Jennifer Eileen Photography

Having worked for a very wonderful photographer, I (Kari) picked up a few skills. The skill gleaned from that fun job that I am most excessively eager to express is what I like to call photography discernment. My husband calls it "being a photograph snob." I can't help it. I can't tolerate overexposure weirdness (so many photographers are prone to this---it makes people look creepy), I expect black and white photos to actually be black and white (not muddy gray! B&W photography should always express contrast), and I can tell immediately when a photo has been altered with Photoshop by a person who does not have the skills nor a trained eye. That being said, I am NOT a photographer. I have some mad Photoshop skills, but I take lousy pictures. Photographers seem to grow out of the woodwork around where I live. Every time I open the regional monthly magazine that is published in the town where I live, I see a new photographer advertising. This isn't a bad thing, but I think it makes finding true talent a bit more difficult because anyone with a DSLR and Photoshop can call themselves a photographer. (Much like anyone with a computer can call herself a graphic designer and anyone who has a strong opinion about paint color can call herself a decorator. The art/design world is so accessible it's becoming diluted. There are pros and cons, but that's another day's post...) Finding true artists in the mix can be challenging, but I have recently been introduced to a photographer who is just that: a brilliant artist. Meet Jen from Jennifer Eileen Photography.

Jen contacted me a couple weeks ago because she had photographed a wedding for which I had done the invitations. She was kindly offering me her images so that I could use them on my website---isn't that sweet? I had to check her out, of course, so I began perusing her blog and website. Guess what? Jen is super-talented! I love her work and she's been featured on Grey Likes Weddings, The Wedding Chicks, Style Unveiled, Ever Ours, and other great wedding blogs. I can't wait to work with Jen on some upcoming projects!

Here are the images Jen sent over of the invitations I created for Devon & Joel's wedding (a big thank you for the beautiful images, Jen!):





These invitations were very fun to make! The envelopes and the backing on the invitations were wood veneer. The invitation details were printed on off-white linen and then I did a belly-band of the same linen layered over a thicker-weave sand-colored linen. This was finished off with my trusty pinking shears.

As far as my website's been a work in progress for nearly a year. Mostly, I have been too busy to make it just the way I want it to be. Also, I am in the middle of restructuring my business a bit. Word-of-mouth has been my only form of marketing and I have been very blessed: I am now too busy to do all the things I thought I could under the umbrella of my business. It's time to narrow the field a bit, but I'm not gonna lie: I'm having a hard time letting go! I really do want to do it all, but I'm learning that if I do everything, I will do nothing WELL. :) As soon as the website is up and live, you here at the blog will be the first to know---Jill's been on my case for awhile about showing more of my projects, so I expect you'll be seeing a few more of those in the future. :)

In the meantime, take a moment to check out Jennifer Eileen Photography. Really, really good stuff. :)


DIY Dipped Accessories

Sorry for the bad photo above, but you'll want to view the video how-to here anyway:
We love this idea to add a little extra something to a party table! The options are limitless...

Spring Pretties...

Wore this today. Loads of compliments. Necklaces like this make me want to plan whole outfits around them! Check out the new Spring Stella & Dot line. It's gorgeous.
Happy Wednesday!

Weekend Recap: Letterpress Love

Can you believe it's Monday again? The weekends roll by much too quickly, don't they?

How'd you spend your weekend? I (Kari) spent part of my weekend enjoying some of my favorite people (wonderful family members who are special gifts in my life) and the rest of the weekend was spent in the letterpress studio at the San Francisco Center for the Book. This is one of my favorite places! I took a class to brush up on some letterpress skills. It's time to get the behemoth press in my garage up and running (her name is Mavis), so I spent some time this weekend learning from some old pros. I love the art of letterpress! Most people I know love the finished product of letterpress, but not everyone loves the actual process---it's a ton of work and requires lots and lots of patience. It's also very physical and requires you to get very dirty---you cannot keep a fabulous manicure when you've been setting type, mixing ink, oiling a press, and moving equipment about. However, it's something I enjoy very, very much! Here are some iPhone pics of my time in the studio:




Hopefully, I can show you some updated letterpress work soon---courtesy of Mavis. :)

How was your weekend? Any fun plans?

Room of the day:

Bright white, rustic floors, wide open space, lots of light...Yes, please.
Hope you are having a lovely Wednesday!

Lonny Update...

The new Lonny is, as usual, fabulous! You must check it out here and read it cover to cover. Here are a few standout "moments" in this edition that caught our eye:

First of all, we love this space from the article on Bunny Williams. We both have dreams of one day having a dedicated craft/sewing/art studio that is as beautifully organized as this space. In addition, the advice that Ms. Williams gives wannabe-designers along the side of the spread is brilliant:
Gallery walls are here to stay---and we are so glad! This wall is refreshing: bright white with lots of colorful accents. We love a gallery wall that incorporates lots of art. It's a nice counterpoint to photograph-heavy displays:
LOVE that dining space. Bright white, perfect accessories...gorgeous!
This saturated turquoise color is lovely and works to turn this little bathroom into a beautiful room. It's moody without being overly dark...
This space is just "wow." Love the mix!
What are your favorite things about the new Lonny?

The Babs Blog Resolution:

Okay, so our New Year's resolution post is 8 days behind the rest of the blog world. That's just the way we roll around here. :)

We each have different resolutions for the New Year, but this one tops the list for both of us. Won't you join us in this resolution this year? Let's have a 2011 full of meaningful memories with other people. Quit worrying about the house being spotless---invite people over and enjoy them! Maybe this resolution will mean promising to hold one dinner party a month or to just invite some new people over so you can get to know them. Either way, can you imagine a richer way to spend 2011?

Happy Weekend!


Ahhh, Friday. We hope that you have a promising weekend ahead of you. If you need rest, we hope your weekend is peaceful. If you need stimulation, we hope the weekend is one long party. :) Jill will be enjoying her weekend in Washington D.C. with a best friend, and Kari will be dreaming of this beach (above). It's a beach in Liberia where she spent Christmas morning with her husband, parents, and a bunch of darling kids just playing in the sand. Can you imagine a beach in the United States where you and your loved ones are the only ones around? No? (That's because it doesn't exist!) Wherever your weekend takes you, we hope it's fabulous!

For all the blondes...

As fair-skinned blondes, the search for the perfect red lipstick has been, well, daunting. Orangey reds make us look kinda yellow and there is always the inclination toward reds that are heavy on the raspberry side---so they look hot pink, really.

Well, ladies, the search is over and we are in love. Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Pur Couture in color Vermillon is the blonde's red. Seriously. It's the perfect red---not orange, not pink, not too vampire-ish... Just luxurious and lovely. YSL's lipstick feels glammy, too---there is something so ladylike about taking it out of an evening bag and applying it in the powder room. Kinda like you have a secret weapon in that tiny beaded purse...

Spoonflower Love

It's likely that this post will be old news for many of you. Still, we are so smitten with Spoonflower, that we had to write about it again anyway! Spoonflower is lovable for two main reasons:

1. If you can't find affordable fabric for a project in the conventional places, chances are that Spoonflower will have something that does the trick.
2. If you are a creative person and want to design your own fabric, you can!

Above are some swatches of fabric from Spoonflower that we like---there are a lot of graphic prints on the site to use as great accents in projects. We also love that you can choose what type of fabric you'd like: quilt-weight all the way to upholstery-weight.

There are some times, though, that it's impossible to find the right fabric for a specific project. That's where Spoonflower is really amazing---you can upload your own designs and then play around with the repeat to develop just the right fabric. Amazing! Think of the possibilities:

  • You can design something new and graphic on the computer to add to a room design.
  • You can scan and upload your child's drawing and sew a special pillow for grandma.
  • You can hand-draw something special, scan it, manipulate it on photoshop, and develop a brand-new, unique pattern for curtains, bedding, whatever!
  • You can create a fun fabric with silhouettes of your family members or pets.
The ideas are endless! If you aren't feeling creative on your own, Spoonflower has hundreds of already-designed fabrics from which to choose.

Happy fabric-hunting!

Design Crush: Palmer Weiss

If you are interested in design, you probably have a few "design heroes" that you can list off for anyone who inquires. For me (Kari), at the top of that list is Palmer Weiss. Very few designers do what she does so well: understand the client, make the interior elegant, don't neglect color, add a dash of wit.

I have a design project starting up this month and the client sent me an email after our first meeting. She clarified a few things for me and then added, "I don't really know what to call my style, but I think anything Palmer Weiss does is amazing." I broke into a huge smile. This client and I are design soulmates!

Check out Palmer Weiss' website. What a talented woman---here is a designer who, in my opinion, really gets it!

Today's Room

Today, in the midst of our harried schedules, we are wishing to relax around this table with a couple of mugs of hot cocoa. Since we are sisters who haven't seen each other for about a month, we would probably sit at that table for hours chatting, catching up on life with each other and doing our fair share of laughing---because we love to laugh with each other. (The mugs of hot cocoa would probably eventually turn into glasses of wine...)

The calm, orderly interior pictured above is such an inspiration for what we would like in our homes this year: peacefulness, organization, and style. What's your "interior design resolution" for this year?

Happy 2011!

Hello, friends! Did you have a beautiful Christmas and a lovely New Year's celebration? Both of us had quite the full holiday season this year. Kari went to Liberia (to spend time with the parents) with her husband for Christmas and then participated in swanky revelry in New York City to usher in 2011. Jill was in California, but today is hopping aboard a plane for a little vacay to Washington, D.C.

See? We've been busy!

The photo above was taken by Kari in Liberia. All those darling children were walking to a neighboring village to give a Christmas pageant performance. If you'd like to read Kari's recap on her Liberian Christmas, go here.

We hope your 2011 is off to a delightful start! We are looking forward to 2011 and hope we can give a little more love to this blog. Thanks for being a loyal reader. :) We appreciate you!