It was my naughty Frenchie’s 7th birthday this weekend. Last year for her birthday portrait I bought her half a dozen pink balloons to pose with, which both fascinated and terrified her. This year I let her wear her pretty little crown that the very sweet (and gifted) Meg Fish gave us.  It was a special day, she deserved it, but back to original reason for this post–Melissa Esplin’s Modern Calligraphy course. I finished a few weeks ago and have to say it was the best investment in my hand lettering escapades ever! I have taken a class at Paper Source, some private lessons (awhile back) and bought a few kits in my time, but nothing ‘clicked’ like it did with Melissa’s class. It wasn’t just me though that had personal calligraphy success you can view some beautiful work from her students here, here, here and here.  Full disclosure–I didn’t buy her recommended supplies (although I want to), I used what I had already bought prior just in case I wasn’t going to move forward with my practice. I want to let you know that the right supplies make a huge difference.  I used the ink and pen from my Emilie Friday kit and after I knocked the ink over (yes, it was everywhere) I used some ink I had from the art store which was very thin and hard to work with.  If I had used that prior I may have been discouraged and thought it was me being horrible, so if you are having trouble with your lettering practice look at your supplies before giving up! One thing you must take into account is that you can’t take the class and not put time aside to practice what you learned, you won’t magically develop skills after going through the course (which I was hoping would happen but alas didn’t).  It’s also better to find a block of time that you won’t be interrupted or you run the risk of nasty accidents like my knocking over the ink. The ink is not like any other substance you have ever tried to clean up either, it just seems to grow, spread and get messier with each swipe of the towel. Just trust me, carve out the time, don’t let anyone bother you and get to it.  If you have considered trying your hand at calligraphy, I think that this class is a winner, but don’t take my word for it, check out the links to student work above and see what talent came out of her class!
P.S. I made some calligraphy sentiment Photoshop brushes (like the ones on the photo of my baby girl) and will have those available to download in a little bit!
P.P.S. I wanted to add that Melissa besides being a good teacher is super pretty + stylish which makes it even more fun to watch!


  1. Aww happy birthday to your adorable Frenchie :)
    I love calligraphy. I had a private lesson once before too. I wish we had a Paper Source here. I also have one of Emilie’s kits. I’m totally going to check on Melissa’s course link. A great brush up on calligraphy will be perfect for the upcoming holidays! xo

  2. Merissa I think you would be a natural since you are already GREAT with consistency with your letters. The one thing that made a difference was that it’s more ‘drawing’ letterforms rather than traditional writing, because if I tried to do my usual handwriting we would all cringe;)

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