Author Topic: Whatcha been up to?  (Read 2172 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Whatcha been up to?
« on: August 15, 2018, 09:17:51 AM »
Now that we have lots of new members, I hope we can generate some good conversation again. Summer is coming to a close, kids are back to school, and I am back at my drawing board.

Last week was kind of crazy as we hosted eight 12 and 13 year olds for a birthday sleepover. Not one to make things easy for myself, I whipped up these backpacks using fabric from HobbyLobby for the goodie bags. Then because I especially like to torture myself, I somehow pulled off this Unicorn cake. Oddly enough, I slept well that night despite having all those girls running around the house.

Monday was the first day back to school. I woke up at 6 to get my high school senior off to school (can't believe he's a senior!). I couldn't fall back asleep so whipped up these little pencil holders for the middle schooler. I saw a similar thing in a Somerset magazine. I used "ABC," "Woodland Middle" (which is the name of the school), "back to school," and then the lowercase alphabet. Wrote the tags in my horrible normal handwriting (should have done spencerian but ran out of time).

Now I'm working on some wedding invites which I will share once they are delivered. I haven't done invites for quite some time but manage to do a wedding every couple years for a family member.  ;)

What have you all been up to?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 09:26:18 AM by Erica McPhee »
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline chisato

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 10:27:57 AM »
Erica, you never cease to amaze me! I saw the pencils on IG, and was blown away by how lovely they look and what a sweet gesture it is. But this unicorn cake looks straight out of a Pinterest dream!!! And cute backpacks for sleepovers? Amazing. I don't remember ever going to a sleepover with goodie bags as a kid -- but I get the sense that children's social events have leveled up since I was a child... ;)  I'm barely managing to keep up with my dogs and houseplants (and work) this week  :P

I just got back from a short break in the country and am SO excited to have found a box of vintage nibs (Gillott 601EF) in an antique shop! I always look but never find anything calligraphy related (short of the occasional junky inkwell). I can't wait until work slows down so I can really play with them! Also, a lady at farm stand gave me a bunch of goose feathers, so I may try to cut my first ever quills? If anyone has experience doing this, I'd love any advice! I'm just watching some YouTube videos while waiting for them to harden some more.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 03:39:08 PM »
Thank you!  ;D I enjoy sewing and I always like to do something extra to make the girls feel special.  ;)

The country sounds lovely! I have not heard of the 601EFs - I hope they are a treasure. I have cut a few quills at a guild meeting. It was a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, they write like a dream. Just be careful because the tools are so sharp!

Hope you will share a bit of your calligraphy with the new vintage nibs!  :-*
Truly, Erica
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Offline Diane Bennett

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 03:47:43 PM »
Hi everyone,

I have to admit that I have done nothing but procrastinate the last couple of weeks.  Hubby has been away on his annual sailing trip and with the house to myself I have had more PJ days than dressed days.  Alas my peace and quiet will be over soon hubby due back sometime next week.

I did manage to paint a wall which has had several shades of yellow tester pots on it for months now, so not all lazy days.  Oh, and I hung some new picture frames, a result for me especially as I only managed to smash one and the wall socket which was under it lol.

Had lots of fun over the summer as for once here in the U.K. we have had weeks of lovely sunny weather.  Spent lots of time with our granddaughter who's 5 and keeps us busy.  Love having her here, and she loves doing "lady writing" (that's what she calls calligraphy) I gave her an old speedball pen and nib and she will sit with me doddling away as I practice. She was thrilled when she wrote the letter G, she was so excited she said "look granny I have done a "g" with a curly tail" lol.

I have also started to learn watercolours, which is not going to well.  I'm not at all artistic or creative so I have to copy things from the Internet and the results are, well the less said the better.  Hopefully I can find a local group, but up to now my search for a teacher has been fruitless, so I will carry on with my squiggle and blotches for now.

Well here I am again procrastinating when I should be walking the dog.  Better get a move on or I may have a mess to clean up.

Happy penning every one.









Offline chisato

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 11:58:40 PM »
@Erica McPhee Thanks for the heads up on the quill tools! I'll try to be careful  ;) 

@Diane Bennett Your granddaughter is adorable, and how wonderful that she has a love of letters already!

Offline Starlee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 08:47:45 AM »
I love this thread! It's great to hear what people have been up to. I didn't know kids start school so early now! This week is my first week back to work after two weeks off. I cannot remember the last time I gave myself that much time off! I spent half of it visiting family in the country, and the other half working on projects that need doing, like my sister's logo for her baby teething jewelry business she is getting ready to launch. I also finished off a photo album for my retiring boss. We have had many good memories and have created beautiful science images together! Speaking of which, I finally have my next step figured out and start a new research position (today!). I split my time 50-50 between the two labs until my current prof retires in October. So things will be busy in the coming months. I am also program coordinator for the Toronto Calligraphy Guild this year. I look forward to the challenge, but I fear all this newness will cut into my calligraphy time.
Star

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 09:47:59 AM »
Diane - your granddaughter is adorable! Love the "lady writing!" You'll have to tell her about Spencerian Ladies' Hand!

Also, you may want to check out Jay Lee on YouTube. So many good tutorials.

Starlee - So much going on! Sounds very exciting and refreshing and challenging!  ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline Inked botanicals

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 05:27:01 PM »
Love the topic Erica! It's nice to see what everybody has been doing!

Myself, I opened my own stationery store with my sister. it is a small store in my city center, and we sell planners, notebooks, and all kind of paper-made pretty things. I even have made some postcards with my own calligraphy printed, and they are selling quite good during summer for tourist people that send some news to their friends!

I also have some big jobs more calligraphy-related, because an organization called me for some diplomas that were  usually done by a man who now wants to retire due to old age health problems. And he kinda became fond of me, he says my work has high quality for my age, so he is starting to recommend me for all the jobs he is quitting. Until now, he had only encountered lettering aficionados and wedding florals so he had no one to recommend for the "serious and classic" jobs. We live in a pretty small city, so there is really few people that do calligraphy and lettering, and many are focused in weddings with the pretty colored digitized invites, or temporal chalkboards for restaurants, but not many can really do good classical archival jobs for diplomas, family trees and that stuff. That is good for me, because I am not that creative person, drawing and watercolors are really hard for me, I am more of a copyist, and I do love classic historical styles.

In a more personal way, I have started searching for house ideas with my boyfriend. And calculating how much money we have and how much we need. And, obviously, how many chair and tables I will need in my studio  ;D We want to build a nice country house in a small village near the beach. It is a beautiful place and it is only 15 minutes away by car from the biggest city in my area. Very near where our house will be there is a big old mansion, now museum, of the rich family that helped develop the village. They founded the local school so kids would have a better future, and give money for many local things. The last woman of the family deceased a few years ago, and people loved her very much. She had a beautiful big garden inside her big home, but she had it opened for everyone to visit and loved to make some tea and talk with the neighbors. Now the house is opened as a museum of history of the family and the village for summer months. We hope for starting construction next year. I am eager to leave my parents home. Don't get me wrong, we both love our families, but I think it's time to fly already and start our own family. We are dreaming with a dog (no kids yet) and we want to name him SultŠn.
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 09:07:24 PM »
Alba, you have been so busy! What wonderful news you shared. So many good things. Iím so excited for you and your sister and your new business. That is fantastic. And your calligraphy news is also great! And finally, so happy to read about your new adventures in building your own family life. Itís an amazing time in oneís life and I hope you are rewarded with all the happiness you can handle!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Inked botanicals

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2018, 02:37:28 AM »
Thank you Erica! Itís really happy times here!  ;D
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline tiffany.c.a

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 12:40:07 PM »
Hi all, so glad to hear how the above folks have been doing.
I have been practicing my broad edge and pointed pen. Doing some art journaling which has been great. Have done a couple small gratis jobs (posters for church, party favor tags for a friend).
Started teaching a couple fun art classes, as well as my ESL classes (my non-art job). Still reading about calligraphy and penmanship, and I hope to post another book review soon.

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2018, 05:18:05 PM »
@Erica McPhee  - wow, what lucky guests to receive such thoughtful and fun creations from you!  And that cake is so amazing - you are a true wonder.

@Inked botanicals CONGRATS on the shop opening! Lots of exciting stuff happening for you!

As for me, I have been a boring workaholic, but I definitely have been working on some fun projects with my clients - lots of artwork going into wedding invitations these days, which I love.  I relax by tending to my growing houseplant collection, which is at 40 plants now, ranging from small air plants to fiddle leaf figs and a giant bird of paradise.  Shirley Wong, a member here, gave me some tips on my orchids and let me know that one is growing a keiki (baby)!  I had no idea what was happening.  Thanks Shirley!

Also, in 1.5 weeks, I'm headed off for vacation - a quick visit to Amsterdam, a week in Croatia, then London and Brussels. If anyone has any tips on Brussels, I'm all ears (I am spending two nights alone there while my BF works in London).

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2018, 09:21:22 AM »
In June, I visited the Newberry Library in Chicago. They have many medieval manuscript books as well as contemporary calligraphic works - both books and broadsides. I've featured two of the items on my blog. Examples by Donald Jackson appear today (August 19, 2018) and if you scroll back to Aug 12, 2018, there are photos of a manuscript book. Visitors to the Newberry Library may request 3 books at a time and you are able to hold them and turn the pages without gloves. Some libraries feel that gloves make people clumsier and they trust the visitors to handle the books with care. I also took a tour of the library which I highly recommend if you are planning a visit to the library. They have a website where you can search the collection and make a list of the books you would like to see before you arrive.

There is a new post every day on my blog - so if you are not reading this on Aug 19, 2018, you have to scroll back -or- you can do a search for Newberry Library.

https://pushingtheenvelopes.blogspot.com/  - for the blog today

https://pushingtheenvelopes.blogspot.com/2018/08/off-topic-newberry-library-donald.html  for just the Donald Jackson post

https://pushingtheenvelopes.blogspot.com/2018/08/off-topic-newberry-library-books-book.html  for the book of hours
 




Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2018, 10:01:45 AM »
Sounds like you are keeping yourself busy, Tiffany! I would love to try art journaling some day. Looking forward to your book review!

Bianca, it sounds like you have quite an adventure coming up! Very exciting! Would love to see a photo of your orchid springing a baby!  ;D

Your trip sounds fascinating Jean! I will definitely check out your blog. Thanks for sharing.  :D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Dries

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 01:06:34 AM »
Great thread, Erica Ė it is interesting to see what fellow Flourishers have been up to.

Apart from calligraphy I've also been doing a bit of carpentry, which is a hobby my wife and I share. About a year ago we Ė two people who have no previous cabinetry experiencie Ė got the crazy idea to build a closet from scratch. We drew a plan to scale, from which we compiled a "bill of quantities" and went off to buy the wood. It took two days to cut and assemble everything, and to our surprise it needed almost no design changes during the contruction part. Now my wife has a giant 4-metre-wide floor-to-ceiling closet designed around her exact needs, and we both have the confidence to take on bigger carpentry projects.

On the work front I continue juggling my two careers, advertising copywriter and motorcycle journalist. I lament the fact that I am back in a car again this week, because I am returning the current test bike (a Triumph Bonneville T100) to the manufacturers today. In South Africa bikers can lane-split (ride between two lanes of traffic) legally under specific conditions, which cuts my commuting time in half when I'm on a bike. Also, Spring is peeking around the corner here in the Southern Hemisphere, so it's doubly sad to have to hang up my riding gloves for a while.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 01:08:19 AM by Dries »