OSBP at Home: Urban Backyard Inspiration

It’s Spring – yay! The magnolia trees and daffodils are finally blooming, which is definitely the beginning of my favorite season of the year. The last time I shared a peek at our backyard, I showed you a few of the improvements we’ve made over the years, like adding a pergola and removing a scary weird staircase that goes up to the storage space above our garage. Well, now I’m ready to address some of the other parts of our little urban backyard – so I thought I’d share some of my inspiration before we get underway!

Urban Backyard Inspiration

Image sources – all from my Pinterest garden board: Horizontal Fence | Deuce Cities Henhouse // Fire pit patio | 100 Layer Cake //  Rose Arbor //  Jasmine wire trellis | Andrew Renn Design via Houzz // Natural Wood Arch // Pink barn door | Castle & Cubby // Graphic Garden | The Guardian

Our backyard is more like a back patio – long and narrow and mostly covered with pavers. On the right side, we have a small planting area with a crepe myrtle, some lilacs, peonies, and a rotation of annuals that I refresh each year. On the left (southern) side, we have a fence that we share with our neighbor that needs to be replaced. The posts are still in good shape, it’s just the pre-fab sections in between that are rotting and falling apart. So we’re hoping to keep the existing posts and DIY a new fence by replace the rotting section with horizontal boards. We have some jasmine, climbing roses, and autumn clematis vines growing on that side, so we’re hoping to space some of the planks out a bit to allow for space for the vines to grow, similar to this fence from Deuce Cities Henhouse

Since we don’t have a lot of planting space along the southern fence, I’d also love to build narrow planters running along the bottom of the fence where we could grow herbs and veggies. Andrew likes to have lots of mint for cocktails, but mint is super aggressive and invasive if grown in a garden, so I like to keep that in a separate bed. I’d also love to have more room for strawberries, watermelons, cucumbers, Right now we grow a few of these things in containers, but it feels a bit cluttered. 

We also have a brick garage, so I’d love to do some sort of trellis system along the wall (wire? wood?) for the vines, with an arbor to connect the fence to the garage for the climbing roses to grow over. And maybe a barn door to be able to close the garage when we have company over? Right now it’s just kind of a gaping hole and feels kind of weird. Wouldn’t a pink barn door be SO cute?? The brick is white, and I love the idea of a pop of pink against the white brick.

So that’s pretty much what I’m thinking about these days! Are you planning any outdoor home improvement projects this year? Or have any fence tips to share with us? I’m all ears! You can also follow along on my Pinterest garden board right here!

Eclectic Vellum Baby Shower Invitations

Anyone planning a baby shower? You’re going to love these eclectic vellum baby shower invitations from Lauren of Blue Eye Brown Eye! Lauren made these invitations for her best friend’s baby shower, incorporating the mama-to-be’s creative style into the invitation design with a fun vellum overlay, modern calligraphy, and a gold tassel to tie everything together (literally!). So sweet! 

Eclectic Vellum Baby Shower Invitations by Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye

From Lauren: When given the opportunity to design my best friend’s baby shower invitations, I took the opportunity to fulfill my design fantasies for her and make them as special (and extra) as possible. Anna loves eclectic design and is a true creative herself, so I wanted the invitation to feel like it was an extension of her spirit. Anna’s personal and home style is layered, so I brought that idea into this suite. I’d been toying with the idea of layering printed vellum over an invitation, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I love how the text peeps through the vellum and the brushstrokes, creating dimension and visual interest.

Eclectic Vellum Baby Shower Invitations by Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye

Without making them too “baby,” I snuck in a little pink in the abstract vellum overlay and kept everything else gender neutral with gray letterpress printing and a pop of gold. The gold tassel is a nod to all of Anna’s amazing travels – she often brings me back a decorative pom pom or tassel from places like Peru or Mexico, so the tassel was my homage to her.

Eclectic Vellum Baby Shower Invitations by Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye

A little die cut “oh baby” letterpress tag was a sweet little detail I wanted to incorporate into the invitation. Saint Signora makes this amazing, barely there thin twine that I am obsessed with. It was the perfect finishing touch to wrap around the layered invitation and tie together with the tassel and “oh baby” tag.

Eclectic Vellum Baby Shower Invitations by Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye

Once dropped in the mail, I couldn’t wait for Anna and her husband Amir to see them. They’re two of my most favorite people in the world and making these for them was such a joy. If only y’all could have been at the baby shower itself…it was one for the ages!

Thanks Lauren!

Invitation Design: Blue Eye Brown Eye

Letterpress Printing: Elefant Press

Vellum Printing: Simply Mox

Gold Tassels: Absolut Supplies

Black Twine: Saint Signora

 

Photo Credit: Michele Equitz

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

This post is sponsored by The Incredible Egg. All content and opinions are my own. Visit The Incredible Egg for Easter recipes and inspiration!

Easter is such a fun holiday, don’t you think?? I’m partial to any holiday that involves decorating – and eggs are the cutest little canvases that can be decorated in so many fun and colorful ways. And now that my kids are old enough to join in on the Easter egg decorating fun, it’s even better! I love coming up with new Easter egg decorating ideas each year, and this year I’m really feeling inspired to experiment with new color palettes and color combinations. So today I’m partnering with The Incredible Egg to share these fun DIY modern, color-blocked Easter eggs!

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

My family looks forward to decorating Easter eggs all year long. We typically spend the holiday with my husband’s family, so we gather everyone around the kitchen table on Easter morning to dye eggs together. I love seeing the colors (and color combinations!) everyone chooses for their eggs and all the ways they express themselves creatively. Plus my kids absolutely love both getting to decorate eggs and then hunt for them with their cousins several times in the afternoon!

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

I’ve been feeling really inspired by earthy tones and neutral pastels this year – from bold burgundy and yellow tones to soft pinks and sage green hues. I am especially loving terra cotta paired with navy blue and soft pink paired with mustard yellow. I knew these color pairings would be a beautiful and unexpected application on Easter eggs, especially with a modern, color-blocked dip-dye treatment.

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

Another exciting development? As you may have noticed, I’m using both white and brown eggs this year! I’ve always dyed white eggs in the past, but brown eggs work so beautifully with the deeper earth tones that I just couldn’t resist. Aren’t they just absolutely DREAMY with the color blocked dip dye?? I also loved the idea of creating different colors and tones using the same color dyes on both brown and white eggs. The lighter pastel tones produced a beautiful color wash effect on the brown eggs, while the deeper hues produced rich jewel tones by leaving the eggs in the dye bath for a longer period of time.

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs

Here’s the color palette that I used as my starting point, along with the food coloring dye formulas that I used to dye the eggs:

DIY Modern Color-Blocked Easter Eggs Color Formulas

A quick note: The color formulas above achieved *slightly* different results in person – but it’s pretty close to my original color palette objectives! When you make these color formulas at home, always test the colors with a napkin or paper towel before dyeing your eggs!

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

There are a million ways to decorate Easter eggs – from soft painterly pink and gold eggs to tissue paper eggs – and I love putting a modern twist on traditional decorating techniques. All you need is traditional food coloring dye to achieve the gorgeous colors in these DIY modern, color-blocked Easter eggs! Are you ready? Let’s get started!

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

Supplies

White and Brown Hardboiled Eggs

Liquid Food Coloring

Muffin pan or small bowls for dyeing the eggs (note: the food coloring can leave permanent stains, so don’t use anything too precious!)

Vinegar

Tooth picks or wood chopsticks for stirring

Paper Towels

Disposable Gloves (optional)

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

To make the DIY modern color-blocked Easter eggs:

Step 1. Boil two cups of water, then add two tablespoons of vinegar to the hot water. Fill the cups of a muffin pan or a small bowl with about half an inch of the hot water. Add liquid food coloring based on the color formulas above or to achieve your own desired color palette. I used a variety of store-bought food coloring to create my dye colors, including standard red, yellow, green, and blue liquid food coloring, pastel gel food coloring, and bright magenta, teal, and orange gel food coloring. Use a toothpick or spoon to stir the food coloring together until completely blended, then give it another quick stir before dipping your egg into the dye bath.

Tip: Test the dye color with a paper towel before submerging your eggs, but keep in mind that a paper towel will absorb the dye much faster than an egg, so you’ll need to leave the egg in the dye bath for a minute or two if you’re hoping to achieve brighter/more saturated colors.

Step 2. Wearing disposable gloves, pick up your egg and gently dip one side of the egg into the dye bath. The dye should not cover the entire egg and you should continue to hold the egg in place while it’s in the dye bath so it doesn’t roll over. Hold the egg in place for several seconds for lighter colors or around a minute for deeper/more saturated colors.

Step 3. Remove from the dye bath and pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with a second and third dye color (if desired), covering a different portion of the egg with each new dye color.

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

I just can’t stop staring at these colors! I love all the subtle color variations between the white and brown eggs and the different overlapping tones. The non-traditional color combinations are so special and unique!

DIY Modern Color Blocked Easter Eggs

Neutral pastels! Earth tones! Jewel tones! Gah, I just love these eggs SO much! Do you love this color palette as much as I do? Will you be making color-blocked eggs this year?? Let us know if you do! And don’t forget to head over to The Incredible Egg for more Easter inspiration and recipe ideas!

This post was created in partnership with The Incredible Egg. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Quick Pick: Emma Kate Co.

Has it already been a week since the 2019 National Stationery Show?? I’m getting ready to spend the next several days (weeks?) editing and blogging all my photos from the show, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a few favorites from one of my favorite booths: Emma Kate Co.! I first met Emma at last year’s Stationery Show, and quickly fell in love with her modern romantic aesthetic. Each greeting card, notebook, planner, and art print features Emma’s brush lettering, often with an inspirational and uplifting phrase. I’m sure you’ll love her work as much as I do!

Quick Pick: Emma Kate Co.

Terra rose undated planner

This blush travel clutch is so gorgeous – I’m totally getting one of these before my next flight!

I like you the most

Leave a little sparkle notebook

It’s all messy notebook

I’m glad you exist

And here’s a little preview of some of the new Emma Kate Co. goodies coming this year!

NSS 2019: Emma Kate Co. via Oh So Beautiful Paper

NSS 2019: Emma Kate Co. via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Lots more from Emma Kate Co. right here!

Navy and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations

These navy and leather bachelor party invitations by Kristin of Lustre Theory are a fun way to start the week! Beautiful deep blue and copper envelopes with calligraphy by Seniman Calligraphy, vintage postage stamps, and yes, plenty of leather details throughout the suite. Leather is such a fun way to add some texture to wedding invitations and party invitations, especially when paired with such beautiful jewel tones!

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

From KristinI designed this unique stationery suite for an editorial shoot coordinated by A Lively Affair in Norfolk, Virginia. The shoot was inspired by the idea of an upscale fall bachelor party incorporating textures of leather, wood, and metal. The cigar and magnolia leaves, along with the leather pieces, help add the perfect southern touches.

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

The invitation design was inspired by all the different textures mentioned above, from the leather outer envelope to the copper textured liner and dark navy inner envelope. It’s not often I get to design a stationery suite geared towards a primarily male event, which made this one extra exciting. I wanted the invitation design to have old southern charm combined with classic elegance. The beautiful envelope calligraphy by Seniman Calligraphy is the perfect contrast to the typography selections in the square invitation and rsvp card. We added vintage postage stamps to carry the color palette through to the envelope and add a touch of whimsical, outdoorsy artwork. 

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

The invitations and RSVP card are letterpress printed in dark navy blue ink. Both are finished with a metallic copper edging process and pressed on extra thick white cotton paper. It was important that the invitation card and rsvp card have a strong typographical presence but an overall simple design layout. The leather pieces are all handmade to specification by HJ Leather Arts, a local craftsman in Norfolk. They include an outer main envelope, an invitation band and an event place card.

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

Blue and Leather Bachelor Party Invitations by Lustre Theory

Thanks Kristin!

 

Invitation Design: Lustre Theory

Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy

Letterpress Printing: Fino Print

Leather pieces: HJ Leather Arts

 

Photo Credits: Angela Elise Photography