LATELY

Jill-Smith-good-snugglesSometimes on the weekends I sneak into my studio late at night and work when every one else is sleeping. It’s a still and silent time and, weirdly enough, a crazy inspired time for me. It’s when I draw out the ideas that have been building up in my head all day. And for the past few months, it’s when I’ve been creating a variety of new products for a variety of new people. But this weekend I’ll be diving into bed next to my munchkins and snoring until morning when a little nose is smushed up to my face saying, “I’mmmm huuunnngggrrryyyy Mommmmmmyyyyy”.  I am looking forward to a lot of that this weekend. We have a birthday to celebrate, family coming in town, water balloons to be thrown and toasts to be made. But before I leave the studio today to do a whole lot of not working, I want to share a few projects that are debuting from some of those late nights working.

I’ve continued my work with Baby2Baby this year. Remember the playdate last April? Well, we are doing another one to celebrate the holidays. Soon I’ll be back in LA helping another group of kiddos celebrate the season by creating some holiday art. I have also teamed up with Tiny Prints to design a line of everyday stationery in collaboration with Baby2Baby. Every time one of these designs is purchased, a portion goes directly to Baby2Baby to help purchase items these children need. To view the collection, click here (be sure to scroll down, they are at the bottom of the page). As the holidays near, we will also launch a set of holiday photo cards benefiting Baby2Baby in the same way. Once it launches, I will share it here. I am so grateful and happy to design and share with these kiddos.

Holiday products are launching everywhere. I work on holiday ideas year-round so it is always fulfilling to see these designs launch. This year there are some really clever ways to further customize each design to make it uniquely yours. There will be much more on that to come, as well as party invitations, corporate greetings, ornaments and more. Until then, you can view my Tiny Prints holiday photo card collection and my Shutterfly holiday photo card collection. I’m still trying to pick which one to use for my family, but this one is in the lead.

Since it’s officially the weekend, it’s time for me to stop tapping on my keyboard and start celebrating.

Photograph by Rebecca Sanabria who my youngest child has a huge crush on.
Feliz fin de semana, everyone!

WhoaNelly - Cheers to not working and celebrating munchkin’s birthday!
You inspire me daily…

2014 HOLIDAY COLLECTION » Jill Smith - […] when I promised there’d be more to come on my 2014 holiday collection? Well, here you go. I’m so happy to have […]

PILLOW TALK

Jill-Smith-pillowsPillows are now available at Tiny Prints. It’s part of their new Home Décor line that I am happy to design for. This one is my favorite. It comes in a variety of colors, and you can also add personalized text on there such as your family name. I decided to keep mine plain. It lives in my studio and I may or may not have napped on it last Tuesday. Yay for happy pillows!

Here are a few links I found showing how other families are styling their Tiny Prints pillows.
Oleander and Palm
 ::: Zelma Rose ::: My Blessed Life

Purchase this pillow for your happy home here.
See all pillows available at Tiny Prints here.
Photograph by Brooke Schwab.

A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT » Jill Smith - […] launch of her new TV show, Dinner at Tiffani’s, and the launch of my holiday card collection and home décor. We thought that food and décor would be a great excuse to get a small group of our friends and […]

A BRANDING ENDEAVOR

Jill-Smith-branding-01For years I was a designer with no designed products for myself. I designed for everyone else, but if you needed to get in touch with me, I was all….um, can I borrow a pen? Oh and let me scribble my info down for you on this scrap of paper from the bottom of my bag. No no don’t worry, it’s only the size of a tic tac, but I can write small. And legibly. Really, hire me to design for you. I’m good. Obviously. See you can read my email and phone number on that tiiiiny piece of trash, and I drew a cat on there. See, I’m witty too. I’ve said this with pen smeared on my face and a 2-year old next to me licking something else he found in the bottom of my bag.
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So I decided to change a little bit of that scenario when I found Braizen. I’ve mentioned Braizen before here. We worked hard together and had fun together. I am incredibly grateful for their talent, their wit, and their do-what-they-say-they-are-going-to-do-ness. They are a wonderful company, full of wonderful people.

I now can hand out beautiful cards and even wrap you a present. And hey, for a minute there I forgot how much fun it is to mail real mail. Now I will mail my husband a letter just to say “could you please hand me the remote” because I get to use this stationery and a big sharpie.

You can see Braizen’s thoughts, more photos and even a big testimonial from me here.
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Photography by Brooke Schwab.

KIDS AND CAMERAS

Jill-Smith-kids-and-camerasWith all the photo shoots we do around here, it was no surprise when my little guys started to take interest in cameras and taking their own photos. So when my oldest was around 4 or 4 ½, I came up with an idea to give him some creative independence and our DSLR a little less chance of being dropped on the sidewalk.

I purchased a Fujifilm Instax 210 camera, packs of film, an unlined Moleskine notebook and some colorful washi tape.
Jill-Smith-kids-and-cameras02The camera itself is big and bulky, which is what I wanted in this case. If it could have been covered in armor, even better. It is easy to use with only a few buttons, all of which are large for small fingers to use with confidence. And it magically dispenses photographs that you can hold and show instantly.
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The day I pulled it all out and put it on the table, my little guy had a perma-smile tattooed on his face from ear to ear. He was so excited to have his own camera. I sat down with him and we went through the instructions, how to load the film, how to turn it on and the basics of how to care for it. I did this painfully slowly. By the time I finished talking and pointing out every single button and feature, he was panting and begging to get his hands on it. I think the time we spent doing this part together was key because he felt hugely responsible for it. He put the strap around his neck with such care I started to think that armor may not actually be necessary.

After we went over how to use and care for the camera, I laid out a few ground rules for the film. Each photo ends up costing about 85¢. Or in my words ::: expensive. I explained this the best I could to a pretty hip little 4-year old and then told him he could take one photo a day. The exception being the very first day I gave him the camera in which he was able to take a whole pack of 10 photos. This way he could get his excitement out, his practice using the camera in and his creativity going.

The last step we discussed is that he would get to take his photos and tape them into his fancy, grown-up looking Moleskine notebook. This part is also great because it gives him a reason to put the camera down and have something else to look forward to doing, instead of asking me 643 times if he can pleeeeeaaase just take one more photo today.
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We’ve been doing this for well over a year now and it is something that he has not tired of. Sometimes he will go weeks without taking any photos, but then remembers the camera and is right back to it. Then I hear how it’s been ONE HUNDRED days since he’s taken a photo, so would it be okay if he took ONE HUNDRED photos today? So we’ve updated the rules to be that if it seems like it’s been ONE HUNDRED days since he’s taken a photo, he can take three that day to catch up.

This idea has turned out to be a wonderful project for our family. He is taking care of something that is his and truly enjoying it. He gets free creative reign, other than us occasionally saying something like, “You might want to get a little closer when taking a photo of that ladybug on our back fence while you are standing in our front yard.” Mostly we keep our mouths shut and he does his thing. And now we have this very fat book full of photo documentation of our day-to-day life from a different (and adorable) perspective.
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Links to shop for the camera, film, Moleskin, similar washi tape (or a set of washi tape).
Photography by Brooke Schwab.

PS ::: Little brother is still pretty happy with this vintage pretend version.
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Hot Guy #1 - Everything about this makes me happy. Thank you for making me smile :)

Meet Pencil Pusher, Jill Smith in my Masterclass Series - […] talked about a few very simple creative projects on my blog here, here and […]