Monday, December 16, 2019

Merry Christmas From Our Mailbox To Yours

Hello Dear Friends.  I know it's only Monday, but I hope you're having a good week.  I mentioned in an earlier post that we were planning to address our Christmas cards in calligraphy this year.  Well, we did it.  I was really nervous at first, afraid I'd mess up too many envelopes, and those cards aren't cheap.  But it went well, overall, and I had fun doing them.
It didn't show up in the pictures, but these Christmas cards have glitter on them, always a favorite with me.
Our teacher taught us Italic calligraphy; there are many different styles and variations thereof.  Copperplate is especially pretty, but it's also much harder to learn (and to teach). 
I still have a few more envelopes to address and cards to sign.  Since I haven't worked on any of these since last week, I like to practice a little bit first on plain paper before moving on to the real thing.  This is nowhere near perfect, and any professional calligraphers out there wouldn't be impressed, but I really do enjoy learning and practicing this style of writing.  The fountain pen you see here is called a parallel pen, made by Pilot.  They are awesome for doing this style of calligraphy.  Hal has practiced some with a dip pen, but I'm not brave (or patient) enough to do that yet.
Perhaps you can tell by looking at this picture that these envelopes are very thick and heavy; they're like rag paper or linen almost.  Anyway, that turned out to be a major problem because we had counted on being able to see our piece of calligraphy paper through the envelope in order to write in a straight line and get the spacing correct.  Even with a light box underneath set on the brightest setting, we couldn't see the grid through this envelope.    
Then Hal had a great idea --carefully and gently separate the envelope where the seams were glued together, as you can see in the picture above.
This is our little cheat sheet; the grids are different sizes to match the nib size on your pen.  
We inserted the grid into the envelope (above).
Then we flipped it over like this, and we were only writing on one layer of paper, as opposed to two layers when the envelope is glued together.  With the light box behind the cheat sheet and envelope, it was a cinch to see the grid.  Brilliant!  Our teacher gave us the idea of cutting out the grid and sliding it into the envelope, because we were wondering how we'd be able to write in a straight line and space the letters and words properly.  After addressing the envelopes and letting the ink dry thoroughly, we then glued the sides back together and they were ready for the cards to go in.  Now you see the reason for the glue stick in these pictures. 
We signed the cards with green and red markers, but those were much harder to write with than the parallel pen.  Note to self:  Don't use those colored markers next year.  😉  So there you go folks -- probably more than you ever wanted to know about calligraphy and Christmas cards.  Before I go, I'll share a few pics of the kitchen dressed for Christmas.  I've put a few things out, but I'm still not finished.
Jim Shore Santa's --
We've had this Advent calendar since our son was a toddler; it's a precious keepsake.
Today is my beloved husband's birthday; he shares a birthday with Beethoven and Jane Austen. 😊  Happy Birthday, Hal!!   
Thank you so much for your visit.  May your days be Merry and Bright!


  1. First things first, Happy Belated Birthday to your husband. He shares his day with some fine folk. ☺️

    Your calligraphy is wonderful. I am no expert, of course, but it looks perfect to me! Does it make you slow down and be mindful and present? That would be worth learning just for that.

  2. Well, I'm very impressed with your calligraphy! A belated happy birthday to your husband!



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