Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whale of a WHOOPIE!

As you know I'm a graphic designer who mainly designs custom invitations....but I also own a restaurant in Wakefield with my husband Peter called ZALEKS named after our boys Zac and Alec. We've been open now for 5 years and over the last couple of weeks we have been working on a mini makeover. I just finished redesigning all of our menu boards and soon will be re-painting the interior too! Peter gets a lot of requests from our customers wanting something he asked me if I could make some WHOOPIE PIES to test out. My first thought was NO.......I have way to much on my plate but then my second thought was OK, BUT only if you come up with a cool name that way I can design a logo, signage, and packaging.

After throwing around a lot of different names he called me one afternoon and said what about "Whale of a WHOOPIE" I thought it was perfect because whoopie pies are a very New England item and so is the extra bonus for me was I already had a whale created. Zaleks has a huge menu of everything but our niche is seafood so I felt the logo and color scheme really worked well with the overall feel of the restaurant.

I made my first batch of 14 chocolate whoopie pies and brought them in on a Monday at 4pm. They were displayed on the counter with an adorable sign and each of the whoopie pies were packaged with a round glittered logo. By 9pm Peter called to tell me that we had already sold 10 and that everyone not only liked the whoopie pies but LOVED the packaging...YEAH! As long as they continue to sell I plan on adding pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting and red velvet too.

I have to say I wasn't nervous about packaging the product....for me being creative is my comfort zone but when it comes to cooking.......let's just say if you happened to be at my Bridal Shower then you know there wasn't a shortage of jokes every time I opened a kitchen product. I CAN cook and bake but I am know where near as talented as my husband who is an amazing, self taught cook. For 16 years I have watch him cook for family, friends and customers never once looking at a recipe. I have seen his creative ability to come up with countless unique dishes for Zaleks daily specials each one out doing the next.

So if you happen to be in Wakefield stop by for lunch or dinner, bring your friends, a few bottles of wine (yes we are BYOB) sit inside or out and please don't leave without a Whale of a WHOOPIE PIE!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bansfield Baby Shower!

I don't often get to blog about what happens after the invitations are sent.....but lucky for me this event I was on the guest list. Feel free to go back and read part 1 "Oh Boy" this girl could use a party to see how it all began. Natasha is an event planner so of course she planned her own baby shower. Lets start with the location, the shower was an intimate gathering of close family and friends so she held it in her beautifully landscaped backyard.

 Under the white tent each table had a center piece of flowers wrapped in polk-a-dot tissue paper which picked up on the swiss dot paper used in the the invitations. Across the back of the tent was a clothes line which later would display all the cute outfits that she received as gifts. Once everyone was seated we were all given a cute basket accented with a blue napkin and a polk-a-dot bow on the front. Each basket had a bowl of vegetable orzo pasta, chicken balsamic roll-up and some grapes. It was such a great solution for eating outside......everyone received their own personal picnic basket........LOVE IT!

Next up was the cake, lets just say Cakes for Occasions in Danvers  is known in this area for doing great work, as you can see from the photos they did not disappoint. I love how it perfectly matches the belly from the invitations that I designed for Natasha. When it came to favors Natasha chose the bon bon box which is one of my personal favorites. Each box was filled with taffy and then wrapped with a black band and glittered button. She then stacked them with all the "b's" facing out creating a stunning look. To Natasha and Jay I wish you the best with the arrival of your new little man and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it:)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The GORMAN coming to town!

It's becoming very popular now for families to have ONE birthday party for all of their children rather than one for each. All the Gorman kids were born in the month of August so having a joint party was perfect. The idea for a carnival theme was brilliant based on the age range of children that would be coming. I was given full control of what the design would be as long as the color scheme was red and blue and it contained absolutely NO CLOWNS......Liam is afraid.....can't say I blame him either.

The main backing card was a red matte card stock called Geisha, the invite was printed on White Linen and the envelope was a stunning blue matte card stock called Aruba. Now that I had the card stocks picked out it was time to decide on the other elements. I knew I wanted to have some sparkle to the invite and felt the flags represented the carnival theme well and would look fabulous glittered. Next up was finding two fonts a carnival style and a more simpler one to compliment it. By having the text of the invite all parallel and mixing the two fonts it creates an element of design that works but is not over powering. I continued the use of the two fonts for the return address on the envelope as well as the optional custom address printing for the front of the envelope.

I had so much fun designing this invitation not only because I have always wanted to do a carnival theme but also because the clients were the GORMANS. This fabulous family consists of dad Joe, mom Krista, big brother Liam, twins Ryan & Anna.....oh and last but not least Greta the dog. If you read my blog then you know I consider it an honor to be a part of people's life moments, this has never been more true. Before Krista was the wife to one and mom to three she was my friend. I've known her now for twenty years and have been a part of many of her life moments not as a designer but always as a friend. It was an honor that she asked me to play both roles this time around:) So to you Krista, it's been a long road with many good memories and plenty of scary photos!