Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding

Summer is almost here, which means outdoor wedding season! I love garden weddings, because they feel more intimate and you’re starting with an already beautiful canvas. Here are some ways to highlight this magical setting and create a memorable day for both you and your guests. Annie

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Use a wooden ladder, adorned with florals and crisp white calligraphy, as a welcome sign. | Concept & Photography: Life in Bloom Photography, Styling & Stationery: Sunshine & Confetti via Inspired By This

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Potted herbs serve as both escort cards and wedding favors. | Photography: Belatheé, Event Planning, Floral Design, Stationery: The Nouveau Romantics via Snippet & Ink

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gather inspiration from your surroundings with illustrated garden menus. | Photography; Anushé Low, Stationery & Paper Goods: The Story House via Style Me Pretty

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Have fun with your natural setting! I love this literal family tree with framed family photos attached to a tree trunk. | Photography: GreenAutumn Photography via Style Me Pretty

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gold insect pins add a whimsical touch to elegant calligraphy escort cards. | Photography: Kimberlee Miller, Coordination, Design, & Paper Goods: Orange Blossom Special Events via Green Wedding Shoes

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Surround calligraphy table numbers with an assortment of potted plants. | Photography: The Great Romance Photo, Florals & Paper Goods: Hello Gem Events via Green Wedding Shoes

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Display handwritten escort cards and tiny plant clippings in delicate glass boxes. | Jose Villa Photography, Event Planning: Jill & Co Events, Paper Goods: Lazaro Press & Design via Style Me Pretty

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Incorporate garden elements by using terracotta to display your menu and table numbers. | Photography: Yasmin Sarai Photography, Signage: Meghann Miniello via Green Wedding Shoes

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Get a personalized stamp to use on cups, party favors, thank you cards… | Photography: Laura Nelson Photography via MODwedding

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Create a unique backdrop with pressed flowers. | Photography: Hannah Lemholt Photography via Bajan Wed

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Use a book with botanical illustrations as your guestbook. | Photography: Jessica Lorren, Designer, Planner & Stylist: Jessica Sloane Event Styling & Design via Once Wed

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Create a floral garland, backdrop, or curtain. | Photography: Wild Whim Photography, Event Designer/Coordinator: Kori from La Boheme Events , Florist: Stella Bloom Design via Ruffled

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Use rocks with calligraphy as escort cards. | Photography: Joy Thigpen via Once Wed

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Garden Wedding / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Give your guests the gift that keeps on giving with seeds of your favorite plant. | Photography: Jason & Anna Photography via MODwedding

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co.

I remember meeting Sara back at Tradeshow Bootcamp in 2013! Her aesthetic and authenticity caught my eye and I have been a fan ever since. I’m honored to feature this new mother, entrepreneur, and friend on OSBP today. Sharing about her (mostly) family powered business and how she’s adapted her business since becoming a mom, here’s Sara from Constellation & Co.Megan

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Constellation & Co. is located in Seattle, Washington. Our storefront studio and shop is in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle in the historic Fishermen’s Terminal. The Fishermen’€™s Terminal is home to the Northwest fishing fleet – giant fishing vessels that spend fall through spring in Seattle and head to Alaska for the summer. We’re right on the water, and that’s been a huge part of what has inspired me this past year. There is nothing better than a mid-day walk on the docks, breathing the fresh air and letting the water calm me.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our space is naturally bright, with huge windows, pale blue walls and light wood floors. It has soaring high ceilings and a romantic spiral staircase up to our loft office. I remember the first time I saw the space, the way it made me feel. It was ripe with possibility, hopeful and beautiful. It was new and exciting, but also felt like home. It’s a gift.

It’s a creative space and I feel inspired when I’m there. It’s full of beautiful things – antique equipment, lovely people, and amazing products made by fellow artists and designers. When we moved in I wasn’t sure how it would work having retail, office, and production all in one space. We get to share the practical craft letterpress with the public, and connect with the people who buy our cards in a real way. One of my favorite perks is using our shop to do product testing. I can put a brand new card out on the rack as soon as I print it, and get feedback right away.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our loft office is all about practical storage. It’s a small space and it’s home to all of our paper and envelopes, including in-process and packaged cards. We’ve worked hard to keep the storefront space inviting to customers as well as practical for a working letterpress shop. It’s a daily challenge, but I think we balance it well. Knowing that the general public sees everything is a great way to stay organized!

The shop is open six days a week, with my beautiful team keeping the doors open and greeting customers. Our team consists of myself (owner/designer/printer), Chelsa (wholesale manager), Brooke (letterpress printer), as well as Meredith, Dorothy and Sam who keep the shop running and online orders going out (plus a lot of other things!). My mom, Suzi, is our bookkeeper extraordinaire. My husband Brad, dad Chuck, and sister Beth chip in too.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I became a mom a year ago, and spent the first six months at the shop every day. When my very sweet, very active son started crawling at six months, the plan had to change. Now I work from home four days a week, and have one full day of child care. I also work a lot of nights and weekends. I’ve found that being a mom and an entrepreneur is possible, but it is not simple. It takes a lot of planning, flexibility, sense of humor, and grace for myself and others.

None of my days are really typical, but these are some of my daily work from home rituals. I make and eat breakfast in the kitchen with my son. We listen to music and I do silly dances to make him laugh. He takes a morning nap, and I spend time answering e-mails and planning my tasks for the day. I listen to a podcast and work on creative tasks, like linoleum cuts for a project, designs for new cards, client work, etc. My little one wakes up and we eat lunch. If the weather is nice, we go for a walk or play in the yard. When he’s ready for his afternoon nap, I get started on necessary tasks – ordering paper, social media marketing, planning upcoming events and trade shows, jotting down product ideas, doing dishes or laundry, etc.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

On my in-shop days, my dad comes in the morning to care for my son. I run an errand or two and head into the studio. I love those mornings when it’s just me in the shop. I play loud music and sing my heart out. I open the mail, tidy the print shop, prepare my projects for the day, and start up the Windmill. My Heidelberg Windmill has been with me less than a year, but she’s become my special friend. Learning to print on a new press is a scary and rewarding endeavor! Brooke prints nearly every day on our platen press, and now with two production presses we can be really efficient.
Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

By lunchtime, there’s usually four of us working in the shop: Brooke and I printing, Chelsa and Dorothy (depending on the schedule) filling wholesale orders, packaging cards, and checking out shop customers. At some point throughout the day, I take a break to visit the boats. I print more or less all day, while answering questions, saying hello to visitors and trying to take enough Instagrammable photos to get me through the week (haha!). At the end of the day I’m missing my boy, and I head home tired but happy. I love my inky hands, tired feet and sense of accomplishment.
Most of our products start with a line of text scribbled in my notebook. I write everything down, and eventually come back to it. If it speaks truth to me the next time I see it, I’ll make it into something. If it feels lame when I come back to it, I let it stay in my notebook.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Before becoming a mom, most of our products were designed by setting lead or wood type. Many of our products are still (and always will be) printed that way, with hand-set type and wood engravings. Now that I’m working remotely most of the time, I’ve had to change tactics for new products. I’ve returned to my roots as a graphic designer, working in Adobe Illustrator and setting type digitally. I order the designs as photopolymer plates and letterpress print them. One of my favorite parts of designing new products is choosing the paper and envelope colors for each design. Once the card is finished, matched with an envelope and packaged in a clear sleeve, it all feels very official!
Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our line is focused on universal truths and simple beauty. Our process is simple because our products are simple! I want the words to shine, and for nothing to distract from the emotional honesty. Whether it’s silliness, expressions of love, or being there for someone dealing with tragedy and grief, it’s the connections between people that are important. If words from my heart and pieces of paper that have been lovingly printed in shop make a difference in people’s relationships, I’m a success.

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

One of my favorite new skills with the Windmill is die cutting. I’d never tried it before, but I was emboldened after taking the Windmill Workshop at Flywheel Press, and now I love it! I’ve ordered a few dies for cutting and scoring our A7 and 4bar cards, and I’m totally hooked. I’m thinking in shapes all of a sudden. It’s fun to see how my thinking changes with new skills and equipment. It’s an encouragement to keep learning, keep growing, and being open to try new things.

This year I’ve been working on a large series of linoleum cuts that will launch as a product in May. I’ve enjoyed having a physical component that I can work on from home. The design for that series still started as a digital design, and was transferred by hand to the blocks with carbon paper. A new trick that Sam from my team introduced me to is using a heating pad to keep the linoleum blocks warm so they carve more smoothly. I put 3 or 4 small blocks under the pad and swap them out with they start cooling down. What have I been doing all this time without this trick!?

Behind the Stationery: Constellation & Co. / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Meredith McKee.

Interested in participating in the Behind the Stationery column? Email Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautiful paper [dot] com.

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press

Today we’re bringing you a MEGA edition of Behind the Stationery with the one and only Rebekah of Wild Ink Press­! She shares a little bit of everything: why she started Wild Ink Press, a tour of their studio and small storefront, the process behind her designs, and so much more. Thanks Rebekah!

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hello! Rebekah Tennis here – owner, designer, and general boss lady at Wild Ink Press – and I’m delighted to take you behind the scenes of our stationery company!

I started Wild Ink Press­ in 2009, springing out of a desire to create a cherished, finished product. I have a BFA in Graphic Design, and while I loved my job working in a corporate design firm, I found the nature of branding design to be frustrating – websites getting tweaked over and over, logos stretched out of proportion, with no finality to the work. I longed to create art that was both finished (forever!) and something that I loved, and so Wild Ink Press was born to create beautiful paper goods that others would value and enjoy. My husband Matt listened to my wild-haired ideas and we both took a series of letterpress classes at the San Francisco Center for the Book, then made the plunge and purchased a 1908 Chandler & Price Platen 10 x 15 Press on Ebay.

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our company has grown and expanded over the years (through lots of blood, sweat, and tears, believe me) and we now are a staff of seven with a retail and printing space in a converted old soda bottling shop in downtown Chico, Northern California. It houses our letterpress machines, inventory, and also our creative and packaging space. We bought the abandoned building, and it has been very rewarding to restore it to its former glory and let it shine as a 3200 square-foot open studio workspace. We now have three Heidelberg Windmills, a 1912 Golding Jobber, a Vandercook Universal I, and a baby Kelsey 5 x 8 press (for the kids) in addition to our original C & P. And yes, we do print on all of them!

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Wild Ink Press / Oh So Beautiful Paper

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Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed

The husband and wife team of Bench Pressed are no rookies to the stationery world – even though they launched their business just a couple years ago. Jane and Andy are here to share their creative process, from brainstorming and sketching to hitting the letterpress! I love this story on how they discovered the voice to Bench Pressed – read on about one of their favorite cards and how it shaped the brand. Take it away, guys! –Megan

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hi there! Welcome to Bench Pressed! We are Jane and Andy Shannon, a husband and wife team, running a letterpress and design company in the Twin Cities and faking it until we make it.

Before we started Bench Pressed, Andy was working as a freelance illustrator and I was a stationery buyer at a small boutique in Minneapolis. After a few years, we decided to take our two passions and merge them. We launched Bench Pressed at the National Stationery Show in 2013, and we’ve been working on it ever since. Both of us still have side-jobs one day a week to help support ourselves and our dogs, but we are now working on creating greeting cards full-time.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our shop is located in the old Hamm’s brewery in East St. Paul, Minnesota. This side of the neighborhood is slowly being revitalized after sitting vacant for a long time. Now our neighbors are small start-ups, like a craft brewery, small distillery, chocolatier and an urban hydroponic farm, all drawn to the neighborhood by the historic building and the cheap rent. Also, we are close to the best taco truck in all of the Twin Cities (priorities).

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Bench Pressed is a letterpress shop. We specialize in hand-drawn and hand-printed cards, which means that all of our designs begin with pen on paper. We like to say that our cards are “tongue-in-cheek, with a little sweet.”

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Coming up with card ideas is the best part. Andy keeps multiple Moleskine journals around and is drawing constantly. We both use the Notes app on our phones to write down things that make us laugh, which might end up as a card. Most of the time we’re working on cards we need in advance of a certain season (Valentine’s, Christmas, etc.), but not all of our cards are contrived.

For example, one of our most popular cards was just a random doodle that I found inside of Andy’s sketchbook, a little house with the words “Hope Your Neighbors Aren’t Creepy” (which I’m assuming was inspired by our neighbor who has many, many cats).

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Once an idea and an illustration is made, he redraws the images from his sketchbook with tracing paper. The images are scanned into Photoshop where we add color, resize if needed, and prep all the cards into large files to be sent out to Boxcar Press for our photopolymer plates.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Our cards are all printed by us in our shop. We have three presses, a small table top press, a Chandler and Price, and our newest member of the family, the Heidelberg. We are using the windmill the most these days, but still use the C&P on some of the cards.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

A typical day at Bench Pressed means that I’m at the computer answering emails and keeping on track of our orders, both retail and wholesale. Andy is usually working on our ever-growing print-list or on new products.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

As for a team, right now it’s just the two of us. We plan on eventually adding more people to the mix – more hands for printing, folding, and packing up orders – but for now, it’s just us and the dogs at the shop.

Our struggles right now are getting ahead of our print-list to create more time for new products. I also think that keeping business separate from regular life can be tough, especially when you work with your partner. We have to remind ourselves take the weekend off or to take a step back when we need to.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

One of our favorite cards is the “Oh Shit” pregnancy test card. It was one of our first designs and it really opened up the door for us to get a little more snarky with our line. At first, we didn’t want to push the envelope too much and didn’t want to upset people, but when we released this card there was such an overwhelming response to it that we were able to keep creating cards that we would want to give. And I guess that’s the exciting thing about making greeting cards for a living; we get to be a (tiny) part of people’s everyday joys.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

We find inspiration from a lot of places. First of all, the stationery and paper industry is the most supportive industry that I know. We have learned so much from other stationers from printing techniques and troubleshooting to the best places to buy cello sleeves, envelopes, etc. Going to the National Stationery Show is one of our favorite things every year because we get to meet new and see old friends and catch up with them. It could be so easy for us to all see other stationers as competition, especially since we use the same medium, but instead it seems like we all boost each other up. Which is really refreshing and energizing.

Behind the Stationery: Bench Pressed / Oh So Beautiful Paper

In more basic terms of inspiration, we are constantly blown away by other artists and makers on various social media accounts, mostly Instagram. There is so much to see, from furniture makers and jewelers to installation artists, photographers, and chefs – strangers and friends alike – literally hours could vanish and not a damn thing would be done around the shop. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but there is an endless amount of talent out in the world and it’s kind of a paralyzing beauty.

All product photos by Bench Pressed, all other photos by 2nd Truth Photography.

Interested in participating in this column? Reach out to Megan at megan(at)ohsobeautifulpaper.com for more details about Behind the Stationery.

Happy Weekend!

Happy National Donut Day everyone! We’re in the home stretch on NSS recaps – which makes me really want a donut! I’m planning to share a the rest of the recaps over the next few days, followed by a quick business trip and some much needed R&R. I’m absolutely thrilled that Brannon from Happy Cactus Designs will be filling in here on OSBP next week! But in the meantime…

Linea-Carta-Instagram-OSBP

Photo by Linea Carta

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

  • Paper Party 2015! Check out all the details from our tropical-inspired paper fete! The Simply Framed art print gallery wall was one of my favorite details from the party!
  • New desktop and phone wallpapers for June!
  • National Stationery Show 2015, Part 5: Tightrope Press, Meeschmosh, Fox & Fallow, Tack and Ward, Richie Designs, Frances Lab, Tiny Print Design, Paula & Waffle, Reyn Paper Co., and Dahlia Press
  • Part 6: Idlewild Co., Hartland Brooklyn, Alexis Mattox Design, Yellow Owl Workshop, Crow and Canary (Red Cap Cards, Carolyn Suzuki, The Good Twin, Ghost Academy, Gold Teeth Brooklyn, and Candyspotting), Ferme à Papier, Ashkahn, The Great Lakes Goods, The Social Type, and The Sea Pink
  • Part 7: One Canoe Two, Iron Curtain Press, Dear Hancock, Albertine Press, Belle & Union, Emily McDowell Studio, Ink Meets Paper, Ladyfingers Letterpress, Modern Lore, Old Tom Foolery, Near Modern Disaster, Rifle Paper Co.
  • Part 8: Knot & Bow, Angela Liguori, The Confetti Bar, Liddabits, My Mind’s Eye, and The Flair Exchange
  • Part 9: Katharine Watson, Smudge Ink, Smock, Bella Figura, ban.do, Kate Spade, Banquet Workshop, Blackbird Letterpress, Fugu Fugu Press, Dee & LaLa, E.Frances Paper, and Enormous Champion
  • Well Said Type: Mulberry Script
  • Today is National Donut Day! Throw a donut party!