Happy Thursday!  Another week that has flown by, for you too?  I wanted to introduce you to some of my favorite lettering artists but then I found (and received) some really great hand lettering resources and tips for you so I decided to save those artists for another post.  In regards to the brush lettering of last week Christine H. (a wealth of knowledge) had sent me this great bit of advice:
Here’s the tip:  for “brush” calligraphy…before ANYTHING…mix some sugar and warm water (like 1T sugar/2T of water), dissolve, cool and dip brush in until bristles are completely saturated (don’t just leave sitting in the container with bristles resting, curved and keep the hilt as dry as possible). Squeegee bristles between thumb and forefinger to get rid of the water, but do so while “shaping” a perfectly flat, square/rectangle (depends on brush shape) “nib”. Hang or put on pen rest and let dry completely. Repeat several times till the bristles “remember” the form when dipped in ink and excess ink is removed on inside edge of ink bottle. By training your brush in this manner, you will have greater manual control over the animal bristles. Oh, and use a brush with soft-ish natural fibers not synthetic. Store after cleaning, repeating the sugar water and shaping, allow to dry completely. Keep in a suspended holder type of box so the resting bristles don’t get smooshed one way or another. Make sense?

“I’m actually not the best at it. I do a lot of referencing myself using fonts and I correct a lot of the shapes digitally! There isn’t really any type of brush I use. But I do like to use  translucent grey prisma markers on paper to get that slanted tip effect and paint it in!”

I found this wonderful post from Sean McCabe (an amazing lettering artist) it’s an introduction to hand lettering and it answers a lot of questions. If you are just interested in improving your handwriting Lettergirl offers a downloadable workshop to help here.

In my experience this week I accidentally found that a ‘soft’ nib could mimic a brush type stroke and I could get a nice wide stroke that could mimic a brush stroke.  It’s very hard to work with when you have only been working with pointed pens for a couple of weeks (like myself), but if you are open to experimenting, what the heck? I am working on creating a page on the blog that will be an easy reference for everyone for lettering artists, resources and classes, but if you can’t wait you can always visit my Hand Lettering Love Pin board for inspiration.
P.S. Here’s the chalkboard texture I used above for you to download and use in any way you would like, it’s nice and hi-res for you;)


I’ve seen the work of Christopher Marley floating around the interwebs for a little while now, but it wasn’t until after I saw photos that Christine of Greige took at a tradeshow that I was compelled to put something together (the feathers!).  My problem was I found every one of Mr. Marleys creations so beautiful, fascinating and unique I wasn’t sure what to group together to showcase.  I did my best, but you really should go visit his gallery to get the full impact. For those that collected seaglass, shells, and other souvenirs of summer I think it would be lovely to create your own arrangement in shadow boxes to preserve those memories and put on display; it could be a sweet project to do with the kids or even to just wind down at the end of a hectic week.  I am not much of a collector (unless you count books), but I think a wall of Christopher Marley works would be divine. Do you collect anything and display it in an innovative way? This has truly inspired me to try a little harder in the creative department!


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?


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!


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!