Today’s blog post comes from our friend and calligraphy expert, Melissa Esplin! Melissa has been teaching calligraphy for nearly a decade and is a recognized industry expert. In today’s post, Melissa will tell you all about our new collaborative how-to program: Penmanship with Melissa Esplin!
Hey friends! It’s Melissa Esplin, from MelissaEsplin.com and Calligraphy.org. I’m so excited for the launch of my new collaboration program with Close To My Heart! As an introduction, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself: I am a calligrapher and artist, and I’ve been teaching calligraphy since 2010. I love empowering people with the ability to write beautifully, all while embracing the nuances that make their penmanship unique.
The Penmanship with Melissa Esplin program is meant to get you excited about hand lettering and to help you build confidence in your own penmanship. No matter what it looks like, your penmanship is a beautiful and unique part of who you are, and far too many people are afraid to use their own handwriting in projects. This program provides exercises and instruction to help you get more comfortable with your own penmanship, and to educate you on how to use your own handwriting in specific projects. With instruction in both upper and lowercase print as well as upper and lowercase cursive, the Penmanship with Melissa Esplin program helps you learn not only how to embrace your own unique handwriting, but also when to use specific lettering styles to complement each project.
This program doesn’t follow traditional penmanship methods. It isn’t conventional calligraphy either. By pulling bits and pieces from various methodologies, the program will guide you in increasing legibility, gracefulness, and consistency of your work, all while staying true to your own penmanship style. You’ll also learn more about the construction of each letter, which helps you to be aware of your personal preferences as you continue to develop your own style.
In addition to the how-to book, I’ve been working with Close To My Heart on a variety of materials to help support your own creativity! We have designed 4 stamp sets for journaling, scrapbooking, and cardmaking.
While they are intended for traditional stamping, they can also be used as a great way to get more practice in. The sentiments can be stamped with a light pigment ink on practice paper and then traced using tracing paper. No matter how you use these stamps, I know you’re going to love them!
We also have a set of multicolor small brush pens to accompany the Penmanship with Melissa Esplin how-to book. Each color in this set is designed to work well with the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, and the tips are constructed to support both thin, light strokes, and strong, thick ones.
The ink in these pens is water soluble and can be blended and mixed to create new colors as well. The Multicolor Small Brush Pen Set comes with 7 colors and 3 black pens.
I’m thrilled to have partnered with Close To My Heart to help inspire you to record your stories with confidence. Happy lettering, friends!
With the launch of two new Close To My Heart catalogs this week, does anyone else feel like a kid on Christmas morning? Since September 1, hundreds of new Close To My Heart products, including stamp sets, patterned papers, embellishments, and much, much more, have been readily available at our fingertips!
In case you missed the exciting announcement after our North American Convention, we have moved to a new catalog release schedule. Close To My Heart will no longer only publish three catalogs a year, but SEVEN—an annual Core Products catalog and six, bi-monthly, supplemental catalogs. The goal is to get fresh designs and up-to-the-minute products into your hands when you need them and want them most!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the new goodies in our Core and September–October catalogs. (It may be time to make some room in your craft room—your stash may be getting a bit bigger! 🙂 )
Paper Packet + Sticker Sheets
Each of our supplement catalogs will feature two paper suites. Within each suite you will have the choice between two paper packet options, one including a new 12″ x 12″ sticker sheet, and one without. The new sticker sheet will come with titles, accents, and more, that coordinate perfectly with the designs of its accompanying paper packet. Both paper packets will come with six sheets of three double-sided designs of patterned paper, rather than the 12 we’ve done in the recent past, so you only purchase what you need and avoid having too much left over!
Custom Cardstock Packs
When you visit our cardstock menu on our website, you will find two very exciting additions. As a continuation of the theme of getting you just what you need, we now offer custom cardstock packs! Choose between a 12-sheet or 24-sheet pack and then decide which of our current exclusive colors you want in it. We’ll package up your selection and send your customized pack along with the rest of your order. It’s that simple!
Scrapbooking Workshop Kits
Our scrapbooking workshops got a makeover! Each workshop continues to come with easy-to-follow instructions to make six complete pages however only some are paired into layouts. Both, the Every Little Thing and Hawthorn scrapbooking workshops make two individual pages and two two-page layouts.
Even more exciting, we’ve trimmed a lot of the paper cutting right out of the workshops! Each new kit includes large, exclusive die-cut sheets and accessories that coordinate effortlessly with a handful of additional products for fast and seriously gorgeous pages. In the page above, the only thing you’ll cut when you make your own are the two photo mats. <3 <3 <3 !
Everyday Life™ Albums
Our Everyday Life™ album line just got bigger…and smaller! Providing the greatest versatility in size (and color options), these are now available in 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 8″, 8½” x 11″, and 12″ x 12″. Perfect for preserving vacations, weddings, highlights from the football season, or backyard adventures, the Everyday Life™ line is designed to accommodate any occasion or memory!
Heat Transfer Vinyl & Digital Art
You already take pride in filling your scrapbooks with beautiful artwork on the inside, so why not add some flair to their outsides? With our new line of heat transfer vinyl and digital SVG files designed specifically with album covers in mind, you can easily do just that!
After downloading the digital images, cut them out of the heat transfer vinyl using your favorite cutting machine, and then apply them to your album. For a complete list of available heat transfer vinyl colors and digital art designs, click here.
Penmanship with Melissa Esplin
Renowned calligraphy and lettering expert Melissa Esplin joined forces with Close To My Heart to create an easy, step-by-step penmanship program. Penmanship with Melissa Esplin introduces stroke sequences, letter forms, and techniques to improve and develop your personal, individual style. Equipped with exercise worksheets and practice pages, as you see can see above, this program provides the necessary tools to share your stories through your own creative handwriting!
Get ready to pour your hearts out with our gorgeous new Close To My Heart journaling pens!
These journaling pens are available in Black and Pewter inks and in .05, .03, and .01 tips. Easily take your handwriting up a notch by simply using the right tool!
Color and blend like and expert with our new markers! Inside every TriBlend™ marker is a perfect gradation of colors, from light to dark, delivered through three separate fine bullet nibs. The alcohol-based ink blends seamlessly for mixing or layering colors.
Stickles™ Glitter Gel
Another newcomer to the Close To My Heart line-up are the Stickle™ glitter gels! Available in the ten colors you see here, use these fun gels to add dimension and a bit of sparkle to your projects.
This spongy soft, reusable sheet is just what you need for lint-free stamp cleaning. Just add water and watch the ink come right off your My Acrylix® stamps as you wipe them with a Stamp Shammy. Yes, the photo above is staged to look pretty, but we really did just wipe that stamp clean with the wet Stamp Shammy to the right of it. And, because you can’t really have too much of a good thing, these come in a two-pack. J
We’ve added several new colors to our exclusive color palate this week! Our favorite, and Color of the Year, is this beautiful trendy green hue, Julep! Keep a sharp eye out for it throughout the coming year, and you’ll find hints of Julep in a wide variety of our new products. (To see what other fun new colors we have in store, talk to your Consultant or take a look at our exclusive color palette in our Core Products catalog.)
Cricut® Complete Creativity Collection
Our newest Cricut® collection, Complete Creativity, provides you with all the pieces you need to create complete cards and scrapbook pages for a variety of themes and occasions.
This remarkable new collection is available for purchase on Cricut.com, through a special link you can get from your Close To My Heart Consultant. Ask your Consultant for more details about our extensive collection of Cricut® designs!
Rather than unwrapping all of the new goodies here for you this Christmas-like morning, take some time to carefully peruse both of our new catalogs on your own. The few items that we covered today are only just a sampling of the hundreds of new products available now!