2014-2015 Once Wed Preferred Vendor

I am so honored, humbled, and just plain giddy to say that Leen Machine is now a part of the Once Wed family as a 2014-2015 Preferred Vendor! With a love for simplicity and lots of white space, I love the aesthetic and feel of Once Wed and I can't help but swoon every time I land on their pages. 

Back in May when I switched my business from stationery to calligraphy, never could I have imagined that I would be working with several brides to be, teaching calligraphy classes or even create (and sell out) calligraphy kits!

What a wonderful, unexpected ride the past 7 months has been! I can only imagine what's in store for 2015. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your support, love and encouragement - I couldn't do what I do without you!

Make sure out my page on Once Wed and let me know what you think! 

Cottage Hill Journal Feature

The Spanish themed, El Cena en el Patio dinner I had the pleasure of working on with Lauren Carnes Photography and Cote Designs is featured on Cottage Hill Journal today! 

I loved seeing Lauren's ideas brought to life and I couldn't agree more with her sentiment of Marriage truly begins in 'doing life' together. 

See more of this beautiful and vibrant Spanish dinner at Cottage Hill Journal.

 

Photography: Lauren Carnes Photography Styling: Cote Designs Calligraphy: Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design

Calligrapher Profile: Jordan Slice

In the past few weeks, I've been featuring some of my previous students who I've been blessed to share the art of modern calligraphy. They've shared a little bit about themselves, and what their advice is for those just picking up the pointed pen for the first time.

 

Jordan made me laugh so hard in class when she Instragrammed a photo with a caption of  "Y'all! I just calligraphied my initials (& made calligraphy a verb)" Seriously one of the best reactions of excitement I've heard when learning calligraphy. I'm so thrilled to watch her grow and even try new things, like writing on textured paper!

 

Tells us a little about you. My name is Jordan. I work full-time as a Research Specialist at a local school district - meaning: I generally spend lots of time staring at a computer screen. To balance out my fierce need to create, I spend my time away from the office crafting - mostly sewing (my favorite!) and making jewelry for my handmade business - resliced. I'm also a big fan of running (as a way to justify the pizza & cupcakes I love so much), rescuing black dogs (but I'm at my limit with 3!) and blogging about all the things I love (and the occasional DIY) at resliced by Jordan

 

What made you interested in learning calligraphy? I have been watching the fancy envelope pictures float around Pinterest and had tried [unsuccessfully] to copy them several times. I absolutely love sending snail mail. I wanted to spruce up the exterior of the cards I send because I selfishly wanted the whole experience of receiving a card from me to be fabulous from the moment they saw it all the way through my concluding salutation (and as a way to distract them from the fact that there was no money inside). I realize that receiving something other than bills in your mailbox is nice, but finding something fancy in your mailbox is even better!


What is your advice for those picking up the pointed pen for the first time? Don't be afraid to use your pencil! After I took Paulene's Modern Calligraphy class, I went home and immediately felt like I'd digressed. I started lightly drawing lines on my envelopes before I started with the ink and that really helped me focus on alignment. Sometimes I even outline the text I plan to write so that I can make sure it fits appropriately and looks how I'd envisioned. Another tip: avoid comparing yourself to others! When I find a new craft I want to pursue, I dive head first into researching everything about it (I've already admitted I'm a researcher by trade so no surprise, huh?!). With calligraphy, I quickly found a billion absolutely stunning blogs. They were beautiful, but they caused me to quickly spiral into a cloud of self-doubt. At this point, I've kind of given up following a specific style (because I'm a perfectionist and following a strict style always stresses me out). I'm no professional [that's for sure!], but I'm starting to embrace my style!


What's something with calligraphy you've tried that's become your favorite? Something like color combo, Nib, Ink, etc? The best thing I've tried so far was testing out The Postman Knock's "5 Unique Ways to Address an Envelope". The Lawrence style is my favorite - I loved wrapping the names in calligraphy around the address on the envelope. I used the bottom and top of a cup to draw the circles (because I didn't feel like digging the ribbon wheels out from my holiday stash!) and it worked perfect. I also like The Margaret style - it was kind of fun writing the address backwards!  

Calligrapher Profile: Anne Wearn

In the next coming weeks, I will be featuring some of my previous students who I've been blessed to share the art of modern calligraphy. They'll share a little bit about themselves, and what their advice is for those just picking up the pointed pen for the first time.

 

The gold ink I let my students try in class is not very beginner friendly. I still remember Anne being one that just kept trying to work with gold ink. I even remember her saying that the gold is worth the hassle. I am so proud of how far she's come and love her fun attitude towards calligraphy. Anne provided so much great, beginner information below - enjoy!

 

Tells us a little about you. My name is Anne and I work at a bank by day and am in school at night. I grew up in Charlotte and moved to Greenville for college and never left! I love sending mail, baking WAY TOO MANY desserts, and I am an EPIC FAILURE at crafting (Pinterest fail is a normal outcome for me). I want to be one of those crafty people - but its not in the cards!


What made you interested in learning calligraphy? I love sending mail and calligraphy on envelopes is AMAZING! I have wanted to learn for a while and I finally decided to take the plunge - I figured I should give it a shot and I fell in love with it! It's a great way to unwind at the end of a long day and now my envelopes look so fancy! I know I have a ton of work to get them looking perfect but I am enjoying the practice! Best part - my lack of craftiness is not a problem!! I feel like I make mistakes all the time - but its never a failure! I am so glad that I stumbled on Paulene's instagram page and found out about the classes - Calligraphy has been so much fun! 


What is your advice for those picking up the pointed pen for the first time? Be patient!! Progress feels really slow - but it's very helpful to keep older practice to look back at. On days that I am getting frustrated it's so nice to look back at the first attempts at the letters and appreciate how far I have come. It's so hard to remember to slow down - my letters look so much better when I really take my time. Go slow - it's really worth it! Experiment with different nibs - I really hate some and love others and everyone has an opinion on them. Good thing they are not too expensive - it's quickly becoming an addiction! Paper & Ink Arts has become a go to shopping website….my cart seems to fill itself up! 


What's something with calligraphy you've tried that's become your favorite? Something like color combo, Nib, Ink, etc? GOLD INK!!!! Even the biggest mistakes and ink blots look nicer in gold! It's my favorite and I find that I reach for it every time! I am trying to work more with black ink - but its hard to cheat on the gold! I have also found that good paper is helpful - it does not have to be super expensive but the cheapest copy paper was not so great for me. I went for the slightly nicer printer paper (it's still only around $17 for 500 sheets - not too bad!) and it has really made a difference. I am also loving the G nibs (nikko and zebra specifically). I tend to press really hard on the page and they are a bit more forgiving than others. It has also been fun to "customize" my alphabet - I'm still experimenting with different styles for each letter. 
 

  

Calligraphy Starter Kits now available!

I cannot believe that the day is here - the Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit for the Absolute Beginner is now available!

These kits have truly been a labor of love and I am so excited to be able to continue to share with others the art of calligraphy.

You can find out more about the starter kit here.

And if you haven't, make sure to check out the calligrapher profiles of my previous students and their advice to those picking up the pointed pen for the first time.