new coasts

compassion  

there's this thing that happens when you move 2/3 of the way across the country. or, technically, all the way across the country - albeit with a 3 1/2 year 'layover' in chicago. there's almost an undoing of yourself, of everything you've known, grown accustom to, comfortable with. you're forced to shed layers of learning that no longer make sense, memories that have become unclear, hazy, that seem to belong to someone else - as if you'd read about them in a book instead of experienced them first hand. you look out the window at mountains in the distance and they feel so far away, until suddenly you realize you're driving through them. the white caps spilling snow down the front of your rental suv, the back weighed down with your belongings.

moving first to chicago was an undertaking of ownership, of exploration and adventure. i moved there for graduate school in creative writing, and ended up earning an education in who i am, what makes me happy, who i want to surround myself with. i accomplished some devastating setbacks, and survived. i tossed through sleepless nights, and woke to new suns. i rode my bike through rain and sleet and snow and ice, through sun and humidity and perfect fall days. i fell in love with new family, and made the most magical of friendships. i fell and rose up in a love that i can only describe through the endless embraces we've shared through moments of trial and utter happiness. i started writing letters for a living, and it's never felt like work. moving to chicago was the best possible thing i could have done almost four years ago.  leaving chicago was the best possible thing i could have done last week.

 

moving here, to oakland, the bay area, san francisco, california, the west coast - this is, very recognizably, an act of utter and total craziness. this is true ownership. independence. freedom. this is an embrace of everything i've built to this point. an unraveling of the things that didn't work, an unfolding presentation of the things that will take root here.

 

i'm excited to share with you this new adventure, and invite you all to share with me your journeys and success and challenges. thanks so much for reading; west coast, hello!!

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 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.

photo (4)

 

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.

***

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!

 

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!

 

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:

 

 

away she goes

my dear dear friend alexis just arrived in the pacific northwest two days ago for a month long theater intensive. she'll then return to nyc for about a month before she leaves again (this time for who knows how long - even she doesn't), chicago-bound. and while i know she'll have an amazing time and that this is a much needed and much deserved change for her, it still doesn't change the fact that i'll miss her very very much. and so, the great state of new york expresses my feelings: copyright jillian schiavi 2009