Christmas Card + Calligraphy Inspiration

Our very first official Christmas card! Yay!!

Last year, we didn’t bother.

And I almost didn’t this year, but we got a cute shot during our Asheville camping trip earlier this fall that worked out perfectly!

I think it represents us well. Hah!

I hand addressed all the envelopes and, of course, I was reminded of how much I love love calligraphy.

 

Disclaimer: Not our real address.

It’s especially fun because I get to customize everything like the colors and greetings! After much debate (with myself), I decided on “Blessings from” and “Kindly Deliver to” with a tilt.

There’s something about someone’s personal handwriting on paper that makes a letter or card so much more special.

This is probably why I’ve kept every single card and poem Khang has ever written me!

Makes me sad that some schools don’t even teach writing or cursive anymore.

I vow to teach my children this lost art. 

So this is my attempt to try to inspire as many people out there to try calligraphy!

If you’re skeptical or doubting yourself–DON’T!

Here are two practice sheets from my very first attempt back in ’14.

It was rough, y’all. I waited two weeks until I tried again because I was so discouraged!

I did a comparison from that first time to present day. Look at the difference! I remember hating the letter “B”, now I love it! 

Feeeeling the possibilities?! Well here are the basics to get started:

  1. This book (I started with this one and its great for other handlettering techniques like chalk or paint) or this book (great for just calligraphy and provides different options for each letter).
  2. Modern Calligraphy set at Micheal’s- Recently saw this set and it has my Top Three Favorite nibs! And it comes with a little ink too.
  3.  Calligraphy paper– Can be bought at Hobby Lobby too! You cannot use normal notebook paper because the ink will bleed.

That’s it! I am very practical especially when it comes to my wallet or starting a new hobby. As you get more comfortable and confident then you can explore different pen handles, nibs, and even colors!

Over the past two years, I’ve learned a few things that have helped me. Of course, I’m no professional and everyone is different. Do what works for you, always!

Few tips & tricks of mine:

  1. If your nib is brand spanking new, then it’ll have the factory-applied lacquer (prevents rust) coating on it. It’ll need to be removed before usage. Use warm water, soap detergent, and an old soft toothbrush. It will help with better ink flow.
  2. I like to run my nibs through a flame for 1-2 seconds just to make sure that waxy coating in gone but you don’t need to do that if you already wash and rinse the nib as stated above.
  3.  Always always dry your nib after cleaning–it will rust!
  4. Do not death-grip your handle. It takes very little pressure for the ink to flow and it’ll help with smoother transitions with all the curves and loops.
  5. Don’t get too caught up on making your calligraphy look like someone else’s. Everyone’s hand-writing is different so your calligraphy will be different too, which is a beautiful and unique thing!
  6.  Don’t forget to take breaks or your fingers will cramp up and you’ll just get frustrated and waste your precious (& expensive) ink and paper.
  7.  Once you use up all the space on one side of your calligraphy paper, wait for it to dry, and use the other side too for practice.
  8. Practice, practice, practice! It will not look pretty or the way you want it to at first but it will get better. I’m still learning after 2 years!

Just remember: Anytime you are making a “downward stroke” then the line will be thicker because you will be applying more pressure, which causes the “split” on the nib (tip of pen) to widen.

See below for examples.

Notice the space on the nib. See how it’s wider? This will create thicker lines.

And then “put it together”.

Just giving you a small idea of what you expect. The book(s) will be very helpful. If you like videos, then there are video tutorials too on Youtube!

I’m more of a reader.

Please feel free to ask me any questions! Or if you need clarification. I will try my best to answer questions or help in anyway so that your “Calligraphy Dreams” come true!

I promise it’ll be worth it in the end. I almost didn’t want to mail out our Christmas cards because they were so beautiful!

As always, thanks for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

Read more

2 thoughts on “Christmas Card + Calligraphy Inspiration”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *