Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

2015 IAMPETH Pangram Exchange

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In march, just off the heels of a wonderful meet-up with friends in Vegas, I got this idea that we need to exchange pangrams at the upcoming IAMPETH (the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting) convention. Selfishly I want to collect originals or prints from among the greatest and most passionate penmen and women.

The most common pangram out there is “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog”. It’s one of the shortest sentences that (a) makes sense and (b) uses all the letters of the alphabet.

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Surely I had plenty of time to design something epic with lots of color, fun printing and gold foil, but that didn’t happen. Working in advance never happens. Coming up with my own pangram seemed so daunting a task that I put it off. I had found an awesome pangram in a book I inherited from my great, great grandfather: “Go! Lazy fat vixen, be shrewd! Jump quick!” But for some reason the layout wasn’t jiving with me. I wasn’t connecting with the words. Then I thought of jazz hands.

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I busted out the pencil and started writing. I wrote the alphabet down and I started to put words together with the tougher letters to use in a sentence. It just came together. And I think it speaks to who I am as well. I’m not one for clever prose, but I was proud I came up with this by myself.

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The design ended up being a bit of a fiasco as well. I wrote it out, scanned it and printed the piece as-is. I used a sepia ink to get some slight variations, but my hairlines were too thin for the digital printer. Wa, Wa. Saying your hairlines are too thin is like a body builder saying that their one-rep max squat wasn’t heavy enough. It’s a blessed problem to have. But I was down to the wire. I had 3 days before I left for Tennessee to get the piece printed. I put on my big girl pants, dusted off my wacom tablet and vectorized the whole thing. It took about 3 hours. I printed it.

THEN after I printed them, I showed up to IAMPETH with the cards and I wasn’t happy with them. So I added more flourishes to each one (you can see above the lines in the corners that aren’t perfectly smooth) and little bits of silver foil from my hot foil pen and called it a day. I’m pretty pleased it didn’t all blow up in my face considering how last-minute it all was.

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I was impressed at how amazing and creative the pangrams were. Many were done by hand! Incredible.

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So, I’ve got a few extra. If you’d like to do a little pangram trade, fill out the below*.

*While supplies last. Your information will not be shared with anyone.

FREEBIE: Penelope’s Tea Party

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At the beginning of the summer, I scored a precious set of cups and dishes perfect for a tea party. I told Penelope she needed to gather her friends for a tea party at some point and use them. She squealed.

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It wasn’t until a few days later that she came up to me asking to get everything out for the tea party. After explaining to her that she needed to give her friends some kind of advanced warning if she wanted them to show up, her finger in the air as she enthusiastically said, “I need you to make me invitations!”

Well OKAY, my dear! The cutest little art director hovered over my shoulder to make sure all the details were correct. She needed gold bits on the invitations (see the little foil dots in the above pic?). And she needed them sealed with glitter washi tape to deliver to her friends.

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I was thrilled to have a little peace and quiet while she walked the neighborhood, dropping them in the neighbor’s mail boxes. Since it was a Monday and she was inviting her friends to a party on Tuesday, I made sure to text each mom to double-check invitations were received. All but 2 girls showed up. We had a full house of giggly girls with their pinkies high as they sipped “tea”.

I served honey chocolate toasts, mint oreos (at Penelope’s request) and raspberry lemonade. They thought it was the best tea ever.

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(taken from an entirely different party, but I love this pic of her)

Penelope was the most gracious host exclaiming, “Welcome!! I’m so glad you could make it!” while I sat there, hands over my mouth, trying not to squeal and giggle at the same time. She is incredibly more socially astute at her age than I was in college. The girl knows how to throw a party.

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Download the freebie by clicking the image above! By downloading you agree to the Terms of Use below. Are you new here? Check out the “printables” tab at the top of the page for more freebies!

*This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

New things in Hawaii

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My pals at Silhouette asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii for an upcoming launch. I was more hesitant about booking the flight than Chris was since I would be leaving him alone with 3 kids for the majority of a week. That didn’t scare him! He’s so used to the family schedule (with both of us working from home) that he urged me to go and stay an extra day or two to really enjoy Oahu. It wasn’t a hollow offer. I took him up on it and lived it up Aloha-style!

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All of this fun was because of Silhouette Summit. The Silhouette team launched a slew of products last week and we who were in Hawaii, got to see it all in action first. And let me tell you, it’s amazing. 

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Image via Silhouette

July 2015, Silhouette will be launching their Curio machine, which will have the capabilities to etch, cut, stipple and most importantly emboss! I’m thinking of all of the calligraphic possibilities there and I’m nerding out just a little.

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Image via Silhoutte

Then, September 2015 (which can’t come soon enough, if you ask me) Silhouette will launch Mint. It’s the first desktop DIY stamp maker. OH yes. All calligraphers rejoice! It will use a companion software that will be compatable with fonts, the silhouette library and your own designs. Instead of 2-14 day turnaround for a custom stamp, try two MINUTES! I showed everyone on periscope, but I have no idea how to find the link to that. I’m @melissapher if you want to check out past videos and see how it works.

Through thermal printing, it exposes the “plate” and the exposed portions allow ink to saturate. And once inked, the stamp will last up to 50 impressions! Perfect for return address stamps or stamping your own business cards (which I’ve done in the past more than a few times – here, here, here). More on all this as I get to experiment with the machines themselves. Stay tuned!

But it wasn’t all business all the time. 

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Silhouette had a tour bus waiting for us Wednesday so we could explore the island more. Heather, Kierste, Linda, Cindi and I decided to go off the beaten path, rent a jeep and tour the island by hopping from one food stop to another.

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And the food in Hawaii was amazing. One of my favorite treats was a pineapple malasada I had the first day. It’s like a doughnut. But better. And filled with pineapple cream. Rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

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Image by Sarah Hearts

Then there was the shave shave ice! I got Waiola’s Passion Orange Guava with cream on top. We have shave ice in Utah during the summer months, but I’m not sure we have the ice shaved as finely as you can find at Waiola. It was remarkably refreshing.

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This is the water on Lenikai beach. A private-ish beach found on the east side of the island. A ton of beautiful homes are backed up against the beach. There are a few people lingering on the beach, but not crowded like Waikiki.

Funny thing: I’m not a beach person. They’re beautiful, but for heaven’s sakes get the sand off me!! I have insane texture issues. Needless to say, I brought my swimsuit, but I really only got up to my knees in the water. A shame since it’s Hawaii.

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This may be completely odd, but the highlight of my trip to Hawaii was teaching a calligraphy workshop at South Shore Paperie. We partied with brush markers, ate some delicious pastries and joked that I sounded like a chain smoker.

I lost my voice through the course of the trip. Something that had been working its way through my system since before I left, perhaps. I felt fine despite my voice sounding terrible, thank goodness.

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Image by Bradley & Lily

We spent considerably more than the 2 hours I budgeted for the workshop, but we all couldn’t tear ourselves away from the learning. We also couldn’t help but drool over the gorgeous Bradley & Lily stationery line. They just launched a new feature on their website allowing customers to essentially complete their own invitation design. Sometimes I wish I could get married all over again simply so I could use all of the wonderful resources out there like this one. I digress.

I was incredibly impressed at how well everyone did during the workshop! Great focus, good positioning and neat practice! My favorite part of my job is seeing other people catch the calligraphy bug and run with it. That enthusiasm really pushes me to work harder on my own craft. Follow along here and instagram for a Utah brush lettering workshop coming soon.

This post isn’t sponsored by Silhouette. I just really, REALLY can’t wait for these products to launch! They’re both game-changers. 

 

Meet Me in Tennessee

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at INSPIRED 2015 Presented by Amber Housley in April. I’ll be talking about the effectiveness of a landing page (what one really is), and why creative business owners need a good one.

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To hear all my knowledge bombs, lessons learned and how Chris and I have grown IStillLoveCalligraphy.com to a full-time business, grab a ticket! Use code ISLY for $200 off early bird price. Valid through February 28th or while tickets last.

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After seeing the images of what I’ll be able to enjoy, I’m all “hearts for eyes” about it. That waterfall? Takes me back to Havasupai when I was in high school. Paradise.

 

Calligraphy: Micro Letters From the Tooth Fairy

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Penelope started losing her teeth recently. The first tooth she lost caught us off-guard and unprepared. So we totally botched that one. And THEN the ‘Tooth Fairy’ totally fell asleep when the second one fell out. She didn’t have a chance to visit or anything. Penelope was crushed.

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Chris was thinking quickly on his feet and said that the Tooth Fairy must have been busy. So the next night I wanted to make up for it.

UNFORTUNATELY, this happened:

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I lost my tooth in the drain.

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It was like we were doomed! Thankfully Chris saved the day and was able to retrieve the tooth in the trap underneath the sink. So I made sure to write her a letter explaining what happened.

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Dear Penelope, 

I’m sorry to hear that your tooth went down the drain! I bet that you felt sad. Luckily, I’m small enough I was able to find it! Thank you! Be sure to tell your mom and dad to clean down there. It’s stinky. 

You have some great teeth! Keep brushing and flossing. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She was thrilled. Over the moon, in fact! She sent a second letter to the tooth fairy and made her a little house.

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I liked the little card. It was funny. I wanted to give you something. (She attached a $2 bill to the note)

So of course, the Tooth Fairy slept over when it was a little too windy one night.

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Dear Penelope, 

Thank you for making me such a beautiful home to visit! It was too windy last night for me to make it home safely, so I slept over. 

I hear you have a couple of loose teeth! I’m excited to see those when they come out. 

You are a very sweet and caring [girl]. Thanks for looking out for this old fairy. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She loves her relationship with the tooth fairy! I wanted to make sure that she kept this documentation so I got matching Amac boxes. One for her notes and one for the teeth that the Tooth Fairy collects. It’s been fun. Now I’m anxiously awaiting her next loose tooth to fall out!

Done with an Esterbrook 355 and a sumi/walnut ink mix on blank Rhodia paper.

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