Posts Tagged ‘calligraphy’

Design: Emily and Taylor Wedding

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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?

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:

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