On the Road with Crow & Canary: Monograham, Broadway Paper and GREER

You might remember the awesome guest posts from Carina of Crow and Canary this past April – she’s a fabulous independent stationery rep who spends much of her time touring the country talking about beautiful stationery.  Well, today Carina is back with a profile of three wonderful stationery boutiques in the Midwest.  Welcome back Carina!

Hello there!  Carina from Crow and Canary here.  It’s my sincere pleasure to return to OSBP with a guest post profiling some of the finest stationery boutiques in the Midwest.  I think you’re going to love what you see – I was truly in paper heaven!


Let’s start off by taking a peek into Monograham Paper & Gifts in Delafield, Wisconsin.  This stunning boutique is run by Amy Graham Stigler, creative director and designer for Smock.  Every corner of Monograham held some lovely treasure.  It’s certainly the type of shop that you could plan to spend an afternoon shopping in.  I only wish that I could visit regularly!

A real treat to see the shop decked out for the holidays!


Left: Washi tape adorned bags were set up for an upcoming craft class that Monograham has recently begun offering.  Aren’t they adorable? Right: Some of the amazing wedding invitations available at Monograham.

A bright and colorful assortment of paper goods, including: Smock, Susy Jack* & Paper Source.

A peek into Amy’s adjacent studio space: Breathtaking wall of smock gift boxes, they make quite an impression.

A bit of designer’s inspiration, such a cozy space.


Broadway Paper has been on my radar for some time, I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to visit, as well as to enjoy a few precious minutes with Kate Strzok, Broadway Paper’s owner and fearless leader. Kate is always a delight! Broadway Paper is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Historic Third Ward and is surrounded by other great boutiques and cafes. I loved getting to ogle BP’s creative merchandising and handmade touches. I’m still obsessed with the paper log display below, so very clever.

Near the entrance to Broadway Paper: Snow & Graham 2012 calendar window display.

I couldn’t resist one of Avie Design’s sweet hand-folded bows; luckily it made it home unscathed.

These modern card racks are a sight to behold, not to mention all the cute cards that fill them.

A display of Cream City Ribbon, an eco-friendly ribbon manufacturer and Milwaukee based company.

Little Book of Letterpress and Little Book of Screen Printing sandwiching Mara Mi ribbon.

Very cute display, including the infamous handmade cardboard logs that I so admire.


GREER Chicago and proprietress, Chandra Greer, are true legends in the stationery world. I’m fortunate to count Chandra as a friend and mentor and I know that her positive attitude and giving nature have been paramount for many emerging stationers over the years. GREER is beyond my wildest dreams fabulous. It’s very clear that Chandra hand picks the merchandise and works with an above average staff to maintain stunning presentation; you don’t have to take my word – have a look yourself…


Left: This Hammerpress calendar makes me think of pink lemonade, love! Right: I only wish I’d had time to look through every drawer, so many hidden treasures!



Left: Luscious ribbon in a vintage card catalog. Right: GREER’S Love Civilettes are perfect for “Spontaneous Adoration.”

Perfect Chicago holiday greeting from La Familia Green.

A sincere thank you to Amy, Kate and Chandra for finding time to meet with me and allow me to come into their lovely spaces to take photographs, not always the easiest feat during a weekend in December! Their grace and generosity are much appreciated. And if you see something that you’re dying to get your hands on, both Broadway Paper and GREER Chicago offer comprehensive online shopping.

And last, but far from least, thanks to my traveling companion and partner in paper crime, Kimberley Yurkiewicz.

Photo Credits: Carina Murray

“On the road with Monograham, Broadway Paper and GREER” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary

Tabletop Made

During my last visit with ReForm School in Los Angeles I had the pleasure of discovering Tabletop Made.  I’m a complete sucker for lovely and unique new cards lines, so I was delighted to find more designs in their Etsy shop.  Tabletop Made is based in scenic Santa Barbara, CA and is operated by Karis Van Noord and Sarah Wilkinson.

Miss You

Blank cards

I like you

Kraft on white

Thank You

Much gratitude to Nole for giving me the opportunity to share some of my paper loves with you, dear readers.  I hope she and her mister are enjoying every moment of their vacation.

Photo Credit: Tabletop Made

“Tabletop Made” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary

Laser Cutting with Candyspotting

Candyspotting is a laser cutting studio based in Portland, Oregon and founded by Sarah Holbrook in 2009.  Though Sarah cuts many different mediums, she tends to focus her efforts on paper.  The laser’s ability to both cut and etch allows for some stunning results and it never ceases to amaze me how detailed the final product can turn out.  The fine art foray into laser cutting paper is a fairly new trend.  Historically, laser cutters have been used for more industrial applications.  It’s very exciting to see more artists and designers using this medium – I love discovering new stationery lines that are working with cut paper.

Sarah was kind enough to cut the Oh So Beautiful Paper logo (featuring calligraphy by Bryn from Paperfinger) as a demonstration of the laser’s intricacy.  Since Candyspotting specializes in cutting paper, Sarah is an expert at calculating the laser’s settings for the cleanest cut and the least amount of residual burning.  The end results are simply breathtaking.

OSBP laser cut

OSBP laser cut 4

This piece took over five minutes to cut.  If you are interested in reading more about the technical side of the process, be sure to visit Candyspotting’s blog.

Rhode Montijo

Rhode Montijo’s papel picado style Skeletown card will soon be for sale at the very first Latino Comics Expo in San Francisco next month.

Saelee Oh

Saelee Oh’s limited edition cut (this piece is sold out) “All Together Now”. The equally stunning “Infinite Path” is currently available in Saelee’s shop.

Béatrice Coron

Béatrice Coron creates the majority of her paper cuts by hand, but has recently begun offering a small selection of laser cut pieces. “BZCT” is available in a numbered edition of 500.

Squirrel Loves Nut

Squirrel Loves Nut is my own small line of cards. As a rep for so many talented designers, I’m inspired on a daily basis – it’s been a treat to have my very own creative outlet.

Wedding Invitation

This wedding invitation, designed by Candyspotting, combines laser cutting and etching.

Business Card

Catchy business card design, by Brian Behrens.


Laser cut paper scraps are particularly cute.

Thank You cards

Test cuts for a Thank You card designed by Candyspotting.

Many thanks to Sarah for allowing me to invade her studio.

“Laser Cutting with Candyspotting” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary.

Behind the Scenes: Oblation Papers & Press

Oblation Papers & Press was founded in 1989 by Ron and Jennifer Rich.  In 1998 they opened the retail space for which they are well known within the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon.  The reach of their business is really quite impressive – not only do they offer a well curated retail shop in the front of the space, they also house an urban paper mill, letterpress print shop, custom invitation gallery and design and produce their own line of wholesale goods that are warehoused and shipped from this very same location.

| Storefront |

Storefront with signs

Bike in windowBike Close-up

Love the current window display – nothing says Portland quite like a cute bicycle and a few raindrops.

| Retail Space |

Retail counter

Retail viewRetail - Gift Wrap

Retail View 2

Oblation stocks a selection of the finest stationery and gift items. They also offer an impressive selection of European accouterments to add an extra special touch to your correspondence.

| Custom Invitation Gallery |

Customs invitation

Custom invitations 2

Custom invitations 3

Their custom letterpress offerings include: Classic Wedding, Baby, Correspondence and Black & White Wedding portfolios.

| Wholesale Line |

Oblation wholesale

Oblation wholesale 2

Oblation wholesale 3

Oblation also offers a comprehensive wholesale letterpress card and gift line. The collection is stocked in stores worldwide and is also available in their online shop.

| Urban Paper Mill |

 Urban Paper Mill

Urban Paper Mill 2

Papermaking is where Ron and Jennifer got their start in the business. Oblation continues this tradition by producing their own cotton paper using recycled remnants from the garment industry. Their handmade paper is perfectly suited for letterpress printing.

| Letterpress Print Shop |


Printshop 2


Oblation has six platen presses in their studio. At this time, the print shop is entirely operated by women. Oblation’s printing practices include the use of wind power, soy inks and recycled cotton.

Thanks again to Oblation Papers & Press for opening their doors to me and allowing me to share their story and space.

Photo Credit: Carina Murray

“Behind the Scenes: Oblation Papers & Press” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary

A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep

Well, hello there!  Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Carina with Crow and Canary.  I’m an independent stationery rep and all-around champion of modern, indie designers.  I’m simply delighted to have the honor of guest posting on Oh So Beautiful Paper.  Being immersed in the stationery world, OSBP really is the go-to blog for paper lovers.  Below is a little glimpse into my business.

My day typically starts like many small business owners, trying to tame my email in-box and striving to strike a balance between the things I need to accomplish on my appointment calendar/to-do list and my enthusiasm for social networking – namely Twitter, but I also Blog and Facebook when time allows.

NSS badge and name tag

Blog Calling Cards

Badge from the 2010 National Stationery Show and custom name tag by Moth and Squirrel (top) Blog calling cards (bottom).

This is my fifth year in business, so I have the pleasure and fortune of being approached by a multitude of designers about repping new lines on a near daily basis.  Going to my mailbox is particularly fun, on a good day I’ll be laden with boxes containing new samples, catalogs and random line submissions.  It’s quite inspiring to see what’s new and I never tire of pouring over the latest and greatest from the awesome designers I represent.

Birddog Press Kit

Two Trick Pony Rep Kit

Enticing press/rep kit from BirdDog Press (above) and Two Trick Pony (below).

I frequently meet with retailers to show them new samples and seasonal cards and gift items that will soon line their shelves.  I am incredibly lucky to work with a wonderful bunch of buyers and shop owners including Perch in San Francisco, Yolk in Los Angeles and Tilde in Portland, the list really goes on and on.  One of the biggest challenges of my job is not spending my entire budget at the awesome boutiques and bookstores that I call on – I really think of it as an occupational hazard.

Yellow Owl Workshop Cards

Austin Press Cards

Cards by Yellow Owl Workshop (above) and Austin Press (below) at Prize in Ashland, Oregon.


Another excellent perk of my job is the amount of traveling I do in the name of my business.  I’ve been to all of the major wholesale gift shows on the West Coast and make the journey to New York at least once a year for the National Stationery Show or NYIGF.  Occasionally, I’m able to time my trips with other fun events such as the Renegade Craft Fairs or Unique LA.  In 2009, I was lucky enough to be in San Francisco during the SFCB annual event: The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.  It was a blast and I loved chatting with some of the printers that participated.


Roadworks Prints

Large linoleum cuts at The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.

At the end of the day, I count myself as quite lucky to have a job that I love so much.  Perpetuating the act of sending real mail in a digital era is not as challenging as it sounds.  Because, really… Who doesn’t love to receive a Birthday or Thank You card in their mailbox?  I’ve yet to meet a person that can say that a lovely card doesn’t bring a sense of joy to their day.

“A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary