Sunday, March 30, 2008

anniversary contest

Wow, it's been one year already since I first launched Cecily Ink! I've had such a fun time growing my company and sharing my paper passion that I thought I'd spread the joy with a contest!

THE PRIZE: one ├╝bercool Cecily Ink care package ($50 value), including a Fresh Style Card File, a boxed set of thank-you cards (your pick!) and a fabulous pen!
TO WIN: to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment – any comment! (well, nothing nasty or naughty) – by the deadline
DEADLINE: Tuesday April 15 – yes, tax day, so that's easy to remember, right?
The winner will be drawn at random and announced right here so check back on the 15th to find out who won. Good luck!

new designs are here...

I'm so excited – I picked up my new spring card collection from the printer and I simply love the way everything turned out! Take a look and let me know what you think:

By the way, all of the cards are available for purchase on my website – just click on the image and it will take you right to it!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shop Talk – Letterhead

Since I've been writing about quite a few Portland stores recently, I thought I'd mix it up a little and introduce you to one of my favorite paper places in Eugene: Letterhead.

Tucked between a great sushi restaurant and an artisan chocolatier, Letterhead is a must-stop destination when you're in need of...well, anything fun, eclectic or unexpected!

As the name implies, Letterhead carries a great selection of greeting cards and paper goods, including journals, office accessories, gift wrap, and even rubber stamps.

The brightly colored walls offer lots of choices in other items, too! There are fun purses (love their Petunia Picklebottom baby bags), body and bath items (great gift for just about anyone), tons of jewelry, and of course some very nice writing instruments. And don't miss the darling baby section tucked in the back!

25 E. 8th Avenue • Eugene • 541.343.6374

Monday, March 24, 2008

the pillow palace

You know how some people just enter your life in a whirlwind? That's exactly how I met Peggy Flynn a few months ago when we were both exhibiting at the Portland Gift Show. From the moment I saw her bold-patterned skirt sashaying down the aisle, I knew I wanted to soak up some of that great energy that surrounds her.

And I'm so glad I did! Peggy is the "P" behind P. Flynn Design, a wonderful line of aromatic pillows and sachets. To my surprise, I have been buying her products for years, both for myself and as gifts for friends and family!

Her small screen-printed sachets are amazing, her designs ranging from darling to daring with everything inbetween. I love the fact that they come in a little box, ready for gifting. And the scented filling is amazing: flaxseed and lavender with essential oils of clary sage, vertivert, and lemongrass.

She recently added her alphabet series that use decorative initials – there are so many ways to use these! Besides gifts for obvious occasions, how about leaving one on the bedside table the next time you have house guests? What a great personal touch that would make.

And these eye pillows make me long for a day of self-indulgence, filled with massage, a good book and a relaxing soak in the tub!

My favorite, though, is her new line of larger pillows, some of which come filled with the same amazing aromatherapy blends as her small sachets. I just had to snatch up the pillow on the right - the colors and theme are perfect for my bedroom! Every night, I simply fluff the pillow a bit to rustle up the filling, and I fall asleep with the scent of heavenly lavender all around me.

Peggy's pillows can be found at numerous stores around the country, including Bella Lulu's in Portland, Pomegranate in Bend, and Passion Flower in Eugene. For a complete overview of the P. Flynn Design line, just visit the website.

Friday, March 21, 2008

wow factor

A couple of days ago, I received a phone call from one of my Defteling Design clients, Blackstone Inc. We had been working on redesigning his company's business cards and he had just picked up the project from the printer. Without any preliminaries, he said "Alex, I have just one word for you: Wow!"

Naturally, I was pleased to have a happy client on the phone, but I was especially thrilled because that's exactly what we set out to do in his redesign project: he wanted a wow factor. And with this unique 4-panel, folding card, I was able to deliver just that!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shop Talk – Urbino

While visiting In The Bag on NW 23rd last week, I couldn't leave without popping into Urbino, one of my favorite home decor stores.

And I wasn't disappointed! As always, their store was filled with inspiration and unique finds.

Right as you walk in, you're greeted with a table full of ocean delights, all artfully arranged.

But my eyes went straight to this gorgeous hutch – wow, wouldn't that look fabulous in my studio?

Urbino does a lot of custom work, including furniture and bedding – which is simply luscious! They also offer some great tabletop options, perfect for entertaining.

Their store feels like a wonderful home that you've been allowed to wander through as you please, discovering vignettes and treasures along the way.

And Urbino makes sure they change up the store with the seasons. Right now, you'll find a shrine theme with statues gracing many a table, shelf and buffet.

Wow, these ladies are so gorgeous and saintly, I may have to build a shrine of my own! (note to self: find out who's the patron saint of paper & design)

I always leave Urbino inspired – and with a bar of soap! They have the most amazing selection of guest and bath soaps, all wonderfully displayed in vintage glass and pottery, most of it on a giant table right by the counter. Makes me feel like a kid in a candy store, all these gorgeous colors, scents and shapes!

For those of you who can't make it out to Urbino in person, not to worry: you can visit their website for more wonderful decor ideas.

638 NW 23rd Avenue • Portland OR 97210 • 503.220.0053

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

sneak peek

Good news for all you Cecily Ink fans - there are some fun spring designs in the works that will be ready for release very soon! Here's a quick sneak peak to wet your appetites. Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Easter

I can't believe it's almost Easter already! I haven't had a moment's time to try and give our house a little taste of spring, but boy, did I find some spring treasures on Etsy this week!

Check out these cute baby booties from Pretty Little – who wouldn't want their little tootsies warmed up by fuzzy slippers. Wish they came in adult sizes, sigh...

How about these adorable little birds from Cotton Bird Designs – perfect to place two or three along my kitchen window sill! They would have to fly over the big pond all the way from England, but definitely worth it for these special aviary delights!

And what's easter without some eggs? This print of an original painting by Danna Ray at GroundWork is stunning in its detailed simplicity. I love the little lawn chair in a sea of green - a sure sign that spring's just around the corner!

I think I may to have to buy some of this jewelry by Eninaj. Look, the colors are just perfect for Cecily Ink! (gee, I wonder: does that mean I can write it off as a business expense?!) I especially love the bracelet on the right – sure would spice up a simple white tee, blue jeans and black boots!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shop Talk – In The Bag

Before I moved here, one of my must-make stops when spending the day in Portland was always NW 23rd, or Trendy-Third, as some of us lovingly call this strip of heavenly boutiques. Now that I actually live here (it's been six years already!), I still hold a fondness for that area of town.

While many of the stores have changed hands over the years, one of the mainstays has been In The Bag, a fun little paper shop that carries everything from gorgeous letterpress cards to humorous birthday greetings and thoughtful sentiments. And yes, there are Cecily Ink designs sprinkled throughout the store!

Owner Katy has stocked the store with lots of other paper goodies, like a broad selection of Knock Knock pads, lists, and flash cards. Or how about these cute magnets from MOE3. Even some yummy soaps packaged in beautiful paper wraps!

And for the DIYers among us, In The Bag carries a huge variety of Waste Not Paper's colorful cards and envelopes (perfect for crafting your own invites or announcements) as well as gift wrap with gorgeous patterns.

The next time you find yourself wandering down NW 23rd, make a stop at In The Bag for a little paper luuuuv...

708 NW 23rd Avenue • Portland OR 97210 • 503.223.3262

Monday, March 10, 2008

For the love of felt...

I have been a felt fan for quite a while now (yes, I'm sure you all remember that amazing orange poppy pin that has made its way into several photos posted earlier this year) so imagine my excitement when I met Julie from FuzzBags at a little home shopping sale last Friday!

Julie makes felt purses that are simply stunning! Seriously, the moment I saw her walk through the door, my eyes went straight to her purse, thinking "where did she get that?" and "do they have another one?"

Her designs are simple yet bold, her color combinations fresh and modern (you can see why I was attracted to the purse I bought that night: Cecily Ink colors all in one place!)

Don't you just love the styling of the shots? While you're shopping for a fun new purse, you get inspiration for hip outfits at the same time! And the handwork is impeccable, down to the choice of interior lining – such fun patterns and colors!

You can find FuzzBags on Etsy and the examples shown here are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of creativity, colors and shapes.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Shop Talk – Sesame & Lilies

I must be coming down with a severe case of spring fever – I can't wait to clean out closets and cupboards to stock them with fresh linens and soaps, toss all my dishes in favor of some old transferware, and completely redecorate my living room, bed and bath from floor to ceiling!

Oh, wait – could it be that I'm simply in love with Sesame & Lilies, the interior decor store in Cannon Beach? Yep, that's it! I want my whole house to look like their store and second-floor showrooms!

The selection of new and antique tableware, linens, and furniture is simply amazing, only topped by the way owner Diane Speakman puts it all together to create stunning vignettes and cozy corners that you want to just pick up and plop down in your own house.

Just take a look at this cozy love seat corner (above) – the perfect retreat to loose yourself in a good book or conversation with a close friend.

Or this reading nook (above right) and entry table (above left). Diane's combination of warm colors and natural textures makes you want to move right in!

Wandering through Sesame & Lilies, you find decorating inspiration at every corner and for every room. Take the bathroom, for instance. Who wouldn't want a beautiful collection of loofah brushes, sumptuous lotions in a glass bottle, or a variety of scented soaps?

And if you're a fan of Lollia products, you won't be disappointed! Diane has stocked her store with a huge variety of perfumed candles, lotions, bath oils, soaps and more! Plus, there are plenty of options to display your bathroom essentials, such as porcelain dishes, glass decanters and jars, even woven baskets (love those star fish on a simple seagrass serving tray!).

And what better way to transition from bath to bed than in a silky-soft bathrobe? The color selection is vast, sure to suit whatever your palette may be. The same can be said for Sesame & Lilies collection of pillows and bedding – and patterns range from traditional to modern, no-frills to lace-edged, and palest pink to shocking orange.

There's also a huge selection of textiles, specifically gorgeous throws and blankets from Oleana, again in every color you could imagine (I've had my eyes on the bright red, pink and green number in the top right).

Oh, you need a rug to cover your threadbare floors? No problem, just take your pick from all these patterns and colors!

One of my very favorite things is the unique way Diane displays even mundane items. Buckets of all shapes and sizes hold everything from rolled-up rugs to glass floats to brooms and pillow cases. And transferware is stacked up on simple white shelves to let the patterns really stand out.

And yes, there are seashells galore (we're at the coast, after all). But look at how tastefully they're displayed – piled high in a vintage carry-all or a dark urn (the strong contrast makes this a show stopper in any entry or hallway!)

I wish I could move right into any of the seven showrooms right upstairs from Sesame & Lilies! Check it out for yourself, I promise you'll be inspired to redo your entire home. Best of all, Sesame & Lilies can help you do just that since they offer interior design service. Diane's creations have graced the covers of several Country Living magazines and have been featured in Country Style and Lucky, just to mention a few!

183 N. Hemlock St. • Cannon Beach OR 97110 • 503.436.2027