Meet Local Artist: Aria Paperie

OK Orange County, now it's time to meet the local artist who will be paying our Newport Beach store a visit next Saturday. Amanda, of Aria paper, creates hand lettered quotes on canvas, paper, tote bags, mugs, you name it! Read on to see how she got into this craft and what inspires her, and don't forget to come by the Newport Beach store on Feb 13th from 11-2 to catch a glimpse of some live work!

GARDENOLOGY: Tell us how your got started in Calligraphy?

AMANDA- ARIA PAPERIE: This past summer, I saw an announcement for a brush-lettering workshop on one of the Instagram accounts I follow. As someone who has always been artistic and worked hard to have nice penmanship, I would admire beautiful lettering from a distance, with no idea where to start. So I decided to attend the workshop. After the class, I found myself doing more research, buying pens, trying out new techniques, and following all the “best in the business” on social media. I spent all my free time practicing, and found as many excuses as possible to write things. I quickly found hand-lettering and modern calligraphy to be something I was very passionate about, and was surprised at how I never seemed to grow tired of it. It has now been 8 months since I first sat down with a brush pen, and my passion for it grows each day.

GARDENOLOGY: What would you say is the inspiration behind your designs? What does the creative process typically look like for you?

AMANDA- ARIA PAPERIE: Well written quotes, succinct phrases, and eloquent words are inspiring to me. When starting a new design, I always start with a pencil and paper. I may have an idea of what I’d like to do, but often, I just start writing words or phrases I have in mind. Many pages and eraser marks later, I end up with my finished product. 

GARDENOLOGY: What’s your studio space like?

AMANDA- ARIA PAPERIE: I spent a lot of time creating an inviting and inspiring studio space. It is located in a small corner of my home where there is plenty of light, and storage for my expansive stash of pens and ink.  

GARDENOLOGY: Of everything you’ve made, what’s your favorite piece?

AMANDA- ARIA PAPERIE: My favorite thing I have made is a toss up between my hand-lettered tote bag that says “I’ll be at Target if you need me”, and a black campfire mug that says “It is well”. The phrase for the tote bag was inspired by the countless hours I spend at Target each week, which I know is true for many other women. The coffee mug was inspired by lyrics to one of my favorite songs, and is soothing to read while sipping my own morning cup of coffee.

GARDENOLOGY: Since you are participating in our ‘Locals’ event, what are some of your faves in the Orange County area?

Tacos: Café Rio, Costa Mesa

Coffee: Chocxo, Costa Mesa and Irvine

Beach: Crescent Bay, Laguna

Brunch spot: Old Vine Cafe, Costa Mesa

In the Neighborhood: Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

With the foodie quotient on the rise in North County San Diego, we wanted to take you on a trip to one of our favorite local spots. Our Creative Director, Lili, first stumbled upon this place because of the unique name- The Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen- flying pigs having been strangely common in many of her hometown Cincinnati encounters. This particular pig is known for it’s fresh locally sourced ingredients without any pretentiousness, not that pigs are pretentious, but you know what we're getting at. Just a stone’s throw up the coast from Encinitas, we find ourselves at a little house on an unassuming side street in Oceanside.


The owners, Roddy and Aaron Browning, just happen to be North County locals, a husband and wife team to be exact. Both come from a background of extensive experience in other fine-dining restaurants in southern California and it is now their pleasure to share their passion for food with their own community, having just opened a second location in Vista.


Of course, considering the business we’re in, we can’t help but notice the cozy, eclectic atmosphere. The mismatched chairs and the colorful reclaimed wood paneling give it a rustic down-home feel with a quirky art gallery vibe. Creativity sparks from the recycled album cover menus and wall art, including a wild boar head to odd trinkets that hang off the ceiling.  

Photos courtesy of Visitoceanside.org and Oceanside.com

Photos courtesy of Visitoceanside.org and Oceanside.com


The menu consists of rustic, American cuisine using fresh, quality local ingredients. The Flying Pig is a member of the Slow Food Movement, a commitment to the community and environment, ensuring everything is produced in an eco-conscious way, there is no harm to animal welfare and food producers receive fair compensation. The artisanal cuisine can be carefully paired with special wines by the bottle or glass, as well as a collection of local craft beers on rotation like Booze Brothers, a family owned brewery out of Vista.

Notable Dishes include:

Bacon mac and cheese - Served in a mini skillet, enjoy the mix of traditional melted sharp cheddar and elbow noodles with thick chunks of bacon, the spiciness of the meat complimenting the richness of the creamy cheese.

Pork Burger - This is half-pound of fresh ground pork made into a burger. They use their own secret sauce and add a farm fresh fried egg with a tempura onion. Held together by a pretzel bun, this mouthwatering dish might possibly be the best burger you ever had!

Dessert Tip - Combine ‘em! Dip the banana bread doughnuts into the daily pot de crème.