Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creative Marketing

Fresh ideas served daily. Lunch once a week.

Elisco Creative Cafe Advertising

As the marketing director of a small private college, I get a lot of promotional materials from ad agencies and designers wanting my business. And 99% of those materials go into the trash mainly because I already work with some very talented people whom I trust.

Sometimes though a piece impresses me so much that I just have to keep it. The brochure from Elisco Creative Cafe Advertising is one of those pieces.
It was a simple elegant brochure that looked like a menu. Inside it said:
All agencies have suits. We have aprons.
Ok, so we're a bit quirky.

So here is an agency that has combined marketing and Italian food. Talk about finding a niche! If I had not already found my love match with my current agency, believe me I would be checking them out. Here is their story from their website:

The making of a café

In 2001, after 23 years in business, we decided as an agency to re-commit wholeheartedly to doing what we enjoyed and to what we were passionate about. To help us decide our direction, we asked our clients why they selected us. Their reasons included:

• Great account service
• Strategic creative
• Non-traditional thinking
• And our Italian food

And, so was born the idea of a Creative Café. We created a poster with our anticipated storefront look – which is strikingly similar to our current location – and then began the search for our new home. We looked for new space in every area of the city and suburbs, including Murrysville. The search lasted for nearly a year.

Our criteria for the space included:
• A storefront location
• Working kitchen
• Area for outdoor seating

After finding the perfect building in Lawrenceville, we modeled the space loosely on a favorite haunt, La Prima on 21st Street, then selected the office paint colors, built two half-walls, and moved in.

The first of many food-oriented events was a lunch in October of 2002. It was the official debut of our so-called “Gatsby Strategy,” wherein we host entertaining events and invite a unique mix of guests to trade ideas and spur the thinking of all involved. Over the last nine years, the agency has continued to have lunches and special events including:

• Annual Wines We Love
• Guest Chef from Pizzaiolo
• Photo Exhibit
• Tattoo Exhibit
• Painting Exhibit benefiting “Dress for Success”
• Poetry reading (Neruda in Spanish and English)
• Puppet Show benefiting the local Boys and Girls Club
• Cooking Class
• Music recording

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bridal Shower Prep

Heart Radishes
My sister is hosting a bridal shower tomorrow for our new sister-in-law. I'm in charge of the veggie tray. Here's a sneak peek. I'll post some more picks after I get it all put together tomorrow. These sweet radishes are super easy to make. I put the instructions on my Devilishly Festive site.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Occasional Cat Photo

On my "About Creative Sprinkle" page, I warned you that I might share the occasional cat photo. Well today is one of those posts. About two weeks ago we added "Lucy" to our already overly cat-filled family. I was getting ready to leave for a doctor's appointment when I noticed my cat, Benjamin, fussing at the window. Curiosity got the better of me and I looked out to see what he saw.

This four-week-old (at the time) kitten was stumbling around under our pine trees beside the road. I watched for Mamma (one of the local feral cats) to come help, but Mamma was no where to be found. I already had 6 cats inside, but I couldn't leave for my appointment with her waiting to be run over or eaten by a hawk.

I went outside and scooped her up. I put her in a cat carrier in the basement so I could go to my appointment and then head to work. I told myself I'd take her to the Humane Society when I got home. Yeah right!

We did a feeble search for a home on Facebook, but she batted those eyes at my husband and me. Yes, she is staying. Out vet gave us the thumbs up to add her to our brood. We have three geriatric cats so we know at some point in the future we won't be the crazy people with 7 cats.

My husband suggested the name, Lucy, because Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe found Narnia while wandering in the pines just like our Lucy was wandering under the pines.

Long story short, I'm not getting much creating done because I'm playing with my new cat.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Gift Basket Givaway

My guild, the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy, is giving away this gift basket filled with handcrafted artisan pieces from participating members (including two from me!) You can enter between August 8-14.

Enter in one of two ways:
1. Each item purchased between August 8th and 14th from a participating Etsy shop (see list below) gives you one (1) entry.
2. Or you may enter by sending a convo to any of the participating Etsy shops.

And to sweeten the pot, I'm offering 5% off everything in my Young Creative shop. Enter coupon code YOUNGCREATIVE5 at checkout.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exploring the "Under the Sea" theme

This month's theme for the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy challenge really seemed to resonate with the members. No matter what artistic style we lean toward, the sea speaks to all of us. Public voting is open through Aug. 7 at If you vote you could win one of the prizes created by the member artists.

Personally, I am drawn to the legend of mermaids. Who can resist the perfect marriage of land and sea: a woman who is part human, part fish? This piece, which I call "Love at Sea," is one of my first attempts at polymer clay "painting." It is a combination of regular polymer clay and layers of liquid polymer. I have a tutorial in my Young Creative shop.

The illustration that forms the base for this piece is a black and white vintage drawing that has been in my inspiration file since college. I was working in an art library during grad school when I came upon it in an archive book of copyright free vintage images. I photocopied it, hoping to base my wedding invitations on it. Alas, the image was a little too creative for my family. Mom didn't want to send "a picture of a man pulling a naked woman into his boat" out to my aunts. It went into a folder for use "some day"

When challenge time came around, I knew I wanted to experiment with the liquid polymer painting technique so I started looking through my inspiration file, well, for some inspiration and this old gem seemed perfect.


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