Friday, April 27, 2012

Designing Online: Two New Websites Launch

In a million years I never thought I would be designing so many websites. Truth be told, I HATE the coding part of web design. Trust me when I say, I can do it (I know html and css) but as much as I tried to fall in love with the back end part of web design it didn't happen. Which is why I feel SO incredibly lucky that I found Tony, from EvenPar Solutions. He is a genius at all the coding and programming stuff. So now, I can focus on "pretty" (horrible design word, I know), functional and aesthetically pleasing front end web design. I love our little collaboration, and I love helping clients realize their visual dream online. I have met so many amazing bloggers, creative individuals and small business owners through web design. It has broadened my horizons, portfolio, and network in more ways than I could ever imagine.

Tony and I have been very busy over the past couple of months with multiple projects. Last week we launched two new sites, Beneath My Heart and Andersonville Guesthouse. Beneath my Heart is an adorable and inspiring blog about life while Andersonville Guesthouse is a small, family run boutique guesthouse in Chicago.

Hope you enjoy! And if you are ever looking for a great place to stay in Chicago may I recommend Andersonville Guesthouse (sorry for the plug, but I couldn't resist).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Design: Baby Caroline's Announcement

This upcoming weekend I am headed to Atlanta to see two of my best friends who are both pregnant, before heading to my youngest brothers college graduation the following weekend. It will be a whirlwind trip filled with friends, family and celebration. Since I have babies on my mind due to the upcoming showers, I thought it was time to share baby Caroline's birth announcement.

My dear friend Emily, from Ten Little Bluebirds, took Caroline's newborn photos and graciously passed along my name to design her birth announcements. I wanted to keep the announcement simple, girly and elegant to mimic the precious and serene photo. I hope Caroline looks back on her announcement one day and realizes how special she is!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Daily Dose of Inspiration: Le Animale

To be completely honest, I have needed a bit of inspiration lately. Not inspiration for my work (that has been coming freely which I am thankful for), but more for life and running this little company of mine. Trust me, I feel very fortunate to work for myself and I have been so lucky on the small business front with plenty of work coming in from amazing clients.


It is hard to be your own boss, deal with all the inner workings of a business, and pay yourself a small but important salary. Sometimes I need a quick reminder that I have the strength to do all of this successfully.

Today I found that reminder when I spotted Laura's totem animals on her site Le Animale. How amazing are these tiny little creatures. I am pretty much in love. So much so that I impulsively bought the tiny bear below (which is SO not like me). He will give me strength, optimism, and pure joy every time I wear him.

Hope you enjoy these little guys as much as I do!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Details: Lauren and Sam's Wedding

After a little bit of a delay, here they are...

The detail shots of all the day-of designs at Lauren and Sam's beautiful wedding. Each of these shots is photographed by the amazing and talented Amanda Hein. It is always so exciting to see my designs in context. Hope you enjoy and Happy Friday!

The programs before the ceremony. 

One of many menu cards. Lauren and Sam had amazing food at their reception.
I was drooling while designing these cards. 

Thy also had a whole table of cake! How awesome is that?!?
The cakes are beautiful and definitely the star of the photo, but if you look closely you
will see the cake cards designed to match the full suite. 

The favor card with boxes of Frango mints behind.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Design: Natalie and Dan's Elegant Save the Date

I am so excited to share this Save the Date design with you! Natalie, who grew up in Texas and now also lives in Chicago, wanted to start setting the tone for her black tie wedding next year with elegant Save the Dates. The design consisted of a gold foil custom monogram (that will become a visual theme for all of Natalie's wedding stationery) and classic black letterpress. We emphasized the fact that Natalie and Dan are getting married by adding a large satin ribbon tied in a pretty knot as the finishing touch. All in all I love how this turned out and cannot wait to show you her invitations (which we ordered today)!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Design: Maple and Magnolia Blog

Maple and Magnolia is another blogsite collaboration between Tony of Evenpar Solutions and Chena Designs (aka me).

Susan wanted a clean and crisp look for her wonderful personal blog about her family, their life and the stunning place they call home. Our mutual love for magnolias became the visual driving force for the site. This was a great project to work on, and I have added yet another great blog to my long list of online reading material. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Love This: Fuzzy Hippo Design

I am really digging these simple (and easy to create) typography collages by Fuzzy Hippo on etsy. Why didn't I think of this!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Design: Lauren and Sam's Organic Winter Wedding

Lauren and Sam approached me almost a year ago about designing custom save the dates and invitations for their rustic meets modern, winter wedding. When we met for the first time, I knew instantly that this stationery suite was going to be a fun and unique design project. Lauren and Sam had an inspiring vision for their wedding: a little vintage, a little modern, natural but urban, elegantly one-of-a-kind, and romantic (of course). I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait to begin the design process. (Not to mention, they are both so kind and great to work for which always makes my job extra fun!). After looking through images from their event planners, we decided to create a glimpse of the wedding night through the invitations. The reception was going to be filled with warm lighting, manzanita branches, gray accents and light pink and white flowers.

The final invitation is dark gray thermography on light pink paper mounted to charcoal paper. We did a custom manzanita branch that lead the guest through the invitation suite. The little details, like the pink liner in the gray envelope, really pulled everything together. 


The branch illustration become an element in all of the "day of" design as well,
such as the ceremony program.  

The welcome letter was also consistent with the invitation suite bringing everything full circle.

I will share more of the photos from the ceremony in another post this week. Let's just say "They are stunning"...