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Messages - Mljohnson805

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General How To's & Projects / Re: How to Design Calligraphy Monograms
« on: March 02, 2014, 12:14:09 PM »
Thanks for the ideas and tips. Nothing else comes close to a hand lettered pointed pen monogram.

I start with pencil sketches of each letter on strips of tracing paper. Letter 5 or 6 versions of each letter on a strip, then letter next one on second and/or third strip.

With pointed pen, trace over each one to establish thicks and thins. Then overlap the strips, moving and twisting until something interesting develops.

At some point, many of us may decide to change names. J's are so boring.

Would love to take the class at Iampeth. Good reminder.

Mary Lou

Show & Tell / Re: Calligraphy Cat Club
« on: February 02, 2014, 12:39:55 PM »
My fuzzy assistant would certainly like to join this club. She is an expert studio supervisor and makes sure that I take regular breaks.
Also note that she helps further flatten papers in my flat file. 14 years on the job and still purring.

Show & Tell / Re: Calligraphy Cat Club
« on: January 31, 2014, 11:15:31 PM »
Here is my fuzzy assistant. She is helping to further flatten papers in the flat file. Very thoughtful.
How do cats know when you have a deadline?
Can they sense the tension around wedding envelope deadlines? All it takes is that set up; pen in hand, ready to go, Mr. and Mrs.......and she appears out of nowhere with chin rubbing pen holder. Argh.
My studio is not complete without contented, sleeping cat nearby.

Digital Design / Re: Color Your Lettering - Gatsby Style!
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:57:14 PM »
How fabulous is that?! Thanks.

Digital Design / Re: Color Your Lettering - Gatsby Style!
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:42:27 PM »
How fabulous is that?! Thanks.

Digital Design / Re: Calligraphy to Vector Tutorial
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:37:01 PM »
Thanks so much. Thinking that video will have a thousand starts and stops before I get it right. Great tutorial.

Introductions / Re: Greetings from California
« on: January 26, 2014, 08:29:53 PM »
I can't say enough good things about joining a regional society or guild. You will have an opportunity to meet wonderful teachers. It's a journey with wonderful scenery and stops along our ink spattered way. Hope to meet you too.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Lettering on Chalkboards
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:40:53 PM »
I don't quite understand why chalk board lettering is popular because chalk boards are difficult surfaces. Lots of good tips in the thread, very helpful.

I accepted a job lettering invitations on individual antique school chalk boards. Argh!

After many attempts with brush, chalk etc, I ended up using a white colored pencil made by Rexel Cumberland. Also just discovered a great fine point white pen made by Fons and Porter. Looks like chalk on black textured paper.

I am just a pen and paper kind of person. That offers enough challenges.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Lightbox brand/Model suggests
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:31:17 PM »
Looks like a nice set up. Now I'm thinking my little 8x10 light box is too small. Noticed a light pad in Paper and Ink Arts catalog, may give one of those a try.

Although, I find myself covering part of my light table just to soften the glare when lettering envelopes for long periods of time.

Letter Pixels / Re: Bloggy what?
« on: January 23, 2014, 10:13:11 PM »
Thanks so much for the tip on Blog Class. Will check it out. Seems Wordpress is the way to go.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Nobody can touch this guy!
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:04:16 PM »
Oh my goodness. Totally agree with you on John's mastery. Wow, so glad to know about his work and videos.

Oblique holders are not easy to use at first, but keep making adjustments until you find a method that works.
Here is my reminder for pen set up.
Place holder on table. Insert nib so that it is exactly at top center, not canted to either side. Next place the oblique pen holder flat on 55 angle practice paper. Move the the nib holder so that tip of nib and end of oblique holder are in line with letter slant guide.
Pick up pen and keep the same alignment when lettering. Move your paper around for comfort when lettering.
Hope this helps.

Letter Pixels / Re: Bloggy what?
« on: January 21, 2014, 04:02:22 PM »
I am new to blogs. Thanks for helping with my questions. Is the Forum a blog or web site?

My web site is there,, but it is so stiff and basic. All I could do with a Godaddy template. Would love some suggestions or tips on easy tools.

Can you use Illustrator and convert to HTML?
Is word press easy to use?

All of this information is so exciting, what a great service to the art community.

Mary Lou

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: What's your workstation like?
« on: January 21, 2014, 03:45:52 PM »
I managed to take over one side of a small bedroom and the entire closet. Could not live without the flat file from Danica House. Really dating myself with that one. Can't have too much white laminated plywood or too many Ikea white cubbies. A small light table is propped up, plugged in and ready to go.
The Extreme Tree House show is giving me ideas and my husband high blood pressure!  ;) We do have a large backyard.....

Introductions / Re: Greetings from California
« on: January 21, 2014, 03:29:14 PM »
Hope to see you in one of the SFC events. Won't make it to Letters in Feb, but hope to next year. You will love the classes and setting on Campus. Good for you, get in there and letter.
Mary Lou

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