Wednesday 29 December 2010

Dec 20th–31st

I am really looking forward to the break!

P1060624Monday saw us winding down but a bit of a stressful book from Helen at Walton Street Stationery Company. A beautiful big book arrived! the client wanted copperplate on the front as a message and inside the book our little slanted caps. The book was a Thames & Hudson book. Ah the joys of coated paper. After explaining to Helen only a biro/ball point pen will work on this lovely slick paper she called the client and got him to agree to the job.

Funny, now that I see the photo of the work and the high gloss on the paper, I cant believe I even said yes to this. But Helen is great and I will do anything to help her out!

Tuesday and Wednesday saw me flat on my back with flu. Had to be in on Thursday to finish Britta’s invitations and get them off to her that evening. Really felt like Death Warmed over! Not pleasant working with one is so ill.

Thursday saw me finalising the Save The Date for the Big Event with Javier and Tony at By Appointment Only Design and Brides Magazine and One Mayfair. It will be held on the 11th from 630pm. I sent them a few variations on the Save the Dates but in the end they went with this one

Save the Date I spent some time on Thursday talking with Anne-Marie at Cutture about the complex design for the invitations – now that is going to be fun.

Shut the studio from the 24th! yeah! But that does not mean nothing will be done till the new year.

Apart from getting over the flu and suffering from 2 migraine attacks, I spent sometime working on new invitation designs for the up coming shows.

Today is the 29th and I came in to find some invoices (have to return some things) but decided to play with my freshly made ruling pens. It is great being in here and not working. Not going to stay long though because that will definitely mean I will end up working. Hope you enjoy them. And have a great New Year!



Dec 13th - 17th

The run up to Christmas is not fun. So many last minute requests.

I forgot to post the images of the books for Benefit Cosmetics – problem with books is they need so much space to dry.



And of course the St James’s Place menus. I have been doing this job every year for the last 10 years now. When they start arriving I know it is the end of the year! The event is in January so it is guaranteed work in a slow month.

What am I saying, January is not slow, it is run up to the Designer Wedding Show, and a Wedding Fayre at Dartmoor House, 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED – drop by for a chat and some calligraphy! 11am till 4 pm.

P1060589This week also saw some more place cards being sent off to the Mandarin Oriental. it is great that Angelo is so good at proof reading as well!

Here he is checking the spelling. As he is also training as a scribe he will sometimes tell us off for shoddy lettering.

Precision is not only in the spelling .



Javier and Tony at By Appointment Only Design asked me to do some signs for their shop and seeing them this evening, Monday, so did them and set them out to dry!

I did some signs for them before and they are always commented on in the shop. Also, it is fun that they let me do what I want so I can get to play with different designs, colours and the like.

They needed a little sign for Peggy Porschen’s Cakes in the shop as well but it is really the capturing of their flowers that makes me want to try something floral in the lettering.



We have an interesting job I have been asked to come up with a complex design for so I have been doing research – I LOVE my library!

Unfortunately I can’t discuss the job, not only because it is the beginning stages but we don’t have it yet, and as Trinidadians say ‘I would not like to put goat mouth’ on it!


Antonia Voss’ job arrived all well and good to – she is so great to deal with. Work on time, if not cost goes up and it is paid post haste. Of course our first call on a job leaving us in peals of laughter. She is just great! Copperplate on the invitations and envelopes too.




Thursday saw us wrapping up a Certificate of Marriage for Mark Niemierko. I decided to use a sunk plate border for this one and not a drawn line.

It really is something special these certificates and I do have fun doing them.


We ended the week with a small job for Dior which was done in a one day turn around. It is great that our clients know we can turn around work so quickly. More importantly, that they know it costs more and are willing to pay for that service. And to think I was so against it!


P1060614The last thing to leave the studio was a poem for a client. Something that needed to small enough to fit an A4 frame but both legible and handwritten as well and having both a masculine and feminine feel! I know!

I opted for our Small Caps as they are clear and masculine, with large Copperplate Drop Caps for the decorative, feminine element.

I had a little bit of fun with this and the client loved it.


My sister, Charissa, is 30 tomorrow! I did not send a card :-( but will send her something stunning in the new year.

Friday 17 December 2010

Dec 6th - 9th

6th – 9th

Monday saw me in at 730am to start working on the Placecards, in table order, for the British Fashion Awards. There were Placecards to be done for The Mandarin Oriental for Kate. A stack of their cards arrived so we would have them for future jobs. 4000 letters to have signatures on them also arrived, late! So I set Keiko and Nicola up to assist with the 450 placecards while I went off and drew a table dressed for a wedding, to be reproduced at the bottom of a menu which we wrote out – all printed by Mount Street (thanks Rachel)


We set Angelo up to start signing the 4000 letters whilst the rest of us got on with the 450 placecards. Booked a courier to send off the illustration and the menu to Mount Street.


P1060548NOT FUN. Not happy! In the mean time we got a call from Jazz and Mansi at Benefit Cosmetics to write names on the cover of some Rob Ryan Note Books. But I must confess that there was no way to concentrate as getting these menus done for tomorrow 4pm was foremost in my mind, not to mention having to be at the British Fashion Awards for 4pm!


P1060564Nicola, Keiko and Angelo left. I called Alistair to say I was not going to be home early. I set up the menus to be written and got stuck in. I took a break at 930 for a cup for coffee (we have a great machine in the studio) and thought I should look in the box sent by the Manuscript Pen Company for the VideoJug filming on Thursday. I nearly fell over! So much stuff, so many toys. Christmas is here. 945 started back on the menus Left the studio at l1140pm. I got home at midnight, ate and went to sleep

445 alarm! I felt like I literally closed my eyes. In studio at 545am! And started again on the menus. Dont know how I am going to get through the day and the BFCAwards in the evening. 930am and the door rang. I thought ‘I really am not in the mood to see a courier.’ It was the colour and brushes from Windsor & Newton. What a joy, and really needed a smile. Back to the menus. This really feels like punishment! Nicola arrived at 945 and started on the menus. I continued while juggling additional names coming in for the Awards in the evening. Another event to do for the Mandarin Oriental, will have to wait till tomorrow!


1030 Alyson Hurst arrives with the paper from GFSmith for the shoot on Thursday, it really does feel like Christmas all my top suppliers pulling together to make something wondrous happen. Back to the menus! Spoke with Annika about the work. Nicola had to do the Placecards as the names arrived too late for me.

Left the studio at 3 to head into central London to get bits. Went to London Graphic Centre to get an A2 Light Table as we were one short, for the 4000 letters (which are still being signed buy Angelo, Keiko and Nicola. Off to Rymans to get some more blue and black pens (for out quick scripts) and then off to the Savoy to tie up the job for the BFC. Good gig! Some lovely people but did not see Sophie. Got home at 9pm – dead!

In at 8am. No electricity! Great. I can’t even make a coffee and I cant leave the studio as there are tonnes of candles lit. . Lost 1.5 hours of work. I sat in the dim candle light thinking. Electricity back on at 930Nicola and Angelo arrive at 945 and they start on the letters again. Polly’s job went off. The 2nd Mandarin oriental Job went off. The letters were completed and send off to the client. I look like crap and have to be filmed tomorrow. Completed a little rush job for Jo Malone.

I asked Coral (the site administrator) to ask the very noisy people next door to keep it down for the filming and set to cleaning up the studio. I did not finish until 1030pm. Moving books throwing out things, unnecessary stationery left over from jobs. Duds went into the shredding box carpet vacuumed and laid out all the tools and materials for the starting shot.

Dinner was ready, thank God for Alistair. Suet Dumplings in a Pork Casserole. I am telling you about food because when I am this tired food is a necessity. There was also a soft cheese cake with crumb crust! Ate, trimmed my beard and shaved in prep for tomorrow.

P1060564Thursday saw me in at 730am prepping for the shoot. Did some last minute prepping. Told all clients couriers had to arrive before 10 or after 4. And the door bell rang at 9! In came Charlie and Sunaina. Made coffee, chatted, got some perspective on the shoot and jumped in. Got some direction on how to sit to half face the camera, how to start and how to end off. 20 videos! I feel like death warmed over – not to mention the week. Thank goodness for all the wonderful Jo Malone moisturiser from Jess at Jo Malone, ah Pomegranate Noir (bath oil, cologne, shower gel, moisturiser). We started shooting at 1015am and finished at 430pm! I stayed back to complete another job for the Mandarin Oriental. They are so lovely to deal with, Kate and Emily.


Sorry about the fuzzy pic.

Friday, got in at 930am organised all the work that needed to go out. Worked on the Awards for the TCS Staff and left it alone to dry. Looked in the box of books for Benefit Cosmetics and pulled them out. ARGH! All the books were in packets of 10 or so and then all individually wrapped in plastic film. So had to do all of that before dealing with the writing. Copperplate on the covers – Windsor & Newton Lamp Black Gouache with a bucket load of their Gum Arabic! Works like a charm on slightly coated paper. Thank goodness it was not textured too. There were some issues with the nib going over the printed dots as these were raised, but in the end they looked good. But the space they needed to dry! Look at that will you!


Britta’s job turned up, all her envelopes were done – white W&N gouache on Colourplan Dark Grey in our Kensington Script. Stunning! Unfortunately the invitations weren’t reversed out so they went back to be redone.

Jess Carder’s menus turned up and we were about to send her the hearts with names on them(they too needed tonnes of space to dry), her escort cards and placement envelopes. I am so happy for Jess! Left at 430 – I have a 5:00 massage booked – so desperately need it. James was a treat. Lovely soft, medium sized hands but very firm. I fell asleep a few times during the massage. Left him with a little name card I did for him and headed off to the INK Exhibition Closing Party at UCl for respondents and participants! I will miss Rhainnan and Subadrah! Also say Gilly at the party what a scream, shame Stephen was missing. Also saw Nick the Letterpress Printer and, get this, Type Caster! Can you believe. Headed home and cooked dinner.

Saturday saw us going to the Brook Street Jo Malone Shop to sample fragrances! Yeah! And then I went off to By Appointment Only Design to see Javier and Tony for a chat about the up coming show on the evening of the 11th of February 2011. See you there?

Quick reminder. There is a Wedding Fayre at Dartmoor House, 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED – drop by for a chat and some calligraphy! 11am till 4 pm.

PS – there are vids of the studio – long ones, and vids from the Hieroglyphs class which I will also post soon.

Dec 4th & 5th


Decided to do Saturday and Sunday as a separate entry to show, more to myself than anyone else, that these two days should really be a days out of the week.

Saturday saw me up bright and early to get all my stuff together to take to the British Museum to teach the workshop on Cursive Hieroglyphs. There were about 20 attendees from people who had no experience of Egyptian hieroglyphs to lecturers and PhD students in Egyptology. I got there early enough to set up, get copies, Cut lignin paper and stick it up on the wall and put my tools out. I had the chance to chat with attendees whilst setting up so that gave me a good reference point.


The class was really engaging and provided a lot of information on issues that participants had with writing the script, from using a pencil for monoline structures to moving unto double pencils in preparation for using a square cut reed. We mixed up some gouache for practise as they were all intended to produce a few columns of book of the dead on papyrus.

After setting up everyone to get on with their sheets, I sat down to do my own piece of the Book of the Dead using a rush cut much smaller than the reeds the class were working with.

I was so tired at the end of the class but everyone took the time to come up to say thanks and how much they enjoyed it. And of course the obligatory ‘when is the book going to be out’ was asked! If only time would allow.


Sunday saw me coming into the studio at noon to work till 7pm. Sophie’s seating cards for the British Fashion Council arrived all well and good on Friday and as all the names need to be in the same hand as they were all being put out on one table it was left to me to do them. It took 8 hours to do them all. Left them, with their list in alphabetical order, on the, now lower, proof reading table for Angelo to check on Monday. Printed off the list in table order and left it ready for us to work on tomorrow. I decided to split the list up with Keiko, Nicola and myself. That way we could all get them ready by the end of the day.

Sunday also saw me prepping for the week as Sarah would not be in. There was about 6 jobs coming in. Lists had arrived but of course, it is better to wait till the stationery is actually in studio to merge list and print them off as additions are always something to consider.

I spent some time tidying up the studio in anticipation for the filming with VideoJug, on Thursday.