Welcome to the blog for paula winicur design

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Here you will find samples of current projects,
as well as things that inspire me. I do hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to post feedback,
email me, and share samples of your projects. To see more of my work, please visit my website.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Steve's birthday bash

Everyone who knows me knows that birthdays are important to me. I believe that everyone deserves a big deal to be made about them on their birthday (even if you have to make the big deal yourself!). August is a big birthday month for me because not only does my birthday fall in the middle of the month, many of my friends and family are August babies as well. This year my friend Sharon wanted to celebrate all the August birthdays in her life by having a party. The secret was that it was really for her husband, Steve, even though he thought it was for everyone. We thought the best way to make the focus about him was to create favors and a cake that set the mood, and since I'm rarely one to turn down a project, especially one that involves cake, of course I volunteered to make them.

I chose a bright summery color palette of blue, green, and yellow, and created a graphic that said "Steve's birthday bash" to use on favors and the cake. Since it was a pool party and it has been such a hot summer, the first thing I made were fans that looked like popsicles with a bite taken out of them. This was actually pretty simple. I printed two each on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet, and cut it lengthwise down the middle, so that each sheet would make 2 popsicles. Then I folded each one over and glued a popsicle stick inside. I made myself a guide for the rounded corners, cut each one, then used a scallop shear on one side to make it look like a bite had been taken out.

For the cake, I enlarged the 'Steve's birthday bash' graphic and printed it, then I cut it out with an x-acto knife to make a stencil. (This would have been a great thing to do with a silhouette machine. Hmmm... maybe I'll get one for my next birthday!) I made a 3-layer yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting between each layer, and I used the chocolate fudge frosting as a crumb coat. After it chilled, I frosted the entire thing with white buttercream frosting. I laid the stencil on top of the cake and sprinkled over the letters in a gradient pattern of blue, green, and yellow sanding sugar, to match the favors.

As a parting gift, I created little favor bags for the guests to take home with them using M&Ms in matching colors. I put them inside little clear bags and stapled them with a tent tag to make a perfect little package.

All it takes is a little creativity to make someone feel extra special on their birthday. I hope these inspire you to create favors for your own parties!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I believe the children are our future

Congratulations to this very talented 7-year-old artist!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

When I can, I like to make something for my mother on Mother's Day. It reminds me of simpler days of being a child, when a little painting of flowers, or a macaroni necklace, were the best presents my mom could imagine receiving from me. This year I was inspired by a shell I found on the Long Branch beach recently when my mother was in town for a visit. The shell had a perfect little hole in the top of it, and looked to me like it was just waiting for someone to come along and find it and help it fulfill its next life as a necklace. So I did.

At first I wasn't sure what kind of beads would work with it, but when I found some flourite at a local bead shop I thought it was perfect. The sea-blue and purple colors reminded me of my mother, and I thought they would also complement the shell nicely.

Here is a photo of the necklace. I hope you like it too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

baby Grace

I just completed another baby announcement for some friends. We met when we were both in the hospital giving birth to our babies, almost 2 years ago. My daughter and Danielle's son are birthday twins, and Danielle and her husband Brian became good friends. Aside from my daughter, our friendship was the best thing to come out of that hospital stay! Danielle and Brian are two of the nicest people I know.

Danielle just had another baby, and I was thrilled when she asked me to design the announcements, shown above. She had a few requests but was also open to my suggestions (yay!). She wanted to keep the design relatively simple, she wanted to somehow highlight the 'g' of Grace's name, and she wanted either pink and yellow or just pink. I created 3 different concepts for her to choose from, with variations for each one. I explained that all of the elements were basically interchangeable. So, for example, if she liked the design of 3a but the fonts used in concept 2, we could easily switch them around. Or if she wanted the design of 2b with the fonts of 2c, you get the picture. (This isn't always the case, often specific fonts work better with one design or another, but here I think it would have worked to mix and match if she had wanted to.) Danielle chose option 1, and I made round white stickers with a pink 'g' on them for her to seal the envelopes.

Since I'm often asked about my process, I thought it would be fun to show you the options I gave Danielle. Which one do you like the best?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paper is good

As a print designer, I appreciated seeing this article. It's ok to use paper, just don't waste it.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Spice of Life

"The more she cooked, the more she began to view spices as carriers of the emotions and memories of the places they were originally from and all those they had traveled through over the years."
—Erica Bauermeister, The School of Essential Ingredients

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I love these!

These felt desserts combine a few of my favorite things: pastry and obsessive attention to details. I can't decide which is my favorite: the cookies, the brownies, the sno-cone, the strawberry shortcake... Her attention to detail really is astounding. I'd like one of each of them, please!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My daughter is lucky to have 5 wonderful grandparents who love her, so on Valentine's Day I thought it would be nice for her to make them all a card. Ok, I helped a little bit. On one side of the card I wrote "Happy Valentine's Day" and drew some hearts, and then Tess colored on the card. And on the other side I thought it would be cute to make a little butterfly with heart wings, so for each one I cut 2 hearts out of decorative paper, then a body. We glued them on the card, and I drew on the eyes and antennae, and wrote a message on top says "Sending you lots of butterfly kisses..."

It was an easy craft project to do with Tess, and she had fun making them with me. And most importantly, her grandparents all loved their cards.

Hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day too!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Beginnings

It seems appropriate that my first post back after such a long hiatus should be about new beginnings. Ok, maybe not about my new beginnings, but the arrival of my cousin's sweet baby girl definitely inspired me to get started blogging again. So thanks to Jeanette and baby Isa! And thanks to all of you dear readers who encouraged me and asked me to get back to this blog. It has been quite an interesting 6 months since I last posted, full of life changes, a move across the country, and lots of chaos, but what are we if not adaptable, right? So, here we go!

In these days of email and facebook, I’m often asked the question, “Are baby announcements really necessary?” It’s true that you can easily send an email to your family and friends letting them know about your new arrival. And facebook and personal blogs make it so easy to post updates with photos of how the little one is doing. So... necessary? No, I suppose not. But I still contend that there is something really nice and special about receiving a baby announcement in the mail. (And you can’t put an email in a baby book. I mean, you could print it out, but it’s not exactly the same, you know?)

I remember fondly the process of designing my daughter’s baby announcements when she was born (picture TK soon...). They were a little more involved than most, perhaps. And I was told by some of my friends, especially the ones with kids, that I was crazy for attempting it. I had the front side of the cards letterpressed at a great shop in Chicago called Accucolor. (If you are in the Chicago area and ever need anything letterpressed, call on Gary there, he is wonderful to work with. And tell him I sent you.) I decided to letterpress only the front side with her name and leave the back blank, and I ordered extras. This allowed me to also use them as thank you notes for the many generous gifts she received, and I have a lot left so she still has her own personal stationery. For the announcements, I printed the backs of the cards on my Epson R1800, then I ordered wallet sized photos and affixed one to each announcement. And I lined the envelopes. Looking back on it I’m still not sure how as a new mom coping with sleep deprivation and new adjustments I made the time to do them, but I’m really glad I did.

So, my cousin Jeanette just had an adorable baby girl, and I was so excited to design their baby announcement for them. When Jeanette sent me 50 plus photo options of the gorgeous baby Isa, I thought it would be so hard to choose just a few. But the ones I picked for our first draft happened to be her favorites too. The color scheme was easy, I just matched Isa’s nursery colors of violet and sage green. We went through a few rounds to get the design perfect, but it came together quickly and smoothly.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the printing. I think the one valid argument I've heard against paper announcements is the environmental impact. Nobody wants to waste paper. But I don’t consider announcements or invitations a waste of paper (obviously, I design them for a living), and I really do think that if you are conscious of your footprint elsewhere and if you try to print as green as possible, that it's not irresponsible. For these announcements I went to Greener Printer, a great company with a commitment to environmentally-friendly printing practices. Jeanette chose their digital option, which came out really well, but they also offer 4-color offset printing. I’ve worked with Greener Printer before and have always been pleased with the results. So there’s proof that you don’t have to suffer quality to get a beautiful, earth-friendly choice.

So go ahead, send out baby announcements. Or call me and I’ll design them for you. ;)