1st Birthday fete – location, location, location!

1st Birthday fete – location, location, location!

So, I’m thinking more and more about Laelia’s first birthday, because I need to choose a location already. I’m definitely leaning towards a park, as we don’t have enough room to host a party, and we don’t want to rent anything out, and parks are just so naturally beautiful! We went to Balboa lake last Saturday though, and it was packed, so we know parking would be a pain and getting a table could mean arriving there before the sun rises, especially if the sakura is going on in April instead of March this year…

Lake Balboa during the Sakura…

… but, at the same time, I don’t think I could pass up having her first birthday surrounded by such beauty! It already would go with all the default decor I’ll be using (birds, pink and aqua; I’m almost tired of the theme, but since it works great for babies, and I have so much of it, I’m just gonna go with it; it will seriously cut down on costs and time).  I will even be throwing my Oberland quilt in the fray, and it does go quite perfectly with the cherry blossoms…I’m still considering a few other parks, mainly griffith park, (which also has the sakura, just not as abundantly) and the most local park to us, VNSO. I grew up at VNSO, so I’m really familiar with it (plus) but its totally flat, and that feels boring to me (minus). I don’t think I’d do travel town at Griffith park just yet, so I’d just pick a picnic spot… and the carousel is a definite plus. There is also the botanical gardens in Thousand Oaks, that I would consider, but its a bit far of a drive for the set up, and maybe Mailbu state creek park, but I think you have to pay something redic for parking… I think all of this makes a great excuse to hit the parks in the coming weeks!

The Conejo Botanical Garden

Griffith Park – Old Zoo site & Carousel

I’d like to share the AMAZING parties I’ve been seeing out there in design blogland, but I’ve already spent waay too much time over at the hostess with the mostess perusing the inspiration over there, and I still haven’t been able to sort it all out so it will have to wait for another day…

Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Co.

Since I’m using this blog to keep a record & inventory of my inspirations and favorites around the web, I’d like to officially document my enjoyment of Rifle Paper Co. I first noticed Anna Bond’s work over at once wed a few months before my wedding (February 09), and I remember being particularly attracted to the hand drawn aesthetic of it all. Her work is very unique, and it’s pretty easy to spot one of her distinct flowers or her lettering, so I started noticing her work everywhere! She’s definitely all around blogland, especially the wedding blogs, and you can buy her work at her storefront in Florida, or at your local Anthropologie or Paper Source.

Hey look! That's our anniversary too!

Her artwork even lends itself to the web. And I totally remember looking at her stuff when I was working on our wedding website! (Not that the site I designed was this awesome, but my confidence is growing…).

When she isn’t hand lettering, I think she has a particular love of Futura, which is funny because I just started using this in my portfolio (the sections that are not up yet). Futura is a font with so much love I think it deserves a blog post of it’s own one day. :)

Online Plush Portfolio!

Online Plush Portfolio!

So, I have finally put some of my work in an online portfolio, and I am feeling great about it! So far I only have my plush portfolio done, but soon I will have wood toys and costumes, and then I’ll tackle the substantially larger project of going through my prints and graphics, and how to organize them (baby/kids/juniors/womens). Anyway, check it out if you are interested! This is what this mamma has been staying up till 4 am doing. It’s pretty amazing how much time formatting artwork and photos really takes! But it was really quite enjoyable. I particularly miss designing plush as I mentioned last week, so it was nice to go through and arrange all my drawings just so! And my programmer husband with a sharp eye for design finessed the code so that everything aligned better, and also did some quick font fixes for me on the site, and I think those tiny changes have made a vast improvement! Thanks hubby. ❤

My Grandmother’s Scarves

My Grandmother’s Scarves

Last Friday my family did a difficult something that a lot of families have to do; we moved my grandmother into an assisted living home. She was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, and she had just reached the end of being able to live on her own. Now we are tasked with preparing her condo that she lived in for 30 years for sale. I went over yesterday with my mother to help her clear some things, and I ended up being entrusted to sort through and organize all her scarves. I’m not surprised I was given this burden, as it is well known that I love scarves, and have my own collection which I thought was rather substantial until brought all these home!It is interesting going through a large collection of things that belong to one person, especially if you are semi-familiar with those things. There are many of those “I remember this!” moments. Perhaps my interest in layering with bits of pretty fabric came from my childhood image of my grandmother. Whatever it is that I love about scarves, I think I got it from my grandmother (I think it’s similar to the reason I love printed cardigans…). My family has a history of very fashionable women, but rarely were they slaves to trends. My maternal grandmother has always had a sophisticated bohemian look; imagine lots of jewelry (usually made by my grandfather or a family friend) funky belts, leather jackets, feathered hats and, of course, many a scarf (this description just made me want to recreate my wardrobe). I see things in her house and I wonder if there is something genetic about liking certain patterns… or is it that you like them because that’s what you were exposed to? I’m sure, like everything, its 50% nurture and 50% nature. Anyway, after sorting through this stuff for about an hour, I discovered a lot of  trends in my grandmother’s taste. Small collections of color combination and patterns began to emerge. I mean, clearly she must be drawn to peaches and silvers…And also, she must love animal prints. If this is inheritable, I don’t think I got it, but my little sister (who happens to be one of my only devoted readers; /wave <Kristina>!) might have. I see these and I think of her:It’s thought provoking to get to know someone through the things they own, or, as in my situation, to remember someone this way. I feel as if I would know exactly what to buy for her, but also, going through her things I feel a connection to what she used to be, when she readily remembered me. I remember feeling very close to her during those brief moments in high school where I thought the rest of our family was bonkers (doesn’t everybody feel that way at some point?) and she would be the person to ground me, and remind me just how I fit in with our family. She would take me to art museums and to Venice boardwalk, and show me the houses her and my grandfather lived in around there and in Santa Monica. If I am feeling this way I can barely imagine what my mother and her sisters must feel cleaning out her house (the words “it feels like someone died” keep ringing through the walls), and my uncle who lives in Atascadero who can’t be here immediately to know what’s going on. I guess I am at that point in my life where a lot of family roles are changing, and you fully realize how truly mutable those roles are. I feel like many of my peers are going through this right now, my husband’s side of the family too. However cliche it may be, when you are a kid you really do think that things will be that way forever… I guess it is the base for which everything else compares to. And that basis continues to impact you in ways you discover for the rest of your life, each time giving you a new outlook. So, maybe taking her old scarves and arranging them by color and pattern have made me see them in a new way, and has helped me cope somewhat with seeing my grandmother in a different way. Everything and everyone is in a constant state of change, and can be arranged so you can see them from a new perspective.

Apologies for being overly sentimental!

New Pillows available at in Flore!

New Pillows available at in Flore!

I finished a few pillows this weekend, and listed them on Etsy. Every time I plan a photoshoot in my head I envision lovely wide shots and beautiful natural light and lots of neat architecture and furniture and coordinating props… and I always end up crashing back down to reality. Especially because the last two times I’ve shot my pillows, it was raining — you can take amazing photos in the rain, if you are outside. Rainy days just mean I have a hard time getting enough light through my living room windows to get a good shot, but I did the best I could with my point-and-shoot with a wonky auto-focus. Anyway, here they are!

I love this pattern, it’s so simple and yet adds so much interest. These fabrics are from AMH’s drawing room, which is essentially all over my living room, except  in the rose & ivory colorways. I debated back and forth about adding the crochet edging to this; I didn’t want to overdo it, and two of my girlfriends said it was great without, so I left it be. If anyone thinks these NEED the crochet, please let me know in the comments!

I bought this fabric (Amy Butler’s primrose in lime, from the Nigella home decor collection) 2 and a half years ago when Tyler and I moved in and I was just starting to decorate our place. I ended up falling in love with AMH’s drawing room fabrics and went with those instead, so I have had this beautiful fabric waiting around to be sewn up for sometime! I do love how it came out. It has a great feel to it.
This pillow was a little experiment I did the end of last year, and it was a lot of work! This is Amy Butler’s French Wallpaper in Duck Egg, from the Belle fabric collection. I have a ton of this fabric! I think I bought like 3.5 yards, and I used it to make a curtain in the bathroom and it has become beautifully faded, I’m excited to find just the right use for it… and I made a french memo board I’ll post here someday featuring it. I bought it when I was planning my wedding which essentially had this color scheme. Speaking of, the taffeta fabric once was a table runner at my wedding! :)

So, I have a few more Square Dance pillows in the sweet colorway I’m going to sew up over the next week, but I’m really hoping to get a few parts of my portfolio posted, and maybe add a few more features to this blog here. Then I’ll start in on all the illustrations and watercolors I have in my head. Am I starting to do that mom thing? You know, where right before you get off the phone (in this case, sign off) your mom repeats what she’s about to do, and you know its much more for her sake than for yours?… yeah, I’m totally doing that. xoxo


Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

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You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!