Tips for Working From Home

Like many other creative entrepreneurs, I work from home. Some people assume I must stay in my PJs and work from my couch all day. But working a few steps from where I do dishes and laundry can sometimes be a challenge. I am my office coordinator, janitorial staff, accountant, cook, and receptionist. I can sit down at my desk and get lost in emails any time of day or night or weekend or holiday. But while it working from home may not the PJ-wearing, movie-watching life that people sometimes to imagine, I really love it. I’ve found that a few simple habits help me maintain a healthy work-life and get my work done, all from the comfort of my own home. –Kim from Bright Room Studio

Tips for Working from Home from Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Keep a schedule. I used to work in my PJs for a few hours in the morning and then shower mid-day, but you know how that goes. Sometimes the shower gets pushed later and later, sometimes my mid-day shower break took way too long, and sometimes taking a break to shower breaks my creative momentum. Now I get up in the morning, shower and get dressed (in real clothes!), get a cup of coffee and get to my desk at 9am. I’ve found my mornings to be WAY more productive when I started my day “properly” – I can jump in to big projects more freely and I don’t feel embarrassed to open the door at 11am in my sweats. That doesn’t mean there aren’t yoga pants days, but I try to keep that as a little treat on rainy or cold days or when I have a lot of production projects to do.

Tips for Working from Home from Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

2. Keep a dedicated space (if you can). I’m lucky enough to have my own office space and I try to do my work in there (my hubby has a corner of the office but I take over more and more all the time). I have a large monitor that connects to my laptop and a nice comfortable chair that helps keep me at my desk (working on my laptop on the couch isn’t as efficient). This keeps me from answering just one more email late in the evening. My office is decorated with inspiring things to make sure it is a place where I can happily work day in and day out. 

Tips for Working from Home from Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

3. Set some boundaries. This means for you – and for your friends and family. For me, I try not to answer emails in the evening or weekends if I don’t need to. I might pop in the office to quickly respond to someone but, in general, I save communication to business hours as best as I can. I do my best to treat my work-from-home job the same as any other job, so we have a dog walker just like we would if I worked in an office. For friends and family, its a little harder, because you always seem so available. When someone asks if you can go shopping with them on a Tuesday, just let them know that you have to work (you’d be surprised how quickly using the word “work” changes people’s perspective on your time!). It will take some reminding but they’ll start to realize that your flexible schedule isn’t just open and free all the time.

Tips for Working from Home from Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

4. Podcasts! People always ask if I get lonely working alone. I don’t, but I do sometimes miss the energy of having other people around. Podcasts are a great way to mix things up. They are perfect when you are doing work that doesn’t require too much focus. My current go-to favorites? This American Life, The Mystery Show, Start-Up, Reply All (and anything else that Gimlet will release next), Invisibilia, The Lively Show, and After the Jump. 

Tips for Working from Home from Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

5. Enjoy the good parts of working  from home! Don’t be so strict about keeping your schedule that you don’t get to reap the benefits of working from home. Whenever I can, I do my shopping on weekdays and I meet my mom for lunch at least once a month. I get to make dinners that require more cooking time because I can get them in the oven mid-afternoon. And since I don’t have office lunches or coffee breaks, I sometimes make up for it by treating myself to a nice lunch or latte break at my desk. 

What are you tricks for staying happy and healthy while working at home?

Photos by Chiarashine Photography

Hello from Bright Room Studio

Hi Everyone! Every now and then I love to invite stationers to guest post here on Oh So Beautiful Paper and share more about their business and creative projects. This week Kim from Bright Room Studio is stopping by to say hello. Welcome Kim! –Nole

Hello! I am so excited to be here blogging with you this week! I’m can’t wait to share some of my work and behind the scenes. But first, a bit about me.

My name is Kim and I am the owner and designer of Bright Room Studio based in Oakland, California. I specialize in custom wedding invitations and other fun hand-lettered goods.

hello from bright room studio
Photo by Chiarashine Photography

I graduated college with a degree in business and minor in graphic communications. I entered the world of advertising as an account manager and wasn’t doing anything creative… except for when I got to make my PowerPoints extra pretty (that was one of my favorite parts of the job – perhaps it should have been a sign!). After four years in the ad industry, I was burnt out and craving a more creative career. I then started going to school for interior design. But once again, I found that I was more excited to create logos for my fellow students than do the floor plans. While this was happening, I was also planning my own wedding and creating my own wedding invitations. I loved creating my invitations and paper goods for my wedding, and began to realize that this might be a good fit for me.

hello from bright room studio
Photo By Chiarashine Photography

At the beginning of the following year, I started to advertise myself as a custom invitation designer. Doing custom designs was a nice way to get in to the industry, and I loved the personal interaction I got in addition to the time spent designing. I booked a few key clients who were just the jump start I needed.

My journey into calligraphy and hand-lettering started around the same time. I didn’t know much about it, but I could never find quite the font so I started to write the text out myself. I then took Melissa Esplin’s I Still Love Calligraphy class. The more I learned about letters and began to study them, the more I fell in love with hand-lettering. It’s funny… I realized I had been doodling words and letters for as long as I could remember, I just never realized I could make a career out of it!

hello from bright room studio
Photo by Trynh Photography

As my business has grown, I’ve continued to developing my skills as an artist (it is so hard to call myself an artist, but I’m working on it!). I’ve worked with many couples to create their invitations and other paper goods and wedding signage. I have a line of products that I sell through my Etsy store, and I teach watercolor lettering.

hello from bright room studio
Photo by Bright Room Studio

I feel so lucky to be where I am today… and especially excited to be hanging with you all this week! So stick around for more behind the scenes and design ideas and don’t forget to drop by Instagram and say hello!

Bright Room Studio is a member of the Designer Rolodex  – you can see more of Kim’s beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Seasonal Stationery: 2016 Calendars, Part 2

My heart is still so heavy today, so soon after the horrible events in Beirut and Paris. I’m sure I’m not alone. And I don’t know what else to say other than I send my love and support to the people of Paris and Beirut.

Today we’re continuing our 2016 calendar round up with ten gorgeous calendars, including three stunning calendars featuring abstract art, a ridiculously beautiful gemstone-themed monthly calendar, a bit of hologram foil, and an illustrated calendar featuring a different poet each month. You can find more 2016 calendars in the Market List here, and I hope these ten calendars help brighten your spirits today.

2016 Calendar Round Up / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Britt Bass + Eva Black Waves & Sea Calendar

2. Belinda Marshall

3. Katharine Watson

4. Michelle Armas

5. Mink Letterpress Birthstone letterpress calendar

6. Blushing Confetti marble desktop calendar with copper foil

7. Banquet Workshop Houseplant Calendar

8. Chelsey Dyer MMXVI Calendar (in hologram foil!)

9. When It Rains monthly desk calendar

10. Smudge Ink Famous Poets Calendar

You can also find more 2016 calendars in the Market List right here!

Friday Happy Hour: Attorney Privilege

Sometimes, recipes work when they don’t seem like they should. This is one of them: an Old Fashioned variation that combines oaky, dark bourbon and sweet, nutty orgeat syrup – an ingredient usually associated with summery Tiki drinks – that seems like it should be a sticky, sweet mess. But instead, it’s a well-balanced drink that put together two unusual ingredients in a really innovative way.  Andrew

Attorney Privilege Bourbon and Orgeat Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Attorney Privilege

2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Maraschino Cherry

Combine the bourbon, orgeat, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled tumbler glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with the maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

Attorney Privilege Bourbon and Orgeat Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Attorney Privilege in on the sweet side, but not obnoxiously so. I expected a full half ounce of orgeat to overwhelm this recipe, but I was surprised by how smooth and drinkable and flavorful it turned out. The bourbon’s complex notes of toffee and oak and lots of other things pair with the almond nuttiness of the orgeat in a drink that’s warm and sip-able and very perfect for November.

Attorney Privilege Bourbon and Orgeat Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

I found this recipe in Imbibe magazine while doing research on fall cocktails featuring orgeat. (Are you reading Imbibe? If you’re interested at all in cocktails, you should be.) It’s originally a recipe from Polite Provisions, a bar in San Diego. We usually try to put our own spin on the recipes we feature here, but this one was pretty much perfect just the way it is and such a revelation that I had to share it unaltered.

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

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! It’s cold and windy in DC today, so I’m all bundled up and trying to stay warm. My dad and step-mom are coming to visit this weekend, which is always great, but my girls are particularly excited to get some quality time with their grandparents! We’ll probably go out to do some fun DC stuff with the girls, so you can follow along on Instagram if you’d like. But in the meantime…

Stephanie Ryan Floral Watercolor via Instagram / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Image by Stephanie Ryan via Instagram

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for me this week! Check back a bit later for this week’s cocktail recipe – and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo