Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lisa Holtzman Calligraphy

I have just found her and MAN does her work inspire me. There are some typographic character studies she's done of the Harry Potter cast that really speak volumes. (no pun intended.)

Ron is my favorite - the young man with a flourish who is still finding his voice - admits to the struggle but still brave enough to put himself out there. I look at this and see his voice breaking and feel for him - brave young man! 

Please check out Lisa Holtzman's blog and Flickr photo stream. Get ready to be moved. 
See what happens when you love what you do!? Her life can be yours, friends. Love what you do.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Italic clusters

Here are a couple more examples of the Advanced Calligraphy class work we're doing. This is the Italic Hand in a cluster of LC. Unfinished, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Harriet's Angel Scarf

On Friday last I had another deeply moving session with Debra. That's a little redundant because they are ALL deeply moving. Bopie was there and took a bit of a back seat to make room for a new presence - an angel, a feminine one, who is new to me. She's a healer. And she'll be with me as I transition into deeper selfhood this summer. 

Bopie did manage to squeeze in that he was proud of me. And that he recognizes who I really am. He sees me. And is there in the car when I get truly inspired and when laughing and singing along with Anton, who sits in the back seat, watching me being happy. This is such a good life. 

So back to the Angel. I'll call her Harriet. Harriet wants to sit with me in the early hours of every day. I used to get up at 5AM each morning when I worked for "the man" as a designer. I carved out this space for myself before anything got hold of me. I really needed it. To claim how I was going to begin my day. I'd shuffle downstairs in the dark, brew a pot of coffee, make a bowl of steaming oatmeal - two cats in my lap, my little dog at my feet and my knitting in my hands. I'd knit for 30 minutes every morning. It was delicious. 

But I stopped all that when Anton was born. My schedule got so crazy and unpredictable - there was no time for anything but teaching Anton how to thrive. Now that he's really GOT it, Harriet reminded me that I am missing that morning ritual. Knitting was like prayer to me. All needlework is. When I do it, I am bursting with joy. It just makes me so happy. And it's always hard to stop once you begin. 

So my very good friend Tina gave me a very healthy gift certificate to Knitch for all the work we did together to create her daughter Sada's wedding invitations, stationary, etc. I've been waiting for the right moment to drive over there and spend my gift. The moment came on Friday with Debra when Harriet told us she was all part of that process and that it was time for me to carve out my mornings again just for me. "Knit a scarf of luxurious materials, each stitch healing yourself, and when it's done and you wrap that beautiful fiber around your neck, you will remember this time in your life, of waking up and claiming your right to be here and to be magnificent." 

Thank you Harriet. Here we go.  

Pattern details of Harriet's Angel scarf are: 
• Cast on 100 - Knit in straight stitch with 6 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in colorway Glacier, double stranded
• Needles: Lantern Moon US7 Rosweood Destiny Circulars (I use circulars just cause I like them, this scarf is not knit in the round, so you can knit in straight needles if you like) and (holy shit these are AMAZING to knit with and make my hands feel so good - even the sound of them sounds like a kiss. Goodbye RSI, I've found healing needles because they rotate at the needle join)
• Crochet an edging of Artyarns Beaded Mohair & Sequins in colorway 1626 all the way around

Monday, April 27, 2009

Advanced Calligraphy Class

We are having a BLIZAST in my new Advanced Calligraphy class at Binders. So much fun to be had with composition, color and experimentation. Here are some of the demos I did, dipping in three different dips of ink to get a beautiful family flow of colors. We focused on clusters of characters of many calligraphic hands.  I can't get enough of this! This first one are roman capitals - really, really dressed down.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is a painting my grandfather Harvey Thomas Anderson painted of me at the beach. We called him Bopie. And oh how we worshiped him. He was the greatest grandfather ever and really made his presence known. But better than that, he made YOUR presence known to him while swooning every time you entered a room he occupied. He was attentive and fun and crazy and smart. 

He's been very present while I've been working with Debra. Here are some of the things he's said:
In my family (he's talking about me here), no template existed for refined artistic purity. I (Anne)  abandoned my artistic spirit once at 4 years old and again, sealing the deal at 8 years, 3 months. Anne came with a clear feminine energy that was all hers. 

Anne: You are safe now. Your body is strong enough now. My body - my vessel can accommodate this knowledge now. In my past, it only seemed like I was a victim. I'm not any longer. Do not fear. Keep doing the work. I can learn. I am self contained now. It's ok. I can really let go.  I'm on my way to self love. To selfhood. 

I love the sound of that. SELFHOOD.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Celebratory Letterpress

Got this from a past PC Design student of mine, Michelle. Her work is amazing! Happy Pascha. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Emotional Intuitive Work

My life has really been through a major shift recently. I have been seeing an Emotional Intuitive who was trained by Martha Burgess. Her name is Debra Armentrout. She's an artist who took two of my classes at Binders and when we met, I just had this feeling that we would work together. She is amazing, full of gentleness and passion and clarity. 
I first came to her with a list of physical ailments I wanted to let go of. The source of these illnesses is emotional pain. A big part of what she does is read your child's mind (your subconscious) while reporting to you what you're not admitting to yourself. She digs for the truth. She says our bodies are the libraries of our lives. I've never been in therapy for a good length of time, never met anyone who really helped me, who I trusted. Until now. 

It is amazing, amazing work - bringing me to the truth of really knowing who I am, what I was, what I can let go of, what's kept me stuck and why my body hurts. 

During our sessions, I bring a book with me and take notes. She tells me things, I write them down. Sometimes I feel them right away. Sometimes it takes a few hours or weeks for me to really feel the truth of what is said. It is all unclouded pain and honesty. 

Eventually, I will get to the point of letting go of issues, anger, a fear of the loss of safety. But for now, I've been digesting all this stuff. It's hard to hear, but it moves me forward. 

My understanding of God has changed immensely (this is ANOTHER soon to come post.) I've always known this truth, but it didn't jive with the church I grew up in, so I kept quiet. I kept quiet about a lot of things while growing up. And I am getting to know this little girl who didn't have a voice. I am taking care of her now. The little Anne whose family bulldozed her voice aside to deal with Tommy's anger and pain and everyone else BUT her. 

So I've spent my adult life stuffing my voice down into my chest, thinking I was still the little girl who shouldn't rock the boat. THAT is why I have headaches. THAT is why I had a debilitating speech impediment - I stuttered. THAT is why I had mouth sores. THAT is why my neck is in such bad shape, my tailbone hurts. My body is literally aching for relief and just wants to be understood. 

I am listening closely to my self for the very first time. Oh, it is glorious. Liberating. Terrifying. And absolutely perfect in all of these things. I am alive and moving and flowing and filled with a love for this life I never knew was possible. 

I am healing myself. 

Here are some images (emotive type - what else!?) of some of the things I've said to Debra. It feels amazing to write them down. To ink them up and get them out. It's part of the whole process. 

And here are some of the truths I wish to admit to myself:

My rage is a scythe that can cut just from being unsheathed.
My rage is a damn that trickles as spite.
Tommy is my template for living a saintly life - the crazymaker who instills gratitude for the simplest joy. What a gift!
I am a martyr. I live a small life.
I am a shell of what Tommy left behind. 
I am a quiet sheep with a lion inside.
I live a hidden, little life.
Bottled up ink can spill.
I am too weak to live in my own body.
I am the queen of small, tidy things.
I am trapped in a firm that slows me down.
I feel SHAME that I wander in other directions.
GUILT that I'm drawn toward other directions.
Heartbreak that all the loves can't do what god is leading me towards. 
My smallness is the best defense against my rage.
My mother is still controlling me on the countertop. I'm not free of her.
I feel sadness that I am inextricably linked to my mother and family.
I am liable for the aspects of my mother's addiction (to staying distracted) that formed me. 
Don't spill the dirty laundry. (ha! I'm doin that right now!!!)
I can't move forward without taking them with me and I don't know how to take them with me. 
Tommy is my guide to everything.

Well! I think that's about it for now. 

I am sitting downstairs in my new studio setup. It's thundering and lightening. Hailing. Beautiful dark weather outside. And in me - is the same environment. The darkness I find is as deep as my capacity for joy and love. 

This range of emotion, I believe, is the finest gift each of us has. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Long Stitch with Chain

A new book we made in the Binders Bookmaking class. Loved making this one. The signatures are sewn right into the cover through holes and slits. The cover is stiff, but flexible and made of three layers of washi paper, with a scalloped edge that wraps around the edge to the front to close with a little tab of velcro. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Teenie Telescoping Box

To fit my x-acto blades and burnishing nibs in. With a divider inside. In green and pink. Awwwwww.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Four Needle Coptic

My good friend Donna made this gorgeous book using a four needle coptic stitch. Bravo!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Studio Move!

So I've moved my upstairs studio downstairs this weekend, er um - at least I began the process. Internet isn't back up yet, which I hope will be resolved, too. But it's wonderful to be in a new space. I wanted to be closer to life downstairs - to our kitchen, the heart of our house. Closer to Anton. Closer to Doug. So far it's been great. I still have lots of little things upstairs to move into the new space - organize the supplies, etc. I'm giving myself lots of time to do that.

Had I made this move a year ago - it would have completely undone me. I would have been nervous, having my nest in chaos - up in the air - in the midst of change. But since I've been in therapy, I've seen this change as an opportunity and the shift quite beautiful. I'm at peace with it - the transition as life-giving and the energy as good, rather than scary. So what if it's not perfect yet. It is beautiful as it is now. As we all are. Creatures in motion. Moving with our environment. Constantly evolving. In sync with it all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coptic in green

I love this little paper pattern. Binders has a new selection of washi papers that are SO much fun. I've got this pattern in two shades and it comes in a couple others. So beautiful. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Parisian Flair

This was a delightful calligraphy job. Done in a style I don't get very many requests for. Had a blast!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


This is my favorite submission. Who can deny the odd cuteness of Dexter as a Peep? Killing a Peep. Who killed Peeps and is now paying the ultimate price? Classic! 

Thanks to Donna for the nod to the contest. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bird Bites

Here's my little bird enjoying his first sit at our dining room table. The pictures turned out pretty dark - but trust me - the lighting is SO wonderful to sit in.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Curtains

So these curtains are literally stapled and pinned together. The bows were left over from a dried flower arrangement I was about to throw out. Cool, huh! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Cozier Kitchen

As part of my birthday present this year, Mom and Dad took Anton for the whole weekend while we shifted the furniture of three rooms. The dining room now has a dining room table! We originally thought that would be the cozy music room - but it never got used. So! I redid the curtains (just scrunched them up to let in more light) and moved the piano into the den and the couch into the kitchen! Kitchen table on the back porch (which I will make into a workshop area for students) with more chairs, etc. 

The BIG goal is to transform the downstairs den into my studio space. Now that it's all cleared out, I can begin the process of moving my studio equipment downstairs. It's going to be wonderful and I am so excited. I'll post pictures of my progress as we move along. 

Hello seamless life, here I come.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Little Fish

These gestural fish are so magical. Look how they greet each other. This is movement in its purest form. Thank you Ning Yeh.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Magic from Ning Yeh

Take a look at these stunning birds. The beauty in the white spaces is powerful - lets the painting breathe, giving the little birds flight. Amazing. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chinese Brush Painting

This is the real master, Ning Yeh. His work is stunning and I can only imagine what it must be like to watch him work. I am so enchanted with learning more about this craft. It is supposed to bring you closer to yourself and help you to become a loser painter. I feel a very strong pull towards this craft. I wonder where that will lead me...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mitered Hanging Towel

Another darling and functional knitting project. I just love these! Would change up the colors so they're zingier, though. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chinese Brush Painting

What I want to do next! Trouble is finding the time to TAKE a class. This woman (Gail Racy) looks like such a great teacher and MAN, would I love to learn more about this craft. It sounds lovingly structured and soothing. And look at this little bird! Looking up at the sky, his future and into his world. Beautiful, loose, vibrant and peaceful. 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New Advanced Calligraphy Class

• Calligraphy 2:
Apr. 22 - May 27
6 Session Class
Wed. evenings 6-8:30PM

I have good news for those of you who have already taken a Copperplate or Italic class from me and feel stuck - staring down that blank stack of envelopes with no idea how to tackle all that space. 

Introducing Calligraphy 2: an advanced calligraphy class designed for those who already know the fundamentals of any calligraphic face and are ready for the challenge of applying the words to the page. Whether you are addressing envelopes, laying out a certificate, document or quote of any size, this class will help you understand the concept of hierarchy on a page, drama, stable compositions and balance of elements. You will also be encouraged to take the plunge into the world of flourishing!

Experimenting with color, guache, inks and paper is also encouraged. Bring in your free spirits and let's have fun!

Supplies needed:
Pencil, ruler, eraser, Canson Pro Layout Marker Pad: 9 x 12" or larger, envelopes (any size or color), inks and nibs needed for whichever typeface you're using.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Wedding Monogram

So here's a new wedding stationary suite I've been working on. My close friend Tina's older daughter Sada is getting married in May. ( Anton will be the ring bearer! Yay! )

I designed the monogram of the bride and groom's first names and Tina (who suggested I go to Portfolio Center to become a Graphic Designer eons ago) water colored EACH leaf and berry by hand on all the Invites and Postcards. The postcards are litho printed in warm grey #10, 2-sided and leave plenty of room for the response. The invitation wording is legible but visually understated so that the wedding monogram takes the cake! As it should be for the bride and groom.  

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dinky Dip Source Revealed!

Hi Calligraphy Friends,

I did a bit of research and found the exact source for the Dinky Dip containers we've all been using. There is a labware company who makes them out in CA named Evergreen Scientific.

You can order 1000 containers (called sample cups) for about $15.00 and 1000 lids for about$15.00. That's quite a bargain! 

John Neal Books & Paper Ink Arts sell a pack of 8 to you for about $3.00. The holder is nothing more than a piece of pine with four holes drilled through the top. If you want to make your own holder, just go buy a flat sponge and cut two slits in the shape of an X into one side when it's wet. Then shove the dinky dip holder into the slits and you have a very sturdy holder than won't tip over.

Here is the website and product info:
Evergreen Serum Cups & Disposables:
127-1002-010 sample cups
300-1006-020 caps

Happy inking everyone!