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Messages - jeanwilson

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Tools & Supplies / Re: Going to Omaha?
« on: August 01, 2021, 08:49:36 AM »
Jean was planning on going -- but ended up in the ICU with subdural hematoma.
Cause: my usual low blood pressure took a dip as I was making my morning coffee.
My husband heard the thud and then heard me calling for help -- I didn't even spill my coffee --
I must have blanked out for a moment - and slid to the floor, bonking my head on the countertop as I slid into a sitting position.

But at 69 -- the brain has shrunk  a bit -- and allowed enough space for some bleeding (subdural hematoma)
Best news of all -- I did not have to have surgery. It's probably too early to predict if I can expect 100% recovery -- but so far things look stable and nothing new and scary has happened.

I had not planned on sharing this information - until I started reading about how often people over 60 fall - and ignore a *bonk* on the head --
I never felt that bad -- but thankfully my husband took me to the ER -
If you are over 60 and you hit your head -- get it checked out --
And if you are on blood thinners -- you absolutely need to go.

If you have kids -- be vigilant with helmets.
I know how to be a patient patient -- but I can see how a kid or a teenager would be a very difficult person to try to nurse back to health.

If you live alone - you might want to consider a service that will check on you once a day.

Arches Text Wove is my favorite all-purpose paper. It feels like nice stationery.
It is also very nice for handmade books.

I bought the sample pack many years ago and it's nice to know about all the other papers.
If you get the sample pack, you might want to reserve a piece of each of the papers to use for testing.
Write the name of each paper at the top of the page.
Then - every time you try a new nib & ink combo - write the name of the ink and nib on each piece of paper
and establish which papers are friendliest with the various inks and nibs.

Some papers have a right side - which you can see by the watermark.
As I fold and tear (rather than cut) the large pieces into smaller pieces - I alway mark the front side.
Once the watermark is gone, it can be hard to tell which is the right side.
There is nothing *wrong* about the non-right side - but sometimes a nib/ink will respond better on the right side.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Calligraphy forum
« on: June 21, 2021, 07:00:13 AM »
Yes. If you make an account for your forum - use the name of the forum, not your own name.
At the top of your home page, you can have a link to the actual forum.

Then, as you leave comments on the work of other people -
they will see the name - and probably be curious - and go to the IG account with your forum name.

You might want to put up several posts before you start making comments
so that when people do check out your forum's IG account,
they see things that draw their interest to the forum.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Calligraphy forum
« on: June 20, 2021, 08:36:50 AM »
Instagram seems like a good place to start.
If you are already posting on IG, you could add posts with information about the forum.
Then, when you leave comments for other people, you could mention the forum.

Design & Layout / Re: Guideline alternatives...
« on: June 13, 2021, 12:34:58 PM »
I posted some photos and tips on my blog.
Good luck with your project.

Design & Layout / Re: Guideline alternatives...
« on: June 13, 2021, 07:09:17 AM »
Yes, I do have a method for writing in a book.
It will be easier to explain with some photos - so, I'll post a response later today.

Kind Critique / Re: Starting FF Calligraphy Lessons
« on: May 25, 2021, 07:03:32 AM »
On the third and fifth line (of the 5 lines of words) there are some word spaces that look right - to my eye which prefers the tighter spacing.

I remember the suggestion from my first teacher - to imagine an invisible letter lower-case-i in between each word.
Or after you exit a word - just drop your nib straight down - and place it on the baseline - directly below where the exit stroke ended.
This gives enough word space.

This is a personal preference thing - but, if you look at a full page of writing with generous word spacing - those spaces create *rivers* of space that can be very distracting (to some people)

I think that McCaffrey's ink made a big difference. Your lettering looks a lot more delicate and refined. Yay!

Tools & Supplies / Re: My Favorite Nibs for Pointed Pen
« on: May 23, 2021, 07:27:27 AM »
I'm guessing that the techniques for working with metal have not been lost and if a skilled metalsmith wanted to figure out how to make the finest nibs by hand, they could. It reminds me of the handmade knives that are so beautiful and expensive. You don't have to be a chef to appreciate a great knife and anyone who chooses to invest in one will enjoy it for many years. Nibs wear out. It's unlikely anyone would want to pay a fair price for the time and energy it would take to replicate the ones we wish we could buy.

Kind Critique / Re: Starting FF Calligraphy Lessons
« on: May 21, 2021, 05:00:36 PM »
This will be repeat for Lyric - but I think it bears repeating.
There are many different styles of teaching - and often times people who start teaching feel like the way they learned was the *best* way because it worked for them. When I started teaching, I called it *showing* -as in- I can show you how to follow the directions in a book.

I did not make any judgment about which was *best* - the historical styles or the new bouncy contemporary styles. I often had students pursuing both directions in the same class. I had picked up a lot from all the different classes and workshops that I had taken with the true rock stars in calligraphy.

Something that I think helps a lot - no matter where you are on the learning curve - is to practice your letters in groups.
The space between the letters is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the letters themselves.
So, practicing letters in groups will double your skill-building.

Why make 5 rows of the letter i and 5 rows of the letter n - when you can write the word - in - 5 rows - and also practice your word spacing?
Letter spacing and word spacing are essential -
The way letters join is an essential part of the script styles.

Lyric -- you have put in a ton of hours -- and I know that you have made a lot of progress.
I really hope that you can put letters together and also maintain proper word spacing between the groups -
Your single letters are just fine -- but, I think they will be even better if you allow them to *join* and contribute to a beautiful page of texture.

I frequently see examples of beginner work that is very nice- but there is way too much space between the words.
So many people remember their lessons from first grade and put a *finger width* between each word.
That was fine in first grade -- but if you look a page of beautiful script done by someone like John Stevens, you will see much less than the width of a finger. The amount of space that a lower case I takes up is good for starters.

I look forward to seeing a page of joined letters with beautiful letter spacing, Lyric :-)

I've posted this previously, but it's been a while.
I started with broad edge styles and when I decided to try some pointed nib styles, I did OK - but I wasn't in love with any of it.
Until ----- I signed up for a Spencerian workshop with Mike Sull.
I brought materials from other classes and when he said that we would all get better results with
McCaffrey's ink, Nikko G nibs, and Clairfontaine (or Rhodia) paper - I was not excited to have to buy new materials.
But -- Oh.My.Gosh. 
Within an hour, I was hooked on pointed nibs.
I can get the whisper hairlines with a Nikko G - and Mike agrees, there are other nibs that are better, once you are past the beginner stage.
But to learn the technique of floating onto and off the paper - he recommends the Nikko G and I agree.

There are a lot of us who swear by McCaffrey's ink and it comes in many gorgeous colors.
The white is dreamy.
The gloss black sometimes won't dry on certain papers --

I know there are people who like Higgins and sumi inks for pointed pen work --
Lots of my students showed up with those inks - and wanted to make them work.
Most of the time, when I shared a bottle of my McCaffrey's - they would see immediate results.

Walnut ink will also give you some very nice hairlines.
Another tip for working on your hairlines is to ease off on your shades for a while.
Just do hairlines and a *normal* pressure - and leave out the extra pressure (for shades) until you get the hairlines worked out.
After you are happy with your hairlines, go back to adding your shades.

The amount of time you need to spend will depend on how well you do on each page.
Every person has a different learning style.
Some people like to race through and try everything and then go back and focus.
Other people are more methodical and like to master a page before moving along.
And still others will move forward a few pages and then go back to the beginning and do some refresher work on the basics.
If you post a photo of your work next to the page you are working on - and ask for feedback -
you might enjoy getting tips from people who are further along on the learning curve.

Tools & Supplies / Re: My Favorite Nibs for Pointed Pen
« on: April 20, 2021, 08:40:09 AM »
I do not have it any more, but years ago, I had an article that described all the steps it took to make vintage nibs and it was an incredible amount of work - mostly done by hand. I remember thinking that it must have been a horrible job - for the people who worked in the factories. Sadly, some things just have to made by hand - and there would be no way to compensate someone for the amount of time and effort it would take to replicate the process. I'll contact Bob Hurford and see if he has the article.

Here is an article from the IAMPETH website about vintage nibs.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: What happened to my cursive?
« on: March 25, 2021, 01:54:47 PM »
There are probably some old threads on this topic - but, I don't know if it has its own section.
If not, maybe we can start one.
Mostly, people need to figure out what their worst problems are and start repairing them one-by-one.

99% of the time, people are writing too fast.
Depending on your age - you might have several decades of muscle memory built up - but, it's not rocket science.
If you learned cursive, you already know the basic shapes.

Consistent Cursive is a good program (on YouTube) to lead you through the steps of repairing your cursive.
I'm always happy to give people tips if they want to post an example of their penmanship.

Maybe Lyric will post a before and after shot of her penmanship.
It would be a very good example of how much progress can be made in a fairly short amount of time.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 25, 2021, 01:45:45 PM »
Whenever the topic of flourishing comes up, I always add a link to John Steven's IG because his flourishing is dreamy.

My suggestion for adding flourishing to italics is to learn the basic capital letters first.
You'll notice on John's looser variations of italics, he doesn't stray too far from the basics.
There is still a lot of symmetry to loose italics.

Before you add full flourishes, learn how to add just a swash to each capital letter.
Notice that both swashes and flourishing will have basic shapes.
Sometimes they are more elongated - other times they are rounder.
It's pretty tricky to mix the two until you have mastered both.

If possible, try to learn a couple basic flourishes and then gradually add a few more - one at a time.
Flourishing is often compared to ballet - start with basics - and plan on putting in a lot of time if you want them to look professional.

Successful flourishing is often done quickly with your hand not quite touching the paper - using whole arm movement.
Most teachers will show students how to do a couple practice *swoops* in the air - just above the paper - and then do the actual flourish on the paper.
It's a way to help you relax so you don't choke.

When I was first learning the figure-8 flourish used on the tails of y and g -
I would leave the ascenders off the h k l - and then turn the paper around and add the figure-8 strokes.
Eventually, I could make the flourishes in both directions - but it was a helpful trick til I got there.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Job for someone in Kansas City
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:53:56 AM »
I have a client in Kansas City who will need some envelopes addressed. I'm not sure I will be available, so if you are in KC and have either a website or IG account that shows examples of your work, please contact me through direct messaging. I have not seen the invitation, but it will be a small gathering for a bar mitzvah and a previous invitation I worked on was contemporary and I used brush lettering. So, it would be nice to find someone who offered both contemporary as well as traditional styles.

Erica -- has the topic of having a listing on the forum of professionals ever come up - so that we could do a search for someone in a particular location?

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