Review: Resonate Collection Review from Ash Bush

I’m really, really excited about the review that’s coming at you today. Ashley Bush is one of the early calligraphy.org students. She’s made an incredible business of freelance calligraphy and pensmithing. It’s so exciting to see when students really run with it and make calligraphy into a career. 

Ashley recently reached out to me to try out her resonate line. I’m really thrilled with how it’s turned out. It’s affordable, instagrammable and most importantly: comfortably functional. At $30 for these gorgeous marbleized pens, you really can’t go wrong. See the pen rest, tilted ink holder and pen holder in action in my YouTube video below. 

VIDEO DETAILS: 

But if you’re not the video-watching type… Here are my pros & cons of each item offered in the collection…

HOLDER $30

PROS: Affordable, smooth/silky finish, easy to clean, made from resin so it won’t split, carrot holder for promoting whole arm movement (also a great holder style for arthritic hands), flange adjusted and pre-fit with a G-nib

CONS: It’s a little short. It feels nicely balanced in the hand, but I personally wish it were a little bit longer. I wouldn’t mind an angled foot, either. But the foot is still small enough for a carrot holder that it fits in most ink jars. 

PEN REST $9

PROS: Holds 2 holders for easily switching styles, pretty, heavy enough base that it doesn’t topple over.

CONS: has a slightly different finish on it than the pen, it’d be nice if it had the same matte finish. Not a deal breaker by any means. 

TILTED INK HOLDER $7

PROS: It tilts the jar just enough that you can get that last little bit of your ink out of the jar. It really works with very little ink!

CONS: It doesn’t do well with full jars of ink. I wish there were a second well that was upright for me to hold my ink when the jar was full, and then tilt when the jar was nearing empty. But I really rarely put my full ink jars in an upright inkwell holder anyway, so it might just be superfluous. 

BOTTOM LINE: It’s a no-brainer. Scrounge up $50 and snatch up the entire collection. But at the very least, get the holder. It’s a must. It’s so so good. GET ONE RIGHT HERE.

Life is Wild Time-Lapse Flourished Calligraphy Video

There’s 1 spot left for my in-person modern calligraphy workshop in Utah this upcoming Thursday night! Snag it HERE before it’s gone. I’ll have a new list of upcoming workshops for March & April next week, so stay tuned for that next week. Can’t make an in-person workshop? Check out my online classes here: Modern Calligraphy, Brush Lettering & Pointed Romans

This week’s video is a time-lapse flourishing of the quote: “Life is wild and wild is beautiful”. It pretty much sums up motherhood exactly. Pretty grateful for my little munchkins, but they sure are insane. 

I really loved lettering on this darling ombre paper. It’s quite lovely with the walnut ink, once I turn off the light pad. But it’s light/thin enough that I can use the light pad and guides underneath. See links below to shop my materials…

The video is sped up 2x. The calligraphy in real life took me about 5.5 minutes to create. I don’t want you to think that I’m that fast at calligraphy. I mean, fast isn’t bad, but if you’re just starting out… it’s no bueno. I tell every single student of mine to SLOOOOOOOW down. And I’m sure fast-paced videos like this one don’t help, but no one would watch a 5.5 minute video of the real-time version. Would they? So I sped it up. And I’m telling you I sped it up so you can just relax and try to go slowly when you practice. 

This last week I spent recovering from PRK eye surgery, nursing a little June bug with croup & ear infections, trying to retrain Felix to sleep at night and spending one-on-one time with our Miss Penelope (who often feels forgotten with the chaos that Felix & Junie bring). It’s been a wild week for sure, but a beautiful one at that. Hence the quote. ;)

Affiliate links are used. I get a small percentage of each sale from these links. All proceeds from affiliate sales goes towards making new videos like these. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Best Tooth Fairy Ever

We have a killer Tooth Fairy. Not in the creepy horror film way, but in the OMG-she-totally-knocks-it-out-of-the-park sort of way. She’s amazing. Not to toot her horn too much, but she’s a darling little 6″ sprite that writes the sweetest little love notes to Penelope. They even have occasional back-and-forth correspondence that’s total cuteness overload. 

We don’t have many ridiculous or time-intensive traditions at our house. Really, we don’t have many traditions at all. But this is one that really jives with our family core values. It’s creative. It’s cheap. It makes my children’s childhood magical. 95% of the time the Tooth Fairy has her act together, but some times she’s busy. And she gets the tooth the next night. But she usually includes a very heart-felt apology in her little love note the next night. 

Cute dress from the ever darling My Sister’s Closet

I age restricted the video in case little eyes come across the video. Let me know if that’s an issue. I’m still pretty new to this whole YouTube publishing thing. Click on over to YouTube if you’d like to subscribe to my weekly videos. Content includes creative art-related DIYs, art material reviews and lettering/calligraphy time-lapse videos. I’d love it if you subscribed, but you do you. ;)

So here’s what you need: 

Knowing calligraphy isn’t an absolute must*, but it certainly helps. ;) I can teach you how. 

Since I have a Silhouette machine, I downloaded an envelope template from the Silhouette design store and resized to my liking. The final envelope size is somewhere between 1″-1.25″ wide. The letter is about 3/4″ wide and 1 1/2″ tall. So these letters are TINY! It’s what makes them so fun. If you’ve got a Silhouette, resizing an envelope template and cutting out on your machine is easy-peasy. I have cut out envelopes by hand before. Not the most fun thing in the world, but also not the most time consuming thing ever, either. 

The paper listed above handles ink really well. If you’re using a very fine point pen (Sakura has .003 micron pens that will give you a ridiculously small point), then any kind of smooth paper will do. 

If you’re using pen & ink, the Modern nib alternative to the one in the video (the Leonardt Principal) will get you a nice fine hairline. Make sure you use a fine ink as well. I prefer walnut as it’s easy to use and it doesn’t corrode your nib like iron gall inks do. 

Once you’re done with writing your note, fold up the note to fit inside the envelope. Wrap the envelope flaps around the note and seal with a wax seal. You don’t have to glue the flaps closed because the wax will do the work for you. I use wax seal wax and a drill bit to make a fun imprint. 

Then grab your dollar bill and fold it into something exciting. These are my favorites out of the ones I’ve tried:

Then tuck the envelope in one of the folds of the animals and you’re done! I’m sure it’s easier for the Tooth Fairy to slip a buck under the pillow and be done with it, but this is just straight up magical. Let me know if you end up doing this with your kid(s)!

 

 

Affiliate links are used. Your price doesn’t change, I get a small percentage of each sale from these links. All proceeds from affiliate sales goes towards making new videos like these. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Time-Lapse Chalk Board Project

I teamed up with my assistant Hayley to letter these quotes on a double-sided chalkboard. We had a fantastic time hanging out, chatting and doing our favorite thing: lettering! I had 3 cameras set up. Unfortunately the two end cameras that show us lettering cut out in the middle of our process. And my shoulder is covering my hand basically the entire time. But I still thought I’d edit the footage together and share it on my YouTube channel. If you’re not a subscriber already, throw me a like or a subscribe if you like it! I’m publishing a new video each week. It switches up between time-lapse lettering, real-time lettering, art/material reviews and art tutorials. It’s all very art-related with a heavy lettering emphasis. And every tutorial and art product could be used for calligraphy. So yay to me for being focused on something!! lol. 

 

 

Find Hayley and me on Instagram:

@typeaffiliated | @melissapher

Materials used (purchasing through my affiliate links below support more videos, THX!):
General charcoal pencil
T-square
Versa chalk
ZIG posterman
Sumo grip eraser

Learn how to do chalk lettering with actual chalk right here.

Buy awesome art prints and originals at typeaffiliated.com!

Basic run-down of how we did this: I took a pic of the chalkboard with my ipad and lettered the layout on there. That gave me a rough idea of where to make guide lines. Then I chalked up the guidelines and markered everything in. BOOM. DONE. Took just over an hour for my side. Hayley was faster. Because she’s a lettering baller. 

This project is for a classroom reading nook, so we wanted the signage to be relatively permanent, hence the chalk markers versus the actual chalk. The cool thing about that is that it makes cleaning up chalkboards a breeze. We used the General Pencil white charcoal to mark up our guidelines and the Sakura SumoGrip eraser to erase them effortlessly after we were done. No white erase marks. No mess. And it didn’t even take off the chalk marker once it was dry either! WIN! 

I might have gotten a little carried away with decorative elements.

Hayley kept it clean, playful and readable. Afterall, it is a reading nook for an elementary school. And most elementary schools don’t teach cursive anymore. So as a result, most kids don’t know how to read it either. It’s the saddest thing. Isn’t the ‘m’ in “dream” just lovely?!? OMG. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process video and a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of how we made these chalkboards. 

Upside Down & Backwards Calligraphy

It was sometime, like a year and a half ago, when I realized that I could do calligraphy upside down and backwards. Ask me to do it sideways and I’m a mess, but upside down and backwards I can do. 

I posted it onto my Instagram a bit ago and got a few questions like, How do you do that? Besides the really stupid answer; I just think of the letters backwards and upside down, I really don’t have a good answer for that. It has been a great way to challenge myself to literally know my strokes backwards and forwards, but it gets me out of my funk. It’s a great way to transition from thinking entirely left-brained to allowing the creativity of the right-brain take over. If you’re a calligrapher, give it a try. It’s mind-bendingly fun! 

If you’re reading this post, it’s a new year and I’m excited to bring all-new content to the blog. I’ve decided that this blog is taking the focus of arts & materials. So along those lines, what kinds of tools/projects would you like to see? More calligraphy? More painting? Let me know in the comments! 

Want to learn calligraphy? Like the regular, right-side up stuff? Check out calligraphy.org for my classes. I teach with personal one-on-one feedback, so it’s the real deal. ;)

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