Fun with lettering!

Lettering has become a huge thing over the past few years, have you seen it around?

It’s been a while since I have done calligraphy, however, got more heavily involved late last year as a mechanism of stress relief! As a lefty, it hasn’t been easy! Truly, I don’t know that I’ve crumpled up more paper and tossed it in my life! But I think that’s what’s made it fun: seeing the end result after so much practice.

I wanted to share with you my first piece and where I’m at now, at least the first piece I took a picture of:

The image on the left was from almost one year ago using my very first pack of Tombow Dual Brush Pens and the one on the right (yellow) was from about a week ago using a Pentel Brush Pen. It’s CRAZY to see the difference! I am in no way an expert, but I’ve practiced, BOY have I practiced.

So I have some tips for you lefties out there who might not think you can do it:

  1. Take your time! – Its better to be wobbly in the beginning than try to go fast and get frustrated. Believe me!
  2. Practice! – Doing calligraphy and lettering as a lefty is a struggle (hand smudges, anyone?), so it’s important to put in your dues (I still do). Do your drills. Practice when you can. Focus on the parts that make you the most frustrated or you have the most issues with. (Below I practice drills with a dip pen.)

3. Invest in some education – I actually enrolled in two courses to learn the terminology and structure of lettering and brush calligraphy. DEFINITELY worth it! You’re investing in you!

4. Did I say practice? – Once you know the terminology, you understand how to do your up-strokes and down-strokes, practice them. I do it during work in meetings sometimes (shhh, don’t tell). You know what they say? Practice makes perfect!

5. Get feedback – One thing I like about online courses is quick feedback on your work. It helps me know what I’m flubbing up, or if I know but can’t quite grasp the concept, it helps me learn how to adapt or correct it from someone who knows these things backwards and frontwards!

6. Try different styles – Move your paper around, try different lettering methods, check out other letterers (especially other lefties) and learn what has helped them! I learned that I can do one style if I completely turn my paper sideways and write from the left and another way if I write from the right side of the paper. It seems weird to say, but it works!

7. Once you get the hang of it, invest in some pens – I jumped in and got my Tombows immediately, but practice always helps before you jump in. Know which pens to get. I like the Tombow Hard or Soft Fude to start out with: easier to control and can take the pressure of a beginner!

8. Also do your research on different mediums! – I love the Rhodia pads and Cannon Marker Paper because they don’t damage my brush pens. I wish I had known that in the beginning! Tombow Dual Brush Pens aren’t cheap, so make sure you have good paper without grain, it can damage your felt tips! Tombow Fudes and Pentel Brush Sign pens can usually take the brunt of rougher papers. If you’re getting inkjet paper, get the smoothest you can!

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9. DON’T STRESS – Take a look back at the images above (also catch the spelling mistake in the immediate one above?) Oh man, would I get CRAZY frustrated. I wanted to look like the pros IMMEDIATELY (I still don’t but I’m more comfortable with my style now). Know that everyone started out with that first picture! It’s not just you! (Or maybe you are a protege who can take the pen and make masterpieces in the beginning… if so I’m super jealous of your talent but also applaud the heck out of your genius!).

10. Enjoy it! – Goes along with don’t stress! Enjoy that you are creating things with your hands and doing awesome. The one thing I’ve heard from other lefties is they still smudge too! It’s ok! Like I said, I use this as relaxation for me, so it’s definitely one of my favorite past-times!

Got any tips of your own? Share them below!

Check out some great artists on Instagram!

Heather

A little perspective…

So. Last week I forced myself to the gym after work. This has been the hardest thing for me to master with moving offices, so much so that I eventually cancelled my membership. Unfortunately for me, I cancelled too late and had to take January as my last month and pay for the month-to-month dues… stupid, but that’s the life of a gym goer. But it’s been way too difficult to arrange driving an extra hour a day (already on top of about 4 hours total of commuting daily) to the gym which should only take about 20 minutes to get to from my office. I know I should. I know it’s important to do. But it’s just not happening right now. Before it was on my way home/to work… now it’s completely out-of-the-way and is making me quite sad, because I really did enjoy it.

Another unfortunate aspect is that it’s JANUARY. Welcome to the month of every resolutioner in all of creation who will eventually drop out after the first two months but are super motivated for a few weeks and spend most of their gym visit taking hours on machines because they’re still not sure how to work them… I can say this because I was, in fact, one of them last year. (Reminder: I was insanely cliché and signed up for my membership at 6:00 pm on December 31st, 2012. Yeah. That was me.) Needless to say, I’ve been trying to avoid the gym like the plague.

Well, in attempt to get back on track and beat out this holiday weight gain, I went. I kept my gym bag sitting out at work as a reminder to myself that I was going to go. I had to go. And if I didn’t, I knew the guilt of not following through would keep me up all night. Well, something else decided to keep me up all night…

It started out like any other normal gym trip: Stop by the ladies room, fill up my water bottle, grab some towels and head downstairs to the cardio floor. I was doing pretty good: good stretching and hydration left me feeling loose and ready, I was going at a decent pace, had my music up as high as it could go without disturbing those around me-when out of the corner of my eye I noticed people running around behind me. I glanced to see panicked faces and people running up and down the stair case, employees bolting down as fast as they could. Naturally I stopped to see what all the fuss was when I noticed the gentleman behind me getting CPR after going into cardiac arrest.

Knowing there was really nothing I could do now that everyone had already jumped to help out (calling 911 was covered, medics called, employees notified and defibrillator gained) I froze. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened and honestly the first time (only about three years ago) sparked my reboot for wanting to lose weight again. But this time seemed different. We were all in a place where this wasn’t expected, where people were going to get healthy. And I know he was doing well with it, I had seen him before and knew a bit of his story. Maybe that’s what it was too, maybe the fact I at least knew who he was shook me a little bit more.

Eventually they closed down the floor and sent us all upstairs. We all were a bit shaken and you could tell who had been downstairs versus the ones that had already been working hard upstairs: we all had that ashen “what the hell just happened?” face.

It’s insanely sad that these situations are the ones that have to smack sense back into me. I made a doctor’s appointment the next day and check ups for three others. I panicked in my own health status: on my way but still not good enough. Still not at that point where I don’t worry at every turn and question my every move. It’s neurotic, I know, but I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to get married and have children. The children thing didn’t really spark a whole lot of concern until my trainer brought up that those who are overweight have a much harder time conceiving. Crap.

But I don’t want to scare people into thinking that it’s a lost cause; that even by getting healthy you could still find yourself in a situation like this and that exercising doesn’t help. Because that’s not my point. My point is that if anything has kicked me into high-gear it’s this experience. Oh, also and to get re-certified for CPR. Because I felt utterly helpless that I couldn’t help, thank goodness there were folks there that knew CPR and could start before the medics arrived. That’s something my bosses nodded in complete agreement with when I told them about it the next day.

So. I’d like to start sharing with you a few of my favorite healthy habits periodically. I’m hoping through sharing these, I’ll keep myself a bit more accountable and give some of you some new workouts, recipes, etc that you can do to spruce up your life routine! These workouts are also great to use when you’re not able to get to a gym and for days like this when it is just far too cold (and snowy) to do anything outside.

The first is a workout by Tracy Anderson that I found online a few years ago from the Fitlbr community on Tumblr. I can’t remember exactly which blogger I found it from (I think it was from Liz of onetwentyfive or Johanna at myquirkylife), but I found it to be a fantastic five-minute workout for my arms! No weights, just your own resistance! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tracy Anderson, she is the personal trainer to a lot of celebrities, most notably for Gwyneth Paltrow. She is big with using your own body to get strong and lose weight and working multiple muscle groups at once to give you the best results in a short amount of time.

So enjoy and let me know how you liked it! If if nothing else, check out the two bloggers above! I’ve been following them since my first go at this game! Very big inspirations!

You can follow my fitness journey through my Instagram: heyheyheatherk!

In conjunction with my last blog post, I’d like to get back on board with blogging. I feel like I can zen when I can express my life through this little piece of heaven. And I promise, craftiness will be returning! I have a few things I’d like to accomplish in the near future and with all of these snow days, I might just be able to do so!

So sending many hugs to all of you out there and make sure you pass them on! Because you never know… you just never know.

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Spring Etsy Sale!

Hello Petals,

I promise I have some other crafts coming soon, but know that there is a sale going on in my Etsy shop that only lasts for the next few days! If you enter the code “SPRINGSALE20” at checkout, you get 20% off any item $10 or more!

And new items were added! Click on the picture below to view the shop and all the new items!

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Motivating Workout Shirts

Who’s awesome? I’m awesome! Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been doing really well with eating right and going to the gym the past week or so. I started out kind of slow in the beginning of this year: slacking on the diet my trainer gave me, not going to the gym as much, not pushing myself as much. I think deciding to up-the-anty with training twice a week, with an additional class taught by my PT, got me back on track. (I’m sure the fact that I’m now paying with unborn children and organs has something to do with it too).

I’ve been eating well, losing weight, and feeling FABULOUS.

To keep myself motivated, I’ve been making myself shirts, of course, using my new Cricut!

A couple people have asked me for one, so they are now up for sale on my Etsy shop if you’re interested! (Click the pictures to take you to the store page)

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This shirt is customizable for titles (I should have gone with Duchess as that’s our lineage name) and shoe brand! The personal trainers at the gym loved this one! Except mine, who is an avid heel wearer, decided I need to change it to “B needs heels, but also loves Asics”, haha.

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This one was a lot of fun to do! You can’t really tell from the pictures, but there is a diamond in the middle of the “O”.

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And this wouldn’t be complete without a nerdy, Doctor Who T-shirt! Remember my “Future Companion” shirt from a while back? Well this is the fitness compliment, because, let’s be honest: we must be able to run if we plan to be a companion, am I right?

I also made this one, which, is not currently up for sale. The trainers also liked this one a lot!

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How do you stay motivated at the gym?

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Treasury Tuesday: Rose and White

Treasury Tuesday: Rose and White

161 years ago, three amazing women created the Philomathian Society at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Today, that organization is now known as “Phi Mu Fraternity for Women”. I spent four years as a collegiate member and have since gone alum after graduating. While Founders Day was actually March 4th, I wanted to celebrate today and keep the momentum going! So proud to be a member of this organization.

To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand.

To think of God as a protector and guide of us all.

To keep forever sacred the memory of those we have loved and lost.

To be to others what we would they would be to us.

To keep our lives gentle, merciful and just, Thus being true to the womanhood of love.

 

To walk in the way of honor, guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds.

Being steadfast in every duty small or large.

Believing that our given word is binding.

Striving to esteem the inner man above culture, wealth or pedigree.

Being honorable, courteous, tender, Thus being true to the womanhood of honor.

 

To serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn.

To give freely of our sympathies.

To reverence God as our Maker, striving to serve Him in all things.

To minister to the needy and unfortunate.

To practice day by day love, honor, truth.

Thus keeping true to the meaning, spirit and reality of Phi Mu.

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I can’t tell if my favorite item from this list is the Pink and White Quatrefoil pillow by “ShelleeHomeDesigns” or Ballet Slipper Mail Holder by “CottageHomeDecor”… either way, check out these great Rose and White items!

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DIY: Glass Etching

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I bought glass etching solution a while ago and haven’t gotten a chance to use it. Well, let me rephrase that: I’ve been super lazy and haven’t gotten around to it. Since getting the Cricut, I’ve found some ideas to use it! I was going to use it on a wine glass, but all are half painted already and sitting, waiting for completion… fail.

I had a few jars left over from a stash I bought this past summer, so I decided to make a “Moments Jar”. If you haven’t seen this already on Pinterest, it’s a fantastic idea: For all the good moments you have throughout the year, you write down on a piece of paper and place in the jar. At the end of the year, you look at all the good moments that occurred in remembrance of the positive moments. With everything going on in the world, there’s never been a more crucial moment to remember those moments, so why put them in something that means a lot to you? I thought about using my TARDIS game box, but, I think this is more personal and me.

I got a cartridge while getting two additional Cricut mats on Cricut.com this last week. I thought the H’s were super adorable and thought it would look very folksy etched on the jar… so, thus my H Moments Jar was born.

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That’s an Idea! – Button Flip-flops

I’m sure you have all seen this pin on Pinterest recently: Making your own decorative flip-flops!

Click on picture for link to post.

Anyway, I used to do this when I was younger, but obviously Pinterest was never around to share it so I was excited to pick it back up when I saw this tutorial. But sewing beads on seemed like an awful lot of work that I just didn’t have time for (as of right now, SWAMPED doesn’t even begin to cover it). SO I decided to give my spin on it, I bet you’d never be able to figure out what I used… ok, yes: I used buttons.

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