Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Calligraphic iPhone Case

This year's xmas card now has a new home in the back of my iPhone. I bought this Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Case because it had the largest, most transparent back and protects the beautiful calligraphy beneath.

I should really start selling these, no?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

See? I'm NOT crazy.

“She makes these like needlework embroideries on set in the tedium of filming”, says MacFadyen, “but they are all: ‘You Are a Cunt’. And she gives them as presents. And it’s Dame Judi Dench. And she is doing this beautifully, intricate, ornate (work). You kind of see the work materializing as the shoot goes on. Like: ‘You Are a Fucking Shit.’ Knightley never received her embroidered cushion from Dench but remarks: “I love that! She gives this fantastic air. She just sits there and she embroiders and you think: ‘Oh, that’s so nice! It’s Judi Dench. It’s so quaint; she’s embroidering a cushion,’ and you go: ‘What are you embroidering?’ And (it says): ‘Fuck!’ Apparently she’s got hundreds of them just covered in swear words or rude sayings.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Here!

Italian calligrapher Barbara Calzolari sent me a beautiful box and it just arrived Saturday. Inside was the happiest traveling inkwell I've ever seen. I think I will use it both as an inkwell and a water container: a  metal container with threaded lid, painted in cheery red with a glass insert that can easily be removed. To keep it from dancing around in the container is an inner metal cap with a rubber insert that keeps the liquid airtight. Ingenious and lovely.

The box came calligraphed in a lovely sepia ink addressed in Barbara's own pointed pen variation. I will be studying that capital A for months, not to mention the daisies, leaves, and branches.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Animated Calligraphy: Tap the Snowflake

A couple months back I did this piece for Eaton through the Brunner agency. Really fun group of people to work with and this piece illustrates that. This holiday e-card is a game where you Tap The Snowflake with your mouse to keep it afloat. I tried the game and scored terribly. Never fear, though, because even if you fail 3X at keeping your flake afloat, the calligraphy animates at the end. Take a look!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Envelopes

These are for Anton's teachers at Coralwood. All three have been so instrumental in his growth thus far in school. I could not be more grateful. They've been a friend to Anton and a friend to both me and Doug.

Notes on the materials I used:
Paper Source's Moss green A2 envelopes inked with a Nikko G nib, white Dr. Martin's India Ink and Liquitex Acrylic Ink! in transparent Raw Umber

Notes on the techniques I used:
The look and feel of these cards were heavily influenced by two calligraphy workshops I took this summer, both in pointed pen, from Barbara Calzolari at Binders Art Supply and from Heather Held, hosted by FOTA (the Atlanta Calligraphy Guild called Friends of the Alphabet.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Christmas Card Fin!

Wrapping up the production of this year's Christmas Cards. It's been my most labor intensive yet. My list almost hit 80 and I've just about reached my limit. Have sworn (please remind me of this next year) that this is the last year of making them by hand. Counted up the hours and I put 2 solid weeks of work into these. Time well spent, BUT dang. A sister's gotta get some rest and a gift that comes from love shouldn't hurt.

SO, next year I will get them letter pressed! Will be working with Jon at Vote For Letterpress. Really excited!

A note about the meaning of this year's card "You are my gift." My attempt to deepen the meaning of Christmas each year continues and this year was no exception. Trying to understand the meaning of generosity, a gift, grace and forgiveness... it's a journey. Right now, as I understand it, the most generous gift I can give is something made from my hands. That is where I place my value and where it stands in grace. So instead of simply signing my cards with a signature and date, I turned it into a price tag, stating its value. Originally, I had a little box with a bow at the bottom of the card. My friend Mary Ferguson (really smart lady) suggested the tag. She was spot on. THANK YOU.  

An additional note: I've realized that the stocking stuffers and manic search for the perfect gift to ask for and the one to give is not only the card itself, but the RECIPIENT. My gratitude to the people who I share my life with has grown SO MUCH. My new friends, the students, mentors, buddies... even adversaries are all an offering for me to accept or push away. The content of my life is beautiful - even that which is at times uncomfortable, is a gift. All of it a gift. 

These Christmas Cards are a big thank you, a big nod of gratitude to everyone who has heard me and let me know so.  

About the materials, I used Paper Source's Moss green A2 envelopes and a hand torn Canson red textured paper (it's a brick red and I can't remember the name exactly.) These were inked with a Nikko G nib, white Dr. Martin's India Ink and Liquitex Acrylic Ink! in transparent raw umberTo achieve the heavy downstrokes on the card, I passed over each twice while the ink was super wet. Learned this technique from Barbara Calzolari this summer at a Pointed Pen Variation Calligraphy workshop at Binders.

The look and feel of these cards were heavily influenced by two calligraphy workshops I took this summer, both in pointed pen, from Barbara Calzolari at Binders Art Supply and from Heather Held , hosted by FOTA (the Atlanta Calligraphy Guild called Friends of the Alphabet.)

And that's it!



Thursday, December 08, 2011

Left-Handed Tips for Calligraphy Students

Found a great looking pamphlet just now loaded with tips and tricks for those who favor their left hand. I have not yet purchased this, but have heard good things about it.

Keep in mind that there are master penmen out there who are left handed! Take heart and stick with it.

Insights Into Left-Handed Calligraphy by Betsy Rivers.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Xmas 2011 Envelopes

I am in the thick of producing my 2011 Christmas Cards. Went to the Paper Source in Virginia Highlands yesterday to pick up 80 Moss green A2 envelopes. I am set! These are my most detailed xmas cards thus far. I think next year I should seriously consider getting them letter pressed. Whew!

These were inked with a Nikko G nib, white Dr. Martin's India Ink and Liquitex Acrylic Ink! in transparent raw umber. Yumminess. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

New Copperplate Class begins tomorrow night!

Hello Inkers,

We've got a new Copperplate Calligraphy class that begins tomorrow night (Tuesday, December 6, 2011.) It was created from the waiting list (overflow) of a previous class and we still have 4 seats left.

The class meets every Tuesday night from 6-8:30 PM on the following dates:
Dec. 6, 13, 20
Jan. 3, 10, 17

Sign up via phone (404.237.6331) and ask to speak with Jacob Gunter at Binders or shoot him an e-mail at

Here's a supply list.

And here's a description:

Calligraphy Two: Copperplate with Anne Elser
Beginner to Intermediate | Fee: $190 | Min. 3/ Max. 7
This is an introductory look at Copperplate, an elegant and elastic hand frequently used for formal invitations, documents and bridal events. Completely enchanting, the dramatic thicks and thins of this delicate hand will make you swoon.
During the six week course, students will be given handouts and guide sheets, learning the upper and lower case characters. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes.
Calligraphy is less about pretty handwriting, but more about DRAWING each and every letter. Its about establishing a pacing and rhythmic motion as you write - giving you a consistency of shapes and letters, and spaces in between words and lines. It is highly relaxing and meditative. Like yoga for the hands.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Come sit next to me in Reggie's Class

Hallo fellow Inkers,

On the Saturday morning of February 11th, I will be taking my first Reggie Ezell Calligraphy workshop called Primitive to Modern, presented by The Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet (FOTA). It lasts all year long and meets every other month from February to December.

This class is my big christmas present this year and I am so excited about how much it will stretch me into new areas of personal and professional growth. My intention is to channel the numerous epiphanies I've had over the past 3 years into the techniques I learn from Reggie. I will have six chances to express myself and I intend to use every one of them.

Though you've probably already received and email from me soliciting you for your participation, I am sending one more and crossing my fingers as I do. We are having a little trouble filling the class to its maximum, thereby making it more affordable and fun for all. Right now we have 9 students and the maximum is 15. We need six more soul searching, ink dipping, and paper loving enthusiasts to come join in the fun! Won't you come sit next to me? Below is the info sent previously - ask the Santa in your house to be extra generous with you!


My good friend & artist Victoria Landsford is currently finishing up another workshop by Reggie this year and I've been drooling over the works she's done, progress made and stories, techniques with new materials she's told me about... everything she's learned from the experience. I've also heard a lot of other warm stories from other FOTA members about Reggie's approach, his attention to detail in his work, how he presents information to his students, how he structures his classes. Not one moment or opportunity for the sharing of information is wasted in his classes and I understand it to be a very fulfilling and intense experience.

For me as a calligrapher, I see this first as fun and nourishing (why else would I do it, right?) and second as an investment in my personal & professional growth. Every time I take a workshop, I've added a new set of skills and tools to my studio and waste no time in applying them to my work. The benefits are immediate as new clients arrive like magic to sample and purchase new work. It really is a beautiful cycle. I do more, make more, buy more, learn more, sell more... and it's all art, all love.

I also can't say enough about the social aspects of participating in workshops. I find it fun and nourishing. I leave each class feeling very loved, whether taking a class or teaching it.

Victoria can answer your questions about the class and Mamie Valez is accepting payments/deposits.

Learn more about Reggie, his approach and to see examples of the work that comes out of his classes.

Here is more info about Primitive to Modern.

Please join us for this rare opportunity to study with Reggie Ezell in one of his year long workshop series, presented by the Friends of the Alphabet.

The techniques and topics covered include:

•Modernizing a Traditional Calligraphic Hand

•Writing Using Color and Gilding on Vellum

•Illumination on Vellum, inspired byThe Book of Kells and Codex Aureus

•Gilding on Vellum Stained with Brazilwood Dye

•Modernizing Design aka “Over the Edge: Deconstructing the Grid”

•Experiencing the Book as a New Structure

Class meets on the following dates:
from approx 8:30 am-6:30pm at The Mendez Art and Education Foundation, Atlanta, GA:

Feb 11 & 12 

Apri 14 &15

June 9 & 10 

Aug 4 & 5

Oct 27 & 28 

Dec 1 & 2

Cost: $1460. for the year based on enrollment of 15 (+approx $20/class for supplies that Reggie brings)Deposit of $100 required to hold your spot. Three and six installment payment plans will be available. The tuition is an estimate, based on airfare and venue. Any money leftover will be refunded at the end of the year.

Send deposit checks to
Mamie Valez
6135 Grand Marina Circle
Gainesville, GA 30506

About Reggie:
"Reggie Ezell is an internationally known calligrapher and lettering artist. For the last 18 years his independent courses in calligraphy, letter design, and innovative materials and techniques have been among the most highly regarded and sought after in the world. For a decade he was an instructor at Loyola University and the Newberry Library of Chicago. His works and writings appear all over the world in galleries, libraries, books, and periodicals. His most current works are three dimensional: sandblasted into redwood, 3 x 5 foot panels of figbark with gilding on impastoed acrylic, and sculptures in Utah alabaster with images and words emerging out of the undulating surfaces."

For examples (to drool over) and more info, please visit

Primitive to Modern: Year Long Workshop Series with Reggie Ezell
If you have any questions regarding the class, please email Victoria at