Book Preview: Make & Give

I was absolutely thrilled to receive a review copy of the amazing new book Make & Give by Erin Jang and Steph Hung – I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time! I’m a longtime fan of Erin’s design work and Steph is an amazingly talented stylist, so you know a collaboration between these two talented ladies was just bound to be good. I also admire Erin’s ability to come up with (and execute!) the most amazing party themes, from birthday parties to baby showers. Erin and Steph designed the book themselves with an emphasis on bright colors and a modern layout – and the results couldn’t be prettier!

Make and Give Cover OSBP Book Preview: Make & Give

Make & Give features 35 modern and meaningful craft projects for a variety of everyday occasions – not just birthdays and holidays. I love that the projects can be completed by crafters of all skill levels with commonly used materials! It was hard to pick favorites from the 35 projects, but I really love the Custom Growlers and Progressive Date projects – such fun ideas!

Make and Give Favorite Supplies2 Book Preview: Make & Give

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Make & Give is available now – grab your copy right here!

From Make & Give by Steph Hung and Erin Jang,  © 2014 by Steph Hung and Erin Jang.  © 2014 Photographs by Erin Jang. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. www.roostbooks.com

Roost Books sent me a copy of this book for review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Where To Find Vintage Stamps

As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of using vintage stamps on milestone stationery like wedding invitations and baby announcements. I used vintage stamps for my own wedding invitations, moving announcements, and for Sophie’s birth announcements almost two (!!) years ago – and I’ve featured countless wedding invitations with beautiful vintage stamps over the years. Vintage stamps offer a wonderful opportunity to represent your personal style, whether chosen thematically or by color palette. And since unused postage never expires, there are endless options to suit everything from a formal black tie wedding to a casual backyard gathering. Some readers have asked for tips on where to find vintage stamps over the last few weeks, so today I thought I’d share my go-to sources!

Where to Find Vintage Stamps OSBP Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Union Photography from Allison and Mark’s wedding invitations

eBay

If you have the time to search for stamps yourself, eBay is a wonderful resource for finding vintage stamps! This is my personal go-to source, and I like to search for entire sheets of vintage stamps. You can start here, and you’ll find sheets of everything from 3¢ stamps to recently issued stamps. You can refine the results by adding keywords – like science, love, birds, etc. – but leave out the word “stamp” since you’re already searching by stamp sheets. This method can be super effective if you’re searching for thematic stamps, but you may run into a bit of trouble if you’re trying to group stamps based on a particular color palette.

The best way to search for vintage stamps on eBay is by identifying the Scott number of a particular stamp that you love, since many eBay stamp dealers will use only the Scott number in their listing. For example, a really pretty flower “Love” stamp is #1951, my favorite constellation stamp is #3945, and another favorite stamp with state birds and flowers is #1953.

Constellation Starfinder Birth Announcements Vintage Stamps OSBP Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by me from Sophie’s Constellation-Inspired Birth Announcements

Online Shops

There are a bunch of online vintage stamp shops that will curate a collection of stamps for you based on your theme or color palette – such a great option for busy couples or anyone feeling super overwhelmed by the whole process. There are probably a million more that I don’t know about, but here are a few of the shops on my radar:

Underwood Letterpress

Verde Studio

Pack and Post

TreasureFox

Vintage Postage Shop

Darling One

Love the Postage

A couple more online stamp shop options: Champion Stamps and US Mint Sheets. They don’t offer stamp curation, at least that I know of, but you can buy tons of vintage stamps here. Just browse by Scott number through pages and pages of vintage stamps to find what you like – just pay attention to the pricing, which may not be face value.

Antiquaria Vintage Stamps DIY Save the Date OSBP Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Antiquaria from this Vintage-Inspired DIY Save the Date Tutorial

Local stamp dealers, stamp club members, and stamp shows

If you can track down a local stamp dealer or stamp club, they will often have vintage postage that they are willing to part with for face value. I’m told they come by large piles of vintage stamps when they buy stamp collections – but many are considered “worthless” from a stamp collecting point of view. Seriously: just Google your city/area and “stamp club” and see what comes up. You can try emailing the club or see if they list upcoming stamp show dates and go talk to them in person.

 Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photo by Paisley Quill from Brooks and Erin’s wedding invitations

Local stamp shops and antique stores

If there is a stamp and coin shop in your area, you’re in luck! Stop by and ask to see their face value stamps. Stamp museums also often sell vintage stamps; a fun detail I discovered during a visit to the National Postal Museum earlier this year. You can also try local antique shops – if they don’t have any in the shop they may still be able to connect you with a local dealer with an extra supply of face value stamps. I’ve also heard of some people stumbling onto affordable stamp collections at flea markets – just be sure that you’re buying unused/uncanceled stamps!

MSW Vintage Stamp Collections Wedding Envelopes Where To Find Vintage StampsMSW Vintage Stamps Wedding Invitation Envelopes Where To Find Vintage Stamps

Photos via Martha Stewart Weddings

A few tips for using vintage stamps:

While you’re searching and shopping for stamps, make sure that you have one stamp worth at least 15¢ (or more!). Most wedding invitations require a minimum of 70¢ postage at the current rate. The 3¢ and 8¢ stamps are beautiful, but you’ll need a 29¢ or 33¢ stamp somewhere in the mix to make up the difference.

Consider planning out your stamp arrangement ahead of time to make sure you leave room for an address – and to maximize visual impact. Some stamps look best in a straight row across the top of an envelope, while others look best in a puzzle piece arrangement in the corner. It all depends on the group of stamps you select!

Tell your stationer and/or calligrapher as soon as possible if you plan to incorporate vintage stamps into your wedding stationery. A calligrapher will definitely need to know so he or she can leave enough room at the top of the envelope for your stamps, and a large number of vintage stamps might affect a stationer’s idea to use a non-traditional envelope shape or layout.

If a particular stamp design is in high demand, some dealers will list the stamp at a price greater than face value. I’ve seen this happen to some of the pretty “Love” stamps frequently used on wedding invitations, so if you have your heart set on a particular stamp you might need to factor that cost into your stationery budget. I personally think it’s worth it to find the perfect stamp for the occasion, but the trick is to find stamps that collectors don’t care about yet make a visual impact when assembled as a small group on your envelope.

Those are my tips! Are any of you planning to use vintage stamps soon?

Envelope Inspiration: Calligraphy and Vintage Stamps

If you’re reading this blog, then hopefully you’re like me and LOVE a pretty envelope. Dress an envelope up with some beautiful calligraphy (or a well designed mailing label) and some colorful postage stamps and I’m a very happy lady. So I was thrilled when calligrapher Korie Lynn of The Weekend Type sent over some beautiful envelope inspiration from her collaboration with florist Jody Strom of The Moss & Rose and event planner Natalie Dawley of To Be Wed! Let’s get straight to the envelope eye candy…

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From Korie: Vintage stamps are the perfect way to continue the overall theme and color palette in an invitation suite. Using multigenerational postage allows you to create a storyline and always makes the envelope more interesting. Each vignette tells a color story: the backdrop, the floral combinations, the envelope, ink choices, calligraphy style, and the stamps. From Americana to English countryside to Garden glamour, Jody accented each envelope with flowers and foliage grown and selected from her personal garden.

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Thanks so much ladies!

Calligraphy: The Weekend Type

Floral Styling: The Moss & Rose

Styling: Two Be Wed

Photo Credits: Korie Lynn Photography

Urbanic Faves | Live in the Sunshine

Fire up the barbecues, dip your toes in the water, and find a hammock to nap in, it’s Summertime! We’re embracing the salt air over here at Urbanic and  have gathered up some of our favorite things from around the shop that capture the spirit of sunshine. Hoping that wherever you are, you’re wearing flip flops! xo – Audrey

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 1. Linda and Harriet notepads; 2. Fringe Studio soap dish set; 3. Salty Road salt water taffy; 4. Cardtorial wood cards; 5. Baggu coin purses; 6. Linnea’s Lights ocean candle; 7 Joanne Dugan summertime book 8. Fugu Fugu Press love card ; 9. Fringe Studio notebook; 10. Paddywax lantern candle; 11. Rifle Paper Co. phone case; 12. Orange Circle message in a bottle kit ; 13.Paddywax candle; 14. Sugar Paper anchor wrap

{images via their respective sources}

DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

We’re often (very often) asked about addressing options for wedding invitations. Many of our clients are DIY couples and it’s simply not in their budget to hire a professional or to pay for digital addressing. Believe us: even if you or a loved one are planning address them yourself, they can still be creative and cohesive with your invitation! It’s simply a matter of the right tools, methods, and a some practice! – Bailey and Emma of Antiquaria

Addressing Final 1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option One: DIY Pointed Pen Calligraphy. For someone that has a little experience already with a dip pen and ink or for someone with plenty of time to practice before the invitations need mailing, calligraphy addressing can actually be a great DIY option. One hundred years ago, everyone who wanted to write had to use a dip pen and ink. We’re certainly used to modern pens these days, but it’s inspiring to think that it can be done with practice! It takes years and years of practice to truly master the art – so don’t hold yourself to expectations of perfection for the project. Try playing with your unique hand writing and see what is most natural for you with the tools.

Blackand White Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

It’s really helpful to give yourself guidelines when writing with pen and ink (your focus will be more on the writing than keeping the lines straight). For a playful look, we drew them at a slant, leaving a ruler’s width between them. Three lines will suffice for most U.S. addresses but occasionally you’ll need four. Just count up how many 3 and 4 liners you need on your list and tackle all of the “ruling up” first.

BlackandWhite Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Address each envelope on your guest list. Set aside to dry. This can take minutes to a day depending on the ink and weather, so don’t be too anxious. The last thing you want is to smear you hard work! We used our favorite white ink on these gorgeous black envelopes. It’s the loveliest and most opaque that we’ve found but it must be diluted quite a bit to use with a pointed pen and nib. Add (distilled) water with an eyedropper to the bottle. Stir the ink with the water until it reaches the consistency of heavy cream.

BlackandWhite Step3 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Once they’re all addressed, we added a fun little dashed line to further decorate and modernize the envelope. Use a T-square ruler and dash along the straight line with the white ink loaded into the dip pen. Let them all dry once more.

BlackandWhite Step4 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Erase the lines gently once everything is good and dry.

You can find more information about DIY calligraphy on our blog. You can also search for local calligraphy classes to get you started. The key to calligraphy is practice, practice, and more practice!

BlackandWhite FInal DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option Two: Brush Pen Lettering. Brush pens can be a great option for addressing without the mess of an actual brush and ink. A lot of them are actually felt tipped (like the ones in this tutorial) which makes controlling them much easier. This silver and gray design is lovely, soft and tonal. Play with the brush lettering a bit and find a style that’s comfortable for you. You can print or use cursive with them, so the options are endless!

Silver Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Draw “ribbons” in the upper left and lower right corners. Then write the title(s) (i.e. Mr., Miss, Ms., or Mr. and Mrs.) in the upper left banner. Move to the lower right and write the zip code, spacing out each number with a small dot.

Silver Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

In the middle of the envelope, you’ll write the guest(s) name and address. We used a simple handwriting cursive. Because the brush pen gives the lines weight variation, it looks fancier than a ball point pen, which we love. One key to writing with a brush pen is to write on its point, as shown in the photo above. This will help keep the writing thin and legible. Center the address as much as you can, but the banners in the corners will help keep the design looking balanced even if it’s not perfect.

Silver FInal DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Option Three: Mixed Pen Lettering. This design uses two different kinds of pens to achieve a very custom look. We again used a brush pen, this time in black, as well as a thin felt tipped pen for variation in line quality and so that we could make some text much smaller.

Java Step1 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Write your guests name fairly large across the envelope. Vary the size of lettering depending on the length of their name (you’ll get the hang of this with practice).

Java Step2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Then, draw straight line down, using a T-square ruler a little right of center. You will use this line to left justify the address.

Java Step3 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

With the vertical lines as your guide, print the street, city and state portion of the address using the felt tipped marker. Add the appropriate title(s) to the left hand side of the guests name.

Java Step4 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

With the brush pen, add the guest’s zip code in large numbers below the address. Erase your vertical line and the envelope is done!

Java Final DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Addressing Final 2 DIY Tutorial: Envelope Addressing Styles

Addressing options really are limitless. Play around with ideas until you find something that works for you and coordinates well with your invitation suite. It can help to experiment with addressing your own save the dates (usually they’re less formal) to determine if you want to tackle the process of addressing your wedding invitations.

Materials & Resources

Calligraphy Starter Kit

White Calligraphy Ink

Calligraphy Resources: Setting up your Tools,  Lower Case Alphabet by Bailey Rivera, Calligraphy Supplies

Brush and Felt Tipped Pens

For envelopes, we discuss many different envelope resources and options in a previous post, found here.

T-square Ruler

White Mechanical Pencil or Graphite Pencil

Photo Credits: Antiquaria for Oh So Beautiful Paper