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I guess you could say my blog went on a bit of a hiatus the last few months…I know there are many of you who are former clients who used to read my blog daily because I chronicled the life and times of Evenstar Paperie and, subsequently, my bustling little household, each and every day. I marvel at how I found the time to do all that every day!

The Workroom at Evenstar Paperie

Anyway, it’s high time I reintroduce myself and start this new chapter off right: My name is Tessa. I’m a stationer. I own and run Evenstar Paperie from my home studio in Port Orchard, Washington. I’ve got a wonderful network of support. I really should have a group photo taken. Maybe I’ll do that before I finish this post (guess I didn’t…but I’ll get on it!). My parents, sister, brother-in-law, next door neighbors, next door neighbors’ parents,  good friends and even my 5-year-old nephew all help to make Evenstar Paperie a continuing success. Without them, I would be lost right now.

I have spent the last 5 months restarting my life…I, honestly, thought it would take longer. You see, in March, my marriage ended abruptly and, mostly, without warning. I woke up one Sunday morning a married lady and, by the end of the day, the life I’d been living for 7 years was, for all intents and purposes, gone. After the shock wore off, I began the process of, slowly, weaving the itsy-bitsy threads of my life back together.

My new girly bedroom, complete with chandelier

Knowing my husband was one who had always given himself the option of divorce, his decision to leave wasn’t really one that shocked me. The timing shocked me, but not the decision. What shocked both of us was my decision to let him. I never saw divorce to be an option, but after years of being threatened with it every time there was a slight disagreement, I’d, somehow, prepared myself for it. Letting him go and giving it up to fate was, shockingly, a lot easier than I’d expected it to be.

Don’t get me wrong…the emotions that you go through when living through a divorce are extreme. I don’t know that any process can adequately educate you more about marriage than divorce. You don’t realize, until it’s not there anymore, how powerful a thing it really is and how much you take for granted. Marriage, very subtly, weaves its way into every nook and cranny of your existence. Not being the person who ended things, I don’t know whether or not my husband had the same thought I did, but, should I ever marry again, it is clear to me, now, how completely necessary it is to actively engage in your marriage each and every day, whether or not you are busy, tired, stressed or upset. That means doing more than the “I love you” routine at the end of the day or the light kiss on the cheek as you leave for work. It means thanking him for something, complimenting him, noticing him, or even just giving him a knowing look…something that gives him the sense that you’re there and you see him and appreciate his presence. All too often, I remember thinking, “I’ve got lots of time to make it up to him”. But, time ran out before I got that chance.

Kitties (Finn, left, and Luna, right) on their front porch

Dinnertime was the hardest time of day for me. I guess that’s because it’s the time when things would wind down and I’d take a little break while my husband made dinner and then we’d eat at the dining room table and discuss the day. Soon after, he would go to bed and the rest of the evening was mine to work.  But, it was something we did each and every day for years. It took me 4 solid months to be able to get through the hours of 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. without feeling a profound emptiness.

I lived with my parents and commuted to my house each day to work until July 1st. At that point, I knew I was finally through the worst. The anger subsided, the emptiness eased, I looked forward to cleaning my house again and seeing my cats get back to their routine after the “trauma” of having to live in a bedroom (their choice) for 4 months. I had learned quite a few new skills:

  • I learned how get rid of all the nasty cobwebs in the garage
  • how to get the trash down to the end of the driveway
  • turn up the water heater
  • change a light bulb that’s way up high
  • switch out the air filter in the furnace
  • check the propane tank gauge
  • use a drill
  • attach a dryer duct
  • and strip and refinish a piece of furniture (though it probably would have been less expensive to buy a new piece of furniture, but I digress).

I also realized that even though I’d have to live alone, I’d never really be alone. I have all these remarkable people around who care so much and have worked so hard to help me get back in the swing of things. It seems impossible that I could fail.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this blog, yet. But, I think it’s important to showcase both Evenstar Paperie and my zany new life. Well, it’s not that zany–I’m a stationer who works out of her house and lives with her cats–but, whatever happens, I’m 100% positive that my future is, now, completely unwritten. Why not see how it writes itself?

Apr 08


In:Client notifications

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So sorry to have been MIA all this time. I’m working and doing fine. Soon after those pesky health issues, I experienced a rather sudden personal setback that has taken up a lot of my time and has also required a different living arrangement so I’ve actually been “commuting” to my house to work during the day.  Thus, I’ve been forced to adjust my “at-work” hours from 14 hours a day to around 6 or 7 hours. I don’t anticipate this being long-term, though. I’m getting back into the swing of things and I’m currently in the process of revamping the administration side of Evenstar Paperie. Before long, there will be someone in charge of facilitating the production process, and, eventually, the design process to make sure everything is up and running smoothly once more.

Again, I apologize for the delays. We’re working, working, working to make sure no one is inconvenienced by them! Challenges only make us stronger.


Mar 14

Calling in…

I don’t know that I’ve done this at all in the last five years or so, but I’ve been struck by an illness this week and I think I might have to actually suck it up and take a day or two to rest it out. Nothing is more unsettling, to me, than having to take time to do nothing, so I’m going to be sneaking away to answer emails and things as much as I can…I just won’t be as on top of communication as I am normally. This will not affect the deadlines of people who are in production or anything like that. It just means I won’t be sitting here, ready to answer emails and questions as soon as they come in.  Please, please forgive the obvious inconvenience. Hopefully, all will be back to normal very soon!

In:Contemporary, Contests, Wedding Style

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Contemporary weddings are minimal and have a lot in common with modern weddings except that there is quite a bit more uniformity and a lot less complexity. This is a very simple style, but it is not “simplistic”. The look itself is clean, yet abstract — industrial, yet elegant.

White is a popular contemporary color. Whereas modern weddings often have a bold color with a neutral color, contemporary weddings often have a bright color with white. It is the color that tends to fill the room and not a lot of details.

Glass, tall, slender centerpieces, abstract shapes, clean lines, color blocks, single flowers, sparse arrangements, metals, singular objects

Minimalist, Urban

Look for a new contest under the photos!!

Thank you to all who submitted entries to our Pinterest Group Board on Rustic & Boho Weddings! The winner of the contest was Heather W! Her exquisite Boho Wedding Dress photo garnered a 18 likes and 24 repins!! Outstanding!

This week, we’re going to be doing the same thing, only with Contemporary Wedding Photos (click those words for the link to the group board). If you don’t receive an invitation (and you’re on Pinterest), just let me know and I’ll add you on! If you’re not on Pinterest, I highly encourage it so you can participate to win your choice of one of the following prizes:

1. Response envelope addressing for 100 envelopes

2. Return addressing for 100 envelopes

3. $20 off shipping of your invitations

4. 50 free place cards or 20 free tented table numbers



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Yesterday, I told you the beginning of my suitcase story. Today, I’ll show you how we turned this girly craft store item into a “manly retro vintage” suitcase containing a book for (and featuring) Eddie Vedder.

Jennette, my Card Box Fairy, started work on the case and a few days later, I received two photos of its new look. I was floored! It looked even more amazing than I anticipated it would. I still can’t even fathom how she did this without removing the hardware.

Jennette couldn’t get the hardware off, so she covered around them…can you tell? I can’t! She even covered the inside lip of the case…

Covering the inside was going to require something a little more unique. So, we tracked down some completely awesome shiny reptilian-like patterned paper in black. It looks like snakeskin, except it’s made of paper! So awesome…

Looking much more masculine in snakeskin!

Then, it was my turn. Jennette did the hard part. I had the easy job…I got to fill it up.

Every suitcase should have its owner’s initials somewhere. I must have done about 10 different versions of this with “Ed”, “Eddie”, “Eddie Vedder”, “Mr. Vedder”…finally, I remembered that Jennifer always referred to him as E.V. I liked just using the initials. That way, it didn’t seem like I was presuming to know what name he preferred to be called.


My first idea was to decorate the lid, so that when the case was opened there was a little “clothesline” going across with some photos, hanging by miniature clothespins. I asked Jennifer for some photos that might be appropriate and she sent me some adorable pics of her son as he discovered his mother’s trunk full of “Picture in a Frame” balloons the morning after the book’s launch party in Australia. The trinkets took me forever to do! I had no idea where to put them all until my sister suggested I string them up with the photos and create a chain of dangly things. So, I rounded up various pieces of chain and bought a bunch of jump rings, found my jewelry-making pliers and whipped up my chain of trinkets.


I wanted the book to have something special around it, so I got a bunch more chain and wired on a bunch of vintage medallions bearing words that, I thought, best summarized Ed’s “vibe”.

I attached the medallions to a black leather strap I found and punched the holes into myself . It’s amazing how resourceful I can be with tools in the middle of the night when my husband isn’t around to rummage through the garage and hammer nails through leather. It’s also amazing how sharp tweezers can be! That’s what I made the holes with!

Now would be a good time to point out my fill. See all that paper shred the book is sitting upon? Of all the ideas I had, this one is my favorite. I made the paper shred by typing up the lyrics to about 15 songs and then running them through the paper shredder. I printed them on various earthtone colors so that even the fill had vintage-hues.

Jennifer told me I had to give myself some kind of credit. But, since it wasn’t just me working on this thing, I dragged Jennette’s name on there with me. She thought it was pretty cool that Ed might glance upon her name for a few seconds. I had to concur.

Another trinket to note: Ed also digs old typewriters. I found this metal typewriter in a bargain bin and picked it up, figuring it might come in handy some day. Glad I did! It was perfect for this suitcase! The only problem is that, while it looked fab in this display, I forgot that the suitcase would have to be picked up! It was just loose in there! I really hope it didn’t fall out and break someone’s toe or something…
You might also note my super-awesome paper shred in this photo

And so, you’ve seen all the pieces. Now, here’s the whole thing…Behold!

Picture in a Frame enclosed in a suitcase, wrapped in leather, surrounded by trinkets, sitting on a bed of words

And that, my friends, is the most important thing I ever made in my entire life. But, it’s nothing compared to the beauty, talent, and creativity displayed upon each of the 98 pages in Jennifer’s book. Just being involved on the coattails of her journey was one of the most rewarding, insightful experiences I’ve ever had.

The thing that inspired me most about Jennifer’s quest to take Ed’s portrait was the way in which she did it. So many people line up at the back door of concert arenas or case the lobby of whatever hotel is hosting the band. They do that so they can get that 15 or 20 seconds of undivided attention: an autograph, a photo, maybe even a hug. But, that sort of thing never appealed to me. It didn’t to Jennifer either.

I read an article, once, in which a very young Eddie Vedder was talking to an interviewer about getting to meet his idols and the interviewer was asking him if being a music fan gave him a better understanding of the insatiable interest of his own fans (for those of you that don’t know, he was kind of a big deal in the early 90s). He said,

“If you really want to meet your heroes, go and work as hard as you can so they can respect you at their level, then you can have a conversation.”

And that’s just what Jennifer did. She used her own talent and her own creativity and not only met her hero, but worked with him. And that has made her one of my heroes.

To buy Jennifer’s extraordinary book, Picture in a Frame , click here to go to pictureinaframebook.com

To read more about Jennifer’s journey and see the photos she took during her campaign, go to iwanttotakeaportraitofeddievedder.com

Need a photographer for your wedding? Take a look at Jennifer’s wedding posts!

You can also find her updates and book reviews on Facebook

And, just to throw it out there, here’s a link to Eddie Vedder’s latest solo album, Ukulele Songs.

Have I linked everything now? I’m just full of endorsements today! Too bad I don’t get paid for these…Hmmm.

Editor’s note: the suitcase found its way to Pearl Jam Headquarters in Seattle. We know it was received, but we’ve not heard anything from them, yet. We’re hoping we do, but it’s probably not necessary. The experience was worth it for me. :)