September 4th, 2015 Was a magical date!

After knowing my now husband for about 10 years we were finally reunited a year and a half ago, both of us then single and at a similar phase in life. We started working closer together in our jobs and hanging out together more and more. He tried to put me in the friend zone but I prevailed! We started dating about  a year before we were married and the rest was history. I’ve never loved more intensly, lived more adventurously or loved God more deeply.


We couldn’t have made this wedding possible without the support of our family and friends!

Wedding Coordinator: Grand Hope Events, Floral Design: Brier Rose Design, Photography + Photo Booth: Mark Brooke Photography, Invitation  + Event Design: The Inspiration Den, DJ: DJ Efechto (Ron), Venue: Lombardi House, Coffee: Cause Roast, Catering: Buca di Beppo, Wedding Dress: BHLDN, Groom’s Suit: H&M, Wedding Cake: Naked Cakes by Terry, Macaroons: Sweet and Saucy Shop, Videographer: Christian Jeffries Bride Hair: Kelsey Hughes, Bride Makeup artist and Aesthetician: Kristyn smith, Bridesmaids Hair + Makeup: Allison Escalante, Brides Wedding + Engagement Ring: Catbird

Inspiration: Moon, Stars, Midnight Blue, Gold + Silver Glitter, Classic Hollywood


Shannon Kirsten – Wildflower – Look-book + Interview

Today we are featuring Shannon Kirsten: illustrator + Photographer. As an invitation designer myself I have a special interest and am super inspired by other illustrators and designers.  I first saw Shannon on a green wedding shoes post & fell in love with her work and then I made my way to her blog which is equally inspiring! I hope everyone enjoys my interview with Shannon! Have a happy Tuesday!!!!

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Amber: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself & your artistic aesthetic?

Shannon: I am a photographer and illustrator born and raised in Florida (on the gulf coast).  My degree and background is in fashion.  I began my career working in textile then graphic design for a couple large apparel companies.  I started to freelance on the side and found that I really loved illustration and using hand painted elements in my designs.  Overtime I also started to do more hand lettering and experimenting with other paint mediums like gouache and watercolors.  I never thought I would be doing calligraphy but I’ve grown to truly love it.  I now focus mainly on painting custom wedding invitations, whimsical art prints, and other little paper goods!  When I’m not painting, I’m photographing. Photography has been a lifelong hobby of mine that finally turned into a real business.  I have been working on fashion photography projects for a couple of years now.  As of last year I also started photographing weddings.  In both of my mediums, femininity and nature are a consistent element in which I’m constantly inspired by.  I am drawn to pretty and dainty but I love a touch of rustic…things with an edgy, dark side as well.


Give Thanks Print/LOVE Sage Print

Amber: Where do you find inspiration?
Shannon: Always a hard questions for me, I think inspiration is everywhere.  You have to choose to not just look at things but truly see them.  I keep a notebook with me, sometimes ideas hit me at the strangest times.  I love flowers and animals.  Growing up by the beach is very inspiring and beautiful.  I love all things vintage. I am also very inspired by the online art community, it’s amazing what social media has done for small creative business.  I constantly find other artists on Etsy and through blogs that I fall in love with.  It’s very inspiring to me to be able to follow along on people’s journey.  My three best friends that I grew up with are a fashion designer, a wedding / event stylist, and a graphic / stationery designer…being on this adventure with them, being able to bounce ideas off of each other and be challenges by them is also something that greatly inspires me.
Amber: What’s the most inspirational piece of decor in your studio or art space?
Shannon: I’m in the process of an exciting studio renovation, but one of my favorites that is going up after the walls are re-painted is a print by Kari Herer (found on Etsy). She combines illustration and photography in a really beautiful way. I have a lot of my pictures from different travels around the studio, they take me back to some very special times in my life.  I recently printed tons of tiny square photos from instagram…I love having those memories of special times and people I love.  I also have a gold screen print (also from Etsy) that simply states “hustle”. I keep it in sight as a constant reminder to literally hustle and create the best work that I can each day.
Amber: Do you have a favorite work of art and can you tell us about it?
Shannon: I’m not sure that I have a favorite.  Most recently though, I released a couple of photos from a series I’m working on (I attached one for you in case you want to share!) They combine my painting and photography.  When I first began I was so torn and overwhelmed by the thought of how will I or do I need to tie these two businesses together.  I struggled with it for a long time.  As my style evolved and I have begun to find my niche with both illustration and photography, I see them working together a lot better now.  So this was very exciting to start a project that will show both sides of me.  It showcases my aesthetic very well.  I’m my biggest critic so to feel proud of these already is quite exciting.
Amber: What is your dream project?
Shannon: My dream project would be working with free people, anthropologie, BHLDN, Kate Spade, and/or Marc Jacobs.  Those are my favorite brands. I would die to shoot or illustrate for any of those companies.  I love look books and magazines…it would also be a dream to get hired to shoot and illustrate / design a really cool look book or catalog for a fashion designer!
Amber: Do you have any words of wisdom to those artist pursing their dreams?
Shannon: Just go for it.  The time it takes to dream about something could be invested into starting.  It can be very scary to start something new, especially when it involves leaving a stable income and job to freelance or start your own business.  Once you start creating and networking it’s like a new world opens up, reach out to people, tell them what you’re doing, ask them for help.  More times than not people are so encouraging and helpful.  One of the hardest things I had to learn was “the worst people can say is no”. It’s true though, you just have to ask and not be afraid to put yourself out there! There is such an amazing community on the web of artists and bloggers.  We (as small business/creatives) are so lucky to live in this time of social media craziness. Posting on facebook / instagram, etc has literally helped launch my business and continues to aid me in sales and connecting with new, amazing people.  Get your self out there! It has never been easy.  There have been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears involved in my journey so far, but this is the most rewarding and incredible adventure of my life.  I feel so blessed to wake up and live this everyday.  Anyone can do it, you can be anything you want to be with passion and hard work 🙂
For more inspiration + to purchase some of her awesome work check out the links below!
Thanks for letting us feature you and your awesome work Shannon!!!!
Don’t forget to get your Halloween cards + party invites here!! Send one to a friend!

Thorn + Sparrow – An Artist Interview & Look Book

Happy Monday All!

I’m so excited to introduce a good friend of mine: Ashley Rodriguez of Thorn + Sparrow! Before Ashley relocated to Montana and started Thorn + Sparrow, we ran a custom invitation company together (which you can read up on here!). Ash and I pretty much share a brain when it comes to creating and crafting. We both have a passion for paper, graphic design, and fashion, as well as a desire to inspire our communities. I hope you enjoy this artist interview & look book. 

LWF: Little Woodland Friend (a.k.a. Amber Dunstan)
T+S: Thorn + Sparrow (a.k.a. Ashley Rodriguez)

LWF: What Does inspiration mean to you?

T+S: To me, inspiration means stirring up creativity- so whether that’s seeing pretty images, reading interviews and articles, hearing moving music or being in a new place and smelling all the different aromas, I soak it all in to stir up new ideas. most of the time I’m on the lookout for inspiration, but I love when inspiration comes when I’m not looking for it, when I’m forced to quickly jot down the unexpected vision when I’m out and about, that’s when I feel like a real artist.

LWF: Who Inspires you?

T+S: A lot of people inspire me, too many to list!! all of my friends are inspiring in their own way… I think it comes down to people who beat all odds in their craft – their vision, their determination, their patience, their faith, their passion – people who pursue something because of their love for that thing.

LWF: How do you start your creative process?

T+S: If I’m working on a custom project, I start the creative process by reading all about my client or chatting over coffee with them [though that doesn’t happen often since I’m way up in MT haha] so that I glean inspiration directly from the person I’m creating for, then I brainstorm and sketch any and all ideas that come from that. 
if I’m working on a non-custom project, I usually listen to music and sketch things or write down words that keep circling in my mind and i really try not to over think it – I try to paint/draw/write without anything else on my mind… it’s tough, but it always ends being some of my favorite work. 

If you like what you see here and would like to contact Ashley from Thorn + Sparrow go Here.
-Team Woodland Friend

Kelli Murray – An Artist Interview & Look Book

Hi Everyone,

So excited to get you pumped this Monday morning by this amazing illustrator, painter, blogger, fashion inspiration, designer, and pretty much everything we here at Inspiration Den adore! 

I first stumbled upon Kelli’s work on Pinterest. Everyone at Inspiration Den has a special place our hearts for paper & illustration, and this artist just blew our minds… It was her
LET’S CELEBRATE invitation which caught our attention. I loved this invite so much I needed see more. I was totally inspired by her blog, and found out that Kelli was not only a talented designer, but that she also has a knack for fashion and a super cute daughter! 

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Kelli Murray…

LWF: How would you describe your art in 10 words?

KM: Oh, this is terribly hard.  I would say my art is endearing, sweet and sometimes heart provoking.  Usually composed of dreamy girls and/or their animal friends.  (and that was over ten words!)  

 LWF: What inspires you and how do you start the creative process?  

KM: I am inspired by so many things.  Mainly nature and fashion and people.  I love to draw little animals and have really taken to illustrating female portraits.  All of my artwork starts with just a quick sketch of something I am inspired by.  I try to have a notebook with me all the time for this reason!  Weather it’s something I saw in a book or online…or something in my own life.  Lately, I have been really enjoying using pencil and watercolor on paper.  But most of my work is done on wood panels using acrylic paint.    

LWF: Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for artists who are just honing their craft?  

KM: Just keep creating.  Defining your style as an artist does not come overnight.  In fact, I think it’s a journey that never ends. But just like anything, the more you practice, the better you will get.  Just don’t give up.

LWF: I see you’re the head designer for Jedediah Clothing Company… Can you tell us a little bit about it?  

KM: I actually am in desperate need of a website update, so my current bio is a bit misleading.  I worked for Jedidiah for 6 years as the head designer, but decided to go full time freelance when I had my daughter in August of last year.  When I was working full time for them, my main roles were in graphic design and merchandising, and I worked with a team of other talented designers to create a full product line each season.  It was an amazing job and there are parts of it I do miss….but going freelance has allowed me to be at home with my daughter and also dive more deeply into my personal art and illustration.  Which is really my passion.

Contact Information & Shop for Kelli Murray

A Pair of Pears – An Artist Interview & Look Book

Good Morning All! We have been so eager to share this feature, we are inspired daily by so many artist and things and one of our most favorite pieces of inspiration would have to be graphic design and paper. The idea of being able to send a card or invitation to a dear friend or loved one is so exciting especially when you love the design of the card it makes for sending a piece of mail almost as exciting as receiving it. Anyways, we stumbled upon an invite that Jake & Jamie had created from a Pair of Pears on Pinterest and fell in love with their work and their blog, they have some inspiring DIY’s, Inspirational Pieces and Printable Cards/Invites on the Blog! So without further ado check out a Pair of Pears…

We want Christmas to come so we can have a Hot Chocolate Party! Awesome Printable Invite!

You can get this adorable Bridal Shower Invite on their ETSY SHOP!

 We are especially loving the Printables on a Pair of Pears! Check them out! We want to throw a party now! 

We LOVE this Things To Do… List Printable! The Design is one of our favorites.

One Word LOVE

An Interview with A Pair of Pears…

LWF-Little Woodland Friend
J&J-Jake & Jamie of a Pair of Pears

LWF: How did you and Jake decide to create A Pair of Pears & have you always been into graphic design?

J&J: We actually started A Pair of Pears the night of our engagement party. We realized from then on we were going to have a lot to share with our family and we weren’t living near either one. So at first it was just a place for us to update family and post pictures of what we had been up to. We loved blogging to much that from there it just expanded into the art and design aspects of our lives. Both of us have been into art of all sorts since we were babies. We both had parents that really fostered that in us. It wasn’t until high school that we became interested in a more focused area of art: graphic design. I remember “discovering” that graphic design existed. It might sound silly, but I had no idea people actually got to do that for a living. From then on I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I’ve done it ever since.  

LWF: What inspires you guys and how do you start your creative process? 

J&J: Each other mostly. We do a lot of bouncing ideas off of one another until they develop into something worth designing. Also we love old things. Oh and art books, lots of art books! You can never have too many. As far as process goes, we usually start with a good ol’ fashion brain storm session. We just start thinking of things that relate to whatever we are designing until we think we have something good. Sometimes I start with a sketch or if I’m particularly excited about it I’ll just jump right on the computer and start laying out what is in my head (shhh don’t tell our college professors, they always said sketch first). If we get stuck on a part of the design we probably will flip trough some more books or go online and take a look at other work artists have done. You’ve got to get those creative juices going.

LWF: Do you have a favorite artist? 

J&J: Hammerpress is our favorite. They do some awesome stuff. We also love Quill & Fox, talk about great designs. 

LWF: I see you have a shared love for the letterpress, what do you like most about the letter press and do you prefer this type of printing over digital? 

J&J: I think we can both say we love the letterpress process because we get to work with our hands and even get a little dirty. For the longest time most of our work was only done on the computer, sent off to the printer and then one day magically appeared on our doorstep. Letterpress is different. We get to mix the ink, feel the texture, and pull each print one at a time by hand. It’s a lengthy process but we love every minute of it.

LWF: Any other creative endeavors we should know about? 

J&J: We like to dabble in lots of things. We have a growing collection of cameras and lenses we like to play with. These days, our dalmatian puppy is always in front of the lens. We also love doing DIY projects for our home. Our dream is to someday buy a house we can fix up and have a garage full of tools so we can do lots of projects to make it ours.

If you would like to know more about A Pair of Pears check out the links below.