Behind the Scenes: Flow Magazine's House-Plant Guide

Several months ago, the wonderful dreamers at Flow Magazine asked me if I'd be interested in illustrating plants for a special house plant guide they were putting together. Clearly, being the pretty plant-loving woman that I am, I accepted with glee. My editor, Alice, sent me a list of 15 plants in their latin names, and I promptly started gathering inspiration imagery. 

Here are some of my initial sketches of the plants, objects and latin nomenclature. These helped me get a sense of where I was headed down the road with the full color illustrations. See below for how they came together in the end. And in the meantime, stay tuned for images of the final house plant guide, coming soon. 

Happy sunny springtime, Friends!

Plants1.jpg
 

Behind the Scenes: Custom Work for Danielle & Brad's Tuscan Wedding

Last week I shared a glimpse of Danielle & Brad's gorgeous wedding with you, when it was featured on Vogue.com. In 2014, they got in touch with me to ask about working on wedding invitations for their summer 2015 wedding in Italy, and we ended up working on the details together for six months. I am so glad to have had the chance to work with this friendly, warm, thoughtful couple! Today, I'll take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the process.

Above: the wedding invitation complete with custom monogrammed wax seal, next to the ceremony program. Image by photographer  Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: the wedding invitation complete with custom monogrammed wax seal, next to the ceremony program. Image by photographer Lelia Scarfiotti.

Danielle and Brad's wedding was in Arezzo, Italy, a small city in Tuscany. From the start, we knew that creating a color palette to reflect the Tuscan countryside would be of utmost importance and would guide much of the rest of the process. I  made half a dozen color palette variations for them choose from.

Here is the final palette we went with, which is reminiscent of bright Tuscan summers, with a slightly 1960's twist.

The couple also had in mind a custom-crest for the front of their wedding invitation, as well as a monogram incorporating the first letters of each of their last names. Researching the history of heraldry was super interesting, and I loved looking at images of florals native to Tuscany for inspiration. Below are some of my preliminary crest, monogram and floral sketches. 

Above: various crest sketches 

Above: various crest sketches 

Above: sketches of monogram variations

Above: sketches of monogram variations

Above: floral sketches  

Above: floral sketches  

Danielle and Brad also knew they wanted all of the writing to be hand-lettered throughout their wedding invitation suite. I sketched several styles of lettering, and they chose a not-so-formal cursive style that fit the rustic-but-elegant, relaxed mood they envisioned. Here are the final components of the wedding invitation suite: the two-sided wedding invitation, reply card, and information card. The pieces were put together in a vellum enclosure, sealed with wax and pressed with a custom MW monogram stamp before being sent to guests in a craft paper envelope. 

Above: The final wedding invitation suite.

Above: The final wedding invitation suite.

Danielle and Brad also asked me if I would help them with various pieces for the wedding weekend- a ceremony program, place cards and escort cards, and lettering that could be used throughout other pieces they would use to welcome their guests. They thoughtfully chose every detail that was part of the celebration, including this beautiful poem by Hafiz, and a letter to their wedding guests, which I hand-lettered to adorn the cover and back of their ceremony program. 

Above: the ceremony program front cover

Above: the ceremony program front cover

Above: the back of the ceremony program.

Above: the back of the ceremony program.

Every detail of the wedding weekend was beautifully coordinated. Danielle & Brad incorporated my hand-lettering in a weekend itinerary they designed for their guests. The gorgeous floral arrangements throughout the reception tied into our original color palette. 

Above left: various hand-lettered components incorporated with Danielle & Brad's wedding weekend itinerary. Above right: Image by  Lelia Scarfiotti .

Above left: various hand-lettered components incorporated with Danielle & Brad's wedding weekend itinerary. Above right: Image by Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above Left: my hand-lettered escort cards soaking up some bubbly. Above right: the tables incorporating the escort cards, place cards and menus along side gorgeous floral arrangements. Images by  Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above Left: my hand-lettered escort cards soaking up some bubbly. Above right: the tables incorporating the escort cards, place cards and menus along side gorgeous floral arrangements. Images by Lelia Scarfiotti.

The wedding meal was obviously a huge aspect of this Tuscan celebration. I illustrated and hand-lettered the menu, which was placed atop gold chargers with a sprig of olive branch at each guest's seat.

Above: the final dinner menu I created for Danielle & Brad.

Above: the final dinner menu I created for Danielle & Brad.

Above: menus and place cards amid stunning table arrangements at the wedding reception. Images by  Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: menus and place cards amid stunning table arrangements at the wedding reception. Images by Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: a close up of the dinner menu framed by shiny gold chargers at each guest's seat. Image by  Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: a close up of the dinner menu framed by shiny gold chargers at each guest's seat. Image by Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: more wedding details incorporating my illustrations- on the left, matchbooks printed with the hand-lettered wedding date, and on the right a beautiful guest book hand-embroidered with the crest I illustrated for Danielle and Brad. Image by  Lelia Scarfiotti.

Above: more wedding details incorporating my illustrations- on the left, matchbooks printed with the hand-lettered wedding date, and on the right a beautiful guest book hand-embroidered with the crest I illustrated for Danielle and Brad. Image by Lelia Scarfiotti.

I feel truly lucky to have met Danielle and Brad, and honored that they trusted me to help them create pieces for such a huge moment in their lives.

Complimenti, Danielle e Brad!!! 

The happy couple in their first married moments! Image by  Lelia Scarfiotti. 

The happy couple in their first married moments! Image by Lelia Scarfiotti. 

Michigan Love + Wildflower Cards for Blandford Nature Center

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have a lot of pride for my home state. If you happen to bring up the midwest in conversation, I tend to get a little chatty. Even though I'm now a California girl, my heart still belongs to the Great Lakes State in so many ways.

When Craig and I got married in northern Michigan in 2010, I made a series of drawings of native Michigan wildflowers to adorn the tables at our reception. I was thrilled when Grand Rapids' incredible Blandford Nature Center asked if they could repurpose the drawings for a set of note cards to sell in their shop. BNC is a place near and dear to my heart- a serene, bountiful 143-acre nature preserve and education center in the middle of Grand Rapids, where I spent a lot of time as a kid romping through the woods. The cards are currently in production, and will be for sale in BNC's gift shop this fall. If you're ever in West Michigan, I highly recommend a visit to this unique place. 

Happy Thursday, friends!

Behind the Scenes: Frances' Custom Birth Announcement

In the spring of this year, my friend Maggie asked me make a custom birth announcement and coordinating stationery for their second daughter, Frances. Sweet baby Frances and her gigantic smile happily landed on the scene in mid-February. I loved the idea of making a birth announcement, something I'd never done before. Maggie and I agreed on a springy, colorful palette and lots of florals. Check out the color palette, sketches and hand-lettering samples that were part of my process. 

Happy Thursday, Friends! 

The color palette

The color palette

Hand-lettering sample sketches 

Hand-lettering sample sketches 

My sketch of the announcement

My sketch of the announcement

The final birth announcement and Frances' coordinating custom stationery

The final birth announcement and Frances' coordinating custom stationery

   Floral detail

 

Floral detail

Behind the Scenes: A Custom Menu for Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Garden Of Eden Gala

Earlier this year, the lovely Danielle Walish and Jessica Stambaugh of interior design studio, Decorative Traces, asked me to illustrate and hand-letter a menu and place cards for their table at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House's annual gala. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House is a 121-year old settlement house in New York, offering human services to 20,000 people a year. 

Each design studio hosting a table at the luncheon, was charged with creating a table inspired by the event's Garden of Eden theme. Danielle and Jessica developed a lush, tropical direction for their table, infused with vibrant greens, watery and dark blues, and touches of gold. 

Here are some behind the scenes images of my sketches, color palette, final menu and place cards, for their tropical table design. 

Happy Thursday, friends!

The color palette

The color palette

Sketches of the menu front and back

Sketches of the menu front and back

The final menu and place card designs

The final menu and place card designs



Camera + Paintbrush

I recently embarked on a collaboration with my very talented friend and photographer, Liz Daly. A photographer and sometimes sylist, Liz has a keen eye for light, rich color and contrast- all areas that are super important to me in my work, too. Check out her portfolios here to see more of her stunning images. 

I have always been interested in the relationship between photography and painting, and I use photos constantly as reference and inspiration for my work.  I think a lot about what visual information to include from reference photos, and what to leave out.  My camera is one of my most important tools I have as an artist- I use it all the time to document colors, patterns, shapes and imagery that I store away for later use.

Liz and I thought it would be interesting to pair our images side by side to look at the relationship between our mediums more closely. For the first in our series, Liz teamed up with stylist Rebecca Summer and shot a series of gorgeous photos combining graphic and botanical elements, and I chose one of them to paint. I loved her image of the framed peonies immediately when I saw it, because of it's vintage color vibe, and the interplay of geometric and organic shapes. I love how the bold black and white ribbon cuts through the center of the photo and draws your eye around the shape of the vintage picture frame.  

Liz and I have more ideas in the works for the coming months. For now, have a look at our first collaboration.

Left: Photo by Liz Daly, Styling by Rebecca Summer. Right: Painting by Lindsay Gardner, Watercolor and gouache on paper, appx. 7 x 10" 

Photo by Liz Daly , styling by Rebecca Summer

Painting by Lindsay Gardner, Watercolor and gouache on paper, appx 7 x 10"