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Topics - JanisTX

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Tools & Supplies / Applying Spray Fixative
« on: December 06, 2014, 02:49:59 PM »
When I have a big wedding job, I spray the envelopes with a spray fixative.  Many inks have charcoal as an additive (especially black inks, of course!).  After the ink dries, the charcoal rises to the surface.  If you stack your envelopes, the ink from the envelope below can rub off on the back of the envelope on top of it.  Spray fixative is your answer (unless you're in love with your eraser!)!  Here's how I do it:

1.  The fixative STINKS!  DO NOT spray it in your house/apartment!!  Spray it outdoors, if possible.  (I live in the windiest city in the US, so I don't get that luxury very often!)  My "usual" spot is in the garage.
2.  Lay down something to put the envelopes on.  I use a plastic shower curtain liner. - Just get the cheapest one available!  Other options are drop cloths or flat bed sheets.
3.  I like to have the envelopes alphabetized, so that I can locate *that* envelope if someone moves, etc.  So, I lay them out alphabetically starting at the top left of the plastic and moving from left-to-right, row by row.  I am pretty good about being able to estimate 50-ish envelopes.  You can see in the photo that I was a little off on my count today, but not by much.
4.  Once they are laid out, I then spray them with a fixative.  You want a quick, LIGHT spray on each envelope.  Don't get too close to the envelope and don't make any envelope "wet".  Just a quick, light spray is enough to "set" the ink!  It is not a water-proofer, but it will "set" the charcoal, so you won't have any transfer of the ink from one envelope to another.  There are several spray fixatives available & I don't like one more than another.  They all smell AWFUL, so just go with whatever you can find on sale or that's available to you in your local art supply or craft store!
5.  Let the envelopes dry in place for about 30 minutes.  (OK, truth be told, I get impatient because I hate this part, and I usually can't make myself wait 30 whole minutes.  At about 25 minutes, I'm out the door like a scalded cat, gathering up Round One, so that I can lay out and then spray Round Two!)
6.  Pick up the envelopes from last to first, moving right-to-left from the bottom to the top, so that they remain properly alphabetized.
7.  Repeat, until you're done!  On this project I have 150 outside envelopes and 150 inner envelopes, so guess what I'm doing with the rest of my day?!

I hope that this information is helpful to you!


I forgot to explain why I want about 50 envelopes on the plastic!  If I cover the entire surface of the shower curtain, then my arm is not long enough to reach all of the envelopes that are in the center of the shower curtain!  I can get to all of the envelopes around the edges, but I can't adequately reach those in the middle!  If you are tall and have long arms, that might not be a problem for you.  I'm average height for a girl, so I just limit the number that I lay down, so that I can be sure that I can reach every envelope from all four sides of the plastic!

Tools & Supplies / Desiderata Pen Photos
« on: December 06, 2014, 10:57:51 AM »
Here are some photos of my Desiderata Pen:


Tools & Supplies / Desiderata Pen Review
« on: December 06, 2014, 10:54:43 AM »
Hello, Flourish Friends!

I ordered a pen from Pierre of Desiderata Pens  It is very beautiful and feels wonderful to the touch.  It's lightweight and the finish is very smooth.  It uses a replaceable Zebra g nib.  You fill the little ink bladder by squeezing the bladder, dipping the open end below the surface of a bottle of ink and then releasing your hold on the bladder.  The suction acts to draw the ink up into the bladder.  You then insert the open end of the bladder onto the nib end of the pen & screw the bottom back onto the nib holder.  It holds a good amount of ink & you can write a lot without having to refill it again.  You have to wad up a paper towel or napkin to hold the top of the bladder when attaching it back on the nib holder, or you'll get ink on your fingers.  (Like that's a problem we don't all already have? Ha, ha!)

I'm attaching a photo of an alphabet exemplar, so that you can see that it gives decent thicks and thins.  My lettering is not very good, as I haven't written with a straight pen (v. an oblique nib holder) in a very long time.  You'll note a lot of ink splatters, particularly as I got toward the bottom of the page.  I think that as I got closer to myself, the angle of the pen became too sharp, causing the ink to splatter.  I'm going to have to re-learn how to maintain a proper angle without an oblique holder!

PROS:  beautiful, easy to carry around, lightweight, holds lots of ink, fun to write with, relatively inexpensive, cap and base screw together very snugly!

CONS:  not an oblique holder, so you have to readjust/relearn the proper angle to hold your pen.  It can be finicky, as sometimes the ink doesn't want to flow.  Putting just a dab of saliva on the tip seems to make that stop happening.  I can't explain why, but I like to have the cap of a pen "seat" on the back of the pen while the pen is in use.  I think I like the extra weight on the back of the pen? This pen is not designed to do that, so you have to remove the cap & just set it aside.  And, this' just picky, but instead of having to fill the bladder, I wish that this pen would accept the little plastic cartridges of ink that come pre-filled.  I use those often for travel and they are super convenient!

I haven't had to change the nib yet, but I am scared about how hard it will be.  Pierre sent detailed instructions and has a YouTube video to walk you through it.  I'll report back with an update after I have changed the nib.

All-in-all, this is an outstanding pen and I recommend it.  I believe it has solved my frequent problem of not being able to do pointed pen practice while traveling on a plane!  I've been stuck using broad-edge pens (like Pilot Parallel pens), as you can't dip your pen into an open ink bottle while in flight.  Next trip, I'm going to fill up this pen with ink, throw it in my carry-on, and go!  Every pointed pen enthusiast should treat themselves to one of Pierre's beautiful pens!!

I'm not able to post all of the attachments to this one post, as they are too large.  I'll post the sampler to this post & then repost with pix of the pen itself!


Tools & Supplies / Update re Leonardt EF Principal nibs
« on: September 27, 2014, 07:03:46 PM »
I'm a member of the IAMPETH Yahoo! group & we got this message today regarding the current batch of Leonardt EF Principal nibs:

"Hi IAMPETH! This is Michael from John Neal Books with the following update from Manuscript:

"Firstly I would like to thank you for bringing this problem to our attention; we have taken this very seriously and have checked every step of our production to see where the problem has arisen. You are 100% correct that this is certainly not the standard of nib that we expect to be sending out into the market place as we pride ourselves on our quality but this time we have failed! We have removed the last batch produced from our stocks and we are remaking immediately, we are replacing our slitting tools and we expect to have stock again in 1 month."

--Linda Jones at Manuscript Pen Co."

So, JNB will have fresh stock around October 20.  You can email John Neal Books if you have bought any of the defective nibs from them!


Open Flourish | General Discussion / "Autograph Book" with Wedding Advice
« on: September 15, 2014, 04:13:18 PM »
I just love the handwriting in this book:

I realize it's supposed to be about the quaint advice, but I'm stuck on the pretty lettering!

Tools & Supplies / Slide Writer
« on: September 13, 2014, 05:37:11 PM »
Hi, Flourish Friends!

I received a Slide Writer as a birthday present and I LOVE IT!  It is a snap to use!  It holds your paper snugly and the laser beam is thrown clearly across the page to make your line.  It is SO much easier to use than the Phantom Liner!!  There is a ruler along the right side and that helps to make your lines evenly.  You can also "flip" it, if you happen to be left-handed (I haven't tried that, as I'm a righty!). 

If I were designing this, I would make the surface transparent, with a light pad below it!  It would ROCK if it would combine a light pad with the laser liner.  I am very, very satisfied with the Slide Writer, however, and I'm very glad that I have it!  It's already made my world a better place!!


Tools & Supplies / London Calling!
« on: September 11, 2014, 06:28:14 PM »
Hi, all!

My dear husband will be traveling from the US to London on October 18, staying until he leaves on the 23rd.  This will be a business trip for him.  He has agreed to transport any calligraphy items for my calligraphy friends who can come to get them in London during his stay.  You can order (and pay for) your supplies from any American business and have them delivered to my home.  He'll then carry them to London & you can pick them up from his hotel.  Andy & Kate, I know you you're in London, but I'm not sure who else is and/or who else might want to pop over to London to pick up supplies and avoid the dreaded international shipping costs!  Ken, if Scotland votes to leave the UK, you may not feel safe traveling to London!   ;D  Just kidding!!

If you'd like to work with me (and him!) on making this work, please send me a private message.  I'll give you my states-side address.  As I'm doing with Aman, I would just ask that you let me know what you're ordering (after you order it), as I order ALL the time and don't want to steal your supplies, thinking that it's something that I ordered!!  My husband has What's App on his phone, and if you have that app, you'll be able to message back and forth that way.



Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / White ink won't flow!
« on: August 17, 2014, 05:36:31 PM »
I've been trying to get some white ink to flow all afternoon. I have Dr. Martins' bleed-proof white & it is very thick. The consistency in the jar is about the consistency of cold cream or margarine. I scooped some out & tried to thin it with distilled water, but I could never get it to flow!  I then tried white gouache, thinned it with distilled water & could never get it to flow, even though the mixture is pretty runny. Anyone ever had this happen to them?  Any advice?  Thanks in advance!

Suggestions & Ideas / Travelers
« on: August 09, 2014, 04:51:55 PM »
Hi, Erica!

I wonder if there would be a way to match up people traveling abroad with calligraphers in foreign countries who would like to order supplies to be delivered when the traveler goes to their country?  Most calligraphy supplies are pretty small & wouldn't be much of a burden to pack. I know that I would be happy to do that!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Lettering Styles
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:20:58 PM »
I'm a book hog and have a lot of calligraphy books, so I am in general familiar with many of the calligraphy "hands".  There is a calligrapher who is very popular here in the US and who has a big online presence.  Her work is beautiful and she seems to know so very many "hands".  However, I am unfamiliar with most of the names of the hands, as they are not in any of my calligraphy books.  Her website is and if you look at her portfolio, she as names such as "Lettering style:  Burgues", "Cezanne Script with Lively Romans", "Lettering Style:  Markham", "Lettering Style:  April TCS", and etc.  Can anyone explain to me whether or not those are really calligraphy hand names?  Her work does seem to be hand done and she notes the ink she used ("Ink:  Black Sumi", "Ink:  Walnut", etc.), so I believe that she is actually doing calligraphy.  Do you think she is copying computer fonts?  (Did that even make sense to you?)  Or, am I just terribly uninformed about the vast array of calligraphy hands? 

Her work is gorgeous and she's someone I'd like to someday emulate, but what is it that she's really doing??


Show & Tell / 50th Wedding Anniversary Letter
« on: July 19, 2014, 04:33:40 PM »
I'm posting this because I said I would, although I am not necessarily happy with it!  I had all kinds of trouble with the line spacing!  It's now too short on the page, but since I am tired of re-doing it, it's going to stay as-is.  This' for a scrapbook my niece is making for her mom & dad's 50th wedding anniversary.  I've never tried any illumination before, and as you know, I am seriously deficient in artistic skills!  I kept it pretty simple and used colored markers from the craft store.  If I had time to do it again, I'd change the black vine to brown, as the black is too harsh, I think  My family will be impressed, but I know it's not up to the snuff of many of you talented folks here at the Forum!

Tools & Supplies / Travel Holder
« on: July 17, 2014, 03:48:54 PM »
I've been wanting to purchase something to hold my nib holder with nib inserted when I travel  What I REALLY wanted was a beautiful wooden box with maybe chamois inside?  Something cushioning?  I finally went to my local drug store and prowled around (I also went to Target & Wal-Mart, without any success).  So here are my trial runs:

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Which Conference?
« on: July 16, 2014, 05:23:40 PM »
I've been engaged in a discussion with a Dallas-ite (someone who lives in Dallas) about a conference called "Legacies".  Here's a link:

It's super expensive IMHO!  (She's going to take some of the workshops which are more reasonable than signing up for the whole thing.)  It's starts this weekend, so it's too late for me to go.  Has anyone ever been to Legacies?  The course descriptions look really interesting; in fact, some of them were more appealing to me than IAMPETH.  Has anyone been to BOTH of those conferences?  Can you tell me which you prefer or benefited the most from? 

 I am working on a 50th wedding anniversary project and wanted to use gold ink.  I have some Doc Martin's that drives me crazy. - I filled in my daughter's bride's book with that gold (her wedding colors were gold and white) and the constant stirring really was a pain!  I dug through the Forum and Erica recommended some Fine Tec gold.  So, I moseyed on over to PIA and threw some in my cart, along with some new nibs and other "goodies". 

Well, the package arrived yesterday & now I don't know how in the heck to use it!  The colors are BEAUTIFUL, but what am I to do with them??  Scrape some of the color off into a container (using the new scalpel that Ken recommended to me) and add distilled water??  Or, what??  Is this even the right stuff??

I also got some gold gouache and while I have been scared to try it, I think I've decided that I'm more scared of the Fine Tec than I am of the gouache, so it's not looking so bad anymore.  At least I've got Erica's great "how-to" video on using gouache that I can refer to!

Any suggestions from any of you brilliant people?

Tools & Supplies / Hiro 41 Nibs
« on: June 07, 2014, 04:23:02 PM »
Based upon recommendations from the Forum, I ordered some Hiro 41 nibs.  They don't fit into any of my oblique holders (cheap Speedballs, a nice wooden one recommended by Dr. Joe, a beautiful one from Yoke Pen, etc., etc.).  They slide right out of the nib holders.  Is there a special nib holder that I should have ordered?

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