Tag Archives: copperplate

Loopy Letters – The Journey Continues….

“What have you done to the Loopy Letters website?” Screamed Charmaine via a text message.
I sighed, and tossed my iPhone into a nearby plant pot.
“Too much faff”, I muttered to myself.
It was okay for Charmaine and her modern ways, she was, at this very moment, sunning herself in the South of France and languishing in luxury on the proceeds of her inky misdeeds. I knew this because she had plastered the evidence all over her Instagram account. I, on the other hand, was staring through a grubby window at the relentless Devon murk and was questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letter project.

Question 1

How many letters have I actually written since November?

a) 20
b) None
c) 100
d) 1000
e) French

Question 2

Why have I written so much?

a) Calligraphy is my lifeblood; I live to sling ink, it is all that I know, without calligraphy I would be a withered husk of a person. Calligraphy is the only thing keeping me alive; every morning I skip to my studio as though I am skipping through a dewy meadow strewn with daisies and buttercups with nothing else on my mind other than letter formation and the universal line of beauty; life would be meaningless without letters…blah, blah, blah, etc, etc….

b) I had nothing else to do.

Question 3

More pertinently, why have I written so little??????

a) Sigh. Do I really have to answer this?
b) It was Winter.
c) Christmas happened.
d) My boiler broke down.
e) It was very cold and my hand fell off.

Question 4

Do I still intend to complete the Loopy Letter Project?

a) Yes!!! Yay!!! Can’t wait to get on with it!!! My nibs are poised and ready to blast off!!! Go me!! #girlboss.
b) Yeah, go on then.
c) Yes. I have closed down the Loopy Letters website and moved it to Wonky Words so that I am more accountable regarding moving the project along.

After questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letters project I decided that I would write a blog post to let those who were waiting expectantly by their letter boxes know exactly what was going on. It was only fair. I also decided to post some pictures of one of my failures… just so they’d know I’d been trying….

copperplate-calligraphy-on-crown-mill-paper-letter-writing-project-uk

Well, that doesn’t look so bad….

calligraphy-spelling-mistake-in-copperplate-calligraphy-devon-uk

Ah…. didn’t see that coming…

Right, I’m off now to skip through the daisies….

We Interrupt this Blog Silence…..

…..to bring you two pictures of a hedgehog. Mr Devine has cornered the market on big sky and cormorants leaving me with nothing to work with other than a hedgehog…. so there you go… if you stare at a blog long enough eventually something new will appear. But perhaps not what you expect nor want.

hedgehog

Snuffling

Another-hedgehog

Still snuffling…

And for those keen on pen marks and calligraphy, some recent work….

calligraphy-practice-double-lettering-copperplate-uk

Scruffy knickers…

green-copperplate-alternative-envelope-address-with-modern-calligraphy-and-scroll-nib-capitals-for-blog-post-uk

Addressing envelopes…

I will now make Ye Olde Blogging promise about updating more frequently in future etc, etc… etc…. blah, blah, blah…. *sincere well meaning face on head that is furiously nodding*…..

Friends, Romans, Countrymen……

….lend me your wallets….

Old blogging chum Gyppo Byard has designed an Insult Generator, and it works!!! It is fabulous, I used it this morning to yell at the telly. AND, our friends in the US seem to love it too. With this in mind I have come up with a cunning plan to shore up the British bank vaults…. yes, I am stealing Mr Byard’s generator and will be opening The British Insult Shop on Etsy. I am positive that my US chums will be clamouring at my door wanting me to pen an insult for them. Think about it – the pound has fallen so you can get more insults to the dollar. I will also be offering the luxury version – The Gilded Insult. I will be away talking percentages with Mr Byard and working on designs, but for now, here is a preliminary sketch….

calligraphy-British-insult

Nigel Farage?

Please wish me well with this new venture.
Sx

close-up-of-coloured-in-calligraphy-uk

Calligraphy Tip no. 34

…and not only a calligraphy tip, but also a beauty tip!!! A double tipped post!!! What could be better????

Apologies. I am a little fraught, having spent the morning trying to sync my wretched devices. They have decided that they hate each other and are refusing to share anything… especially photographs. I have tried talking rationally to them, but in the end I resorted to tricking them into doing what I wanted them to do. I am female, so it wasn’t that difficult… but they shared the relevant information very slowly.

Anyhow, what was the calligraphy tip??? Oh yes…. if you would like to add some subtle colour to white calligraphy simply colour it in with coloured pencil… just make sure that the white is proper dry before you do, or it might get a bit messy.

beauty-tip-quotation-in-calligraphy-uk

A Helpful Beauty Tip

subtle-colour-on-white-calligraphy-uk

Colouring in

subtle-colour-on-white-copperplate-calligraphy-uk

coloured-pencils-and-calligraphy-uk

How To Shave Safely

colourful-copperplate-uk

Thighs

Something Simple…

When not having thoughts like net curtains that hang limply without the beauty of a breeze, I have other thoughts, normal thoughts, such as: Who did kill Lucy Beale? How high is the likelihood that I’ll have a power cut within the next 20 minutes? Is it time for tea and biscuits yet?

My thoughts have also been pondering the calligraphy 365 challenge, i.e posting a picture of calligraphy every day of the year. I could do this, as I do usually practice calligraphy every day… it’s the posting of the picture that is a problem because although I am fond of Instagram, I do find it overwhelming – I enjoy admiring the calligraphy and lettering I see on there… but I don’t really like posting. Posting makes me anxious, which is probably why I like this blog best, because it is quiet – how plain bonkers is that???!!!! My other quiet place is Flickr, so maybe Flickr is the way to go for this challenge… well I’ll sort of do it here… but I will mostly do it there, if that makes sense?!

Meanwhile, if you have happened upon this blog looking for beautiful calligraphy, then I strongly recommend that you visit HERE and HERE – two wonderful calligraphers who talk good sense about calligraphy and don’t appear to have rambling incoherent thoughts 🙂

My first two offerings for my 365 challenge…

copperplate-and-italic-variation-calligraphy-uk

1/365

italic-variation-gothicised-italic-2/365-uk

2/365

Learning Calligraphy, quirky or otherwise….

These days I mostly get enquiries from people wanting to know how to learn calligraphy, my answer is to point them in the direction of CLAS, who provide a comprehensive list of accredited teachers. I also tell enquirers to visit Scribblers who advertise calligraphy courses in copperplate, roman capitals, italic etc. Janet Smith at Oakleaf Calligraphy also provides an online learning course. It is no good asking me to teach you… I am entirely self-taught, which means I have probably taught myself some appalling bad habits. I wish I had learnt properly from the outset, as it would probably have been quicker, and cheaper.
I learnt copperplate calligraphy from a book – Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters and I taught myself quirky calligraphy from following the advice in Lisa Engelbrecht’s wonderful book – Modern Mark Making. I Recently purchased Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe – which is a superb book covering everything you need to know about writing quirky modern calligraphy… it  has a great projects section as well, which ranges from how to write on chalkboards to making water colour gift tags for weddings, parties and special occasions.

calligraphy-books-for-learning-and-inspiration-uk

Calligraphy books for learning…

I usually buy most of my supplies from Scribblers, I mostly use a Gillott 303 nib… but to start with I used a 404 because a 404 is less flexible and therefore easier to control. The nibs from Scribblers are HERE. When I started learning copperplate I did use an oblique pen holder, but I now only use straight pen holders… all pen holders are HERE. When starting out there’s no harm in trying a straight and an oblique just to see which you prefer, I like short pen holders like the school pen holder. I am cheap and cheerful 🙂 For general calligraphy and practice I use Higgins Eternal permanent black ink; for ‘best’ I use Schmincke calligraphy gouache.

Some would imagine that the calligrapher is neat, tidy and organised… I wish I was. My desk always looks like a bomb has hit it… don’t work like this, it is hellish and I never know what I’m doing….

calligraphy-studio

My new studio…

Meanwhile, my mantelpiece is tidy….

calligraphy-painting-on-mantelpiece

On my mantelpiece….