Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Hey everyone! Somehow it’s August and summer is zooming by at full speed (with hints of fall even in the air.) Before our focus goes full-on about the new school year and fall plans, let’s dive into a fresh dose of calligraphy to keep our summer senses floating on high. Once I stumbled on the work of calligrapher Kelsey Carpenter, I was blown away by her work’s natural lightness and organic style. Let’s take a peek into the world of Kelsey Malie Calligraphy. Jen

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Photo Credit: Ivory + Bliss Photography

Kelsey stumbled into calligraphy when she was getting married. “I didn’t like any paper goods out there and couldn’t afford something custom so I picked up a dip pen and learned.” Then she literally hand wrote each wedding invitation (as a beginner!). After that experience, she was hooked on calligraphy.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Photo Credit: Donny Zavala Photography

Kelsey hails from the beautiful state of Hawaii, and that’s where she and her husband got married, too. They now are city dwellers in Chicago.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Kelsey shares: “The most wonderful part of invitation design is working in the personality of each client into their wedding paper goods. I just had a client who had a sketch of each member of her wedding party done for her program and another that, in lieu of favors, hand-wrote a message on custom stationary to each guest to be placed at their seat during dinner.”

I’m such a sentimental sap when it comes to special details like that, and little ways to connect with people in your wedding. Since that connection with friends and family is certainly part of the joy of a wedding!

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Kelsey likes to changes things up in her work and play with different lettering styles. “I love learning new scripts and am constantly challenging myself to work on older script styles like Spencerian and Copperplate.” But if you try to nail her down to describing her calligraphy style in a couple words, she’ll share it’s “romantic and messy”. Kind of feels like the perfect mix, right? Far from fussy, her romantic messy style of lettering work feels effortless and organic.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Photo Credits: Jenni Kupelian Photography

 

“I love when I can just play with wild, illegible script and ink splatters,” shares Kelsey. But she definitely keeps everything more readable when it comes to invitation suites for real brides.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Leaving you with this sweet wedding program where Kelsey’s calligraphy is the star. Thanks so much to Kelsey for sharing her beautiful work! See you back here soon.

All images via Kelsey Malie Calligraphy, except where noted.

NSS 2017: Let’s Get Organized

Last week I did a little round up of my favorite pencil pouches – including a couple that I found in person at this year’s National Stationery Show – in honor of back-to-school season. There’s always something about the start of a new school year that inspires us to get organized, don’t you think? So it just felt right that my next NSS 2017 round up focus on some of the organizational goodies at this year’s show. Now, I’m not talking about calendars and yearly planners (I’ll be covering those in separate round up posts soon), but instead on some of the other stationery that we use to keep ourselves organized: file folders, notebooks, notepads, and specialty planners. These are always popular categories at the show – and for good reason! I mean, just look at these dressage unicorns on this notebook from Baltic Club:

NSS 2017: Baltic Club

Baltic Club (see the full booth here!)

So let’s kick things off with the notebook category! Iron Curtain Press has been killing it in this category for a while, with their beautiful, minimalist notebooks in a variety of sizes and candy coated colors. They just added a small reporter-size notebook, which was a very popular size at this year’s show, along with a larger task pad notebook. I’m also loving the hand painted reporter-size notebooks from Moglea, and the gold foil notebooks from Wild Ink Press and Smitten on Paper.

NSS 2017: Iron Curtain Press

NSS 2017: Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Moglea

Moglea (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Baltic Club

Baltic Club (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Wild Ink Press

Wild Ink Press (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Smitten on Paper

Smitten on Paper (see the full booth here!)

Yay for beautiful file folders! I’m loving these designs from Good Juju Ink, Graphique de France, and Rifle Paper Co.:

NSS 2017: Good JuJu Ink

Good Juju Ink (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Graphique de France

Graphique de France (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Co. (see the full booth here!)

Moving on to the notepad category, we’ve got a beautiful large version from Fox & Fallow that comes with it’s own clipboard and pencil, and fun illustrated desktop notepads from Mr. Boddington’s Studio and Our Heiday. Also, I somehow neglected to get a photo of these at the show, but these hologram foil-edged notepads from Parrott Design Studio are just beyond amazing!

NSS 2017: Fox & Fallow Clipboard Pack

Fox & Fallow (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Mr. Boddington's Studio

Mr. Boddington’s Studio (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Our Heiday

Our Heiday (see the full booth here!)

I’m a BIG fan of the weekly planner. As a visual person, I love being able to see a week’s worth of activities all together – and even better if I can see two weeks side by side! We’ve got shiny gold foil from Smitten on Paper, painterly illustrations from Our Heiday, and minimalism from Iron Curtain Press.

NSS 2017: Smitten on Paper

Smitten on Paper (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Our Heiday

Our Heiday (see the full booth here!)

NSS 2017: Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press (see the full booth here!)

 

A brand new address book cover design from Rifle Paper Co.:

NSS 2017: Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Co. (see the full booth here!)

I wish I could show you every page of this cocktail recipe binder from Moglea! It comes in gray and white cover options, with copper foil interior tabs organized by season:

NSS 2017: Moglea Cocktail Recipe Notebook

Moglea (see the full booth here!)

This packing planner from Lionheart Prints is genius! I currently use the Notes app on my phone to plan everything I need to pack for a family trip, so this planner notepad would be a BIG improvement.

NSS 2017: Lionheart Prints Packing Planner

Lionheart Prints (see the full booth here!)

I love, love, love the minimalist design of this meal planner from Ramona & Ruth. And it’s the perfect size to drop into your purse or a tote bag and bring it with you to the grocery store!

NSS 2017: Ramona and Ruth

Ramona & Ruth (see the full booth here!)

If you’re still reading down here – thank you! Also, I’d love to hear what other product or theme round ups you want to see from the National Stationery Show! I have a few more still to come, but please let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’re hoping to see!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Staying Organized with the Pilot G2

This summer is just flying by! I know some of you have probably already started back at school, but here in DC we have two weeks of summer vacation to go. And while I love slow summer days and the break from our normal routine, it definitely requires a bit more effort to stay organized and on top of my to do list during this time of year. Today I’m partnering with Pilot Pen and their amazing G2 pens to share how I’m staying organized this summer – as a mom and creative entrepreneur – as part of their G2 Overachievers program! You’ll also want to read below for some exciting info about two Pilot G2 initiatives, including a chance to win a Target shopping spree and year supply of G2 pens and the G2 Overachievers Grant with Shonda Rhimes!

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

For most of this summer, Sophie has been going to a summer camp with some of her friends from school, while Alice continued at the daycare she has attended full-time since just after her first birthday. But I wanted to get a bit of mama time with my girls before school starts back up – especially since Alice will be starting her first year of preschool. So for the next two weeks we’ll be doing Mama Camp! It’s a total departure from my normal routine, and it will mean a lot of late nights to keep up with work, but it’s worth it to get a couple weeks of quality time with my girls.

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

The general idea for Mama Camp is that we’ll go on a different adventure every day. We’ll be outside as much as the weather permits, visiting some of our favorite local farms, playgrounds, and splash pads. For rainy days, we’ll either visit a museum or indoor playground – or hang out at home for an arts and crafts day. I’m treating this like a real summer camp, so I’m packing a lunch for the girls the night before and planning all of our activities in advance so they know what we’re doing each day.

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

I wanted to make sure I had a plan for each day of Mama Camp, so I put together a quick schedule with all the things I want to do that week on one of my weekly planner notepads. I’m planning one major activity for each day and will pack a lunch so we can eat on the road or have a little picnic when we arrive at our destination. Depending on our adventure for the day, we’ll end the afternoon at one of our favorite local play grounds to get some wiggles out before heading back home. It’s going to be really exhausting, but also so much fun!

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club!

Meanwhile, there is still the to-do list to keep up with! Back-to-school shopping, appointments to make, and a business to run. DC public schools mostly require uniforms, which makes back to school shopping a bit easier, but I need to make sure I have uniforms for Alice and check to see if Sophie has already outgrown her uniforms from last year. She’s getting so big! I also need to pick up the necessary school health and dental forms, plan the party for their upcoming birthdays, make some travel arrangements for an upcoming wedding, and manage my other projects. Mom life!

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

Anyone else out there a classic overachiever? I’ve been an overachiever as long as I can remember. I’m goal-oriented, I love a good challenge, and I’m always thinking about my next project. I’m constantly making lists for everything – from grocery shopping to a shot list for photographs I want to get when taking pictures for a blog post. And there’s absolutely nothing more satisfying than crossing steps off a list while working towards a bigger goal! A good pen is an absolute necessity for all that list making, which is where the Pilot G2 comes in. The G2 is the #1 selling pen in America, with super smooth writing and longest writing gel ink. The G2 comes in 4 point sizes: ultra fine (0.38mm), extra fine (0.5mm), fine (0.7mm), and bold (1.0mm), and is retractable and refillable. I’m most excited by all the fantastic colors that the G2 comes in: 15 vibrant core colors plus metallics and pastels!

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

You can find the Pilot G2 at Target, Walmart, and other major retailers, and stock up for all of your list making and bullet journaling needs! You can even sign up for the G2 Overachievers Club with Target, where you can enter to win a $5,000 Target shopping spree and a year’s supply of G2 pens (3 winners), $100 Target gift card and a year’s supply of G2 pens (10 winners), and exclusive coupons.

Pilot Pen is also partnering with Shonda Rhimes to invite you to nominate yourself or someone you know for a $50,000 G2 Overachievers Grant. This grant will go to someone who goes above and beyond their everyday duties to help improve the lives of others. Last year’s recipient was Dr. Rebecca Constantino, founder of Access Books in Los Angeles. And this year they’ve expanded the program to include a $15,000 G2 Overachievers Student Grant for applicants age 13-19.

Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Club

Wish me luck for the next two weeks of Mama Camp! To all my fellow mamas out there: how are you staying organized this summer and getting ready for back-to-school season? Share your to-do lists or organization tricks in the comments below or via social media using the #d0youG2 hashtag! 

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the G2 Overachievers Club with Target here and nominate someone for the G2 Overachievers grant right here!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen). The content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Everyone has such unique stories about how they came into the stationery world and Meghan from And Here We Are is no exception. Meghan eased into the stationery industry after designing and printing her own wedding invitations, and after 9 years in New York, moved her Brooklyn studio to Columbus, Ohio where she recently moved (again!) to an industrial space. Walking us through her design process from brainstorming and sketching to printing techniques, here’s Meghan! —Megan Soh

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

From Meghan: Hi there! I’m Meghan, owner and founder of And Here We Are, a design & letterpress printing studio based in Columbus, Ohio. I went to school for graphic design – and back again for typeface design – and in past lives have worked as a textile designer, a designer in a traditional firm, an in-house designer for a PR firm, and finally, a print designer at a television network. I live in the Short North neighborhood here in Columbus with my husband, John, our son Wiley, and our dog Martha.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

And Here We Are launched in 2012 out of our apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It started after I went a little nuts on our personal wedding invitations and paper goods, and the press led to several more custom wedding commissions. I always loved letterpress printing, which I’d discovered in college, and was really excited about the idea of getting my hands dirty again!

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

I worked nights and weekends for about a year before I officially left my day job to purse paper goods full time. At first I was working out of the corner of our living room, meeting clients in coffee shops and renting letterpresses at a local studio in Brooklyn. We bought our first letterpress in 2015, and moved out here to Columbus (after 9 years in New York) in search of affordable space. We were lucky to find an adorable little Victorian house just north of Downtown with a 400 square foot sun room that made a perfect home studio.

We worked out of this studio until it was just about bursting at the seams; we recently moved all of our equipment and product stock out into a 1,000 square foot space across town. Being in this industrial space will allow for more (and heavier) equipment, and I plan to host events and workshops, too.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

In addition to custom design and printing, we have a full line of letterpress printed greeting cards and accessories that we sell both retail and wholesale (we exhibited in our first National Stationery Show this Spring). We do all of our letterpress printing in house, but offer all sorts of printing methods through our network of trusted vendors here and back in New York. We often combine letterpress printed pieces with foil stamping, digital printing or die cutting.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

We currently have a Vandercook SP-15 letterpress, which carries about 90% of the load, and a C&P pilot press which we use mostly for coasters and some smaller items. We trim on a Challenge Triumph hydraulic trimmer. A Windmill or Kluge letterpress is probably not too far off in the future, and I’d like to bring foil-stamping in house too.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

From 2014-16, my husband John was also working with me, but went back to a day job last year when we found out we had a baby on the way. So for now, I’m working by myself again, with the occasional part time or temp helpers. Now that we’ve moved into our new space I’m hoping to bring on 1-2 members to join the team.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

There really isn’t such a thing as a typical day when you run a business and have an 8-month-old; most days we’re up at 6:30, having breakfast and taking a long walk before heading into the studio. Around 8:30, I drop the baby off at day care or bring him with me, depending on the day of the week. I could be drawing, printing, trimming, filling orders, or writing estimates and invoices (the most glamorous part of the job). There’s always a lot more emailing and administration than I’d like, but I’m often able to tackle those tasks at home after the little one’s gone to bed.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Even when I’m not in the studio, I’m almost always carrying a notebook or sketchbook to jot down new ideas, doodles or notes. I usually start with just a list of words that I keep on my phone, which I then distill into a few categories and then every month or two I’ll block out a few solid days to sketch out some lettering and illustrations, and then spend another week or two refining those.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

I usually move from pencil sketches to brush and ink or brush pens, often drawing and redrawing an idea through layers of tracing paper to distill it down to the simplest form possible. Sometimes I work backwards from an ink color I really want to use, or a print method I want to try. Then the drawings get scanned into the computer, cleaned up and digitized. I assign ink colors on the computer (although I often change my mind when I’m on the press!), prep the files for letterpress printing, and send the art out to have plates made.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Often, I start with art prints, then extend the artwork through other items like totes, coasters or cards. I usually release new collections about once a quarter.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

Custom work is a whole other monster. These start with a client meeting and idea board; then I’ll ruminate on it a bit and pull some visual examples into a Pinterest board. I keep my sketchbook handy and usually in a week or two I’ll hit on an idea that I can get excited about (and when I’m lucky, the client is excited about it too!). Totally custom jobs usually go through about 3-4 rounds of design before we hit the press. Since we had the baby, I’ve been shifting the focus of And Here We Are toward the retail and wholesale side of the business, but do still take a limited amount of custom projects each season.

Behind the Stationery: And Here We Are

And Here We Are is a member of the Designer Rolodex – see more of their beautiful work right here!

Follow along with And Here We Are on Instagram and Twitter.

Studio photos by Adam Lowe Photography; others by And Here We Are.

Interested in being featured on the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan for more information at megan[at]ohsobeautifulpaper.com.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! DC friends – my husband will be doing another glassware and barware pop-up sale at Cotton & Reed Distillery (1330 5th Street NE, next to Union Market) on Saturday from 12 – 4 p.m. He’ll have some vintage brass barware sets, some seriously gorgeous iridescent glasses, and fun cocktail shakers. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll swing by and check it out! You can also take a tour of the rum distillery – and of course enjoy some fantastic cocktails while you’re there! But in the meantime…

Jill Labieniec

Image by Jill Labieniec via the #dailydoseofpaper feed

…a few links for your weekend!

It’s the last couple of days of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I have my eye on these burgundy leather ankle wrap flats – although they come in black and a few other colors!

I’m also eyeing this wood and marble serving board. It would be perfect for serving appetizers at a dinner party!

Such an amazing transformation for this Catskills cottage

The effect of smartphones on the post-Millennial Generation

This little black dress is so cute! I love the flirty dropped waist hem.

Hologram glitter and tweed in one seriously gorgeous shoe!

MAKE: Grilled skirt steak with peaches and burrata (yum!)

Card of the week!

 

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

New illustrated wallpapers for August

It’s back to school time! Eleven awesome pencil pouches

Sports-themed birthday cards – from swimming to baseball!

So much flair at this year’s National Stationery Show

Some highlights from first-time exhibitors at the National Stationery Show: Part 1 and Part 2