Favourite Calligraphy Resources

I have loved lettering & calligraphy for a long time, so a few weeks ago I decided to give it a try! I did some research, bought some tools, and have been practicing ever since :) For those of you wanting to try calligraphy too, I gathered all my favourite resources to help you get started!

The Year of Lettering

Kelly's tumblr

is full of gorgeous inspiration, but she 

shares all her secrets

 too! I found her resources invaluable when I was looking to buy my own.

Molly Jacques Modern Calligraphy Course on 

Skillshare*

(If you sign up with the link above, we both get a free month!)

From how to hold the calligraphy pen, to forming letters, to supplies you'll need & worksheets to help, Molly Jacques shares it all! And it was so handy to visually SEE someone doing everything, rather than just a photo.

Besotted Blog - 

Nib Identification System

I think I purchased almost all of the nibs mentioned in that post, simply because I didn't know where else to start! Tristan also shared a few of her favourite supplies 

here

.

Quaintrelle's 

Intro to Calligraphy

 Workshop

If you're in the Toronto area, Ashley has held two calligraphy workshops already with Post Calligraphy & The Paper Place, and with all the interest there's bound to be more!

Scarlet & Gold - 

Free Webinar

I haven't taken their webinar yet (coming soon!) but their 

Insta

 is always full of inspiration :)

Your favourite calligraphers

I'm not suggesting copying these calligraphy greats, but many of them have kits to purchase with all their favourites, or teach classes you can attend! I love the behind-the-scenes sneak peeks many of them share :)

Molly Jacques Illustration 

Laura Hooper Calligraphy

 (I love her 

Insta

 videos!)

Saffron Avenue

Type & Title

Post Calligraphy

Green Tie Studio

Blue Eye Brown Eye

Or your favourite 

calligraphy fonts*

There are so many styles of calligraphy, and sometimes visualizing them through a font can help you find your favourite style & narrow down your practice.

Where to buy

And all this help is no use if you can't purchase anything :) I bought all my supplies (minus the paper) from 

Paper & Ink Arts

. Their prices are good, shipping was quick & there's just so much fun stuff to look at! You might even have a local arts store that sells calligraphy so be sure to check those out too.

If you're diving into the art of calligraphy too, let me know your favourite resources! I love this community because we can all learn together & support creative endeavours.

xo

* denotes an affiliate link. I may make a small commission, but there is no additional cost to you!

Christmas Gift Tags


Two weeks today is Christmas!! And if you've still got gifts to wrap, you are not alone friend! haha I'm probably half done, but I've still got a few to do.

Earlier this week, I went to a cookie exchange and made little tags for all the bags. It was super simple & I loved the personal touch it added. The tags I used were just kraft brown tags that had been hiding in with some old scrapbooking stuff, but I decided it would be fun to make some of my own & share them with you!


The one above was just a white tag that I found in with the kraft brown ones earlier in the week, but I wanted to show it because it would be so easy to just cut up some nice cardstock and practice your cursive :)

I like to write out the message and then go back & make the downstrokes a bit bolder to fake that calligraphic look - so simple!


You could add a little ribbon or string, or just stick them on :) I left two blank for you to write your own messages, and if you use them, I would love to see! Share them with me on Twitter (@bhdouglas) or Instagram (@brittdouglas_).


Download the jpg here & the png file here.

Merry Christmas!

xo

Instagram to Twitter

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that all my Instagram photos have been popping up in your feed. No, Instagram & Twitter haven't decided to become BFF's, but they have a mutual friend called IFTTT :)


If This Then That is a personal 'recipe' creator that you can use to trigger any action you like. In this case, any time a photo is posted to my Instagram account (@brittdouglas_), IFTTT takes it & posts it to my Twitter account (@bhdouglas) with the photo & a link to the original Instagram photo #genius


I've linked my personal recipe below (there should be a little 'add' widget & a link underneath too) so you can share your Instagram photos to Twitter too.

IFTTT Recipe: Tweet Instagram photos WITH link to original Instagram post connects instagram to twitter


Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you liked the photos in this post, and if you already use IFTTT, I would love to know your favourite recipes!

xo,
B

Limed Oak

Chalk paint. Can we just talk about it for a second? I know it's not new to the blogging world, but having never used it before I was little skeptical. Some things just can't be as good as everyone says, right? But this is one case where what everyone says was definitely accurate. 

It was last year at BlogPodium (which ps, you're coming right?? There's still a few tickets available for this year!) that I was given a copy of Annie Sloan's book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture, but it wasn't until we were debating what on earth to do with our old oak buffet that I really flipped through it. There are a ton of gorgeous ideas, but the one that really stuck out to me was the 'limed oak' project.


The buffet is old. And had seen some better days. But it's still a solid piece of furniture that we wanted to keep. We debated painting the whole thing a solid colour, but both me & my mom loved the idea of 'liming' the oak with chalk paint.

Our ever helpful assistant giving it one final inspection :)

We emptied the drawers, moved it onto an old sheet and started painting. No prep, no sanding (thankyou!!), just paint. The whole idea of limed oak is that you 'push' the paint into the grain and then wipe off the excess. We didn't remove all the excess just because we wanted the whole thing to feel a bit lighter, but you can really see it in the grain in the next few photos.




After painting, which took barely any time to dry, we gave the whole thing a coat of clear wax. It gave everything a 'soft' finish and made the wood look really good. I buffed in a little extra wax on the main top area just because it gets so much use.



I did tape off the keyholes, which helped keep them from getting too gunky with paint/wax. The pulls I removed and painted separately.




So happy with how the whole thing turned out! And super pleased with how easy chalk paint was to use. I'm already planning what to paint next :) Every surface is going to be covered in Old White soon haha

We purchased our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & Wax from Painted Out, which has tons of great products & ideas. I chose not to purchase a 'proper' wax brush from them, and instead bought a pointed round brush from the hardware store. I was really pleased with it and was glad to have saved quite a bit!

What have you used chalk paint for? (or if you haven't tried it, what do you want to use it for??)

xo,
B

All Yellow

Well, it's not quite all yellow. But my newly painted stool is mostly yellow :)


Para Paints sent me a sample of Plantain Chips (their 2014 Colour of the Year) several months ago now, and I was stumped. Yellow is just not a colour I gravitate towards at all.

And so it sat, waiting. I debated doing something with it on a huge canvas, but wasn't sure what to paint. And so the can of yellow sat patiently waiting.


I've had this little stool for ages. It's plain, solid wood top and off-white legs had both seen better days and were screaming for some attention. And one day I clued in - this could be my yellow project!

So I busted out the sandpaper, some primer (just some spray stuff for the wood top) and got to work! The white paint is actually ceiling/trim paint from Para as well - it was in our BlogPodium bags. It was a lovely crisp white, perfect to go with the bold yellow :)

I did wonder about taping off the legs and doing a more colour-blocked look, but it would have taken forever to tape off 4 legs at the exact same height and I wanted it to be more fun.


While it was still disassembled, I painted the top slab, top 'brace' bits, and the top chunk of the legs in yellow (after giving them a coat of white.) I sort of stopped a bit above where I wanted the yellow to end, let it dry, and then did the paint drips. I watered down the paint so it would drip a bit faster, and then just dabbed it on with the end of a small paintbrush. Nothing very scientific I'm afraid!

I added more paint to some drips and less to others, and let the paint go where it wanted. I tried to keep it less fussy and more free form.


I did touch up a few spots after, but for the most parts the drips did their thing. The solid yellow bits took maybe 3 coats? I wanted to be sure everything was covered. It went on so smoothly though that I didn't mind.

That sad little stool? Is very happy now indeed :) And it looks so good with my grey walls.

Well Plantain Chips, I think you've converted me to yellow. Maybe not everywhere, but definitely in fun little spots like this!

Where do you stand on yellow? Would you ever use a colour like this?

xo,
B

Disclosure: Para Paints sent me this sample of Plantain Chips with no condition to mention or use it. All thoughts & opinions are my own. They don't even know I'm writing this post :)

Nailed It: (Very) Abstract Floral


If you saw yesterday's video, you might have caught a glimpse of these nails. My original intent was a floral nail, but I wanted a more abstract/watercolour-y version. This is what I achieved - the 'floral' part is maybe a bit of a stretch, but they sort of look like flowers if you squint hard enough :)

I used all the colours I received from my March Julep Box - Margaret, Monaco, Princess Grace, Lizanne, Lilou - as soon as I saw them all together I thought they'd be perfect for some sort of nail art. I didn't end up using all the tools I gathered in the first photo, but I had it all on hand in case. I did add a bit of glitter, but some nails turned out better than others (story of my life). The other two Julep polishes in the top photo are Simone & Shenae.

Mainly, I used an-unbent paperclip to 'dot' the flowers on my nails. I find dabbing a bit of polish on wax paper or tinfoil helps, as does letting the polish get a little 'tacky' before dotting. I did my left hand completely, and then my right hand, which is why there's two rows of polish - the first row had dried by the time I was doing my right hand.

It's not a super complicated process - dot, swirl, repeat - but I might try a different technique next time I try a floral mani. The nails from this post are calling to me...




It might not have turned out quite like I was hoping, but I still do like it. The glitter probably helped :)

Don't forget to check out yesterday's post to see my thoughts on this month's Julep box - there's even a code to get your first box free!

xo,
B

3 Simple Christmas DIY's


For the bridal shower I threw my best friend, I incorporated several DIY's that I thought would add some fun :) And the best part is, most of these ideas can be used year round, not just at Christmas!

Glitter Mason Jar

Their sparkle gives off the loveliest light to any tablescape :)

These jars are perfect for holding things or using as candle holders. They give off the loveliest sparkle :)

You will need:
Clean mason jars (olive oil & dish soap works really well to get any sticker residue off!)
Modge-podge
Your choice of glitter (I used gold & a dash of bronze)
Tape (whatever you have lying around, I used painters tape)
A brush/sponge
Large piece of paper

Steps:
1) Lay the large piece of paper on your work surface. This will be used to catch any loose glitter & if you fold it in half, works as a funnel to return glitter to it's container.
2) Tape off your jars. I eyeballed the bottom third of the jars and taped the whole way round.
3) Apply a layer of Modge-podge to two sides of the jar.
4) Sprinkle glitter from container directly onto the jar - make sure you're overtop the paper!
5) Gently shake any loose glitter onto paper.
6) Repeat steps 3-5 for other two sides and bottom of container (if desired)
7) Repeat steps 3-6 for a second coat of glitter, if you feel necessary. (I did)
8) Remove tape while glue is still wet.
9) Turn jars upside down and let dry completely.
10) To protect the glitter (and any surface you place the jars on), paint one more layer of Modge-podge overtop. Let dry & enjoy!!

********


Paper Banner

Used as a backdrop to my Christmas tablescape :)
See how lovely it looks above the bird wrapped around the tree?

This banner can be customized to any occasion. I used green, red, gold, cream & brown paper (solid & patterned!) to create a lovely holiday banner. It can be hung anywhere - the back of a display, or even around the tree!

You will need:
Twine, cut to desired length
Coloured or patterned paper (scrapbooking paper works really well)
Paper punches in desired shapes (I used squares, circles & stars - all around 1-2 inches)
Double sided tape

Steps:
1) Punch two shapes for every one you want in the final piece.
2) Once you've finished punching, plan out shapes on a flat surface before attaching them to the twine.
3) On the backside of one of the pair, place double sided tape. Make sure the tape touches the twine, and then place it's pair on top. Essentially, you're creating a paper sandwich around the twine.
4) Continue attaching the rest of your paper shapes.
5) Hang & enjoy!!

********


Cookie Favours/Gifts




I thought it would be a lovely idea to send all the guests home with a treat after the bridal shower :) Thankfully, one of my best friends & baker extraordinaire was also on board with the idea! She baked up her famous sugar cookies & decorated them with white icing & edible silver beads. But the possibilities are endless if you decide to do something similar!

You will need:
Your favourite cookies
Translucent bags (mine are from here)
Decorative tap or stickers (the gold stripe tape I used is from here)

Steps:
1) Buy or bake your favourite cookies. Thankyou Kirsten for these sugar cookies :)
2) Place 2-3 in each bag, seal with pretty tape or sticker.
3) Give as gifts or favours at any holiday party!

********

Let me know what you've made this holiday or if you plan to make one of these!!

xo,
B

How To: Create Rollovers & Image Maps


I've got two quick tricks to show you today! You don't need to know HTML or CSS - if you can copy & paste, then you can do this :) Promise!

Rollovers

Rollovers (or hover images) allow you to have one static image that changes when someone places their cursor over top. I use this technique in my high/low post yesterday to sneak-ily reveal the final room totals. I first learned how to do this from here (found after a quick google), but I'm sure there are other ways to achieve this.

The one thing to keep in mind is that rollovers do not work on mobile or tablet devices. So provide a link to the second image if possible, but at least make sure there's no critical info on the second image.

Steps:
1) Create your two images (one, two)
2) Upload them into your post
3) Go into the post HTML & copy the image URLs - the URL's will follow 'a href=' and look something like this: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55ad49c3e4b0ff75d96157ed/t/5601c89de4b0d884777736b5/1442957469111/1000w/
4) Paste them into the rollover code (found below)
5) Ta-da! You now have a rollover image :)

 <a href="URL ADDRESS"><img src="URL OF THE FIRST IMAGE GOES HERE" onmouseover="this.src='URL OF THE SECOND IMAGE GOES HERE'" onmouseout="this.src='URL OF THE FIRST IMAGE GOES HERE'" /></a>  

All you need to do is paste the whole chunk of code above where you want it, and then paste in 3 URLs: the URL you want to link to, the URL of the first image (two locations) and the URL of the second image. Super simple!

Onto image mapping.

This is so easy I never felt like it was worthy of it's own post, but it's one of the coolest tricks (I use it all the time). My social media tabs over on the sidebar? Image map. My header? Image map.

Image mapping allows you to upload a finished design, and then create links within the image. It basically places a bunch of linked 'rectangles' (or other shapes) over your design that link to the location you specify. Kind of genius really.

Steps:
1) Upload your image and grab the URL (Photobucket, Flickr, and Blogger all work).
2) Go here & follow the instructions: http://www.image-maps.com/
3) Install your code snippet in your posts/sidebar/footer/anywhere that you can paste HTML.

That's it.

Have you ever use a rollover or image map? Going to try it out now? Let me know how it turns out!!

xo,
B

ps, today's the last day to enter the Holly Sharpe giveaway!!

How to: Connect All Your Social Sites


Back when I was updating my Facebook page, I decided it was high time I figure out how to link my page to Twitter. I mean, everyone else was doing it but I could never figure it out.

You guys - it's so easy.

You can link Twitter to Facebook & Facebook to Twitter with just a few clicks.

To post Twitter statuses to your Facebook page:
1) Login to your Twitter account and click on the gear and go to settings
2) Chose 'Profile' from the left menu
3) Scroll down and click on the 'Connect to Facebook' button
4) A box will pop up, log in with Facebook, and then authorize Twitter to post.
5) Uncheck the boxes 'post retweets to Facebook' and 'post to my Facebook profile'
6) Click 'Allow posting to one of your pages' and hit 'okay' in the pop up box
7) Chose the page you'd like to connect from the dropdown menu.
8) Your tweets will now appear on your Facebook page!

It should look like this when you're done:

To post your Facebook page updates to Twitter:
1) Go to this page: https://www.facebook.com/twitter/
2) Click 'Link a Page to Twitter' (under the green box)
3) Select the page you'd like to link, hit 'Link to Twitter'
4) Authorize the app
5) Select what items you'd like to post (you can edit this later by visiting the link above) and save.
6) Your Facebook updates will now be posted on twitter!

It should look like this (or whatever items you check/uncheck) when you're done:

So easy right?? I have my Facebook page updates sent to Twitter, but I disconnected my Twitter account from posting to Facebook. Felt a bit too much to me, but it just depends on how much you use both.

So tell me, do you have your sites linked? What other sites do I need to link up?

xo,
B

Are you following me on Facebook? Check out my page here! And learn how to prettify yours too :)

How To: Pretty Up Your Facebook Page

Well hello there :) Took a little long-weekend break and I am ready to jump back in!

Thought I'd share a few quick changes to my Facebook page, and show you how to update your page too.

I created my cover image a few months ago when I first started my Facebook page, but I could never figure out how to make the little 'tabs' underneath (for things like Pinterest) look as pretty as Rhiannon's (Hey Gorgeous Events). I searched around and found this post & this post really helpful.

Turns out, it's super simple. Like, so incredibly simple I don't know why it's taken me so long to do this haha

First up though, a quick size guide for Facebook pages. All this can be seen the minute anyone comes to visit your page so it better look good!! Cover images used to have a lot of rules/restrictions, but Facebook has since updated them and now the one big rule is to not have more than 20% overlay text.
It doesn't all need to coordinate, but I think it looks a lot nicer when it does. The tabs that you see are just apps that you can add to your page - there's ones for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and ones that you can customize to redirect to another page (like your blog!) I have the Pinterest App & two Woobox Custom Apps on my page. I might change up the middle tab (my fonts one) at some point, but I wasn't sure what other app to include - any recommendations?

Now for the how to!


To install apps:
1) Search Facebook for the apps you'd like to add (i.e. 'Pinterest')
2) Click the link that says 'app' underneath (not group/website/etc)
3) Click 'install page tab' and follow the instructions (every app is slightly different)
4) Go check out your page! You can have a bunch of apps, but only 3 will show at a time ('Photos' is always there)

To change the photo:
1) To the right of your tabs, you'll see a box with a downward facing arrow. Click it.
2) Hover over the tab whose image you would like to change, click the edit pencil that appears.
3) Click 'edit settings', a little pop-up box will appear.
4) Where it says 'custom tab images', there should be a 'change' link to the right. Click it.
5) Hover over the image, click the edit pencil that appears, and upload your new image!
6) After uploading (make sure it is exactly the right size), there's no need to save, just go visit your page!
Bonus: You can also rearrange your tabs by hovering over them, clicking the pencil that appears and then 'swap' positions with the other apps you have.

You can see my page in action here. Let me know if you update your page! I'd love to see it :)

Any other cool Facebook page tips I should know? What are your favourite apps?

xo,
B

On Knitting

Good evening!

My grandma has been a knitter for as long as I remember. We have drawers exploding with scarves she's made over the years and boxes of tiny clothes from my childhood. I love watching her knit, she doesn't even have to look, it's just second-nature to her now. She taught me a bit when I was younger, but I'll have to get another lesson. These images make me want to knit!





If anyone knows the origins of the first 2 images, do let me know!! I would love to know if they came with a tutorial. Or if you know of a tutorial that's similar, leave it in the comments! This would make a perfect winter project :)

xo,
B