Notebook Sketches: December 2015

 Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

 Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

 Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

 Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

 Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

 Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

 Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

 Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

 Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

2016 Pantone Colors of The Year: Rose Quartz & Serenity

The time of year that every design geek waits for each year has come. Pantone released the color—no...wait for it—colors of the year. That's right. For the first time ever, the authority on color have chosen two colors to represent 2016:

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.
Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.

Pantone states that the two colors are "reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace." That is poetry to my ears but what is even better is the reason why the company chose the two colors. On their website, they express the background for the color choice was because "societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage." Now that is empowering and something that we can all get behind.

To honor this very special moment, I've chosen some select pins to share with you all for inspiration on incorporating these colors into your work and every day life.

I'm a fan of earth tones and neutrals so I found myself drawn to more soft and vintage uses of the colors. Rose Quartz and Serenity give that pop of color without being overbearingly loud and help to create a soothing space. Having them play with harsher lines or textured fabric brings out the beautiful dynamics of the shades. These two colors are sure to make there way into my designer toolbox over the next year. I can already picture how beautiful they will be on wedding invitation suites—totally swooning, always dreaming.

Read more about the colors of the year on Pantone's website here.

Desktop Wallpaper: December 2015 Calendar

Throughout the year as I sat down at my desk each month to write these posts for our desktop wallpaper, I've be continuously baffled that another month as gone by. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, whoosh—whatever saying you want to say or noise you want to make—the year is almost over. So here we are looking at December, the last month of the year, waving hello to us. How did you get here December? The past 12 months were packed full and life is looking oh so good my friends. We hope it has been the same for you and that you all have a cozy month ahead planned. My one piece of advice, create as many gatherings as possible to spend time with your loved ones. When you have to spend months and months missing people like we do, you learn how important everyone is in your life and what this time of year is truly about. Life can be crazy busy so it's nice to have reminders to slow down, reconnect, share stories from the year, and be present with love to give.

Notebook Sketches: November 2015

 Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

 Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

 Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

 Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

 Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

 Monday, November 16, 2017

Monday, November 16, 2017

 Monday, November 23, 2017

Monday, November 23, 2017

 Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

 Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Without...Thanksgiving

For the first time ever, we are away from all our loved ones for Thanksgiving. We've put ourselves outside of the country and are living where Thanksgiving doesn't exist—the horror! While I am directing my energy into positive directions—like working to build new traditions this time of year—I still can't help but feel sad about what we will be missing out on during these next few years while we continue to live abroad in London. I wont be helping my Mom make the stuffing passed down from my Grandmother—pulling apart the bread for her with my sister competing to see who will finish their loaf first. We wont watch my Dad mash the potatoes and squash like a mad man. We wont be hoping on the train to East Boston for soup at Rico's Noni or overeating ourselves with the massive amounts of food flowing out from her kitchen through the hands of everyone around the tables.

It feels odd. We are so far removed from it all this year that we keep forgetting that everyone is preparing and planning for the big day, just about ready to dive into a delicious feast full of so much love.

Living in London feels like a whole different world. When we went back home a few months ago, I felt as if I were living a double life. Being back in New England, it was as if London wasn't real and when we are here in London, its like our old New England home doesn't exist. We miss so much when we are here in London and the most painful thing to miss is people. I could continue dwell on but I know that being away will only strengthen my relationships when we return. We now know what it feels like to be so far away from everyone (absence makes the heart grow founder, right!?) and we know that that's not something we want to feel forever. So this year as we reflect back, we're focusing on what we are thankful for on such a deeper level than we ever had before, with a greater understanding of what's important in life, and for a clearer vision to what we want our future to embody.

Being so far away from everyone since February has only made us realize the amount of love we have for our family. Through the good and the bad, we are always there for each other and the distance does not change that. We are so thankful for their support and love during our adventure abroad, for understanding why we are here and loving us for that. No matter how far apart we are, we always there for one another even if it means late night Facetime sessions to make sure our times line up. Family has never meant so much to us as it does now and we are grateful that we both come from loving ones. They have helped make us the people we are today and what we look forward to the most in the future, is living right nearby so we never have to miss them again!

And by home we mean New England. Rico and I always have said that we will settle in New England but now I think we can say that with no doubt in our minds. We are thankful that our parents raised us in such a beautiful area and that one day we will all be back in New England once again. We dream of the lakes, mountains, and beaches. The small ocean towns with welcoming people. The sense of familiarity. New England has taught us to love the outdoors and be tough adventurers that we have come to be. When we return, we will be fully ready to start the next chapter in life and preparing for a positive loving future together. A sense of home sits deep in my heart and I can't help but long for the days that home is home again.


With lots of bouts, scares, and losses this past year, I think we can loudly say that we are grateful first for the health of our loved ones and second for our own health. Without our health—mental and physical—we can feel lost and stifled. We are thankful that we are all living, breathing, and happy, continuously working hard to be our best selves with the support and love from one another. We are thankful that everyone was healthy enough to enjoy a family trip to France back at the end of the summer. We are thankful that we have been able to travel so much without anything but a cold here and there. And we continue to pray that each of our healthy bodies stay strong and that we may all take as many adventures next year as possible—separate and together!

To our old friends back home and our new friends we have made here. They sure make life a wild ride and we are so grateful to have each and everyone of them in our lives. We treat our friends like family and without their support, encouragement, and love, we wouldn't be the people we are today. We couldn't be prouder of the group we have chosen to surround ourselves with—each of them chasing their dreams and making wonderful things happen in life. They say surround yourself with people that push you to be the best you can be and I can without doubt say we are doing just that! Sending so much love to you all right now!

I've saved this one for last for a reason. London and I have a love hate relationship but when I reflect back there is a strong sense of love beating out of my heart for this city. Without it we wouldn't be who we are today. While we have had our fair share of ups, it has such a special place in my heart and it has taught us so much. We have only strengthened as individuals and as a couple being here as we worked through this big life change. There are things you just can't learn and wont know until you experience living in a city let alone such a large and multicultural city. I feel brave and empowered from living here and I know I will miss this city when we do chose to leave. It has given us a life of adventure and the most amazing travel base to see the world from. London, you've guided us in the most beautiful direction in life and I am forever thankful for that.

Tonight we will be making mashed potatoes and stuffing to celebrate Thanksgiving with one another and my sister will be Facetiming us in so we can watch the parade together (and maybe the dog show too, okay!). This is our new sense of home. For now. And it is beautiful in its own way. This weekend we look forward to heading to a fellow expat friend's flat to have a true Thanksgiving—friendsgiving style. So here's to new traditions and memories that are sure to last! I guess it's not a Thanksgiving without Thanksgiving after all :)

What are you most thankful for?
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
Share with us! We would love hear why and how you are celebrating this year!

Makers for Makers: Jonesing For Jewelry

I stumbled upon Jonesing For Jewelry some time ago on instagram. Carin's feed is filled with her stunning unique handmade jewelry. The pictures instantly drew my attention with their earthy presence and the clear passion being shown behind the craft. It was a pleasure to dig further into Carin's background and hear her thoughts about being a true artist. Her heart beautifully shouts that she is focused on her individual journey as a maker and encourages others to take control of their own path to see where it may lead. You just never know, right!? That's the best part of living a creative life—It's never dull.

Have a read and I promise by the end, you will feel inspired by her art and empowered by her words. Enjoy!


Jonesing for Jewelry is store front in which I share my art. I am on a journey to find my true artistic self and voice. What becomes of the process, I put into the shop and share with the world. I am first an artist and second a business owner.


Look, I've always been a maker. It's who I am to the core. For years, I struggled against the urge to make full time, driven by money and societal pressures. 

Although I didn't decide to be an artist, I did decide to bring the shop to life and share my work with the world. Both in hopes of giving myself an broader outlet, and supporting my work and life financially so I could go deeper into the field. 

I suppose ultimately, the urge to create just got too strong to resist anymore. My unhappiness in a 9-5 "normal" job grew. I was eventually lucky enough to have everything align for me in my life which allowed me to explore the option of opening the shop.


I'm just really committed to my craft. I'm learning everyday. Passionately struggling to find who I am as an artist and what I what I want my life to look like. Those values, drive business decisions on a daily basis. 

It also means I like supporting artists, makers, and farmers alike directly. I suppose I'm a sap for the underdog. My work is the "farm to table"  of the jewelry world. None of my work is anything but my own.  Plus, I'm the marketer, the social media expert, the model, the photographer and the accountant. 

Over the past year people keep advising me that I should be running it more like a business, and less like an art. I should learn Quick Books, I should hire an intern, and I should use a 3rd party to cast my designs in bulk and sell them wholesale everywhere. I politely deny their offerings, and instead dream becoming even more "farm to table." I dream about digging up my own stones, cutting and cabbing them, poring my own silver ingots from scrap and rolling them into the sheets and wires I need. There is something so lovely and utterly magical about focusing on the art and having the business aspect a side note. From my hands to yours that is what I'm about.


My biggest obstacle is myself. Always has been, always will be. I am the limiting factor to all of it. Not just the ideas I come up with, but the quality to which I product them, and the quantity in which I am cable of making. 

Jonesing for Jewelry is figuring myself out. Not just building physical skills, but also figuring out who I am as a creative being and how that also translates into a career. Because the art comes first and foremost, the business will always come second. 

My biggest challenges were learning how to be a creative & business person. The 2 seemed polar opposite, but somehow I've learned to combine them harmoniously. 

However, sometimes I find that I swing too far to the creative side. I become a hobbit and rarely leave the studio. I'll take a few days to answer emails and stop all social marketing. But when I emerge from the studio, my cup of work is overflowing. The ideas are solid, and I am the happiest.

Other times I shift out of balance the other direction. I focus on more pedestrian work. I find the stuff I churn out when I'm in that state of mind is more generic. I seem focused more on how it will be received rather than what I feel in my hear of hearts needs to be created. 

This however I don't believe this is solely a struggle in the beginning years, I think any working artists struggles with this regularly throughout their life. 

I suppose my biggest beginning obstacle was allowing myself to be a working maker. To take myself seriously as an artist. To believe I had all that it took, and be ok with the choice to follow a less worn path. I always felt a sense of shame when I talked about quitting my day job. Like I wouldn't be doing my civic duty, or my life long work wouldn't be important enough. I felt the pressure of society to do something "meaningful": become a doctor, save animals from going extinct, or at least make good money. 

Ultimately for years, even up until recently, I have justified my work with myself and my family by saying it allows me to stay at home with my son. Look at that last sentence, from just an ever so slightly different angle, and I'm saying "I'm first a stay at home mom that has a side hobby crafting." It's as though the art isn't enough to justify itself. How sad is that? 

I will not deny, I love that the career allows me to be the best mom I can be. It is absolutely a benefit, but offspring or not, being a creative maker is enough. It is important. I am fulfilling my civic duty to the community around me. Understanding that has been my biggest hurdle.


Oh, I absolutely have lots of mentors. We all should. I have mentors in every aspect of life. Watching people, observing and noting what they excel at, and bringing those elements into your life is how we evolve as a species.

My aunt and uncle are the best of parents.
My grandfather is incredibly wise.
My father is the hardest worker, and will never, ever let anyone tell him what to do.
Artists all around me who have gone before and bravely chose this creative life.

We need those people to draft off of, to make ourselves, myself a better person.


Well, undoubtedly this is the best part of a creative life. There is no typical.  While attempting to work your average 9-5, I learned something significant about myself. 

I am the hardest, most passionate worker when there is work I deem meaningful to get done. I don't care what the job is, it could be art work, or it could be setting up for a garage sale. Once I find the work meaningful I will do it. 

I will do it early in the morning.
I will do it late at night.
I will work 12 hours on end with no breaks....

but, if I find the work pointless. If I think it's "paper pushing for paper pushing sake," I will fight tooth & nail not to do it.

The best part about my work is that when there is work to be done I am there. Up early, all nighters... The unions would be furious. However, when there isn't work to be done, I am as far away as possible even if it's "business hours." 

I don't have to stay just because I should, or my boss says I have to. No, if there isn't work to be done, my husband and I have lunch dates. When there is a sun break, I take my dogs on a walk or to the park. I get to pick my son up from school, I get to go on field trips.

No routine is my routine. 


It's fulfilling in a way nothing else is. I am convinced that I was born to be an artist. Fitting myself into a confining job just wouldn't work for me. 


I would tell them, you get to design your life.
You get to make the choices.
What do you want your life to look like? 

Maybe you're creative, but not business minded.
Maybe you're business minded, but not super creative.

If you are one of the few who are both, do you also have the drive? Because without a doubt your commitment to the work will be tested. 

If so, do it with great passion. Make to your hearts content and then some. Strive to be better than the day before. Leave your mark on this temporary, beautiful place. 


website   |   shop   |   blog   |   facebook   |   twitter   |   instagram

**All images and video courtesy of Jonesing For Jewelry**

Hand Lettered: Never Give Up

Makers for Makers: The Wild Standard

 Photo: Ellie Koleen

Photo: Ellie Koleen

Linsey and Tara are the hard working creative duo behind The Wild Standard producing high quality handmade flags that are guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. That's how I discovered them at least. The flags are simple, natural, and just down right stunning. Linsey and Tara's passion shines through in each stitch. And, let me hit you with a surprise, while the two own the company together, they are separated by many many miles. Drive those miles and you've found yourself halfway across the States.

The two empowering ladies make it work and they are totally killin' it. There are a lot of wonderful handmade products out there from greetings cards to tote bags, but let's be honest, some stand far out from the crowd. And these flags are standing 1,000+ miles ahead of the crowd. So basically Linsey and Tara have taken the miles separating them in their long distance business partnership and used them to get ahead. (Maybe they are onto something here...)

There is no doubt that Linsey and Tara are bold creatives and daring adventurers so we couldn't resist sharing their story here with you. It's worth a listen.


Linsey Metcalf: Hmmm, well, little known fact about us, WS was started up by myself and Tara and we live and work half way across the states from one another. She is in Texas and I am in California. It makes for a lot of late night phone chats and texts but we make it work. I tend to handle business and creative and Tara manages and produces each flag we make: materials, stitching and shipping. We also have a shop dog, Babe, who routinely gets buried in fabric.

 Photo: Grace Adams

Photo: Grace Adams


Linsey: I think with a lot of our story, we have to give thanks to our friend Phil Sanders. A few years prior to our start, Tara and I had tossed around the idea of collaborating but never found the opportunity with our schedules. Back last July, Phil called me up and asked if I wanted to make a couple flags for Foster, his creative co-working space he was starting up in Atlanta. I began to work up the art and pull materials together and at that point I called up Tara and asked her if she wanted to join in and stitch this thing up for me. She and I finalized all the details, went through a couple prototypes and finally landed on the flag we have today. Our flag in Atlanta had great reception and Tara and I had a great time and worked well together, so we thought we’d give flagmaking a stab. From there we formed The Wild Standard and officially launched last October.

 Photo: Christian Rudman

Photo: Christian Rudman


Tara Bauerschlag: I think keeping our friendship the most important, that’s how we started; I would never want business to overshadow any part of what brought us together initially. You always hear stories of people fighting in partnerships, but we make decisions together. We are conscious of each others feelings’, thoughts. We balance each other well, the core of our business is balance, and we keep that in the forefront of everything we do.

Linsey: Yeah, having our company created out of a friendship, I think a lot of our internal goals are about valuing friendship over work, or personal goals. Take care of one another and communicate, especially since we can’t work together in the same room, or even state for that matter. We want to enjoy our work and make a quality product that we are proud of.

 Photo: Grace Adams

Photo: Grace Adams


Tara: The fact that Linsey had to move across the country the week that our business was launching made it slightly hectic to try to find a sweet spot for scheduling when we would make decisions. You never realize how difficult it is to be long distance until you have to make decisions and you aren’t able to go to someone’s house and hash out the details in person.

So during our conference calls and periods of being able to physically work together we try to get as much work done as we can. Even though half of that time is spent eating pizza and talking about boys. And sending each other gifs.

 Photo: Ellie Koleen

Photo: Ellie Koleen


Linsey: I often find it difficult to attribute one individual. I tend to find that my life is made up of the influences of so many different people. And as far as makers, a couple personal favorites are Dana Tanamachi-Williams and Christian Watson of 1924us.

Tara: Right now I really enjoy Allison Kunath’s work; she’s the one I’m following closely. Sophie Roach is a great one, she always gets me stoked. And Powwow World Wide; they’re a collective centered around street artists’ work. It’s amazing to see them collaborate to decorate an entire city. Really, anyone pursuing their passion to create something authentic, original, and with their own hands is always inspiring to me.

 Photo: The Happy Hunters

Photo: The Happy Hunters


Tara: Day job first, when I get home I give myself an hour to decompress, and then I start working on Wild Standard. And I keep that going until I can’t see straight. Thankfully I have a lovely man to make me dinner most nights.

Linsey: Ha, right, first the day job. If it is a Monday, Tara and I will typically hop on the phone after work and chat thru our details from the previous week and what is coming up that week. Any other night I might respond to emails, work up files for our printers or draw up custom art for folks OR hang on the back porch with my friends. I’m lucky enough to live next door to some of my closest friends, so good people are never far.


Linsey: Meeting new people has been one of the most enjoyable aspects that I didn’t expect. We get to make the most wonderful internet friends thru social media. Sometimes they will come thru town and we will get to hang and other times we just get to support them from afar.

Tara: Freedom of creativity, true collaboration with someone. The decision to own my own business is probably the best decision I could have ever made.


Linsey: Find a good team to work with. Do what you love. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.

Tara: Just know, you will never be prepared. Be realistic. Be able to say no. Under promise, over deliver.


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**All images courtesy of The Wild Standard unless noted otherwise**

It's Auction Time: Ocean Blue Painting Series

Over the summer, I made the commitment to myself to get back into painting. After a few trips that involved the ocean, I felt a particularly strong calling to it and its meaning in my life. The strokes in the paintings all reflect the movement of the ocean. If you think about the way water acts and flows, it is much like the way life works. There are calm points and rough points. Sometimes two elements crash into one another. Things drift and comes back. I find a sense of peace in relating my work and life to the sea.

When I look out into the ocean, one word has recently jumped out in my mind over and over again—connection. There is so much connection involved in the sea: person to person, place to place, our body and our minds, our spirit to the earth. I think about how this one large body of water touches the coasts of countries all over the world. The ocean brings us all together as one living and breathing earth. As I stand on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, my family stands on the other. Our spirits are carried through the waves and our bodies move with it. The ocean, and water in general, is a symbol of wholeness—an element in life that brings us all back to a natural, refreshing state.

There is simplicity in finding inspiration in the ocean. Anyone who grew up near the coast knows its powers. It has a way of healing the soul and making you feel refreshed. For me, my five senses feel alive by the sea. The light glistens on the deep blue surface, the air smells and taste of salt, there’s the sound of the waves hitting the shore and the birds circling above, the sands slightly indents from our movements as we walk alongside the changing tides, and we feel our bodies floating, carried along with the waves. And even when we get home, we can still feel the water moving our bodies. My favorite feeling is going to bed after a long day at the beach. You close your eyes, feel like you are still in the ocean, and relax to the rocking of the waves. And like that movement that follows me back home, I allowed the inspiration from the ocean to come back with me into my studio when creating the Ocean Blue series. It comes from a place deep in my soul.

These paintings have helped me transform back into the artist I once was and allow my artistic roots to shine through. They proved to me that you can take these leaps and push yourself to be better, to work harder, to create out of passion and love. It is important to me that while I have such a strong connect to this series, that they go to homes that not only call for the ocean like I do, but also I want them to hang as a reminder of what we are capable in life. We are all here for a purpose and whatever that purpose may be, strive to make it a good life. So with that said, we are happy to announce that we are hosting an Instagram Auction starting tomorrow and ending Saturday highlighting the four remaining pieces we have from the series.



We have a total four paintings from the series that we will be auctioning off. All were painted by me (Brittany Fabello) using acrylic paint on natural canvas. Each painting is unique and we have details for each below matched up with a picture of the painting so you can know exactly what you are bidding on.


We will be kicking off this auction on Tuesday, 2 November 2015. Each day at 3:00pm GMT (10:00am EST) a new painting will be revealed going from smallest to largest of the series. Bidding will continue on every painting until Saturday, 7 November 2015 at 3:00pm GMT. This means some paintings will have a long open bid time, and others will have only a day so be quick to stay on the painting your heart is after!


Bidding is open to US, EU, and Canadian residents. Once the bid is open, you will comment under the picture of your desired painting with your bid and email. We ask that everyone bid in increments of $5.00. If you are not the first bidder, you must tag the last bidder in your comment so they know they have been outbid. Examples:

FIRST BIDDER: "seaofatlas $25"

FOLLOWING BIDDERS:  "brittfabello @seaofatlas $30"

Once the bidding is closed, we will announce all the winners by the end of the day on Saturday, 7 November. On Monday, 9 November 2015, we will be in touch through the provided email with details. Shipping will be free and all final invoices must be paid via Etsy or PayPal.



+ Created in London, UK in July of 2015
+ 40 x 40 cm (15.5 x 15.5 in)
+ Stretched 100% natural linen canvas
+ Deep 38 mm edge (1.5 in)

Starting bid $75 (Originally $460)



+ Created in London, UK in July of 2015
+ 50 x 70 cm (19.6 x 27.5 in)
+ Stretched 100% natural linen canvas
+ Deep 38 mm edge (1.5 in)

Starting bid $100 (Originally $618)



+ Created in London, UK in July of 2015
+ 60 x 90 cm (23.6 x 35.4 in)
+ Stretched 100% natural linen canvas
+ Deep 38 mm edge (1.5 in)

Starting bid $125 (Originally $773)



+ Created in London, UK in July of 2015
+ 60 x 90 cm (23.6 x 35.4 in)
+ Stretched 100% natural linen canvas
+ Deep 38 mm edge (1.5 in)

Starting bid $125 (Originally $773)

Please join us on Tuesday, 3 November 2015 at 3:00pm GMT (10:00 EST), for our Ocean Blue Painting Series Auction. We are excited to get this rolling and have you all there to share the love of the ocean with us!

Desktop Wallpaper: November 2015 Calendar

November is here. Fall weather is starting to feel normal. Its getting darker earlier. Sweaters and flannel have control over outfit choices. The leaves are hanging on just a little. We can't help but want to cozy up near a fire, wear soft warm socks, and be around loved ones. Our minds are starting to let the holiday spirit take over. Have I covered everything?

Normally around this time, we would be counting the days until seeing family and enjoying a big Thanksgiving feast but living in London, we wont be around to pass the gravy at the table. Lucky for us, we have some fellow expat friends hosting a friendsgiving the weekend after so we will be able to get our taste of Thanksgiving. Though we may not have our normal traditions being so far away from were we grew up, we are making sure we make our own so that our years here feel special. Maybe some will even stick and we can carry them back to the US with us when that time comes.

We hope you all are enjoying fall and continue your season with love and tradition!

Design: Allison & Christopher's Nautical Wedding Invitations

Allison and Christopher's wedding stationery was nautical themed from front to back, start to finish. Their save the date was simple with a classic play off of a knot as part of the copy to keep it light and casual. And lastly, the design was topped off with a simple line drawing of an anchor because some times you can't do a nautical theme without one.

As we moved on to their wedding invitation suite, we classed it up some to play with the importance of the event but ultimately kept it—what I like to call—sophisticated playful. I used swirling waves and a sailboat as the main illustration element which was then used on other pieces including their programs and escort cards.

To complete the suite, the invites were bundled together with a natural string and a monogrammed tag. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to do a triangle as it brought together the sail and flag shapes that were being created on the invite and the RSVP card.

Allison and Christopher were clients that knew exactly what they wanted. It was clear and direct making it easy to create a suite that fit their needs for their big day. I am so thankful they included my designs and art into such a special event in their lives.

Brittany worked with us over a period of almost nine months as she prepped numerous pieces of our wedding stationery. She worked with us to design a beautiful save the date, invitation (and reply card), cover art for our wedding ceremony bulletin, as well as escort cards for our reception. Through each step in the process she was quick with responses and always professional. We had many guests compliment us on our stationery throughout the entire process. We were more than happy to tell them where the items had come from and how much we loved working with Brittany. Everything arrived to us in a timely manner, despite her being in London and us being in Cambridge, MA. We began ordering cards from Brittany a couple years ago, and working with her for our wedding seemed only logical. Her prices were extremely reasonable and her knowledge of paper products (envelopes, string, paper weight, etc.) was evident every step of the way. We only wish that we had other large events coming up that necessitated stationery so that we could work with her again. We also have admired the work that she has done for other couples that we know, and we will be sure to recommend her to friends getting married in the future.
— Allison & Christopher Thayer, Bride & Groom

Design: Shannon & Andrew's Calligraphy Wedding Stationery Suite

Shannon and Andrew's stationery was very special to me as they are close friends of mine and I wanted it to speak directly to who they are—classy, sophisticated, and fun loving. We began with their save the dates, pulling inspiration from modern calligraphy and Monet's Haystacks. Keeping them black and white allowed them to be elegant while we pulled in a more organic textured paper to be sure to display that softer romantic feel.

A few months later, we began working on what their wedding invitations would look like. We thought sticking with the feel of calligraphy would help tie the two pieces together so I decided it was time to actually learn real calligraphy. I have used the pen and ink medium before for a drawing style I was trying out during my college years. Never had I actually done calligraphy with it though. I spent a lot of time practicing to feel comfortable and strong enough to pull through on these invites. Honestly, it was a moment I was really proud of myself for pushing my comforts and limits to try something new. It paid off. I now have such a love for calligraphy and have done a few more projects since that involve the medium expanding my hand lettering styles.

Besides the calligraphy, the invites included small decorative elements and were printed on a creamy colored acquerello paper to add another layer to the design with a great clean texture. To finish off the bundle, we wrapped them in the belly band displaying their custom monogram.

As their day was getting closer, we decided to create some more designed pieces for the ceremony and reception. My favorite piece to work on in their suite was the program. I loved being able to illustrate a place—the Trinity College Chapel—that meant so much to them already and would now gain a whole new meaning to them after their wedding.

For the cocktail hour and reception, we created some signs and menus that once again combined the calligraphy and the sans serif style font that we had been using in other pieces like the save the dates and the program. Having those two different visual elements, really made the calligraphy and the illustrations pop.

I really loved Andrew and Shannon's vision for their big day. They nailed the idea and style that they were going for since it was so clearly them; they weren't trying to be something they weren't and allowed their natural style to come through. It means so much to me to get to be part of peoples lives in this way. To help them celebrate their love and families coming together. I am so thankful for that.

Working with Brittany was my favorite part of the wedding planning! She really took the time to understand the style of our wedding, our tastes, and personalities, which clearly showed in the final product. She was incredibly responsive to feedback—both with the design and the turn around time. She really kept us on track, too, knowing which projects to focus on earlier vs. closer to the wedding date. She also helped us keep our projects within our budget, with tips on where we should splurge on paper and where we could save.

We could not have been happier with our entire suite. The handwritten details really made our wedding feel like OUR wedding. We will be framing our invites and ceremony cover and enjoying them for years to come. Thank you, Brit!
— Shannon & Andrew Page, Bride & Groom

Collaboration: Simple Stamp Branding With Sea of Atlas & Lumi

Shortly after our new Sea of Atlas logo reveal on social media, Lumi reached out to do a fun collaboration. Our whole branding journey has been eye opening and truly directly from our souls so we were anxious to test out our new logo using their custom rubber stamp! The Lumi team was so easy to work with and quick to deliver. I have already been using my stamp on all sorts of items, especially when we ship products out from our shop. It is so nice to be able to just grab the stamp and easily brand all our packaging—envelopes, cotton bags, mailers, etc. I keep dreaming up all sorts of ideas on what else I can use it on and it feels endless. You'll probably see me walking around the city with stamps all over my body soon.

When working with our branding clients I always stress how important the logo is to a company. It is not just something that should look good; it should evoke emotion and strength. By carrying your unique branding throughout all aspects of your business, you give your clients/customers/viewers—whoever your target audience may be—the full brand experience. That makes a huge impact and takes everything to the next level.

Strive to build an empowering brand—one that people will remember.

Our Sea of Atlas branding journey has brought a new sense of clarity to our work. We are happy to stand behind a cohesive style that speaks to our individual story. And we want to extend a huge thank you Lumi for partnering with us to create such a special piece to help bring our new brand to life!



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Design: Aubrey & Dustin's Lemon Themed Wedding Stationery Suite

Aubrey and Dustin's wedding stationery was made to fit in with their easy going style. While Aubrey told me what they were picturing their day to be like, I grabbed onto the fact that they were having a lemonade stand (so awesome, right!?) and instantly started to envision how I could have that play into the design while still keeping a wedding feeling to the invites.

I started by taking the an illustration I did for their Save the Dates and adding the lemonade stand right out front. What I enjoyed about taking an element from their Save the Dates, was the barn was first drawn very muted as a hint where they were going to be and the invitations got to take the barn, spruce it up and add more details from the day. It felt like we were slowly revealing what people were going to expect when they arrived to celebrate the couple.

Next, I took the lemon element and decided to use it as a floral piece. I've done my fair share of floral invitations and design, which are already so beautiful on their own, but it was fun and unique to add a different twist into it with the lemons. That detail brought all the pieces together as a whole without being too repetitious.

Overall, their invitations brought out their individual style and paired it with what they had planned for the day. It was a joy to work with such a relaxed couple who had planned a gorgeous day that made my job a little easier!

From start to finish working with Sea of Atlas was great. Britt designed our save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner invites, table cards and made some signs for the wedding. Everything she designed was perfect. If we did ask for a slight edit she was responsive and quick to get a new preview to us. We told Britt some key points about our wedding and she captured the feel of it beautifully in all of the work she did for us.
— Aubrey Zitzmann, Bride

Desktop Wallpaper: October 2015 Calendar

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was writing the post for the September wallpaper for the first of the month and now here we are beginning October. We've been spending the past couple weeks back in the states visiting family and friends so we are happy to get a little bit of a classic autumn with the leaves changing colors. We head back to London in a few days and I'm not really sure what to expect for fall weather there. I know the temperatures will reflect it but New England shows each season with full heart, something I haven't seen anywhere else in the world and something I love so much.

But besides focusing on what the weather will be, I'm excited for fall. I'm excited for the freshness that enters the air and cools the evenings. I look forward to getting back on track when we return and having the ability to sink into a routine—something I've been without for a couple months because of traveling. While I love hopping all over the place and taking advantage of our time living abroad, I still enjoy some good down time and the next few months leading up to the holiday season is going to be filled with just that.

What are you all up to this fall? Making apple cider? Visiting pumpkin patches? Traveling?

Design: Jaclyn & Michael's Woodsy Wedding Invitations

Jackie and Michael were my first stationery clients after I started offering wedding invitation suites and decor. The first piece we worked together on was their Save the Date. They handed over creative freedom right from the start and it was immediately clear in my head that I needed to turn towards capturing the feel of their venue, an outdoorsy cabin style inn located in New Hampshire, while I was searching for inspiration.

Not only were they getting married in New Hampshire, but it is also where they met (at the very camp the three of us went to growing up and worked at later in life) so I knew that it had to scream everything the state was about. I incorporated mountains, trees, and a cabin (of course!) to be highlighted through illustration and kept the type organic, rustic, and simple.

Overall, Jackie and Michael's wedding stationery—as with all that I create—needed to be them and tell their individual story. That is what weddings are all about, right!? Your loved ones come to gather and celebrate your love and everything that it took to get you there standing in front of them. It is a special day and with each project I aim to align with just that.

We were lucky enough to work with Brittany in designing both save the dates and wedding invitations. Brittany’s work is absolutely stunning! She sent us a detailed questionnaire so that she could design products that were completely unique to us. She went above and beyond by sending us multiple designs that we could choose from. She was able to customize every part of the designs. Working with Brittany you get a completely personal experience. She will create something that is truly beautiful and unique and we will treasure our save the dates and wedding invitations forever. Weddings can be such a stressful time. We never had to think twice about our save the dates and invitations. She was there every step of the way and made sure that we were completely happy! We are so happy to have worked with her!
— Jaclyn Benson, Bride

Desktop Wallpaper: September 2015 Calendar

I can not believe September is here. In my head September always instantly means summer is over when really, most of September is still full of beautiful weather—at least back home in New England. Summer seemed to end as soon as August hit here in London and just about the same time we ventured off to England's Lake District so I found a picture from that trip appropriate for this month's desktop calendar.

We tend to put a lot of stress on the weather and the changing of the seasons. Since moving, I have a larger appreciation for the changes and I think rather than focusing on what the weather should be like based on where I lived the majority of my life, I want to focus on each day as it comes. I want to be thankful for whatever the skies bring— rain, sun, sleet, or hail—it doesn't matter. What matters is how we spend our time and that we take control over our lives so that we live them full of intention.

We hope you all have a September full of slow living—letting the weather just be whatever it decides.

Branding: Sea of Atlas

If you have been following along with our journey on instagram then you know we have been busily working on the branding for our new name, Sea of Atlas. With the full intention of being more transparent and letting everyone in on the behind the scenes of the process, we have been posting a lot of our sketches on social media. It has been so fun letting everyone in on our day to day life as a creative studio. I love seeing everyone getting excited about our change, people jumping in to support specific logos, giving us soul-filled loving advice, and just simply getting to hear what fresh eyes have to say. Some times, as an artist and a designer, I can get too close to my own personal work (like branding for my own company—ha) and having a new perspective has allowed me to really step back to reflect on it all. While I still hold true to my designer gut, you folks have seen things in certain sketches that I haven't that have actually caused things to change and happen as the logo evolved. That is seriously so cool to me! It's like having a piece of you all tucked into the brand.

So today, I would like to jump back a little and show you what happened behind the scenes before the sketching phase. While we were getting prepared to announce our big change, I wrote up a whole business plan and started gathering images that spoke to what the new brand would stand for. There was a lot of good solid planning of what Sea of Atlas was going to be and look like. So today, I figured I would share the mood board that I built during that step. My vision for our new brand is for it to teeter on the line of handmade and sophisticated. Handmade is who we are. Its in our roots and veins. But with this brand, I'm ready to add some more class into it. We will focus on cleaner lines but keep them organic. Our photographs will be dramatic and crisp but focused on our natural and free lifestyle. I feel like this brand is me stepping up to really embrace the strong woman that I am. Light Rust was a young girl—I was so unsure of my path when I started. Now, after having a couple years of experience in the small business world, I feel empowered and ready for bigger and better things. I wanted it to not just be a company but a lifestyle. Sea of Atlas is about embodying our surroundings and our natural talents to create fresh living and designs.

Everything is just feeling good and right. I am focused on making sure our new brand stands the test of time. I want it to happen organically and not rush it. I have been going internally slow and trying to be aware of every step. And while I do love the transparency, there will be times where I pull away from showing everything because some of it HAS to be a surprise, right? I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with you all by my side!

Thank you for all the love and support you have freely given so far. It means so much to us!

If you follow along with our journey on instagram, you know that we revealed our new logo a little while ago (okay...months—sorry!). During the process we wanted to be completely transparent and allow our followers to have a voice. We each have our own unique skills and visions; we all see things different. To be able to create and have that input from other designers, current and potential clients, friends, and family was really eye opening. It was beautiful to feel like I had a community behind me and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be apart of that tribe.

Building an empowered and relatable brand is not easy but it's important in order to grab the attention of your dream clients. Starting over, I didn't want to take any shortcuts to get to that sweet spot. I could have done the branding by myself with no one to answer to like I have in the past. I am a designer after all—that is what I do and I trust my designer gut—but I wanted this branding process to be different. So, I sat there thinking, how could I make this something special? Something unique while inviting my wonderful tribe of people into the process. I began sketching and realized, I could simply show each step and get the feedback from the people that are most important to the brand—you. This could be a transparent guide to how our branding process works when we go through it ourselves or when our clients hire us to do their branding.

Throughout the process, I pictured us in the studio together working hard to make sure that this brand was going to be all that it could be. I would complete the sketches and we would all gather at a large table to critique the ideas. But we had to work with what we had and thanks to social media, we were able to create a round table for free discussion on instagram and facebook. After the first round, I had a viewpoint that I never had before. I could see it fully from your eyes—my dream client—and the people who understand me and my story. I went back to the sketch book a second, third, and fourth time and finally produced something that my soul sang.

And not only did it make me jump with joy, but you all were joining in sharing the love! Now that is a designers dream reassurance. Now at this point, if we were all in the studio, I would have ran to the table, screamed for everyone to get there while jumping like a mad woman, thrown my notebook down on the table, and attempted to sing some sort of opera song. Everyone would have ran over, started jumping and hugging each other (I probably would then began crying because I love you all so much). We would have put some good tunes on, and danced with glee around the table—we were almost there!

Now, it was time to let my design skills and gut completely take over. We had the logo just about there but it needed some really thoughtful tweaking. The sketches needed to become a real logo. After some reflection, a few more rounds in the sketchbook doing slight reiterations one after another, it finally came screaming off the page. I found it. We found it.

Our new logo is bold. It's organic. It's empowering. It's intentionally created. And most importantly, it's full of the creativity and love from our tribe. Now this is definitely the point where we would have thrown a wild studio party because our hearts were just so incredibly happy. I'm talking balloons, confetti, cake—the whole shebang. This was one of our ultimate highs and we are so happy we were able to share it all together.

Ever since it was revealed to the world, we have been updating the rest of our branding materials and elements—website, business cards, social media outlets, copy—anything we had left a mark on with the old name has or is being refreshed. This is our new beginning and our time to show you just what it is we are truly made of. We're excited to continue to cover all bases on our rebrand. You'll start to see some more site updates and in January we have a whole new blog layout coming straight at ya! We are so excited to have it all be cohesive, inspiring, and to finally be the brand we always knew we could be. Stay tuned my friends!

And to all of you who helped us along the way, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

It has been a long time coming but last month I finally redesign our business cards to match the new Sea of Atlas branding that has been slowly rolling out over the past year. Changing the name of my business from Light Rust Studio to Sea of Atlas was one of the biggest leaps I have taken during this journey. Once you establish a name and work so hard to get yourself out there, it's difficult to say—hey, let's change. After a few years though, I knew it was the right time to make the switch. The studio had grown and evolved so much since the beginning and it needed a new name to match the unique path I've created with it.

Back in summer 2015, I finally said screw it and went for it. I am proud to say that I have absolutely no regrets! I'm a firm believer that if something in your gut is telling you to change or do something—you do it. (No. Questions. Asked.) Otherwise, it will continue to keep returning and with something like a rename—well, it's better to do it earlier rather than later. After working with a good number of small businesses on branding during a rename process, I am confident in that advice. As you continue to move along, you are only building and establishing yourself more and under what? A name that doesn't match what you do, push you out from the crowd, or empower you? Doesn't make much sense, does it?

With the new Sea of Atlas brand, it was all about establishing a more bold and contrasted look that fit my own personal style as well as the studios. Using my illustrations and hand lettering to tie into some strong clear fonts allowed my business cards to be easily legible, sophisticated, and—my favorite—timeless. Our branding is all about being open and allowing Sea of Atlas to continue to grow and evolve to continuously match who I want to be as a creative. 

For so long I printed my own business cards but when I moved from the States, I made the decision to outsource all of my printing. It has been a huge time saver and open the door to so many exciting options. While I typically work with a local printer, I decided to give MOO a try this time around with their Luxe paper. I could not be more pleased. They are beautifully sturdy and I feel unbelievably proud handing these out.

Its been a long and winding journey with this little studio of mine and I am so in love with the work I get to produce. To have business cards that now match that passion and quality feels oh-so-good!

What do you think of our new design? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Design: Christina & Phillip's Simply Whimsical Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are always projects near and dear to my heart. I'm a huge fan of love (let's all be, okay?) and it means a lot to me when someone allows me to a part of their special day. When Christina and I began chatting about her wedding stationery, I was instantly excited. It was set to be a simple, low-key, elegant, and beautiful event. Christina allowed me the creative space to bring her vision to life. Through phone calls and crafting a mood board together, a couple of element emerged from which to draw inspiration. One, Christina was going to be wearing her mother's gorgeousvintage wedding gown. And two, the wedding was set in Newfoundland, a place full of beautiful landscapes and homes. The next step for us was to figure out how to pull those two things together. After playing around with some ideas and layouts, I started incorporating more whimsical type and natural elements. In the end, I like to think that I was able to successfully find balance between vintage simplicity and the detailed architecture.

In hopes of being more transparent and sharing more of our studio's process on the blog, I decided to not just share the completed project, but the starting mood board as well. Let me know what you think!

Light Rust Studio to Sea of Atlas

I am not even sure where to begin when I start to think about how much Light Rust Studio means to me. Over the past couple of years, it has been what I have poured my artistic drive into. When I started Light Rust Studio, it was simply a paper goods shop on Etsy. It was my first leap into the unknown territory of owning my own business. I have learned so much through the years of navigating the path to figure out just where Light Rust belonged. The company has morphed and changed. It has evolved and grown into my wild dream of handmade creative studio. It now supports a handmade shop of goods and contains a journal that allows us to be transparent with our lives.

Everything seemed on a positive track but there was just one thing still gnawing at me. Something just wasn’t clicking into place. One day it finally came to me. I realized that the name Light Rust Studio, no longer fits what my business means to me. Light Rust will always have a place in my heart as it taught me all that I could be but its time to grow again. Its time to create something that has an authentic connection throughout each aspect of our work and with our everyday lives as well.

So, I am ready to officially announce that Light Rust Studio will now be named SEA OF ATLAS. The name stems from the Greek Mythology meaning behind the Atlantic Ocean. This name connects us back to our roots in New England. It reminds of our leaps of faith—starting this very company and our move abroad from one side of the Atlantic to the other to build a life in London. The Atlantic is now what connects us back to our loved ones. It also reflects the organic and handmade work of the studio through our movement through life and our journey. It’s the calmness, the crashing waves, the changing tides, the small ripples.

This name sits deep in not just my soul but my husband’s soul as well—something so important as he becomes more and more involved in the work. I love that the company has grown into a place where we both can feel free to be our authentic natural selves as we create in every form we can dream.

We are so excited about this next step for us and I strongly feel it is the right decision (my gut is screaming so). Our website URL and social media handles will be changing today though you will still see our Light Rust branding for some time. We decided rather than doing everything behind the scenes and have a final reveal at the end, we want you to see our change and growth as it happens.

We hope you continue follow along with our journey! We know we have so much more to give and this name will help us to do just that.