branching out and party planning

Despite a slow month in May and a bit of a continuing lull now that we're officially into summer, I have a lot of updates to share!  Following a brief break in early May, I was contacted by the PR company working for a high-end cosmetics company, hoping to find unique invitations and coordinating paper goods for a product launch event in early June.  Since business was slow at the time I was able to get a relatively small order of invites out in a week's time, from the day I sent the initial sample, through the design and proofing process, printing & assembly, to the client having the invites in-hand!  That's a personal best, for sure!  Here are a few images of the invite, customized using the Steampunk-inspired butterfly motif ensemble as a starting point, and additional components created for the event:

The following couple of images are from the event itself, starting with the menu card and place cards created to coordinate with the above invitation:

And, finally, a hangtag to accompany each of the favor bags for guests invited to the event:

As an unexpected perk, I received a couple of goodies from the client and I am now officially hooked on mascara I cannot afford!

I applied this overall event paper goods design strategy more recently to my son's 2nd birthday party this past weekend, beginning a few weeks ago with the invitation, now available in my shop:

My son is pretty enamored with trains, as you can tell, so I went with the popular theme, specifically using the Thomas the Train palette of blue, red, and yellow for the invites, favor tags and hangtags, and general party planning design.  It was a snap to plan the party and fill the goodie bags using this theme, the train paper punches used above, and continuing the primary color palette throughout!

These personalized hangtags are designed to be untied and reused as bookmarks!

A last-minute addition in the favor category were these custom color M&M favors for the parents to take home as well (it doesn't seem fair that only the kiddos get goodie bags!).  Using easy-to-find colors worked well here as well since I didn't have the time (or budget, frankly!) to order custom colors.  Instead, I just purchased a large bag of milk chocolate candies and sorted out the blue, red, and yellow M&Ms myself (and saved the orange, green, and brown for later!).


fresh from the Makery: I have a two-year-old

This post is an example of one of the few times in my life when I cannot easily compartmentalize events into one of three blogs: business, pleasure, or family. And since this blog has become a kind of junk drawer of my blogging activities, I figured it's as good a spot as any to share some of the projects I took on to celebrate my son's 2nd birthday this past weekend.

First priority, of course, was sending out the invites. Since my son is obsessed with trains, we went with the popular "choo choo, my kid is 2!" theme. He loves him some Thomas the Tank Engine specifically but I wanted to keep the theme a bit more general so I borrowed the franchise's palette only, working with primary colors and general train imagery.

I carried the train theme over to the other paper goods I created for the party, primarily the favors for the kids and their parents.

I got red and yellow canvas bags from Michael's and filled each with various train-themed goodies, including a conductor's hat, Thomas train whistle and stickers, and train-shaped straw cups, most of which I ordered from Birthday Express.  I decided to use the red bandanas I ordered with the hats in place of tissue paper in the bags (and I used the couple of extra bandanas I had on hand as part of the table decorations).  The hangtags are designed to be untied and re-used as bookmarks, if the guests are so inclined.

I'm a big fan of incorporating M&Ms into your event design whenever possible, but didn't have the time or budget to buy custom favors.  So I bought a big bag and sorted out all the red, yellow, and blue candies and made additional little favors for the parents to take home.

The party was a brunch affair, offering bagels, a quiche I picked up from a bakery that morning (Ladyfingers, if you're local), chocolate covered strawberries, juice, and coffee.  No party is complete without cake or cupcakes and to continue the brunch theme I found a bakery (again, if you're in the area, I highly recommend: James and the Giant Cupcake) that offers a couple of breakfast-y flavors, including "Smurf" or blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and French Toast & Maple Bacon.  The candied bacon was quite the conversation piece but not as popular with my veggie guests.  Who knew vegetarians wouldn't eat bacon?! (Which is pretty funny considering I kept that in mind on every other food point, ordering a vegetarian quiche over a meaty option, etc.)


And to top it off, I added a dozen mini cupcakes in the "Birthday" flavor - classic yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Mmm.

My original plan was to make cupcake toppers that coordinated with the other paper goods for the party but by about Tuesday last week I knew I wouldn't have time.  I've always wanted to try remelting and molding my own chocolates so I went with these edible toppers instead that spell out "Happy Birthday".  My only regret is that I didn't include my son's name anywhere in the cupcake presentation but he'll be getting a train cake this week when we celebrate again with his daycare buddies, so I have another chance to do right by him!


droidette does, too

Did you miss out on the "droidette" phone cozy giveaway a couple of months ago?

Well, you're in luck because now you can buy your very own Android phone case, customized with the Women with Droids "droidette" logo, in your choice of felt colors (or as shown, using charcoal gray, black, and orchid purple felt).  I'm still selling the basic and version 2.0 Android phone cases in my Etsy shop, but after the giveaway, the gals at the Women with Droids site asked if I'd be interested in making and selling the droidette version exclusively on their site.  Um, yeah.  And when you buy a case from them, you're supporting me and the site!