Friday, June 25, 2021

What Have We Been Up To?!

What have we been up to? Covid-19 has certainly changed our lives, no in-person meetings just like everywhere else and the learning curve that is Zoom has been an interesting journey. Many of us are now addicted to online classes! I love having a front row seat for every workshop and I never forget a pen, a tool or the right paper. It is all here within my reach! My chair is always at the right height, and I can share the studio space with the bulldog. I think last I counted I was up to about 30 online classes in the past year. That’s more workshops than I would take in 10 years. What an amazing opportunity we have been given when we were least expecting any good to come out of this pandemic. We have been continuing with monthly online meetings and trying to keep our focus on lettering. Some has been quite experimental but we always try to have a lettering aspect to what we do and share. In JANUARY, 2021, we looked at an alphabet designed by Alan Blackman. Remember him? The Jabberwocky Man? I took a workshop with Alan in 1986 at the calligraphy symposium in Calgary. A very talented artist, remember his Letters to Myself?
In FEBRUARY, we took a great idea from Cyndi and looked at sidewalk cracks in a completely different way. Do you see letters when you try and avoid stepping on a crack in the sidewalk? I never used to!
In MARCH, it was decided that a nice thing to offer members was a free workshop with Yukimi Annand, studying her Kilian letters. We were attempting to make up for all that we have lost through Covid. It was wonderful! But then any workshop with Yukimi is pretty special. In fact, it was such a great experience that we revisited it at our April meeting and formed two study groups to keep practicing! This is the homework gathered from one group, stay tuned for some from the other group!
In MAY, we decided to take a different approach and introduced everyone to a very interesting man and wonderful instructor, John Muir Laws. He focuses mainly on nature journaling and as so many of our members keep journals, this seemed like an interesting program to present. We watched a couple of his videos and assigned some homework – to produce a similar page to what he showed and use the prompts he posed: • Words • Numbers • Pictures • I notice… • I wonder… • It reminds me of… “There is no excuse to be bored on this planet. All you have to do is learn to pay attention to the world around you and these mysteries come out and they dance with you!” Check him out on You Tube! he has so much to offer on the subject of nature journalling and as we saw with Cyndi's homework, the same approach can be taken when you are looking at letters. “Do your thinking on paper!”
In JUNE, Cyndi led us through a paper weaving adventure. It always amazes me when she finds one idea but her brain doesn’t stop there, off it goes much further than the original project, into something incredible. We also saw some work from one of the recent online workshops that included stencil making, embossing and using the stencil made with mylar / acetate and a sponge roller loaded with different colours of acrylic paint. Suffice it to say that Cyndi's paper weaving was the hit! Many worked along with her as she showed us each step. The technique is sure to show up in future examples from members and possibly even shared with lucky friends. Who knew we needed to save those spent gift cards for a future tool or two! Thank you Cyndi! a great program for our last meeting before the summer break.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

 More cards! 


Friday, December 11, 2020

 The mail lady remarked today that she wished she received as many cards as I do!




That's it for today! Check back as I will add the members' cards as they are received this 

Holiday Season.


 Season's Greetings from Alphabeas!




Susan Lee


Stay tuned for more! Mail delivery is around noon here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Season's Greetings from Alphabeas members!

More to come as the mail delivers them...





Kathleen & Trevor



Pat, a selection of her handmade cards.







 A 2020 RECAP!

Our January meeting was cancelled to ensure the safety of all of our members. While the main roads were clear, side roads in our area were still icy and who wants to take that chance?!

February was our last 'normal' meeting. Using Stonehenge paper, we were looking to eventually construct a book structure with our pages of mark making. Examples were taken from previous classes some of us have taken with Yukimi Annand and also from the works of Denise Lach. 

Shortly after many members were able to enjoy the annual retreat to Yellow Point Lodge with the Fairbank Calligraphy Society, then Covid-19 problems began...

Not active together but we have been busy behind the scenes, all the while hoping we can get back to meeting in the not tooooo distant future!  Roll out those vaccines!

We started in March, giving suggestions for members to stay with lettering practice and different things to try. We had hoped to have gathered all the examples of work in a virtual newsletter but serious health issues got in the way of that for now. We wish our newsletter editor’s husband well and a speedy recovery and know that when life is back to normal, we will be able to see it all in full colour!

March was a chance to look at the Macclesfield Alphabet – do you own the book? Interesting drawn letters and members received one to work with.


April was a look at Greek Uncial. We were to look it up on the internet, choose a style (there seemed to be several) to work with and letter one of the suggested quotes. Remembering, when studying a ‘new’ hand to think of Edward Johnston’s analysis points:

1.       Angle of the pen

2.       Weight of the pen strokes in relation to the height of the letter

3.       The form and structure of the letters

4.       The number of strokes in the letter

5.       The order of the strokes used to make the letter

6.       The direction of the pen strokes

7.       The speed at which it was written


May suggestions were to design a monogram for Mother’s Day and/or to try our hand at dyeing paper using tea bags.


June  On your favourite 4”X4” square of paper, write your favourite short quote, using your favourite lettering style, your favourite tool with your favourite colour combination to participate in a ‘favourites quilt’ for the newsletter.

July  Sherry put together a fun packet pf pointed pen exercises. It was to aid in familiarizing members with pointed pen work.

September  Nan had been going to present her alphabet that she learned in a class several years ago with Jean Formo. It is a lower case, drawn alphabet – a challenge! The letters can be:

tall and skinny            short and wide             have a rounded look          

 or         have a squared shape

Consistency is the key!!

October  was a mail out challenge….. hoping we will see the results in the newsletter…..

November   Nan, again, had prepared an exemplar of funky, no pen lift letters.

 Which brings us to December and our first Zoom meeting! And the sharing of our Christmas cards which we usually exchange at our luncheon. Looking forward to Saturday!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

JUNE 2019


An interesting thing to do is to take a sheet of black paper (we used a variety of papers, including Artagain, AstroBright, Michael's cardstock and a sheet from an old photo album) and try everything in your studio that might write on black paper. It made for an interesting meeting to try all the different paints, pens and inks plus different brands of coloured pencils.

Happy Summer! and safe travels! Our next big adventure is the Rendez-Vous International Calligraphy Conference in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Hope to see you there!