Author Topic: Whatcha been up to?  (Read 904 times)

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2018, 12:39:25 PM »
Jean, thanks for sharing that beautiful work!  Amazing.

Erica, here's the keiki. :)

*edit* - I cannot figure out how to reduce the image preview size here.  Sorry it's so big!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 12:44:26 PM by Bianca M »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2018, 12:43:04 PM »
So cute! I am the worst at keeping plants alive.  :(

@Dries - your closet project sounds fantastic! And what fun to find a new hobby/skill. So much potential for things you can do around the house. Your jobs sound fascinating. Hooray for Spring. Hope you get a chance to get out on a motorcycle again soon!  8)
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Offline Raayynuh

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2018, 03:35:23 PM »
It's really nice to hear what everyone has been up to professionally and personally :).

@Bianca M - so many plants, that's amazing! At my day job I'm known as the plant lady because I have 7 plants at my desk (including a few air plants), and I would love to have more. I'm not usually good with plants, but they've been doing well for the past 2+ years so it's giving me more confidence to be more of a plant mom at home. I have to be careful with my cat though, he tries to eat most of the plants I've brought home. Your vacation sounds lovely, hope you have a great time!

@Inked botanicals that all is very exciting! Congrats on your store and your referrals. Planning for a house is so fun.

My fiance and I are moving into our first house in two weeks, so I've been very busy with packing and all the paperwork/errands involved with buying a house. We are so very happy and excited about it though and it's all worth it. I have a great spot for calligraphy and I can't wait to get it set up.

I've been busy with calligraphy jobs at the same time, several of them wedding vows, but the one I'm most excited to share with everyone is a family tree. The customer came to me wanting a double family tree done, her family and her fiance's family, using the Martha Stewart fan chart as an inspiration. I'm working with her to create a circle layout to incorporate both sides and I think it'll be pretty cool when it's done!

Offline neriah

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 05:51:33 AM »
This is fun and exciting thread :)

I signed up for my first ever calligraphy course! It is Dreaming in Script by David Grimes (Engorsser's Script) and luckily it is online so I can follow. There are no workshops in my country so online courses are my only chance. Besides that, I went to Las Vegas to information security conference.

And that's about it, my summers are usually business trip to Vegas and having a bit more time for calligraphy :)

Offline Inked botanicals

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 04:07:04 PM »
Thank you all!!

It is really fun to read all the different summers (or winters!) we are living!

And I really envy the plant thing! My greatest achievement with plants was getting an aloe Vera to freeze inside my house! Since then I let my mum do all the gardening, and Then I make soaps and cosmetics with her lavender, mint and roses and inks with the galls she provides me.
Alba.

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Offline chisato

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2018, 03:55:33 PM »
@Bianca M Wow! That keiki looks so good! I have also become obsessed with houseplants in the last few years, and have been propagating some of them, but have never been able to keep any orchids alive for long... Oh, and is that a pink variegated rubber tree in the background?? It's beautiful! I've been on the hunt for that plant for a while now :)

@neriah Enjoy the course! I took David's ES workshop in person in NYC last month, and it was really wonderful. I know he goes much more in depth in the online course, so hope to do it some day too!

@Inked botanicals Congrats on your store!! How exciting!!

I managed to cut one quill so far, and it went better than expected (didn't cut myself, at least!). Picture below (plus some play with the new vintage nibs)! Most tutorials say to remove all of the barbs, but I couldn't resist leaving some for aesthetic reasons, especially as it's more of a "toy" than a tool I'll use much.  :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 03:59:26 PM by chisato »

Offline ChristenAllocco

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2018, 04:41:01 PM »
Great hearing what everyone's up to. Erica, that cake and the cupcakes look SO good! Who know you had so many skills?!

I got back from IAMPETH last week and have been hustling on a project that I can't post photos of, but is so rewarding. My client's child wrote a bunch of poetry during high school and she's asked me to compile all the poems into a book with illustrations. I've been having a lot of fun combining calligraphy with artwork, it's stretching my brain a lot but its so refreshing to do something different. Next week I'll be back to envelopes, but I love the variety of work we get sometimes! Plus, I got to tie in some art and Italic techniques I learned in Milwaukee, so that's always fun!
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Offline Bianca M

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2018, 08:44:40 PM »
@Inked botanicals ... a frozen Aloe plant?  That is impressive! ;) I love that you use all of those natural elements in soaps, inks, etc. So cool!

@chisato Orchids take a long time to rebloom, so unless your leaves die, you probably just need to wait until the next blooming cycle (so worth the wait!).  I have been waiting for a year on one of mine - clearly it needs the rest after two stems of blooms!  And yes, that's a ruby rubber tree - I have one ruby (with three trunks) and three green ones.  Btw, how are you liking those 601 nibs? 

Loving this thread and seeing what everyone is doing (and developing closet envy via Dries - 4 meters!!!) - good idea, Erica!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 08:48:24 PM by Bianca M »

Offline chisato

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2018, 10:34:27 PM »
@Bianca M I like the 601EFs a lot! They are sturdy yet pretty flexible, sharp but smooth. I definitely would recommend for Spencerian or Copperplate/ES. With their large size, I feel like they're kind of like better G nibs  ;)

My last orchid somehow rotted between flowerings... I thought I was still taking care of it properly when it was just leaves, but they eventually turned black and died. Maybe I overwatered it? I might try again in the future!

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2018, 02:08:54 AM »
@chisato - it definitely could be overwatering!  My mother just killed the orchid I gave her on Mothers Day exactly that way.

Offline Greenman

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2018, 07:48:34 AM »
On the gardening side, my avocado 'plant' is now taller than I am and loving the long hot summer we're having... the cacti are just plodding along as usual, quietly flourishing with lots of sun and very little watering - should probably repot them soon.

Food wise, just received my second order in so many weeks from confitdirect.co.uk - love the range and quality of products... i had given up foie gras for a while after seeing the way the it is farmed on industrial scales (thanks, PETA), but CD's fg is as ethically sourced as it can be. They have a small selection of Basque treats, I hope they will expand on those in the near future, and I am currently enjoying a sip of their Marc de Jura brandy ;).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 07:54:08 AM by Greenman »

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2018, 11:52:54 AM »
@Greenman I'd love to see a photo of your avocado tree/plant!  I was about to start one from seed last week, and then realized... maybe I should wait until after I come back from vacation.

You definitely caught my eye with the word "confit" in that website, so of course I checked it out.  Yummmm.  All sorts of good stuff!

Offline Greenman

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2018, 12:55:23 PM »
@Bianca M
Yeah, wait 'til you can be sure to be available to top up the water as if you have a viable seed it will soon need extra water every couple of days - i'll try remember to get a photo of mine some time ;)

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2018, 09:46:41 AM »
Everyone is so busy and doing so many cool things.

I managed to survive the summer. Trying to figure out how to raise my son now that he's 13. Almost a different child. We all went through it and survived, but I'm sure my parents sometimes wondered how they did. He's a good kid, and much less trouble than most kids his age, but it's an odd time as they try and figure stuff out for themselves.

In the world of pens I haven't had much time for writing with pens, I've spent most of my time writing about pens. My blog on the history of the steel pen industry in the US is cranking along. https://thesteelpen.com/  I've finally made it to the 1860's. I have added to my early period makers as well, including a lot more information, including all of their correspondence, on Peregrine Williamson and how he made steel pens for Thomas Jefferson.

I finally turned this early story into an article for publication and sent it to the Pen Collectors of America's journal The Pennant. The PCA is like the Writing Equipment Society in the UK, it's a pretty big deal within its world. I met one of the officers at a pen show in June and we got to talking about my research. He said he'd love for me to write a series of articles for the magazine. We'll see where that goes. It's a bit of a long lead time between submission and publication.

Getting photo permissions was fun. I have been corresponding with folks from Monticello (Jefferson's home), as well as curators from the National Archives, and the Thomas Jefferson foundation. Jefferson tried out these steel pens in his polygraph, the machine that made multiple copies of a letter as he wrote it, and he and Williamson corresonded several times.

I've also been diving into the history of the first and second industrial revolutions as steel pens were right in the midst of it. It's been good to get some larger context of how industry and society was changing at the time, and where steel pens fit.

My research is now in the period of great change, 1860's-1870's, when the first true steel pen factories began in the US along British lines. To do this they had to bring in several skilled tool makers from Birmingham, and I've been able to identify at least four of them. Three of these four, went on to lay the foundation for almost all of the major pen makers in the US; Eagle being the only one for which I cannot find a connection (yet). Washington Medallion, Esterbrook, Harrison & Bradford, Warrington & Co., Turner & Harrison, and Miller Bros. all owe their existence to these three gentlemen from Birmingham.

Here are a couple of photos from my recent successes, my son (who is a total ham in front of a camera), and a pen I found in a mixed bag, made by John Turner's first company, Warrington & Co. (1865-1875). Both are one-of-a-kinds, found nowhere else.

Andrew

Check out my steel pen history blog
https://thesteelpen.com/

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Whatcha been up to?
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2018, 02:41:01 PM »
So exciting Elaina! A new house - and soon to be new spouse!  ;D I hope you will share a pic of the family tree (circle) when it is complete.

Neriah - that class looks great. David is terrific. Vegas sounds fun!

Christen, that project sounds amazing. I love things like that. Such a memory maker. Hope you had fun at IAMPETH!

LOL Bianca - my oldest daughter has given me three orchids -- I've killed them all. And sadly, one has a little tag on it which says, "Thanks for helping me grow."  :-[

Your avocados sound amazing Greenman. And so does the fois gras and other goodies. Cool idea!

So we have that in common Andrew! My youngest turned 13. I never anticipated the teen years being all that difficult as I was a teen once so thought I could relate. The world (and kids) are SOO different than when I was that age. And who knew the whole "moody, stranger in place of the kid you once knew thing" was real?! Ha ha! Your son looks like a handsome guy and put together so you're doing something right!

Your research and writing is so well done and so fascinating. A labor of love for sure. Thank you for sharing it all.
Truly, Erica
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