Calligraphy – and more reasons to send snail mail

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of all things crafty…and I’m always looking for an excuse to learn a new crafty skill!

My friend Shanika of Life is Pichey recently launched Gather and Craft as a way to encourage crafting in Columbia. She has been coordinating with local artists to offer “how to” classes. {Secret: I’m planning to do a jewelry-makin’ workshop with Shanika soon!}

I love the idea of using your creativity to inspire others and I’m super happy my friend Shanika is leading this crafty initiative in Columbia!

creativity quote

When I saw that Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy would be teaching a “Modern Calligraphy” class, I desperately searched for every excuse I could think of to sign up.

My friend MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire said she had been thinking about signing up – thus, I had my excuse: the only thing better than learning a new craft is learning with a friend.

I’m a huge fan of snail mail and believe there’s always a reason to send a hand written note or card to someone you love. Always.

I’ve tried [unsuccessfully] to make my envelopes and packages fancy like this:

Aren't these envelopes just precious? {Click the image to be taken to the source}

Aren’t these beautiful?! {Click the image to be taken to the source}

Yes, receiving something other than bills in your mailbox is fabulous enough, but pulling an envelope out that just screams: “this was MADE just for you!” (rather than “this was automatically generated through a mass printer that doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall just to remind you to send us all your money”) is even better!

So, I was ready to learn calligraphy so I could make my snail mail fancy!

Oh.my.gosh am I glad I took this class!! Paulene is a fabulous instructor (not to mention extremely talented!).

Our seats were sweetly decorated with all the supplies we’d need for the class.

caligraphy set up

As you can see, I’m really great at tracing. I’m going to leave out proof of my free-hand attempts 😉

The best part: we left the class with all of the supplies so we could keep on “calligraphing” on our own. How thoughtful!

Since we all had the same sheets, we were encouraged to put our initials on them so we would know which were ours when they were dried. I quickly learned that lower case was far easier for me so that’s what I stuck with.

Finally got the hang of writing my 3 letters!

Finally got the hang of writing my 3 letters!

I thought about the class all week and couldn’t wait to have more time to practice again on my own. I picked up my “pen” this weekend and jazzed up some snail mail to my sister.

katie

I love sending my sister snail mail. {As you’ve probably already caught on: I’m smitten with my sister.} As a former Teacher and current Reading Coach, my sisters days are filled with the kind of stress I’ll probably never understand. Sending her a little bit of happiness is SO worth the few minutes of my time and a 50 cent stamp.

In the days of typing-on-a-computer-all-day, we should definitely spend a little more time writing by hand. And what better way to spend your handwriting time than by filling a card with sweet notes to a friend?!

Go forth and send some happy mail, friends!

Go forth and send some happy mail, friends!

Whether or not you have calligraphy skills, I still recommend sending more snail mail! But if you’re local to Columbia (or within driving distance!), I recommend checking out the next Modern Calligraphy class [keep up with Gather & Craft and Leen Machine Calligraphy on Facebook to see when the next will be offered]! It’s always great to learn a new craft, gather with friends / make new crafty friends and support local artists willing to share their passion with you.

I love that the Gather and Craft classes are small – you get loads of personalized one-on-one attention from the instructor to leave feeling empowered with your new skill. I also enjoyed being able to get to know my classmates – It’s always nice to make new crafty friends to keep you inspired!

The calligraphy all stars from the Sept. 22 class!

The calligraphy all stars from the Sept. 22 class!

If you’re looking for calligraphy inspiration (or just a lovely feed for inspiration of all kinds), you should follow Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy on Instagram – her posts are thoughtful and encouraging. She’s the kind of virtual friend who is a breath of fresh air.

Read more about the classes on Shanika’s recap of the first class on her blog and be sure to follow Gather and Craft on Facebook so you’ll be one of the first to hear about what’s coming up next!

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9 thoughts on “Calligraphy – and more reasons to send snail mail

  1. Hi Jordan. Nice post. Learning calligraphy is something I’ve been considering for a while now – exactly for the purpose of pimping up my snail mail envelopes 🙂 Unfortunately there are no calligraphy classes where I live so I was thinking perhaps I could just find a nice online class for it. I think my penpals are worth it 🙂 I really love the “happy mail” picture/idea by the way. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m so glad you liked the post! Calligraphy is a ton of fun & if you already love sending snail mail then it’s worth it for you! Paulene (of Leen Machine Calligraphy) just announced this week that she’s going to start offering “kits” that you can order to get started and then she’ll be posting some video tutorials! There’s a post about it on her Facebook page. Thanks for reading my little slice of the internet! 🙂

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