A little update from July; some highlights.
As a Christmas in July promo, I released 12 new wedding suites/other paper goods under the hashtag #12DaysofSugaredFig. It was so so fun!! I spent the prior weeks planning, sketching, and listing ideas- many fall and winter themed invitations, and some season-neutral. Alex and I decided that this school year would be too busy for us to visit family much, so we dedicated this last month to staying with our families and grandparents. Lots of traveling meant no time to paint my designs at home in my normal, comfortable workspace, so all of my "12 Days of Sugared Fig" designs were painted on Alex's parents' dining room table. It was the sweetest thing. Every morning when I woke up to paint, my mother-in-law would have the coffee ready, the window shutters open, Ludovico Einaudi music playing, and she would bring me Southern Living magazines to give me floral inspiration. Then, when I got each design the way I wanted it, I would drive over to my parents' house (about an 8 min drive) and my sister and I would stage the shoot. Though it sometimes didn't feel like the ideal environment, with my paints strewn all over the table and our luggage scattered at each of our families' houses, it is a precious memory I'll never forget.
Alex and I then traveled to my grandparents' house out in the country of East Texas for a few days. As Alex was applying to med schools, I was outside picking figs with Mimi... and later, making fig preserves.
At night we went on a hog hunt with my uncle and cousin (they own a hog hit men business). If we're being honest here, I didn't actually shoot anything. I just held all the thermal vision gear and cheered the boys on. And, I cropped out the bloody hog faces for your benefit. Country life was relaxing, fulfilling (I mean, pot roast and garden vegetables can't be beat), and such a special time spent with my grandparents, but we weren't too sad when we arrived back in our city. After all, that side of the family always calls me "city girl."
Later in the month, I participated in my first wedding styled shoot. Let me tell you, these are the most exciting, high-strung things. My responsibility was all papery items (invitation suites, menus, place cards, signage), the cake, and co-designing the table styling with my friend Adrienne. Adrienne, a childhood friend, has her own floral design company, and she was absolutely the best person to work with!!! We get each other. In addition to Adrienne, our team consisted of photographer Asia from PhotobyJoy (also a good friend- we traveled to Thailand together), her intern Kinzey, a team of hair/makeup artists from San Antonio, bride/groom models, and of course, the amazing venue Hadora Ranch in Kerrville.
We arrived at noon and immediately began transforming the venue inside and out. If you don't know what a styled shoot is, it's really just a fake, scaled-down wedding. We had two different table settings, an arbor and a cake table, in addition to shooting my invitations, bridals, and up-close florals. The photographer moved from station to station, shooting what we had set up for her. By the time everything was photographed, taken down and cleaned up, it was about 11pm. Alex and I stayed at Hadora Ranch that night, as it's actually an airbnb bed & breakfast.
I will dedicate an entire blog post to our styled shoot soon!
Amidst the travels, I also did a collab with an insta-famous bride (creating her wedding invitations), some custom designs, and many, MANY, wedding orders. My sleeping schedule would sometimes be off, and our family keeps saying "what are you going to do during the school year???"
I don't know. But I know that I'm where I need to be, teaching math in an urban school and also creating invitations for brides around the world, two things that I feel extremely joyful and content about.
Here's something I do know, though : “'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."