Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pearl & Rose Designs

Hey y'all!
If you're new here, and I have every reason to believe you are, WELCOME! I used to blog here pretty regularly about my life as a mom to my two precious twin girls, Tamsie Pearl and Evangelyn Rose. However, around the end of last year, I started getting SUPER busy with art projects that took up all my free time. I wound up launching my business, Pearl & Rose Designs, and I just haven't had time to blog since! 

Mainly I have been making hand-drawn wedding maps for clients, but I have also been addressing envelopes and creating chalkboards and other custom drawings. This fall I'm hoping to launch personalized stationery, notecards and prints. I'm particularly looking forward to designing some Scripture verse prints!

Here is my most recent concoction:

I just finished this one up this past weekend. A client ordered a hand-drawn map for her son's wedding in Cologne, Germany - thus making this my first-ever international map! Basically she told me the places they wanted me to include on the map, and I made it happen. Now she is taking the artwork to a stationery store here in Memphis, RSVP Stationers, and having them use it to make gift bags for wedding guests, and she's also having it framed for the newlyweds.

Here's my Facebook page with pricing info, updates and everything else related to Pearl & Rose Designs. Feel free to like it!!!

But first, let me back up. I graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 2005 with a major in mass communications and a minor in art. In fact, here's the first map I ever did! This one was for an assignment for one of my classes in school. It was supposed to be a map of my life so far: 

Little did I know this would be the first hand-drawn map of many to come!

Then, once I graduated, I wound up working in the PR department of a local non-profit. While there, I was asked to create their annual Christmas card artwork, and this is what I came up with:

It was supposed to look like the front of our medical clinic. The little design inside in the middle represents a quilt hanging in the lobby of the clinic.

One of my best friends from college, JT, wound up moving to Memphis and working there with me. She now works at RSVP, and for years she has been encouraging me to bring up samples of my handwriting so they could refer clients to me for addressing envelopes, etc. 

Now meanwhile, my husband and I moved to Louisville to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and then about a year and a half later we found out I was pregnant with identical twin girls! They wound up developing Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, had to be delivered at 29 weeks and 4 days, had an 8-week stay in the NICU... and then we wound up moving back home to Memphis to be closer to family since we needed all the help we could get! I've been a stay-at-home mom ever since they came along, and now I have no idea when I'll wrap up my final three classes to graduate with my master's in women's ministry! Ha! But I am absolutely loving this season of life with my precious girls, and I wouldn't trade this time with them for the world.

Well around November of last year, I FINALLY got around to taking some samples up to RSVP, and then that very afternoon they called and asked me if I could make a map for a client's son's wedding in Fort Worth. I had never heard of hand-drawn maps for weddings before, but I figured I could give it a try. Here was the result:

Ever since then, I have had a steady stream of business! This one was a gift from a wife to her husband on his birthday:

This was a map for a wedding in Fort Smith, AR:

Here's one way my first client wound up using her artwork:

This one was an anniversary gift from a wife to her husband. Each place on the map represents a special place in their story:

 Along the way, I've picked up some addressing projects. Here is a sample I made using the style I did for one batch of envelopes:

I also recreated an invitation on a chalkboard for an engagement party a client was throwing:

And here's the menu:

One client opened a vintage resale business in Bartlett and asked me to do the lettering on doors in the shop:

A dear friend asked me to make this map as a wedding anniversary gift to her husband:

One client just requested a simple map featuring the wedding ceremony location and the reception location:

 A sweet friend from college ordered this map for her wedding in Little Rock:

RSVP sent a client my way for this wedding map in Memphis:

These were calling cards included in invitations for a bridal luncheon thrown by a client:

This was for a destination wedding in Florida:

For a client's wedding in Birmingham:

This was a gift for a mother, showcasing special places from her lifetime in two different cities:

Here's a Memphis skyline design I did for RSVP to use:

And a sample address from another batch of wedding invitations:

So it has been a very busy year so far!! This October I will be participating in an exciting craft fair here, and I'm planning to debut some prints and notecards there. Eventually I'm hoping to open an Etsy store where I will sell prints, notepads, notecards, and such. But for now I'm only on Facebook. Please like my page and send me a message if you have any custom projects for me, and stay tuned for when I have things available you can order!

Thanks so much! :)
Much love,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Where, O Where Has My Bloggy Blog Gone?

Hey y'all!
I may be back from what has been the longest bloggy vacay ever for me. I've had lots of sweet people ask what's happened to me, and I've also had lots of sweet people ask what in the world is up with this Pearl and Rose Designs stuff, so here comes an explanation of what I've been up to lately (in addition to wrangling twins, of course)!

Sometime back in the fall, Melissa needed some special name tags made for an event at work. Knowing my love for all things lettery and papery, she came to me. So basically I cranked out some name tags and got paid for it, which got me thinking about all the times JT, who works at RSVP, has told me I should bring some handwriting samples up to the shop. One day during a particularly productive nap time, I played around with letterings and envelopes until I had quite a little collection to tote up to RSVP. (Chris posted pictures on Facebook, so that's what that was if you saw it and wondered.) When I finally made it up to RSVP, I was blown away by everyone's reactions! These precious people honestly believed they could bring me some business! :)

That very afternoon I received a phone call from JT letting me know that I had my first client from their store. A lady who also works at the shop wanted me to create a hand-drawn custom map for her son's wedding in Fort Worth. Could I do that? I really had no idea what they had in mind, so I asked JT to send some examples of custom maps to me. When I saw what was out there, I let them know I'd give it a whirl and see what I could do. They sent me a list of everything they wanted on the map, and this is what I came up with:

In addition to framing the original, the bride also used the map design on these cute little books that came along with gift baskets they gave to special out-of-town guests:

Well when that map was finished, another girl at the store decided to order a map as a birthday gift for her husband. Here is that finished product:

While I was working on that map, another order came in for a wedding in Fort Smith, AR:

(ARGH! By the way, the colors look MUCH better in person... this is what happens when you take pictures with your iPhone!)

Currently I'm working on a Memphis map that will be given as a gift to a husband from his wife, and I'm also working on addressing an order of envelopes for wedding save-the-dates for another client. When I finish these projects, I have a few more lined up too! Whew! 

This has all been quite the unexpected whirlwind of a blessing, and I have truly been loving having this type of creative outlet. I had really been missing getting to draw, and this is giving me a fabulous excuse to do so again. I also love that I'm getting to create pieces that are so meaningful and special to my clients. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity!

However, all of this means that what I refer to as my "productive free time" -- naptimes and nighttimes when I actually feel like being, ahem, productive in some non-cleaning, non-housework kind of way -- has been going straight toward cranking out these creations. I'd still like to keep up my blog as I can, but there are only so many hours in a day, yada, yada, yada. Oh, and blogging doesn't pay. Monetarily anyway. So there you go. :)

Oh! I'm calling my little business Pearl & Rose Designs, after Tamsie Pearl and Evangelyn Rose, of course! Please like my page on Facebook whenever I get around to creating one, and if you know of anyone who needs anything like what I can do, please send them my way! :) Right now, the best way to contact me is either via Facebook message or at shelby dot vafinis at gmail dot com.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmastime is here!

It's Christmastime, and like everyone else, we have been super busy around here! Here's our latest round of pictures:

Saturday marked the second anniversary of the day we brought the girls home from the NICU.  I can think of few things more terrifying and yet more wonderful than bringing home two tiny preemie twins at long last. At the time of this picture, Tamsie would have been a little over 5 lbs and Evie was still a little under. And that's T on the left and E on the right, for those keeping track.

They've grown a bit since that last picture, haven't they? Here they are at Costco, which just so happens to be one of their favorite places on earth. They even like to push their little baskets around at home and pretend to go shopping at Costco! It is one seriously magical place, y'all.

They were annoyed at my photog attempts at this point, but they were just so cute I couldn't help myself. I think E was in the middle of saying, "Stop it, Mom," when I took this picture. Oh well, they'll thank me one day, right? :)

I asked them what they were doing. "We're feeding the Christmas tree!" said T. 

Tamsie's favorite ornament this year, besides her cupcake ornament from YaYa and Minnie Mouse ornament, is a Starbucks cup that Carissa gave me several years ago. I'm pretty sure that's what she's pointing to here.

One of their favorite things to do is to gaze at the Christmas tree. One of my favorite things to do is to watch them enjoy it.

Evie loves all the stuffed animals that comprise about 90% of the ornaments she can reach. I figure those are the safest things to hang at their level!

Waiting on dinner to be served at the kiddiest of tables at Uncle Myron and Aunt Lauren's Thanksgiving celebration. This was actually one of two kiddie tables! This Thanksgiving was very different, since it was the first one in my 30 years I haven't spent at Grandma's house, but my aunt and uncle did an excellent job carrying on the tradition! Later on we went to Jennifer and Tyler's and had fun visiting with Chris's side of the family.

I'd been out running errands one day during the girls' naptime, and when I came home, I couldn't find Chris anywhere. I stepped into the nursery, and this is what I found. :)

Absolutely fascinated by the displays at the mall -- cheap holiday entertainment, which was all fun and games until Evie fell in a box of ornaments at Macys! Fortunately, she emerged with only a few scratches.

We replaced our old tree with my Grandma's tree this year. This angel graced the top of her tree for years and years, and this year we have adopted it as our own. We miss my precious Grandma so much! The holiday season was by far her favorite time of the year, and she always went all out decorating for it -- which makes sense because she used to decorate big department store windows downtown back in her day!

YaYa came and stayed with us during Thanksgiving, and we really loved getting to spend time with her! :)

Our tree. Notice T and E's various toys everywhere. It's hilarious that I ever thought that we would be able to keep toys out of the living room! 

Tamsie and Evangelyn wore some of my old Christmas dresses to church a couple of weeks ago.



I found them this felt tree at Target, and decorating it has been one of their favorite pastimes.

They get so proud of themselves, and it's fun to listen to their little conversations as they work on it.


Tamsie the Elf Fashionista
Evie thinks that not touching the tree is SO overrated.

They have a way of making everything extra-magical this year. :)

Evie's selfie

She was loving watching herself in the camera!

Giggle boxes!

Singing their version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as I showed them a book/sang it with them

T is partial to "fiiiiiive golden rings!!!"

Spontaneously holding hands at breakfast

This melts my heart every time it happens.

During last week's "ice storm," I couldn't help but think the trees outside must be quite jealous of our cozy Christmas tree! I mean, aside from the fact that it's not real and all. :)

Chris rearranges our stocking holders just to spite me when I'm not paying attention. 

We took the girls for brunch at Cafe Eclectic last Saturday. It was a HUGE hit. I always think they are such fans of breakfast food because of all the Wild Eggs I consumed while pregnant with them! Oh how I miss me some Wild Eggs!

Our Jesse Tree as of last week. If you're not sure what a Jesse Tree is, here's a great video about it

You never know what the nativity set will look like at any given moment, but the girls love rearranging everything!

Tamsie refers to this as the "garbage truck."

Evangelyn saw this picture of Jesus in the manger in one of their books and exclaimed, "Baby's taking a bath!"

Tonight we drove them around to look at lights, and when we came home, we told them they could watch their current favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas, so they hopped onto the couch and watched it -- for all of about 5 minutes, and then they were off playing with their books again!

There is nothing like being around a couple of two-year olds at Christmas. Everything is so new to them, and even though much of it doesn't make a lot of sense to them yet, they're enchanted by it all. We are loving starting new traditions with them that we hope will come to mean so very much to them as the years go by.