fleur-de-lis in ivory, pink, and black

I've been working on a wedding stationery suite (save-the-dates, invitation ensembles, and a couple of additional enclosures...love these kinds of orders!) for a bride who was interested in customizingthe fleur-de-lis design using ivory, pink, and black, and a different font combination. We started on the invitation first and got to the save-the-dates once that design was done (which is actually a great way to work, I'm finding, rather than other way around...although that works, too!), incorporating the details of the customized invitation design with the overall layout of the dragonfly motif save-the-date.

The end result?

Working on this order makes me realize how much I like the fleur-de-lis design.  So classic and yet so versatile and easily updated.  And I love the motif paired with this bride's colors, don't you?

fresh from the Makery: something to do with orange glitter

I received a little bag of orange glitter (among a number of other goodies) from the wonderful and generous folks over at the Fiskateers blog for doing the orange slice tutorial a couple of months ago and have been wanting to do something with it ever since.  I love glitter.  In fact, I love glitter so much I included it my MFA thesis project. Seriously. But I've been having the hardest time coming up with a project, partly due to lack of time, but mostly due to lack of ideas.  I thought about making cards or stationery of some sort, as I almost always initially do, but opted for this probably mostly pointless little gift box instead.

I needed a break from design work I was doing for my other shop and decided to experiment.  I applied glue to the bottom and sides of the inside of the box (like greasing a cake pan) and poured the glitter in, coating every nook and cranny and dumping the excess out.  It seems like an inside-out box to me so I liked the idea of putting green felt on the top (like how West Elm stores grow grass on their rooftops) and then trimmed the lid with some turquoise Easter ribbon I picked up at Michael's recently.

I'm not sure what you'd put in this little box.  I'd hesitate to put anything edible in it. Maybe marbles, if your kid's into that kind of thing. Or quarters. I know some families have the whole money in the egg tradition.  Or, as I write in the listing, maybe the orange glitter is enough?


be mine

Fan, that is.  Just in time for Valentine's Day (you'd think I might have come up with a few projects for v-day but, no...), I've gone and created a Facebook fan page for the Makery.  Yep, another outlet for obsessing over shop stats of one kind or another.  I'm hoping having the page will motivate me to resume the project on a more regular basis.  And maybe I'll think up some sort of FB-fans-only promotion at some point.  We'll see how it works out.

So what have I been up to since showing off my handmade Christmas cards, anyway?  Mostly getting through the transition from full-time stay-at-home-mom to having part-time daycare in place, which you can read about in greater detail here, if you're into that kind of thing (the baby blog is called "baby lust," which is ironic because I mostly use it to complain about how difficult motherhood is).  Maintaining my two Etsy shops (my life involves two materials lately, paper and felt) keeps me busy enough during the three days each week I now have to myself.  I'm not exactly in line to be Etsy's next featured seller or anything but I'm very happy for the increase in business the past few months.  So don't take this the wrong way when I say it's brought on a bit of an art identity crisis.  I guess it's just strange that the most beneficial portion of my four years spent in Boston (two cross-country moves and one very expensive MFA degree later, not to mention the three years of endless stress and constant second-guessing that going to art school entails) may prove to be the one-year part-time gig in retail (high-end lifestyle boutique-y retail, but still).  Obviously my satisfaction with what I'm doing with my life is more important than constantly trying to justify the necessity of the degree I sometimes feel like I sacrificed so much to attain (and more and more often lately question why), but it's a hard thing to let go, which might explain why I've embarked on a second round of teaching gig applications for next fall, knowing full well that I'm probably not at all qualified for the mostly tenure-track positions I'm seeing.  Sometimes I feel like I've finally found my people in the craft community (and let's not even get into the ongoing debate about art versus craft) and love the kind of feedback I receive (and getting paid for my goods and services ain't bad either).  Other times I really miss the academic art world, the environment and energy of a college or university, and the kinds of odd digressions that a "conversation piece" can produce during an evening critique.  Having a child was, of course, the most amazing and wonderful experience of my life so far but coupled with the economic recession, was also followed by probably the lowest point in my life professionally speaking.  I feel like things are finally bouncing back (no pun intended) but I also feel like my "professional" future is really uncertain.  I guess I still don't really know what I want to be when I grow up.  We'll see how the next six months play out...

Wow, for a post that began with the simple aim of a little shameless self-promotion, that got a little deep.  Time to stop writing and start making stuff!


moss green, fuchsia pink, and totally luxe all over!

A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of why I begin each order with a non-refundable design fee. While the design fee is usually applied to an order total if the client is happy with their proofs and decides to move forward with my services, I anticipated that there might come a time when, for any number of reasons (weddings being the complex affairs that they are...what's that expression about too many cooks in the kitchen?), a client did not wish to proceed and, without that nonrefundable fee, I would have worked - usually for many hours - for free. The design fees keeps this from happening and, I hope, keeps a bride from feeling committed to using my services before she sees the details of her big day incorporated into one of my designs!

I experienced this for the first time a couple of weeks ago but I was so smitten with the new design I'd been working on I decided to tweak it a bit (moving the illustration around and changing the font and colors) and add it to the shop as the first in what I hope will be an entirely new line of "luxe" wedding invitation ensembles, with less die-cutting and more illustrative qualities and printed on a lovely, subtly textured card stock, a minor upgrade, if you will, from the invitation ensembles I currently offer. So for the inaugural "luxe" invitation design, I present the Retro Peony Wedding Invitation Ensemble in Luxe Fino Cream, Moss, and Fuchsia:

And now it's time to finally get started printing my first screen-printed design (that I mentioned a couple of posts ago) - stay tuned for more details!


bookmark the date!

I've been wanting to add some new save-the-date styles to the shop for awhile now and finally got around to one such idea last week - the bookmark save-the-date:

Logistically speaking the tea-length bookmark is a bit bigger than most but I think would still fit fine in many books and, most importantly, fits perfectly into a top-end #10 envelope!  Why is it that creating a save-the-date that actually fits into an envelope without floating around is such a challenge?

This new save-the-date option was designed to coordinate with the daisy motif ensemble but, as always, can be customized to work with any design!