Archive for the ‘calligraphy’ Category

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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*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!

Designed: Gold and Silver Foil Bee Tattoos

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This post is sponsored by Fashion Tats. Shop, wholesale or create your own gold and silver foil temporary tattoos.

The dreamcatcher and the roses are my favorite. What are yours?

I’ve been aching to design foil temporary tattoos for a while, but I just couldn’t think of a design! Designer’s block got the best of me for a good portion of a year.

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Image c/o Alix Adams (via IG) – I love that she put it on her cheek.

I was writing a gift card for a Melissa when I thought I should add a honeybee flourish, since our name means “honeybee”. I couldn’t find any exemplars to go from, so I designed my own. It dawned on me that was what I needed for my foil tattoo design.

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At Alt Summit this last June, I handed out my business cards (above) with silver and gold bees. Since my name is Melissa and I hail from the beehive state, it only seemed fitting.

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Thanks to my awesomely tan neighbor for modeling these for me. I noticed that foil tattoos don’t photograph particularly well on my pasty white skin. Perhaps I need to get out of the house more?

Now that I’ve done one design, I’m ready to do more. I’ve got a few ideas. Mostly words that I want to design. What word(s) should I do next?

Calligraphy-worthy Paper

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For the last couple of months I’ve been pushing myself with flourishes through names. I started off thinking I could do it every day, but it happens a few times a week now. Check out #calligraphynameoftheday to see all the posts. I love taking time to write out someone’s name and discovering the meaning behind it.

Finding a good card stock that comes in fun colors that holds up to various inks and pens isn’t easy. Several months ago a friend mentioned in passing that she could get me some “amazing” card stock. I tried it. I love it. And here it is.

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Most scrapbooking card stocks have this obnoxious canvas/linen texture that’s impossible to write on if you have a sharp pen. And it all bleeds. Everything bleeds. Drives me bonkers. This paper rocks. It even works well with bleach!

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Until now, it hasn’t been available online. Check out My Mind’s Eye for 2 packs of this awesome paper in 2 different colorways: Tropical and Wildberry. They’ve got loads more colors than the ones I’ve pulled for these packs, so speak up if there’s something you’d like to see!

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Looking to get your feet wet with calligraphy? I’d love to teach you how. Check out istilllovecalligraphy.com for more details.

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This post is not sponsored. I’m completely obsessed with this paper and I want you to be able to get your hands on it, too! I will receive a small portion of sales. This affiliate partnership is only because I truly believe and love this product. 

Sign Painting Inspired Photo Backdrop

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Sometimes I enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to a project before understanding the scale. It’s a problem I get myself into constantly. As much as these decisions cost me in time, I benefit in learning new things: new methods, techniques and at the very least when I should say, “no.”

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AlixMegan and I were asked to head up a photo booth for Alt Summit this year. After mulling through several ideas, our theme was b&w pre-internet, we settled on some typographic backdrop for the photo booth for Alt Summit (summer 2015). It took until the 11th hour to think of what words to use.

I’m no copy editor. Coming up with copy is difficult for me. I can make it beautiful, but figuring out what to write can be like pulling teeth for me. It took several conversations as a team and an hour long phone call with my mom. I figured it would make the most sense to do onomatopoeias. Since it’s B&W pre-internet (which I thought was kind of vague) I started with the sounds you would hear from pre-internet technology like the “click and clack” from a typewriter. Then it grew from there to include any onomatopoeia that I could think of. I didn’t want to repeat the words too many times.

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Initially I had thought about inspirational words or phrases, but we didn’t want readability to be an issue. The short words turned out to be great.

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This sign ended up being roughly 9′ wide and 4′ tall. Doing something this large isn’t typical of my day-to-day work. Also, sign painting and lettering isn’t something that I do often. I was more than a bit out of my comfort zone here. Between that and the fact that the only space I could complete the sign was the kitchen area, stress levels were at an all-time high. My stress always sky-rockets around Alt Summit. So Chris knew he needed to steer clear. The kids quickly learned that lesson after an embarrassing amount of yelling, “GET OUT!! I can’t have you touching the paper!!”

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they live in a mausoleum, but I also can’t have their sticky otter pop hands anywhere close to the paper. My paranoia mounted the further along I got. Stakes were escalating, I couldn’t start over!

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In my efforts to keep Pen and Felix out of trouble and my precious paper out of harm’s way, I barricaded the kitchen off with various chairs and a car seat. Chris got a kick out of it. That buffer saved my bacon a couple of times by keeping Felix from barreling through the room on his way outside.

At one point Alix came over to help fill in words with her two littles in tow. 5 kids under the age of 7 made for some interesting work time. Her kids were so good at staying clear of the paper and paint. Mine, not so much.

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The event went well, but as we were setting up for the backdrop I noticed that we had an awkward blank space on the top left corner of the backdrop. I made it a point to have my art supplies with me so that I could letter names for people (that was so fun!). So it was no big deal to whip out the white paint and brush and get to work on a couple extra pieces to fill out the negative space.

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If you look carefully, you’ll see that the “alt.” logo, arrow and “BAM” are a slightly different white. I had a different white, a teeny brush and I had to do it while the backdrop was hanging so I didn’t have a hard surface to work on. It certainly wasn’t my best work, but I was able to fill in the blank and make it look like it was supposed to be there.

I may be biased, but we rocked the photobooth. I’m glad I said yes to this project and got out of my comfort zone.

Project materials:

A Simple Guide to Brush Markers

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I’ve had so much fun traveling the last few months. It’s been amazing to be able to go to places I’ve never been before (more places to come soon, I just have to complete a couple things first! Charlotte, NYC and Austin are up on my list!). It’s been wonderful to be able to travel, meet so many creative people and share my love for calligraphy with those I meet.

While at the Inspired Conference in April, I contacted 3 generous companies that provided each attendee with brush markers. Me personally, rad pens and markers are the best kind of swag ever.

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I use these markers all the time (and a few others, see below). And get asked constantly what kind of pen/marker I’m using. So here you go. Here’s what I use.

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You can expect to see a full-fledged class coming soon! But for now, you may as well stock up on some fun pens while you wait. Here are more of my go-to brush markers:

 

Each marker has its own personality and works well on different surfaces. I used the Sakura pigma brush marker to sign my name on the side of a Giovanni’s food truck while in Hawaii. I have a smattering of markers and pens with me at any given time. And many cases it’s come in handy to be able to write on just about any surface at just about any scale.

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If lettering isn’t your thing, try using any of these awesome markers for illustrating! Even the most crude drawings look awesome with line-variation. The above I drew for a lesson I taught at church about taking care of our bodies. And of course doughnuts cookies and chocolate had to make an appearance on the handout. :) All things in moderation, right?

If you’d like to learn more about brush calligraphy and when my class goes live, sign up through the form below. Your information is never shared with third parties.

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*All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used to help support my crafting addiction. Thanks so much for stopping by!
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