Welcome!

I grew up in Raleigh at a time when the nuns taught at Our Lady Of Lourdes. They lived out back of the school and wore those imposing yet Holy Habits that commanded your adoration, attention, and, quite frankly, your fear. So, when they asked you to "sit up straight" with your "feet flat on the floor" and compose your letters properly according to the Palmer Method of Handwriting, you did just that! I believe it was at that impressionable age that I became infatuated with the formation of letters. When I was introduced to calligraphy in 1978, it was no wonder I fell in love with this beautiful art form. My first taste of the calligraphic world lasted no longer than one hour. The instructor turned a piece of chalk on its edge to form calligraphic works of art from A to Z on the chalkboard. That was that! But it was all I needed to fire the embers that had been sparked in elementary school. Watching the slow, rhythmical shaping of those letters was like listening to classical music. It was not until 1997 that I enrolled in my first formal calligraphy class. Boy, were my eyes opened! I knew I had a lifelong road of learning ahead of me. It's been 34 years since that white piece of chalk was laid on its side. I am still learning. Come learn with me!

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Art of Cell Phone Cover


Okay, I am venturing from lettering here, but this is way too much fun to do! My son and I took an acrylic art class two weekends ago. I took a picture of my canvas and then made it into a cell phone cover using Vistaprint. It is really easy, and it is fun to have my artwork in hand all day! 

I took a picture of his finished piece and made him a cover for Father's Day. If you have patience, you can wait for Vistaprint to put this on sale.

Note: If you are thinking of doing this with an image, make sure that the image is one that is either a long landscape or a tall portrait.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sailboat Design 2



You have seen in an earlier post the first rendition of this sailboat. When I do a piece, I save each step, either by photographing it or scanning it. Right now, I am not a real fan of my scanner. The one I owned previously was much better! But, hey, my husband picked this one out, so what can I say?

Anyway, the first rendition was on Layout Bond with colored pencils. But I love the way watercolors look, so I wanted to do this sailboat using watercolor paper and different color combinations. I must admit, I like this one better. 

And one of the perks....the Bride got two of them! She can use whichever one she wants.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Recipe For Love - The Finished Product


So, the last time I posted, I talked about Scotch Removable Tape. I just found out about this tape, and I am thrilled. I used it around the outside edges of this piece (in the earlier post, you can see it). In taping around the piece like this, you make sure that none of what you are about to do will get where you don't want it to be. I was going to use pastels in the bottom rectangle and in the "LOVE" area, but wanted to make sure no pastel color got beyond the edges. 

As you can see, none did!

I used cosmetic cotton "rounds" and rubbed them on the pastel sticks, then rubbed that color into the watercolor paper. Fun! I think it is a wonderful effect. 

Recipe for Love - From Sketch to Good Paper



The last post you saw was the rough-out sketch on graph paper for this piece. As you can now see, the design was transferred to watercolor paper. I managed this with a light table, placing the watercolor paper on top of the sketch and tracing the boxes onto the watercolor paper. Then I drew and lettered in the boxes. Next, I added watercolor to the piece, making sure I first brushed my choices of color as I progressed on to a swatch to assure compatibility of colors. Once this stage was completed, I let it set overnight to come back at it with New Eyes in the morning.

You might notice some tape around the edges of this piece. It is Scotch Removable Tape and it comes in handy. I just learned about this little trick. You'll see how this comes into play in my next post.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Recipe For Love





I have been working on a Recipe For Love for my bride. This has been fun to figure out and has taken a few trials at layout and design and lettering styles, but I think I am getting a handle on it now. It has transformed into sort of looking like a Spice Rack or maybe a Kitchen Cupboard. It's a lot more interesting than just a list of items, black lettering on white paper. Once I finish the draft, I will transfer to watercolor paper and put a lot of color to it. That's the fun part!

I will keep you posted. Am taking a break from it now and will come back to add the ingredients to the draft.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sailboat Design Sketch & Color


My current Bride and Groom both like to sail, so she wanted me to design a boat to be used in the Wedding Program and/or other places.  I had her "name" the boat, and I thought I'd put a banner trailing from its end as one would from a car leaving the ceremony.




Since the wedding colors include royal blue, I used blue in the sail. 

Finished Chalkboard Design


And here is the finished product! (See earlier posts for the step-by-process up till now.)

Okay, so I left you with the transfer of the design from computer paper to chalkboard. Once this was done, I just needed to add color, to fill in the transferred design and lettering. I used basic chalk. Nothing fancy is necessary. Since the Bride's Wedding colors are royal blue, I used blue chalk for the lettering. I shadowed the lettering in white chalk which made the lettering stand out better. I used green chalk inside the compass since green hydrangeas will be the flowers at the outdoor wedding ceremony. I chose to make ocean waves under the lettering and have Mr. Wind blowing above. 

I really enjoyed this whole process and I hope to do more chalkboarding in the future!


And here's a helpful hint:  sharpen chalk with a pencil sharpener!