Before moving, I’d been trying to figure out a way to get myself to D.C. to take a calligraphy class with Michelle Hatty Fritz from Meant to Be Calligraphy. I even toyed with the idea of scheduling a private class in Brooklyn if I could get enough people to make it worth Michelle’s time. As lovely as that would have been, I’m glad I didn’t cross this goal off before moving.
Instead, I was able to take Calligraphy in the 21st Century with Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls at Makeshift Society.
The class started out with each student getting their very own pen and ink holder (made by Maybelle’s husband) with our name beautifully written by Maybelle. Don’t you want to keep that on your desk and write letters all the time? Next, Maybelle walked us through using the pen, which has a split nib, and how to form each of the letters. Then it was time to get started.
Looks just like handwriting paper from grade school but with a slant, doesn’t it? We kept a clean practice sheet and wrote on vellum on top of the lined paper.
Here’s my first page of practicing capital letters. It looks better from a distance, believe me! It was much harder than I expected to get the variation on thick and thin strokes on each letter. Plus, you’ll occasionally run out of ink while in the middle of a character. There’s no saving the letter when that happens.
I ended up being pretty happy with my Es and Gs. The tragedy of the night was that I couldn’t write a good K to save my life. Thankfully, there was a second session.
Once I practiced the second half of the alphabet during session two, I went back and started from the beginning writing a line of each letter in both upper and lowercase. I still need some work on those Ks, but at least I’ve gotten the basics down. I just won’t be addressing wedding envelopes as a side gig anytime soon.
If you ever get the chance to take one of Maybelle’s classes, I highly recommend doing so. Rumor has it that she’ll be making the occasional appearance at Makeshift Society Brooklyn when it opens next year. Get on that mailing list now!
I’m completely guilty of buying books just for their covers. I’m a devoted follower of Coralie Bickford-Smith (I own 14 editions and counting), and I’m working toward collecting and displaying these editions of Oliver Sacks. So, Recovering the Classics is right up my alley.
The site, which is part of The Creative Action Network, allows graphic designers to post designs for public domain books. Then consumers can buy prints or actual paperbacks with those covers. Each book is printed to order so the site doesn’t have to worry about losing money on unsold inventory. It’s pretty genius. Here are a few of my favorites:
Dracula by Bram Stoker | cover design by Steve St. Pierre
Moby Dick by Herman Melville | cover design by Fernando Horta
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad | cover design by Sophia Ahamed
For more book-inspired art check out Obvious State on Etsy.
At the beginning of the summer I moved across the country. For that reason I’ve been slow in both crossing items of my list and in blogging about the ones I’ve completed. It also threw a wrench in a few of the goals on my list that are contingent upon me living in New York. I’ve still got several months to make complete my list, but I might have to make some updates to the more New York-centric ones.
Luckily, things worked out so that I was able to cross off this goal this fall. I knew after I moved that I was going to need to go back to New York before the end of the year. It’s hard to leave a place that feels like home without the knowledge that you’ll be going back, so I planned an October trip to see friends fairly early on. (October in New York is the best, it’s my favorite month.) Once I knew the dates, I had the brainstorm to see if we could book the sailboat tour. I wanted something that was more personal than corporate, so I booked through SideTour. We went on this tour with Walter Masterson, and I cannot recommend it enough.
I’m lucky enough that I have five amazing friends who indulged me and came along for the ride. Thank you Alicia, Allison Amber, Amy, and Kate—it wouldn’t have been the same without you. I think we all got a whole new view of the city, and fell in love with it even more.
(photos by the lovely Amy Feezor of M-Dashing)
I love this combination of beauty and functionality from west elm market. This simple white bakeware comes with a custom fit cork sleeve which eliminates the need for trivets at your dinner table. It’s one of those products that makes you wonder why no one has thought of it before. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving (and running short on bakeware) this would be a smart buy.
to buy: Cork Bakeware $49–$59 at westelm.com
On Saturday, I had a baking date with my favorite yellow-obsessed friend, Emily. We’ve been talking about making Meyer lemon macarons since we found this recipe via Pinterest ages ago. So over the weekend we finally did it! It went…okay.
While this was neither my most or least successful baking project—I make a mean brownie and I totally messed up a bundt cake recently, I did learn a lot from this experience. And when Emily and I try again next month, we’ll hopefully have better success.
Here are a few things I learned and will try next time:
1. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. I have a gorgeous sifter—time to use it.
2. Double check that you have all the ingredients AND supplies before starting. We had some downtime post making the batter while Emily’s boyfriend was kind enough to go pick up parchment paper for us. I think that affected the batter.
3. Dyeing sugar with gel food coloring is a bit ridiculous, but it does make for pretty macarons. (See the photo below.)
4. Swiss meringue buttercream is delicious and easy to make. I should make it more often than I do.
5. I need to watch some youtube videos on piping techniques before we try this again. I was TERRIBLE. Anyone have suggestions?
We might have only gotten seven edible cookies and four somewhat photogenic cookies out of this batch, but they were tasty, we learned a lot, and we both were in character with our yellow shoes.