Privacy, Please!

ImageFor a honeymoon-themed bridal shower, I created this custom ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign complete with Hawaiian flowers for the newlywed’s Hawaiian Honeymoon.  On the back, the couple’s first names and the wedding date turn the gift into a keepsake.  Made of heavy card stock, it features a thin satin ribbon which can tie around any style door knob.

This year, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. What a cute gift this could have been…I guess I will just have to make one for myself 🙂

Maybe you know a happy couple who could use one of these.  Or maybe you would like one for yourself.  After all, who doesn’t need a little private time away from the hustle and bustle?

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A Unique Birthday Gift

Every teacher was once a student.  Maybe you or someone you know studied music, or dance, or art with a great teacher.  Who might be in your lineage?

Recently, I received a phone call from a client who needed a calligrapher to write out his wife’s ‘Painting Lineage’ for a special birthday surprise.  We discussed many ideas and finally settled on this one.

I chose the script and the paper based on their ‘Old World’ look, and used gouache for its permanence and acid-free qualities.  The paint brushes under each name are all different and were such fun to do.  Since my bread-and-butter work is lettering words, projects like these are a delightful departure for me, and a wonderful outlet for my creative spirit.  The photographs of this project were taken immediately after finishing, while it was still on my light box.   Now if I could just find some time to study photography….

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A tree grows in…a book?

When the Orangetown Jewish Center wanted to celebrate those families with multiple generations of members currently in the congregation, they decided to create a special book to honor them.  They purchased a big, thick, beautiful leather bound book with blank deckled-edge pages.  It was the perfect book for such an honored group.  But how to write in it?  Who could write in it?

Referred by a local store, they called on me to help them finish what they had begun.

The first pages were to include a letter from the Rabbi, and a hand drawn and lettered copy of the two  plaques on the front of the book.  The following pages were reserved for all the family trees.  The design had to allow for updates to each family tree, as needed.

The idea was that each page of the book was to show the lineage of one family, beginning with the first generation and proceeding on down to the last.  Room had to be left for new members to be added later.

Rather than just listing the names with lines drawn in between, I came up with a branch-and-leaf tree design that could be adapted for the size of each family.  For a smaller family, the page looked like this,

and for a larger one, like this.  Each of the 37 family trees was done by hand, one leaf at a time.  Gouache was used for its versatility, opacity, and acid free qualities.  Classic Copperplate calligraphy was a natural choice for such a classy and enduring project.  The shades of brown and green I chose were carefully matched to the cover and the lining of the book.

I considered it an honor to work with the OJC on such an important project.

This newly planted ‘Family Tree’ is firmly rooted and ready to grow!

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Ring My Bell

We installed an old fashioned twist bell on our front door, that I just love.  My kids love it too…sometimes too much, if you know what I mean.  Amazingly, you can hear it’s clear Brrring! from anywhere in the house.  Visitors frequently comment that they enjoy twisting the pretty handle and hearing the bell’s playful ring.

Anyway, some visitors to my home were befuddled when they couldn’t find a ‘regular’ doorbell, so I hand lettered this little sign to clear the confusion.  Green card stock, chosen to coordinate with my home’s color scheme, frames the elegant copperplate lettering.

For protection from dirt and moisture, I sandwiched the sign between sheets of clear contact paper.  For crystal clear, durable weather protection, laminating is definitely the way to go.

Maybe your entry needs a little explanation, too.  If so, please feel free to email me at CalligByMaria@gmail.com to discuss your project.

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Father’s Day

How true are those words!  The author is unkown, but what a wise individual…probably someone who experienced this phenomenon for himself!  What a great gift for the new Dad or Grandfather.

Celebrate the important father figures in your life, by giving them an original piece of calligraphy this Father’s Day.  This piece is signed with my initials and the year [1997] using a faint wash of ink.  You can barely see it just under the word ‘be’.

I have one of these in stock on parchment paper, with mat, as shown.  The stand is not included.  Pop it in an 8 by 10 frame, and you’ve got yourself a great Father’s Day gift.  If you would like to purchase this, please click on my Etsy shop link to the right of this post.

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A Note of Thanks

Saying ‘Thank you’ is a small gesture which can mean so much to the receiver. Taking a few minutes out of your day to tell someone how much you appreciate them will bring a smile not only to your reader’s face, but to your own as well.  A tangible, beautiful, and loving gift for a special someone.

Showcasing my original design, these ecru note cards are sold in sets of 8, with each one hand lettered by me and signed on the back.  I have one set of these in stock.  To purchase, you can click on the link in the Shop category.  You will then be directed to my Etsy Shop where you can purchase them.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

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Words from the Wise

I painted this sign for a beach house.  The customer had seen a similar sign with a different theme in a magazine.  Once the size, color and design was determined, my husband made the wooden sign, and I lettered the words and painted the starfish.  A clear acrylic finish keeps it safe from splashes and moisture.  Hanging over their kitchen sink, the friendly reminder drives the point home in a light-hearted way.  It always makes me smile.  How about you?

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