Calligraphy


Calligraphy and Stamping on my Planner

 

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Sharing last week’s spread in my C&S Designs Back to Basics planner.

For those who are familiar with this planner, you might wonder why it’s not coiled. I actually took out the entire planner,uncoiled it and punched holes in it. Transferred the planner to my Macaron planner from FindingNana shop.

I love the paper quality of this planner and the vertical layout but I was having problems stamping and writing down my entries because the coil gets in the way. I had to figure out a way to do something about the coil.

I think hat solve the problem + the Back to Basics color scheme matches well with the Lavender Macaron planner.

Incorporating stamping and calligraphy in my planners and journals is always a lot of fun. Clear stamps are so versatile. You can change the theme and look of your layout just by changing the colors of your ink. Although acrylic inks are inexpensive, i still prefer the high-quality clear stamps referred to as  photopolymer stamps. They render very vivid stamped images giving you more bang for your buck as compared to your China-made acrylics.

This planner has different color schemes per month so I took March’ color theme and complimented it with tickers from Happie Scrappie. Her tickers are of really good quality sticker paper and the colors are vibrant. I must say, one of the best planner shops I know in as far as quality-made planner goodies.

These stickers had prompts like ‘note’, ‘today’, ‘remember’ etc. I just trimmed the sides as it was a wee bit long for the layout. This is a great way to use your scrap stickers.You can use strips of  stickers with no prints as headers or borders for your planners.

I think using stickers this way adds a pop of color,  just enough to compliment your planner’s color scheme, Not too all-over-the-place decorating which I prefer. But then again, it’s your planner and you can decorate it however you like.

I also used the stickers to do calligraphy on my planners. I think it’s a great way to avoid bleed throughs which happens a lot when you write on thin paper using brush or calligraphy pens. Game-changer :)

Calligraphy pens I used here are from Tombow (hard and soft tip), Zig Kuretake Cocoiro Letterpen in hard tip and the Zig Mangaka Flexible Fine.

All the stamped images are from my clear stamp line, Marryl Crafts. I figured  that since I already have colors from the stickers to the planner’s layout, going black on the stamping is always more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Now that school is over for the little lady and summer is here, I will hopefully have time to play with my planners and some much needed craft time. Crossing my fingers, you know mommy duties are 24/7. haha!

What are your plans for the summer?

 

 


Less is More

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This post is a bit of a novel, so please grab a cup of tea or coffee :)

First thing’s first. this is sort of a note to self post and may not apply to you. Just my personal discoveries with my #olw.

 

My one little word this year, “intentional’, has allowed me to discover so many opportunities and insights which I would never have paid much attention to. As a crafter, I have some craft supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. It gives me so much joy to be surrounded with pretty paper and tools. yes, I have a love affair with beautiful paper and pens.

I didn’t find anything wrong with it a few years back. But moving in to our tiny home, that’s where I started having problems with storage. When the husband evicted me from my then craft room which now is his study (filled with law books that seem to take a life of its own), my “collection” was all out in its glory for everyone to see. I’m a mess!

Part of being ‘intentional’ this year was to break free from that consumerism mindset of wanting it all. It’s a vicious cycle. Whether it’s craft supplies, pen, devices or what have you. Come to think of it, I wasn’t really a hoarder or didn’t want to think of myself as one until I read the book ‘the Magic of Tidying Up” and followed her advise to declutter by category, not by location. You will have to gather one category, say clothes, all of them on the floor so you’ll see how much clothes you have accumulated.

The hardest category for me  are my craft supplies. Last December, I mustered all the strength I could gather and collected all my craft supplies. Propped all of them on the floor and that was it for me! There were just way too many scraps of paper, old projects, unfinished projects, tools I had never opened, pencils, etc. I placed them all in boxes and worked on it per box. It was easier and less stressful that way than one go. Slow woman takes forever!

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It’s amazing what a simple action can make you realize. It’s not anymore in line with my goals to hoard supplies just because they’re new or everyone is raving about it. That’s how I ended up with boxes of craft supplies and half of it I wondered why I purchased or had them. I threw away bags of those that were not really my style or really outdated. Yes, tossed them. If I  would have kept them for one minute for a future destash or share those really old paper pads, I would have found a reason to keep them. It’s a downward spiral from there. So, yes toss them as quickly as possible.

As of this writing, I have finished box no. 2. Still a lot of sorting. I haven’t even proceeded with arranging them in storage. I’m still a work in progress. I still buy supplies every so often but now I’m learning to buy when I run out of supplies of pretty paper and more importantly I look at the quality.

In Mari Kondo’s book, she mentions about keeping only things that spark joy to you. I guess that helped me— and really asking yourself what do you want to be. As a crafter and a homemaker, hoarding was not in my list anymore. But that doesn’t mean I will stop buying. That will be impossible as I need a creative outlet everyday. Beautiful paper and pens will always put a smile on my face. It’s more of asking myself if it’s in my design preference and if the quality is good.

At the end of the day, it’s really looking at the end in mind. I don’t want to be surrounded by too much stuff but a few best finds would sound good.  Those that really spark joy.

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p.s.

I wrote those quotes with Zig Cocoiro Letter Pen in Brush Tip and Zig Kuretake Brush Writer. They’re my personal favorites. Feel free to print those quotes. They’re just simple brush calligraphy but those  quotes speak so much of my truth. Run them in your MINC machine for that extra shine.

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I realized that it’s not about how much stuff I have but more importantly, what I can create with it. My challenge is to ‘create more and consume less.’ I can do this.

 

What about you? Where has your one little word taken you?

 

 

 


Calligraphy + Watercolor Debut Invite

imageA couple of weeks ago, I completed my first commissioned work for 2016.  It was a debut invitation featuring my calligraphy and watercolored-florals. I post my current projects over on Instagram: marrylcrafts and apparently the client saw some of my work. I was very hesitant to do this as I am no expert in calligraphy and definitely no talent whatsoever in watercoloring.

You see, the brush and I don’t see eye to eye. I can do some calligraphy with lots of practice but the client specified a floral design in watercolor + calligraphy. So for weeks I practiced with my waterbrush. Practice. Practice.

I realized and discovered once again how forgiving and beautiful this art is. You don’t need to make perfect strokes but with constant practice, you’ll discover that perfectly imperfect is equally beautiful.

imageI’ve been meaning to get classes to learn the basics of floral watercolors. But being a homemaker just gets the better of me most days. I probably consumed a whole pack of Canson watercolor papers just to get the three designs I was comfortable with.

As for the calligraphy, I also consumed tons of my premium luxe cardstock in white ( will be made available and listed in the online shop soon) just to get her name the way I wanted. I used three kinds of Zig kuretake pen. I settled on the Zig Mangaka Flexible fine for the final design.

imageDigitizing the calligraphy probably took the longest for me. Slow woman takes forever to finish a task!  Actually, ittakes forever for me to clean and convert them to Vector files. Good thing the husband helped to make my process quicker. I have the tendency to always choose the best and longest process. It may eat up so much time but the results make a whole lot of difference. Even when designing my clear stamps, I do an extra process (another software apart from Ai) to ensure that even when the image is enlarged, the strokes are clean and fluid. Thus, it takes me forever to complete my task. tee! hee!

imageI wanted the two floral designs to be used in the final invite but thought it looked more ‘put-together’ if I used just one of the watercolor designs. I settled for the first art work and completed the layout with the client’s name in my calligraphy. All text were provided of course by the client.

I had it printed in  a 5×7  in Premium Luxe white heavy cardstock. This is also available in Premium heavy textured Ivory paper for more formal invitations.

I hope the client liked it as much as I enjoyed creating this invite.

If you’re like me and still learning to do calligraphy and watercolor, just persevere. You will get there. For me, it’s not so much about Progress but more importantly, Grace, not perfection. Just enjoy the process.

p.s. for commissioned work, please send us an email: marrylcrafts@gmail.com