Online Art Classes We Can All Do At Home

Wildfield Paper Co Watercolor Swatches

Image via Wildfield Paper Co.

Hi friends. How are you all holding up? Hopefully everyone is safe and quarantining at home, and during these uncertain times I know some of us are looking to the arts to help us de-stress and pass the time at home. So for those of you looking for online art classes we can all do at home – primarily calligraphy, painting, illustration, and printmaking classes – I thought I’d share a few of my faves for you!

 

Written Word Calligraphy

Image via Written Word Calligraphy

CALLIGRAPHY

  • Calligraphy is so meditative and therapeutic – and there’s so much you can do with it once you master the skill! After teaching more than a thousand students through sold-out in person workshops, Karla Lim from Written Word Calligraphy just launched her first online workshop! Karla worked really hard to make her in-person workshops completely virtual, with printable worksheets, notes for troubleshooting, group live sessions, private Facebook groups, and feedback from Karla to help students get where they want to be. Enrollment is only open until April 14 – sign up right here!

 

 

  • For those of you looking for a full introduction into all things calligraphy, I highly recommend the Modern Calligraphy Summit! There are two installments so far – Modern Calligraphy Summit 1.0 and Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 –and the classes including brush lettering, invitation design, envelope layouts, basic copperplate, writing on non-traditional surfaces, digitizing watercolor illustrations, and so much more! And as much as an in-person workshop would be totally amazing, it’s just as incredible to be able to learn from so many talented calligraphers from the comfort of your own home. The Modern Calligraphy Summit also includes handy templates and handouts, a private Facebook community to support you as you learn, and lifetime access to all the amazing content so you can go back and watch the videos as many times as you need to practice and get the hang of things. Enroll right here!

 

Carolyn Gavin

Image via Carolyn Gavin

PAINTING + ILLUSTRATION

  • For those of you who enjoy watercolor painting, the Watercolor Summit is right up your alley. Learn how to mix custom colors, paint landscapes and skies, florals of every variety, and even animals with layers and depth with over sixteen hours of instruction from teachers like Jenna Rainey and Annie Mertlich of Wildfield Paper Co. The Watercolor Summit includes a list of recommended supplies, a private Facebook community, and lifetime access to all the course materials. There’s also a bonus pack just focused on Annie’s botanical paintings and a full second installment of the Watercolor Summit focused on gouache painting coming on May 11! Enroll right here!

 

  • If you already have all your supplies and want to learn how to paint specific kinds of flowers, a few of my favorite watercolor artists offer more detailed classes on their own channels. Watercolor artist Yao Cheng has several classes on Creativebug, while Jenna Rainey also has a ton of video tutorials on her YouTube channel, covering everything from anemones to peonies to leaves!

 

 

 

  • And since many of us are staying indoors these days, landscape painting could be a great way to remember our favorite places – or the places we plan to visit when it’s safe to travel! I’ve always been drawn to loose Impressionist-style landscapes. This landscape painting class uses oil paints, but you can totally follow along in acrylics or watercolor depending on your preference.

 

 

Katharine Watson

Image via Katharine Watson

PRINTMAKING

  • I took a printmaking class back in college and absolutely loved it – I’ve been wanting to get back into it ever since, and I would love to teach my girls when they’re a bit older! I’m definitely signing up for this linoleum block printing class from one of my favorite printmaking artists, Katharine Watson and this monoprinting class from Courtney Cerutti.

 

  • I took a Suminagashi paper marbling class a couple years ago and it was SO fun – and incredibly meditative. My 6 year old took the class with me and also loved it, so it’s kid friendly for those of you with artistically-inclined kids! I was thrilled to find this online version that anyone can take at home. 

 

Happy learning everyone!

Let’s Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win.

Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win with Elizabeth Warren

Alright friends, now that primary season is officially upon us, let’s talk about presidential candidates (positive and constructive comments only, please). My friends and I talk a lot about this in person, but politics shouldn’t be something talked about in hushed circles since the policies of our elected officials affect ALL of us.

As you may know, I spent nearly ten years working for the federal government here in DC. My degrees are in economics and international diplomacy, and politics is part of my soul. I’ve been following each candidate closely and evaluating them based on their policies and vision for the future, and I’m all in for Elizabeth Warren

Here’s why: She’s empathetic and compassionate, and she truly understands how much people are struggling right now. She has big plans for fixing our broken economy and our democracy – including investing in public education, creating universal child care, expanding access to healthcare, pursuing anti-corruption reforms, and transitioning our economy to clean and renewable energy. She knows her stuff, knows HOW to get it done, and has a plan to pay for everything, including making the top 1% of the 1% put some of their resources back into the system. She’s the only candidate currently running that actually makes me feel HOPEFUL about the future when I listen to her talk. Gabby from Design Mom wrote a post with a whole list of reasons why she’s supporting Elizabeth Warren, and I agree with all of them!

Did you watch the democratic primary debate last night? I thought Elizabeth Warren’s performance was masterful. I’ve seen critiques that Warren was too angry, but to me she was prepared, effective, and assertive. I would honestly LOVE to have a president who is angry on our behalf at the way middle class families are getting squeezed by billionaires and huge corporations. And she’s been saying the same things for years – here’s a video from 10 years ago with Warren talking to voters about some of these exact same issues.

So what about you? Are you liking any candidates in particular? And yes, don’t worry, I’m planning to vote for whichever candidate gets the Democratic nomination. I like plenty of things about the other candidates, minus Bloomberg. Super Tuesday is coming up on March 3, and most state primaries will take place between now and April (text VOTER to 26797 to check your registration and get local election info!). It’s definitely time to start doing research and choosing your preferred candidates – from presidential candidates all the way down to state and local government candidates. You can find your local ballot over at Ballotpedia!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and I’m thinking about cocktails as we put the finishing touches on our holiday menu. I thought I would quickly share a few favorite holiday cocktail recipes in case you’re in the same situation! We’ve got a few punch recipes, some wine-based cocktail recipes, a couple coffee cocktails, and more. Enjoy!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe Ideas

Punch Recipes

Okay, let’s start with the punches – the large batch cocktails that will keep everyone happy throughout the night. Our Spiced Winter Punch is one of our favorite recipes and can be made with vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey, you can go traditional with a Hot Rum Punch, or mix things up with a tequila-based (!!) Yuletide Punch. If you’re feeling extra theatrical, you can light the Charles Dickens Punch on fire before drinking (please be extra careful). Fish House punch is just a rather strange name for a Caribbean rum punch, while Allspice Punch is warm and spicy.

Spiced Winter Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Spiced Winter Punch

Allspice Punch Cocktail RecipeCharles Dickens Punch Recipe by Liquorary

Allspice Punch // Charles Dickens Punch

Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Rum Punch Holiday Cocktail RecipeYuletide Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Fish House Punch // Yuletide Punch

Wine Cocktails

If you’re not super into spirits, try a mulled wine for the holidays! We love a good Swedish Glögg, which is basically a bottle of wine thrown together with whatever spirits and spices you might already have on hand. We made ours with brandy and white port, but you could easily go with rum, whiskey, or just about anything else. Same goes for the Mulled Winter Sangria, which can be served warm or over ice!

Swedish Mulled Wine Glogg Recipe / Hygge Cocktail Ideas

Traditional Swedish Glögg

Mulled Winter Sangria Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mulled Winter Sangria

Warm Coffee Cocktails

Warm cocktails are perfect for cold winter nights, and couldn’t we all use the extra energy from a bit of black coffee?? Our Spiced Irish Coffee and Scotch Coffee recipes are basically just variations on a theme, but we added cardamom and rosewater to the Irish coffee while the vanilla bean Scotch coffee has a smokey warmth that I really love this time of year. 

Irish Coffee Recipe / Liquorary x Bushmills

Spiced Irish Coffee

Scotch Coffee Cocktail Recipe

Vanilla Bean Scotch Coffee

Smashes

If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing small batch cocktail recipes to make over the holidays, these two vanilla-bean smashes – the Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash and Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash – are my absolute favorites. Even if you don’t think you like Scotch or Bourbon, you’ll love these drinks. Promise!

Bourbon Pear Vanilla Bean Cocktail Recipe

Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Recipe

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash

Happy holidays everyone!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphed Stationery Inspiration

A bit of dark and moody stationery inspiration is kind of perfect for winter, don’t you think? Embrace the coziness of shorter winter days and the sparkle of the holiday season with some romantic black, white, and gold calligraphed stationery inspiration from Kristin at Lustre Theory – featuring the gorgeous calligraphy of Seniman Calligraphy and dreamy handmade paper from Fringe & Rose. You’ll find a few of my favorite things in this inspirational suite, from beautiful gold wax to a moody floral envelope liner and shimmery gold ink on black envelopes. So pretty!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

From KristinI wanted to create stationery inspiration that was dark and whimsical but still had romantic tones to it. Almost gothic in style. The styling of this suite was very important to give it those mysterious moody vibes. I used black linen fabric for the background but chose an off white cheese cloth to add texture and help the black paper pieces stand out more.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

The cotton rag paper is handmade by Fringe and Rose. I chose this particular paper because of its loose uneven edges and textured surface. The wax seals are messier than you might normally see, with drops and dribbles. I just let the wax burn right off the stick and drip directly onto the paper and ribbon, creating those black flecks you see in the gold.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

If you look close enough you’ll see the script text on the cotton paper pieces is a quote from “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allan Poe – because, details!

“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
The Tell-Tale Heart – By Edgar Allan Poe

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Thanks Kristin!

 

Stationery Design: Lustre Theory

Handmade Paper: Fringe & Rose

Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy

Ribbon: Silk & Willow

 

 

Photo Credits: Lustre Theory

2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

In honor of Giving Tuesday, I wanted to share a few organizations that could use your support this holiday season and beyond. I decided to focus on seven organizations that I personally support; but there are a million amazing organizations working in a variety of sectors, so if you have a favorite cause or organization – feel free to mention them in the comments below! These days, I’m personally very much focused on organizations working to protect and reform our democratic systems (and they’re mostly non-partisan!), as well as organizations seeking to help asylum seekers impacted by the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies. Maybe you’re already familiar with these organizations, but if not I’m thrilled to help introduce you to a few organizations doing amazing work around the country. Every little bit helps!

2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

POLITICAL NON-PROFITS

Run for Something

Run for Something has the fantastic mission of supporting young, progressive candidates running for state and local office. Run for Something aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and the training they need to be successful. They want to permanently improve and expand the definition of “politician” – making it something honorable again, and not just something for rich old white dudes or slimeballs – and bring it back to public service. They just launched in January 2017 and have already recruited more than 45,000 candidates across all 50 states. Yes to more young people in public office!

Fair Fight Action

Fair Fight (founded by Stacey Abrams) promotes fair elections in key states around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in targeted voter registration and other voter outreach programs and communications. Fair Fight is particularly focused on countering voter suppression – particularly young voters and voters of color – and they’re doing some really important work in many 2020 swing states.

She Should Run

She Should Run is a nonpartisan nonprofit promoting leadership and encouraging women from all walks of life to run for office by providing training and other assistance for female candidates. Women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the United States. She Should Run is committed to getting at least 250,000 women to run for local, state, and federal offices by 2030! 

 

Resistbot

Resistbot is a free service that helps you contact your elected officials or local newspaper via email, text message, fax, or postal letter – it makes engaging with our elected officials SO EASY! Because the goal of Resistbot is to deliver your correspondence to elected officials, their activities technically fall under the IRS definition of lobbying – and they need our donations to keep the service running! 

 

Represent Us

Represent Us is a grassroots organization bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections by passing anti-corruption measures at the state and local level. So important!

 

 

IMMIGRATION/REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado provides legal and medical assistance to asylum seekers, migrants, and deportees, including cross-border support for families separated under the family separation policy and families currently impacted by the Remain in Mexico policy program. Your donations to Al Otro Lado go directly to serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles!

 

Aldea

Aldea – The People’s Justice Center provides pro-bono or discounted legal services for members of the immigrant community, including unaccompanied minors and minor immigrant children. They’re active throughout the United States, but focus largely on families and children detained at the Berks Detention Center. You can also donate via Facebook.

In addition to Al Otro Lado and Aldea PJC, you can also donate to Las Americas, an immigrant advocacy organization based in El Paso, or donate to support families impacted by the ICE raids in Mississippi earlier this year right here.