Author Archive | Erica

How far we’ve come!

Now that the video tutorials for pointed pen have wound down, I have been concentrating on bringing Dasherie Magazine to the calligraphy community. The first issue is overflowing with gorgeous calligraphy. If you love letters, this is a can’t miss issue. I will be posting more details about how to purchase the premiere issue very soon.

In the meantime, the wonderful thing about procrastinating now is that I can still be doing my job by procrastinating on the Flourish Forum! The forum has now welcomed over 1,300 members! And I would like to take the time to say thank you to all the wonderful letter lovers who have joined our community. This is an amazing group of generous and kind people and I am truly blessed to call you all friend.

Flourish has had 9,300 posts! We are welcoming almost 10 new members every day! Hooray! This surely demonstrates calligraphy is alive and well! With so many members and all the wonderful posts it is no longer possible for me to keep up and respond to every post. This is a good thing as this community is about all of you – not me! But I would like to let you know if you have posted and I haven’t responded it is solely because I haven’t had time to yet. I do hope to be able to continue reading every post even if I can’t respond.

I’ve been working on my Pangrams that Make Sense series. This is number 4 in the series. Having a 16 year old in the house, I came up with this ditty which still makes me giggle! The style is a pointed pen variation created by Mike Kecseg. Mike’s copperplate variations are really one of the forerunners to the contemporary/modern calligraphy movement. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of his classes I HIGHLY recommend it!

Pangrams that Make Sense, #4

Last but not least, thank you to all the fabulous members who continue to greet our newcomers by posting hello in the introduction board. Even if you just say a quick ‘hi and welcome’ it means a great deal to newcomers to feel recognized and welcomed by the group. And a very big thank you to all our “regulars” who are so kind and respond to questions and posts with enthusiasm.

Things are flourishing at Flourish!

Truly,

Erica

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Practicing with Precision

Hello Flourishing Friends!

For those of you interested in modern calligraphy, if you’ve been following along with our copperplate tutorials, you now have a general background with which to branch out into your own style. I hope this tutorial series has helped you understand how to use a pointed pen and the basics of learning copperplate.

For those looking to learn a more formal copperplate, I highly recommend Dr. Joseph Vitolo’s Script in the Copperplate Style ibook as well as IAMPETH for learning Copperplate a/k/a Engrosser’s Script.

For both groups looking to hone their skills, I have added a quick tutorial to our Pointed Pen Nirvana board about practicing with precision. This video outlines the next steps for studying a more formal copperplate, specifically how to square off the tops and bottoms of your letters. It also includes tips for paper, pen, and hand angles. It includes a detailed, slow motion, close up of how the nib creates the squared off tops and bottoms.

I hope you find it helpful. As always, you know where to find me!

Truly,
Erica

 

How to Practice Copperplate with Precision

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Final Copperplate Capitals Tutorial is done!

I can’t believe it but I have finally finished Capitals Q through Z. If you knew what I had to go through to finish this! First, my firewire cord stopped working. So I ordered a new one. Then that one wouldn’t work, then I tried uninstalling movie maker, then switched the cords around. Then I dropped my computer and voila – the firewire started working again! But then my scanner wouldn’t work!

Unfortunately, the version of movie maker I re-installed didn’t have narration capabilities (weird that Windows would remove that function in an upgrade!). So I uninstalled and reinstalled various versions of Windows Live Essentials FIVE times! When I loaded the final version, the “add narration” button was there but once it finished loading, it disappeared! What?!

So I gave up and just gave in to the fact my life is always full of these petty things trying to trip me up! GRRR! I used a separate sound recorder and finished! Hooray!

This completes our Copperplate lessons. I am so pleased to have accomplished this and to provide an introduction to learning. Remember the lessons are only available in the Pointed Pen Nirvana board which can only be seen if you are logged in. I hope you all have enjoyed the tutorials as much as I have enjoyed making them!

I’m off to work on Dasherie Magazine!

Truly,

Erica

Free Copperplate lessons at theflourishforum.com

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How to Find the Tutorials!

Happy Spring!

A few members have expressed difficulty with finding the tutorials in the forum. The Pointed Pen Nirvana board is only visible if you are registered with the forum and logged in. Once logged in, it is super easy to find and I promise, once you get the hang of forums in general, you will be able to navigate your way around lickity-split!

The nature of forums is linear and categorical but they seem really confusing until you understand how they work. Then they make sense because they really are logically laid out.

If you are at all confused about how to find the board, please take the time to watch this 15 second GIF or video below.

How To Find the Pointed Pen Tutorials!

 

Once you are finding your way around the forum, I highly suggest reviewing this post, “How Do I Not Miss Anything Good,” which details how to find your way around the forum.

I hope that helps! I don’t want anyone feeling frustrated or left out because they can’t find the tutorials! :-)

Truly,

Erica

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Lesson 9 – Capitals I through P – is now available!

Hi Flourish Friends!

I am so excited about my announcement of the upcoming premiere of Dasherie Magazine.  If you missed it, Dasherie will showcase exquisite, stylish, and contemporary calligraphy and lettering designs for a wide range of social events, home decoration, lifestyle, and marketing products. I hope you are all as excited as I am!

Meanwhile, I have been hard at work preparing the next tutorial in our Copperplate series. These tutorials are only available in the Pointed Pen Nirvana board which is only visible to registered members of the forum. The forum is free and so are the tutorials but you must be registered and signed in to see them. This lesson covers capital letters I, J, K, L, M, N, O, & P!

The forum is really flourishing with so many wonderful things all related to calligraphy and lettering. Thank you to all of our awesome members for the fantastic sharing and contributions.

Truly,

Erica McPhee

Learning Caps I through P at theflourishforum.com

 

 

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How to Design Calligraphy Monograms

I’m really excited to present this tutorial to the forum. I have loved monograms almost as long as I have loved calligraphy. Designing a special monogram for a new bride and groom is such a thrill. You are creating the first symbol of unity which will hopefully become a treasured heirloom identifying their togetherness. It is so symbolic and such an honor to create.

Creating a monogram for a special friend and then printing note cards for a gift has always been well received.

So I hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it of use. If you design a monogram, we’d love to see it in the forum!

Truly,

Erica

How to Design Calligraphy Monograms

 

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Capitals E thru H!

Hello,

Lesson 8 is a super quick video teaching capitals E, F, G, and H as well as spacing tips. It’s only about 4 minutes long but gives a few more letters to practice. You can never have enough practice of capital letters! I hope your calligraphy is coming along. Several members have posted their work for critique and received excellent feedback from our more experienced members.

If you aren’t a member, sign up, membership is free and is the only way to view the Pointed Pen Tutorials in the Pointed Pen Nirvana board! So click the “Enter the Forum” box, register, sign in, and learn calligraphy!

Truly,

Erica

Learning Capitals E, F, G, & H at the forum

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Learning Copperplate Capitals aka Majuscules

The long awaited Capitals tutorial is finally up in the forum! This 10 minute video is an accumulation of over 28 hours of work. I’m pleased to introduce you to the basics of learning Copperplate Capitals, also known as Majuscules. This is a basic copperplate alphabet which is less rigid and hopefully, more accessible, than traditional Copperplate or Roundhand.

As with learning other calligraphy, I highly recommend taking a class in person with your local guild or a traveling instructor, or even going to one of the calligraphy conferences. Nothing can substitute the experience of learning in person from a qualified calligrapher.

In the meantime, I hope these tutorials are a great jumping off point. Enjoy!

Truly,
Erica

Learn Copperplate Capitals at the flourish forum

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

The day of love! I just want to take a minute to say thank you for all the wonderful members who have joined the forum and made it such a warm, sharing environment! This is really a fantastic group and we have already touched on so many topics. I look forward to our membership growing and flourishing. Just a few things our members are saying about the forum:

“Thank you for gathering such a positive, talented, and supportive bunch of people!”

“Your teaching style is so informative, patient, and warm. I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort it takes for you to put these tutorials together.”

“Thank you for your excellent lessons, your calm & lovely voice, and the amazing wealth of information that you’ve made available in the Forum.”

“Calligraphy and cats … is this heaven?!”

“This forum environment is amazing. You more experienced calligraphers really do want us newbies to succeed! Thank you!”

I think it’s kind of rare to have a forum like this that is so positive and full of good will. Everyone wants each other to succeed.”

Every post I read gets better and better for answering ALL the questions I once had! I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot and it’s all FREE?!! Cannot thank you enough and beyond humbled that you are SO GRACIOUS AND GENEROUS!!

Come for the supply tips…stay for the people.”

We have now welcomed over 600 members from all over the world:
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
England
France
Germany
Philippines
Vienna
Singapore
Sweden
USA

I’d like to wish all our members a very Happy Valentine’s Day and simply say thank you for sharing your love of lettering!
Truly,

Erica

Valentine from the Flourish Forum

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Donut Sunday – Modern Calligraphy Exemplar

I can’t wait any longer. :-) I intended on sharing this exemplar and demonstration video for Valentine’s Day but I just finished my Valentines for the forum exchange and I’m excited to share. Plus, I decided some of you may want to use this new alphabet to create your own Valentines so this gives you a little head start.

This is really more of a demonstration and an exemplar hand out, than a tutorial. There were many requests for a full exemplar of a modern calligraphy style so hopefully this will help. It doesn’t stray too far from a traditional Copperplate so those of you who have been following along with the tutorials in the forum, should find it vaguely familiar.

While it is fun to play with different styles, I always recommend taking a class in person if you can with an experienced calligrapher. There is so much to learn from seeing it done in person and having someone there to give you instant feedback. It speeds the learning process immensely.

I have posted the video and the handouts in the Pointed Pen Nirvana board. This is a member’s only board but membership is free. So if you haven’t signed up, this is a great time to do it!

And Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

Truly, Erica Donut Sunday Modern Calligraphy ExemplarModern Calligraphy Exemplar

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