Paper Lover in the Field: A Trip to the Ohio Craft Museum

Among the pleasures of blogging for On Paper is the excuse to venture out and explore where and how paper and art collide. In October I attended the Ohio Craft Museum’s CraftView Evening with paper artist Leah Wong whose work was part of the fantastic East & West exhibit. Though that has ended, you can find two installations by Wong at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. Her work is part of a group show called Cut and Torn--Paperscape. The show runs until December 28th. Go, go, go!

The event began with a talk by Wong in which she described her general approach to creating three dimensional cut paper sculptures like her site-specific Be Present. For it, Wong pre-cut her paper, which she noted was chosen in warmer and cooler shades of white to create depth. For color, she used black and orange ink in varying intensity. Here you can see Wong’s assemblage of the piece which is pictured completed just below:

Be Present, The Ohio Craft Museum

Among the more abstract pieces of paper, familiar shapes emerge (but not too familiar). Here and there are creatures reminiscent of hedgehogs, roosters and skunks. Wong's animals are magical approximations, lovely in their balance of strangeness and familiarity:

 Detail image of Wong's Beach, a separate installation, taken from her website.

The second portion of the night was spent learning about, and attempting, the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting from which Wong's art at least partially descends; centuries of Chinese paper cutters have cut the most delicate images into vibrant red paper.

Patterns are passed from cutter to cutter, but each artist is free to adapt it, thus creating a sort of artistic collaboration or lineage; one cutter may prefer short spiky whiskers on catfish, while another may prefer them long and elegant.


Though it is unlikely the two pieces above were made in direct response to one another, it is a glimpse at the tremendous variety and detail paper cutters achieve.

For our own work, Wong encouraged us to draw and cut without judgment of our own abilities, to approach the project like six year olds: the goal was not realism. She didn't have to tell me twice.

 It's the elusive fox-pig! 
The shape removed from the first animal's belly becomes a bird. My third creature is one third deer, one third tree, and one third giraffe.

These cuts are easily done with an X-acto knife, cutting board and cover stock. Wouldn't you know On Paper carries Green Paper Company paper, both text and cover weight, in rich colors like Redwood and Chestnut and lovely pastels like Magnolia and Spearmint. These papers contain least 30% post consumer recycled waste and many are 100%. What a wonderfully green product for your foray into paper cutting.

The best advice Wong gave during our time was to use the entire sheet of paper (to not cut ourselves into a corner, so to speak) and to embrace whatever strange shapes we produced. I am pretty fond of that little Reedeeraffe.

-Posted by Beth

Next up: The Pièce de Résistance--Your Wedding Invitations


Save the Date!

Now that you’re engaged and you’ve been properly feted, let’s announce your wedding date in a style all your own. 

At least some version of saving the date has be taking place in Europe since the12th century in the form of “banns” in which your parish announced your intent to marry on a specific date. This was to allow any objections to the union to be voiced and the marriage halted if necessary (you know, Godwin is already married to a lady in the next shire or the betrothed are actually be-cousins). The Roman Catholic Church ended this as a necessary step in the 1980s, but in the Church of England this tradition continues.

Image via sherryweb.com
Banns or no banns, you can save the date in beautiful, festive, adorable, sassy and/or sophisticated ways. At On Paper, we’re here to help you find the perfect save the date, whether it will coordinate with and offer a hint of the wedding invitations yet to come, or, be its own, independent piece of art. (The choice is completely yours and either path is correct.)

Trending design elements include fabric inspired prints, letterpress, sumptuously painted edges, snappy fun type, and foil, foil, foil (these trends follow through to invitations as well). And if you lean more toward the classic – we love traditional designs for their timeless elegance: think lovely ivory paper with crisp black engraving. Perhaps add a die cut shape or colored edging for an updated tailored twist.

Take a look the images below to get an idea of what you like and what is possible, then let’s set up an appointment! It’s best to order your save the dates nine months to a year in advance (especially if you’re doing a destination wedding).

We can’t wait to save the date with you!

The Save the Date above and the one below can be ordered on our partnered website (along with tons of other options)! If interested in any of the others, give us a buzz: (614) 424.6617.

Up next: Paper Lover in the Field: A trip to the Ohio Craft Museum


Engagement Party Invitations and You

Did you see it coming or were you totally in the dark? Were you on a romantic weekend getaway or were you in the backyard knee deep in mulch? However it happened, the sparkler on your finger says you’re engaged. Congratulations!

What better way to celebrate your news than a party?

There was a time when the engagement party was reserved exclusively for those attending the wedding ceremony, a meet-and-greet of sorts: Dad, meet all my college roommates. Fiancé, meet Aunt Sue, ghost hunter.

While the benefit of introducing friends and family remains, the engagement party isn’t just for wedding guests these days. If you’re planning on a small ceremony or destination wedding, an engagement party that includes childhood friends, work buddies, and family is a great way for your guests to have their cake and eat it, too. 

Whether the bride’s parents are hosting, as is tradition, or you’re throwing yourselves the perfect party, invitations set the tone for the event and can introduce you as a couple. At On Paper we think a lot can be said with a great invitation design. A gorgeous and thoughtful invitation to any event is keepsake.

(Casual) Elegance 


There's more where that came from; follow these links, explore, and order.

More formal - shop on line:

Elegance/Casual elegance - shop online:

Fun- select a style and order in the shop:

Again, congratulations. Let’s celebrate!

Next up: Saving the Date


Spotlight on Michelle

Today I have the distinct pleasure of turning a well-deserved spotlight on our Store Manager, Chief Invitation Consultant and resident Visual Merchandiser, Michelle. Though she is clearly an invaluable member of our team in many arenas of the business, today I wanted to focus on her incredible creative talent. We pride ourselves on our imaginative window displays, and in recent years, Michelle is most frequently the font from which they spring.   Without further ado, the lovely Michelle!
How long have you been with On Paper? 
Five years this past October!

Michelle's first window at On Paper

What experiences or education led you to visual merchandising at On Paper? 
Luckily, I hail from a very arts oriented family. Growing up, creativity was always encouraged. At the University of Dayton I studied Art History and Fine Arts, focusing on ceramic and paper sculpture with my own work.  I think of displays as 2-dimensional sculpture. It wasn’t until I took a part-time job at CO Bigelow at Easton that I discovered I had a knack for merchandising, and completely loved organizing product into displays. I’d always volunteer to help with floor sets and thought it was fun to see and take part in the seasonal changes of the shopping environment. When I started at On Paper as an Assistant Manager I shared my interest in windows and visual merchandising.  After a while, I was given the opportunity to pitch some ideas and create my very first window display. I was so very thrilled to have the chance!

A clothesline of letters! Could be great inspiration for the home.
What inspires you?
In general; the natural world around us (mother nature sure can create one heck of a color palette!). Traveling. History. Exploring different places. The fashion and visual arts scenes. As far as windows go - antique shops and flea markets are chock full of inspirational objects; I’m always on the prowl. I like milling around in stores like Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren too. They do a remarkable job creating well branded and designed (and in Anthro’s case, crafted) shopping environments and fantastic window displays. Speaking of fantastic window displays, I could stand in front of Bergdorf Goodman’s stunning holiday windows for hours!!       

Black and White

Tell us a little about the process of designing and executing a window display. 
Windows should showcase your product and entice walkers by.  So, first we determine a theme or story, and pinpoint the product we’ll merchandise within. The season as well as buying trips help to determine the theme. From there, we sketch out a design. Sometimes construction materials need to be sourced and backdrop elements created. Depending on the complexity, backdrops can take from a couple hours up to a few weeks to complete.  When I’m having fun, they almost always involve using a power tool or two! Most often I’m able to use the fantastic vintage display fixtures we already have here in the shop. In those cases, it’s a matter of selecting the fixtures that best suit the merchandise along with props to polish and enhance the overall look.  Build the display, set the merchandise, and if needed, adjust the lighting. Walah! 
{Funny story - when reading Michelle's responses, I thought I had the heavy burden of informing her that she has been mispronouncing "voila" her entire life. Luckily for us both, I discovered it is simply a trademark of her offbeat humor; a Michelle-ism, if you will.} 
Putting our vintage fixtures to use
What has been your favorite window? 
Have several that I’m fond of, but my favorite would have to be our Holiday Winter Wonderland windows with the white paper trees!

Those white paper trees are likely a community favorite as well - they did earn us Best in Show in the 2011 Short North Arts District Holiday Window Competition, after all!
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Michelle - can't wait to see what you come up with next!


New to the Shop: Candles!

This week has brought On Paper a beautiful new array of candles, each one prettier than the last. We couldn't help but proudly display them in the center of the shop; a shrine to the simple joy of twinkling lights and wafting fragrance. Read on to learn more about a few of our favorites!

The clean European elegance of the Grand Hotel de Paris and Le Grand Cafe candles (upper right and lower left, respectively) are beautifully balanced by their worldly-yet-nostalgic fragrances. Hotel de Paris is fresh but sweet, with a scent of Linen Water -- conjuring up images of airy hotel rooms high above the Seine. Le Grand Cafe is slightly more proletarian -- aiming to remind one of "summers spent picking blackberries in the French countryside." Though I can't claim to have done anything of the sort, if I close my eyes and inhale I might be convinced otherwise....

If you're drawn to a more rustic aesthetic, the sweet little tins or knobby jars wrapped with twine are sure to delight. Fragrances range from the sweet and floral (french violet, cherry blossom) to spicy and sultry (white tea ginger, cedar sage). Soy wax blended with essential oils burns clean and light, aided by their unique wooden wicks (only adding to the rustic charm).

Our regulars will recognize the striking silhouettes of Wicked's Negative Space collection, but our enthusiasm is renewed by the arrival of a fourth fragrance, the victrola featured bottom right. The collection is inspired by the psyches and struggles of provocative authors of the past. The four we carry represent (respectively, clockwise from upper left) Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde and Anais Nin. The melancholy concept alone (and their brilliant packaging) was enough to ensnare us, but the fragrances are truly bewitching. For instance, the Oscar Wilde victrola design that inspired today's fervor is an intoxicating blend of bergamot, warm oak, vanilla and patchouli, with a hint of cedar -- but the depth and complexity is truly indescribable, as though the luminary's essence were contained in the wax.

A word to the wise: if your curiosity is aroused, be sure to stop in! In the time it took me to compile this post, several of these lovely candles have found new homes, and I can only imagine the trend will continue with tomorrow's Gallery Hop. See you soon....


Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts

Cupid's bow is pulled taut, and tomorrow the arrow flies!
Be sure your sweetheart is lovestruck with these surefire gifts.

Clockwise from top left: The Italian-made Ogami notebook made from Repap is beautiful, sleek, environmentally-friendly and shows your love is like a rock! The American Bar by Charles Schumann is a fantastic resource for both professional mixologists and amateurs alike. Smell Good Daily Tonic from West Third Brand holds true to its claims - with ultra cool packaging, too! Make him say OH! with this heirloom-quality pewter Ohio State flask.

Clockwise from top left: Hand her your heart (and her favorite 6 pack) with this hand-painted cast iron bottle opener. Give the gift of inspiration with this luxurious Italian leather journal. A sweet sterling silver necklace will be a reminder that only you hold the key to her heart. The heavenly scent of the Italian Blood Orange Lotion by Mor is only matched by its ability to make even the driest skin soft and sexy.

Tomorrow we'll be open an hour late ('til 7pm!) for all you last minute shoppers. See you soon!


Valentines for Procrastinators

It seems 2013 is determined to fly by even faster than 2012; Valentine's Day is a week from today! That's right, folks... seven days left to find something sweet for your sweetheart. (And we're only open for five of them! Don't forget we're closed Sundays and Mondays.)

So today we're sharing a handful of our favorite Valentines still here in the shop. If you see one you love, stop in or give us a call -- we almost never stock more than 6 cards of each style, which means once they're gone, they're gone!

The four valentines below all use traditional language or motifs, but with a modern twist, whether in the typesetting, printing process or even the addition of three-dimensional elements.

The valentines below are fun, modern updates to the time-honored tradition. I love the use of gold foil, simple typesetting, or surprisingly sweet imagery to create romance in unexpected ways. 

Have you found a valentine for your Valentine yet? Don't delay....


Valentine Gifts for the Home

Since Joan returned from a buying trip last month, the store has been inundated with new goodies. February is always a happy time at On Paper; pretty red hearts are scattered about the shop, and around every corner you'll find some sweet token of love. This month though, we've received an unprecedented influx of fantastic new housewares, and we simply had to share them with you! Whether you've been looking for a little something to freshen your space, or are on the hunt for an artful piece to gift to your Valentine, there's bound to be something that will fit the bill.

Just yesterday we received these sweetly rustic reclaimed wood pieces. The wood is aged and weathered, soft and full of depth and history. Rather like a marriage, come to think of it. Any one of these would be a lovely, romantic gift -- but not so saccharine that you couldn't display it outside the bedroom.

We have just the thing for the craft beer lover in your life -- whimsical bottle openers! The heft of these cast iron trinkets and the antiqued finish make cracking one open extra satisfying.

While we're on the subject of libations, we're enamored with these ingenious bottle stoppers! Fashioned out of antique doorknobs, they have a quirky, romantic appeal while still being incredibly useful. Would make a lovely Valentine's gift with a nice bottle of red!

These clever dishes are too good to resist. They make fantastic gifts for the tea drinkers/waitstaff/foodies/bacon enthusiasts in your life, and I'm pretty sure that covers almost everyone. You're welcome!

Last but certainly not least, the objets d'art below have a bewitching air of nostalgia. Each one is handcrafted, using age-old techniques to painstakingly layer plaster over wood to create a one-of-a-kind piece. They're sturdy enough to sit unsupported on a shelf, but lightweight enough to be hung on the wall. Though we love displaying them clustered together in a whimsical vignette, they would also make a lovely statement standing alone. 

To take a closer peek, find these items and more on our Pinterest page, on the Shop Favorites board.

Show your home a little love and stop by soon to scoop up your favorites!