Friday, July 29, 2011

Jacklyn's Wedding Weekend!

It's finally Friday, and I'm gearing up for a busy weekend... Jacklyn is getting married!!!

I've known Jacks since I was 15. She's awesome. Example: on Saturday, she will be walking down the aisle to a piano version of Where Is My Mind  by the Pixies. Yeah. Awesome. We met through our high school theatre program and grew close because of our shared interest in art, music, coffee, films and so much more.

My friendship with Jacki (as well as our other two high school besties, Sharon and Stacy) had a huge impact in making me who I am today. Jacki introduced me to Tarantino films and helped cultivate my love of good coffee. I can't believe she's getting married this weekend! Here's a little sneak peek:
Black Strapless Dress from David's Bridal (it has pockets!!!)  | Flowers by Brown Paper Design 
Jersey knot flats from Payless (comfy and cheap!)

Her wedding theme fits her personality to a tee: black and cream, with floral accents of deep purple. Super classy with a bit of edge -- totally Jacki.  I'm so excited to see it all come together (and of course, eat a slice of cake. Or two.) Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friendship Bracelet Swap

Image from grainline studio

I just read over at Michael Ann Made that Jen from grainline studio is hosting a friendship bracelet swap! I'm totally signing up. It's great that so many blogs are featuring revamped, more sophisticated versions of childhood crafts.... I love this gray gradient one from Purl Bee and the braided bracelets from son of a sailor.  I haven't thought of friendship bracelets in years, but I'm suddenly nostalgic for summer camp and anklets, wet and soggy from trips to the beach.

If you need a refresher on bracelet making, Jen has provided some handy links, or check out Michael Ann's fun cardboard loom tutorial. I think I'm going to try making one with dusty blue, mustard, and gray thread a la gathered heart... time to round up some embroidery floss.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Being a Grown-Up

Life has been so hectic lately that I have neglected you, dear blog readers, and for that I am sorry. Somewhere between working full time, a daily two hour commute, random chores, cooking dinner, and spending what's left of the day with my husband, Gathered Heart has been put on the back burner. I have a ton inspiring things to share, I just haven't had the time to do so. Things at Bethel are beginning to settle a bit, so hopefully my regular posting will resume soon.

That is why the weekend exists. Two glorious days of general nothingness to sleep in, reflect on the previous week, read a book outside, bake banana nut bread, watch movies, and catch up on the fun things in life (blog posts included.)

Photo by amanda fales phography. Quilt from Sharon!

I can't believe how quickly my life has been changing. Not even a year ago, I was fresh out of college, working as a publishing house design intern and planning my wedding. My mom made the meals and my dad occasionally paid for my gas. Now... I'm married to my best friend. We live on a lake and have our own garden. I have a full time job that I absolutely love. I wear pencil skirts. I run errands and cook dinner almost every night -- and these are healthy, legit meals, folks, not my frozen pizza wonders of collegiate past. So many life milestones, all accomplished in the matter of 10 months.

I'm a grown up.

Whaaaat? In all honesty, even though all the pieces are there, it doesn't really feel like I'm actually an adult just yet. I still want to have ice cream for dinner and stay up late watching Netflix. I've been needing to schedule appointments for the dentist and optometrist for months now. I occasionally shop at Forever21 (and I'm nearly 24.) I still get excited when the fireflies start to flicker every evening. And I still make frozen pizza on the weekends.

As much as I have learned this past year about being a wife and being an adult, I feel stuck somewhere in-between. I find myself wanting to be taken seriously as a professional, but also wanting to hold on to my youth for as long as I can. Is it possible have both? When exactly are we supposed to make the transition from twenty-somethings to actual adults? Which also has me thinking, do creatives ever really grow up? Perhaps part of our creativity comes from having the limitless, imaginative mind that most have lost after adolescence.... but I think that's an entirely different post for another time.

I just thought I'd share some real talk with you on growing up. Living is such a strange and wonderful thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Missy Austin Design

I was perusing the fantastic free fonts at Lost Type Co-op this morning when I ran across the work of Missy Austin. Missy designed "Nelma" a wonderful, flourished typeface. It's a pretty elaborate font that I may never actually use... but I still love it. It would be perfect for a rustic wedding suite or possibly a poster.

 Nelma. EPS file available for free here

After viewing the font, I was curious to see her other work so I followed the link to her website. So glad I did. Austin, who "appreciates simplicity as long as it's compelling," has a very inspiring portfolio. I really enjoy her playful use of color and texture, as well as the modern-meets-mid century vibe that a lot of her pieces have. 

Web design for the National Park Service -- this entire branding suite is great

 A selection of Austin's logo designs

Austin graduated in 2010 from the University of Minnesota and lives and works in Minneapolis. For being so young, she already has developed a great design philosophy and is definitely one to watch. I really like this little blurb from her biography:
I don't think branding (or anything for that matter) should ever compromise character and I believe quirkiness, a sense of humor & experimentation will always beat out the safe choice.
Amen to that. Like Austin, I try to use interesting typography treatments and meaningful shapes in my work as much as possible. But I've noticed lately that I tend to use the same colors: mustard, teal, and salmon.... I really should try using more orange and green, and take a cue from Austin and incorporate more texture in my work.

I hope you're inspired by Austin's work as much as I am. Added bonus: she has a great set of found typography on her Flickr!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Christopher & Katherine's Summertime Adventures

I've had this little project stewing for a while now, and thanks to the long holiday weekend I was able to finish up all the loose ends. I guess it's kind of an ongoing project, actually, but I think it's finally presentable. That said, I am pleased to present: Christopher and Katherine's Summertime Adventures! (or, All Your Fifth Grade Field Trips and Local Family Trips Are Fun Again! Maybe.)

Since this is the first summer Chris and I are sharing together as husband and wife, we wanted to make the most of it by having fun together, soaking up as much sun as possible, and exploring Michigan and the surrounding areas. With that goal in mind, we compiled a list of summery, local adventures for our free time this season. Think... summer enrichment school meets camp meets family day trips. Hello, world's longest wooden roller coaster. Hi there, museum dedicated solely to recreational vehicles. All the tourist trap, special interest, cheesy and possibly lame Midwestern hotspots? We want to go to there.

1. Oh little Bavarian man from Frankenmuth. You sure do like your traditional German beer stein.  2. Meet Winter Sun the buffalo. He weights over 2000 pounds.  3. The Mid American Windmill Museum has 52 windmills on campus. I don't know much about windmills... at all... but that seems like a lot. 

We've tried our best to think of classic summer activities (the Beach, a Cubs Game) as well as atypical local places (Amish Acres, a buffalo preserve) and combine them into one huge list of general summer awesomeness. Here it is so far, in no particular order:

Needless to say, we're pretty excited about the whole thing. With two official summer weekends past, we've visited the Potawatomi Zoo and spent a day at the beach, which I'll try to post on a little later. I know our list is probably missing a lot... it doesn't cover any local summer festivals or Chicagoland at all. 

Know of any adventures in the Michigan/Illinois/Indiana area that I didn't list? There are 12 weekends left this summer, so hopefully we can squeeze as much in as possible... let me know if you think of anything!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cake Party!

Who wants to come over to my house and have a CAKE PARTY?! I just spotted this over at Oh Hello Friend and I think it is pure genius: each party-goer brings along a cake to share and everyone can sample as many slices as they'd like.

Seriously. Saving this idea for future reference. Because I really love cake.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July from Mr. and Mrs. Ross!

God bless America, raspberry Dumdums, cherry Starbursts, and iPhone self portraits.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nine to Five

Man what a week! Between starting a new job, finishing up another, working on an intense freelance project, and life in general, I haven't had time to catch my breath. Finally, it's Friday with a long, relaxing holiday weekend ahead. Chris and I will be spending Sunday at the beach, and in between I plan on working in the garden, finishing up Bossypants, hitting up some garage sales, and spending as much time outside as I possibly can.

As I briefly mentioned last week, I received and accepted a job offer (!!!) for a full-time graphic design position at Bethel College. With it comes fantastic benefits, vacation time, and my own office, not to mention a great Marketing and Communication team. I've been in training for the past two weeks and I'm so excited to begin full time on Tuesday.

For those of you who don't know, I've been working at Ave Maria Press for over a year now. Ave is a great little publishing house owned by the University of Notre Dame, and I started right after college as a summer intern. After my wedding, I was hired on as a part time designer and have been working there ever since.

Today is my final day at Ave, which is kind of surreal. I knew I wasn't going to be here forever (or even an entire year, for that matter) but it's still sad to leave my co-workers and the friends I've made here. Not to mention the experience I've gained... aside from my daily marketing designs, I've had the opportunity to design logos, conference materials, and even a book (which will be out in November.) An actual BOOK... the kind you'll be able to pick up in Barnes and Noble. I just found it on Amazon!! Whaaat! Biggest design accomplishment in my life thus far. Mini freakout aside, I've learned so much about publishing, marketing, corporate design, and have strengthened my skills and portfolio tenfold. Ave has been such a great experience and although I'm sad to leave, I'm excited to move on to the next phase of my life.

I'll keep you updated on the new job, and I apologize in advance for any sparse posting in the next couple of weeks as I settle in. Enjoy the holiday weekend!