Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kitty Haw Vintage's Calling Cards

My friend, Trish, opened her very own Etsy Shop a few months ago. I was naturally giddy, and just so glad to have a fellow Etsy shop owner that I already knew and loved.

Trish's shop is called Kitty Haw Vintage (named after her great-grandmother) and it is the perfect fit for her. For as long as I can remember, she has always been in love with all things vintage, so to see her take that love and make an Etsy Shop out of it was so cool.

When you visit her shop (which you can do here), you'll see all kinds of different vintage pieces. Dresses, coats, shoes...she even has a 1970's R2 Sweet Tooth Cookie Jar for crying out loud. Her shop is cool, people.

Here are a few of the things you'll see when you visit. Click on any of the links to go straight to the listing.

1970's Rainbow Sundress // A Day in May Dress

Vintage 60's floral and starburst cups

80's Pop Star Black and White Checkered Pumps

Trish seriously has such great style - make sure to visit Kitty Haw to see for yourself (but then come back here so I can show you what she had me do for her shop. :)).

About a month ago, Trish contacted me to help her with her business cards. Only she didn't want business cards at all. She wanted something to match the vintage-ness (not a word, I'm pretty sure) of her shop, so she wanted more of a calling card. Like the cards that people would give each other back in the day that pretty much just said their name. I loved the idea and was super excited Trish came to me to make it happen.

Here are the calling cards that we came up with.

We made the front nice and simple, with just Trish's name.

How much do I love the 'Remember Me' up in the corner? See it there, just nice and subtle?

Since we don't live back in the day when you can just leave your name with someone and they can most likely find you easily, we thought we'd add a back to the cards with Kitty Haw's website address.

The map is something that Trish's boo found for her. It's an old school map of Detroit.

This was truly a unique project and I loved that Trish contacted me to carry out her plan. :)

So seriously, go now to the following and check out Kitty Haw Vintage for yourself:

Kitty Haw Vintage on Etsy
Kitty Haw Vintage's website
Kitty Haw Vintage on Facebook

If you see something you like on Etsy, make sure to 'like' Kitty Haw on Facebook to get 10% off your order. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wall Prints

This past week, a friend and fellow blogger featured our house on her blog.  Lexi, from Clean, Smart, Simple Style is starting a series of home tours and she asked if I'd participate. Since I love any excuse to 1. talk about my house and 2. clean my house, I gladly obliged and sent her some photos. You can see how she put the pictures together here

As I prepared everything for the home tour, I noticed that there were several wall prints that I just hadn't taken the time to show on this blog yet. And then I realized that I've done a few more wall prints for other people that I haven't shown on this blog yet. So I thought it was high time to get these wall prints out there for the people to see.

It just so happens that the first one I did was for Lexi, from Clean, Smart, Simple Style. Lexi came to me before Christmas wanting to know if I could help her make a gift for her brother. He lives in Austin, Texas, where their motto is "Keepin' it Weird."

The frame is mine; I just threw the print in there for picture taking reasons. I absolutely love how Lexi's print came out, maybe because I was born in Texas so it means something to me, too. :)

Back in the fall of 2012, my sister-in-law, Heather, also asked me to do a print for her. She was preparing to teach special education that year and she wanted a quote to hang up in her classroom.

The quote is so powerful and really shows the heart my sister-in-law has for her students. :)

I also did a print for the best friend's wedding last October. All of us bridesmaid's chipped in to share our favorite memories of Amy. I put it all together for her and then I gave it to her sans frame when I saw her a few months after the wedding because I completely forgot to give it to her on her wedding weekend. #MOHfail #toomuchonmymind #aremultiplehashtagsstillcool?

Photo by Amy Sayre Photography
The next three are prints I did for our own house. The first hangs in our "wall of frames" hallway, and is so meaningful to me because I LOVE the quote.

Here it is right in the middle of a bunch of photos. I love how it breaks the photos up and adds a little interest to the frame gallery.

The second one is hanging in my office, but for some reason I took a picture of it on the floor.

A huge thing I've learned from this business is the benefit of being proactive. This quote speaks to me on what proactivity really is and my office seemed like the perfect place to put it.

The last print is an idea I got from Young House Love. I've long admired the magazine monogram print they hung up in their hallway.

Image from Young House Love

When I read about how they did it, I knew it would just be easier to do it myself using Adobe Illustrator. I took a look at one of our Harry Potter books and basically just designed what I saw.

For all you Harry Potter fans out there, the chapter I used was the one when Harry first meets Dobby (though Luke initially thought it was from a love story because of "May I take you..." It's actually "May I take your coat" :)).

This print now sits on top of a book shelf in our living room.

So those are the wall prints I've done. I actually get asked about doing prints quite often, so if you're interested in me designing something for you to hang on your walls, just shoot me an email and we can chat.

I'll be back on Thursday with some unique business cards that I did for a really cool Etsy shop. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Amy Sayre Photography

My best friend, Amy, moved to Chicago in 2004. She had a degree in journalism and had no idea what she was going to do. A couple of years into her time there, she was working at a dentist office. She wasn't doing what she wanted to do. She hated her job and was ready for a change. She had hit rock bottom. We all know the feeling.

She ended up going back to school to be a paralegal in 2006. Shortly after, she wound up at a law firm where she met her future husband (whom she dated secretly for a year and a half before they "came out" to their office - man, I love that story). She now lives in the outskirts of Chicago with him, their rescue dog, Taylor, and their cat, Oscar. She's happy and I personally couldn't be happier for her.

Through all of this, Amy loved photography. She had worked at a photo lab in high school and for as long as I can remember, she loved to take pictures. In 2007 she began to really get into photography when her now husband, Mike, bought her a fancy camera. Within a few years, people were asking her to take photos of their families and she was beginning to think she might be able to make this hobby into a business. 

Well, she most definitely has made her hobby into a business. Throughout the past few years, she's moved, gotten married, adopted a dog, switched jobs, and still managed to start up Amy Sayre Photography. She's had a consistent flow of clients since then, mostly through word of mouth. It's Amy's drive and motivation that have always been so inspirational to me, especially when I started my own business. She is good at what she does and she gives great customer service. 

Fast forward to today. In the past few months, she has been actively working to revamp her business and its image and she came to me for help. She has always had a blog and a website, but it wasn't necessarily something that completely reflected her and her business. She wanted me to make a new logo that defined Amy Sayre Photography. She gave me four colors and four words that defined her business. Then she put me to work.

Amy wanted a logo that could stand alone, but could also be used as part of a larger frame. Here's what we came up with.

That's the logo that she can put on her photos. That's the one that she can use on stationary, a business card...anything that she wanted to put her stamp on.

Then we put it with a larger frame.
This is the logo that is at the top of her website. Here's a little screen shot of how it looks.

Go here if you'd like to check out her website. Be sure to check out her 'About Me' page, which is full of fun facts about Amy (my personal favorite page). But also make sure to just stay on that first page for a while and enjoy the slide show of beautiful images, like that one of that sweet little girl above. Amy is so talented, and her photos reflect that.

And if you in/around the Chicago area, look this girl up. She does child and family photography and she is no joke, I promise you. :) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our 2013 Calendar

Alright, friends, as stated in my last post, I'll be coming to you twice this week.

Actually, for the next few weeks I'll be showing off one side project and one regular project, most likely on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The difference between the two is that the side projects are usually just creative outlets for me, whereas the actual projects are customers who like to pay me (thanks, guys!).

For the first time, I'm scheduling this blog post, because Luke and I are going on a little Bed and Breakfast trip this week. So I'm writing this on Sunday evening, in an attempt to get it checked off the to-do list before we head out tomorrow afternoon. I'll schedule it to post on Tuesday and then say a prayer that it actually does.

This B&B trip is one of the things we scheduled to get us through the winter months here in Michigan. Sometime in November or December, I usually like to look ahead at January-March and plan some fun things because those are the months that just tend to be a little long, in my opinion.

So this year, I have more than a few fun January-March things to look forward to, most of which are still to come. I will now list them, if only just because it makes me happy.

-go to Cleveland to see the North American tour of Les Miserables (done last weekend with both sets of our parents and very much enjoyed)
-go to our favorite Bed and Breakfast and totally relax for a few days (heading out tomorrow!)
-go see The Lion King in Detroit
-go to Boston to see the BFFs

To say I'm excited about each of these events is an understatement. And the fact that they land in January-March just puts a smile on my face. If you're like me, you hardly have to schedule anything in spring/summer/fall to get excited about those seasons. But winter...I can handle winter through December 25 and then I'm ready for it to be done. So the fact that I live in a place where it typically lasts three months past that...well, let's just say I've learned to cope.

Anyways, all of this scheduling talk brings me to the side project I thought I'd share today: our 2013 calendar.

I had never made a calendar for our house before, so I thought I'd try it out this year. The calendar is not super functional, but it's a quick and easy way to see what the date is and have something cute up in our kitchen. I designed it myself and got the idea for the numbers at the bottom (each a significant number to us) from Young House Love (where all good ideas come from, let's be honest).

This calendar cost me $0 since I have so much extra scrap paper. The pieces are around 6x10 inches. 

Like I said, each month has a number that's significant to us. They are:

1 cute bungalow
2 sweet cats
3 years married
4 parents who love us
5 year age difference
6 letters in Haddad
7 siblings
8 years together
9 rooms in our house
10 years since college (for Jenny, 5 for Luke)
11 members of the Haddad family
12 more months we have to be thankful for

I also made sure to mark dates that were important in a different color - all major holidays, birthdays, our anniversary, and fun trips.

So now the little calendar is hung up on our kitchen bulletin board (yes, along with another calendar...a cheap one from Target that we can actually write on), among invitations, cards, and pictures. I look at it often and especially love the little saying that's on each month (well, the two so far).

On Tuesday, I'll be blogging about a logo I did for a very special photographer. Stay tuned. :) 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Samantha and Antonio's Wedding Extras

We've finally made it to day 5 of Vivian Elle's Wedding Extra Extravaganza and there is one thing I want to say about it:

I now have the utmost respect for people that blog every day.

Seriously, if you are one of those people, pat yourself on the back. It really is a lot of work. However, I feel like this week was so worth it. Like I said earlier, I had a lot of blog posts that were just sitting there, bugging me every time I would look at them.

Well, I'm happy to report that I'm now fully caught up and have a whole list of 2013 projects that I can't wait to show, starting next week.

And as I did some clean up on the blog yesterday, I couldn't help but compare the beginning of last year to the beginning of this year. I am so thankful that I am not scrambling to think of something to write each week anymore. I have more than enough projects to show and I am so thankful for each and every person that has contacted me for my services. :) So if you've used Vivian Elle for anything, a huge THANK YOU.

On to the last day of wedding extras.

You met Samantha here, when I first designed her wedding invitations. I also did the table numbers and place cards for her wedding and when she sent me the images of the extras from their wedding photographer, she also sent me some pictures he took of the invitation itself. And I was fully smitten with them.

I love that last image because it really shows how thick Envelopments' pocket fold invitations are. The paper is so lovely and very sturdy. Take it from me, people will be able to tell when they have a nice paper product in their hands. 

Samantha's photographer did get one picture of the wedding extras - (a lot of) very simple place cards. With the metallic paper and the beautiful Lavanderiia font, I didn't think we needed anything more.  

And then we put together a simple table number, using the same frames that we used for Samantha and Antonio's custom monogram. But there weren't any photos of it (wompwomp). So here's one I quickly snapped of what those looked like.

In case you want to check out the awesome photographer, you can find him here.

So this concludes Vivian Elle's week of wedding extras. Next week I'll start coming at you twice a week - one time with an invitation/announcement/in general a paper product, and a second time with a little side project that I've been working on.

Happy Friday!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

We interrupt all of the wedding extras talk to bring a little love to you this Valentine's Day.

My husband, Luke, and I don't necessarily do anything huge for Valentine's Day (though we do head to our favorite Bed and Breakfast over our mid-winter break, which usually lands right around it), but we do try to show our love and affection for each other in some way. This year, he's given me a little gift for the last week leading up to today, which has been a sweet surprise and something fun to look forward to each day when I come home. So the least I could do was make him a card, right?

If there's one thing I've learned about Luke through the years, it's that he's huge on words of affirmation. So I try to always remember to show him love by telling him what I love about him instead of just keeping those thoughts in my head. He's also the most social person I know, so publicly declaring my love for him puts the biggest smile on his face. 

(Seriously, I know that when he reads this sentence, he will have a huge smile on his face.)

So here's my Valentine's Day Card from this year. I'm happy to say, it did make Luke smile. 

The front's just a generic greeting. 

I kicked it up a notch on the back by listing some of my favorite things about Luke and adding a little picture of us. 

Warning - you are about to be a witness to a shameless plug. 

You, too, can have a personalized "My favorite things about you" card from my etsy shop! Just click here to go directly to the listing. It's as easy as purchasing the listing and sending me your info. 

But...if you'd just like a free download, I can hook you up with that, too. 

Click on the picture, save it, and you're all set. It's set up to be printed as a 5x7. :) 
Happy Valentine's Day!

(If you'd like to see last year's Valentine's card - click here.)

I've linked up to a blog for the first time ever today, and I don't even know if I should have (since what I did is not exactly a craft, I guess.) But who doesn't want a free printable, right? Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amy and Mike's Wedding Extras

(Before we begin, all photos, unless otherwise indicated, were taken by the talented Ben Pancoast of Ben Pancoast Photography.)

On a cool day in October, I took the day off of work to prepare to head west to Lakeside, Michigan, where my best friend, Amy, was getting married. I called Amy before leaving to make sure she was doing well and to see if her and her fiancé, Mike, were on the road yet.

In actuality, her and Mike were having car issues and she was frustrated because they were not setting out when they had originally planned. I said a prayer that they would be able to get on the road quickly, and that she would feel more calm when they did.

Then, in an effort to comfort her, I started talking about how I had everything set to go...the timeline poster, the reception seating chart, and the table numbers. Surely this would help her feel like everything was just falling right into place.

I finished rattling off the list and then paused for Amy's response.

"And...the programs, right?" she asked.

Sometimes you try to comfort your best friend a few days before her wedding and it works out really well. Other times you basically let her know that even though you completely designed her wedding programs, you actually had forgotten all about them, and would have headed to her wedding without them had she not said something.

This is the story of two best friends and the weekend one of them got married. One friend is calming, steady, and comforting. The other is me.

Amy and Mike had decided Lakeside Inn was the perfect setting for their wedding and when I arrived, I couldn't help but think, "this is so Amy."

The Inn has a huge front porch lined with rocking chairs. It is located right across the street from Lake Michigan, which looked like this that weekend. 

The weather wasn't exactly what Amy was hoping for, but it made for a cozy weekend at an inn right by the lake, with 80 of Amy and Mike's closest friends and family. (Side note - how beautiful is Lake Michigan, no matter the time of year?)

We did a lot of things that first day we were at the inn. When I arrived (Luke would come the next day with my parents), I was able to hang out with Amy and her family. We had a wonderful meal together that evening, and then Amy, her mom, her sister, and I set out to make these birdseed hearts that would be used as wedding favors. This was a frustrating two days before the wedding event because the birdseed hearts she ordered from an Etsy vendor didn't make it to her house in time. But we chatted, laughed, and watched video clips while we put them together and it was a fun memory in hindsight (or maybe not...I'll have to check that with Amy).

The next day was filled with preparations for the wedding - a test run for Amy's hair, the rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. It was filled with excitement and anticipation.

And then it was the day of the wedding. We drove over to St. John's, Michigan, where we all got our hair done.

Then we all came back to the Inn and started getting last minute things ready for the day. The afternoon was filled with putting flower arrangements together, making sure the centerpieces were perfect, and getting everything set out so that the night ran smoothly.

As early afternoon turned into late afternoon, we all gathered in the largest room in the inn - the one that Mike and Amy were staying in - to get ready.

I love that we all just gathered around Amy until that absolutely stunning dress was just as it should be.   And believe me, it was just as it should be and it looked perfect.

And then it was time for Amy to get married. One by one, us girls walked down the aisle until it was Amy's turn. Let me just say, I don't think I've cried at any wedding I've ever been in, including my own. But when I got down to the end of the aisle and Amy's sister, Nicole, was already crying, I was done.

The weather was cold and windy at this point, but we were in the backyard of the inn, which seemed to block most of the wind from getting to us. We also had pashminas that Amy had given us as bridesmaids gifts to keep us warm.

But not Amy. Her arms were barely covered, but she didn't seem to mind one bit.

It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony that ended with quite a kiss.

And then we walked back down the aisle, Amy grabbed a coat from someone, and I had my first task of the day. We had to sign papers to make this marriage legit.

Then the pictures started. It meant so much to me that Amy had my family on the list to get a picture taken with. Amy was a part of so many family vacations, family events, sleepovers, pretty much every part of my life that it made perfect sense to snap a picture with her to document the occasion. (Side note - Look at my mom grabbing onto Amy's arm as if she wanted to take credit for her. Nance, please.)

And then we went out to the front of the inn to snap some pictures with the entire bridal party. This is when things got a little chilly...

But you can't tell, right?

We started strolling down the street in an effort to get a little warmer (or because we were told to, whichever).

The way Amy and I are looking at each other in this picture totally reminds me of a day three years prior when we strutted our stuff at my own wedding. 
Image by Widdis Photography
Ben, the photog, then let the bridal party go warm themselves by the fire while he snapped a few more photos of the newlyweds.

After Mike and Amy came in from the cold, it was time for the reception which meant it was time for my second big task of the day.

I think it went well. I do believe this is a picture of Amy laughing at something I said, so that has to be a good sign.

It was hard to wrap up all those years of friendship in a few minutes, but I did the best I could.

I finished, Amy and I hugged, and then Amy and Mike took the floor for their first dance as husband and wife. 

The dancing in general involved a lot of goofiness, a lot of white people snapping (both from me, let's be honest), and a lot of stomping. 

But folks, there was one who danced harder than anyone else that night. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Amy's dad, Wayne. 

The love I have for this photo is so deep that I am still considering getting it blown up to a poster and hanging it on my front door. (This has NOT been cleared with Luke yet.)

There was so much celebrating that went on that night and it was one of those days that just made me so thankful for the long standing friendship I have with Amy. As I said at the end of my speech, my life has been enhanced because she has been in it. 

So this post is to commemorate a good day. It was a day that I'll always remember, but because my memory does fail me more often than I'd like it to, I wanted to document it here so I could forever remember the day that my best friend got married. 

But I'm also blogging about Amy's day because she did have me do some extras for the wedding. In case you wanted to skip the story telling, you might have landed here. Welcome and please enjoy the extras. 

Now, because I did not accost the photographer before the wedding to tell him that he needed to take photos of my extras (I've only been known to do this once...), the table numbers were the only extras that were captured. You'll see those in a minute, but first, a couple of posters. 

We had two posters made for Amy and Mike's wedding. One was put at the front desk for all of the guests to see when they came in. It was basically the blown up timeline from Amy's wedding invitations

This was a great idea because it kept the guests constantly informed, especially if they forgot to bring the handy timeline from their invitation.

The second poster was located right where the guests walked into the reception and it indicated where they were sitting. The tables were marked by state, each one being somewhere Mike and Amy had visited together.

You can kind of see the seating chart in this photo (which, by the way, is of the lovely guest book that Amy's bridesmaid, Lexi, painted for them). It's over there way in the right hand side. OK, you can't see it at all, but this is the best I've got.

When guests sat down, this is what they found. A table number with a state, a date, and a favorite memory Mike and Amy have from their trip there. The centerpieces were also done by Lexi, bridesmaid extraordinaire. 

The table numbers were by far my favorite thing Amy had me do and I'm pretty sure it was because of how great they tied into everything else. 

The last thing I did was the programs. These pictures were taken by me, on my trusty porch swing. 

But Ben did capture this image of the top of the programs with the rings, which is especially beautiful.

You may think that these are all the wedding extras I have for this week. Not so, my friends. I'll be back on Friday with more. But tomorrow, I'll interrupt the wedding extra hoopla to bring a fun little valentines day post.

See you then!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post