Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sent with Love No. 24

Don't you just love when the seasons turn? I always like to do a little something to commemorate the occasion. 
When I was in Whittier at the beginning of the month I walked down to the local Rite Aid and got some Easter candy. 
I ordered this cute little jelly bean stamp from cupcake tree on etsy. I thought it would go perfectly with my pastel ink pads.
I just wrote a quick note to be placed inside the package, along with
a bottle of nail polish. While browsing at Rite Aid I eventually came to the beauty aisle. What is it about drug store beauty aisles that suck you in? I found some great polishes that reminded me of specific friends. 
I got a mix of metallic and pastel eggs and went to work. 
My spring mailing was complete :)
all photos by margaret haas

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wedding Talk No. 11 - How to make a DIY photo wall

Our wedding had a lot of DIY projects. I'm looking forward to sharing all the projects, but I think you guys will be most interested in this one. I really wanted to rent a vintage photo booth that printed out real black and white strips but they were just too pricey. I know there are digital versions but I just don't like those. We decided to set up a DIY photo wall instead.
I had a lot of help from friends and family on wedding projects, I couldn't have done any of them without their help! Big thanks to Lindsay, Mollye, and Tootie with their help on this project.

These are items we used to put together this photo wall. Of course, you can edit as needed for yours.
- colored paper ( we used this baby blue version)
- studio lights (I already had these, you can rent them or maybe borrow from a photographer friend)
- table
- tripod 
- digital camera
- remote control (make sure it works with your digital camera!)
- directions
- painters tape
- Clear duct tape (for your letter sign or other decorations to go on top of the colored paper)
- foam letters covered in glitter (we got these letters, gold and silver glitter, and tacky glue at Moskatels)
- a string of fringe + ribbon (we found the ones we used downtown la, in the fabric district. Not sure what store it was, we went to about 10 different ones searching for the perfect fringe)
- scissors
- ladder

You will need at least two people to set up this photo wall. 

1. Figure out the best background wall. You will need up to 10 feet out from the wall clear to get the best pictures.

2. Set up the camera, tripod and table up between 6 to 10 feet from
the wall you will use as your background. You will later adjust this
to frame your background.

3. Take a few minutes to look through the camera view finder with someone of average height in front of the background to see where to hang the colored paper and where to place the tripod.  The height and width of the colored paper should be at the very least a foot wider or taller then you see in the camera view finder. Leave more room at the top of the view for people who are taller.  There is nothing worse than cutting off someone's head and if you want to hang a sign, you will need extra space here.  You want to make sure the people aren't covering up your decorations, so it is best to hang a sign (like the letters in our example) above the majority of the crowd.  Right now, just make sure there is room for the sign, you will hang that later on. Have someone mark where the colored paper will go with a pencil or use a piece of tape to guide you.

4. Start hanging your paper on the wall using the tape and ladder. It's easiest have one person unroll the paper or place it, while someone else tapes.  You want to make sure the paper is smooth.  If you have a roll of paper, start from the top and work your way to the
bottom, trimming at the floor if you have extra.  This way you can tape and secure from the top keeping the paper very smooth.  If you roll out the paper with the curl 'against' the wall, it is also less likely to peel off from the wall after you taped.  Make sure this is well adhered to the wall!

5.  For your sign, look through the view finder again to decide where to hang this. You can use tape to secure this. After securing the fringe and sign with tape, we covered it with ribbon.

5.   Go back to your table and adjust the view finder, or tripod to your test person again to make sure it is exactly where you want it. Tape the legs of the tripod and table to indicate you don't want guests to move it.

6.  Create a box on the floor with painters tape so you can show guests where they need to be standing to be in the picture.  Make the stand area a little smaller to make sure no one gets cut off.

7.  The lights work best when they are about  4 feet from the wall on either side of the standing area.  Take some test pictures to play with the lighting.  It seems like you would want to have the lights more centered on the people: however, this creates harsh shadows, so make sure to keep them on the side against the standing box.  Once you have figured out the best lighting, tape these down and make sure the cords are out of the walking path so guests don't trip. Keep in mind that the light might change from day to night, so test each situation so you know how and when to adjust for different times of the day.

8.  Props are fun, the more the better! We had a giant cardboard camera and balloons.

9.  Make a little sign for the remote, so people know where to place it, when finished, as well as serve as instructions.  You can tape the sign and instructions on the table.  You could also have a sign asking the camera settings not be touched, so that the flash doesn't get turned on, etc.

10. Throughout the night, have someone check to make sure the camera is still capturing the best light, the view and focus is still good and the battery is still charged. People might touch the camera and slightly alter your original settings. This might seem like a pain, but it really only takes a few minutes.

I was a bit worried after all this work that no one would really take photos- but there ended up being close to 700 on the camera! I think it was a huge hit. I printed out these photos and sent them along with my thank you notes. More on that later :)

Making these into gifs made them a bit pixelated but the are really high quality. I've uploaded them to flickr for anyone who wants to see them higher quality or download them.
Lindsay and I did our best to explain clearly but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tea Party No. 2

My sister Katie and I threw this tea party for our girlfriends last Sunday. She put together an incredible spread, with delicious home made baked treats. We had:
deviled eggs
ricotta and herb spread
herb and lemon goat cheese
blueberry cream scones
apricot scones
lemon lime tea cakes
angel food cake
raspberry preserves
chocolate  butter cookies 
plus strawberries and vegan cookies, that Brady brought.
Katie hosted at her house this year and was in charge of all the food.
I was in charge of the tea, tea cups, and tea pots.

We had a selection of loose leaf and bagged teas. Moroccan mint, a tale of two chais, sexpot, jasmine, coconut chai, oolong.
We also had cucumber- lemon water, a must.
I also brought some chocolates from Carlsbad Chocolate bar. 
I think everyone had a good time- except Sin Jun, who was harassed :)
Big thanks to Lindsay who took all the photos.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tea Party Invitations No. 2

Every party is another occasion for fun invitations. For our tea party this year, I wanted to switch up the style from last year. I still used my custom hand carved stamp from Brown Pigeon  because it's too adorable not to :) Last year the invitations were smaller, postcard sized, so this year I got #10 cards in strawberry with blossom pink envelopes from the paper source. It's hard for me to get away from pink.
Each invitation was hand stamped in white ink, and I wrote all 25 using this white pen. 
These invitations inspired a new address stamp. I did about 5 different versions of this before I was finally happy with it.
I stamped all of them first, then laid them flat to dry. After I was sure the ink was dry I hand wrote each personal invitation.
I thought the #10 envelopes would cost more to mail but they were good to go with one stamp. Pictures of the party tomorrow.
all photos by margaret haas

Etsy Pets

As soon as I got two kittens, I began searching for cat items on etsy. There's so much great stuff for pets, it's hard to sort through. After looking far and wide (online) I purchased a wool cat bed from VaivanatBecause Otto and Milchy like to nap together, I got the extra large style in gray, called "larger size" in her shop. It can be flattened or opened up to be a sort of cocoon. Because it was shipping from Europe, it took about a month but well worth the wait. Otto likes to sleep half in/half out.
Milchy likes to to have some alone time in her cave.
As soon as it arrived, they knew it was for them. They wasted no time testing it out.
It's great for hide and seek :)
When it's a little warmer, they still like to hang out on top of it.
Grooming sessions also occur on top of their bed.

♥ Afternoon joint naps.


General lounging.

The love it!

My morning routine involved feeding them, then cleaning up their mess. Milchy loves knocking food out of the bowl and it drove me crazy. I got an elevated feeder from Modern MewsI love the look of the feeder, and now it's harder for her to knock food out.
I'm very happy with my purchases from these handmade independent sellers.
all photos by margaret haas

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Product - Classic Border Stamp

I've been into drawing borders around the address on my outgoing mail. I sometimes mess up and ruin the whole envelope.I figured making a border stamp would be a good idea. It's inspired by the vintage labels we all know and love. You can find the stamp in my shop here.
While I was photographing new products, I thought I should reshoot some older products too, like this custom favor stamp.
It's always good to have more samples on hand, so instead of just photographing ready made samples, I made some more.
I usually do a whole set up with my studio lights, but this time I just shot in natural light on my dining room table. Custom save the date stamp. 
Sure I got more shadows that usual, but I don't mind them. Hand lettered save the date. 
I'll probably get sick of these photos in a couple months, but they will do for now :) Hand lettered wedding invitation.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was given the chance to try out Instantgram- an instagram printing service based in Turkey. After I choose what photos I'd like to get printed, I got an email update about my order. They estimated my order would arrive in 14 business days. That's a wait, but I wasn't in a rush and it was understandable, traveling from Turkey all the way to California. By the way, every order comes with free world wide shipping.
I was very impressed with the print quality and the picture finish. The colors are true to my original photograph. All the photos that I got printed were taken with my iphone4 and edited using the app afterglow- now called afterlight. So if some look washed out- it's because I edited them that way :)
It really is the best printing service I've tried, I really think the photo quality it top notch.
I couldn't be happier with them!
I got 4x4 pictures printed and magnets.
The magnets are such a cute size- 5cm x 5cm. 
The print quality is just as good as the photos.
This is the perfect size to stick in an envelope and mail off as a little gift.
The magnets are strong and perfect to stick on your fridge! I am completely happy with my order, Big thanks to Instantgram for letting me try out their service. I will definitely be ordering from them in the future. I'm hoping they add more products, too :)
all photos by Margaret Haas
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