Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulous In Full Force North of Boston

For two years I have followed all the events that Julie Fairweather owner of In Full Force was behind, waiting for the right one to participate in. I was so excited when I learned that In Full Force would be doing another Fabulous North of Boston event. It was held under a tent located at the Harbor Marina in Newburyport. This event was meant to showcase everything that is cosmopolitan on the North Shore and I knew it would be the perfect place to showcase my work. When I first arrived I found my table and began to set up, within a few minutes I was approach by two different individuals offering to help me unload my car and seeing if I needed nice! An added bonus for me was finding out my friend Natasha of Natasha Bansfield Events was one of my neighbors...YEAH!

 I have done shows before but this was my first really big one, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. June 10th arrived and so did the rain, but that didn't stop the incredible turn out of people. Just as the event kicked off I looked outside and it was down pouring but the harder it poured the more people filled the tent.....which totally amazed me. One of the genius ideas of In Full Force was having the fashion show in the tent with all the displaying vendors this is important because as a participating vendor you are there to showcase your product and network, having it separated would clearly make it impossible for vendors to keep people at their tables.

After doing so many small shows over the last two years I've learned what you need to keep people interested. I had a full display of my cash and carry line as well as a lot of my custom samples. I decided to do a free raffle and because it was June I thought a teacher gift would be smart. The bucket contained a paper weight, melamine plate, bookmark and note cards all from my "teachers give a hoot" line. Liz White of Mason & Madison put together all my glittered goodies in the perfect bucket. Congrats to Helen Santos of Beverly she was the lucky winner of my raffle.

If you read my blog often you know that a lot of my designs are glittered by hand, with so many vendors in one area I felt the need to stand out therefore handing out my regular business cards would not do. I decided to get candy bars and make a custom wrapper with my hot pink glittered B on the front and my info on the back.....hoping it would leave a lasting impression. Liz was kind enough to brave the rain to come out and help at my table that night, standing in the middle of the tent passing out my candy bars and directing people to my display.

The main host for the evening was Billy Costa, and yes I am a HUGE FAN so it was a really big moment for me when I got to meet him and show him my designs, Liz of course gave him my candy bar and later when he was on stage speaking he gave a little shout out to my table......OMG that totally made the 3 hours I spent glittering and assembling 72 candy bars.....well worth it! So to Julie of In Full Force and all her peeps thank you, despite the rain, I had a great time and met a lot of nice people.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mason & Madison

I clearly remember Mason and Madison's grand opening last year, outside it was a cloudy rainy day but inside it was anything but filled to capacity with family, friends, and new customers all braving the weather to come out and see Middleton's new gift boutique. They say rain is good luck....must be because one year later at Mason and Madison's First Birthday celebration the sun was shinning inside and out and so were all the people that came out to celebrate. Liz put together an incredible party of everything sweet and you can see from the photos I wonder if she should be an event planner as well as a business owner.

One thing I have learned about Liz is she is meticulous, always thinking ahead. Since she opened a year ago she has changed her store display probably 15 times and has had over 12 different local artisans displaying their work. I have personally watch Liz offer her time, advice and knowledge to everyone of her local artists so that their products are shown in the best light. Every time I come in she has a new product or is working on a new strategy to keep her store one-of-a-kind.

I came into the Mason and Madison family wearing a few hats. First, I am the invitation/stationery consultant for all of Liz's customers. Second, is handling any graphic design projects Liz may need for the store or her local artisans. My last hat is of course my favorite..... friend! So to you Liz Happy First Birthday, I think we make a great team and have accomplished a lot in a year together as well as individually. Here's to many more
successful years to come:)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

When life hands you WHITE LINEN........

It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I starting working with Liz White of Mason & Madison. She wanted to throw a first birthday celebration for her store and the original plan was "cupcakes and cocktails" with a black linen pocket fold that would hold the invite, VIP card and then be inserted into a bubble gum pink shimmery envelope. However, like many clients Liz had a change of heart with regards to her idea and really wanted to change it to a Candy Land themed party. I LOVED the new idea but there was not enough time to order new card stock. So two white linen flat cards and one shimmery pink envelope is all I had to work with. As a designer it's situations like these that really challenge you to tap your creative skills.

I decided the color scheme for the inks would be bubble gum pink and apple green. For the invitation I created two pieces of candy that were hand embellished with clear glitter allowing the bubble gum pink to shine through. The most challenging piece for me was the VIP card because it was the same white linen card stock as the invitation but just a bit smaller. VIP as we all know means "very important person" this piece needed to be unique but still coordinate with the main invitation.

My first thought was to make it a circle cut out with a stick giving the look and feel of a lollipop but as I sat on the floor of my office I noticed one of my check ribbons. This green and pink ribbon is the first ribbon I ever bought when I started designing. I LOVED it so much that I bought 3 rolls which was a good thing because as I looked at the white linen card stock, the ribbon and my circle punch the perfect solution came to me. As you can see the VIP card actually resembles the glittered candy from the invite. I needed the "VIP CUSTOMERS" line to stand out so I chose a similar candy style font that resembles the one used in the Candy Land Game. The cards were printed first, then the four corners were punched out and finally finished with a bit of trimming.........TADAH!

Last stop was the envelope......thankfully it was not white linen but I felt it needed something special to tie everything together. Printed envelopes always give a more completed look therefore all 50 VIP guests received a custom printed envelope that had their name in the Candy Land font. I was so pleased with the end result and most importantly so was Liz. So my advice is "when life gives you white linen.......embrace the challenge because it will help you become a better designer.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oh "BOY" this girl could use a party!!!!!!!!

I met Natasha a little over a year ago and it was a match from the very first meeting not only on a business level but as a friend. Natasha is an event planner so of course she is planning her own baby shower. When she first talked to me about invites she was thinking nursery rhymes but then decided to switch gears and make it more about being pregnant, which was smart because after the baby is born you pretty much take a backseat to everything. I was so excited when I first learned that she was pregnant but even more excited because she would be finding out what she was having......BOY'S RULE!!!!!!!!!

The release of envelopments new card stocks and favor boxes could not have come at a better time, from the moment I received my samples I knew exactly what I would use for Natasha's baby shower invites. When we met she decided that the belly dress would be perfect. I am always careful when mixing pattern card stocks with glittered artwork because it sometimes can come across as too much.

I fell in love with First Snow Swiss Dots the minute I saw it and new that it was a simple enough pattern to accent the glittered belly perfectly. I used Coal as the main backing card, Caspian as the invite backer and then printed the invitation itself on First Snow. In order for the belly and the dots to work they needed to have slight separation which is achieved by using the pattern not on the invitation but on the envelope liners and then again on the favor boxes. You can see from the photo that all components are perfectly balanced. For the matching thank you notes I didn't want to use the word "thank you" so instead I borrowed a phrase from a really funny T.V. show that since has been canceled.......notes from the underbelly!

The bon bon favor box is the most adorable box I have ever seen.......everyone I show it too loves it. I wanted the box to have a sash and a custom glittered button. The "b" actually symbolizes three things, the first is Natasha's last name which is Bansfield, second is baby, and third is boy. Even though Natasha went with the box for her favors another option would have been the custom candy wrapper which is also super cute.

Invitations are an important element to any's a sneak peak at what your guests can expect. It's not often that I get to witness the entire event come together but I feel very lucky that I am on the guest list for this one. I will have a part 2 to my blog displaying pictures of all the other beautiful elements of Natasha's baby shower, especially the custom belly cake that is being made......stay tuned!