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.

IMG_4053

IMG_4072

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.

IMG_4050

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'.

rumi close up

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.

rumi letter

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

rumi close up 2

photo journalism subject

photojournalism2a few weeks ago, a lovely young woman named megan approached me about being the subject of her photojournalism class final project at northwestern university. she was to follow and document someone with a 'visually interesting' career, and after having worked as an intern at illumine magazine this past summer (remember this back cover and sanskrit work I contributed?), she thought my work warranted such documentation. photojournalism3

photojournalism1

it was quite an adventure, especially over the last few weeks, which were filled with incredible inspiration shoots, custom calligraphy prints, and artwork for two different venues. she spent some time photographing my workspace, how i go about my day, and the other gigs i have going on - teaching yoga and consulting for arbonne. she's lovely, she's got her own website, writes for her own blog, and is the editor of the northwestern publication, spoon.

photojournalism4

stay tuned for more recent work to come! and and! i'm currently taking new wedding clients for 2014, so if you, or someone you know is getting married in the next year, loves beautiful hand-lettered type, and working with someone who loves love, send on over a message.

 

(photo credits: megan suckut, 2013)

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

 

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.

IMG_4027

IMG_4031

IMG_4018

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.

IMG_4024

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!

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!

bubbles sign

 

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!

IMG_3383 IMG_3386

 

 

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

IMG_3314

IMG_3315

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

IMG_3316

IMG_3318

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

IMG_3319

IMG_3320

 

love stickers! $3 per sheet of 24 stickers

IMG_3337

IMG_3338

happy loving!

feel it in my bones

bathroom prints last weekend was my second showing at second fridays down in pilsen, at the lovely and welcoming and gorgeous space at both sides gallery. last month, i showed my wooden-books story installation piece, which was met with a wonderfully positive response.

pelvis illustration

femur bone illustration

calligraphy prints

this time around, i showed an edited version of that piece, along with some screenprints made while at saic, and a few cheeky custom illustration and calligraphy prints.

framed pelvis illustration

framed femur bone illustration

framed calligraphy prints

making these was so much fun. so much fun, that i think i'll prop open my massive gray's anatomy book (bought for $2 at the brown elephant in chicago), and start scouring for some more bones to to pair with suggestive phrases..

 

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!

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!

 

bleed heart bleed: design cloud chicago

some exciting news to share - my installation piece, "all those other words", will be amongst 25 other artists' works in design cloud gallery's 2nd ever group show! opening this friday, february 17th (reception 6-9pm), bleed heart bleed includes work that explores, examines and reflects the many different responses to lost love. my piece, which is also currently up in the sullivan galleries through february 18th, fits into this quite aptly. below is the invitation to the show - if you're in chicago this friday night, be sure to rsvp, come sip some wine, look at art, and share in the universality of what it means to have a broken heart, what it means to mend it and move on.

all you need is love is all you need

if you too live in chicago, then can i just start by saying, my goodness, how gorgeous is this weather? i'm seriously smitten with the sun right now.  and speaking of smitten, here are some lovely love stamps for a love-filled month, available over on my etsy shop. grab one, stamp some valentines, or maybe even your own valentine, and spread the love.

 

 

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.

all those other words

 

i know i haven't updated in quite a while, but i have a pretty big-deal post for today.  for the past month and a half (and really, the last year), i've been working on an installation piece for an exhibition opening at the sullivan galleries in chicago this friday.  the piece, 'all those other words', is a 17 page story written non-chronologically that i laser cut into birch plywood and set behind stained wooden doors.  i cannot say how proud i am with how the piece turned out, how happy i am that it looks so beautiful and reads so well, how utterly relieved i am that it's finally up and i don't have to worry about little tiny screws or super glue or nail guns anymore.  enjoy the photos - hopefully i'll post more after the opening!

 

the books:

 

 

during installation:

 

 

all up on the wall:

 

 

sonnets upon sonnets

 

almost everyone has some sort of relationship with shakespeare. whether it be that awkward memory of having to memorize shylock's speech in freshman english, or finding that one line in that one sonnet that just so happens to speak to whatever is going on in your life, there's no doubt that for most of us, ole billy has struck some sort of chord.

for my first project in my art installation class, i decided to play around with accumulation and dismantling - in this case, the accumulation of text and chalk, the dismantling of shakespeare's sonnets as well as the concept of what it means to be a book, a collection.

it's incredibly interesting to see what happens when you start to layer words and sentences on top of each other. the negative space becomes positive, the blackboard starts to resemble a white notebook page, and the sonnets themselves become almost completely illegible (although that could also have something to do with the nature of my handwriting). i had such fun putting this together, and i definitely foresee more chalkboard art in my future.

what's your favorite sonnet? i'll always be partial to 116.

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.