Upside Down & Backwards Calligraphy

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It was sometime, like a year and a half ago, when I realized that I could do calligraphy upside down and backwards. Ask me to do it sideways and I’m a mess, but upside down and backwards I can do. 

I posted it onto my Instagram a bit ago and got a few questions like, How do you do that? Besides the really stupid answer; I just think of the letters backwards and upside down, I really don’t have a good answer for that. It has been a great way to challenge myself to literally know my strokes backwards and forwards, but it gets me out of my funk. It’s a great way to transition from thinking entirely left-brained to allowing the creativity of the right-brain take over. If you’re a calligrapher, give it a try. It’s mind-bendingly fun! 

If you’re reading this post, it’s a new year and I’m excited to bring all-new content to the blog. I’ve decided that this blog is taking the focus of arts & materials. So along those lines, what kinds of tools/projects would you like to see? More calligraphy? More painting? Let me know in the comments! 

Want to learn calligraphy? Like the regular, right-side up stuff? Check out calligraphy.org for my classes. I teach with personal one-on-one feedback, so it’s the real deal. ;)

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    February & March 2018 Calligraphy Workshops!

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    I’ve started teaching in-person again! I’ve got February and March workshop registrations open.

    Lettered with white ink on handmade paper

    Beginning Modern Calligraphy (aka Pointed Pen)

    FEB 15 | 6-9 | DRAPER, UT

    It’s a 3-hour whirlwind workshop. Let’s get down to business and get you learning as much technique as possible to get you practicing and comfortable with pointed pen. It’s not that intimidating, but there is a learning curve. If you’re the type of person that needs adjustments with your grip and orientation and needs to see things in-person. This is the workshop for you. No experience necessary. Beginnermediate calligraphers welcome, too. Lefties ALWAYS welcome. Snacks, handouts and materials included.

    REGISTER HERE

    Sakura markers on Rhodia paper

     

    Beginning Brush Lettering (aka pointed brush calligraphy)

    MAR 2 | 5-8 | SLC, UT

    We’ve teamed up with The Market Beautiful (formerly Vintage Whites) for another workshop at the Utah Fairgrounds. Come early and shop the awesome vintage/made goods and get your “learn on” as we dive deep into brush lettering. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t have time for calligraphy, but you need calligraphy in your life, this is the class for you. Materials are portable to go where you go: practices, jet-setting, road trips, doc apts, school, etc. No experience necessary. Beginnermediate calligraphers welcome, too. Lefties ALWAYS WELCOME. Snacks, handouts and materials included. 

    REGISTER HERE

    If you have any questions about these upcoming workshops, feel free to leave a comment or email me directly! I hope to see you there! 

    Can’t make it to one of these in-person workshops? I’ve got the next best thing! Take one of my online classes over at calligraphy.org

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    Post-Holiday Thank Yous for Kids

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    Finally coming up to the surface after a very wonderful, but very busy holiday season. OH wow. It was great. My kids were spoiled, too. So, how do I include them in giving thanks for their massive haul of presents? They make the backgrounds and I make the cards out of them. It’s really quite easy. I made a video about it, but I’m sure you can figure it out on your own, though, too. ;)

    SUPPLIES:

    • paper (I love this stuff, you can find it at Walmart usually for $5)
    • watercolors 
    • brushes
    • Sakura brush markers (they’re waterproof)
    • -or- a Thank You stamp/sticker (I made my stamp with the Mint)

    No need to cut the papers down, give them to your kids and let them have fun! But not so much fun that they totally saturate the page with water and pigment. We need the paper to still have some integrity. So try (sometimes easier said than done) to pull the paper away and give them a new one to color once they have markings in all four quadrants of the page. Teach them how to splatter their paint (only if you have washable colors like crayola watercolors!).

    Once you have a collection of pages from your kid(s), let the papers dry and cut the paper in fourths (5.5×4.25). Now add your Thank You phrase! You can write it by hand with marker or use a Thank You stamp (like this or this).

    Now on the back, write your Thank You on the back on the left half of the paper. Be sure to leave room for your kid to make a mark, whether it’s a scribble or part of their name. Write the recipients address on the right half and stick a stamp in the top right corner. BOOM. DONE. Postcard postage is 34 cents now, so keep that in mind. :) 

    I hope you get your kids involved in expressing gratitude with us! Let me know how it goes by tagging me on Instagram @melissapher. And if you’re looking to learn how to do that fancy-pants calligraphy on the front of the card, look no further. I teach brush lettering with personal coaching (one-on-one feedback that’s actually helpful) over at calligraphy.org. Hope to see you over there! 

    *Affiliate links used for products I use and love.

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    Silk Flower Christmas Tree

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    Happy holidays friends! It’s been a whirlwind year this year and I can’t believe we’re less than a week away from Christmas! We’ve really been enjoying our holiday season so far. And I got my tree up in plenty of time to enjoy it!! I wanted to share with you a round two of my Christmas tree (round 1 is here).

    Not a whole lot has changed besides the fact that I’ve added more flowers from Commercial Silk. They approached me to see if I wanted to review some florals for them, and I gladly obliged. I need more tree filler to take my sparse and twiggy try to the next level.  

    I used ranunculus and dusty miller to add more depth to my branches. And I think I could have used even more than I got, but I really like the depth it added to the tree as it is. I left the stems on the dusty miller, but not on the ranunculus. I cut those off and glued the excess leaves from the stems onto the backs of each bud. I just placed the ranunculus atop each branch. 

    It’s simple, but I really like how it looks. And I can use these decorations year-round for different holidays and events! So that’s a win. I’ve never been much for seasonal decorating, but using durable items like artificial plants really makes it worthwhile. They store nicely and they look fresh year-round!

    The next thing on my list is to make a wood stump base for the tree to stand in. I’ve got the stump on my front porch, I just have to sand the underside and drill the hole. Think I can get that done by Christmas? :) Wish me luck! 

    RESOURCES: 

    • Ranunculus/Dusty Miller: CommercialSilk c/o
    • Wood flowers: Eco Flower c/0
    • 12 days of Christmas: Land of Nod c/o
    • Pink wrapping paper: Tiny Prints
    • Gold wrapping paper: Tai Pan Trading
    • Basket: Tai Pan Trading
    • Picks: Tai Pan Trading & Walmart
    • Paper flowers: handmade

    *Product was provided for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

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    1. Julia says:

      Melissa! I love it! My sister-in-law Camille Zolman got your calligraphy class as her Christmas gift. You will love her. I hope your Christmas was amazing!!

    FREE Address Template + Tutorial

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    This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year. #ad

    It’s my favorite time of year!! I love sending snail mail to loved ones, and getting lovely letters in return! It’s ALL I could ever want for Christmas. But I do admit, it can be stressful, looking at the daunting task of addressing every single envelope by hand. 

    Sure, there are services that will do all the work for you (Holla Tiny Prints! They have mail services available!), but if you want to send out a hand-written address, I’ve got you covered. 

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE TEMPLATE

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE DXF SILHOUETTE CUT FILE

    FIRST, get a marker or pen you love (I’ve mentioned my favorites for dark envelopes RIGHT HERE). Second, get your envelope template. The envelope template will not only help your addresses look beautifully aligned and awesome, you won’t have to give it a second thought. Just place the template overtop your envelope and write away. If you’re still intimidated by the whole thing, Here’s a video breaking down my must-do tips & tricks: 

    Here’s what you’ll need to make this happen: 

    For using a printer: download the printable template. Print on thick card stock and cut out solid black lines with a craft knife. 

    For using a Silhouette cutter: download the DXF file. Import file to library, add artwork to your artboard, size to 5.25×7.25 and cut out on stencil material (seriously, this stuff is fantastic) or extra thick card stock. 

    Sure, you can use fancy-pants ink and nibs and make it all formal, but you don’t have to. Even something as simple as your own handwriting in a large marker will look AWESOME. Trust me, everyone will tell you how awesome your cards were this year. Pinky promise. 

    And if your penmanship sucks? Don’t worry. Here’s a quick freebie on how to improve your penmanship. But if you want to learn calligraphy (good penmanship isn’t a pre-requisite), check out my online classes in both brush lettering and modern calligraphy. We include personal feedback/coaching so you’re not alone in your journey. 

    Can we stop and talk about how lovely the Tiny Prints designs are this year? And how amazing our photos turned out? We did a super quick session with the lovely Kristin Hale & despite how awful our children were behaving (they were all OVER the place), she still managed to get some fantastic ones that I will LOVE forever. 

    From our family to yours, Happiest Holidays! 

    This freebie and tutorial is free for personal use only. This post is sponsored by TinyPrints, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links used for materials. 

     

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    1. lindsey says:

      Thank you for this! I used it to address my christmas cards and I loved how they turned out. Having lines and spaces for things makes all the difference!

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