While we were on our crazy road trip to Detroit last month (you can read about it here), we were able to capture two Ohio city skylines!
^ Cleveland Skyline coasters in color available here.
^ Cleveland Skyline coasters in black & white can be found here.
^ Melissa, one of my bestest friends in the whole world, surprised John and I and took us to Chicago last June as an early wedding present. Her boyfriend, Brandon, was there for work and she knew we've been wanting to capture the Chicago skyline for Ink the Print! She revealed the surprise via cake because that's her thing and she's excellent at it.
^ This was our view in the morning. We had arrived the evening before and had drinks on the rooftop and a late dinner at Fado (We love the Fado in Philly so of course we HAD to go to the Chicago one as well!)
The first morning in Chicago was a crazy emotional one for me. John and I were about to put an offer on a house we had seen back at home the day before so I was on the phone with the realtor several times that morning. I also got a LAST MINUTE appointment at the Chicago BHLDN to try on wedding gowns. Last minute, as in I got a phone call that morning and said aloud "Why is Chicago calling me?!?" It was BHLDN informing me there was a cancellation and we had less than an hour to get ready and be there. This was amazing because I had my heart set on their dresses and the closest BHLDN at home was in NYC and they were booked through August...and I needed to find my dress SOON. And lastly, as Mel and I were in the Uber car to the bridal appointment, my mom calls me to tell me my sister-in-law, Cara, was in labor and my soon-to-be niece or nephew was coming early!
^ BHLDN (pronounced BEHOLDEN) was so beautiful and perfect. Really, SO BEAUTIFUL, SO PERFECT. We drank champagne out of pretty cans and I tried on at least 10 gowns. The last gown was THE ONE. I knew it because Melissa cried and I didn't want to take it off. The whole time I'm trying on dresses, I'm thinking of my sister-in-law and brother and their child about to make his or her debut into our world. It was pretty surreal. Not to mention I was in Chicago for the first time and that champagne was our breakfast so we had a buzz going on.
^ We celebrated with more champagne when we got back to the apartment to get John. We cheersed to finding my dress, to Cara and Baby McWilliams, and possibly finding our first home. Oh, and to being in Chicago with my bestie and fiance! I remember swaying my long black skirt around the apartment pretending I was still wearing my new wedding gown. I couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't wait to marry him.
^ We went to Lou Malnati's for lunch so we could get some signature deep dish pizza. It was really good, but I spent the second half of the meal outside on the phone with our realtor about the house, and with the lady at BHLDN trying to change my payment method. While the payment method change was a success, the realtor conversations were not. The house ended up having some issues we did not want to get involved with so we decided not to pursue it. (Fast forward to present day, I'm so happy we didn't buy that house because we found our house a week later and it's perfect for us.)
^ Brandon's cousin plays for the Blackhawks. Pretty awesome.
^ Inside The Bean!
^ We had a lot of fun being tourists.
^ We were nervous the sky wasn't going to clear up that weekend...we had to get the skyline!
^ That night Brandon grilled us chicken on the rooftop and we also bought some Indian Food and Pierogies (because there was a place down the street called Pierogi Heaven and I needed it.) My kind of dinner! Afterwards, we stayed in and watched the worst/best movie ever, Zombeavers. And I finally got the text that IT'S A BOY, which I was already most certain about. My new nephew, Shane Robert (who we now lovingly call Shane Bob) was healthy and Cara was doing well, too!
^ Breakfast at Glazed and Infused!
^ We spent the second half of the morning at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I knew there was a good skyline view (minus the fog) and all three of us can't pass up a zoo visit. P.S. Brandon is working during day 1 & 2, hence why he's not in the pictures.
^ Then we went to explore the Old Town section.
^ In case you were wondering, this is what our tequila face looks like. Big Star was one of my favorite memories in Chicago. The only available seating was outside and of course it rained, but we had margaritas and tacos and we were on vacation!
^ Words to live by.
^ I was SO excited about Wicker Park because I love the movie, Wicker Park.
^ We stopped in at FatPour for an after lunch special of PBR & a shot of Malort. Malort is some weird stuff.
^ This is my other favorite moment in Chicago. And yes, I'm aware both moments involve tequila. The 7-Eleven across the street from where we were staying not only sold alcohol, but they had Patron for sale behind the counter. We couldn't resist.
^ Brandon took us out to dinner that night to Quartino. We ordered a bunch of small plates and tried all kinds of things. It was delicious!! I still dream about the seafood, the wine in tiny cups, and the never-ending pile of hot plates.
^ Then we went to a dueling piano bar and drank this big blue mistake. It was a blast.
^ It finally cleared up the last day we were in Chicago and we had a beautiful Saturday. John and I had to catch an early evening flight home so we squeezed in all our skyline photos. We went back to Lincoln Park to get a good shot.
^ Love him so.
^ Our future Chicago vacation home.
We visited Navy Pier (we were there first day, but it was not as pretty) and rode the Ferris wheel!
^ Then Melbabe & Colbabe spun in the revolving doors together one last time as we headed up to the apartment to grab our suitcases to go home. John and I bid farewell to Chicago and took the "L" train back to the airport. But first we struggled with how to get on it and ended up following strangers several blocks to find the right station. Tourists.
Chicago is one of those cities where I can't wait to go back because there's so much to do. We squeezed in a LOT for only being there for really only 2 1/2 days. A huge thank you to Melissa for our amazing early wedding present and to Brandon for housing us in his awesome work apartment.
Here are the Chicago Skyline coasters we have available in our shop now:
Canvas wall art will be coming soon!
P.S. John and I went to visit Baby Shane the very next day...
^ Couldn't stop stroking those cheeks!
P.S.S. He's now 7 months old and the happiest boy, ever.
^ He's actually 6 months old here, it was taken on Christmas night. Oh how I love these two!
My father-in-law likes to rebuild antique tractors in his spare time and he recently put a bid on some tractor parts through Ebay. He won the bid, but now that meant he had to drive all the way to Michigan to pick them up...
John and I laughed and laughhhhed. And then suddenly we weren't laughing anymore because we were going with him! I was promised breakfast with my dad, who is in Detroit this month for business, and city skylines on the journey home, which means more designs for Ink the Print!
We left two Saturdays ago at 2:30 pm and arrived right above Detroit a little after midnight. We found a hotel a few minutes from the Ebay seller's location so we went there early Sunday morning and got the first order of business out of the way.
And then we saw Dad!
^ I made him take a selfie with me in the parking lot of the Whitmore Lake Tavern.
^ Breakfast was delicious. We all ordered a side bowl of sausage gravy with our meal because...why not?
^ Then we drove just a few minutes to the current job site Dad's managing . The induction industry is quite intense!
We couldn't stay very long if we wanted to get all the skylines on the way home. It felt really weird leaving my Dad in Michigan. I wanted to take him home with us! But I was so happy we got to spend a little bit of time with him and get a tour of the very important things he and his company do.
^ Cool Detroit Church
Our first skyline mission was, of course, Detroit. The GPS took us through some questionable areas, but I learned that even the most dangerous cities look non-threatening when covered in fresh snow. Snow or no snow, we stayed in the locked truck until we reached our destination...
^ And here's the Detroit skyline! Isn't it beautiful!?!? We sadly could not capture it due to the winter weather. I was pretty sad and getting discouraged thinking about the rest of our skyline trip home.
^ But you can't stay sad when you're on a road trip.
Goodbye, Detroit. Next stop, Toledo...
^ Toledo Skyline, check! Now onto Cleveland...
^ This is Edgewater Park in Cleveland, Ohio and from here you are supposed to see the skyline. Again, winter weather ruined our plans! We were, however, able to get the skyline from driving through the city. It's not the best, but we took what we could get.
^ We had to yell at some crazy man to get off the icy rocks and get back into the truck.
^ Lake Erie is quite beautiful.
^ On our way into Cleveland. The city was EMPTY. It was Sunday and snowy and quiet, so we may have taken advantage and made all kinds of illegal turns and trespassing. You can't prove it, though.
It was dark and entirely too snowy by the time we got to Pittsburgh, but John and I were so fascinated by the city as we drove through it that we're going to plan a trip there soon to capture the skyline and be tourists. It's only a 4 1/2 hour drive, easy weekend getaway.
^ aaaaand this is what we drove home in. Shhhh, don't tell our moms.
We got back home into Jersey a little after midnight, so technically that Monday morning. We drove to Detroit and back, including sleeping in a hotel for a few hours and stopping in several cities, in less than 34 hours.
If there are any two people I want to be stuck in a car with for that long, it's my husband and father-in-law. There's always lots of humor involved, yet I know I'm safe. We talk about cool names to name our potential future goat in between comfortable silences and eating snacks. And when they get all geeky on me talking about science theory, I tune them out and read my book. Hanging with those two, plus breakfast with my dad and getting his workplace tour, was worth the entire trip. The two skylines we captured were just a bonus. An awesome bonus, I might add.
P.S. I just finished the designs for Toledo and Cleveland skyline coasters. They'll go into production later today and we'll have our end product some time next week. Woo!
Street Glitter Gallery is a little boutique on Girard Ave in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. They carry all kinds of works from local artists. I fell in love with Fishtown after discovering Johnny Brenda's, and little did I know this gem was right down the street! We've been lucky enough to be a part of this shop since February.
The storefront is my favorite. So happy & beautiful!
They are currently carrying a little bit of everything of ours...coasters, prints, photographs, framed photographs, small city skylines, big city skylines, and other canvas pieces.
^ While we were here last week dropping off more products, a customer was buying some of our stone coasters. And the best part was that he was so excited about his purchase!
Ink the Print is EVERYWHERE you look in this little store. We're so thrilled to have our framed photographs all over their walls :-)
^ This is Tami, owner of the gallery. She's awesome.
^ I love the layout of the place, too. Every piece of space is utilized, it all flows so nicely.
^ Seeing our work in a store window is indescribable.
If you're ever in the Fishtown area, come visit Street Glitter Gallery! You can find the perfect gift for just about anybody.
306 E. Girard Ave
And the store hours can be found here!
Last month, John proposed to me in the wee hours of the morning. That's right, Ink the Print will soon be a "husband & wife operation"! It's not the most romantic engagement you'll hear, but it was so "us". We had just gotten home from my cousin's wedding (which was a blast!) and were getting ready for bed, but I couldn't find my phone charger so I started searching for it like a madwoman. I looked everywhere, and just as I marched past John for like the tenth time and threw my hands up in defeat, he called my name so I'd turn back around. And there he was, on one knee with a sparkly ring in hand. "Col! ....will you marry me?" He had basically been down on one knee the WHOLE time and I didn't even notice. He jokes and says it was the longest three minutes of his life.
I apparently then proceeded by telling him to "shut up." That obviously meant "YES!" It's funny the things that will come out of your mouth when you're in complete shock. The engagement was something we had been planning for a while, but he led me to believe the ring was not ready yet. I give him so much credit for truly surprising me. Thankfully I had some cocktails that night at the wedding, or else I would have never fell right to sleep...I couldn't wait to tell the world the next morning!
We had chosen our wedding date last year. We do things backwards, that's just how we are ;-) October 9th is our anniversary (you can read more about that here) and this year it falls on a Friday. Next year is a leap year so it falls on a Sunday which is no bueno because, well because we like to party. It was last summer that I had this date realization so I brought it up to John one night while we were driving down to the family bay house in Maryland. I was so nervous to bring it up, but John just simply replied "it's possible" and that was that.
^ 10/9/06 ...we were babies!
So fast forward to March. We started getting the wheels in motion, which meant getting the family diamond from his grandparents (this makes the ring incredibly more special to us) and hinting to close family and friends to save that particular date. We also had decided on a backyard wedding and started figuring out some other details. And then you know the rest...
John and I have SO many photos together considering we've been together almost 9 years, but I wanted to do a special engagement photo shoot for our "save the date" announcement. We were running out of weekends to get this done so we finally just decided to take a Monday off and head down to Batsto Village. Back in 2006, I skipped work and the two of us went down to Batsto to do a photo project for class. We had our first kiss there that day, and also came home with chiggers. Needless to say, it was one of our most memorable days together.
Being that we're both photographers, we thought it'd be fun to just bring a tripod and do the engagement shoot ourselves. I love self timers and tripods :-) John was such a good sport that day considering he doesn't really like being photographed. We had a lot of fun doing the shoot and got a lot of exercise in while setting the timer on the camera and running back to get into the frame.
^ it's funny, this was the end of our shoot and I decided to instagram the moment. The photo on the camera display ended up being "the one" for the front of our "save the date" postcards!
^ We got these at minted.com and are very happy with them! All of their designs are made by independent artists, which I thought was pretty awesome. I had so much fun on their site. We went the postcard route to save money on both printing and postage. So these were affordable and shipped to us super fast thanks to a coupon code I found online.
And finally, here are some of the photos from our engagement shoot....
So we have less than 5 months to plan the rest of this wedding! We already have the venue, catering, rentals, photographer, & DJ so I do feel somewhat accomplished :-)
Oh, did I mention I can't wait to marry this guy? The word "husband" suddenly sounds like the sweetest word in the world to me.
Every single sale we make is still so exciting, but it's especially exciting when we sell overseas. We had a wonderful customer from Modiin, Israel buy three of my musical instrument photographs last month and he was kind enough to send us pictures of them hanging in his music studio. I think his whole setup looks awesome!
These photographs can be found HERE in our photography shop :-)
Our customers are the greatest. Thank you, Matt!
Ink the Print will be at TWO handmade holiday markets in Philly this month. We're very excited! The first one is this Saturday...
Superfantastic Craft Bazaar at the Philly Free School
Saturday Dec. 6th 11am-5pm
2001 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
The facebook event can be found here!
The second show we'll be at is the following Saturday...
Saturday Dec. 13th 11am-5pm
SS Neumann Goretti High School (Entrance on 11th and Moore)
1736 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
The first 50 shoppers in the door receive a tote bag filled with goodies from all the wonderful vendors!
The facebook event can be found here!
So come on out and get some of your holiday shopping done while supporting local artists & makers! Shop local, shop small, shop handmade :-)
Guitar coasters can be found here.