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Life For Now And Always

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Guys. I had a baby. Three months ago today to be exact. When I actually think about the fact that three months has gone by since literally every cell of my life changed, I’m floored. I’ve been contemplating where to go with my next blog post since my last post. Originally I wanted to do a post about my maternity shoot (which feels like it was approximately 68 years ago). But then Mr. Logan Moon arrived and now that feels like old hat. Although those pictures are SO PRECIOUS I’ll always enjoy looking at them and reminiscing the time that we were so excited about the next phase of our lives. I can’t even make a joke here about how naive we were pre sleepless nights because my son is an actual angel who from the second he was born was sleeping like the dead. But that doesn’t mean the adjustments to life with a baby haven’t been REAL because they were and are and always will be through each new phase of his and our lives.

For me the most, giving into the role of new motherhood and leaving behind, temporarily, my business mindset was the hardest part. I feel like my identity has always been a designer slash artist by some nature. My whole life, my happy place was painting and drawing by myself. Music, movies or a tv show going in the background, I was at peace. So when that also became my job, I was in my glory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a job and deadlines, following trends and finding inspiration are always banging on my door but I’m grateful as hell that I love it so much. SO two weeks after coming home with a shiny new infant and a broken hooha I was like, I’ll go back to work now, yes? NO. Wrong. But that didn’t fully set in for another two weeks. When I then forced myself back into maternity leave. Working for yourself is weird. Having your studio upstairs is even weirder. I had to physically stop myself from walking up those stairs. Difficulty level ten.

But here we are, three months in and maybe getting the hang of it? Who knows. Not me. All I know is life is one long constant adjustment and in between, we should do our best to be mindful of each moment because the phases don’t last. As soon as I realized that (POST worrying that I would never paint again before someone reminded me that one day your babies go to school and you have free time again) I relaxed. And also became sad that one day my baby will go to school. The emotions guys, like a seesaw I swear. Life is fun. Or terrifying? I’ll leave you with that. And a compilation of maternity photos below.

Oh after doing my Instagram story polls (that almost gave me a stroke, THE STRESS) I learned you guys want to see more personal posts. John, Moon and I are going to work on photographing more of our adventures to share with you here. Thanks if you voted and if you didn’t, it’s fine. You’re probably also not reading this to even know that I know that you didn’t vote. Tricky.

My husband is an actual wolf, it’s fine.

Photos: Clean Plate Pictures

Hair: Melissa Price at Visible Changes Hair Group

Makeup: Dominique with Dunique

Dress: Ashley LeMieux

 

 

 

 

A MOON SHOWER

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I of course, planned and decorated my own baby shower. That might sound crazy to some people but I think it’s impossible to be a creative being and not be hands on for this kind of celebration. Not only did I envision the theme of my shower around my son’s middle name but I had a second shower theme planned in my mind 6 months ago incase it was a girl, revolving around her middle name. (Keeping that a secret incase one day we have a little baby girl, too). Type A personality here, nice to meet you. Although I definitely have some type B traits, the event planning part of my brain does NOT fall into that category whatsoever. So due to this really fun trait, I did it all. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. First of all, I love the idea that every person who I want to come and celebrate with me, gets to show up and just enjoy. I think I would feel guilty making them do the work. But fine I’ll be honest, I just have to execute every detail exactly as I want and there’s few people who I think could bring that vision to life. Control freak. So who better than me and John? At the end of the day, after the days and hours of work and stress, it’s so rewarding to see it all come to life. Worth it. (NOTE* THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I RECOMMEND DOING FOR YOUR OWN WEDDING. FIND VENDORS WHO CAN DO IT FOR YOU! SMALL GATHERINGS ONLY!) Sorry for screaming. I just feel really strongly about that.

Below I’ve compiled some of my favorite shots from what we we’re calling our “baby moon bash” because the party ended up being kind of huge and it was not your traditional shower. Obviously. Because we are not very traditional. We like to create our own path. Even if it’s slightly insane and definitely unusual. We welcome anyone who wants to join us down this strange but exciting and modern road (my opinion).

The invitation and other paper goods were all designed in the theme of a woodland night sky. Lots of blue watercolor wash details and hand lettering. I don’t always do hand lettering since I’m not technically trained in calligraphy, so I save it for the whimsical and bohemian style stationery items where I think it’s better suited for its freer look. Of course there was a little watercolor fox/wolf family on the invitation as well because I couldn’t resist the cuteness of a little animal in there somewhere. We did after all get the name Logan PARTIALLY from the movie Wolverine (John’s fave…I like it too). Next to the stationery, the second most important detail to me was the photo backdrop. I envisioned this setup with big white paper lantern stars, macrame, greenery and a hand painted, hand lettered sign saying “Love you bigger than the moon.” Shocker, I know. So that took some time to execute properly and then actually set up but I’m so happy with how it turned out (pictured below). In my mind this was the focal point of the party (next to the dessert display because, cake). And I couldn’t have done any of it without help from my shower elves. My brother, sister and her boyfriend. Greatest little team ever. *John setup the “big picture” stuff like, the entire restaurant. NBD. That’s why we make a great team. He does the big details and I do the small details. We’re having a baby guys, we’re really in love right now so the sappiness has only just begun. Sorry, kinda. 

It turned out to be quite the bash. Live music performed by local artist Dan Lopez, really set a fun tone. Phenomenal buffet spread from one of John’s restaurants, Cicero’s. And to die for cupcakes and custom cake by local bakery Caked Up. We like to shop small and support local incase that wasn’t just made obvious. ALSO I had my makeup done by my friend, neighbor and local artist Dominique Zebrowski (her brand is “Dunique” and she’s amazing). AND my hair was done by Melissa Price from Visible Changes Hair Group who are also local! I know I know you get it, I love the talent in my town. I’ll stop now. 

You can see what a bash it was below with these awesome pictures taken by Christina Anthony Photography!

The end. JK it hasn’t even begun yet. We’re still awaiting the arrival of this little moon baby! I know it’s weird that we call him “Moon” and not “Logan” and no we are not going to change his name to “Moon” it’s just way cuter to think of him as a little moon while he’s currently residing inside of my uterus. Run on sentence, it’s fine. Thanks for reading!

I Am Now A Renegade

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PSA guys… I left my design cave. I entered the real world. With real people. To set up a booth that caused me so much agada I don’t even know where to begin. To (hopefully) sell my cards to human beings and interact with them and hear what they think of my work. Cue panic attack. But, by the grace of some magical being, it was actually, AMAZING. First of all, the Renegade Craft Fair (which by the way, is where all the above ridiculousness took place) is run by such kind people who really support artisans and makers and allow them to express their creativity in every way. As aforementioned, I had to plan a booth display. They literally give you the dimensions of a completely blank space and say “Do what you want with it!” Sounds like a dream, yes? Also though, a nightmare. I was stressing hard core over what to do to really make my booth stand out and also represent my products in an efficient but aesthetically pleasing way. It’s all about the aesthetics. Always. You might not even realize but the right window display of a store is going to get you in there, even if you don’t know what the heck they’re selling. Or maybe you do know what they’re selling and it’s something you have zero interest in but you’re so enticed by the window that you just have to go in and then BAM, you buy something and you leave wondering what just happened. Proper merchandising happened. FYI you all just learned something super valuable and I was glad to provide the lesson.

So now that I’ve given away the secret to tricking shoppers into spending more money than they’d like, let’s talk about how I did it. Just kidding. I really didn’t. I’m not a salesperson by any means. I actually dread selling because as a shopper myself, I know what I like and I don’t need it to be sold to me. If I want it I’ll buy it all on my own. So I assume other people are like that too. Especially when it comes to greeting cards. They speak for themselves, literally. If no one you know is having a baby, you probably don’t need a “yay for baby!” card. And if it’s your best friends birthday, then you’re most likely going to shop for a birthday card. So I think I’m in the right industry. I can make the pretty things and let them sell themselves. Love it.

I did the Renegade two weekends in a row, December 9th – 10th and the following, December 16th – 17th. The second weekend was a last minute decision since they allow rolling applications for the last fair. And I was fairly certain I had lost my mind. May I remind you that I’m pregnant. 7 going on 8 months pregnant. So like, I really can’t do anything on my own that’s physical. Cue best husband of the year, John. This ANGEL of a man helped me not only setup both weekends after working his already jam packed week in the brewery, but he stayed the entire first weekend with me to work the booth. So I was able to stuff my face every hour and sit my pregnant rear down for almost most of the day. While he sold cards. And loved it, I think. And I had multiple anxiety attacks because why would anyone want to buy my cards? Who am I even? A little pregnant lady who paints things all day and then makes them into cards and has no idea if anyone cares. But guys, it turns out a few people care. Not only a few but a few few. It was such a cool feeling to see people stop at my booth and pick up a card and either relate to it and smile or find it humorous and laugh or compliment me on my artwork. I mean, just blushing. I really had such a great time meeting new customers and talking to them about their reason behind buying certain cards. Who is having a baby or who loves llamas or who is totally nutty around the holidays. Just a HUGE thank you to anyone who stopped and even just looked and told me they loved my work. It means the world and it reinforced my passion to carry on and push forward.

Below I’ve compiled some photos from my weekend at Renegade which took place at Industry City in Brooklyn this year. I’ll absolutely be doing this fair again next year, this time with a little moon baby on my hip, who by that time will be practically one, holy god. That was a lot of commas. I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you didn’t make it this year, maybe next year you’ll venture out to see me and all the other incredible vendors who make the coolest things!

^ Anddd that’s a wrap. I think I wiped this guy out, just a little. But isn’t he just the best for being so patient and taking 90 million photos of me until I liked just 1 of them? All the love for my man. Thanks for reading!

 

Location: https://industrycity.com

Host / Renegade Craft Fair: http://www.renegadecraft.com

FREE PEOPLE STYLE STATIONERY SHOOT

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Guys, this morning I had a hormonal meltdown. I made a plan to go on a day trip up to Cold Spring, NY. The plan was to see some cute shops, have a nice lunch and maybe take a few photos, since it was a beautiful day and I finally had my part time photographer husband with me. But then my computer was going too slow and I couldn’t find anything to wear that seemed “photo ready” and then I accidentally stepped on my cats paw and she cried probably because I’m a giant monster these days aka a regular pregnant person who was abducted by demon hormones. John came home from a run to me, the monster, trying to put this amazing outfit together in knitted tights that are definitely tighter than they used to be and partially see through, topless, complaining into my closet. After the cat paw debacle took place, I admitted defeat and sat on the floor crying. I know, this story is a real upper. BUT then John picked out an outfit for me (Yes ladies, find a guy with a good sense of style. It’s a pain in the ass sometimes but it can also be super helpful) and told me we could do this. So we did. After crying through 2 attempts at foundation, I finally dried up and got it together. Mostly.

We made it to Cold Spring and had a quick lunch at Hudson Hill Cafe because we were on a mission. Take social media worthy photos of my stationery and of me, not looking like a total watermelon. Easy. Except even when not pregnant I’m definitely a weirdo when I’m the one in front of the camera. I MUCH prefer to be the photographer, offering direction and setting the scene. Bossing around another person and posing them is where I’m comfortable. On the flip side, not so much. I must have asked “How do I look?” 1,876,542 times until John was finally like, please stop talking. But I didn’t, obviously.

But then something amazing happened. I started to have a little fun. It got super windy, which automatically makes you loosen up because you’re shaking hair out of your face and laughing. We also found a really scenic spot by the water (John found it, I know, he’s so annoying) and we got into a groove. I titled this post a “free people styled stationery shoot” not because I think I’m that cool (I wish), I’m certainly not. It was mostly because his shots with the lighting and the nature just felt free people-esque. I was feeling more care free, wrapping paper was blowing in the wind and I had some embroidery on my shirt which is standard free people style. Also I foraged a little berry branch that made my life. I like props. Hands are weird alone. Like what do you do with them? You hold stuff with them, that’s what. It turned into a time and I do hope you all enjoy the photos. I’m also really excited about my new holiday wrapping paper this year. It was my first time designing gift wrap and I put a lot of thought and intention into it. I am looking forward to working on some everyday wrapping designs to add to the shop soon. Thanks for reading!

I don’t know guys, like should we call Free People and tell them we have some brand new, stellar material for them? I’m thinking yes…

 

 

Holiday Madness

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Well, Thanksgiving is over so let the madness commence. It’s so sudden. As soon as we clean our plates from an incredibly delicious meal, it’s immediate Holiday mode. The sales and the deals and the insane retail hours (I do not miss those days). It’s all just thrust upon us in the blink of a turkey’s eye. I do love that small business Saturday follows Thanksgiving though because it seems fitting. Feeling grateful and appreciative of all the things so why not carry on the spirit a couple more days to go out and support your mom and pop shops, right? Or in my case, mom-to-be ecommerce site and holiday markets. I myself love to spend time preparing my small business gift ideas by perusing Etsy and marking favorites or shopping on my favorite clothing sites like Piper and Scoot and Roolee. I’ll even go as far as to email myself with all the gift links so I can come back to it when I’m good and ready. Another favorite activity is to attend holiday craft fairs, pop ups and markets. You’re absolutely going to find some super cool and obscure gifts at any of those.

This season I’m participating in just two holiday markets because I’m getting bigger every second it feels so my abilities are becoming limited (7 months pregnant, nbd). But I’m VERY excited about these two. The first is another pop up at our local Anthropologie. It’s taking place Saturday December 2nd from 11am-3pm. I’ll be posting on social media as a reminder! The second is the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn at Industry City on December 9th & 10th from 11am-6pm both days. This is my first year partaking in the awesome renegade fair. I had a chance to peruse one that took place this month and what a time. Your eyes are having serious ADD while your hands develop what I can only describe to be “mind of their own” syndrome. All of a sudden I’m touching, holding, feeling and smelling everything before my mind has caught up to what I’m doing. But glad about it. Of course. I hope I enticed you enough to come see the one I’ll be at! I promise you’ll enjoy. And probably leave with some super cool gifts. My husband brought home a handmade slingshot with felted balls. He says it’s to play with the cats but I know it’s really just for him. I brought home the cutest handmade stuffed animal dolls by a small company named King Soleil. I’ll post pictures below of our adorable findings. I wanted to take home like 9 candles all smelling like balsam fir but I refrained because I literally just bought 5 and haven’t burned through them yet. Give me a week though and they’ll be gone.

So that’s my fall and winter in a nutshell. Prepping and gearing and growing in all the ways. Two months time until there’s a third person living in this house. Bananas. I may or may not get another blog post in before little Logan Moon arrives but I’ll be sure to get one up after. Probably just images of me covered in baby throw up and crying while trying to package a greeting card. Yesterday I sneezed and actually peed my pants. It’s all gorgeous and life and miracles.

Below are some shots of life from the last post until now. Sometimes I fancy myself a food blogger. I love Sally’s Baking Addiction and pretty much only bake her recipes. And then I photograph them because they’re so pretty. All recipes have been taste tested by yours truly who, if you’ve read past blog posts, you’ll know I am a major foodie so, trust ya girl. And my whole family. And Friends.  I’ll add links below to everything in the photos! Thanks for reading!

  1. Cornbread – Sally’s Baking Addiction
  2. Apple Crumble Pie – Sally’s Baking Addiction
  3. The Great Pumpkin Pie – Sally’s Baking Addiction
  4. Handmade Sling Shot – Brook & Wade
  5. Owl/Fox Stuffed Animals, Mom & Baby –  King Soleil

Harvest and Autumn and Fall and Babies

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…Still waiting for the leaves to change and the cool nights to come. But apparently, it’s fall. I normally feel sad when summer ends because I loathe wearing shoes that require socks. This year feels different though. And it might be because I’m pregnant? (YAY! smooth, I know) And one of the things that’s not as fun when you’re pregnant is the sun and the heat. Which means the beach. And the pool. And being outside walking around for longer than ten minutes. So I began the hibernating season quite early. As early as July. I have no fading tan to worry about because, I didn’t get tan at all. So I welcome fall this year and all the exciting things to come. Like planning for a baby (wtf). There’s so much to learn and to do, I already know it will be impossible to be as prepared as I fantasize about. One of the first things I’ll have to let go of now that my world is about to change entirely, controlling all the little details. From what I hear, when a kid arrives, that’s no longer possible. Ouch, major reality check. Don’t tell my husband but I am for sure a control freak. I love neatness and organization but like to the extreme. I’m sure I’m not unique. Other people like this stuff too. But just so you all know, those of you who love this stuff and thrive on it, join the control freak club. We’re all members. Deal with it.

Anyway, baby Potenza is coming in February and in the mean time I’m trying my best to get prepared in all the ways I can without becoming psychotic. There’s the obvious decorating, the shower planning, the cocoa buttering and the yoga-ing. And then there’s the mental prep. The emotional prep. The financial prep. A part of me loves this because, again, it all requires organizing which is my happy time. But there’s also a part of me that’s lost. How do you prepare for something you’ve never done? Seen? Been through? Had? Birth? What? So yeah, I can’t do it all. Another reality check. Stay tuned to see how quickly I end up being committed. And if we’re being honest it would probably be me, committing myself. Everything is beautiful don’t worry.

For now though, my biggest focus is on another baby. My stationery business baby. This I can control. And grow. So that when human baby arrives and starts growing on it’s own, whether I like it or not, I did all I can for my business and now we can all figure out how to coexist together. Me and my babies. Being a modern woman is both exciting, liberating, stressful, inspiring, overwhelming and empowering. I have to remind myself of these dynamics everyday because even when the stress and overwhelm take over, I remember that having them is the only way I get everything else.

Below are some images of what’s new in life, love, business and adventure.

Enjoy the apple picking, cider drinking, pumpkin patches, lattes, cupcakes and carvings, the sweaters and the inevitable changes that come with every fall season. Follow along on Instagram for all the updates here in the studio!

Summer 2017 Events & New Products, Hooray!

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This summer I’ve had the chance to try my hand at some more event design, my second love. From time to time I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to assist Paula Woods, owner of 14 & Hudson AND event stylist extraordinaire! Her talent is astounding and it’s always an honor to work by her side. After we complete an event setup, I’ll even sometimes get to explore my second, second love, photography. I really love a lot of things. There’s just not enough time in a day and if there were, I would never stop painting, drawing, designing and taking pictures. I’m pretty sure I’m an antisocial introvert most of the time. I’m not mad about it. Flowers and paint are just more entertaining than humans sometimes (all the time) (sorry not sorry).

So when I do these events, it’s super exciting but also a ton of work. Since I am first and foremost a stationery designer, I always create custom stationery items for every event. Then there’s planning the flowers, ordering the flowers, choosing the vessels, planning an entire table scape and any extra table themes such as a sweets table. Lots and lots of pre planning and pinning and making inspiration boards. I’m not complaining because again, antisocial introvert, this is my crack. The equivalent to a night out, at a wild soiree. The fact that I just used the word “soiree” should really show how much I don’t go out. Back on point, it’s definitely a time consuming endeavor. But one with tons of reward because in the end, it’s a gorgeous and tangible experience. One that you get to live in for a bit, as the guest of honor or just a guest. It’s like stepping inside of a book or a film. It’s not real life. And sometimes we need to leave reality for a bit. To hit refresh and feel different, revived in some way. I aim to bring this feeling to all my clients.

Now all the planning is complete and it’s time to put it to the test. The day of the event. I always have anxiety on this day because so much of the design part, after the planning elements are complete, is intuitive. I make in the moment decisions and have to hope I brought the right prop. I’ve arranged the flowers and packed them up in crates for transportation along with all other decor items. Bubble wrap and boxes and bags and scissors and tape and twine. I think all event stylists/ coordinators have a “tools and stuff” bag, consisting of such random but necessary items. I imagine most of you really don’t understands this concept but I don’t understand engineering so, we all have our strengths. No judgements here.

Below I’ll share a few photos from some summer events that I either coordinated and styled or assisted and styled. All were a blast and I look forward to the next one!

Bridal Shower at 65 On Main in Nyack

Flowers and essentially all details done by Paula! I assisted with day of styling and took the pictures!

Rehearsal Dinner at The Burger Loft in New City, on the outside Patio!

Flowers, Styling, Decor and Photography by yours truly.

New cards in the shop!

More new products on the way soon. Thanks for reading along!

Mother’s Deserve More Than a Day

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The retail calendar is always a few steps ahead of the everyday, regular calendar. Which I have to say is an adjustment for me. I literally have to start thinking about Christmas in a couple of months. So strange. So about 4 weeks ago, I was already in Mother’s Day mode, thinking of card designs and gift ideas for this holiday. I’m going to share a bit of my process here for coming up with new card designs.

Since I like to illustrate a sweet and playful image for a lot of my cards to tell a sort of visual story, step 1 is to do a lot of reflecting and thinking. Especially for Mother’s Day. Now that I’m practically all grown up (most would say I’m totally grown up but I’m trying to be in slight denial about that, so shut up and thank you), I like to look back to my childhood memories. I feel very lucky when I think back because I was raised by a mother who encouraged play time and using your imagination. Mom was always down to set up a craft of some sort and from a very young age I was always excited to make something. Whether it be coloring books and crayons or playing barbies and using stickers to put “art” on the walls of barbie’s house (and apartment which doubled as my closet), bored wasn’t a word I knew. I actually very rarely am bored even now when I’m alone because I learned how to have fun on my own and all I needed was my imagination. And a mom who let me turn my closet into actual living quarters for my inanimate toys. This is a valuable lesson she taught me without even realizing, that I will surely carry through to my children one day.

As I grew older, playtime lessened, naturally and other activities came into the picture. Such as dance. I had danced from age 3-8 as most little girls did and maybe still do. And then we moved and I was afraid to join dance again because I didn’t know anyone. But my mom made me do it and at the time I was SO MAD. Like livid. I definitely didn’t know that word at age 10 but if I did I would have for sure used it. Note to self, don’t teach kids big words too young or they’ll outsmart you and that’s scary as hell. Keep them silly for as long as possible. Within a few short months I was happy to be a part of the dance classes. A wisdom my mom had that I now look back on gratefully.

I could go on and on with positive, healthy memories because growing up my mom made very intuitive choices for her kids. There was a balance between work and play. She was always there to answer a question, assist with homework, help us with the easy bake oven, feed us a well balanced meal, show us how to do laundry, etc etc. I learned it all from my mom, with gentle encouragement and great support. She delicately and without my knowing, taught me to fly right out of the nest, confidently. I am eternally grateful for my childhood. That’s where it all begins after all and when we become adults, those years are the building blocks to how we will proceed on our own, as we should.

I’m sure you all have inspiring and warm memories of your childhoods and can say the same about your moms. Every mom has a style and to each their own. Is there a right or wrong way? I don’t think so. What matters most is that they pass down their knowledge and allow us to build upon what we learn from them. And that’s what I’ve had and have and I’m thankful. 

A few photoshoot shots…

Here is your May Calendar!

Desktop / iPhone

Let’s Brunch

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Spring has sprung. According to the calendar. Mother Nature hasn’t arrived to the party just yet. But I have faith she’ll be here soon with fresh spring blooms and a warm sun. As soon as mid march approaches I start to get really excited for outdoor activities, weekend adventures and summer planning.

The last couple of years I have talked about hiking. Growing up and living in the Hudson valley area you would think I was born with hiking boots on and a great sense of direction but unfortunately, I was blessed with neither of those things. However, I see so many people posting pictures from their hike-scapades (made up word, yes) and I feel envious and inspired. Being in a creative field in the modern day means we designers spend most of our time on a computer. And I love my computer and doing work on it but sometimes I forget what air smells like. Like real air. The outside, straight from a tree, unfiltered air. I live probably fifteen minutes from Hook mountain in the beautiful town of Nyack. I’ve been told it’s a nice beginners hiking ground. I also live 40 minutes from the bear mountain bridge, which brings you across to the even prettier towns of Cold Spring and Beacon where endless hiking trails exist. So really there’s no excuse for me to not have hiked yet. I’m adding it to my page of “goals” in my notes right now.

The outdoor activities I do partake in consist of exploring and eating my way through new towns and cities. I of course and obviously enjoy these adventures accompanied normally by my husband but I also feel refreshed and inspired by them. I’ve noticed lately that a lot of my artwork is inspired by lifestyle and events. Therefore I need to really take advantage this spring, summer and the warm part of fall, to see as much as I can and take lots of pictures to keep me company in my loft while I hermit out aka work for hours on end.

Now one of my all time fave activities when the weather gets nice is to brunch. I think “brunch” should be a verb. Because it is a literal activity. You first go to the place where you will have said brunch. Then you sit down with significant other, friends, mom, sister, whoever. All the while in your mind thinking “I’m brunching.” Even though so far all you did was what one might describe as, meeting someone for a meal, it’s different. You’re mentally preparing to have a brunch cocktail. You’re also gearing up for a brunch meal. And a brunch meal is unlike any other meal. Because there are no rules. You can have standard breakfast items such as eggs and bacon or you can have some really creative concoctions that only a true chef can create like Chocolate Babka French Toast (from Hudson Hills in Cold Spring) with a side of Bellini. Brunch excitement is endless and no one will judge you if you sit at that table for hours. And I mean hours. If you go out to dinner, you’re expected to sit for anywhere between 1-2 hours. And then maybe you move to the bar to extend your evening. But for brunch you can glue your tush to that chair for 3 even 4 hours if you please. Brunch is just a time let me tell you.

So in honor of warm weather being right around the corner, I encourage you to grab your calendars and call your people to plan a brunch. Better yet, if you want to be really cute about it, send them a card and make it a real old school gathering. Make it feel fancy like a private event for just you, your favorite people and lots of food.

Also, incase you didn’t catch on, the above passion I have clearly displayed for brunch is what inspired one of my latest card designs. Like I said, lifestyle and events. And brunch is both a way of life AND an event. Gorgeous.

My FAVORITE Hudson Valley brunch spots:

1. 14 & Hudson : http://www.14andhudson.com * THE SWEET CHILI & BLACK PEPPER WINGS, KALE & QUINOA SALAD

2. Jane’s Cafe : http://www.jane.cafe * THE COFFEE, TEA AND WAFFLES

3. Hudson Hils Cafe & Market : http://www.hudsonhils.com * THE BEEF HASH & EGGS, CHOCOLATE BABKA FRENCH TOAST

4. The Cookery : https://www.thecookeryrestaurant.com *ALWAYS CHANGING, ALWAYS EXCITING

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The Process

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THE STEPHANIE TARA PROCESS

First things first, hey there. Hi, I’m Stephanie, it’s nice to meet you. I think you should get a feel for who I am and how I work. Because let’s be honest, the more we like someone the more we want to work with them, right? To start, I try to convey my most important personality traits via email and over phone calls. Those traits are: organized, knowledgeable, friendly and honest. Just for starters. Once you get a taste of what I’m like, I want you to feel taken care of. My goal is to provide you with all the confidence that I can and will execute your dream wedding suite. This is the part where it’s like trust falls. You just have to fall backwards into my creative hands and trust that I gotchu girl. I will interpret your words, images, flowers and overall story and transfer them to paper. The end product will be one you want to look back on in years to come. Or even the day after your wedding. Whenever you want, really.

Second, I create the proposal. At this point you have seen my work and you know my style. Essentially, you’ve done the window shopping and now you’re ready to come in and buy but you just need to make sure I carry the right size and color. Let’s be frank. If you don’t see anything on my website or etsy shop that catches your eye, you probably don’t want to work with me and that’s okay! It has to be the right fit for both of us. If it’s a match, we have a chat about your wedding theme, colors, etc. I build a proposal based on the items you request, the quantity you desire and I put together an inspiration board with images that you both sent me and I found that tell a story for us to both see the path we’ll be going down before the sketching begins. If all looks good, you sign the contract and send the deposit and vous a la ! We are in business together.

Third, the sketching. Almost immediately I begin sketching your invitation design, rsvp etc. based on all the little details we have discussed thus far and the inspiration board I created that you approved. This phase is only completed once you say, I do. To the sketch.

Fourth, the paint. The sketches are approved and we are moving to the color and painting phase. There are different painting styles we can play with here. Colors are probably already determined based on the inspiration board but there is always room for additions and changes. Same theory here as with the sketches. We keep going until you are happy. Hopefully very happy and so excited. At no additional charge. Ever. The cost is determined up front and there are no surprises.

Fifth, all the components are complete. We love them and everyone’s ecstatic (I hope and pray but also I make sure of it!). Now we print and talk about packaging. This includes ribbon, stamps (vintage or other), envelope color, calligraphy style and ink color, wax seals, etc. I’m always open to new ideas that you may have and I’m here to help find the perfect packaging items. This is something that can and will be discussed from the beginning so that you know it’s part of the deal along the way. And also, so you can be doing some research on your own if you please. It allows time to order any necessary items that may take time to ship.

Sixth, we package and send. For the most part, my brides prefer that I take care of all packaging and sending. It’s less stressful for them and a complete story for me. I do love seeing the project through from beginning to end but of course, the option is there if you’d like to package and/or send yourself. A labor fee is discussed and tacked on but I always say (as do many), time is money. So for you ladies who already have enough to do, as long as your budget allows, it is definitely worth it to have me finish this baby for you. And that’s it, then you get married! I know, it went fast. If there was going to be a seventh step it would be to have fun and enjoy all of this planning. That is half of the excitement.

Below I’ve compiled a few “process” photos to give you a real feel for the experience. Thanks for reading!

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And in the end we have a completed collection! Below is our Spring Blooms 2017 suite 🙂

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Greenery 2017:

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