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

Continue reading


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

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!)


Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Thrive: The Business of Stationery

Quick show of hands: How many of you out there are hoping to start your own stationery business? Maybe you’re a designer that wants to create your own product collection? Or you’ve always dreamed of becoming a retailer and opening your own stationery store? You’ve read every single post from our Brick + Mortar column about working with retailers for wholesale. Maybe you read Audrey’s 10 tips for opening a retail stationery store. Well, if you’re serious about stating your own stationery business and trying to figure out your next move, I have some exciting news to share! You can sign up for a brand new online workshop from Modern Thrive all about building a successful stationery business called The Business of Stationery!

The Business of Stationery / Alexis Mattox Design via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo via Alexis Mattox Design

The Business of Stationery is all about building a successful stationery career. Modern Thrive has recruited three amazing stationers – Alexis Mattox of Alexis Mattox Design, Trisha Logan of Shindig Paperie, and Kate Almazan of The Paper Gold Co. – with three totally different stationery businesses and tons of experience when it comes to running a successful stationery business.

The Business of Stationery / Alexis Mattox Design via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Alexis Mattox Design

The Business of Stationery kicks off on July 13th – so, really soon! The online workshop includes access to three interactive workshop sessions hosted via live video, daily email lessons, and a community of likeminded stationery designers. Each workshop session is one hour long and covers a unique set of topics. Alexis will share how she build her stationery business from the ground up and offer tips for developing a cohesive product collection, selling wholesale, and finding retailers to carry those products. Trisha will share the story behind her custom design studio and retail shop, and her topics will include: finding a retail space and setting up a retail shop; reaching new customers and growing your retail business; and balancing custom design clients and product development. Finally, Kate will go over the ins and outs of selling stationery products online.

The Business of Stationery / Shindig Paperie via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Shindig Paperie

The Business of Stationery workshop is normally $97, but you can save $30 if you sign up now with discount code “ohsobeautifulpaper.”

And don’t worry if you can’t attend the live sessions! All of the sessions are recorded, and you’ll get lifetime access to the content once you sign up. You can get all of the details and sign up right here!

Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. By clicking on these links, you’ll help support Oh So Beautiful Paper while also learning about the stationery business! I only recommend products that I truly love and trust that you’ll love, too. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Back in April I featured these gorgeous and subtle gold foil splatter wedding invitations from Mariko at Miks Letterpress – I love the way Mariko incorporated gold foil into a modern minimalist wedding invitation design! Today I’m thrilled to share another beautiful invitation suite from Mariko, this time incorporating a beautiful watercolor design in my favorite color: pink! These soft modern watercolor wedding invitations are the perfect combination of abstract painterly elements with modern type selections and design. Add in vintage postage stamps in neutral gray tones and calligraphy from Meant to Be Calligraphy, and this invitation suite is just about as pretty as it gets!

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

From MarikoThe inspiration for this wedding suite was drawn from the couple themselves. The bride wanted a soft watercolor look, while the groom wanted something more modern. I married the two concepts (pun intended) and came up with this wedding suite. It includes the soft element the bride wanted with the flowing watercolor and the crisp design element the groom liked with the white space around the text and modern type selections.

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

The watercolor was printed digitally on cotton paper, while the text was letterpress printed to give a 3D texture to the suite. Vintage postage stamps in a neutral gray tone were incorporated to complement the pink color scheme and not take attention away from the main feature: the pink watercolor. The envelope calligraphy from Michele of Meant to Be Calligraphy could have gone both ways, either a soft flourished style or a modern style and we went with a softer look.

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Vintage Postage Stamps and Modern Calligraphy by Meant to Be Calligraphy / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Soft Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Miks Letterpress / Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanks Mariko!

Design and Letterpress Printing: Miks Letterpress+

Envelope Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Floral Styling: Taffy Floral

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

Photo Credits: Rachel Lynn Photography