Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Our program in October was practicing tiny writing. The easiest way to do this is to download printable graph paper from one of the many sites on google where you can create graph paper to as many squares per inch or as few squares as you want. We were working with several sizes, 6 squares to the inch, 8, 10 and 12 plus a liner sheet with the lines slanted at approximately 5 degrees.  We were practicing a simple, monoline italic, lower case alphabet.  My practice sheet was inspired by a recent trip to the UK and more importantly, to Scotland.

So, have you designed your Christmas card yet?! calligraphers always have it in the back of their mind and on their "to do" list starting late summer, don't they?

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Once again, our program was cancelled at the last minute. We were a bit better prepared this time but it still makes it very difficult for a few when it happens.

Several of us had just attended a five day workshop in Saanich with Georgia Angelopoulos, studying William Morris. We worked, for the most part, on two inch squares and loved it! It seemed like a good idea to show the few members in attendance some of what we did with Georgia.

I was at the airport checking in for my flight to LHR while all this was happening so I am only able to share one of my pages from the workshop.

If you get a chance to study with Georgia, please do! you will be glad you did! We had a wonderful time in Saanich. It was a perfect summer workshop. 

JULY study meeting

We have found that full day study sessions are both popular and advantageous. In July many members met to work with graphite techniques in preparation for a workshop in November with Amity Erwin Parks. It was a good opportunity to introduce those members who have not worked in pencil very much to just what a pencil can do.  A very useful tool. I took a class from Peter Thornton at the Island Magic Conference in 2007. The first part of the class was working in pencil. We were supposed to graduate up to using pen and ink but the majority of students vetoed that! We were having way too much fun working in pencil. The lowly pencil has not lost its charm for me yet! Stay tuned for some amazing work that will come out of the workshop with Amity at the end of November.

June 2015 meeting

GAMSOL or odorless mineral spirits were brought to our attention by Patricia's sister-in-law. Used over top of coloured pencil work, it melts the wax base and leaved the work resembling watercolour. Although, even with the odor removed, these products are still toxic, so members were cautioned to dab their q-tip with the liquid and then return the cap to their bottles.

I decided to take this a step further and tried it with all the different kinds of coloured pencils I had at the time..........

Obviously, I have to come up with at least three more kinds if I am to do this sort of thing again! Something else to try would be different papers with the different brands of coloured pencil.

MAY 2015

We were lucky enough to have our member from Regina at our meeting. Kay offered to show us a card making technique that others had asked about when they saw a card created for Fay. Using a Big Shot machine (embosses using templates), card stock and tin foil, decorated with alcohol inks.

Here is my attempt........

C O L O U R   F I E L D S

Our program for April was to revisit something taught to us years ago by one of our founding members, Diana Haines. Diana had studied at West Dean College several times and learned the
technique from Martin Wenham. Another instructor she enjoyed taking classes from was Nancy Ouchida Howells and I have long admired the piece shown below of Nancy's.

It was decided that members might want to spend a bit of time to come up with their rendition of this exercise and it was assigned for Galleria at the October meeting. Here's a sneak preview of my interpretation of colour fields.

APRIL meeting

Our program instructor was unable to present the planned technique in April. We did not have an alternate program planned. Having experienced this twice this year, we are better prepared now!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March - Rotunda Gothic

One of our members had expressed interest in different Gothic lettering styles. Having taken a class many years ago from Vancouver instructor Irene Alexander, I offered to show the group one of the styles we had learned, ROTUNDA. 

Rotunda is one of the formal gothic scripts practiced in Italy, Spain and Southern France in the 13th - 16th centuries. It is far rounder than the gothic in Northern Europe and Britain. It has shorter ascenders and descenders, small interlinear spacing, many joins and few serifs.

We studied the lettering from an original leaf (probably block printed) from:
                "ANTIPHOARIU hmnorem sancte Romane ecclesie copletu
                Impressum Venetijs cu priuilegio...    Md iij  (Venice 1503)"

February - Making a Woven Book

One of our members, Jo, visited us from her home away from home on the Island to lead us through creating a small book.

The book may be small but that doesn't mean small in effort and steps! The supply list alone was daunting but Jo had kits available for anyone who didn't want to cut 56 - ¼" strips of paper!

For the first hour or so we wove the paper strips to make different patterns. This was the most difficult part of the project. You have to make sure your weaving is tight.

We used proper mill board for our covers, Arches text wove for the text block, book cloth for the spine and only cheated by using double sided tape.

It was an entertaining afternoon! Thanks Jo!
January - Having a look at Yukimi Annand's class in Victoria

One of the few times our meeting program has not been hands on!!

We spent some time enjoying examples of work from a recent workshop in Victoria that several of our members  attended.  The workshop         "S E Q U E N C E " included several exercises using balsa wood and sumi ink.

December - Christmas Luncheon and Card Exchange

In December many members enjoyed our annual Christmas Luncheon & Gift and Card Exchange. As with any gathering of calligraphers, we indulged in some wonderful, delicious fare, enjoyed fine company and received some amazing cards and gifts. We tried a new location this year and thank Cyndi very much for everything she did to make us comfortable in the Common Room at her complex. Same time next year?!

November 2014 - Getting into the Christmas Spirit

We were all delightfully surprised with the wonderful kits we were given filled with papers of red and white, some embossed, some printed, others plain. There were tags made from card stock, watercolour paper and bond paper. There were cut outs, and an array of ephemera to use. There were samples to use as guides. The supply list said to bring glue, glue dots, Christmas papers, ribbon and
I M A G I N A T I O N!! 

One of the folded paper techniques that Cyndi demonstrated was a Christmas tree. She used dictionary pages for the samples and many embellished their trees by adding trim or sparkly elements while others incorporated a 2nd layer of coloured or contrast or complimentary paper to make it 'their own'. 

Everyone had a wonderful day, lots of Christmas cheer and goodwill in the room!

Here is the folding instruction page for the trees:

Thank you to Violet for her newsletter article and the instructions! And Thank You to Cyndi and Val for their fun program!
October 2014  - Coloured Pencil Techniques
There are so many different kinds of coloured pencils out there and so many techniques for each type! We explored using both watercolour pencils and regular ones such as Prismacolour. We blended them, we polished some and generally played to see just what we could do with them. There were lots of brands to try..Derwent, Inkstense, Caran d'Ache, Faber Castell, Prismacolour - Verithin and so many more!