Envelope Inspiration: Calligraphy and Vintage Stamps

If you’re reading this blog, then hopefully you’re like me and LOVE a pretty envelope. Dress an envelope up with some beautiful calligraphy (or a well designed mailing label) and some colorful postage stamps and I’m a very happy lady. So I was thrilled when calligrapher Korie Lynn of The Weekend Type sent over some beautiful envelope inspiration from her collaboration with florist Jody Strom of The Moss & Rose and event planner Natalie Dawley of To Be Wed! Let’s get straight to the envelope eye candy…

Envelope Inspiration Calligraphy Vintage Stamps OSBP 12 Envelope Inspiration: Calligraphy and Vintage Stamps

From Korie: Vintage stamps are the perfect way to continue the overall theme and color palette in an invitation suite. Using multigenerational postage allows you to create a storyline and always makes the envelope more interesting. Each vignette tells a color story: the backdrop, the floral combinations, the envelope, ink choices, calligraphy style, and the stamps. From Americana to English countryside to Garden glamour, Jody accented each envelope with flowers and foliage grown and selected from her personal garden.

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Thanks so much ladies!

Calligraphy: The Weekend Type

Floral Styling: The Moss & Rose

Styling: Two Be Wed

Photo Credits: Korie Lynn Photography

Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

It’s Tiki time! Tiki drinks have a pretty bad reputation, probably because there’s no other category of modern drinks that has been more abused and more misunderstood. Chances are, if you’ve encountered a Tiki drinks, it’s been a brightly colored, syrupy mess. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Tiki drinks can be silly and fruity and kitschy and escapist, but still good. All that takes are a few things: fresh ingredients, balanced complex spices, and fun. – Andrew

Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Recipes OSBP StGermain Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Tiki had its start in the 1930s. A couple of entrepreneurs – Ernest “Don the Beachcomber” Gantt and Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron – started restaurants meant to evoke the exotic South Pacific. They combined a fantasy version of Pacific Islands culture with cocktails, mostly Caribbean-inspired, that became the foundation of Tiki culture. They offered escapism to a country emerging from decades of sacrifice, after the Great Depression and the Second World War. These are drinks with ridiculous names: the Zombie and the Scorpion and the Navy Grog. They are often, but not exclusively, full of rum. They should be sweet and fruity without being cloying. They should have layers of complex spicy flavors. They should be full of freshness – fresh fruits and fresh juices and homemade syrups, not artificially colored, factory made ingredients. They’re supposed to be fun and completely self-aware.

Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Inspiration OSBP Bacardi StGermain Mai Tai3 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Inspiration OSBP Bacardi StGermain Mai Tai7 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail RecipesTiki Cocktail Party Menu Cards OSBP Meant to Be Calligraphy 281 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Oh My Tai

2 oz Bacardi 8 Year Aged Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz St-Germain
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz Falernum
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine everything with lots of ice and shake well. Strain into a tumbler filled with fresh ice.

Mai Tai Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Recipe Cards Dinara Mirtalipova OSBP Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

All illustrations by Dinara Mirtalipova for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Mai Tai is the queen of Tiki drinks, a intensely flavorful rum sour with tons of spicy flavor. Both Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic claimed to have invented the Mai Tai and there are about a million different versions of the recipe out there – and you know what? It doesn’t really matter. As long as you throw together some rum, some lime, and some orgeat – that ancient Middle Eastern almond almond syrup that should have no business in a Polynesian-themed drink but is amazing there anyway – you can mess around with other ingredients and still end up with an awesome drink. We added St-Germain to ours for some fruity, floral notes and falernum, a syrup made from rum, lime, and spices like cloves, vanilla, allspice, maybe ginger and almonds. It’s sweet and tart and full of flavor and delicious.

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Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Inspiration OSBP Bacardi StGermain The Hurricane Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Tiki Cocktail Party Menu Cards OSBP Meant to Be Calligraphy 121 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

The Hurricane

2 oz Bacardi Select Black Rum
3/4 oz Cognac
3/4 oz St-Germain
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
Angostura Bitters

Combine the spirits and juices with ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Mound more ice on top, then add the grenadine and 5-6 dashes of bitters.

The Hurricane Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Recipe Cards Dinara Mirtalipova OSBP Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

This is our spin on the classic Hurricane, a Tiki drink invented in New Orleans in the 1940s that takes its name from the hurricane lamp-shaped glass they were first served in. We use a big bold dark rum as a foundation for all those other flavors but mellow it out a bit with the Cognac. St-Germain’s fruitiness, reminiscent of lychee fruit, takes the place of the original’s passion fruit syrup. I love saving the grenadine and bitters for last, because drizzling them on top will produce fun streaks of bright red that eventually turn the drink a pale red – like watching a tropical sunset. The Hurricane is a big bold Tiki drink full of tons of flavor and a hint of bite. Wonderful.

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Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Inspiration OSBP Bacardi StGermain Shipwreck Rum Punch5 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail RecipesTiki Cocktail Party Menu Cards OSBP Meant to Be Calligraphy 61 Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Inspiration OSBP Bacardi StGermain Shipwreck Rum Punch Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Shipwreck Punch

1 oz Bacardi Gold Rum
1 oz Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Hibiscus-Infused Gin
1/2 oz St-Germain
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1/2 oz Coconut Milk

Combine everything with lots of ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass filled with fresh crushed ice and garnish with tropical fruit.

Shipwreck Rum Punch Modern Tiki Cocktail Party Recipe Cards Dinara Mirtalipova OSBP Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Cocktail Recipes

Ok, there’s clearly a lot going on in this drink – two kinds of rum and some hibiscus gin just to start, demonstrating Tiki’s layers of flavor but also showing that Tiki doesn’t just have to mean rum. Two kinds of citrus juice balanced by St-Germain’s fruity, flowery sweetness, and the rich, creamy coconut, and that passion fruit syrup – sweet and tart, with hints of mango and lots of tropical flavor. (To make our passion fruit syrup, we dissolved equal parts sugar and passion fruit juice over low heat.) This drink started out as something of a spin on the Piña Colada, mixing rum with coconut and pineapple, but quickly spiraled into something very different. It’s sweet and creamy without being cloying, thanks to a deep spiciness. Plus, it’s pink! Which is a bit ridiculous but still fun and friendly.

And that’s what Tiki should be. There’s no formula, no rule set for Tiki recipes. But if you can put together some fresh ingredients with lots of flavor, in rich layers, that’s still fun and friendly, that evokes some tropical beach and helps you escape for a few moments – then you’ve nailed it.

All illustrations by Dinara Mirtalipova for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Cocktail Menu Cards: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bacardi and St-Germain. All content, photos, recipes, and words are our own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

A couple of weeks ago, we received a question from reader Jane B.: There’s been an flooding of moonshine on the market these days and I’m wondering what kind of cocktail can you make with moonshine? Any ideas would be welcomed.

I love this question! Because there are two ways of answering it: the really easy, short way, where I get right to the point and talk about a fun cocktail. And the much longer way, where I get to talk about all sorts of interesting things, like barrel aging and Prohibition and chemistry and history and stock car racing. So get set. – Andrew

Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 13 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

Ok. To get right to the point for everyone who’s just interested in our recipes and Nole’s beautiful photos: if you see moonshine for sale in a store, you’re seeing a marketing gimmick. Some folks are trying to pass of regular unaged whiskey as moonshine. It’s not moonshine. It’s unaged whiskey. Moonshine is, more or less, privately distilled illegal spirits. It might be distilled from corn or sugar or wood pulp. It might be 80 proof or it might be 180 proof. It might be mostly ethanol, which you can drink, or it might be full of methanol, which could blind you. You might be able to buy it, in an actual mason jar of course, if you know a guy who knows a guy whose cousin knows a guy who makes moonshine. You can’t buy it in a store. But unaged whiskey marketed as moonshine is trendy. It’s forbidden. It’s Americana. It’s cool.

And that’s ok. There are some great unaged whiskeys for sale today. And unaged whiskey, also called white whiskey or white dog whiskey, can stand on its own as a spirit, though a very different beast from an aged bourbon or rye whiskey. Unaged whiskeys carry lots of raw flavors, like sweet corn and fruity notes, the sort of flavors you might expect form a silver Tequila, without the agave’s sour finish. I love the way white whiskey pairs with apertif wines, so here’s my contribution:

Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 30 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

 

Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe Card Nicole Miazgowicz OSBP Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

Illustration by Nicole Miazgowicsz for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Ghost in the Graveyard

2 oz Unaged Corn Whiskey
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Dry Curacao
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Combine the whiskey, vermouth, curacao, and liqueur with ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the bitters. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy.

Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 27 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 3 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

Didn’t I say this was the short version? Yeah. The Ghost in the Graveyard will look like a Martini but taste completely different: sweet and fruity from the corn, with its rougher edges mellowed by the vermouth, and finishing with the citrusy and nutty notes of the liqueurs and a bit of the whiskey’s alcoholic heat. Served ice cold, it’s  actually quite apt for summer, both refreshing and full of sweet summer corn notes. It’s deeply satisfying and one of the recipes I’m prouder of.

Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 10 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)Unaged White Whiskey Cocktail Recipe OSBP 26 Friday Happy Hour: Moonshine (aka Unaged Whiskey Cocktail)

Like an unaged silver or blanco Tequila, a white whiskey is full of alcohol heat and sharp, rough edges – so try pairing two ounces of white whiskey with an ounce of triple sec and 3/4 ounce lime juice to make something like a whiskey Margarita. White whiskey also pairs really well with apple cider and with ginger beer. It’s versatile, but don’t think of it like a rich, oaky bourbon or a deep, spicy rye.

Want to know more about white whiskey and the history of moonshine? Keep reading!

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The Beginning of Oh So Beautiful Paper

As some of you may have seen on Instagram, I celebrated my fourth anniversary of self-employment yesterday. When I first started Oh So Beautiful Paper, I couldn’t really share anything about my profession at the time – and nearly six years into blogging I still haven’t written this story down. So today I finally decided to get my act together and share the story of how Oh So Beautiful Paper came to be!

Aheirloom Gold Glitter Cake Topper The Beginning of Oh So Beautiful Paper

Cake topper by AHeirloom

Most people assume that I have a design background that led me to start blogging about paper. And while I definitely grew up surrounded by art and design, my professional background is actually in the field of international diplomacy! When I first started blogging in 2008, I was working as a civil servant (aka U.S.-based diplomat) at the U.S. Department of State, in the Bureau of African Affairs. Not exactly a direct correlation to paper and design.

But I should back up a bit. I was raised by two artistic parents: my dad worked as an advertising copywriter for most of his career, but now works as a semi-retired freelance photographer. My mom also worked in advertising (her job involved media buying) before switching to a different career in the late 1980s, but she’s also a talented painter and interior designer. I grew up in a very artistic environment, surrounded by art supplies and attending summer art camps. In high school, I took my first photography class and decided that I wanted to become a magazine photographer. But after a semester in college I quickly decided that I didn’t enjoy art school (Emily’s post from a couple of weeks ago will give you a pretty good idea of why it didn’t work out). So I took a few random elective classes… and switched majors to International Relations. It seems like such a random choice, but I was really, really good at my chosen field. It just felt like the right fit.

OSBP Travel Map 3 The Beginning of Oh So Beautiful Paper

My time at the State Department began with an internship during my last undergraduate semester in the spring of 2003, and my office hired me permanently at the end of my internship. I was all of 22, but working in a position normally reserved for mid-level employees in their 30s: it was an overwhelming introduction to the world of international diplomacy! For the next few years, I worked in the Office of East African Affairs with responsibility for Somalia and Djibouti (both located in the Horn of Africa).

It’s hard to explain what my job actually entailed, but my work involved everything from writing briefing memos for senior officials to preparing internal budget proposals and documents, and from collecting study materials for U.S. ambassadorial nominees to writing U.N. Security Council resolutions. Some of the tasks were mundane, and some of them – like traveling overseas – were really amazing. I was lucky enough to visit several European capitals and almost every country in East Africa – Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti – and I even lived in Nairobi, Kenya for about a month on a special assignment. In 2009, I transferred to the Office of West African Affairs, working primarily on Liberia and Ghana.

I learned a lot during those years. I learned how to prioritize urgent tasks and objectives. I learned how to distill a complex set of issues into a two-page memo. I learned a lot of other things that are harder to put into words. At the State Department, most people rotate to a new position every 2-3 years, so I worked with and for a lot of different people over the course of my seven years there. I learned what it means to be a good boss, a good manager – and sadly what it means to be a bad boss and mismanage an entire office. I saw people around me sacrifice their personal lives for their careers, and I learned that I didn’t want that for myself. I learned what it meant to burn out. I learned that a fulfilling career – and a fulfilling life – can mean a lot of different things to different people.

Alli Coate Quiet Time Susan Taylor Quote Print The Beginning of Oh So Beautiful Paper

Print by Alli Coate

Everything changed when Andrew and I got married in 2008. I discovered wedding and lifestyle blogs (yay!), and I fell in love with the world of wedding invitations during our 9-month engagement. After our wedding, Andrew encouraged me to start blogging as a creative outlet, and Oh So Beautiful Paper was born a few weeks later! My original goal was simply to showcase amazing wedding invitation design and connect couples with the designer that suits their personal style. I never intended for blogging to replace my career at the State Department, but the blog slowly grew and evolved into something more than a hobby.

Coincidentally, Oh So Beautiful Paper was growing at the same time that I was becoming increasingly disenchanted with my office job. I attended the very first Alt Summit in 2010, and one of my most vivid memories from the entire conference was listening to Maxwell from Apartment Therapy during the keynote session. Maxwell talked about his own decision to take Apartment Therapy full time: how it felt like jumping off a cliff, but also that he had to put in full time effort to see full time rewards. In April 2010, after a year under one particularly awful boss (which in turn was after two years under an equally terrible boss in another office), I made the scariest decision of my life: I gave notice at a stable, salaried job to pursue Oh So Beautiful Paper full time. I gave myself six months to make things work – and here I am four years later!

Artifact Uprising Wild Abandon The Beginning of Oh So Beautiful Paper

Quote by Our Wild Abandon via Artifact Uprising

I’m proud of a lot of the things that I accomplished during my years at the State Department, and I have a lot of regrets about things that I didn’t accomplish or that didn’t go the way I wished they had. I’ve been away long enough that I can forget most of the bad experiences and just hold on to the fond experiences and memories, and I’m so happy to have those stories to tell Sophie someday. But nothing compares to the satisfaction of running my own business, even if it can be super scary and ridiculously exhausting most of the time, and I still don’t know that I’ve reached a level that I would define as successful. I’ve made so many wonderful friends through this amazing community, and I’d never trade that for a million years.

Okay, enough sap! I’ll stop there, and thank you for reading this ridiculously long post!

Papillon Press

We are the illustrated press

Papillon Press is a letterpress studio located in Westport, Ontario that specializes in illustrated stationery with a vintage twist. Whether you order your wedding invitations from us or buy one our greeting cards, you know that all cards have been firstly illustrated by hand (by us, no stock imagery!), then printed by us on our 60-year-old letterpress. Everything is done in-house with a commitment to artistry and craftsmanship.  Papillon Press is run by husband and wife duo Chantal and Joel, who are professional illustrators and printers.

We feature a collection of affordable letterpress wedding invitations with a vintage twist for the modern bride. We love intricate illustrations and those feature prominently on our invitations, and on all our products . You can decide to work up close and personal with us on a custom wedding suite or purchase one of our templates. We offer both letterpress and flat printing for wedding invitations and work with clients from all over the world.

We also take on letterpress printing projects, so if you have files you want printed you can send them to us and we will turn them into a letterpress work of art!

Our work has been featured in Country Living, Weddingbells, WedLuxe, Oh So Beautiful Paper, Stationery Trends, The National Post, etc.