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Round Up: 2020 Q1 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

Alyssa Nguyen


Round Up: 2020 Q1 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

WE’RE SO EXCITED TO SHARE OUR BOOK CLUB PICKS FOR THE NEW YEAR!

IF YOU’RE NEW AROUND HERE, HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WITH OUR BOOK CLUB:

  1. We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  2. Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm.

  3. Book club members are encouraged to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine- you guys voted for snacks + wine :)

  4. Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!

  5. We’re committed to making this year the best year yet for book club- and are asking you to join us. Make reading a part of your routine, carve out that one time a month to join us in our studio, better yet, invite a friend to join us. Book club is meant to keep us connected in this busy, busy world!

You can RSVP via our FB page so we can get a heads up of how many of ya’ll to expect ;)


Photo Nov 11, 1 40 46 PM.jpg

JANUARY’S BOOK:

More Than Enough by Miranda Anderson

JANUARY’S MEETING:

Wednesday, January 30th 6pm-7:15pm

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FEBRUARY’S BOOK:

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

FEBRUARY’S MEETING:

Wednesday, February 26th 6pm-7:15pm

MARCH’S BOOK:

The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking

MARCH’S MEETING:

Wednesday, March 25th 6pm-7:15pm

D.I.Y.: Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments

Alyssa Nguyen


D.I.Y.: Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments

Hey friends!

With this chilling cold front, we’re now officially in the holiday spirit! We whipped up these seriously easy D.I.Y. ornaments that literally just take 5 simple steps to complete. These look particularly adorable as wrapping or gifting accents, and would even look so cute in a large glass jar in your home.

We love that you can personalize it by choosing your own color palettes too! p.s. Metallics look extra festive so be sure to get some metallic paints for this project ;)

D.I.Y. HANDMADE HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS

PROJECT TIME: 10-15 MINS

MATERIALS

  • Shatterproof Ornaments
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Scissors

D.I.Y. HANDMADE HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Uncap the ornaments by removing the prongs + cap.

2. Add in 2-3 colors of paint right into the ornament bulb. *Pro-tip: you will want to add more paint than you think you’ll need to be sure there’s enough to swirl around + coat the interior of the ornament!

3. Swirl around and watch the colors blend and marble together!

4. Leave upside down to drain out excess paint.

5. Let dry over night before adding the cap back on + adding twine to your ornaments! *Pro- tip: Use an egg carton or crate to hold your ornaments to dry up right over night!

IF YOU TRY OUT THIS D.I.Y., LET US KNOW HOW IT WORKED FOR YOU! TAG US IN PICTURES ON INSTAGRAM @THEPAPERCRAFTPANTRY BECAUSE WE’D LOVE TO SEE HOW YOUR ORNAMENTS TURN OUT!

The Monthly Edit: November + December 2019

Alyssa Nguyen


The Monthly Edit: November + December 2019

Happy cold front everyone!

It was pretty crazy how the weather dropped from muggy + warm to frigid + wintery in a matter of hours (although it felt like minutes the other day!)

I’m combining Nov + Dec’s post for obvious reasons that the holiday season is just crazy for everyone and also because this baby could be here any day now! Ah! It’s been a whirlwind of a year and as we head into my personal favorite time of the year both personally and at the shop, it does make me a teeny bit sad that I physically will not be in the shop through this season. Honestly, I have fomo haha.

If you haven’t already been in the shop the past few months, you may haven noticed some new faces. We’ve grown our little team over the year and have an incredible group of girls who I cannot imagine not having as a part of the P+CP. Truly, without their support, stepping back from the shop would feel impossible and I’m so grateful for each of them.

The holiday season can bring out the best (and sometimes the worst, because it can be a stressful season!) So this is a disclaimer, I adore each of them and I will find you if you are mean or rude to any of them while I’m away ;)

Anyway, here’s a bunch of updates and recaps to end this year. The next time you hear from me on the blog for a monthly edit will likely include updates of a tiny human!


4TH BIRTHDAY PARTY RECAP

November 3rd

We celebrated our 4th anniversary with a birthday party on Sunday, November 3rd! We released our new winter P+CP collection including new stationery, tote, and candle scent! We also launched our customized stationery service in the shop!

Our early birds who waited in line over an hour before we opened got an amazing goody bag - including the option to customize stationery for themselves.

It was such a fun day and we loved seeing so many of you come celebrate with us!


EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR

Join us as we welcome 7 local artists into our studio for our this year's East Austin Studio Tour!

Weekend One (November 16 + 17)
Christy Beard - mixed media sculpture installation
Crystal Garcia - ceramics
Anna Muniz - watercolor

Weekend Two (November 23 + 27)
Diana Ascarrunz - photography
Kathy Phan - watercolor
Kirsten Saksa Juen - ceramics
Gabrielle Zandan - weavings


ALL WINTER WORKSHOPS ARE LIVE!

Don’t miss out on your last chance(s) to join us for some creative fun before 2019 is over! Grab your ticket and we’ll see you in the studio!


A LETTER TO YOU:

A new segment I’ve been wanting to introduce, a short + sweet story (anonymous of course) of a sweet guest interaction we’ve had in the shop. These small interactions and stories make small business ownership worth it.

We’ve had a sweet gal who has been coming into our shop ever since we were in our first location. She’s popped in regularly for many months picking up cards - and as we got to know her, we learned that she was writing a card to her fiancé and saving them for their wedding day. It made us so happy to hear she was literally writing him little love notes leading up to their big and special day.

The fact that we get to play a small role in y’alls lives truly is one of the biggest reason having a brick + mortar has been the best thing - as well as being able to continue to bring ya’ll the best stationery!


LIFE LATELY:

So I may have been a little unrealistic in thinking I was just going to work until the day the baby arrived. To be honest, a lot of this whole pregnancy has been a series of unexpected things happening! I’m now officially in week 37 and let me tell you, I have NO IDEA how some women are still smiling when they’re this far along. I have been so miserable, more than ever!

Sure I’ve been tired, my feet have hurt, back aches and other typical maladies that are to be expected - but in the past couple of weeks it just feels amplified. And it also seems like a cruel joke that you get no sleep once you have a new born but the weeks leading up to it you also get no sleep because finding a comfortable position to sleep at night is impossible! My newest symptom has been really bad carpal tunnel, mostly on my right hand which makes even typing difficult. I tried watering some of the plants in our green house with the garden hose and couldn’t grip the hose… the struggle is SO real.

After my doctor’s appointment last week where I got some not so fun news (nothing super serious but not something I feel like publicly sharing right now at least) it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to be more realistic on my expectations for myself in the next few weeks and into this new chapter. This meant swallowing my pride and asking for support + more help from the girls at the shop, even with Evan around the house. This also meant pulling out of this year’s EAST even though I’d been working on my art piece for several months. And the big change is that I am giving myself the deadline of now (like literally after I finish up this post) to officially not be working.

Taking the time to focus on myself, both mentally and physically needs to be a priority right now and as much as I don’t want to, I need to!

I am so grateful for the community that rallies around, supports and loves the P+CP! A lot of you have asked how you can support me/the P+CP and honestly the big thing is to continue loving on us as a small business through the next few months. Swing by even though I’m not there and say hi to the girls - they’re amazing and I would not be able to step back in the way I feel like I need to without each of them. Continue to tell your friends about our shop, visit us for Small Business Saturday, gift someone you love a workshop (or better yet yourself too!)

Don’t worry, I’ll still be “around” and will be popping in to update y’all on Instagram but I’ll likely see y’all sometime in the new year!

xoxo, Pei

The Monthly Edit: October 2019

Alyssa Nguyen


The Monthly Edit: October 2019

Hey paper people!

Hope you all are having an amazing October so far! Hard to believe we are already in the last week of the month, and once again it seems like I’m so behind on trying to get these monthly posts out on the first of each month haha. In my defense, I may or may not have had a little freak out moment on October 1st when it occurred to me how little time I had left before this baby arrives to get all the things I wanted done. Both on the personal/home front as well as for the shop. Plus I definitely had a week of first trimester EXHAUSTION where I basically was asleep for several days in a row. So perhaps what I am learning is to be okay with things being undone, or not done the exact way I want - but that’s just life too right?

In any case, I am one happy camper that the weather seems to have cooled off significantly and I think those 100+ degree days are over. I think everyone in Austin can agree we were all so over the extreme heat!

p.s. Sharing about the baby shower a sweet friend of mine hosted for me this last weekend in Life Lately so be sure to read through the end!

xo, Pei


A QUICK LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER:

1. Hosted a really fun and successful Plant Swap Party (something I hope will become an annual event that grows with our community!

2. Hosted our 82nd workshop + event of 2019. Literally looked through our studio calendar and counted out everything - sometimes it’s nice to take am moment to look back and be proud of what we accomplish as a small business :)

3. Worked on the final top secret details of our 4th birthday bash (more details in this post later!)


THINGS COMING UP:


FALL WORKSHOPS

Y’all know how quickly our workshops tend to fill up, so don’t say we didn’t warn ya! Our entire Fall workshop calendar is LIVE!

Don’t miss out on a chance to join us in our studio and get creative before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here. We can’t wait to have you!


FINALIZED OUR P+CP FALL + WINTER COLLECTION

Yep, maybe I’m crazy but we will be releasing 34 new product SKUS very soon! It’s been amazing how much you guys have loved our in-house line :)

SAVE OUR TOUR STOP NUMBER FOR EAST THIS YEAR!

We’re officially a part of the East Austin Studio Tour! And we’ll be featuring 8 local, women artists in our studio - 4 of each of the weekends!

WE’RE TURNING 4!

And we want to celebrate with Y-O-U!


LIFE LATELY:

Well….I’m officially 35 weeks this week and I have NO clue how time has gone by so fast. My mom has been in Singapore and she finally got back the end of last month - she’s been in town for a little over a week so far helping us with things around the house. And we also had a baby shower this weekend, so it’s been a busy, busy week around here. We’ve had a bunch of family and friends stay with us too so it’s been a little more hectic at home than usual. My mom and step dad plus their two dogs were here for a week, then he left with the dogs before my friend and her husband plus two kiddos came to stay with us. And then Evan’s mom came into town for the shower. Talk about FULL HOUSE haha

Like I said earlier I’m feeling a little stressed (to be perfectly honest) about how I’m supposed to get “everything” done. Also nervous about how I’m supposed to step back/away (even temporarily) from the business. And to top if off throw in the fact I don’t feel ready to be responsible for another life. Everyone says you’re never ready and you’ll figure it out so here’s to hoping they’re right!

Anyway, the baby shower was hosted by one of my dearest friend who planned it all from Houston. I was very anti-baby shower the whole time but she promised it would be low key, no weird baby shower games, and I did not want to sit around and open presents (idk why but that makes me super uncomfortable - so we waited to do that until after we got back to my house with just a few friends/my mom and Evan’s mom around)

I’m sharing bunch of photos from Saturday morning - it was seriously such a cute and sweet way to celebrate with close friends!


A FEW MORE QUESTIONS Y’ALL MIGHT HAVE:

How long do you plan to be on maternity for?

I don’t really have a set time frame honestly. From the time the baby arrives I anticipate it being a huge (and difficult) transition personally so I’ve been working really hard to get as much as I can done for the business so I can truly step away. Again, feeling super blessed to have some amazing gals on our team who I know will keep things running smoothly in my absence! I’m guessing I won’t be able to stay away for long and will likely still be working whenever I can/remotely and occasionally popping in when I can too. But I think it goes back to the fact that I’m really proud that over the years, I’ve worked really hard for this business that I feel confident it’s time that it can work for me while I go through this new chapter in life!

What else do you need to get done before the baby gets here (personally)?

We just got the baby room kinda put together and started doing a bunch of laundry. Tiny clothes and things are really cute you guys! There are still a few things on my to-do list at home that we’ve been slowly knocking out - my mom has been in town helping out and that’s been really nice. I know we are going to try to make some freezer meals for quick meals and mostly just making sure that we have someone to help care for the dogs once I go into labor until we get home!

What else do you need to get done before the baby gets here (for the shop)?

SO MUCH! haha I’m already squaring away our Q1 workshops and events so all that can go live while I’m away. I’ve done all my holiday + rest of 2019 buying which is terrifying because all small businesses know cash flow is a very real and scary thing. I still have so much fomo of not being here for the holiday season.

How are you feeling?

It changes day to day. Some days I feel good physically and mentally, some days I feel terrible. My physical symptoms change day-to-day and range from really bad joint and hip pain to heart burn. I’ve also got some kinda allergy + cold combo going on and that’s no fun at all!

I’m trying to focus on taking one day at a time and giving myself a lot of bandwidth to do things a little slower than I normally do. It’s really a struggle to not move and do things at a more efficient pace as someone who is a doer and go getter. I guess a part of this whole thing is learning to slow down and be okay with doing the best I can, knowing that there will be things left undone - and it’ll all still be okay. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!


BABY CASO BABY SHOWER!


SEE Y’ALL IN THE SHOP + STUDIO SOON!

Round Up: Q4 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

Alyssa Nguyen


Round Up: Q4 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

HAPPY OCTOBER!

WE CAN’T WAIT TO DIVE INTO OUR NEXT THREE BOOK PICKS OF THE YEAR. OCTOBER WILL BE OUR OFFICIAL LAST MEETING HERE IN THE STUDIO BUT WE HAVE BOOKS SELECTED THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR FOR US TO WRAP UP OUR 12 BOOKS OF 2019!

OUR OCTOBER MEETING WILL BE AN EXTRA SPECIAL MEETING AS WE’VE PARTNERED WITH AUSTIN WOMAN TO CO-HOST THIS EVENT. AND AS AN EXTRA TREAT, THE AUTHOR HERSELF WILL BE JOINING US AT THIS MEETING!

IF YOU’RE NEW AROUND HERE, HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WITH OUR BOOK CLUB:

  1. We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  2. Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm.

  3. Book club members are invited to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine- you guys voted for snacks + wine :)

  4. Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!

  5. We’re committed to making this year the best year yet for book club- and are asking you to join us. Make reading a part of your routine, carve out that one time a month to join us in our studio, better yet, invite a friend to join us. Book club is meant to keep us connected in this busy, busy world!

Q3 BOOKS

OCTOBER’S BOOK:

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

OCTOBER’S MEETING:

Wednesday, October 30th 6pm-7:15pm

*This will be our last meeting of the year so don’t miss out on joining us :)

NOVEMBER’S BOOK:

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

*We are not meeting for this book club read.

DECEMBER’S BOOK:

One Day In December by Josie Silver

*We are not meeting for this book club read.

Small Business School: Packaging for Retail

Alyssa Nguyen


Small Business School: Packaging for Retail

I’ve gotten a ton of questions over the years about having a stationery business. Having been on both sides of it as a stationery brand who wholesaled our own line, to a retail shop that wholesales from other stationery brands and now to juggling both - I do feel like although I may not know it all, I sure know a lot more than I did when I first started!

I’m sharing one of my product and packaging sources in this very post so definitely read through the end :)

There’s so much that goes into the thought process of just one single product. Beyond the actual product itself I think the most important component to a stellar product is of course the design, but also the packaging. I mean who isn’t a sucker for good packaging or at least something that is visually appealing. I am 100% guilty of gravitating towards a product in my personal life like these candles I saw online as well as when I’m making buying purchases for the shop. *I’d also like to acknowledge that there can be frivolous packaging that just adds to the trash pile and it’s really awesome to see smaller brands making efforts to minimize waste. Several brands have swapped over to compostable packaging etc.

So when I decided to relaunch a small in-house stationery line for the shop, I knew I wanted to keep things pretty minimal for the entire line. Down to the packaging - almost all of our packaging is eco-friendly and compostable. I wanted the product to be the main feature and focus, and the packaging to be secondary yet a priority was that it needed to also informative to a guest in our shop.

I took a cue from a system we put in place back in 2015 where we made stickers that read “I’M LOCAL” and “MADE IN TEXAS” that we put on all product that were made in Austin and in Texas respectively. This made the guest shopping experience so much easier because they could easily identify what was local and what was Texas made.

I opted for an inverted BW color for our logo on small .5” and 1” stickers for all our new product line packaging so it would be easily identifiable as a P+CP product. We use it for labeling on stationery as well as on our first ever signature candle scent! These are also the same quality as the sticker set and sheets we have in the shop and I can attest that they are waterproof, dishwasher safe, durable vinyl that many stationery designers actually use for their marketing/shipping as well as sticker products.

There may be a million things on your to-do list when it comes to small business, but I hope this provides you a little bit of resource because great packaging can look like a million bucks (without actually costing a million bucks :)

p.s. If you want to try out my sticker resource, Sticker Mule, here’s a link for some store credit :)