jessica mae burkart
designer, photographer, crafter, music + cat lover.

all text + images are my own unless otherwise noted.

enjoy the delights in my life.



the ceremony

when we pulled up to the ceremony location and i saw the amount of people sitting, waiting for me i burst into tears. finally it hit me that i was getting married and all these people took time out of their busy lives to travel to an obscure small town to see aaron and i marry. it was so overwhelming. as my father walked me through the field to the aisle i laughed and cried and laughed and cried. i just couldn't compose myself. the ceremony was perfect. special thanks to my uncle for officiating the ceremony. he came into the weekend feeling rough due to a pinched nerve in his back and we were hesitant about whether he would be able to stand or have to sit during the ceremony. however an hour before the ceremony he felt no pain, a blessing from his mother, my grandmother, who was with us in spirit. florence, the flower girl and my uncle's daughter, lightened up the seriousness of the ceremony by coming over to me and playing with my dress. she kept telling me "my dress is like your dress." too adorable.



one of the perks of not having a full time job is being able to travel more often. i spent last week in Philadelphia to be my mother's companion while my father and sister attended 'kidney week' (ASN meeting, 10,000 people deep). during the day my mother and i were tourists; we visited the art museum, took the subway, wandered the halls of the state penitentiary, and went shopping on walnut street (like michigan avenue). our hotel, le meridian - very modern chic - was right by city hall where occupy philly had set up camp. it was interesting to see their mini community, full of camping & homemade tents, information booths, a warming station, many posters and port-a-johns. thanks family for a wonderful time!

p.s. - i was lucky enough to even watch doco (brother's band) and the kidney stones (father's band) rock out!


the bridal party

we opted for a small bridal party, and what a good looking group! the stylist? me of course.

dave (big cruse), the best man has been aaron's best friend since high school. he was so honored to have such a big role in the wedding and did a wonderful job on his speech despite his nervousness.
madelyn, my sister, was my maid of honor. she comforted me, laughed with me, never fought with me even during my bridezilla moments, and helped with all the last minute crafting. the best maid of honor a bride could ask for.
david, my brother, was our only groomsman. he kept everyone calm even during the wild moments. im so happy to have him as a brother. his combined speech with my sister brought me to tears.
jack, my cousin, at first was a bit hesitant to be the ring bearer but after some talks he got excited. i must say he was extremely handsome in his little outfit. right before it was time to start the wedding processional he asked me for his pillow. i freaked out for i had no idea where it was and instead gave him a little hemp bag to carry. he seemed a bit disappointed but never the less got stayed focused.
florence, my cousin and loving god child, was our flower girl. i knew the instant she was born i would have her in my wedding. we were a bit unsure about her performance because she can be a stubborn or fiery girl but she did fantastic and looked cuter than ever. she also fell in love with jack and told me later that she will marry him.


reliving our wedding

a while ago i got an email from our wedding photographers - wedding photos are online! i squealed with excitement and immediately went to the link. the next 4 hours were spent going through every single photograph crying, laughing, and reliving our wedding day. wow...breathtaking, stunning, fabulous. our photographers, anna and nels akerlund did an amazing job capturing every little moment of our big day. i have pulled some of my favorites and over the next couple posts i will be sharing those along with little stories.

aaron and i saw each other before the ceremony, our 'first look', and had a blast wandering around the grounds of the farm with our photographers, anna and nels. since we didn't mind doing what it took to get that perfect shot - the photographer in me - we sweated in an old barn, laid in a deer bed, walked (tried) through tall grasses and fought off mosquitoes. multiple times anna had to pick off little crickets that decided to hop onto my dress. as we posed for shots we whispered sweet nothings to each other; absolute true love.


happy halloween

halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine. for one night you get to become a different character, wear whatever you feel like wearing. sometimes ill just put on whatever i have around that i can never wear outside the house on a normal day. lets look at a couple of my costumes during the years...

awww...cute young little me....naive looking.

and then we skip right to college (wowzer)...i guess i didnt dress up during my 'i'm too cool' years.

and my adulthood - notice the native american costume repeat.


october moments

st. louis - a weekend full of nature, outdoor activities, and sunshine with my new family.

a walk through the neighborhood - sidewalks full of colorful fallen leaves.

a weekend in dallas means delicious food, exploring little neighborhoods, and lots of driving.



i have been busy designing invites for pay and for competition.

this is what i created for my friend becky - her brother is having a baby, expanding the franson family tree.

and these are three designs for the MINTED head over heels wedding invitation design challenge. it is now open for voting so click here to vote for my designs! thanks!!

now time to finish packing for my little trip down to dallas!! wish me luck.


early morning rising mix

8tracks is my new obsession. after logging into gmail it is the next site i open each morning. it is a place where you can listen to mixes created by others or create your own mix. there are no commercials. no 'are you still listening'. and it is free.

so here is a mix i made to all you morning people that just want to ease into the day.


shop update

when i was younger i used to spend my time between races during swim meets in the summer making friendship bracelets with embroidery floss. it had been many years since i had made one when i decided last summer to make them again. it began as just a hobby, for fun, for friends but i have made so many that it is time to share them with everyone else.

so i added a couple of bracelets to THE HOOTIN' OWL. they are made with toggle clasps so you can take it on and off. since they are made out of cotton string it is best to avoid getting them wet. they range from $5 - $8. if you want one custom made just shoot me an email and we will work something out!

check them out>>>

till then, friends forever!



from my wedding photographers (nels akerlund). these images are stunning and i am so excited to see the rest of the pictures - come on october 22.


east coasting

last weekend i took the bus, to the train, to the plane, to the car, to rhode island to ring in my best friend's 30th. along with april's mother, aunts, and leann, the third point in our friendship triangle, we explored the smallest state.

it began at april's home in hope.

then to the quaint old cobblestone town of newport

and then to block island via ferry - a magical little new england spot.

to view more images from my travels click here >>>


got my bags packed

for my little vacation in Rhode Island to celebrate April's birthday. hooray! a weekend of girls, nature, relaxation, and lots of chit chat. here are some little facts about Rhode Island...

1. Rhode Island was the last of the original thirteen colonies to become a state (May 29, 1790). It's official state name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

2. It is the smallest state in size in the United States. It covers an area of 1,214 square miles. Its distances North to South are 48 miles and East to West 37 miles.

3. Rhode Island is known for making silverware and fine jewelry - souvenir!

4. Pelham Street in Newport was the first street in the country to use gas-illuminated street lights.

5. Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment prohibition - you party animals!


wedding polaroids

of course i brought my polaroid camera with me to the wedding! during the ceremony my good friend april took these amazing photographs...

my father and i walking down the aisle - crying & laughing.

our vows to one another sealed with a kiss!

smiles - happiness - joy! the newlyweds.

we had no idea these were taken until we got to our table at the reception and saw them propped up against our glasses. how perfect!! thanks april for capturing these moments.