Italics, the Kitty Cat

I had to share a little more about my life outside the studio, or in this case one of my favorite office mates - Italics, our kitty cat. Yes, I'm a cat lady! My husband and I had gone back and forth on getting an animal, and when we moved last August to a new apartment we said that we definitely would wait. We both enjoy animals, but I who grew up with multiple cats and a dog (among many other animals) was going through with drawl.

Just weeks after moving in, along came Italics, or Tally for short. My husband was apart of a running group at church which trained on Saturday mornings in a park near by. Long of the short of it, they found her in a tree, meowing for dear life in the park. My husband knew something was different about this little kitty, and off handedly offered if they couldn't find the home she belonged to he knew someone (me!) who would love to keep her. She was 4 months old at the time.

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A week went by, flyers went up, and they took her to the vet to see if she had a tracking chip. No one claimed her. Then the call came to my husband asking if we would like to take her. After a very short discussion we said yes (and I was giddy out of my mind) !

My husbands jokes Tally is the best thing that he ever did for me. I love her and even better she loves me. She cuddles with me in the morning, sits in my lap when I work in the office, and is playful. It makes such a difference to have a sweet, little companion.

I'm thankful for my husband noticing my longing for an animal. For this little runaway being caught in a tree where the running group met a year ago, and most of all for her sweet temperament and playful spirit. What can I say - once a cat lover, always a cat lover. 

Endings to Beginnings

Tyndale House Publisher, Design Department | Carol Stream, Il  *Note: Above is a piece of artwork that was created by having each design team member contribute to the process - a beautiful picture of collaboration and and what can be made together when a team is in sync. Hung in the main entrance to the design department, I always had a wonderful admiration for the artwork and the beauty it expressed both physically and metaphorically. 

Tyndale House Publisher, Design Department | Carol Stream, Il

*Note: Above is a piece of artwork that was created by having each design team member contribute to the process - a beautiful picture of collaboration and and what can be made together when a team is in sync. Hung in the main entrance to the design department, I always had a wonderful admiration for the artwork and the beauty it expressed both physically and metaphorically. 

I have found in my last few "endings" that the transition between where the end truly leaves off and the beginning starts is often rushed, blurred together, or left to reminisce on in later days or years to come. How do you neatly packaged an ending that is both sad and exhilarating? How do you find the words to say that hold meaning and not just space?

It has been a month since left my first job and work "home" and as I step into the next chapter, a sweet beginning, this time I have space to reflect on both the last chapter and the days to come. The Lord has done so many things in my life, and in the last 4 years specifically I have seen His affirmation and confirmation of me pursuing a life in design and the arts.

Now a little over three years later, as I quietly stepped out of the doors one last time as a co-worker and commercial designer for such a sweet company I was filled with peace and a whole lot of insight and knowledge on design and what a contributing team member looks like. There are so many words I could describe my teammates with - so much patience, creativity, consideration, willingness, and excellence. I will always be grateful for them, and for a company that put Christ at its core to create not only excellent products, but produce excellent teammates and friends. 

Thank you.

 

Portfolio: VanSoelen Baby Shower

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!


Portfolio: Olson Bridal Shower

Watercolor flowers done by  Angie Makes

Watercolor flowers done by Angie Makes

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!

 

Recap on Renegade

I took yesterday off as I'm still catching up from this past weekend at my first craft show down at the Renegade pop-up in Chicago. It was two days of meeting new people, anxiously waiting for people to thumb through my work, and being so excited with each sale. It's was amazing to have the opportunity to show my work and reach new audience. I loved having conversations with fellow makers and dipping my toes into the wide world of hand-made art shows. 

The booth set-up went smoothly and I have to thank both my dad for building shelves with me and my husband for being my second pair of hands and hanging out both days. The weekend was full of trial and error, which was to be expected, and I made a bunch of notes of what to add to the shop and for the next time around. People were kind with compliments and feedback, and it was great to meet so many new people.

Shout out to Justice of the Pies and Puffs of Doom for killer food supply, and to Jackie from Toast Ceramics for being a great neighbor - we may have snagged a few cups from her, they were too good to pass up! Hope to see you in September Chicago!


Update: 100 Day Project

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To be honest I have fallen deeply behind on my 100 Day Project (Yikes!). I loved the first two weeks of drawing and setting aside the time for just Myrtle and me. Then this busy season came blowing in. Myrtle has successfully been to the zoo, and her adventure was so fun to dream and scheme. I know that this wasn't meant to be overwhelming or should be - rather to help build habits and be apart of the creative community at large.

I have loved viewing others project, and seeing the creativity of people in this world. Some amazing work out there! Have you looked through the #the100dayproject Seeing others work encourages me and inspires me to pick up where I left off and to continue on, instead of watching it steadily drift away and say, "Oh yea, I was doing that...".  I hope in a month I will report where Myrtle has been - no, I will report on it (how's that for confidence?).

Anywhere you would like to see Myrtle go?

Color Companion : Spring Florals, Anthropologie

Flowers are great any time of the year and Springtime is their time to shine! I love the variety and stylization that floral prints take on. I couldn't narrow it down to  one type (because I love SO many!), I decide to narrow it down to one company. Anthropologie is dreamy unto itself, but then you add all the floral's and BOOM - a slice of paradise. I especially am excited for the Paper Crown & Rifle Paper Company collaboration line ( lower bottom left).

I love the variety of florals they always have in store. From their clothes to their home goods, everything looks good with a little floral splash - am I right?  How do you use florals?  Are they everywhere or do you limit them to just clothes?

Clockwise: Chair | Wallpaper | Bedspread | Dress

New Spring Prints in the Shop

Springtime is officially here in the Midwest and I couldn't be more happier with the sunshine! Plus my new Spring Print collection is now in the shop! Winter was long and cold, and I dreamt about the sunnier things to come. Inspired by a few favorite things, my 2015 print collection is full of simple color and whimsy.

Check the entire collection out now in my store: Linalulu Paperie and lookout for the spring stationery collection coming at the end of the month!

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100 Days Project

Image from The Great Discontent

Image from The Great Discontent

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.

I also have loved seeing what friends have committed to working on and exploring what others are doing through the #100dayproject and #the100dayproject

Want to join the challenge? It's not too late - here is how to join:


The Essentials: Spring Flats

Top to Bottom: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

I couldn't wait for this snow to melt and slipped on my flats about a month ago! I was tired of my socks and boots and wanted my toes to be free of constriction and my feet to add a little more pop to my outfits.

I love flats. LOVE THEM. They have almost become a part of my uniform in a way. At one point in my life I had close to 40 pairs, just flats, in my closet. I now own about 10 pairs, and am always looking for more (but not too many).

Shoes are a great way to throw in bold color and patterns into even the most formal of outfits. I'm crushing hard on those MadeWell sandles (#3) and the floral flats on the bottom. Sigh...my birthday is only a few months away...

What shoe is your must have staple? Do share...

 

Recap: February 2015

February was a sweet time filled with family, friends, and events. I can't believe next week will already be March. With lots of traveling - Wisconsin and Colorado as our highlights - February has been my favorite month so far this year. I love this time of year though, with the snow melting, the sun feeling warmer, and the flowers coming alive, slowly, but surely. Somehow, though, it is still snowing here - ugh. I look forward to the sunny sky's ahead. Hello April!

How did your February and March go? Anything new and exciting?

 

Welcome March & Desktop Wallpaper

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March is here and the countdown to the first day of spring is on - March 21st can't come soon enough! Though the snow is pretty when it is falling - I'm ready for bright colors, sock free feet in flats, and little flowers popping up all around. Thank goodness Shamrock shakes are already here!

To celebrate the coming of the Spring I have created three different desktop and phone wall papers for you all! From a lovely quote by Longfellow, to a sweet reminder of His peace from the book of Micah, and then for the more orderly in the group a simple calendar. 

Download one or rotate through all three! 

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Springtime Splendor : Desktop WallPaper | Phone Background

March Calendar : Desktop WallPaper | Phone Background

Micah : Desktop WallPaper | Phone Background

To download: click on the link above to the one you want, the image will open in its own window, and Save As or simply drag the image to your desktop. Then select system preferences and then desktop/screensaver.

 

 

Portfolio: Daisy Print

I love flowers, and growing up I had a sweet spot for daisies. Not quite what Kathleen Kelly said in the film, You've Got Mail, but I have to still agree daisies are the happiest and friendliest flowers out there. I hope spring comes sooner than later around here...


Pattern Play

I have been loving the patterns popping up on my Pinterest lately. From fun food patterns to illustrated gems, they seem to be all that I have been pinning. I especially have been loving the floral and geometric gems. I grabbed  a few of my favorite to create this mood board. What have you been pinning lately?

 

Patterns (TOP to BOTTOM) : 1 & 2 | 3 & 4 | 5 & 6

Free Valentine's Day Printables

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!

Portfolio: Emily Dickinson Quote

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. 

Portfolio: New York Print

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.

Gift Swaps & Goodies

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. 

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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.

Color Companion: Marsala

Recently I have been seeing this deep wine, almost brown color in a variety of mediums - clothes, flowers, home goods, ect. Who knew that the actual color name was Marsala?

Regardless the name and the slight variations I have seen, I think the color is lovely. If you are not sure what to pair this rich color with, Pantone has given us a quick guide of a variety of colors that will complement Marsala, including a few of my favorites : Calypso Coral, Cress Green, and Marina. What do you think of 2015 color of the year?