Thursday, March 31, 2011

Repeat if Necessary

My hand may fall off today...but in a good way.

Last night was the first of six classes in Copperplate style calligraphy for me with the fabulous Anne Elser. I thought that all the evenings of drinking tea and addressing hundreds of wedding envelopes would have prepared me, but alas, I got some serious lettering cardio.

The funny thing is that I spent over two hours just writing the letters "i", "u" and "w" and enjoyed every minute of it. The structure of a class is great for improving your talents because you can't get distracted by shallow tv or friends with red wine. You must practice.

It also helps to have an amazing (she made the little name cards pictured above for everyone in class - so pretty!) and patient instructor.

Patience, is a definite requirement when writing with an instrument designed before Betty White and bicycles were invented.

Although, it feels a little bit like a throwback to kindergarten, I have to admit, I can't wait for capital letters!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fish Scale Fantastic

Sometimes I get fixated on a particular design and just want to cover everything in it. Of late, my obsession is for fish scale patterns. There's something so lovely in the symmetry and the organic root of the repetitive overlapping curves.

I've been trying out different ways to incorporate fish scale into my calligraphy projects and am pretty excited to see what develops.

Here are a few of my recent crushes and inspirations.

The notebook is from the Etsy shop The Bower Studio, which I adore.

Do you have a particular scribble or doodle that you find yourself repeating?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh! Oh! I Wanna do that! What is it?

Hello. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

I feel like mine was but an eyelash flutter. Sigh.

I am really excited today about something I don't really understand - kind of like when you were a little kid and you got a new board game...well, maybe it's like that. I'm not sure. That was always stressful for me because I was an only child with no neighbors or cousins, so I just spent time trying to figure out which pieces to glue to each other to make robots and making up my own rules for solo play of games that required "4 to 6 players". (Please insert sympathy-inducing memory montage here set to One is the Loneliest Number.)

Anyway, I'm excited about Blog Swaps!!!!!! What are they? And How can I do one?

I've seen them mentioned on a few blogs I frequent and I love love love getting packages in the mail and love love love sending them. I think they (blog swaps) have to do with this...and possibly stationery and lip gloss (at least the good ones seemed to anyway).

Can someone enlighten me, please? Merci.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm doing hand and finger yoga in preparation for wedding season calligraphy. Of late, my doorstep is dotted with boxes of very special cargo almost daily. It's so flattering to know that someone trusts me with something so important.

Recently, I had an opportunity to work on a wedding taking place in Greece. My lettering was done from my desk (not in Greece) with my cat nibbling at my toes, but often I imagined the shade of white buildings and blue seas swirling around me. I was almost sad to finish - imaginary vacay over. Sigh.

Coming up next are parasols for an outdoor June wedding here in Atlanta, and envelopes to be addressed for North Carolina, New York, D.C. and Malibu. I have a long daydreamy virtual road trip ahead of me.

I think I'd better stop for a bagel.

Of Course I'll Use Them. They Were Only $12.

Anthropologie, oh how I adore thee. I spend countless furitive minutes at work gazing at all your loveliness online. Unfortunately, I am usually restricted to your sale racks and candles. Many times I have looked at all the adorable aprons in the home section and compared their $32 price tag to the dresses that call and taunt me with $298 price tags, and thought, "Hmmmm...couldn't I just sew some fabric to the back of that apron and Voila! Post-modern one-side only patterned couture!

Anthropologie aprons. They're kind of like the whatever it is that Audrey Hepburn goes to buy at Tiffany. Hairpin? Keychain? I can't recall. Anyway, the moral is that they are a bit of prettiness that I don't have to reconcile with my electric bill.

Except, I don't really cook. Not really, like need an apron, flour on the forehead cook.

Sometimes, I find a recipe and manage to eek out something not covered in flames and tears, but usually, despite my love affair with the vanished Gourmet magazine and Epicurious, I don't spend much time in the kitchen.

But, I use glue guns! Sometimes! I paint. Cute girls in Martha Stewart photos are always doing all their crafty painty gluey things in aprons while drinking lattes. I like lattes.

I digress.

Last weekend, I was at Marshall's to return some things and stumbled upon adorable aprons that reminded me so much of the coveted but possibly useless ones. They were $12.99 each, so I bought two.

And then, I discovered a funny thing... my $12 apron was exactly the same as their $32 apron.

Yay me! :) Time to sew some something.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Heart-Shaped Cartoon Eyes

Forgive my short and sappy post today. Even after months and months of Tuesdays, I'm still incredibly in love...and so everyone must suffer enjoy my cheesy playlist dedicated to the boy with the speckly rust-colored spots on his skin who makes me laugh and doesn't make fun of my hair first thing in the morning.

Hopefully, you'll find something to like in there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Weekend Project & Glimpses of Home

Being productive creatively always makes me glittery jump up and down happy. This Saturday, I had the place to myself (well, excluding my fuzzy feline assistant whose main job is to attack my toes).
Freckled boy was off in the recording studio (Did I mention he's in a band?) and so our usual weekend adventuring was suspended. Perfect time for tea and covering the dining room in paper scraps.

I actually got finished with a few pieces I've been meaning to put on Etsy forever, and while I was photographing them, started wandering around taking random shots of our 1920's apartment.

One of my fav Etsy purchases

blurry music nook

another painting from tushtush

Things that inspire me

lovely view of someone else's garden from my desk

dishes and a cash register piggy bank

I always enjoy peeking in other people's homes. Hopefully, you do as well. I'd love for some of you to send me a few pics of your own creative abodes!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I'm having one of those days where I just can't seem to get anything right. Wish me luck in turning things around.

I'm confident in the curative powers of red wine and chocolate.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Things are blooming. The sun is reappearing and I'm feeling the need to revamp, revitalize and redecorate.

Lots of changes are in store (pun intended) for my Etsy site in the next month or so, and I'm beginning by clearing out items that I've had for a while.

This vintage Welcome sign with an awesome gift message still attached to the back will be one of the first to vanish.

I'm leaving it up until the 30th...and then, "Poof!" it will disappear.
I'd love to see it find a new home, as I'm sure that's how "Aunt Chris, Dick, Angela & Darlene" would have wanted things, so I'm offering free shipping.

You can visit it here.

Giveaway Winner

Today is the day!

The winner of my very first giveaway will receive a choice of one of the necklaces pictured above from my shop.

I was going to use a random number generator to select the winner for my giveaway, and then thought, people can be just as random, so I asked a passing co-worker to select a number between 1 & 24.

Therefore, according to a man with awesome hair named Thomas, the winner is ........ the number 8 post! Strangely, this is actually one of my favorite quotes as well, it borders on being a life motto. That made me feel biased, so next week, I'll be giving out a second prize. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do not lose sight of the goal. Do not cry like a girl.

This weekend, I had a mission: Find wedding shoes.
I know I want a simple dress, so I have no problem with the idea of shoes before dress. It's kinda like dessert first (which I also support wholeheartedly).

Somehow, in the tumble of giant mega-shoe stores and a million rejected pairs of "too-short", "too tall" "too Paris Hilton"s, I stumbled upon a dress in a department store. It was white. It was not shoes. I thought, "What the hell? I'll try it on." I did. But then a problem occurred - I liked it.

Then I bought it. And declared to the freckled boy, "I'm going to wear this!" (I'm not really faintly traditional and only occasionally superstitious, so I don't mind if he sees the dress before the wedding.)

He liked it in the store. He liked it on the iPhone pic I sent. He liked it in the checkout line. He didn't like it once it came home. Looking back, it was nothing (at all) like the simple classic Hitchcock-era dress I keep saying I want. It was vaguely Chanel meets Betsy Johnson (Actual dress was BCBG) meets Wrong for Me.

Nevertheless, I cried. And cried. And mumbled something about how he (freckled fiance victim of emotional circumstance) didn't think I was pretty. He looked scared.

I woke up this morning, knowing he was right. I was wrong. The fabric was probably synthetic.

I am learning that even the "low-key" simple bride-to-be may not be immune to pre-wedding crack ups after all.

I did find some shoes though :)

I also, decided on one of these dresses...via the interweb and will go to try it on this week at a bridal shop in Atlanta.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Labor of Love and Papercuts

Just because we aren't having a traditional wedding, doesn't mean that I'm not still obsessing over the details.

Before we run away to quasi-elope in San Francisco, we're throwing a party to celebrate family and friends and love and chicken and waffles and such.

I want everyone invited to know how very special they are to us...sooooooo, instead of having traditional printed invitations, I'm doing them all..............................(dramatic pause) hand..............(wait! There's more!)..............with dip fountain pen and wax seals. The party won't be until November, but I knew I had to get started now if I'm to finish them all in time without crying fits.

Hopefully, the venue will be a small local theatre in our neighborhood. We'll be going to check it out later this week (keep your fingers crossed). Meanwhile, I have to leave all the date and time info blank.

So far, two down, 75 more to go.

Friday, March 11, 2011


In school, I always struggled a little with math. I usually found myself doodling and making up stories of romance and intrigue with the boy across the aisle instead of learning equations and formulas.

I think I would have done much better in the subject if somehow these lovely Etsy pieces had been a part of the curriculum.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Later this month, I'm taking starting a 6 week class on Copperplate Calligraphy and I cannot wait.

I find it so incredibly lovely. Even watching it being written by someone else lulls me into a state of general "ahhhhh".

This video is almost eight minutes long and shows only the word "Flourishing" being written. A nice reminder that there is beauty in slowness.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This is What Happens...

When I'm left unattended.