Happy National Poetry Month!

It is the last day of National Poetry Month -- we almost missed it! Here is a lovely spring poem from Mary Oliver in celebration of the last day of April. 

Such Singing in the Wild Branches
By Mary Oliver
It was spring 
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves— 
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers 
all trim and neat for the new year. 
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing. 
Then I began to listen. 
Then I was filled with gladness
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree— 
and I began to understand 
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising, 
and in fact 
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers, 
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds 
in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them
were singing. 
And, of course, yes, so it seemed, 
so was I. 
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments. 
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about. 
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there, 
you’re there forever. 
Listen, everyone has a chance. 
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you, 
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song 
may already be drifting away.

Dutch Oven Bread

Rosanna here again! I'm in the midst of preparing for the National Stationery Show in New York. I'm super excited. We're less than three weeks away and I'm working super hard, preparing not only all our new greeting cards that will be debuting at the show, but all the promotional materials that go along with it, designing our booth, testing out the booth design, figuring out all the logistics for getting myself and Joel and all our product to New York in one piece. I found myself baking a loaf of bread the other day, and can only say that it must be stress-baking, because why else would I choose to add to my craziness : )

But really, this bread is not at all complicated. And it's beautiful. And it tastes even better than it looks. All it takes is some time, but you could even make this bread while working a full day. And it would make that full day of work so rewarding.

By no means am I an expert baker. If you can measure flour into a bowl and stir it with some water, you, too can make this bread. Baking requires some amount of recipe following, to be sure, but this recipe is dead simple.


1 package dry active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp from a jar of yeast)
1 1/2 C warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Mix the yeast and the warm water together.
Add in the flour and the salt (in that order!) and stir together until a shaggy ball forms.
Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place and let rise for 6 hours (or overnight, or while you're at work for the day).

When you're ready to deal with the bread again (min 6 hours), dust a surface with flour and put the dough on the board. Carefully shape the mass into a roundish ballish shape. (Don't knead the bread, handle it as little as possible. BUT! if the dough seems suuuper sticky, carefully mix in some flour by folding the dough over on itself a couple times.)

 Place it on a piece of parchment, cover with a towel and let rise for another 1-1 1/2 hours. 

Preheat your oven and your dutch oven at 450 degrees. When both are nice and hot, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Place the dough ball + parchment paper in the hot dutch oven. With a sharp knife, cut some slits in the top of the dough ball. Put the lid on the dutch oven and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully remove the lid from the dutch oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. 

(But seriously, I can never wait that long. Who can resist fresh bread!)


Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Friday is here! We've had a bit of a "heat wave" here in Seattle this week but sadly it's coming to an end tomorrow. I'm planning to hit up pre-natal yoga for the first time this weekend, eek! Also hoping to do some baking and pick out paint for the baby's room. What are you up to?

Here are some cheerful links to get things started:

Happy facts to make us smile (it's Friday after all!)

Kate, Will and Harry visited Hogwarts (and she wore a  £38 dress from Top Shop!). Loved this dress she wore last week too.

What a stunning and beautiful magazine cover

Awesome. Downton Abbey season four as a musical (music and lyrics by a friend of mine from high school!)

This cocktail looks divine for spring/summer. 

Cute and creative DIY gifts for newlyweds and for your garden

These spring desserts look delightful, might have to try one out this weekend.

If I was having a baby girl I'd be all over this adorable new clothing collection

Also, Zara now sells maternity clothes!

The power of talking to your baby. 


Cotton & Flax

Hello! This is Rosanna from the Iron Curtain Press. I'm filling in for Jenny while she and Jason are in Africa. Yay! 

I've really been stoked about Cotton and Flax, a delightful home goods company based out of Pasadena, California. I asked Erin Dollar a bit about her process and she has shared some photos from her newest collection. Her work is so beautiful, and I love her minimalist aesthetic.

RK: How often do you create new collections? What are your main sources of inspiration as you create each new collection?

ED: I constantly have new ideas brewing for Cotton & Flax, but I only really push the idea of a "collection" twice a year. I try to add new colors and patterns with each collection, and maybe a new product or two, if I am feeling ambitious. For Spring/Summer 2013, I am bringing back a popular fabric color that I phased out early last year, and introducing some new coasters into the mix.

I find that inspiration comes from all over as I am trying to curate a collection. I don't tend to work in a linear fashion - I'm designing patterns at the same time I'm looking for fabrics - so often it's a color or a shape, or a particular material that I'm drawn to, and then I work entirely around that. I am always developing new patterns in my sketchbook, so for me, the design process is really all about editing down all my ideas until it's easily digestible.

RK: Describe a little of your process - from concept to finished product. Do you have a favorite step?

ED: I suppose I begin my process by considering what type of product I am designing for. A pattern that looks great on a coaster may not look fantastic on a 20 inch pillow, so I have to keep the end product in mind as I design. After I design a new pattern, I have it transferred onto a silkscreen so that I can print multiples. I source fabrics locally, and screenprint and sew everything myself in my studio here in Pasadena. I love that I have control over every aspect of the design, from start to finish.

My favorite moments are spent designing something entirely new, even if it's not something that ends up getting used that season. For example, I just printed a batch of these great patterned envelopes, which have two contrasting patterns on each side. They are completely impractical - relatively expensive and labor-intensive - so I won't be adding them to the shop anytime soon, but I just loved trying something new.

RK: I love your new post cards! Do you have plans to expand your paper goods line?

ED: Thank you! I hope to add a few more paper products this year, and I have a fun stationery collaboration in the works that may debut in the coming months. I don't plan to expand too much, though, I'm too in love with textiles right now.

Thanks Erin! Side note: She has a really great instagram feed too: @cottonandflax

What Kind of Parent Will I Be?

Jameson Patrick

So much of the focus of preparing for a baby is on logistical matters, and being a practical person myself I tend to grasp onto those tasks and objectives. But every now and then I force myself to step back from the registry, nursery planning, and labor/delivery books to think about what is actually important: What kind of parents do Patrick and I want to be? What do we want to teach our baby? How will we model love for him? How will we fuel our relationship with each other with a new baby in the house? 

I’d like to do a little series prepping for baby that is less about the tangible and physical aspects of becoming a parent and more about the ideas, feelings and actions that come with becoming a parent. What do you think? 

This article is an interesting place to get started -- it's called That Baby Wants to Break You Up and it's a realistic look at how one couple's marriage changed drastically when their baby was born. Definitely food for thought since we're less than 12 weeks away.

(image by Jameson Patrick)

Party Planning: Pingg Online Invitations

Stumbled on this great website, Pingg.com, that offers beautiful, artist-designed, online invitations. As we head into "party season" it would be a great alternative to the traditional Evite for summer get-togethers, showers and announcements. Some of them ask for a donation to the artist, but they are still much more economical (and greener!) than sending paper invites. Check out some of my favorites below:

Balloons on a String

Surprise Party

Baby Banner Pink


Chalkboard Save the Date

Rehearsal Dinner

Bouquet Bridal Shower

Wine Cheese Party

Wedding, Wine, Windmills

 Here are a few of my favorites from Peter & Margaret's wedding last month at the Bernardo Winery in San Diego.  You can see more on the JKoe Photography Facebook page. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Kenedee!

Snuggling her new Bunny from Auntie T - she wore a tutu and pink Jordan shoes!
I seriously can't believe it's already been a year since our little niece Kenedee came into the world! And in just a few months her little cousin will be here :) Time sure does fly.
Getting some love from her Uncle P and Daddy
We had a lot of fun last weekend celebrating her first birthday down in Tacoma. She is possibly the sweetest baby I've ever meet, smiling as she "opened" all her presents and absolutely LOVING her first bites of cake (a girl after my own heart!).

Karama Africa

Jason and I are in Africa! We're currently in Ethiopia, then headed to Tanzania's mainland and then the island of Zanzibar to shoot for Karama. I hosted a party selling Karama and Noonday fair trade gifts before Christmas last year and really fell in love with their products and the way they are produced. Karama offers a variety of jewelry, scarves and other gifts made by artisans from all over Africa. Naturally I was thrilled when they asked us to come take pictures for them. 

Karama is the Arabic word for dignity. Learn more about Karama's mission here.  

I've scheduled posts for this week including a couple of guest posts! We'll be traveling around a bunch and I'm not sure how much internet access I'll have. Of course you'll be inundated with photos and stories from the trip when I return. 

Image Neema's Crafts via Karama

Earth Facts for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Just for fun, here are a few facts about the planet we all call home & how we are using it...

  • The Earth isn't round! It's technically an oblate spheroid. Basically that means it’s slightly flattened on the top and bottom poles. (source)
  • Earth means "the ground." This name, which comes from an English/German word, has been used to describe our planet for at least 1,000 years. (source)
  • You are one in 7 billion. The Earth's population is estimated at 7,078,000,000. (source)
  • Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. (source
  • Energy saved from recycling one glass bottle is enough to keep a lightbulb lit or four hours. (source)
  • The average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day. (source)

Photo of kids sweeping Union Square as a part of the first Earth Day celebration via National Geographic.

Monday Motivation


Friday Roundup

Well, it's been a crazy week in so many different ways. Happy in my own life, but scary and sad in the grand scheme of things. Living in a world where we can't ever escape negative headlines in the news is one of the reasons Teresa and I love doing roundups every week, to highlight the things in the world filled with joy, beauty, hope, humor and novelty. 

Jason and I will be on a plane to Ethiopia on Sunday. That part hasn't really set in yet...Needless to say, my weekend will be spent packing and frantically finishing some work projects while intermittently checking the YouTube view count of a certain video. (almost 1.5 million views in the first 24 hours felt pretty good!)

Enough about me, here are some fun and happy things to end the week with, some beauty and joy in the midst of crazy. 

Loved this happy story from the Boston Marathon and then found out I've actually met the guy through Young Life! It's a small world for sure. 

Dear Bee Sting Cake, I want to try you because: 1. Your name is awesome and 2. You have a honey almond topping. 

I'd never heard of an acrostic ring and now I want one. How wonderfully sentimental! (via The Hairpin)

Tuck Everlasting style. Perfect for dreaming about warmer weather. 

GREAT article from Salon in response to the Dove Campaign that is everywhere right now. Just a reminder that true beauty comes from within. 

Did you know that yesterday was National High Five Day? Here are some awesome gifs to celebrate. 

Iron Curtain Press featured in Uppercase

Dress up your screen with this beautiful woven background. 

After multiple failed attempts at knitting and crocheting, I'm thinking of trying out embroidery

This Victoria city guide has me wanting to jump on a boat and head to Canada! 

The story of a highly motivated family. 6 kids in collage by age 12. Wow. 

And finally...

Sandals Weather is Coming!

Being that I can't fit into most normal clothes anymore, I'm pretty excited about getting some new, cute sandals for spring/summer! A girls gotta look cute somehow right? Here are a few that caught my eye from around the web.

The Neon Gladiator

The Super- Strappy

The Sparkly Espadrille 

The Steal
The Splurge

The "Brave for a Pregnant Lady" (but so pretty!)

The Everyday Ankle

Awkward Dancing

In the middle of everything else happening in life I received this text message yesterday...

Zoe, our associate photographer, posted this video of clips from her iPhone a month ago and was contacted by ABC about using the footage of Jason and I being incredibly awkward. 

Can't Hold Us

I'm so excited for you all to see what I've been working on for the last few months! 

Seriously, we've been all over for this one, shooting in Seattle, LA, New Zealand, Canada and more. 


Daisy for Vogue

How stunning are these pictures of Carey Mulligan in her Great Gatsby attire for Vogue?! I am so excited for this movie, love all the actors and Baz Luhrmann.

(images via)

Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

I have been glued to the computer since yesterday reading updates on what happened in Boston. It's hard to even wrap my head around how something so positive can turn to something horrifying in a moment. Today there have been a lot of inspiring stories out there as well though, here are a few to lift your spirits.

Buzzfeed's images of tragedy met with kindness.

Good Samaritans take in stranded marathoners. 

Editorial in Boston Globe about the town's spirit and resiliency.

More inspiring images of people helping.

Messages of hope for Boston.

29 reasons to love Boston.

(Image available on Etsy)

Calm in Chaos

What do you do when you're stressed out? How do you find calm? 

Life lately has been a little crazy for Jason and me. The music video we've been working on for months comes out on Wednesday. I'm so excited for you all to see it, and nervous too. I hope everyone likes it!  It will be nice to finally get to talk in less vague terms about what I've been doing all winter. 

Then, on Sunday, Jason and I board a plane to Adidas Abba, Ethiopia for 10 days in Africa. In between now and then, oh my goodness- work deadlines, a couple of photo shoots, projects to finish and of course the packing of long skirts and camera gear. I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting too and all of this is being done with a severe lack of sleep. 

Anyway, enough to stress me out, which I hate, because I want to be enjoying all of this! So, back to my question, what do YOU do when you're stressed out? 

My current coping methods include:
Also, I have to add, after the craziness of what happened in Boston yesterday, I feel like all of my concerns are trivial...I hope you all are safe today and loving and appreciating life and everyone around you. 

Image via @nicadenau

Nursery Inspiration

You all are going to have to forgive me because I have baby on the brain right now and I have a feeling that is going to seep into the blog. I'm focused on the nursery this week and trying to get plans in place to have it all put together by June 1st (in case the baby comes early). I've posted a little bit here about what I'm thinking-- nothing too extravagant, mostly bringing together things we already have. Here's some inspiration I'm drawing from around the web. Basic themes are:

Bright and neon colors. Neutral walls. Geometric shapes. 
Eclectic. Fun animals. 

Bright colors with neutrals

Neon's and geometric shapes 
Neon's and neutrals 
Neutral walls, bright colors

Pops of color
Geometric garland