Saturday, May 21, 2011

New York Stationery Show 2011

Who knew that one day away from my design studio/dinning room would have me so behind that it has taken 5 days to FINALLY blog about my trip to the 2011 New York Stationery Show. Two years ago was the first time Liz White owner of Mason and Madison and I went and I can honestly say the experience is night and day. This year I felt more like a professional designer than a newbie which is nice for a change. Also joining us for the day was my son Alec's Flat Stanley.....he too wanted to go to the Stationery Show!

My first stop was of course to ENVELOPMENTS for me they're really special because deciding to join them literally changed my business and has made me a better designer. I was greeted by Maria head of customer service who actually looked at me before my badge which was refreshing I was excited because she recognized my company name.... that was huge, when you're a small designer sometimes you wonder if anyone knows you exist. I was able to sit down and chat with her as she filled me in on some fabulous new changes and products. What I LOVE about ENVELOPMENTS is the company.......they have a huge presence in the Stationery Industry yet you feel like your part of a family, it's even written on their website "welcome to the family". When I first inquired about joining I didn't speak to a random sales rep but one of the owners Mark Smith, that was three years ago and I've never looked back. They are constantly changing and offering their dealers the tools and inspiration that drives you to be a better designer. The recent release of their new line "Envelopments Gets Social"  hands down houses some impressive design inspiration. It goes without saying that Envelopments has a stellar design department which is evident by a recent blog posting that chronicled the hiring of a new designer but because they are so connected to their dealers you will often find them blogging about them. As a designer I value this feature, being creative is a gift and no two designers are ever alike. We may all be using the same paper but it's what you do with that paper that makes you different.

I was first introduced to Kristy Rice owner/designer of MOMENTAL DESIGNS via the Envelopments blog she is truly a gifted artist painting individual invitations by hand....yes I did say by hand. After reading about her I went over to her site to view some more of her work which was impressive and unique. This is my point if you look at the design inspiration Envelopments sends out then look at what their dealers/designers do with it the only thing that is the same is the paper. I was lucky enough to be at the NSS on Monday the day Kristy Rice was displaying her work in the Envelopments booth I was excited to see it in person and meet the artist who was super friendly.

I will spread some more vendor love in a minute but first I have to talk about "The Paper Runway" In partnership with Kate’s Paperie, this fashion exhibit reinforced the paper-fashion relationship by showcasing paper dresses from cutting-edge fashion designers. I took photos of my favorites but honestly seeing them in person was amazing you can not imagine the amount of detail used in designing was really inspiring and I hope that the NSS does it again next year.

As I walked the isles of the show it was incredible to see the amount of talent in one space and because I am a creative sharer I would like to tell you about some of the talented designers I met that day. After chatting with Michelle Wagner of The Artcraft Company my new printer she told me to go and visit Peyton & Clark I had first seen their work while visiting Artcraft and just LOVED their whimsical style so I decide to stop by and say hello. Bebbins Yudes's who is the talented artist behind Peyton & Clark was welcoming, friendly and took the time to tell me what they are all about. My next stop was MAY BOOKS creative genius Mica greeted me with a warm smile and was nice enough to take the time to show me her designs. The style of her products were fun, fresh and colorful, when I arrived home I checked out her website which has the best quote ever "Life is too short for ugly notebooks" I could not agree more.

Both Liz and I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Deborah Koncan the talented illustrator behind ANNSCOTTDESIGN. I love her drawing style, her use of colors and yes all those shoes. It's obvious that I embrace all things creative but for me Professional Illustrators/Artists are in a class all by themselves.....while in school for graphic design it was my Illustration teacher that I learned the most from. I once asked her how she got to be so good.......her answer was simple.....TIME,  the more you learn, the more you experience, the more you grow, the better you get.......she was right!

You've probably heard the phrase "it's a small world" well the world just got a whole lot smaller thanks to Facebook and Twitter........ahhhh social media LOVE IT or HATE IT it's here to stay and is changing how business is done everyday. I personally LOVE IT.....thanks to twitter I have met some really great designers and bloggers. I was first introduced to Sarah owner of HIP INK through Envelopments blog, they had featured her work which I liked so I went to her site and started to follow her blog.......which is SO FABULOUS, SO FUNNY and she strives on KEEPING IT REAL one post at a time. I knew right away that she was a creative was Sarah that told me about a great box company called Do It With More Options.....and a website called Let's Talk Stationery this is an exclusive forum for stationery professionals........Sarah told me it was the best 50.00 dollars she ever spent and she was right. I just joined yesterday and I already have two pages of welcome messages from other members....YEAH for NICE creative people:) Funny thing about social media is you tend to recognize people by their logo not their face.....which is so true, about late afternoon as I strolled down one of the many isles I could see a badge coming towards me that I recognized the logo....OMG it was Sarah from Hip Ink and behind that logo was the smiling face of my first twitter friend.......what a small world it is.

Stay tuned for part two........Fabulous Retail Finds.....these are the kinds of items you want to see when shopping:)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bridal Shower

It is never a good feeling to pull up the 7 day weather forecast and see rain drops and clouds straight across the board.......WELCOME to Springtime in New England. I have no idea when the sun will come back, but I do know that I can bring you a warm, bare feet in the sand kind of blog post to hopefully brighten your day:)

I don't always meet with my clients in person sometimes a design consultation is done over the phone which was the case with this recent bridal shower. Mother of the bride Kerry was planning her daughters upcoming bridal shower, her only instructions for the invite were tiffany blue, beach and simply elegant.......the rest she would leave up to me.  My first thought was the card stock.....if this design was going to be simple I felt one layer would be best. One of my NEW favorite card stocks is called powder it's thick with a firm texture to it. The name is so fitting because it's not a bright white but a more soft white. You can see how the texture of this card stock actually resembles the look of sand.

The envelope was a shimmery tiffany blue color called caspian which I also used as one of the ink colors. The favor at the shower is going to be a sand dollar so I decide to use one on the invitation and added some clear glitter to give it a little sparkle. I love how this invitation has so many subtle elements all coming together to create a simply warm elegant design and just for a little while has reminded me that behind all the clouds and rain lies the sun.....just waiting for it's turn to come out and shine.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CLASS of 2011

When you become a parent you automatically start to create a vision for your child's future which is fine while they are little but as we all know children grow up. One day you'll turn around and realize they've gone and created their own vision........and yes most often than not it looks nothing like yours. That being said at the end of the journey whether the visions match or don't really doesn't matter all any parent truly wants is for their child to be happy.

Melissa contacted me about invitations for her son Austin's upcoming Graduation from High all parents she is so proud of his achievements and wanted to celebrate them with a party for all their family and friends. She wanted something stylish but masculine, I began with a color palette of chocolate brown and cream, the main square backer was a shimmery bronze and the invite was a stunning textured cream called magnolia. Keeping with the stylish aspect I added chocolate glitter to the date of the party, then continued the design over to the envelope also in magnolia. By custom printing all the addresses for each guest gives this design a very finished look. At one point during our meeting Melissa said to me that she and Austin were a team and always have been.........I LOVE that because when I look at the design of their invitation that is actually what I see.........a perfect combination of two visions not exactly the same but in the end a result that leaves both of them happy:) Congratulations Austin! I wish you plenty of success in the future...........after meeting your mom I would expect nothing less.