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Saturday, September 20, 2014

walsh cancan

i've been trying really hard to stop with this style. i can't. i'm obsessed. sorry.

Friday, September 19, 2014

more blue

i couldn't see the embossed lines on the envelope when i scanned it. i made a border to try to fix the clunky placement of the name and address. this is another warm up with gouache and use up the stamps for little-miss-i-will-chew-on-anything-i-get-my-hands-on. it is acryla gouache, so should be fairly waterproof.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

half-off topic

this image is off-topic, but it's so cool, i wanted to share the link to the video with anyone who has four and a half minutes to look at something quite lovely.

also, i received a very cool paper source envelope with the wrought iron lettering (in gold) and no return address and i can't make out the postmark. i need to post it to the blog, but would prefer to have permission from the person who sent it. so, please email me privately and tell me if it is ok to post it. thanks
my email address is
jmwilson411  (at)  yahoo  (dot)   com


i am a bit behind in responding to mail and everything else....i may catch up...or not.
jan sent out the lists for the envelopes exchange. if you did not receive your list
please contact jan. if you lost her email, please contact me

buncha blue

using up my stamps. warming up with gouache for an actual job. nothing new or interesting about this. but alex seems to like blue, so we'll see if she responds to this one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

from elizabeth

elizabeth shared this one with us. she was inspired by the grafitti styled lettering that i posted a while back. seeing it made me want to try it again. but, i do not have a very organized stack of exemplars. so, maybe someday.....

thanks for sharing :-)
it is always fun when people send me examples of ideas they saw on the blog and then tried. that's the point of this blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

JPPanter's fish

i saw this on jeri's facebook page and asked if i could post it. i am not sure who JPPanter is. maybe a friend from IAMPETH. if i find out more, i will let you know.

Monday, September 15, 2014

winter flower jeri

after struggling with the winter flowers, discovered the orange envelope is an easy solution. and white ink is always pleasing.

it was a Recollection's Marker from Michael's. once in a while i have to shop at the local craft stores for emergency jobs.

i touched it up with a white uni-ball signo. 3 stems have prongs. originally, there were only two (mistakes or corrections), the third one made it look like an intentional design element.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

nancy hills

this just in from the lovely nancy hills. i can't wait to do my version.
super stealworthy.
thank you for sharing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

white iron - last one (or two)

y'all are probably tired of these - even though i could keep going with them for quite a while. i hope you try them. they are really fun to do.

before i stopped, i thought i would see how they were when i did not make any guidelines and i am pretty happy with the result. the top one needs a holiday stamp.

the bottom one is an exemplar if you want to try this style. it has 26 letters and 10 numerals. i will try to find a link to the original exemplar.

Friday, September 12, 2014

white iron - 4

the rest of his address will be tiny white lettering on the purple gel marker line

Thursday, September 11, 2014

white iron - 3

that alphabet works fine with 4 equal rows.

the multi-colored pencil was fine, but then the only stamp that worked did not fit, resulting in upsidedownedness.

lettering got better after i loosened up a bit

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

white iron - 2

same style as yesterday.

on saturday, there will be an apology for running this style for 5 straight days, but hopefully you will see that as i loosened up, it was worthwhile spending a little time with it.

also on saturday, there will be an envelope with all 26 letters, so you can print it out and have an exemplar. and if you look carefully at all the envelopes, you might see some variations.

i like to morph the letters a bit, depending on which letters are next to each other. some tuck nicely. and down the road a bit, i know i did one that was overlapping that i rather like. there are plenty of opportunities to fling some of the strokes. as tim gunn says when he is reminding the contestants to use the wall of accessories *thoughtfully.* fling your curlicues thoughtfully.

should i go listen to tim gunn speak next wednesday? should i stay after and ask him if he saved that envelope i addressed to him? yes, he was on a guest list of a wedding that i worked on. along with donna karan (whose name was spelled donna karen...pretty pitiful wedding planner who needs a housewife in des moines correcting the spelling on the east coast guest list.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

white iron work - 1

reminds me of wrought iron. first attempt. some clumsy letters. uniball signo gel pen.

Monday, September 8, 2014

nib lesson - (finding all the lessons)

once again, i googled *nibs on envelopes* and found this. the link will take you to the website of Iwona Konarski who is happily making a living at design and she has branched into writing with nibs and ink. her work is the new uber-popular naive style that is uber-popular.

if i allowed myself to surf every day, i could probably find 365 young people who have bought nibs and ink and are now selling items on websites and etsy. so, you should feel empowered to do the same. some of them have written books and are teaching workshops. i'm pretty sure you don't need a workshop. a book might help - but - you might do fine with the free exemplars that i will direct you to on the IAMPETH website. more on books and exemplars later.

some calligraphers frown on this naive style. i really love both ends of the spectrum. i will be covering both ends of the spectrum and i will be putting a little label at the bottom of each post [nib lessons] so you may find all of the lessons by clicking on the label...which you will find over there on the right in the long list of labels.

or at the bottom of this post, you will see the words [nib lessons] and you may click on that to see all of them, in reverse order.

8th of month - netflix

a bunch of netflix envelopes with doodling, etc. if i ever needed some ideas, i'm pretty sure i could find something at this site.

and this is just a post about doodling on netflix envelopes. if you go to the top, you could surf around and see lots more stuff.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

an oblique holder (part 2 - of YIKES - i forgot the nib holder) see below

ok....this post is the end of the post right below about the nib holder you will need to hold your nibs. if you are right handed and if you want to spend an additional $1.99 go ahead and order this nib holder (pen holder) too.

as the description says, they are not ideal with a Nikko G nib....but they are adequate for your first attempts. if you really love pointed pen work, you will want to invest in a very nice nib holder at some point.

you might want to order one of the Hunt or Gillott nibs.  the Gillott 303 is a good beginner nib that will fit your oblique holder. it's not a bad idea to try different nibs. but it is a slippery slope - you can end up with a huge pile of stuff....that you never use. the flip side of the coin, is starting with one nib, never trying anything else and never finding that there are other nibs that might work better for you.  down the road, i will have some suggestions...but, i really think your nikko G will be your friend.

H23. Hunt Oblique Penholder
Speedball Oblique Pen holder

Black plastic hourglass shape penholder with offset for nib. For copperplate and Spencerian. The offset helps righthanders with the letter slant. Most lefthanders use a straight holder not this oblique holder. However, some use an oblique holder.

These pointed nibs work in this holder: Hunt 22, Hunt 56, Hunt 99, Hunt 100, Hunt 101, Hunt 103, Hunt 104,
Gillott 170, Gillott 303, Gillott 404, Gillott 1950
Hiro 700, Esterbrook 354, Brause Rose Nib.
The Nikko G nib will work okay, but the holder is not ideal for this nib.

YIKES - i forgot the nib holder

i forgot to recommend a nib holder in the post about nibs, ink and paper.
since i have such good luck surfing for images, i did it again and found this site where someone who is into drawing comics has lots of photos and conversation about nibs and nib holders. the holder is a bit of a problem to explain because there is a the whole issue of writing at a slant and using an oblique holder, which is the one at the bottom of the photo.

i will find some youtube videos and post them later. you need to see them in action to understand why they are helpful.

for the beginners, i am going to recommend this holder:

H63. Marbled Pen Holder
Beautiful penholders in gold & black, silver & black, and gold with multicolors.  on sale right now for $2.97

This is a good choice because not every nib fits in every holder. Also, it does not have the hour-glass shape. and that will allow you to vary your grip on the pen.  pen holder-nib holder...same thing. eventually, i will get into the whole oblique holder - but for now, a straight holder will be just fine.

hot mess

boring story. still showing the messes. it looked just fine before i added the words. the universe is telling me to talk less.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

nib lessons - no. 3

once again, i wanted to find a random image to go with the post. i googled *nibs on envelopes* and was happy to see the first option was one of my envelopes from this blog...the xmas ornament turned into a nib.

this one looked like fun, so i clicked on it and it seems like shirley is a kindred spirit. i hope i have time to go back and surf around her site for a while.

this post is for the people who are interested in trying nibs and ink. if you already have nibs and ink, go ahead and use what you have. if you do not have any nibs and ink, please resist the temptation to buy something from a local craft store. there are a few things on the shelf that will work and if you really don't want to spend more than $10-$15 then, you can go that route. but, if you can afford a bit more, please order these supplies from john neal:

N113. Nikko G Nib
These nibs from Japan are hand cut, extremely smooth, and long lasting. They are chrome plated and have a medium flex. Extremely popular with pointed pen men and women! $1.55 each. You may get by with one lasting for a while. Maybe treat yourself to three or four. There are a gazillion nibs on the market. These are great for beginners. Trust me.

I37. McCaffery's Penman's Ink
McCaffery’s Penman’s Ink
1 oz. jar.  This oak gall ink writes brown but turns a dense black. Good for fine hairlines.  $7.25 


I actually prefer the McCaffery's ink in colors, but they are $9.25. 
McCaffrey inks are really wonderful and worth the investment. I could write a lot more about ink, and I will if people want to hear it, but for now, just trust me that these are almost the best inks ever. The BEST inks are the ones you grind by hand on a stone, but, I don't think I can talk anyone into that route long distance. You need to be introduced to ink stones in person. Or, if you believe me, let me know and I will try to talk you through ink stones long distance.

PAPER - you may want to just try the paper you have on hand. I can have fun with the above nibs and ink on just about any paper. If you want to buy some super paper that will give you the best possible results from the very beginning....try this:

PA37. Clairfontaine Color Copy Pack 8.25"x11.75"
Clairefontaine Color Copy Pack.  Extra smooth surface. Acid Free. Pack of 100 sheets. Recommended by Michael Sull for Spencerian and Off-hand Flourishing. 8.25"x11.75". Blank. From France. $11  or graph paper for $12

The shipping will be about $7-8 - so you can get the best possible start for less than $30.

Again...if you already have materials on hand, it is OK to use them. But please don't go out and buy the nibs, ink and paper that you will find at your local stores. You will spend at least $15 and the materials will not work very well. Go ahead and spend the $30 to get materials that will last a very long time and will give you much better results. 

any questions - email me at jmwilson411  (at)  yahoo  (dot) com

finn's cursive stack

more stacking. this time cursive. fun way to use up all my stamps.