Late Summer Backyard Entertaining

This summer has just flown by – and with my oldest daughter starting preschool in just a couple short weeks (!!), I’m trying to enjoy these last few summer weekends as much as possible! I’m excited to partner with the folks at mike’s hard lemonade on a few posts all about backyard entertaining. It was just the push I needed to take advantage of the warm weather and slower summer weekends!

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

We live right in the middle of Washington, DC and don’t have much outdoor space of our own. But our friends in the nearby suburbs of Virginia just happen to have the most gorgeous and peaceful backyard – with a pool! – and they invited us over for a cookout. They were providing the food, so we volunteered to bring over some refreshing beverages!

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

One of the reasons I’m excited to be working with mike’s hard lemonade is their support for the Boot Campaign, which provides assistance for military personnel, veterans, and their families, and raises awareness of the unique challenges faced in the military community. This is a cause pretty close to my heart. As some of you know, I previously worked at the U.S. Department of State for eight years, and I worked very closely with the military during that time. My husband is a civilian employee with the Department of Defense and did a 6-month deployment in Iraq in 2011 in support of U.S. military operations. We’ve both witnessed the challenges faced by members of the military and their families, particularly the challenges of being deployed overseas. Those deployments are tough both physically and emotionally, especially if it requires a family separation for weeks or months at a time. We know many servicemen and women that have served their country with exceptional strength and patriotism while also making incredible personal sacrifices.

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To give back to the military community, mike’s is donating $125,000 to the Boot Campaign this year. This donation is supported by sales of mike’s Flavors of America variety pack, which features four refreshing flavors – Lemonade, Peach, Black Cherry and Apple – inspired by the iconic flavors from different regions of the country. For each case purchased of mike’s Flavors of America variety pack, mike’s hard lemonade will donate 25 cents to fund four once-in-a-lifetime experiences for veterans.

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our friends have two adorable Bassett hounds – and I’m not sure if they were more in love with Alice or if Alice was more in love with them! She squealed with delight whenever they came close by. So cute!

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our friends’ backyard became even more magical after the sun went down and the fireflies came out! It was so nice to just relax and enjoy the company of good friends – especially combined with great food and drinks. Life has been so hectic lately, with busy work schedules and two very young children. And it can be tough to slow down and forget the endless to do list. Well we still have a few weeks of warm weather left – and I’m planning to enjoy every single one!

Mike's Hard Lemonade Backyard BBQ / Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post was created in partnership with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

NYNOW Summer 2015 Highlights

I’ve been in New York for a couple of days walking the Summer 2015 NYNOW market – and I’ve found so many things to share with you! I’ll be doing more round ups next week but in the meantime I thought I’d share a few favorites from the show (so far)!

NYNOW Summer 2015 Highlights / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. An amazing gold wall hanging from Fail Jewelry

2. Cute new cards in matte champagne foil from Belle & Union!

3. The prettiest party supplies from My Little Day

4. My favorite so far – gorgeous feather candles in the most beautiful colors by Sono.Ei

5. Love this houseplant leaf print from Little Low Studio

6. The most amazing textiles from Bonnie & Neil

7. Gorgeous gem cutting boards from AHeirloom

8. Beautiful art prints and cards from Honey & Bloom

You can follow me on Instagram for more show finds in real time!

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore

Inspired by the increased popularity of Instagram and Facebook, Lauren and Joel (the founders of Old Tom Foolery) created another line of primarily photo-based stationery called Modern Lore. I’m thrilled to feature the other brand under their umbrella as Lauren shares how they made the jump and transitioned to creating another brand and aesthetic. –Megan

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Lore was started in 2013 out of a love for contemporary photography and paper goods. My husband, Joel, and I had been creating cards and gifts since 2007 through our other brand, Old Tom Foolery, but over the years, there were many times we had an idea for a project that didn’t fit the OTF brand qualities of being humorous, type driven, and gender neutral.
Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

At the same time, we saw people communicating with photos more than ever before. As people began to go everywhere with a camera built into their phones, we all began sharing moments with our images, and telling stories through social media like Instagram and Facebook. But for some reason, this trend of so many people creating beautiful, contemporary-style images hadn’t yet made its way to the stationery industry. We knew so many talented people taking great photos of both their journeys and everyday lives and decided to jump in and fill that void in the increasingly illustration-driven stationery marketplace.
Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

While some of our first photographers already were well-known for sharing their images and documenting their lives, like Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay, many of our initial partners were friends of ours or people we had met in our pre-stationery careers in advertising.

But as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to partner with a fantastic group of photographers from all over the country, and together they take us on so many adventures through their photos. We work with illustrators like Lisa Congdon, bloggers like Nole and Anne Sage, and jet setting go-getters like Patrick Janelle.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful PaperInstagram photo by Patrick Janelle

It’s been really fun to watch the brand evolve over the past two years. Our first products only featured photos, and we’ve gradually incorporated text—some sweet, some cheeky—and have now added stylized illustration and color-blocked designs into the mix.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The response to Modern Lore has been exciting to see, especially since we were a little nervous to go down a new path for boutique stationery. But as it turns out, we’re not the only ones who enjoy a nice photo and we’re proud to be stocked in so many great small shops and some larger retailers we really respect like Anthropologie and Paper Source.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Lore shares the same office and team as Old Tom Foolery, and we are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our office is located just behind our retail shop, Greater Goods, which has proven to be a fantastic testing ground and sounding board for new products.

Joel and I both work on both Old Tom Foolery and Modern Lore, though I’m generally the point person for communicating with our photographers and collecting images to choose from for our next release.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

As our business has grown and we’ve launched new brands like Modern Lore and Greater Goods, we definitely have more projects to juggle and tasks to complete. But we are able to stay on top of things with the help of our incredible team. Free task management tools like Asana are a lifesaver for us, and our new, more complex version of QuickBooks is helping us keep track of inventory in ways we never could before.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought that Joel and I would both be working full-time on a family of brands we built from scratch. It’s been an adventure, and full of lessons we’ve learned along the way. We’re still figuring things out as we go, but we love what we’re doing and sincerely appreciate the support from all of our retailers, customers, and cheerleaders. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

All photos by Modern Lore, except where noted.

Interested in being featured in the Behind the Stationery column? Please reach out to Megan at megan@ohsobeautifulpaper.com

Modern Calligraphy Summit!

By now you probably know that I’m a huge fan of beautiful calligraphy and brush lettering. Nothing makes me happier than an exquisitely calligraphed envelope, brush lettered wedding invitations, and delicate place cards. Well, I have some exciting news! You can now learn this gorgeous art from nine amazing calligraphers – all from the comfort of your own home – during the Modern Calligraphy Summit!

Modern Calligraphy Summit / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Modern Calligraphy Summit will take place February 22 – March 5, 2016 and will bring you a two-week virtual (and fun!) calligraphy crash course with over 7 hours of video lessons from Anne Robin Calligraphy, Wildfield Paper Co., Ashley Buzzy Lettering & PressFeast Fine Art & Calligraphy, Design House of Moira, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Fozzy Castro-Dayrit, Calligrafikas, and Nicole Miyuki. Summit courses include Beginning Calligraphy, Brush Lettering, Envelope Layouts, Flourishing, Floral Embellishments and more! The Modern Calligraphy Summit also includes live office hours, handout PDFs for each course, and goodies like a “Top Tools for Calligraphers” cheat sheet.

Modern Calligraphy Summit / Wildfield Paper Co via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Wildfield Paper Co.

Early bird enrollment is currently open for the Modern Calligraphy Summit – you can sign up here for a special rate through August 18th!