Capitol Romance Giveaway! Sea Heart City Press stationery for wedding attendants

Capitol Romance is hosting a giveaway for a lucky bride or groom to win up to 10 sets of custom stationery from yours truly, Sea Heart City Press.

All the details and entry form for the giveaway are here:

for blog


A quote for Maggie Paine, LLC

You might think my work inspires my clients, but it is quite the other way around. Everyone I have met through calligraphy has inspired me with their projects, party ideas, beautiful invites, and creativity.

One of my favorite clients has just launched a new business of her own, Maggie Paine LLC. Maggie is a fabulous person with amazing style and I encourage you to check her out and get fashion and lifestyle tips from an expert.  Just being around her makes you feel good!

Last year, Maggie trusted me to write her wedding envelopes. She continues to encourage my work by commissioning quotes every now and then. When I learned this quote was to decorate the new office of Maggie Paine Image Consulting, I felt honored and delighted. This piece deserves to be read and re-read… for all of us who are working towards finding a turning point in our own journeys:

A turning point comes.
I cannot tell you
where or when, for
each of our lives is
set to its own rhythm,
but none moves
without change, that
hinge of the heart
where all that came
before shifts to a new
beginning. When it
comes you will know
it. You will feel the
presence of God call
you to turn, to turn to
new horizons. Be
ready. A turning
point comes, when
vision is embodied,
when faith becomes
a choice, when what
you do turns to who
you will be.

With permission
Hope As Old As Fire
by Steven Charleston
2012, Page 96
Red Moon Publications
Oklahoma City, OK


Sea Heart City Press

It. Has. Begun.

Last weekend, Sea Heart City Press printed its first job! Coasters for my cousin Dale. But let me back up and explain this progression….

Picking a press name—Not an easy task. With so many creative press names out there already, I wanted something personal. With help from my family (and inspiration from literally reading through every name on the Briar Press registry), I created Sea Heart City Press. Translation: I am a beach kid who loves the city. I respect the ocean and believe salt water heals everything. After breathing sea air for 20 years, I started to call some of the greatest cities in the world home… from Madrid, to New York City, to London and now DC. Cities make it easy to disappear beneath steel, marble and concrete. I see the city lights sparkling out my window each night and can’t help but picture the moon shining brightly over the sea. Sea Heart City because my heart is stuck between the city and the sea.

But! Mulling over names held up my printing for a bit…. Can’t print a card without a name on the back! Then eventually while I was obsessing over fonts online, I found the font The Skinny. The graphic designer and artist behind the font has allowed me to use it for my press name insignia on the back of each of my cards. Slowly I started drawing my card ideas, scanned them, and then got the push I needed from my brother, graphic designer and owner of Scott Fisher Designs, to order my first round of plates.

The rest is history and this is the first inked print off of my Kelsey 6 X 10 since it has been in my possession.

Sea Heart City Press

Thank goodness I had such patient and wise instruction at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center from Grey Moggie press… Things were not lining up in the beginning. With careful padding and creative use of masking tape, I was able to calibrate my press. Of course I took things too far and pressed 300 coasters (back and front, so 600 times)…. Once I got going, I could not stop! Believe me; the swollen palms were totally worth it.


A Blessing for my Niece

I’ll always remember the phone call—my brother-in-law and sister-in-law telling us they were expecting their first baby! Our whole family is waiting for baby Eleanor Eisley Akery to arrive. In the meantime, my super talented sister-in-law Natasha asked me to write out the original blessing she created.  I love how her words are like a warm hug for her daughter.  I am so honored to know my handwriting will be one of the things surrounding little Ellie in her room!ellieakeborder

You can check out Natasha’s beautiful stories on the One for One Thousand Blog. One talented mom-to-be, someone I love and admire.

I used Speedball Calligraphy ink in Indigo Blue because Ellie’s room is a mix of blues, greens, and browns, and wrote on Canson watercolor paper because it is acid free, and nice and thick for framing.


My Friend’s Farm Wedding

In June, I worked on the invite design and calligraphy for my friend Beth’s wedding. I was so nervous/glad to be nudged to create the invitation—It forced me to practice using the design software I have been teaching myself. (This will help me with designing plates for my press!)

But back to Beth’s wedding invites. Her sweet romance will be celebrated this summer at a beautiful farm estate. I wanted to reflect the lightness and sunniness of Beth and the farm in the invitations. Yellow, white, blue, and green… Flowers, a wedding dress, sky, and grass… Thoughts of Beth casually looking perfect in her white dress in the sun surrounded by people eating and laughing… I was hoping to reflect some of the images flickering through my mind in the invite. I drew some wild flowers using color pencil on water color paper, scanned the design and was able to add it to the text in my bitmap file.

The A7 invite ended up portrait style, I used the 100% cotton bright white savoy flat cards from Paper Source. Sunshine envelopes were the perfect compliment to the yellow accents in the flowers I drew, and Beth chose green ink for the calligraphy. Luckily, my color printer was up to the task (who knew—I don’t think I had ever bought a color ink cartridge for it before!)

Calligraphy Samples3 I was really proud of how it all turned out– Then, I got my own invite in the mail and the project came full circle. I hope the other wedding guests are keeping their invites on their fridges, anticipating the happy occasion later this summer, as I am!

Custom Ink Mix

Last week I worked on a wedding for a beautiful couple in VA. Mixing ink to find a pretty good match to the gold already expertly printed return addresses was fun and filled with trial and error. A couple trips to Utrecht later and the gold and bronze that made no sense on their own, worked perfectly together!

Ink Mix