at long last, our lucky paper junkie club members reaped their precious rewards. last week, our personalized paper goods hit the pavement– snail mail at its best!

JanuaryReveal

 the beauty of all of this is that despite my insider standing at dodeline, i, too was left in the dark on the special contents of my paper junkies delivery. i’m just a regular ole’ paying customer. and a happy one, at that.

first things first, hand crafted packages, stamped with someone’s love + care are pretty darn special these days. they’re a dying breed really and i find it really refreshing to be a part of a unique crew of folks who still cherish these things. not to mention the fact that we’re the recipients of (often monogrammed) yet always personalized stationery. i don’t about the other married gals in the scene but as special as my newly appointed wedding stationery once was, its now feeling a bit aged and tired. cue in paper junkies and the wedding paper monotony is put to rest, even if just for short nap.

here’s what i loved about january’s reveal– it had that crisp feeling of a fresh new year with new beginnings. i liked the clean lines and the creative use of size. on a personal note, it felt really nostalgic too because my school colors were orange + navy. ..i’m talking k-12, i was literally soaked in these colors. thankfully, i’m loving them all over again!

and a little shout-out to inventive creator, sarah. she received some undoubtedly hot paper junkies press from our friends + followers on instagram. cheers to instapics and hashtagging paper junkies up the wazoo!

@paulajmcintosh

thanks for the love @paulajmcintosh

same goes to you @seastararts

same goes to you @seastararts

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike from Amelia’s Spicing Pecans for several years now after he gave me a ring for help with a Facebook page. From there, we’ve worked together on reinventing the Amelia’s Spicing Pecans brand and carrying it through to a website, collateral, and packaging. It is one of the coolest part of my jobs to get to see a project become real, and on Friday I got a chance to finally meet Mike in person when he came to visit our local Whole Foods.

spicing pecans

Amelia’s Spicing Pecans is based in Birmingham, so it was great to see them expanding all over the south and into the Charleston market. Mike brought the whole setup and it was awesome to see the logo we designed together take center stage on a banner, business cards, shirts, and labels. Even cooler to see them all lined up on the shelf, working together with their colors & bold type just like I had imagined!

spicing pecans

I also got to try them in some of the recipes that he’d brought for samples, and they were AMAZING. Herb pecans in a parmesan, cream cheese, and lemon juice spread. Cinnamon pecan brownies. Pimento cheese and coffee pecans. Really yummy.

I took a jar of cinnamon pecans home over the weekend and topped my zucchini bread with them. I’m also going to try them out on a salad for lunch, which can’t get here too soon!

Check out their website at www.spicingpecans.com if you want to get some…I highly recommend it!

While wandering through Southern Seasons over the weekend, I couldn’t stop swooning over the package designs for all of the lovely gourmet and homemade products. In particular, the incredible confectioneries won me over, heart & appetite both!

There must be something special about chocolate bar packaging of which I’m not aware…some sort of secret competition or something, because the chocolate bars really shine with their inventive designs. Here are a few fun package designs I couldn’t resist…enjoy!

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

package designs

In looking at all of the various approaches, I couldn’t help but notice a few things:

  • Color. Almost every single brand utilizes color as a way to differentiate one product from another – i.e. a unique flavor, origin, etc.
  • Dimension. The twine touch on two of them definitely does give them a bit of texture and dimension on the shelf since the majority were more traditional paper or cardboard wraps. Have to wonder how much cost that adds in labor wise though.
  • Personality. I always love package design with a little humor or snark. I don’t really love the parchment like overlay on the last one, but I do like the quirky sayings.
  • Less is more. Even the more vintage / colorful designs keep the information on the front to a pretty bare minimum, sharing just what you need to know.
  • I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to sample them all :-)

Last week I put together some samples to send out to a few different places under the expert advice of Cat from Blue Light Public Relations. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to create something fun to open up in the mail that would hopefully make our little studio stand out.

collage

For me, packaging anything, whether it’s samples or a wedding invitation or a corporate packet, is a process of layering. It could be many layers or just a few, but fully considering how each piece works with the others makes all the difference.

packaging2

On this little project, I pulled out what we had around the studio (which thankfully is a pretty awesome place for random paper goodies) and decided to see what I came up with. Since these weren’t packages the recipients were necessarily expecting, I really wanted it to be a fun minute or two while they were discovering the contents.

If you can believe it, a few weeks ago I designed and printed the first ever marketing postcards for dodeline. Somehow I guess I just never got around to that. It has lots of pops of yellow on the front, so I decided the little yellow chevron bag needed to be involved. I think it turned out brighter and more cheerful that way.

packaging3

In my view, there’s no replacing the handwritten touch, so a personal note and a tag are the finishing detail.

packaging4

Packaging up goodies is one of my favorite ways to spend a rainy afternoon in the studio!

We have been getting more consistent rain lately than I remember us getting in a long time. I’m not much of a fan, although I do love a good rainy Sunday afternoon every once in awhile. That was the case this past weekend, and I spent some time doing a little DIY decor I’ll have to share soon. Til next time!

I wandered into my new favorite store The Southern Curator over the weekend and discovered the Duke Cannon Supply Company.

As soon as I saw this, I thought it would make an awesome Father’s Day gift! My dad is a true salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, so soap that donates to veterans and “isn’t for sissies” is kind of perfect.

And the bonus is that their marketing is kind of impressive.

They have a real manly man approach and a fantastic sense of humor. Check them out if you have a chance for a few laughs. I love companies that present themselves in such a clever and humorous way.

How was your weekend friends? Hope all is well in your part of the world!

Hello Friday, I’m very happy to see you. Especially seeing as how you brought a day off with you.

Do you have Memorial Day off? Lucky I’m the boss, so if R has it off, Dodeline is closed :-)

So let’s wrap up this week!

  • Had dinner last night with a friend we’ve known since high school. We even left home and went away to college in Georgia together. She’s been in Georgia at law school the last few years and just graduated, so it was so wonderful to catch up. Amazing how the time flies..we’re married, she’s a lawyer. I’d swear we were in our argyle socks just yesterday :-)
  • Been playing a lot with my camera and trying to get better at pictures (which for me mostly means better at Photoshop). Kind of proud of myself for this one. More on that to come.
  • Cooking class was a blast and we made all kinds of delicious food. I am dying to have some more rice pilaf like we made. I’m also grateful to have my wonderful cooking class buddy, who was willing to accompany me to the walk in freezer that I strongly dislike :-)
  • Made it to the Wajiba meeting for the first time in awhile. I don’t do 7:30am across town very well, but I got there this week and was glad I did. So many amazing professionals. Great speaker. And so important to keep your people skills sharp…working at home in PJ’s is great, but getting out in the world is really integral to good business.
  • Have met some wonderful new brides for 2013 — can hardly believe it’s that time already! — and am working hard on the lovely Fall weddings that are getting closer. Meeting new brides is one of my favorite things about my work – it’s all excitement and happiness.
  • Just working hard every day and being happy to have my husband to spend the evenings with. Can’t ask for much more than that!
  • anything exciting happen in your world this week? What’s your weekend plan? I’d love to hear from you!

Have you ever checked out Wanderlust? It’s another excellent wrapping and packaging resource. I just adore the photography on Oh, Hello Friend blog and if you enjoy pretty packaging, it’s a good one to add to your daily reads.

Now, for the wrap-up!

  • Back from Chicago and literally hit the ground running.  Walked in the door at 11 PM and started printing.  Going away is wonderful, but this week has been more than hectic trying to catch up.  Plus it is a HUGE wedding weekend so I am cranking out menus, programs, welcome kits, and other paper pretties by the hundreds (literally)!
  • Getting away did get me inspired on some new greeting cards though.  Can’t wait to share those with you soon.  Also ran out of my boxes + bags for packaging so it gave me an excuse to order more.  I have some fun ideas about that too!
  • Joined Hello Cotton.  Have you checked that out yet?  Found it from Krysten’s blog and it’s a pretty neat community + way to find new blogs to read.
  • Feeling especially lucky to have my sweet husband, who is currently cooking dinner and dealing with tech support for me, because my crankiness is out of control after working through lunch.  Girl’s gotta eat.  And I am really bad about uber focusing and not even realizing lunch skated past me.
  • Super enjoying New Girl + Modern Family + Parks & Rec lately.  What are your favorite shows?

What have you been up to this week lovelies?  Anything exciting happening this weekend?

It’s Fffrrriiidddaaayyy. And I’m pretty excited about it. Why, you ask?

I’ll tell you in our Friday Wrap-Up!

  • Feeling inspired and rejuvenated after an awesome #CreativeCoffee session with a wonderful group of women yesterday.  Growing businesses, design brainstorming, laughter and support are just what the creative soul needs to stay fresh and on top of the game!  A special shoutout to Kristen Solecki, who is a new addition to both our coffee group and Charleston.  Her illustrations are fantastic!
  • Birthday weekend!  This time of year kicks off birthday season in my world – FIL, MIL, *me* – all followed by part two of birthday season in June – hubs, brother, parent’s anniversary, etc.  So this weekend, I  have a special birthday dinner for me on one night (although my bday is Tuesday, which this year most inconveniently is also tax day) and another for my MIL!  Happy bday M!
  • The weather is phenomenal.  Enough said.
  • There was lots of wrapping (and therefore Instagramming) this week as I got lots of beautiful brides orders completed and out the door — thanks in large part to Jeni who spent the nicest rainy Friday folding / gluing / stamping / etc. with me last week :-)
  • I finally managed to give away all my “Sarah Early” business cards so I get to order new ones.  Maybe this will help the confusion about my name!

I also caved and I’m finally reading the Hunger Games. I’m 100 pages in and I started it less than 2 hours ago. It really is a fast paced, entertaining little read. Have you read it?

Have a fantastic weekend my lovely friends!

My exchange partner was Sara from Simply Me Happening Upon Me and she put together a sweet package of handmade treasures for me. I hope she liked her package as much as I liked mine!