Friday Happy Hour: A Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned

We’re back with another infusion! It’s cold outside this weekend, so why not warm up your Valentine’s sweetheart with this winter-appriopriate Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned?  Andrew

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned

2 oz Chocolate-Fig Infused Rye Whiskey
1 tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 Barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

To infuse the whiskey: combine one bottle of rye whiskey with half a cup of cacao nibs and half a cup of dried figs, diced, in a nonreactive container. Let it sit for at least a couple of weeks and, better yet, a month if you can wait that long. Give it a shake every day. Then strain the infusion through a coffee filter to remove all the solids and bottle the infused rye.

To make the cinnamon syrup: combine a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and three cinnamon sticks, broken up into bits, in a sauce pan. Heat the pan gently to melt the sugar into the water, then remove from heat and cover the pan. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then strain out the solids and bottle the syrup.

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

To make the Old Fashioned: combine the rye, cinnamon syrup, liqueur, and bitters in a mixing glass, then add a few big pieces of ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Add some fresh chunks of ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

What a wonderful drink this makes: smooth, sweetly chocolaty, with warm spicy notes and hints of chewy, wintery fruit.

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The best way to get those dark, rich, chocolaty notes in an infusion is to use cacao nibs – the little broken bits you get when you roast and shell a cacao bean. And the best way to get those earthy, fruity fig flavors is to use dried figs; the water in fresh fruit will dilute your infusion. Just know: your infusion will look like a dirty, murky mess before you filter it. I had to triple-filter to remove all the sediment.

Chocolate-Fig Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! And yay for long weekends! Do you all have anything fun planned for President’s Day weekend? It’s supposed to be bitterly cold here this weekend, so I’m trying to come up with new fun indoor things to do to entertain my girls. Museums are usually our go-to solution for hot summer and cold winter days – and the U.S. Botanic Garden is perfect for a dose of greenery in the middle of winter. But in the meantime…

A Petal Unfolds / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by A Petal Unfolds via Instagram

…a few links for your long weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for me this week! Check back a bit later for this week’s cocktail recipe! I hope you have a wonderful long weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Tuesday! xoxo

Calligraphy Inspiration: Paula Lee Calligraphy

There’s no arguing that the handwritten touch is the epitome of romance. Love letters, Valentines, vows and invitations; calligraphy is the way to go to capture the air of amour. Enter Paula Lee Calligraphy. Based in Toronto, Canada, Paula offers calligraphy and design services for weddings, events and businesses. From light and airy vellum to gauzy fabrics and handmade papers, her work floats across the surface drawing your gaze with its flirtatious curves. –Julie

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Paula Lee Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To see more of Paula’s beautiful work, visit her website, Facebook, or Instagram for updates and snapshots from the life of a calligrapher.

Photo credits: 1, 3 right Dallas Curow; 2, 5 Michelle Mez Photography; 3 left, 4, 6 right Julia Park Photoraphy; 6 left Paula Lee

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines

Okay, so this officially qualifies as last minute – but hey, as a busy mom, pretty much EVERYTHING I do is last minute. Luckily there’s a printable in this post and these Valentines take all of 10 minutes from start to finish, which makes them the perfect solution for busy moms everywhere. I made these DIY googly eye classroom Valentines with my 3 year-old in mind. She can’t yet read the words and she definitely doesn’t understand puns yet, but googly eyes? Every toddler can get behind googly eyes! We’ll be pairing our Valentines with cute temporary tattoos (another toddler favorite), but you could easily staple these to a gift bag full of Valentine’s Day candy or punch a hole in the top and use them as oversized gift tags!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

So here’s the thing about preschoolers: even though they’re only just now learning how to write and read, they LOVE writing letters to each other. At my daughter’s preschool, each child has their own little mailbox where they can leave each other notes, and I’m constantly delivering envelopes to the teachers because the kids “write” so many letters to each other. It’s just the cutest thing ever. Our school is having a Valentine’s Day social tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to see these tiny humans all exchange Valentine’s Day cards with each other!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To make the googly eye classroom Valentines:

Step 1. Download the free printable here and print onto any color card stock. I can’t resist an opportunity to use my Heidi Swapp Minc foil applicator, so I turned mine into gold foil Valentines – but they also look super cute in black and white! Trim the cards down to size using scissors or a paper cutter.

Step 2. Apply a small dot of school glue to the back of a pair of googly eyes (mine are from Michaels) and place them on the card – or let your toddler do it! Allow to dry. If you don’t have googly eyes on hand, try drawing a pair of eyeballs instead! Write the name of each recipient at the bottom, along with your child’s name, then adhere to a Valentine’s Day treat of your choice.

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I’m also planning to print a bunch of these for my 1 year-old’s daycare class. Googly eyes! The perfect solution for tiny humans of all ages. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Download the printable template right here!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

All artwork is created for personal use only and may not be altered, reproduced, or sold in any way without prior written consent.

Love is Mightier: Postcards to end gun violence

Ed Note: Today we’re taking a bit of a departure from our regular content to introduce a new initiative from our very own Emily. Gun violence is such a big and overwhelming issue, and it’s so easy to feel like there’s nothing that we can personally do to help. Emily’s new initiative, Love is Mightier, is a reminder that we can make our voices heard and, together, we can make a difference. Emily has gathered some incredible designers (and is still accepting submissions!) to donate postcards spreading a message of love over fear, and 100% of the proceeds will go to support local organizations working to end gun violence. Read more below!

This is a more personal post than my usual brick + mortar column. Thank you to Nole for welcoming it and each of you for reading it!

As a mother and community member, the continual acts of gun violence have pierced my heart. In December, in the wake of another gun tragedy, I was tired of wringing my hands and wondering what I could do. I thought about my best skill sets and the creative community around me and knew it was time to act. I am at my best when I’m cheerleading and organizing others into action. I put out a call on social media to my creative community to create cards celebrating love over fear with the idea that we could support organizations and individuals working to end gun violence. I didn’t have a complete plan, but the response was overwhelming, so I got to work. Over the past few weeks, I have felt like a very lucky lightning rod for some incredible creativity and emotion. I am reminded each day that each of us can do something and together, we can ensure that love is mightier than fear. ~ Emily of Clementine 

Amy Heitman for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Amy Heitman, Love is Mightier

Details of the Love is Mightier campaign: Each designer contributed their designs and creativity for this project. They either funded or had the printing costs donated. The cards are currently for sale at my store, here, and I’m working to reach out to independent shops nationwide (there are some legal regulations that we’re working through to make this as easy as possible).  Each card set is $10 for 10 cards (plus some grassroots action to end gun violence in your community). The 10 cards presented here represent our first volume, I expect to have at least 3-5 volumes (30-50 postcards!) over the next few months. I hope those who send and receive the cards will share their messages on social media with hashtag #loveismightier so that we can increase the volume on this issue and contribute to ending gun tragedies in our communities.

The Nic Studio for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

The Nic Studio, Hands, Heart, Love. Printing donated by Catprint Inc.

Happy Cactus for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence Happy Cactus Designs, Love More Fear Less
Hartland Brooklyn for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence Hartland Brooklyn, I love you
Laura Macchia and May Day Studio for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Laura Macchia with printing by May Day Studio, Love

Printerette Press for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Printerette Press, Love Thy Neighbor

Steel Petal Press for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Steel Petal Press, The True Protest is Beauty

Power and Light Press for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Power and Light Press, Hate Generalizes Love Specifies

Thimblepress for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Thimblepress, Shape the World with Love

Idlewild Co. for Love is Mightier / A Campaign to End Gun Violence

Idlewild Co., We are Love

I’m not sure there are words to adequately describe the experience of fielding these submissions, and the sentiments that are sent. I want to send a warm thank you to each designer who has already contributed, and those in progress. I love the postcards above, and believe me, we have some incredible work on the way. See the new arrivals here on the Love is Mightier instagram.

If this project moves you, I’ll be accepting new submissions (at least) through March, please send me a note emily@clementinestore.com

All photos by Jessica Sipe who donated her time to this effort.