of photos from our summer family photoshoot by Stacy Kron.
This is the letter side of the card including candids of our year. It’s a nice way to showcase our family in a fun and different way that can be a standing card. Keeping ideas fresh! Happy Holidays Everyone!
Every year my husband and I do a photoshoot to celebrate our wonderful life together and each year I art direct the photo concept. This year we went on a picnic with our 7 month old son as the sun started setting. It was the perfect weather and combination of love and art. I couldn’t be more happy with these beautiful images captured by the delightful Stacy Kron! I really love being able to look back at our photos over the years and see how we’ve changed and how our taste has changed. Even our hairstyles! It’s a legacy we are leaving behind for our son and future grandchildren, a glimpse into who we are and if you have children, it is a beautiful way to bond with them.
When considering your next family photoshoot, here are five things I always think about when art directing a photoshoot:
1. Concept: This doesn’t have to be over the top, but a concept is necessary to tie a photoshoot together. It can be as simple as the idea of “story time” to “baking a first birthday cake” to a “back yard fire pit/smore making adventure” or even location driven. My husband and I tend to be a bit vintage/farm in our style. Think antiques and old quilts. So this year I wanted to create a picnic for our theme. Just us in a beautiful field of grass, enjoying each others company and smootching our new baby boy. I love how our photos turned out they are exactly how I dreamed them, only better! As your children get older, remember to let them be apart of the process. They want a voice too!
2. Photographer: Here is the big one. Selected the right photographer for your vision. Don’t select a super urban photographer if you want a shabby-chic/farm shoot and don’t select a photographer that you aren’t smitten with their gallery of images. Select a photographer that you adore their work and trust their skills. Each year we select a different photographer to match our style, so they can be a part of our idea and help us see the vision through. Every year we have our photo taken, that is a decent investment in “art”. So is a professional photographer worth the money…ABSOLUTELY. You are paying for their vision, their education, their art, their equipment and the confidence that they will deliver you an amazing end product. This year the only photographer I wanted to use for this vision was Stacy Kron. I adore her style, it syncs up with the beauty and lighting I wanted for our shoot and she’s darn near the sweetest girl in the world! And I couldn’t be more happy with working with her. She is without a doubt, amazing!
3. Wardrobe. You have to start somewhere. So I always start with the pickiest person, myself. Once I have a dress that I love, I build the color palette from there. This year I selected a beautiful golden-yellow dress from BHLDN. Love them, by the way. Then I toss out some color options to my husband, he selected his grey vest to coordinate with the vintage style of my dress and then the delightful process of shopping for a baby boy. I wanted him to have a tie to the golden yellow, but not too much, so it wouldn’t be matchy-matchy and I wanted him to be wearing his first pair of denim jeans to match his daddy. Thank you to Children’s Place, I found exactly what I was looking for and on a budget too! But I will say, remember to be comfortable, if you can’t move in what you’re wearing, it will show in your photos. Be you. Be confident. And remember to smile.
4. Location: This I touched on in the concept. You need to work with your photographer to select the right location for your vision. If you aren’t a professional model, you might want somewhere a bit quieter so you can get comfortable having you photo taken and let your nerves melt away. This year I sent a moodboard of images that had similar locations to what I was thinking, to my fabulous photographer Stacy, and she selected the location in Alexandria, MN, a beautiful open field of tall grass near the middle school, on a rolling hill with the sun setting…ahhh smitten. This also goes back to having full faith and trust in the photographer you select. I knew with all my heart she was amazing and that she understood my vision and I didn’t have to worry once.
5. Props: In nearly all my photoshoots there are some kind of props. This year was actually the first time the props were such a large part of the photoshoot. In order to create the look of a picnic, it had to be a picnic. So I brought several of our antiques from our home. From a round antique wooden cheese box, to a pair of vintage Samsonite suitcases, to a lovely quilt I received from my parents when I was a little girl. I didn’t want to buy things for the shoot, I wanted us to be surrounded by things we love that are a part of our lives. Though I did buy some glass bottle Coke and two delicious Red Velvet cupcakes from Wuolett for the shoot! It never hurts to have something yummy to eat. If you do choose to use props, keep in mind, they might not work and might become over the top. So be prepared to follow your photographers lead. If they say it isn’t working, be smart and leave the props behind and just be you and your lovely family and that love and light will come through the photos.
As I always say, we must embrace life and beauty and go out of our ways to make the world a better place. And that is how I have always felt about design. Whether is graphic, interior, fashion or event, design is a crucial part of the emotion you feel when you see a product or enter a room or are a part of an event.
When I throw our annual Porch Party, I enjoy getting the details right, so that when our guests arrive they feel warm and welcome. Or even when you enter a room in my home, the design of the space, colors and textures all set the mood, like our cheery and welcoming kitchen to our soothing and dramatic bedroom or Henry’s contemporary nature themed nursery. Each space and emotion is carefully considered. When I design an invitation or announcement or a brand, I first and foremost take into consideration the emotion that I want the viewer to feel when they interact with the piece. It is emotion that links us all together and it is design that is the tool.
Jessica of Live the Fancy Life, embodies this ideal. She embraces beauty, emotion and design in everything she does from interior design to event planning, Jessica really sets the tone for each project she encounters. She has created some of the most lovely events and I adore following her blog. She gives a lot of fabulous advise about how to live the fancy life on a budget and you have to follow the beautiful work she’s done with their new home!
But my current favorite of Jessica’s event work, is the work she did on a Curious George themed birthday party! I adore the attention to detail, the colors, textures and patterns. And the party-favor books are a perfect end to an amazing birthday party!
Someday I hope to work on a project with her, because her taste is impeccable and she is a delightful person as well! From one designer to another, she’s amazing.
As my husband and I have been working for several years lovingly remodeling our 1900 farm house. We had to remove one of the cutest elements of the house. When we purchased it, in the upstairs, you would open a full size linen closet door and at the back of the linen closet was a delightful little door about 4 feet tall with a glass pane. This intriguing little door led into the crawl space that was used for storage and now that room is our addition of a master bedroom, bath and closet.
Though the door could no longer be used in a practical use, we wanted to embrace its charm and use it as a decorative architectural element in the house. We hung it from four cast iron decorative brackets, holding it a few inches from the wall. I then replaced the knob with a gorgeous purple antique glass door knob, that I got for my birthday to tie in with the purple walls and the purple accents in the adjacent spare bathroom, including an antique purple Ball jar. (Though some antique dealers consider it a flaw, I think it’s beautiful). It’s called Sun Purple. When exposed to sunlight, some pieces of clear glass will gradually turn purple over extended periods of time, due to the presence of an element called manganese. I think it has a charming appeal.
If you listen to what they taught you in grade school, reduce, reuse and recycle, that gives you one reason to love this decorating tip, but if you’re like me, you love it because you have an admiration for antique architecture and a respect for the past. Love.
If I had to say what my addiction is I would say “to create”. I love to create. It doesn’t matter what it is, I have a passion to create new things, and I find so much joy in it. And I think it shows in my work. Whether it’s sewing, painting, design, writing or production, I create! My husband and I throw a porch party at our house for our nearest and dearest every year, it has become a beautiful, annual celebration. What better time then a delightful little porch party, to do letterpressed and die-cut invitations!
You might find yourself thinking, well it’s just a little party of friends, they would come whether you did an evite or you did an elaborate handmade invitation. But I am driven by the passion. My dear friends and family would be there no matter what the invitation looked like, but I see it as an opportunity to create something beautiful and I try to grab ahold of every opportunity I can to enjoy life and create something wonderful.
As my husband and I continue the renovations on our beautiful 1900 farm house, we invite our friends into our chaos to enjoy the charm of what we have finished and what is in process. With that farm feel, I continually embrace the rooster as our mascot. With his morning cry to get up and enjoy the sunshine! When I started designing these my passion and inner designer took over. By that I mean I dreamed and I dreamed big, I didn’t limit myself by time, cost or effort, I just set out to create something beautiful that spoke true of our house and spoke true of our love for each other and our friends and family.
I designed a 4 card invitation. That was 3 PMS colors with a common 1 PMS color back, each card being die-cut. Now this is where the realist should have tapped me on the shoulder, just to let me know what I was committing too. 4 Cards x 4 Colors (3+1) + 4 Die-cut (each card) x Number of Invitations = 1500 IMPRESSIONS! Yes, alas, I did not take in account the effort it would take to create these. But the design, paper, colors, texture, hemp rope tie, all equal delight! So was I realistic, NO. Was it worth it, YES! All I can say is embrace life to the fullest, enjoy every single minute and find your passion!
I had the great honor to work with Tara LaTour on her branding, creating this delicious logo! Her work is inescapably wonderful. From the texture and layers her dresses are to-die-for. Every time I am in her studio I can barely keep my hands to myself. Her work is amazing. When we set out to do her brand, I knew that she had an eerie, antique, romantic allure to her work. And by looking at her dresses and hearing her talk about the designs I instantly felt connected to her soul and the roots of her work.
Once Tara was delighted with the design and mood boards, I hired the amazing MMInk to do custom calligraphy for her. Tara’s designs are all so unique and each one tells a different story, I knew her logo font had to be custom. Nothing else would do her justice. And MMInk always does such a beautiful job creating custom work for me that I was thrilled to get to work with her again!
I then took the custom calligraphy and spent time distressing each individual letter of each layer of the logo. So each piece was unique to the others. Loving every detail of her logo and giving it the personal attention it needed. Finally I layered them together and applied her lovely and intriguing color pallet! I can’t say enough wonderful things about my experience working with Tara, she’s amazing and truly a life long friend.
Today I would like to showcase to all you fabulous people, the wonderful talents of Matt Kaufenberg who runs the An Illustration-A-Day Blog. He did this delightful series of our favorite super heros on their day off. Love his style and his sense of humor! Check out Matt’s work today. Also check out his online store, buttons, prints and more! LOVE.
Here are some fabulous examples of newsprint nails I found all over Pinterest. My fabulous and talented niece Sylvia taught me how to transfer typography onto my fingernails. As a designer, I think I nearly exploded into glittery particles I was so excited. All you need is light nail polish, clear nail polish, rubbing alcohol and newspaper or map. Easy breezy. A bit time consuming, and it did take the perfect timing of pressing the paper to the nail before it has to be removed. (I may have had a few failed attempts with paper stuck to my fingers). But I had a lot of fun layer different fonts and playing with the cross word puzzles too!
So ladies, get your type on!
A friend of mine told me about Miette Bakery and all the amazing things they have to offer if you are in the San Francisco area so I checked out their site and I have to say…YUM! What I really loved about them was their cookbook and baking supplies. So even though I’m far away in Minn. I can still enjoy some of their goodness and make it myself. You can even order their sugared roses for your own creations! Plus the book is beautifully designed and die cut.