Hello & welcome to the new journal on my studio website! From this point forward you will find my wallpapers posted here alongside any other art/design focused topics. Sea of Atlas, where you used to snag these from, has been converted into a travel only blog which I hope will still be enjoyed by many! Speaking of travel...we're kicking off the month with a trip to Portugal. I am really excited to be in warm sunny weather and by the beach. It will be a last burst of summer before autumn starts to truly show its face. We are also traveling back to the States later in the month to visit family and friends. It feels like it has been FOREVER since we have been home. It will be a nice time to refresh, reconnect, and enjoy our beloved New England. It feels crazy that these trips are already here along with September but I am very much so welcoming this month in! I wish you all the happiest of months and hope you are getting out to do some of your own end of summer exploring.
August has always signaled that the end of summer is coming near for me. It feels like we hit that mark a few weeks ago here in London though with the cool autumn like weather we have been having. I keep telling Rico that summer is over but we are trying to hold out hope that things will turn around here. Besides focusing on the weather, I've been enjoying our time back in London with a more low key schedule. June and the first half of July were definitely crazy. I thought we had learned our lesson when we did the same thing last year but we couldn't help packing our schedules full with travel itineraries. It's such a wonderful time to travel in Europe. You still miss a lot of the crowds but get some great weather. We will continue to stay put until the end of August when we take a little weekend trip to Ireland. We'll get our last taste of summer in September with a trip to Portugal as well as the States (we're hoping autumn arrives a little late!).
Enjoy the sun and all that comes with it while it last folks! Wishing you all the best for August.
I'm in complete shock that I am writing about July today. June surely flew by! Does anyone else feel this way? Our travel season has been in full swing so I'm a bit all over the place when it comes to dates. We took full advantage of June by starting the month in Switzerland and making our way to Italy and Norway. July will be kicked off in similar fashion—we aren't slowing down just yet! Tomorrow we board a plane to Bosnia where we will hang out for a little before making our way to Croatia (for our third time...we might love it!). After this trip, we'll be hanging out in London until closer to the end of summer. I'm looking forward to the second half of July being about down time and getting back into the groove here. With all my traveling, I've had plenty of time to reflect and think about whats important to me. Seeing new places always unlocks new parts of who I am and helps bring new ideas in. I have some changing and shifting I plan to tackle (and share) soon. For now, I'm just focused on getting to that warm sunshine and spending some time in the ocean.
Happy July my friends! Hope its a good one for you :)
The latest addition to my hand lettered font collection is Montmartre. After our recent Spring trip to Paris where we spent a good amount of time exploring the neighborhood of Montmartre, I felt inspired. While wandering around the quaint streets and cobblestone hills, I was constantly looking around at the hand painted signs, old architecture, and feeling the vibe of this creative hub. After stopping into the Musee of Montmartre (now one of my favorite places on this planet) and viewing the exhibition on films depicting this very neighborhood throughout different time periods, it was clear to me where this trip's font was going to be pulled from. I felt drawn to the old movies— the black and white pictures and classic story lines. It was so clear then that the inspiration I was taking home from this trip was going to be very vintage inspired.
The Montmartre font has that typical 1920s classic feel. It plays with its glamorous side but also keeps things down-to-earth with organic lines unpolished lines. While the typeface has all it's characters from uppercase to lowercase, its a font that really stands out when used in moderation. I would not recommend writing a book with this font—no way! As I was working out in my head how Montmartre would work in the design world, I saw it being able to stand on its own in simple settings. It's strong enough to even work its magic with one character like the bottles or the store sign I've mocked-up. It has a clear style—a strength—that could really tell a story for a brand.
Making fonts has been a new process for me this year and I am really enjoying taking the lettering I've been creating for years after trips and converting it into a typeface for more people to enjoy. I love that it's helping to make handmade—really unique and artfully done—design so much more accessible to all people and budgets. And, of course, there is just something about putting pen to paper to come up with this magical new ways to pull inspiration from places all over the world. There is a zone I get in when I am drawing each of these letters individually. I want that passion and love for the craft to be felt. While these fonts get taken from their handmade beginnings and become digitized, I always make sure to leave their organic quality.
I'm sure there will be many more fonts to come—I feel like I am only just getting started even though I've been working at this all year to build a strong library for all of you to use and create with. There's been a lot of learning along the way so I can make sure these are always the best they can be. Hopefully, these fonts help guide you all to create outside the box and push your branding or to just have fun with it!
Helloooo June—okay, I know I'm a day early! But here's the first month of summer coming right up. I also just want to casually say that it's my birthday month and by default my favorite month of the year. There's always been so much excitement in June with the new (best) season upon us! I can NOT wait for summer to get here but in the meantime, we will be doing lots of traveling to get ourselves out in nature or soak up the warm weather. June's schedule looks absolutely crazy. We start the month off already in Switzerland (hello from the alps!), head to Venice shortly after, then we are off to Norway. In between our own travels, we have a few visitors from the States coming our way—one being my sister! Her visit coincidentally lines up with my birthday so it will be nice to be around family that day.
Before we know it, I will be back here writing about how June flew by and I can't believe July is starring back at me. Time flies during this time of year and honestly, all I want to be doing is swimming which isn't so easy in London. If I am honest, during the downtime in the summer I tend to get a bit homesick. I'm so nostalgic for the classic New England summer with long days by the ocean, trips to the lake, hiking in the white mountains, hanging by my parent's pool, BBQs, ice cream...ahhhh. It is probably the number one thing I miss from home and a driving force to return someday. For now, I have to make sure I remind myself to live in the moment and enjoy the British Summertime. London is at its best this time of year and since we moved so close to a park this past autumn, we are excited to have a boost to our summer lifestyle this time around. It has already proven to be top notch!
Wishing everyone a wonderful June and a warm sunny start to the summer!
Over the past month we have been busy getting into the swing of our travel season. With trips to York, Budapest, and Prague, it has been a good one so far! Life is really picking up pace as the warmer weather surrounds us with its loving arms. Everything seems to have a new found strength pushed into it with obstacles that speak to my word for this year—grit. While I've been continuously challenging myself outside of my comfort zone in different ways, May is starring me back right in the eyes ready to see if I can take it on. I tend to run my business solely online—with coffee meets up when possible of course! But this month I'm stepping outside and will be teaching hand lettering at the Creating for Good Conference as well as setting up a stall in the Primrose Hill Festival for my artwork. I've been working away at prepping for these events and ready to learn some new lessons about the business. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll also have a better understanding of who I am as a creative and overall person after these as well. I'm looking forward to see what new energy these will bring my way!
It's going to be a busy month but in all the best ways possible. From the working these events, plugging through client branding projects, building up the online shop with items like handmade fonts, and exploring my new role as an artist—there's a lot of things going on. In between it all we will continue on with our travel season with a short trip back to Paris and a week long adventure through the Swiss Alps.
Through it all we wish you all nothing but the best for this month ahead! Hopefully the warm and beautiful weather continues to give us all the good vibes we need to enjoy Spring!
This year, one of my goals was to find ways to make handmade design more accessible to everyone. Handmade design has a place in my heart and soul. It's the side of design that I love to be a part of and creating in. The quality of it offers brands and people really unique pieces to help build their look. I find it captivating and am pulled towards its unique ability to draw the eye in. One thing that can be tricky with handmade design though, is its price—and that has aways bothered me. As a designer you have to charge what you are worth—your hours, blood, sweat, and tears. Handmade design is a detailed process that is worth the investment but for businesses or bloggers just starting out, the price can be a make or break.
So, what's the solution here? I hate having turn people away because their budget can't cover what they are after. I believe they deserve access to elements that can get them started on the right foot until they are able to invest further. That's where websites like Creative Market come in. You can find an abundance of goods to help you get up and running. It's also a great spot for so much more. I've found great gems on there like mock-up to help present my work. I'm also seeing bloggers using it more and more to get stock photography or header fonts. I could go on and on about what you can find on the website but the last thing I will say is Creative Market is where you all should be heading to help give projects you are working on an extra boost.
The shop I am building currently contains a selection of handmade fonts and illustrations all done with my own two hands. Each of these products have their own story and creative process that you can read further about by heading over to the shop. Just click the product you are interested below or the shop bottom to make your way there. I am so excited to be able to share these with you all and give you the ability to start making beautiful graphics, logos, wedding invitations, and so much more on your own! If you have any request of fonts you have seen around the blog or in my work, I would be more than happy to hear them! As always—enjoy!
Friends—it's spring, it's spring, it's spring! Can I say that 500 more times? I'm so happy to see the weather getting warmer, the skies more blue and sunny, and the days getting longer. It is making my heart so darn happy! London has been looking good these past couple of weeks. I love when all the trees are in bloom making the streets full of beautiful color and vibrancy. We have lots in store for us this season and right into summer as well. We'll be stepping more into the swing of things traveling to York, Budapest, and Prague this month. I almost had trouble containing my excitement enough to type that. This time of year makes me feel so alive. I love getting away from it all to experience new cultures and adventures. It's amazing to be able to take in so much inspiration and I'm excited to see what comes of it all through some new artwork.
We are also getting closer to the Primrose Hill Festival on the 21st of May where I'll be hanging out selling some of my illustrations and paper goods. I truly hope to see some friendly faces there and meet some new ones as well!
Wishing you all the best of April and spring! Here's to breathing new life into what we do with the changing of seasons and the fresh beginnings!
Coming in with this bright and cheery March desktop wallpaper in hopes that Spring will come sooner rather than later. We have gotten some glimpses of warmer weather here in London lately and it has me aching for that good ol sunshine. I've never been someone to hate the winter—I think it is magical in its own ways—but this winter seems to be extra grey and gloomy. It's especially tough when winter just means months of rain like it does in London. We're holding strong and still getting out when we can to wander around this beautiful city though. It's been a couple months of a more low key life style. Weekends have been spent recharging and gearing up for out travel season that'll be starting oh-so-soon!
We're heading to Riga, Latvia this weekend for one last (hopefully) snowy winter weekend to get our fix. When we return it shouldn't be too long before London is in full Spring mood. I can not wait to have days in the park reading and picnicking. And a recent plan with a friend has me sneaking away to Lisbon later this month to give my summer soul some love. All signs are pointing towards some fresh new beginnings as the plants start to bloom and show their colors.
On another note, I've been selling illustrations and fonts over on The Creative Market this year to make handmade design more assessable to more people. I'll be putting up items like these monthly floral illustrations if anyone wishes to use them in their own projects. I'll have a more detailed post soon about these but I welcome you to hop over and check the shop out!
Wishing you all a happy March!
Back in the early fall I was commissioned to do a travel inspired illustration series. To be asked to do this was one of the best ah-the-world-gets-me moments. Over the past couple of months, I've been sharing a little bit about them on my art Instagram but since I have been getting a lot of inquiries about where to purchase, I figured I would open the book a little further to share my process and to better direct you all. Most of my personal art work revolves around my recent travels or are nature inspired. For me, it's about taking all the information that I am absorbing around me and trying to translate that into something to bring me back to certain moments in time. So when Amy Hayes, founder of The Global Creator, contacted me to be a part of her England collection for the online shop, I could not have been more excited.
Our main reason for moving to London was to be able to travel more freely. We had a longing to get out to see the world and experience life in a new way—to shake things up. We've been enjoying London for two years now. I have so many visuals and all sorts of information whirling around in my head ready to come out on paper whenever the time is right. Travel has become my number one resource for inspiration. After being away in a new country and soaking up a different culture, I can't help but continuously feel transformed. Seeing the different architecture, wandering around the unique city lay-outs, and finding inspiration in different artistic approaches around the world. This series touches upon the key cities that have all won a spot in my heart. It felt good to finally get some of these locations down on paper and translated through my own artistic style.
These are all one-of-a-kind drawings—not prints. So when you head to The Global Creator, know you are purchasing a true piece of art that no one else will have. I believe in this process—one that is about the hands, the texture, the lines. It's not about mass production but connection to the individual piece. Each one was drawn by me on handmade paper. My hope with these drawings is to help connect others back to their favorite travel memories or to stir a little wanderlust up. These drawings show all different angles of these cities—some highlight an icon and others show what you can find when you wander a little further onto a side street or more local neighborhood.
Creating these brought me right back to some of the most amazing memories we have made over the past few years and I hope that they can do that same for others. Traveling is one of the best things we can do during this wild life of ours. It helps us to open our eyes to new cultures, ways of living, and to embrace one another. We all need that in this moment. I'm so thankful to Amy for letting me explore this series and pour out my recent inspirations onto paper.
Happy February—we are officially a month into the new year! For February, I have chosen the Primrose which according to the US is this month's birth flower. It's such a lovely little bloom and I hope that it can help bring some beauty into everyone's lives these days.
Now, I wish I didn't have to start with or dwell on the negatives but January turned out to be a month full of emotions. In ways I am happy to be removed from the situation continuously unfolding in the US but at the same time I feel like I'm in an in-between state since we can't always be physically there. I'm trying to do whatever I can from far away like supporting causes that I believe in to hopefully offset some of what is going on. It feels like it just isn't enough though but I am not sure what is. This is a time that while we all have our individual journeys to keep on track with, we need to put self aside and realize the pain that is happening to others. I wont stand for the cause of that pain and I wont stand by anyone who does. Looking ahead, I can only believe in the power of the people and that positive changes can take place. We have to keep up the good fight.
On a softer note, February always seems to be a slower month which I can't complain about. We won't be traveling until March so it's our last few weekends to really enjoy London before life starts to pick up a bit. There's also a couple of things to celebrate—Valentine's Day and, more noteworthy, February marks eight years since Rico and I first started dating. It's still fun to remember those anniversaries and back to where it all started. I'm lucky to have such a smart guy by my side who is in for this wild ride of life with me. He keeps me sane and I'm sure I'm going to need that in the weeks ahead.
I wish you all nothing but the best this month! Keep sending those good vibes out into the world. It needs them.
Let me start off by saying that I know we are just about two weeks into January—Eek! So, I know this is coming to you a little late but as I was working on the desktop wallpaper for the year, I decided it would be cool to push it even further with a printable calendar. When I was working as a paper goods artist, one of the pieces I really looked forward to designing every year was my small desk calendars. I poured a lot of love into them and they always ended up being my top sellers each year. 2017 felt like the year to spring back into that but with this free version you can print from the comfort of your own home!
Each month has it's own birth flower. With knowing very little about these, I drove right in to do my research on the US and UK versions of the list in order to make a nice mix of the two from flowers that inspired me. To carry out the illustrations, I decided to get back into some brush drawing for the year's calendars. I haven't done much of it since college when I first fell in love with using bamboo brush with ink (Thank you, George Burk). There's something really soothing and freeing about working with brush illustration. It gives a softens and simplicity to the pieces while working with the contrasting light and dark. I think there will be some more of this in my future...
Through growing as an artist, I realized how much of my past work and exploration will continue to creep back in no matter how far I stray from it. With the blog, I find myself continuously reverting back to my paper goods studio to pull inspiration and offer goods in a new form. And, here with the calendar, it came together to morph with my old student work. It's beautiful that parts of our lives can be ever flowing.
I hope you truly enjoy this desk calendar and that it comes in handy many times throughout the year!
1. Download calendar below.
2. Print calendar.
3. Cut in half each way.
Whoa. 2017 is days away folks! So, I'm just jumping on here to say that I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season and is gearing up to bring in 2017 with nothing but love! This past year was quite the year around the world. We all agree on that, right? I think I'm just as ready as everyone else for it to be over so we can make some bigger and better things happen in the new year. While we have some uncertainties ahead of us and are bound for at least a rocky road, I'm hopeful with how many beautifully strong human spirits there are in this world. Let's show 'em what we are made of :)
In lighter news...I'm carrying through with my illustrated desktop wallpapers! I haven't quite decided if I am sticking with this theme BUT this month's wallpaper highlights snow drops, a January flower. I thought it would be fun to tie the illustration further into the month this time around with the seasonal flowers. Let me know what you think and as always, enjoy the month ahead!
Going back to our roots again and offering you all a free printable holiday card! It's time to celebrate life...and drink hot chocolate...and wear knit sweaters. It's the most magical time of the year...
As many of you know, when I began my studio greeting cards used to be my 24/7. There are moments that I miss designing them but these times make up for it when I can jump back in. It gives me the chance to give back to all you lovely people for the support you continuously pour my way. And, nothing quite beats snail mail especially this time of year. I love getting cards from family and friends. It's such a nice sentiment to share with one another. This year for our own cards, I decided to design our own. I'll dive more into that soon on here but for now these ones are for you!
The holidays are here—December is just about here! Christmas music has already been blasting non-stop in our home. We got our tree last week and also put up some garland and lights around the flat to make the it all feel extra festive. I absolutely love this time of year! This month we have a full schedule of holiday festivities before we head home to spend time with our families. We kicked off the fun over the weekend while we enjoyed the Primrose Hill Christmas Festival and this weekend we are heading to Alsace to wander through the holiday markets. Other plans involve ice skating at the Somerset House, celebrating with friends, and finally seeing what Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is all about. It's going to be a good month and we plan to fully soak every second of it in. It will be over before we know it.
We hope you are all enjoying the holiday cheer! Wishing you all the best :)
It's was a busy spring and summer in the studio working on all different projects from custom lettering to wedding invitations. I have been doing some serious slacking in sharing my work on here as each are finished. It's always fun to be able to walk you through more of my process as an artist so I have truly missed doing so. The best intentions have always been there but have unfortunately slipped through the cracks. As the year is coming to a close, I've set the goal for myself to pick this back up and welcome you all back into the studio to see more of what goes on in that side of the business.
One of the more inspirational projects I worked on during the summer was designing and creating a custom Rupi Kaur piece for a client's home and a couple extras for her to pass along on as gifts. The poem is so empowering and inspirational so it was very important not to overwhelm the words with too much distraction. The lettering was kept nice and simple. As we went through options for the lettering, we ultimately landed on a style that was a variation created and based off my normal hand writing to keep the emotion of the poem raw. Having the lettering stay in a more organic form brought a personal voice to the words as if they were being spoken directly the reader or written in a letter.
On the bottom of the pieces, I put my own twist on the mountain illustrations that Rupi Kaur uses as a representation in her book, Milk & Honey, to sit along side the poem. Strong, towering, powerful mountains connect so well to the words written by Rupi Kaur. Not only do mountains represent that strength but together as a mountain range, it shows the power of a community lifting each other up. I wanted to do it the justice it deserved. Talking with my client, we knew it wasn't right to make it frilly or focus on the beauty. That would contradict what these words represent, lifting woman up for their intelligence and strength.
All together, it was relatively simple process. I worked with my client on a few rounds of rough sketches with different options and edits. The completed final drawing was done on a handmade soft off-white paper (my favorite). Lettering and illustration for the piece was created with a good ol' micron pen to supply a strong contrast to the paper and make it easy for the readers/viewers to be captivated by the words.
I love projects like this. Ones that represent something so much greater than just putting pen to paper. Getting to work on a piece that meant something to someone—to many people—and have it represent such an important message is a really unique opportunity that I am very thankful for.
Fall is in full swing and here we are just about ready to flip our calendars to November. I'm honestly in shock. October absolutely flew by! It was jam packed for us with our move and a trip to Lisbon. This month is a little more low key though with just a short weekend in Paris. We will see if we manage to keep it that way—ha. We're looking forward to more time here in this city with its beautiful bright leaves taking on their autumn colors and having time to catch up with friends. We plan to jump right into that this weekend as we celebrate Bonfire Night with a little get together amongst friends in our new flat. With all the firework displays taking place around the city, we've heard that Primrose Hill is the perfect viewpoint. I'll be hoping all week that it's a clear beautiful night! Lastly, at the end of the month my in-laws will be coming to London to spend some time together before we all head to Alsace in December.
Though with all this said, I will always miss Thanksgiving while we are here. It was the number one event to look forward to in November while we were still in the States. Eating good comfort food all day with the ones you love—yes please. Maybe this just means it's really okay to start getting in the Christmas spirit early...maybe? right? I might just have to give myself permission.
Wishing you all a very lovely November!
It's...October tomorrow. How the heck did that happen?
The past month has been crazy for us. Between traveling and working, we had some unexpected real life situations going on to figure out. We'll be talking about some of those changes here on the blog soon. I also want to take this time to say that we have a bunch of travel posts coming your way in the next couple months. My hope was to stay more on top of things this year so you could get recaps soon after we returned back from each trip but we've fallen a bit behind. Though I will say it isn't nearly as bad as last year when we were still posting summer travels in March—basically catching up just in time to begin our 2016 travel season. Yikes!
We've also added a few more trips into our schedule before the year ends! As if we weren't crazy enough—ha. We'll be heading to Lisbon, Portugal this month for a weekend of warm weather and wandering. Then in November we're going back to Paris to finally get up on the Eiffel Tower and also enjoy some more low key parts of the city. And, as we noted in our 2016 travel schedule, we'll take a trip to Alsace to spend time with family and get in the Christmas spirit wandering around the festive small towns and markets. Recommendations for each of these spots are very welcomed!
We're looking forward to what is ahead for us this month and the ones to follow! Hope you all are enjoying the new fresh autumn season and getting plenty of apple picking in. Sending nothing but love as usual!
The Tiny Canal Cottage motto: "you don't have to live large to live beautifully." Owned by Whitney Leigh Morris and Adam Winkleman, the 1924 Craftsman-style home located in the Venice Beach Canals of California is 362 square feet full of love and absolutely stunning design. While the two call the cottage home, they also rent it out for shoots, commercial & editorial content creation, and product styling. And, you can totally see why!
The couple just recently revealed the nursery for their little babe on the way. And I must say that they truly worked their magic once again to show us all that their motto is nothing but the truth. The exciting part for me—my Peace Leavesdrawing found its way into the nook! Whitney and I connected a few years ago when I was just starting out. She is someone I look up to immensely and has always been a huge source of inspiration. Her impeccable taste makes it quite the honor to see my work make it into their beautiful home!
A lovely thanks to Whitney for the support! And a very happy congratulations and best wishes to the Mom and Dad to be! That little one is so lucky to constantly be surrounded by such a cherished home.
You may have noticed things around here have been a little quiet. Let me just start by saying, you can't plan for everything and life can throw some real curveballs at you. At the beginning of August, we took a trip home to visit our families. During this time we lost a very important person to us, Noni (Rico's Grandmother). While it was very sad to loose her, we were happy to see her on her last day and be with our family during a hard time. This meant our schedules got shifted around to the point that they were no longer recognizable from our original plan. I would have contorted the heck out the schedule even more if I needed to. All that mattered in that moment was being close to everyone to share support and love each other.
With all that said, the blog had to take a back seat. I had some blog posts scheduled to run during this time but once those were done, the silence began. We're in another busy time in life and I had to prioritize my client work. We eventually returned to London from the States on the 25th and were already off traveling to Bratislava on the 27th. We got back to London again on Tuesday and are now preparing for another—longer—trip to Austria that kicks off this Saturday. Life is definitely taking us for a spin these days but some of this is our choice of course. This is the life we have chosen for these years we are in London. But that doesn't make it any easier when tough situations arise.
As I said earlier, you can't plan for everything, but what you can do is to do the best to keep rolling with what you can and remember to focus on what is important. Times like these are always telling. They help us see our own strengths and weaknesses. They show us who is there for us during the low points. And they put everything into perspective. A rush of clarity. There so much shifting and changing in our lives right now (we will fill you in on more later) so its good to have the drive continue to make a more positive, clear, beautiful life together.
While its hectic this week, we're keeping our glasses half full and counting down the days until we're in the fresh alpine air enjoying nature with each other.