Paper for Parties! Introducing Printed Invitation Design

Last night we hosted a baby shower for four of our favorite friends.  They are two couples, both of whom found out they were expecting at nearly the same time.  It has been so fun to see them prepare for their new baby girls!

It's hard to find an invitation designed for two couples.  So guess what I did?

It all started with a watercolor painting:

We wanted to host an atypical baby shower: it took place at night, and men comprised half the group.  We figured the boys might be wary of a girly "baby shower," so the drink theme made it a little more man-friendly.  This painting led to all kinds of cute party items!

Love having custom envelope liners... and look how thick these cards are!  Was so impressed by the printer.

A number of guests live in my apartment building, so I just hand-delivered the invitations.   Their envelopes looked so naked without stamps... so I made little faux stamps to go in the corner:

I made personalized notepads for the guests of honor, in hopes that they would serve as mementos from the shower once the couples move away and become families of three!

And for the rest of the guests... little baby bottle party favors with "It's a Girl!" Hershey kisses inside.  Yum.

The shower was a blast... we had the guys chugging beer out of baby bottles and other fun stuff.  I got way too into decorating for it.  Thank goodness for my husband, who inflated 50-something balloons!

Here's my little attempt at an ombre arrangement of tulips:

Cheers to the wonderful parents-to-be!  Thank you for giving us two beautiful reasons to celebrate.

On behalf of AJC... cheers to an exciting new foray into paper goods!

Caribbean Daydreaming

Who else is freezing these days?

Wanna take a vacation?



Me, too.

This juicy blue oil painting finally dried, so I begrudgingly said goodbye and shipped it off.  (It sure looked pretty in my living room…)  

If you get a chance, look up Cayo Espanto in Belize…  wow.  I'll never get a chance to go there, but it sure was fun having this private island all to myself for a few months! :)


This January, I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy by proxy, thanks to a jet-setting client who shared one of her favorite pieces of Tuscany with me.

While visiting her Italian home, she fell in love with a painting and wanted me to re-create it for her husband.  

Sì, certo!

The original looks like it was painted on something smooth, so I decided to paint this on board.  We decided to make the painting 30x30".  I couldn't find pre-made wood panels that large, so I made my own.  Here's Phil at Home Depot helping me with Step 1:

I spent a few days prepping the board - cleaning, sanding, applying gesso, and so on… perhaps a little longer than I expected, but it was a fun process and so rewarding!  I loved the final working surface.  Sorry I didn't take pictures of the process.  Just imagine a piece of wood, painted white.

The completed painting:

What style would you call this?  Abstract? Cubist? 

Here are some details of the final painting:

(Love that swishy stuff.  I added a ton of medium to the acrylic to make it do that… fun.)

Here is the best part… the feedback!!  My heart nearly exploded with joy!!  Look how wonderful and warm it looks, propped in its new home:

This might just be outright bragging, but I can't ask for better reviews than these!

What fun it is, indeed!  Feedback like this makes every single minute of my job feel worthwhile.  Yay!

I hope to see an update when the painting gets framed and hung.  In the meantime, I have an "appuntamento" with some paintbrushes… arrivederci!

A Wedding at Grand View Lodge

I just finished a very big painting with lots and lots of details!


I'll try to show you the scale of the piece… and give you an idea of how hard it can be to place suggestions of faces with even my smallest paintbrushes:


I loved the dappled light on the planters, stone, and foliage!  The trees below were cool, too:

And a shot of the well-heeled artist, hard at work:

(A friend asked what I actually wore to work every day… well, dear readers, this is it.  Yikes.  I have no idea what EEF is… my husband brought this apron home from a business trip.)

This painting is 24x36" and took a lot longer than typically expected, because of all the pockets of details… but I adore them all and hope the client will, too!  This baby will ship to Minnesota this week!