NSS 2017: Party Party Party!

We’re wrapping up our coverage of this year’s National Stationery Show this week with a couple final posts – starting with some of my favorite party goods from this year’s show! We’ve got some seriously fun party plates, hologram favor bags and banners, printed party balloons, and so much more! Let’s kick things off with the most amazing cocktail napkins from Lionheart Prints!

NSS 2017: Lionheart Prints

I mean, are these not just the most perfect cocktail napkins EVER???

NSS 2017: Lionheart Prints

Lionheart Prints (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Meri Meri

These iridescent party plates are my everything!

NSS 2017: Meri Meri

Meri Meri (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Knot and Bow

Totally obsessed with these rainbow plates from Knot & Bow!

NSS 2017: Knot and Bow

Knot & Bow (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Alexis Mattox Design

I neeeeeeed this hologram letter banner in my life! (Photo via Alexis Mattox Design)

NSS 2017: Alexis Mattox Design

Alexis Mattox Design (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Bash Party Goods

I’m seriously obsessed with these glittery hologram plates from Bash Party Goods – and the grid pattern plates below!

NSS 2017: Bash Party Goods

Bash Party Goods (check out the full booth here!)



NSS 2017: Hester and Cook

Watermelon place cards from Hester & Cook? Yes, please! The die cut tropical leaf card below comes with an envelope so you can send it as a notecard, or repurpose it as a place card for a party or wedding!

NSS 2017: Hester and Cook

Hester & Cook (check out the full booth here!)


NSS 2017: Ginger Ray UK

Hologram foil party napkins by Ginger Ray (check out the full booth here!)


NSS 2017: My Little Day

The cutest candles, party plates, and printed party balloons from My Little Day!

NSS 2017: My Little Day

My Little Day (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: The Roc Shop

Non-traditional acrylic cake toppers (and cocktail stir sticks) from The Roc Shop (check out the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: We Love Sundays

NSS 2017: We Love Sundays

So many cute party plates from Australian exhibitor We Love Sundays (check out the full booth here!)

More recaps from the 2017 National Stationery Show here – and you can find photos from all the NSS 2017 exhibitors right here!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey and Hannah Nowack for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

From the PNW, Kara and Tess are here to share their story Behind the Stationery at Egg Press! As partners in leading a growing company in Portland, collaborating on all fronts is a key part to their success. Beyond greeting cards, Egg Press partners with local companies, started the Write_On campaign to promote written correspondence, and actively gives back in their new GOODS FOR GOOD collection. Take a look inside their day to day! Megan Soh

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

From Kara and Tess of Egg Press: In 1999, Tess left her job as a graphic and surface designer for Nike so that she could be in her letterpress studio more. Her intent was to print custom work for the local design community, but when she took a handful of card designs to a trade show in SF on a whim, Egg Press was born.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Our studio is located in beautiful NW Portland, Oregon on the third floor of the Schoolhouse Electric building, a 1910 brick factory and warehouse. We love coming to this inspiring space every day and of being part of a long tradition of American manufacturing. It’s gratifying to use these old machines (the basic design of some of our presses goes back to the 1800’s) to make wholly new things. We have 12 presses including Heidelberg windmills and Chandler and Price clamshells. They all have different personalities which have garnered nicknames. One of our Heidelbergs may be one of the oldest of its kind still in use. We also have sewing machines, a screen printing set up, as well as old-school gadgets for corner rounding, paper jogging, and notebook padding.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Kara and Tess work in the back office near the train tracks. Conversations are occasionally brought to a stop as loudly whistling train pass by. It’s all part of the charm. Tess and Kara work side by side every day – Tess on the left, Kara on the right collaborating on most everything that leaves the studio.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

On a typical day Tess and Kara can be found working on design deadlines, collecting inspiration, creating illustrations for a local grocery chain, taking meetings and thinking about what’s next. The print room comes in early and creates their to-do list, juggling custom printing needs, inventory needs, and R&D for new products or formats. The folks in the office make sure all is running smoothly with accounts, customer service, and orders, while the shippers hustle to get boxes picked, packed and ready for the postman by 3:00pm.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Photo by Micah Fischer

We are still a small enough company to be nimble. While each person has a set of responsibilities and things to do each day, we all wear many hats and are able to come together to accomplish a lot as a team. This means we can respond to exciting opportunities as well as bumps in the road in a timely fashion.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

First and foremost, we are inspired by the letterpress process and the technical constraints of designing for it. We love Japanese and Scandinavian design and are also inspired by vintage ephemera, Bauhaus typography, interesting color combinations and word play.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

We start by collecting inspiration and with our marketing and sales team, considering needs in the marketplace. Once we have solid ideas that get us juiced up and a design direction established we begin to sketch, draw, paint and compose on the computer. When we have enough contenders we review the designs to narrow down the offerings.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

At this point plates are ordered, colors are specified and the cards move to the printing process. This is where the real magic happens. There is nothing better to see the cards come to life fresh off the press.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Usually new formats start with what inspires us. For example, we love textiles, so within our SPK line (Social Preparedness Kit) we offer small batch soft goods, designed, printed, and constructed from start to finish in our studio. SPK also includes stationery products for the desk and other goods that help make letter writing easy.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Another big initiative we design and produce for is Write_On, our annual letter writing campaign. This was born from founder Tess Darrow’s desire to get in the habit of writing more letters. It’s fun to brainstorm products that will inspire folks to write. We’ve created letter writing advent style calendars, totes to carry your materials, and enamel pins to show your support for the cause.

We don’t typically produce a lot of postcards but are excited to heed recent requests for political postcards while raising money for some of our favorite causes. Along with totes and screen printed t-shirts, they’re part of our recently launched GOODS FOR GOOD line in which all proceeds are donated to organizations that are working to better the lives of all people.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

All photos by Christa Fowles except where noted.

Interested in being featured in this column? Reach out to Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper.com for details.

Fifteen Awesome 2017-2018 Planners and Agendas!

Since it’s back-to-school week here in DC, I figured this would be an excellent time to share our annual round up of beautiful planners and agendas! And we’ve got a seriously good crop of them this year! Today we’re sharing FIFTEEN awesome 2017-2018 planners and agendas. Fifteen! Some of the planners below stick to a traditional yearly calendar, but many of them follow the academic calendar – so you can start using them RIGHT NOW. Yay! Ready??

Fifteen Awesome 2017-2018 Planners and Agendas

1. Ban.do always has the cutest agendas, and this year is no exception! Plenty of pink, hologram foil, playful phrases, sticker pages, and so much more. Oh, and if your favorite Ban.do agenda is sold out on their website, check their list of stockists to see if you can track one down there! Nordstrom has a bunch of options still in stock!

2. This Egyptian Rose weekly planner (January – December 2018) from Fox & Fallow features shiny rose foil on a pink book cloth cover on the outside. Inside, you’ll find weekly views on each spread and a monthly view at the beginning of each month.

3. Available in three different cover options – and in both 17-month and 12-month formats! – this Wise Words planner from One Canoe Two includes monthly and weekly spreads, with plenty of room to write, doodle, or dream in big open squares (no cramming a full day into a few tiny lines!). Each month includes hand lettered inspirational quotes, along with sections for notes, contacts, and keeping track of important dates and holidays.

4 – 6. I couldn’t resist including an example of each of the three planner formats offered by Rifle Paper Co. this year: A full-size 17-month planner, a compact 17-month planner, and a twelve-month weekly agenda. How will you ever choose just one??

7. How gorgeous is the cover for this 17-month (August 2017 – December 2018) Aurora planner from Hadron Epoch?? Even more beautiful cover options here!

8. For those of you who want to get a head start on 2018 planning, try this 14-month (December 2017 – January 2019!) agenda from Blushing Confetti with weekly views and a gorgeous green floral cover!

9. The Day Designer always comes in a bazillion gorgeous cover options, but I particularly adore the illustrations in this “desk bliss” cover! Choose a midyear (June 2017 – May 2018) planner if you want to start using it now, or wait for a traditional January – December 2018 version!

10. Sleek and modern minimalist planners with beautiful linen book cloth covers from Appointed Co. Choose between 17-month (August 2017 – December 2018) and twelve month (January – December 2018) options, and you can even add gold foil monogramming!

11. How cute is this floral cover on the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley? The twelve month academic planner (August 2017 – July 2018) is available now, and the twelve month 2018 planner will be available for purchase on September 6!

12. I have a long love affair with anything constellation-inspired – loving this cover option on this 17-month agenda (August 2017 – December 2018) from My Mind’s Eye!

13. Brand new planners from Idlewild Co.! These annual planners (January – December 2018) include 220 interior pages with sections for daily, weekly, and monthly planning, along with year-at-a-glance, goal-tracking, and notes sections. Plus, plenty of hand lettered inspirational quotes and colorful stickers! I’m partial to this color blocked cover option, but here are also tropical banana leaves, prickly pear cacti, and a papaya print!

14. The Get to Work Book (July 2017 – June 2018) is a daily planner and goal setting workbook specifically for creative professionals and entrepreneurs designed to help you make progress on your big goals by taking things one day at a time. Features include 246 interior pages with 12 motivational text prints, Monday – Sunday week-at-a-glance spreads, space for notes and brainstorming, a “year-at-a-glance” spread with space to write plans, 14 “project breakdown” pages to help you complete large tasks, 13 “reflect and goal-set” pages to celebrate past successes and come up with action items for the next month, and a pocket on inside back cover.

15. This twelve month agenda from Adam JK is undated, so you can start using it at any time! I love all the creative prompts for reflection and inspiration that Adam included throughout the agenda.

p.s. Some of our favorite organizational stationery goodies from this year’s National Stationery Show.

DIY Watercolor Floral Pencil Pouch

A new era officially kicks off for my little family today: my oldest daughter, Sophie, starts kindergarten this morning! She’s super excited for the start of a new school year, but I’m trying not to be a blubbery mess – especially since my youngest daughter, Alice, starts preschool (at the same school!) a bit later in the week. Anyway, in honor of Sophie’s first day of kindergarten, I have a fun project for you today: a DIY watercolor floral pencil pouch!

DIY Watercolor Floral Pencil Pouch

A couple of weeks ago I rounded up eleven of my favorite pencil pouches available for purchase, but I couldn’t find a floral option that I really loved. Vibrant watercolor florals have a special place in my heart, so I teamed up with Courtney from Swiss Cottage Designs to create a colorful illustrated floral pattern for this DIY version! Of course, I styled these as pencil pouches, but you could also use it as a makeup or catch-all bag – or make a bunch of them to give as bridesmaid gifts! The whole process is a snap, so let’s get right to it!

DIY Watercolor Floral Pencil Pouch


Printable floral watercolor pattern

Blank cotton zipper pouch

Iron-on transfer sheets for white or light fabrics



DIY Watercolor Floral Pencil Pouch

To make this DIY watercolor floral pencil pouch:

Step 1. Download and print our watercolor floral template onto iron-on transfer paper for white or light color fabrics. The instructions are different for each type and brand of transfer paper, so be sure to follow the printing instructions on the package.

Step 2. Cut out the floral pattern. It’s totally fine to cut loosely around the entire floral illustration, you just want to cut everything down to fit the size of the zipper pouch.

Step 3. Place the floral pattern on the zipper pouch and iron on according to the package instructions. Some will have you iron on face down, some face up, some require everything to cool before removing the liner, etc. – so just be sure to follow the exact instructions according to your package. It’s totally easy!

Step 4. Fill your floral pouch with pens, pencils, or whatever makes you happy and you’re good to go!

DIY Watercolor Floral Pencil Pouch

I just love how these turned out! So vibrant and cheerful – and so useful in so many ways. Download the printable floral watercolor pattern from Swiss Cottage Designs below!


p.s. Eleven awesome pencil pouches (for those of you who aren’t into DIY) and printable tropical envelope liners

All artwork © 2017 Swiss Cottage Designs created exclusively for Oh So Beautiful Paper. All artwork is made available for personal use only. By downloading the patterns you agree to the terms of use.

Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

On Speaking Out

What We're Not Going to Do is Defend Nazis / Image by Darcy Dubose via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Image by Darcy Dubose via Instagram

This week was confusing, exhausting, and completely enraging, as much of the last seven months has been, to be honest. To any readers in Spain, my thoughts are with you. My family took a quick impromptu trip out to the beach for a bit of mental self-care, so I’m a bit late with my Friday links this week. We really needed the time away, even if it was a super quick trip.

When it comes to recent events here at home, I’m still filled with anger at our president’s response to the horrific events in Charlottesville. This isn’t about politics for me. Yes, I am a political person with strong political beliefs, but this isn’t about party affiliation. This is about basic human decency and right and wrong. White supremacists are wrong. Neo-Nazis are wrong. Good people just don’t find themselves “accidentally” marching with people wearing swastikas and shouting hateful, racist speech. If you show up at a rally and are surprised to see people carrying swastikas, you walk away. When one choice involves Nazis and white supremacists, you choose the other side. Everything else is irrelevant.

This is also deeply personal for me. I’m a Jewish American. My grandfather and great-uncle fought against Nazis and their hateful beliefs in WWII. I cannot support a president who gives safe space to those same beliefs and hate groups. 

We have a long way to go towards resolving the deeply rooted issues of racism and bigotry in our country, but in the meantime the best thing we can do is to educate ourselves, teach tolerance and empathy to our children, speak out against hateful ideologies, and deny hate groups the space to fester and grow. I’ll continue to speak up against racism, religious intolerance, and bigotry – and I hope you will, too. Silence speaks volumes in situations like these.

In lieu of my usual weekend links, I’ll leave you with a few videos, articles, and resources that I’ve found helpful this week:

If you have any doubt about what is at stake here, watch this video report by Vice News about the events in Charlottesville (VICE)

This video was released in 1947 to help Americans recognize Fascist rhetoric at home – the similarities with modern day Trump rhetoric are astounding (Washington Post)

Why words matter when we talk about what happened at Charlottesville (Man Repeller)

Nine longread articles on how we got to Charlottesville (the synopses are worth reading if you only have a few minutes – Longreads)

10 Ways to Fight Hate in Your Community (Southern Law Poverty Center)

How to teach tolerance (Tolerance.org)

Raising Race-Conscious Children (Cup of Jo)

How past U.S. presidents exercised moral leadership, from Lincoln to Kennedy to George W. Bush to Obama (NPR)

The week when Trump resigned (The New York Times Editorial)