Snack Time

French breakfast radishes. My favorite...
...well, second to the radishes that my niece grew in her garden and picked just for me the last time I visited.



Hmmm. I look at my last post (so many months ago) and see that of my to-do list items I have accomplished:

travel! (it was epic. more to come later.)

reading...though i keep re-reading books i love. i need to venture into some new ones. i've started a couple of new ones...just not finished any yet.

writing...a bit. more of that will come with my travelogue...

calligraphy...a bit. more of that will come with the pretties i bought on my travels (see below!)

photos...see travels, again! (more to come later.)

painting...see the pretties below. (more to come later.)

(you'll notice studying is not on my list of accomplishments. ummm...travel planning took precedence.)

(pretty things from Paris)



i think i am going to make "summer resolutions" since i didn't really have a resolution for the new year. what shall i do?

write (write-write)
write (calligraphy)
write (letters)
read (the eight thousand books i want to read and the four thousand i've started and stopped mid-way through)
travel (all of the above would be facilitated by a nice trip, yes?)

study for my AREs

ah summer. 
last day of class is april 29.


good end to a mediocre day

saturated sunset
yellow moon 
orange blossoms on the air


Learning to Write - Copperplate

I took my first calligraphy class last fall -- Italic Handwriting -- after joining the local Calligraphy Guild (as a total amateur). I met some incredibly talented artists, and even better, some very cool people. The handwriting class was fantastic but challenging. I do not have the most consistent hand, so a great amount of focus (more than I am capable of really) was required. And I am a lefty, so just figuring how to hold the pen was a battle in itself...  But I love a good challenge and I'll keep up with it.

This spring (or early summer, if you are going by the weather here) I took a Copperplate class. This is a different pen altogether -- a pointed pen in an oblique holder, rather than a broad edge nib in a fountain pen. So it was a whole ball game, figuring out how to hold this pen (only lefty in the class!), figuring out to get the right amount of ink to come out, how to control the thickness of the stroke. But with all these challenges I look forward to continuing to practice -- I have much to learn and hope to have some beautiful things to show you here!

Below are a couple of bits from my Copperplate class:
(the "love" design at the bottom was modeled after an example from my instructor; the monogram KAB was my own design; the rest is mean learning how to write!)


Calligraphy! ...almost...

I have, in the last month or so, joined our local calligraphy guild and signed up for a calligraphy class. Backwards, maybe (though I think I am not the only not-yet-calligrapher in the guild)...but it's a great group of people who do fun things with calligraphy and other skills and crafts. I am hoping that I may be able to incorporate some newly learned techniques into my Christmas cards this year. But I have yet to even pick up a pen - that is this coming week's class, I believe.

At the first guild meeting I attended we made paste paper, and then this month we used this paper to make books! A four-needle book binding stitch sounds very complicated, yes? It is, in fact, quite doable! Mine was not the most precisely stitched, but I love this technique. We also made books in our first calligraphy class, to use as notebooks throughout the course. I am excited to pick up the pen next week!

Here's my first paste-paper-four-needle book:


Flowering Florida Fall

For the Smithsonian's annual Free Museum Day we headed down to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey.  My parents had taken us to visit when we were small, but all that my siblings and I recall of that venture is that we made butter in baby food jars! 

No butter this time, but it was really such a lovely, if muggy, day. The site is beautiful. Florida terrain can be a little monotonous...a little green-on-green. But, lo-and-behold, there is color to be found! There were so many amazing flowers. As many mangroves as I've seen in my life, I don't think I've ever seen the bud before, or the very beginning of the seed pod. 

Here is a small sampling of the palette of colors buried in the Florida greenery: