Archives for November 2011

Everyday art


Cha cha anyone?

Pike Market Veggies (can you spot the lizard?)

Last weekend we took The Clipper passenger ferry to Seattle WA.  The trip was a little long, 2-3/4 hours but very comfortable and it was great to arrive in the downtown harbour which put us a short distance from the Westin where we stayed for three nights.  The weather was chilly but no rain or snow (as predicted – the cabs had studded tires!) so we walked everywhere and were amazed at all the public art!  Here are a few photos of some fun things we saw.  Victoria has a lot of public art too.  Here’s a link to find out more and perhaps to set up your own walking tour http:/

On the return trip I spent my time catching up with my travel diary and writing postcards – what else!  How is your letter writing going?

Write a letter challenge!

Letters from home

Yesterday I spent some time writing letters – yes the old-fashioned way of sitting down and writing a personal letter by hand. The envelopes pictured above were hand addressed using a variety of writing “tools”; one for my parents who love receiving mail (phone calls are great but mail delights them), a birthday card for my friend, Kathleen (who I haven’t heard from for ages), and an envelope stuffed with little treasures for our daughter, Kayla.  I personally like receiving hand written letters and cards in the mail so I assume others do as well. 

You can have a lot of fun just addressing the envelopes.  For some good examples go to which will take you to the Washington Calligrapher’s Guild site where there’s information about the annual contest, The Graceful Envelope Contest.   Anyone in the world can enter so think about it for 2012.

For now I challenge you to grab a coffee, tea or glass of wine (depending on the time of day!) and sit down for a short while and write a letter to someone you care about ….  tell them about your day, what the weather’s been like where you live, what the rest of your family are up to …. I guarantee they will love you for it.  Oh, and please, send me a note to let me know how it went; did you take time to chose some really cool postage stamps; did you decorate the envelope, did you make a card to go inside; did you buy some special paper and a new pen; I’d love to hear about.  Good luck!   P.S. Go see my pieces at the AGGV on November 19 for the Christmas Small Works Show as there’s one about receiving a letters.

Yes, I’m still working on 90th birthday project …

Prints & plates

Here’s a photo of some of the prints and plates for the 90th birthday project I have at home.  There are more drying under weight at Ground Zero Printmakers Studio which I’ll pick up when I go back on Thursday or Friday this week.  I spent this morning arranging repeat images of more photos of my Dad on the computer and printing them on my laser print onto the Usukuchi paper that I have been using for chine colle.  I’ve talked about this before so it’s just more of the same.  I am planning to complete the project by the end of November and host a showing in December.  Date TBA so stay tuned!  My mind has been whirling with ideas for a new project then my sister called from Calgary to invite me to show my work there!  Hmmm … more on this event later!

Lettering demo for printmakers


Tonight I will be doing a lettering demonstration for the members of the Ground Zero Printmakers Society.  They are doing a mini workshop on print-based cards and asked if I would show them a lettering style that they could use on their cards.  The style I have chosen to show them is a monoline capital lettering style that came out of looking at the work of some European calligraphers such as Yves Leterme.  I have made up my own exemplar and I call these “Euro Style Caps” because I have seen them used primarily by Europeans (however with a broad edge tool).  Besides I wanted to come up with a catchy name!  (Yves noted that these caps are being used in Australia, Argentina and Japan as well as North America!)

I contacted Yves to ask if he was okay with me demonstrating these letters and sent him a copy of my exemplar and some pieces I had done.  Here are some of his comments, “… I like your example but would add that it’s the nature of these letters to not use as an “alphabet” but to apply small changes to all these letters … (i.e. crossbars, serifs, etc.) it would also enhance the beauty of the letters if you’d apply some weight here and there but believe me, that’s hard to teach …”   He also said he was itching to make some corrections!  I should clarify that I used his letters as a jumping off point to come up with these “Euro Style Caps” and be it known that these are not part of the historical calligraphy alphabets used for intensive calligraphic study.

I hope I’m not opening up a can or worms as that is certainly not my intention and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces there tonight.



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