Illustration + Hand Lettering from Kate Forrester

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Sadly, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these last few days, so today I’m going to leave you with some beautiful work from UK-based designer/hand lettering artist/calligrapher Kate Forrester.  I had so much fun browsing Kate’s portfolio and selecting a few favorite lettering projects, starting with the beautiful Valentine’s Day illustration that she created for her sweetheart this year!

You can check out more of Kate’s work, including some of her fabulous packaging design and commercial projects, right here.  Thanks Kate!

Photo Credits: Kate Forrester

Letterpress Illustrated Business Cards from A Fine Press

How adorable are these business cards from A Fine Press for author and illustrator Fred Koehler?  Matthew from A Fine Press letterpress printed the three-color design on Crane’s 110# florescent white Lettra paper.  I love the way the soft fields of color mix with the illustration outline, and the illustration itself is just so sweet.


From MatthewFred attended SCWBI in New York last month and wanted to bring a card that reflected the children’s book he was working on.  The gray is a halftone with some subtle shading around the outlines and in Jr.’s skin tone.  The shading and skintone went down so well, I almost thought adding the outlines would ruin it, but they really made it pop!  These were hand-fed on my Chandler & Price – the registration was a bear!

Thanks Matthew!

Photo Credits: A Fine Press

Eleonora + Anotol’s Vintage Book Wedding Invitations from Momental Designs

Happy Monday everyone!  We’re starting the week off with a beautiful set of wedding invitations from Kristy Rice of Momental Designs fashioned from vintage books!  Kristy created a custom rubber stamp with an illustration inspired by the wedding venue, which was pressed onto the cover of each invitation book.  For the day of wedding stationery, Kristy created table numbers by hand painting on vintage books with designs inspired by the bride’s favorite artist, Frida Kahlo.

From Kristy: Eleonora was hungry for wedding stationery that reflected them as a couple.  They were inspired by the hand painted book invitations that I created for my wedding renewal, and Eleonora knew books needed to be part of the design.  I created a pencil sketch monogram inspired by her venue, the Angel Orensanz Foundation, and a stamp was made so each book cover could be pressed with the monogram art.  Each book was hand picked for its unique color, age, or texture.


I created an interpretative sketch of a computer motherboard – a nod to the groom’s profession as a computer programmer – as companion artwork in the design.  The sketch was fashioned into a wrap and then hand painted in gold on each book invitation.


For the day-of wedding stationery, Eleonora’s aesthetic evolved to infuse a more festive spirit – inspired by her favorite artist Frida Kahlo.  Each of the 15 table numbers were painted on vintage books.  The freehand design changed from book to book including fluffy red blooms, striped accents, and greenery.  The seating plan was painted using a technique reminiscent of vintage sign works. 

Thanks Kristy!

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

Photo Credits: Momental Designs

Friday Happy Hour: A Pair of Corpse Revivers

Alcohol and medicine have a long history together.  Once upon a time, cocktails were not considered refreshments.  Instead, for much of their history, the first cocktails were consumed as tonics for all sorts of ailments, and bitters were first sold as medicine until someone very wise passed a law allowing only medicine to be sold as medicine.  Going back much farther, we find that many of the words for liquors – whiskey, eau de vie, akvavit, and so on – all mean the same thing, “water of life.”  Our ancestors knew what was what.  Here are two classic cocktails, the Corpse Reviver No. 1 and No. 2, that were designed to cure (and probably caused their fair share of) the dreaded hangover.

Read below for the full recipes!

Corpse Reviver #1

1 1/2 oz Brandy
3/4 oz Calvados or Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth

Stir the ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass (if you have the wherewithal to chill a cocktail glass when you need one of these) and twist a piece of lemon peel over top.


This recipe will definitely wake you up: it has some sweetness from the vermouth and a nice vanilla accent from the brandy, but the calvados helps make this drink sharp and bracing. Harry Craddock, from whose 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book I borrowed this recipe, said that this drink was “to be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.”

Corpse Reviver #2

3/4 oz Dry Gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (we used Dolin Blanc)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 Dash Absinthe

Combine all the ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This one is less bracing and more refreshing than the first: sweet and citrusy from the Cointreau and lemon juice, with complex botanical notes from the gin, floral notes from the Dolin Blanc, and a wake-up call of anise from the absinthe, this drink will wake you up if you need it.  Craddock warned that “four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”


Both of these cocktails date back to a time before there was Advil or Aleve, and before there were any Starbucks with 24 hour drive-through windows.  Taste or ingredient-wise, they don’t have much in common, but they fall into the same mismatched family of drinks called corpse revivers, or bracers, or eye openers, or morning glories, or…you get the picture.  So don’t feel guilty if you have one of these with breakfast – just tell any scandalized onlookers that you’re taking part in a long and rich tradition of corpse revival.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

{happy weekend!}

Wow, Friday already?!  Although this week has mostly flown by, I’ve been feeling a little run down and uninspired these last few days, so I’m looking forward to a mostly quiet weekend.  And while we’ve had the mildest winter I’ve ever experienced in DC, I can’t wait for spring.  Spring in DC is such an inspiring time of year with all of the cherry blossoms, daffodils, and my favorite – lilacs.  Sigh.  But in the meantime…

Photo Credit: Yours Is The Earth

…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 Monday!  xoxo