Inspiration: I thought I had taken the alphabet I used for this card from Margaret Shepherd's Calligraphy Alphabets Made Easy, but I went through the book twice today and couldn't find it. My best guess then is that I might have been inspired to try to make my own alphabet (each set of pages in the book is set up to be a week's worth of exercises in calligraphy and one of those weeks did have the 7th lesson of the week as a design your own alphabet). I must have figured doing an alphabet for Valentine's Day would have been easy. I really like the "art deco" quality to how these turned out.
How I Make Them: I initially drew out my alphabet for this card in a notebook (see image below). Since then I always make the lettering part of this card on vellum by tracing that original drawing with the use of a light box (initially I had a home-made one using a long light stick places inside an acrylic cookbook holder). I start with the arrows in gold gel pen. Next I add all the red hearts on the tips of the arrows in red gel pen. Finally I add the straight edges of the letters using a small nibbed calligraphy pen and black india ink. I usually do several of these and let them dry overnight. Then I cut them out of the vellum, sometimes using fancy edges craft scissors like in the photographed example above. I secure the vellum to the front of the card using heart shaped seals or stickers that overlap the card and an edge of the vellum. I usually leave the inside of these cards blank to write a personal message.
- Simple inspired alphabets could be used for any kind of card. The more embellished the letters are, the less other decoration is needed so that the alphabet stands out.
- Some quick ideas I'm thinking of: a snowman shaped or accessorized alphabet for winter holidays, a balloon themed alphabet for birthdays, a flower-shaped alphabet for mothers day, an alphabet made of tools for father's day. What other themes can you come up with that might be fun to try?