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?