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Messages - Karen Gray

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Hi folks,
Sorry, I've been away for ages which wasn't my intention. My world seems to have frayed at every seem over the summer break and I've been struggling along (as you do) with little ability to stop and do anything other than just manage. I had huge plans for the holidays too, all of which I should have managed and haven't. Though I have managed to teach myself to write in braille (more on that later) and have been working on my lettering which has improved somewhat.

Anyway it's back to college tomorrow (thank the gods of education!!) Kinda needing that me time. Last year of study eek!

I also wanted to let you know that I'm running a free promotion on all three of my published novels one after the other. So if you have ever thought, "hmmm... I need a nemeocorn in my life," or, "I could do with some Scottish banter," or, "damn I need a good book RIGHT NOW," then I'm saying give mine a try. They are free after all so it costs nothing to give them a go if reading's your thing :)

There's full descriptions on my blog and website if you want to know more about them (or just ask me)

For King and Country will be free from today (the 29th) until the 2nd of September.
Chains of Blood and Steel will be free on the 3rd September until the 7th
and Battle of the Bannockburn will be free from the 8th September until the 12th.

If you read them, I hope you enjoy them. Anyways I wanted to share them with you :)

Other than that I am hoping that this is me back regularly now. I have posts and messages to catch up with. Emails to return, letters to write. Seems it's an eternal game of catch-up but I'll get there in the end.

As @AndyT says, I use the ornate oblique holder from Scribblers. I love it. It was absolutely what I needed. I would prefer a slightly wider grip mind you but I like the length and other than it being a little on the thin side (no thinner than a uni ball pen) it's perfect - AND cheap.

Show & Tell / Re: My newbie hand lettering efforts :)
« on: August 16, 2016, 04:13:01 AM »
This was March this year :) When I say I'm a noob I mean it. Saying that I have surprised myself because I got into graphic design to create and offer cover art for other authors, I'm now half way through and start year 2 on the 30th August and I am hell bent on leaving as top of the class (now I'm there I need to stay there - ain't no competition like your own score from last year) and not as a cover artist - but as a typographer.

My writing has come on leaps and bounds since this example. It's the letter writing that's done it, I can't do drills to save myself (though I am working on a letter from my novels which I may turn into a drill sheet and once I have 20 or so copies do a "limited edition" givaway or something.

Anyway... I digress... I love watercolour. My mum got me the Russian paints - St Petersburg White Night's (I probably mentioned that) but I also have a wee travel set of W&N Cottman and the difference in quality is substantial. The White Night's paints are the best I've ever used. I got into watercolour through brush lettering and I just love it. Used it for my "world without words" project (Idiograms/icons I did a set for Aspergers ) and it was utterly different to the digital ones everyone else handed in. I kinda like that.

Introductions / Re: G'day from Australia
« on: July 25, 2016, 04:22:01 AM »
This post is great actually.
Like a nice big chain of lettery writing goodness ;) I've had one from here and one from conversation. Plus I caught the bug so I have written to everyone whose address I have! haha! My mum was chuffed to bits when she got her letter (I didn't tell her) Been writing to author friends too. Hoping to start a creative writing letter group if I can (at least within my author pal circles) Worth a go isn't it? and it will help deepen characterisation ;)

Introductions / Re: G'day from Australia
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:54:37 AM »
Hi Tegan, welcome!

The penpal section is great. There are a few threads going atm. Nothing like receiving a letter in the mail now that snapchat, facebook and twitter pm's have taken over everything!

Introductions / Re: Hello from Austin, TX!
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:51:57 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Sometimes linking a blog with Instagram will help boost followers, especially if you talk about how you approach your art. People like to see how you work :)

Introductions / Re: Newby hello
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:46:48 AM »
Hi @carriligraphy Welcome.

I think you'll like it here. I struggle to find classes near me too but my writing has improved LOADS since being here! I also love how copperplate looks and it is the first style I'm learning.

Looking forward to seeing you around :) (followed your Instagram ;) )

Introductions / Re: Greetings from Japan/Seattle.
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:42:11 AM »
Yōkoso @LazYuki

Spencarian is a beautiful script to use. I'm focussing on copperplate/engraver's script first as I have a problem with too much pressure so I find Spencarian extra hard. I'll get to it eventually though.

Do you find that you prefer Spencarian script to broad pen or do you like them equally?

Tools & Supplies / Re: Suggestion for Black Paper?
« on: July 21, 2016, 02:43:17 PM »
I am going to order it when I order another Rhodia dot pad. Probably the start of Next week so I will deffo let you know what it's like. Considering you get almost double for a few pounds less that's win win in my book ;)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Suggestion for Black Paper?
« on: July 21, 2016, 10:59:37 AM »
Blots sell the Frisk paper, Karen - that's usually a good sign.  I seem to remember it comes in two weights.
Braw. Cheers @AndyT :)

Oh this is a great idea and so useful! There is so much info and material on this forum it's difficult to know where to start :) Thanks for pooling these threads here :D

Tools & Supplies / Re: Ink mixing question
« on: July 21, 2016, 03:28:19 AM »
Weirdly my first thought when you guys mentioned this was "You know there is a magazine for that" My friend had some of his hand penned maps published with an article about him there. Random facts. Anyways, I was reading up on it and I wouldn't say I have it, though I do at times feel things similar to what it describes, but I would put that to being on the spectrum and not Synesthesia. Saying that it is speculated that Synesthesia is linked to the spectrum due to the different wiring in the brain and the crossing of sensory information which is heightened in people on the spectrum. *shrugs* discombobulation is kinda our thing ;)

I am planning on using text to describe  and braille below with minimal illustration, or maybe just a colour wash over pages not describing a specific thing.

I found a simple braille translation tool online so I can easily find the braille pattern and use ink spots to recreate it, or I can emboss/deboss it somehow perhaps. Either way it will be a world away from anything anyone else has. Way outside the box :D But then that's me to a tee now isn't it ;)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Suggestion for Black Paper?
« on: July 21, 2016, 03:08:43 AM »
Does anyone have an opinion on this product?

A little cheaper for more sheets but could be false economy.

Tools & Supplies / Ink Recepticals?
« on: July 21, 2016, 03:01:25 AM »
So, ok ink bottles are pretty rubbish if you are trying to dip a nib in an oblique holder.

I have taken to pouring it into the cap but it's never really deep enough for easy dipping and to use a temporary container will waste ink as it will never all cleanly go back into the ink bottle so I'd like to know what you all prefer to use for easy dipping and little to no wastage of ink?

Introductions / Re: Graphic Designer saying 'Hi from Scotland'!
« on: July 17, 2016, 12:24:57 PM »
Hi @MathCampbell *waves frantically* You're here!!! YAY!

For people that are now slightly confused I know Math outside of the forum. We both live in Greenock ;)
So glad you finally got time so say "Hi"!

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