I'm very busy this week. Very VERY busy. First Christmassy craft fair on Friday, many new things to get ready to sell. And all good fun - pictures coming of some of the pieces.
BUT,,,, when you take your dog out for a walk and the sky's like this (this is straight from the camera - no adjustment of colour at all) it's hard to rush back to the studio. I feel very lucky!
If you read my blog you'll know how much I like family trees! It's partly the logical layout challenge (maybe my background of having a Maths degree is occasionally helpful....!) and partly the sense that the piece really MATTERS because it's about real people.
You'll also know that I lament the fact that those creating their family trees believe (correctly) that it's never finished, and that tomorrow might bring an amazing new discovery, so they're often reluctant to say that now is the moment to commit the family history to a "finished" document.
Of course there are ways to create the tree so that it can be extended - small additions (literally, when new children are born!) can perhaps be accommodated, and new discoveries about dates and locations can be added, particularly if this is stipulated when the tree is created. It's also possible to be really flexible - to have family sections on different sheets, for example, so whole new families can be added. This makes it less likely to be a framed piece, but could be in a beautiful portfolio that can be shown to anyone who is interested.
So... I'm very happy to have been asked to create the family tree for a client, so that he can give it to his Mum as a Christmas present. What a lovely gift, particularly as I think they worked together on researching the information.
Shhhhh.... if you know Teresa Riley don't tell her it's coming - it's a surprise!
And here's a thing.... I discovered that until now I did not know how to spell Middlesbrough. I thought it was Middlesborough, but having written it about 20 times on this piece, I know the correct spelling now!
When doing a piece of calligraphy for a client, some of the challenges are really "behind the scenes". For example, with the wedding album (see previous post), we took the decision that I would write on a separate leaf and stick it into the album. This was partly because there was a mark in the middle of the page we wanted to use, and partly because it looked like the sort of paper that would be very difficult to write on - very absorbent with lots of loose fibres.
So - excellent news regarding the pressure on the mcalligrapher - if I mess up I've only messed up one piece of paper, not a whole album! But the challenge was to find a paper that would look good. Those of you who don't obsess about paper like I do might think that white paper is white paper - no, no, no! The picture below shows just some of the shades of "white" I gathered together in my search for the right colour.
The paper at the back is the album page - I ended up using the white second from the front which had a little texture, and was the right shade of white.
The client had taken photographs at his sister's wedding celebration, and had compiled them into a couple of albums for her as a gift. He wanted the details of the wedding adding to the front of each album - and chose a simple classy italic to do it. I didn't feel great pressure to rush the job along, as the event at which the photos were taken was in 2004!
The image shows my work sitting in place - not yet attached - as my client did their final check that all was correct!
Anyway - it was a pleasure to create some simple italic which looked good against the white fabric covered albums.
I've been meaning to sort out these photos from my holiday last month for ages....
I set myself the task of looking for letters on the beach. My self imposed rule was that I wasn't allowed to move anything or rearrange - it was just what I could see. In hindsight a foolish rule was that I also didn't write down which letters I'd done - consequently several beautiful photos had to go, as they were repeats, and of course there are some gaps.
Kept me amused for a-g-e-s! And it's a nice reminder that the sun shone quite a bit while we were away too.
A pile of Christmas loveliness!
Here's 36 baubles, mostly personalised with individual names and the year, in the hope that people will be tempted to buy for themselves, children, grandchildren etc. at the coming craft fairs.
I thought I'd look up what the popular names for children born around 2000 or later are - they really are a lovely set of names. Some of them I wouldn't have guessed - did you know that Chloe was the most popular girls' name for babies born in 2000? With Emily, Megan, Charlotte and Jessica following on. And for boys, Jack, James, Thomas, Joshua and Daniel.
Yes, it really is a tray of pine needles and a shredded wheat, and yes, I really did use them in my lesson on Making Little Books at Newark Library this week!
They made great visual aids to help with my description of how paper is manufactured. For those who would like to know, machine made paper tends to have all the fibres lined up in one direction (like a shredded wheat) which means it's much stronger in one direction than the other. This applies from the thinnest papers up to thick card. A good way of seeing this is to get 2 sheets of newspaper - tear one page vertically and the other horizontally - you will find that one tear is much neater because it is running in the same direction as the paper fibres. The other tear is like trying to neatly break a shredded wheat in half lengthways!
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.