I was amazed by so much talent during the first Calligraphy In Colour advanced modern calligraphy workshop here in Singapore. I was happy to be back at Joo Chiat Place, too! There were some familiar faces, ones who I’ve already met in my beginners’ classes. There were new faces, too, and all 12 ladies were very enthusiastic about mixing colours and exploring new styles.
During 2014, I’ve always had beginners’ classes where we use black ink and focused on drills and basic letter forms. In the advanced class, we used different types of coloured paper, different kinds of inks and paint, and an end project that everyone so creatively pulled off. We got a little technical as well, because I believe that these things are better taught during an advanced class where everyone is already familiar with pointed pen calligraphy.
Oh, and as always, we’ve got a sumptuous menu for our lunch specially catered by Carpenter and Cook.
I’m looking forward to having another Calligraphy In Colour class in the next few months! If you’re curious if this class is for you, well, you just need a basic knowledge of using a flexible nib and be familiar with the letter forms. A more detailed class description can be found here. After practicing calligraphy in black ink, it’s a whole new experience when you start customising colours and finally creating your own work of art. Thanks to everyone who came, you were all awesome!
There’s a growing trend in script fonts right now – I’ve seen numerous posters and flyers using plump, rounded scripts like Pacifico. I’m always in search of a nice, free font (and believe me, there are A LOT), but I totally dislike overused ones. When a font becomes overly popular, I try to find an alternative. The not-so-popular-but-just-as-nice font. Or even nicer.
Everyone, I’d like you to meet the latest font I fancy… Olivier. I love the thickness of it, and the carefree feel of it, and thought to myself, I need to use this font somewhere somehow. Combine it with some gold sparkles and it’s right up my alley. The free demo can be downloaded here and the licensed version here.
Want a bit of sparkle on your desktop? I made 2 versions for you all! Spread the love!
Late last year, Yasmin of Coffee Creative got in touch with me through my Etsy shop to write their wedding invitations in calligraphy. It was for their wedding in Texas, USA, and I was thrilled! It turned out to be a lovely suite, because calligraphy matched the awesome drawing Yasmin did of her and her groom! I would be totally inspired by this idea, now I wish I’m getting married again. It has a lovely, organic feel and I am super happy to have provided calligraphy for this wedding. Photos were taken by Kristen Swanson.
I”m excited to share with you this hand-lettered logo for a wonderful photographer, Vanessa, of Captured by V and Co. So far I’ve been doing logos for these awesome photographers, both here in Singapore and in the US, and I have to say it has always been a pleasure working with these creative ladies. Vanessa was no different. A self-taught photographer who does newborn and maternity sessions, I’m quite surprised that her new website has a theme that’s quite different from all the others – nautical!
The hand-lettered logo I’ve designed specially for her (she wanted a lil red bow) turned into a logo that complements the theme, and makes an elegant watermark for her photos, too. Featuring this logo is a great way to end this super busy, super rainy week. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
When I need to write small, I always reach for my Esterbrook 355. I don’t have a vast nib collection (though my husband might have a different opinion), and I only have a few favourites, but more often than not, small sized calligraphy always calls for the Estie 355.
Those who have been to my workshops here in Singapore have probably heard of that small nib I burned when I put it over a flame. This might be the same nib, actually. The Esterbrook 355 is tiny – it can easily get sucked down the drain when I wash it!
At first glance, it may look intimidating, with its tiny body and pointy tip. It’s very soft and flexible, so you will get very nice line variation with minimal effort. You won’t get very thick swells though, that’s why I use this when I write penpal letters.
I struggled a little bit when I first started using this nib. Be warned – because of its thin and pointy tip, upstrokes will be a pain specially on textured paper. The ink might not flow on your first dip, so always have a jar of water so you can dip your nib. This helps with the ink flow.
Once I got over the first few obstacles (which were worse when I was starting out 3 years ago), I’ve learned a couple of things to make writing with 355 easy peasy.
1. Start small If you’re a beginner, start writing small with this nib. It will write beautiful thin strokes when you opt for bigger letters, I admit – but practice with small characters first.
2. Keep your upstrokes feather light This nib gets stuck during upstrokes sometimes. To avoid this and ultimately save your work from the splatter, use no pressure at all during those tricky upstrokes. No pressure at all. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
So are you ready to practice with the Esterbrook 355? I always purchase mine from Paper & Ink Arts here. Happy inking!
The 29th of November marked the last Happy Hour Beginners’ class for 2014! Woohoo! It was my first time to have it at a different location, due to numerous requests to have it in the city centre. The class was held at Coffeemin at Clarke Quay Central.
The first time I stepped into Coffemin’s private room, I was pretty impressed with its floor to ceiling glass wall because on a beautiful day, it only means one thing – gorgeous natural light! Oh, and it was indeed a beautiful day when we had our class! Its white walls were perfect for the original artworks that I always bring. There was going to be another bare wall, so I thought I’d write and draw some informative posters.
Here are more photos from the workshop! As always, thanks to everyone who came and for being so patient! Hugs to my husband who took these photos for me and helped with the setup, and to the wonderful people at Coffeemin for having us.
The holidays are coming! I’m very excited for this year’s Christmas because my family’s coming and right now I’m busy putting together our Christmas menu. I have 3 types of dessert on my list now, nothing else.
I know we’re all busy with Christmas shopping, but we should not neglect the art of gift wrapping! I’ve put together some gift tags for you to download and print on card stock. I’ll be using these myself and will be pairing the with some kraft paper-covered gifts. I felt like sprinkling confetti all around me because of the excitement, so here are some confetti-inspired tags to complete your presents. These will look great on gold wrapping paper, too, if you’re into some glam!
You can get your free printable gift tags here. Share the love!
After weeks of painting, writing, designing and test-printing, I’m happy to let you all know that the Happy Hands Project’s (first ever) calendar is now available for pre-order!
I wanted to come up with a design that I would display on my desk myself. I came up with these hand-painted, hand-lettered calendars with minimalism in mind – and what’s the best way to achieve that? By going black and white, of course!
All sheets will be loose and printed on premium white card stock. You will receive 13 cards altogether – that’s 12 monthly calendar sheets plus one calligraphy print to top it off. You can mount it on a small easel like what I’ve done, or hang it with bulldog clips. You can tape it on the wall with wash tape. I’ve given this calendar much thought and love, I hope you like it, too!
Because I’m super excited to get this calendar project going, I’m giving away 2 sets of this calendar to 2 of my lovely readers. I will ship this out wherever you’re located so come and join in. Just leave your deets below – there are many ways to win – and ask your friends to join in, too! The giveaway ends at 11:59pm on 17 November 2014 (Singapore local time).
The moment I saw this handwritten font from Magpie Paper Works, it was love at first sight. Vermandois is a lovely work of art that makes me want to wish I write the same way. The jagged strokes and varying spacing just adds to its organic charm – and you know me, I’m a sucker for anything handmade. To put this beauty to good use, I created this desktop wallpaper which I hope you’ll love! Even when we’re just sitting in front of our computers and doing what should be done, it’s nice to be reminded to go on an adventure once in a while.
Download your free desktop wallpaper here. Want more freebies using Magpie Paper Works fonts? Here’s a botanical wall art using Saissant I made a few months back. Spread the love!
I’m still on a high from last Saturday’s Happy Hour Workshop! I think this is the first time that we had 3 Michelles in the group! Who would think modern calligraphy drills would actually be fun? I was teaching myself years ago and drills were a chore (albeit necessary). I’m still quite amazed at how patient these ladies were, even when there were quite a few scratchy sounds, ink blobs and spills.
They were all so into writing, it was difficult for me to coax them out of their seats to have lunch! Finally, the smell of Quiche Lorraine and pastries lured them downstairs and we all enjoyed a hearty meal (thanks to Carpenter & Cook, as always!).
I should’ve known that this group is really into learning modern calligraphy. When I opened the registration for this class, all seats were snatched in minutes. I was in awe!
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails regarding the upcoming workshops – looks like everyone wants to get into the craft before the year ends! Great news – I’ll be having one session specially for those wait listed from this October session. Another will be for subscribers of the Workshop Newsletter, so leave your email address on the right sidebar to get the first dibs. I cannot wait to meet all of you, and I promise to have more classes in 2015.
I’m sending another shout out to Heaven In A Wildflower for having us at her lovely, lovely, lovely home studio.