Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations

You guys. Every piece in this wedding invitation suite from Ilana of Sugar & Type was individually hand painted. Each and every one! These beautiful navy and silver hand painted wedding invitations were created for the wedding of Ilana’s sister Danielle, who just also happens to be an artist. Danielle viewed the creative process behind these invitations as a symbolic representation of a new marriage, and her description of the process below is just so beautiful I can barely stand it!

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

From IlanaI’m so excited to share my sister Danielle’s wedding invitations! As an artist, my sister really wanted to have her hand in the creative process of the paper goods for her wedding day. My sister and I letterpress printed the invitations on a Vandercook letterpress (with the help of Amy at Green Girl Press), then Danielle individually hand painted each and every invitation, reply card, program, and info card. These invitations truly told a unique story.

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Danielle and Andrew’s winter wedding was held at an art gallery, where people were able to explore the space and really appreciate the art! The invitations were printed on 220lb paper with navy edge painting. Each envelope was hand addressed with silver ink to match the hand painted element on the suite. They carried out the metallic splatters throughout the details at their ceremony and reception, and it was truly a masterpiece.

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Danielle – the bride and artist: For our wedding, it was important to us that the experience of art was gently portrayed in every element. From the hand painted brush strokes on each piece of every invitation, response card, information card, and program, to the calligraphy that was letterpress printed onto each sheet of paper.

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The brush strokes represented the evidence of process, the way that every motion in life leaves a mark, either large or small. These strokes were intentionally made to be perfectly imperfect and one of a kind, just like each individual marriage or relationship. Each mark was made specifically with intention and care, the way that everything you do in a marriage should be. Each component of the creation of the invitations reflected the ever changing atmosphere that exists in a marriage and fulfilled the symbolic process that felt necessary for us as we embarked on our next journey as a couple. We are thrilled with what the process yielded and the final product truly represents us as a couple. We are a team who tries to take time to consider the purpose and execution of our actions, and works to enjoy the journey to the final product.

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Navy and Silver Hand Painted Wedding Invitations by Sugar and Type / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanks Ilana and Danielle!

Design and Calligraphy: Sugar and Type

Letterpress Printing: Green Girl Press

Hand Painting: Danielle Sara

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers or visit the real invitations gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Audra Zaba Photo

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin

Based in the colorful land of Los Angeles, California, Katie from The Good Twin is here to share with us the founding moments of her stationery company and take us through a day in her life. I love seeing her pins and stationery in local Brooklyn shops here in New York! So glad to have you here today, Katie. Take it away –Megan

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hi there! I’m Katie, owner and operator of The Good Twin, based here in toasty Los Angeles. And yes, I am a twin, although my brother might argue with you about the “good” part, ha. I’m so excited to be chatting with you guys today – Oh So Beautiful Paper has been a source of inspiration for me for many years, and stationery is one of my favorite things to talk about, go figure.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I’ve been working in stationery since my college days in Minneapolis, after a childhood in Portland spent creating greeting cards for family and friends for pretty much any occasion. While I was in art school, I interned for a corporate greeting card company, and then a small letterpress shop, both of which really helped me learn the ins and outs of the industry. I realized I was really excited about the big picture of a business — growing a full line and having creative control, rather than being a hired gun for an art director, and I set my sights on producing my own designs.

When I graduated, I worked a few jobs (barista, library assistant, and freelance illustrator) while my friend John and I started Dude and Chick, a tiny line of letterpress cards. After a few years of long hours and late nights, I moved to L.A., where I eventually decided to leave Dude and Chick and start my own line. The Good Twin was finally off and running in May of 2014.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

My studio is in Lincoln Heights, way on the east side of Los Angeles just northeast of downtown. It’s small, but it’s mine! I only recently moved into a space outside of my house, which has been a big change, but also very welcomed – my apartment feels like a real place again, rather than a storage locker filled to the brim with paper! All of my inventory lives in the studio, and I also carved out a designated area that feels a bit more officelike, with a big desk for drawing.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I usually bring my pug Peggy to work with me, and we’re joined a few times a week by my friend Bryan, who helps out with inventory management and order fulfillment. Having an employee has been my saving grace —before that, my nights and weekends (and sometimes afternoons) would be spent sleeving cards and pulling orders. I still do a lot of that, but now I have a lot more time to focus on illustrating and the business as a whole.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

As The Good Twin has grown and expanded, I’ve learned to delegate a bit, but I still find myself packing my days with a million different things. I work best when I’m multitasking. My best trick for any problem is to step away for a few minutes and work on something else, then return with a fresh eye. I’ve always relied pretty heavily on a routine and regular work hours, since my brain responds really well to structure. There’s always something to do when you run the show, so I try to put in a full day even if I’m feeling uncreative or having one of those blocks where I feel like I’ll never be able to draw again.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Days usually begin around 9am, after a morning run and breakfast at home with my boyfriend. Mornings are reserved for processing orders and managing my books (nothing like a little Quickbooks with a cup of coffee to wake me up!). I spend a lot of time writing and answering emails from buyers, sales reps, and printers, as well as entering expenses and planning budgets for reprints and new products in the works.

By the afternoon I’m ready for a little creativity. I do my best to draw a bit every day, even if it’s just a few minutes of calligraphy practice. I keep a folder on my phone with all my dumb (and occasionally awesome) ideas for new cards and products. About half the time, I start from a really concrete idea, but often I’ll just be browsing through my endless Pinterest boards for inspiration and just make a drawing or pattern I really like.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Every week I comb through my sketchbooks and pull anything I feel is worthwhile, and from there I ink those drawings (sometimes with a Micron pen, sometimes with a brush), scan them in, and start playing around with layout and color in Illustrator. Although I do hand draw everything, including type, I usually piece things together either in the computer or with a light box. For me, it’s easier to focus on each piece of a composition separately, and then assemble everything in post.Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

My biggest challenge has always been color, and sometimes I’ll go through ten different palettes before I find something I like. Each season’s release gets one huge file where I keep everything so I can be sure it all looks nice together. Once I have the general look down, each design gets a separate file for cleanup, color separations, and other finishing touches before they go off to print. While I’m working, I like to listen to music and podcasts and occasionally audio books.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I head home for the day between 5-8pm depending on how busy things are and how much I’m getting done. I really love my job, and hands down my favorite aspect of running a small business is the variety. As much as I love designing, it’s important to me to understand things like profit margins, trend research, and sales patterns. I think it helps me better direct my own work and style. I’m constantly giving myself pep talks and figuring out things that I never dreamed I’d be wrestling with, but that’s how I like it.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Stationery is really exciting industry, and I love seeing change in my own style as well as the different lines I admire. Hope you enjoyed the peek into my corner of the paper world! Thanks for having me, Megan and Nole!

Photos by Kate Miss

Want to be featured in Behind the Stationery? Email [email protected] for details.

The 2016 National Stationery Show, Part 8

One of my first recaps from the 2016 National Stationery Show featured veteran booths that are always on my can’t-miss-list at the show. Today I’m sharing another NSS 2016 recap featuring even more of my favorite veteran exhibitors from this year’s show! These should all be VERY familiar names here at Oh So Beautiful Paper, from Snow & Graham to Hammerpress to Smudge Ink. You’ll see beautiful envelope liners and wedding invitations from Bella Figura, eco-friendly greeting cards, art prints, keepsake boxes, and notebooks from Smock, the most beautiful cotton ribbons from Studio Carta, city postcards from Albertine Press, and social preparedness kits from Egg Press. Let’s dive right in!

NSS 2016: Smock and Bella Figura / Oh So Beautiful Paper

How stunning is this wall  featuring Bella Figura‘s new collection of flower photograph envelope liners?? And those copper foil envelope liners? Gorgeous!

NSS 2016: Smock and Bella Figura / Oh So Beautiful Paper

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Artwork by Penelope Dullaghan via Instagram

Artwork by Penelope Dullaghan via Instagram

I normally try to avoid the news as much as possible. After eight years of working for the Federal government and thirteen years of living in DC, I often feel like I’ve had a lifetime’s fill of news. But when the news started pouring in about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on Thursday, it couldn’t be escaped. Then came Dallas. I haven’t been able to think about much else since. Normally I don’t talk about big social issues here, because I try to make this website a bright spot in your day. But going forward without acknowledging all the heartache this past week feels wrong to me. We’ll get back to the pretty stuff tomorrow.

I’ve been a ball of emotion since Thursday: anger, grief, horror, sorrow, regret. My heart aches for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and for the families of the police officers killed in Dallas on Thursday. And I’ve had a hard time putting those thoughts and emotions into words, so it’s taken me a while to be able to write anything that I felt comfortable sharing with all of you. And there’s still so much more that I want to say but don’t yet know how to say. I don’t know how we got to this place. Where the use of lethal force by the police has become almost routine. I support our police officers and law enforcement, and I’m grateful for the very difficult work that they do every day. There are many amazing police officers doing great work around the country – including right here in my town of Washington, DC – but we need change in the places where it isn’t happening. Men should not be shot during a routine traffic stop in front of a four year old girl sitting in the back seat. Police officers should not shoot drunk drivers as they crawl out of the wreckage of a crashed car. Flash grenades should not be tossed into a crib during a drug raid. The frequency with which police use lethal force – with near-zero accountability – is staggering.

The police are here to protect and serve the community. And that means people of every color within that community. When black people are treated differently just because of the color of their skin, it’s wrong. And if the rest of us don’t stand up to acknowledge the problem and demand change, then we’re part of the problem. Supporting Black Lives Matter shouldn’t be about being anti-police or anti-white, it should be about demanding equal treatment and respect for all members of our community.

Writing statements of support on a blog or social media feels almost silly when I think about the scale of this problem. But if we don’t say anything, if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t acknowledge that there is a problem, we can’t fix it. I don’t have the answers to the larger issue of race and injustice in our country, but I do believe we have the power to make things better. Maybe it’s my policy background, but I think there are real things we can do to help. To push for change in our local police forces. To stand up for justice on all sides and demand accountability when the police do the wrong thing. To talk to each other so that we can feel more empathy towards each other.

Artwork by Kal Barteski via Instagram

Artwork by Kal Barteski via Instagram

Silence and complacency are easy. Cultural change is not easy. But as long as we keep choosing what is easy, people will continue to die. We can support Black Lives Matter and work for positive change in our police. These things are not mutually exclusive, but they require action. Write letters to your local elected officials. Attend local council meetings and police community meetings. If you don’t have those meetings in your area, work with your local council members and community leaders to organize them. If we don’t show up and make our voices of support heard within our communities, nothing will change.

Thanks for listening.

Friday Happy Hour: Lemon-Mint Gin Smash

Summer heat is setting in and we’re thinking about Smashes, super simple and super refreshing drinks that date back to at least the 1860s. Fresh fruit and fresh herbs all smashed into a drink to create something amazingly delicious. And what a wonderful thought: cooling off in July with a drink that has been around for a century and a half. There are endless Smash recipe combinations that we’re excited to dive into this month. But today we’re kicking off a month of Smashes with a crisp and restorative Lemon-Mint Gin Smash. Andrew

Lemon-Mint Gin Smash Cocktail Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gin Smash

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 a Lemon, Quartered
Fresh mint

Muddle the lemon pieces and a few mint leaves in a shaker, then add the gin and simple syrup. Shake hard with ice and strain into a lowball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy!

Lemon-Mint Gin Smash Cocktail Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

It’s that simple. A lemon-mint gin smash is basically a Gin Sour, but even closer to its roots. The mint was picked straight from our own garden and it’s hard to get much fresher than actual lemon – fragrant peel and all – getting literally smashed up into the drink. It’s the epitome of summer in a cocktail glass.

Lemon-Mint Gin Smash Cocktail Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Lemon-Mint Gin Smash Cocktail Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

We used a local favorite gin, One Eight Distilling‘s Ivy City gin, made right here in DC. It’s made with spicebush, a local botanical that gives this gin a warm, spicy edge. It makes for a smash that’s sweet and tart and a bit spicy and wonderfully refreshing.

p.s. A few of our favorite smash cocktail recipes to make all summer long: Sage-Lime Tequila Smash, Basil-Mint Peach Bourbon Smash, Strawberry Mint Smash, and an Orange-Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash

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Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper