Top 5 Things Every Calligrapher Needs

Every one of the 5 things helped me put together this piece! 

Every one of the 5 things helped me put together this piece! 

I'm not huge on making new year's resolutions, but I do believe that there are natural seasons of beginning things. To start of 2017, I wanted to change the way I blog. I'm looking forward to creating shorter but more impactful blog posts. The ones that you can read on the bus, waiting in the car, or any other time you need something to fill your day!

With every craft, there are a few indisputable must-have's. Today, I wanted to share with you my top-5 tools for your modern calligrapher. These are essentially staples in my studio, and I couldn't create without them! Be sure to check the captions below each pic to find out where to buy them!

Scissors from Anthropologie

Scissors from Anthropologie

1. Scissors (Pretty ones at that!) 

This pair of shears allows me to cut, crease, and style with ease. They're functional and stylish, all in one. Correct me if I'm wrong, but copper is all the rage for home decor now, so these scissors are the perfect accent piece to top off your work desk!

Washi Tape (Assorted) from MT

Washi Tape (Assorted) from MT

2. Washi Tape

For those of you still in the dark about washi tape, it is essentially a type of tape that is made from Japanese rice paper, which lends itself to being easy to stick and peel. This is so important to have in my studio because I can tape art boards to walls, desks, and floors without the fear of ripping the fibres off the paper later. I've got 15+ varieties of this stuff, so it goes without saying that I love washi tape. 

3. Watercolour Field Kit 

This was my first big paint "splurge" I made when I began this journey. It has served me, and continues to serve me so well. It has almost every colour you need, and the built in palette makes travelling with this kit so convenient. Simply fill the water brush with water (warm is best) and then paint away! So many messes have been kept at bay because of this compact little kit and the color pay off is to die for. I couldn't recommend anything better!

4. Pen Nib Holders

I've slowly been collecting various types of pen nib holders, and these few remain my favourite. The black one is the one I started with and use the most frequently still. For $2.00 it's a pretty light investment you have to make to try calligraphy! I've recommended it to various students because it's so beginner-friendly and fits well in most hands. Between straight and oblique holders, I tend to lean towards oblique because I like the angle that my letters are formed at with it, but they are both great to try. 

Old White T-Shirt cut into a Cloth!

Old White T-Shirt cut into a Cloth!

5. White Rag

Having seen the picture above, you might be wondering, why on earth is Angie recommending a dirty explosion of a rag? Well believe it or not, this used to be pure white! I cut it from an old small t-shirt and I only replaced it once in the past year and half because my old one ripped! What do you use it for? everything. I wipe excess paint, squeeze out water, and wipe up small paint messes with this. Over the year, it has gathered quite a character of it's own, as seen by it's multi-coloured appearance. I can't even put into words how important it is to have this by your side during any project! I'm sure you will find a use for it. 

And that just about wraps up my Top 5 Things Every Calligrapher Needs! There are many more things that I use to keep myself and the studio running stress free, but maybe I'll save that for another post in the future! 

PS. There are going to be more blog posts that have helpful ideas like this one! Be sure to follow the blog on Bloglovin and check back frequently! I'm working hard to curate and create more awesome content for you all, so don't miss out! 

always with love,

 

Angie

 

 

A Shower for Baby Mama Clara

Planning and prepping this glamping styled shoot and real baby shower was a feat, but so so worth it. To see the joy gleaming from Clara and Caleb's faces as they walked into the decorated hall at Charbar (outfitted with Camp baby apparel, Pretty Sweet treats, Plant decor, Fiasco Gelato, greens from Fall for Florals, Euris glass decorations, and accent pieces by yours truly) with their old-time friend and photographer Janice capturing every moment, was priceless. 

It was endearing to see an idea transform and manifest itself into such a warm atmosphere, and even more special was the meaning it held to the baby mama herself. To be showered with love by her bestie and in such abundance, must be a memory that she'll hold forever. (And hopefully baby Eli felt it inside too!) 

always with love,

Angie

 

 

VENDORS :

Janice Lee Photography
Photography & Styling
Website: http://janiceleephoto.com/ 

Blissful Paper Co. 
Stationery / Calligraphy
Website: http://www.blissfulpaperco.com/ 

Charbar
Venue
Website: www.charbar.ca 


Gathered Table Supply Co.
Table decor (plates, cutlery, cups) and decor rentals (lanterns, cake stands, card holders)

Plant
Plants (succulents, cacti, airplants)
Website: http://www.plantterrariums.ca/

Cellar Door Vintage Rentals
Vintage rentals
Website: http://www.cdvintage.com/ 

Pretty Sweet
Dessert
Website: http://www.prettysweetco.com/ 

Camp Brand Goods
Apparel
Website: https://campbrandgoods.com/ 

Fiasco Gelato
hot chocolate and gelato
Website: http://www.fiascogelatoshop.com/ 

Modern Tipi
Tipi
Website: http://www.moderntipi.ca/ 

Little City Market
Felt Garland
Website: www.littlecitymarket.etsy.com

Euris Glass
geometric glass holders
Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/euris 
 

Looking back on 2016 + Eyes Ahead to 2017

This year has been a strange mashup of school, styled shoots, publications, and development. It has taken me by surprise how I've managed to climb through the pile of responsibilities that has taken its toll on me this past year. Even this month, the undeniably merriest month, is busy right up until Christmas, which leaves me desperately longing for nights in, watching Christmas movies with gingerbread baking in the oven. (No joke, this is my dream at the moment) 

I am a homebody. No if's, and's, or but's. I like being in the comfort of my lounging clothes and having an infinite supply of tea ready for any moment. I enjoy the warmth of my throws and being able to wake up, actually put some effort into breakfast, and then do nothing except enjoy the stillness. I enjoy spending my time creating new designs and dreaming up crazy ideas to do with my partner in crime, Janice. Yet I found that I actually did very little of this in 2016. A lot of my time was spent outside the house, running errands, and answering to responsibilities I didn't expect.

So looking back, it has been a rollercoaster of a year. There have been so many moments, and I can't possibly explain all of them, so I'll display them below and let you derive your own conclusions. (they're not in perfect chronological order!)

There's a lot that I left unfinished, untouched, or didn't even have time to think over in 2016. I have learnt one important lesson this year though - know your worth. There were many times when I was tempted and waffled around whether I should contribute my services at no charge or the value of my services. But as scary as it is to assert myself, it's so important and necessary for any creative. It places confidence in yourself and in the eyes of others as well. Instead of bending over backwards to work for a client, by knowing the value of your talents, you can instead work with clients who align with your vision. 

I also collaborated on projects with other local Calgary creatives, and some fell through, while others took off. Though I'm uncertain of how likely I am to continue to create products to sell in a shop per se, I am so thankful I had the opportunity to share my work through markets and stores in Calgary. 

I've also learnt that to be vulnerable means being both comfortable and uncomfortable in your own skin. It is in this silver lining where you discover your capabilities. (ie. learning that I'm not capable of looking good when I'm not smiling)  Photo by Janice Lee Photography

I've also learnt that to be vulnerable means being both comfortable and uncomfortable in your own skin. It is in this silver lining where you discover your capabilities. (ie. learning that I'm not capable of looking good when I'm not smiling) 

Photo by Janice Lee Photography

 

A realization I came to recently was that I usually can't set goals easily, but surprisingly, they hit me hard today. I was in the shower (I'll spare you details), and I saw a vision of what I wanted to do with this, with my life, with my talents. (I'll share more of this in the future) I wouldn't dare claim that God sent me this vision, but I won't deny that He may have instrumented that image to form. God (and Isaac and Janice and my family) have been my pillars of strength through this journey and He has opened up so many possibilities I never thought I would experience. I often think on this and I realize how incapable I am as just me. I am only what I am because of those who have loved me, loved my work, offered me a chance, and encouraged me. I have what I have because the Lord has blessed me with the abilities to achieve it and maintain work-life-school balance.

Praise be to you my gracious, everlasting Father. And a warm, warm thank you to my silent supporters, my IG likers, and those who have been my crutches in 2016. I promise to learn and grow more in 2017. 

always with love,

 

Angie

It comes down to routine.

Preface : I read one of my favorite designer's blog today about her routine, and that inspired me to talk about my own.

Ask anyone in the creative industries - building a brand, a business, and yourself as a creator is not a walk in the park. It's not "you work from home so you must have lots of free time", it's not "what do you really do all day?", and it's certainly not "you must have it easier than folks who work 9-5". 

I'm not dismissing that working as a creator doesn't come with inherent perks like greater flexibility, a homier work environment, and the ability to control your own work schedule. Those are certainly things I enjoy about being an artist. But it comes with just as much hard work and dedication as any other career. 

It comes with routine. There are days when routine means I'm drowning in unfinished work, a half-completed to-do list, and I'm dying to reach the weekend. But it also means I've established a rhythm that allows me to bring the best out of myself for my clients. It has kept me sane and my workload reasonably acceptable. So I thought I would share what has worked for me. 

7:30 AM // Awake, Exercise, Preparation

My usual morning routine is my snippet of completely "me" time in which I try my best to not check my phone, take time to exercise and slowly get my blood flowing, then prepare myself for the work day by slowing down to enjoy breakfast. When I get things like exercising done first thing in the morning, I know I no longer have to worry about it and allows me to be more flexible with my workload. 

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM // At the Desk

I start by reviewing my to-do list I wrote the night before. Then, depending on how pressing each item is, I start tackling them one by one. The thing I find, and which some studies seem to have proven, is that multitasking does not work. I concentrate on one project, and one project at a time. Whenever I find my mind drifting to think of something else, I recenter my focus on what's in front of me. Soft, gentler music is my extent of "multitasking" while I work, but anything more stimulating reduces my concentration on what's to be done in the moment. 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM // Lunch, Yuki, Media

It is during this hour that I usually make lunch (or microwave leftovers), then take my pup Yuki out for a walk. It's the time I use to stretch, take a walk, breathe in the cold air and reset my brain, my eyes, and my focus. Then with whatever time I have left, I like to do a thorough check of all my social media outlets (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram). 

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM // Errands, Tedious tasks, Miscallaneous

Just like Laura from Caribou Creative, I find the afternoons seem to be when I get the work done. The administrative stuff - invoicing, recording receipts, jotting new project ideas, replying to emails, or running out to get new supplies and such. The morning atmosphere allows me to be completely creative, but something about late day sun and the weariness after lunch compels me to just stick to the logstics. 

4:00 pm and Onwards // Flexible...

This is the most flexible time in my day. If I have a project that needs rushing, I'll continue to work until around dinner time. If not, I spend the evening catching up on things in my personal life, like reading my Bible, books, self-care, watching movies with my boyfriend, and generally spending time with those I love. It's all about balance. 

And so that's basically it...my work day in a nutshell! It ebbs and flows as my schedule pops up with unexpected events, but it generally sticks to this routine. And it has truly made all the difference. Segmenting my time, but not being strict with it has allowed me to accomplish more things more effectively. 

What's your routine like? What time of day is your favorite to work in? I'd love to hear! 

 

always with love,

 

Angie 

 

The Story of JJ

Today, my first ever wedding client received her gorgeous wedding photos from Genevieve Renee Photographie! Janice, who is also my wonderful, supportive friend, gave me the honor of creating stationery for her endearing wedding with her now husband, Jase. The story of JJ (which was also their hashtag, cute right?) began a new chapter this summer and I'm so flattered that I was able to add to the magic of their special day! 

These were some of my favourite pictures from that day! Janice and Jase are so unique as individuals, but together, they make for a truly special couple. The sheer amount of family that attended their wedding speaks for itself - they are so loved. In every stage, from the planning, to the preparation, to the actual day, they were surrounded by love . Love manifests itself in so many different ways, and these two display all of them. 

Best wishes to JJ! I know you guys will make this chapter a stunner. 

always with love,

 

angie 

recently on IG

For a different type of a weekly recap, I wanted to elaborate or describe some of the pictures that have been up on the Blissful IG account. 

1.       Popularity = success?

a.       Often I get caught up in thinking that more numbers means more success in many ways. “My work will be seen by more”, or “More potential clients might come across this page”, etc… As soon as I allow myself to get into this mindset, an interesting phenomenon happens. My productivity falls. I fall into a slump. I stop doing what I love to do. And it’s all because I’m more caught up in people’s response to my work rather than the work itself! So to make a long story short, I believe that while popularity in terms of numbers is a small reflection of success, it is not the epitome of success.

2.       Just Love

a.       The flower background in this picture was taken at Southcentre mall in Calgary, as part of the Southcentre pairs contest. Afterwards, I wrote the “just love” letters and edited them onto the picture. Just a simple reminder that love is all you need to make it through life!

2016-05-20 03.54.05 1.jpg

3.       Oh Wonder

a.       Oh Wonder is coming to town tomorrow and I can’t wait. I fell in love with them after Janice introduced them to me in January. When we heard they were coming to Calgary, we were so excited and bought tickets. Favorite song of theirs : Body Gold.

2016-05-26 09.34.44 1.jpg

4.       Café Diem

a.       Seize the day (or coffee)! Second Cup Canada recently underwent some rebranding and the result? Just pure loveliness. This store is bright and filled with sun in the early morning, which mixes wonderfully with the scent of fresh coffee. The sign in this picture is just one of the small details I love about this location. They also have a slow-brew bar where you can sit down and slowly enjoy your cuppa joe.

5.       True Buch Kombucha

a.       This stuff tastes like wine without the alcohol. Seriously. Especially the ginger flavor. I was at Blush Lane market and saw that they had Kombucha on tap. Like what?! There were 3 flavours at the time: Ginger, Cherry Blossom, and Chai. My boyfriend and I only got around to trying the ginger and cherry blossom, and were originally just going to settle for a plastic, pre-bottled version of this, but it’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly to snag a pretty glass bottle and make refills. PS: True Buch is local to YYC, so give them some love if you’re in the market for Kombucha.

6.       Love Rewards the Brave

a.       Sometimes I don’t always know what meanings to put behind these types of phrases. I just think they’re pretty and reflect positivity. This was just my breakfast from yesterday morning – complete with Kombucha and rose apricot jam on toast!

This was my first time trying to write a summary like this. I hope you guys like these short descriptions of my photos and a little bit about why I posted them!

always with love,

Angie