Tag Archives: hand lettering

Happy Handwriting Day!

Had you asked me in 6th Grade if I would ever find myself wishing anyone a happy handwriting day, I would have not doubled over in laughter, I would have stared with incredulity.  Handwriting and happy in the same sentence, in an exclamation of joy and good wishes?  Not possible.  Not possible, at all.  The only thing more torturous than handwriting practice, to me, was the monthly reaping for the kickball team.  Yes, I was always last – or perhaps second to last, and therein a debate ensued between the competing captains about who was a worse kickballer, me or my friend.  True, handwriting was less painful than that, but not by much.

But now, handwriting finds me in my happy place, in my craftroom, with my inks, and my pens, and my stamps, and my watercolors, and when I get a letter right, I’m tickled, and when I get one wrong, I’m ok with it – practice practice.  So, I’ve taken this childhood near malady, rife with slop, angst, twisted wrists, and visual word vomit, and kicked it’s ass.  Take that, Mrs. Singer and you’re dreaded red pen, that would circle every malformed r, or s or q.

Right now, I’m just following along with the #showmeyourdrills challenge on Instagram, practicing full quotes with the #literaryletteringchallenge, and watching some classes on #Skillshare.  Here are a few of my literary quotes:

One thing I’ve learned is that for any particular job, you need the right tools, and I do not have the right tools.  I’ve been using crappy paper, and it shows.   The splotches and puddles are not because I’m not using my pen right (although, since I don’t have a teacher hovering over my shoulder with a red pain, I can’t be exactly sure I’m using my pen right), but because regular old computer paper, and low quality cardstock may as well be a paper towel in how it absorbs the ink.  And, while watercolor is fine with absorbtion, since I have the bumpy kind (hot press? cold press?  I always get them confused), my nib gets caught in the bumps, and that causes a leak, or an extra lump of ink.  So, right now, I’m looking at my ink messes as design elements, but I do intend to get myself a nice pad of Rhodia paper, the paper most sites recommend.

This last quote I wrote over scrap paper that I used to test out my new WRMK CMYK stamps.  They’re pretty neat.  There are four layers of each stamp, and each one is stamped with a corresponding color to get the old timey printer quality of CMYK printing.  They actually look better photographed than they do in person, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.  The tool underneath is a Misti Stamp Tool.  The tool is like the WRMK Precision Stamp Press – you place your paper on the bottom grid, and place your stamp where you want it to go.  When you put the lid down, the stamp sticks to it, and when you pull the lid back, you apply your ink, press it down, and stamp – voila! your stamp will always be in the same place.  So you can do some mass production stamping – for those holiday cards.  Or, you can stamp the same stamp twice for those times you don’t get a good impression.  And, you can use these layering stamps.  If you youtube the tool, a lot of useful tutorials will come up.  The only thing I don’t like about this nifty tool is that it comes with a New Testament Bible quote across the top, and I don’t know why that’s necessary.  But, since I use mostly clear stamps, there’s a foam insert you put in anyway, and it covers the quote.  Had I noticed the Bible quote before I put it on my Hanukkah list, I probably wouldn’t have put it on my list.  But, it’s a really useful tool, and it came in handy this weekend when I was stamping 3 x 4 project life cards.

So, what do I intend to do with my newfound handwriting love?  Continue to practice, surely.  But, I’m thinking of doing InCoWrMo , International Correspondence Writing Month, which is February, and involves sending correspondence every single day during the month of February.  I don’t think I can actually do that.  But, I think I probably could do it during the week, if I prepare.  I’m still mulling it around.  To commit, or not commit, so say ye word of the year?

Stay tuned!

Buh Bye 2016

2016, I will not miss you.  Yes, there were celebrity deaths that were saddening, but that’s life.  2016, to me, was objectively a really bad year.  If you’re reading this, and you had a fantastic year, great!  I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s triumphs, successes and joys, but honestly, I’ve lost sleep this year about what a crap year  it’s been, from the random acts of violence, to the exposed schisms in our country, to the lunatic that we put in the White House.  On a personal level, the year started with a car wreck, nearly killing my brother, but only “luckily” breaking both of his legs.  The first few months of the year, we spent hours at the hospital with him, and then in the nursing home.  While I have no problem waiving buh bye to 2016, I can’t say that I don’t look upon 2017 without trepidation.  It’s no secret I’m a liberal, but it’s not that I fear a Republican in the White House – I would have been ok, not happy, but ok, had a McCain won, or a Romney – I wouldn’t have felt like we were all going to die.  But, I truly fear the fascist madman soon to be in the White House.   But, what can you do, just hope for the best I guess!

So, without further ado, I’ll unveil my word for 2017 – nope, it’s not hope.  It’s Commit.  I’m tired of doing things half-assed.  If I’m going to do something, I really want to explore if I’m committed.  I’m tired of starting things, and not finishing them.  Of beginning a creative project, spending a ton of money getting supplies, and being done with it after I’ve completed one project.  I’m tired of signing up for online classes, quickly watching them, and then not doing any of the work.  I’m tired of saying my diet starts on Monday.  And with Commit as my word, the opposite is also my mantra – if I can’t commit, I’m not going to do it.  In picking my word, I’ve also picked a few year long projects to which I’m going to commit:

  1.  Ali Edward’s One Little Word Class.  I’ve picked a word before.  I’ve picked a lot of words over the years.  I’ve even put them in the sidebar of my blog.  But, by March or April, even February, the word is long forgotten, and certainly not a prism through which I’m making choices.  So, to help me along, and commit to my committing, I’m joining Ali Edwards for her monthly prompts and exercises designed to help you incorporate your word into your life.
  2. Journaling.  I am going to journal every day, even if it’s just a sentence, or a list, or maybe a doodled word.  I used to be diarist.  While what I wrote was so embarrassing, I ended up throwing most of my diaries out – yep, I through at least 20 in the garbage because I didn’t want to visit with that person ever again.  But, I miss the act of writing – not just memory keeping, but figuring things out, whining in my personal space, focusing or being silly.  So, in order to keep me on track, I bought this:

This is an A6 Hobonichi Techo.  Basically, its a small, one day on a page planner/journal/notebook.  I struggled between buying the A6 and the larger A5, but I settled on the A6 because I thought it would easier to live up to my commitment, and journal every day in a smaller space, and the A5 is in Japanese, and the A6 comes in an English version.  I also ordered a used Chic Sparrow traveler’s notebook cover for it, so I’ll report on that when it arrives.  If I outgrow the A6, the A5, the Cousin Avec, comes in a six month size, and I could also size up for the second half of the year.

3.  Also on the commitment list for 2016 – Hand Lettering!  I have decided that 2017 is going to be my year of hand lettering.  Right now I’m exploring – I have a dip pen, a Tombow dual brush pen, and a Tombow fude on the way.  This is my creative art commitment for the year, because that’s what hand lettering really is – drawing letters.  And rather than willy nilly committing to this online art class, or that one, this is what I’m doing this year – and I will hopefully add some watercolor to the mix.  To help me along with my commitment, I’ve created an instagram account just for my lettering endeavors – OliveInks.  And, to support this commitment, I’m working my way through a class on Creativebug, as well as joining in on some Instagram/FB challenges, primarily this one for now, #ShowMeYourDrills.  I’ve also signed up for Skillshare, using their 3 mos/99 cents promotion.

Can I just tell you how relaxing and soothing these drills are!

and 4.  Diet, Health and Exercise.  I’ve gained 20 lbs since moving to the suburbs.  It’s like it happened over night, but it really happened over four years.  Mostly this year though.  I’m a stress eater.  But, I’ve got my smart watch, counting my steps.  And, I’ve bought a new bathing suit to start swimming in January.  And, I’m going to try to be kind to myself, not beat myself up, acknowledge that this is unlike diets in the past when I wanted to lose 5 lbs, but didn’t really need to lose 5 lbs.  Right now, I need to lose the 20lbs because my clothes do not fit.  This is a big commitment; it’s not going to happen overnight – but I’m committed.

So, goodbye 2016!  For the world in general, for 2017, I can only hope, but for me personally, I am committed to making 2017 better, more productive, more creative, and healthier – if my summer clothes fit, I’m going to call 2017 a success.

Take care, everyone and Happy New Year!