24 08, 2016

{Real Wedding} Evoke DC Events + Abby Jiu Photography

By | August 24th, 2016|bride-to-be, decor, envelopes, event planning, flowers, invitations, location, photography, real weddings, reception ideas, save the dates, venues, Washington DC|0 Comments

The Decatur House was the perfect venue for this Washington DC wedding! Brad and Lily were also featured on Style Me Pretty, where you can read a little more about their love story and how they met! But until then, take a peek at these gorgeous images from the incredible Abby Jiu!

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Vendor Credits:
Planner – Evoke DC
Photographer – Abby Jiu
Florals & Design – David Beam
Catering – Occasions Caterers
Calligraphy – Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Stationery – Haute Papier
Dress – Marchesa
Dress Boutique – Carines Bridal
Rentals – DC Event Rentals
Cake – Maggie Austin Cake
Venue: The Decatur House

20 08, 2016

{Calligraphy Workshops} LHC Beginner Calligraphy Workshops

By | August 20th, 2016|Calligraphy, calligraphy workshops, learn calligraphy|0 Comments

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Looking to learn the art of calligraphy, but not sure where to start? We would love for you to join us at one of our beginner calligraphy workshops coming up in Atlanta, NYC, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Alexandria {DC area}, San Francisco & Honolulu. Our classes include top-quality supplies & hands-on instruction in a fun, creative environment. We love each workshop session to feel like a special event with beautiful blooms, tasty treats & of course lots of chatting about the art of calligraphy. So what exactly happens in our beginner workshops?

First everyone arrives & finds their seat. There is generally some chit chat amongst friends {or new seat buddies!}, people enjoying some treats and such while we wait for everyone. Once class begins we talk a little about our business, calligraphy & what will happen in class. We start by covering all the tools & supplies that we will use in class as well as how to prep for your work each session. Next we jump right in to start some basic practice strokes so that we can walk around and be sure each attendee is holding their pen correctly, applying the right pressure for up & down strokes, dipping into their ink properly & just getting comfortable with the pen & paper.

LEFTIES…don’t worry, we have custom pens made just for you!

After the practice patterns, we move into a full introductory alphabet covering both upper & lower case letter forms. Our workshops include our alphabet tracing pads, so you’ll have plenty of practice tracing the forms before trying each one out on your own. As we move through the alphabet, we also talk about our preferred tools and where to buy them, general tips for daily work & next steps to continue your calligraphy education {hint: Modern Calligraphy Summit is a MUST if you are looking to explore the art!}. At the end of class we open it up for questions & let everyone know the best way to reach us for all the questions that come up after you leave class as you continue practicing on your own. For the most part everyone is surprised at how quickly the three hours have gone and are pleased with the progress they’ve made throughout class.

Calligraphy does take quite a bit of patience and practice, so while you won’t leave class a complete pro, you’ll have all the tools and resources necessary to tackle the art, backed by Laura’s 14 years of experience as a professional calligrapher.

If you aren’t able to make it to our in-person workshops, we offer the next best thing with our video tutorial + starter kit found in our shop here! We hope to help you explore this beautiful art & feel free to let us know if you have any questions below in the comments!

See below for some snaps from Sweet Root Village from our first Alexandria session in our new studio earlier this year.

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18 08, 2016

{Real Wedding} Grit & Grace Inc + Adam Barnes Photography

By | August 18th, 2016|Calligraphy, decor, real weddings, reception ideas, signs, venues, Washington DC|0 Comments

So when we say our designer friends think of everything…we mean they think of everything! When Laura from Grit & Grace Inc came to us with the idea of hanging cutting board escort display, we were a bit stumped, but ready to task on our part in the task. To say that we were blown away by the finished look would be an understatement! This Virginia wedding couldn’t have been more perfect. The couple wed at the Salamander Resort and in addition to the gorgeous setting, guests enjoyed an assortment of Virginia wines accompanied by a mixture of complementary meats and cheeses.

We also personalized cheese boards that were used at each place seating at the head table for the dinner following the ceremony. Adam Barnes Photography captured the day with his beautiful images!

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Congratulations to Rebecca and Andrew and to everyone who added their special touch to this wedding!

Vendor Credits:
Design & Planning – Grit & Grace
Photography – Adam Barnes Photography
Floral – Holly Chapple Flowers
Decor & rentals – DC Rental
Installation – Revolution Events
Venue – Salamander Resort
Wood Sign Lettering – Laura Hooper Calligraphy

17 08, 2016

{Calligraphy Workshops} Atlanta Calligraphy Workshop

By | August 17th, 2016|Calligraphy, calligraphy workshops, learn calligraphy, Workshops|Comments Off on {Calligraphy Workshops} Atlanta Calligraphy Workshop

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It’s been about two years since we were last in Atlanta for our Beginner Calligraphy Workshops, and we are so excited to be returning in just under a month! You can find details on our upcoming Atlanta session and register here, and take a peek below at our last visit with styling by The Perfect Palette & photos by Lauren Rae Photo.

Every workshop includes all the materials you need to get started with the art of pointed-pen calligraphy. We begin class by covering these tools, then we go into some practice strokes to get everyone more comfortable with using the oblique pen {don’t worry lefties, we have a custom oblique pen just for you!}, and then we cover a full introductory alphabet while also discussing our favorite tools, where to purchase them and everyday happenings as a full-time calligrapher.

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Our fall workshop schedule also includes beginner sessions NYC, Houston, Austin, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Honolulu – we hope you can join us in one of these cities to learn this beautiful art form! Click here to learn more & register today – workshops do sell out, so don’t wait too long!

If you are not able to join us at a workshop, we offer a video tutorial + starter kit for at home learning as well.

15 08, 2016

{Resources} Tip for Getting a Beautiful White Background

By | August 15th, 2016|advice, Calligraphy, Calligraphy Business 101, Creative Tip, resources, style, tips|0 Comments

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So you see all the white background photos on social media and wonder if everyone else has just the cleanest, whitest desk/table/counter, right? The secret? White foam board! We literally bought a pack from Amazon a couple weeks ago to get a fresh set – find it here.

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We also take a lot of photos on my marble coffee table to change up the backgrounds!

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In both instances I am in plenty of natural sunlight!

If you need some help with styling & taking more professional looking images for your social media platforms, be sure to check out Cool Photo School for help straight from the pros!

Shop this Post
Drunk in Love Napkins {also available in White}
Cheers Heart Coasters – last set available!
Punch Drunk Love Stirrers – last set available!

Photos by Love Knot Photo & Anne Kim

11 08, 2016

{Calligraphy Tip} Tools for Writing Straight

By | August 11th, 2016|advice, Calligraphy, Calligraphy Business 101, Creative Tip, tips|0 Comments

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One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive in our beginner calligraphy workshops is “how do I write straight when I’m not writing on gridlines?” And this is a very good, and very important question! There are a few options to help you out when working on envelopes, and these can be applied to other items as well.

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The first option is to simply draw lines with a ruler and erase them afterwards. While this option is financially free, it is not strategically free {nor is it free for your sanity!} as you need to be sure to schedule enough time to draw the lines themselves, but equally as important, time to erase all of your lines. When going this route, we recommend waiting a full 12-24 hours for your ink to dry to avoid ruining any of your completed envelopes {if you are worried about running out of envelopes, check out our previous post on making sure you have enough from your clients!} as well as using a quality art eraser. Also take care to not draw your lines too dark to begin with…you only need a faint guide for yourself.

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Another option is to use a stencil like the Lettermate. This is a simple option that works well with smaller scripts staying in a condensed area. Just be sure you don’t forget to add your descenders as needed! You can also make your own template out of cardboard or other materials if you are feeling crafty!

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If you are writing on light colored envelopes/paper, you can always use a lightbox or a light pad {another light pad option here} and put your grid lines down first and the envelope over it to write. This of course does not work when using dark colored papers! Light pads are a great tool for calligraphers in general as well.

Next you have the popular Slider Writer which works similar to how you would use a level/laser to hang a photo on the wall but it is for your desk! Full disclosure: we have not actually used this ourselves, so we don’t have any photos, but have heard wonderful things about it amongst the Modern Calligraphy Summit group & our workshop attendees that have tried it out. Definitely seems like a pain free, time-saving investment. There is always the question of return on investment, and with a tool like this, you want to remember that you might be able to get one and a half orders completed in the time it would take to draw lines, do the calligraphy, then erase lines, and the tool will pay for itself very quickly.

Lastly is the tool that Laura herself uses, which might be considered a bit “old school” and that is the Phantom Liner. It has been discontinued, so you can’t find it too many places, but we also wouldn’t recommend it over any of these other tools for those starting out, especially not over the Slider Writer. The Phantom Liner is two pieces of plastic, one with lines, one without, and basically instead of looking at the envelope she is writing on, Laura looks at the reflection of lines on that envelope. It takes a lot of practice to be able to write in a straight line that is not going diagonal {albeit straight} up to the right hand corner.

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So there you have it! A few options for writing in a straight line as you get going with taking your calligraphy practice to the next level. All of the inks used in this post can be found in our shop here.

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Pink & Grey ink
Art eraser
Lettermate
Lightbox
Light pad | Another light pad
Slider Writer
Phantom Liner

If there are any topics you’d like to see covered on the blog, let us know in the comments below, as well as your experiences with any of these tools!

All images courtesy of Love Knot Photo

9 08, 2016

{Real Wedding} Soco Events + Tec Pataja Photography

By | August 9th, 2016|coordinators, decor, real weddings, reception ideas, signs|0 Comments

This East Coast wedding by Jen at Soco Events is truly stunning & the adorable couple is pretty great, too! The entire set-up took nearly a week for the tent installation & floral displays and the finished look could not be any more beautiful. We were happy to provide a variety of custom laser cut signs {mojitos, anyone?} as well as a collection of wood boards for table signs, buffet menus & more. We even got some lettering on rocks included with the tray-passed hors d’oeuvres!  Take a look through the gorgeous images from Tec Petaja below & be prepared to swoon.

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Vendor Credits:

Design & Coordination: Soco Events
Photographer: Tec Petaja
Florals & Rentals: Amaryllis Inc
Tent: Peterson Party Rentals
Caterer: The Catered Affair
Venue: Private Residence

8 08, 2016

{Calligraphy Tip} Pointed-Pen Calligraphy on Rocks

By | August 8th, 2016|Calligraphy Business 101, Creative Tip, Escort Cards, reception ideas|5 Comments

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Want to try your hand at pointed-pen on rocks? Your nib + ink will work on a nice smooth surface {you can find a variety of rocks online here ~ the ones shown were collected by our client’s mother! ~ we recommend the ones that do not have any shiny coating}, but our simple TIP is to use an older nib since a fresh one would dull immediately once you start writing on this hard surface! You also want to avoid any pressure on your upstrokes, you should be barely grazing over the surface of the rock. If you apply any downward pressure the nib will catch and splatter ink.

For these purposes, Laura saves her used/dull nibs that would otherwise be thrown away in one of our favorite jars. They can then be easily stored in a drawer or on your shelf for use on already hard surfaces where you aren’t going to achieve a fine hairline like you would on paper.

On this set we used our preferred gold ink found here {the other inks our shop have been used on rocks as well} & a Gillott 404 nib.

These work well for both place cards & escort cards, and if you don’t have any clients ready to get these into your schedule, you can make a few for your next family dinner or holiday as practice!

What non-medium papers have you been working on lately? Let us know in the comments below!

Rock_CalligraphyPhotos by Anne Kim

5 08, 2016

{Calligraphy Business} What’s in My Travel Bag

By | August 5th, 2016|about laura, advice, art, Calligraphy Business 101, tips|0 Comments

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Two of our top questions received revolve around our preferred pen markers for lettering as well as how you travel with your calligraphy supplies.

The pic above shows how I travel with my supplies {no, I don’t properly protect my pen holders/nibs…oops!}, but I do keep them all contained in an oversized canvas makeup pouch. Mine is an older one from Target, but you can find something similar here.

I of course have my pen holders & nibs {found here}, and if you are traveling with inks, you want to be sure to double-bag them {i.e. put them in a ziploc baggie and then put that baggie in another ziploc. Some people even put a rubber band around the lid with the first bag}. I’ve literally carried about 9 bottles of ink carry-on before and wasn’t questioned. This of course could vary by airport!

In addition to my pointed pen supplies, I always have my preferred paint markers for lettering as well – Pentouch {here} for metallics & Sharpie {here} for white. Personally I prefer the water based Sharpie and I use this on all of my wood signs, but everyone is different with their preferences! For example, another brand of paint markers that I have never used but hear great things about are the Molotow {here} pens…definitely worth a try if you are looking to test out options for yourself.

For paper, I usually have a few place cards on hand just in case and I always take one of our LHC journals {like this Snippets journal} since we make them with calligraphy quality paper.

Hopefully this peek at my travel bag will help you with your own calligraphy travels. Tell me in the comments, what supplies can you not travel without?

xo
Laura

4 08, 2016

{Bridal Shower} Grit & Grace Inc + Abby Jiu Photography

By | August 4th, 2016|bride-to-be, Calligraphy, coordinators, decor, event planning, flowers, invitations, location, party, photography, placecards, style, venues|0 Comments

We are gushing over this stunningly feminine & floral bridal shower designed by the ladies at Grit & Grace Inc! We were able to help add to Adrienne’s shower with some custom gold foiled napkins, drink stirrers and place cards, but the pattern play in the overall design is just so gorgeous. Today we have a collection of the sweet details captured by Abby Jiu Photography that went into this Martha Stewart featured fete!

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Vendor Credits:

Planning and Design – Grit & Grace, Inc
Photography – Abby Jiu Photography
Flowers – Holly Chapple Flowers
Venue – Trump Golf Course
Paper – Paperless Post
Rentals – DC Rental
Calligraphy – Laura Hooper Calligraphy