Calligraphy and Watercolour in Yellow and Emerald

Ian-Kres Logo via Happy Hands Project

Ian-Kres Wedding Invites via Happy Hands Project

I really enjoy designing for weddings, especially invitation suites. Do you know what I love most about this invite? Apart from the sweet bride being awesome to work with, they actually gave me creative freedom. I got to play around with their wedding colours to my heart’s content! I’m very happy to share with you the wedding of Ian and Kres.

We started the design process with the wedding logo, and it turned out to be fairly swirly yet uncomplicated. I used emerald green and sunflower yellow to paint the floral motif that was ultimately used in their Save the Date cards and invitation suite. The best feeling has always been seeing all the elements fall perfectly in place.

Ian-Kres Wedding Invites via Happy Hands Project

Congratulations, Ian and Kres, it was wonderful working with you! Photos above were captured by Nelwin Uy Photography.

#EatDrinkArt Exhibition at Mad Nest

EatDrinkArt via Happy Hands Project

I was very busy for a couple of weeks, putting together an artwork for Mad Nest‘s #EatDrinkArt Exhibition. 14 artists have been engaged to come up with a work of art using ‘mystery ingredients’ found in Mad Nest’s kitchen. Exciting! I didn’t know what ingredient I was going to have until I went there myself.

I was assigned some raw linguine, and got to pick a pack of star anise as a secondary ingredient. The challenge? Coming up with a creative idea to incorporate the edible elements with my craft! In the end I decided to use the items in their raw, organic form and combine them with my brush calligraphy. Images of a homey kitchen, smelling of star anise with sounds of tomato sauce bubbling nearby filled my senses. I wanted an artwork that will remind one of the feeling of homecoming, dropping your bags and heading straight to the kitchen and see Mom working her magic. I wanted to evoke that feeling. It’s a feeling I truly miss. I wrote a quote by Federico Fellini that I thought would be most suitable – ‘Life is a combination of magic and pasta’. Here’s a peek of my work in progress.

The great thing about #EatDrinkArt is that a percentage of the proceeds will go to the Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which ‘originated from a conviction that no child should be denied the opportunity to pursue arts training due to a lack of financial resources.’ 

The exhibition will run from 18 June to 3 September 2014 at Mad Nest along East Coast Road. All the artworks exhibited at #EatDrinkArt are for sale, so it would be very much appreciated if you can help me spread the word and help the youth pursue their passion for the arts. All the artists have put a great deal of effort in their pieces, it’s really worth a visit! More photos can be found here. All photos courtesy of Lucent Pictography. I’m extending my thanks to the wonderful people of Uniform for inviting me on board this exhibition.

Happy Hands Project on Society6

Society6 Calligraphy via Happy Hands Project

I’ve had my Society6 shop for quite a while now, even before I opened my Etsy shop. However, I didn’t feel that my calligraphy at the time was good enough to share with the world, so I pulled my items out. Well, thanks to the online community, I feel more confident now and realised that perfection isn’t everything. So, I’ve had enough of the drama and finally resurrected my shop at Society6 again!

I have 2 calligraphy prints there, both applied to different material – pillow covers, laptop skins, stretched canvas – and prints in different sizes, of course. I’m planning to add more prints in the coming weeks once I get a breather from all the commission works I have right now. Can’t wait! In the meantime, here are 2 inspirational quotes from Dr Seuss and Mark Twain.

Help me spread the love!

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore

Maybelle in Singapore via HappyHandsProject

Just the other day I remember a discussion on the Flourish Forum about Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls’ calligraphy exemplar. Some were wondering if it would be worth attending her class or just purchasing her kit online. The kit alone is such a treat – I can stare at Maybelle’s handwriting all day! However, if you know that she’ll be in your city, I’d say go to her class instead. An in-person workshop is a much better option if you have a choice.

Let me tell you why.

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore via Happy Hands Project

Being in Singapore, I was so fortunate to have Bloesem Creative Space invite Maybelle for a series of classes. To say workshops by renowned calligraphers are rare here would be a total understatement. I’ve never gone to a calligraphy workshop before so this one will practically be my first ever. Being a fan of her works and style for ages, I was super excited to say the least!

It was a glorious Sunday morning. After having breakfast with my husband at the Tiong Bahru Bakery, he walked me across to Bloesem for the 3-hour class. You know what made the morning even more glorious? I had a front row seat! Exactly in front of Maybelle! It was very inspiring to hear how she started out and be able to observe how she actually writes. It’s very beneficial especially for beginners because simple things like incorrect writing angles will be easily addressed. Anyone’s free to ask questions, too. And the kit. Oh, the kit. I know I already have a lot of ink holders, pens and a million other odds and ends, but I love all the handmade tools and letterpress exemplar that Maybelle brought for the workshop.

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore via Happy Hands Project

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore via Happy Hands Project

Aditionally, I believe it’s Bloesem’s interiors that really set the mood for such an enjoyable class. Who wouldn’t love practicing calligraphy in such a lovely space with rays of sunlight peeking through? We were all pampered with refreshments as well – all cooked lovingly in Bloesem’s kitchen. After mingling with Maybelle and the ladies, champagne was served. Yes, you read that right. We were that spoilt.

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore via Happy Hands Project


Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls in Singapore via Happy Hands Project

I guess all this pretty much sums up why I think an in-person workshop would be well worth your time. Be sure to check Maybelle’s workshop page as that’s where I found out she was coming here and almost fell of my seat. Bloesem’s classes always have something interesting being offered as well. I would go to every single class if I could!

For my very own Happy Hour Workshops here in Singapore, I’ll be announcing a date (or dates!) soon. Leave your email here to be in the loop.

Calligraphy For A Rustic Wedding Styled Shoot

Calligraphy For A Rustic Wedding Styled Shoot via Happy Hands Project

Have you guys been to the Wedding Scoop blog lately? I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to share my full calligraphy wedding stationery at the recent styled shoot by Bloc Memoire, with a magnificent ‘grazing table’ styled by Heaven in a Wildflower. It combined the talents of wonderful wedding vendors here in Singapore, and the result was rustic, dreamy, whimsical.

For the stationery, I used metallic card stock in gold and cream, and wrote with a flex pen and grey gouache. You will see the rest of the photos and complete list of participating vendors here. I love how all the details came together. This is why I love weddings.

Calligraphy For A Rustic Wedding Styled Shoot via Happy Hands Project


Calligraphy For A Rustic Wedding Styled Shoot via Happy Hands Project


Calligraphy For A Rustic Wedding Styled Shoot via Happy Hands Project

Practicing Calligraphy? Have These Tips In Mind

Calligraphy Practice Things to Remember via Happy Hands Project

I have three things to share today. Three simple little things that can make a difference while you practice calligraphy. Nope, not hard and fast rules, just some tips that can help you be more satisfied with the outcome of your writing.

Number 1: Free Your Mind

I’ve done this a lot of times – thinking about something else while writing. Hmm, what cookies should I make tomorrow? Should I read this book tonight? If you have all these things on your mind, you will definitely misspell a word. You may even skip one or two. It happened to me so many times! Don’t think about dinner. Don’t even think about the alignment of your words or if your swirls are perfect. Focus on the words you are writing and nothing else.

Number 2: Love Thy Own Handwriting

Each one of us have our own writing styles even with just using a regular ballpoint. Some write with messy strokes, some with floating baselines, some super neat and straight. No matter what your style is, embrace your own handwriting style and you’ll see how easier it will be. Yes, you can compare your calligraphy with others’ works – you’ll learn that way – but love your own style and don’t be too hard on yourself! Having your own style and loving it will make your writing more consistent because you play by your own rules and not somebody else’s.

Number 3: Practice Makes Pretty

Ah. Those drills. Those practice sheets that we fill with lines, curves and swishes. They’re monotonous, repetitive. I know we all just want to get down and write words, letters, paragraphs, even. I’m skipping the overused phrase here and get down to the third and most important tip I can think of – Practice Makes Pretty. Why? Lots of practice makes a whole lot of difference. Last December I wasn’t to get hold of my pens and did not write for a couple of weeks. I came back to Singapore from our family holiday and my writing was downright wobbly. Oh, and it took me more than 2 years of practicing till I got the style that I wanted, and it doesn’t end there. Practice is essential and learning is continuous. Remember that to be happy with your own calligraphy style, aim for pretty (which is subjective) and not perfect.

We’ll talk more about these 3 things on my workshop here in Singapore – the first one is just a few days away! If you’d like to know when the next one will be, sign up for the mailing list!

My Very Own Letterpress Business Cards by Twenty O Four

This has been long overdue! I was so excited for my family’s trip to Manila last December because my freshly lettepressed business cards were waiting for me. Oh, how I loved them! They were done by Twenty O Four, and they were done so nicely. Customer service was awesome – Jihannee was a pleasure to work with. I have started passing some of these around – you’ll get one if I bump into you, my dear reader, that’s for sure!

Letterpress Business Cards via Happy Hands Project

Freebies: Calligraphy Valentine Desktops

Valentine Calligraphy Desktops via Happy Hands Project

Spreading some love this week with a couple of calligraphy desktops! I’ve been doodling last weekend and have been thinking of writing something about love and I came up with these two. Well, I do have another one on Instagram in reference to Love Actually (remember the time when Andrew Lincoln was this sweet guy and not the walker-killing Rick Grimes? I’m serious.) Anyway, have a wonderful Valentine week everyone! Spread some love to the people close to your heart!

Download the Winnie the Pooh quote here

Download Love is the Closest Thing to Magic here