Cynthia, Graphic Designer, pizza lover

@cynaroni • cynthiameade.com

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Where are you from? College? Job at FYP?

When I was young my dad used to play Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and made sure to let me know that it was because I was born in Uptown Chicago. Born and raised here, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Usually people take college as the opportunity to move out and go to a university out of the city, but I chose to stay here and attended DePaul University. It wasn’t until my sophomore year did I realize I want to major in Graphic Design. I spent most of my four years in the heart of downtown.

After graduation, my mornings went from spending an hour heading south towards The Loop, to driving about 10 minutes north to Skokie to work at ForYourParty. My job at FYP is being one of the many Graphic Designers in office. We take orders, get them ready for printing and help people enjoy their very own personalized party accessories. It’s a blast coming in, talking to some great gals and working on my daily tasks all the while listening to some music. We try to have fun and use any excuse to bring in some snacks (it’s someone’s birthday every day, right?) – never a dull moment at FYP!

How would you describe your design style?

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spread from redesign of DePaul’s CDM Graduate booklet

If you know what the International Typographic Style of design is, you know my kind of design: simple and clear. Huge lover of Swiss typography, German typefaces, bold colors and the use of the grid. I also love creating my own visuals for my work from scratch (above is an example of a spread from a project of mine). I try and combine my minimalist tendencies and ample use of white space with colors to create something eye-catching.

What are your current favorite font combinations?

I love Isabella Script and Museo Slab a lot. It’s a great combo of a trendy ‘script’ typeface and a ‘straight forward’ that I will always love. Here’s one example of them being used together on a Cocktail Napkin.

Describe your perfect Saturday.

Netflix and Chill – except not like that. ‘Chill’ in the sense that I’ll be in my pjs, cuddling with my puppy, marathoning a series until my eyes hate me and of course ordering bad/delicious food.

What’s your favorite FYP product?

Custom wedding cocktail napkins

summer themed wedding napkins designs for promotional use on FYP

I’m going to be a little bias here and say that the above is my favorite Cocktail Napkin. I designed them for Summer Weddings and am just so happy with how they turned out! I especially love our coral/light coral colored napkins. Very lovely for summer, especially when paired with a yellow or even a shade of blue.

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Where do you get inspiration?

I follow a ton of design blogs, so I guess the online design community gives me inspiration. I’m on Tumblr and on Instagram, learning what’s hip-n-happening! I also like following tattooers on Instagram – they have an interesting way of taking a design/piece of artwork and applying it to a very real medium. A lot of design goes into a tattoo, from the way it’s drawn, the colors chosen, to the place on the body where its placed.

If you were a dog, what breed would you be?

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a picture of my puppy, who loves to pose for the camera

I’ll make this question easy for myself and reference that whole “the dog matches the owner” thing that I remember from 101 Dalmatians and say I’d be a Cavapoo – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle mix. It’s a mix of absolute-adorable-face, wanting to have company around all the time (from the Cav) and the smarts of the Poodle! Definitely me.

What’s your favorite travel destination?

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a south-eastern view of downtown Tokyo from on top of Tokyo Tower

I really need to go back to Japan. I went there last year and I still have dreams of being there. Everything about the country was fantastic! I even experienced my first earthquake and I still found my trip amazing. On my first day in Japan, I went to Tokyo Tower and looked at the entire city from the top. Easily one of the best experiences. And the food was too delicious!

What’s your favorite Chicago restaurant?

Rub’s Backcountry Smokehouse. The best BBQ place… at least on the Northside of Chicago. I recommend everyone try their Brisket Burger and Custard-Filled Cornbread. And Truffle Mac-N-Cheese.. and their Smoked Potato Chips..Actually just try everything on the menu. Guaranteed to be amazing.

70-degree weather, trees in full bloom, fresh cut flowers, white teapots and a whole lot of laughter. What more could mom want to celebrate her day? This year we honored the mom’s in our lives by throwing a very special, outdoor tea party. An intimate setting where we kicked the boys out, allowed for easy flowing conversation and plenty of food (more for us! ;)).

Mother's Day Garden Tea Party

Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because not only do we get to tell mom how much we appreciate her, but also honor the many, strong and loving women in our lives that play a special role. This year was extra special because we had all of my sisters and sisters in laws together, as well as my mom, mother in law, and some aunts too!

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We laid out the table and went all out for a special high tea at home. The celebration took place on our back deck, which we filled with flowers and color. As the lawn had turned lush green it provided a lovely background for our small party. I played with corals and blues to play up the long awaited spring season. Everyone was dressed to the nines as we enjoyed mini sandwiches, crudités, scones with fresh clotted cream and desserts upon desserts – after all, sweets are the most important part of a celebration!

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

The menu was split up by my sister, my sister-in-laws, and me – truly making it a very special, group effort for our moms. Every time they complimented something, we were able to credit someone different. The idea of us all coming together to make them feel celebrated and loved was really special.

Setting the table is always my favorite part. I started with my mother’s china set; given to her at her wedding by her parents over 30 years ago, it truly holds a special place in her heart and mine. I offset the very traditional china with floral, blue linen as well as a pop of color with my coral For Your Party cocktail napkins. I decided to foil stamp with a satin gold to add a little bit of shimmer to the table that was playing with a lot of elements of clean whites and wood. The moms loved the custom made napkins! They had a simple ‘I love you, MOM!’ on them, and the ladies all took extras home with them as keepsakes. I drafted up a menu by hand, and the mom’s couldn’t stop taking pictures of it all!

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

Seeing the personalized napkins was definitely the moms’ favorite part as it was something created especially for this occasion. They all talked about making more for our next family gathering – summer BBQ’s or Father’s day! I told them about all of the color combinations we could do, and they all started laughing about how the dad’s would appreciate matchbooks, and we would appreciate the colors and art! That’s the best part about personalized product- its more than just a gift, its something that’s used and interacted with at a party. The customized napkins at our high tea tied all of the décor together and truly brought a unique touch to our gathering that we will cherish forever.

Personalized Cocktail Napkins for Mother's Day

My brother is GETTING MARRIED! I can’t handle the excitement and was so happy to be a part of the shower planning committee with other close family members.  Where to start planning?

Personalized Wedding Scallop Coasters

Personalized Scallop Coasters with Shiny Gold Foil

The most important event goal was to have FUN. This party had to express the couple’s brightest character. They are both so fun. They are silly, caring, whole hearted people, who love to drink… WINE. The couple’s second best quality, is their taste in fine wine and delicious snacks. With the two powers combined, how can we have anything but a classy and exciting event?

Let’s throw a great party!

Step One: Pick a venue. So easy, right? Ha! But finding a place that will represent the happy couple and accommodate all the needs of the party can be a challenge. Team MCWING crushed it with the Black and Tan Grill in Downtown Green Bay, WI. The lounge was a perfect balance of casual and classy. With large windows, the typical bar was bright and sunny for an afternoon gathering. The space held guests well, had an amazing bar and staff to push delicious spirits in our glasses. If you are in the Green Bay/ Fox Valley area, I highly recommend this venue for your event. www.blackandtangrille.com

Step Two: Decorate to AMAZE! We had the bones of the venue to support the party. Now we just needed to sprinkle the party with pretty things to complement.  Our Kate Spade inspired party left the colors to black, white, gold and pops of plum and corals. I started with fun napkins. It was easy finding these colors, and fun putting personalized graphics on the napkins. I took it upon myself to add the couple’s wedding handle for Instagram, hoping partygoers would attach any fun pictures to the shower. IT WORKED!

Personalized Plum Cocktail Napkins with Gold Foil

Personalized Plum Cocktail Napkins with Gold Foil

Personalized “Advice to the Bride & Groom” Coasters

I also couldn’t resist straw tags and stir sticks. We used our stir sticks for the coffee more than mixed drinks. Since wine was the drink of the afternoon, and we had many non-drinkers that we still wanted to decorate.

Personalized Stardream Super Gold Straw Tags with Matte Black Foil

Personalized Stardream Super Gold Straw Tags with Matte Black Foil

Personalized Rectangle Stir Sticks

Personalized Rectangle Stir Sticks with Gold Foil

Can you have too much confetti? The answer is no. Too many things can be done with paper. My hoarding reflexes had me make confetti garland with all the leftover paper that wasn’t needed to sprinkle on all the tables. The plus side was that confetti was large, so the bar didn’t want to kill me for sprinkling it everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.

Personalized Wedding Cocktail Napkins

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Step Three: Invite fun people. But really, all people who love and support you will make your day and event to remember.  This party was not only filled with wonderful local family and friends, but there was some surprise appearances from out of town family to help make the day.

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Overall, the party was a huge SUCCESS! I met many great people, who I can’t wait to see again through other wedding related events. It was a great kick-start to the couples wedding adventure. Another shout out to my brother and his soon to be wifey, so happy to be a part of your big day (and events leading up to). Love you FOREVER!

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We love our weekends! Even more, we love weekend brunches. Best of all, we love bridal Mimosa brunches.

Brunch is a great time to enjoy good food in the company of great friends. Think weekend morning: your favorite people, delicious finger food, light cocktails, flowers and lots of light and laughter. Top it with some great bubbly cocktails and you are the greatest host. Yes, this is what we are talking about – Mimosa brunches. Even thinking about it puts us in a better mood already.

Brunch events are very trendy these days. We have few great ideas for spicing up your bridal brunch. Since brunch is traditionally served between the hours of 11am and 3pm in a buffet style, the food served can be just about anything you can imagine – this makes it a favorite time to celebrate bridal showers. To have a great experience as a host, we suggest that you start preparing ahead of time. Think of how many different appetizers you will serve and prepare. And freeze as much as you can in advance! Make final preparations the night before, leave only the fruit cutting for the morning of.

Personalized Bridal Brunch

Impress them all with an amazing Mimosa/Bellini bar. Have plenty of fresh seasonal fruits, champagne and variety of fruit purees and juices. You can even make your own fresh purees. Good fruit choices are peach, raspberry, orange. Here is a great Mimosa recipe you can suggest to your guests; have the recipe on display and all ingredients available:

Kickin’ Mimosa

5-6 oz Champagne

1/2 orange liqueur

1 oz orange or grapefruit juice

Splash grenadine

Pour ingredients into a champagne glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

Setting the bridal brunch table is lots of fun and we just have the greatest personalized accessories that will seal it all and impress all the guests.

Personalized Linen Like Cocktail Napkins Bridal Shower

Our customized linen like napkins come in beautiful vibrant colors. It’s a great idea to personalize two sets of complimentary or opposite colors for a nice table decor effect. These elegant, personalized sets feature our linen like cocktail napkins in plum with matte white imprint foil on top of the aqua luncheon napkins imprinted with our satin plum foil.

Personalized Stir Sticks Bridal Shower

Dress up your party drinks in style! We love to use our custom foil stamped stir sticks as cocktail fruit sticks. Get some fruit garnishes ready on the personalized stirrers for your guests. Featured on the image are our round stir sticks personalized with satin penny copper foil.

Personalized Blush Coaster Bridal Shower

Personalized coasters are another elegant way to add to the party table decor. We carry a selection of color shape coasters that your guests will find so adorable they will take as keepsakes. Featured here is the nouveau shape coasters in blush with kraft back, imprinted with satin plum foil.

Have fun organizing your brunch event. It is a time to enjoy the precious moments with your closest friends and family and honor the bride to be. Don’t forget to check www.foryourparty.com for great personalized party accessory ideas.

Entertaining is a great way to show your style and social skills in the comfort of your own home. There are many articles on stocking up a home bar and most of them will give you great advice on the furniture (think bar cart) or what liquor you should stock up on but we wanted to write about is how to make your home bar a personalized fun space where you and your friends and family have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

What should you have in your home bar? Well, that all depends on your personal preferences and entertaining style. The home bar should be styled and stocked to reflect your taste and unique personality. What are your favorite drinks? Garnishes? How do you like them served? The home is where you should feel the most comfortable enjoying a much-deserved drink after a long day while you socialize with your favorite people.

Nevertheless there are some home bar basics. Stocking the bar with some of the most popular spirits. You might want to include vodka, gin, whiskey, scotch and rum in your collection. There are few mixers that are important to have on hand for your guests as well. Tonic water, club soda, sprite, cola, juices (orange juice, tomato juice, and lemonade). Some fresh fruit like lemons, limes, and berries make wonderful garnishes and are staples in many cocktails.

Now lets talk tools. You will need a cocktail shaker, possibly a blender and ice and the appropriate glassware like white and red wine glasses, beer steins and pilsners, highballs, martini, daiquiri and margarita glasses.

You don’t need much more, but you could get fancy with a bar cooler, wine chiller, condiment holders, chilling rocks and many other bar toys you can find online. Voila, you can now start the party!

http://www.foryourparty.com/products/napkins-matches-and-barware/coasters/

What we like here at ForYourParty.com is personalize all the accessories we can. Lets start with the coasters. A time less way to personalize these is to have your house address or house number or your family name foil stamped on them.  A really fun way to entertain your visitors is having some family fun facts or just funny quotes imprinted. How about “ I don’t get drunk. I get awesome” or “Hand me the booze and watch me get fabulous”. These will always put a smile on everyone’s face!

How about creating your home bar signature drink and create a set of coasters with the ingredients? Personalize them with your favorite colors or even better to match your home decor. Personalized coasters are a great and useful items t home, to protect your furniture and delight your guests. They can even be used as gift cards, gift tags or even birthday cards. Punch a hole on top and tie a ribbon, write your personal message on the back and you can impress anyone.http://www.foryourparty.com/products/napkins-matches-and-barware/coasters/

Now lets talk cocktail napkins – we have a great collection of styles and colors to match just about any occasion. Like the coasters personalize them with your unique message and foil color of choice. Or select our full color or photo napkins, which are always conversation starters with cleaver or silly images of your family, pet, vacation – really just about anything! We have honestly seen it all at our production facility!

http://www.foryourparty.com/products/napkins-matches-and-barware/napkins/

Don’t forget the stir sticks. Have them foil stamped with your initials, one of the graphics in our huge collection online at ForYourParty.com. Use them to stir the drinks as cocktail picks or to serve appetizers! One set can do double time!

http://www.foryourparty.com/products/napkins-matches-and-barware/stir-sticks-and-straws/

With all this said, just have fun and enjoy yourselves! Putting your personal touch on your bar will insure you are always the “favorite” host!

http://www.foryourparty.com/products/napkins-matches-and-barware/stir-sticks-and-straws/

We’re thrilled to post about the wedding of one of our very own designers here at ForYourParty.com! Ella and Aaron got hitched this fall and the photos are finally in : ) Back near her hometown of Victor, New York, they wed in the great big beautiful park Mendon Ponds. Weather was predicted cold and rainy for weeks, but when the day finally came, amazingly it was perfectly dry and all sunshine! Ella and Aaron are nature lovers who met in the fall and got engaged two falls later. So even though an outdoor Western New York wedding in mid October seemed risky, it was decidedly so, and so worth it. Leaves were changing and it was not too hot, not too cold.

Photography Credit: Rich Paprocki, ForYourParty.com

Turney Wedding

Turney Wedding

Ella went for a lush, natural vibe, full of shades of green, gold and brown. Guests kept cozy with homemade flannel blanket shawls and hot coffee, tea or apple cider. The couple collected as many mugs as there were guests, from thrift and discount stores, every one of them unique so that guests could pick their favorite, fill it up, then take it home at the end of the night for a keepsake. Ferns were the (super affordable!) foliage choice used in bouquets, flower crowns, and delicate centerpieces that also included locally picked Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. They hired Dinosaur BBQ for their famed southern fare, and found local bakers to supply their favorite desserts, apple fritters and pecan pie. Also on the tables of course were several napkins a la ForYourParty.com! She went with Espresso Brown napkins stamped in a variety of foil colors: Gold, Copper, and Shiny Green Tea.

Turney Wedding

Turney Wedding

Turney Wedding

Turney Wedding

Ella designed her invitation suite and also had that printed in house at ForYourParty via Lovely Press (http://www.foryourparty.com/lovely-press/). She used a gorgeous combination of letterpress and foil-stamping methods– A custom mint card stock for invitation and RSVP with Black letterpress, and Brown Wood paper with Shiny Green Tea foil for the reception card. Delicate leaves were foil-stamped in Satin Gold on all three cards, and the suite completed within Poptone Dark Olive envelopes.

Lovely Press Invitation

Turney Wedding

One of post ceremony snacks was caramel corn homemade by a bridesmaid’s mother. Needless to say this did not last long! The treat fit nicely in ForYourParty goodie bags, Ivory foil-stamped in Satin Gold. And one final accessory for the sake of tradition– Cigar Matchboxes! These were in Poptone Dark Olive paper foil-stamped in Copper.

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For their honeymoon, they kept it simple and stayed local in the Finger Lakes “cabin hopping”, hiking the beautiful area, and eating leftover BBQ and pie. Perhaps an anniversary trip is on the horizon for them next fall : )

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Ella’s advice for brides to be— Everyone will have a different opinion about aesthetic so choose what pleases you. The day really does go by so fast and there will be many things you wished you’d done, or done differently, but in the end, don’t listen to those nagging perfectionist type thoughts, listen instead to the feedback from your guests who love you and are delighted just to share in your joy and your big day : )

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She said, “Yes”. A loved one got engaged and the wedding planning has begun! The wedding day may be the “Best Day Ever “ and take much of the planning efforts, but don’t forget the importance of celebrations that take place prior like the Bridal Shower. Often times the bridal shower is a more intimate gathering, when her closest friends and family celebrate the couple.

A bridal shower can be as upscale or relaxed as the couple wishes. The theme should reflect their personalities and is traditionally hosted by the maid of honor and bride-maids but today, anything goes! Family and friends often pitch in and bring creativity and fun energy to the planning and party.

Featured here is a trend look using Shiny Gold Foil on party accessories that will complement any bridal shower. The combination of whites and neutrals with gold foil will never go out of style and makes an elegant and powerful statement.

Custom Gold Foil Stamed Coaster

Personalized scalloped coaster with shiny gold foil imprint

 

Wedding Custom Table Number

Tall fold over table card with shadow cut motif and number layer

 

Personalized Gold Foil Stamped Gift Tag

Beautiful white oval tag with shiny gold imprint

 

 

Leather, one of everyone’s all time favorite materials oozes luxury and elegance without much effort. Incorporating leather into a special event such as a wedding, engagement or anniversary celebration can add an unexpected touch of sophistication and class. Combining a feminine and masculine aesthetic, using fonts and imprint colors, perfectly reflect both the bride and groom, or groom and groom, or bride and bride!

Our leather square and round coasters and leather matchboxes are sure to impress your guests. Personalized to match your style with shiny and satin gold or silver foils and delight your guests with unusually and useful party keepsakes. Here are some great ideas to consider when deciding on your personalized leather favors.

 

Personalized Leather Matchbox FavorWe love the use of a solid san serif font like the one used on this match box. It optimizes the impression of the gold foil on the supple leather box.

Gold Foil Personalized Leather CoasterThese elegant and masculine coasters will be perfect for your man who’s celebrating a milestone birthday or part of a sophisticated cigar bar at your wedding.

PizzaParty_2Being a company that specializes in foil-stamping, we go through a lot of metal. This past week we decided to do our part and recycle all of the metal plates we used in the past few months to produce our napkins! To celebrate we threw a pizza party to reward our employees for their help in recycling.

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PizzaParty_1In total, we recycled 26 full buckets of magnesium plates. Big thanks to Gary, who packed all 26 in his BMW!

PizzaParty_6PizzaParty_7Of course we offered a healthy option on the side, a delicious Greek salad. The perfect combo for a chilly Chicago morning.

PizzaParty_3Here at ForYourParty, we aim to use eco-friendly practices and recycling is one way we can help keep our environment healthy!

In honor of our sweet Melissa, a ForYourParty.com employee who is currently fighting breast cancer, we made a donation to cancer research. We came to the amount by tallying up our sales of pink-colored items during the month of October and then donated a percentage of the proceeds to the Cancer Research Institute.

Melissa is a young, newlywed graphic designer and photographer who was diagnosed with stage 2 ductal carcinoma breast cancer in August at the age of 25. She documents her journey on her blog, www.breastcancerat25.com.

Melissa has been able to work part-time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, so we’ve had a few wine, cheese and chocolate tasting parties to celebrate and support her, and our entire staff brought in wigs to wear to support her during this emotional time. “Wig Wednesdays” became a regular part of our weekly schedule.

Even through these difficult times, Melissa’s vivacious personality is more than contagious. ForYourParty is proud of our rock star creative, and we look forward to having her fully recovered and back in the office full-time again as soon as possible in the new year. Thank you, Melissa, for being an inspiration to us all.

We love you!
-Your friends at ForYourParty.com

Melissa

Melissa on Far Right