Washington, D.C. — My niece Claire has always exhibited a strong interest in drawing, coloring and writing. It is obvious that she is a natural artist. When she came to visit us during the summer, she was so excited to see my big desk with all its supplies of inks, markers, paints, pencils, and papers. She was very enthusiastic to try her hand at using a calligraphy nib. I have to say she took to it really quickly. Perhaps I need to groom her as an intern!
Washington, D.C. — In my spare time, I volunteer tutor for the Reading Partners school program at Dorothy Height Elementary School. At the end of the school year, we are allowed to give our reading buddies a gift book. It made total sense to me to give them bookmarks too. I loved seeing their surprised faces when they saw their names done in calligraphy with fancy flourishes.
A little bit later in the summer, my sister asked me to make bookmarks for her first-grade students. She asked for a simpler, unflourished style. There was such diversity in the names of her students. She picked a bright orangey-pink for the accent ribbon.
Raleigh, N.C. — I love any opportunity to collaborate with my super talented sister-in-law Nikelle Orellana-Reyes, owner and floral artist of Wylde in Raleigh. When the discussion came up to do something together for Valentine's Day, of course, it made perfect sense--little notes and flowers go hand-in-hand.
Customers stopping by Nikelle's downtown shop on Martin Street were able to pick up personalized cards to accompany her fabulous florals. Shoppers finished the sentences on each card--a la Mad Libs--with words and phrases meant for their Valentine. Some sentences were heartfelt and earnest, while some were cheeky and clever. No request was ever out of bounds, even when a customer asked me to calligraph an illustration of a butt with hearts. Sometimes you just got to laugh when it comes to love.
New York, New York — One of my favorite experiences in 2016 came at the very end when I teamed up with Haerfest at the holiday Pop Up Flea in the 69th Regiment Armory (a really cool historical site).
I've known brothers Tim and Dan Joo since 2011. They are the hardest working—not to mention nicest—guys in the fashion business. It was my sincerest pleasure to collaborate with them and hand-calligraph gift tags for their clients. The whole team (Tim, Dan, Susan, Tai and Zoe) was great and we managed to keep our holiday cheer despite the snow and the cold.
Looking forward to our next time working together!
Haerfest x Handmade Letters
@ Pop Up Flea NYC
New York, NY — Stop by the Haerfest pop up shop this weekend and get a free personalized gift tag* with every item purchased. I'll be on site hand lettering names and festive words for your special ones.
Pop Up Flea NYC
The 69th Regiment Armory
68 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
Pop Up Flea Hours
Friday, December 16, 3-8 PM
Saturday, December 17, 11-7 PM
Sunday, December 18, 12-6 PM
Friday, December 16, 3-8 PM
Saturday, December 17, 11-5 PM
*Personalization includes a name or a short phrase like: For You, With Love, or Merry Xmas!
Washington, D.C. — Stumbled across this video of the talented Corita Kent demonstrating the process of silkscreening. I never heard her voice before and it has such a soothing quality to it.
Washington, D.C.—A wedding client asked me to paint little Lithuanian flags on her wine bottle table cards. It's amazing how a little bit of color (especially when dispatching some Finetec gold) can add the right touch to an already whimsical piece.
Washington, D.C.—Preparing a batch of sample envelopes to send to my sister-in-law Nikelle, who is opening her floral design shop Wylde in Raleigh, NC. She graciously offered to keep a sample book of my calligraphy envelopes in her shop. Can't wait to show her the final set and to visit her shop.
Washington, D.C.—Was so happy to see this little gem from my childhood again. (Thanks, Maria!) I wonder how the process has changed. How fun it would be to visit this factory!