Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Hand Lettering for Everyone: a creative workbook

I've always been a sucker for a good creative book and this lovely piece by Cristina Vanko is no exception. Behold - Hand-lettering for Everyone!:

Heck - even the cover art has me sold. Could you imagine being able to make your own beautiful letters and sayings with your own two hands (well more likely with one hand since very few of us are ambidextrous)? I certainly have high pen pal aspirations for myself and although the extent of my hand lettering at the moment is attempting to print legibly I have been dabbling with more exaggerated handwriting that I stitch up with my embroidery hoops and it is all sorts of fun.  Why not take that lettering to a new level and take a peek at a whole publication dedicated to helping you hone your own pen written style?    

I really like how the pages in this book flow and (as you may know about me and my themed book reviews) I do enjoy a creative workbook.  Cristina starts off this book with the basics and moves over to more sketchbook journal type exercises - all with interesting fonts and images to draw you in, just look at that contents page:

I really enjoy the contrast and use of black and white that helps the beautiful hand written text pop and stand out for its form.  How gorgeous does this round and loop-y page look?

I may be bias for that tea reference - but you can decide what you think for yourself.

Throughout my self-taught designing years I have picked up quite a bit about the history and fundamentals of print and font but it's nice to see it all spelled out for you without being too dry or repetitive. 

I especially enjoy how the author takes each element of lettering styles and shows you how to change up little details to make your own personal font style - like she does here with the serif's:

She even throws in loads of examples and interesting facts to keep you going:

According to this I am an open, visionary, relaxed and artistic type! Oh my! Flattery clearly makes me like this book even more. Haha.

Throw all the information together and in no time you'll be lettering like the best of them!

I totally want to start using these creative techniques and inspirations in my embroidery work and will be sure to keep you posted if I come up with anything amazing (here's hoping anyways).

So my verdict? This book rocks.  It covers enough background and factual information to give you a good design basis and leads you through loads of exercises to stretch your creative bones. Good on you Cristina Vanko! 

So what about you? Do you have your own hand-lettering style? Ready to dabble into more creative font making? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

16mm glass tile love

For the first time in what seems like decades - I got bored.  How is it remotely possible that someone who is usually bursting with creativity and aspirations lands up with boredom? Illness - that's how.  I'm not sure why my immune system decided to give up on me but for the last week and a bit I came down with one heck of a cold/flu/infection which left me completely useless.  All I seemed to be able to manage was laying in bed (but not actually sleeping) and feeling beyond frustrated with my inability to do anything remotely productive.  I spent all my time focusing on being able to breathe and searching for tissues. Ugh.

Well I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the sickness tunnel and although the stomach virus seems to be still tormenting me with being super nauseated with some nice spouts of laying on my bathroom floor - I can almost breathe from my nose now which I call major progress! Aha! I'm also furiously daydreaming up crafty ideas to work on once I am useful again and decided I should write a blog post and share! What a concept! I think is also what is known as "procrastination" since instead of actually doing something - I am writing about doing something instead. Masterful I know. 

As you may recall (if you follow me on social media) - I've been having loads of fun dabbling in the world of glass tile jewelry.  I expended my glass tile necklace selection to include new sterling silver vintage images of mammals (and kittens and pulp science fiction) as well as came up with a bunch of 8mm and 12mm glass tile earrings! Such fun!  I even recently made 200 new 16mm glass tile rings to take to my last craft show and loved all the patterns, colours and images I got to use. Take a peek:

So what is next on my glass tile obsession? Why magnets and wine charms of course!  Just what the doctor ordered! So I hit the internet to order up some more supplies (probably one of my favourite seemingly productive (but not really) things to do) and am not stocked with materials to make my crafty dreams come true! Now come in your help (pretty please)! What sort of sets do you think I should make? If you were to pick put a magnet or wine charm set what would you want it to look like? Washi tape patterns? Vintage kittens? Anthropomorphic kate drawings? Sure a giant selection is great for an actual craft booth but it doesn't transfer to online sales very easily and since I'd love these to be added to my Etsy inventory I need a little direction. What do you think?