Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tools for Choosing Your Colors

We went through quite a few color schemes before we came up with one that would work well with the barn that we are having our reception in. The first thing I was attracted to was a mixture of peach, coral, gold, pink, and dusty rose. The picture below, of a redhead, inspired me.

But as soon as I mentioned it to future-hubby, he immediately shied away from such feminine details. So, I started thinking about us (and what Mr. CB wouldn't say no to) and I started visualizing colors based on natural elements: slate from river rock, emerald like lake water, white like flowers, tan like sand, leafy green like trees.

But, when it came time to actually start picking colors, I was swayed in a completely different direction thanks to this cake picture:

It feels so sunny and warm--two things I associate with California, where I'm from. Also, fall in the mountains of Colorado is filled with brushed whites in Aspen's branches and golden yellows in their leaves. I decided yellow, cream, white, brown, and gold would suffice. Especially in a wooden barn surrounded by white tablecloths.

I found a couple of helpful tools online that break down your color scheme so you can carry it from vendor to vendor, detail to detail. First is DaGraeve.com's Color Palette Generator. You enter the URL of an image you are attracted to and it spits out the colors that are in that image. I put in this picture:

And it gave me this:

Not exactly what we're going with--we'll be using more whites, creams, and less khaki tones--but close.

The next tool I tried was Idee's Multicolor Search Lab Flickr Set. You put in your colors and it returns all of the images it finds on Flickr that include those colors. Here's what I put in:

And here's what it returned:

The last tool I tried was Color Hunter. I decided to use one of my original palettes with this by uploading this jpeg.

This was the custom palette it gave to me (too many reds):

We still haven't found an image that completely depicts our colors. But for now, these will do.

What tools/images did you use to find your color palette?

Image 1 from Style Me Pretty
Image 2 from Snippet & Ink
Image 3 from Jose Villa
Image 4 from Martha Stewart Weddings
Image 5 from DeGraeve.com
Image 6 from Idee Multicolr Search Lab
Image 7 from Flickr
Image 8 from Martha Stewart Weddings
Image 9 from Color Hunter

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mission Vintage Stamps

When I went on the US Post Office's website to look at postage options for our save-the-date postcards, I was let down. All they had in terms of 27-cent postage was a sheet of tropical fruit stamps. Now, we're getting married at a ranch in Colorado with a subdued color scheme. Tangerine orange, banana yellow, hibiscus pink, and honeydew green with cartoon-y pictures of star fruit and papaya on them doesn't exactly match the mood we're going for.

Originally, I wanted vintage stamps. But when I started doing research, they seemed to be quite a bit above and beyond the price of postage. I couldn't justify spending $4.00 on 4 22-cent stamps when they should cost 88 cents.

First I checked Champion Stamp, a vintage stamp dealer who comes recommended by Martha Stewart all of the time. As you can guess, they had every stamp imaginable and even had them sorted into a neat little PDF catalog, but they were out of our price range.

My stationer, Sarah Parrott, recommended I head to the Sea Jay Stamp and Coin eBay store. Again, his prices were out of budget, but Sarah also had a piece of advice for me: "Jot down the Scott number and then type it into the search. You'll find other sellers with the same stamps at different prices." It worked. I sifted through Sea Jay's collection, noting the stamps I found most relevant to our invitations: American Horse Breeds, Daniel Boone, Colorado State, National Parks, Sheep, Wooden Ducks, American Folk Art, the list goes on and on. Basically, I was looking for anything outdoorsy, mountainous, farm-like, or Western. Then I typed in their Scott numbers and came up with sellers offering them for face value to well-overpriced.

I placed four orders: One sheet of 40 22-cent American Horse Breed stamps, one sheet of 40 6-cent Wolf Trap Farm National Parks Centennial stamps, 15 5-cent red Air Mail stamps, and random assortment of 46 22-cent stamps.

This was more than we needed, but I found a great deal on the American Horse Breed stamps: face value while other sellers had them for as much as $22. And we needed about ten more 22-cent stamps on top of the random assortment anyway.

This morning, after my fiance penned the addresses, we started affixing them. Piece of advice #1: Stick the stamps on before you address them. Some of the stamps were too big and started to cover up the addresses. Piece of advice #2: Find out how big the stamps are before you order them. The horse stamps we got (which were our fave) are way too big. They cover up the word "Postcard" a little bit. So, we're going to use up the random assortment of 22-cent stamps and only use a few horse stamps which is the opposite of what we had planned. And the random assortment is definitely, well, random: US Constitution stamps, Christmas stamps, Social Security Act stamps. You get the idea.

In the end, some of them look phenomenal, while others look, well, interesting. We'll save most of our horses for our invitations.

Was anything you ordered different from what you expected when it arrived?

Image 1 courtesy of the United States Postal Service
Image 2 courtesy of Martha Stewart
Image 3 courtesy of Sarah Parrott
Image 4 courtesy of eBay

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Swoon. Photography.

An photo-essay introduction (if you will) to our photographer, Nashville-based Tec Petaja.

I'll let the images speak for themselves.

All images courtesy of Tec Petaja

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Birdcage

It isn't an addiction. But every time I see a yard sale/garage sale/estate sale sign, I have to go. It's not like I'm there at 6:30 AM, bright and ready to scour through someone's old stuff. And I do agree with my fiance in his "garbage sale" terminology, but if I happen to be on my way somewhere and that bright orange/yellow/purple sign perks up at me from a street corner, I'm following its arrow. Here's why: I'm collecting vintage glass, ball jars, lanterns, and, apparently, a birdcage, for our wedding.

This weekend I stumbled upon a sale run by a couple who is moving to Mexico. Among their goodies were handmade glass bottles, a cake stand, and a birdcage that I just didn't want to leave without (see right).

Originally, I wanted to use it as a piece of decor--wire a couple of birds to the inside and some daisies to the outside and stick it on the escort card table. But after doing some research I'm getting all kinds of ideas for it.

The gift card holder:

As a candle holder (Except ours is wood. Not sure how well that would go down.):

Or as decor in our colors (see bottom right)?

Or in lieu of a guest book?

Which is your favorite?

Image 1 from Unknown (please tell me if this is yours and I'll credit you)
Image 2 from yours truly
Images 3, 4, and 5 from Snippet & Ink
Image 6 from Theresa Glenn Photography

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Evolution of Our Save-The-Dates

When I first saw Sarah Parrott's portfolio, I loved the vintage feel of her stationary. Tandem bicycles, lots of flowers, trees, and birds whizzed about her many custom creations. See some of her work below:
In designing our save-the-dates with Sarah, we went through several rounds of proofs. First, I sent her my inspiration, which were the images I blogged about here.

We chose to do a save-the-date postcard to keep postage costs down, as well as save money on printing and ordering.
These were the initial proofs she sent back. I originally told her I wanted hydrangea, but also wanted the horse that Ian drew and the script-y fonts. In the end, the horse and flowers didn't pair well.

On the second go-round, we wanted her to play with embellishments to give it a Western feel. This was also where we figured out our color scheme: white, creme, yellow and brown. She incorporated it here.

Third time's a charm. Sarah sent us our winning choice. We worked from PDFs up until we actually received our order, which made it difficult to actually imagine the postcard.

That said, here she is on Crane's Lettra paper. The two colors on the invitations are brown and shimmery gold ink.

Here they are!

We ordered vintage stamps from eBay, which I'll elaborate on next. There are so many ways to find vintage stamps--and you can even get them at face value (plus a couple of dollars for shipping).

How many rounds did it take you to get your save-the-dates right? Were they what you expected when you received them?