Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Need Your Help! Adult Birthday Party Designs

Creating invitation designs for kids is always a blast and so easy.  Boys like trucks and superheroes and Girls like tea parties and dressing up.  But when it comes to adult invite designs I find myself stumped.  Especially designing for women.  So today I want to brainstorm with my readers and find some designs that will really work my clients.

I recently ran a post on facebook and had a fabulous response to my men's designs.  Two of my photog friends provided not only fabulous ideas but also images that I could use to create the ideas.  One of my friends also came up with the idea of classic cars.  This one has always been hard for me because most men want their own classic car in the illustration. (something I can do but really ups the cost) But the more I thought about it all I have to do is pick a few classics and we can always adjust the colors.  This way I am able to get to some of them.  So now I have two new invite design ideas but I need so many more!!!  What are your ideas for a perfect guy's birthday party invite?

Now the hardest one, women's designs.  One of my favorite ideas from facebook was Old Hollywood! That one came from my client Kimberly.  Some of the other ideas were great but I already have designs created around those ideas.  So what I am looking for is what would be your perfect birthday party invitation? I want to know what would you be wearing? Would you be sipping on a cocktail or how would you be posed? What colors would you use? What would you have in the background?

Send me your ideas!  The best idea will win a $25 Gift Certificate!  To win please "follow" my blog and post your ideas in the comment field under this post!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stock the Wine Cellar Wedding Shower

My best friend's wedding is coming up in August. As the Matron of honor it is my duty to throw the wedding shower.  A duty which I take very seriously! Now as a creative type the bar is held very high for me and I plan to leap over it! This is Tracey's second marriage and she is forever "29".  So between her and her fiance they have most of the things they need.  To make the gift giving fun I decided to make this a "Stock the Wine Cellar" shower.

Although my theme is absolutely fun it also has a big black hole that I don't want to fall into!  This event could very quickly turn into a menagerie of bad vintage looking wine prints with grapes as gifts. Tons of knick nacks in the shape of grapes and wine barrels. You get the point pretty much every wine related decoration under the sun.  So when creating the invitation I wanted to give the feel of wine without saying "Hey let's decorate.".  So I avoided anything with a vintage worn feel and kept it more modern and fresh.  The shower is going to be held in my backyard. To give it an airy feel I made the background sky blue and kept the grape leaves a brighter green.  I put Tracey in a white dress but one that is more casual and not an exact replica of her dress.  A glass of cold white wine in her hand and a gorgeous flower with feathers in her hair were the final touches.

When I created the wording for the invitation I had a hard time finding something that would work for my theme. To add to the text I decided to add a toast I found online.  There were a lot of good ones.  The first is my favorite but I added a few more to inspire you as well!
  • I would like to make a toast to
    lying, stealing, cheating and drinking.
    If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend.
    If you’re going to steal, steal a heart.
    If your going to cheat, cheat death.
    And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.”
    - Anonymous 
  • As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.
    - Unknown
  • May your troubles be less
    and your blessings be more
    and nothing but happiness
    come through the door 

When you are finishing up your text make sure to invite your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine for the happy couple.

The decorations for the party will be themed around the brides wedding colors of fuchsia and lime green. I love that I get to have the party at my house. In the front yard will be a matching lawn sign confirming the party's location.  My backyard has slightly two different levels. On our small octagon deck will be all the appetizers under our big umbrella next to the small pond. I will be adding grapes to the table to add to the wine theme. On the lower level will be two white car port tents set up on the grass.  The card tables will be set up under and around the tents.  Each table will be covered in a different table cloth in shades of pink, green or both.  On the tables will be vintage non matching cake stands with home made gorgeous cupcakes. I am taking my favor labels backing them with cardstock and using lollipop sticks to insert them into the cupcakes.  I'm going totally retro with the decorations and purchasing pink and green honeycomb wedding bells mixed with crepe paper.  These I will hang from the the inside and outside of the tents.

For your drinks of course there has to be lots of wine but don't go overboard! I recommend picking one wine and one red. Any type of Riesling is always a crowd pleaser for a white wine. For a red go with Cabernet.  Make sure to keep the bottles all the same brand unless you plan on having a wine tasting.  For my event I wanted to make it a little more fun and self serve.  I am doing a red sangria and white wine spritzers.

Happy Planning! And make sure to check out my website for any of the items listed in this blog!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wedding Shower Decorations!

Creating a fabulous wedding shower is easy with decorating ideas like this!  The cake stand I purchased for under $5 at a local thrift store.  This could also be a great gift for the bride as well.  I definitely cheated, these are store bought cupcakes! I purchased lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart and cut them in half.  My custom labels were then stuck to the sticks.  You can also purchase a circular punch and layer the labels with colored cardstock.  The labels also worked out great for the favor bags and gift boxes.  And of course I couldn't stop there.  I purchased the paper cups for a $1.50 for a pack of 10 and added the custom labels to those. I absolutely love the place cards. They are printed front and back.  Not only do they add to your decor they also help to keep your party and guests organized.  You can check out my label designs at http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/labels.html

Everything you Need to Decorate your Baby Shower

My day started out shopping.  Looking for some basic items that could be dressed up with my new labels.  The labels are professionally printed onto label sheets and come 12 to a sheet. They are 2.5" round.  I found endless possibilities.  There were paper cups, gift bags,  gift boxes...  I had so much fun collecting the items.  For the cupcakes I used lollipop sticks and attached the labels to those.  I would recommend cutting a circle of cardstock to go behind the label.  I love the place cards at each seat. They are printed front and back.
Check out the designs available  http://takeitpersonallybychristine.blogspot.com/2010/05/wedding-shower-decorations.html

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to use your Business Cards

This week I created the business card design for one of my contestants DP Photography.  Dionicia's business cards went from plain jane to fabulous and professional!  The final design was such a contrast.  Now she has the tools to promote her company.  But not everyone knows how to use their business cards correctly.

Many of my customers purchase 250 business cards and it takes them at least a year to go through them.  On the one hand some people may think that is great less money spent.  But in reality those business cards are multiple advertising opportunities that have been missed.  My company goes through at least 250 business cards every three months.  My goal is 250 per month.  Now you are probably thinking how can I give out 250 cards in even six months?  Let's cover all the great ways you can get your card out there and in customer's pockets.

The first thing is be prepared!  How many times have you had a conversation about your business with someone at the grocery store or a party and didn't have your cards on you?  I like to keep cards in my purse (wallet), keep a stack in your car, give a stack to family members you see often and when at parties keep a few in your pocket.  This way you are always prepared to advertise your business.

I am a huge fan of networking events!  I attend as many as possible.  The biggest mistake people make at these type of events is failing to give out their cards.  When you strike up a conversation with someone make sure you give them your card!  If you have a knockout design it is going to make an impression on this person.  The more you hand out the more those individuals will remember you.  And a strong design will have them talking!

As much as I love to cook I also adore eating out!  There is a place in town I frequent and the last time I was there a waitress told me she checked out my website after getting my card and loved it!  The next time you are out at a restaurant and you receive great service leave your card with the tip.  On the back of your card write a nice note about how you enjoyed your experience.

If you sell retail items either online or in a storefront you have tons of opportunities to get business cards in your customer's hands.  If you have a storefront include at least two cards in every bag with the customer's purchases! With every purchase from my website I include a minimum of two business cards and one coupon card.  Many people say their friends always ask where they got their invitations from.  Well now they have an extra card or two they can give to their friends.  Word of mouth is powerful advertising.  Why not give your clients the tools to promote you!

And finally the fish bowls!  You have seen them everywhere.  Win a free lunch when you drop your business card in here. I love this!  Not only do you get the opportunity to advertise you can get free lunch.  And when I get free lunches I make sure to take out my clients!

Now you have all the tools to use your cards effectively!  So get them out there and start reaping the rewards!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Small Investment Big Payoffs

Recently I ran a contest on facebook. Contestants posted a pic of their current business cards. The winner received a completely new design and 250 business cards. When I looked at each design as they came in the first thing that came to my mind is what does this person do? My next thought was it doesn't look like they enjoy what they do. Many of the designs were just stock and basic with all the basic info name, email and phone number. Some were even the Vista Print stock designs. One of my most hated because anyone can have the same image as you. One thing was the same about all of them. Not one of them stuck out they all blended together.

When you start your business it is hard to determine the best places to invest your money. Unfortunately the creation of a brand for your company is usually the last thing to be considered. Your branding should be one of the first things you consider when you start your business or are looking to refresh it! Your brand is like an invitation it is the first thing your clients see before the party starts. You want that invitation to give them the best impression before they meet you. Your logo is a great way to communicate who your company is and what you can offer your clients. A mistake that many companies is not all marketing materials match. There is a design for the business cards which was free from one company. Then there are the brochures that your Aunt Suzie designed for a small fee. And the post cards that were free off of Vista Print. The pricing sounds nice but the message you are sending to your customers is very confusing. Unless you have 3 different companies there is no reason to have 3 different images.

Are you ready to get excited about your business? My recent client Melanie owner of Salon Indulgence wanted a new look but just didn't seem very excited. In our first meeting I warned her that this process would definitely inspire her. In a recent email from her she said "I want to say thank you again for this you really have gotten me excited about my business again!" It is amazing what a new look can do not only for your company but for you!

When you are ready to start take the time to get an idea of what your want your logo to say. It is time to make sure your company stands out. Out of all the salon's in your city what makes you stand out? Is it the young hip vibe and unique hair designs that walk out the door? Or is it the classic sleek look that you give your clients? This should be represented in your logo and branding. I always recommend to my clients to look at other logo designs that they admire and bring them to me. Your company doesn't have to replicate those designs but it helps your designer understand your style.

My company Take it Personally by Christine offers fabulous logo design. One of the most unique items I offer is the "Cartoon" logos. This design style is great for businesses that the person/owner is the product. For example a realtor, hairdresser or contractor. The best part about this type of design is as soon as you hand the person your card they do a double take. It is so unexpected. And then they exclaim "That's you!". Now you have made an impression with the client.

Ready to get started? Check out my website for more info. For as little as $125 you can get started on a fresh new look! http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/business-cards.html
Make sure to check out the before and after of Salon Indulgence.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jaime's 6th Pizzeria Birthday Party

My little Jaime is now officially 6! The party was a huge success. This is the first birthday party Jaime has had with her friends from school. It was so cute to see each girl arrive in her party gear with gifts in hand.
Upon their arrival each girl received their personalized apron so they could get started in the pizzeria. The aprons were created by my friend Marrissa at The Couture Baby www.thecouturebaby.com . Each apron was embroidered with "Jaime's Pizzeria" and an appliqued J with checkered material to match the invitations. We purchased individual pizza crusts and had each girl make their own pizzas. To make the process go smoothly I marked the bottom of each plate with their name. Once they assembled their pizza they brought it into the cook to put in the oven. It was hilarious to see what was brought in the kitchen. No sauce, no sauce no cheese and one little girl didn't want her's cooked!
Of course we needed to make sure and have desert. My sister in law had baked cupcakes the night before. We frosted them before the party. So when it was time for desert each girl was able to decorate their own cupcake. Now that is a sweet ending.
My only advice to those having their first birthday party with a lot of little ones... make sure you have back up plans. We had the girls at the house for 3 hours which ended up being too long. Lunch didn't take as long as we had anticipated. So have lots of fun activities planned.
If you would like to have your own pizza party make sure you check out my matching invitations and banner.

Happy Planning,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tattoo Hearts and Roses Make Great Wedding Invites

This design was inspired by classic tattoos. My goal in creating this design was to reach "Alternative" brides with my work. And with some of those brides comes tattoos. So I thought of making my design based on some classic tattoo designs. Hearts, flames, roses, all symbols of love. And tattoos of course are permanent like love.
Matching programs are also available!
You can check out these designs on my website.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bridal Shower Ideas

Throwing is one of my favorite types of parties to throw. My best friend is getting married this summer and as the matron of honor I get the pleasure of throwing her shower! More details will be disclosed on that later this spring. If you are throwing a shower here are a few things you will want to consider. Location, food, guest list, decorations and games to name a few.

So let's start with the location. So what are the options. Your home or another family member's home, your backyard, banquet hall, local restaurant, local park or your local city center. This will also be determined by your guest list. If you have 30 or more guests having the shower at your house is not a good idea. Now if planning an outdoor shower keep in mind the weather and have a backup plan. Outdoor showers are great for a tea party theme!

Now my favorite part of the event Food! I have been to my fair share of showers and I must say I have only been impressed by one. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and this shower was a brunch. They served quiches, breakfast bakes, banana bread,mini muffins and mimosas. The best way to impress your guests is to get creative in a simple way. Instead of a big huge meal serve appetizers but make them a mini version of the original. I like mini sandwiches and tiramisu served in tea cups. If you are having it at a restaurant or catered ask if they can do tapas. Similar to appetizers, they are plates full of mini bites served to each table. They can also be served in courses. Another favorite is serve a signature drink. It doesn't have to alcoholic but it should be fun! My biggest piece of advice is avoid items like taco dip and boring veggie trays. We have seen them at a million showers.

Onto the subject of games. I am going to have to admit I am not a big fan. Some hosts get crazy and have 5 or more games to play. That is just too much. Especially when the games are centered around questions about the couple. There are a lot of guests who won't know most of the answers. If you are going to do a quiz on the couples I recommend making them multiple choice and no more than 5-8 questions. If you absolutely have to have games keep them simple and do 3 or less games. Your guests will thank you :)

To be continued.....

Make sure to check out my wedding shower invite designs at www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

Save the Date Announcement Tips for Brides

The world of weddings have definitely changed. And in that change has come the arrival of Save the Date Announcements. If you ask your mother when she sent out her save the dates she is might look at you a bit funny. There are brides who want to know what the save the date actually is, who do I send it to, what information is needed, and other related questions. Let's get those answered.

Destination weddings are a large part of why save the dates have become necessary for weddings. These type of weddings normally require a large investment from the guests due to travel expenses. Save the dates allow the guests time to prepare financially. But what about the rest of the brides? Can they indulge in this fun new tradition? Absolutely! They are a great way for your out of town guests to prepare for your wedding. It also helps to make sure your wedding is placed into your guests' calenders before other events!

Now who should you send them to? For a destination wedding I recommend sending them only to the guests invited to the actual wedding. If you are having a reception afterwards send a separate invite announcing your marriage. For a local wedding save the dates should be sent to guests who are invited to the entire wedding.

What information that should be included on the announcement? The date, location of the wedding, names of the bride and groom, and a note "formal invitation to follow". For destination weddings it is also helpful to include the hotel you are staying at or recommended accommodations. If you have a wedding website set up that information can be included as well. Do not include registry information on the announcement. If you have a registry then set up a wedding website where the guests can access that information.
When should they be sent out? It is recommended that you send them out no earlier than 6-9 months before your date.

Many brides ask if the save the dates have to match the actual invitation. They definitely can match and some brides prefer they do. But this is also a time to have fun with your announcements. My favorite designs is my Getting Hitched design. http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/904-hitched-save-the-date-magn904.html
The bobble head feel and the cute little church are so fun! Another idea I love is during your engagement session have your photographer photograph you and your fiance holding a large card that says "Save the Date". You can then order cards through your photographer to send your guests. One of my favorite photographers is Amy Zellmer with Custom Creations Photography. http://www.customcreationsphotography.com/

What options do brides have? The announcement can be as simple as a regular sized invitation. But the most popular option now are magnets. Magnets can be purchased in different sizes and give the announcement another use.

If you are not having a destination wedding save the dates are not required. But with all the options they are too much fun not to send. Happy Planning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Little Superheroes!

My customer Meredith has the cutest twin boys. One of them loves superman and the other is more of a batman guy. So we adjusted the colors of the outfits to work for her needs. The final design turned out so cute! These little superheroes can come save the day anytime I need help!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Wedding Invitations

This coming week is going to be very exciting. I have been on a few bridal forums and have found that a lot of brides have much smaller budgets for their invitations. Now a $250 budget should not prevent a bride from getting fabulous invitations for 100 people. I haven't had much luck with getting reasonable pricing from local printers. But I contacted a company I have worked with once before to see how they would quote what I am looking for. They came back with some amazing pricing. So this week I will be sending them a few designs for them to print up for me. If the samples turn out great I can really be competitive with some of the big name invite companies. And the best part is that I can accommodate almost every bride! I will keep everyone posted on the details!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ahoy Ahoy It's a Boy!

I have had the pleasure yet again to work with my dear client Carrissa. She is an up and coming event planner. I had the pleasure to work with her on a couple events including her best friends wedding shower and wedding. Now I had the honor to work with her on a custom design for her baby shower invitations. Her nautical theme and inspirations pieces were so fun to work with. The final design is a perfect invite for those expecting a boy. The next phase to the project will be matching place cards and a banner.
Once the baby arrives I know Carrissa will have her hands full. But I can't wait to see what events and ideas she has in the future!
Check out this design and all of my other baby shower invites at http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/baby-shower-invitations.html

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wedding Registry Info on your Invitation

I have been going through the more recent discussions in the bridal forum. And I am so sad to see that most of the brides want to know how to ask for money instead of having a registry. I feel very strongly that a gift is a choice and should never be expected. A registry is simply a suggestion for those who would like to buy a specific gift for the couple other than giving money. As a guest I do not want to be told what I have to give if I choose to give a gift. I was invited to a family wedding that I did not attend because the couple put a tiny note in the invite directly requesting money. As a whole most guests are very aware by a couples age that they probably have most of the items they will need for a home. Most guests will see that there is no registry and simply give cash. Reguardless of the direction you give your guests there are still going to be some odd gifts you did not request.
Now there are examples of websites that allow couples to register for a honeymoon, house down payment etc. I am on the fence with that idea but it is definitely much better than bluntly stating you would like money.
In the end I am sad to hear that most of the brides so concerened about gifts! A wedding is about who you are going to be spending the rest of your life with and celebrating it with those you love. And as brides don't worry you are going to get a lot of gifts and plenty of cash!