Archive | January, 2011

a work of art?

29 Jan

last year my friends got engaged. he set up quite an elaborate scheme to get her to the metropolitan museum of art, and proposed in front of one of their favorite paintings. the full story is much better than this, i swear.

well a few months later there was an engagement party and i wanted to come up with a fun way of wrapping their present. they’re fun people, so i had to step it up a bit. i found a few extra new york subway maps in my apartment and thought they’d be perfect. i carefully wrapped the box so that the special landmark was on the top and i wrote right on the map. it was a great way of covering their gift, honoring their story, and making it personal.

the inside was just as fun—sorry i don’t have a photo. i got them a pair of really fun beach towels from their registry (thus the importance of registering early), and put them in the box with a deflated beach ball that i had blown up and scribbled my well wishes on to first. i always try to give puns with my gifts, so i’m pretty sure i told them to “have a ball” during their engagement. maybe one day i’ll do a post about all the punny gifts i’ve given…

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livin’ la vida logo

29 Jan

last year, when i decided to create shiramisu, i knew i needed a logo. one that i could use on business cards, stationery, and online. as a lover of all things type—and particularly calligraphy—it was no easy task deciding what i wanted my logo to look like. but i went with my gut, choosing to have it calligraphed. i loved the idea of it seeming handwritten yet formal, classic, kinda girly, and completely lower case (have you noticed my aversion to caps yet?). but how would i choose a calligrapher? so many to choose from! so many styles!

well actually, about a year ago today i emailed bryn chernoff of paperfinger (who i had just worked with on a fun project) and took it from there. bryn sent me a half dozen options, and we merged a few bits and pieces together to create the logo you see at the top of the window. of course i hemmed and hawed the whole time, because logos are important, and i wanted it to be perfect. and now, i’m smitten. i turned it into a rubber stamp, which i use on my business cards. it tops the letterhead i use to correspond with clients. and i love it as the background on my twitter page.

to see what bryn’s up to, and what she’s listening to, check out her blog, paper tastebuds.

save some dough

25 Jan

i haven’t been able to make a single online purchase without a quick search on retail me not ever since i discovered the website. like magic, it gathers coupon codes that you can copy and paste into that ever-present (yet all-too-often left empty) promo code box before checking out. i used it last year for all sorts of stuff, like the shoes i wore as a bridesmaid and the candy i bought for a sweets buffet and the jars it went in.

so go forth, find codes, and save!

150 is nifty!

23 Jan

back in october i threw a surprise party for my parents and brother, who cumulatively turned 150 years old. i used pingg to send out the invites, which i whipped up using a few gold balloons and some simple typography.

it was certainly a challenge to plan the entire party remotely. never having seen the space in person, or conducted a tasting. but needless to say, all three guests of honor were shocked when the dinner for four they thought they were en route to turned out to be a cocktail party for them and 60 others.

i wanted the party to feel like a slightly more celebratory back yard bash. but since there was no way of putting this together at my parents’ house without them noticing, i rented a simple space and took it from there. i used the gold mylar balloons at the party, since they’re fun, festive, and (best of all) a really easy way to decorate. each table had a trio of gold balloons tied to a gold mylar balloon weight and was surrounded by assorted gold confetti. i kept the bar simple: sodas and waters from costco, two red options and two white options for wine, and a nice selection of beer. i also put the dessert buffet together myself, with my family’s favorites (red velvet cake for my mom and sour patch kids for my brother, for instance) plus a birthday cake with “150 is nifty!” in icing and gold candles around the perimeter. design cuisine took care of the main fare. they came highly recommended to me (thanks!), and put together a wonderful selection for the early evening gathering. i wanted it to be appetizer-style food, but didn’t want anyone to leave the shindig feeling hungry. so the spread included a delicious mezze platter, goat cheese tortas, sugar cane grilled shrimp, mini chicken parm sandwiches (a fave of my dad’s), eggplant and fontina pizza rustica (my brother is a vegetarian), and harvest pumpkin picks (it was october, afterall). and of course, i had ordered gold dinnerware, so the midas touch was on the cups, plates, and cutlery too.

i prepared a playlist on my ipod a few weeks prior that would last the duration of the evening and set up a photobooth. in my opinion, no party is complete without a photobooth. i transformed basic dry-erase boards, using metallic gold ribbon as trim, and set a couple out with markers. easy instructions told guests to write their birthday wishes on the boards. using my mac laptop’s photo booth program, they were to click the button and pose for the camera. gold balloons spelled out 150 in the background and were a really easy way to anchor the spots where guests were to stand.

lessons learned: a great caterer is so important. friends willing to help set up are too. shindigz, balloon warehouse and party city are good resources. store window displays are great party inspiration, as are blogs that post about them.