I've moved!

I have a big girl site now! Come follow me at everythingdesignish.com. Hope to see you there!


the bump

Guess I should have checked my stats at some point -- as I've just found some of my traffic has been coming over from thebump.com. Maddox's mobile! I had no idea it was out there. I feel just a tiny bit cool. Cool.


Holiday Cards 2012

Oh hey. It's been a while. I'm still here...and wanting to be here more. Crafts are still happening, design is still happening, life is still happening. The posts are not. This space has been on my mind a lot. I have plans for it -- a new identity (a real one, not one I threw together during nap time) and new layout. Design is in my every day life, and I'm always very aware of it when it's there. I'm hoping I can get here more often. Because it is something I enjoy doing, and not at all something I feel I have to do (obbbbvvviously...).

When I share our holiday cards, I'm usually a little worried that I'll be jumping the gun -- not allowing all our friends and family time to receive them through the mail. I know they wait anxiously each year for our card, so I'd hate to ruin that surprise for them. Never fear...for this year, I'm so behind. Our cards have probably already made their way into the recycling bin. (And that's okay, because that is probably where yours is also! Reduce > Reuse > Recycle. We heart Earth.)

For our card this year, I spent a lot of time focusing on our outfits. I wanted bright colors and fun prints, while also avoiding matchy-matchiness. We've taken too many photos, all dressed quite drab, for the sake of matching. I used Maddy's plaid shirt as my base and worked from there. And yes, I know he will hate me for the yellow bow tie at some point down the road. I'll worry about that later.

Because I spent a lot of time fussing with clothing, I didn't spend too much time on the design. Simple was the way to go -- more emphasis on the color pops. I LOVE these photos taken by Liz Hough at Liz Hough Photography. They are our best to date. I didn't want to mess with a good thing. When I was looking through our gallery of photos, I noticed that our positioning made the outline of heart in a few of our family shots. From there, I decided a simple white background with photo-filled hearts would be perfect. I used a clean & modern serif font, pulling their colors from the photos. We have friends and family that celebrate different holidays, in fact, our household celebrates two. I sent out two different versions this year, an all-encompassing "Happy Holidays" card and a very specific "Merry Christmas" card. It's not my plan to do this every year, but the idea lent itself well to the design. And you know I can't resist that sort of thing.

I hope to be back soon. It's just that every evening (if I don't have "real" work to do) I face this internal struggle of whether to peel myself off the couch and be creative...or continue to zombie-watch MTV's latest exploit. The days are long and hard here and sometimes I need mindless (m)TV to shut my mind down. I'm not proud of it. It's just my truth.

Edited to add: Don't mind the new header, I'll likely be trying out new looks while I figure out what I want. Consider it an interim header for now. Unless I have another kid. Then you won't hear from me ever again.


Allison's Getting Married Part II. And (Not) Finding Balance.

I know everyone says it...there is not enough time in any given day to get everything done that needs to be done. You prioritize -- determining what can sit and what needs to be addressed like, now. There is no getting around it, my first priority is taking care of the babies during the day. I have personal and work-related emails to answer...but often they have to wait longer than I'd like. I'm really struggling to find the right balance and I'm finding myself turning down jobs that I'd normally snatch up in a heartbeat. In fact, I shouldn't even be blogging right now -- because both kids are sleeping and I could have only 5 more precious minutes. That's the thing too. With Daphne, I know she'll most likely sleep from 1-3 in the afternoon. With Maddox, I just never know. Could be 20 minutes. Could be 40. Could be 3 hours. I'm hesitant to start a big project during his naps because I know that by the time I sit down (after washing bottles, feeding myself, throwing in laundry) he'll probably be awake and ready to eat. I think most people might say right here that they aren't complaining...but I know I am. High five for admitting to it? Thanks, I'll take it.

All this to say, most posts these days were really intended to be posted yesterday. Or the day before. Or the week before. Maybe even months before. Did you know I stenciled my main floor's curtains? Probably not, because I haven't been able to pull a post together about it. Basically it started with a pregnant me naively thinking it wouldn't take very long. And ended with a pregnant me complaining about my back and how I was NEVER doing something like that again. Guess I don't need to post on it now. But, let's talk about Allison's bridal shower invitations, mmkay?

Allison and Jake are outdoorsy folk. They like nature. And they've moved across country where there is plenty of it. I'm sure they are eating it all up. Actually, I know they are. I just saw Allie's latest Facebook album (Hi, Al!). When brainstorming shower themes, it really made the most sense to go with something that reflected their love of the great outdoors. It was no coincidence that we used words such as "paths" and " toasting" and "gather" to share the important details of this exciting event. Now that they were all delivered, it's time to share:

The end. Maddox is up!


Allison's Getting Married Part I

So, I posted Daphne's invitations a while ago. Then we all got sick and I had to reschedule her party for July 7th -- also known as the hottest day we could have possibly had it. Photos to come, but I'm telling you now that the sweaty, hot mess in the photos is me. Prepping the space at the farm for the party proved to be more work than I anticipated and I didn't exactly wear the most sweat-proof type of outfit. Lesson learned. Let's move on and talk about my dear friend, Allison.

Allison is getting married! And not only do I get to stand up there with her on September 2nd, I also had the privilege of designing invitations for her wedding, shower, and bachelorette party. I couldn't have been any more excited to do it all. And I can't wait to share them here. First up, the invite.

After discussing the color palette, any themes and/or preferences she had in mind, I got to work. I sent her a few different options -- all using deep purple and warm yellow hues. Allison gets five stars for participation. It was her suggestion to use the wheat graphic (drawn in Illustrator) in place of the dandelion I had there. A little background on her suggestion:

  • Allison and her fiancĂ© (Jake), have recently relocated to Colorado. Colorado is a state with more farming and land with less populous towns and people reminding Jake of where he grew up.
  • Symbolizes their new life in Colorado and the laid back lifestyle there and their future home they are planning to buy with land and acreage.
  • They picked a wheat 'strand' in Kansas on their drive out to Colorado at a really pretty wheat field on the side of the road. They still have it and plan on putting it in a shadow box.
  • They sort of have a special song (hey, mine and Brian's was Yeah, Yeah by Usher...) and its Neal Young's Heart of Gold. It's relaxing, mellow, and reminds Allison of a peaceful wheat field.

I love when there is a real purpose in design. It makes it that much more meaningful. And to top it all off, Allison added her own touch -- the wheat stamping on the back of the envelope. Way to go, Al!

So here's the whole shabang. Location and website information has been removed to prevent any party crashers (you know who you are) from...crashing.


Daphne's 2nd Birthday Invitations

Can I just tell you how excited I am about Daphne's party theme this year? For months, I thought I'd be designing a duck themed party for Daphne...until I realized that her love of all farm animals far outweighed her love for just ducks. Before she knew colors or numbers, she knew farm animals. Ducks go "cack, cack". Cows go "a-moo". Chickens go "buk, buk". Pigs go "oi oi". If there was ever to be a Jeopardy, Toddler Edition, Daphne would choose Farm Animals for $1000, Alex.

We are so fortunate to have a place like Clark's Elioak Farm in our area. They've got the Enchanted Forest to wander through, a tree maze, hay rides, and a petting zoo. We took Daphne for a test run a few weeks ago and she was ecstatic over being able to get so close to the animals. It only solidified our decision to have her 2nd birthday party there.

Last year it wasn't totally about her. I chose decorations and designs that I liked for her. This year we wanted a party that reflected things she loves. Maybe she won't remember, but we will. Seeing her run from the goats, to the sheep, to the chicken coop in delight are the kind of moments we live for. Just seeing her happy.

There will be a lot of gingham. A lot of burlap. Cowboy hats and neckerchiefs (each child will get their own!). I'm seeing lemonade with red striped straws. Oh, and more gingham.

Enjoy the invite package below!


The Birth Announcement

It's no surprise, I don't have much free time these days. I expect this to change a little in coming months as Maddox (hopefully!) starts to fall into a routine. I can almost always count on Daphne's 2 hour nap in the middle of the day, but Maddox is still unpredictable. Just yesterday, he gave me 30 TOTAL minutes of glorious napping all day. It was awesome.

I have a hard time putting Maddox down if he's not sleeping. He wants to be held most of the time, and for that I can't fault him. He is still a newborn and needs all the comfort and love he can get. After spending 9 months in my belly where everything felt safe, he's now been thrusted into our chaotic world. It's rarely quiet around here. It is nothing short of a small miracle that I was able to get these birth announcements designed and mailed, all while planning and designing for Daphne's upcoming 2nd birthday party.

Question: Does anyone create anything that they haven't already seen done on Pinterest these days?! No? Okay, that makes me feel better. I'll come clean and say the front of this card was inspired by a design I found on the big P. I wanted something clean and simple with pops of orange. If you remember Maddox's room, you will know where the orange comes from. I'd like to frame the front of the card and hang it in his nursery so I kept that in mind when choosing the color palette.

I will soon have birthday invites to share. I'm very, very excited with how they turned out. Stay tuned!