happy birthday! cards!

IMG_4256 there are a handful of very very special people who have birthdays in march, and this year i decided to make some custom hand lettered birthday cards to send their way. orange and white, with some very cool gold metallic gel ink on the envelopes. these aren't up in the shop, but if you're looking for something to help say, 'hey! you! i'm so glad you were welcomed onto this planet when you were!' - well, i'd love to help make that happen.

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a thankful holiday season

    thanksgiving table setting

thanksgiving name cards

 

tis the season for wonder and splendor and beautiful tables and warm meals and blues and greens and reds and silver and gold all around. here's wishing you and yours a beautiful start to a love-filled holiday season. cheers!

thank you message

 

a stationer's dream anniversary

you always remember your first... anniversary. it's special, memorable, fresh in the mind. but the traditional gift isn't necessarily something that most people get all excited about. paper. it's not quite as shiny or sparkly as the jewel years, or the precious metal years. but, as a self-proclaimed paper lover myself, i can't help but think that this one might actually be the best. sure, a lot of people most likely go the traditional book route, but there's so much room for creativity with this one, that it's almost a shame to waste it with something typical. i've had the pleasure to work with two very creative ladies on their first anniversary gifts to their husbands, and while they're both very different takes on the traditional gift, i think they're both incredibly special pieces that will eventually travel with each couple as they move forward beyond this first year of matrimony.

photo (2)for meredith, she wanted her and her husband's vows written out as 'something beautiful, in a romantic script'. they both wrote their own vows - and he even paused in the middle to play the guitar, a gesture that surely brought tears to more than just her eyes - and cherished those words so much that having them hung on their walls was a no-brainer.

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we decided on gray ink (a prevalent color in their wedding decor) and slanted script. i'm so pleased at how thrilled she is with the final result, and i'm sure the prints look even more beautiful framed, and on the walls of their home.

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IMG_3721danielle, my dear wonderful cousin, contacted me with a super unique idea for her first anniversary gift. her husband bobby has a side passion for dj-ing, so her thought was to have the lyrics of their first dance song- songbird - written out to look like a vinyl record. this was so much fun to create, and i'm in love with the progression of the script around the outside of the record. they just celebrated this past weekend, so congratulations danielle and bobby!

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i'm currently working on a super different wedding guest 'book' for a special bride, and i can't wait to see what other interesting and lovely and personal commissions come my way!

 

danielle and bobby: envelopes are on their way

my darling, lovely, hilarious, gorgeous cousin danielle is getting married this coming june to an equally wonderful, funny, fun, handsome fellow, and they asked me to help in the preparations by addressing their wedding invites. this being something i love, of course i said yes! here are the final envelopes, about to be packed up with a bow and shipped back to massachusetts where they'll be stuffed and sent out to the world. many many congratulations to danielle and bobby - i can't wait to see them tie the knot this spring!

oh hello new england stamp - schiavi family

my parents came to visit chicago last week, bringing with them my favorite red barn coffee roasters coffee, a six-pack of sam adams, extra yoga mats so they could take my class, and just so so so much fun.  and while they were here, my mum commissioned me to make a stamp for our home back in massachusetts.

i had such a wonderful time with them, and i can't wait to see this new little stamp in it's rightful place on the kitchen counter in milford, massachusetts when i go back to visit in august.

and enter the birthday boy

it just so happens that on this day in the years 1986 and 1988, my very best friend and my very best younger brother, respectively, were brought into this world.  last week, i couldn't wait to post images of lk's little birthday bundle, and now i've got just a few sneaks of the card/envelope i'm sending home to massachusetts.

 

alexander, happy happy twenty-third - now you're almost as old as me!  oh wait, i suppose that's how it is every year.

the most productive snow day ever

so you know how i've been saying for about a year now that i'm planning on starting an etsy shop?  and you know how it's been nearly a year, and nary an etsy shop has been in site?  and furthermore, you know how one of my new year's resolutions is to have more integrity, do things i say i'm going to do?  well, you might know, if you watch the news or if you've looked out your window at all in the past two days, that chicago's just been hit with a tidal wave of snow.  which means no school.  which means no real homework to take care of.  which means plenty of time to spend on...

...my brand new etsy shop!  finally i pulled everything together and put it up.  it goes by the same name as this here ole blog, so you all won't have to remember too many differences.  currently there are four listings:

 

custom initial stamps, as in the one i made for a dear lululemon compatriot of mine this past holiday season

 

custom return address stamps, as in the ones i made for two of the weddings i attended last summer

 

modern invitation calligraphy,(custom, too!) as in all those envelopes i addressed for wedding and bridal shower guests the last time it was actually warm outside

 

i'm incredibly excited, and i've already had a purchase - by none other than the lovely miss knight herself.  so spread the word and enjoy taking a look around at my handwritten wares.  thundersnow - you were good for something!

a new venture

good evening from the midwest!

so here i am in this lovely little city called chicago.  i've been tapping into my writer mind quite a bit (which makes sense, seeing as i'm here to, well, get a degree in writing), and just suddenly realized (with the help of a few persistent friends back east - you're right, you're right) that i haven't been on here in a while.  the truth is, i haven't been producing very much visual work of late, my time being taken up with story crafting and yoga practicing and lululemon lululemoning.  BUT.  i got a nice surprise in the mail the other day (ok, the other week - man time flies by in graduate school).  this past summer, for a few of my recently wedded friends, i designed custom made return address stamps as part of their gifts.  handwritten and consisting of their new names, these stamps were so much fun to create, and to see in their finished state.  so how lovely was it to receive a thank you note with the inked product on the back?  well, it was very lovely, thank you.

i'm thinking of producing these regularly, so if you know of anyone who would like a custom stamp, please forward the message on!  oh, and happy autumn - the past few weeks has been full of pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread... with pumpkin carving to come this weekend.

cheers,

jilly

wedding invitations like whoa

hello everyone! i've been bombarded with yoga lately, both at the lovely lululemon and in the community, where i've been both teaching and practicing as much as i can!  i can say, however, that in the midst of all these downward facing dogs, i have been inking my pen up quite a bit as well.  i'm happy to post some photos of two sets of wedding invitations that i recently addressed for my cousin's and a friend's upcoming marriage celebrations.  the actual invitations that went along with these envelopes were breathtaking, and i wouldn't be surprised if they showed up on the blogosphere or in some local wedding magazines.

the first was for my friend rochelle's wedding.  she and her fiance pat are working with the 'rustic/elegant library' theme (everything included in their wedding, from the invitations to the escort cards to the centerpieces, revolves around books!), and so i decided to utilize a hybrid style for their invites.  soft, fluid script for the invitees atop a more calculated upper-case print for the addresses themselves.

the second, which i just completed last week and which i've already received in the mail myself, was for my cousin jessica's wedding.  she and brendan, her fiance, are to have an elegant, evening wedding.  white and tradition being the main components of the wedding, i went with a slightly flourished scroll for these invitations, completing the inner envelopes with the same effortless fluidity.

i am so looking forward to attending both of these weddings, and seeing what the two creative pairs have in store for their special days.  let me know what you think, and as always, if you or anyone you know has any interest in personalized hand-lettering, please feel free to contact me!

a new york city bachelorette

so now that the champagne has been drunk, the dancing blisters healed, the photos posted on facebook, i can finally share with you the designs i created for both my cousin's bridal shower and my dear friend's bachelorette party.  both of these events were simply gorgeous and came together beautifully.

to start, the bridal shower was the epitome of summer colors.  bright pinks, fuschias , purples and oranges lined the tables by way of eye-popping table runners, fruit-studded salads, red sangria and multicolored big-petaled gerbera daisies.  the invitation was the kick-off to the theme, and when all was said and done, everything matched perfectly!

this past weekend's new york city bachelorette party was unlike the traditional veil and sash festivities that adorn many a bride-to-be before her nuptials.  we decided instead to give our bride something a bit different: a pop-up dinner party in the middle of the carl shurtz park on manhattan's upper east side.  complete with table and chairs, big balloons, tablecloth, flank steak salad with asparagus and blue cheese, grilled veggie sandwiches and sparkling lemonade (cocktails were had by all afterwards), it ended up exceeding our expectations in looks and substance.  the bride was totally surprised and exceedingly happy with the outcome of her blindfolded cab ride across the island.  it was truly a night like no other.

bright pink envelopes

they've been designed, stuffed, addressed, sealed and stamped, and now the invitations to my cousin's bridal shower are out and off to their, mainly, northeast destinations.  i had so much fun with every step, and while i can't show you the finished invitation design (in case the bride-to-be is peaking on here), here are some lovely photographs of the addressed envelopes.  let me know what you think!

i'm thinking of using some of these photographs as samples for my hand lettering business - which are your favorites?

in the margins

i just recently discovered some doodles hidden within my old work notebook that actually look like they've got some promising aspects to them.  since i'm addressing the wedding invitations for my cousin's wedding this summer, and possibly lettering the escort cards for a very dear, very bookish friend of mine, my mind has been on different lettering styles for the past, well, year and half (approx. how long the aforementioned cousin has been engaged!).  these little treasures have a lovely and delicate look to them - a bit of a vintage flair.

and since i'm also designing some signage for a little alice in wonderland themed ypg (un)birthday party, i thought i'd drop these in here too, to give you a glimpse into what i'm thinking to go alongside the snacks at the fete.

copyright jillian schiavi 2010

i hope all you new yorkers are enjoying the lovely weather - let's hope it only gets better!

won't you be mine?

a very happy valentine's day to all the lovers out there - whether you're spending the day with friends, family or someone special, i hope you all take the opportunity to let the people you love know just how much they mean to you. this one is for my (doctor-in-training) valentine:

the text reads 'i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)' from the e.e. cummings poem... one of my favorites.  enjoy the day everyone - at the very least, treat yourself to a valentine's day decorated cupcake from magnolia bakery!

sunday ceremonies: family matters

this week's sunday ceremony is very near and dear to my heart.  last night my beautiful cousin michelle married her longtime boyfriend and soulmate in all things love, life and cooking (he's quite the mister julia child in the kitchen) at a little church outside of boston.  their reception was held at les zygomates, a cozy french restaurant tucked away in the back streets of the city behind south station.  we had the entire horseshoe-shaped place to ourselves, complete with two bars, three dining rooms, and a raised piano from which the bride's uncle tinkered out old-fashioned melodies all night.

it was gorgeous.  the whole night, from the endless passed hors d'oeuvres (mini crab cakes, lamb lollipops, roasted beets with goat cheese on crostini, firecracker shrimp, bacon-wrapped scallops) to the french food-themed buffet stations of chicken and lobster crepes, mixed green salad with gorgonzola and pear, and then perfectly seasoned and cooked steak-frites, was absolutely magical.  throw in some well-concocted cocktails, good conversation, friends and family and a few well-worded toasts, and i would say this is a night my (now married) cousin won't soon forget.  congratulations michelle and chris, and i cannot wait to see the far more professional photographs!

{all images by jillyink}

tea time

my apologies for the delay in posting - this past weekend absolutely flew by.  if only i had had the time to photograph the delicious (six!) pizzas my roommates and i made for a dinner party/get together we held friday night, i'm sure you would have agreed that the weekend started off on the right foot.  or the right tastebud, i suppose.  not to mention the perfect meyer lemon cheesecake that only took 3 hours and 5 blocks of cream cheese to make.  if any of you are wondering, i followed thekitchensink's recipe over here - it is absolutely fool-proof, and you won't be able to resist eating the leftovers for days afterwards.  now i just have to figure out what to do with all that lemon curd i have in my fridge.

what with the past few gloomy/rainy days we've been having in new york, i've been craving the afternoon tea time i used to share with my mum and younger sister when i was growing up.  whenever i go home (and there's not some sort of party - there always seems to be one), we still follow the same ritual: two red rose tea bags in my mum's blue tea pot with the red and white circles painted all around the outside.  three tall, slender mugs (much different from the coffee mugs, to be sure - tea must be drunk from a thin-rimmed vessel) filled to just below the top, lightened by a splash of milk and sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar.  of course, when my sister and i were younger, we'd sneak spoonful after spoonful into our cups while mum turned her back to put the milk back in the fridge.  and of course, mum knew exactly what we were doing the entire time.  perhaps she figured we'd grow out of it.  or perhaps she thought a little extra sweetness in life couldn't hurt us, not at tea time.  sometimes freshly baked cookies, sometimes packaged 'nice' cookies or chocolate covered les petits ecoliers were piled high on a dish between all of us, and as we sipped and nibbled and chatted and savored the syrupy sludge of sugar awaiting our tongues at the bottom of our cups, we would feel the day brighten just a notch.  being at work all day now, i unfortunately cannot recreate those moments, although i do have a little stash of red rose tea bags in case i need to catch just a slight whiff of that orangey aroma  of those afternoons.  and whenever i want the real thing, all i have to do is travel on home and put the kettle on.  and sometimes, every so often, i sneak in an extra sprinkling of sugar.

{photos: spherical sight, 100 layer cake}

new year, new post

snowy day in massachusetts oh dear dear dear.  i can't believe i've let it go so long without posting anything, and so for the very few of you who read this from time to time (or who just accidentally click on the link in my gmail status every so often), i apologize profusely.  i could blame any number of factors: the endless holiday parties; the trips to chicago, massachusetts, and, um, manhattan; finishing and panicking about grad school applications; general laziness; etc.  the truth is, i've been a horrible and non-diligent blogger.  but, as the expired calendar hanging on my wall has been reminding me for the past few days, it is indeed a new year, and so what better time to begin anew than now?

since it's been so long, here's a quick update on what's been going on:

the holidays were absolutely wonderful.  spending an entire week at home with family and friends, hosting and attending parties and small dinners, shopping for last-minute gifts and finding spontaneous adventures in the wound-about back alleys of boston was truly the only way i could have wanted to escape work and any droplets of stress not yet wrung from the past year.  i love going home.  i love that my parents' fridge is always stocked with orange juice, half and half and about five different varieties of cheese.  our living room, with its wall of windows looking out across our backyard and the trees that line the stone wall where kasey (our late faithful and mangy and beautiful german-retriever dog) is buried, is admittedly a much more serene view than the projects that fill the windows looking out of my brooklyn apartment.  and there are always people about the house, engaged in various activities, talking to each other from across rooms or up stairs, preparing meals, wrapping gifts, annoying each other with the choice of television show until finally mum announces that it's dinner time.  there's really nowhere else i'd rather be, especially at the holidays.  our house glimmers, it sparkles, it glows from inside and out.  our big blue spruce, the pride of my father, done up with hundreds of colored twinkle lights, becomes a beacon of cheerfulness to all who drive up to our house between the months of november and march.  when i think of the home that i'll someday build with my own family, it's hard to stray any further from the example that's been set there.

applications are just about complete; as soon as my portfolio is tweaked a bit and recommendation letters are put in the mail, all i'll have left to do is wait and send positive energy out into the world until april 1st.  waiting is always the hardest part, but in the meantime i remain hopeful and more determined than ever to promote good change in my professional life.  well, in my personal life too.  it never hurts to try everything.

and speaking of professional and personal life melding, i've decided to apply for the yoga to the people teacher training program in february.  this is something i've been wanting to do for a long time, perhaps when i started practicing yoga there three years ago.  i'm incredibly excited for the opportunity to become more in tune with the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of this practice, and i know it will end up being an exhilarating and eye-opening experience.  hopefully you'll be reading more about the process come february when the training begins!

ok, i think that's enough for now.  i know everyone's been in a very reflective and reevaluating mood as of late, and so to prolong the trend, i'd like to offer up some resolutions, or general guidelines that i hope to keep in mind as 2010 moves ahead.  i will strive to seriously not sweat the small stuff (life is far too short for that).  i will take more initiative with my life and where i want it to head (no one else is going to do it for me).  i will cherish my family and friends, and will do whatever i can to come to their aid when called upon (i know that they would for me).  and lastly, i will have more fun, more laughter, more silliness and spontaneity in my life.  what's the point in going through the day-to-day if there's nothing enjoyable about it?  i refuse to be pulled down into the muck, and i hope that you all do too.

best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy 2010.  much more to come soon!

cheers,

jilly

on the road again

so after a wonderfully relaxing weekend at home in massachusetts, a weekend filled with a 5am wake up call in the form of thousands of white-dress-hungry future wives at the twice annual 'running of the brides' event in boston, steven tyler-obsessed cover bands at the green fest in boston's gov't center, a late night time traveler's rendition of a most beloved book, a thunderstorm-riddled pick up at the beach and subsequent changing of a redundant swim suit, and more ben & jerry's than i've eaten through the entire summer thus far, i am on my way back to an equally heated and humid city, new york.  it doesn't seem like the end will be near anytime soon, however, as from my seat onboard megabus the line of cars in front of us along route 95 stretches far beyond the horizon.  and so i'm attempting to watch brideshead revisited (although the internet keeps slowing, causing the movie to pause every minute and  half), and research places to go in san francisco this week when i fly out there.  anyone have any favorites? so while i try to keep occupied and not think of the hours ahead of me on this lurching vehicle, i'll leave you with another new illustration for the sketchbook project.  this is for my very good friend jessie's page - she's ever growing in talent, creativity, friendship, life, love and everything beautiful, just as i think of the roots and branches and flowers and leaves of an oak tree.  this will be filled in soon, but here is the initial skeleton:

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

cheers and happy sunday,

jilly