Archive for December, 2009
Smock designer, Amy Graham Stigler, was thrilled to be whisked off to New York City this fall for a photo shoot with Better Homes and Gardens. The photo spread can be found in the December issue of the magazine, where she he talks about her design inspiration and her love for stationery. Today she’s sharing her behind the scenes take of what the experience was like in front of the camera.
The day was such a whirlwind. Since it was the first week back to school for my kids the trip was condensed – I flew out to NYC Thursday afternoon and flew back Friday evening. The shoot was all day Friday in Chelsea. The space was a beautiful loft overlooking the Hudson. As I arrived a few minutes early I snuck out on this little side porch, sipped coffee and enjoyed the spectacular view. It was heavenly. After my little moment of peace in the morning the rest of the day was a flurry of activity and commotion. Racks and racks (and racks) of clothes were rolled in. Shoes and jewelry and make up was set out and organized. The set was built from ground up; painting and all. The photographers, the art directors, the prop stylists (etc etc)…all did their thing.
My main liason’s were Jonny Lichtenstein, the fashion stylist, and Better Homes and Gardens Editor Kelly Phillips, and they were both really special talented people. And they were very encouraging…since I really had no idea what I was doing, especially when it came to “modeling.” Probably the most notable thing about my day was just that there were so many people buzzing around, attending to me. At one point I was being interviewed, make up was being applied, my clothes were being adjusted, shoes were being put on and earrings were being clipped…simultaneously. It just struck me as so unique really since, with three kids, I am usually the one attending rather than being attended to. The actual photography-taking turned out to be quite fun (and a bit silly – with a wind machine and all!)…despite the fact that I really (really) don’t love having my photograph taken.
Like my three year old daughter, I actually love to play dress up. I love clothes and shoes and I absolutely adore jewelry and accessories. I am a vintage girl so I usually play with old stuff but it was fun to see what is out there right now. I am generally not a big trend watcher but I definitely got a glimpse of what is going on in fashion right now by being a part of the shoot. Thankfully, tights are in because I am such a fan. And I live in Wisconsin where they are essential this time of year.
What was your favorite part about your experience with BHG?
Definitely the process. It was such a unique experience…so different from my usual workday – FAR more social. The people I met were sooo kind and fun. And I love NYC.
BHG asked you a little bit about your design inspiration – can you share what’s inspiring you now as we head into 2010?
I am invoking Milton Avery, one of my favorite favorite painters. Think graphic and strong and colorful.
For all of the fun, check out the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens and Happy New Year from all of your friends at Smock!
For those of you still finishing up last minute shopping, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our favorite gift giving ideas this holiday season. I polled the Smock team for their suggestions for great presents and honestly wish I could be the recipient of all of these incredible gifts! These ideas are sure to please.
Smock’s creative director and designer, Amy Graham Stigler, is in love with upcycled mittens made from old sweaters. (You can visit Simple Up for easy to follow patterns for making your own hat and mittens.)
Smock co-owner Debbie Urbanski recommends Cannellini heirloom beans – these beans are so delicious you’ll never go back to grocery store beans again. In fact, they are so popular, Rancho Gordo was sold out of them for nearly a year!
My personal favorite gift to give this holiday season is a great hand-poured soy candle (or two) from Linnea’s Lights. Not only are the fragrances amazing, but the packaging is simply divine.
Beth Ann, one of our in-house graphic designers, is gifting this great recipe basket from Longaberger this year. This handcrafted basket is the perfect gift for the cooking or baking enthusiast in your life.
This idea is quite near and dear to our hearts – our office manager, Carrie, took old salvaged books and created cool boxes by hollowing them out and lining them in scraps of our eco gift wrap. She’s filling each with fun little goodies for her family and friends.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve just around the corner, we wanted to share a few more of the lovely custom letterpress holiday cards and invitations we’ve been printing this season. The first is a custom letterpress holiday invitation, a piece we printed for our friends at Paper & Chocolate in Dallas. It is printed in festive red ink with red edge painting paired with an envelope lined in our iznik pattern in grass ink.
This letterpress holiday card, brought to us by Cotton Idea Studio in Newport Beach, California, features space to attach a photo and is printed in a unique holiday color combination of pool and spring inks. The card was then edge painted in pool.
These custom hang tags are the perfect holiday gift tags, printed for Buchanan Ink in Nashville. It is letterpress printed in spring ink then hole drilled and grommeted for the making of fabulous holiday packaging.
When thinking up fun ways to use our eco gift wrap this holiday season, we dug deep into our craft drawers at home to find cute bows, ribbon and tulle. We used the wrap to stuff gift bags, crafted it into ribbon and curly bows and played with the double-sided patterns to create pretty stacks of presents all tied up with cute embellishments. At Smock, we’re the type of folks who adore a pretty package anytime of the year, but it’s especially fun at the holidays to gussy up packages for giving to loved ones. All of our gift wraps feature double-sided patterns printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper and come in over-sized sheets that are 24″ x 36″ – each roll comes with two sheets.
Smock’s Market wrap topped with a big yellow bow.
Smock’s Liony blue and green gift wrap paired with salvaged fabric ribbon we had lying around from an old craft project.
Smock’s Julep gift wrap with a tuft of bright blue tulle on top.
This package is all wrapped up in pretty recycled kraft paper and features Smock’s Liony gift wrap as both ribbon and curly bow.
For those gifts better off rolled, we used our Savoy gift wrap to form a pretty patterned tube and then finished it off with white tulle.
Smock’s Tissot gift wrap tied up with pretty purple and lavender ribbons in a basket weave pattern.
Our philosophy at Smock is that gifts don’t have to be lavish to be extraordinary. Even the simplest of gifts can leave a lasting impression when you get creative with great gift wrap and the perfect little letterpress card or gift tag. Still on the hunt for great gift ideas? We’ll be rounding up a few of our favorites next week for those of you who – like us – still have a long list of gifts to buy. Don’t miss it!
With the holiday season in full swing, we can’t help but picture cute little packages tied up with bows and paired with the cutest of letterpress gift tags. And all of that talk about pretty holiday packages got us thinking about creative ways to put our double-sided eco gift wrap, printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, to work this holiday season. We’ve been busy coming up with ideas and crafting up great holiday gift wrapping ideas so make sure to check back next week when we’ll be sharing lots of ideas on how to make your packages unique and beautiful. In the meantime, have a happy weekend and we’ll be back next week with tons of holiday inspiration!
With the holidays soon to be upon us, we’ve been feeling the holiday cheer here at Smock for a while now as we print lots of pretty custom letterpress holiday cards. We’re pretty firm believers that nothing says “happy holidays!” quite like beautiful letterpress cards. We think you’ll agree!
This letterpress holiday card, designed to accommodate a holiday photo, is a customization of our Cindrel letterpress wedding invitation printed for the folks of By Invitation Only in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is printed in red ink and blind deboss, featuring corner rounding and custom hand calligraphy accents.
Another customization of one of our letterpress wedding invitations, this holiday card is our Vettore design printed in red ink. The envelope liner is our seneca pattern, printed in pewter ink and the design again features that special extra touch of beautiful hand calligraphy. This customization was brought to us by Ecru Modern Stationer in Portland, Oregon.
Another letterpress card designed to include a photo, this darling letterpress holiday card is a custom creation from our friends at Cotton Idea Studio in Newport Beach, California, featuring red ink and a cute little border pulled from a design in our Everyday letterpress collection.
We adore this unique letterpress card, which serves double duty as both a charming holiday greeting and a moving announcement. Such a fabulous idea! Brought to us by Kelley at Houston Invitation Service, it’s printed in red ink on our citron green bamboo paper from our new Social Occasions album.
As the holidays draw near, the team here at Smock is feeling our holiday spirit grow by the day. How are you saying “happy holidays” this holiday season? We’d love to know what you do to make the season merry and bright!