Ali + Zach’s Leather and Gold Foil Passport Save the Dates

These stunning leather and gold foil passport save the dates – for a destination wedding in Italy! – from Arley-Rose and Morgan of Ladyfingers Letterpress are just beyond incredible. From the gold foil monogrammed covers, to the custom envelopes, to the incredible 18 letterpress printed pages in between, I’m just in awe. Take a look!

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From Arley-Rose and MorganWhen you invite 125 of your favorite people to spend a week in Italy for the wedding of your dreams, no ordinary save the date will do. For Ali and Zach, the sky was the limit, so we created these letterpress printed and gold foil stamped hand-bound leather booklets to let guests know that this was not going to be any ordinary wedding!

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Each booklet arrived in a thick, custom designed letterpress printed (and wax-sealed!) envelope that opened to reveal a map of Italy printed in teal on the inside. The leather covers of the booklets, emblazoned with a gold foil custom monogram, were crafted from raw leather and hand-dyed to match the exact color that Ali and Zach favored. Each booklet was hand-stitched and enhanced with another wax seal.

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Marbled Florentine end papers were imported from Italy and a letterpress book plate was tipped into the first page to greet each viewer. As you paged through the interior of the 18-page booklet, you were met with photos of the couple and letterpress printed pages that outlined the exciting week ahead!

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As one of our more complex suites we’ve ever designed, we documented the creation of this project on our blog. We were so excited to discover that this Save the Date was awarded 2014 Louie Award for Print and Production Excellence!

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Thank you so much ladies!

Design + Letterpress Printing: Ladyfingers Letterpress

Ladyfingers Letterpress is a member of the Designer Rolodex – check out more of their beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Ladyfingers Letterpress

March Desktop Downloads!

Hello March! Here are a few new wallpapers to make your desktops and phones pretty!

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DOWNLOAD DINARA MIRTALIPOVA‘S ALLIGATOR WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

Mari-Orr-Watercolor-Desktop-Download

DOWNLOAD MARI ORR’S WATERCOLOR WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

The-Good-Twin-Makeit-Desktop-Download

DOWNLOAD THE GOOD TWIN’S YOU’RE GONNA MAKE IT WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

The-Good-Twin-Bowties-Desktop-Download

DOWNLOAD THE GOOD TWIN’S BOWTIES WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

Neiko-Ng-Lemon-Desktop-Download

DOWNLOAD NEIKO NG’S LEMONS WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

Neiko-Ng-Unicorn-Desktop-Download

DOWNLOAD NEIKO NG’S BEAUTIFUL UNICORN WALLPAPER: DESKTOP | iPHONE5 | iPHONE6

If you’re a designer or illustrator interested in contributing your own designs to this column, please email your design to submissions(at)ohsobeautifulpaper.com with the subject line “desktop downloads.” If it’s a good fit I’ll add it to the post for the following month!

For personal use only. All illustrations by Dinara Mirtalipova / Mari Orr / The Good Twin / Neiko Ng for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Friday Happy Hour: Maple Bourbon Hot Toddy

Even though – or maybe because – I grew up in Syracuse, I’m not a fan of the cold. Which means lots of hot toddies over the winter in a desperate attempt to keep the cold at bay. But there’s something that’s always bothered me about hot toddies: their texture is a bit thin and watery, which in turn can leave the booze tasting too sharp. But I think I’ve found a solution! It’s called gum syrup, or sometimes gomme, a relic from the classic age of cocktails that gives drinks a rich, silky texture. This is the only way I’ll be making my hot toddies from now on, starting with this Maple Bourbon Hot Toddy. – Andrew

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Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Maple Bourbon Hot Toddy

2 oz Bourbon
6 oz Hot Water
1 tsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Gum Syrup
2 dashes Pecan Bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof glass and garnish with a lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Gum syrup is an ingredient that shows up in just about every cocktail from the late 1800s – it was pretty much guaranteed that a simple syrup in a cocktail was gum syrup. Gum syrup is made with gum acacia, also called gum arabic, a fine white powder made from the sap of the acacia tree. You can order it online or find it in specialty shops; anyone in the DC area can pick some up at Bazaar Spices at Union Market. Here’s a quick and easy way to make a batch:

Combine two ounces of gum acacia and two ounces of water in a plastic container and stir, then cover and let it sit for two days. This will let the water completely dissolve the gum; just don’t get it wet until you’re ready to work with it because it gets sticky fast. Once it’s ready, make a rich simple syrup by gently heating six ounces of water and twelve ounces of super-fine sugar. Fold the gum mixture into the simple syrup until it’s fully incorporated, then remove from the heat, let it cool, and bottle. This will give you 10-12 ounces.

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Gum acacia acts as an emulsifier, preventing the sugar from crystalizing and giving the gum syrup a rich silky texture and a big mouthfeel. Because the gum has very little flavor of its own, it adds sweetness and texture but not much else. It’s best in all-spirits drinks like the Manhattan or Sazerac, and perfect for the hot toddy.

So our hot toddy is warm, oaky, sweet, and just a bit spicy – but also with a rich, velvety texture you wouldn’t otherwise find in a drink like this. Easy drinking.

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Oh, and those pecan bitters? Easy. Take a bottle of aromatic bitters, like Angostura, and combine it with a cup of chopped, lightly toasted pecans in a glass jar. Let the bitters sit for a few weeks, giving the jar a shake every day. Then strain out the pecans and rebottle. Many bitters have a very high proof, so they’re pretty easy to infuse. Feel free to play around with new combinations.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Sending you wishes for a warm and cozy weekend from snowy and slushy DC! But in the meantime…

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Image by Angela Liguori

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Check back this afternoon for this week’s cocktail recipe! Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo