Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy July, everyone! 

Since its been so long since I've posted anything, I thought I'd take a moment to reintroduce myself to you. 

I’m Caitlin. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and emigrated to the United States as a nine year old. I live and work in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. I’ve always loved working with my hands, and making something new. My Mom is a quilter, and always tried to teach me to sew as a child, but I could never sit still long enough to learn. After I graduated with my BFA degree, the sewing machine beckoned. I decided to try making pillows – something fun and pretty and totally unserious. I started with a handful of designs, many of which I still sell. Bright July grew out of my desire to make fun, beautiful, high quality designs that brighten up people’s lives. 

Bright July's Inspiration

My inspiration mostly comes from celebrating life and love. I love the idea that a Carpe Diem (or Carpe Noctem) pillow is a little reminder to live the day well, or that a Te Amo or Je T’aime pillow can send a simple message of love from one person to another. Nothing makes me happier than imagining my little pillows taking on a new life, encouraging people I’ve never met and becoming a little part of their lives and stories.

About the Process

Each design starts with calligraphy. I use a Japanese sumi-e ink brush and a pot of black ink to write out the saying in a sketchbook. From there, the design is traced and ironed on using transfer paper. Finallly, each letter is carefully and lovingly machine appliquéd onto the pillow and assembled. The beauty of this process is that I have so much flexibility – and can make any custom lettering at any time. I love custom orders! I’m also working on some new designs that incorporate light sensitive dye prints and handmade, hand-wrapped tassels. Each one of those designs goes through many steps and stages of translation before they are finished.

Find Bright July

Bright July pillows and prints are available worldwide! 

Here are some places to find me: 

Down That Little Lane (Australia)


Hallmark HMK, Denver, CO
West Elm, Denver, CO
STORY, Manhattan, NYC (Seasonal Feature)
Butter & Bread Co, Oxford, Mississippi
Hayden & Halle, Marblehead, Massachusetts
East Hills, Fredricksburg, Texas
Wink Lash Boutique, Stanwood, Washington



Monday, April 22, 2013

Amazing news - Bright July + Mollie Makes Magazine!

Friends, I'm over the moon with this one! Ready?

My Carpe Noctem pillow is featured in this month's issue of Mollie Makes Magazine!

 Here I am, on page 11...                                                                            Right here!

Mollie Makes is an awesome UK magazine dedicated to handmade, crafting, thrifting, and re-purposing. Here's what they have to say about themselves: 

Mollie Makes curates the best craft from around the world into a tactile, collectable, and totally irresistible magazine. Mollie Makes brings you the best of craft, a look inside the homes of the world's most creative crafters, tutorials on inspiring makes, roundups of the most covetable stash and tours of the crafty capitals of the world. "We love to make - handmade is more than just a hobby for us, it's in everything we do. We can't resist hunting down treasures in thrift stores, then costomising, re-covering, and embellishing our finds with our endless stash of ribbons, buttons, fabrics, and felt. We're forever on the lookout for new inspiration. Whatever we do, we're living and loving handmade." 

Mollie Makes, you're my kind of girl! 

You can flip through a preview of the issue in digital form here

Off to celebrate! I hope you have a fantastic Monday. 



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Ode to Tulum - it's Love.

 Oh, Tulum. I really, really love you.
This place is stunning. I wish I took more photos, or maybe took a little more care in taking the ones I did take. Many of my photos ended up slightly blurry or crooked or rushed. I think part of it was just due to the fact that I was totally intoxicated by my surroundings.  This place, at this time, was exactly what I needed.

 We stayed at this fantastic little place, Playa Mambo. Like many of the hotels in Tulum, it is a little property of cabañas right on the sand. Each one has thatched roofs, screened windows without glass, and simple concrete floors. The entire hotel zone of Tulum is off the grid, so every property has electricity via solar, wind, or generator power. Many places don't offer 24 hour electricity, but Playa Mambo does. Its in the form of one little outlet per cabaña, conveniently fitted with plugs that work with US appliances - perfect for phone charging.

Playa Mambo is a simple, comfortable place. The accommodations are basic, but we always had what we needed and felt welcomed and at home. One thing to note - as you can guess from their website, Spanish is exclusively spoken here. I took it as an opportunity to practice speaking Spanish and really enjoyed it. The staff is wonderful and kind and will make sure you have what you need. Apparently there is WIFI here, but we never received a signal. We just used the WIFI at Mateo's down the road. It was a great excuse to stay away from our phones.

{This was what we had to look forward to every morning. Delicious breakfast, right on the beach.}

Speaking of the beach - what a beach it was. The water is such a bright turquoise and the sand is so soft and white, its glorious. 

We rented a car from EasyWay near the Cancun airport, which we were really happy about. 
One day we drove to the Coba ruins, which were a bit disappointing. Except for the awesome iguanas. 

Oh, and then there was this: 
Amazingly hilarious, weird little face. I was a big fan of him. 

 One day, when we were feeling very adventurous, we tried scuba diving here, at Casa Cenote:
 Yes, the water really is this color. Isn't that amazing? Luckily it did not occur to me at the time that there may or may not have been crocodiles in the water with us. I was worried enough about all the possible ways to drown while scuba diving.

{I sincerely appreciated my afternoon tea on that day}

The next day, we snorkeled here:
Dos Ojos Cenote. This place was unbelievable. After scuba, it felt so freeing to snorkel. We hired a guide for cheap and visited a cave full of bats, which was amazing. We were given flashlights to help us navigate, and ducked under stalactites and around stalagmites to get in. Once inside the cave, we quickly noticed that almost every possible crevice was full of bats. So awesome.

On our last day in Mexico, we decided to head up the coast to Akumal to snorkel. We had heard it is the best place in the area to see wild Sea Turtles. Sadly for us, the water was rough thanks to rain from the day before, and we were not allowed to snorkel with the beach red-flagged. We decided to embrace the day and just lie on the beach and swim.

{Amazingly, after slathering on SPF 50 multiple times and lying in the shade almost exclusively, I managed to achieve an attractive deep red burn. This skin of mine. You'd think I'd know by now}

Later that day, we visited the Tulum ruins on the way back to our hotel. Just the Ocean view is well worth the visit to this gorgeous place.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. We spent our last morning soaking up every possible ounce of refreshing ocean energy, in an attempt to store it somehow and bring it back with us. 

If only that were possible. 

Thank you, Tulum, for being amazing in every way. I'll be back. 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Etsy Round Up - Pattern Play

This week, Etsy is filling my seemingly insatiable desire for pattern - all kinds of pattern! Lately I've been smitten with polka dots - which is a new obsession for me. And of course, stripes and chevron never really leave my radar either. So much fun! 

Clockwise from top left: 



Monday, April 1, 2013

Styled - Lola Donoghue Inspired Nursery

A little while ago I happened upon this painting by Lola Donoghue on Etsy - isn't it fantastic? I think it would be an amazing addition to all kinds of spaces, but this week I chose to create a spunky baby girl's nursery around it. I'm a big fan of the idea that baby and kid spaces should be inspiring and fun and be able to grow with the child. I know these pieces can do just that. And I couldn't help but include my Carpe Noctem pillow - it seems that babies know exactly how to "seize the night" instinctually! 

1. No Man's Land by Lola Donoghue on Etsy
2. Sophie the Giraffe Teether from Land of Nod
5. Stitched Striped Pillow from Anthropologie
6. Carpe Noctem Pillow in Navy by Bright July on Etsy (another shameless plug!)
7. Color Inside the Lines Rug from Land of Nod 
8. Netto Collection Louis Crib from Modern Nursery



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Etsy Round Up - Viva Tulum!

This week, I'm so nostalgic for Tulum its a little silly. It could have to do with the fact that its been cold and snowy here, and everything under the snow is still mostly dead and brown and crunchy. Its no secret that this time of the year is my least favorite. If I could, I'd follow summer all around the globe every year.

Luckily Etsy is full of awesome Mexican made and Mexican inspired things to bring the vacation back home!

Clockwise from top left:

Mexican Wedding Banners by Ay Mujer
Tulum Mayan Ruins Print by Little B Studio
Vintage 1960's Taxco Mexico Silver Hoop Earrings by Loving Tree Studio
Palapa Print by Little B Studio
Hand Carved Copal Wood Deer Bowl Set by mexchic
Natural Mexican Vintage Crochet Tunic by Aida Coronado
Pink Folk Art Embroidered Pillow Sham by Casa Otomi
Tulum Ombre Seascape Pillow Cover by Loud Waterfall Photography ($1 from every sale benefits Nothing but Nets, an organization that gives mosquito nets to needy families. Cool, right?)

Any of you going (or just returned from) somewhere warm for Spring Break?



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Styled - Jennifer Young Inspired Office

I forgot how much fun I have making Styled rooms! It has been way too long. I've just caught up with my sewing goals and have finally had time to do it again. Hooray! 

This week's post is inspired by the most gorgeous photograph taken by Jennifer Young. Check out her inspiring blog, I ART U, here. That amazing saturated shot of color against the landscape behind it in this image is just stunning. I think it would bring the perfect amount of energy to a workspace - just enough to get you through a tough project. 

1. Magnetic Bamboo Board from West Elm
2. Cotton Polka Dot Pillow by Sveta Style on Etsy
3. Photograph by Jennifer Young
4. Kvarnvik Magazine Files from Ikea
5. The Original Chalkboard Horse by Houndstooth Design on Etsy
6. Striped Pencil Cup from See Jane Work
7. Epicene Frame from Anthropologie
8. Single Drawer Homework Desk from Design Within Reach
9. Surya Jill Rosenwald Fallon Rug in Coral from RugsUSA
10. Saddle Office Chair from West Elm




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