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. — It's been a while, so I'll just jump right in and share some inspiration. I had the fortune to catch the Metropolitan Museum of Art's retrospective exhibition of the French portraitist, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, before it closed. I took a women artists course in college, and along with Artemisia Gentileschi and Rachel Ruysch, Vigée Le Brun stood out as favorites. I always loved the subtle and muted tones of her color palette and the pleasing and empathetic approach she had to depicting her subjects.
Upon seeing the paintings first hand, I was struck by her use of bolder colors like vermillion, rust reds, and carmine as accents, something I did not remember from my college days. Overall, the color of her paintings was gorgeous and inspiring. It left such an impression on me that I unknowingly bought envelopes at the paper store in her palette.
Washington, D.C. — Over the spring, I was approached to participate as a donor to the Haycock Elementary School's annual auction fundraiser. It was a good opportunity to promote Handmade Letters' services to a wider community in Falls Church, Virginia, but more importantly, to contribute my time for a good cause.
The auction item included a service package of five letters to be calligraphed on behalf of the auction winner. With the help of my infallible sister Maria Reyes, three color sets were chosen for the winner to select.
Along with the envelope and letter sets, I made two sample letters for display at the auction event. I wanted bidders to have a sense of how striking calligraphy can be in person and to understand how sending handmade letters can really make an impression.
A simple, handwritten note of congratulations is much more special than an e-mail or text can ever be. The thought and effort behind it are easy to see.
As a fan of Breaking Bad, I thought it would be fun to include an inside joke for the auction participants. This sample is an imaginary note of thanks from Marie Schrader to Walter and Skyler White for their "support" during her husband Hank's recovery. Participants who were fans of the show would be able to discern the bit of dramatic irony (and Marie's usual obliviousness) in the letter's message.
N.B. The addresses on the Breaking Bad letters are the actual, fictionalized homes of the characters.
It was a wonderful opportunity for me to participate in this auction fundraiser, and my thanks go to Kristen Chandler and the school's auction panel for making the process very easy. I look forward to calligraphing letters for the winner.
Washington, D.C. — I've been diversifying my envelope colors and working a lot more with envelope patterns and illustrations. Seeing them together in batches makes for a cool effect.
Washington, D.C. — I've been sending my daily letters out in batches of three or four. I decided to take photos of each batch just to see where I am color-wise with my envelope choices. I guess I'm in a mostly blue phase right now. I love using Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleed Proof White ink on blue envelopes. It really makes the blue pop.