Beginning Modern Calligraphy Workshop 10/19/17

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CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

I’ll be teaching a calligraphy workshop in Salt Lake City, UT this October 19th at 5:30. Come!! We have two spots left, so sign up soon! 

If you missed out, sign up for the newsletter! Signing up means you get info on deals with the online class and when local class registrations go live. Hope to see you there! 

 

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    Random DIY: Gigantic Yard Googly Eyes

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    If you’re here from KSL Studio 5, WELCOME!! I’m excited to have you here! If you’d like to join my next calligraphy workshop in Salt Lake City, click here to register. If you’d like to learn calligraphy online, click here instead. ;)

    Here’s the link to the Studio 5 segment, in case you missed it. ;)

    This DIY is too simple and hilarious not to share. Last year I bought some 7″ googly eyes from amazon and hung them on my willow tree in the front yard. It rained. The googly eyes fell apart. $7 down the drain. I think those googly eyes would have been great if I had used them inside, or if I lived in a climate that never rained or snowed during the month of October. :/ BUT this year I decided I needed to keep with the googly eye tradition and just make my own. 

    And honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t make a million of these bad boys before. They’re easy and cost basically nothing. I had everything on-hand because, well… I’m a craft supplies hoarder. I didn’t have black cardstock, but I did have black lined writing paper, so I used that. You can cut out your own by hand or on a craft cutter like the Silhouette (which is what I did) OR you can print out the eyeballs from the template I’ve designed by clicking the download link below: 

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    John & Anna Wedding | Watercolor Wash DIY

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    I had the joy to design and letter the wedding invitations for one of my cousins this last August. They were dream clients, too. Both have amazing taste and trusted my expertise and let me play with some fun, new techniques. 

     

    I’ve really enjoyed playing around with watercolor pencils and the playfulness and depth they provide to a simple watercolor wash, so I mixed a few colors to get their wedding colors in the wash and went to town. See the below video for an in-depth explanation of how to get that wash. I love the energy that explodes from the background with those washes. 

    Check out the tutorial below and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tutorials like this in the future! 

    We went with copper foil printing for the names on the invitation. Part of me wanted to do copper foil for all of the text, but I didn’t want readability to be an issue. We did digital printing with digital foil through a wholesale printer I have an account with, so it was quite affordable, too!

    Man, foil is so hard to capture with a camera! It has a lovely rosy, rusty tone to it, it’s hard to see that in the images. But it popped nicely against the watercolor background. 

    For the design, I used my go-to font Museo Sans and my own hand-lettering. I lettered the names and titles of cards with my iPad Pro using Procreate and Brush #4 from Fabian Fischer’s ultimate calligraphy brush set. I really liked the texture and functionality of that brush more than any other brush I’ve found around. If you’ve found other good ones, let me know!  

    I ended up addressing all of the envelopes for the invitations as well. The couple gave me 100% creative freedom to pen them however worked best. I ended up doing a large-scale script for the names with an all caps for the address. I used the Cocoiro Brush Type marker (if you’re purchasing one for the first time, don’t forget to get a pen body to go with it). The markers lasted me about 75 invitations before it ran out of ink. I ended up doing between 500-600 envelopes. It was a project for sure, but I was THRILLED with the end result. 

    I’ve recreated the invitations using my ink-jet printer and laser printer and foil laminator so you can see some of the spots where the foil didn’t adhere. All details have been changed for privacy purposes.

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    Easy Suminigashi Tutorial

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    Iron provided by CHI® and Bed Bath & Beyond. Whether taking the wrinkles out of a new bedspread or curtains as the finishing touch on a home décor project, ironing your favorite outfit for a special occasion or flattening paper for artwork the CHI® Electronic Retractable Clothing Iron is the bee’s knees. 

     

    SUMINIGASHI!! This marbling technique is so super awesome. It’s one of those projects that doesn’t really require a whole lot of space or preparation. I had everything on-hand for this project, so there was little barrier to entry here. 

    HOWEVER, there was a little bit of a learning curve. Check out this little video Hayley and I made about our discoveries through trouble-shooting (the tutorial is at the end if you want to skip to the end there, too). 

    In a nutshell, here’s what we found: 

    • Cold water works best
    • You can use soap to help disperse the ink, but you need a large water bath in order to keep the ink from dropping from the surface
    • Use only sumi ink if you plan on using a smaller water bath (we used a kitchen dish for note cards and envelopes)
    • Not all sumi inks work well. Of the sumi inks I have, Yasutomo worked the best
    • We read elsewhere that these colored inks work well, if you want to add color
    • The first paper you pull is often the “first pancake”, don’t stress if it doesn’t work well
    • You can get 3-7 pulls off of one ink application, the ghost images are subtle like Carrara marble

     

    Don’t feel like watching the video for the tutorial? Here’s the cliff’s notes version: 

    SUPPLIES:

    • sumi ink
    • paper (we loved the crisp results of bristol paper, but anything works!)
    • cold water
    • water container
    • diluted soapy water (only if using a larger container)
    • brush
    • tooth pick or eye dropper
    • the bestest iron ever (yes, a clothing iron)

    If you’re doing this project with little people, you may want to add aprons, rubber gloves and a drop cloth to the mix (especially if you’re doing larger ink baths). 

    Fill your container with cold water. I chose to use a small container for the video, but I’m on Studio 5 on Tuesday sharing how you can do it with soap and a larger container. So either can be done. 

    Get your ink brush wet and load it up with sumi ink. Barely tap the surface of the water and watch the water disperse along the surface. 

    Add more dots along the surface, spacing them randomly apart. the longer your brush touches the surface, the larger the dot. 

    Get as many dots as you want, until you feel happy with the blank space to ink ratio. 

    With a toothpick or eye dropper, drag the tool along the surface to pull and move the ink around. You’ll get little swirls all over. 

    Grab your paper and submerse the first paper entirely. 

    Pull your print and place on a cookie sheet to dry. If you’re doing envelopes, touch only the surface of the water to the front of the envelope. Hold the envelope by the flap so it doesn’t get wet (otherwise it will seal shut as it dries). 

    Now what do you do when the paper dries?? It’s so annoying when papers dry all curly and whatnot. And they will. So iron them! A huge shout out to CHI Heat tools and Bed Bath and Beyond for providing me with a brand-new iron for my sewing and paper crafting. 

    I’ve been a Rowenta gal for a long time, but it wasn’t hard to make the switch. It’s light-weight, yet substantial, the plate is silky smooth, the heat time is short, the reservoir for steaming is twice the size of my old one and it has a retractable cord. All wins in my book. If you’re in the market for a new iron, this is it. 

    For ironing paper, get a cutting board (something smooth, yet will take heat) and a piece of quilting cotton. Set the iron to COTTON with NO STEAM. Place the cotton over the paper you’re about to iron and press for 15-20 seconds, moving the iron as you go. Flip the paper around  and repeat. The paper may want to curl in the direction of its grain, but it will relax once it cools back down. 

    Pretty fun, right? I would recommend doing this in batches to save time. The print or write your desired phrases overtop! 

    This post is sponsored by CHI® and Bed Bath & Beyond. All opinions are my own.

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    Watercolor Pencil Ranunculus Tutorial

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    I’ve had this thing in the queue too long! It’s no secret that I’m a materials hoarder. When I got the chance to score a set of General’s Kimberly Watercolor Pencils, I jumped at the chance. I tried watercolor pencils a long, long time ago (before I really even knew a thing about watercolor painting in general), and didn’t really do well with them. I needed to make up for lost time. 

    I really loved how these watercolor pencils turned out. They’re smooth, vibrant, juicy, and blendable. BUT… they aren’t watercolor paints! There’s a real distinction between the two… See? 

    I love how I can get very gestural strokes with the watercolor pencils. It adds a lot of movement to the paper. I filmed a quick little tutorial on how to make your own ranunculus in the video below. I do hope you enjoy! 

     

     

    Add your own calligraphy to your florals, and you’ve got a VA-VA-VOOM piece that your friends and family will love! Don’t know calligraphy yet? Consider taking my online class. It’s THE BEST (if I do say so myself. ;)). 

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