MY COLOR QUALITY PAINTS

I think we should all give My Color Pantone inspired paints a rousing round of applause for their packaging ingenuity!  As you can see it’s see-thru which makes it much easier to view than a paint chip, don’t you think?  They’ve also made smaller sizes available so you aren’t stuck with a gallon (or two dozen) of dried paint in your garage. The colors are also Pantone inspired (another brilliant idea), maybe they need a standing ovation?  They don’t have a lot of colors to choose from yet since they are relatively new, but the colors they do have are pretty on trend. I swiped this bit from their site:
Self-priming, stain-blocking premium quality paint for accent walls, furniture, and accent décor inspired by Pantone, a color authority for more than 45 years. MyColor Paints have an ultra-low VOC, provide an eggshell finish, and come in 35 fluid oz clear containers.
They have a blog with some projects by designer Kristen Davis, this ‘gray washing’ technique was how I found the company in the first place. I would love to try this as I have had zero success with gray stain; I love that driftwood-y patina that’s so popular right now, but alas it has alluded me. Do you know of any techniques to get that light grey tint to new wood?  I am thinking my d.i.y. desk could use a nice gray wash as it’s looking a little too ‘red’ in my studio. I am willing to try Kristen’s technique but maybe, just maybe there is another easier way?

VICTORIANA + THE SEANCE BY JON HARWOOD

Mondays used to be the day I dreaded the most.  I would get a little thrill with Wednesday and just lived for the weekend, not anymore. I don’t have a ‘weekend’ any longer but I get excited for Mondays as I know that the world is ‘back in business’ and I can start working again and getting things done. Living in the deep country you like to hear other peoples voices in the world (beside your own).  I do love to work (ask my husband). Last week when I was trying to decide what to read next I stumbled upon an article on Huffington Post about a woman that was videotaped getting an anal tattoo with her boyfriends name, this was actually the 3rd boyfriend to have his name added to her nether region and she did this in public at a convention with people milling around like they were watching a car show.  I decided there and then that I wanted to get lost in an era where that would be UNTHINKABLE, an era where getting a glimpse of a woman’s ankle would cause a scandal. I am all for women having rights, I am a woman that owns a small business and am thankful for the suffragettes that made this possible but when did rights exclude decorum?  What happened to polite society? I do think that it should be de riguer to have manners and if you see a young woman getting an anal tattoo in public, you should tip your top hat and throw your cloak over her naked body and say to the crowd, “Now carry on good people, this is someone’s daughter, good day to you!’.
Back to the book, I downloaded The Seance by Jon Harwood recommended by Heather H..  It wasn’t terrifying as some reviewers would have you believe (thank goodness!) and there was a part that got a bit convaluted but stick with it and it’s just an enjoyable read set in Victorian England when spiritualism was the rage. Once it was done I didn’t want to leave the era and come back to the 21st century (see above) so I started reading a non-fiction book called The Napoleon of Crime by Ben McIntyre. I’ll let you know all about it when I am finished but so far it’s been utterly delightful, the names of the criminals and their gangs are so colorful, it’s worth the price of admission right there! The above monogram was inspired by a more genteel era and may be a little on the intricate side for most but I love the intertwined letters and flourishes. I think if you stamped this on a graphic pattern you could easily ‘modernize’ it. The winner of this monogram is Lee & Megan W. after I made this I realized that the W.’s are with child but I think they can still use it (I hope) at least for a few more days? Congrats Megan + Lee!
P.S. The ink colors in the image are a new product that I am adding to the shop–three perfect colors (white, black + gold) all in one perfectly convenient stacked case!
clockwise: 

LADY BIRD RUBBER STAMP

Since moving to the South I have seen such a variety of insects the likes I have never known. The butterflies here are big, bright and beautiful (I catch a glimpse of at  least a dozen each day), the dragonflies with their iridescent bodies and gossamer wings make you sigh with delight.  There’s other varieties of insects too that I don’t care much for but I won’t get into them here! I have always had an infinity for the lady bird, those teeny tiny little polka dot beetles that have been purported to bring luck to the recipient who spots them. I made the artwork on this stamp small enough so that it adds just a hint of whimsy to your correspondence, but would look darling on a tag for homemade jam or even on cloth napkins for an end of summer soiree.  Is summer really ending?  It seems both too soon and not soon enough as it has been a scorcher here.  I am not used to seasons so all this talk of fall has me excited for another new experience.  I am wishing you all a lovely weekend! I shall be practicing my lettering, working on the re-design of the blog (never-ending!), prepping for the upcoming Souvenir Foto School session and maybe getting to spend a few precious moments with my fur babies and patient + handsome husband! 
P.S. You can pick-up your good luck lady bird here!

HOW-TO HAND LETTER WITH A BRUSH::RESOURCES

It’s Thursday and I am going to try to stay on topic as promised and bring you more hand lettering resources + how-to’s.  The lovely top image above is by Quill & Fox,  a very nice specimen to discuss the currently wildly successful lettering trend of brush lettering (I don’t know if that is its ‘proper’ name). I am sure you have heard of a little company called Rifle Paper that utilizes this ‘painted’ script very well, as does Meg Gleason of Mogela. I think this sort of imperfect hand adds a wonderful charm to your project.  I searched the interwebs hi + low and had a very hard time finding what types of brushes, paints to use etc. I even tried some samples of my own with less than favorable results.  Then I came across a wonderful resource for you from the Open Library a book (available to view for free on line) called The Art of Show Card Lettering. The book is copyright 1922, so it is a bit older, but it still has great specimen charts like the one on the lower right, with stroke direction (very helpful). It also has tips on brushes and how to hold them to get the most desirable outcome. It’s not modern by any stretch, but it’s still a wonderful resource for those wanting to delve into script with a brush. Amanda of Wit & Whistle has been trying her hand at hand lettering with gouache (the same medium Rifle Paper uses) and she chronicles her results here. I am all for trying new lettering techniques and this is definitely one of the styles that I would like to be able to master. If you are looking for more inspiration I have a TON on my hand lettering board on Pinterest, where I have been pinning away like it’s my job (wouldn’t that be a cool job?).  Let me know if you have any tips on this style of lettering, I would love to know more!

CUSTOM DIAMOND MONOGRAM COMING!

I know we are coming to the end of summer, but I just love this peachy, melon-y, light coral-esque color. This is the new diamond monogram with three letters a wonderfully classic shape, a little preppy but graphic enough for those that like modern lines. I have a two letter version and some alternate variations of this shape coming. I used the technique I mentioned last week of running the ink pad along the envelope flap for a hint of color.  I think it would be pretty to create a suite of stationery in multiple tones of the same hue, so a lighter version and darker of this ink.  I believe if you have your stationery at the ready you will be more apt to write that spontaneous note or send your thank you as needed. Did you know that it is never too late to send a thank you?  It’s true! I am so happy with how these monograms are coming along, it adds a touch of elegance to your world. You don’t have to use these for just letter writing, you could print your monogram on cloth napkins (make sure to heat set), get a special one made to use for embossing cookies, personalize your coffee mug for the office, the options just go on and on. The winner of this monogram is Mrs. Maria Elizabeth B., congrats!
P.S. If you want to try to win your very own monogram, check out this post for details, good luck!