Posts Tagged ‘video’

Time-Lapse Chalk Board Project


I teamed up with my assistant Hayley to letter these quotes on a double-sided chalkboard. We had a fantastic time hanging out, chatting and doing our favorite thing: lettering! I had 3 cameras set up. Unfortunately the two end cameras that show us lettering cut out in the middle of our process. And my shoulder is covering my hand basically the entire time. But I still thought I’d edit the footage together and share it on my YouTube channel. If you’re not a subscriber already, throw me a like or a subscribe if you like it! I’m publishing a new video each week. It switches up between time-lapse lettering, real-time lettering, art/material reviews and art tutorials. It’s all very art-related with a heavy lettering emphasis. And every tutorial and art product could be used for calligraphy. So yay to me for being focused on something!! lol. 



Find Hayley and me on Instagram:

@typeaffiliated | @melissapher

Materials used (purchasing through my affiliate links below support more videos, THX!):
General charcoal pencil
Versa chalk
ZIG posterman
Sumo grip eraser

Learn how to do chalk lettering with actual chalk right here.

Buy awesome art prints and originals at!

Basic run-down of how we did this: I took a pic of the chalkboard with my ipad and lettered the layout on there. That gave me a rough idea of where to make guide lines. Then I chalked up the guidelines and markered everything in. BOOM. DONE. Took just over an hour for my side. Hayley was faster. Because she’s a lettering baller. 

This project is for a classroom reading nook, so we wanted the signage to be relatively permanent, hence the chalk markers versus the actual chalk. The cool thing about that is that it makes cleaning up chalkboards a breeze. We used the General Pencil white charcoal to mark up our guidelines and the Sakura SumoGrip eraser to erase them effortlessly after we were done. No white erase marks. No mess. And it didn’t even take off the chalk marker once it was dry either! WIN! 

I might have gotten a little carried away with decorative elements.

Hayley kept it clean, playful and readable. Afterall, it is a reading nook for an elementary school. And most elementary schools don’t teach cursive anymore. So as a result, most kids don’t know how to read it either. It’s the saddest thing. Isn’t the ‘m’ in “dream” just lovely?!? OMG. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process video and a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of how we made these chalkboards. 

Upside Down & Backwards Calligraphy


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 for my classes. I teach with personal one-on-one feedback, so it’s the real deal. ;)

2017 Thank You Printable


The time of year has come where it’s time for the annual Thank You freebie! I love doing this because it gives me a chance to work on styles and techniques I don’t always get to do on a regular basis. For this year, it meant I got to put the watercolor floral classes I’ve taken from Natalie Malan to use. I wanted to go for a slightly muted palette, but it only worked slightly. It’s like a bright, muted palette. ;)

Also, I feel like I must mention that this month completes the 10th year I’ve been blogging! I can’t believe it’s been that long. So much has changed: 6 moves, 3 children and a few career changes to say the least. I didn’t know I would be blogging this long. But here we are! ‘Tis the season for gratitude, so I may as well express that I’m so grateful for the opportunities that blogging and social media has given me. I’ve made dear friends, I’ve traveled, I’ve learned so much and I’ve felt the creative inspiration through the connections that I’ve made. It’s been pretty awesome. Will I still be here, writing in another 10? We shall see! 

This year’s Thank you takes on two forms. One is a plain, 5.5×4.25 rectangle with cut lines for you to follow, the above is a suggestion. You can download the JPG and use Silhouette’s print & cut feature to make a gorgeous full-bleed card with a scalloped edge. See below for the tutorial! 

You certainly don’t have to have a Silhouette in order to take advantage of this printable. Just click The download link below with the description “hand cut”. :) Just giving you some fun options.



But I’ve got TONS MORE ‘Thank You’s. Check out the whole list of past years’ printables below!

Want to learn calligraphy? Like the brush lettering I use here? Check out my class on I’ll give you one-on-one instruction to help you get there. We start from the very basics, but because of the personal nature of the instruction we offer off-script learning for the more advanced letterer. Use code BRUSHLETTERING for a 10% discount on the class. :)

Materials used for this DIY: 

This printable is free for personal use only. Any redistribution or commercial use of this printable without written consent is prohibited. © Melissa Esplin 2017. Affiliate links used, by purchasing through an affiliate link, you support and the free content provided here. Thank you for your support! 


Hand Sewing Tips


As promised, here are two video tutorials to hopefully help your hand sewing get better. I don’t hand sew too incredibly often, but when I do, I always use these methods. After attending Gertie’s tailoring class at Sewing Summit, I’m convinced I need to do more hand sewing in my garment construction. Also, I’m convinced that Gretchen should take up bookbinding.

This first method is for keeping your tails in place when you’re hand sewing with one thread. I’m not entirely sure what to call it, so for lack of a better phrase, it’s the stay-put tail. It keeps the thread from slipping out the eye of the needle! I don’t bother to do this if I’m doubling up the thread.

This second technique is about adding thread if you run out. I like it because it’s low profile (doesn’t create giant bumps or lumps), incredibly fast and sturdy. It also allows me to sew with smaller lengths of thread to avoid tangles. Do you hear Felix’s cooing?

Hope these video tutorials are helpful! I hope to make more video tutorials in the future. Is there anything you’d like to see specifically? Feel free to leave it in the comments or email me.

It’s just a one-time thing. BLERG.


The first night on Christmas vacation, sister-in-law, Brooke had Penelope dialed in. The whole week we were there they were two peas in a pod. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have the camera rolling for Penelope’s laugh attack.

Contagious, isn’t it? My cheeks hurt terribly from smiling and laughing while editing the video. Maybe I should just play this thing every time Penelope gets on my nerves? Also, we can’t seem to replicate this level of laughter even though we try and try. Brooke, can you teach us your secrets?!?


I just wanted to announce that Penelope is now 9 months old. Here are her milestones, Penelope can:

  • Pull herself to stand
  • Bounce really high in her bouncy swing
  • Say ma ma and da da and boo and ga
  • gurgle
  • blow raspberries
  • occasionally wave
  • maintain a completely straight face while complete strangers try to make her smile [and go to great efforts to do so]
  • eat all solid food in sight pretty much without a bib
  • call family members from my cell phone
  • cry and throw a whirlwind of a temper tantrum [wonder where she gets that from?]


Penelope’s doctor’s visit went really well on Friday. She’s growing spectacularly. Here are her stats:

  • Height: 85th percentile [up from 73% ]
  • Weight: 83rd percentile [down from 90% ]
  • Head: 99th percentile [up from 95%]

While we’ve had a rough couple of weeks [it wasn’t all bad], she still is my favorite. Chris’s favorite, too. I love you Nells Bells.

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