We did it! We survived Elliot’s first year on planet Earth. More importantly, HE survived it! It’s hard to find the sum of all the wonderful, trying and super sappy emotional moments that made this year what it was, but here’s my honest take on the whole parenthood club. (disclaimer: I’ve only been a parent for 366 days, so I still have a LOT to learn)
1. No matter how much you plan and prepare, you’re still not ready…not even remotely for what that tiny bundle of joy brings to your life. One day I mentioned to Nick “it’s hard to imagine the life we had before E ” and his response was “No, it’s not, it was CLEAN”…so very, very true.
2. There’s something to be grateful for at every stage (or at least you better think of that way so you don’t completely lose your mind while sleep deprived) For example, newborns sleep and snuggle all the time, but when they cry, you have no freaking clue what’s making them upset. By the time they reach 6 months old, you have a pretty good idea what’s wrong when they cry, but they’re mobile and that’s a whole other can of worms…just practice gratitude and remember that these moments are so fleeting…so very very fleeting…moving onto number 3 because I feel the sappy coming on…
3. Breastfeeding is an art. I’ve never been so frustrated in all my life. If cows and giraffes and every other mammal on the planet just latches naturally, what the heck is wrong with humans?!?! It took us a good 6 weeks to get the hang of things, was totally worth it in the end, but it was NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like what I thought it would be.
4. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t…and now that you’re a parent, you’ll probably feel this way for your ENTIRE LIFE. Everything you read on vaccination, peanut butter, and solid foods is conflicting. I half-way blame the internet for all the information / misinformation / mass confusion that surrounds these decisions. Things must have been WAY easier for previous generations.
5. Safety = $$$ BIG $$$ I’m willing to bet my parents rarely had me buckled in the backseat, in fact I was probably in the front seat, front facing, without any type of restraint. (Do school buses have seat belts yet?) Granted we’ve come a long way in the 30 something years since I was born, but I had no idea how fast I could drop coin on safety features. Extra cushion for side-impact, count us in!
6. You have a whole new appreciation for your parents. Cliche, I know, but here’s when it clicked for me…
While, making jellyfish out of paper lanterns for his first birthday, I snapped this expression of “awe.” I sent the photo to my dear mother-in-law and her response was “feels great when you get it right.” How many times did my parents think they were getting it “right” and I told them they had it all “wrong?” Gotta wrap this post up before the waterworks turn on…
Sweet boy, where did the time go?
July 25, 2014
I love love love when couples give me enough time play around with their invites. Thank you Mara & Brett! We added a deep purple backing board to the invite and coordinating envelopes. They have just the right amount of shimmer to give their guests an idea of what’s ahead. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this event comes together!
a closer look…
For a peek at more of my wedding goodies, skip on over to The Ink Lab.
July 17, 2014
I love it when a couple has a vision and enough lead time for me to create something custom. Julia and Richard are getting married at the gorgeous Driehaus Museum in Chicago. They wanted to incorporate a tree on their invitations and an overall Art Deco feel. The first place I look for inspiration is the wedding venue itself. Wedding invitations are the first impression your guests get of your Big Day, so if you can tie in the venue / setting in the little details, it makes for a nice added touch. The Driehaus has an incredible domed stained glass window with trees on it.
From there I created some abstracted versions…one a little “leafier” than the other…
Julia & Richard really wanted a folded invitation, which allowed for the tree to be center stage!
LOVE their wedding colors and how they add to the overall stained glass feel of the tree.
Here’s a look at the full suite….
Thank you Julia & Richard! It was wonderful working with you! Hope your Big Day is spectacular!
July 14, 2014
Working from home with a little man has posed all sorts of challenges (it’s a wonder I get anything done) but the biggest challenge to date, has been baby proofing. The new boss-man gets into EVERYTHING.
My studio is ripe with sharp, toxic, messy, dangerous, and costly things. Even before Elliot arrived, I had been feeling as though the walls were closing in on me. So overwhelming it seemed, I enlisted the help of Susan Brun, owner of Neater Stuff.
First off the list….PURGE! Susan, being a third party (and a reasonable one at that), had no personal attachment to my stuff. She pointed out that I didn’t need every single blue bird from my wedding or bins upon bins of supplies that rarely, if ever, got touched.
It was a truck full! Most of which was donated to local school art rooms or goodwill. To think I had all this unnecessary stuff packed into my closets…no wonder the walls were closing in!
Now onto a bigger problem. I had been using two rickety old bookcases to house all of my inventory. I was terrified that my little explorer would pull them down on top of himself and there was no safe way to anchor them to the wall. (not to mention how unsightly they are….they aren’t even twins) I like to be able to see my stock of paper goods, so Susan suggested a china cabinet or furniture piece with cabinets on the bottom to keep the toxic paints locked up and open storage up top. We both spent a week hunting garage sales, antique stores and the like, and both of us kept coming back to this 1950’s piece from Two Women & a Warehouse. It was already painted, solid and a steal at only $220. Checkout that bakelite hardware!
The closets followed suit…
My packaging newsprint is now easy to reach and doesn’t require me pulling half of it out onto the floor for a few sheets.
Why I ever thought using hangers to organize was a good idea, is beyond me! I managed to purge 2 whole bins of useless supplies, which allowed for me to move my packaging supplies off the floor and into the closet. My wrapping paper is now neatly contained in a corner bin, and Nick built me this super awesome ribbon holder…
Susan is really great at re-purposing old items and working within a tight budget. During the great purge, I was tempted to completely discard an old scissor caddy. It was home to about 12 different fancy scissors, that maybe got used twice a year to make gift tags. Instead of throwing it out, we packed the fancy scissors away and moved the round caddy to my drafting table. It’s the perfect way to store the scissors and tools I use regularly. (I’m a total scissor snob, can you tell?)
The overall transformation is HUGE! I can see the floors, Vayda and Elliot can look out the window, I can allow Elliot to play at my feet in the studio without fear that he’s going to guzzle a pint of toxic paint when I’m not looking.
If you’re local to our area, I highly recommend Neater Stuff. I don’t think there’s an area, be it kitchen pantry, garage, commercial or residential that they couldn’t get organized. They can work with any budget and help you maximize your space. I finally feel like I can breathe over here. My space is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly, BABY PROOF!
Though he still likes to rummage through the mailers and recycling bin!
I offer these in theinklab fully assembled or DIY (I design, print and supply you with the handles and ribbon, you assemble)
June 10, 2014
Foil printing is making a HUGE come back. I mean, who doesn’t love a little flash of fancy when they open a wedding invitation? Foil printing also adds a lovely touch to menus (ahhh imagine that little glimmer in low lighting!) and as this bride requested, custom Thank You notes for her guests.
Please disregard my lack of photography skills…I’m no Diana Daley.
I currently don’t have these listed for sale in The Ink Lab…but I’m happy to provide you with a custom quote! Just plan in advance, since I don’t print them in-house.