Fresh Cut Paper Flowers: Anemone

You guys, I am not a winter person. Like, at all. Here in the Mid Atlantic the trees are bare and everything is brown and gray and lifeless – and I’m just completely over it. But spring? I live for spring. Cherry blossoms, lilacs, peonies, wisteria… I can’t get enough. So how could I resist when Rachael from Appetite Paper offered to stop by Oh So Beautiful Paper on a regular basis to share some of her gorgeous paper flower creations?? Today Rachael is here to share her first creations and give us something pretty to look at in the doldrums of winter. Welcome Rachael!

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When you’re in the dead of winter, some fresh cut paper flowers certainly do the trick. These cute, dainty paper flowers are inspired by a personal favorite of mine, the Anemone. They are always so welcoming with their cheerful bloom. Made famous by their classic black and white combo, I couldn’t resist playing around with some fun coral hues and blush pink petals for some paper inspiration today! – Rachael

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Photo Credits: Appetite Paper for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hello Brick & Mortar: Daydreams + Unprompted Requests, Part II

Customers often visit Clementine and tell me what I should sell. Their ideas are well intended but often there’s a good reason that I don’t take the suggestion. As small business owners, we know our business best. We know our capacities and our style. We know what we like and where we want to invest. I, for example, don’t want to sell soap dispensers or small ceramic cat sculptures (actual suggestions). But sometimes someone makes a perfect suggestion and I dive in to explore its potential. I offer the daydreams with the chance they might click as something you want to invest in and because I would sell each of them. (None of you should make soap dispensers.) ~ Emily of Clementine

Brick + Mortar by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Illustration by Emily McDowell

Illustration by Emily McDowell for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Part 1 of this post was my daydream pairings between a few favorite stationery and non-paper lines. This half looks at products you already make and imagines them as a new product. It is born mostly from instagram perusing and your introduction mailers.  Thank you for sharing your work through the mail and on social media. It’s why I complain about never getting anything done, but it’s also my favorite part of the day.

Ok, on to PART 2. You’d make a great…

  • Birdwalk Press sent their beautiful holiday card – a snap from their wedding with gold foil embossed with the words THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. I pulled it out of the envelope and immediately said: I want this to be a print. Just the words (they’re a beautiful couple, but for marketability…). It would make a great card and an even better print (8″x10″ or larger). My imagination already has it framed over my bed.

Birdwalk Press Holiday Card

Birdwalk Press holiday mailer, photo by Lockie Photography

  • The Library Press. You know when an adult tells a kid “you’re so cute, I could eat you up,” and the kid looks back at the adult like they’re crazy? Well, picture the same exchange, but I’m the grown up and The Library Press’s tiny series of chairs is the kid. I mean, what don’t I want these little chairs on: cards, prints, wallpaper, stamps, some kind of custom candy? Yes, I could just eat them up.

The Library Press Perpetual Calendar

The Library Press, perpetual calendar

  • Shanna Murray’s illustrated decals. Shanna has hinted that her decals may be cards in the future. I’m happy to offer a little nudge. Recently she sent me a ‘You Are So Beautiful Decal’ affixed to a card. I happened to feature it in a store display and it gets more than a few requests (cough sneeze, hint nudge)…

Shanna Murray You Are So Beautiful Decal

Shanna Murray’s You Are So Beautiful Decal

  • Nottene. I met Kimberly briefly at a recent Renegade Craft Fair and was pretty smitten with her booth. Her illustrations translate beautifully between mediums: wrapping paper, textiles, print. I would love to see her design a wallpaper collection, but I’d settle first for having some of her recent playing card illustrations turned into greeting cards. Take the Queen, is it not the perfect Mother’s Day card?

Nottene Queen of Hearts Playing Card

Nottene Queen of Hearts

  • Leah Duncan, color trends: Leah Duncan is another whose work translates seamlessly from print to fabric to endless products, so what’s left for her to do? I’d settle for a bi-annual color chart where she tells me what colors to paint my house, or dress in, or simply sends a mailer of color chips to use as bookmarks.

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Leah Duncan ~ Desert Flowers

  • Sad Shop. Everybody loves an 8 x 10 print, but Katie’s cards, with their bold, clean, perfect sentiments should be bigger. I’d vote for 16 x 20+.  And, I know I’m already asking for something, but I’d love to have them letterpress printed too. Even though the space over my bed is getting crowded, I’d make room, because I like these cards, and naps.

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Sad Shop Let’s Make A Blanket Fort

  • Wild Ink Press. Last year, I encouraged Happy Cactus Designs to make mini-Valentines (and she did, and they’re fantastic!). This year, I saw Wild Ink Press’s mini classroom notes and thought: ug, these are so good, make them full size cards! There are so few cards for young kids, especially boys (not that diggers and trucks are only for boys…) to give or receive. Each of Rebekah’s designs below would make a perfect birthday or hello card. I wheelie like them.

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Wild Ink Press Classroom Valentines

  • 200 Lemons. Megan spends a bit of time each week at Clementine, arranging fresh and paper flowers and generally saving me from the chaos of my desk. Lately, watercolor pet portraits have appeared in her feed. I would love to see this series of sweet faces become card sets: dogs, sea creatures, wildlife, flora, fauna. But to be completely honest, my endgame is a storybook with her watercolors illustrating some lucky adventurer and their trusted animal friend. I think this guy agrees:

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200 Lemons French Bulldog

Since social media is such a big part of where these daydreams arise, I linked to the artists above with their social handles and internet sites. Go follow them and tell me who your current favorites are below!

Yours in daydreams and adventures ~ xo Emily

Best of 2014: My Favorites!

I love doing these “best of” round up posts because they help me see just how much we really packed into a single year. When you’re publishing new content on a daily basis (10-15 times per week!) and you’re constantly focusing on what’s next, it can be easy to lose sight of the posts that made an impact in the previous months or weeks. So here are a few of my personal favorite posts – from guest posts to Emily’s Brick + Mortar column and a few others along the way.

Envelope Address and Hand Lettering Tutorial by Ladyfingers Letterpress for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Envelope Address and Hand Lettering Tutorial from Ladyfingers Letterpress

A Peek Into the Process of Swiss Cottage Designs

Caroline’s Strawberry First Birthday Party

A Day in the Life with Erin Austen Abbott of Amelia

Brick & Mortar: Raising Your Baby and Your Business

10 Tips on Opening a Retail Shop from Urbanic

Where to Find Vintage Stamps for Wedding Invitations

Paper Party 2014!

DC Guide: The National Postal Museum

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!

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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!

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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 by Oh So Beautiful Paper

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.

Where to Find Vintage Stamps by Oh So Beautiful Paper

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.

Where to Find Vintage Stamps by Oh So Beautiful Paper

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 by Oh So Beautiful Paper

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!

Where to Find Vintage Stamps by Oh So Beautiful PaperWhere to Find Vintage Stamps by Oh So Beautiful Paper

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?