Monday, June 23, 2014

Sacred Mornings

I wanted you to peek at my morning ritual. I try to guard my solitude in the morning before officially beginning my day. The time with pen in hand outside is very healing and sacred to me.
My backyard is my haven. I am surrounded by the sounds of birds and squirrels. Still love the sound of the Carolina Wrens and the chickadees! They brighten every day. I work under a gazebo at the back of my yard. Today I am working on placecards for the IAMPETH closing banquet.
Each name is a welcome joy to letter.
To my right, I have a little table where Juliett the Jay visits and steals the peanuts I leave out for the chipmunk!
I counted 14 squirrels at the bird feeder and 9 starlings at the suet feeder. Peaceful sounds as I work on a joyful task.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Thankful Day

I have been up early this morning to work on place cards and catch up on correspondence. But my husband Chris was up even earlier and has already started his workday. Working quietly in my studio, I was struck with a thought about how intregal Chris is to my work. This past weekend he was on the road with me as I taught Italian Hand. He stayed for two days with our merchandise, politely answered questions about nibs and paper, adjusted penholders and visited with the calligraphers. They kept wondering if Chris was really a practitioner of the art form. He did try his hand at it but sadly, it was just not his idea of fun. Today as I wrote with a very special penholder that the two of us made together, I wanted to pause and be thankful for all that he has done to help me on this calligraphic journey.
Those of you who have been in my workshops, know that Chris started me on this journey by bringing me home a Scheaffer's calligraphy set and thinking that he had finally found me a cheap hobby! He hadn't counted on the fact that the calligraphic arts would capture me body and soul! Behind the scenes, although working full time as well as weekends on his masonry, he is building us a new website, working on new penstaffs, fulfilling and shipping penstaff orders, editing video content for my online lessons and keeping me sane as I prepare for IAMPETH. He is patient, and he is obliging as I seem to need his help with more and more projects. On the comical side of things, our lathe, which is very antiquated, can no longer slow down. It has one speed, overheats after one or two penstaffs and sounds a bit like a bulldozer! Despite those shortcomings, Chris is still out in the garage working on pen staffs! Thankfully a new lathe has been ordered and should arrive shortly! I wanted to share a look at some of Chris' work while being thankful and mindful of all that he does for the business of Heather Victoria Held.I am incredibly proud of the penstaffs he creates. I still turn a few of them, but most of the time he sets them aside for me to hand dye or inspect.
I couldn't do my work without him! He makes this journey through life so much fun.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Beauty of Italian Hand

Giving Special thanks for my dear friend Don Marsh today! Over the past 2 years, he has helped me with advice and insight as I prepared for a March workshop in Italian Hand. On March 1st, I soft launched this workshop to 22 participants from the Royal City Calligraphy Guild. The results were amazing as people who had not handled the pointed pen before became as intrigued as I am with this gorgeous hand.
This morning, Cocker, Snell, Clark, Bickham and Becker are on a road trip with me as I fully launch this workshop in its two day format for the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto. I feel as if I have gone through hundreds of miniature studies as this hand was slow to yield its secrets. I will share a bit more about Italian Hand after this workshop. In the meantime, I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to share this wonderful hand with eager new students! Part of today's study will be to contrast it with English Roundhand and even take a peek at how this hand influeces Spencerian script.
This hand has captured my hand and my heart. As I write it daily, it has become more inuitive to me than any other hand. Feeling as the Writing Masters are smiling this morning as a hand that was probably so simple for them has presented so many puzzles to me!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pure Joy

I am long overdue in updating my blog!!! This is an understatement, but life has been busy. I am still playing catch up on commissions I received in December! Thankfully, I still find moments when I can share my work with someone who just needs a little lift.
My purest and most profound joy comes when I can work on such a piece. The inspiration for it finds me, I don't have to chase it. The time comes to me, I don't have to put anything aside. Miraculously, Oscar rarely impedes the process!
It is a magical process and as the piece gets mailed off to its recipient, the magic continues. I don't know when it will arrive or how it will be recieved. But is sent with all the joy and brightness I can muster. So thankful for the pen, the lessons it brings, and the way it can bless someone else and the voice it gives me when my own words fail. I remain humbled and in awe of the whole process.