Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Hello! I’m excited to share the work of Vita Popov Studios for our next installment of calligraphy and lettering goodness. Vita is a self-taught calligrapher born in the Ukraine and who now calls Sacramento, California home. Her calligraphy style looks and feels organic — not simply in the brushwork, but also in the materials and styling of the paper goods. You’ll notice the greenery and berries used for propping, the handmade papers, and the earthy color palettes. Vita’s Instagram feed is an absolute treasure trove of beautiful calligraphed paper pieces. Let’s dive in, shall we? Jen

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios / Photo Credit: As Ever Photography

Photo by As Ever Photography

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

There’s a simple lightness to Vita’s calligraphy that I imagine has taken so much practice to perfect. I also personally love when fanciful lettering is paired with deckled paper, which keeps the calligraphy looking more handmade modern than prim-and-proper.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios / Photo Credit: As Ever Photography

Photo by As Ever Photography

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios / Photo Credit: Kychelle Photography

Photo by Kychelle Photography

Vita describes a “moody ballerina” look she was going for in this work. She once again used a cotton handmade paper but the deep flourishes of purple tap into that moody vibe (to counter all the ballerina pinks). See how the invitation lettering looks like a wave? Vita wanted the words to look like they are dancing — mission accomplished!

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios / Photo Credit: As Ever Photography

Photo by As Ever Photography

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Photo by Lauren Haley

It’s so inspiring to see calligraphy breaking out of being used simply for wedding invitations. Seeing this cascading stream of calligraphed ribbons tied to the wedding bouquet is certainly a fresh idea.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios / Photo Credit: As Ever Photography

Photo by As Ever Photography

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Vita works with clients for all kinds of custom work. Spotted on her Instagram: a wedding song in calligraphy. The gilded frame makes a perfect complement to the scripted lyrics.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

Calligraphy Inspiration: Vita Popov Studios

That’s a big dose of calligraphy inspiration! Do you have a favorite? I would pick seeing the lyrics of a most-loved song in calligraphy, framed in gold just like the wedding song above. So pretty! And that’s a wrap on the wonderful work of Vita Popov Studios!

Photos by Viva Popov Studios, except where noted

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

Hello! I’m excited to be here with a column that scouts calligraphy artists and inspiring examples of modern lettering. Many moons ago, I lived in New York and went to my first Stationery Show as an editor at Real Simple. Back then, letterpress seemed to be all the rage with modern stationery, but in recent years, I’ve watched calligraphy step out of its former just-for-wedding typecast and into the modern paper world. You see examples of calligraphy everywhere now from bar menus to home décor — wherever you find type (including tattoos!). I’m kicking off my first installment with the work of calligraphy artist Cami Monet Miller. Her style feels organic, soulful, and so artistic. She often works in watercolor and uses deckled-edge papers that adds a modern handmade touch. Be sure to check out her Instagram for even more beautiful calligraphy! Jen

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

I’m just in love with everything in this photo, including the color palette. Photo by Jennifer Weinman.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

I’ve always been drawn to the rustic woodland style in decorating (long before moving to Maine.) These placeholders (which double as coasters!) feel like a woodland fairy tale. The wood slices with their textured bark add a natural simplicity to the table. Then the black brushstroke calligraphy creatures a sweet, flirty contrast.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

Cami just posted these acrylic place cards on her Instagram, which are going to be tied around napkins for a wedding. The mix of the modern clear acrylic with the white brushstroke calligraphy — heart-eye emojis all the way.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

What really caught my eye as I browsed through Cami Monet’s work is the sheer variety of pieces and ways that she plays around with her organic brushstroke calligraphy. Each snap seems to feature something new, unique, and special to that particular event, which I imagine is no easy feat for an artist running a small business.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

Gold ink calligraphy on white backsplash tiles — what a wow detail for wedding place cards!

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

I am a sucker for anything with that modern vintage vibe, so this snap rose to the top of my favorites. Cami created these home décor goodies for a pop-up shopping market, and I can think of several people on my holiday shopping list who would love those rolling pins.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

I know calligraphy on globes is not the newest idea, but I had to share here because I still have one on my wish list. Such a beautiful addition for an office or living room.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Cami Monet

Cami Monet has an Etsy shop where you can purchase readymade watercolor and calligraphy creations, or order custom wedding invitations. You’ll find prints —  like this boho sweet Stay Wild printed sign — paper goods, and even mugs with quips in calligraphy (for the prettiest morning cup of joe.) Anyone else itching to throw a dinner party with some fancy calligraphy place cards now?

Photo Credits: Cami Monet, except where noted

The World of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

Hi everyone! I’m Jen L’Italien, a Maine-based writer, mama, maker, potty training consultant (yes, that is a thing!), and longtime reader of OSBP (and fan of the lovely Nole and her crew). I’m so happy to be here on OSBP, with a column that scouts illustrators from around the world! For this month’s peek into The World of Illustration, I couldn’t resist rifting off all the unicorn love we’ve been seeing here on OSBP (because I live with a 5-year-old who believes unicorns reign supreme over mermaids, princesses, and sometimes even fairies.) So when I stumbled upon this unicorn illustration by UK-based illustrator and designer Emma Haines, I found my unicorn designing soul sister. Then low and behold, I discovered Emma Haines has a super illustration of a llama, a personal favorite four-legged creature. So let’s peek into the modern illustration world of Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design and get transported to a magical land of cool design. Jen

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This illustration is called A Unicorn in a Terrarium, and I love how it’s modern, whimsical — with a spot-on color palette. By the way, if your small human is also obsessed with unicorns, I highly recommend the book Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal — it’s a really sweet tale all about the magic in believing what you haven’t yet seen.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This modern llama illustration is the bees-knees in my book. Sure, the illustration would be perfect for a child’s room, but honestly, I could picture it in a dreamy meditation room (complete with a colorful kilim rug in the space) or as part of a colorful gallery wall.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This double-decker bus illustration (so adorable for a nursery!) is a sweet nod to London. Emma currently designs giftware, gift wrap, and stationery for an art licensing company based in Nottingham. It’s clear to see how she’s inspired by color and children’s picture books.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This whimsical botanical illustration is called Inky Jungle Pattern and I would love to see it as a wallpaper in my bathroom (or a big print of it framed for the wall).

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

I imagine this illustration working in so many mediums — the perfect gift wrap for a housewarming gift, a whimsical wallpaper for a playroom, or as a fabric to add in some playful color to a child’s space.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

And a sweet and snoozy cat seemed the right way to end this jaunt through the amazing work of UK illustrator Emma Haines. See you soon with a peek into the work of another talented gem in the illustration world!

Photo Credits: Cut and Stick Design and Emma Haines

Guest Post: Jen of The Haystack Needle

I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m away with our new baby. Today, the wonderful Jen from The Haystack Needle is sharing some thoughts on motherhood – specifically some things she’s learned as a mama of two! Thanks Jen! –Nole

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Hello! I’m Jen and feel lucky to have connected with the ever-inspiring Nole through blogging (back when I did blog.) I’m now a freelance writer/editor working from home and mostly being a mama to Juniper (3) and Leo (18 months). My kids are 20 months apart and are the sweetest spirits who keep me feeling light and searching for little moments of amazing in each day. We just moved to Portland, Maine, from Brooklyn back in January. And I have to say, Portland has stolen my heart. It was such a dream spending this summer going blueberry picking, swimming in lakes, making sand castles at the beach, flying kites, loading up on lobster rolls by a lighthouse, and feeding goats at the farm where we get our milk. I was mourning the end of summer, till I remembered we have apple cider doughnuts to look forward to. Location-wise, I will say it’s incredibly easier being a mama to two when you don’t have to get everyone up and down three flights of stairs (and deal with getting to your car that stores your stroller being two blocks away thanks to alternate side street parking) like we did back in Brooklyn. But no matter the location, two little ones can feel like triple the chaos in moments. Here’s what I’ve tried to pass onto friends moving into being a mama to two.

The-Haystack-Needle-Blueberry-Picking

+ Go on dates with your kid. I don’t mean this in the formal way. A date could simply be curling up on the sofa with a longish book that you wouldn’t read while your younger one’s attached to you. It’s the simplest advice and it helped us through hurdles in the beginning, when I was nursing nonstop and couldn’t actively play with her the same way, and even now when random toddler tensions build up (and then I remember, wait! When was the last time I got 20 minutes of quality alone time with her?). Kids need so little to refuel with your love. And you’ll miss your alone time with your first and need to reconnect. You’ll know you’re desperately in need of a date if you think back on what you’ve said in the last day to your oldest, and if it’s a lot of don’ts, let’s not, and let’s go. Then yes, you need a date. It could be as simple as looking through old photos together or taking a walk where she takes the lead on how fast you go. But, I found it needs to be you and her, no babywearing the younger one, or half looking at your phone. True together time. And then I found the meltdowns and odd behavior calm down for a bit.

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+ Don’t forget the tricks that worked when she was little. I’ll never forget the day that putting Juniper in a sling saved me. And I’m not talking about when she was a newborn and I got to have my first hot meal or do some laundry. I’m talking about two-and-a-half year old Juniper who was having a tough moment out with me and Leo, and it was dissolving fast. Leo, by default as the younger one who wasn’t walking yet, always was in the carrier and Juniper would walk or ride in the stroller. And then, as you learn with kids 2+ years in age, having options always helps, and I thought to offer her the sling in the heat of the moment. And that’s when I heard it in her voice. That she’d been missing some mama love. She happily went in the sling and just wanted to be held for a short time. And then all was calm. That’s repeated itself for us, and it always works. I wore Juni in wraps, carriers, and slings from birth through most of my pregnancy with Leo (in a back carry). But as soon as Leo arrived, of course he was the one I carried. It took me a few months to figure out she missed that part of our relationship.

The-Haystack-Needle-Kids-at-Camp

+ Be positive in how you talk about your kids, especially when they’re around. We’re all blogging and snapping beautiful Instagrams of our little loves. But I find it’s so easy, especially when you’re hanging around other mamas, to endlessly talk about how hard it is or how much your little guy sleeps or how tough it is when your two-year-old doesn’t want to get dressed in the morning. Yes, we all need to release some of the pressure and know that we’re not alone in the challenges of parenting. But I’ve tried to spend less time talking about the hard stuff, especially on playdates or on the playground. Because in a way, I think it sets up this tone of you against the kids or one kid against the other (since it’s so easy to talk about how different your kids are), rather than celebrating the moments that are pure awesome. And there are so many! I’ve read about how bad it is for a marriage to cut your partner down in conversation with someone else, and I think it applies to kids too. Sometimes just talking positive helps. I have a lot of days where I’m zapped, but those are the days I try to remember to say to my two, “hey we’re a team this morning, the three of us, let’s go have a good day.” And then there’s a high five and we’re off.

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+ Nothing is permanent. Do what works for you now. As with everyone, my kids sleep, eat, play, and have gone through their first years in totally different ways. It’s easy (especially thanks to grandparent schools of thought) to think if you do this, you’ll never be able to do that or transition them out of this or that. I disagree. Do what you need to survive right now, not what you think you have to be doing because you’re afraid of some permanent habit. Especially with regards to sleeping arrangements. Just follow what works for you, and when it doesn’t work, change it up and it will naturally move on to the next phase. You’re the best expert on your kids, anyhow.

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+ Say less. Once your littlest is moving around, the sibling relationship really starts to shine. I’ve found the easiest way to help support my kids bonding is to not play referee. Don’t intervene with little squabbles or minor sharing/pushing moments and let them work it out themselves. For the most part, they do and no one gets hurt. And that’s when you find your 15-month old running in circles on squares of felt in a fit of giggles with your 3-year-old because they just made up some new game, just them.

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Oh and prepare to have your heart melt every time they hug each other, read books together, or you watch your oldest feed your little guy strawberries that she just sliced for him. And then you’ll really feel silly that you spent all that energy worrying about not being able to focus on your oldest child after your second arrives. I’m pretty sure Juniper would say I gave her the best gift ever with our little Leo. And I would agree.

Filed under: jen

Jen + Dan — Wedding Scrapbook + Polaroid Album

Happy Friday!  Jen here from the haystack needle.  It's been such a treat to guest blog on OSBP!  As my final post, I thought I'd share two things I love to do when I have an afternoon or evening to just sit and play with paper: make albums and work on my wedding scrapbook (it's still not done after more than a year, but it's getting there!).

polaroid album

polaroid album 

polaroid album

First, this is a Polaroid album that I pulled together for two of our friends, Kevin and Ali, who got married in the Cayman Islands.  I brought my Polaroid camera down to the wedding, and I've finally found a way to pull together the Polaroids in a special book for them.  I used this Kolo album, bits of paper and cards that captured that island spirit, and Japanese tape.  Oh, and my typewriter came in handy to type little captions.

Japanese tape

polaroid album

And here's a peek at my wedding scrapbook. I took a scrapbook that was the right size (wrong cover) and used some Mod Podge, a photocopy of a map of Maine, ribbon and patterned paper to create the cover you see here.

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Osbpapers_0297

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Two months before we got married, we hosted a spaghetti feed, which basically translates to the largest slow cooker you've ever seen (Hamilton Beach commercial slow cooker circa 1963 — no joke!) filled with homemade sauce, bowls of spaghetti, and the entire family gathered at Dan's family's camp.  It was a great way to bring together Dan's family (which is super big) for a casual (second) wedding celebration, since we went with hosting a small wedding.  The spaghetti feed was so much fun!  For the invites, I used alphabet stamps and Yellow Owl Workshop's landscape stamp set, which reminds me of camp.

Thanks so much, Nole, for letting me share all these paper bits of our wedding!  I had so much fun being a part of OSBP this week.  Have a great weekend everyone!  –Jen

All the photography here (and throughout the week) by Charlotte Jenks Lewis.  Thanks, Charlotte!