What camera do you use? We blogged a full list of my camera equipment here. The biggest change since that list is that Elsie upgraded to a Canon 60d. We edit with Adobe Photoshop + Totally Rad Actions!
Who takes your photos? We take photos of each other for each Sister Style feature and most of our blog articles. Jeremy and Trey take our photos often. We recently posted some self portrait tips, as well.
What are your usernames on instagram? @elsiecake + @emmaredvelvet
For photo shoots do you create backdrops or scout places out? Both! We love to create our own backgrounds and sets for photo shoots. Most of our Sister Style photos are taken outdoors in found locations near our store or studio. We're always on the lookout for a cute wall around town.
I love your photography, can you share some tips? We love sharing photography tips. Here are a few favorite past articles on this subject- Tips For Lifestyle Photography, Tips For Capturing Emotion In Photos, 5 Tips For Indoor Photos, 5 Tips for Outdoor Photos, 10 Things Not To Do, Tips For Pet Photography, Tips For Outfit Photos, Tips for Photographing Your Home + 5 Tips For Food Photography.
What software do you use? We use Adobe Photoshop CS6 (along with Totally Rad Actions) to retouch our photos and create collages for A Beautiful Mess.
I'm new to blogging, can you give me advice? (elsie) I shared some tips here and co-wrote an article for new bloggers with a blogger I mentored here. The best piece of advice I can give to a young blogger is to spend time developing your writing voice and point of focus. Spend time figuring our your photography style and try to find your personal best! Create something new that reflects your interests and the things that make you unique. Being good at anything takes time, and blogging is no different. Keep going, be consistent and make small goals for yourself. If you'd like to hear more, I've written an entire e-course about blogging! It's called Blog Love.
How did you design your blog? Is there a template I can use? We designed our blog from scratch in collaboration with Ryan Strong. We recently released an e-course called Blog (Design) Love that teaches design and coding skills for blogger, typepad and wordpress.com blogs!
Can I post your D.I.Y. or recipe project on my blog? Yes, but please follow these guidelines... You can post one photo of our finished project with a link to our original blog post. You also have our permission to pin our photos on Pinterest.
DO NOT post the entire content of any blog post, D.I.Y. step-by-step photos or written instructions without written permission. A Beautiful Mess is protected by copyright laws.
I want to grow my blog. How did you build a readership? (elsie) I built a readership over the course of many years. Some things that have worked for me are focusing on quality posts that take a lot of time to write and develop, being consistent (I've been posting almost every day for several years) and being myself. The blog evolves as I (and now Emma) evolve... it's slow and steady. I spend a lot of time planning and developing the ideas you see here on the blog. Nothing happened overnight. I have never paid a penny to advertise A Beautiful Mess, I just kept doing my best and a readership developed over the years. It's the product of hard work, constant evaluation and lots of love.
Do you read your followers blogs? Yes! I click around almost every day. I follow links in my comments and comment back as much as I can. I love my readers and have met some of my best friends through the blogging community!
What are your favorite blogs? See our daily reads here.
Can you blog more about your everyday lives? For the past few years I've been asked this more and more. This is why we created Everyday Elsie + Everyday Emma. They are two separate blogs with separate feeds. We use them to blog about our everyday lives, mostly in photos. We hope you enjoy them!
I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but I got an error message... I inquired with the Typepad team about this issue and here's what they said, "The 'we're sorry, we cannot accept this data' error is most often caused by the web page being left open for a long time. So, when someone goes to leave a comment, the session ID associated with that comment form becomes invalid and the error appears." Try refreshing your page before trying again.
Why are comments on older posts closed? We started getting tons of spam on really old posts. It was too much to keep up with moderating, so we chose to close comments on blog posts older than 1 month. If you have a question that's not answered, you can still e-mail us! support AT redvelvetart DOT com
Can I interview you for my blog/class project/online publication? Although Emma and I would love to fulfill every single request we get for interviews and features we are not able to take on any more at this time. We are trying to conserve our energies for our blog, our upcoming books and our business.
I want to submit an idea for A Beautiful Mess. Who do I e-mail? We would love to see your ideas, but please read these instructions very closely before e-mailing. At this time we ONLY accept the following... 1. Article Requests! If you have a DIY idea or question you'd like us to answer send it our way and we will add it to our running list. 2. Photos of your ABM projects. If you have made one of the projects from A Beautiful Mess (especially with your own twist) please send us photos or a link to your blog! We would love to see them and occasionally we will share some of our favorites here on the blog. 3. Project Restyle. You can send before/after versions of items you have restyled. These can be fashion projects or decor! Note: When submitting photos please send 800-1000 pixels across images that are your best quality photos. Please do not send photos that have fonts on them. At this time we ONLY accept your questions, ABM DIY projects and Project Restyles. Due to the high quantity of submissions we receive we do not send regrets, we will contact you within two weeks if your submission is a great fit for ABM. Email: submit AT redvelvetart DOT com Thanks so much!
I love all your vintage dresses. What are your vintage shopping secrets? Thanks so much! Thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies, since the age of 16! Here are some of my thrifting secrets. These days I own a vintage store, so I sneak a lot of dresses from there too.
When is your next collection coming out? Our newest collection is currently for sale at ModCloth.com! We have two really exciting collaborations in the works for spring/summer 2013... so stay tuned for more details!
Will you draw me a tattoo? (elsie) I wish I could! It's extremely sweet and flattering when people want me to design them a tattoo, but right now I don't have enough free time to take on tattoo commissions (or any kind of commission). Feel free to use any of my art work or designs for your tattoos. Your tattoo artist can always customize it for you if you want different words or colors. You don't even have to ask my permission, but I would love to see it when it's done!
Do you plan to sell paintings again in the near future? (elsie) Yes. I am finally working on a new collection of paintings and prints! They will launch in spring of 2013. We can't wait to share all the new designs!
I saw on FB you are selling the local store. Is this true? Yes. The shop will be closed to the public on September 1st. We are prepping for a big estate sale of all our remaining inventory, that should take place in early October. We will post the extact dates once we have them confirmed!
I want to start a boutique like yours. Do you have any tips? Yes we do, see here.
I'm coming to Springfield! Do you have a list of fun places I should visit? Yes, welcome to our little town! Here's a list of a few places we love...
To Shop/ We love Funtiques, which just moved to a new location downtown. If you're in the mood for flea markets we recommend S.T.D. Flea Market (I know, crazy name... they have two locations, central and east) and Relics Antique Mall.
How old are you? I'm 29. My birthday is in November.
Do you dye your own hair? What color is it? Sorry, I don't dye my own hair these days. I had way too many accidents with hair dye and now prefer to get it done professionally. It saves me so much time and stress. If you live in my area, I go to Tandra at RetroPolitan Salon in Ozark. I highly recommend her. I get a different shade of reddish brown and new 1970s bangs every other month and I always love the little changes. She does great work!
What is a normal day in your life like? I wrote my first day in the life post recently.♥ More coming soon!
Did you change your last name? Yes. In May of 2011 I was married and became Elsie Larson.
What does Mr. Larson do for a living? Jeremy is a songwriter and producer. He has his own solo music (check Jeremy Larson on iTunes to listen) and he writes string arrangements and instrumentation for other bands. Recently he has collaborated with Switchfoot, Mutemath, Sleeping At Last and Eisley. He's also in a band called Sucré. He's incredibly talented and I'm very proud of him. You can see his website here.
What is your ethnicity? My mother was born in Caracas, Venezuela. My grandmother is Venezuelan and my grandfather was American. I'm 1/4 Venezuelan and the rest of my family has lived in the midwest for many generations.
Do you and Jeremy want to have children? Yes. Becoming parents is one of our goals, though not immediate. It will most likely be a few more years before you see a little Larson baby around here!
Do you plan to stay in Springfield, Missouri or move to a larger city? We plan to stay. We love our little town and are deeply rooted here. With that said, we travel as often as possible!
How old are you? I'm 26.
I heard you are vegetarian? Do you really never eat meat? Nah. I will occasionally eat meat, usually fish. So really I’m a pescatarian but I often just say vegetarian to avoid confusion. But since we’re all friends here… :) I probably eat a vegetarian diet 90% of the time, otherwise known as the cheater’s version of vegetarianism. But I like the idea that I’m helping the environment by moving myself down the food chain, not to mention that I do not like supporting factory farming or other unsustainable industries. If I’m eating out with friends and there is a half-way decent vegetarian option on the menu I will probably get that. Otherwise I may order some meat and I won’t beat myself up about it the next day.
Oh, and I have absolutely no issues with eating eggs or diary. I prefer organic and locally raised, but I’m not a saint about that either.
Can I substitute ______ for ______ in your recipe? I don’t know. If there is something that I know can be easily substituted I will usually note this. Otherwise, I simply haven’t tried the particular substitution that you wish to try so I really couldn’t say if it will work well or not. If you think it will, try it. I am a big believer that cooking and baking should be a fun adventure full of triumphs and mishaps.