crafty girl {shabby sleek greetings}

It’s time for me to share a few more details on the Shabby Sleek Greetings project that I collaborated on with Maddy (of Inspired Bride) for Nonpareil Magazine. Get ready for loads of pictures!


Almost six months ago, Maddy and I met each other for the first time over a tasty dinner in downtown Minneapolis. We talked about design, blogging, her life growing up in New York, and my life growing up in northern Minnesota. The conversation also touched on the possibility of collaborating on a project of some sort. We tossed around a couple ideas, and over the course of the next several months stayed in touch.



Fast forward to February, my house, on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Maddy and I were sitting around the dining room table, up to our elbows in crafting supplies, and an abundance of creative energy buzzing through our veins. Together we planned, purchased and assembled the various elements of the greeting table we had dreamed up together.


On the day of the photoshoot, we headed to !Delaney Photography in Minneapolis. Now, before I go on, it’s essential that I give you a tour of this Amazing studio. Yes, it truly was Amazing with a capital ‘A’. Maddy and I were drooling over the details of this place. Check it out for yourself:





I love the mix of old and new, finished and raw.


Anyways, back to business… Once we arrived at the studio, Maddy and I laid out all of our materials. Our wonderful stylist, Nicole Uphoff, joined in the fun and began potting the small succulents.


Meanwhile, Maddy and I got busy working on the paper details.


Nicole is a professional stylist, and has been in the industry for 17 years. She was wonderful to work with and learn from. These are the various surfaces that she brought to the studio for us to choose from. We ended up shooting on the dark wood surface and one of the white shutters.


The wall that we shot against was painted the day of, using Restoration Hardware’s “Graphite”. While working together on this project at the cottage, Maddy and I agreed that we loved the warm gray tone in my bedroom, so we used the same paint color for our backdrop.


Styling each shot was an involved process that took into account placement and lighting. We combined the various elements that we wanted, and Nicole fine-tuned the details, with the help of Maddy, Arin Kukulis (another stylist/art director), and myself.


When the set was ready, several test shots were taken, and we tweaked as needed based on the results.


Here’s the whole gang (Arin, Nicole, Dan, and Maddy) checking photos.



We ended up shooting a total of seven sets/scenes. You can see them all by viewing the Shabby Sleek Greetings article (click on the right arrow to scroll through the pages). Once the photos were taken, Maddy worked her magic, and wrote up a fantastic how-to on the various elements of the greeting table, including the wishing tree, programs, escort cards and potted succulent favors. This, of course, all ended up on the virtual pages of Nonpareil Magazine!

This project was truly a joy to work on, and I learned a great deal about styling, and how art directors, stylists, and photographers work together. Additionally, I gained a great friend along the way. If you enjoyed seeing this project, you will be glad to hear that Maddy and I have already met and began planning our next collaboration for issue #4 of Nonpareil. Stay tuned!

*Last two photos taken by Dan Delaney of !Delaney Photography. Concepts and art direction by Maddy Hague and Bethany Hway. Styling by Nicole Uphoff. Additional style and art direction support by Arin Kukulis. Calligraphy by Xandra Zamora of XYZ Ink.

  1. Hilary says:

    This was so fun to see! There are so many bloggers out there that I feel like I know because I’ve heard your opinions and seen your images, but to get a behind the scenes look at a project coming together is truly a treat! Thank you so much!

  2. I’m getting excited for our project after seeing these photos! Great job again Bethany.

  3. Rachel says:

    Really gorgeous! I love the potted white branch with the cacti! Lovely lovely!

  4. I just stumbled upon your site via NP Mag. How great to find a fellow Minnesotan doing great, creative things. Fabulous behind-the-scenes post.

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