Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

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

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.

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.

#Hallelujah Easter Printable 3: Printable Calligraphed Scripture

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I believe in Christ! He did something super awesome for all of us. I’ve teamed up with Mormon.org and Sugardoodle to share Easter printables focused around our Savior. I hope that if you’re a disciple of Christ, regardless of denomination, you’ll enjoy these designs.

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I knew I wanted to share some kind of calligraphed quote or scripture passage that would go beyond Easter Celebrations. I had a hard time thinking of what to do. But then Chris told me to do the obvious. While this scripture is so common, it still maintains so much power.

I went through a few different design ideas before settling on this one. The simple blues with the variation in watercolor feel just right.

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You can print off this scripture in a frameable 8×10 size or in a 5×7 to send easily as a postcard or in an envelope to a loved one living far away.

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I plan to keep this one up year-round. I do hope you enjoy it and don’t forget God loves you.

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Click the link below to download the printable PDF:

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Check out past year’s printable Easter stuff:

Easter Basket Tag • Easter BannerEaster Sunday Printable • 2016 Candy Box • 2011 Candy Box • 2010 Easter Candy Box

*By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Sewing: Penelope’s Blue Macaw Costume

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Penelope has an incredible fascination with birds. Specifically Blue Macaws. I think it all stems from the movies Rio and Rio 2 (highly under-rated movies, in my opinion). She’s a wiz at drawing them, she loves reading about them, she’s just obsessed.

 

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Yet for some reason it still surprised me when we walked down the aisles of JoAnn (about beginning of September, maybe August?) and she requested I make her a Blue Macaw costume for Halloween. I mean she was going all goo-goo ga-ga over the sparkly blue Elsa-dress-type fabric. I was expecting something Frozen to head our way. I’m not the biggest fan of that movie; perhaps it’s because so many people raved about the music like it was on-par with Lion King. Uhhh, really guys? Do you have ears? It’s definitely not at that level. It was just standard Disney fare in my opinion. I digress.

 

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I secretly screamed for joy when she wanted to do something completely different than Elsa. So we scoured the aisles and found a sparkly blue spandex (remeniscent of the Mardi Gras parade scene) and this awesome textured chiffon that looks just like bird feathers. And then we found a matching headband with sequins. And matching feathers. And matching leggings.

All that I had to do (and I say “all” like it’s no small feat, but this part took me forever) was to make her a little birdie dress and a cape. It took me a while to come up with the concept. Just having raw fabric at my disposal, I wasn’t sure if I should go more sculptural or more themed. I went more practical with leggings and a dress just because I’m not going to go to such efforts to make her something that she’ll never wear again. The cape will be in the dress-ups forever. The dress may actually get some wear on special occasions. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure Penelope will think of something. She was excited to get a new dress.

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I was planning on dressing Felix up as Fix-it-Felix, but he refused. I had a few hand-me-down costumes as well. Still no. Maybe next year. June wore cat ears. We may get more into it next year. But Pen had fun.

And this year was our second annual Pic-or-Treat! We set up the photo booth (this time with full-body format) and gave printed photos out to the trick-or-treaters. Some didn’t want their picture taken (totally understandable – let me go to this random stranger’s house and let them take pictures of minors! YAY! JK.), so we had candy for them. We loved it! I heard from several grateful parents who didn’t have a chance to get pictures of their kids. That made it all worth it.

Now on to Thanksgiving!

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