you may wonder - a white pen is a white pen? how could there be such a big difference??
but in the calligraphy and signage spectrum - there is a ton of difference. there are gelly roll pens, chalk markers - and a whole slew of options out there for any project you can dream of.
but let's talk signage pens! when i first started out doing wedding signs, the only pens i used were the bistro chalk markers that you can get at a local michael's store. these pens are great, and get the job done easily. but, though countless hours of research - after failing on some projects that required white ink, but the bistro markers were not holding up to the standards i wanted them to - i went to find the ideal marker. below is a lineup of my favorite pens to use on signage:
+ molotov one4all marker - this is my absolute favorite pen to use! the ink is thicker, flows wonderfully - but most importantly, the whiteness is super bright and lacks the "thin" nature that other pens have. this "thinning" that i speak of, is when you are writing with other pens, you can sometimes see through the ink and have to go over it multiple times. and when you do go over the ink for a second layer - the molotow does not wipe off the first layer - which is wonderful!
+ uni-posca pens - my second favorite! they works just as well as the molotow, the main difference is the ink does have a thinner quality. they work great on any surface, and are my go-to for when i work on windows and glass or acrylic projects. they also come in a variety of colors - but the gold that they have are my favorite.
+ crafty croc chalk markers - when a project is strictly chalkboard, i love using these markers (that are meant just for chalkboards). they come in some great colors - from an autumn tone, to bright neon colors. the ink quality is great - the only downside is that they do not come with a fine tip point, but a reverse chisel tip instead. and when you are wanting to do a large scale project - like a seating chart - that requires a super fine tip to get the names smaller, the molotow and posca shine for those requirements.
these are my top three pens! have fun with them on your next projects.
sometimes you have to take a day - and just escape. even if it is only an hour or two away from your own hometown.
work had been going strong and wonderful. i'd been a calligraphy fiend for weeks - and, although i absolutely love it - the hubs and i hadn't had a day to ourselves for awhile, and i was missing spending quality time together (as opposed to the hi/bye in between the work madness!). our schedules finally aligned - and we had a whole day off together last week! which is rare treat, considering that our schedules are complete opposites.
i love living on the central coast! there is such rugged beauty in this area, from paso robles to san luis obispo to orcutt. but there is one area that i hadn't explored, and that was between los alamos and santa ynez. so instead of cuddling on the couch for a movie marathon with the hubby, we decided to go exploring south of us.
we had absolutely no agenda, not time constraints...just a general idea of the area that we wanted to explore. i posted a quick inquiry on facebook, asking what do do, where to go, what to eat - and got a ton of great responses while we were on the road! we headed down the 101 to los alamos, where two friends suggested bell street farms for an early lunch. the meatloaf sandwich was divine, and i washed it down with a terrific glass of their house rose! this little place is adorable, and i literally wanted everything on the menu - can't wait to go back.
afterwards, we strolled the small strip of downtown los alamos - perusing the antique shops. mainly window shopping - but, man...i could have done some damage with all those vintage lovelies!
back on the road, we drove towards santa ynez for some wine tasting - stopping by in solvang and taking in the cuteness of this town. the danish charm is in every nook and cranny, and we're making plans to stop by another day to take in the whole town!
once in santa ynez, we headed first to sunstone winery to taste some vino. this is a gorgeous property, with lots of fun lawn games to play while you're enjoying a glass of their yummy wine. the people we met while tasting were so friendly, we had a great time chatting!
the second winery we went to was just a stone's throw from sunstone - this one is kalyra. the hubs and i felt right at home at this cozy and laid-back winery! the gal who ran the tasting room was super rad, she had some great stories and was very knowledgable about the wines. we signed up for their dessert wine club - because i love me some great muscat or port after a delicious dinner!
lastly, we headed to los olives to check out ca'del grevino's newest tasting room - but i became sidetracked by the beguiling sign announcing that honey paper - a luxury paper and stationery store - was having a sale upstairs from the tasting room. luckily, i have a very go-with-flow hubby, who didn't mind tagging along as i oohed and awwed over all the paper pretties at honey paper. i don't mind admitting, i could have happily skipped away with the whole store - but curbed my spending at a couple sheets of fun wrapping paper and a bottle of gold ink that i have never heard of before (but can't wait to use in my calligraphy adventures!).
we did end up doing a tasting at ca'del grevino - and enjoyed out time there. very personable staff, and lovely wines. i had done signage for an industry event months earlier (and hadn't been able to attend) - so it was nice to be able to visit and get to know the winery, who started it, and the newest developments they have in store! we bought a bottle of wine to enjoy at a later dinner. we took the long way home to view all the gorgeousness that the early rains had brought the valleys and hills that surround this beautiful part of california.
the flowers were extraordinary! the hills and fields so green! we can't wait to go back down and explore more of this area. everything was wonderful, and it was so lovely to spend this day with my husband - we always know how to have fun, even when driving though the countryside, holding hands, and daydreaming.
then i have the perfect opportunity to learn for free! calligraphy for all!!
morgan - of a perfect fete - and moi, are giving away one free ticket to our watercolor floral + hand-lettering workshop. this event is on may 7th, from 1-4pm, and will take place at the wedding space in san luis obispo.
yes - you heard that right - FREE ticket!!
and it is super simple to sign up. go to my instagram account HERE - and follow the prompt to enter to win.
this is going to be a super duper fun workshop! there will be some light nibbles for you, and delicious sweets from the cakestress (who does uh-mazing cakery works of art!) + bubbly to get you warm and fuzzy and ready to write and watercolor away!! plus, you will get all the supplies to create a wonderful and special gift for mother's day. love!
more information on the details of the workshop can be found HERE.
i look forward to seeing you there!
brush lettering is a super fun way to enhance your current handwriting (without too much investment or instruction - and you do not have to be a professional calligrapher to begin!). there are a ton of different brush pens in the marketplace - so many so, that it can become rather tedious and overwhelming when choosing what brush pen to use. some pens have a very hard tip, some are incredibly soft. some are super smelly, while others have a pleasant smell (or at least, i think they do!). there are an endless supply of colors to choose from! and the costs range from $1 to $6 each.
so how does one choose? i recommend contemplating the following:
+ how hard do you write? are you heavy handed, or have a rather light grip?
+ how big is the project you want to do?
+ what will you be writing on?
+ how much do you want to spend?
all these effect where your choices go. below is a lineup if some of my favorite brush pens, and the characteristics that accompany using them:
+ tombow dual point brush pen
these are my three favorite brush pens! like i said, there are a ton of other options to choose from. have fun with it, buy an assortment of different brands and try each one to find what you like best.
get your calligraphy groove on!
humor in calligraphy - i found my hair tie shaped like this and thought - "hey, that's a pretty darn cool f!" so i wrote the rest of my business name after it using the tombow fudenosuke brush pen!!
so super excited to finally share this news!
last year, i reached out to morgan of a perfect fête - a fellow calligrapher in the san luis obispo area. i wanted to chat all things calligraphy with someone local, and was so thrilled to find another gal nearby (there's not many of us here!). we met up for cupcakes (yum!), gabbed + geeked out over all things hand-lettering...and from there a snarktastic friendship has evolved! our humor is very similar + the fact that we love all things calligraphy and weddings cemented a friendship.
fast track to now...we had been talking collaborating on a workshop for awhile, and finally have nailed down a date and theme! so without further ado...
two fêtes - fête #1 and fête #2 (ask us who is which!!). this workshop is based on mom, to create something special and memorable for her - because you are never too old to make something for dear mum! plus, we are having a super awesome special:
+ bring your mom and receive a discount of $50 total! two duo tickets are only $100!
purchase your admission here:
+ eventbrite mother's day watercolor workshop
we will be teaching the fundamentals of hand-lettering plus watercolor florals and calligraphy. you will get a swag bag of pens, brushes, practice paper, comprehensive handout, watercolor palette, plus some extra goodies - but the best part:
you will take home your own crafted frame matting with watercolors, a handwritten quote - and it will be ready for you to put into your very own special frame, add a lovely picture, and then get it ready for a gift for you mom for her special day the following sunday! stay tuned for some great pictures of what we will be teaching you on may 7th.
also...some nibbles and bubbles to loosen your hand! it's going to be a fun time!
can't wait to see you there!!