2019 Gift Guide: Cocktails + Entertaining

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for someone who loves to entertain and make cocktails at home, today’s gift guide is just for you. We rounded up a few of the things that we love using for making cocktails or entertaining at home, from books to bar tools to my all-time favorite candle. You can also find some fantastic ideas on our gift guides from previous years, which you can check out right here!

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Cocktails and Entertaining

1. Absolutely obsessed with this gorgeous platter from Honeycomb Studio, with carvings and gold decorations inspired by tidal movement. So beautiful!

2. A mixing glass is an essential tool for classic cocktails like martinis, manhattans, the old fashioned, etc. I love this gold foil version, and don’t forget a beautiful bar spoon!

3. Cocktail books! Our current reading list includes Spirits Sugar Water Bitters, a history of the cocktail’s birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection by our own DC-based cocktail guru Derek Brown. By the Smoke and the Smell by Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal. If you love Tiki drinks, check out this modern Tiki cocktail recipe book by Shannon Mustipher.

4. Candles make wonderful hosting gifts. This Santal candle by Brooklyn Candle Co. is my all-time favorite scent, and burns for 70 hours!

5. This little herb stripper is perfect for both cooking and cocktail purposes.

6. Love the colors in this speckled vessel from O–M Ceramics. I think it would be really beautiful as a kitchen utensil holder!

7. A ceramic pie plate for someone who really loves holiday entertaining! These beauties from Jars of Dust are almost sold out, but I found a couple similar versions on Etsy here and here!

8. This bartender’s backpack is a wonderful gift idea for serious cocktail enthusiasts. My husband is constantly bringing drinks to dinner parties and gatherings, and this backpack would make things so much easier!

9. The prettiest minimalist tapered candle holders to decorate a table or mantel any time of year.

10. How cute is this ceramic pour over coffee set? You can use it to make a single cup or a small pot for guests, and the colors are absolutely GORGEOUS.

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Creatives

It’s time for our annual gift guides – starting with gift ideas for creatives! I try not to duplicate items from year to year, so please do go back and check out the gift guides from previous years if you’re searching for the perfect gift for a creative person in your life. There are tons of great ideas in there, from creative tools to classes. This year’s gift guide features two things I desperately want for myself (the pink camera strap and insulated coffee mug), the cutest magnetic letterboard, and a bunch of books!

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Creatives

1. Votes for Women pin from And Here We Are. Wear it proudly in 2020!

2. I love the colors of these magnetic boards from The Type Set Co., and the magnetic letters are SO much easier than traditional letterboards. 

3. + 4. Know someone who wants to learn calligraphy or watercolor painting, but doesn’t have easy access to classes or workshops? Books are the perfect solution! Molly Suber Thorpe’s new book, Mastering Modern Calligraphy, is perfect for intermediate calligraphers, while Jenna Rainey’s Everyday Watercolor Flowers teaches the basics for creating a variety of beautiful watercolor blooms. 

5. The prettiest camera strap EVER. Comes in a variety of colors and styles, and can even be customized with initials or logos!

6. Every creative person I know listens to podcasts and music all. day. long. Keep those airpods close with these beautiful cases from Rifle Paper Co.

7. I have a Zojirushi travel coffee mug that keeps my coffee warm when I’m out and about, but I really want one of these insulated Yeti mugs for when I’m working at home! They come in so many beautiful colors. 

8. I’ve been obsessed with these magic flags from Secret Holiday Co. for a couple years now. This cyan blue is so pretty and there’s also an ochre version!

9. More books! I love gifting books for any type of design enthusiast. We’ve got Paris by Design and Travel Home for global design enthusiasts, along with Grit by Angela Duckworth and Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller for entrepreneurs looking to take their creative businesses to the next level.

10. Creatives can never have too many notebooks and notepads! I love these new metallic Field Notes notebooks and the sentiment behind this notepad from People I’ve Loved.

11. Vintage stamps are essential for stationery styling. Angela Liguori sells the most perfect little bags of gorgeous international vintage stamps! 

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper

It’s September, which means the days of cool weather and fall foliage are just around the corner. I’m loving these dusty blue and pink wedding invitations on handmade paper by Lauren Clements of LineAve Calligraphy for a fall wedding – or a wedding any time of year, really. Lauren’s beautiful calligraphy and illustrations are absolutely beautiful against that gorgeous handmade paper by Farmette Press. And those Louisiana themed vintage postage stamps are the perfect finishing touch!

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Lauren: I loved designing my own wedding stationery! The invitation suite is letterpress printed on handmade paper in blue, pink, and cream tones. The design also incorporated a minimal line drawing of the church with some greenery accents. I used vintage stamps in a Louisiana theme to tell a story.

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our wedding ceremony took place at St. John Berchman’s Cathedral in Shreveport, Louisiana with aisles lined with fresh pomegranates and olive branches. The detail-packed outdoor reception was set on the lot of our future home.

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

The idea was a small, rustic, European-styled seated and plated dinner under the oak tree with 90 guests. The forecast called for a 90% chance of rain, and it wasn’t wrong. The tent that was supposed to cover a small seating area was enlarged to cover the entire event, and not an ounce of detail was lost. It was truly an inspirational ending to the dreaded “what do I do if it rains on my outdoor wedding?” question that I googled for 2 weeks straight. Guests kicked off their shoes and had the best celebration in mud up to their ankles. The photos turned out absolutely beautiful despite the FLOOD. Quality vendors are so important from hair that frizzes gracefully, to makeup that stays put, hot food that is served in a downpour, and of course, THE TENT that single-handedly saved the day.

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

As a stationer and calligrapher, I obsesses over detail. I designed and created my own save-the-dates, invitation suite, seating chart, and endless “day of” details like programs, menus, favor tags, flower cones, corn hole boards and bean bags, custom ice cream signs that incorporated our dogs, and cocktail napkins. The gate to the property and the Catholic church we were married in were both incorporated into the wedding stationery, adding a personal and special touch to the invitation suite and day-of stationery.

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Dusty Blue and Pink Wedding Invitations on Handmade Paper LineAveCalligraphy via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanks Lauren!


Calligraphy and Design: Lauren Roberts Clements of LineAveCalligraphy

Handmade Paper and Letterpress Printing: Farmette Press


Photo Credits: Laura Caraway Photography

Modern Calligraphy Summit and Watercolor Summit 2019 Enrollment!

Hiiiii!!!! I’m still here! Are you still here? We have so much to talk about! I’m hoping to get back into a more regular blogging schedule once my kids go back to school next week, but in the meantime I wanted to quickly pop in here and let you know that enrollment for BOTH the Modern Calligraphy Summit AND Watercolor Summit are open from now until August 30! If you’re interested in learning either calligraphy or watercolor painting techniques, you’ll definitely want to read below for more info. Yay!

Never Stop Learning / Jenna Rainey

Image by Jenna Rainey – one of the talented instructors!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the Modern Calligraphy Summit offers the most amazing group of online calligraphy classes from every single calligrapher that I would want to learn from in person if I had the opportunity, including Anne Robin Calligraphy, Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete, Karla Lim of Written Word Calligraphy, and so many more. There are two installments so far – Modern Calligraphy Summit 1.0 and Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 –and the classes including brush lettering, invitation design, envelope layouts, basic copperplate, writing on non-traditional surfaces, digitizing watercolor illustrations, and so much more! And as much as an in-person workshop would be totally amazing, it’s just as incredible to be able to learn from so many talented calligraphers from the comfort of your own home. The Modern Calligraphy Summit also includes handy templates and handouts, a private Facebook community to support you as you learn, and two bonus LIVE Q&A sessions with the instructors in January. And of course LIFETIME ACCESS to all the amazing content, so even if you can’t start the course material right now you can pick it up at your convenience – or go back and watch the videos as many times as you need to practice and get the hang of things!

Learn Watercolor Painting with Skillshare

I’ve heard from so many people who have benefited from these courses since the summit first launched in 2016, and now is your chance to learn calligraphy and watercolor at home! Enrollment is only open for a few days each year. You can even sign up for BOTH calligraphy summits and get $100 off! You can enroll in the Modern Calligraphy Summit here and the Watercolor Summit right here. Go, go, go!

This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on these links, you’ll help support Oh So Beautiful Paper while also learning the beautiful arts of calligraphy and watercolor painting! I only recommend products that I truly love and trust that you’ll love, too. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

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!