Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tea Party

Our tea party was this past Sunday. We had quite a spread- 4 different kinds of tea sandwiches, two different kinds of scones, cookies, tarts and some vegan treats. Katie (with some help from Wendy and Tony made all the food.) Since it turned out to be 80 degrees, I made mint iced tea and fruited water. We did have some hot tea later in the night. Katie brought her wedding china dessert plates, and Amy brought some of her grandmother's tea cups.
My favorite treat was the lemon cheesecake tarts.  I fell in love with Amy's grandmothers tea cups. She even gifted me a beautiful yellow cup and saucer. I will treasure it forever. Now I need to start building my collection of vintage tea cups. Floral patterns always get me! 
It was a relaxing Sunday spent with friends. I stamped some favor boxes so everyone could take treats when they left. Most importantly it let all of us reconnect and a few even made some new friends. As Victoria said, "tea parties should be a regular thing." I agree :)
all photos by margaret haas

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tea Party Invitations

After a hectic holiday season, Katie and I wanted to get all of our girlfriends together. I try to check in with my girlfriends at least once a week but sometimes it's hard- everyone's busy. After talking about it for a while we decided on an afternoon tea party. 
For Christmas, I got Katie a hand carved stamp of her house from the etsy shop brown piegon- she loved it. I had such a great experience with the shop that I wanted to work with Meagan again. So we discussed what needed- a set of assorted tea cups stacked on top of some saucers- then she went to work. Again, she was wonderful to work with- taking our edits into consideration while still maintaining her personal style. I can't believe these are hand carved- the attention to detail is incredible. I'm really impressed with Meagan's skills, communication, and the end result. I'll definitely be working with her again! In addition to custom designs/stamps Meagan also has some adorable ready made stamps in her shop. I've been eyeing these number stamps though I don't know exactly what'd I'll use them for yet.
custom illustration and hand carved rubber stamp from Meagan/brown piegon.
4 bar flat hot pink cards and teal envelopes from paper source
all photos by margaret haas

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pin Money Vol. 9

Another fun item I discovered on my last trip to Kinokuniya were these miniature self inking stamps. There were about 30 different designs, turns out they are for stamping into your planner or on your calendar. 
There was also a variety of cases that hold 6 of the stamps perfectly. To motivate me to keep on top of my writing things down in my planner (instead of on random scraps of paper) I picked out a set for myself.
I got the sun for appointments before noon, a dinner stamp to remind me of dates, the others have not yet been assigned. I just thought they were too cute to pass up.
Since I'm a visual person, I think the stamps are helping me remember all the places I have to be. 
all photos by margaret haas.
What is Pin money?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Here's to the new year

2012 is pretty great so far. I sent out some happy new year cards that I got from Rifle Paper Co. Included in the notes to Tony's Parents and brother were some of my instagram pictures from Yosemite.
I've been slowly increasing the amount of mail I send out. It's very satisfying to have a stack of mail to ship out. 
all photos by margaret haas

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pin Money Vol. 8

A bear after my own heart! A whole new batch of Rilakkuma goods had just arrived at Kinokuniya in San Jose. I found a pencil cup, folder, small notepad, some stickers, and mini envelopes.
These small notepads are the perfect size for mailing labels, I just stick them on with some shipping tape.
Mini envelopes are always great to have on hand- for gift cards, tips and notes.
Doese anyone know the story of these three? I think the white bear is a girl, am I right? I can never get a straight answer about these adorable characters.
all photos by margaret haas.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recent Favorites Pt. 22 (valentines edition)

Does anyone else have Valentines Day on the brain? It's less than a month away! I've been finding some pretty cute options on pinterest.  -I do like wearing pink and red on February 14th I don't care who thinks its cheesy. These ban.do scarf is so pretty.
-Our Valentines making workshop is coming up for pen pal club and I want to share this tutorial of heart and string closures. -If you're planning a Valentines party or having a pink themed party- go all out! -Pretty ribbons and bows are necessary for any Valentine's day present wrapping.

-these pretty gems are hard candies. -More card ideas for the workshop. -pretty red heels for a night out. -A giant heart balloon would be a great surprise. 
Photo sources:

Monday, January 23, 2012


I've always been a fan of temporary tattoos but these are the coolest I've ever seen. With artists like Jessica Hisch, Blanca Gomez, Julia Rothman, and Marc Johns contributing designs, it's easy to see why. 
These would make pretty cool party favors at any adult or children's party. All photos from tattly.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A blog I love: INtangible

We all know and love Donovan of Letter Writers Alliance Fame but have you spent some time with her newest venture? The INtangible blog is definitely one of my new favorites.
Donovan sketches anything that comes to mind- incoming mail, birthday presents, vintage advertisements, office supplies, recipes...the list goes on and on. She also includes a little tidbit of information about her drawing. Be careful, if this is your first introduction to it you may lose a few hours catching up all on the posts.
It's a very fun twist on simple day to day photographs. 
all photos/sketches from the INtangilbe blog by Donovan Beeson.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pin Money Vol. 7

Last week I was in little Tokyo and popped in to this candy shop. I found these little boxes of sweets with the brightest packaging.
 I did enjoy the coffee beat variety but even after the candy was finished I held on to this boxes. I think I'll try sending off a letter in them. 
all photos by margaret haas

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It will be tough, but I won't be blogging, tumbling, tweeting, or instagram-ing January 18th. Freedom of speech should reach every part of our world.
learn more here.

Small Business Meetup No. 1

I hope everyone had a relaxing three day weekend. We made a quick trip up north- it's always fun to get out of town for a few days.
I meant to post about this before I left but time just flew by. Last thursday night, Erin rounded up some small business people for a meeting. 
In attendance was- ErinLaura (who also hosted us at her beautiful home) KeikoSaraElinorDavid, and myself. 
I think it's a very strong group and we all work well with each other. Since it was the first meeting, we introduced ourselves and what we do/make
then briefly discussed our goals. One of my biggest goals for 2012 is getting my studio really organized. As some 
of you know my work studio has had a lot of ups and downs. For now, it seems like every issue I once had is some
what under control. Now that I'm able to focus on my actual business, I do notice that it's easy for me to become 
un-organized in a matter of a week. My sister has really been helping with keeping track of our paper stock- but I
have no idea of the rest of the inventory. Whenever I'm working on a project, it needs to be out on a work table, and 
somehow it migrates to another work space then my whole studio is covered in one project and I can't work on any
thing else. So my goal for January is to at least get a hold of inventory, and make sure everything has a place. I
am in the middle of the biggest wholesale order I've ever had so it is kind of forcing me to stay
organized- it's a good thing! I will be sure to track my progress- it might be a different story in a month!
I've been revisiting some pinterest boards and looking for others that deal with work spaces. Whether it's a desk or a whole room, you won't get far in a mess.
Photo sources:
*sorry if this text formatting is wonky- I've decided to let blogger do whatever it wants instead of trying to mess around with the html. I'm not going to deal with things anymore that make me want to rip my hair out.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A new year, a new planner

Around Christmas I started looking for a new planner for 2012. I did a search on etsy and came across the shop of Julia Kostreva. I knew this girl! We had met and talked for a while at the Academy of Sciences show in San Francisco, then she recommended me to a bride in Los Angeles. I didn't know she had opened a shop but was pleased at what I found. I picked up two planners, one in cloud and the other in peach. One for me and one for my sister. There is a full calendar in the front plus larger individual date boxes.
For me, the more details the better. I have already booked my January. Now it's time to start thinking about February plans.
Check out Julia's shop and etsy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding talk No. 2 (engagement party invitations)

This past Saturday was our engagement party. You would probably not be surprised to learn that I don't care for evites- no matter how casual the party. I had to make actual invitations for this event. As with most things I do, it was a simple, but involved process.
We used an envelope punch and a few sheets of this paper.
Tony punched out the mini envelopes, and pretty soon we had a big stack of them.  
They are very simple to fold into envelopes. While Tony was doing that, I wrote out our wording in calligraphy, scanned it, then printed it onto cream cards. 
I also wrote out our announcement then scanned and printed those.
I attached the mini envelope to the card then put in the mini note. 
The most time consuming part was writing our return address on the back and addressing all of them. A labor of love that was well worth it. We were pleased with how they turned out and got a lot of positive feedback from our friends.
Supplies used- mini envelope punch, white pen, 4 bar cards and envelopes.
Top photo by Dab, all others by margaret haas.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recent Favorites Pt. 21

Surprise, surprise- more wedding stationery! I love to see all the different invitations and ideas people express their excitement for their big day. From the top row-
-This couple got married at the courthouse with their friends and family present. I didn't know you could do that, I thought only a witness was allowed, not the entire wedding reception. Their invitation was informal and fun. Good option if you're not getting married in a church.
-A ring pop never looked so pretty. Fun favor for a bridal shower.
-Printable frames for escort cards, then hand write the names in. Easy way to add color.
From the middle row-
-Polka dots look elegant but still fun in muted colors.
-Colored paper is calling my name, white ink is such a bold statement.
-Graphic, black, and bold! So eye-catching.
From the bottom row
-hand lettered names add a fun feeling to this invitation
-too flowery for Tony but I'm in love with the look of this suite.
-postage stamp inspired!
I'm having way too much fun searching pinterest for wedding related items. It'd be great if I could actually get to work on finding a venue...
Photo sources:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wedding talk No. 1

Well there's no avoiding it. Since we are engaged, there is bound to be a few wedding related posts :) First things first, we need to find a venue to get married but I still can't help looking at all the flowers, dresses, and invitations in the mean time. Pinterest is a great resource, I could (and did) lose hours going through wedding boards.
Yes I am going to design my own invitations but I still like to see what's out there I just came across these new invitation designs from Bella Figura. Aren't they gorgeous? I was sure I wanted letterpress but now foil stamped is calling my name. All photos from Bella Figura

Friday, January 6, 2012

Recent Favorites Pt. 20

It feels like January is flying by! I have to get a hold of it before it slips away. From top left-
Donovan organized her studio and shared photos of it- hopefully it will serve as good inspiration for me.
Funny vintage graphic
Raw images by Kate Bingaman-Burt for Real simple. I liked seeing the "before" and "after" in the actual issue.
I pretty much always have a craving for oysters.

I just got my photos back from Yosemite, but have not had time to scan them in. I've been missing being in the wilderness so I enjoyed these hiking pictures.
-I don't chew gum but this bubblegum machine is adorable. What a color!
-Great colorful, eye-catching business card
-Since it's been 70+ degrees in LA I could really go for a romp through the mossy forest. Especially with cute hunter boots
Photo sources:
From my flickr favorites

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Letter Writing

A little while back I posted about Victoria's set up at Unique LA, and mentioned in that post that I got something from her that changed the way I send mail. It's called the letter ledger.  It is handy way to keep track of what's coming in and going out of your mailbox. It's made my letter writing so much more enjoyable. She has thought of everything! The best feature I think is the box to take quick notes about what I need to address in my return letter so I don't need to keep re-reading the original note. There's even an envelope in the front to store postage.
My mailbox has been filled with notes, postcards, and presents.
I also have a new pen pal all the way in Singapore! I had a lot of writing to do in the new year. I'm so glad I have my handy ledger to keep track of it all.
Two resolutions in one- Write more letters and get more organized :)
all photos by margaret haas, taken with canon rebel.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First of the year

Happy new year everyone! I have some very exciting news- I bought my first car on New Year's Eve. It's a 2012 Ford Fusion in "steel blue." I have not had a car for about 6 months, and in Los Angeles it's pretty hard to get along without one. I am so happy and can't wait to take it on a road trip. It's got a moon roof and the Sync system and a HUGE trunk. I got financed all by myself so I feel so very "adult" about the whole thing ;) I will share more pictures soon. I also have something else to share-
I started making my own soy candles. You may be wondering- what does one thing have to do with the other? When I was trying to figure out what kind of car payments I could afford, I was assessing my monthly bills. Clearly the credit card bill is a big part of it, and I couldn't believe when I saw all together how much money I was spending a month on candles. It seems absurd- I know. But I just love candles. I have one in the bathroom, I have one in our living room and I have one at my studio. I burn through them pretty quick- and at $20-$40 each- it really adds up. So I googled "how to make soy candles" and found this video.  When I brought it up to Tony he did not seem pleased. Starting another diy venture in our tiny apartment didn't seem like the best idea I'll admit, but then I showed up how much money I was spending on candles and he agreed it was worth a shot. He got involved and did some research. There are two different kinds of scents you could use to fragrance your candles- "fragrance oil" which is manufactured, or "essential oils." Essential oils are a bit more pricey but they are natural so we decided to go with that. We got our essential oils from here. For around $100 we had all the supplies we needed to get started. First thing, we got some empty glass Ball Jars (above left) and some wicks. Those silver bars (above right) are to hold the wick in place so it stays centered when pouring in the hot soy wax.
Next we measured out the soy wax (above left) and decided on a scent for our first batch (above right)
After the wax melts, you can then mix in your color and scent. Color isn't necessary but we thought it might be fun, plus easier to tell the scents apart from each other so we got aqua and avocado. 
Tony basically took over the whole process so I was able to photograph everything. Here is the candle just after it was poured (above left) and the next day when they hardened (above right) 
A couple things- I was so excited to use them I kept touching and moving them around. There are a few cracks in the wax at the top- I blame my impatience. Also, when the candles burn the glass jars get very hot so we have to be careful about that. Other than those two things the candles turned out great and smell really good. We made 13 candles total (16 oz each), with three different scents. I am very pleased! We'll definitely be making more, they are so easy. Just measure, melt, mix, and pour. The hardest part is waiting for them to set overnight.
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