Give Thanks this Christmas

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As promised the 2016 “Thank You” printable is here. It just had to stay under wraps until after Thanksgiving. This year I teamed up with Mormon.org to create a printable in-line with their #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign. Scroll to the bottom if you want to just download the freebie. I’m about to talk religion for a hot second.

I’m a Mormon. I keep it incognito most of the time, but I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We’re Christians, and this time of year I feel so much kinship with other Christian religions as we celebrate the core of our faith: Jesus Christ. This is one of the seasons of year where I readjust my focus and try to be just a little bit better. A little bit kinder. A little more Christ-like. Because, baby steps. right?

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I’m passionate about gratitude. I love writing out Thank You cards to friends and family. I love sending out snail mail!! It’s a favorite of mine. So I’ve created a printable Thank You suite for the whole family.

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The first (from left, see above) is a fold-over card for grown ups and longer sentiments. The middle is a guided card for younger writers, giving them only a little bit of space to write something. Even a couple of words. The third (which could be use for a short Thank You) is designed for emerging writers, encouraging a child to just make a mark. A picture or a scribble allows him/her to take ownership of the sentiment.

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Included in the Thank You set is a printable envelope. Print, cut and tape together. It’s pretty quick. If I have time, I’ll send the Silhouette Studio file here so you can cut it with your Silhouette machine.

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Last, but not least, I painted and lettered a phrase from D+C 59:7 (some of our modern scripture). I hope that if you’re not of my same faith, you might find this reminder encouraging to get on your knees and give thanks to Him.

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I hope you use this printable!! It’s a real pleasure to make these designs and publish them out to the world. I love seeing them in real-life situations, too. If you use it, tag me (@melissapher) so I can see how you’ve incorporated it into your Christmas.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Want more Thank You’s to print and download? See this list:

Artwork is free for personal use. Distribution and alteration of files without written consent is prohibited. Contact me if you have any questions of the terms of use.

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  1. Natalie Hulett says:

    Those are all gorgeous prints!

  2. […] Melissa Esplin – Printable THANK YOU cards […]

Calligraphy-Lover’s Gift Guide

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Happy Cyber Monday! Good grief the year is flying by so quickly. I’ve been meaning to write the reprise to my first gift guide for over a year now. Here it is. If you’ve got a calligraphy/letter lover in your family, hold on to your pants. My online class at Calligraphy.org is 10% off with code CYBER2016 from now until 11/30/2016. Discount available on gifts (hint: gift it to yourself, it’s always a good idea).

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If you yourself are a calligraphile, forward this to your family and friends. Clue them in to the hottest, awesomest stuff to gift this year. I’ve broken it up into 3 price tiers: budget-friendly, mid-range and SPLURGE! All tools are great for all experience levels. They’re tools that I have in my own studio (or ones that I’m lusting after myself). If you have any questions at all, give me a shout-out in the comments below. I’m happy to reply.

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BUDGET FRIENDLY

  • Ruler: This rolling ruler allows you to easily make parallel lines! It’s awesome. I use it constantly.
  • Gold watercolor inks: Add water and apply to the underside of the nib to make gold ink. These come in separate containers that are tiny and portable.
  • Adjustable oblique holder: Your loved one looking to graduate from the speedball universal? This is a fabulous holder that works with a wide range of nibs, even crowquills.
  • Zig twin brushes: These brushes have a foam cone, so they don’t fray or dull. They’re great for beginners, heavy-handed letterers or the busy mom & pop that have mischievous children.
  • Copic Gasenfude: It’s a nylon brush marker that has a springy touch and juicy ink that won’t quit.
  • Copperplate nib sampler: Give your calligrapher the option to explore nibs he/she hasn’t tried before.

 

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MID-RANGE

  • Sakura Koi watercolor set: It’s compact, comes with a fabulous water-brush. The pigments are brilliant and archival. Great for your artist on-the-go.
  • Calligraphy.org Gift Kit: I’m biased, but these kits include one-on-one coaching for brush and pointed pen calligraphy. So if your letter-lover has no idea what he/she is doing, we can help. Or we can push him/her farther with off-script challenges.
  • really nice brush for watercolor: I think everyone should have at least one sable brush in their supplies.
  • A leather blotter: it helps get finer, smoother hairlines to write with a blotter underneath your work. or you can customize it for a little extra splurge. Mike Ward makes the most beautiful signatures.

 

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SPLURGE

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    Free Printable Christmas Tags

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    Oh gosh, it’s that time of year again! I’m loving how it pushes me creatively to come up with new designs and freebies. It’s such a great time to explore my art.

    Interesting note: My grandparents for years and years held a Thanksgiving tradition of painting and a sleepover after our Thanksgiving feast. My grandpa carefully set out a canvas, brushes and a palette for each of us. He had a painting for us to work off of, but we could always do our own thing. I love how my family fostered art together.

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    Instead of the annual Thank You card, I have a gift tag/place card printable. The Thank You is coming soon. You’ll see it in a few days. And don’t worry (not that any of you do), the candy box is also on its way.

    Use this printable as a last-minute place card or punch a hole and use it as a tag for a last-minute hostess gift tag. It comes 4 to a page, so you can use them for all sorts of fancy things! Speaking of gift tags, I’m teaching a gift tag brush lettering class next week on DECEMBER 1st in LEHI, UT! It’ll be at Paper Crush in Lehi. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

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    I painted and lettered the graphics. Of course, I couldn’t have done what I did without taking a class from Natalie Malan! A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go to one of her workshops (a couple of spots opened up and I snatched up it right away). I feel like I really upped my watercolor game after her class. Loved every minute of it.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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    I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful holiday! This printable is free for personal use only. Any alteration or distribution of the artwork without written consent is prohibited.

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    Post-Pinners Class Recap

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    Last weekend I spent all day Friday and Saturday at Pinners Conference. This year it was in Downtown Salt Lake; so it was bigger, louder, crazier and better. I think it was about double the size of last year’s conference. Just nuts.

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    I was asked to teach a calligraphy class for the conference. The limitations being that I need to do something in 1 hour for 175-ish people. Considering that most of my regular workshops are 3 hours and we only cover the lowercase alphabet, that’s just crazy talk. So I opted for pencil calligraphy. It takes away the complication of the moving parts of pointed pen, and isn’t as permanent as brush work since you have an eraser.

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    Blackwing and The Papermill Store donated materials for the class. Top-notch materials to boot!

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    I use The Papermill Store’s Fidelity Onion Skin paper on most of my practice. Even things that I photograph. It’s smooth for brush practice and high-quality for ink work. I use it regularly for digitizing my calligraphy as I can place my guidelines underneath. I don’t have to worry about photoshopping out guidelines as they’re completely separate! It’s a fabulous paper and handles printing well, too.

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    Blackwing donated their Palomino Pearl pencils. They’re smooth like a 2-4b, but the lead keeps its shape like an HB. A beautiful compromise if you ask me. And the eraser? It’s adjustable. Absolutely fantastic.

    Here you can see the pencil in action.

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    In the workshop we covered orientation, grip, touch, angle, basic strokes and the lowercase alphabet. It was like the Melissa-Tornado came through, we covered so much ground! But that was just the beginning! I feel like all workshops are much too short!! I could talk and talk and talk about materials, orientation and foundations for hours on end. But thankfully for everyone in attendance, I ended on time.

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    Here’s a glimpse of the 175 Pinners in attendance. Biggest class to date!

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    One woman came up to me after class to show me her practice. She had never done calligraphy before, and look at this great practice! Proud moment here.

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    We also ran a booth this weekend there, I sold markers, watercolors, pens & paper. I found these most adorable pens and stickers and couldn’t not stock them. I’m thinking I need to sell grab bags of the left-over goodies.

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    It was a great weekend, but so exhausting! I’m glad to be home and tidying up my studio. It’s a hurricane, you’ll agree if you’ve seen my Insta story on it.

    If you missed out on the Pinners class, I’ll be teaching two workshops in the next month. Sign up for my pointed pen workshop here and the brush workshop here. And if not, there’s always one of my online classes here!!

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    3rd Annual Halloween Pic or Treat

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    I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 3 years now! It’s my new favorite tradition: hosting a photobooth for trick-or-treaters. It’s near impossible to get photos of your kids on Halloween, let alone ones that are well-lit and show off the whole costume. So each year I open up my home to our neighbors to swing by and grab a photo.

    I have a printer that connects up with the booth so everyone walks away with a physical print of their photo. This year, we had people hit up our house first because they knew that we were the “photo house”. It just makes my day.

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    For new neighbors and visitors of our neighborhood, I made a sign detailing the photobooth and how it works. I can only imagine a parent might be a little bit hesitant at first that their kid is invited into a stranger’s home to “take photos”. Gross. So I put it in clear writing that images are not distributed in any way after the event. We also had candy out for those who wished to opt out of the photobooth. Our neighborhood gets a steady flow of trick-or-treaters each year, so there’s usually a small queue lining out the door. It’s a fun social thing. I imagine if our neighborhood did a trunk or treat, this would be a fun thing to set up for that, too.

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    I winged the signage without a ruler, and I’ve got to say I’m pleased with the outcome. I’ve been practicing my chalk work ever since taking Skyler Chubak’s chalk lettering class. It’s been most helpful!

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    My sister was there as I was setting up the booth. It took me way longer than it should have to set everything up because of dumb technical difficulties. ugh. Thankfully we worked through those!

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    Penelope and her BFF Kate went as twin wolves. They are both obsessed with everything wolf. It’s adorable.

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    Even Mickey & Minnie showed up.

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    I didn’t do much by way of dressing up. Thanks to Penelope for the witch’s hat. Junie wore a hand-me-down from Felix.

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    She’s too dang cute.

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    Felix is wearing a batman costume meant for 3-year-olds, and has been sporting it non-stop since Halloween. He loves his “Ba-MAN”.

    It was a glorious year for us. As disappointed as I was to not have made a single costume, it was nice to keep things relatively simple. Best Halloween yet. Next year, maybe we’ll do a family costume. I had better start planning now.

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