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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the coolest baby shower ever

IMG_4051 my wonderful friend, molly, is about to welcome a new little boy into the world any day now. a few weeks ago, her talented coworker tiffany munster, of soiree weddings and events, threw her the most well-styled, deliciously catered, fun and hipster-inspired baby shower at the beautiful headquarters of stem line creative. in attendance were some of the coolest people in the chicago wedding industry - including naomi from tipsy cake, who brought over a blue velvet sugar-dinosaur topped cake for the mum-to-be.

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i wish i had some photos from the actual night; here are the menu signs and place cards i put together for the shower. i can't wait to meet molly's little boy, and if he's anything like his mum, he'll have excellent taste - in friends and design.

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words and anchors - tattoo design

drawing and designing tattoos for people near and far has been such a cool and strange and unexpected part of my career. i love love getting to know a little bit (or a lotta bit) about people that i otherwise wouldn't have met had it not been for the great reach of the internet. even more, however, i love being able to create something meaningful for someone i've had the great pleasure of spending some person-to-person time with. it might be faux pas to do work for friends and family, but in my case, having the ability to work with care on something as intimate as a tattoo design has only ever been a joy. it allows me another opening into this person's life - a perspective i might not have been afforded the opportunity to view. if i could, i'd draw all over my friends and family members' arms/legs/backs/necks/etc! IMG_3189

this one is for a special and incredible bostonian - marisa, i can't wait to see how it turns out!

wedding guest book: revamped

IMG_3800 i love the idea of a wedding guest book; a timeless record of all the people you've loved and cherished enough to invite and spend $70 a plate on at your momentous wedding day. a space for everyone, the young, the old, those just walking in, and those a little less sober than when they walked in, to write pages upon pages of just how happy they are for you on this next chapter of your life with your partner. theoretically, it's lovely. in reality, what actually happens to it? maybe you read it once - maybe once a year on your anniversary - maybe one third of the pages are filled, maybe no one managed to spill wine all over it at one point in the night. regardless, it's usually put away after the big day, with the photos of the wedding taking precedent as the day's record.

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but, what if there was a different way to keep track of your loved ones in attendance? and then, instead of putting it away, it's displayed, framed, hung for all to see and marvel at? well, a dear friend and former coworker of mine commissioned me to make such a piece for her this past week, and i'm delighted to share it with you.

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modeled after a snapshot she sent of another guest book she'd seen, this is a print with a cutout vw bug, and lots and lots of little 3d balloons for guests to write their names on. afterwards, whitney and scott can frame this and hang it up; a gorgeous reminder of the love they shared together, and with their family and friends! congratulations whitney and scott!

gaga for gatsby

recently i was asked (by the lovely ladies of soiree weddings & events) to contribute to a 20s themed wedding vendor spotlight in honor of the highly anticipated dicaprio and mulligan great gatsby premier. i couldn't have been more excited. if i could pick any other era to live in, it would definitely have been the golden, roaring, fringe and feather, pearl and diamond clad 1920s (new york or paris, that's the real question). in preparation for the chalkboard lettering, i started doing some research on art deco fonts, and discovered a few that i immediately fell in love with. herewith - the ones i drew inspiration from, along with some deco-esque lines and accoutrements:

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seriously - isn't pinterest the best? so many resources to draw from. after three hours in the zapwater communications meeting room, here's what i came up with:

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i'm now thoroughly obsessed with art deco lettering. i'm sure you'll see more inspiration and influences on here in the future. until then, go get yourselves some tickets to the great gatsby (opening tomorrow!) - it was simply splendid, gorgeous, and full of life.

{other vendors that contributed to the lovely evening: soiree weddings & events, be u weddings & brides, mignonette, pure kitchen catering, goose island catering, cage & aquarium, fig media, pistil & vine}

the wedding march, a soiree event

soiree banner tablescapes and stemline table

yesterday i had the most amazing opportunity to be a part of the vendor list for the wedding march, an event hosted by soiree weddings and events of chicago. soiree, spearheaded by the amazing tiffany munster, and aided in a large part by the talented molly blonn and rebecca niziol, brought together an impressive array of talented chicagoans to curate a wedding event at the gorgeous floating world gallery space. the event included a florist (see: stemline creative), sweets services (sugar chic designs), dj, photobooth company, photographer, stationer, catering company (fig - so delicious), bridal workout gurus, and many more.

quinn cutler menu

iris finch menu

for my part, i was asked to script and create menus for the center stage table that stemline and tablescapes put together. i had so much fun drawing these up, and then deciding on names for all the guests. i'd love to work on more projects like this, so if all you brides out there need calligraphy services for any paper portion of your wedding, i'm your girl!

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invitations - lululemon style

IMG_3382 i recently had the opportunity to design some invitations for a lululemon athletica ambassador event, for the 900 n michigan store in chicago. i love love love all of that store's ambassadors (namely because i know all of them, and have taken all their amazing yoga, pilates, spin classes), and so this project held a special place in my heart. i hope you have fun learning all about the lululemon culture, amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, tracy zindell (check out her gorgeous jewelry in her etsy shop too), jenny finkel, jessical aiken, and the token gentleman, mike thomson!

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joy and weddings and logos galore

for the past few weeks, i've been designing and drawing up a storm here in the (for the meantime) stormless city of chicago. i thought i'd share a few of the most recent projects i've finished. first up, for our recent lululemon athletica store reopening party at the 900 n michigan location, we decided to honor our amazing yoga, run, spin, and dance ambassadors (see the lovley amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, mike thomson, karim tonsy, and jim bennit). custom cards housed a very special surprise for them, and i was more than happy to provide the lettering for these inspiring and incredible members of the downtown chicago community.

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secondly, a lovely wedding logo for a couple of engaged new yorkers, wilma and theresa. they wanted a design that brought the two of them together with their new shared surname. i think it'll look lovely on everything they decide to use it on throughout their wedding planning, and thereafter.

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and thirdly, the most lovely woman from north carolina contacted me a few weeks ago to design the logo for her wedding photography business. anne liles is incredibly talented, and her style is so indicative of everything i find beautiful about love - the simplicity, the purity, the vibrancy and richness of all the senses. she captures all of that and more, and i was so pleased to be able to design something that represents that, along with her motto, 'life is art'.

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spooky address stamp

i had so much fun designing this return address stamp. a dear friend of mine wanted to give a gift that spoke to this couple's love of all things halloween and 'day of the dead'. is it a coincidence that their last name also fits into this theme? i'm not sure, but i sure love how this all came together! happy stamping!

manifesto - lululemon style

a few weeks ago, my dear friend (and amazing, inspiring, ridiculously hilarious woman) leigh trombley invited me to come in to the brand (spanking) new lululemon on newbury street (of which she is the inaugural manager) in boston to paint an excerpt from the lululemon manifesto in their back room.

i have to say, so much of this manifesto speaks to me personally; i've preached it to friends, i've shared it through my yoga classes, and i'm living it by following my passions. here are a few photos of the finished product.

thank you so much, leigh, for having me in your new home. and thank you to the phenomenal team at the newbury street lululemon, for welcoming me in, and inspiring me with your goals, your visions, and your follow-through!

wedding guest tree: ms. buryk and mr. borchert

this past weekend was the darling wedding of darling friends alexis buryk and scott borchert (see their spotlight in the ny times!). having been friends since our nyu days, alexis and i are now both about to gather our mfa's in writing from the school of the art institute of chicago. she is one of my dearest and closest and most wonderful friends, and i was honored not only to be a part of her wedding party, but also to be asked to create the wedding guest 'book'.

instead of a traditional page-turner, she and scott decided they'd rather be able to look at something that spoke to their wedding day in a very unique way, so they chose to present a tree that guests could fill in with thumbprint 'leaves' and a note for the couple. it turned out lovely, just like the day itself. congratulations scott and alexis, and may this tree be a constant reminder of the vast circle of supporters and loved ones who will honor your union every step of the way.

 

(ps. be on the lookout for new additions/sections to my jillyink etsy shop - coming soon!)

soiree!

i'm so honored and excited to participate as a vendor in soiree events' 'leap into wedding season' event tomorrow night at chicago's fleur de lis florist in river north. the darling tiffany munster, brains and beauty behind soiree, asked me to provide calligraphy for the bridal grab bags - a cute play on the something borrowed, something blue, something old, something.. well, you know. here are the scans of the calligraphy - she'll be printing the e.e. cummings poem on cute little cards, attaching the something borrowed to an adorable little 'emergency kit', and as for the rest, well you'll find out when i do!

for all brides that are attending the event, i'm offering a free custom return address stamp with the purchase of custom address calligraphy for 100 or more wedding invitation envelopes. i'm looking forward to meeting the other lovely vendors, trying some cake, and spending the evening at a decked-out decadent soiree!

 

permanent ink: a portuguese-inspired tattoo

 

i was so pleased, totally surprised and completely flattered by the email i received from an old high school friend (and former mhs soccer teammate), asking if i would help create a tattoo out of a poem she'd written to honor her parents, her heritage, and love. 'of course,' i exclaimed! this is really special - she wants two acrostic poems woven into the shape of a heart, with each half of the heart for each foot, the point meeting down by her toes. the poem is written in portuguese, and it reads:

 

meu

amor

eternal

 

pessoa

amada

incondicionalmente

 

and it means, "mae" (mother) - my eternal love/"pai" (father) - loved unconditionally

 

i'm so honored to be a part of this - thank you jess, and i can't wait to see the permanent version!

and tattooed in texas

 

the stars must be aligned.. just two weeks after i designed and got my very own, very first tattoo (post to come), i received a very cool email from a very cool lady down in dallas, texas, asking if i've ever considered designing one for someone else. 'why, of course!' i exclaimed, and there began our adventure in finding something that utilized my script, her three children's names (madelyn, mitchell and merritt - adorable), and a feeling of 'whimsy'. after a few back-and-forths, here's the final design. just like my dear friend adam's tattoo (which was inked this morning over in thailand!), i can't wait to see the design in its permanent home, on her forearm. thank you valerie, for allowing me to be a part of this amazing process!

tattooed in thailand

my dear dear friend adam sent me a message last friday with the most surprising, most wonderful message - he's currently in thailand, learning very worldly, beautiful things, meeting amazing people, and walking along the most magnificent journey. and now, while on that journey, he's decided to add to his growing tattoo collection. with a gorgeous message, "never try never know". written in my hand.  

he's getting it done tonight, across the world. and i couldn't be prouder, happier, more honored to be a part of this moment. hopefully i'll have a photo of it on his arm soon.

toasting the lovely ms. buryk

so, a brief interlude here while i mention that this past wednesday was my dear roommate  (and talented photographer - check out her websitelexi b.'s birthday.  this wonderful lady has made my stay so far in chicago incredibly fun, adventurous and, most importantly, filled with the most amazing and quite tasty dinners and parties.  obviously i had to embellish her birthday card with my new papercutting obsession...

love and good cheer for another year!