My favorite birthday card I have created would hands down be these penguins. Adorned in their finest party attire, these penguins were originally sketched out for a New Years card. Yes, these dapper gentlemen were meant for the New Year, but I loved them so much I knew they need to send more cheer all year long. I'm so glad these guys turned into my most beloved card.
I have been doing a small challenge on my Instagram this month to post a love song lyric each day called #lettersforlovesongs. I compiled a list of my favorite love songs lyrics and have been giving myself 30 minutes to pick, sketch and (if need be) computerize the text. Some of them I feel so good about in person and then I photograph them and feel subpar—does that ever happen to you?
Despite the feeling of subpar work, I post it anyways as a challenge to myself not only to follow through on posting everyday, but to start getting my work out there and making bench marks for myself. Practice makes perfect—and I really do love practicing. It is just picking the lyrics that are hard! So many GREAT love songs out there.
I loved getting to work on this set of verses for Mama-to-be, Kara, for her nursery. They were both 18" x 18" squares with a matte gold ink. I loved how they turned out and hope they will bless this new family for years to come.
This weekend is my last craft show of 2015 and I wouldn't want the year to end any other way than with Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago! Join me this Saturday and Sunday at the Bridgeport Art Center from 11am -6pm to get some great holiday goodies and gifts checked off your list!
I'm booth #7 on the first floor so make sure to stop by and say hi! Also check out my friend Jessica's booth, J. Renee Illustration, on the 5th floor. Can't wait to see you all there!
Seeing logo development and origins is always a cool thing. I love the progression of these MLB logos over the last 100 years.
I may be late to the party on this, but have you seen this App by Adobe? I'm so excited to try out Illustrator Draw for the iPad.
A cute way to vamp up some old flat ware or add spice to that collection of mismatched soon in the drawer.
Though I didn't finish my personal #100DayProject - I loved what Mary Kate McDevitt did with her 100 days.
Another one of my sweet Sister-in-laws is expecting and this will make my seventh niece or nephew! To celebrate my mother-in-law threw a "Time" themed baby shower, complete with "It's Baby Time!" invites.
I loved working on the illustrations for this one and thinking of all the sweet things new Baby V will be getting and doing in the near future. The invite included a "time of day card" to let the guests know which part of the day their gift should be the centered around such as "Bath Time", "Nap Time", "Play Time", ect. So clever and a fun way to involve the guests in the theme.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to celebrate that day with family as we were out of town, but I'm so excited to welcome the little one and celebrate with the wonderful parents to be this fall!
A few months ago I had the delight to work on these fun, oversized bridal shower invites. The party theme was a garden tea and the client was looking for something subtle but with a nod to the brides wedding colors. After a few different designs, we both settled on these graceful, watercolor flower invites. I really love how they turned out!
About a month or so ago a friend showed me the 100 Day Challenge and asked a bunch of us if we would like to be involved. I was so hesitant at first, I mean what could I do for a hundred days that wouldn't seem daunting or at the same time underwhelming? As a creative type I knew that I wanted to do something with art, but more specifically with something off of the computer. After debating (with myself of course) for a while between drawing and some type of lettering and I remembered a doodle series I developed back a few years ago.
Meet Myrtle. Born out of a whimsical and slightly skewed sense of humor, Myrtle will be going on adventures for the next 100 days. If you would like to follow along with me you can find the drawings here #myrtlesadventures - I know I can't wait to see where she'll be going next!
It has already been a little challenging to make sure the picture goes up each day and we are only three days in! I love the time I have put into sketching out thoughts and then completing the frame. Though it seems like another thing on my list of "to do's", it's been relaxing to get back to a sketchbook and drawing for my own pleasure.
Want to join the challenge? It's not too late - here is how to join:
Wow, Valentine's Day has snuck up on me once again! Luckily there is still time to get the cards into the mail and plan a little something for Saturday. Since my husband and I started dating, Valentines Day has always been a low key affair. Last year we went to a great little pub near by, ate delicious cheese, had some wine, and played games from the bars collection - our favorites including Blockus, and a few rounds of Gin Rummy.
One day a year is not enough to tell those you care for most how you feel, especially with such a happy thing as getting a handwritten note in the mail. I created two downloadable cards that you can print out yourself and spread the love to those around you.
Choose one or both; send one or keep sending them all year long! Each fits onto a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and when cut out & folded will fit a standard A6 card envelope. Also, it's blank inside - easy for you to write down all the reasons you love that special someone, or just sign your name.
Download them here, Linalulu Paperie Valentines Day Downloadable, and happy card writing!
A friend approached me to do a few prints, and among them a quote by Emily Dickinson. I learned that the quote would be a gift for her mother who had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The quote had brought me to tears, and with the circumstance we agreed on a softer and cooler color palette.
I loved how the piece turned out, and often pull out my sketches and "mess ups" to look over the sweet words. I hope they both feel comfort when they reread these words, and even more comfort knowing where true hope is found.
When I think of my favorite films growing up the 1998 classic Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie, You've Got Mail, instantly comes to mind. I remember when my parents took us to see it in theaters. Many lines from this film have seemed to become go-to's for me.
F-O-X.That is amazing, you can spell "fox"! Can you spell "dog"? F-O-X.
It is a gem of a film, and I mean how much more classic than you can get than Tom and Meg? From the also quotable Sleepless in Seattle to the lesser known Joe vs the Valcano - they were a dream team of the late eighties and nineties romance comedies .
I recently created this print based on one of the opening lines from the movie, (cue "Dreams" by The Cranberries please!). The illustration was fun to pull together from pictures of the movie set and New York city itself. I haven't experience New York in the Fall, but with the quote dancing along in my head I think a trip might be in order in the months ahead.
I had the opportunity to participate in two gift swaps this Christmas season which were so much fun to be apart of. The first one, Christmas City Swap, is curated by Allie Lehaman of Be Up & Doing . Being her third year curating the event, s lays out the concept so simply : sign-up; be paired with a random swap-mate; purchase a gift for your swap-mate locally, from your hometown; send your gift before the new year. What I thought was really cool was the person your sending to is not the same person you're receiving from, so it is one giant swapping circle. Love this!
I received a beautiful and simple statement necklace and some great natural lip balm for my gift. The necklace has quickly become a staple piece in wardrobe - I think I wear it now three or four times a week.
Since I still live near my true hometown, but live in a different suburb of Chicago I picked a few items from both my hometown and some local Chicago makers to send to my swap-mate. My most favorite item being chocolates and a hand-made candy cane from Grahams Chocolate shop, delicious!
The second gift swap is the Goody Goody Gift Swap curated by Jenna Cantagallo. The idea is to create, gather, or shop for a thoughtful and personal gift for your swap mate. This one you are paired up with the person you are sending to and will receive from. I loved the idea of creatives around the world exchanging intentional and beautiful handmade gifts. You can see a lot of the gifts and processes here, #goodygoodygiftswap.
I loved putting my gift together for my swap-mate, Paige. She told me she loved traveling, glitter and her puppy. Among my package, I included two prints - one of her puppy, Poppy, and a travel quote; a glittery heart from BanDo; and then some small, monogramed cards.
I loved gathering and creating the gifts for her. She sent me the cutest package including a great calendar by Sugar Paper and even a gift for my cat. Now that is one of the fastest ways to my heart.
I loved getting to participate in these great swaps, and am already looking forward to participating next year. If you are interested in participating next year - I know, I know its months away - watch out for the sign-ups in November. Can't wait for Christmas? Check out the Handmade Valentines Day swap curated by The Stationery Place.
I have a handful of projects I would love to show you guys - starting with these cute business cards! Lynne, a very talented crocheter, approached me to help her take her sweet creations to the next level. She has been creating and selling beautiful crocheted baby gowns, dresses, and booties for some time to friends and family, and recently stared creating adorable barretts and hair-clips.
When we sat down to go over her business cards, she knew exactly what she wanted - orange and teal that could look vintage with a whimsical nod. She told me what she liked, brought me samples of her work, and told me what she didn't want to see. I loved her clear vision and voice which made creating a few samples of cards a breeze. After tweaking things here and there, we had our fun, final product!
These cards also have a double function. Lynne will punch holes on the orange polka dot block when an order is placed for hair clips. This way she can clip them on to the card. A simple way to have all the information next to the product for reorders. So fun!
I know Lynne loved them just as much as I do! She is currently working on opening an Etsy shop to sell her beautiful, baby goods. I can't wait to see all her beautiful goods to come!
New Years has always been a hit or miss holiday in my life. I have spent it with friends, at home with family, working as a hostess minutes before midnight, and even falling asleep to wake up around 2am and missing the whole shebang completely. The last two years have born a tradition of grilling steaks and ringing in the new year with our sweet friends Mark and Andrea.
2014 was filled with so many joys and each month brought something different into my life. Some sweet highlights include:
- Our niece, Olivia, was born in late February and earlier in the month we went skiing with some dear friends in Colorado that now has spawned a tradition we will live up to again this February.
- It seemed that both Reid and I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit this year, both internationally (for Reid) and nationally. Each trip held something sweet - from watching friends get married, watching my brother graduate college, learning new things, discovering new places, and spending sweet time with family and friends.
- We spent our 2nd year anniversary in California, spending time both in the dessert and by the ocean. I can see why everyone falls in love with the west coast. The dessert was breathtaking and magical, and watching the sunset over the Santa Monica pier was lovely. I'm already planning a trip back.
- We moved form our first apartment into a beautiful two-bedroom, rooftop apartment in a downtown area. It has amazing natural light, and having space for an office has been so sweet. Now fully furnished and decorated (for the most part), with the addition of our cat, Italics (in August), our apartment now feels like home. I love our little slice of the suburbs, and love even more the addition of our sweet little kitty.
- Work brought new adventures as well for both Reid and I. Last January, as well, I started this little space and my Etsy shop.
I have been thankful for the growth this year both personally and professionally. Looking into 2015 I hope to experience more growth in my work, growth in my marriage, and growth in my everyday life. So here is to the New Year, to 2015, and may every day you do something creative.
It feels like I have piles of work to share you all! With the rush of the holiday season, it seems this little space has been put on the back burner. With 2015 coming swiftly, I know one of my resolutions will be to put more time into updating my work.
On that same note, my dear friend from high school, Meredith Bazzoli, has written up a lovely piece on the coming of the new year and resolutions for 2015 over on her blog , Very Revealing. To accompany her fantastic post, I have worked with her on the print you see above as a fun giveaway to spark you on the road to keeping your resolutions for the new year!
Meredith writes in a matter of fact, down to earth style infused with humor that will make you feel like you have been friends for years. To enter the giveaway, jump over to Very Revealing and subscribe to her new series, Revealing Resolutions.
The new year is already being to look up!
I haven't shared some of my favorite things I have been finding and seeing from other artists and bloggers in a while. This is one is going to be a November and first part of December round up...so here we go!
- I always love reading about others beauty routines. I loved when this article popped up on A Beautiful Mess back in early November. The Neutrogena makeup remover wipes have always been a staple for me, I was happy to see them among the bunch. I can't wait to try out the Revlon color bust balms. Just look how vibrant the tube is!
- Beautiful fall and winter mood board by Making It Lovely . I think I love it so much because they are a toned down version of my wedding colors. (I will never let go of loving orange and pink, regardless the shades they are in. )
- It is always great to read a little slice of advice from artist you admire. Here they have rounded up 100 different designers who are all asked the same 5 questions and have great tips and advice to share. They are only on #72, so you can still catch up : )
- I occasionally look at wedding posts still (there are so many beautiful ideas and wedding out there!) This wedding at the Parker just took my breath away. Did you see her flower crown/veil combo? Or those orange doors? Wow!
- Gift Swaps, White Elephant, Christmas Exchange, Secret Santa, Secret Jesus...whatever you call it, it is always fun to participate in giving. This year I signed up to be apart of a international and national gift swap, Goody Goody Gift Swap curated by Jenna Cantagallo. I received my "swapee" this week and am so excited to make her something special as a gift! Check out gifts being sent this year, and from previous years with the #goodgoodygiftswap
- The Christmas season is dictated by music galore - so many decades of musicians and versions of old and new favorites. I am often bouncing from Bing Crosby, to Sufjan Stevens, to Mannheim Steamroller. A favorite group of mine, Sleeping at Last, has released an album of their Christmas music. I particularly love their rendition of "Silver Bells".
- Last but not least, check out the 24 Merry Days. A sweet 24 day give away put on by 24 different bloggers. Each day a new blogger has a new prize you can win, and entering is so easy! Plus there are so many great blogs to look through too! (Don't worry you can still enter the past ones, hooray!)
Any links you absolutely loved this past month?
Last week I saw my late summer tan lines fade from my feet. The earth crescendoed with warmth for us here in Chicago-land (a sweet day of almost 72 degrees) allowing us to bid farewell to the mild fall. The leaves brilliant in their colors and it almost seemed that the trees were showing off - trying to show one another up with who could have the most brilliant blaze. Captivating red to orange or sweet fade of green into yellow. As the warmth faded, it seemed not to go out with a fizzle but with a bang. We ushered October out, and our Indian summer, on Halloween with sleet and snow. The leaves are almost gone, November has come, and the clocks are set back an hour to let the darkness nestle in quicker. It seems that Fall is finally here – and so we’ll bust out our coats and heavy scarfs, wrap ourselves up in our favorite blankets and nestle into our homes on those blistery days. It's the weather for thick sweaters, comforting flavors, and copious amounts of pie. Let's begin to cherish the sweetness of the seasons changing. Let’s fall back into fall.
Vacations and traveling can be really fun. Going to the airport, on the other hand, can be not so fun. I have had the opportunity to travel more this year and have found a few essential things I now can’t travel without:
Slip-on Shoes: Getting through security can be a breeze if you set yourself up for it. Waiting on a cold tile floor as I push my belongings through the x-ray can be, well, gross. I wear simple flats so just right before my turn to walk through I can slip them off to toss in the bin and easily slip them back on once through.
Lite Reading: I usually bring a short book and a magazine with me. Having either to switch back and forth is great when you're not sure how long your wait is or to pass time on the plane. For even lighter reading, download Audible or OverDrive app and listen to your book.
Sketchbook & Pens : The airport is incredible people watching, and usually has great art pieces decorating the terminals. I have a sketchbook with me to capture all the funny moments and when inspiration strikes.
Chap stick: ...and a lot of it. The plane is dry and you can never have enough chap stick.
Jacket or Sweater: Jackets are nice in case of a cold airport or airplane. Plus they can double as a good blanket or pillow if need be.
Snacks: The airport food court always seems tempting to just grab food, but with higher prices and strategically placed Starbucks kiosks, I opt to bring food like granola bars or fruit snacks to tide me over. Plus it helps with the travel fatigue and meltdowns.
Water bottle: Just like carrying chap stick, having a water bottle is always smart to keep you hydrated and ready for anything that comes your way.
Carry-On Bag: One of the most important things to make sure you have, man or woman, is a sturdy, versatile carry-on bag. A bag with reachable pockets for your phone and wallet, a zipper closure to make sure nothing falls out when you slip it under your seat, and both short and long shoulder straps that can carry heavier items like a laptop with out strain or snapping.
Other travel essentials for me:
Ear buds, Phone Charger, Cash, and Comb & Toothbrush - You never know when you will need to freshen up.
What are your travel essentials?
This past summer we celebrated the coming birth of my sweet cousin Laura's third baby and third little boy - Crosby Thomas. We found out she was decorating the nursery in a Noah's Ark theme and then asked if she had a quote, verse, or lyrics she wanted framed.
This project was so fun for me to work on! I loved combining my illustrations of all the happy creatures (great and small) with calligraphy. I used a premixed ink and regulated the pressure and amount of ink on the nib to give the letters an ocean feel of dark and light blue. As well, I added a little more swashes then I usually would for a "masculine" print to help give it that moving water look.
I loved working on this piece and I love that sweet Crosby and his brothers will see it everyday reminding them of all the great things our Lord has created.