NYNOW Summer 2015 Highlights

I’ve been in New York for a couple of days walking the Summer 2015 NYNOW market – and I’ve found so many things to share with you! I’ll be doing more round ups next week but in the meantime I thought I’d share a few favorites from the show (so far)!

NYNOW Summer 2015 Highlights / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. An amazing gold wall hanging from Fail Jewelry

2. Cute new cards in matte champagne foil from Belle & Union!

3. The prettiest party supplies from My Little Day

4. My favorite so far – gorgeous feather candles in the most beautiful colors by Sono.Ei

5. Love this houseplant leaf print from Little Low Studio

6. The most amazing textiles from Bonnie & Neil

7. Gorgeous gem cutting boards from AHeirloom

8. Beautiful art prints and cards from Honey & Bloom

You can follow me on Instagram for more show finds in real time!

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore

Inspired by the increased popularity of Instagram and Facebook, Lauren and Joel (the founders of Old Tom Foolery) created another line of primarily photo-based stationery called Modern Lore. I’m thrilled to feature the other brand under their umbrella as Lauren shares how they made the jump and transitioned to creating another brand and aesthetic. –Megan

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Lore was started in 2013 out of a love for contemporary photography and paper goods. My husband, Joel, and I had been creating cards and gifts since 2007 through our other brand, Old Tom Foolery, but over the years, there were many times we had an idea for a project that didn’t fit the OTF brand qualities of being humorous, type driven, and gender neutral.
Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

At the same time, we saw people communicating with photos more than ever before. As people began to go everywhere with a camera built into their phones, we all began sharing moments with our images, and telling stories through social media like Instagram and Facebook. But for some reason, this trend of so many people creating beautiful, contemporary-style images hadn’t yet made its way to the stationery industry. We knew so many talented people taking great photos of both their journeys and everyday lives and decided to jump in and fill that void in the increasingly illustration-driven stationery marketplace.
Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

While some of our first photographers already were well-known for sharing their images and documenting their lives, like Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay, many of our initial partners were friends of ours or people we had met in our pre-stationery careers in advertising.

But as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to partner with a fantastic group of photographers from all over the country, and together they take us on so many adventures through their photos. We work with illustrators like Lisa Congdon, bloggers like Nole and Anne Sage, and jet setting go-getters like Patrick Janelle.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful PaperInstagram photo by Patrick Janelle

It’s been really fun to watch the brand evolve over the past two years. Our first products only featured photos, and we’ve gradually incorporated text—some sweet, some cheeky—and have now added stylized illustration and color-blocked designs into the mix.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The response to Modern Lore has been exciting to see, especially since we were a little nervous to go down a new path for boutique stationery. But as it turns out, we’re not the only ones who enjoy a nice photo and we’re proud to be stocked in so many great small shops and some larger retailers we really respect like Anthropologie and Paper Source.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Modern Lore shares the same office and team as Old Tom Foolery, and we are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our office is located just behind our retail shop, Greater Goods, which has proven to be a fantastic testing ground and sounding board for new products.

Joel and I both work on both Old Tom Foolery and Modern Lore, though I’m generally the point person for communicating with our photographers and collecting images to choose from for our next release.

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

As our business has grown and we’ve launched new brands like Modern Lore and Greater Goods, we definitely have more projects to juggle and tasks to complete. But we are able to stay on top of things with the help of our incredible team. Free task management tools like Asana are a lifesaver for us, and our new, more complex version of QuickBooks is helping us keep track of inventory in ways we never could before.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought that Joel and I would both be working full-time on a family of brands we built from scratch. It’s been an adventure, and full of lessons we’ve learned along the way. We’re still figuring things out as we go, but we love what we’re doing and sincerely appreciate the support from all of our retailers, customers, and cheerleaders. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Behind the Stationery: Modern Lore / Oh So Beautiful Paper

All photos by Modern Lore, except where noted.

Interested in being featured in the Behind the Stationery column? Please reach out to Megan at megan@ohsobeautifulpaper.com

Modern Calligraphy Summit!

By now you probably know that I’m a huge fan of beautiful calligraphy and brush lettering. Nothing makes me happier than an exquisitely calligraphed envelope, brush lettered wedding invitations, and delicate place cards. Well, I have some exciting news! You can now learn this gorgeous art from nine amazing calligraphers – all from the comfort of your own home – during the Modern Calligraphy Summit!

Modern Calligraphy Summit / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Modern Calligraphy Summit will take place February 22 – March 5, 2016 and will bring you a two-week virtual (and fun!) calligraphy crash course with over 7 hours of video lessons from Anne Robin Calligraphy, Wildfield Paper Co., Ashley Buzzy Lettering & PressFeast Fine Art & Calligraphy, Design House of Moira, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Fozzy Castro-Dayrit, Calligrafikas, and Nicole Miyuki. Summit courses include Beginning Calligraphy, Brush Lettering, Envelope Layouts, Flourishing, Floral Embellishments and more! The Modern Calligraphy Summit also includes live office hours, handout PDFs for each course, and goodies like a “Top Tools for Calligraphers” cheat sheet.

Modern Calligraphy Summit / Wildfield Paper Co via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo by Wildfield Paper Co.

Early bird enrollment is currently open for the Modern Calligraphy Summit – you can sign up here for a special rate through August 18th!

Black, White, and Gold Foil Destination Wedding Invitations

Destination weddings are so romantic, don’t you think? Especially when said destination involves an island in Greece! The ladies of Smitten on Paper created these elegant destination wedding invitations for a destination wedding on the island of Kea. I LOVE the combination of classic black and white with gold foil! Not to mention that beautiful illustrated wreath!

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Amy and the Smitten on Paper teamThe bride and groom wanted their wedding invitations and accessory pieces to reflect the simplicity and beauty of their designation wedding in Kea, Greece. We designed a simple wreath that looks stunning when gold foil stamped and offers a subtle nod to the wedding location. The invitations were letterpress printed and foil stamped on a double thick cotton paper making them feel very elegant, but not too feminine. A black tag with gold foil was the perfect way to tie everything together.

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

We also designed a welcome packet for guests once they arrived in Greece with fun touches – like how to speak a few key phrases and a map of the area. This was a great project to work on and we are so happy the final pieces captured the natural beauty and classic elegance of the Greek coast.

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Black, White, and Gold Foil Greek Destination Wedding Invitations by Smitten on Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanks ladies!

Design: Smitten on Paper

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

Photo Credits: Smitten on Paper

Friday Happy Hour: Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita

Summer may be winding down, but it’s still plenty hot outside. There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than watermelon. So today we’re taking our favorite summer treat, adding a pinch of salt, and transforming it into our new favorite frozen drink: a Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita.  – Andrew

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita Recipe Card / Shauna Lynn Illustration for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita

2 oz Silver Tequila
3/4 oz Light Agave Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Curaçao Orange Liqueur
1 pinch Sea Salt
1-2 cups Watermelon Ice Cubes

Freeze fresh watermelon juice into ice cubes overnight. In a blender, blend the ice cubes into a slushy mix. Slowly add in the Tequila, agave syrup, lime juice, Curaçao, and salt. Start with a cup of ice and add more as needed while blending. You have reached the right consistency once the Margarita has started folding back into itself in big, pillowy piles. Pour into a chilled glass, throw in a straw, and enjoy!

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The key to frozen drinks is texture. You want a drink that has a consistent, silky texture. If your ice is too chunky, you’ll end up drinking up all your drink and leave a mound of bare ice. If your ice is too chopped up, you’ll end up with a watery mess. Hence the watermelon ice: we wanted to add the bright burst of flavor that comes with fresh juice without watering down the drink. Freezing the watermelon juice lets you add all that flavor without compromising on texture.

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Salt is a something you can add (in very small doses) to a wide array of cocktails. Salt can variously help bind flavors together or help certain flavors pop in a drink. Here, the salt really helps brighten both the earthy, vegetal Tequila and the freshness of the watermelon.

Frozen Salted Watermelon Margarita Cocktail Recipe / Liquorary for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Cold suppresses our sense of taste, which is why ice cream has so much sugar in it – you really need to pump up the flavors as you lower the temperature. So this Margarita bumps down the sour lime just a bit while throwing in a bit more sweetness: more agave syrup and Curaçao that you’d normally see in a Margarita, plus the sweetness of the watermelon juice. We played around with different kinds of agave syrup here, and we found that light agave really works best – a raw, dark agave syrup, while wonderful, can weigh this recipe down.

Ok. Enough talk. Time to drink one of these.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Glassware by Liquorary

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper