Two of a Kind

1 - “At” by Rachel McCord / 2 – Commissioned embroidery by Annarack

Hi friends! This is my first post with Dearest Nature and I’m so excited to share these two beautiful pieces. Today’s Two of A Kind comes from photographer Rachel McCord and Textile artist Annarack. I had the honor of seeing Rachel McCord‘s piece, titled “At” in person where it was printed on plexiglass and mounted in a light box. The piece is so beautiful.

I was also drawn to Annarack’s Commissioned Embroidery with all it’s stunning little details and colors. I couldn’t help but think that Anna’s piece mirrored Rachel’s photo in color and texture.

About Eva Black

Eva is a freelance graphic designer based in Southern California, who runs her own studio specializing in brand identities and print. She has a mild obsession with anything that involves paper.

Kari Herer

Rabbit no. 0050 by Kari Herer

With Easter peeking around, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post a handful of works by the stellar artist and photographer Kari Herer whose clients have included Linda & Harriett, Tiny Prints, Vera Wang Fine Papers and many others. Kari’s soft and whimsical artistic style is soothing and pleasing to the eye. I especially adore her work entitled “Rabbit no. 0059“, which depicts an illustrated rabbit with real flowers positioned over where it’s eye and ear would normally be.

I’m certainly no stranger to Kari’s beautiful work, as I’m sure many of you aren’t either. I’ve seen Kari’s work several times across the blogosphere — namely over at Design*Sponge — over the last year or so and was recently reminded of her work when I came across a wonderful DIY over at A Beautiful Mess.

Works by Kari Herer

I’m also completely smitten with the hand-drawn antlers and florals print. Which do you favor?

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Outdoors In: Ellinée Design House

Photo by Lia Griffith / Read info about this photo below1

Links of Interest

Terrariums and flowers and butterflies, oh my! I recently invited Lia Griffith of Ellinée Design House to share her studio space with us for our first Outdoors In feature. Lia is the Creative Director at Ellinée, a design studio based in Portland, Oregon specializing in some of the most beautifully designed wedding, baby, and holiday stationery. Be sure to check out Ellinée’s blog where they frequently offer ideas and free downloadable items for event decorating.

To say Ellinée’s space is inspiring would be an understatement. So much creativity abounds in this space with gorgeous natural light filtering in through the windows and decorated so charmingly that only Anthropologie can come close to rivaling. I’m going to let Lia to have the floor with an introduction about their space and a note about each of the photos below.

An Introduction from Lia about the Space

Our studio sits on the 4th floor of an old warehouse in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. We have the high ceilings, the weathered wood floors and a wall of large windows so that we can see the rain, the snow and occasionally the sunshine. Portland is a very nature-centric city with Forest Park, one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves, a short walk away from our office. Yes, we are known for our rain, but on these wet days

I remind myself that because of our rain, we are also known for the year round green and lushness our little city. For us at Ellinée, a design studio specializing in wedding stationery (as well as holiday and baby stationery) we find that a large percentage of our designs are woven with elements of nature. We do live in a perfect city that inspires our love of nature as we infuse that influence into our daily work.

1[intro photo at the top]: All of us here at Ellinée have an affinity for the old. We collect little (and large props) continually from flea markets, vintage shops and our mother’s attics. The only thing new in this photo is the metal E which we purchased at one of our favorite shops, Anthropologie.

Additional Elinée Design House’s Studio

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: A larger view of one of our prop shelves. We love our ribbon holder made from an antique ladder. As you can see, we have started a collection of little birds. We often throw around the jestful Portlandia quote “Put a bird on it”!

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above] A close up of our shelf of treasures. I am always on the hunt for linen or leather bound books, my favorite find so far is “The New Garden Encyclopedia” which was published in 1936.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: This is my photography area, situated close to natural light. 

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Here is a sneak peek at some of our new designs we will be offering at Ellinée. Each is inspired by nature, through image, illustration or fresh colors.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: In every photo I shoot for our blog or one of our sites, I incorporate a bit of nature. Flowers, branches, stones or pieces of wood seem to be my favorite picks.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Jennie’s design area is packed full of color and images. We love our birch branch that I picked up beside the road after a big wind storm a few years ago.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Jennie loves books on textile and paper cut design, plants and flowers, and vintage typefaces. Her desk is full of images that inspire her and a reminder to Keep Calm and Carry On when things get a little crazy.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: As our resident illustrator, Jennie loves to paint and always has her collection of brushes close at hand. 

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: We created partitions using 2X4 frames with stretched canvas. This creates a perfect place for me to display my inspiration. 

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Things that inspire me: Traveling the world, the city of Portland, my grandfather, typography and my favorite food photographer, Helene Dujardin.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Details of my desk.

Ellinee Design House / Photo by Lia Griffith

[image above]: Propped on my desk is one of my earlier paper roses that I created to wear in my hair. 

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

An Interview with Princess Lasertron

Flowers for Yolanda by Princess Lasertron

I’m ecstatic about Dearest Nature’s first interviewee, Megan Hunt, aka Princess Lasertron which is also the name of her creative company based in Omaha Nebraska. I first stumbled across Princess Lasertron on flickr while working on a roundup of DIY book covers for Discover Paper.

The links on Megan’s flickr stream led me back to the Princess Lasertron website and I was immediately awestruck by her strikingly brilliant and one-of-a-kind felted wedding bouquets and bridal accessories. Each piece is detailed with dazzling petals, many containing intricate stitches, beautiful buttons, and a

myriad of other beautiful accessories that compliment brides who want to add an extraordinary and lasting touch to their wedding.

Megan is an entrepreneurial mastermind, with an amazing work ethic and rare sense of humor and all-around sense of what I can only describe as awesome sauce. She has carved quite a unique niche in the wedding industry with her company and also co-founded a coworking space called CAMP in Omaha. Read on to find out more about Megan and her creative pursuits through Princess Lasertron.

Share a little bit about yourself.
Like many makers, I’ve had a lifelong interest in design, crafting, and creativity of all kinds. When I was younger, my parents worked hard to nurture my creativity. My mom would set up lunches with local art professors, sign me up for crafty summer camps, and even helped me move shelves into my bedroom so I could hold a gallery showing and sell some of my work to my family members and friends. So when I look back on how I kind of grew up in a creative home, I now see how I not only was growing up as a designer but an entrepreneur as well.

In college I studied German and Intercultural Communication, and I just had an amazing time learning about new cultures and tried to take on as many challenges as I could in my studies. I started my first business, a bridal design company called Princess Lasertron, out of my dorm room and continued to work full time there after graduation. The work I’ve done in the wedding industry has led to freelance writing opportunities, chances to speak and teach at conferences around the country, and numerous exciting partnerships with other manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

felted bouquets by princess lasertron

 

Share a little bit about your shop.
I started selling online in 2005 when Etsy came onto the scene because I saw selling online as the only way to scale what was essentially my hobby into a career that I was truly passionate about. My shop today is hosted on Storenvy, a great startup out of Kansas City here on the Silicon Prairie. Most of my work with Princess Lasertron is custom for each customer, so I actually take most of my orders through e-mail.

What’s in a name? What’s the story behind “Princess Lasertron”?
Princess Lasertron just came to me one day — I wish there was a better story than that! It had to be a name that was unique, one that could represent my personal brand as well as my business, i.e., not “Megan Hunt Designs” or “Princess Lasertron Flowers”, and something that made people want to know more. I wanted it to represent joy, celebration, and a kick-ass approach to style and life. When I came up with the name in 2005 I was into the industrial dance scene and I was clubbing quite a bit, and I think there may have been a little influence there as far as the “Lasertron” part. I think I’m more of a Lasertron than a Princess, personally.

bouquets by Princess Lasertron

 

How would you describe your artistic style?
I would call my style “happy.” I love to work with vintage findings and I love a “handmade” aesthetic, and everything we do is hand-embroidered. I try to edit each design really thoughtfully however to avoid going too far into the “I could have made that” zone, so it’s important for me to offer products that simply look valuable. Some of the ways we do that is by screenprinting our own fabrics with unique patterns, mixing unexpected colors, and interpreting the inspiration of each customer to give them something better than they could have envisioned.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to work through the night, so my days start a bit late. My daughter Alice comes into my room to wake me up around 10am, and I usually make her some breakfast, let her watch a tv show, and steal another hour of sleep. When I get up, I get dressed, get Alice dressed, pack our lunches, and head out to do our errands. We’ll typically stop at the bank, at the shops of some of my suppliers, and get a little time outside in the nice weather. We usually have a lunch meeting — today, for example, we had lunch with a local furniture designer who is making some new pieces for CAMP, the coworking space I own in downtown Omaha. After our meetings are done, Alice takes a nap and I head to the office to see how things are going and answer some emails. Eventually Alice wakes up and hangs out at work until her dad comes to pick her up when he gets off work. Then they go home and have dinner and play.

In the evenings, I get most of my work done. I’ll write a blog post, answer e-mail, refresh our inventory and order supplies, and cut out flowers that will become this week’s upcoming orders. I did just get a TV for the office so I can often be found catching up with my shows or watching a movie while I sew! I turn in for bed each night around 5am.

What’s your most-prized nature-inspired possession?
vintage chairs in Meg Hunt's homeI have these amazing vintage chairs with beautiful red cushions that I bought from the showroom of a local interior designer, Jessica McKay. The print on the cushions connotes an animal print, but the color is more coral and reminds me of the ocean. The frames of the chairs are low to the ground (perfect for me at 5’0”) and the natural wood has been worn with age. They are so comfortable. I’d love to style a shoot with them on a boat dock.

What do you enjoy about nature?
I love that we all think of something different when we think about the term “nature,” because what’s natural in your surroundings is so contextual. Here in my office in Omaha, Nebraska, I’m about a quarter mile from the Missouri riverbank, and as I look to the East out my open windows, I see the cottonwood trees and prairie grass that are so characteristic here. And as I look to the South, toward downtown, I see cranes, I hear traffic, and the skyline continues to grow year by year. What I love about nature is that no matter where you are, you can always just go outside.

bouquets by Princess Lasertron

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

For Strange Women

Sea anemone bath salts available from For Strange Women

I’ve always been more of a body spray sort of gal, myself. I never liked spritzing anything on me and I always thought perfumes were too intoxicating and made me smell like an older woman. I’m in my mid-, almost late-twenties now and I’m starting to grow out of the fruity body spray phase of my life. That’s not to say I won’t take occasional trips to Bath & Body works and wear fruity scents from time to time, but for more sophisticated social outings I have my eyes on anything from For Strange Women.

Products by For Strange Women

 

Don’t let the shop’s name fool you. The perfumes, bath salts, lip embellishments and other products are quite perfect for any woman. For Strange Women’s items look like they were plucked out of a fairy tale; the packaging and product photography are so serene and enchanting and the very names of the products almost transport you back to our natural world. Moss, ivy, pinecone, lichen — I would definitely feel like I’d almost stepped into the forest wearing any of those scents. I’m especially fond of the shop’s solid perfumes, many of which are available in lockets, since I’m in love with the idea of beautiful and functional jewelry, especially lockets.

Information about the shop/shop owner
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the shop’s owner Jill “began making my own concoctions about ten years ago because I realized that doing things the way they were done over a century ago is once again progressive. I wanted to live with nature, not against it, and I wanted to find peace in my work. While seeking independence from the harsh chemicals used in modern culture, I fell in love with herbalism, aromatherapy, and finally, the emotionally rich realm of natural perfumery. I have been exploring the endless possibilities of scent using exclusively natural materials ever since.” To learn more about Jill, check out her profile on Etsy.

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.