Words To Live By + New Calligraphy Prints

Make Time for the Things You Love via Happy Hands Project

Hey you guys! I’m still on a high from weeks ago where I had the first ever Calligraphy In Colour Advanced Workshop. I kept thinking about how immensely talented each of the participants were, and when I saw them writing all I could say was, ‘Wow, you have been all practicing, weren’t you?’

And they were! Some were present in my beginners’ class from months ago, and they have been practicing diligently and have improved their calligraphy by doing so. I’ve probably said this before, but it took me 2 years to find my own style. Calligraphy is not easy, but it’s a continuous learning experience for me. I never stop learning, and I never stop practicing. That’s what’s great about this craft. There’s always room to grow.

Calligraphy Prints via Happy Hands Project

In calligraphy, practice is something that you cannot be without — that’s why I came up with this calligraphy quote. Making time for the things you love is important, because simply put, it makes you happy. If you like to read, set aside even a few minutes to have time for yourself. With calligraphy, it’s not easy to be able to practice daily specially with everything that’s going on around us. Why not set aside an hour every Saturday? It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing!

Oh, I currently have a bunch of downloadable calligraphy over at the shop, the ones above included… go get ’em! It’s been a while since I’ve put new items for sale and this is the start of a new batch of downloadable calligraphy. I hope one of these will adorn your walls someday.

A Peek Into The Calligraphy In Colour Workshop

Calligraphy In Colour Workshop via Happy Hands Project

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.

Calligraphy In Colour Workshop via Happy Hands Project

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.

Calligraphy In Colour Workshop via Happy Hands Project

Oh, and as always, we’ve got a sumptuous menu for our lunch specially catered by Carpenter and Cook.

Calligraphy-In-Colour-via-Happy-Hands-Project-4

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!

Calligraphy In Colour Workshop via Happy Hands Project

Venue: Studio @ Heaven In A Wildflower
Catering: Carpenter and Cook

Free Desktop and Some Font Fancy: Olivier

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.

Sparkle Desktop via Happy Hands Project

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!

Download the black desktop
Download the white desktop

A Wedding in Texas: Calligraphy for Yasmin & Andrew

Andrew-Yasmin-Wedding-Invitations-via-Happy-Hands-Project

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.

Nib Review: Esterbrook 355

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.

Esterbrook 355 Nib Review via Happy Hands Project

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.

Esterbrook 355 Nib Review via Happy Hands Project

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!

Ending 2014 With A Blast – Happy Hour Calligraphy Workshop

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.

Happy Hands Project Calligraphy Workshop

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.

Happy Hands Project Calligraphy Workshop

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.

Happy-Hour-Workshop-Dec2014-5 Happy-Hour-Workshop-Dec2014-4 Happy Hands Project Calligraphy Workshop

Freebie: Printable Holiday Confetti Gift Tags

Confetti Gift Tags via Happy Hands Project

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!

Giveaway and Launch: 2015 Calligraphy Calendar

Calligraphy Calendar via Happy Hands Project

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!

Calligraphy Calendar via Happy Hands Project

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!

Pre-order the 2015 Calendar here.

Calligraphy Calendar via Happy Hands Project

Calligraphy Calendar by Happy Hands Project

AND NOW… THE 2015 CALENDAR GIVEAWAY!

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).

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