Calligraphy Class at Studio Calico!

(photo by Maghon Taylor :)

SC Calligraphy Class

YOU GUYS! I just found out that there’s gonna be a calligraphy class at SC starting in June! How does SC always seem to know what I’m interested in? I seriously *just* purchased a pen holder, sumi ink, and nibs!

Class is enrolling now through June 15 and will be taught by Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes. I just love her happy style!

While supplies last you’ll receive a kit with a Speedball penholder and 2 Brause Extra Fine 66 nibs FREE! yay!

Here’s what we’ll learn:

  • Basic calligraphy terms and tools and how to use them
  • Tips for getting started, from correct posture and position to getting your ink to flow on the page
  • How to create your own unique lowercase calligraphy alphabet
  • Tips and tricks for connecting your letters into beautiful, hand-written words and phrases
  • Pointers and advice for continued calligraphy practice and improvement

Come join the fun and find out more right here — hope to see ya there! xoxo

Update! Class started today (June 14) and it’s awesome so far! Can’t wait for more.

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One Little Word! (Or in my case, two.)

You guys! I did it! I did it! I started my One Little Word journal. This is my first time doing it. If you haven’t heard about this, check out Ali Edwards’ page here.  I couldn’t settle on one word — I really struggled and tried to pick just one, but couldn’t. My words are ROAR and enough. So they balance each other out. Couldn’t do one or the other.

I’m using a DIY traveler’s notebook for my word (more on that below) — so for this month’s vision board assignment I decided to do a kind of fold out version. If you follow me on instagram you may have already seen it, but here it is again! I’ve got photos below for ya too — but it’s really hard to show in photos!

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Here’s a few notes about how I got started:

  • I found this Word notebook and thought it would be perfect! But I couldn’t find a cover for it…
  • So I made my own by following this video.
  • I used a scrap of leather from the remnant section at Tandy Leather — it was like a whole $3.
  • I’ve had that turquoise bead for forever — don’t even remember where I got it. Turquoise is my birthstone. :)
  • I had so much fun making the vision “board” that’s in the center. I actually had a dream about making it in a fold out like that.

I’m sure I’ll have more to come. xoxo

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Ranunculus: Part 1!


You guys! I saw some gorgeous ranunculus flowers at the grocery store the other day and had to try and watercolor them. Had to. You know how it is when you just have to try something, am I right?

Ranunculus practice by Lisa Spangler

I started out by doing a little practice in my moleskine watercolor journal just to try and get a feel for it. I love practicing things first in my journal.

Then I dove in and started to make cards! I have a bunch to show you after I get them put together — I almost wanna just sit down and color all day, it’s hard to stop and turn them into cards lol! Call me a little obsessed. Here are my first two.

Ranunculus Part 1 by Lisa Spangler

For both of these I used my #8 filbert brush and tube watercolors in various brands. I don’t remember all of the colors I used, but here are just a few:

  • Winsor + Newton Winsor yellow
  • Winsor + Newton Opera rose — this is my fave pink :)
  • Winsor + Newton Quinacridone gold
  • Daniel Smith Quinacridone coral — this is one of the first Daniel Smith colors I’ve ever tried and oh man it’s so pretty!
  • Winsor + Newton Sap green
  • Winsor + Newton Prussian blue

Now for a bit about each card!

Super Lucky to Have You

The World Is Super Lucky to Have You by Lisa Spangler The World Is Super Lucky to Have You by Lisa Spangler

Field Notes:

  • This one was done on Arches cold press watercolor paper that I had trimmed to 4×4″. You guys, this paper is like magic — it makes me feel like a “real” artist. Wah!
  • I used the “super lucky” sentiment from this Up the Happy set by Julie Ebersole for Ellen Hutson. Just gotta say that I love this set so much — ’cause it makes me HAPPY!
  • I stamped the message first to help in positioning the flowers by inking it up first with VersaMark ink and then without stamping I applied Studio Calico deja blue color theory ink right over top of the VersaMark. Then I stamped it and heat embossed it in clear. This is a great way to get more from your inks! And this blue is my fave navy of all time. I think using navy ink instead of black makes it seem more modern and fresh.
  • Had to finish it off with some splatters. Because yeah, splatters! :)

Just A Note to Say Hello

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler


Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Just a Note to Say Hello by Lisa Spangler

Field Notes:

  • For this one, I used Strathmore 400 series paper — I picked up a pad for only $3 at Jerry’s Artarama and just had to try it! I have to say that while it isn’t as deluxe as the Arches, it still worked well! The paper is thinner and it tends to give harder edges to the flowers. The paper did curl a little while it was wet, but as it dried it flattened right out.
  • I started off by die cutting the Hero Arts Hello so that I’d know where to paint the flowers — I had a happy accident where it didn’t cut completely — I’m not even sure how I managed to do that, but I liked it so I went with it. Just so you know, it’s always cut perfectly before.
  • Then I painted the ranunculus trio near the bottom.
  • I added some yellow splatters but I got a HUGE one that looked so bad, so I grabbed a damp mop brush and used it to make a background wash. I added more yellow to the top.
  • After it was dry, I added some more splatters and painted the hello green. I got outside the lines a little but that didn’t bother me — I think it just adds to the charm!
  • Then I grabbed my clear wink of stella and went over some parts of the flowers to add a little sparkle.
  • And then! I added little drops of glossy accents here and there to make raindrops, plus I added a drop to the flower centers and all over the hello.
  • Some pretty pink posh sequins finished it off!

Update on March 13: Video!

The sun finally came out yay! And  I’m super grateful for the rain tho — we really needed it! — even though it was not so good for filming. Anyhow, here’s the promised video!

I’ll wait until it dries and then maybe do a little lifting — we’ll see! This was done on Arches cold press paper with the same brush + supplies as the other  cards.

Select Supplies

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Mondo Hydrangea!

You guys! Happy news! The Mondo Hydrangea stamp set is back in stock! YAY! This stamp is part of the latest release at Ellen Hutson and I love it to pieces.

I’ve had this post just sitting here waiting until it came back in stock because I didn’t want to disappoint you! I know how it is when you get an idea and you want to play with it *right now*! :)

I had a ton of fun trying different techniques on them — in fact, I may have gotten a little carried away!


I know, right??!? I just couldn’t stop! And I still want to paint more! I’m thinking I’ll do some pink ones next. :)

For all of these, I used the Koi Watercolor set to add color. I can’t tell you how much I love this set! The colors are so vibrant — just gorgeous. I’ll be doing another post on watercolors soon. A few other things:

  • The top middle one was stamped with Studio Calico Color Theory Deja Blue ink — you guys, this is my favorite blue ink ever. It’s not waterproof, so the color does blend a little. But oh man, I love it! (They have tons of vibrant colors too.) (And they also have that Koi Watercolor set if you’re just shopping for color…)
  • The rest of the hydrangeas were stamped with broken china distress ink, except for the “no line” one which was stamped in tumbled glass.
  • I added some liquid pearls to the center of each to give it that extra something — you can see that better in the photos below. One more tip about that — you can go over the dried pearls with a permanent marker like a sharpie or copic to change the color. Yay!
  • I used the matching Mondo Hydrangea dies to cut them out — I’m not one for fussy cutting — especially when I made so many lol!

Now how about a finished card? Or two! :)


For this one I added a little yellow to the centers…and then the one below has all blue.


A real hydrangea for ya that I used for inspiration — saw them at Trader Joe’s and just couldn’t resist! :)


At first I was gonna do something fancier for the front of the card, but I decided to let the hydrangea take center stage and then add the message to the inside.


Now for the inside! Here I used the brushstroke wonderful die plus the the Totally Awesome set to add the “have a” and “birthday” to make two cards for my aunts. They both received their cards already and they love them. That’s the thing that makes me happiest. :)


So that it would match the colors on the front, I watercolored on a scrap and then cut it out of there.


Then I adhered it to fun foam (from the craft store) and adhered it in place. I like to use Tombow mono multi adhesive for this because you can put it on, let it dry for about 30 seconds and it becomes repositionable — kinda like a post-it note! Yes!

I have the rest of the rest of of my hydrangeas all prepped and ready to go too — just have to add a message to the inside of the card. Color me happy.


Hope you have a mondo wonderful day! xo

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Doodle 2 Digital class with Matthew Taylor Wilson!


You guys!!! Have you heard the news? Matthew Taylor Wilson is going to be teaching a class at Studio Calico!!! YEAH!!! You can enroll now through April 1. I can’t wait for this class as his work has always been a favorite of mine! Check out his work right here.

Here’s what we’ll learn in class:

  • How to loosen up with contour drawing
  • Ideas for creating hand-drawn patterns
  • How to create an illustration within a shape
  • Tips and tricks for hand-drawn alphabets
  • How to create a dynamic illustrated quote
  • The basics of digital


I’m signing up right now! Come and join us right here. xoxo

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