Archive for the ‘calligraphy’ Category

The Pressure of Expressing Thanks

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Since before the arrival of Miss Juniper, we’ve had so many friends, family members and neighbors lend a helping hand for our little family. It’s been a real blessing to have such great support. A considerable amount of it is from the great support network of my church. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine welcoming a new baby without that.

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With all of the help, I’ve tried so hard to stay on top of all of the ‘Thank You’s. It’s hard sometimes! Why would a self-proclaimed calligrapher have a hard time doing that? I tell you why –

For some reason, I put pressure on myself that if I don’t bust out the calligraphy pens or if I (heaven forbid) use a thank you that someone else designed the sentiment is cheapened. It’s like I’m cheating or trying passing off someone else’s work as my own if I use a store-bought card. Also if I use the same card twice.

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I’m not trying to complain. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, if you ask me. But no less real. Does anyone else suffer from the same psychosis?

I have found a solution to help me send those much-deserved ‘Thank You’s:

  • Always have a variety of colored envelopes and blank flat cards on-hand so I can mix and match as I choose.
  • Always have a stockpile of stamps (which reminds me, I need to order more!)
  • Keep a list of owed ‘Thank You’s at my desk so when I have a spare moment for practice work, I can work through the list.

I didn’t implement these things until about July of this year. And I’m still working out the kinks in the process. If I were smarter, I would have a pile of hand-lettered cards like you see above already completed. All I’d have to do is write a note on the back. Maybe I’ll get on that bandwagon in the next few months. Change happens so slowly around my neck of the woods. :)

So how do you make sure those ‘Thank You’s get out?

Random Calligraphy Thoughts

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It wasn’t until September 2009 that I discovered calligraphy was part of my personal history. I’ve always loved letters; finding out that my great-great grandfather was a sign painter in Ogden, Utah made me love them more. It was like I was destined to love calligraphy. I can’t describe how perfectly timed that gift was. It was like God was telling me that calligraphy was what I was meant to do. It gave me more direction in my life.

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Since getting more involved in calligraphy, I’ve felt even more validated that I’m supposed to be here. Over the summer I attended a calligraphy conference. Spending a week with some of the world’s most amazing calligraphers was incredible and eye-opening.

In art school, I felt like I was somewhat of an outcast because I was in the strange gap between commercial and fine art. My professors nearly failed my BFA final show because it was “too commercial”. It bothered me that they couldn’t see that commercial art can be fine art.

I feel like calligraphy strikes that harmonious balance. The people in the calligraphy community get it, too. There’s a shared love for modern and traditional, commercial and fine art, formal and casual. I love that.

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Here’s a little birthday card I made for my cousin. It’s no fine art piece, but it required the creative process in order to complete. And isn’t that what creating art is about at the end of the day?

What art will you be creating?

Sponsored: Beating Boredom with Learning on the Go

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This post is sponsored by Intel. Stay connected on the go this summer with Intel Tablets . Join the Intel Advocate Experience here.

 

We had a grand time on vacation this summer. We started out with a quick trip to Vegas to see Chris’s grandma get remarried, then we headed to Los Angeles to play in the sun and introduce Penelope and Felix to the magic of Disneyland. And it. Was. MAGICAL. Chris and I both agreed that it was more fun to go as parents with young kids than it was to go as a kid. Seeing their faces light up with every little ride was priceless.

After the great food and fun times in the Los Angeles area, we headed east to see Chris’s family in Phoenix. Chris’s sister Shelley got back from an 18 month stint in the Chicago, Illinois area, so it was a happy reunion. Both Shelley and my youngest sister-in-law Brooke are in transition this summer.

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Brooke’s transition has been the hardest. She’s playing a waiting game until she finds out where she’ll be in the next few months. Not being able to plan for the future has her in a rut of sorts. And bored.

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So to beat the boredom, I busted out a calligraphy kit for her and we’ve spent some time working on calligraphy. It was wonderful to teach her and Shelley. They’re naturals and made fabulous company while I filled my practice sheets. Have I mentioned how awesome my in-law’s are? You should be jealous.

Learning artistic and domestic skills online has become quite popular recently. With the rise of online learning at istilllovecalligraphy.com, Atly, Craftsy, Skillshare and about a million others, there are so many things you can learn online. I’m more than a little biased towards the calligraphy class I offer at istilllovecalligraphy.com. It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

I LOVE, LOVE to reach out to people all over and get them excited about the art of Calligraphy and coach them along the way. Best part? Students can take the class wherever they go since it’s tablet compatible ( Intel Tablets work especially well).

What do you do to beat summer boredom?

#spon: This post is sponsored by Intel. All thoughts and content are my own.

Handmade: Letterpress Business Cards + Motivators

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I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s summer Alt Summit, and boy did it sneak up on me! I barely had the chance to recover from January’s conference.

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I wanted to do something completely different for this session’s business cards, but I ended up doing everything last-minute. And by last-minute, literally making business cards the night before the conference.

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The cards have the same general vibe as they did previously, with a little motivator and acrylic stand, but I approached the printing and calligraphy differently.

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Instead of doing one kind of motivator (“You are awesomesauce”), I decided to switch things up and write out different adjectives. The monoline style is quite different from last time, too. I used watercolor paper and a sumi ink to create moody washes on the backs of all the papers to create a moody texture. Then lettered with white ink overtop. The texture of the black wash gives the card more depth, in my opinion.

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The printing was a little different as I was using a watercolor paper and not a thick letterpress paper. There’s still a deboss from the printing process, but it’s not as stark. I went with the watercolor so that the lettering on the back would be easier to create. Last time I had a heck of a time lettering on that soft letterpress paper.

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I also had a problem with the ink in the letterpress printing bleeding, making the hairlines a tad garbled. Above, you can see different experimentations on printing. The top right is using regular letterpress ink, you can’t tell a whole lot from the image, but it’s feathering a little bit on the paper. Then I tried various blind-deboss printing techniques, then applying ink afterward. That didn’t work quite like I had envisioned. Then the top left is when I discovered inking up my letterpress plates with a stamp pad. The stamp pad from Silhouette’s stamp kit is quite tacky and worked perfectly for inking up the plates. The printing was more crisp and the clean-up was a million times easier with the water-soluble ink. Major win! I’ll be using this method for printing with the L-Letterpress in the future.

Calligraphy: Eric & Margaret’s Invitations

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Our family just expanded! My brother-in-law Eric got hitched last month to a really awesome gal. We’re so thrilled to add her to the family.

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Since Eric and Margaret live pretty close to us (for about a year Eric lived with us), we’ve been able to get to know Margaret really well. But for some reason, I was coming up blank when it came to the design of the invitation. I think I started 3 different designs. None of them felt quite right. Too masculine, too formal, too boring.

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The other limitation was the size. We went with an A2 envelope, which left us with basically a quarter sheet. With only that much space, I had to be creative to get information for both receptions on there without looking cramped or tiny. With relying on the personality of the type and going for a simple layout, I was able to make this happen.

In this case, bride and groom had varying amount of letters in their first and middle names. This made balancing out left to right a little complicated, but the extra flourishes to the right of ‘Eric’ did the job.

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The colors were greens and bright yellows, which are perfect summer colors, but can get a little overwhelming if you have large fields of those colors. We opted for a bright white stock and green print with little details of yellow in the printing and with washi tape.

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The design and assembly of the invitation was simple, but special. I’m thrilled how it all turned out. I’m also thrilled that they got hitched, too. :)

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