I am pretty excited to introduce you to a lettering newcomer Torrie T. Asai. I feel like I ‘discovered’ her and I am pretty sure if she continues her practice and wants to start offering her services clients will start lining up. I think the best thing about Torie is that she is so humble, like me she is just your average chronic doodler and that is how she started out on her lettering adventure; what propelled her even more was planning for her wedding, which took her down the rabbit hole of ye ole blogosphere. Torrie hand-lettered the above print for you, I took creative license and made one a little more vintage-y and then a simple white + gold one (just click on them and you can access the download). I hear that Costco does great prints for a song. Remember all downloads are for personal use only. Torrie also let me pick her brain a little so we could learn a little bit more about her + her process!
What do you currently do?:

I currently work for a small company that handles electronic data translation of daily business-to-business transactions. It’s a mouthful, I know, but I essentially work at a computer all day implementing, managing, and supporting accounts that use the proprietary services our company offers.  I definitely appreciate having a solid job that allows me to enjoy lettering on the side – not to mention, I have the perk of having my husband work for the same company, so we get to carpool and have lunch together everyday.  Some may think that’s terrible, but it has been the biggest blessing ever.

Who are some of your favorite letterers?

I love this question. I’m a big list-maker, so I’ve already got an on-going list of my favorites. These all have been a huge inspiration to me:

Dana Tanamachi
Mary Kate McDevitt
Molly Suber Thorpe (Plurabelle Calligraphy)
Mara Zepeda (Neither Snow)
Sean McCabe (Sean Wes)
Molly Jacques

Patricia Mumau (Primele)
Jessica Hische

What are some of your fave supplies?

I just use a black Pilot G-2 gel pen and a black Zig Memory System Writer Dual Tip Marker currently, but I plan to get some Micron pens, which I hear are great for lettering, as well as some calligraphy supplies to try my hand at that next.

Is it weird that I get so excited just sitting in front of a blank piece of white paper and a black pen? (I skip the pencil step – it takes too long!) I love the anticipation of what might be created next. The possibilities are endless! Nerd alert. I know. Most of the time it doesn’t turn into much, but just doodling letters over and over and over can trigger new ideas.

What do you use as reference, if any?

I don’t actually have any specific reference I use at the current moment, but so many of the blogs I follow (especially THIS ONE!) have been a great resource full of references to explore. Like this post on 20+ Calligraphy Alphabet Specimens.

What got you started?

I distinctly remember the series of events that led me to lettering. Planning for my wedding led me to the world of blogs where I discovered a ton of inspiration and creative hand-letterers.  Then came Pinterest where I starting collecting (read: obsessing over) all the inspiration I was seeing for lettering and typography. Then my brother and his now fiancee gifted me with blank greeting cards, a set of pens, and Calligraphy book full of lettering styles for my birthday. What a novel idea that was – since then I’ve hand-lettered every birthday card and ‘thank you’ note for practice. The rest is history!
Where would you like to see your lettering to appear in the future?

It’d be a dream to make stationary cards and other paper goods. I love that a perfect, simple sentiment in a card with a hand-written note can really make someone’s day.  The ultimate dream would be to be a part of someone’s wedding day or any other party for that matter!

Can people have you letter for them?  If so where can they get a hold of you?

It’d be an honor to be able to letter for anyone! *

*Please note, if you would like to work with Torrie than please email me so I can get you her email address.


I am really excited to let you know that I am doing a giveaway on the darling Dandee blog! If you have been pining for a custom monogram stamp (of your choice) than I highly suggest you visit. I just placed some huge orders for holiday and am anxious for products to come in and to start merchandising, I love, love, love the yuletide season.  Isn’t it crazy to think it’s almost here?  In the interim I have added a few new items to the shop as requested by clients-a box of small parcel tags, glassine bags (almost every time I included these in an order I would get an email about them) so I am happy to be able to share. The Jane Austen inspired silo which was so popular on the bookplate download is now available as a handled stamp (perfect for making your own stationery) and I also have a hand lettered ‘merci’ stamp.  At my Etsy shop I am offering free shipping for the month of October if you use the code treatnotrick31. I am feeling festive already!


Today’s Pinterest curator is Suzonne Stirling.  I met Suzonne last spring wherein she became my ‘Pin pusher’ getting me immediately hooked. Suzonne is a professional crafter, yes, she gets paid to craft for a living and she is worth every penny as her crafts are insanely beautiful + original. She is an excellent stylist creating the most magnificent vignette’s and is a world class curator.  Suzonne’s pins are rich in texture and history and I find myself gasping with delight whenever a new pin pops up on my radar. I wanted to feature her in October because I don’t want you missing out on all her chic Halloween goodness. Have fun looking through her boards, I know you’ll find plenty of eye candy to gawk at and be sure to take a look at her blog as you’ll find yourself pinning nearly every post like I have.


Okay, I admit that wild boars have nothing to do with CSS Pretty, but wild boars do make you stop and look, right? They are kind of like the nature version of a car crash on the highway, you know you shouldn’t be staring but you can’t help yourself (for the record, I don’t stare at car crashes, maybe sometimes, I always feel awful though and  hope no one was injured). Back to CSS Pretty, I have had a few false starts in trying to learn anything to do with coding. I was convinced that my brain must be too old to process this new fangled technology as each book I read or site I visited about this subject left me with my mouth open, drooling and a wha?!?! expression on my face. That is until Katrina of Pugly Pixel announced her CSS Pretty course.  I will admit I am not going to be designing websites anytime soon, but that’s not her intention with this course, it’s to give you a basic overview, which in turn empowers you. Yes, I wrote empower. Anyone that has ever dealt with a coder and knew nothing of the behind the scenes working of the code knows what I mean, as you feel completely powerless and out of your element. Katrina gives you the tools to get your code on, she does this via video tutorials (short & sweet), all very organized and uber professional.  My only complaint is that I wish she did this sooner, but she probably wasn’t even a twinkle in her parents eye when I embarked on my web journey. Katrina also gives two options a d.i.y. version and a workshop one.  I think if you learn at your own pace than go with the d.i.y version but if you have a ton of questions (like moi) than go with the workshop version. If you are a ‘try before you’ buy sort of person, than check out her free sample video, it’s what really sold me, it is beautifully designed + easy to follow. I am so happy I found this course. If you have an online presence but don’t know the first thing about code and are anxious to learn than this course should be perfect for you!
As for the above boars? It’s a photo from a wonderful day spent at the museum of Natural History. They are as scary on the wall as I assume they are in real life…


I haven’t had a cute animal photo on a Monday for ages. One of the main reasons for this is not because I am over cute animals (never), but I was having the hardest time finding credit for the photographs and couldn’t keep adding cute animal images without credit without huge amounts of guilt involved. When I came upon Li Ward’s work I knew I wanted to show it off. Even better is that Li is not only a photographer (lifestyle, pet + wedding) but a calligrapher!   It gets better, really, truly. Li pens a little blog that is honest + funny. Word on the street is people aren’t reading that many blogs anymore, but if you want to be inspired I think Li’s blog is worth a look.  Let’s talk inspiring, shall we?  Li armed with a computer science degree joined the dot.com industry, was bored (she gets bored often) so she started photographing her rescue cats, kudos and compliments ensued– Li ended up becoming a full-time photographer. Li liked to doodle and wanted to learn calligraphy, she took a two day Copperplate calligraphy class and within a year (a year!) she was voted Boston’s #1 calligrapher. I know there’s a ton of stock put into people focusing on one pursuit and you’ll become a success ot’s usually a good rule of thumb), but sometimes there’s that rare individual that has many interests and succeeds due to the passion they put into pursuing those endeavors. Did Li possess magic powers? No, she worked at it and then worked at it some more. She networked and wrote about her journey and I think these are all valuable lessons.  So, on this Monday morn I highly suggest that you consider following your heart, no matter how far fetched that may seem, you never know where you may end up.
P.S. I highly recommend you check out the links above so you can see how far Li has come!