WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

Hello,

Thank you for your interest in Cecile’s Paper Co.  Kindly note that our full website is under construction.  To see current work, visit our Instagram page.

For inquires, kindly contact info@cecilespaperco.com or call 805.405.0764.

Warmest Regards and Happy New Year,
Courtney Lipthay

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Wedding Wednesday: Lavender, French Grey, Cherry Oak

It’s our favorite day of the week: Wedding Wednesday!  This could be because today also happens to be Wine Wednesday, but we’ll focus on the wedding inspiration, for now.

This week we are venturing to the South of France where the wind carries the sweet smell of lavender and slate colored stone houses and hamlets inspire the intrigue of all struck with wanderlust.

LAVENDER, FRENCH GREY, CHERRY WOOD:

To capture the simplicity of a day spent meandering through sunflower fields and snacking on fresh cherries we created an invitation suite for Erin and Anthony’s Provencal-themed wedding.  Cherry wood provides the base for the invitation as well as the laser cut material for the couples’ names.  To add further softness we used a thin Lotka tissue paper over a soft grey mat with hand torn edges.  One of our favorite ways to layer memory in a wedding is to incorporate a signature scent.  Appropriately, lavender will be present throughout the wedding.  To set the stage we added a few sprigs of dried lavender for the guests to enjoy when they open the invitation.

THE RESULT:

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INSPIRATION:

Simply because Provence has to be one of our favorite places in the world, here is a photo that started the whole love affair:

 

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Provence 2012.  Yes – people actually live here in these remarkable village homes.

One of the most notable features in this southern region of France is the stone used to create the homes and hamlets.  To incorporate this natural element we LOVE Allie Fry’s use of stone for place cards.

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When considering flowers for a wedding they should retain two purposes: to look good and smell good; both are equally important to creating an immersive atmosphere.  While lavender does not need to be present everywhere, we love using white milk pitchers to incorporate either fresh or dried flowers.  In lieu of centerpieces, the pitchers can be placed on an entry table or by the bar to keep the theme alive without being over-saturated.  On the table, we love using a soft grey linen or chiffon table cloth with cherry oak bistro chairs.

 

Using a wooden planter for the centerpieces and a bit of twine across the menu lends to a country-side affair.

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For an incredibly unique ceremony, Archive Rentals offers a beautiful stand alone French Door that can be used at the start of the aisle.

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Lastly, what would a French-themed wedding be without French desserts? ?  We are under the impression that there can never be too many sweets at a sweet event and these macaroon towers are the perfect way to incorporate more color and sensory experiences into a beautiful wedding.

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For the full set of inspiration be sure to follow our Pinterest page!

Wedding Wednesday: Blush, Sepia, Copper

We are so excited to offer a new weekly feature on our blog/Pinterest/Instagram: Wedding Wednesday, (because we all need more alliteration in our lives).  Each week we will share an inspiration board drawing from an invitation or Cecile’s collection, (we already started our “First Comes Love” board – go check it out!)  These posts are intended to serve as a cohesive inspiration source based on a color or theme.  The Internet is a vast place so we are here to provide a tailored experience.  If you like an image be sure to check out the original vendor – they know how to do it best!

BLUSH, SEPIA, COPPER:

Weddings are by nature thick with romance.  A good design will reinforce the already present romance without smacking it across your face with overly-saturated decorations.  When Nicola and James began to describe their vision of a rustic, vintage, and romantic affair we were immediately pairing the soft hues of blush with the dynamic brights of copper.

THE RESULT:

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We worked to fuse both styles by creating a “rustic rose.”  The watercolor and pencil base adds deconstructed whimsy while the copper hardware offers an aged and dynamic feel.

The text is printed in sepia on watercolor paper while their names are heat embossed in copper and layered on watercolor cutouts.  Each “rose” is hand painted and individually crafted.

THE INSPIRATION:

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Photo: Duke Photography; Event Coordination: David Pressman Events; Venue: The Peninsula, Beverly Hills

FUN TIP:

This was a special wedding that we actually had the chance to be a part of back in our Event Planning Days.  The Bride envisioned a table lined with flowers and lit only by candles – and viola!  We have two long tables flooded with flowers and glimmering with candle light.  One of the best tips to consider when using candles is to use long taper candles as well as small tea lights – the difference in height will create a soft glow while softening shadows and makes for the best Instagram lighting.  This way, your guests will look as good as the table and you can avoid a flooded flash feature.

 

Not only are Moscow Mules delicious, the copper mugs that they are served in make for thoughtful favors.  Engrave them with your wedding date and your guests can relive their hangover long after the wedding is over.  Alternatively, each mug can be placed at the table as place settings/individual centerpieces.  Click here for the Rosemary/Grapefruit Mule.

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Naked cakes are hot right now – and it’s not just because they are in the flesh.  They are effortlessly chic and rely on flowers to be the star.

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Pair these blush chargers with copper silverware and ivory plates.  Done.

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Family photos are not only decorative, they help share the story of your love and make your members feel included.  As most vintage photos were sepia toned or black and white, the history speaks for itself!  There is no need to make modifications or splurge on expensive frames – the more mix-matched the more eclectic!

*Be sure to follow our Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for more weekly inspiration!  Additionally, the boards will continue to grow as time goes on.*

Setting Sail – a Boutique Gift Guide for Father’s Day

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To celebrate Father’s Day and the upcoming Summer Solstice, we created a nautical inspired card and gift basket certain to please the adventurer at heart.  A touch briny with some “hair of the dog” and whimsy, our collection will whisk even land-locked sailors to the Pacific shore.

When selecting gifts we decided to focus on Los Angeles local, artisan products, (just like us!).  Our new favorite find, The Los Angeles County Store, has what might be the most exciting selection of local products.  If you are interested in purchasing any of the recommended gift items you can do so via their site, or if you live in the Los Angeles area they are located right off Sunset in Silverlake.

Choosing Father’s Day gifts commercially tends to fall within a bit of cliche – a new grill, tools, television, or fancy toys.  While these are all great ideas, to us a gift should set a sense of tone and place.  Something that, when the recipient looks upon them, takes them to a special memory and evokes a warm sense of nostalgia.  For this reason, we LOVE gifting artisan food items.  Nothing quite evokes happiness like taste.

For the father’s who are unable to celebrate beach-side, we are bringing the beach to them with Olimila’s Gourmet Pacific Sea Salts and Bloody Buddies Spicy Cocktail Pickled Veggies.  All you need is tomato juice and vodka and you are sipping Bloody Mary’s on your yacht.  For the dad’s who prefer a summer ale, Gary Silk’s Bamboo Bottle Opener does the trick, (and does it well).  Using a nail and magnet, this bottle opener catches the bottle lid after it smoothly pops off.

If you have a father who is a bit more hands on, we discovered Maker’s Kit in Los Angeles where you can build your own terrarium.  After creation, these miniature gardens bring life to any room or work space, and they are EXTREMELY low maintenance.  We were hesitant before buying our own garden because we managed to kill a succulent once, but the care instructions for air plants are so straight forward, (submerge the plant root in water for 10 minutes once a week), it would be impossible to mess up.  Air plants are extremely popular right now because they can live in any environment, (this means, seaside, too).  They do not require rooting soil and thrive in indirect sunlight.

To create our own nautical scene, we had a great time choosing our plants and decorations a la carte, including geodes, moss, and pebbles to add dimension. For those who are unable to visit the shop or prefer a more straightforward design the Maker’s Kit packages contain all the essential decorative items you need for your own miniature garden.

Lastly, to tie everything together, we selected Cavallini’s Hemisphere Map Wrapping Paper with hemp cord to set the stage for the gift, (this paper is even featured in our greeting card).  And, for a lasting memory of a special day, our Father’s Day greeting card can be framed!  Your sweet sentiments will be forever remembered with a sea-side scene.

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All Cakes Are Dog Cakes

Creating custom cards is one my favorite parts of my business.  While the process is a several hour commitment per card, it allows me to explore different techniques and combinations of colors/designs that I may not have tried on my own.  I feel like a kind in a candy store – except my materials are not edible.

My latest custom card adventure was one that tugged at my heartstrings.  My task was to incorporate a family dog into a 60th birthday card.  Seriously the best. Dogs and cake?  Two of my favorite things.  On a personal note I just learned that my birthday present from my boyfriend is going to be a puppy!!!!  (Be prepared for a bounty of puppy pictures).  While I accidentally spoiled the surprise, it didn’t make me any less excited.  With this fresh inspiration I worked on transforming Boomer the Lab into a birthday keepsake.

I received a few photos of Boomer and a note that he was the best dog ever, (aren’t all dogs the best ever?)  I was particularly struck by how doughy and expressive his eyes are; it’s like you can feel him bearing all of his love into your soul with even the quickest of glances.  Boomer also loves people food – especially cake.  I had a vision of a missing cake and a guilty Boomer and went to work.

To get an accurate graphic of Boomer I did a freehand vector sketch.  Because he has so many different shades I chose to focus on a few of the most significant highlights.

While I had a few photos of Boomer I used this as my main inspiration:

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Seriously – look at those eyes!

After doing the initial sketch I colored each space so that I would have a better idea of what color paper to cut for each area, resized the image to fit a 5″ x 7″ card, and chose an appropriate font.  To help tell the story of Boomer eating a cake, I added a few features that were otherwise absent from his portrait.  While his nozzle takes up a larger area on his face, I reduced the size to make room for more animated features.

 

One of the more unique challenges in this card was choosing paper that had a subtle difference in shade.  Like any color, black has varying tones.  For the main body I chose a darker black with a velvet texture and used a smooth black paper with an inky color for the black highlights.  I repeated the gray and black motif with an abstract monotone mat and used red, coral, and turquoise to bring vibrancy back into the card.  In the end, this was the final product:

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Boomer vs Birthday Cake

To fill the void until I have my adopted pup snuggled on my lap I might just have to keep making pet cards and live vicariously through photos.  Do you have a dog?  What is the cutest thing that they do?  Actually, maybe don’t share.  I might just melt into a puddle from the cuteness.

For more information on custom cards send me an email at: info@cecilespaperco.com

 

Going Full-Time Business Woman

What a whirlwind these last few months have been.  I have been noticeably absent from this blog for longer than I would care to admit, (but there is a digital trace if you are inclined to know the exact amount of time).  However – it is for good reason!  Since November when I had the foggiest notion that I was going to start a business I have allowed myself the opportunity to figure out an actual business plan.  It is fine and dandy to say “I am going to sell greeting cards,” but what does that actually mean?  Who is going to buy them?  How am I going to market them?  What is my cost and what can I sell them for?  These are by no means exclusive questions: every business person ever has had to confront these head on.  While I am still learning the answers I have made at least one lap around the track.  I am returning to my blog as I thought it an appropriate time to update the listening world on my progress before I started the next go-around.

Last we spoke, (don’t we sound like old friends catching up over coffee?), I had started a part-time job at a stationary store and quit my full-time job as an Event Manager.  Because I apparently like to make dramatic life changes right before my birthday, my last day at my part-time job is Friday.  This means that I will be a full-time business woman before I fall into the ugly side of my twenties.  I don’t know the exact moment that birthdays stopped being fun, but I am pretty sure it was at 22.

I will never fail to be grateful for the safe space I had to take time and figure out my plan.  Working at the stationary store inspired, guided, and informed my path.  While the income was small and I am oh so tempted to hold tight, my boyfriend made a brilliant point that I need to have a fire under my ass to really get things going.  Nothing says “terrifying” like no guaranteed income.  Besides lighting the fire, I have come to realize I need all of my time to make this work.  I can no longer sit in the comfort of: when I get this done I will do that.  The moment is do or die.  If my business is going to succeed it is because I will take out the “when” and make it “now.”

So what is to come?

In the past few months I have been working on designing and producing inventory.  Next up is publishing my website, which I am looking to launch the last week of April, (same time my business cards come in!)  After that, or concurrently, is client outreach for invitations.  And during this time and always, I will be designing, producing, learning, changing, evolving.

I know I am doing something right.  Every day I wake up inspired and excited.  Facing the unknown is of course terrifying, but so was driving on the freeway when I was 16.  Now I drive on the freeway without thought and I know that the fear of going out on my own will abate as I continue to practice embracing it.  If there’s something that birthdays are good for it is looking at the luggage of your past years and unpacking the content into your soul.  I don’t have to be afraid of change because I face change every day, and survive.  I don’t have to be afraid of failure because the times I slipped I always got up.  With this freshness I approach year 26 and a brand new adventure.

Speaking of birthdays, I am excited to present a card that will be available through my regular inventory: Let Them Eat Cake.  Perfect for a birthday, high tea invitation, or your favorite Marie Antoinette wannabe, this card is now available on my limited Etsy site!

 

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Let Them Eat Cake

A Very Jew-ish Christmas Eve

I have been absent from this blog as I have been working on a self-appointed challenge to create 12 cards for the month of December and start up an Instagram account (@cecilespaperco for any who are mobile).  The process has been a great learning experience and has encouraged me to seek and create creative content.  While I have a long way to go, I am more inspired by the challenges presented rather than discouraged.  Right now I have a lot that I am working on, but I would still like to link this blog to my process and journey.  Additionally, I am hoping to use this blog as an outlet for compilations of writings – a sort of collection or anthology. To begin that segment, I revamped a story I wrote a few years ago about how my family celebrates Christmas Eve. As tonight is Christmas Eve, I thought it was a very appropriate and celebratory homage.

Enjoy!

In such a tumultuous world there are very few constants from which we can take comfort and rely upon.   Though subtle, we can expect that the sun will rise and set each day, that Rush Hour will continue to be miserable, that Justin Beiber will inevitably do something boneheaded despite a huge PR overhaul, and, if you are not Christian and living in the US or surrounding territories, that Christmas Eve will be without a doubt the most unremarkable and boring night of the 365 calendar year.  Every December a small but resilient portion of the population prepares to tucker into mind-numbing idleness.  My family, who is at best “Jew-ish,” heaves a deep sigh as the clock changes the day from December 23 to December 24 as we anticipate the never-ending evening ahead.  For years, I have been asked what it is that we actually do.  Truth is, I am not sure that we know.  There is a really hazy fog that presides over the memory of most of my 25 Christmas Eves.  To ebb the flow of questions I actually decided to record this year’s activities for all of posterity.  In return, perhaps someone can explain to me why fruit cakes are still actually a thing?

The beginning of Christmas Eve is officially dubbed at 5 o’clock; this is when everything closes. Excluding of course Chinese restaurants and the occasional and abusive fast food chain that pays their workers a whopping $12.50 an hour to feed the poor, hungry unorthodox. Usually, the virtually non-existent Jewish community of Newbury Park find themselves at a Ming’s Dynasty for a quality Christmas Dinner.  Naturally, my family doesn’t like Chinese food, (that would be too easy), so we are at the mercy of whatever fine dining institution will take us. This year we were fortunate enough to stumble across an open Baja Fresh. Though not our first choice, we accepted. Strangely enough the only other place that showed no signs of closing was GNC, you know, in case someone was in dire need of their Muscle Milk because the eggnog wasn’t quite cutting it.

My dad and I entered Baja Fresh to find two other equally disheveled and pathetic groups.  Nobody gave us weird glances for eating fast food on Christmas Eve, they were just like us: out of place and disappointed by the dismal selection of food or entertainment.   After picking up our feast we drove the eerily emptying road and ate with the remainder of the family.  I could tell we were already over the evening.  We aren’t keen to Baja Fresh and my lackluster quesadilla was more tortilla than cheese.

But I am not one to be so easily defeated.  If nothing, I am passionate about emulating the Holiday Spirit I know must exist somewhere.  So this year I had something up my sleeve and announced to the family that we would be making Gingerbread Houses.  Somehow, everyone decided to participate, (I am surmising that this is due to a serious lack of other options).  

On the kitchen island I laid out all of the materials we might need: a cardboard box base, royal icing, graham crackers, and an assortment of boxed candies for decoration.  Having never done this before and not having the foresight to refer to Pinterest, we were shooting in the dark as we set up the base for the first ever Lipthay Manor created by edible materials.  We should have foreseen the doom of our project when our house structure began to take on complicated forms and would not support a roof. After 30 minutes of fruitless rearranging and uncomfortably sticky hands, we decided to go for an individual attempt. And then we started dropping like flies.

My youngest brother Tanner was first.  His attempt at a 2 storied square house with no roof hardly made the cut. When it finally stabilized, the decorations fell right off, leaving poor Tanner with a stack of organized crackers decorated with a smudge of frosting and a stale Gobstopper.  Some might call this a failure.  I deem it a success for the actual attempt.

My dad was next. He gets credit for the most unique design and ambitious attempt. Unfortunately, his design most closely represented a sweat shop instead of a magical gingerbread house. Constructed with no windows or doors, the building featured a cross-hatched balcony made out of licorice. With what can only be described as “a pathway to hell,” my dad’s yellow brick road leading to the building was constructed from yellow Skittles and marshmallows that weren’t even frosted to the preparatory board. 10 points for originality, negative 10 points for the sweat shop design, 5 points for the licorice lattice.

I was the third to drop.  My house, adorable from afar, looked like the Candyland board game and a ravage tribe of unicorns waged war against my decorations, and won.  I didn’t know that this could be possible, but it was almost too colorful.  All the same, I grant myself 10 points for being awesome and inspiring this activity.

My mom was the last to finish.  She insisted her house was the best because it was the only house to include an opening for the door, but I disputed the proportions as the door was the actual size of the graham cracker walls.  I pity my poor mother; she became a slave to her edible creation.  Towards the end of the construction she started twitching and mumbling about a deficiency in green M&Ms.  I would have suggested that she borrow some Skittles from my dad’s board, but I was more interested in watching the result of what was certainly the most amusing train wreck of the evening.   

My other brother was wise enough to jump ship after the manor attempt, sat on the couch, plucked at his guitar, and laughed at our misfortunes as they occurred.  

That whole series took about an hour.   The time is 7:30 and now we have a line of 4 houses that we have no idea what to do with.  I suppose we will dispose of them tomorrow.  I considered trying to eat mine but the quasi-quesadilla and the half a tub of icing that I ate during the construction process told my stomach otherwise.

And that, my dear friends, is a glimpse into a Jew-ish Christmas Eve. Now we are probably going to pace the floor and make faces at each other until we pass out.  We would stare at the TV but unfortunately “It’s a Wonderful Life” is playing on repeat on every channel except ABC who went out on a limb this and decided to play “The Chronicles of Narnia.” And, in even our most desperate boredom, there can be no worse fate than watching either of those movies.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone 🙂 I would love to hear your adventures for the night.