Well, happy Friday you guys! Man has it been a while since I blogged or what?! I always make intentions to be better at this platform, and it lasts for a couple weeks, then BYE. Between juggling writing books, teaching classes, coaching clients and licensing...things are BONKERS and I'm just trying to stay above water most days. But, here's a quick post for you guys to check out an interview I did recently with my FAVORITE kombucha company Health-Ade! I talk all about what keeps me motivated, how I got started, and what it means to #FollowYourGut. Check out the post HERE and if you've been wanting to try kombucha, their Reishi Chocolate and Pink Lady Apple flavors are my FAVORITE!
Happy 2018, everyone! I'm going into this new year with intentions and goals to blog more. What?! I've said this so many times, but I really mean it this time. I have so many things coming up that I want to be able to expand upon...Instagram and Facebook can only show so much, you know? So with that said, I'm starting off with another city guide from my Fall #EverydayWatercolor book tour! As some of you know, my book, Everyday Watercolor came out through Ten Speed Press October 2017, and with its release came a book tour! Go read Portland and Seattle's city guideposts if you haven't already, and pick it back up with me here for Vancouver!
The PNW continued to wow me with this city. My friend Lindsay and I at this point had driven from Portland to Seattle, then through Mt. Rainier and Leavenworth for some cabin time (which I'll be writing posts about at a later time), then up Chuckanut State Route 11 drive to Canada. OH MY GOSH THIS DRIVE. It was seriously breathtaking. If you have the chance to drive from Seattle to the border, this route is a bit longer, but take it. Overlooking the Pacific, gorgeous tree lined 2 lane road, it's a stunner. Once getting across the border we checked into our hotel in downtown Vancouver and hit the town. We had less than 48 hours to spend in Vancouver, and a good chunk of that would be taken up by my workshops and book signing events, so we really didn't have much time to see everything Vancouver has to offer.
BUT, first up was GASTOWN. This is one of Vancouver's oldest neighborhoods. Picture cobblestone streets, again, the TREES, on the water and so many great bars and restaurants! If I could sum up Vancouver in a couple words, it'd be London meets New York meets San Francisco. San Francisco for the nature and on the water feel, New York for the grit and London for the fashion and style. Such a cool city! We hopped around a few bars and restaurants in Gastown that first night, had oysters and negronis and called it an early night so I could get some rest before teaching the whole next day.
#monvoirworkshops in Vancouver ended up being perfect. We started the morning off with Four Barrel Coffee and Granville Island Market, then I taught two sold-out classes in the gorgeous, bright space The Aviary, had a fun book signing event after, and once we were done cleaning up, we headed straight for The Acorn for some vegetarian food. This place was recommended to us quite a few times and it seriously did not disappoint. Probably my favorite meal during my entire book tour! It was incredible. They also have a sister restaurant downstreet that we went to for drinks while we waited for a table. Both spots were so cute and delicious!
After our amazing meal at Acorn, it was time to pack and get a couple hours of ZZZs before having to head to the airport at 4am. YIKES! We had to be on an early flight back home because I had my next city to head to. Thankfully with my Platinum Rewards Status with Orbitz, I was able to find a really inexpensive flight that got us straight back to Orange County! Without the Platinum Rewards program, I would've been spending way too many dollars in travel over my fall book tour.
Leaving Vancouver so soon made me realize how amazing that city is and how I barely even scratched the surface. This was my first time to Canada, but definitely not the last and I can't wait to plan more #monvoirworkshops for Vancouver and more areas in Canada SOON!
Greetings from my office in southern, California! I'm back home from a very full and wonderful fall #EverydayWatercolor book tour to bring you another city guide post from one of my tour stops! I kicked off the tour with Portland, Oregon where I spent a few days (make sure to check out that city guide post here). After classes and an amazing time in Portland, we drove ourselves up to Seattle. This city completely blew me away right from the beginning. We got there in mid-afternoon and went straight to Gas Works Park. OH MY GOSH!! As I said in the Portland post, the timing of our trip to the PNW was perfect for seeing color in the trees, but Seattle took it to the next level. We pulled up to the park and were welcomed by a parking lot covered in trees that had turned a deep red. All of them. Then made our way up the hill overlooking the bay and the skyline to yellow, and orange, and sea planes, and boats, and it was all too beautiful! I couldn't believe it.
From here we went to Ballard, a verrrry hip, waterfront neighborhood in Seattle close to Gas Works Park. This area has so much to offer. Coffee shops, bars, restaurants, cuteness. It's too good. We had a friend who lives in Seattle showing us around at this point, so she took us to Barnacle Bar, where we had a couple drinks and appetizers (amazing Negronis!), while we waited for our table (it was a Friday night - quite busy) at The Walrus and the Carpenter to open up. Such a well designed bar with real good beverages and snacks. Both of these places were incredible and I had oysters for the first time at The Walrus and the Carpenter! They were amazing, the whole experience at both of these spots was on point. Must go.
We stayed at The Roosevelt in downtown Seattle, which is very central to most everything. We had a car, so we would drive to other neighborhoods like Ballard, which made it super easy. We snagged some pretty amazing deals through my VIP Platinum Status membership on Orbitz for both the car and hotel room. So to stay at The Roosevelt, it can be quite pricey, but when you sign up for the VIP status through Orbitz, they give you access to crazy discounts on rooms, cars, flights, etc. Otherwise we'd be grabbing a Lyft of public transit around the city. After having quite a bit of travel under my belt, and living in Chicago for 7 years, the real taste and heart of the city isn't the downtown or touristy spots, it's in the neighborhoods! So, if you ever travel to Seattle, it's the same. I try to see at least 1 "touristy thing" per day in every new city I go to because...they're touristy for a reason! But beyond that, I like to explore the local haunts, bars, cafes, restaurants and scenic walks, etc. So, for our next day in the city, we made our way to Vif for breakfast. THIS PLACE. It's up in Fremont, which is near the Ballard side of things, and it's the most perfect, cozy, Scandinavian inspired food spot. I had an egg grain bowl with kraut and other fermented things with coffee and it was divine. We couldn't get over this place!
Below are some more snaps from our day through the city!
If you visit Seattle, it's incredibly touristy, but you MUST go to Pike Place Market! It's massive. You walk up to a stone road and a huge, mostly indoor market place on the water. Produce, fish and fish throwers, flowers, hot cider and cocoa (for the fall and winter), it's perfect. We walked through the entire place just to take in all the sights and sounds and smells. Definitely worth it with a coffee or beverage in hand!
I had SO much fun teaching #monvoirworkshops in Seattle! We rented out a space in the Industrial District of Seattle called Within Sodo, and it was perfect! Had great natural light, and all the fun touches of being in an industrial, warehouse type space!
Some more restaurants and places we went to while we were in Seattle that are DEFINITELY worth checking out:
Essex: came here for drinks before eating pizza at the place next door (below). GREAT drinks and a really cute bar in Ballard.
Delancey: said pizza place right next door to Essex. THE PIZZA! I normally don't eat gluten or dairy (ha!), but you gotta live right? It was the right place and the right time too. Their pizza is amazing!
Frankie & Jo's: plant based ice cream that tastes like the real deal. 'Nuff said.
Capital Hill: verrry quaint and adorable neighborhood in Seattle that is definitely worth walking around in. Stop by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery just to see it, then walk around the corner to find better coffee. ha! It's cool inside though, but I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee. Also, Stateside in this 'hood is supposed to be a real good place to eat. We unfortunately didn't have time to hit this spot.
There's so much more that I would like to explore in this incredible city. We left after 3.5 days of exploring and eating the best food and I was already planning my next trip out! Can't wait to come back here! If you are a Seattle local or have been to some awesome spots in the city, comment below with your recommendations! I'm definitely going back and would love to hear what's good!
Today's post comes to you from the beautiful PNW, where I've been for the past 8 days. I came to this stretch of the US with no expectations and no prior experience. I typically do tons of research before I go on a trip (especially to a new city) on all the restaurants, cafes and sights I'd like to see, but thankfully, I had no time to do so before this trip. I brought my friend and travel companion Lindsey along with me, and because she makes friends everywhere she goes (and she travels a lot), we were in good hands the whole way through our first stop.
Before I get into our trip to Portland, let me start with explaining why I travelled to Portland in the first place. If you don't know already, I just recently released a how to watercolor book: "Everyday Watercolor," through Ten Speed Press. With the release I've been traveling through cities throughout the US, Canada and eventually beyond (Australia and Europe, I'll be coming your way in the spring!). Not only have I scheduled book signings in each city, but #monvoirworkshops as well, where I teach my beginner level floral watercolor classes. So to start off a series of travel guides, here's a peek at my stop in Portland
We arrived in Portland two days before my class and signing day in the city, so immediately took to eating all the good food. We met up with Lindsey's friend (who quickly became my friend), Natalie who lives in Portland and took us to SweeDeeDee for brunch. Immediately WOWing us with the good food. Picture walking through a neighborhood, filled with so much charm and fall color, then finding your way to a friend's house. But the house is a cozy restaurant. At this moment I knew I was going to love it here.
After spending just a few hours in this city, I knew we wouldn't have enough days in our trip to see it all. So, I surrendered to being led around with locals, enjoying each spot and taking in ALL THE TREES. The city is broken up into four quadrants: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast, with the Willamette River splitting east and west. Within these quadrants are neighborhoods and pockets of cool.
This time of year was perfect. The yellow and orange leaves making the streets glow, and the grey sky was perfect. It rained, 'cause duh, but it didn't rain as much as I expected and it was much appreciated coming from 90 degree weather. I've never seen color like this, so it felt like I was pointing and commenting on something every 10-15 seconds, but I mean LOOK AT THOSE TREES! We romped and walked around shops Northeast Portland, down Mississippi Avenue where there were some cool shops and bars to poke in and out of. We then made our way over to Betsy & Iya in Northwest Portland, a beautiful jewelry shop with their studio in the back where I picked up a few thin, gold rings. I've been on the hunt for some and they had the perfect ones! Definitely took some self control to not buy more!
After spending most of the afternoon hopping from one part of the city to the next, it was time to check in to our hotel, The Hi-Lo, downtown. I booked ALL of my travel through Orbitz phone app and website, making for insane deals. Every time I would book a hotel or flight through Orbitz, I'd earn money back in "Orbucks," One Orbuck=$1 towards any travel you book through Orbitz. INSANE. On top of that, I signed up for the Platinum status Orbitz offers, which gets you insider prices on hotels, flights and rental cards, PLUS perks like FREE TSA Pre-check (the best thing ever), checked bags, etc. FREE. Seriously so worth it and glad I did this, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to stay in such a beautiful hotel!
After check in, it was back to running around the city...
Coffee at Heart Roasters to warm up and debrief on where to go next. Always a good idea, their almond milk is made in house and makes for a delicious latte! There's SO much good coffee in Portland, but I loved Heart.
One of my FAVORITE things we did in the city was take a drive through the grounds of the Japanese Gardens. We didn't tour the gardens (it's $15/person to do so, heads up), but the drive through was stunning! All the trees and color!
I made sure to stop through Powells to see if they had my books on their shelves, and they DID! That was such a cool moment seeing my book in the wild!
After a couple days of running around the city, it was time to host #monvoirworkshops for the beautiful people of Oregon! This day was such a treat. Everyone was so wonderful and supportive of my new book! So grateful for this day and having a successful trip to Portland...wish we had more time to explore, but I'll be back! Next, we made our way North to Seattle for more food, coffee, crazy trees and #monvoirworkshops. Stay tuned for my post on Seattle coming SOON!
Other places we made it to in Portland include:
- Mediterranean Exploration Company: Stopped at this place for a drink and dinner and had some DECLICIOUS greek food! They were super accommodating with the GF options as well which was nice. Right in the heart of the Pearl Disctric and a short walk from Powells!
- Tasty n Sons: UMMM, this place was pretty mind blowing. We went here for breakfast and shared a few dishes like the Moroccan Chicken Hash and the Burmese Red Pork Stew - sounds hearty and crazy, but they were perfect and so dang...TASTY. Gotta go here.
- Sweet Hereafter: Great bar and tasty food! Perfect for wandering in after hitting some shops in the neighborhood.
- Animal Traffic: Great shop with all the quintessential Portland style clothing and trinkets. *Read: flannel, beanies and "the woods" perfume*
- The Ace Hotel: For coffee or food, and to appreciate the killer interior design.
Comment below with your favorite Portland stops!:
October 10, 2017 has come and passed, and I'm sitting at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon writing this post and sipping a very good almond milk latte. Last week my book, "Everyday Watercolor," hit mailboxes and finally was released into the world. People have been tagging me and sending me messages of them thumbing through the book and I just can't believe it!! I've been teaching #monvoirworkshops since last weekend in honor of my book coming out, signing books, selling books and hanging out with some rad people (check out tour stops and signing dates HERE).
The process for writing this book began two years ago when my literary agent, Kimberly Brower reached out and asked if I would ever want to write a book. When asked, I told here I'd never thought about it, but SURE! We originally began the process with putting together proposals for a coloring book, which was sent and shopped around to a few different publishers by Kimberly. Penguin Random House being one of them. PRH responded to us, which was thrilling and said they didn't want to do another coloring book, but would she be interested in writing a watercolor book...
SO I SAID YES! 'Cause that's my style. I began working right away on 30 different watercolor ideas, brainstorming topics to cover, subjects and themes and sent them a list of 30-35 different topics and titles. From here, they picked a few of their favorite ideas and asked to see proof of concepts for some, which is basically a pdf deck of a few excerpts of text and artwork from the book. I began working on these and compiling what I thought would make a great book for books that I hadn't written yet. And they wanted to see it like, yesterday because everything in publishing is rather fast. From here, we waited for their response...which was agonizing. Then they responded with an offer on the book idea: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!
*COMMENCE FREAK OUT*
I literally NEVER thought this would be a part of my path and the fact that a publisher wanted me to write a book was just so insane to me. It was mid-June when I got the offer to work with Ten Speed Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House) on a how-to watercolor book. They asked for a 30,000 word manuscript and 280 step-by-step paintings done by September 1st for a fall 2017 release date.
These next 2.5(ish) months were the most grueling but at the same time, the most exciting months of my life (work-wise). It was intense. A lot of working 20 hour days (lots). But I poured my soul into what I was painting and writing. It was thrilling to me and I loved it.
Once my first round manuscript and art was handed in, it was time to start the editing and design process. Edits upon edits and 9-10 months later, the book was sent to print. I never thought the day would come when I'd be able to hold and smell (I love the smell of books) my own book. It has been SUCH a surreal experience, you guys and all the love on the Amazon reviews and #everydaywatercolor on Instagram has been so sweet to read. If you haven't already, pick up your own copy on Amazon and if you're loving the book, WRITE A REVIEW! It makes all the difference.
My time in Portland is almost up, so I'm going to leave you with THAT. Today, I'm making my way up to Seattle for #monvoirworkshops in Seattle this sunday, then Vancouver. If you're in either of those areas, come to a book signing, and there's still some spots in the Vancouver workshops! Sign up HERE!
"Traveling -- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." - Ibn Battuta
To me, there's nothing more soul tending than travel. If you're in a creative rut, a trip to a new place can open your eyes to so many new shapes, color palettes, textures and this is what happened for me when we went to Paris and London last month! Before we left, I was feeling overwhelmed, tired, and to be honest, bored with what I was creating. Everything felt repetitive and stale and I just felt stuck and overwhelmed with everything going on with my new book, client work and LIFE. But let me tell you, this trip was amazing. I'm talkin on alllll levels. Sights, sounds, tastes, YOU NAME IT. So let's kick off these city guide/trip blogs with our 9 days in Paris!
Ahhhh the city of lights! What an amazing place. I've only been back home a few weeks, and I'm already scheming up ways to make a trip back to my favorite city. The food, the culture, the charm...it's got it all, folks. This entire trip was brought about LAST YEAR when I was asked by Fat Tire Bike Tours to be a part of a Creative Rendezvous trip they were putting on. Picture THIS: guided bike tours through Paris with creative workshops mixed in...it was a Parisian dream! With all the history and culture that surrounds this city, we were able to see all the sites by bike, and learn from some of the best teachers in the industry...AND they asked me to teach my floral watercolor class IN MONET'S GARDEN! Say what?! What a dream. More details on the #creativerdv tours/trip in a later post. First up, I NEED to give you all the details on where we stayed, ate, drank, what we saw the first few days we were there:
When we started planning this trip, I knew my husband John had to come with me. He's never been to Paris, so we added a couple days on the front end of the trip for us romp around the city. While I was doing my research on neighborhoods, airbnbs, restaurants, etc., I came to realize that nearly every restuarant, bar, cafe, etc. that I wanted to check out was in this neighborhood called Le Marais. It's on the right bank of Paris and the airbnb we found was about a 5 minute walk along Rue des Archives to the Seine and a 15 minute walk to the Louvre. We walked everywhere from the apartment, and the walk along the river at sunset was magical. Some of the amazing spots we went to in Le Marais (wish we had more time to check out more!) included:
**tip: for restaurants, make sure to do research ahead of time as most places require reservations/don't take walk-ins. Some of these places book up quick each night, so calling in when they open is a good idea!
Candelaria - THIS PLACE! Immediately after landing in Paris and dropping our things at our apartment, we went to this spot. It was around 9:30pm, still very light outside (because Paris is magical in the summertime). We were both very jet-lagged, but sooo charmed with walking through this neighborhood to this taco spot. It's a small place...just a bar and a communal table inside, but the tacos were SO GOOD. Tacos in Paris?? What?! Yes, we get great tacos out here in southern California, but it was such a great experience and they do a great job there. On top of it, the back door of the restaurant opens to a speak easy, which literally feels like you're drinking with 13 people in a cave with candlelight. That was pretty incredible afterwards.
Ob-La-Di - cute, little coffee shop that we would walk to from our flat. The tile and avocado toast were so inspiring and amazing! (Pictured above)
Marché des enfants rouges - Our first morning in Paris was a Saturday. We went to Ob La Di for lattes, then made our way to this market. It was beyond incredible. So many vendors for a tasty breakfast or lunch, OR take home staple items for a picnic! We ended up getting an incredible sandwich from Chez Alain Miam Miam. It was the most delicious sammy I've ever had. Fresh, local ingredients, and the guy manning this place had so much personality and charm. Definitely go here, walk around the market, and get a sandwich or crêpe from him!
Grazie - Great drinks, great pizza and really close to some great shopping we hit up! (listed below)
Cafe Charlot - quaint brasserie experience on a super cute and trendy street...perfect stop for a latte and some people watching!
The Broken Arm - GREAT coffee!
Le Perchoir - rooftop bar with amazing views of the city!
Le Mary Celeste - This place is owned by the same group as Candelaria, so you know it's good. Loved the brick floor and circular bar (pictured above) and the small plates and drinks were so tasty. On top of it, our server was fantastic!
Rue RAMBUTEAU - this is a street, but if you're in Le Marais looking for a traditional French butcher, brasserie, cheese shop, bakery, etc. THIS street has it! Perfect for picnics, which make for the best meals in this city.
EAST MAMMA - THIS PLACE. Saved this place for last because it was INCREDIBLE. Probably my favorite spot from the entire trip. We went here the night of Fête de la Musique (if you're able to, plan a trip to Paris during Fête de la Musique...this was my second time and it's always SO FUN!) and it happened to be near the most perfect alley way that held some of the best music and dancing we experienced that night. But back to the restaurant. This place had it all. The look, the design of the menus, THE DRINKS, THE FOOD. I was truly wowed by this place! They don't take reservations, so make sure to go early, as this place books up FAST.
Merci - OH MY GOSH. When John and I first walked up to this place, we thought we had the wrong Merci. We knew it was supposed to be a place for clothes and furniture shopping, but when we walked up, we saw a cafe with a TON of bookshelves and books. Super confused, we kept walking through and saw a courtyard with the cutest red car (pictured above), which led to the ground floor level of the store section of Merci. Vintage clothes, records, stationery, trinkets, dishware, furniture, etc. this place has everything and is HUGE. Everything was so inspiring, slightly expensive, but so well curated. A must visit for sure!
Acne - super close to Merci, great place for clothes shopping...expensive, slightly high fashion, but inspiring.
Fleux - interior and furniture type store with MAD style. Color, sleek and functional design. I wanted everything.
La Belle Hortense - Wine and books?? OK!
UGH! I could literally go on and on about this neighborhood. Just walking down the streets made me tear up at times...it's an unbelievable place. Sitting on the sidewalk at a brasserie with an espresso, overhearing conversations in French that I can't understand, the alleys, the charming architecture. I would go back here in a heartbeat. And this was just the first leg of our trip to Paris! After 3 days spent in Le Marais, I was so enamored, rejuvenated and excited to start the rest of the trip, which featured the Fat Tire #creativerdv tour with an amazing group of people! Because I could write a novel on both parts of this Paris adventure, I separated these into two posts. I'll be posting soon the rest of my Paris recommendations and tour endeavors soon in a later post, along with our London trip. Hope you enjoyed this BRIEF synopsis of our stay in Le Marais! There were so many more spots that we wanted to check out but just didn't have the time...but I'll be back :)
We LOVE when we have the chance to do a brush lettering project at Mon Voir! It is a wonderfully creative and relaxing art form. It shares the basic strokes of dip pen calligraphy, with the more loose and free feeling of using a paintbrush. Here's a brief overview of our brush lettering style and our go-to materials for different projects! We hope that you'll enjoy it as much as we do!
It's important to choose the right size paintbrush for the piece you are working on. We recommend using #princetonbrushes round brushes size 2 or 6, for smaller, more detailed projects. For larger projects, like poster-size quotes or signs, you'll want to use a larger brush (#princetonbrushes, size 16) to create more bold and thick letters. Round brushes are ideal for getting both thick and thin lines since they're a two-in-one style brush!
Next, to achieve the whimsical look of both opaque and transparent strokes that are unique to brush lettering, our go-to ink is #winsorandnewton water color gouache. Trust us - you will not regret investing in quality materials once you see how much better the outcome of your artwork is!
DOWNSTROKES (thick lines)
Like calligraphy, brush lettering consists of upstrokes and downstrokes, thin and thick lines. You want to make sure that the angles of your lines are consistent, as well as the amount of pressure you are applying. Your downstrokes will require more pressure to create a thicker line.
UPSTROKES (thin lines)
The upstrokes in your letters are your thin lines and should be applied with light pressure. It should feel like your hand is just gliding across the paper. Any crossbar strokes (like your t's, capital A's, etc.) will also be thin lines.
Once you have your basic strokes down, you can start practicing letters! Start with lowercase, going through the entire alphabet to memorize what strokes make up each letter. Once you feel comfortable, move on to capitals!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Muscle memory is everything when it comes to brush lettering and calligraphy. Grab a pad of #legionpaper, turn on some relaxing music (or netflix ;)) and keep at it!!
This suite was a hard one to let go of! Our team took so much heart and work putting these puppies together. Black edges, gold foil, watercolor tissue paper, black velvet ribbon with a gold wax seal, lined black boxes and custom postage - it's a show stopper, folks! Check out the photos below of every gorgeous detail!
Black edges and gold foil for the main invitation. Printing done by the amazing @czarpress and spot calligraphy by our in-house calligrapher, Brooke Dieda.
Then to wrap it all up - custom watercolor tissue paper by yours truly, a black velvet ribbon and gold wax seal to finish!
Oh, and can't forget the gold foil labels with copperplate addressing and custom postage - WOAH! This was such a unique and stunning suite. Carey + Jare and @upstateido, you guys were a dream to work with on these. So happy for you guys!!
Woohoo, you're ENGAGED! It's time to get the ball rolling on your wedding to-do list! First things first, you can start shopping for engagement announcements, or if you plan on throwing a party to celebrate - engagement party invitations!
It's a good idea to start looking at save the dates in the first couple weeks after getting engaged. We recommend getting your save the dates out 9-11 months before the wedding date - even earlier if you're planning a destination wedding.
You'll want to get a jump start on your guest list, that way you know the exact number of wedding invitations you'll need to send out. The sooner you have your guest list, the sooner you'll have an idea of how much your invitations will cost.
Now's the time to start gathering ideas for your dream wedding invitations! Make sure to ask for samples to ensure you love the texture, color and layout of your invitation. The more feedback you can provide, the better!
Once you have your guest list finalized, you can provide your stationer with this information and receive an estimate on the cost of your invitations.
This is when you'll need to begin the design process for your invitations. Hopefully by now you've ordered samples and have a good idea of how you'd like your invitations to look. It's important to provide as many details as possible to ensure that your designer can carry out your vision!
It's go time! Now that your invitations have been designed and printed, next up is assembly and addressing. This might be an easy task for simple invitations, but more elaborate invitation suites can take quite some time. If it's in your budget, you have the option of having them assembled for you. If you want to take it up a notch and have your envelopes hand calligraphed, just be sure to communicate this with your stationer to ensure they can be completed and mailed out within your timeline.
If you have additional pieces of wedding stationery that you're interested in having for your ceremony or reception, now is a great time to order day-of items such as escort cards, place cards, table numbers, and more. Keep in mind, if you would like these items hand calligraphed, you'll need to provide atleast 2-3 weeks to have them completed.
Don't forget to send out rehearsal dinner invites to the appropriate guests. This step is often overlooked, but communicating this information to everyone involved will be so helpful for both you and your guests and avoid tons of last minute questions.
If you choose to order wedding announcements, don't forget to ask someone in your wedding party or your family to be in charge of sending your wedding announcements the day of the wedding or the day after.
3-4 MONTHS AFTER "I DO"
Be sure to write your thank you cards while the big day is still fresh in your mind. Within the first 4 months is best and your guests will be so appreciative!
Your friends and family will be so excited to receive your first holiday cards as newlyweds! Plus, this is a great way to share your favorite photos from your wedding day!
What does salt have to do with watercolor?! ALL the texture! Creating a fun, space inspired piece for a project and salt is the perfect final touch for adding bursts and texture to the piece!
DO IT: Starting with a light sketch (so the sketch doesn't show through your paint) of your shape, fill in the inside of the shape with water. From there, punch in color! I used Winsor & Newton Professional Level Watercolor in colors Prussian Blue, a little Phthalo Turquoise and a light mixture of both for this guy. Just punch in the color while the wash is still wet and watch the pigment do its thing! The wash layer must still be wet though in order for the paint to expload! This is called wet on wet. I used my size 2 round synthetic sable brush from Princeton to add in little dots and details to the piece like comets and constellations. But this is just supposed to feel like space, not be a replica. Have fun with this and work quickly so you can really take advantage of the magic with wet on wet technique! Add the salt when the paint is still wet and let the whole piece dry. Once the piece is dry, brush away the salt!
Painted on @legionpaper Stonehenge Aqua, cold pressed 100% cotton 300gsm paper with #winsorandnewton professional watercolors (for those crazy, vibrant colors) and @princetonbrush synthetic sable round brushes!
Practice this, have FUN and tag @monvoirco on Instagram - We'd love to see what you create!!
When it comes to art - it is SO important to invest in your practice and in your supplies! As many of you know, my love for @legionpaper runs deep. Their Stonehenge Aqua cold-pressed paper is my go to now for watercolor paper! It absorbs the pigment beautifully and you're still able to lift color...even the tricky ones without too much trouble. I seriously love it! You've got to get your hands on some - go to their SITE to see where they're sold online! We also have this paper in our new WATERCOLOR KITS with allllll of Jenna's favorite supplies. Make sure to sign up for our mailing list (on our homepage) in order to not miss when these are back in stock!! (VERY SOON!!!)
Ever wonder how to mix your own custom ink colors?! Maybe you were commissioned for an envelope addressing job for a bride, a custom calligraphy quote, or just curious about color matching for your own enjoyment...Well, we go your back! Read through the steps to see our entire process and you'll be mixing up custom colors in no time!
When creating a custom colored ink, our go-to is Winsor & Newton gouache mixed with water to create any color imaginable! Some calligraphers also use Gum Arabic, which is a binding agent, to prevent the pigment and water from separating, but we keep it simple over here. Just a couple shakes here and there and the color is mixed! When you mix your first couple inks, it may be a little trickier to get the right consistency at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's definitely worth it to achieve a beautiful pigment that you and your potential clients will LOVE!
First things first: supplies!
Winsor & Newton Gouache - Nothing compares to quality materials! Everything we do over here at Mon Voir is done with the highest quality supplies. Jenna has been using this brand for years and whether it's for watercolor or calligraphy ink, we use Designer/Proffessional level only! It may cost a little more up front, but TRUST US, you will be much more pleased with the results. You can find Winsor & Newton at your local art supply store, Amazon, or Blick!
Small Container/Jar - We recommend a 1.5 oz jar to allow for a good amount of ink that will last you a while. You can find sets of jars for a reasonable price on Amazon!
Calligraphy Pen - We'll typically use the end of a calligraphy pen (NOT the nib) to stir the mixture. Then flip it around to test out the ink with a few basic strokes. If you're curious about allllll our preferred materials when it comes to calligraphy, check out this blog post!
Eye Dropper - This allows you to add a few drops at a time until you get the correct ratio of water to gouache! Again, you can find one of these on the always trusty Amazon.
Distilled water - Helps prevent the possibility of mold growth if you will be storing the ink.
LET'S GET TO MIXING!
STEP 1: You’ll squeeze out an amount of gouache that’s appropriate for your project. For a big project, like calligraphing envelopes, you should mix up a lot of gouache (we typically use about 1/2 of a 14 ml tube).
STEP 2: Using your eye dropper, add about 3/4 distilled water to 1/4 gouache.
STEP 3: Mix the water and gouache together with the end of your pen or paint brush. Continue to add water and/or gouache as needed until you get a mixture that is similar to the consistency of heavy cream.
STEP 4: Test out your mixture by dipping your calligraphy pen and practicing 3-4 basic strokes. If you notice your strokes seem a little thick or your nib is not releasing enough ink, try adding a few more drops of water. If your strokes are bubbly and translucent, try adding a bit more gouache!
And that's it!! You can use this method to match a specific ink color to printed material, envelope colors, and MORE with a Pantone Matching System (pictured in the photo above on the right). It's a designer's dream being as customizable as possible with colors, so get on it!!
THE TIME HAS COME!!
I'm so excited to bring you a new this new online class through The Crafters Box! If you don't know already, The Crafters Box is a monthly subscription program made for creatives. You can sign up for individual featured maker's classes, or a 3 month subscription, or more! It's SUCH a great idea for those of you wanting to get into something new and creative, but don't know where to start with supplies and classes. Picture signing up for an online class, or for a 3 month subscription, and having a perfectly curated box full of all the supplies you need for the class show up at your door! Beautiful classes like jewelry making, knitting, paper flowers, weaving and so much more! And now, my class, which covers my FAVORITE watercolor technique, WET ON WET, for a botanical watercolor class!! My class/box is for the month of June, so registration is now open until May 20th! Make sure to go here to sign up to receive your own box of class supplies and the online class! You'll also get to hear my story and a bit more on their maker podcast! Take a peek at the photos below to see what I cover in this class! So colorful and the PERFECT summer creative project!
Can't wait for you guys to learn this technique for painting a monstera deliciosa leaf! Watercolor is magic, and the bursts and blends that happen with wet on wet technique will turn any novice watercolorist into a head over heels lover!!
If you're not following @monvoirco on Instagram yet...you're missing out! Daily watercolor tutorials (like this beautiful Agave plant below), details on Jenna's favorite supplies, tips and tricks for beginners, silly BTS footage of the team and more!
Check out the full video of Jenna's process for "Watercolor In Real Life" alongwith specific materials on the @monvoirco Instagram!
How does a week-long creative experience, complete with lessons from incredible artists, bike tours and sipping on cappuccinos (or a glass of wine) sound? Oh, and did I mention it's in the most magical city in the world...PARIS?!
In just a few short months at the Fat Tire Rendezvous, I will be teaching a Floral Watercolor class in Monet's Garden in Giverny! You guys, this is a DREAM!! From gorgeous calligraphy to elegant floral arrangements - you'll have the opportunity to learn from a team of amazing and talented ladies!
June can't come soon enough...I hope you'll join me for this once in a lifetime opportunity! For more information and to register, click HERE!
TODAY'S THE DAY! My online class with Brit & Co is now available AND there's still time to grab it for 15% off!! In this course, you'll learn how to turn quick ink illustrations into versatile digital files that you can use as fun and colorful wallpapers for your desktop and phone. There might be a ton of digital wallpaper options out there, but there isn’t a design made by YOU. Yet! Click HERE to register!
Click HERE for a preview!
Today is the final day to get 15% off on Jenna's Brit & Co class before registration opens on April 11th! You'll learn how to create fun, colorful patterns and bring them into Adobe Illustrator! Follow the link HERE to sign up!
The Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 was a huge success!! With over 9 hours of video lessons from a group of incredibly talented instructors, the MCS courses included watercolor illustration and digitizing (from us at Mon Voir Co!), invitation design + assembly, brush lettering, copperplate calligraphy and much more! Not to mention live Q&As with the instructors, a private Facebook page to share and ask questions along the way, AND if that wasn't enough - you have lifetime access to ALL of the content! Be the first to hear when registration opens up again in May - sign up for the waiting list HERE! Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this!
Just one more week until registration opens for my online class with Brit & Co on April 11th! I am so excited to share with you the techniques and tools I use to create fun, colorful patterns (like the ones below!). I will start by covering what brushes, pens and paper to use, then how to transfer your work onto your computer to create a repeat pattern in Adobe Illustrator. Supplies and foundational techniques like composition and color theory will be covered, so you can understand how to create a successful pattern for desktop wallpapers and beyond!
Click HERE to receive 15% off on the class! Just fill out your name and email address and you'll be notified when the class goes LIVE!
We also offer a Floral Watercolor Class on Brit & Co! This is a great class for beginners, where you'll learn how to build a custom color palette and mix colors, how to use various brush strokes to make different shapes, how to paint and shade stems, leaves and petals and more!
Not sure what type of watercolor and/or calligraphy tools to order? It can be so difficult to know what to use... don't worry, I'VE GOT YOU COVERED! Modern Calligraphy summit has a cool (and free! HELLO!) video series where you'll learn the preferred tools of me and my fellow Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 instructors, and learn how we got started in calligraphy and watercolor. Just click THIS LINK and enter your email address to get instant access to the first video! #moderncalligraphysummit