CERTALDO, ITALY

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Well hello!

After days, weeks, of stressful planning, we are finally off to Italy today to get married! With all the client work and new product developments (I'm currently working on pillow cushions to add later this year) it's been challenging for me to balance everything lately. Add planning and DIY decor for an abroad wedding and you get some serious bouts of anxiety and sleepless nights. Suffice to say that I cannot wait to sit on that airplane and enjoy being on vacation with my favorite person...

We will be getting married next Monday in the heart of Tuscany (I honestly will never tire of saying that, sounds like a dream!) followed by a week of honeymoon on the coast of southern Italy. I cannot wait to greet our family and friends, eat Italian pastas and enjoy a truly special day. 

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend, see you guys in Italy! Ciao!

- Yao

 

2 WEEKS FROM NOW...

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Hello there,

Two weeks from today, I will be marrying my very best friend...words cannot begin to describe how happy this makes me feel! As the days tick down (which, the last I checked it was six months ago!), I am filled with more excitement everyday. I don't know how we ended up finding each other in this big, big world, but meeting Eric has changed me in ways I never thought possible. I am a kinder person because of him, I feel so complete with him by my side. Without him holding my hand, I don't know how I could have set off on my own like I did. He has been there every day to reassure me that my hard work will be worth it, that I shouldn't be afraid to take risks. He is the most patient and kind man I have ever met. The thought of me walking towards him on our wedding day makes me feel emotional, I will be such a hot mess that day! But, surrounded with our closest family and friends, I know I won't care what I look like or which name tag doesn't look perfect. All that will matter is that Eric will be there with me as we say our vows to each other. 

It feels like a true dream that we will be getting married among the rolling hills of Tuscany in Italy. From the first moment that I fell in love with Lisa Poggi's work, planning a wedding in Italy just sort of fell into place. She told me about the villa where we will be staying and getting married at, and the wedding planner that has been so wonderful to work with. The villa grows and makes their own olive oil and wines, it looks out to the Tuscan landscape, and did I mention that real grapes grow from the vines? Our wedding planner, Laura, chuckled when I seemed so amazed by this fact! All of the vendors and people that will be a part of that day has been so kind to us. I cannot wait for the day to come around...

Lisa and Gianluca did an amazing job with our engagement shoot. They captured us completely. When I look at this photos I feel like that's how me and Eric really are. These candid moments are what makes me smile, they remind me of how rare our love is in this world. Thank you, Lisa and Gianluca!

Until next time,

Yao

 

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

Photography by Lisa Poggi

NEW! PRINTED TEA TOWELS

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Hey there!

I'm delighted to share with you guys a new addition to my shop. After months of painting, designing, refining, and sourcing, these tea towels have finally arrived! It's been a true labor of love getting these lovelies just right. From the beginning I knew it will be important for me to source a high-quality fabric and create a product that was both beautiful and functional. While I under-estimated how long it would take to find the right manufacturer and to get my design printed, looking back it was worth every part of that journey.

Every design always begin with a brush on watercolor paper. After I finalize the selection of artworks I want to use, I scan them into the computer where they are cleaned and sized correctly. Some are also made into art prints, which you can find here! While some of the artworks are a composed layout, others are repeating patterns that I have to design into with Photoshop. Once the designs are prepped, I send over the designs to the manufacturer and work with them directly over changes or adjustments. This is the first time that I'm reacquainted in the textiles industry since my years working at a corporate fashion company! And even there, I did not work directly with manufacturers or deal with the sourcing end of things. So it's been very interesting learning about all the different types of fabrics and printing processes out there.

What I love about these towels is that it is completely color-fast. These linen cotton blends are printed through a reactive dye process in which the colors are dyed directly into the fabric rather than sitting on top like with pigment printing. The difference is truly extraordinary, most noticeably is the saturated color range and the color fastness of the fabric. I wanted these towels to be pretty décor pieces in a kitchen, but I also wanted my customers to be able to throw them in a washer when they get used. And with reactive dye printing, that is totally possible without worrying about colors fading! Isn't technology truly amazing? 

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After the fabric is printed and steamed, they are finished by my amazing future mother-in-law! Each piece is first carefully cut out by hand. She then presses and stitches in the side seams to get a clean, finished edge. She even takes the extra step to add in a corner loop and finish the corners in a special way to avoid the thick overlap of excess fabric. It's these little details that makes the finished product extra special!

In the end, I feel very proud of how these first tea towels came out. Seeing my work on fabric has opened my eyes to so many new ideas! I will be adding more products to my shop in the coming months, all of which I am brimmed with excitement and just writing about it makes me smile! 

'Til next time,

Yao

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COLLECTION- THE SHOP IN EAST LIBERTY

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Hello there!

Earlier this week, The Shop on East Liberty launched a collection of art prints, limited edition pieces and original watercolors of mine. Come check it out on their website, or if you are in the Pittsburg area, pop on over! I love the pieces in her shop, I had to stop myself from putting the entire store on my wedding registry!

Anyway, when Norah from Curate 1K first came to me with the idea of pulling together a collection for the store, I knew this would be a great collaboration. Both of their aesthetics are well-aligned with mine, and so I knew my work would be in good hands. While I don't normally sell my work in other shops (working on expanding my wholesale side in the coming months!), I wanted to give it a go and see what happens. It's good to try something different, I always end up learning something new... In addition to the online launch this week, me and Eric will be in Pittsburg end of this month to be there for the in-store event! Stay tuned for the exact date, but if you will be in the area, be sure to come by and say hello! 

Thank you, Julia and Norah for including me to be part of this wonderful shop! 

Cheers,

Yao