Crane Estate Wedding Show

I had the opportunity to join forces with Lilac and Lily Floral Design this past weekend to create a display table combining their floral pieces with my paper designs.  When they told me about their color scheme of navy, fuchsia and gold, I said, "Say no more!" and ran out to buy Winsor & Newton's gold calligraphy ink and some gorgeous Lokta paper from Paper-Source that I have been eyeing for weeks.

I designed the menu and table number samples which are printed on matte cardstock, and I hand-lettered three different place cards designs for the show.  I think this color palate is so rich and modern - perfect for a high-end wedding in the city.  Here are some close-up pictures of the details below.  You can see more pictures of the show (and many other pictures to get your creative juices flowing!) at Lilac and Lily's Facebook page as well!


Posted on April 10, 2014 .

My first envelope project

[names and addresses are fictional and serve as a replica of the project]

[names and addresses are fictional and serve as a replica of the project]

I was beyond excited (and a little terrified!) to receive my first envelope commission last week.  My co-worker asked me to hand-address these envelopes for her friend's wedding shower in May.  Since they were cotton paper, I chose gouache as my ink in a charcoal gray to match the yellow and gray invitations.  I tried a few different kinds of fonts and settled on a script font for the names and a basic text font for the address part.  I hadn't really done a lot with uppercase letters yet so this was a great way to practice.  Hope you enjoy!

Posted on March 31, 2014 .

Happy First Day of Spring!

Materials: gouache (from Michael's) with my Zebra G nib.

Materials: gouache (from Michael's) with my Zebra G nib.

The weather has been SO COLD in Boston these past few months so you can imagine my excitement that Spring has finally arrived!  Although it doesn't feel like it today, I know the weather is going to start warming up and Summer will be right around the corner!  Oh happy day!  

In the spirit of Springtime, I wanted to use a colorful ink to letter today's quote.  I decided to use gouache which is a paint-like substance that comes in little tubes.  You basically squeeze out a TINY amount and add a little water to get it to the right consistency.  The rule of thumb is to get a consistency similar to whole milk.  It took me a little while to get the "ink" flowing but once it did, I had no trouble at all!  I actually (dare I admit?!) prefer it to the sumi ink that I've been using since it sticks a little better, giving me better control of my letter strokes and the few daring flourishes I tried to make.  I also used my new Zebra G nib which I LOVE.  I've been using the Nikko G nib so this was a nice change.  

Posted on March 20, 2014 .

What a difference a little styling makes!

I had the chance to work with Erica from Lilac and Lily Floral Design today as we wait around for her baby to decide to be born.  She came over and styled a bunch of my paper designs which I will be adding to my gallery over the next few days, and she also took some pictures of my hand-lettering progress for my new facebook page.  While Erica worked her magic, I drew some inspiration from the green earthy theme that was coming together and quickly lettered this quote.  

Posted on March 16, 2014 .

Make the Time

Materials Used: Nikko G Nib, Sumi Ink, Natural Wood Holder 

Materials Used: Nikko G Nib, Sumi Ink, Natural Wood Holder 

I've been lettering for almost a month now and have mostly used my practice pad, Nikko G Nib, Natural Wood Holder, and Sumi Ink. I've been tearing through Eleanor Winters' Book, Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy, which has been such a useful resource in my learning process.  I'll probably write a post exclusively about the book, but today I want to share a progress picture with this inspirational quote I found on Pinterest.  I had a breakthrough after taking Molly Jacques' Introduction to Modern Calligraphy on Skillshare (link:  I loved this class and have been enjoying Skillshare immensely since I joined a few weeks ago.  

Time to Try New Things


I feel like it was all fun and games with my lettering until I tried to put an actual phrase together.  I actually ignored my pens and ink for a couple days while I paced back and forth trying to talk myself into taking the plunge.  It's so nerve-wracking trying something new, especially when you plan to put it out there for all to see (and judge!).  I came across this little sentiment on Pinterest and that was just the motivation I needed to take the next step.  Is it perfect?  Not even close, dude!  But to me, it was a beautiful step in letting go of my need to be "perfect" and "the best" and allow myself to discover the beauty in the process of learning and (hopefully!) improving over time.  This can be said about most things in life.  You just won't know until you try.  And knowing, for me, is worth the trying, even if it's a scary hot mess!

Posted on February 19, 2014 .

Getting Started

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After a few weeks of intense reading and research, I finally took the plunge and put pen to paper!  Before I could begin my journey, however, I had to stock up on some supplies.  I've read over and over again that using the right tools is the key to a successful start in lettering.  Most of the supplies I decided to purchase were recommended by Melissa Esplin for her online calligraphy class: I Still Love Calligraphy (!/).  Although I have not taken the class yet (I wanted to see how far I could get on my own and register for the class when I need to perfect my skills), I did find that her list of supplies was a great starting point for me to get going on my lettering.   I couldn't find everything in one place so here is the breakdown of what I bought from two websites below.  Here we go!

John Neal Bookseller

Brause 66EF Nib
JNB Practice Pad 8.5x11 50 sheets
Jumbo Dinky Dips 
Mastering Copperplate / Winters
Nikko G Nib
Zebra G Nib

Paper and Ink Arts

Borden and Riley Tracing Paper
Gillott 303 Nib
Hunt 100 Nib
Hunt 101 Nib
Rhodia Pad, Gridded 8.25"x11.75"
Small Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser
Manuscript Ergonomic Natural Wood Holder
Brause 511 Medium Drawing Nib
Hunt Crowquill Holder
Kuretake Sumi Ink


Posted on February 11, 2014 .