Monday, August 27, 2012

Growing Pains (ugh!)

Another wedding brought a request from my daughter to create something to add to their gift.  It was last minute so it didn't leave me a lot of time, but I finally declared it finished and sent it off.

But I'm not really happy with it.  I can find a thousand things wrong with it.  But I'm going to post it just because I think it's all part of the learning process.  As Kathy Millici taught us, "Each time I practice, I get better and better."  Which means I need to do a lot of practicing.
On a brighter note, we finally have a hummingbird coming to our feeder!  Yay!  She is still too shy to get a good picture (I have to take it from the upstairs window right now, and it's pretty far away), but everytime I see her I get so excited!  Here's my best picture of her so far.
Happy last-week-of-summer!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fun with flourishes!

While at IAMPETH, I took a class with Kathy Millici of 24 Karat Design Studios on flourishing.  It was such a great class -- she really helped break down the whole process into understandable steps.  First she talked about visually pleasing angles for the flourishes and then she led us through a practice where we first just lettered a name without any ascenders or decenders.  Then we used tracing paper on top of it and a pencil to work on flourishes that would fit well together.  And here all along I thought that if I got good enough, I could just whip off flourishes without even thinking about them.  (Well, OK, I know that Kathy can do that, but how nice that I can work on the process at a slower pace!)

Over the week-end I was invited to a bridal shower, so I put my new-found flourishing skills to good use.  I took a few pictures as I went along, but they won't post the right way on this blog, so below is the finished product.  It just fit into a small square opening in a lovely collage frame that they can use for their wedding pictures.  It's not perfect by any means, but I really like the way it turned out.  (I forgot to take a pic of it in the frame -- next time!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back from IAMPETH

I've been back for a week, but catching up with life has taken awhile.  In case you don't know, IAMPETH is short for International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (at least that's the way I think it goes).  Each year they sponsor a week-long conference with lots of workshops, sharing, networking and fun.  This year the conference was in Milwaukee, so I was able to go!

One of my favorite workshops was with Harvest Crittendon, on Illuminated Letters.  Here's a few pictures of the process I used in creating a bookmark for my daughter, Karissa.
 I did leave out a couple of preliminary steps, but we first traced a basic outline of a letter from a historical alphabet.  This one is from the 1600's.  She then showed us how to add some of our own design elements to it.  We added real gold leaf to the open space and painted the base coat of color onto our letter.
 We added shading, highlighting and some extra touches and then went over the outline again.
 The end result is a pretty nice little bookmark!  By the way, my bookmark is made of calfskin vellum from El Salvador.  My room-mate for the week, Lucy, brought it for me!  I had never worked on vellum before, and it was great fun!
One final picture -- this is Lucy.  On our afternoon off, we visited The Domes -- a botanical garden in Milwaukee.  Despite the language barrier, we had a great time together!