For months we've been nearly bursting at the seams. The two of us have been going about our daily business of designing and making art, plus all the things that go along with having an online business...the packing and shipping, the endless organizing, and a million other unglamorous things. Anyway, along side of all this everyday stuff we were also working on a project that we'd been dreaming about for a very long time. And you guys know how much I usually share with all of you. When I'm working on something exciting I love to give you guys glimpses of the process. Well, I couldn't exactly share the daily details regarding this particular amazing project. Being that we were partnering with Melissa Frances I totally respected their wishes to keep the cards a bit closer to the chest while the line was still in the early stages. And I get it...this is the way this particular industry works. You can go and see the proof of this right now all over Facebook, Instagram, and blogs...everybody in the scrapbooking industry is finally sharing the tricks they've had up their sleeves for the past six months. The pre-CHA Sneak Peeks are out there...and I gotta say...we are THRILLED to be a part of all the excitement.
Melissa Frances posted all the details about our collection on her blog today...and she gave us the OK to go ahead and do the same if we wanted. Well you don't have to ask me twice. I'm here...and I'm here to SHARE!
So yes...I had just mentioned CHA, and you probably read it in the announcement at the top of this post. For those of you who don't know, CHA stands for Craft & Hobby Association. And the CHA mega trade show will be held in Anaheim, California starting next Friday...January 10th through the 14th. This is where fabulous scrapbooking companies and the like share their latest collections with buyers from all around the world. And dude, (yes I said dude. It happens when I'm excited) WE WILL BE THERE! You can find us in the Melissa Frances booth all week long. (booth 1220) We cannot wait to meet everyone...cannot wait to show everyone our brand new collection...cannot wait to talk about our inspiration, our love of creating this artwork, and how we employ mixed media processes with scrapbooking to create a style that is all our own...and how everyone can learn some of these methods in our book. Yes...we will have our book at CHA! Available to order right alongside our Melissa Frances collection! So very exciting!
Ok, now lets talk a bit about our debut collection, which is perfectly named: "The Sweet Life"
When we were approached by Melissa Frances with the prospect of possibly working together, we were overcome with a very unique feeling. Well, it was a combination of feelings all rolled into one. First, there was of course joy, being that the idea fulfills a dream of ours. And then there was the feeling of "oh boy, do we have too much on our plate already?"...Because at that moment we were neck deep in writing our book. But then a third feeling came into the mix...and it was this particular feeling that set the tone for the way we would approach the project as a whole. It just felt RIGHT. What I mean by RIGHT is that it felt like it was supposed to be happening...on that day, at that moment, with these specific design ideas, and with this specific company. (we LOVE Melissa Frances...as a company and as a person) So when we got the email, which then turned into a phone call, we felt like the decision was already made. At that point in time...more than any other in our lives...we were ready, willing, and able to create "The Sweet Life"
When me and Aaron have ambitions they are usually pretty darn specific. In fact, I cannot stand vague ambition. It's like having a to do list that simply says "work". For me, the focus has to be narrowed. My mind races all over the place all day long, so having specifically named tasks and goals is necessary for me to be a happy girl. In the work that me and Aaron do as Mixed Media Artists and Art Journalers, we use lots and lots of pretty papers. We have been creating our own patterned papers for years, for use in our work and as elements when we assemble a kits and put together classes for events. So for a very long time we had a specific item way at the top of career goal list. And that was to have our own paper and scrapbooking collection, complete with all the colors and elements that we live and breathe for. So doing this collection for Melissa Frances happened so naturally, organically, fluidly. And in general me and Aaron kinda design everything we do as a "collection". Designing an entire collection that tells a story, conveys a theme and a mood...this is what we're meant to do. It's totally an extension of who and what we are as artists.
Just recently, when Melissa was putting her Sneak Peeks together she had asked us what "The Sweet Life" collection means to us...we think the paragraph below sums it up perfectly:
"We feel so close to this collection because so much of it is based on the things we live with every day. We like to surround ourselves with our collections…keep our favorite colors, patterns and objects close at hand. So many of the themes that can be found in our paintings, our décor, and gift lines can be found in The Sweet Life collection. Cakes, cupcakes, pretty girls, vintage bakery imagery and signage, bunnies, polka dots, stripes, and classic florals, all make an appearance. And we definitely wanted to bring our love for mixed media artwork to this collection. The creative process itself is what keeps us smiling every day. And for us it’s a very happy thought…the idea of putting our designs in the hands of other creative types, so that they too can experience firsthand the thrill of making something beautiful that is theirs and theirs alone. Doing what you love, with the ones you love, and with the things you love…this is The Sweet Life."
What is so very very different about our scrapbooking collection is this: it is all 100% Hand Painted!!! Yes, you read that correctly...all of the imagery is done by hand. We are old school. Good ol' paper, pencil, paint! We spent weeks in the studio designing, and sketching, and painting.
Every single thing you see on these papers was rendered by the stroke of the paintbrush. In fact, you can see these strokes in the finished product...the highlights and lowlights, the depth of color...it took hours and hours and hours. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Every single sprinkle you see...each faint drop shadow, all done by hand...no computers.
And this was necessary because there are things that you can do with real paint and supplies that simply cannot be achieved with substitute methods. We wanted the collection to have a vintagey mixed media feel. So we'd approach a pattern very much the same way that we would a canvas. Using palette knives, layering paint and glazes and mediums, crackle, washes, and speckling.
We absolutly adore this pattern! Vintage plastic ballerina toppers dancing on pefectly piped frosting, atop a variety of warm glowing cupcakes. And they share the page with super sweet vintage florals, and the scrollwork is inspired by non pareils! We love painting intricate repeat patterns. We love that even though it's a repeat, being that it's 100% hand painted no two florals are exactly alike. I think this one will also be available as wrapping paper...how awesome is that?!
We painted all of our absolute favorite old fashioned sweets and baking accoutrement...cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, mixing bowls...all in our fave pastel tones. All with the glow of nostalgia.
And you know we just adore vintage bakery menu boards! Using black along side sweet pastels just sets everything off. The colors become so absolute and true. It is so hard for me to choose a favorite paper out of the collection. But for me, this blackboard inspired paper just WORKS. For putting together a full page layout it's simply perfect! The way it's framed and has the little vignette of sweets...macarons, cakes, cupcakes...I cannot wait to see this paper being used by talented scrappers!
And this...tiny perfect sweet little roses and florals interspersed with the ultimate assortment of pretty cakes!
And we've got our signature stripes, polka dots, and much more, very well represented in the collection!
And here's a peek of the finished papers so you can see what's on front and back of each! Oh Em Gee! It is so exciting to see them all in their finished state. Some of the patterns were made a bit smaller so that they could repeat more. And we love the fabulous patchwork page with mini patterns, which is perfect for cutting up and using in art journals and smaller projects! Annnnd...check in the bottom right corner...on the back of our very mixed media collage style page we've included some Everyday is a Holiday classics...you can see Allie & Amy, and Mr. Bunny...all set and ready to be painted or colored in with Copic markers. We love this page for it's Art Journaling possibilities. The sky is the limit!!
Also in the collection are these beyond adorable 3" x 4" journaling cards! eeeeee!!!
And these sweet chipboard accents! yep...we even painted our favorite Jersey Shore classic treat...that is indeed a salt water taffy in sunny yellow.
"The Sweet Life" Collection will contain the 6 double sided 12" x 12" papers (seen above), a 6" x 6" paper pad, washi stickers, chipboard (seen above) envelope bags, saying stickers, wrapping paper, 3" x 4" journaling cards (seen above), and a mini album kit!
Oh my gosh!
So what do you guys think?! We'd love to hear your thoughts! And we cannot wait to get out there and teach some fab classes using the collection!
And as I said above...Not only will we be at CHA with "The Sweet Life" collection, We'll also have our book!! Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron! The timing couldn't be more perfect! We feel that The Sweet Life collection and our book go hand in hand, so as a shop owner you will be able to order both to carry in your shop. We just love the idea of that...people sitting down with our book, getting their "art on" with us, and being able to use our scrapbooking collection in the creative process. How awesome!!!
And for you guys that will not be at CHA, be sure to ask your local scrapbooking store to carry the collection...And the book!!
You guys have been the most amazing cheerleaders for us. For real...you have no idea how much your support has meant to us every step of the way. We'd love to keep this awesome energy going! Spread the word!
Life is Sweet!
xo Jenny & Aaron