2019 Christmas Tag Printable

Blogging has been a struggle for the last year. But more so in the last few months. All of my images were deleted and we’re in the painful process of migrating to something that is simpler and works better. I don’t know what that means for my work that’s here, but for now, if you can’t see it, I’m sorry it’s unavailable.

Christmas is a time of stress, but also lots of excitement! I love myself some pretty packaging so I made these tags with a scan of one of my 100 florals paintings and then vectorized my calligraphy and put it all together with a tag shape. 

The inspiration was vintage packaging. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I love those cookie tins from forever ago and wanted to embody that in the design. 

If you’re looking to add some calligraphy to the back of your tags, I highly recommend picking up yourself a package of my brush markers right here from Close to My Heart. :) 

Slap on some ribbon and you’re good to go. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FILES

With that said, I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Here are the tags I made this year for neighbors and friends. Feel free to download and use them! For personal use only. The download page is a google docs folder with a printable and a silhouette print and cut file for your convenience.

Hope this year is a wonderful one for you and yours!

3 Rookie Mistakes with Brush Lettering

I came out with a book! This Penmanship book takes you through the progression from all-caps print, to cursive, to developing your style to brush lettering. It’s a modern penmanship approach that uses foundations of Romans, Italic, Business Penmanship and Engrosser’s Script. Sounds like a hodgepodge, but it totally makes sense. Click here to snag a copy! 

Hello new friends from Studio 5! Check me out on Instagram to peek at all the fun stuff going on…

You can progress through the book in chronological order, or skip around as you see fit. The book is loose-leaf pages with a 3-hole punch so you can put it in any 3-ring binder and pull out pages for practice with tracing paper. We opted for this as opposed to a spiral bound book, because we wanted this to be approachable for both right-handed and left-handed beginners! The book is geared towards any beginner ages 10+. Ages 6-10 can work on it with grown up guidance.

So let’s talk about the 3 common mistakes that I see in beginners approaching penmanship AND brush lettering and how to fix it…

Mistake 1: Holding the pen wrong and too tightly

Hold the pen or marker (check out my line of brush markers right here!) in a traditional tripod grasp. Don’t let your thumb take over! And if you’re having a hard time with holding the pen too tightly, hold a pen or object in your non-writing hand as tightly as you can. Your grip in your writing hand will naturally ease up.

Mistake 2:  Going too fast

99% of my beginner students write too quickly. I’m constantly saying slow down. Slowing down will give you better structural precision until muscle memory takes over, and it allows for better and more controlled transitions from thick to thin when doing brush lettering. GO SLOW. Then, GO SLOWER. Slow, purposeful practice is going to get you better, faster. 

 

Mistake 3: Practicing willy nilly

Use those guide sheets!! I have multiple blank guide sheets and practice worksheets for each letter I teach in my book. Practicing with guides makes all the difference in bringing muscle memory into learning. With all 3 of these tips combined, you’ll be unstoppable! 

Hope you enjoyed my segment on Studio5! Let me know if you have questions about my book. And if you’re the kinda person that needs to learn face-to-face… I’m teaching a beginning brush lettering workshop next week, September 19th. Click here to register. And as always, my online class is always open.

Upcoming Fall Workshops

I’ve got a whole lot of workshops coming your way!! The best way to stay up-to-date on local workshop offerings is messaging me on Instagram or checking out Calligraphy.org Local Workshop Page!

Next week I’m teaching beginner visual journaling! It includes penmanship instruction, a copy of my new book and how to format it all in a notebook. This instruction is geared towards visual journaling, bullet journaling, church notes, study notes, etc. 

After that, I’m teaching a beginning brush lettering on September 19th! We’ll start with the basics of script brush lettering with the emphasis on lowercase letters and forming sentences and style. 

In January, I’ll be hosting another intermediate flourishing class where we will be covering capitals and flourishing for both brush and pointed pen. 

Hope to see you there!!

 

 

Jane Rhodes Summer Visual Journal Project

I love the idea of summer bucket lists, but our household is learning first-hand how overwhelming the summer over-scheduling can be. It’s intense. I was asked to make this summer “vision board” so-to-speak for Jane Rhodes and her family, and I really like her approach to summer. It’s less of a “we HAVE to get these things done” mentality and more of a, “let’s fill our lives with things that make us fill THIS WAY” vibe. I could learn a thing or two about that. 

Jane and her family are passionate about adventure, quality time and LGBTQ+ rights. Each item on their vision board circles back to one or more of their core family values. It makes me think, what would I put on my own family’s vision board? 

When Jane asked me about doing this for her, she sent me this mock up with each of the items she wanted on her vision board and I just took it from there. See below for more of the process:

If this aligns with your summer vision, check out the free B&W printable for you to color yourself!

I mocked everything up on my iPad (quite loosely) and then used my light pad and the mock up as scale and spacing reference to copy it onto the paper. Materials used: 

I really like that Joseph Campbell quote: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” So true. 

I had a fun time working on this project for Jane. If you had a vision board for your summer, what would it include?

Want to learn how to make one of your very own? Check out my brush lettering workshop over on Calligraphy.org.

2019 Easter Treat Box Free Printable

This post is sponsored by Canon. 

I’ve been a long-time Canon printer fan. I previously had, and LOVED, the Canon MG5620 for 5 years and loved it (here’s the newer version at $75). When I got the opportunity to try their TS9521C Craft Printer, I jumped at the chance! I set it up successfully all by myself. In an afternoon.

The craft printer boasts printing 12×12 borderless, I’ve ALSO successfully been able to print borderless 11×17 as well. So score, right? A larger printer that can handle bigger print and cut projects that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?? I’m sold. 

See the bottom of the post for the download, but if you want the low-down for this printer, check out my pros and cons list. 

PROS: 

  • Easy set up
  • Pre-loaded templates
  • Wireless Printing
  • 12×12 borderless printing*
  • Scanner
  • Duplexing Scanner
  • Front and Rear feeds for different media types

CONS: 

  • Scans legal sized paper, not 12×12
  • It’s not compact
  • Front tray doesn’t work well with thicker paper

These cons by all means aren’t deal breakers at all. It would be amazing to have a larger-format scanner, but it does do 9×12, so that’s pretty darn great. The size of the TS9521C is a fair amount larger than my older Pixma MG5320, but that’s to be expected of a larger-format printer. Just don’t expect it to fit in to super tight spaces. ;) And the front tray doesn’t work well with all of my card stocks. It works with Neenah card stock, but not letterpress. HOWEVER, that’s what the rear tray is for! It’s great to have that option so I can work with thicker card stocks no sweat. 

The cons list aren’t really cons because I’m so excited about this printer. 

*It doesn’t print borderless as a default setting. When you select print, you’ll see the option in print settings where you can select a borderless option in the paper size selection area. See image below. 

I painted up this floral and made a print and cut, and didn’t have to worry about borders. I’d call that a win. 

The box dimensions are 3.75 x 3.75 x 1 inches; It’s the perfect size for a few candies or a cookie. The perfect little treat to gift to someone in celebration of this Easter week. 

There’s something about Easter that makes me go for blues and greens. See below for different file downloads. 

PDF Easter Print & Hand Cut

Silhouette Print & Cut File

More goodies for your Easter Celebrations below: 

2017 Easter Scripture Print2016 Easter Basket Tag • 2016 Easter Box • 2016 Easter Scripture •2014 Easter Banner • 2011 Easter Box • 2010 Easter Box

This post is sponsored by Canon. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

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