Happy National Handwriting Day!

 
SharpenYourSkillsBlackwing.jpg
 

Sharpen Your Skills

Do you love long hand, decorative lettering, calligraphy or, like me, just writing with pencils? Then today is our day to celebrate our love of letters! I've recently fallen in absolute love with Blackwing pencils so I was very happy when they contacted my to create a hand-lettered piece for National Handwriting Day. Balckwing's campaign theme this year is aptly named "Sharpen Your Skills," which is fitting for their fantastic pencils! But what skill? Why are we still using pencils when we have computers and phones to type? 


Is handwriting important?

I will be first to admit that I love creating art, typography and patterns on my computer. But where do all those ideas start? With a good sharp pencil and paper of course! In an age of digital media, online learning and text messages, there is a lack of handwriting in school, work and everyday life, and it's killing a lot of essential motor function, language skills and creativity.

Learning handwriting and cursive isn't only important for being able to read old documents, manuscripts and letters from loved ones. Starting at an early age, learning and using handwriting is important for eye-hand coordination and neurological functions. It can improve memory skills and has even been shown to improve self-esteem. Handwriting also helps us learn to write, read, use proper grammar and to have better spelling (I can attest to this improvement in my own spelling). Those who have poor handwriting often spend more time struggling to produce letters rather than focusing on the content of their writing, which can lead to lower grades for many students (I can also attest to this from years of teaching). This may be a surprise to you, as I create legible script for a living, but my every-day handwriting can be illegible and atrocious. I used to play with my handwriting and write all my letters in cursive, but as I get older and busier, creating legible letters often seems a waste of valuable time. Not to mention, we are trained to type as quickly as possible in our digital age and our spelling and grammar can be quite inaccurate since spell checker fixes our mistakes. Fortuantely, my lettering and calligraphy has brought my focus back to slowing down my every-day scribbles into more thoughtful letter forms and has improved my spelling and memory of ideas and events I pencil into my calendar. 


Endless Creative Possibilities

Using a pencil and paper can be a much more freeing and creative outlet than using computers or phones. While many of us can feel intimidated by a blank page, the limitlessness of a clean sheet of paper and lack of distractions around the page offers an opportunity to let your mind put down all of it's ideas and images. Expression through lettering and script can be therapeutic and engaging to your creative side on and off the paper. You may use this skill as a way to relax after a long day, a tool to express your opinion or emotions or even to create an art piece for your home that brings you joy at your creative accomplishment. The history of handwriting and calligraphy is quite interesting and sheds light on the importance of creative personal expression through pen and pencil to paper. But more on that later another time ; )

Are you a lover of longhand? How has it helped you? Let us know in the comments and happy lettering!

Find your new favorite pencil here. I highly recommend the limited edition subscription.

 
 

Wednesday Washi!

If you're a sticker and stationery love like me, you definitely own some washi tape. Okay, you definitely own a LOT of washi tape. In fact, you hunt for washi tape at every store that seems like it might have washi tape. And if you're like me, you can't really pass up washi tape because, yeah,  you really DO need washi tape of every animal, plant, shape, color and holiday just in case a project comes up. I mean, it's only a few bucks, so why not scoop up that cute terrarium and gold heart pair?

Are you also like me and realized once you got home you really had no clue what to do with all that delightful paper tape? I stayed away from the wave of washi for so long because I was clueless about what it would be used for. But since I have a really hard time saying no to cute tape in the stationery section, I soon found that I had collected up a LOT of washi rolls. But what to do with all of it? Well washi lovers, here are some of my favorite ways to use washi tape!


WednesdayWashi_Flamingo.jpg

Here are some of my summer favorites that I paired together. I love the bold, bright colors of these! Gelly Roll pens and Target dollar spot clips and tacks make a fun addition and cute way to display your projects on a corkboard, in a cubicle or on your wall!


So what are you supposed to do with all that washi goodness? Get ready to gather up some supplies. Pull out some paper or a blank card, a blank envelope (white or colored!), bright pens/markers, scissors and your selected washi! My first DIY washi project is a custom card. I decided to utilize lettering, card making, and the washi all at once.

The blank card is easy to decorate with stripes of washi. You can make shape, tape on other paper bits, or snip little bits to use the images on the tape. I stayed on just the front of the card for this one but feel free to washi up the inside and the back! After I got my washi on there, I penciled out what I wanted to write. Of course I went with a flamingo quote! Decorate your lettering with shadows, designs in the letters, or even doodle fun images on your card. Then decorate your blank envelope to be as fun as your card. I love wrapping my washi all the way around to the back. Be careful of the gummy area though! When you're done, pen your return and shipping addies on there and you're all set!

beaflamingocard.jpg

Here are some other quick projects and uses for your washi:

  • Wrap around your favorite paper straws, snip the ends into little banners
  • Tape around old candle jars and use for pencil or silverware caddies
  • Mark your lettering pens with your favorite washi so you know which are yours at your next meetup
  • Make a mini pennant banner using string and washi taped together and snipped into flags

Even with all these fun washi projects, I will admit that I hoard a few favorite rolls for fear I won't get anything that cute again. At least they are super cute to look at stacked up in my desk cubby! I would love to see your washi projects and hear about your favorite tapes! Let me know in the comments and feel free to post your creations!

- Cerise :)