An Education

I was an unhappy student.  I spent my college years partying and wasting opportunities (as I'm sure many of us have.)  I was trying so hard to study something that didn't really suit me in any way, like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  I didn't know what I wanted or where my interests lay (except reading, I loved and still love to read everything.  But reading alone does not an education make.)

Lately I've been fired up, trying to soak up any and all resources online and in my community about my new interests.  I've taken BlogShop to learn how to use Photoshop more effectively, and BlogShop Video to learn how to shoot video more effectively and edit it in the CS6 version of Photoshop (more on that in this post.)  I've taken several classes online to brush up on my limited HTML and CSS skills, and lamented over classes offered only to paying students like this CCA class Summer Design Intensive with my personal graphic design hero Jason Munn (swoon!)

I missed my calling, folks.  I just love to create!  So this next round-up is a spring and summer to do list, of all the classes I want to take.  Classes that are interesting, push my skills/art/graphic design to the next level, stuff that makes me feel good, people!  Learning should make you feel good, here's to better late than never!

1. Illustrator CS6: One-on-One: Fundamentals, with Deke McClelland on  9 hours and 19 minutes of working with shapes and closed paths, including painting, grouping, and coloring, and placing and adjusting type.  I want to make logos, and I want to be able to make illustrations without hand drawing them on my tablet - this is going to get me started. I've been making custom stationery and working on logos (more on that to come) and I think Illustrator would really help bring my work to the next level.

2. Online Modern Calligraphy for Beginners, by Melissa at I Still Love Calligraphy.  Yes the wedding is over but I STILL LOVE CALLIGRAPHY TOO.  Who doesn't want to learn how to write like this?  Oh, you want to take it too?  Sign up!  We'll do it together!

3. Intro to Knitting at A Verb For Keeping Warm.  I have always wanted to learn how to knit, I have several knitting books at home - but this book sent me RIGHT OVER THE EDGE!  I want to knit every.single.thing for Rosebud, and every other baby I know!

4. Tabletop Photography by  I've mentioned a few times my frustration with limited photography skills, I'd just love to do something about it.  I feel like this class would at least point me in the right direction.

What do you say folks?  Let's make this the summer of educational self-indulgence.  What classes are you jonesin' for?

Happy For Hue: Navy

Hey Folks!  Sorry for the long silence, it's been a busy week and I can't wait to share what's in the works.  Now contributing to Rosebud & Penny with a weekly style column (read: wishlist!) will be Natalie Kershaw, who has her own awesome blog Kershaws In Cali

I double dog dare you to tell me she's not the cutest, ever.  Natalie and I met years ago (at work!) and since becoming dear friends she's been my style guru, my inspiration, and a trusted friend who I run like 88% of my aesthetic decisions through. I'm sure many of you already know Natalie, she is just so incredibly stylish and sweet I'm super flattered she's willing to contribute!  Without further ado: Happy For Hue: Navy...

1. Anchor-print cotton-canvas slippers, Charles Philip Shanghai \\ 2. Boy scouts cotton-blend terry sweatshirt, Zoe Karssen \\ 3. Jepson jersey scarf, Isabel Marant \\ 4. Voile shirt, Splendid \\ 5. Polka-dot skinny silk scarf, Saint Laurent \\ 6. Cotton-blend jersey t-shirt, Splendid

Emma Turns Three: A Turquoise Princess Party, Part 2

As promised, here are a few pics from Emma's party on Saturday.  The party decor revolved around turquoise and some complementary shades of blue, with Cinderella themed touches thrown in to delight our little Miss Emma.  You can see where we started with inspiration on the mood board here.

The flowers were arranged by me, with two shades of wax flower, chamomile and little spray roses tucked in with some gorgeous blue hydrangea.  I loved the cupcake toppers, it's just how I like to do themed birthdays - an outline or suggestion of Cinderella's dress is simpler and more palatable than a direct image I think and just as delightful to the kiddos.

The family had just moved into their new house a few months ago, I love love love the color choices they made for the walls.  Insider info: many of those were made when they couldn't be there in person to test swatch the paint choices.  Impressive, yes?

I made the birthday banner in shades of blue and turquoise floral print, it's hard to see from the dark picture (ergh limited camera skills!) but it was perfect for a little girl!  I also hung turquoise, royal blue, and white crepe paper streamers and doily garlands over the fireplace and archways in the house.

The family did all the food, which was simple and easy (the only way to really enjoy your own party, don't you think?)  Mimosas were served to the adult guests, I just love the champagne bucket and that footed fruit bowl - gorgeous!  The picture frame is from Ikea and a total steal at $4.99.

And here's the adorable birthday girl with her family (dressed in party coordinating colors - love them!)  We did giant round balloons with garlands and rosettes, the kids got such a kick out of them.

We also set up a table with paper gold crowns, glitter pens, and jewel stickers for the kids to make their own royal headgear.  Favors included a sweet coloring pack featuring the Disney princesses and a swirly turquoise lollipop for a fun treat, wrapped in white bakery envelopes and baker's twine it was a present fit for royalty.  The party was such a pleasure to design and decorate, I'm such a sucker for great kids parties!  A very happy birthday to sweet Emma, thanks for letting me in on the good times!

(all pictures by me)

Emma Turns Three: A Turquoise Princess Party

I can't wait to share the photos from what I was up to this weekend...another birthday party!  This one for sweet little (now) 3-year-old Emma.  She had asked for a turquoise Cinderella princess party (adorable!) and I think we delivered on that while keeping the saccharine levels moderate for the adults.   Here's a sneak peek at the mood board, pictures from the party to come tomorrow!

1. Large round balloons with tassels or garlands (picture from here)  // 2. Doily Garlands (from here) // 3. Flowers (pic from here) // 4. Crepe paper garlands // 5. Striped Paper Straws // 6. Cinderella's Dress Cupcake Toppers // 7. Fairy Godmother Wands (pic from here) // 8. Custom Invitations by me! // 9. Custom Birthday Garland by me!

The Bay Bridge

The first time I crossed the Bay Bridge was the day I moved to San Francisco, September of 2004. I had driven all the way from Minnesota, car packed and trusty dog in the passenger seat. I got caught in a snow storm on Donner Pass and spent one creepy (do you guys know the story of the Donner Party?) and anxiety filled night huddled with Charlie in the car on the side of the highway with several other waylaid vehicles. When morning came and the storm had passed we hit the road.

Roughly three hours later, we crossed the Bay Bridge to our new life in San Francisco. I have always loved the Bay Bridge. I know her colorful sister, the Golden Gate, gets a lot of love, but for me it's always been the Bay Bridge that's captured my heart and imagination. I love that its really two bridges, an East and West span (maybe it's the twin in me?) and I love its underdog nature. When I cross Westbound I get the most incredible view of San Francisco, and when I cross Eastbound the weather usually gets sunnier and warmer - I'm literally leaving the fog, cold and clouds behind. Gotta love those Bay Area microclimates! I cross it often and memories of those first hopeful thoughts and optimistic daydreams that filled my mind that morning in September still make me feel warm and nostalgic.

There's to be a new feature to our beloved bridge, an LED art installation by Leo Villareal. And although the Minnesota hippy rebel girl in me kind of takes pride in the hardworking nature and unglamorous look of the Bay Bridge, I'm actually really excited about the installation. Our cantilevered girl really works hard and she deserves a little sparkle, a little glitter in her crown. So here's to many wonderful memories made on and in the shadow of the beautiful Bay Bridge, and many new ones to come.

(picture of the Bay Bridge by Jim Nix)

Project: My Sister's Wedding

My dear big sister Martina got married last September to the love of her life (yay!)  Nosy, bossy sister that I am, I pushed and prodded my sister to do this or that for her wedding exactly my way. Sometimes I won, sometimes she resisted and I'm so glad she did.  The wedding was gorgeous, and a compromise of our two different styles.  It was our first time working on a large project together, and I'm so so so thrilled it was such a success.

As a wedding present, I designed and printed her wedding invitations. Later I also edited her wedding video, and made her wedding album (below.)  Suffice to say I was knee-deep in her wedding for quite some time! This was my first time designing an entire wedding suite solo and I love how it came out. Her only request was to use navy, and I wanted to incorporate at least one of the colors from her very colorful mood board to bring it to life without looking too wild.  I included custom maps for the rehearsal dinner invitation and for the wedding details insert, and screen printed the return envelopes with my gocco.  The invitation suite was the perfect representation of Martina and Gurkan, and their subtly industrial, 20's vintage, and modern special day. 

I remember my girlfriends telling me how important your wedding photos are when I was planning my wedding, how it's "all that's left" after your big day.  I thought it was silly to think that, you have your memories!  But now a few years later I realize they were right, it's those pictures that bring back the special memories when I look through my wedding album.  I was so excited to put together an album of memories for Martina and Gurkan to cherish.  The book is 15 layouts for a total of 30 press printed lay flat pages mounted on thick cardstock.  The cover is premium black leather, so soft and totally classic.  It was hard to send it on to her, I flipped through the pages a dozen times. She was a real stunner in that dress, wasn't she?

The whole project was really amazing and I'm sad it's over.  On to other projects!

(all pictures of wedding invitations and wedding album by me, photography for Martina's wedding by the incredibly talented Liana Elizabeth Photography)
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