HANK + HUNT

This is Jenny Batt the mastermind behind the blog Hank + Hunt.  You may have already pinned a zillion of her D.I.Y.’s she’s pretty clever + crafty (and busy).  I have wanted to recommend her blog previously, not that I am in the habit of recommending blogs, but Jenny’s got a great voice and is just so darn creative.  When I went to do this last time it looked like Jenny was going to stop blogging and then I thought, what horrible timing I have.  She since has continued her blogging journey and I am so glad she has! Look at that photo, why wouldn’t you want to read a blog by such a pretty, happy lady?  One of my favorite things about her blog is how honest she is; she shares her sources, her secrets and frustrations and it makes her so much more real and accessible. It reminds me of the bloggers of yore who let you in on their lives so you didn’t feel like they had everything perfectly ‘together’.  I have no idea why this industry has become about the ‘Jones’ who can do bigger, better more whatever, but Jenny brings it back, makes the D.I.Y.’s easy enough that even the novice crafter can partake and have success. I read an interview recently from a big blogger that said blogging is dying, that it’s a chore for her and the blogging world is over saturated, she wouldn’t recommend anyone start a blog now.  When I read a blog like Jenny’s I am glad she doesn’t subscribe to this ‘big bloggers’ philosophy, because I think everyone has a unique perspective and I am grateful that people like Jenny are taking the time to create interesting and exciting content.  It’s fun to discover a new favorite blog and want to Pin or (bookmark for the old school) every.single. post.  I hope you go visit Hank + Hunt and add it to your weekly reads, it sure would be nice to have her stick around a wee bit longer.
P.S. Jenny just added a visual search to her blog for her amazing DIY’s!

BEST MADE CO.

It started out with an axe, that is the very humble beginnings of this amazing New York company.  I love everything about this shop from the brand name to the mission of re-inventing + re-branding everyday functional items into more beautiful sleek versions of themselves.  I don’t need anything from this shop but I sure as heck have a laundry list of ‘wants’. You should visit, it’s a visual feast for your inner graphic designer. Visit Best Made Co. here.

SUMMER STORM::CLOUD STUDY

I love to get lost in the clouds, just staring and watching the rolling waves of fluff move and create familiar shapes. I thought it would be interesting to get the storm clouds in different phases for you. The first one I can totally see a heart, is that just me? The sky is just starting to darken but it’s a pretty deep indigo, the clouds are still bright white, there’s hope that the storm will pass. Alas, the second image the clouds start to congregate, darken and push out the last of the blue in the sky, the sun rays peek through but it’s all in vain as the clouds are on a mission; when they put their mind to it nothing can stop them. The final photo my world is cloaked in shades of gray, the sound of thunder makes the house shake–it’s storm time.  
Last night may not have been the worse storm since we have been here but it certainly was the loudest!  I had B. wrapped up in her Thunder coat, a magical invention if there ever was one. I laid there in the dark just listening to the roar of the thunder, the lightening bright even behind my closed lids.  I love the sound of the rain, the cool breeze that wafts into the bedroom through the open window; the smell of wet earth, wood and pine is not too shabby either.  It’s supposed to rain all week, so I will have lots of time to take in more clouds, smells and sounds. I think I might even take some time this week to paint. I am certainly feeling inspired and the cloud study is definitely a beautiful reference point, but I won’t try to recreate it as I think that Mother Nature already perfected those images and I could do nothing to add to their beauty but I have some ideas that I want to play with and besides it’s always a good time when you break out the paints and just lose yourself for a few hours, I highly recommend it.  I am finding that studying painting helps me to become a better photographer, you notice light in new ways and you know I love me some good light.  You?  Will you be doing anything for yourself this week? Something creative or trying something new? It’s a short week it should fly by, it might be nice to take a little time for just you.

5 GREAT ART DOCUMENTARIES

I wanted to continue on the documentary recommendations and also wanted to thank you kindly for yours, you might even see a couple of your suggestions added to this list. It’s so nice to be able to go to Netlflix and know that I will now find a documentary instead of having to settle for something riveting like ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’. I decided to focus this list on art so it wouldn’t be so hodge podge and it might make it easier to narrow down your choices.  I hope you like my suggestions, please feel free to add one yourself in the comments or add to my reviews.

The Rape of Europa-SHOCKING! I don’t think they needed to add the last story to the documentary that could of been its own doc. This is so sad, shocking and filled with greed, passion and insanity.
Herb & Dorthy-This is a charming story and hard for the average person to wrap their mind around what this couple both accomplished + accumulated.
Stolen-I think an art heist is always intriguing and this one doesn’t disappoint–13 masterpieces were absconded with.

A Man Named Pearl-I have written about this before and it is more inspiring than art related, although what Pearl creates to me would fall under the ‘art’ category. You won’t regret spending your precious time watching this doc, it may even become your favorite on this list.
This is one that is no longer available at Netflix, but was still interesting:

My Kid Could Paint That– It’s a doc about a 4 year old painting prodigy or not
original abstract ink & brush by tristan b.

HAND LETTERING TIPS + RESOURCES

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;)