Friday, August 30, 2013

A Beautiful Ride

Today is my last day as an editor for Paper Crafts magazine. It's definitely a bittersweet moment. I'm excited for the next chapter to begin, but sad to be leaving friends that have become my family for the last seven years.

Paper Crafts Team, 2011
I'm officially saying goodbye over on Paper Crafts Connection. Here I'm sharing seven of my favorite pieces of memorabilia from a cork board that hangs in my cubicle. As you can imagine, I've collected a lot in seven years!

In Paper Crafts' July/August 2013 issue, I used one of the downloadable sentiments to create this Life is a Beautiful Ride Notebook:

Little secret about me and paper crafting...while I love cards, I really love the challenge of creating 3D projects. Everything from gift bags and boxes to gift card holders and mini albums. And don't even get me started on treat wraps and sacks! (Yes, Susan. I said sacks. And you can't edit it!)

But this happy little notebook perfectly sums up my time at Paper Crafts. It's been a beautiful ride. I've gotten the opportunity to do so many things. From writing columns, newsletters, and ad copy to managing a blog, web site and videos to seeing countless magazines go through countless stages of production, the list goes on. But one of the best perks has been the relationships I've cultivated with co-workers, readers, and designers alike. And that's been the beautiful part. I hope to continue these cherished relationships as I move on to the next big adventure.

Thanks for the ride!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Save the Dates That Saved the Day!

When it came time for my sister to send out her Save the Dates, Holly thought this would be a fun way to announce her destination wedding in California. And nothing says "destination" like an invite that resembles a plane ticket.

Since our dad is a pilot, he was able to work his magic and put her in touch with another pilot who flies private planes. After some smooth talking, Holly got the pilot to agree to a little photo shoot when the plane wasn't in use. My other sister Laurie was back as the photographer extraordinaire and Brent, well, he was back as the patient groom-to-be who agreed to put up with another Smith sister adventure. Noticing a theme here?

They didn't have a lot of time (an hour, at tops) and the sun was setting, so they had to work quickly. Once the photos were taken, the fun part began...incorporating them into a Save the Date that resembles a REAL plane ticket. And this is where the misery began for poor Laurie who had to change the text and images over and over until both Holly and I were satisfied.

Here's the front of the invite complete with rounded corners thanks to my corner rounder punch! If you look closely, the airline is Five Star, which is Holly's nickname. And the flight number is 705 for her wedding date, July 5.
And here's the back of the invite. The caption says, "Love is taking off! Will you join us for the ride?"
And no plane ticket would be complete without an American Airlines ticket jacket! You know, because Five Star Airlines is an affiliate of American Airlines (and we have a dad who can get them for free!).
Like I mentioned before, Laurie had the tough job of editing these Save the Dates. One night the three of us were on a conference call going over all the details. The call went on for over an hour and each time Holly or I would make changes, Laurie would edit the invite and then e-mail us an updated proof. I could tell Laurie was quickly losing patience and becoming more and more frustrated with us because the subject lines of her e-mails became more and more colorful...

Bite me
Just say it's fine
Burn in everlasting torment
I just took up drinking
You make me want to run away
I like myself less and less by the minute
I just started sucking my thumb again
I think I just swallowed a bunch of pills
All of the sudden I want to hurt myself
I keep tying my hair in knots
I ate my twin in the womb
Oh look! There's the gun I've been looking for
I'm in Charlie's crate in the fetal position
I just ate a bowl of dog food and I don't know why
Sometimes I want to run away

With material this good, I had to incorporate it into my maid of honor speech at the wedding. It had the crowd laughing hysterically and I got a lot of compliments later. Laurie wasn't too happy with me, but since she forfeited her right to give a toast, I just had to include her in it! Plus, going the funny route saved me from getting overemotional and doing one of those ugly sob speeches that lives on in video for ALL eternity.

This is one video I can't wait to see!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Beach-Bride-Birthday Weekend

What do you get when you cross a beach, a bride, and a birthday with buttercream frosted cupcakes? One crazy busy, crazy fun weekend! This past March, I headed to Orange County, CA to assist my baby sister with my middle sister's engagement pictures. And it just happened to fall over my birthday weekend. :)

I attempted to fly out on a Thursday afternoon using a standby pass. After unsuccessfully "standing by" for three flights, I was about to call it a day (or in this case, a weekend), when the bride-to-be gave me the best birthday gift...frequent flyer miles! The flight left the next day at the butt crack of dawn (not the best way to wake up on your birthday), but at least I was on my way.

Holly's wedding was booked for July 5 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. Because we wanted to take her engagement pictures near the surrounding area, we stayed at a nearby hotel. This was the gorgeous view of the Pacific from our balcony:

After a quick nap (cause the grumpy birthday girl needed one in a bad way!), it was off to meet with a few wedding vendors. After viewing countless tablecloths, overlays, seat cushions and napkins (who knew there were so many shades of purple?), we finished our business and went in search of some sustenance. And for the record, In 'N Out in California tastes much better than In 'N Out anywhere else.

Since the next couple of days were going to be busy with the engagement shoot, we cleared the evening of all wedding nonsense and went out to eat to celebrate my birthday. Our good friends, Jeana and her husband Eric, were able to join us for some yummy Mexican food. And for the record, Mexican food tastes much better in California than almost anywhere else. With the exception being Texas, of course, and most likely Mexico. :)

Not having access to a kitchen, my sister Laurie kindly asked Jeana to whip up my favorite cupcakes - vanilla with buttercream frosting! And Jeana did not disappoint!

Saturday was the big shoot! Holly wanted three separate locations (bistro, beach and dramatic art museum), so this meant three different outfit changes. While she was getting her hair and makeup done, Laurie & I met up with Jeana again to scout out a beach location. Being a local, Jeana knew the perfect spot: a section of Laguna Beach that offered up gorgeous landscapes and rocky backdrops.

And Jeana brought along the cutest scouts - her adorable sons Dane and Cole!

After shooting some fun bistro shots in Laguna Beach (sorry, I don't have any to share since I was babysitting our illegally-parked car!) we headed back to the beach. When it comes to photography, light is your most powerful tool, so it was a race to get these shots before the sun went down. And for the record, my main role in "assisting" the photographer was holding a flash. Big job!

Then it was a mad dash to Los Angeles for our night shoot. Holly wanted to take some dramatic shots at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, otherwise known as LACMA. Outside the museum stands hundreds of street lanterns. At night, their soft light creates the perfect romantic setting.

Besides the long-suffering groom, Laurie was the real unsung hero of this weekend. As you can see from the picture above, she went to great lengths to make Holly's vision come true. To see Laurie's professional pictures from this weekend, check out The Making of Mrs. Hendrix on the Laurie Ruth Photography blog.

And for the record, it was great birthday!