Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Color Theory and Packaging

Ever wonder what goes into designing a product package? Above you'll see my product packaging for our newest line, FISH BOWL FUN. The product is a decorative band that goes around a fish bowl; it's whimsical, youthful and in a word, FUN. The packaging really needed to reflect this position. I created this happy little betta fish and designed the backer card to look like a fish bowl. 
Now onto the color...

If you look at the color wheel, you have primary and secondary colors (as well as tertiary colors, but we'll cover that another time). Primary colors are red, blue and yellow and secondary colors are green, orange and purple. If you want to make a color appear more vibrant, pair it with its opposite on the color wheel. I applied this when I selected an orange fish against the bright blue background. If you look at a few other options below my final, you'll note they just don't carry the same visual impact. It happened to really work in my application (the blue of the bowl and orange on the fish), but often it's hard to make use of yellow and purple and other such complimentary colors.

I really wanted to make the name of the product and the betta fish "pop" so I used another technique: warm colors come forward (orange) and cool colors recede (blue). Overall, I was pleased with the final package and its vibrant color scheme. I'm also lucky to test market on my Little Peanuts because if their eyes light up, I know I hit the mark.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Garage Sale Bargains

Any parent knows the disgusted feeling of spending tons of money on toys for kids only to realize they either don't like it or it doesn't really function as advertised. Lucky for me, I found an alternative ~ garage sale finds!! If you're going to start buying from garage sales, just know that you will encounter many many yucky toys that should have been thrown away or burned years ago BUT believe me when I tell you, if you stick with it, you'll hit the jackpot. Just go into it knowing you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs! Your best bet is to keep on the look out for local community sales in family-friendly neighborhoods. School fundraiser and church sales are great too! I usually have a list in mind of things I know the kids would like and I'm shocked every time when I find just what I was looking for! I also stock up for holidays and always end up with some pretty great stuff. With Easter on the way, I'll give the kids each one nice toy like the Leap Frog TAG and books above for my daughter and then fill in with some other things like books  and dvds (also so easy and inexpensive when you find them at a garage sale). So, I found this at a recent garage sale for $5.00! It came with the Leap Frog TAG, instructional DVD, adapter cord, 3 compatible books and an adorable pink and green bag! I priced this on Amazon at $24.99 for the reader pen and around $10 each for the books = $54.99! She'll love this and could care less that the "Bunny" shops at garage sales. Yay!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Easy Easter Paper Puppets for Preschoolers

Over Spring break, we made some crafts. The Peanuts are at the perfect age for simple, fast and fun crafts. I picked a project that would take less than 20 minutes and they could decorate it however they wanted. This was an inexpensive Craftology kit from Michael's and only cost $4.99 with a 20% off coupon. It came with enough materials to make a total of 4 puppets. I picked up an extra kit to keep kids busy during play dates and that sort of thing. They pretty much stuck to the kit, but the sky's the limit with what you can do with these.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Do Love Cupcake Goodness!

I guess I have to admit I do have a very deep affection for cupcakes. They're so tasty and pretty and they always bring back happy memories! I love to include cupcake themes in all of our Clementine Design categories because they fit my style so well and of course because my customers love them.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yummy Butterscotch Bars

So I made these amazing Yummy Butterscotch Bars for the kids to take to school. I don't know that I've ever really liked butterscotch, but the combination of that with the caramel and macadamia nuts is truly incredible. I've gotten in the habit of running off a few copies of this recipe whenever I take it to a party because everyone asks me for it. You can actually use different cake mixes, cookie mixes and toppings but I still love the butterscotch version the best. You'll see I line my cake pan with foil, it seems to be the best way of cutting them out easier. I also use a plastic knife to cut them into squares. Hope you love them too!

Yummy Butterscotch Bars 

(click on the title to download the recipe)

- 1 box Betty Crocker Supermoist yellow cake
- ½ cup veg. oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup butterscotch caramel topping (for ice cream)
- 1 package Pillsbury Ready to Bake Big Deluxe refrigerated
 white chunk macadamia nut cookies

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Beat cake mix, oil, water and eggs with mixer on low until smooth
 and spread into ungreased 13x9 in. pan
3. Bake 18-22 min. until golden brown
4. Remove this from oven and drizzle ½ c butterscotch caramel topping 
 on top (might need to microwave topping a little first)
5. Crumble unbaked cookie dough on top
6. Bake 18-23 minutes longer until golden brown.
7. Cool completely

Cut into small squares


Monday, March 19, 2012

New Jewelry Time

So it's that time of year again when our new product development is in full swing. It's always a challenge to balance deadlines and all of the responsibilities of my little peanuts, Emmy and Ryan. Now that we're approaching Summer, we'll do a big introduction of Christmas designs. This is what I truly love ~ a chance to really go overboard on the cute factor! But I'm also including some very sophisticated styles to round out the collection. We're also doing some Halloween designs for some spooky fun! Oh, how I do love these cute bats with big round eyes!


Vision Therapy and BIG Purple Glasses!

We recently found out that Emerson, our 6 year old, needs extensive Vision Therapy. She has really awful depth perception (explains the frustrating tennis lessons last Fall). She also has a lazy eye. You would never know any of this by looking at her, and she never once complained about her vision. We were lucky enough to have a Dr. catch it at a routine physical. So now she'll continue with the patch and about 30 minutes of vision therapy every night. So we'll see (and she'll see...hopefully :)