December 18, 2011

Duncan-Parnell printers

FYI - I used Duncan-Parnell on Glenwood Avenue to make canvas and satin prints of a 15 3/4"x14" piece, and I think they did a good job, and they were quick, and it was affordable. I worked with Eric.

December 05, 2011

Spencerian - F, S, LM

Mary Edna, Mary Lou, Adrianne, and I have just finished Jessica McGinnis Yee's Spencerian Class. Here is a sheet that Jessica did while showing us how to form some of the capitals.

I encourage all of you to start taking her classes!

November 08, 2011

October 26, 2011

Spencerian Class

I am taking Jessica's Spencerian Penmanship class and am so excited to finally learn this elegant, flowing, and timeless lettering style. But it does take practice!!!!!!

October 10, 2011

Alcohol Inks and Bathroom Tiles

Girls, do y'all remember when we learned how to use alcohol inks on Stampbord tiles? Well, I bought some bathroom tiles at a yard sale a few months ago. Today I decided to see if the alcohol inks would work on the tiles. I had so much fun! I am going to put little "feet" on the bottoms of these tiles and use them as coasters.

I did not try to letter on them.....yet!

September 23, 2011

Mary Lou shares Peter Thornton techniques

Once again, we had a wonderful learning experience at Deb's house today.

Martha brought a lot of goodies to share that she'd swapped for at an exchange. It was like letting children loose in a candy store! Thanks, Martha!

Mary Lou shared techniques that she learned in a Peter Thornton workshop this past summer about Texts and Textures. Martha, Adrianne, and I had taken his guinea pig class about a year ago with the Mountain Scribes. It was so good to hear about all of the many ways you can put lettering on the page.

Mary Lou, you are a gifted teacher. You know how to explain what we are about to do with clarity and passion. None of us were stumbling around in the dark!

As usual, even though all of us heard the same words, the same explanations, we all came away with our own unique pieces. It's so much fun to look at how everyone else filled their pages.

Thanks, again, to Deb for letting us be creative in her well-appointed artist's room! We love it! (And I think your cat loved Martha's box that she brought in with all the goodies inside!)

September 01, 2011

Collaging with Deb Averitt

Last Friday a handful of us gals showed up at Deb's house to play. She had a lot of "toys" for us to play with and led us gently through several exercises that built upon one another. We never knew what was coming next, just had to trust her guidance through this artistic journey.

At the end, we all had works of collage art. Every one was unique and spoke volumes about the collager. Y'all really should see Stephanie's!!! LOL.

I won't go into everything that we did, step by step, but just wanted you to see what I did with the two squares of hardboard she gave me. One was white, one was black.

This is not something I would have thought to do on my own, nor would I have taken the time to do it. But, in doing this with all of the other women, it became a sort of meditative, relaxing, recuperative span of uncharted time. I thought of nothing else. I became carefree. Even though I was surrounded by other women doing their individual pages, and enjoyed their presence, I was in my own world, my own mind. Deb's voice of instructions and encouragement wove its way in and out of my head as I experienced her avenues of expression.

Goodness! Did I get too zen just then?

At the end of our get-together, we all decided it was just too much fun being together, sharing space and time and toys, that we are going to meet once a month.

So, if you're interested...get on board!

July 23, 2011

Monica Zuniga

I love this gal, her art, her blog, her videos. Mary Edna, watch her video...there's a little section that I know you will thoroughly enjoy. :)

July 12, 2011


This is my first stab at using all of these stamps I bought at Michaels for $1 each. Nell inspired me. When we partnered at the Cary Spring Daze, she came prepared with bookmarks that already had cute stamps on them that she had colored. Then she let folks choose which bookmark they wanted before she lettered their names. It worked really well.

July 10, 2011

Practice Sheets

This is a cute way to keep your practice sheets in one place!

June 25, 2011

Date Night

I think this is why a lot of us want to learn how to make beautiful letters. We just want to be able to make a quick little piece that will make someone smile.

My niece is getting married in August, and today we had a Bridal Shower for her. I was asked to make this little sign for the "Date Night" Game Station.

Isn't this a lot cuter than some ole' computer fonted sign?

If any of y'all have been wondering what you could do with what you've learned, you do not have to wait for a big commissioned order! Just use what you've got as many times as you can find excuses!

June 23, 2011

Uncial - Hattie

Hattie just learned Uncial, and she is fast becoming a pro. Way to go, Hattie!

Uncial - Harriet

This is Harriet's practicing of Uncial. She used the Pilot Parallel Pens that we have been using in class. Way to go, Harriet. Lovely.

June 18, 2011

A piece that I did for a German Roleplaying Rulebook

A German publisher asks me to do "ancient looking" works every once in a while, 
to support fantasy stories and roleplay adventures in their books. This is one of them. They just want scans of it and I can keep the originals. 

June 14, 2011

How to Do Borders

This is a great site that can help you figure out how to make borders for your lettered pieces. I found this to be very helpful, easy to understand and do.

June 12, 2011

Don King's Capitals, Roman and Pen Written Workshop

I scanned in the notes I took yesterday while taking Don's workshop. I wanted those of you who could not make it to get a taste of what we learned.

What a beautiful letterform to learn. It's going to take me a while to learn this! But I will endeavor. You all know what I'm talking about, don't you! This calligraphy, this lettering, this artform has taken hold of all of us, and we are all on a journey.

What excites me about all of us is that we are on this journey together. We each have something to share. We learn from one another. We all have our strengths, and I can't get enough inspiration from each of you.

It's a collaboration in the love of lettering. And I DO LOVE IT.

May 18, 2011

Last Thursday, brought a whole bunch of lettering artist together for another wonderful tip filled class with Don King. These are the bookmarks I received from our talented group. I apologize if the scan didn't come out perfect but still learning to use this new scanner of mine.

May 13, 2011

Peace on Ampersand Stampbord

I have been playing with Ampersand Stampbords, trying to figure out how I can use them with lettering. I think I finally came up with something I like, and it is not hard.

You can find this product at Jerry's Artarma here in Raleigh or online. This is a 3.5 x 2.5 size piece (ATC size). They come in all sorts of sizes. (Some of us made little charms with the 1"x1" size.)

First, I took a cosmetic pad and drizzled alcohol on it. Then sprinkled on Jacquard Pinata alcohol ink (also at Jerry's) onto the pad as well. Next you sort of dab the pad onto the Stampbord and let the ink do its thing. You can change up the coloring as you go and keep dabbing until you are satisfied with your effect.

I let that dry overnight.

Next comes the lettering. What to use? Well, I experimented on several pieces. For this one I used a 5mm Zig marker for the lettering and then embellished it a little with a gold gel pen.

Now all I need to do is buy some matte spray to protect what I've done!

I hope you try this out. It was fun and I am giving my little pieces of art to friends.

(Other inks I tried: Daler Rowney Pearlescent liquid acrylic ink/worked well & was more opaque, Parallel Pen/ink did not work well.)

May 03, 2011

Meet Pat

I want you all to meet Pat. She came to me just three weeks ago wanting to learn calligrphy. She had never, ever touched a calligraphic utensil, read a book on calligraphy, or even really knew what she was getting into. But she was gung-ho to learn. The way she would go home and practice between sessions put all of my weak endeavors to practice while taking a class to shame.

All of her practicing was worth it. Thursday will be her last session with me, and I want y'all to know that by that time I fully expect her to be a full-fledged calligraphic artist.

Y'all are going to love her!

May 02, 2011

Cary Spring Daze

I wanted to give a shout out to all of you who helped with the Cary Spring Daze. I think it was a big success. I had never attended this annual event and was amazed at the immensity of Bond Park and of the crowd this event garnered. Lots of people like to see their name hand lettered in beautiful writing. Every time I handed a bookmark over to someone, they would say, "It's so beautiful." And that's why we practice so long and so hard. Just to hear those words.

I have a few names of folks who are interested in actually learning our artform. I can hardly wait for them to be a part of our community. We have a lot to learn from them all.

Keep practicing and keep posting!

April 14, 2011

How to Communicate to Two Feuding Teenagers. This is what I call this piece. It will find a nice spot on the wall where everyone can see. (Hopefully the teenagers will get the message.) I do like the lettering, pinks with lavender shadows. Kerr, I'm still struggling with those s's but I'm working on it.

April 12, 2011


Another baby name! For a friend's grandchild. The room colors are pink and brown with teal accents. I drew the Neuland letters and filled in with watercolor and decorated. Just got some background paper from the craft store. I added the sticker crown for effect, they love that... she is their little "Princess.” BTW check out what the name spells backwards...pretty neat huh?
Nell Hall

March 21, 2011

Perfectionism - The Artist's Way

I have been reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for over a year now. It's not a book you just plow through. It is a journey to ponder and to experience slowly.

In the chapter called "Week 7," she talks about perfectionism. I found it to be extremely enlightening. Below are some tidbits from this chapter.

"Perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with fixing things. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop - an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole."

"We correct our originality into a uniformity that lacks passion and spontaneity."

"The perfectionist fixes one line of a poem over and over - until no lines are right. The perfectionist redraws the chin line on a portrait until the paper tears."

"Instead of enjoying the process, the perfectionist is constantly grading the results."

"In order to do something well, we must first be willing to do it badly."

I hope these words have inspired you to just do what you are inspired to do, then let go of it, stand back and say, "That's pretty good."

(By the way, I read and reread what I just wrote about five times...just to make sure it was right.)

March 04, 2011

yet another copic letter

you will be sick of them in the end...probably
This is by far, my favorite. You can 'grout' the tiles in the mosiac with a gel pen or leave them to melt into one another as in the sample. I only used two marker colors her ! and it is still amazing to me. big thanks to the blending pen...

p.s. i turned 49 yesterday. i better make it a good one before they move me onto '50'....

March 02, 2011

more copic letters

these little announcements are fun, fast and I love the 'handmade' qualities. Original size is 3 x 5 , and the blues are copic marker with the brush lettering, outlined, shadowed and then detailed with the signo white pen. The outline pen is just a zig writer. I am sure I am going to Copic purgatory for mentioning that Zig pen in the same blog entry as Copic Markers.

March 01, 2011

Copic Letters

About a million years ago, I promised to share my Copic Letters with Kerr. I hate to break promises, so... here is the tye dye letter !

February 28, 2011


Every morning, after the first cup of coffee, I sit in MY chair and do what amounts to "pen aerobics". I have mountains of sketch books, full of my silly exercise art! They recieve titles and then get a place in the archives unless they become a gift.
                      from the sketchbook of February, 2011:

The Wedding Gift

February 15, 2011

For Lefties

Our recent poster, Jessica, mastered the Italic Brush Lettering in record speed. No kidding. I was amazed. And she taught me some things about being a left-handed calligrapher.
You all see how grand her lettering is, so all of you who are lefties, the challenge is on!


This is the work I have been doing since our class. It was wonderful learning from you. If you haven't had the opportunity to take a brush lettering class with Kerr, I strongly suggest it. Not only is this a fun lettering but also Kerr is an awesome teacher. Thanks again for the class.


February 10, 2011

February 02, 2011

Thank You

Thank YOU, Jessica. I think you taught me just as much, if not more, than I taught you. We all are looking forward to seeing more of your work here in our blog for calligraphers!!

January 21, 2011

Artist's Journal-Albuquerque

Some of y'all have Artist's Journals or do journaling, like Deb. You are all an inspiration to me. So I have endeavored to delve into my own version of an artist's journal. Whenever I go on trips, I take my journal with me and do very simple watercolor sketches of at least one thing during the trip. What you see here is what we saw outside of our hotel window in Albuquerque last weekend. Since we never had the time to go sightseeing, I am glad that at least this view was fun. And the sun would rise to the left of this walking mall and set to its right. I also wrote two pages, describing some of the events of the weekend. Interspersed in the writing was some calligraphic lettering as well.
I hope this inspires some of you to try your hand at sketching and journaling. You don't have to be perfect at it (I'm a really good example of that), you just have to endeavor!

January 18, 2011

Joy to the World

This is one of the Christmas cards I sent to out of town friends this year. My challenge to myself was to hand letter all the cards, so each one was slightly different.

& Bookmarks

I am overwhelmed at the beautiful bookmarks that all of you made for the TCG Brunch. You are all an inspiration!