We looked through photos and I busted out the journal/sketchbook I kept at the time and we reminisced about what has to be our favorite tropical getaway to date. Flipping through the pages got me thinking about doing something with all the doodles and memories from that first trip as a married couple and I knew I wanted incorporate them into a gift for Rupert. I worked with Shutterfly to create a custom mini collection of home goods for an intimate dinner-night-in with Rupert, using those prints and patterns from our honeymoon in the South Pacific.To give you a little background… my full-time job pre-blog was as a creative director at a fashion paper goods company where we designed patterns and product for a large retail brand. The work itself is what inspired me to start my own collection, as I completely LOVED the entire process. Creating the artwork and seeing it come to life on a product is like magic and quite addictive!
For me it usually starts with drawing or painting a pattern. Then I’d bring it into the computer to make it digital, clean it up, and finally edit different colorways and figure out the scale etc. There is so much that goes into pattern creation and it is still one of my absolute favorite parts of my job. The next step was to spec out the product for the factory….product type, dimensions, materials, paper weight, finish, etc. all had to be decided. Finally marrying which pattern to which product is when things come to life and how we would create a collection.
With Shutterfly they took all the guesswork out of the product creation. You don’t have to be a designer or artist… they offer so many amazing customizable home goods where all you need is some artwork (or a photo) and you can easily create your own covetable (and completely giftable) pieces that no one else will have.I created 5 different patterns all inspired by different things. There’s the pattern I doodled from the lava rock (on the pink pillows), one inspired by the islands you see in the distance and how the mountains overlap (on the blue pillow), a coral inspired pattern from the snorkel adventures (on the ceramic tiles), one inspired by the rain showers (on the plates), and finally one inspired by pineapples (also shown on the ceramic tiles).
When it came time to choosing the product, I started with the plates. I have always wanted to design my own plates so that was a no brainer (also kind of a necessity for a dinner).The next product I got really excited about was the ceramic tiles. They come with an easel for display but I love the idea of using them as a trivet. They end up being a decorative keepsake that is also useful. I created the artwork using all the patterns from the sketchbook and I LOVE how they turned out. I sprinkled them around the table, ready for the dishes of food.The pillows made cozy seating for a meal around the coffee table and then found a new home on our bed. Switching out the throw pillows can update and change the look of a bedroom in an instant and I like the fresh pop of color. Another favorite piece are these acrylic trays! Clear sides with a printed base?! I might have to get a few more. I used my favorite pattern, in pink, of course. Perfect for serving coffee and dessert. I also used the same pattern but in green, on the smaller size (below). And finally, for Rupert’s actual gift, gift… the traditional one for seven years is copper. Every year Rupert and I have followed the traditional gifts so I was excited to see the new copper growler. I created my own little design with 7 lines, reflecting the amount of years married, as well as a simple R + S. To go with the growler I also customized two pilsner glasses with the same 7 lines as well as the date of this anniversary. The best part of all this is now I have little reminders of our honeymoon throughout the house instead of stuck somewhere inside a sketchbook only to be pulled out every 7 years or so.
Photos by Sarah Sherman Samuel