sf crushing: wineries and wedding venues

sf crushing- wine country

having lived in the bay area for a month and a half, one of the most popular topics of discussion amongst our friends and the new (wonderful) people we’ve been meeting is wine country. everyone has their favorite vineyard, with great stories about the wine, food, their experiences, and the gorgeous landscapes. i’m very much excited to snag a ride out to sonoma and napa and taste what this california soil and climate have to offer by way of its grapevines. in the meantime, i’ve been pouring over photos, and these are my top picks for gorgeous spots to hold either a big, or intimate wedding ceremony and reception.

 

Scribe Winery

scribe site

as a writer, and a designer, i’m already in love with the name and label that this winery boasts. take a look at their website, read their very personal stories, and that love intensifies by the sheer passion these fellas have for what they do, and where they do it. and then you find photos of their pick-up parties. this past february, they had chris fischer of martha’s vineyard fame (always love a good nod to my home state of massachusetts) come and put together an insatiable array of gorgeously prepared food to pair with their wine bounty. just to be present at one of these events looks like it would be an experience filled with great food, amazing wine, cozy fireside conversation, beautiful views, and fun company. i can’t wait to visit for a tasting, and am seriously considering joining their scribe viticultural society.

**Note – At the moment Scribe isn’t holding wedding ceremonies or reception parties on their grounds until they finish renovating the Mission-revival style Hacienda on the property. Down the road, they may be open to those kinds of inquiries, but for now they’re keeping their focus on the Scribe tasting experience.**

 

Photo by Allan Zepeda Photography

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Photo by Allan Zepeda

photography by allan zepeda

as featured on Style Me Pretty

 

Gundlach Bunschu

gun bun site

imagine being ushered through a cool wine cave, being handed a glass of authentic sonoma valley wine, and exiting to a breathtaking view of an expansive vineyard under a clear blue sky. this is the experience guests encounter at a gundlach bunschu wedding. it sounds, and looks, incredible. add to it some rustic wine barrels, stone walls, and the natural beauty of vines – everywhere – and this particular winery provides such a light and bright environment to share such a special day with friends and family.

gun bun ceremony

gun bun barrel

photographs by jessica burke

as featured on Style Me Pretty 

 

Annadel

annadel site

this vineyard has everything that i love about infusing different textures, elements, and maintaing the authentic beauty of its location. with old winery ruins and a barn amidst rows of greenery and the most romantic big, beautiful trees, annadel provides so many opportunities for photo shoot backdrops. virtually touring these grounds is making me antsy to get there in person. it looks like it meets all the needs of both an intimate and larger wedding celebration, inviting a great conversation between the outdoor expanse and indoor coziness. bonus – they also provide roses to the san francisco flower mart, so how amazing that the florals might be available right at the venue!

annadel wall

annadel vineyard

 

photographs by collin hughes

as featured on Snippet & Ink

 

excited to start tasting the wines from these gorgeous venues! tune in next when i shift focus over to the amazing professionals behind the wedding lens. have a beautiful week!

 

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!

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!

 

sf crushing: wedding planners

sf crushing- planners

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be in the Bay Area. Seriously. Not only do I get to wake up in the gorgeous Lake Merritt neighborhood, just minutes from nature, culture, urban atmosphere, and farm fresh produce, but I also get to work alongside some pretty talented individuals in the wedding and event industry. So, to highlight my love for this area, I’ve decided to start a new series: ‘sf crushing’. First up, some ladies from the wedding planning side of the industry. From my experience, working with some awesome wedding planners in Chicago (you, you, and you!), these ladies have to be multi-faceted. They have to be organizers, time-table enthusiasts, visionaries, designers, stylists. They have to be able to keep everyone on schedule, in line, and most of all, happy. And that’s just their relationships with other vendors. To the clients, the happy bride and groom, they have to be a mentor, friend, sometimes therapist. I take off my bike helmet to the people in this industry that love every single part of it. So many people think that a profession in wedding planning is just fun. These professionals prove that it takes a lot of work, but when done well, and with love, it IS fun.

stacy mccainStacy McCain Event Planning – http://www.stacymccain.com – San Francisco, CA

– Stacy and her team create timeless landscapes. The whole wedding, from start to finish, is styled with perfection, with the whole event in mind. It’s apparent that she takes the time to get to know what is most important to her clients, without compromising on the other pieces. As a designer, I appreciate how clearly she seems to communicate the vision of her clients. As a person, I appreciated even more how lovely she is in person. She is absolutely someone I would trust to handle the specifics of such a momentous day.

lovely little details

Lovely Little Details – http://www.lovelylittledetails.com – napa, atlanta, new england

Jacin definitely seems like the kind of woman who knows what’s important. She limits the number of weddings she plans to 5 per year, serving couples in the Napa Valley, Atlanta, and my home region New England. I appreciate how much attention to detail she puts into each of the weddings she plans, and adding floral design to the mix just makes me love her more. Plus she seems genuinely enthusiastic about her love for elements both big and small, and having such an exclusive client roster, it’s refreshing to know that she’s willing to go knee-deep into building each and every event.

esla events

Esla Events – http://www.eslaevents.com – San Francisco, CA

I first fell in love with Laurel of Esla when scouring design and newly popped up wedding blogs from my cubicle at Random House. She has a dreamy sensibility, and anything romantic with a bit of an edge captures my attention instantly. I also have an interesting soft spot for anyone who’s lived in New York for a period of time – something to do with surviving and thriving there, and then taking that same work ethic wherever you go – and the fact that she’s lived and gleaned inspiration from the various places she’s resided. Whether her events are indoors or outdoors, there always seems to be an element that’s a little unexpected. In my book, that’s the mark of someone I’d definitely want to work with.

 

Have fun spending the rest of the afternoon pouring over the websites and galleries of these three. And to celebrate my favorite thing about being somewhere warm and sunny (and the faint scent of honeysuckle in the air), the next spotlight in the series will be on florists and floral designers.

 

And as a reminder! To all west coast couples – I’m offering a 10% discount on all wedding lettering services if you book with me by the end of the month. For more information, send me a note at jilly.ink@gmail.com. Cheers!

 

 

 

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

antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

woodland_menus top

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.

woodland_menus3

 

splendid occasion shoot

woodland pc

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.

woodland_menus bottom

woodland pc4

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.

woodland pc close2

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.

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)

artist in residence like whoa

the month has come! september! both sides gallery! my work, supplies, kitchen dishes and pens and favorite coffee mug – we’re all moved in and ready and raring to get started on the next 6-9 months of intensive art making, calligraphy business-building, networking, life-owning, inspiration-seeking, and general craziness that’s surely to come. i can’t wait to share it all with you as it unfolds. in the meantime, take a look at some of the words i’ve been writing and places i’ve been visiting over the last two weeks!

 

skulls2

{skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

sanskrit photo shoot

{sanskrit being photographed for the new illumine chicago magazine}

gallery2

{clockwise from top left: event cards for zapwater communications, new chalkboard mural at both sides gallery, skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

hammerpress

{visiting hammerpress in kansas city}

octopus drawing

{octopus doodling}

terrariums terrariums!

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what a lovely night it was, last week, at the gorgeous both sides space, making little terrariums (although, at the time, it was still a bit in shambles before we’d hung the second fridays art show).

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i spent the morning and afternoon at sprout home, picking through their newest shipment of tiny, adorable succulents and cacti, choosing soil, lava rocks, charcoal, sand and rocks. i must say, they are incredibly  wonderful, helpful people, and the store itself is lovely and full of so many plants that i wanted desperately to adopt as my own.

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from there i traveled to blumgarten, a new florist shop that just opened up on halsted and 18th, across from the gallery, in the chicago arts district. they have such a wide array of glassware; it was such fun picking out little vessels for the succulents. with delicious veggie and port pasties from bridgeport pasty, and handmade plant-inspired jilly ink cards, the tables looked inviting and well laid out.

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the workshop was a success, and culminated in the cutest little terrariums that everyone took with them at the end of the night. special thanks to alexis buryk of lexi b photography for taking these perfectly lit photos.

 

i loved sharing this newfound love, and look forward to holding the next one in september! stay tuned, and if you’re in the chicago area, i’d love to have you at the next workshop!