Happy Weekend!

Well, I meant to write my usual weekly round up last Friday, but we decided to take advantage of the Veterans Day weekend and escape DC for a few days at my dad’s house in New Jersey (boy, did we need it!). But honestly, despite my intentions I’m not sure I actually could have written my usual post last week. I try to keep a positive tone here, and I think I needed more time to wrap my head around everything that has happened in our country in the last couple of weeks. I rarely discuss political issues here, but I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging that this has been a very difficult time for many of us, myself included. I posted this on Instagram the day after the election, when I felt the need to be quiet, to listen and process. Two weeks later, I’m still feeling pretty unsettled, and I want to send a giant virtual hug to everyone out there who might be feeling the same way. But life moves forward and this too shall pass, and in the meantime I’ll do my best to bring a smile to your face by sharing beautiful stationery that helps celebrate life’s special occasions and encourages us to connect with each other in a meaningful way.

Anne Robin Calligraphy / Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti

Image (and print) by Anne Robin Calligraphy via Instagram

A few links for your weekend:

Recently on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for us this week! I’ll see you back here next week! xoxo

Brick + Mortar: Stationery Matters. It’s time to create.

If you care about words, and how they’re used, this has been a challenging year. If you care about sentiments, and kindness and how to get back to a place where we value kind sentiments, this has been an excruciating week (months, year). In the stationery world, where we all mingle, we can feel removed from tangible ways to enact positive political change, but I’m here to tell you, we’re in the quiet center of it. Stationery matters. We can shift the discourse by creating new opportunities for conversation. Let’s use our power for good ~ Emily at Clementine

Ladyfingers Letterpress: It's Going to be OK

Ladyfingers Letterpress, it’s going to be ok.

I am not a political commentator and this is not the place, but it doesn’t take an expert to know we are unsettled by recent political events. As creatives and small business owners, many of us have been stunned into silence, unsure of how our daily offerings can actually help. I want this post to remind you that creativity has power because it radiates. I see your work touch lives everyday. The most poignant moments I share with customers are over their card purchases. People write when they can’t pick up the phone; when they know the right card will lift a friend’s mood; when their own joy overflows and they want to share it; when they don’t know what to say to ease someone’s pain, but they know they have to say something; when they ache for connection. As makers of cards, creators of sentiments, you are creating new avenues for connection. So what should you do today? What you do best:

1. Create the cards that are missing from the market place. Create them now. Say the things you want to say (design them well) and print them. Are you afraid they won’t sell? Be afraid. Create them anyway. We need fresh love. With Leonard Cohen’s passing, his words reverberate this week:

Ring the bells that still can ring/
Forget your perfect offering/
There is a crack in everything/
That’s how the light gets in.

 

2. Write. Write to give thanks, write because appreciation lifts spirits, write to offer support, write to lift the darkness. Write to people you don’t know, who are scared because they are being threatened, find a teacher or a place of worship where students or members of a congregation have been targeted. Write letters to the editor, or small notes to any member of your community who is struggling. Write to your high school friends and current neighbors. Write to your family members who you disagree with, write to your family members who you love. Flood the world with actual, tangible good words.

Here is a sample of the cards and prints that remind me that simple, fresh sentiments can create a zing of hope, humor, and possibility. I’m sending some and framing others. I hope you’ll join me – share the new designs you create and the cards you’re sending out. I’d love it if you’d also add #osbpsendlove so we can see and share hope within this community. Move mountains with your words. Make love big. xo Emily Ghost Academy: Bad Bitches Run This ShitGhost Academy, bad bitches run this shit

La Familia Green: I'm Here for Anything You Need

La Familia Green, I’m here for anything you need.

People I've Loved: Shit Doesn't Have to Make Sense

People I’ve Loved, shit doesn’t have to make sense

Yellow Owl Workshop: Friends Come in All Colors and Shapes Print

Yellow Owl Workshop, friends come in all shapes and colors

Ink Meets Paper: Together We Can Get Through Anything

Ink Meets Paper, together we can get through anything

Emily McDowell: Broken Objects

Emily McDowell, broken objects

Daydream Prints: Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard

Daydream Prints, find your tribe, love them hard

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations

It’s both incredibly exciting AND super high pressure for a stationery designer to create their own wedding invitation! Inspired by her love of geometric shapes and hand lettering, Eliza of Anchors & Ampersands designed these modern gold and black geometric wedding invitations for her own wedding day. I absolutely adore the transparent vellum envelopes with gold calligraphy over black paint. Even the wax seal on the interior envelope features a geometric design!

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

From Eliza: I have waited for this day ever since I became a designer: designing my own wedding invitations. Our invitations and wedding décor were inspired by my love for hand lettering and geometric shapes. We incorporated a geometric theme throughout the wedding, starting with the invitations.

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Our escort cards were acrylic hexagons and our ceremony backdrop was homemade from hexagon shelves. We also had some fun with accordion programs, and a die-cut menu. I was able to create an angular monogram using our first initials E + C to use on multiple printed pieces and our wax seal. My favorite quote from a guest was that they had “never seen a wedding so well executed and branded throughout the entire event.”

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

I had an amazing experience designing the invitations.The insert cards were printed on 110# paper, while the jacket was printed on 120# dual-side paper and the main invitation was printed on 130# paper. Each piece had custom hand lettering mixed with modern type. With a black, white, and gold color palette, I knew these had to be printed with some gold foil! I added die-cut shapes to some of the insert cards to create more geometric elements. The pattern on the interior envelope was inspired by all the angles created from geometric shapes. It was printed on a dual-side black and white paper.

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Looking for a special and unique way to hold all the insert cards together, I came across gold elastic hair bands which I repurposed for this occasion. After filling each jacket with the invitation and insert cards, we sealed it shut with a gold wax seal. We finished the suites off in a vellum envelope with calligraphy and some vintage stamps representing our relationship (New York, and our love for soccer and baseball).

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Modern Gold and Black Geometric Wedding Invitations by Anchors & Ampersands

Thanks Eliza!

Design: Anchors & Ampersands

Printing: Publicide

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

Photo Credits: Eliza Hack

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Hello! This month I’ve personally felt a mound of emotional heaviness, so I was looking for this illustration installment to add some lightness. For me, flowers — and really anything botanical — are always a natural way of lifting my spirits. And I’m a huge fan of wildflowers — Maine wildflowers were, in fact, the makeup of my wedding bouquet. So when I stumbled on the work of illustrator/artist Katie Daisy through a search for botanical illustrations, I knew this was where I wanted to stay for a while. Her illustrated field guide book, How to Be a Wildflower, is now high on my wish list, and her work is something I’d also like to share with my 5-year-old daughter — another big fan of wildflowers. Let’s forage through the lovely botanical illustrations by Katie Daisy and her colorful uplifting quotes to capture some positive sunshine. Jen

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Here’s a peek into her New York Times bestselling book, How to Be a Wildflower, which includes activities to do that get you out amongst the trees and flowers:

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Katie Daisy must undoubtedly be inspired by her location, as she lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon — a place chock full of trails to hike and wildflowers to pick (or so I’ve seen in photos on my Instagram! Oregon is on my travel wishlist.)

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

I love the way Katie combines typography with illustration. It’s easy for quotes to go the “cheesy” route or feel overplayed, but her illustrations with words simply feel happy and modern. I could see hanging one of these prints in a kitchen or bathroom just as easily as art in my kiddos’ bedroom.

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Watercolor Illustration by Katie Daisy

What also struck me as I checked out Katie’s website and Etsy shop is the extensive body of work she’s created! This is a tiny glimpse of her illustrated art prints and there’s even a whole collection of gifts — from illustrated tote bags to pencil pouches. What would be on the top of your list? I can say at the moment, this art print with the trees and that meaningful proverb is what I’d like to hang up in my entry as a gentle reminder.

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Thanks for following along this installment of the World of Illustration. Be back here again soon!

Photo Credits: Katie Daisy

DC Guide: Fall Foliage Destinations

This month I’m partnering with Capital One’s new Auto Navigator® site to share some of my favorite spots in the DC area. Earlier this month I shared three of my favorite independent boutiques, and today I’m excited to share three of my favorite destinations for gorgeous fall foliage! I tend to plan our family adventures based on the season, finding the best places to see cherry blossoms, peonies, and lilacs in the spring and going to a nearby farm to pick in-season fruits and berries in the summer. We’re currently experiencing peak fall foliage in DC, so it’s the perfect time to head outside and enjoy this beautiful season while it lasts!

DC Guide: Fall Foliage Destinations

There are so many wonderful attractions, historic sites, gardens, and museums in the DC area – and while we can get to most of the museums via public transportation, some of our favorite destinations are best reached by car. Our car is a pretty important part of our family weekend adventures! When my husband and I bought our first (used) car a few years ago, we had a 6 month-old baby and a brand new mortgage payment, and we were feeling really overwhelmed by life in general. We were also focusing more on our short-term financial situation and didn’t really think about the longer term added cost of maintaining an already 10-year old car used for both daily commuting and longer trips to visit family out of state. If I could go back and give my first-time car buying self a piece of advice, I’d tell myself to think more about our long term needs and the emotional security of having a reliable car that you can trust to carry your family wherever it needs to go. I know I feel so, so, so much better putting my money into a payment for a new car with a maintenance package and warranty than I ever felt fixing up our old car!

Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site is changing the auto financing experience to empower consumers and take the stress out of shopping for a car. You’ll find everything you need to find and finance your dream car, all on one website from the comfort of your own home or mobile device. You can find out in minutes if you pre-qualify for auto financing – with no risk to your credit score – then test drive financing options before heading to the dealership. You can even find the perfect car by searching the inventory of over 12,000 dealerships by make, model, and price. Click here for more information and to get started today.

We’ve been taking advantage of the mild Fall weather to get out and enjoy some of our favorite outdoor destinations. All three should be on your must-visit list!

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

The Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks

Situated on several acres at the highest point of DC’s Georgetown neighborhood, the Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks is probably my favorite outdoor destination in all of Washington, DC. Designed over the course of 30 years by landscape architects Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand, the gardens feature multiple garden terraces with everything from roses and peonies to chrysanthemums and Japanese anemones, an indoor orangerie, beautifully landscaped flower beds, winding walkways along gently rolling hills, ponds and fountains, and so much more. My girls love exploring the meandering paths, while of course I love taking in all the gorgeous flowers and foliage. And since Dumbarton Oaks is located at one of the highest points in DC, there are also some pretty spectacular views of the foliage in neighboring Rock Creek Park.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

The National Arboretum

One of the things that I love most about living in DC is that so many of our public attractions offer free admission – including the National Arboretum! And it’s only 10 minutes from my house! With more than 15 garden collections and displays on 446 acres in Northeast DC, the National Arboretum is the perfect place to run around and explore any time of year. I love visiting the Asian Collection, Dogwood Collection, Conifer Collection, and Herb Garden in the fall, but you really can’t go wrong in any section of the park. You can also see the original columns from the U.S. Capitol Building, which were transferred to the Arboretum when the Capitol underwent an expansion in 1958.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate

Whenever we feel the need to escape DC for an hour or two, we jump in the car and head to Mount Vernon. George Washington’s estate is located only 30 minutes outside of DC, but feels like an entirely different planet. You can tour the Mansion, stroll around the Estate gardens, walk down to the wharf on the edge of the Potomac River, visit the Pioneer Farm – or even visit the distillery and gristmill! We love to just sit on the lawn behind the mansion and gaze out at the Potomac River (OMG that VIEW), or visit some of the many farm animals on the grounds, including sheep, pigs, and oxen. It’s pretty much the perfect afternoon excursion.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

All photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is sponsored by Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site – click here for more information and to get started today! All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!