FREE! Holiday Card Envelope Template

It’s that time of year that I personally look forward to: sending and receiving letters in the mail. This year is even more important because of so many family and friends we haven’t been able to see this year. 

I’ve teamed up with Chatbooks to give you 20% off your order (cards, photobooks, prints, etc!) with code CBMELISSAE20! Use that code at checkout for 20% off. This is the second year I’ve gone with Chatbooks as my holiday card printer. They don’t offer custom design printing, but they do offer timeless designs that make it a no-brainer to use. 

For me personally, Designing the card is something I CAN and could do really well, BUT it takes so much time. I’d much rather spend that time on addressing my envelopes beautifully. If you’d like to learn more about brush lettering and calligraphy in general, check out my online calligraphy classes! I teach online and give you one-on-one coaching to help you as you go along. Check out my Brush Lettering class if you want to try your hand at the style below. 

Regardless of your lettering proficiency, check out the envelope templates below. Simply cut out the template, place overtop the envelope and write in the designated spaces. This template is for A7 envelopes and leaves you enough room for postage on the right-hand side. :) 

DOWNLOAD FOR HAND CUTTING

DOWNLOAD FOR SILHOUETTE CUTTER

Use brightly colored markers like these Marvy Uchida Le Plume II markers to give a spot of color as well! Use code PIN2020 for 25% off and free shipping over $25. 

Hope you all have the happiest holidays and if you want to send me a card, message me on Instagram for my address. I’ll send you a card in return!!

Freebies are for personal use only.

2020 Thank You Card Design

It’s been a minute. This year has been a struggle, but I couldn’t let the time pass without putting up another Thank You card design for you! We’ve been through a lot, but there’s still so much to be grateful for. 

Pandemic 2020 thank you card

Homeschooling was a lot for me to take on in the beginning. But I’m grateful that through the homeschooling experience, I was better able to see my son’s scholastic achievements. I have a son with special needs, he works so hard at school that when he comes home, he’s done. I had no idea how great he was at telling time or addition or sight words until this year. I’m grateful for that opportunity. 

 

Not being able to attend conferences and workshops this year put me in a sour mood. I thrive off of social interaction. But I’m grateful that I was able to spend more time with my kids and slow down. I’m grateful that we could just enjoy the company of our family without the distraction of events and extracurricular activities. 

Melissa Esplin Calligraphy Watercolor pandemic thank you card freebie

Chris and I wanted to take the kids to Disneyland this year. We wanted to travel internationally, but this year had different plans. I’m grateful that we were able to explore our own wonderful neck of the woods enjoying the beauty and wonder that exists all around us. 

I hope you find something, or better yet, someone to be grateful for. Send them a note! Click the link below to download it. 

DOWNLOAD FREE PRINTABLE

Pandemic thank you screensaver stories image

Save this image to your phone and share to stories tagging your favorite people! 

The above download is available free for personal use only. Any alteration or redistribution of this file without written consent is prohibited. Check out the prior years downloads below: 

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday week full of the best food and the best company!

FREEBIE: 2020 Mother’s Day Coloring Card

This idea came to me last night. A little late, you might think? Well, if it’s late, just use this for next year. Or really any time you need to tell someone they’re amazing. Because this is really for just about anyone. But we all can agree that mothers tend to crush it in the amazing department on the regular. 

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO DOWNLOAD.

Since we’re all bored and stuck at home, I thought I would take a coloring book approach with the cards this year. Send the card as-is, black and white, or have your little ones color them in (or you can color them in) for that added personal touch. These cards are one-sided, two cards print to a page and in black and white. So, this is about as low maintenance, low-fuss as you can go and still make a great impact. 

I had a blast making my kids color these cards for their grandparents. I hope you do too!! 

For best results: use crayons or a non-liquid pigment like colored pencils if you’re printing with an ink jet printer. If you’re printing with a laser printer, feel free to bust out those watercolors or fabulous markers you’ve got lying around. 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Click the above link to download/print the artwork. Artwork is free for personal use only. Alteration, reproduction or redistribution is prohibited. If you’d like to share with family and friends, please send them directly to this post. Your support is greatly appreciated. 

Hugs and Happy Mother’s Day!

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.

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