June 26, 2013
Surtex 2013: Lesson #2Posted by Cathy Heck
Lesson #2: Marketing works, so just bite the bullet and do it. And speaking of biting …
Every year, a few months before May, we think about our Surtex theme, and since we love food of all kinds, we might even begin with brainstorming about our Surtex Show Snack choices. I won’t say that we designed our entire circus-themed booth around our animal cracker show snacks … but I won’t deny it either.
A few years ago, we gave away animal crackers to celebrate the debut of our Welcome Home Noah collection … and long after the little cookies had crumbled, we received a call from a new client who was holding the box in his hands as he spoke, “I want the elephants on this little box.” We thought, “Hey, our show snacks worked.”
So, this year, since we had created a fun new vintage circus collection, we decided that good ol’ Barnum’s Animal Crackers could make their comeback as the giveaway snack under our Little Big Top booth. Not only would the packaging offer us the opportunity to use every corny circus slogan possible, but, hello … they’re good for you. Note the very strong mouse below.
Personally, a major part of animal crackers’ charm for me is the little purse-box that houses them. No matter how old a little girl might be, there is just something fun about carrying a “purse” of cookies around. This lead me to the search for perfect purse handles: baker’s twine to match our vintage circus boxes, and yes, we now own enough baker’s twine to open a bakery.
We also have to take a moment to thank our wonderful helper, Linda, (busy hands below) and our great printer, Barry Colvin at Republic Printing, for, once again, helping us to get these boxes printed, scored, assembled and shipped before the “now-it-will-cost-an-arm-and-a-leg” shipping date. Below you can see the transformation from Barnum’s Animal Crackers to Cathy Heck Studio’s Critter Crackers.
We actually called our giveaways “trade show emergency snacks,” because many of our clients and press visitors told us that our snack became their dinner on the train or in their hotel rooms. So next time you think of animal crackers as a simple carpool snack to last until the soccer game, think again. This little snack might just be the lifesaving-nectar-of-the-gods to a new client who couldn’t fit in a lunch break.
Above, little purse-boxes of critter crackers displayed in our booth from a nifty vintage-y luggage piece which we found at Paper Source. I know you’re probably hankering for an animal cracker right about now, but unfortunately, this limited edition has been devoured. However, you can find them in your local grocery, and they will taste exactly as you remember!
June 25, 2013
SURTEX 2013: Lesson #1Posted by Cathy Heck
Lesson #1: Check your booth signs before you leave your studio.
We are maybe the slowest booth putter-uppers at Surtex, and it has really been cutting into our shopping hours. So this year, with our two college daughter helpers, as well as Jim, my really tall husband who can reach the top of the booth without a stool, we designed our booth to go up faster than ever, with hopes of a Chelsea shopping trip to follow. But, alas, we had a tiny little set-up snaffoo:
Cathy: Wow, we are working so fast. I bet we will be out of here by 4.
Jules: Okay, Mom, what next?
Cathy: Aisle Signs. Here they are.
Jules: Um, Mom, these say Booth #550. We are #640.
I had used the same files from years past to print our signs–when we were always #550–not #640. So with supplies from our handy dandy emergency tool kit, we hand-cut our new numbers … 2 per sign x 3 numerals = 12 cut-outs = more time than one might think. But, we powered through and finished our booth set-up … albeit not in time for shopping, but in time for a fun dinner.
Above: the traveling studio. I’m a bit of a perfectionist (as you might have guessed) so Jules had to talk me into believing that the juvenile hand-made aesthetic of our new lettering actually coordinated with the look of our booth. We even decided it looked better than before. So, we set off to reward ourselves with a piece of Crack Pie, which was sold at the Milk Bar, located just around the corner from our hotel, which was handy and dangerous, as we felt we deserved a reward every single night. (And yes, we are still walking off our Surtex rewards!)
June 4, 2013
SURTEX 2013: How to Set Up a Booth in 60 Seconds or LessPosted by Cathy Heck
If you are wondering how to set up a booth for SURTEX in 60 seconds or less, please see the How To Video above. Okay, you’re right. It took us a little longer than 60 seconds, but thanks to our on-site photographer, Margaret Heck, and video ninja, Julianna Heck, you can enjoy it in 57 seconds flat. We had a great show. For us, it’s a bit of a family reunion with our girls arriving from finals at their colleges to help set up, man, and take down our booth … surely the dream vacation for any college student, right?! Don’t worry, we pay them with our undying love and some excellent dinners.
We also reconnected with dear old friends, met some wonderful new friends, ate delicious meals, walked far, and laughed often. We even sailed with our SURTEX neighbors by Lady Liberty while a DJ was spinning 80’s disco tunes … which was a little surreal, since I actually began my illustrating career in New York humming to those very same tunes! (I was instantly transported to the joy of delivering final art to my agent, while dancing down the streets of New York listening to Gloria Gaynor on my Sony Walkman. But that’s another story.)
More about our experience at SURTEX 2013 in the next blog post. In the meantime, please press play above to join us under the Little Big Top, NYC, May 2013.
May 17, 2013
See You At SURTEX!Posted by Cathy Heck
If you are headed to New York City this weekend for the largest surface design show of the year, come see us under the Little Big Top. We are looking forward to visiting with our great licensees and our wonderful artist friends. We’ll be sure to tell you all about it when we return! Ballyhoo! (I know that’s actually a noun, but I think it sounds like “Onward!” in circus language.
May 15, 2013
Cuteville is Right Around the CornerPosted by Cathy Heck
International Quilt Market is coming up this weekend in Portland, and although we can’t be there, our county fair critters will be. If you are a quilt shop owner going to Portland, please head over to the Henry Glass booth and take a gander at Cuteville County Fair. It’s chock full of all-American prize-winning critters combined with fresh new takes on some favorite coordinates, like a jumbo bandana border, a chunky gingham and a perfect paisley.
The fabrics will be shipping at the end of September 2013, which is perfect timing for bright summer picnic quilts (or perhaps bold and cuddly Christmas gifts for the super-efficient quilter!) One of the most fun aspects of this collection is that we were able to create a suite of great free downloadable projects. You can already see them here on the Henry Glass site. Here is a quick peek at the page o’ projects … it almost looks like a quilt in and of itself!
As soon as the fabric is available, we will be sharing the projects with you in more detail. (Thank goodness the magic elves at Henry Glass can make such excellent patterns for our ideas.) For example, I (Cathy) am actually learning to sew. I know. I can’t believe it, either. But it’s true. And the first thing I plan to make is one of these cute nursery pillows. My goal: that it actually turns out to be square!
Another of our favorite projects – and very easy – is a 4th of July picnic set. We cannot wait to make these fun coordinating napkins. In fact, I might make the napkin set before I try that square pillow.
And, for those of you, who have a special baby in your future, we have created projects to decorate the entire nursery. No better theme for a best-in-show baby than a blue-ribbon nursery. We love using the jumbo bandana print for the dust ruffle and the valance. And, depending on where you live, you might even see a cute little goat, like this one, peeking in the window.
Well, we better stop here, as this post was actually meant to be a sneak peek! But, as soon as Cuteville County Fair arrives, we’ll be whipping up some fun, and maybe a pie or two to go with it.
Wishing you a prize-winning week! Cathy and Ellen
May 13, 2013
In Case You Could Use Some Calm Right About NowPosted by Cathy Heck
The folks at SURTEX asked us to write a guest blog post for their site. With the biggest surface design trade show coming up in only a few days … (I won’t say the exact number for fear of scaring the living daylights out of those of you exhibiting) … we thought SURTEX artists and exhibitors might need a little bit of stress relief … and perhaps some massages. Since we are not trained in the art of massage, we have sent along a little message of encouragement, so please visit the SURTEX site for a few words of comfort and calm.
May 12, 2013
Happy Mother’s Day!Posted by Cathy Heck
Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there … and you know who you are! Love, Us
May 9, 2013
We’ve been seeing lots of rainbows recently…Posted by Ellen Heck
…a bright new project is in the works!
Wishing you a colorful day from Cathy Heck Studio!
April 24, 2013
Kitchen Kombucha and Kerning: Guest Post from Julianna HeckPosted by Ellen Heck
Today we have a guest blogger, Julianna, amazing middle Heck sister and current advanced graphic design student at VCUarts, to share one of her class assignments. She has been working with a group on a semester-long project that will culminate in the design of an instructional interactive media piece. Their subject: how to make home-brewed kombucha!
We’d noticed this new drink “growing” in our grocery stores and had not yet had the guts to try it, but since Jules was embracing it in such a big way, we each had one small sip … and … we liked it! So, Jules is here to share some of her experiences growing SCOBYs and a few of her mobile app designs.
For the past couple of months my apartment has smelled like a kombucha tea factory. Why, do you ask? Well, I’ve been a kombucha brewing queen. I have mastered the art of home-brewed kombucha, and am now an official kombucha nerd. Though the appearance of the murky liquid looks like a potion that a toddler would make at the dinner table, kombucha is a tasty and fragrant tea filled with probiotics and other nutritious goodies that help clean and fortify the different systems in the body.
The semester-long assignment for our interaction class involved working in a group to develop a “How To” web or tablet application that would teach users a subject and then deliver a product to them. My team decided to create an app that would teach users how to make kombucha tea at home. I had always been curious about the cloudy tea with crazy prices and was very skeptical of the positive results. This project was a perfect excuse to put kombucha to the test!
I am now a true believer in the nasty, icky, and oftentimes-unappealing tea that can be found in specialized food stores. However, being a daily consumer can be a serious financial investment. Luckily, there is another option: home-brewed kombucha, and this app (when it’s finished) will guide you through the whole process!
Above, I have shared a couple of the screens that I have been developing. By the end of the semester, I will have created a workable app that is clickable, scrollable, and interactive. For now, I continue to develop the many different screens that will make up such an application.
It’s been a fun project (a little gross at times), but I’ve managed to convert Cathy and Ellen to kombucha consumption along the way, so it’s already been instructional and it isn’t even in the app store yet!
Thanks, Jules, for sharing your recent work with us! See you at SURTEX!
I can’t wait! (I’ll bring the ‘bucha!)
April 15, 2013
Greetings from: Exeter, CaliforniaPosted by Ellen Heck
On our way back up the great state of California, my husband and I stopped and hiked in Joshua Tree and Sequoia Parks and then took Route 99 up the middle of the San Joaquin Valley. We’d seen in one of the motel guidebooks that Exeter was known for its many murals, so we parked on the nearly abandoned Main Street on a sunbaked Saturday afternoon and were not disappointed.
The city of Exeter has 29 murals, and for such a tiny town, that seemed like a lot. We walked up and down the three main streets, mural watching and wondering if all of the orange trees lining the road on the way meant that everyone in Exeter drank fresh OJ all the time.
We never located a fresh OJ stand, but there were several murals dedicated to the orange theme. Now, in the grocery store, we like thinking the oranges we’re buying are Exeter natives.« Newer Posts — Older Posts »