Early in my post-graduation dreams, I saw opening the doors to a lovely paperie, somewhere within a refurbished brick building, among a quaint downtown area. Shelves of colorful stacks, tactile stocks and funky envelopes. Labels, pens, washi tape... and then I realized just how many novelty notecards I would have to sell to cover the bills, let alone make a living, and that idea was, shall we say... shelved.

However, as my design and photography passions evolved into a sustainable career, my love of paper has never faded. In 2010, I launched the mini-calendar project as a way to create a meaningful gift for clients, and to satisfy my itch for custom paper goods. Now, a change in the professional winds for me has allowed me the opportunity revisit some of my self-initiated design goals, and with that, the Summer House Boutique is now open.

Currently available: Numbered, signed limited edition prints for framing; high quality notepads for list-making... and coming soon, photographic greeting cards for sharing. All, packaged for giving. 

For now, these designs feature images of my choosing - mostly nature or travel inspired. My goal is to release new designs each season, and to offer custom notes for those who are Summer House portrait clients. Photographic notepads are available in two sizes: 4x6.5" and 4x9", 50 sheets per pad.


Additionally, I have created a robust 100-page 8x8" pad to help keep you organized and inspired throughout your day. If you are like me, you live and die by your checklists. So, might as well do so in a beautiful, minimalistically-designed way. {*grin*}

If you would like a custom-designed notepad, please contact me - and look for updates {new products} to the boutique in the coming weeks!

spring matters

To say that I am ready for spring, would be an understatement. I am not about to complain about our otherwise "mild" winters in NC {as my family in CT continues to get snow on a weekly basis}, but ... I am so ready for spring. 

Projects that tend to come across my desk this time of year are fresh "new year" branding projects, wedding invitation suites, and one of my favorites, The Boat Company spring newsletter. TBC has been a client of mine for almost a decade -- we have "grown" together -- and in addition to having creative freedom and wonderful content to work with, I always learn something from each project. And I don't mean a "design-something," I mean a "real-life-bigger-picture-something." Something that matters.

We dove into the newsletter design for this spring season {which will be distributed about one month before cruising begins}, with a focus on the sport fish issues in Southeast Alaska. Sport fishing in Alaska -- mainly salmon and halibut -- drives the state's economy. And lets not forget, just because they are in the upper left-hand-side of our world, doesn't mean that their economy *doesn't* affect the bigger picture. That it doesn't trickle down to us, all the way over here on the east coast. Because it does, in a big way. 

Lucky for us, Alaska had a record-breaking year for sport fishing of salmon. Which means, economic growth for them, and higher quality of life {and food} for all of us.

However, there is also a big issue in Alaska with "fisherman" who are trawlers. Bottom trawlers in the Gulf of Alaska catch, kill and discard huge numbers of salmon and halibut each year, which inflicts untold harm on the marine ecosystem. It also hurts directed harvesters, i.e. fishing men and women who use much more selective hook-and-line methods to target these species for small-scale commercial, subsistence and sport purposes. 

In addition to providing the highest quality in small-boat luxury cruises, The Boat Company {a non-profit organization} goes to bat on issues like this. They have taken The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to court in an effort to get them to pay attention, and put a plan in place that will help ensure our nation’s marine resources are managed sustainably.

And TBC stitches everyone together in their mission by kindly, yet directly, sharing it with the community through their newsletter. Yet another reason that designing this spring newsletter really matters.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi