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Introducing Studio Design That

Naming a company is hard.  You have to think about a million different variables.  Find one that hasn’t been taken.  Find a corresponding domain name that makes sense (and let me tell you, that’s the hardest part!).  And find one with meaning.  

When I started my company 12 years ago, I faced all of these challenges and solved them by coming up with my own new word to describe what I wanted to bring my clients…Perception + Creativity = Perceptivity.  But what I failed to realized at that point was how difficult it was for people to SPELL a made up word, and for the past 12 years I have winced every single time I’ve had to spell out my email address or website for someone, “it’s a long one…P like Paul-E-R-C-E-P like Paul-T like Tom-I-V like Victor-I-T like Tom-Y-Studio.com.”  I tried to find shorter domain alternatives, but of course someone had snapped up every single shortened domain name I could think of.    

And so I started thinking about a bigger change.  And with that decision, I started thinking about what I do for my clients with the designs I create for them.  I’m not going to make them a million dollars—that’s their job—but what I CAN do for them is create design that empowers, inspires, excites, builds, transforms, renews, informs, declares and wows.  And then I realized that no one had snapped up that very simple name: Studio Design That. 

So welcome to my new-old business!  At Studio Design That you will still work with me, Jenni McKay, on every project.  You’ll still get the same personal service, thoughtful suggestions and recommendations, and Design That…does whatever you need it to do for your business.

Whether you’re a current client, old client, or potential new client, I invite you to come on in, take a look around, check out logo, corporate identity, websites, and print portfolios…and hopefully stay a while.  Welcome to Studio Design That!

{Web} Custom WordPress Websites You Can Update Yourself

Custom WordPress WebsiteIntroducing Custom WordPress Websites

We’ve been hearing more and more clients ask for a custom website you can update yourself, so we’re proud to announce that Studio Design That is offering custom WordPress websites!

So What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a simple-to-use platform that was formerly used for only blogging, and is now a fantastic way to build a robust, complete website for your company.  Its main feature is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to log in and make changes to your custom WordPress website….all on your own!

Benefits of a Custom WordPress Website

  • You will gain access to an easy-to-use, web-based content management system that will allow YOU to make edits to your custom WordPress website after it’s been finished…without having to pay me to do them!  Need to update some copy?  Add some new pictures to your portfolio?  Easy peasy, and you can do it yourself from your own simple dashboard that I will help you learn how to use.
  • There are over 20,000 plugins available for your custom WordPress website that will add invaluable functionality to your site…from powerful contact forms that will build an email database of marketing contacts for your company…to to stunning portfolios that show off your expertise…to social media integration of your company’s Facebook and Twitter…and so much more! We can talk about the functions that will best suit your company and choose the ones that will really make your custom WordPress website shine.
  • Using the WordPress platform for your custom WordPress website automatically gives you access to the most powerful tool for search engine optimization (SEO) out there: a blog! A blog is a fantastic way for you to get your company’s website noticed by Google, and I can help you learn how to use your custom WordPress website to optimize your content and start getting better Google placement while also helping you to become recognized as an expert in your field.  It’s almost like magic.
  • By working with Studio Design That, you can get a custom design and custom graphics integrated into the most powerful framework on the web in your very own custom WordPress website design. We’ll create a custom WordPress theme for your website that fits your company’s brand.  Your logo, your colors, your look and feel, incorporated into the WordPress system for a custom WordPress website. My clients have consistently received amazing feedback on their website designs, and you can be another of my success stories!

Ready For Your Own Custom WordPress Website?

So what are you waiting for?  Contact Studio Design That to design a custom WordPress website for your company today.

{Real Parties} Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

You’re invited to a Mickey Mouse birthday party!  Well, you’re invited to get some inspiration, at least, at the Mickey Mouse birthday party I just threw for my 3-year-old son, Carter. Now you should understand that Carter LOVES Mickey Mouse.  He used to call him “Myna Mo” and while he now knows how to say “Mickey Mouse” correctly (and so much more…seriously, this kid can talk your ear off), the love is still there.  So I’ve been dreaming up this Mickey Mouse birthday party for quite some time now, and he thankfully loved it just as much as I thought he would.

Let’s start with the Mickey Mouse invitation.  My goal for theme parties is to use recognizable symbols so you know what the party is all about, while also avoiding copyrighted characters…namely anything you would find in the party aisle. So our Mickey Mouse invitation (and other printables) focused on the 3-circle combination everyone recognizes as Mickey Mouse, and the colors red, white, black and yellow.  Since a Mickey-shaped invitation wouldn’t fit well in an envelope, I dreamed up a unique way to make it happen.  Here it is:


Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation

The Mickey Mouse invitation has all of the party details printed on one big 5″ circle, then a cute poem is printed on two 3″ circles, which I attached using cute little black button brads.  To put each Mickey Mouse invitation in the hot yellow square envelopes we bought, I rotated the circles in since the brads allowed them to pivot, and then our friends got to take the Mickey Mouse invitation out of the envelope and open it back up again.  So many of our friends contacted me to tell me how much their kids loved the invitation!  And when the kids love it, that’s the ultimate compliment!  If you’re interested in using these Mickey Mouse invitations for your Mickey Mouse birthday party, you can find the digital files in my Etsy shop and I’ve written a full tutorial on how to create these Mickey Mouse invitations here.

I also tried to plan some other fun details for the party ahead of time.  One of my favorite parts of any party is the food table.  Here’s the whole Mickey Mouse birthday party food table set-up:

First up is the banner hanging over the table.  On either side of my C-A-R-T-E-R  M-O-U-S-E circle banner, I made “glove balloons” (one of Mickey and his friends’ favorite modes of transportation on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) for Mickey and his pals to ride in using the gloves from Carter’s Halloween costume from last year, yellow ribbon, little red bowls and lots of hot glue!  These were one of my favorite details from the party, and I tied the banner up onto the thumb of each glove.  I also added some white “buttons” onto the red tablecloth to simulate Mickey’s shorts, then I ran some pretty white and black wrapping paper down the length of the table to put all of the food on so the red food table tents would “pop.”

I love coming up with themed food items to coordinate with the party. So since I’ve watched many-an-episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I came up with the following Mickey Mouse food ideas:

  • Red Minnie Bows: BABYBEL CHEESE (cut into quarters and arranged like hair bows)
  • Goofy Hats: GREEN GRAPES
  • Donald Hats: BLUEBERRIES
  • Daisy Dots: GRAPE NERDS
  • Gooey Fish: GUMMY FISH
  • Duck Beaks: CARROTS
  • Moo Muffins: BLUEBERRY MINI-MUFFINS
  • Minnie Dots: STRAWBERRY NERDS
  • Martian Mickey Sticks: CELERY
  • Mickey Shoes: LEMON DROPS
  • Mickey Shorts: DIPPED OREO COOKIES
  • Pluto Snacks: COCOA PUFFS
  • Mouse Ears: CHEESE CRACKERS
  • Mickey Crisps: CHIPS
  • Pink Minnie Bows: WATERMELON (cut into triangles and arranged like hair bows)
  • Pete’s Beans: JELLY BEANS
  • Mickey Cupcakes: VANILLA & CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH OREO “EARS”

Here are some pictures:

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Oreo Cupcakes

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Oreo Pops

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Food Table

We also came up with some fun Mickey Mouse favors for our friends to take home: Mickey Mouse pumpkins! We got some supplies from our craft store (big black pom poms for ears, googly eyes, and yellow pom poms for shoes) then went to the local pumpkin patch where Carter picked out 20 little pumpkins. Then we took them home and started crafting! The results was a batch of super-cute Mickey Mouse favors that our friends got to take home and use for Halloween decorations!  Here is a picture:

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Pumpkin Favors

We also did a fun Mickey Mouse craft for the kiddos, which involved deconstructing Mickey’s face so he was missing ears, eyes and a nose, then letting the kiddos use our leftover pom poms from the pumpkin favors to glue them back on again. My husband laughed at me for putting this Mickey Mouse craft together the night before the party, but the kiddos all loved it!

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Craft

All in all, it was a beautiful day with our friends and family and the birthday boy especially had a sugar-and-Mickey-fueled blast.  Heres to many more birthdays to come!

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Mama and Carter

{Tutorial} Mickey Mouse Invitations

Mickey Mouse Birthday Invitation

The Mickey Mouse  invitations I designed for my son Carter’s third birthday are my new favorites!  And since I did a lot of Mickey-related Pinterest searching prior to hosting Carter’s Mickey Mouse birthday party (see more about the party in this post), I know that there aren’t a ton of unique Mickey Mouse invitations out there.  So if you’re willing to be a bit crafty, here’s a Mickey Mouse invitation tutorial showing you how I made these Mickey Mouse invitations a reality.

You can head to my Etsy shop to purchase the digital files for the (above) Mickey Mouse invitation from Firefly Invitations (you supply your Mickey Mouse birthday party details and I will include them and email you a PDF that you can either print yourself at home or have printed somewhere else, like FedEx Office). Or if you would rather create your own Mickey Mouse invitation design and just use this Mickey Mouse invitation tutorial for the “mechanics” then more power to you!

 

Here are all of the supplies you’ll need for each invitation:

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitations Supplies

  • (1) 5″ circle “big circle” component of the Mickey Mouse invitation (used for Mickey’s “face”)
  • (2) 3″ circle “small circle” components of the Mickey Mouse invitation (used for Mickey’s “ears”)
  • (2) small brads (I used small black “button” brads from Michaels)
  • Scissors
  • 3″ circle punch (you can find these at most craft stores or online)
  • Small hole punch
  • 5″ square envelope (I used bright yellow “Mickey shoe” colored envelopes)
  • You’ll also need a $0.65 stamp (square envelopes cost more to send, but the extra postage covered the square envelope and the bump the brads made since they had to be hand cancelled)
1 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

1. Cut out 5″ big Mickey Mouse invitation circle from paper.
Note that I originally planned to use one of the large circle cutters that works kind of like a compass to cut out my big Mickey Mouse invitation circles, but I ruined quite a few invitations before I realized I wasn’t strong enough to get a good cut, and it was time for a change of plans!  So I just used scissors and cut them out, which worked way better.

2 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

2. Punch out the (2) small Mickey Mouse invitation circles from paper using the 3″ circle punch.

3 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

3. Punch small holes with the small hole punch on the top left and right side of the big circle. (I just eyeballed it and used the white lines as a reference point.)  Then punch small holes on the bottom right of the “Meeska Mooska” circle and the bottom left of the other circle.  Yep, I screwed this up a few times, too, reversing the location of the punches!

4 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial

4. Attach the small circles to the big circle using the brads.
I found it looked better with the small circles overlapping the front of the big circles.

5 Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Invitation Tutorial
5. Rotate the small circles inward so you’re left with one 5″ Mickey Mouse invitation circle that you can stuff into the square envelope.
I put them in so the brads were on the top of the envelope.

6. You’ll need to either get $0.65 stamps at the post office or use a regular stamp with extra postage (or technically you could use two regular stamps, but that’s the most expensive option).

Ta-da!  Your very own custom Mickey Mouse invitations!  I had so many of our friends contact me to tell me how much they—and their kiddos—had loved the invitations, which makes me so happy to hear.  I hope that those of you who try this tutorial have a similar response!  And if you do give it a try, please leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at info@fireflyinvitations.com, and I’d be glad to help you out!

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Phone: 813.857.2071

Email: hello@studio-dt.com