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Behind The Scenes, Celebrate!, Office Life, Party

Office Life: An Ice Cream Social in 5 Easy Steps

1.19.2017

When throwing an office party it’s always important to make sure you’re sensitive to everyone likes and dislikes. Fortunately, one thing everyone at Elum can rally behind is ice-cream. So, for our last office-wide birthday celebration we threw a killer potluck style office ice cream social, and it was a total hit! If you want to be an office hero gather up a few of your favorite co-workers and follow these 5 easy steps to throwing your very own potluck office ice cream social!

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialStep 1:  Prep & Plan

The first order of business is getting everyone to sign up for the potluck. Elum picked up the tab for all of the basics: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and dairy free ice cream, plus all the bowls, spoons, cups, straws and cones. We asked everyone else in the office to bring in their favorite ice cream topping to share. We used this adorable sign-up sheet to make sure we didn’t get duplicates. We do birthday celebrations in our office on the first Friday of every month, if you don’t have a set celebration date, pick one and send a quick “Save the Date” email to everyone in your office with a note about where the sign-up sheet is located. It’s usually a good idea to give everyone a deadline to sign up so you can make sure that nothing important is missing from your line-up (because let’s face it, an ice cream sundae without rainbow sprinkles basically wouldn’t even taste good.) We sent ours two weeks in advance of the party to give everyone plenty of time to swoop up their toppings and not leave any room for short notice excuses.

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialIf you need some inspiration for good ice cream toppings here’s a list of all of ours:

  • cherries
  • nuts
  • trail mix
  • coconut flakes
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • gummy bears
  • Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hershey Cookies & Cream Drops
  • Hard Root beer
  • Stout Beer
  • Chocolate Magic Shell
  • sprinkles
  • hot fudge
  • hot caramel
  • brownies
  • M & M’s
  • banana chips
  • graham crackers

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialStep 2:  Assign Extra Tasks 

We always tend to go a bit overboard with the party details, you can do as much or a little as you’d like as far as extras. We had several people on our team volunteer to help out with the party so we went all out. We had a little pow-wow about the extra special things we wanted to do and assigned out those tasks so that no one got stuck doing all the heavy lifting. In our case we put up a photo booth wall using rolled gift wrap as the backdrop and made photo booth props. If you don’t have anyone crafty on your team or just don’t have the time you can also buy props on etsy. The Elum crew also made a bunch of party decorations like ice cream cone garland, mini party hats and ingredient markers for the toppings table. We met up about the party extras about a week before the party date to give everyone plenty of time to get crafty.

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialStep 3: Decorate

We decorated our space the day before the actual party, if that’s not an option for you, make sure everyone drops off their decor contributions the day before the party so you don’t have to hunt people down before the party starts.

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialStep 4: Setup Ingredients

When the date of your party finally arrives and it’s time to start setting up the topping bar, have a location in mind where everyone can drop off their toppings. We bought little plastic bowls and jars for each topping, asked everyone to fill up a jar or bowl with their contribution. As a cute way to label each treat, we asked everyone to write the name of what they brought on a plastic spoon and to stick it in the bowl or jar containing their topping. This was really helpful, since the spoons did double duty as serving utensils and decorative labels for our toppings! About 10 minutes before our start time we set up an ice bucket for items we wanted to keep chilled– like whipped cream and soda & beer for floats– and a bowl of hot water to keep hot fudge and other warm toppings at a good temperature. The ice cream came out of the freezer just a few minutes before the party started.

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream SocialStep 5: YUM!

Perhaps the most important part of all of this is watching the joy on everyone’s face as they craft their very own sundae masterpieces.

Office Life: 5 Steps to a Potluck Office Ice Cream Social

Looking for more office party inspiration? Stay tuned to the Elum blog as we share more tips, tricks and DIYs for throwing the best office parties ever!

What’s the best office party you’ve ever been to? Share you stories in the comments below.

 

Behind The Scenes, Latest Products, Letterpress

13 New Ways to Tell Someone You Love Them

1.13.2017

We’ve got a brand new batch of loving letterpress Valentine’s Day cards that have just joined the Elum line. From heartfelt sentiments for your friends to showing off your fanciest pair of granny panties, we’ve got something for everyone.

Check our our latest creations below and learn about some of the inspiration behind the new designs.

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“This design is a play off of a classic Valentine’s Day card, a minimal all over iconic pattern and two colors of foil on black paper give a really traditional message and iconography a trendy modern twist.” –Samantha K., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“When my boyfriend and I met we really connected on our shared passion for adventuring. We do a lot of traveling and are pretty outdoorsy but more importantly we appreciate all of the normal, everyday adventures that we get to share in our day to day lives.”  –Shana F., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“When I was designing this card I was thinking of perfect pairings. In my mind no two flavors go together better than wine and cheese. I am not a big romantic so  I will definitely sign my name under Cheese but I do think we all should treat our lovers like the fanciest bottle of Wine – cherish every moment we spend together.” –Olga G., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“Netflix & Chill! Just kidding….this card was actually inspired by the message of another Elum card called “Lazy Sunday.” The message from that card, “Some of the Best Times of My Life Have Been Spent Doing Absolutely Nothing With You,” has always resonated with me because sometimes it’s the simpler, quieter moments that I cherish the most. “Lazy Days” is tailored to the person who knows that the bond created by a good movie night on the couch is a truly special one.” –Shannon L., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Card from Elum

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“I’m a crazy cat lady so this card was inspired by my real life desire to always be surrounded by a million cats, and of course my cat, Ramona.” –Shana F., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“I just illustrated the scientific facts.” –Shana F., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“I have a friend who always tells her favorite people that she “loves their guts.” I’m  obsessed with that sentiment because it’s all about literally loving someone inside out, even the gross parts. It feels so genuine.” –Shana F., Designer

13 New Lettepress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“I originally started with the inside message of this card “You’re Such a Treat” and was going to pair it with illustrations of various sweets. But when I started drawing, I got stuck on a doodle of a S’more and decided to run with it. The end result was this punny little Valentine’s card.” –Shannon L., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Dat Cards from Elum“This design was inspired by visits to my best friend’s home. She houses a collection of plants that create a cozy and inviting ambiance. Whenever I see a row of potted plants I think of her and our times together laughing on the couch surrounded by her indoor garden.” –Ali K., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Cards from Elum“Because we all know that when you’ve been with someone for so long this is the fancy pair!” –Samantha K., Designer

13 New Letterpress Valentine's Day Greeting Cards From Elum

What’s the all-time best way someone has said “I Love You” to you? Tell us in the comments below and give us some inspiration for our next line of love cards!

Office Life

Tech Refresh: Reverie Collection Wallpapers

9.06.2016

Tech Refresh: Reverie Wallpapers

The Reverie Collection is all about creating a new visual landscape for your workspace, and that landscape wouldn’t be complete without the opportunity to do a full tech refresh by adding free downloadable desktop & phone wallpapers. These wallpapers were designed in complimentary patterns to those of the Reverie Collection products to truly round out your workspace transformation.

Using them is simple.

1.) Click the image below to open the wallpaper in a new tab

2.) Right click on the image once it opens and select “Use as Desktop Image”

VIOLA! Beautiful new desktop wallpaper.

Tech Refresh: Free Desktop Wallpaper

Tech Refresh: Free Desktop Wallpaper Tech Refresh: Free Desktop Wallpaper Tech Refresh: Free Desktop Wallpaper Tech Refresh: Free Desktop Wallpaper

You can also use them as phone backgrounds:

1.) Touch to open the image in a new tab

2.) Save the image to your camera roll

3.) View the image in your camera roll and select “Use as Wallpaper”

Tech Refresh: Free Phone Wallpaper

Check back again at the beginning of next month for more fun freebie’s from Elum!

Be Inspired, Behind The Scenes, Everything Else, Latest Products, Office Life

Office Life: Elum Painting Party

8.30.2016

Office Life : Elum Paint Party
We’re a versatile bunch here at Elum. Our extraordinary design team is assembled from all sorts of artistic backgrounds.  We are graphic designers, illustrators, painters, photographers, fine artists, and textile designers. Even though we come from different formal training, two things are absolutely true about every member of this team:

#1- We love to try new things.

#2- We like to party.

A few weeks ago one of our favorite clients asked us to create a hand-painted collection for their next line of desk & stationery products. Even though it’s not something we’ve done in the past we jumped at the opportunity. First we had a team brainstorm to narrow down painting techniques we wanted to execute.  Then, we organized a painting party complete with smocks,  new paints , fresh brushes and our favorite 90’s pop music playlist.

Office Life: Elum Paint Party
The final result is truly a thing of beauty. Because of our different backgrounds each member contributed something unique to the collaboration. As a result, we achieved a perfect combination of  artistic textured brush strokes, delicate watercolor washes and graphic stippling and stripes.

Office Life: Elum Paint Party
The collection continues to come together beautifully. Check back for more progress updates and info on when it will hit stores. If you can’t wait for the new collection you can buy our Reverie Desk & Stationery Collection right now at elumdesigns.com or head over to papyrusonline.com to check out the Bijou Collection, designed by Elum exclusively for Paper Destiny.

Be Inspired, Behind The Scenes, Everything Else, Press

Elum is up for 7 Louie Awards (AGAIN!)

4.25.2016

Elum Louie Award Greeting Card NominationsWe’ve heard the old adage “Lucky Number 7” but for Elum it seems to be the luckiest number. For the second year in a row Elum has been nominated for SEVEN Louie Awards. Honestly, we’re so excited it’s impressive we were able to stop high-fiving long enough to get this blog post written. Without further ado, our 7 Louie Award nominations are:

Elum Louie Award Greeting Card Nominations
No 1: If Memory Serves

Back in her college days while “under the influence” someone asked our founder, Melissa, a question to which she looked at them and said, “If memory serves me correctly, I have absolutely no idea.” It got a huge laugh and led her to this hilarious card concept all these years later.

No 2: Nap Hard

We all want to go big for birthdays, but let’s get real, life is tiring.  Inspired by the “work hard, play hard, nap hard” mantra, this card was written for the girl knows a good party needs a good pre-game nap. The combination of witty messaging and extra celebratory confetti  make this card a winner in our eyes and our staff pick favorite!
Elum Louie Award Greeting Card Nominations

No 3: Priceless Torah

Bar Mitzvah cards are usually very serious. This card takes a more light-hearted approach with a playful design and humorous message. It was created to have a hand-drawn feel and ended up with a fun & unexpected dramatic comic book vibe.

No 4: Life is

Sometimes life is super amazing but sometimes life just feels like it’s totally against you. When kind words and motivational quotes fail, this card tells it like it is, with a candor that will hopefully make someone smile during a tough time. We hand lettered the message to give the card a more personal feel and used subtle colors with just enough punch to let the recipient know you are right there with them when life gets tough.

Elum Louie Award Greeting Card Nominations

No 5: Our Gnome

We know how to appreciate a good pun, which makes this card another Elum staff favorite. This sweet & silly letterpress holiday card features adorable gnomes with over exaggerated hats in a cheerful forest scene inspired by Scandinavian design aesthetic.

No 6: Rainbow Cake

Designing our same sex wedding card collection was one of our favorite projects of all time. We wanted to incorporate the rainbow, a symbol of diversity and pride amongst the LGBTQ community, and the traditional wedding cake revealing the colorful layers. It seemed like the perfect celebratory symbol of marriage equality.

Elum Louie Award Greeting Card Nominations
No 7: Everything Fluffy

We think this card pretty much sums up how every little girl feels on her birthday.  Melissa took herself back to childhood days, remembering that “magically dreamy birthday girl feeling” to come up with this message. The cotton candy hair do is the pretty much the epitome of every little girls fantasy.

Obviously we think they’re all winners but do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check back soon to find out which awards we come home with and be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram for up to date news and info from Elum!

 

 

Be Inspired, Behind The Scenes, Everything Else, Latest Products, Press

Introducing the Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection

4.11.2016

It may seem like we’ve been quiet here at Elum but behind the scenes we’ve been working harder than ever. Our team of uber-talented designers was asked to create a line of stationery & desk products for Paper Destiny,  to be sold exclusively at Papyrus stores, and of course we jumped at this amazing opportunity. We couldn’t be more excited to finally announce the arrival of the new Bijou Desk and Stationery Collection, available now at Papyrus.

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]The Bijou Collection[/typography]

We were inspired to create a line of products that exudes confidence but has romantic and feminine touches that bring the elements of hard and soft together seamlessly. Multi-colored designs use bold color blocking in coral, pink grapefruit, lagoon, and striking black to drive the color story. A touch of white oak wood veneer provides and unexpected natural element. Warm gold foil adds a subtle elegance and the hand brushed typestyle fashionably finishes out the collection. The name Bijou felt like the perfect fit, with every item being an elegant little jewel for your workspace.

The Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]Gilded Notecards, Tres Important Square Notepad, 3 Pack Paper Journals[/typography]

Products like the luxe ultra-thick Edge Painted Note Boards, cleverly called a “vintage text message”, are one-of-a-kind additions to the Bijou collection. Foil stamped on 1/16″ thick soft-textured stock and carefully edge painted by hand, no other products on the market can compare to their quality and design. (pictured below)

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]Edge Painted Note Boards[/typography]

Every detail has been thoughtfully crafted, like the artful coptic stitch binding on the Exposed Bound Journal, filled with soft cottony sketch paper that you can’t help but run your fingers over with every turn of the page. Once you make it through your first volume you can head back to Papyrus stores, where this product will be a staple of their stationery department and we will continue to add new beautiful designs. (pictured below) 

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]Exposed Bound Journals[/typography]

The Bijou collection is elevated beyond an ordinary stationery line in both quality and design, with the addition of several new unique products. We adore this line so much it’s hard for us to pick favorites but the 3-dimensional Topographic Notepad that mimics map topography (pictured below) and the  Macaron Erasers, inspired by our favorite Parisian treat and finished with a delicate gold bow definitely rise to the top of our must-have list.  With 41 pieces in all, it’s easy to mix and match to find the perfect combination of beautiful office gems.

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]File Folders, Topographic Notepad, Gilded Notecards, Exposed Bound Journal[/typography]

Of course, true to Elum’s roots in creating the highest quality letterpress cards & invitations, the Bijou collection includes six exclusive letterpress & foil stamped box notes, proudly designed and printed at our studio in San Diego, CA. (pictured below)

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]Letterpress and foil stamped box notes[/typography]

This collection will create a truly chic workspace in any home or office or make an unforgettable gift.

Bijou Desk & Stationery Collection[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”10″ size_format=”px” color=”#a3a3a3″]The Bijou Collection[/typography]

The Bijou Collection is now available for a limited time, only at Papyrus stores or at http://www.papyrusonline.com/

We’re absolutely in love with the new collection, let us know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to connect with us on Instagram & Facebook to get up to date information about what’s coming next from Elum, new product releases,  promotions and more. Check back soon to get a sneak peek of the Elum Desk & Stationery Collection, coming in July!

Be Inspired, Behind The Scenes, Latest Products

Celebrating Love in All the Ways It Manifests

4.28.2014

Boy In a Fairy Tale

Today we received a letter in the mail that touched our hearts and felt that we must share.  Here at Elum are proud and excited to be a part of this revolution and love to hear from those who share our sentiments and how stationery and letterpress can still touch our hearts.

Gloria writes:

“Dear Clever Team of Elum Designs, Around Valentine’s Day I found a card, Boy in a Fairytale No. GC683. I cried. I don’t usually cry over paper. I love paper. I love stationery and pens, good design and thoughtful ideas. I also love and adore my husband. We have a lovely marriage and are a lovely heterosexual couple. We have gay friends. Our gay friends are getting married in May and finding a card to congratulate them on the engagement has been… difficult. I was going to make something and as I was just resigned to the task I found your card. ‘Once upon a time there was a Boy who fell in love with a Boy and their fairy tale lasted a lifetime.’ I got all misty. 

photo We live in a time where daily I argue that gays, or people who love or are attracted to someone of the same sex, deserve all the same rights and privileges as someone like me. I argue that “tolerance” is not acceptable, that we need to realize and celebrate that love comes in many ways and we are better for it… we shouldn’t just be “tolerant” of love. It is exhausting and often makes me sad that many folks still don’t “get it.” But YOU!!! YOU GET IT!!! You get it and you designed an absolutely lovely card that I was so proud to buy. I felt I was doing my civic duty and
forwarding a cause close to my heart. And really, I just wanted to congratulate Brad and Alejandro on their coming wedding. They
are the sweetest couple and my husband and I so enjoy their friendship. Thank you for your work. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and open hearts. Thank you for making Brad & Alejandro feel just like every other normal engaged couple. Thank you for celebrating love in all the ways it manifests. I plan on being a frequent customer for sure! May your kindness, generosity and good sense inspire more folks.

With a thankful heart, Gloria”

Our hope is that we can bring a little joy and love to everyone. With our new releases, we’d like to show that here at Elum, we celebrate love in all its forms. Its the little things like hand written letters that inspire and motivate us daily.  Handwritten notes are always welcomed and we encourage you to keep this beautiful tradition alive.

Behind The Scenes, Everything Else, Latest Products

The Art of the Written Thank You

10.07.2013

my_first_Thank_You

Now that school is back in session I am reminded that the life of a parent is busier not just during the week, but all weekend long. The reason? BIRTHDAY PARTIES. The onslaught of invitations to these precious events has prompted me to write this post for a product that is not only near and dear to my heart, but one that I think parents (OK mostly moms) would benefit from immensely. I know I did. This is the story of the creation of “My First Thank You Notes.” These awesome kits are my personal attempt to keep the art of the written thank you note alive!

my_first_Thank_You_bg
Growing up I was taught that you always wrote a thank you note for any gift. In fact, I remember not even calling my grandmother to thank her for the twenty bucks, but immediately sitting down to draft her a written thank you note. But Noni was ALWAYS sending us twenty-dollar bills, even on St. Patrick’s Day! So that meant I had to get creative. I remember developing a systematic and foolproof method for thank you note writing. I never actually thought that I would have a use for this until it came time for me to instill the “art of thank you note writing” in my own children, hence preserving the good manners my own mother tried so desperately to grace us with.

[box]GROWING UP I WAS TAUGHT THAT YOU [highlight]ALWAYS WROTE A THANK YOU NOTE FOR ANY GIFT.[/highlight] IN FACT, I REMEMBER NOT EVEN CALLING MY GRANDMOTHER TO THANK HER FOR THE TWENTY BUCKS BUT IMMEDIATELY SITTING DOWN TO DRAFT HER A WRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE.[/box]

uma1So it all started when my daughter, Uma, was in Kindergarten and she was writing thank you notes for her birthday gifts. As any mom these days knows, one is pretty much commanded by politically correct standards to invite every student in the class to the party, so in this case that meant 16 thank you notes. . . all hand written. . . by a five-year old. Needless to say, that took some time, about 2 weeks from what I recall; roughly one per day. It also took some serious effort and determination from both my daughter AND me. My First Thank You NoteI began by drafting a fill-in style version of the thank you note, a cheat sheet so to speak, that my daughter could use. She copied the words on the card and when she got to the line left blank, we filled in the specific name, gift, etc. for each card.

The day that poor kid finished drafting her last thank you note, it sparked a whole plethora of emotions, but mostly pride in my daughter and motivation to make a product that would mean WE NEVER had to go through THAT again.  The next day, I began the conception our My First Thank You Note card kits. I loved the idea for the fill-in note cards only slightly fill in photomore than I loved the idea of doing my part in society to keep the art of the written thank you note alive for future generations!

BELOW ARE MY RULES FOR THANK YOU NOTE WRITING, each of which has been incorporated into these totally awesome modern thank you cards for kids. And even cooler (OK, not a word but just go with it), Uma got to put her own artwork and handwriting on the back of the box.  She thinks she’s famous now. And in my eyes, she’s right.

Most Sincerely,
Melissa Foster
Founder

 

 ThankYouTab

Behind The Scenes, Everything Else, Press

2013 Louie Award Winners

5.31.2013

It is with utter elation that we announce Elum was named winner of two awards at this year’s 25th Anniversary Louie Awards, the stationery industry’s highest honor. Our “Sweet Shoppe” couture wedding invitation suite was the winner in the Wedding Invitation category and our Pop-Out 3D Menorah Holiday card won in the Religious Celebrations category. To be acknowledged for all of the obsessing that transpired over these designs (and trust us, it was boatloads) has given us a motivating boost to continue doing what we love. We were especially humbled to have been selected since our incredibly talented peers submitted such inspiring and outstanding work in these same categories.

We also want to take this opportunity to express how important the National Stationery Show is to our company. We cherish the relationships we have formed with our retailers and custom dealers and we want to give a personal thank you to all of you who continue to support us year after year (thank you!). The National Stationery Show is not only a place to showcase our products, but it’s a forum to continue to build lasting partnerships with other fellow colleagues in the industry. We look forward to seeing you ALL again next year!
Louie Awards

1. Sweet Shoppe wedding invitation || Elum
2. left to right: Amy Kreft Green (Art Director, Elum) | Melissa Foster (Creative Director/President, Elum) | Victoria Ricci (Graphic Designer, Elum)
3. Sweet Shoppe wedding invitation, reception card || Elum
4. Pop-Out 3D Menorah Holiday Card || Elum