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!

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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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sf crushing: florists and floral designers

sf crushing- florists

 

if there is one thing i’ve been appreciating like whoa since being out here – especially for the season and how drastically different it’s being represented here versus chicago – it’s the abundance of plant life. honeysuckle practically wraps a lasso of scent around you as you walk by, forcing you to stop and bathe in the sweetness surrounding you on the sidewalk. the flower buds on the tree outside my living room window have blossomed and burst and since given way to small bright green leaves. there’s crazy jurassic fauna and spiky fluorescent flora. everything smells like heaven, especially after it rains.

to celebrate this bouquet of floral inspiration, my next sf: crushing focus is on the floral designers and florists that harness and arrange and display and showcase and set free the plethora of local flowers and ferns and branches and everything else at their disposal.

 

here are my top three for now:

 

studio choo homepage

 

Studio Choo

the name, first of all, is adorable – as is it’s inspiration (i also tend to have a particular penchant for other creative jills or jillians). the work that this duo – jill and alethea – puts together is just breathtaking. all of their arrangements and installations have a backyard cozy comfortable feeling, but with an elevated sensibility. their use of local grown flowers, and the care they take to showcase each bloom, is heartening. i just want to go live in their studio – what a thoughtful and artistic space to spend their days! take a look through their blog – i love how each post not only showcases the stunning visuals, but tells a personal story of each project’s inception.

 

twigss homepage

 

Twigss Floral Design

as soon as i opened up the website for twigss, i fell in love. i’m obviously the target audience for a hand-drawn laurel wreath and hand lettered logo design. and then they’re a mother-daughter team. and then their philosophy is so spot-on, i feel like i already know them. and then their photos and their flowers are just. well, they’re just gorgeous. i love the seasonal influence that takes precedence in each of their displays, bouquets and headpieces. and i also love their appreciation of the entire lifecycle of a flower – from bud to bloom to decay and deadhead. i’ve been pouring over their blog, and i suggest you do the same.

 

chestnut & vine homepage

 

Chestnut & Vine Floral Design

succulents. succulents. succulents. i’ve been looking for a floral designer/florist in the bay area who uses succulents in an artful way, and svenja brotz of chestnut & vine has hands-down the most gorgeous, lush, well-thought out arrangements using these amazing plants. succulents of all different colors, sizes, and paired with the interesting and complimentary blooms – i could look at her website all day. and i love that she’s based in the east bay, just a bit north of where i am, up in quaint and bustling berkeley. bringing a european sensibility to the abundant materials of northern california, she’s got a real talent for combining skill, vision, and resources. i just want to fill my home with her creations.

 

next week in the sf crushing series: invitations and paper goods. this is a special one, so i’m excited to share with you my favorites in the world of paper and design. have a beautiful weekend!

 

new online hand lettering workshop!

new online lettering flyer

for all of you who have been yearning to learn how to hone your own hand lettering skills, i have a treat for you! i’m running an online 6-week  hand lettering workshop, live via skype. this workshop series is intended to be a private lesson experience, with half hour sessions every wednesday at a particular time slot, giving you ample time throughout the week to practice the skills we went over. there will be fun practice homework, and i’ll be at your disposal the entire length of the program to answer questions, provide feedback, and share helpful guidance.

open to beginners and more advanced students alike. the workshop runs on wednesday evenings from april 2 – may 7. there are 5 time slots available:

3:30pm pst | 5:30pm cst

4:15pm pst | 6:15pm cst

5:00pm pst | 7:00pm cst

5:45pm pst | 7:45pm cst

6:30pm pst | 8:30pm cst

 

you must have access to skype, and a materials list/course syllabus will be provided upon registration. sign up at http://www.jillyink.com/workshops. looking forward to seeing you on the web!

 

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the coolest baby shower ever

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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.

rumi letter

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

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antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

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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?

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.

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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.

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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

 

 
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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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