Friday Happy Hour: Hot Buttered Rum

You wouldn’t know it by looking out the window in most of this country, but it’s winter out there.  Here’s a drink that will warm you right up on a cold winter’s night, but is still pretty delicious even if your winter has been as mild as ours: hot buttered rum.

Read below for the full recipe!

Hot Buttered Rum

2 oz Dark Rum
4-6 oz Hot Water or Hot Apple Cider
1/4 – 1/2 oz Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter*
Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Etc, to Taste

In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, honey, and water or cider.  Toss in some spices: a few whole cloves, some ground cinnamon, whatever tickles your fancy (it’s hard to praise enough the impact of freshly grated nutmeg on a drink like this).  Heat slowly until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.  Pour the pan’s contents and the rum in a mug, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and enjoy.


Here’s what you’ll get: a drink that’s sweet and spicy (in a fantastic way that brings to mind the ghost of Christmas past), complex and rich, rich, rich.  The use of butter in drinks goes back centuries and it’s easy to see why when you sip one of these: a hot buttered rum is smooth, rich, and will warm you up like few other things can.  Just be warned: this drink is not for anyone on a low-fat or low-calorie diet.

Water works fine in this drink, but in The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan advises hot apple cider instead and I strongly suggest you follow his advice.  I’ve also seen suggestions that you first clarify the butter by heating it and separating out the milk solids, which should give you a smoother and better blended drink, but I’ve so far been too impatient to wait for clarified butter.


* According to Jerry Thomas’ 1862 recipe, you should use “1 piece of butter as large as half a chestnut.”  In other words, add butter, as with all these ingredients, to taste.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

{happy weekend!}

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s a gorgeous day here in DC – it has me so excited for spring to arrive in a few weeks!  And after a long week, I’m also grateful for the long President’s Day weekend.   I’m looking forward to walking around our neighborhood, which is just so much more pleasant when the sun is out and shining!  But in the meantime…

Image Credit: Dinara Mirtalipova

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

As usual, we have a fun cocktail coming up for you this afternoon, so check back a bit later for the recipe!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Tuesday!  Happy President’s Day!  xoxo

{today I love…}

Today I thought I’d just share a few favorite letterpress cards from one of my favorite stationers – Sugar Paper – that have caught my eye recently:

Check out more right here!

Photo Credits: Sugar Paper

DIY Tutorial: Watercolor Floral Pattern Wedding Invitations

It’s the ladies of Anti­quaria, back with another cre­ative DIY project for you!  Today they’re sharing a gorgeous floral watercolor wedding invitation tutorial!

This week, we are challenging your inner artist and showing you how to design your own floral watercolor print invitation suite.  We have so much fun putting together our artwork and painting watercolors for our online magazine, The Antiquarian Post, we thought, why not incorporate the same technique into a DIY invitation suite?  We’ve chosen a coral, toffee and lavender-grey palate to work with but the options are as endless as your supply of paint!

No need to feel intimidated about this one though…we’ll take you through the process, step-by-step.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step One: On an 8.5 x 11″ sheet of heavy watercolor paper, paint your botanical watercolor pattern.  We used a palette of coral, toffee and lavender gray for our floral pattern.  To create watercolor flowers, use 2 different size round brushes, one large and one small.  Wet the large brush, dip it in the coral color and paint petals.  The more non-uniform each petal is, the more organic and natural the flowers turn out.  Wet the small brush, dip it into the toffee paint and add the centers of the flowers.  Also with the small brush, you will want to fill in-between the large coral flowers with clusters of small lavender gray flowers.  Fill in further with toffee leaves (made with the large brush).  Fill the whole sheet of paper, making sure that the overall composition is balanced and full of pattern.  Set aside to dry completely.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Two: On another 8.5 x 11″ sheet of heavy watercolor paper, measure out four 3.5 x 5″ rectangles.  Lightly draw yourself an outline in pencil.  Just outside the lines, draw yourself crop marks which will be used as guides to cut the final printed product.  Paint a coral border in each rectangle making sure not to get to close to the edges.  When the paint dries, erase your pencil guide lines leaving just your crop marks.  For the envelope liner pattern, we used an simple striped pattern.  On a clean 8.5 x 11″ sheet of watercolor paper, simply  paint horizontal coral lines, as even or uneven as you please!

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Three:  Place each sheet of artwork on a flatbed scanner and scan at 300 dpi.  Print the patterns 100% scale on high quality card stock (the thickest you can get through your printer).  Make sure to set your printer margins to the smallest they will allow to maximize your printable area.  For the striped pattern, print it on high quality text weight paper… you will be installing it later in the envelopes and thinner paper works better for this!

Out of each printed  sheet of the floral pattern paper, cut a 5 x 7″ card and a 4 x 6″ card, as shown above.  You will see that since you’ve created the whole page as a pattern, the cards will have a full bleed (meaning that the pattern will flow off the page).

Alternatively, you can take in your artwork to your local print shop (bring the scans on a zip drive or ask them to scan them for you).  Here they can print out the paintings on card stock and text weight using a high quality digital printer.  You can also have them professionally cut all the pieces down to your desired size!

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Four: Now you can stamp your invitation!  Ink your invitation stamp thoroughly (we used our “Sophisticate” Invitation Stamp) and line it up, centered over your card.  Of course, you will be printing on the “back” blank side of the 5 x 7″ floral card.  Press down on the stamp evenly and moderately with the handle to get a crisp image.  Let dry.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Five: Using the crop marks, cut your reply cards (we typically use a paper cutter or x-acto and ruler) to size.  Ink your reply stamp thoroughly (we used our “Sophisticate” Reply Stamp, option B) and line up, centered over your card.  Press down on the stamp evenly and moderately with the handle to get a crisp image.  Let dry.  Notch in the corners, if you like, to create the look of a die cut card.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Six: On the back of the 4 x 6″ card, ink your accommodations stamp thoroughly (we used our Sophisticate” Accommodations Stamp) and line up, centered over your card.  Press down on the stamp evenly and moderately with the handle to get a crisp image.  Let dry.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Seven: Cut the liners using a template made for your envelopes.  These do the job well!  Trace the template with a pencil and cut on the line.  Use stick glue or double stick tape along the triangular end to adhere the liner to your envelope.

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Step Eight: Once again, we are using stamps to save on our invitation budget.  We printed our “Scripted” Return Address stamp for both the return address on the outer envelope and for the reply address.  The great part is that you can also use it on your thank you notes!!

DIY Tutorial: Floral Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Now all that’s left is to tie them together with a beautiful ribbon, address the envelopes and get them into the post!  Your guests will be thrilled to receive your very own watercolor artwork in the mail.

Materials List:

Sophisticate Wedding Invitation Stamp (from Antiquaria)

Sophisticate Reply Card Stamp (from Antiquaria)

Sophisticate Accommodations Card Stamp (from Antiquaria)

 Scripted Return Address Stamp (from Antiquaria)

Stamp Pad, we used Antique Pewter

Heavy duty watercolor paper

Water color paints (preferably in 3 or more colors)

Paint brushes, 1 large & 1 small

Jar filled with water to wash brushes

Card stock, in soft white

Text Paper, in soft white



Paper cutter or x-acto knife



A7 Envelopes

4bar Envelopes

Liner template


Glue stick or double stick tape


Patterns painted by Emma James for Antiquaria.  Custom watercolor invitations are available from Antiquaria’s Custom Design Division.  Please email them for more information!

Photography by Jamie Simon of Intertwyned

Calligraphy Wedding Party Thank You Cards

Continuing some of the hand lettering love from yesterday, calligrapher Amy Lee from Storied Ink Studio sent over these lovely calligraphy thank you cards for wedding party attendants.  The cards are inspired by poems by George Herbert.  What a beautiful way to thank your maid of honor and bridesmaids for all of their help during the wedding planning process!

From Amy: I personally love it when design enhances the meaning of a written sentiment.  This particular card was inspired by this philosophy, and by the pattern poems of George Herbert.  Each A2-size (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) card is hand lettered with dip pen calligraphy to bring a personal touch to this special detail of your wedding.

Thanks Amy!

Photo Credits: Storied Ink Studio