The (Second Half of the) Year in Pictures

Some of my designs for Ultimat Vodka Holiday Campaign
One of five San Francisco venues for Ultimat events in November/December
Very special commission
Commission: walnut ink, watercolor and Finetec gold
Zig Posterman pen on chalkboard fabric
Chalk on display board

Tooled gold leaf
JJ Monogram, pen and ink
JLM monogram, pen and ink
CMS monogram, pencil sketch
Gouache, gold leaf, ink on hotpress watercolor
Piece done in Risa Gettler's Visigothic Versals class; ink,
watercolor pencil,  Finetec gold

Silk Purse from Sow's Ear

So after four-plus years of Blackletter classes at Atelier Gargoyle, I had acquired an impressive pile of butcher paper practice sheets that it seemed wrong to throw away.  One of my classmates had suggested I use them for wrapping paper, which was fun and different--very cute when tied with string.  For some reason I thought to grab a few sheets as I went out the door to an evening collage class with the inimitable Anna Corba, incongruously but delightfully being held at Knitterly, a favorite local yarn store.  We were provided with kits and lots of boxes of ephemera to dig through, and I thought my walnut-inked specimens were a nice contrast to the image elements.  (Don't look too closely at the letterforms, Linnea & Ward--the sheets are really old, okay?  That's my story anyway.)

We made collages on two pieces of matboard, then coated them with melted beeswax, which gave them surprising depth and dimension.  The covers were assembled with the notebook elements and bound together with ribbon.

 A fun project and a nice mid-week escape!

Walnut-Covered Chocolate

This was a homework piece for Ward Dunham & Linnea Lundquist's monthly "Black Sabbath" class at their wonderful studio, Atelier Gargoyle. The assignment was to write one word all in Gothic caps--something you'd probably never want to do in the real world. It was an exercise in spacing, and legibility be damned! Considering my choice of word, walnut ink was the obvious medium.

Paperweight of the World

I'm always looking for little gifty ideas that involve calligraphy, and this was a pretty simple one. I purchased crystal dome paperweight blanks, which come with pre-glued felt ready to finish off the bottom. A few strokes of the pen with walnut and gold ink, a pretty coin from Buenos Aires, and I had a little keepsake to give a fellow traveler. The same company sells glass coaster blanks as well.

Grandes Dames de la Musique

Quotations from these two remarkable women, both female orchestra conductor pioneers in the 1930s, inspired pieces that celebrate their talent and wit. The photocopied images were transferred with xylene (though nowadays I would use Citra-Solv, which is less toxic and smells way better--see their artists' site with all kinds of amazing ideas here), and the calligraphy was done in walnut ink. The hands are copperplate and Roman miniscule. Both were done with pointed pen, and the originals are about 12" x 18".

Spreading a Little Sunshine (Tutorial)

Our dear neighbor Virginia had some surgery recently and was feeling under the weather, and the weather has been gloomy enough for weeks. So I decided to make a card she could enjoy while she recuperates, using a simple format so it would stand up on her table. These used to be available for purchase blank, with the cuts and scoring for folds all done, but I haven't seen them for years. Luckily, before I used my last one, I had made a template with those sheets of gridded plastic quilters use.

I wrote a simple message to her on the middle part in my best Spencerian, with walnut ink with gold details on the flourishes...

...then made the simple cuts and scored the folds for fitting it together.

I added a dab of sealing wax, tied it with twine and tucked it into pretty orchid from the farmers' market. Hope it brought her a little cheer!

Here's a drawing of the template, with all the measurements.
Or, you could just copy this and enlarge it--in theory it will work at any size. I've marked the cuts and the outside folds; the rest of the folds fall midway between the cuts. [Note: It might look as if you could use the piece you've cut from the middle of the frame for the other part, but you can't. It needs to be a little larger.]
Have fun with this !