Posts Tagged ‘calligraphy’

Calligraphy: Line of Priesthood


I did some calligraphy work for a neighbor. For Father’s day she asked me to write out the priesthood line of authority for her husband and her dad. It’s taken me MONTHS to sit down and write about it.


I don’t really talk about my religion here specifically (I try to keep things more or less non-denominationally Christian around here), but sharing this project kind of opens that can of worms. If you’d like to read more about the Priesthood means in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, click here. If you don’t, I won’t be offended. In a nutshell: a priesthood holder has a line of authority. It’s a line (like genealogy) going back to Jesus Christ.


For the long list of names, I kept it pretty much to a monoline Spencerian/Ornamental Penmanship style. I wanted the recipients’ names to be highlighted along with Jesus Christ to emphasize that connection between the work that men are called to do as priesthood holders and the ministry of Jesus Christ.

I used Recovery Plate 100lb.  super white paper with McCaffrey’s ink. It’s simple without much ornamentation or color, but the flourishes help elevate it.


I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I think I need to write one out for Chris.

Design: Emily and Taylor Wedding


My sister got remarried! I’m so excited for her. As a gift to them, I designed their wedding invitations. She was the easiest to please bride I’ve ever worked with. All she wanted was something casual, but nice. I decided to go with some brush work with the design.


I used a more formal brush hand, but kept it in the casual zone by varying the letter sizing just a touch and pairing it with a simple sans serif. My favorite sans serif at the moment: Museo Sans 300. I swear I use this for everything. It’s like the denim jeans of fonts for me. It’s more round than Helvetica Neue, so a tad more casual, but so classic.

I created and scanned in a teal watercolor wash. I used Daniel Smith Cobalt Teal Blue and Daniel Smith Phalo Turquoise for the gorgeous colored washes. They’re incredible watercolors!


Em wanted them really simple, but I felt like they were too plain as-is. Since she was only doing a few dozen, I bought some white vellum and cut out overlays with a heart goign around their names. It’s really hard to photograph, but if you look closely you can see.

I didn’t cut them by hand. I used the design as a reference to create the heart-shaped overlay in Illustrator then I cut using my Silhouette.



I bought teal envelopes to coordinate with the watercolor washes and addressed the envelopes in a more formal brush for the names and a casual print for the addresses.


Pic c/o SaltyBooth

I love how this mini wedding suite turned out, but most of all I’m glad to see my sister found a great guy.


2015 IAMPETH Pangram Exchange


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


(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!

Designed: Gold and Silver Foil Bee Tattoos



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.


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.


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.


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?

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