Tuesday, December 2, 2014

miss munster - houses

i keep making up nicknames for my penpals. karen ness gets to be miss munster. i recently found out that miss munster is a scribe-of-note who has won the purchase prize in the newberry library exhibit in chicago. that is a big deal. it does not surprise me one bit. i could tell from this envelope that she is classically trained.

here are just 2 of many features that separate the classically trained ballerinas from the hokey-pokey dancers.

her capital letters are just a smidgen taller than her lower case letters. her l, in wilson is taller than the W. if you are trying to learn italics from a book, be sure you are looking at a book that has these features. there are plenty of exemplars out there where the caps are just too tall. It is such a small detail, but IMHO, it completely separates the sheep from the goats.

i say sheep and goats so you know that i'm not saying that classically trained is *better* than completely untrained, naive and wonky lettering. i'm just saying that if you looked at this envelope and thought to yourself, "dang, that's really good, i could never write like that"  - i'm here to tell you that you CAN write like that. it is not rocket science. it is doable if you can hold a pen. but there are some subtle little details that you need to know and you need to be studying from the right book. The Speedball Textbook has a proper exemplar. if you reeeeeeeally want to get serious, the book for you is:

B.2769 Sheila Waters' Foundations of Calligraphy

and you get lots more than just italics....it is a treasure trove of the best instruction.
it's the holiday season. if you don't have it - put it on your list.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Jean. The Newberry did purchase my work for their permanent collection, but it wasn't the purchase prize. Thanks again!

  2. Referencing the stamp with the orange shades is really clever. I like the simple, graphic nature of this envelope.