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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Welcome Butterfly Vintage to the Blogosphere!

I met Emily while visiting the Soda City market (our local pop-up street market that happens every Saturday on Main St – it’s the kind of thing that makes me LOVE Columbia!). As soon as my eyes saw her racks of vintage goodies, my body took over and next thing I knew I was frantically screaming “I want this! And this!” while my husband rolled his eyes in the background and pleaded silently to leave.

Here's me & Emily at the market in Sept 2013!

Here’s me & Emily at the market in Sept 2013!

Since then our friendship has blossomed and she’s become so much more than my clothing supplier. As you’ll see on her blog, Emily wears many hats! Before moving to Columbia, she taught art to high school students in Tennessee. Since I now work in the field of education, I try to bounce ideas off of her (and my sister!) to gain some teacher perspective. She’s always willing to listen to my geek speak – thus, she’s a fabulous friend in my book. In addition, Emily has also become my fellow craft-a-holic friend who can helps inspire my creativity. She’s just the best!

And while I could go on and on about how cool Emily is (and how you should follow her blog so you too can soak up some of her awesomeness), I’ll leave you with a collection of selfies showcasing my BFY vintage staples!

1950s sheer purple floral top with rhinestone buttons & a bow! Yes, please!

1950s sheer purple floral top with rhinestone buttons & a bow! Yes, please! (Even if it did cause my husband did call me “Little Bow Peep” that morning.. :))

The ruffles on this sheer blue top make me swoon every time I wear it!

The ruffles on this sheer blue top make me swoon every time I wear it!

She even keeps my hair stylish with her pretty hairbows made from vintage fabric scraps!

She even keeps my hair stylish with her pretty hairbows made from vintage fabric scraps!

This rainbow dress remains one of my favorites!

And last – this rainbow dress remains one of my favorites!

If you’re local, stop by the Soda City market this Saturday (April 26) to check out all of Emily’s vintage goodies! She’ll have the dress below (I just finished converting it to a mini-dress!) that is would be the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe!

Here's a dress I repaired for BFY Vintage - it's a glamorous mini-dress now!

Here’s a dress I repaired for BFY Vintage – it’s a glamorous mini-dress now!