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Topics - Briana

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Introductions / Not new, but I've been away while!
« on: August 09, 2017, 04:01:24 PM »
Hi all!

I'm certainly not new-- I think I was in the first wave of members--but I haven't logged in for some time, so I thought I'd give a little wave to all the people that I don't know. *waves* I'm Briana, on Instagram as @PicklesNVodka  ;D I LOVE pickles, and I like to drink vodka while eating a pickle (if you've never tried that, you should)-- that's where the name comes from! That aside, bourbon is my liquor of choice. Doesn't make much sense, does it?

Anyways, I'm giving social media a BIG break right now in order to focus on a regular gym routine (hahahahaha oh I can dream), studying for my LAST licensure exam (my #RLjob is as a landscape architect), and devoting time to nurture creativity (knitting, canning, painting, and of course calligraphy). Mindless Facebook and IG scrolling really digs into that last one, so I'm picking the time suck that actually benefits me instead :)

Flourish Forum isn't really social media AND it helps with the nurturing, so I'll be around I hope!

Looking forward to meeting new friends and catching up with the OG's,
B :D

Tools & Supplies / Homemade iron gall ink, anyone?
« on: April 30, 2015, 12:22:41 AM »
I posted this on IG but thought I'd put it out here, too!

I was on a job site yesterday and noticed little baubles all over a cluster of beautiful oak trees (that hopefully will survive construction)! I knew right away they were galls, and much to my boss' surprised, I started scooping them up. I got a few handfuls, and I'd love to attempt making iron gall ink...except I don't know how.

The internet has provided a few tips, but I thought you clever folks might have better recipes or suggestions. Has anyone made their own iron gall ink before?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Taylor Swift trademarks
« on: January 30, 2015, 10:22:07 AM »
Has anyone else seen this?

Just an FYI for those of us who like to calligraphy song lyrics and also can't get T-Swift songs out of our head  :o

    Poll for the masses: what is your opinion/advice on having a *calligraphy only* IG account, a *personal only* account, or just one account for all?

    Here's all my thoughts/questions in one big mess because I don't know how to sort them out (part of this IG problem!):
    • I joined IG long before I got into calligraphy or created a "business" name (Pickles 'N Vodka), so my account (@texasroyalty) is named for goofy personal inside jokes.
    • Once I started learning calligraphy, I started posting my attempts and projects on my account for friends and family to see. It's such an easy way to share photos without becoming annoying or getting lost in the mess of facebook.
    • Once the Flourish Forum started and I found other calligraphers on IG, my feed and "following" quickly filled with calligraphy. I'd say the balance is now heavily more calligraphers than it is friends and family, only because there are so many of you out there!
    • Recently I've started getting a nice number of random followers because hashtags and the FF are such a great way to put yourself out there and find other people.
    • I worry that a) people who follow me to look at calligraphy might get tired of seeing pictures of my cat, my boyfriend, my vegetables, or whatever other random things I post (but those are things I want to share with friends and family), and I contemplate that b) because my IG name is not the same as my "business" name I'm missing a branding opportunity or something.

    All that being said, I wonder if I should make a Pickles 'N Vodka account for calligraphy or if I should simply change my username (like Natascha recently did). That way I wouldn't lose any followers who found me for calligraphy, but I would "lose" all the personal photos currently on my account. Then I could make a personal account again, but would probably lose my current username.

    Does this make any sense? I'm highly nostalgic and can't believe I'm struggling with it over a social media account, and hopefully there's someone out there who gets the dilemma.

    All thoughts, advice, questions, comments, concerns, and opinions are welcome!

Tools & Supplies / "Ink" with vegetables?!
« on: May 22, 2014, 11:35:46 PM »
A few nights ago at dinner while sautéing something called "Orach Magenta Magic" (a relative of spinach apparently) from our CSA box, I was hypnotized by the magenta liquid on my spoon. The orach leaves were a vivid magenta, and they sweated out an even prettier color when cooked. While eating I dabbed my finger on my plate and wiped it on an envelope to see what would happen. When it dried, a beautiful pink stain was left!

SO! I wondered if you could make a dye out of this or maybe even an ink/water color paint. I boiled the remaining leaves and drained off the liquid.

I'm not sure if there was something in the container I used (there probably was, but shhhh), but when I tested the hot liquid on Bristol paper it came out a muted rose gold color with shimmer!

I tested it again today, and the cooled liquid is a deeper rose color. It doesn't drip off the nib when dipped, but it doesn't create a consistent line either. It's very pretty as a layered water color wash though!

Here's a good shot of the shimmer, probably from an iridescent gouache still lingering in the container. It's a nice effect! You can also see the progression from the initial magenta, the hot muted color, and the cooled color.

Anyways, thought I'd share! It's amazing what supplies we have all around us :)

Favorite Resources / Exemplar from Charles P. Bluemlein?
« on: April 08, 2014, 04:17:41 PM »
(Erica, if this shouldn't be posted feel free to remove the link!)

I saw some discussion on Instagram about a beautiful exemplar from the Higgins Ink Co. Scripts and Manuscript Lettering book. With a little sluething I found this posted online: There are some interesting brush lettering examples on there, too! I'm not sure who the guy running this site is.

Tools & Supplies / Making your own walnut ink?
« on: March 09, 2014, 11:27:52 PM »
Has anyone made their own walnut ink? I collected several baskets of black walnuts before the end of the year and am finally ready to dive in and boil them down. I found these instructions online but would love to hear advice/tips from anyone who's done this before!

Instructions 1:
Instructions 2:

Introductions / Howdy, and cheers!
« on: November 20, 2013, 12:15:48 AM »
Howdy! I'm Briana, formerly of Texas but living in the North Bay Area of California as of a few weeks ago.

I've *always* enjoyed handwriting, probably because I've been complimented on mine since I was little. My parents would set up a chalk board at dinner parties and ask me to write different words with my left hand, then right hand, then backwards, the backwards and forwards simultaneously, etc. as entertainment.

In college I studied landscape architecture because of my love of plants, art, and math. I was pleasantly surprised that one of my first assignments was learning architectural lettering! Easy peasy.

Earlier this year I took continuing education calligraphy classes at SMU under the guidance of Susie-Melissa Cherry and fell in love with the art form. I made a Facebook page for a dream business I'm calling "Pickles 'N Vodka" several months ago, and I'm using it to give me inspiration to keep learning, crafting, and practicing calligraphy and whatever else I want. One day I'd like to do this full time, but for now it's an after-work fun activity.

I found The Flourish Forum on Instagram and am super excited to start learning from and meeting calligraphers. Thank you for setting this up, Erica!

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