Celebration is in (the) order...

I just placed my very first purchase on my very own business-centric credit card, of fabric with my very own design printed on it for my Blueprint Show!! Small successes, but they get me a few steps closer to actually seeing my “booth” come together. Once I have my banners printed, I plan on setting the whole thing up in my living room, just so I can see before the show how things will look.

I haven’t gone into detail about my set up, so it might be hard to piece together what I’m describing. Basically, I bought enough space at the show for one 6ft table with 2 banner stands to go behind it. There will be 3 chairs at the table, and all my printed materials either on the table, or maybe in boxes on the floor behind me if things start to look messy.

I mocked this up in Illustrator to get an idea of how I want to present myself on-site. If it actually came out this clean, I’d be really excited.

That’s me lookin’ all business-like lol

That’s me lookin’ all business-like lol

I’d love any and all feedback, especially from experienced trade show-goers.

Unintentional Resolutions

I don’t know what it is about 2019, but it seems like everyone is so gung-ho about positive personal change. Including me! I’m not typically the one to make resolutions for the New Year, especially about working out - I find it so cliché and hard to stick to because of that (I’m aware that’s my own mental issue lol). But so far this year, unconsciously at first, I’ve made resolutions to:

  1. Work out every other day, IN THE MORNINGS (today done!)!!!

  2. Get my designs ready for Blueprint - at least one collection a week

  3. Drink my psyllium husk every morning (it’s absolutely vile, but it helps reduce cholesterol)

  4. Be better with making my own healthy food to bring to work

  5. Keep better track of my (our) money so we can reach our financial goals

It’s a hefty list for someone who never resolves to do anything come January 1. But I’m really motivated and excited, so I think I will see these through.

On the first day of the year, my husband and I took a hike in Blue Hills Reservation, about a 10 minute drive. It was, oddly, a beautifully temperate day, with glaring sunshine and lots of wind.

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It was a mini hike, but I broke a mini sweat lol. I’m so out of shape.

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The view from the top wasn’t anything spectacular, but I was glad to have gotten outside with my love.

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And as corny as it may sound…there was a gift shop at the top (eyeroll emoji). But kinda cool, there was a ski slope that we didn’t know existed - so if we ever get snowfall, we might check it out!

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The hike reminded me of a pattern design I created at work last year. I think it might have been my very first real repeat pattern I ever created the technical way.

Chestnut tree leaves!

Chestnut tree leaves!

So what do you resolve to do this year? Me, I’m just gonna try to make this year rock. I want to be so much better. I’m good - but I want to be better.

Hydrangea in hiding

Last summer we had the most beautiful hydrangea bush. It popped up on the side of the house, right between two pine bushes and if it had been a small guy, we wouldn’t have seen it because of that. But the blooms themselves were so vibrant.

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This is a really fun shot of the house’s stone steps on the side. 270 years old, they are! If you look real close, you can see the hydrangeas peeking out over the tops of the bushes in the background.

I took this from my insta feed (laugh/cry emoji).

I took this from my insta feed (laugh/cry emoji).

I eventually cut them and brought them into the house. Over the course of a day or so, the blooms darkened up to be even more gorgeous.

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Sadly though….none bloomed this summer. I don’t know why, but I sure did miss them.

They reminded me of an illustration that I did a few years back for my wedding invitations. The invitation designs were a total flop lol. But the illustration turned out really pretty later down the road when I turned them into a repeat pattern.

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Sip & Script

Wow, a month +. Is that how long people usually wait to blog-post? We’ve even made it through the Christmas season, and I don’t have anything prepared for that (shrug emoji).

A couple weeks ago, my coworker Sara and I attended an after-work event called Sip & Script. It was really, really, really fun. The name says it all - you sip on wine or beer, and learn calligraphy. Hosted by Molly Petroski of Molly Grace Makes, we casually learned the basics of using a calligraphic pen with sumi ink to produce beautiful, albeit shaky, pen strokes.

Stroke! Stroke!

Stroke! Stroke!

Obviously I, and everyone around me including Sara, got better as the class went on - despite the booze! But I think the thing I loved most was the social aspect of the class. I was at a table with two lovely women in their 50’s, cousins-in-law to each other, who I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to chat with in a typical setting in Boston these days. You know, people are busy with their gadgets and their commute, and what not.

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Calligraphy has always intrigued me, but this was the first time I’d ever bitten the bullet and shelled out some coin to learn it. I’m so glad I did. Script is becoming a lost art form - nay - skill in school districts around the country, which saddens me. I intend to practice, get better, include my husband (who luckily seems interested), and I can’t sign off without mentioning Molly - amazing teacher!! Very patient, very real, so much fun. In any event, learn a new skill, no matter the subject. And whatever you do…

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Chasing paper work

Tonight I requested information and contract paperwork to show at Blueprint next May. Even just doing that has got my blood pumping and my nerves rattled. It means I have to get really serious, really quick.

The more research I do, the more I’m finding that doing a physical trade show is still a must, even in our ever-growing digital landscape. A lot of designers I admire talk about their experiences with showing at events like this one in their blogs and the follow up that has to come after the experience. The takeaways just seem so invaluable, once in a lifetime kinda stuff. I want so badly to experience it, to get myself out there, meeting other designers and making contacts. Dare I say, even if it doesn’t lead to sales…at least I will have had the experience and most importantly, I will have tried my best at an event that I feel passionately about.

I originally wanted to show at Surtex, but realized too late that the show was happening in February, and that simply does not give me enough time to get my shit together. Oh, I swear a little here and there, hope it’s not offensive.

Anyway, once I have the paperwork all wrapped up and sent in, I’ll get back to everyone with details and updates about the process. I think it benefits everyone to know the ins and outs of this particular journey so it can be of some help to industry newbies down the road.

Stay tuned!

calling all local sewists

Hi all,

It’s now or never. Truly. I mean yes, I’ve said that before, and yes, I’ve half-heartedly started projects only to drop them like a bad habit 6 months in. But they weren’t exactly what I wanted. Now I’m making it real. I’ve never stopped wanting to make wrapping paper (see About). I’ve never loved anyhting so much as history and nature. Why not join the two in my own brand’s image? Why not try…..really, really try…to make my dreams come true?

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Do you sew? Are you good at it? I’m looking to partner with a local Boston or Providence sewist who can help me bring my patterns to life in a few choice products. Get in touch if you are, or someone you know might be interested in hearing more!



bittersweet business

I’m obsessed with bittersweet. There are a few varieties, some invasive, some not. Of course the kind that grows in my yard is the former, but it’s still very beautiful.

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My mother introduced me to the vine when I was a teenager and I’ve been enamored by its bright orangeish-red berries, its golden-yellow coverings, and I absolutely love the way the tips of the vines twirl and wind into pretty coils as they taper.

I’ve illustrated a sprig to play around with in my branding exercises.

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Branding is hard work, especially when you have to brand yourself. It’s something that I’ve struggled with consistently throughout my career, but I think I’m finally starting to really own what I love in life and leisure, so it’s starting to show through my in my work.

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…I also love it because it looks old-timey ;)