2016 Business Recap

When I decided to start my own business, I knew I had a lot to learn and I knew that it wasn't going to be perfect right from the start. I was willing to take that chance in order to do something different—something that fit who I was as a person. Taking this path has proven to not be easy but I know from deep within my soul that this is what I am meant to be doing. For me, life is about working passionately for something you believe wholeheartedly in. I believe in the way art can transform the world, open our eyes to different ways of life, and how it teaches us to appreciate our surroundings.

If you have been following along since my beginning, you know I began by selling greeting cards. When I decided that wasn't what was right for me anymore, I made the switch to a custom handmade design studio. Going down the path of creating more freely has opened so many new doors and has deepened my understanding of who I am as an artist. At this point, I have been a custom studio for just about two years. By allowing myself to embrace my natural organic style and way of working, I have been able to really give myself room to breath and grow. I feel more confident than ever than where I am going as an artist.

Over the past year, working in the realm of a design studio has been so rewarding. I had the pleasure of crossing paths with other talented creatives and lovely human beings. Whether it was working on small business branding or wedding invitations, it was always a new adventure and challenge. Getting to help bring someone else's vision to life is something I appreciate and love doing. The trust, understanding, and energy that has to come together for things to work smoothly, is what makes that work so unique.

I love being a design studio and I see some changes coming in the future to take the next step to align with my soul. I am not quite ready to dive into this here just yet but I appreciate your always uplifting support that continues to allow me to grow. I've always chosen to be as open as I can be on this journey so you can all come along for the ride. While the bigger picture still has some kinks to be worked out before we can start flipping through the process, I am excited to announce that the studio and blog website's will have some fresh new looks in the next coming months. Adjustments, changes, and tweaks are being made in order to get everything as cohesive and beautiful as possible. It is important to me that these spaces always feel fresh. I want each of you to have the most pleasant experience whenever you come on by for a visit.

With 2016 coming to a close, I am really thankful for a year that has given me some love as a business owner. I'm proud to say that Sea of Atlas has had it's best year yet and I am hopeful that 2017 will do the same. Working for myself can have its up and downs. It is risky and scary at times but I always remind myself to continue to work as hard as I can and believe in the good fight. Nothing gets anywhere without that and this past year has been full of that energy. I can only hope that it pays off as I align myself into what's next.

So with that, I cheers to 2016! May 2017 be another good year for all small businesses to keep showing the world that what you are passionate about can also be what you do for a living!

Love to you all!

Design: Katy & Nate's Camping Inspired Wedding Invitations

Taking a break from winter and the holiday cheer to be reminded of the sweet warmth of summer with Katy & Nate's wedding stationery from earlier this year. I have to begin by saying Rea Mae Sherman of Bear Warner did an amazing job capturing these in the environment of the couple's big day. She really made them stand out amongst such a stunning setting!

Working with Katy & Nate was a match made in heaven. From the start, we seemed to be speaking the same language. Their vision for their stationery and wedding tied perfectly together with my natural organic style so I was more than happy to take them onboard as clients this past year. Together we worked through the details in order to bring their stationery to life and show their guests a glimpse into what they could expect upon arrival to celebrate Katy & Nate's unique love.

One of the really unique elements to Katy & Nate's wedding was that guests could camp onsite. Bringing in that element to the style and illustration showed their down-to-earth vibe. Also, I've actually known Katy for a few years now. She happens to be one of my first ever customers when I was starting out and selling greeting cards. From that, I had an advantage of knowing her love for gardening, greens, and nature. Bringing that to life for her and Nate was really special. Getting to give back to the two of them and be a part of such a beautiful time in their lives meant a lot.

The whole suite was wrapped up together using an organic cotton string and a tag that has their unique monogram. I sent over some extras just in case they needed them and to my surprise, Katy recently showed me that she used the tags to add their individual touch to their favors. Such a lovely idea!

Each wedding invitation suite I create is 100% unique and custom to the couple. I love being able to chat with my clients to learn more about them and their vision so I can help them bring it to life. Celebrating love is one of the most beautiful, intimate, and special things so I am always honored when someone chooses me to help be a part of their big day. A very big thanks to Katy & Nate for letting me in their lives and being the most wonderful people to work with!

Brittany designed our wedding invites with guest info cards, RSVP cards and personalized maps, menus and wedding programs. I was amazed at how easy this process was. Working with Britt was a dream. If I had any questions she attended to them immediately and every single adjustment was handled with such patience. Without even being able to see the venue, she so perfectly captured the entire look and feel of our wedding. Britt makes sure to ask the right questions to accommodate in expressing each of your personalities within the design. I was so happy to see that our guests enjoyed our invitations as much as we did. We had so many guests write personal messages on their RSVPs stating how amazing the design was and many that mentioned it was the best invites that had ever seen. I am grateful for the experience and the time spent working with Britt. I couldn’t be more content with the result. I look forward to working with Britt on future projects and treasuring what she’s created for us.
— Katy Behringer, Bride

Sending Love With Our 2016 Holiday Cards

Throughout the years we've done holiday cards off and on. Unfortunately they slip off our to-do list some times. I'm always regretful when we don't get around to it because I think it is an important way to show our family and friends some extra love during such a magical time of the year. This is coming more and more emphasized while we are living so far away from our loved ones. It is tough only getting to see our families just a couple times year but it's the little things like this that help make the in-between time so special.

This year we decided to hold ourselves to it and I took it upon myself to illustrate our own to make them extra unique! One of the elements that holds me back some years is being unsure of what card to send. Being a designer and artist, I'm typically picky and do want to do it myself but the time isn't always there to create them on my own. We've also given photo cards a thought but we feel like that should wait until we have a family of our own to make those special to that time in our lives.

When I set out to start brainstorming for this year's holiday card, I decided almost immediately that it would be fun to do an illustration of our very own Christmas set up in our new flat. It makes is a little more personable and unique to our lives here in London that our families and friends back home don't always get to be a part of. We've made it our own little way of sending love all the way from London.

Another reason cards were extra important to us this year was to not just send love to our family and friends far away but also to our friends right here in London. We've been here for almost two years now and what has made it feel the most like home for us are the people we have met. Being away from home is a little easier when you build your own network of loving souls who become your second family. We're lucky we have a group of people to celebrate holidays with and get every day loving support from. Living in London wouldn't be easy without all of them!

The holiday season is a reason to spread cheer and love to those who matter most to us. It's the perfect time to send that reminder out to let them know you appreciate them and are thinking of them during the spirited celebrating!

Sending so much love to all of you as well for your continued support all year long! Happy Holidays, Xo

2017 Pantone Color of The Year: Greenery

Are you all aware of what happened yesterday? The news swooped through the design community fast and here we are looking at 2017's color of the year. Pantone is the ultimate authority on color and last year they hit us with a curve ball announcing two colors for 2016. While it was truly a beautiful way to show what was ahead for us this past year, this year called for just one bold color—Greenery.

“A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

As a fan of earth tones (and neutrals), I'm definitely vibing with this one. It's vibrant, bold, oh-so-beautiful, and takes you right where you want to be—in nature. While I was looking around for inspiration on how this color will play into my life over the next year, I found myself drawn to subtle pops or, on a larger spaces, a more textural approach. I've chosen some select pins to share with you all for your own inspiration on incorporating Greenery into your work and every day life.

My favorite part of this color is what is stands for in the particular time. Green is a strong color and symbol for protecting our earth. There is no color more fitting for that role. As we move into some potentially bumpy times with our environmental impact, I think it is really fitting that Greenery will take it's stance as we create. Let it be a constant reminder what we should be working towards.

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

Download & Print: Free Holiday Card

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!

Enjoy this Happy Holidays design with a wreath as the center and twinkle lights as a background. These cards are easy printable PDFs that you can use how ever many times you please! I hope you have fun sending them out to all your loved ones.

Download · Red
Download · Blue
Download · Green

Desktop Wallpaper: December 2016 Calendar

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 :)

Makers for Makers: Vacilando Quilting Co

Laura Preston of Vacilando Quilting Co is a very unique soul. After traveling around North America with her fiancé, she now is settling into the Bay Area. She spends her hours crafting beautiful modern quilts in her Airstream home. The designs are simple and timeless but bring you back to your childhood. I remember the numerous quilts my mother displayed around our house. Each one seemed to have a different meaning and story behind it. That is exactly the feel Laura is trying to bring forth again but with a new spin. Her quilts don't look anything like the ones I had seen growing up. The designs she creates are taking quilting and making it relevant again as people long to get them in their homes to being a tradition of passing them between generations back.

The pieces that Laura creates are stunning and her process is inspiring. The way she ties it all together is a sign of a remarkable maker. I won't give any more away so I encourage you to read on to learn more about Laura of Vacilando Quilting Co. I promise it will leave you wanting at least one quilt for your own home and family!


I’m a designer, maker and traveler. I’ve been living and working in a 34 foot Airstream with my fiancé, our two dogs and cat since February 2013 - two and a half of those years were spent traveling full-time exploring North America, but for the past year and a half, we’ve been stationary in the Bay Area, living right on the coast (which is as dreamy as it sounds!). I make modern heirloom-quality quilts, pillows and a few canvas goods that are inspired by travel - beautiful landscapes, places I’ve visited or locations tied to memorable experiences.


I have a background in painting, so when we decided to get on the road, I brought all my painting supplies with me, expecting to have all this time, space and inspiration to paint. And I didn’t pull those supplies out once - painting just wasn’t conducive with traveling often in a small space. But I still needed a creative outlet, one that was also practical and useful for my minimalist lifestyle. So after struggling to discover that new outlet for a few months and finding inspiration in makers sharing their work on Instagram, I decided to give quilting a try. I looked up some tutorials online, made my first quilt (completely by hand!) and was totally hooked - once I finished a quilt, I was ready to start the next one. After making a handful of quilts for wedding presents and honing my skills, I decided to plan my first collection and launched Vacilando in February 2015. At that time, I still had a day job, so I was only quilting part time, hoping to build Vacilando up until it could be my full time job. But I was unexpectedly laid off in August 2015, so I took that as a sign that it was time to jump in with both feet even if it was a bit sooner than I planned. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.


I want to keep the tradition and craft of quilting alive while making it modern, relevant and fresh. I can’t tell you how many people have told me their “quilt story” - how they have a quilt their grandmother made or about a family quilt that’s been passed down through generations. There’s such warm sentiments of home and family in those stories, but they don’t actually use or display their quilts because the style is old fashioned. My goal is to make quilts using traditional techniques that are both contemporary and timeless - quilts that your kids will be fighting over when you finally decide to pass it down.


Starting out and even now, my biggest obstacle is pricing and educating people about the value of a handmade quilt. When so much of what we buy theses days is cheaply made overseas and you can go to any big box store and buy a trendy quilt for $99, trying to convince someone to buy a quilt for $700 can be a tough sell. Most people have great things to say about my work, but when they see the price tag, it scares them away. Which I totally get - my quilts aren’t cheap. But buying a handmade quilt, which is more or less a piece of art that you can snuggle with, is an investment and something to save up for. You’ll have it your whole life and then pass it down to your kids.


So many! One of the many reasons I love Instagram - I get to discover and following along with ridiculously talented and creative makers that inspire me and make me think about design, color and creativity in different ways. Quilters who inspired me from the beginning are Folk FibersMeg CallahanLindsay SteadCortney Heimerl, and some of my favorite makers/artists that I love to follow are Aleksandra ZeeBlock Shop TextilesAriele Alasko, and Heather Day.


Every day looks a little different, but I’ve finally got a pretty good routine down. I wake up around 8am, walk the dogs and make coffee. My brain is the most fresh and focused in the morning, so from around 9am to 11am, I take care of all my admin work. I plan out my day, write and respond to emails, order materials, post to social media, work on custom order or new designs, etc. Then I make a quick breakfast/lunch before getting to work on whatever I’m making that day. Sometimes it’s piecing a quilt top or hand-quilting some pillows or whipping up a batch of canvas totes - just depends on what needs to be done. I work until 6pm or 7pm (sometimes later if I have a tight deadline), then make dinner and relax with my fiance and pups for the rest of the evening.


I love making something with my hands every day. Having a tangible product at the end of the process. Being in charge of what I create and being responsible for how successful or unsuccessful my business is. Not having limits, aside from myself, to what I can do and create.


Just do it! Whatever it is, do it. It’s so easy to make excuses that you don’t have enough time, enough space, that it’s too scary or hard or just not the right time. If it’s something you really want and feel like you’ll regret not doing, do it. You’re in charge of your life. Oh, and that feeling of not totally knowing what you’re doing, but figuring things out along the way? That’s normal and doesn’t go away completely.


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**All images courtesy of Vacilando Quilting Co**

Working From Home Wear: Girlfriend Collective Leggings

When I first started working from home, I typically (no shame) wore pajamas or baggy sweats. There's no stress to doll yourself up when you are working from the comfort of your own home. I'm not really one for make-up or glam either so this no getting ready stuff is my jam and I own it. Comfy clothes all day every day. I'm at the point now where I barely own any office style clothes. You may find a pair of pants and a skirt that could make due but other than that, this girl's closet consists of mostly leggings and the ultimate cozy sweaters.

Over the years, the more I worked from home the more I started to build up a more casual wardrobe. Once I went full time working from home, no office to go into any day—I have to admit that things started to feel a little too lazy. I started to realize the days that I put on nicer clothes to meet clients or even when I was home sporting more structured casual wear, I felt better. I was more alert, motivated, and active.

Now I'm focused on building a wardrobe that combines comfort and style. Leggings are my definite go to pair of pants—yes leggings ARE pants in my world. I'm constantly searching for high quality pairs to add to my collection. Back in May, I stumbled upon a (well targeted) Facebook ad for Girlfriend Collective leggings which I wrote about here. Short story—they were gearing up to launch and all you had to do was pay for shipping. I figured it was worth a shot to get a pair. They finally arrived in September and I must admit to being weary at first because they felt unlike any other leggings I have ever known. But now...I really have to admit to how much I love these leggings!

After writing my post about finding these bad boys, I have received countless emails asking if I liked them so I figured I'd post it up on here for you all to see. The simple answer is a yes! I really love them and they have become my go-to pair. My favorite part of these leggings is they keep their structure extremely well. You don't get saggy knees (you know what I'm talking about!) and they provide an overall nice fitted feeling that gives you confidence to rock them in and outside of the house. While I tend to lean towards saying these leggings have a more athletic look, they do well as a regular pair of every day clothes as well. I also love that they are high waisted so I can wear anything from a cropped top to a long sweater.

These leggings feel comfortable all day long—whether I'm sitting at my desk illustrating, lounging around, or running around the city doing errands. Going out, I've paired them with my trainers but I usually have to roll the leg up a little bit which I don't mind at all. I'm pretty average height (just under 5'6) but my legs are long so I usually have trouble finding leggings and pants that aren't short. When I find ones that are long, I don't mind one bit. They work well with just about all of my boots too!

I have had no problem with how easily they have fit into every part of my lifestyle and for that I am so happy. These may just be my favorite addition to my working from home workday wear!

Digging more into the story of the Girlfriend Collective and what the stand for will only make you love them more. The best part—what the company is all about, aligns with what I look for in a brand. A brand truly stand out when they hold themselves socially and environmentally accountable. These leggings are fair-trade, use recycled fabric, and their factories are safe, pay well, and do not use child labor. All very VERY good things! You can read more about them here on their website.

I'll continue my constant hunt for comfy stylish working from home wear but these are the perfect addition for now these Girlfriend Collective leggings have my love!



Leggings from Girlfriend Collective
Grey jumper from ASOS


**This post was NOT sponsored**

Living A Life of Gratitude

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
— John F. Kennedy

A constant question Rico and I asked each other is "how did we get here?". We look around and feel grateful for the life we've built together, our loving families that have guided and supported us, the uplifting friends we surround ourselves with, and the energy we have to poured into our own passions. How did we get here? is our reminder to be thankful. The question makes us stop in our tracks and reflect back on what it has taken to get us to where we are today. While it has become a bit of a running joke to ask, it truly is important to us to keep asking and living within that.

This year as Thanksgiving is upon us, we have so much to be thankful for. When I look back at how our lives looked through the years of our relationship (coming up on 8 baby!) a comforting love fills me. Meeting each other in those early college years and building a life from there is strange. As lost souls unsure of what we wanted to do or be, we came together and helped one another without stifling our growth as individuals. It was a balancing act like much of how our relationship works. I'm grateful to have had him in my life during key moments that have shaped who I am and that we have been able to stick together to create a life that both of us could only dream of back then. When we ask how did we get here? We think back to those college days. I see us sitting in his dorm room having one of our long life talks. I can say with certainty our life now isn't what we pictured then because it is truly so much more than we could have ever imagined.

As we grew together and each found our way, our families were always there supporting both of us. I grew up with a close family. They instilled in me important manors and lessons to guide me throughout the years. They helped me to become a strong person early on in life so that when I was on my own figuring things out, I had the right tools to do so. Once I met Rico, I was lucky enough to have this double. To have two loving families on either side cheering you on is a magical feeling. They aren't in-laws to me, they are family—plain and simple.

The next best thing to family is friends. I feel lucky to have met a lot of beautiful souls in all the different stages and parts of my life. Each one has taught me so much and I am forever grateful to have souls that open my mind and teach me new things—"if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room." Throughout life's transitions, I have carried along the best of friends who have shown unconditional love and support not only to me but to all the people who cross their paths as well. It's safe to say that some times the friendship road can be bumpy but what's important to me is that the right people always remain. A sign of a good soul is empathy, compassion, understanding, and love to all— through the good and the bad.

Without the support of my husband, family, and friends, pursuing Sea of Atlas wouldn't be half as fun. The continued support guides me and pushes me to do the best I can every day. I am forever grateful to have people in my life that understand my passion and want to help me in my journey. Sea of Atlas has come to mean so much to me. It is who I am. It lives and breathes straight from my soul. I could not imagine doing anything else. The best part of waking up in the morning is knowing I can sit down and freely create. Thank you to all who have supported me throughout the years and have helped make this a realty. It means the world to me.

I believe that we should always reflect back on where we came from, what we have been through, the struggles, the highlights, who we used to be and who we are now. It helps us be reminded of our path. It takes a lot to get through life especially in a way that you are proud of. To surround yourself with loving people and accomplish dreams. No matter where you are at in your stage of life, the past is what will help remind you of what you need for today and tomorrow. Continue being thankful and humble along the way.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving everyone!

Thoughts On The US Election & Moving Forward

This week has been a tough one. We are all working on trying to take in what has happened with and after the US 2016 Presidential Election. My heart is heavy and my body aches. There are a lot of points and topics I want to talk about that surround the recent events but I want to make sure I keep focused on what truly matters here—the points that are at the core of it all. First and foremost, know that I believe that everyone deserves equal opportunities and happiness. So all of you struggling with the feeling of uncertainty and fear as we transition, please know that you are loved and welcomed here. Know that many people are fighting with and for you. It should not matter where you come from, how you identify, who you love, or what you believe in. What matters is that you have a unique beautiful soul that deserves so much love and to live in peace. I stand to be here for you today, tomorrow, and always.

I'm still processing. I'm going to be processing for awhile. It's in my nature to reflect and then reflect some more. There's a lot out there telling us how we should feel, how we should react, and what we should do. Even that we need to move on from grieving and start acting. I want you to know that it's okay to feel however you are feeling. It's okay to take whatever time you need to in order to get through this. But please do not let it silence or break you forever. Do what you need to do to make yourself understand this, understand the rest of America (minus anything that hurts others), and be able to move on with strength. Keep your own peace or use your voice loud, come together with your community or take your space, go for a run or relax. It does not matter. We all are all different and we each have our own process we go through to navigate tough times.

At the end of the day, we must move towards coming together and understanding each other. One of the reasons we are so upset is the divisions we see in front of us and ahead. Let's not widen or increase those. All of us come from different backgrounds and have our own stories but that doesn't take away from the fact that we are all human beings trying to do the best that we can do. Someone else's best might not look so great to you but it is important to remember that we all have had different experiences throughout our lives. Those who confuse us may not have had the same opportunities to gain the awareness and empathy needed in this election. It is important that instead of getting angry, we teach. We use our voices and our actions to spread our message in ways that will deeply root it.

As we teach, we also must be sure we are educating ourselves. Find reputable unbiased news sources to stay up on current events. Question everything and use fact checkers—especially with things on social media. Go back and study historic events so you can have the best understanding of our path as a country and the world as a whole. What it has taken to get us here, the set backs we have already faced and pushed through. History can teach us so much. Let's use it. Work to find experts in the fields you are passionate about and follow them, listen to them, support them. Research causes that have made a difference, that have resources for you to dig in, and have a positive influence and impact.

When you are ready, please let this ignite you. If you feel that you can no longer rely on the government to stand behind you or the causes you strongly care about, take action yourself. I'll be looking for ways to support the people who have been targeted by this ugly election. The last thing I want is for anyone to feel alone. I'll be continuing my research on climate change, limiting my carbon footprint, volunteering, and working to protect our planet. I will stand behind women's rights and do whatever I can to keep control over my own body. If something or someone matters to you, you owe it or them your fight. And most importantly, you owe it to yourself to contribute to a society you can believe in. As you move forward with your passion, do not let anyone silence you or make you feel guilty for speaking up for what you believe in. 

I hope in the coming days, weeks, months, and years, that we can come together as a whole and do what is best for our country. This may be tough to take in for awhile. Perhaps it always will. But please use your voice, use your actions, and give it all you got. We have the right to be who we want to be. I will continue to push positive vibes out to the world, send my love to those who need it, and hope that peace is what we are all ultimately striving for. Keep up the good fight. The fight that doesn't attack others. The fight that uses education as a strength, that shows empathy, support, and love. The fight that will prove that we can move forward, that our world can change without hate, and that love will win in the end.

Commissioned: Hand Lettered & Illustrated Rupi Kaur Poem

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.

Celebrating Three Years In Business

November 2013 was when I first opened the doors (figuratively speaking, of course) to this small business of mine and invited you all inside. Light Rust Studio was my first venture out into entrepreneurship. I remember being timid and unsure but after months of hard work, it felt like it was the moment to launch. I put out a collection of holiday cards on Etsy and kept an anxious eye waiting for customers to roll in. While that first batch was mostly family and friends supporting this crazy person right here, it felt good to finally have my foot in the door and truly begin my journey. I will always be grateful for those very important people who showed nothing but love during that time.

Owning my own business has been tough. There's a constant pressure to make it work, do the right thing for the business, take the correct forward steps, make enough money, and—at the same time—be sure it's still what I love and am passionate about. Having a support group of family and friends is what makes all that not feel so scary. I also learned over time how important it is to have a community of fellow small business owners to turn to, exchange advise with, brainstorm, support, and who you feel just wholeheartedly understand everything you are going through during this wild adventure. Because of this path I have chosen, I have found some unique, loving, caring, kind souls who have become some of the greatest friends.

Over these past three years, it has become clear to me just what I want my business to stand for. Through that I have be able to better understand who I am as a person as well as an artist. Sea of Atlas has become a place that embodies individuality, contains a need for adventure, supports a safe place to build community, and is the creative outlet I am continuously pleased to have. As each turning point comes and goes, as things evolve and continue to do so, I've come to realize that while you can plan for your future, you can't predict it. When I first started out as Light Rust Studio, I had no idea that I would move to London. I had no intention of becoming a custom design studio. All I knew was that I was trying to make things work in my 300 sq ft Boston apartment. These are all changes, that as life shifted and I grew, came to the forefront. At each and every moment of our lives, we know nothing more than what is in our past and present. As things come our way, we must grow. Our wants, desires, inspirations, and needs change. It's so important to embrace this—to not let outdated dreams hold us back. If I had continued down the path of paper goods, I can say with certainty I would not be as happy as I am now. Allowing myself to move away from that dream and jump into custom work did some serious good for my soul. It was what was right for me.

Building a business takes time. It is hard work but good work and I recommend it to anyone that has the patience for that. Nothing that sticks around and has solid footing was built overnight. It is easy to get discouraged and feel uncertain but if you let that warped reality control your future, you will soon become stagnant. I've found that no matter how hard you work and how successful you become, there will always be lows. Maybe those lows are the business is slow, money isn't as good as you want it to be, or you aren't sure about your next step. In those times, take a step back and evaluate. Those lows are where you grow the most and where you can find yourself again so you can get on the best path possible for you.

Where Sea of Atlas is right now feels pretty darn good. When I look back at these past three years at the lesson I have learned, the loving and supportive people in my life, the new friends I have met along the way, and the growth of the studio, I can't help but smile. In 2013 when I returned from my first European adventure in Italy, my life had changed. I knew I needed to create my own path and begin that journey right then and there. From that point on, I have worked hard and poured so much into this business of mine. As we move forward, I can proudly say I still have the love and passion that I had back then for what I do now. I'm excited to see where this journey continues to take me in the many years ahead.

Thank you to all my family, friends, and supporters during these years. I could not have done any of this without you and for that I am forever grateful!

Desktop Wallpaper: November 2016 Calendar

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!

Moving London Flats

When we moved to London back in February 2015, we were lucky enough to have corporate housing while we searched high and low to rent our own London flat. It took longer than we hopped to find the right space for us but we eventually did. We found the place that would be ours during our time abroad. A place we could make our home and find comfort in. It took time and patience to get this space where we wanted it to be. As much as you could do for what you knew was a rental and a temporary home—one we didn't want to pour lots of money into (that is for traveling right now). We never expected to leave this flat—as long as we were in London, this is where we would be.

In August while we were visiting back home in the States, in our last few days of the trip we got an email that stated we could no longer stay in our flat. Without diving into details, it's far too complicated and tiring to talk about, let's just say we got screwed over by a large estate agent. One of the last things we wanted to do while we were living abroad was to move flats. Besides not wanting to deal with the costs and burden of moving, it just didn't make sense for us since we don't plan to stay across the pond forever. The neighborhood of Angel has been our home now for about 18 months and had proven to be a great spot for us at this time in our lives.

It felt like as soon as we landed back in London near the end of August, okay—maybe even before that, we were glued to our computers trying to frantically find a new flat. We felt upset and were anxious to figure out where we would be spending (hopefully) the remainder of our London years. Anyone who has flat hunted in London knows how fast, crazy, and weird the market can be but after seeing some promising flats and having the initial shock wear off, our excitement finally took over. We started to be able to look on the bright side of this move even if it wasn't what we had originally planned to be doing. We saw this as our chance to live somewhere we could only dream of living before. Our chance to change neighborhoods and let ourselves search for flats in some of our favorite areas of London.

After a few weeks of flat searching and going to many viewings, a flat became available in Primrose Hill. It was some how in our budget and was the perfect fit for what we were looking for. We could not believe it. After luckily snagging the first viewing and putting our offer in, the flat was ours! We have had some weeks of waiting since then but are excited to finally be making our big move this coming weekend.

While we are excited to enter a new chapter of our expat life in London, it is also bittersweet. Our first flat wasn't necessarily a dream home (I'm not sure anyone dreams of living in a basement) but it was our home and we loved it. It gave us our space to relax as we found our footing in a new city. We brought items in to cozy it up—from a rug I bartered with a street vendor for to coffee table we trekked across London to find and to our souvenirs we have picked up from all of our travels. It also gave me my first ever separate office space to create and re-establish myself as a business here. This flat has so much sentimental meaning with it and it is going to be hard to say goodbye to.

Over our years here we have gone on trips and come home to this space. We have had some peaceful beautiful moments here and also some major major lows (don't ever ask me about the bathroom renovation—ha). I guess this is how you always feel leaving a place that you've spent any part of your life in though. I felt the a similar way leaving both of our Boston apartments. It didn't hit me really until last week when I posted some of our furniture to giveaway. Then I quickly realized soon this flat is going to be disassembled, filled with boxes, and then ultimately empty. I'm going to miss even the awful parts—like having to the climb out the window to leave when it was a hot humid day and our door was stuck shut. It's been quite the quirky flat.

This place has meant so much to us. We loved it for what is was. and for what we made it to be. And we will always remember it as our first London flat. It was a place that welcomed us at our first step inside and continued to throughout the years. But we feel fully ready to close this chapter—to close the red (some times sticky) door one last time—and to move onto the next. We are looking forward to making our new home, learning a different neighborhood, and settling in again. Cheers to London chapter two!

Desktop Wallpaper: October 2016 Calendar

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!

Spotted: Peace Illustration In The Tiny Canal Cottage

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.

In The Press: Designer Insights Interview With Terrys Fabrics

Last month I had the honor of being a featured designer for the interview series, Designer Insights. Most interviews I have done in the past were purely talking about my story and own design work. It's always nice to be able to share more about me to new audiences but this recent one was a little different. This time, I was asked to curate my top interior design pieces for the season. It was a lot of fun sitting down and really thinking about my own aesthetic outside of my craft. It was a breath of fresh air to do this interview and share a different side of me. A huge thanks to Terrys Fabrics for the feature!

Below you'll find the interview and my choices. You can also see the full feature here on the Terry Fabrics website. Let me know what you think!

Design: Elizabeth & Eric's Nautical Wedding Invitations

Wedding season is nearing the end and I'm excited to start showing you some of the work I have done for couples this year! First up, Elizabeth and Eric's nautical wedding stationery that incorporated some playfulness in the save the dates but kept it classic on the invitations with a nice faded watercolor background. Working with these two to create the stationery for their special day, was so much fun and easy going. I love how they incorporated contrast between the two mailings with the quirky save the dates and the sophisticated invitations.

The save the dates were all done with hand lettering and pen illustration then converted to vector for easy printing. They knew from the start they wanted to have nautical elements tie the suite together. Having the whale and the fun rope lettering on the save the dates, kept the celebration of announcing the date of their wedding upbeat, playful, and a little bit silly.

As we dove into the invitation, it was clear that they wanted to be more serious with this piece. They just purchased a sailboat that they were in love with so bringing in a passion of theirs to the invitation was a lot of fun. For these the lettering and sailboat blueprint was again done in pen which was transferred to vector but the background was created with watercolor. I don't do much work in watercolor but its a medium I love exploring (I have some more wedding suites that will be incorporating it that I'm excited to share later on!). 

All together, the wedding invitation suite provided a balance which I think speaks to what love is about. Love is an awesome feeling and getting married is a time for celebration but it is also about bringing together two people to tackle life together. It was an absolute joy designing this suite for Elizabeth and Eric and I was so happy to see it come to life and photographed so beautifully by Julie Surette PhotographyIt always means so much to me to be able to be a part of a couple's big day!

Our wedding save the dates and invitations came out beautifully, due to Brittany’s keen eye and expert design skills. Brittany listened to our ideas and wants from day one and was able to create the perfect stationery suite to match our casual, nautical themed wedding. When I mentioned an idea after receiving initial samples, Brittany was quick to incorporate our vision on paper. She gave us so many ideas to work with, which was absolutely awesome. Our favorite part of our wedding stationery is the actual blueprint of our sailboat on the top of our invitations. Eric and I are obsessed with sailing, so it really meant a lot to us to see our Cape Dory on our wedding invitations. Brittany was able to create personalized and beautiful wedding stationary for our big day and we will be forever grateful for her work. We would definitely recommend Brittany to anyone needing personal stationery created.
— Elizabeth Conroy & Eric Christoffersen, Bride & Groom

Desktop Wallpaper: September 2016 Calendar

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.

Client Spotlight: Travels With Quigley, Stories of a Great American Road Trip

You may remember back earlier this year when we revealed the Travels with Quigley illustrative logo created for Briana Moore to brand the road trip that she is embarking on this fall. Briana is heading out to follow the travels from John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley (a highly recommended read) on Oct 1st. Her journey will continue on for three months while she navigates America in a campervan during a pivotal election year, just as Steinbeck did. Throughout her time, she will be creating imagery and essays comparing and contrasting his experience and observations with contemporary America. In the end, this work will include prints, a book, and—if all goes to plan—an exhibit.

I know from working closely with Briana on her logo just how deeply this trip, and travel in general, sits in her soul. It's a beautiful thing to be able to hear so much passion in her voice and see the excitement in her mannerisms (and Quigley's as well) as she talks through the project. It is true when she says that hopping in her campervan to take on this experience combines everything she is passionate about—photography, literature, travel, sociology, and community engagement. And as its hinted at in the title and above, riding along in the passenger seat will be her furry friend, Quigley. One of the cutest pups you'll ever see. If that isn't enough to get your heart attached this project, I don't know what is!

Together they will travel through 31 states, 14 National Parks, and 11 of America's most diverse and iconic cities. She will be taking her time in each to meet with local people—and this is where she's inviting people in for the journey! Along the way she'll be conducting interviews and portrait sessions—so be sure to check out her route to give her shout if she is coming your way. 

Being such a fan of Steinbeck's work, and particularly Travels with Charley, Briana made the connections of how America isn't fighting much different of a fight today as it was back then. Steinbeck took his journey through the States because he felt like he didn't know his own country anymore and Briana is now connecting with just that. This trip will allow her to reconnect and take a deeper look into the hearts and minds of Americans today. Traveling across American, she hopes to reveal just how much we still need each other. I couldn't think of a more beautiful path to want to embark on today as we so much confusion and chaos happening in America.

I am honored to have been a part of this project with Briana and am so proud and excited for her to be jumping into this full force. When you see someone really chasing after their passions and looking to transform our world, you can't help but want to help out in any way possible.

Currently, Briana is looking for fellow passionate people to understand her journey and get behind it on kickstarterYou can hop over to back her project this month to help send her off on her way and follow along with her and Quigley's progress on instagram. We can't wait to see where Briana takes us all!