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Entries in behind the scenes (48)


to do list: frightening

This is just part of my to do list today. I'm feeling a little anxious. The light is just about ready in the sunniest room of the house, so I'm off to shoot the new greeting card collection. Here are some of the props I'll be using:

photo: Delphine


behind the scenes: styling a photo shoot

Don't you just love these colors? Alicia and Jeffrey picked a bright, bold color combo—red and robin's egg blue—for their Meeting Street wedding invitations. I think their guests know they are in for a fun party.

We're working on a website update and part of it is a bunch of new photos. One of the most fun parts of my job is styling the invitation photos for our website. I get a lot of questions about how I do this, so I thought I'd share a few of my sources.

I really believe in looking within the studio first, before going out to buy something special for a shoot. Open your cabinets and drawers and dig deep -- you'll find interesting goodies, I promise. When I'm out shopping I always check the clearance aisles and dollar bins. I've found the loveliest props for photo shoots there, and I don't think I've ever spent more than $5 on something I bought specifically as a photo shoot prop.

Anyway, here are a few details from a recent shoot, along with the sources for all the props.

1. Monogram personal stationery: Mini binder from Russell+Hazel; rubber bands, Sharpies, markers & pens from deep in the drawers in our studio; John's USMC mug; a packet of Splenda from a coffee shop; Beemans gum -- I picked this up at the local grocery store over the holidays because I thought it would make a cute prop some day.

2. Kent personal stationery: custom rubber stamp from our very first Monday Morning Mimosas event; a pink eraser from the sale bin during Back To School days at Target (my favorite time of the year ... I just stand there in the school supply section and soak it all in); and mini sticky notes from Russell+Hazel.

3. Arizona cactus wedding invitation: green binder clip from Staples; vintage stamps -- I picked most of my collection of vintage stamps up at a flea market in Paris.

4. Chrysanthemums wedding invitation: turquoise necklace my mom made for me; MOR lip glosses from Dreamy; butterfly from Shinoda; fruit stamps from my collection.

5: Robin wedding invitation: thread, thimble and sewing supplies from Mémé Delphine's sewing kit. The pencil is also hers -- it's probably older than me!

6. Ava wedding invitation: drink ticket from last year's Y Conference; stamp from my personal collection.

7. Ava save the date: stamps from my personal collection; match box from the Delphine for For Your Party collection; cute 2 franc plate from the sale room at Anthropologie.

8. Meeting Street wedding invitation: bakers twine from Etsy (sorry! I don't remember which shop); a red binder clip; markers; Stella Artois mint tin from a Riveria party goodie bag many years ago; peanuts from the grocery store; the red pastic "key" came as part of the packaging with a key cover I got for Christmas.


to do list: clean the studio

Normally I'm a fairly organized and tidy person. But lately it looks like a herd full of wild animals have been living in the studio. On the to do list today: clean up around here.

Red rim metal wire waste basket from Wisteria. I've got my eye on it as a wrapping paper holder, but I'm not quite sure if it's tall enough.


ask me anything ... via formspring

left + center photo ©Peden+Munk; right photo ©delphine

Yes, that's right. Ask me anything. I signed up with Formspring quietly last week. Almost daily I get emails asking for advice or my thoughts or my suggestions on lots of stuff (mostly about running a design-centric business). Now I can answer questions in a public forum. It's like a public FAQ. Awesome.

So go ahead ... ask me anything. (Well, not anything. I mean, lets keep it decent, okay).




inspired by: inpiration pages

I'm often asked "what inspires your designs?" That is such a difficult question to answer since anything and everything inspires me. Fabulous window displays, swoon-worthy place settings, adorable kids clothes, spectacular art exhibits ... and mundane things like tree branches, sugar packets, rain boots all inspire me.

I do enjoy seeing what inspires other people and reading how they answer that age old question. Anthropologie has devoted an entire new(ish) website to inspiration. Kate Spade has a cool "behind the curtain" section on their site. Dwell Studio allows their visitors to take a peek at what inspires them with a special section, too. Our inspiration section on the Delphine site has photos of "stuff we love, admire and treasure." I haven't updated it in a while, mostly because I put a lot of what inspires me here on this blog. I also keep a giant sketchbook/journal, where I paste in bits of inspirational ephemera (like cool hang tags, interesting receipts, tear sheets from magazines and ads).

Just because "everything" inspires me, that does not mean that I never suffer from creative block. Having this blog and my sketchbook/journal is invaluable! Whenever I feel stuck I often take a break, go for a walk or a drive, run errands. And when I get back if I'm still stuck I peek through old sketchbooks ... and soon I'm sketching new ideas. On my recent trip to New York I accidentally left my book behind and I felt completely lost! What works for you?



movie: lagerfeld confidential

I watched Lagerfeld Confidential over the weekend. Loved it! What a strange, wonderful, creative man Karl is. He likes to be alone and "detests" people who cannot be alone. He is not attached to objects, but has one of the most enormous libraries I've ever seen. He has a messy office, but knows where every single thing is. He likes his photos to exhibit a touch of melancholy, and when he couldn't find someone to shoot the photographs the way he likes, he started shooting them himself. He puts on a show for his business, he says the secret is to work very hard, but not to let people see the work. A lot of people have passion, he says. But the secret to success is passion plus hard work. And, I might add, determination and discipline. I think a lot of "creative types" would identify with Lagerfeld's philosophy. The film is also a wonderful sneak peek into the world of haute couture. I plan on watching it again (and again).



behind the scenes: claire pettibone runway show

photo from Claire Pettibone blog

I had the pleasure of meeting Claire Pettibone last month at the Martha Stewart Weddings 15th Anniversary Party. We chatted a bit about the craziness of putting together a new collection, and the joy of watching a line go "live." For me, a new collection goes live with little to no fanfare (i.e. our new personal stationery collection went up on our website over the weekend ... woot). Part of me wishes for that exciting moment that Claire and her fellow fashion designers get when the first model makes her way down the runway.

You can read more about the behind-the-scenes craziness that is a bridal market week runway show on Claire Pettibone's blog.

And if you're a bride in the LA area you are in luck! Claire Pettibone is having a sample sale at their Beverly Hills flagship store:


celebration with martha stewart weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings is celebrating their fifteenth anniversary with a massive party (a faux wedding reception, where all the guests are wedding industry insiders) at The Plaza hotel in New York City. I'll return next week with the scoop on all the fun details. I heard via Twitter that Amy Atlas is going to make a candy bar, but otherwise the decor is a total surprise. The invitation was engraved in gold ink, so I'm guessing a glittery and gold motif. If we're allowed I'll take a few photos to share. I can't wait!!!


weekend craftiness

Don't you love these buttons? I have never been able to throw a button away ... and sometimes I even buy them for no reason whatsoever other than that I like the color. I used these in our recent photo shoot (photo by Vallentyne Photography).

What weekend craftiness are you up to? I am hoping to break out the glitter for my first christmas project of the year!



wedding invitation: arizona cactus

We're slowly sifting through all 450+ photos from our shoot last week. I had back to school in mind when I styled this one, obviously!

You can check out our Arizona Cactus design on our site. Here it's shown letterpressed in palm green and chocolate brown inks on 100% cotton paper.


wedding invitation: rixi

Yay! The photos are in and they are gorgeous. Thanks, Heather! Beatrice (my mom) and I did all the styling and staging. It was a lot of hard work, but fun! We're still sorting through the photos and hope to have them all up on the Delphine website by the end of the week.

Here our RIXI design is shown letterpressed in gris ink on mermaid textured shimmer stock.


behind the scenes: photo shoot props

Just a few of the small props from the studio that we use to style our photo shoots. I try to separate them by color. Can't wait to show you the new photos next week!


Meanwhile, here's a preview of one of our newest letterpress (also available digitally printed) wedding invitation suites, Arizona Cactus.


behind the scenes: prepping for photo shoot

Today we're having a big photo shoot here at the studio. We have so many new designs and we need to update the photos on our website. I picked up a bunch of new fabrics to use as backgrounds for the shoot.

Some of the props I use to stage each photo: office supplies, candy, teacups, floral supplies and vintage books from our bookshelves.

I took a few snapshots (in the dark, with a crappy camera) to test out the composition of each scene. This one, of a digitally printed design, is my favorite so far.



designing mom: shinmin

I had the extreme pleasure of visiting fellow Designing Mom Shinmin at her shop, I Dream of Cake, today. I love that she sometimes brings her daughter to work with her in a sling.

It was super fun to see behind the scenes how her amazing cakes are made. And super yummy to taste them! I loved the Thai coconut flavor. Mmmmm.

Aya and Cat's kids dreaming of cake.


ajax the kitten

Our new kitten, Ajax, is four months old now. He has discovered the photo "studio" and is turning out to be a big ham. We adopted him at the Helen Woodward Animal Center.