Stationery A-Z: Back to School Supplies!

Happy Monday everyone! DC public schools start back up this week, so I thought I’d start the week off with a round up of some of my favorite back to school supplies! We’re talking notepads, notebooks, pens and pencils, rulers – even an awesome pencil cup that I want on MY desk. My own daughter is starting her second year of preschool (DC starts at age 3), but sadly there aren’t a lot of fun school supplies involved at the preK stage. So this round up is geared more towards middle school through college and grad school – and plenty of it doubles as office stationery for those of you who are (thankfully) all done with school. I hope you find it useful!

Stationery A-Z: Back to School Supplies / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. There are so many great notepad options, it’s really impossible to go wrong! This one is from The Good Twin – I love the color palette!

2. Compliment pencils in all the best colors from Ban.do

3. If you need to take notes (or sketch!) during class, you might as well do it in a pretty notebook! I like this pink, kraft, and gold notebook from Katie Leamon

4. These gold foil notebooks from Smitten on Paper are super cute, and small enough to carry around easily!

5. IRIDESCENT LEATHER PENCIL CASE. ‘Nuff said, right? By Tracey Tanner Studio!

6. Pens! I love the colors of these pens from Ban.do and these tropical leaf pens from Idlewild Co.

7. Colorful highlighters (and markers!) from Poppin

8. Pep talk pencils from Richie Designs

9. Rulers! I love the colorful rulers from Poppin and these brass rulers

10. Sugar Paper has an amazing assortment of notebooks – I’m loving this chambray fabric cover notebook, and you can even add a gold foil monogram!

11. Use this gold foil pocket notebook from Antiquaria to keep track of goals and ideas for the school year

12. Endless notepad options from Rifle Paper Co.

13. So many beautiful hand painted spiral bound notebooks from Moglea – perfect for making lists and taking notes

14. Perhaps the cutest eraser ever, by Sugar Paper for Target!

15. These brass number clips work great as bookmarks for textbooks – or even for marking important pages in notebooks and folders

16. This cute zippered pouch from Maika is perfect for carrying pens, pencils, binder clips, and erasers!

17. Loving the mint interior of this hexagon pencil cup from CB2

18. Cute sticky note blocks from Idlewild Co.Moglea also has some really pretty options

19. Copper binder clips for keeping important documents together! 

20. Gorgeous floral pencils from Rifle Paper Co.

Friday Happy Hour: A Tequila Banana Shrub

I’ve been on something of a banana kick lately. You don’t see a lot of bananas in cocktails, because it’s something of an unwieldy fruit to add to a drink. But if you’re willing to do a little work, it can be really rewarding: rich and fruity and earthy. We decided to have a go at a Tequila Banana Shrub cocktail recipe this week and we’re glad we did. Andrew

Tiki Tequila Banana Shrub Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Tequila Banana Shrub

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Banana Shrub*
  • 1/2 oz White Grapefruit
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 1/2 oz Allspice Dram
  • 1/4 oz Ginger Syrup

*To make the shrub: lightly toast a quarter cup of shredded coconut and a tablespoon of whole cloves in a pan over low heat. In another sauce pan, combine a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of raw sugar over low heat, stirring frequently until the sugar has completely melted. Combine the toasted coconut and cloves with the vinegar syrup, remove from the heat, and let it sit, covered, for about twenty minutes to infuse. Then add the vinegar, an overripe banana, and – using a microplaner or grater – the zest of one lime to a blender. Blend everything to a pulp, then filter through cheesecloth or a fine sieve and bottle the shrub.

To make the cocktail: combine everything in a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a blackberry or whatever seasonal fruit is handy.

Tiki Tequila Banana Shrub Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

That shrub syrup packs a ton of flavor. It opens with fruity, earthy banana and zesty lime, then finishes with subtle spice. The banana mellows out the vinegar’s acidic bite, turning this into a very drinkable shrub. I’ll be playing around with this one for a while, I think.

Tiki Tequila Banana Shrub Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

But this drink doesn’t show off the shrub syrup’s flavors. It doesn’t really show off any of the flavors. This isn’t one of those drinks that unveils all of its ingredients in succession. This is one of those drinks that takes a lot of flavors and jams them together into something completely new. It’s fruity, a bit tart, a bit spicy, and with a chewy finish, a kind of candied fruit flavor when you get when you mix tequila, citrus, and ginger. And very delicious.

Sometimes drinks just work out like that.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

 

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! A huge thanks to Nichole for her AMAZING guest posts on OSBP this week. Tomorrow I’m heading up to New York for the summer NYNOW market. I’m going to try to pop in here once or twice next week, but otherwise be sure to follow me on Instagram to see all my finds from the show.

The Indigo Bunting / Erin Jang via Instagram / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Image by Erin Jang / The Indigo Bunting via Instagram

On a much sadder note, I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week looking at the videos and images coming out of Aleppo, Syria and the situation is absolutely desperate right now. Aleppo is a city of 300,000 people, of which 120,000 are children, and they are suffering more than I can even begin to fathom at the hands of the Syrian government. Ten thousand children have already died in the conflict, from air strikes, starvation, and lack of medicine –4,500 of them from Aleppo alone. The Syrian government continues to drop bombs and chemical weapons on its own people every single day. As a mother, I’m heartbroken by the images of dead and wounded children coming out of Aleppo, but I’m also outraged that the international community has failed to intervene. I’m planning to say a bit more about this as soon as I can gather my thoughts, but in the meantime, please look at the hashtags (here, here, here, and here), read the media reports (the New York Times seems to have the best coverage at the moment), and, if you can, please donate to UNICEF.

On a lighter note, a few links for your weekend:

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for us this week! We’ll be back later this afternoon with this week’s cocktail recipe! xoxo

Library-Inspired Wedding Stationery

Since it’s back to school season, I thought it would be fun to round up some library-inspired wedding stationery ideas for all you book lovers out there (myself included). What authors, books, and characters would you include? I’d definitely make sure to throw in a Nancy Drew reference or two. – Annie

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Send your fellow bookworms home with their own wooden bookmark! | Photography: Justin & Mary Weddings via The Knot

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Place flowers on a stack of vintage books for a unique centerpiece. | Photography: Taylor & Porter Photographs via The Little Wedding Corner

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Greet your guests with a hand-lettered chalkboard sign. Pay attention, please! | Photography: Lindsay Hackney Photography, Planning & Design: Lindsey M. Events via Green Wedding Shoes

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Collect books from thrift stores and garage sales to create a dramatic arch. | Photography: Alex Rubin Photography, Event Planning & Coordination: Pink Blossom Events via Rubin Weddings

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Glue book pages together to create a storybook table runner. | Photography & Concept: Frost Photography via Style Me Pretty

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

“And they lived happily ever after…” Guests will love this whimsical photo booth prop! | Photography: Jessie Holloway Photography, Planning & Design: Bettina Hamblin via Green Wedding Shoes

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Shower the new couple with flower petals stored in paper cones made out of old book pages. | Photography: Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography, Invitations & Stationery: Meticulous Ink & Ripe Digital via Bridal Musings

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Use library cards as escort cards. I love how they’re displayed in fans of book pages on the left! | (Left) via Buzzfeed & (Right) Photography: Levi Stolove Photography, Event Planning: Jose Rolon Events via Ruffled

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Personalize these bookmark escort cards with your favorite quotes. | Photography: Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography, Invitations & Stationery: Meticulous Ink & Ripe Digital via Bridal Musings

Library Inspired Wedding Stationery / Oh So Beautiful Paper

How fun is this book backdrop with moss and florals? | via Galina

Are any of you planning library-inspired weddings – or even having your wedding reception at a library?? Spill the details!

How to Style Stationery for Photography

Hi kids, it’s Nichole from Coral Pheasant bringing you some tips on how to style stationery like a boss. Beautifully styled stationery images are important details when telling the full wedding day story. And for submitting them for publication on sites like Oh So Beautiful Paper!

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Kat Harris Photography

The first, most essential tip is to plan. Planning is vital for the smooth running of a photo shoot – and will ensure that you have a road map in place to capture the most significant details. The day before the shoot, I gather all the invitation components (multiple sets are very helpful to have), a variety of backgrounds and styling props. I have a dedicated space in my studio where I keep most of my props so they are all within arm’s reach. Having them close by gives me lots of options. Options are major key!

With everything gathered, I start to lay out compositions. My goal is to tell the whole paper story through a series of images. I  start big picture, laying out the main pieces of the suite. This typically includes the invitation, reply card, coordinating envelopes and any enclosures. When you compose an image, consider why you are taking the photograph. What is the story? What are you trying to convey? Is the print method stunning? Maybe the colors are unique or the design is out-of-the-box.

I experiment adding and subtracting different props until I arrive at a configuration that I am happy with – both a vertical and a horizontal layout – and take quick pictures using my iPhone. I then move on to smaller vignettes where I highlight details of the suite. None of these arrangements are 100% perfect, they are simply there to reference for the actual photo shoot. Think of them as a rough draft. Once I’ve got all the compositions planned out, I upload the photos to my computer and create a visual shot list.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

I find this to be immensely helpful! I personally do not excel at doing multiple things at once – like talking and styling – and having a visual cheat sheet keeps me on track. I’ve already been super thoughtful about the arrangements in the quiet of my studio the day prior. This allows me to obsess over the details of spacing and alignment on the day of the shoot. And of course there is always room to free style because you’ve done your homework and you have a solid sense of what you want to accomplish that day.

On to the actual styling! Below are some essential “tools” for getting started.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

SUGGESTED TOOLS

• Erasers, staples, washi tape
Stationery photos are more interesting when items are on different levels. Flat cards on a flat background = boring. You need to vary the height of the cards to create depth. Items that vary in thickness and have large flat surfaces are what you’re looking for. Staples are great because they are cheap and can be broken into different lengths. Erasers and rolls of washi tape work well, too, and are taller than staples giving you a mix of heights.

• Poster tack
This pliable tack keeps round objects from rolling, helps envelope flaps lay flat and can be used to add additional height to lightweight items.

• Paint brushes
Paint brushes are great for wiping away rogue dust particles and pet hairs. (I should mention that I have 2 dogs. Pet hair is a constant at my studio!)

• Tweezers
You have everything laid out just so when you notice one card is not quite straight. Ugh! Tweezers (or the pointed end of your paint brush) can be used to delicately move that one card 1/36″ to get it perfect without disrupting the other pieces. Anal retentive, OCD who me??

• Backdrops
Get creative! I keep a mix of different colored, large sheet papers on hand. You could also get sheets of plywood and paint them to coordinate with your paper story. Or you could be baller and get yourself styling boards from Heirloom Bindery.

• Foam core
White foam core can be used as a reflector to bounce light onto your layout and to soften harsh shadows.

• Diffuser
Another way to soften strong shadows. I have one similar to this that can be used as a reflector and a diffuser.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Charlotte Jenks Lewis

In the beginning I mentioned props – and how having them is major key when styling stationery photos. I am constantly collecting items to add to my prop closet. Having a variety of items on hand makes it so much easier to style. Some will work, some will be a flop, but it’s all good because you will have options! Look for items that are smaller in scale. You want a mix of sizes but you also want to mindful of how their proportions relate to the paper. Consider items with great color, patina and texture.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Having multiples of things, once again, gives you options. Are you noticing a constant here? Hint: OPTIONS.  A particular pair of scissors might be too small for your setup or not the right color, but you’re not stressed, you have OPTIONS!

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Petite dishes are great for corralling other smaller props. They help to give those small things a sense of place and also add dimension and texture to the overall image.How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

I use vintage postage a LOT when styling. As in Every. Single. Time. They’re mini pieces of art and bring delightful color to the composition. Nole did an awesome write-up about vintage postage and where to find it. I strongly encourage you to give that a read if you are on the hunt!

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

I also like adding bits of vintage paper ephemera when styling. The dog-eared edges, interesting typography, and varying colors are yet another way to add interest to your composition.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

I think it goes without saying that bringing natural elements to your styling sesh can be a real game changer. But I just said it. So there, take note.

You’re now equipped with the tools and the props and you’ve got your beautifully designed stationery. That doesn’t automatically spell success. You must also be thoughtful how you compose your image.

COMPOSITION TIPS

• Balance
Your image should be balanced. I don’t mean that the composition needs to be symmetrical, but the selection of props should relate to one another and not compete. And remember, your goal here is for your stationery shine!

• Negative space
Be mindful of the spacing between each element and how they relate to each other. Is it even? Is everything straight? It’s much harder to retouch these things in post-processing!

• Alignment
If there is too much going on, it will feel cluttered and your eye won’t know where to land. Consider carving out negative space.

How to Style Stationery for Photography / Coral Pheasant for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Carla Ten Eyck Photography

That’s a wrap! I would love to hear some of your tried and true tips for perfect paper pics!

Photo and Styling Credits: Coral Pheasant (except where noted)Save