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L + J Blog

quilt, create, inspire

Filtering by Tag: My Own Projects

My new adventure...


4 months ago I quit my job.
2 months after that,
I put all of my stuff into a storage unit in New Jersey.

and then last month,
I drove 3,100 miles across the country (camping along the way).

(I was with my significant-other, Atul... and truth be told, he did most of the driving.) And we've set up shop in beautiful San Francisco.

And this was all because of an idea that we had 8 months prior...

The idea has been in the back of my head for quite some time now. Because, over the years I've evolved into quite the thrifty shopper ...Mostly because I wind up ruining (and/or) losing everything of mine that’s expensive. (Like when I nicked my white leather Coach purse with a blue ballpoint pen... or when I lost my Ralph Lauren sunglasses in the ocean at Myrtle Beach... or even YESTERDAY when I melted my brand new silk-ish blouse with an iron that was turned up too high... the fate of expensive purchases is generally pretty bleak when they are in my hands.) And it's this inability of mine (to take care of the stuff that I love) that has lead to the development of my “super-hero-esque” ability to bargain-shop.

Buying things on sale is mostly a waiting game. For example, that cool RETRO-JADE winter coat (see below) that I like from J.Crew is $325 right now ...But if I wait until February, that sucker will most likely be mine for the low price of around 150 bucks.

I've found the key to successful deal-hunting... is keeping my options open. I generally try to watch three different versions of the same type of item... (In the example below, I'm watching 3 cool trench coats.)

And as soon as one of them drops within my price range,>
I’ll pounce on it.
Because if I wait too long (after it goes on sale)...
my size will be long since gone.
the remaining colors will be something gross:
(see example below)

Over the years I’ve refined my DEAL-HUNTING technique.
And it is as follows:

But in all seriousness...
The entire process is a super big pain in the butt.

So, as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention...

Let me give you the back-story to all of this... It began about 8 months ago when Atul, was starting to get bored with his day job. He was a computer scientist at NEC labs working on data center networks & cloud computing (whatever the heck that is)... so it’s easy to see how the boredom set in. :) Anyway, after he came to terms with the fact that he needed to move on to something more interesting, he quit his job and began brainstorming about the next big idea that would change the world.

Right around the time that Atul began his quest for an epiphany... I was embarking on a quest of my own. And that was to buy a new watch. I had my sites set on a Nooka watch that was originally $300. Well... after a few diligent weeks of watching this item... the prices dropped and I bought that puppy for 75 bucks!

Can you believe it??

Yeah, neither could I. It was some of my best work yet.

These three events happened to coincide.

  1. My annoyance with the roundabout, multi-step, time-consuming “deal-hunting-process”
  2. My excitement over my brand new watch (that I saved a whopping 225 bucks on) and
  3. Atul’s quest for the answer to life, the universe, and everything... *42*

And it was this combination of events... that led to our big idea.

Essentially, we’ve built an online service
that will simplify all of the chores of online shopping...
And here's what we're doing.

Imagine using this for Christmas shopping... you can bookmark all of your gift ideas in one place! You can also set up price notifications for these gifts (at the prices you're wanting to pay for them), If the price drops to the level you want, we'll let you know right when it happens! It's also a great place for you to compare items ACROSS stores.
There are LOTS of possibilities... and we can guarantee that you'll save both money AND time with your holiday shopping this year.

So... where are we in our quest for better shopping? We've built Shelf, and we support 12 stores (Express, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, J.Crew, Abercrombie, New York and Company, Ann Taylor, The Loft... just to name a few). We're adding 2-3 stores every week, so not to worry if you don't see your store.

Today, is the first day that we're opening up the doors to Shelf and I would like to personally invite you all to try it! You'll be the very first set of users on a product that will hopefully go down in shopping history. :)
And, as promised... there's a pretty hefty give-away here... There are two ways that you can win one of the THREE $75 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop...

1. We would like for you all to try out the site, If Shelf sounds like something you'd like to use, now is your chance to help us shape it into a product you'd love. Tell us the stores that you want us to add next... send us a list of features that you want to see added. Tell us what confused you... and what parts you loved. We want to hear everything! So, go over to the site and sign up as a new user, then, just play around with it. When you get done, stop back here and drop us a quick comment about what you think!

2. IF YOU'RE NOT A SHOPPER, don't worry, you can still win one of the gift certificates! I'm sure that you know some people who like to shop online... Please tell them about Shelf and try your hardest to get them to sign up. You could also post about it on your Facebook wall maybe? :) When you're done, just drop us a quick comment to say that you've done your best to help out the shoppers of the world.

And... you never know... this little website app might get passed around... from quilter to quilter... and take off like the next Facebook! Ha! Well, I can dream, right?

We'll announce the winners on the 15th! And we'll be taking comments up through the 14th. So tell your friends!

This entry is already WAY too long, sorry about that, but let me finish by thanking you for stopping by! My mission is to make Shelf an amazingly useful product, and I sincerely feel that if you try it out, you're going to love it!!

If you missed the link to Shelf... Click here. You can also "Like" Shelf on Facebook here (because we'll be offering MANY more free-fabric-incentives in the weeks to come!)

P.S. Shelf doesn't work on iPad yet. This is next on our to-do list.

P.P.S. Some of you have said that when you sign up through Facebook, it pops up a message about logging you into "Simple-Journey-2558". We're not sure how to change this! Ha! But that is in fact Shelf.

P.P.P.S. You'll need to click on the Sign Up button no matter what, if its your first time on Shelf. If you've already signed up, then click on Login.

Our Stop on the Blog Hop!


So it's our day on the blog hop, and we're super excited about everything that we've got to talk about.

I guess we sort of have two projects that we came up with. The first started out as a small (carnival-inspired) handkerchief-sized quilt, but then it blew up into a big ordeal (as is usually the case with any project we start)... which then led us to come up with our second... slightly less involved project. Both are super on-target in terms of theme though, so I plan on discussing both... because they're ADORABLE! And as with any project in the Jung family...we documented them with copious amounts of pictures...

So this past weekend, my new boyfriend Atul had the privilege of being my photo assistant for the day. (see below)

He's so cute I can't even stand it!

The location that I chose for this little photo shoot was Princeton University. ...On the ONE weekend when all of the freshman were moving into their dorms.

So there were throngs of students... parents... moving trucks... etc. through which we had to navigate... with quilts... and a box of fabric icecream cones. It's safe to say that a good time was had by all.

Anyway, aside from the fun photoshoots that go along with bloghops... We had a series of questions that we had to answer...

And if you keep up with our blog, you'll already know that Carrie, my younger sister has joined the team now, so the three of us have tag-teamed the following questions.

What's your favorite fair food? If not fair, then just food!

LAUREN / Hmm, I love fair food! Hotdogs, popcorn, funnelcakes! All fun and wonderful. ...Until the ride home when the post-fair nausea begins to set in.

JESSI / Candy apples - of any and all kinds, from the traditional red candy glaze with nuts, to the chocolate and caramel covered apples. I try to eat healthy food...I mean it IS a fruit.

CARRIE / For me, it's not a trip to the fair without a funnel cake.

What's your guilty pleasure?

LAUREN / Internet shopping! I love it entirely too much.

JESSI / Cappuccinos and Lattes - always iced - always caffeinated!

LAUREN (on CARRIE's behalf) / Anthropologie. If you were to check out Carrie's closet, you'd think she held up like ten Anthropologie stores at gunpoint. :)

What's on your bucket list?

LAUREN / 1/Machu Picchu 2/camp in the middle of the fall (right as the leaves are changing... this will probably happen this year) 3/learn a new language 4/vacation in one of those huts in Bora Bora 5/own a pottery studio (I used to do a lot of ceramics in college... definitely something I miss A LOT!)

JESSI / Would you believe, I have yet to go on a cruise?

CARRIE / Well...until recently, it was to be an extra in a movie or TV show. But soon after moving out to Albuquerque I finally got the awesome opportunity to be in the show In Plain Sight. You can find me in Season 4 episode 3. I am the bridal store attendant. It was especially exciting to watch it later because I have a full 4 seconds of screen time and my face isn't blurred either!

What inspires your work?

LAUREN / Internet shopping. :)

JESSI / Well, nature, of course; it's kind of like the beauty pageant answer..."world peace". But I also get inspired through fashion....magazines, catalogues, shop windows. Or I might see a mosaic wall, or a design in a carpet, and think - "that would make a great quilt!"

What movie do you watch again & again?


Do you sing when no one else is listening? If so, what is the song or artist?

LAUREN / I've been told I'm tone deaf... so my family only wishes that I would sing while they aren't around. But when I'm in a really good mood I bust out my best rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". ...And Mr. Roboto.

Tell us about your pet… picture?

LAUREN / I'll let my mom take this. She's our "Rudy Spokeswoman"...

JESSI / This is Rudy - he's a Westie! VERY strong-willed!!!! I think that's what I like about him the most! Dogs in general add so much to a household and family...they are always happy to see you, and they never give you any "lip". Just like our children, right? And he's the only one of my children that get's so excited to see me that he tinkles (just a little) on the porch, when I get home from somewhere. And you don't get much cuter than that.

What do you wish people would ask about you more?

CARRIE / I would love it if more people asked me what I do out here in Albuquerque. Because aside from being the very capable project manager for Lauren + Jessi Jung Designs, I am also the local host of All Things Considered on 89.9 KUNM!

How many quilts have you made?

JESSI / hundreds


LAUREN / I have big plans... *rubbing hands together as if to imply something wonderful is in store*

What shows do you TiVo?

LAUREN / Magnum PI.

CARRIE / Battlestar Galactica...just watch it, you'll be hooked too.

So now onto our Country Fair Projects!

Our CELEBRATION QUILT (see below) was designed with a seriously country-fair-esque theme. (Production of this pattern is currently in the works and should be available for sale very soon!) And we think it would make the perfect wall hanging backdrop for a child’s birthday party. Or you could use it as a festive covering for the gift table!

And as a cute little accessory, these ice cream cones can be whipped up in a flash, and given out as party favors. These are our official blog hop project. The instructions and a link to the template can be found below:

The cones are modified from a pattern by Tone Finnanger in the Sew Sunny Homestyle book.


  1. Trace and cut out pattern templates.
  2. Trace templates on WRONG sides of chosen fabrics. Cut out fabric pieces, leaving ¼” seam allowance.
  3. Pin pieces, right sides together, with ice cream on top. Use template to help with placement. Sew on curved lines.
  4. Trim seam allowance on curved edge. Cut slits between curves. Push curves out and press edge.
  5. With right sides together, sew down side of unit. Turn right side out.
  6. Tuck ice cream inside cone. Top stitch along curved edge ( below curves).
  7. Pull ice cream out of cone. Stuff with fiberfil.
  8. Turn ice cream top edge under, and hand sew a running stitch along folded edge. Pull thread to gather, and knot to hold.
  9. Attach a red pom-pom (cherry) to top of cone.

Lastly, my mom and I also want to mention that both The Celebration Quilt and the fabric ice cream cones feature our new FLORA fabric line. FLORA is our third line and it will be in stores next month! It was inspired by an English Tea Party ambiance... with secret gardens, and small aviaries. My mom is obsessed with plant drawings that show off their roots as well as anything involving birds. We really wanted Flora to have a more elegant/decorative feel, and I think that came across with the set that we turned out.

And that should do it! You have reached the end of our Blog Hop Post. I know, I can be a bit long winded, so to reward your patience we are offering a giveaway. Two lucky winners will be receiving a fat quarter bundle of FLORA! All you have to do is post a comment. We will be announcing the winners a week from today! Thanks again for stopping by!

And if you don't know how to comment... Don't worry! Up at the top of this entry, click on the title. This will take you to the area where you can comment. At the bottom of the page you will see a comment box where you will then be prompted to post your comment, your email address and your name. Then just click "Post Comment". And that's it!! You're done!

Be sure to stop by the next blog on the hop, Stephanie from Lily Ashbury.

Oh!! And follow us on Facebook! We'll keep you posted about new lines... free patterns... etc. Just scroll up to the Facebook box over on the right side of the screen... and click "Like"!

My Business Cards: And Why They Feel Delicious...


Right before Market, we printed our second round of business cards... this time, professionally, due to some extremely painful memories from last time... (when we decided to make them ourselves).

The idea behind this design is to have our logo knocked out of the front, revealing one of the fabrics from our current line. This allows them to constantly change... while highlighting whatever's new. Then on the back, you'll find that same swatch of fabric acting as the background of the card... with a small tag that contains all of our contact info. (The longer story behind our logo and business cards can be found here.)

And I just think they're beautiful.

And beautiful cards need to be printed on beautiful paper.

Which is where our printer, (Moo), stepped up to the plate... enabling us to create a truly magical experience for anyone who is able to touch/caress/sometimes, even lick these cards.

They feel delicious.

Maybe even a little seductive.

The paper stock is thick and rigid with a surface coating that feels sort of like silk...

Silk that has been fused with waxpaper... (which, in my opinion, should probably be called silax-paper).

And they do all of this by using a "matte laminate"... which they claim will also protect your cards from getting dirty.

And I am here to back that up, because I literally had my cards out in the mud today for my little photo shoot... From which they returned completely unharmed.


I love Moo!

The Invitation Saga


Well, it's official. Carrie Jung will be getting married to Jon Clausen on June 5th, 2010... and there are now 85 wedding invitations out there that back up the whole story.

As my wedding present to Carrie, I designed her invitations and took care of all the printing. Carrie headed up the production department and cut, scored, folded, glued, and corner punched each of these 85 invitiation suites (see Carrie below).

Needless to say they took a LONG time to make... fights have broken out... tears have been shed... doors slammed... tv remotes and tape dispensers have been hurled across the living room... It's been a long, ugly journey... but I feel as though the end result has made it all worth it.

Formally worded invitations from back in the day were usually typed in a sappy/scripty font onto a blandly colored piece of paper (like off white or cream...) and then topped off with a sheer vellum flap of paper.

But there's no need to be boring when announcing such a happy day! I wanted this entire invitation experience to act as an emotional preview of what's to come... The envelope contains a branded tag that identifies which item in the suite you are receiving, as well as the recipient's address. It adds an eclectic sort of feel to the set. The first thing you will see when you open the envelope is the Invitation Folder that is folded up and held shut with a ribbon and tag. When you open it, you'll see the invitation on the left, and a pocket on the right that holds a series of cards. They are staggered in height so that you can see the title of each card, right at first glance. The Reception Card contains a map and a set of directions. The Accommodations Card contains a list of hotels in the area. And finally, the RSVP Card/Envelope sits in the very front of this little set. The arrangement of these individual pieces can be seen better in the photo below.

I believe the little details that are added towards the end of a big project make all the difference in the world, and one of these tiny details can be viewed in the photo above. There's a small row of purple flowers that make these invitations especially awesome... in my opinion.

Often times these details lie beneath the radar of the average observer, which is perfectly understandable... but when they do get noticed... everything suddenly becomes worth it. So I want to take this moment to say thank you to my sister's college roommate, Becca Crane. Becca has made the enormous chunk of effort that went into these invitations worth it because when she called to discuss them... she said, and I quote... "I especially loved that cute row of purple flowers."

The photo above is the rehearsal dinner invitations which uses elements from the initial illustrations, but in a slightly different style.

And that's about all I've got... After all was said and done, I really enjoyed this whole process, so if anyone is interested in personalized wedding invitations... I'm your girl!

Rainbow of Business Cards


One of the first things that I love to do after finishing a big project is taking blog photos! I take A LOT and I waste a ridiculous amount of time... but it's so much fun to scroll through all of them later!

Right before Market we got about 500 cards printed up at Kinkos so that we would be stocked up and ready to go. 500 cards cost $100 dollars... making me feel pretty confident that the quality would be halfway decent.

This didn't turn out to be the case.

When I picked them up, I was horrified to find that they were the thickness of notebook paper!

So when my mom visited last month we worked on these little gems!

The idea behind our logo took quite some time for us to land on. I've always been taught to take the core essence of a company... then boil that down into its simplest, most iconic representation. But it’s sort of difficult to define our team without sounding completely sappy, and whether you're advertising a design company or encouraging people to use your brand of laptop to Visit, it's probably best not to look a little dramatic. When I first began my logo exploration, I worked on a mother/daughter theme... but those were turning out to be lame. Then, I began fooling around with just a simple logotype, but when I took that logotype and tried to match it up with our various fabric line logos, total chaos!

Then one night it occurred to me that we don't really need to create a logo with a broad, all-encompassing kernel of truth... because our defining characteristic is what we're making... pretty patterns. So in the words of Marshall McLuhan... I decided to let "the medium (be) the massage."

The idea of using a hummingbird was arrived at rather arbitrarily... I like them and my mom likes animals that are tiny. While the symbol itself doesn't have any meaning... the way that we handle this symbol... does.

With every line that we create, the hummingbird will be updated accordingly. It will always be used to showcase whichever line is current. Thus making the designs the hero. Additionally, the way that that the hummingbird is cut out of its white background is reminiscent of reverse applique... a technique that is very relevant to fabric design.

This reverse applique technique was first used on our website's navigation bar... where the bird is cut out, revealing the yellow fabric from our Botany line.

This business card follows the same idea and is made up of two sheets of thick paper. On the front, the shape of our hummingbird is cut out from the card itself, then glued onto the other piece of paper, revealing the pattern through its dicut. The opposite side shows the full version of this pattern as well as a white tag containing our contact info. This technique gave our cards the tactile sensation of something that has in fact, been reverse appliqued... as well as thickening them up to the weight that I have always dreamed of!

The ten cards in these photos show patterns out of our next line, Hideaway! (Minus the black... because it didn't make the final cut.)

They make me happy every time I pull out my wallet...

It's about the little things!