sf crushing: letterpress letterpress

sf crushing letterpress my very dear wonderful talented friend, rebecca elliot, came to visit san francisco this weekend, so it seems only apt that my next sf crushing series is focused on letterpress studios in the bay area. rebecca herself is a letterpress maven, with a giant hunk of steel of her own back in chicago, and meekling press as her homestead for printing unique and quirky (not to mention exceptionally well-written) books and story collections. in her honor, here are my picks for this corner of the country's best handlers of old vandercooks and chandler and prices.

 

Olive Route

 

olive route

 

olivia san mateo, owner of this berkeley based print shop, has such a lovely, natural eye for collection. each piece in one of her wedding suites can stand well on its own, but put together with all the elements, the whole unit speaks clear and well-constructed volumes about the couple getting married. i especially love her use of texture, natural elements, and of course, varied types of type. i really appreciate a designer who can weave a story into their work - and her use of layers, small details, and perfect color palettes does this for everything she prints.

 

Twig & Fig

twig & fig

 

another berkeley enterprise! twig & fig have, first of all, such a quirky and fun website - this tips me off firstly that their work is made up of personalized and unique elements. i love their uncomplicated, slightly edgy, sophisticated, and utterly fresh approach to designing. it's clear that their inspiration comes primarily from the people they work with. which, when paired with masterful letterpress and design skills, ends up yielding incredibly gorgeous stationery and invitations.

 

Aerialist Press

aerialist press

 

well, apparently i'm in love with letterpress studios based in the east bay. it might be a little biased, since i'm in oakland now, but seriously, when you go take a walk around aerialist press's website, you just tell me how hard it was for you to leave. not only do they have an abundant portfolio of gorgeous, delicate, type-and-illustration-driven designs, but when executed onto paper, the final product takes your breath away, it's made so well. i also have a particular penchant for design teams that are motivated not only by their clients' love, but by their own. alexandra and craig have such a lovely story, and it's evident that they infuse every project they undertake with the same passion and dedication that they share with each other.

 

 

so much love for these paper wielders. tune in next week for a peek at some of my favorite winery wedding venues in the area!

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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morning calligraphy: rumi style

rumi love valentines day is around the corner, and to lead up, i'm doing a series of love poetry calligraphy. starting with rumi's 'i swear'.

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I swear, since seeing Your face,

the whole world is fraud and fantasy

The garden is bewildered as to what is leaf

or blossom. The distracted birds

can't distinguish the birdseed from the snare.

A house of love with no limits,

a presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,

a beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.

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A little beauty for your January morning. I hope you enjoy!

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antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

woodland_menus top over the holidays i had the great fortune to work with some amazing new clients, chicago-based wedding and event planners, and some very creative individuals. one of my favorite (favorite!) shoots took place at the historic keith house in chicago's prairie district. it's located in a pocket of chicago that's home to some old mansions, a quaint little park, one of my best friends, and a path that takes you straight to the lakefront.

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splendid occasion shoot

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tiffany siladke (a splendid occasion), a talented chicago-based wedding planner and event stylist, had such a gorgeous vision for this inspiration shoot. she wanted to air on the darker side of things - it being winter and all - and decided to incorporate some animal-inspired elements. complete with antlers, cages, fur, darker, lush florals from natural beauties florals, antique pieces from rent vintage chicago and aged vintage rentals, amazing pies from bang bang pie shop, the whole shoot had an amazing woodland wonderland/big bad wolf feel to it. not to mention the models were stunning, with hair and makeup from nika vaughan.

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i was asked to create some hand-lettered menus for the table design, a sign for the place card table, and individual place cards that fit into gold-painted animal figurines. tiffany hand-charred the edges of the paper, which gave everything even more of a forest-feel.

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in truth, i loved putting together the paper elements for this shoot. and i love the photos even more. i can't quite share the professional (and might i say breathtaking) photos that karissa kreager took, but here are a few self-shots of the menus and place cards for you. i promise to share the full photo set once it's been published!

 

 

other vendors that worked on the shoot:

treat bags- fox and hound paperie, http://www.etsy.com/shop/FoxandHoundPaperie?ref=search_shop_redirect

invitation- tweedle press, www.tweedlepress.com

dress – nearly newlywed, www.nearlynewlywed.com

hairpiece –  danani handmade adornments, www.dananionline.com

men’s attire – bonobos, www.bonobos.com

video - amelia st. studios, www.ameliastreetstudios.com

models - nick zmuda & bri kreager

a new year for systems, not resolutions

well, hello there! happy 2014! i hope all of your holidays were filled with joy and abundance and love and laughter and good wine and plenty of pie. and now that all that's over with, and our attention inevitably draws towards cleansing.. well, everything - our health, our careers, our relationships, our closets - i thought i'd share what my new year focus is for 2014.  

instead of resolutions, instead of goals, instead of deadlines (though not the ones set by my clients - of course, i'll still adhere to those).. i'm setting systems. consistency is the name of the game for this year; developing clearly outlined, manageable, workable systems for my career and my health that i can plug into and remain committed to, no matter the outcome. i read this great article over the holidays that put a lot into perspective for me - goals have a way of making you feel like a failure if you don't succeed. systems have a way of perpetuating success, validating positivity, and ultimately sustaining motivation. even after you achieve a particular goal, it can become very easy to fall off the building you worked so hard to create.. or to stand atop it and not know what to do next. with creating a system, if your consistent action is to build a little bit every day, eventually you'll have created an entire city of structures.

 

so - for jilly ink, creating a system for reaching new clients, developing new relationships, venturing out into new industries, honing new and old skills, and making work - regardless of pay - every day is my focus. i can only believe that investing time in my business is the best thing i can do.

 

what are your focuses for the new year?

a thankful holiday season

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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!

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holiday! holiday! gifts! gifts!

IMG_4021 i'm thinking about holiday season much differently this year. yes, for the past few seasons, i've tried hard as i could to buy local, handmade, artist-created wares, goods, artwork. i've even tried making things for loved ones. this year, i'm going to focus on simple. very simple. well-chosen words, photographs, pictures, drawings, paper. ordinary things made more beautiful by a new, vibrant approach. maybe an intriguing postcard acutely placed in a gorgeous frame. or a set of vintage silverware with the handles dipped in paint.

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along these same lines, in the etsy shop, i'm currently offering simple, hand-lettered quotes on 8x10 paper. whatever quote, saying, words you can think of will be transposed in my calligraphy and sent to you, ready to be gifted, (or framed, and then gifted. or wrapped around something else, and then gifted. or kept for yourself). i figured this was a lovely, cost-effective way to gift my love of lettering to holiday celebrants everywhere.

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it's early, yes, but think how much more you'll be able to enjoy your egg nog and ugly sweater parties knowing your holiday shopping is all done (and looking pretty beautiful, if i say so)? cheers!

 

- find the listing for custom hand lettered quotes here!

artist in residence like whoa

the month has come! september! both sides gallery! my work, supplies, kitchen dishes and pens and favorite coffee mug - we're all moved in and ready and raring to get started on the next 6-9 months of intensive art making, calligraphy business-building, networking, life-owning, inspiration-seeking, and general craziness that's surely to come. i can't wait to share it all with you as it unfolds. in the meantime, take a look at some of the words i've been writing and places i've been visiting over the last two weeks!  

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{skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

sanskrit photo shoot

{sanskrit being photographed for the new illumine chicago magazine}

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{clockwise from top left: event cards for zapwater communications, new chalkboard mural at both sides gallery, skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

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{visiting hammerpress in kansas city}

octopus drawing

{octopus doodling}

a whole bunch of bones

2nd fridays wallribcage illustration{'bigger is better' 11x14 original illustraion - $175 w/frame}

Phew! August is already more than halfway over, and it seems crazy to me that so much has happened in the first 19 days of this summery month. Renovating and revamping a gallery space in Pilsen, frantically making work for the Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays Art Walk, hanging the show, frantically making more work for the Pilsen Unisono Festival, designing a mini jilly ink booth, teaching painting classes, planning for the next three months at the gallery, putting together some exciting editorial work for magazines, commercial work for clients, and plugging away at the upcoming designs from the jilly ink wedding stationery line - this has been one crazy month, to say the least.

pelvis illustration{'so tight' 8x10 original illustration - $120 w/frame SOLD}

finger illustration{'long and hard' 8x10 original illustration - $120 w/frame SOLD}

cheekbone illustration{'nice cheeks' 8x10 original illustration - $120 w/frame}

 

The thing is, though, I'm realizing I wouldn't have it any other way. Ok, maybe with a little less pressure, but honestly, the deadlines, the excitement, the collaboration, planning, productive daydreaming, painting - living fully in everything I'm passionate about is so incredibly exhilarating. I'm so pleased to share with you the work that made it into the gallery for the month of August.

 

rockin curves{'rockin' curves' 11x14 original illustration - $175 w/frame}

 

 

And! Look for some pretty/strange/pretty strange skull prints to be popping up in the jilly ink Etsy shop this week as well!

 

unisono fest table{skulls & script 11x14 prints - $15 each - coming soon to the jilly ink shop}

 

 

(* if you're interested in purchasing any of the original art work from the 2nd Fridays Art Show, please feel free to email me at jilly.ink@gmail.com or call Both Sides Gallery at 419-543-2248)

terrariums terrariums!

20130806_BA_JS_ABC-3 what a lovely night it was, last week, at the gorgeous both sides space, making little terrariums (although, at the time, it was still a bit in shambles before we'd hung the second fridays art show).

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i spent the morning and afternoon at sprout home, picking through their newest shipment of tiny, adorable succulents and cacti, choosing soil, lava rocks, charcoal, sand and rocks. i must say, they are incredibly  wonderful, helpful people, and the store itself is lovely and full of so many plants that i wanted desperately to adopt as my own.

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from there i traveled to blumgarten, a new florist shop that just opened up on halsted and 18th, across from the gallery, in the chicago arts district. they have such a wide array of glassware; it was such fun picking out little vessels for the succulents. with delicious veggie and port pasties from bridgeport pasty, and handmade plant-inspired jilly ink cards, the tables looked inviting and well laid out.

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the workshop was a success, and culminated in the cutest little terrariums that everyone took with them at the end of the night. special thanks to alexis buryk of lexi b photography for taking these perfectly lit photos.

 

i loved sharing this newfound love, and look forward to holding the next one in september! stay tuned, and if you're in the chicago area, i'd love to have you at the next workshop!

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!

handwritten invitations - still a thing of the present

IMG_2781 last monday, i had the pleasure of visiting the ladies and gents of zapwater communications, sit in their sunlit , exposed brick office, and pen out 18 handwritten invitations to a sneak preview of one of their client's new restaurant ventures. it always amazes me how much longer it takes to complete work like this than i'd originally thought. after just 6 short hours, i finished all 18 invitations and envelopes, to be hand-delivered that afternoon. that, and a delicious lemon chocolate chip scone from little goat down the street made my day pretty awesome.

 

 

 

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design crush

i've just been, you know, browsing the interwebs for hours on end, looking at gorgeously designed paper products for inspiration and general soul-quenching purposes, and holy gorgeous have i found something beautiful to share with you. let's dig into this paper design crush session with the imagination and logic that makes up cindy and carl, the couple behind bliss and bone. bliss&bone-reverence std

 

{bliss & bone - reverence suite save the date}

 

i'm in love with everything about this design firm - from the webpage layout, the photos that make you wonder, 'is this a paper design company, or a clothing company, or a fine arts photographer's site?', to the actual, innovative, super unique designs themselves. each suite is only available for one year, so if you choose them, you know you're getting something that won't be around the block tons of times. and honestly, it's the kind of stuff that people will most likely keep on the fridge for a while afterwards, because it's all just so gosh darned beautiful (and i'm sure, really fun to touch).  plus, cindy admits to wearing lululemon while she works, and being a yoga instructor/employee of the company/designer from my own home studio, i can tell you one thing - girl knows how to be comfortable, and stylish. i feel like we'd be friends, if i lived in hollywood hills. anyway, take a look, and gush with me over these suites:

 

the devoir suite - very parisienne (which, of course, i love love love):

 

bliss&bone-devoir

 

 

the effloresce suite - rorschache-inspired, deep colors, bold lettering that doesn't weigh too heavily on the paper

 

bliss&bone-effloresce

 

the lucent suite - very light, airy, loose lettering juxtaposed with laser cut block letters, set amidst a rosy color palette

 

 

bliss&bone-lucent

 

 

i also love that they include style guides with their invitation suites (and website design, by the way). i might start incorporating that into my own design process. can't wait to see what's in store for them in the coming years!

 

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!

 

paper and pen crush

i've been doing a lot of perusing around the stationery world recently (and by recently, i really mean for the better part of the last three years), and i just have to remark on some of the lovely work that's kept my eyes trained on the screen (sometimes at the sacrifice of doing my own work... it's all in the name of inspiration, right?). pitbulls1

pitbulls and posies - an la-based paper goods and design shop run by amber moon (who seems to love her hippy-esque name just as much as i did upon first glancing at it). i love the mixture of softness and edge that permeate all of their projects. some of my favorites include the deconstructed chevron pattern with sequins suite for an elopement announcement, and their desert mod invite suite, full of vibrant colors, tumbleweed silhouettes, and a playful layout.

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~~~

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neither snow - this lady's penmanship is breathtaking. all at once whimsical, fluid, edgy, and graceful, it's so utterly romantic, it makes complete sense why people would want her script on their invitation designs, or their bodies. i'm in love love with the parisian wedding for which she scripted dinner menus, place cards, and table numbers on distressed vases. it's all so timeless and fluid, organic and wistful, almost melancholic. i tend to draw a lot of inspiration from things that have those traits, and mara's hand is one of them.

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just a little eye-candy to keep you occupied for the rest of your afternoon, as you look longingly out the sunny window and wish you had an extension cord long enough to bring you outside to finish your work... err, or that could be just me. either way, happy wednesday!

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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a different way to say i love you

valentine's day is right around the corner. of course, how could anyone miss it? as soon as the last of the confetti was thrown from rooftops on new year's eve, pink heart-shaped pieces of construction paper began to line the windows of nearly every store - from nail salons to the corner deli to every stationary shop in this town. while i don't quite agree with the amount of pressure that these two back-to-back holidays inevitably assume, i do always think any inclination to let the people in your life know how much you love and appreciate and value and lust after them is good. so, without further ado, the jilly ink valentine suite, currently available in the shop:

'darling don't you know - i fucking love you' cards - $4.50

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'oh baby - oh you kill me' cards - $4.50

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'oh shit - ok - fine - i love you' cards - $4.50

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love stickers! $3 per sheet of 24 stickers

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happy loving!