2020


I don’t know when the last time I blogged was, but it is safe to say it has been a very long time.  This year has turned my whole world upside down, and I have been trying to dodge the curveballs as much as possible, but cannot lie and say that I have not been knocked unconscious by a few.  Aside from the personal stuff (“homeschooling” my kids and never having time alone was nothing I ever thought would happen here), my industry pretty much came to a standstill because events have been basically non-existent.  So I have slowly been figuring out the pivot – at least for now.  I started teaching online classes over Zoom, which I have been loving, but I also started pouring a lot more time into products that I thought might be of use in the world.  It has been a year of political strife and civil unrest and (and injustice) and since I have never shied away from expressing my opinions in the past, I thought that maybe I could put these “opinions” to good use and they could become products.

I’d love to talk about some of them so you can see what I have been up to (if you haven’t seen them on IG or in the shop.)

I started lettering quotes from various civil rights activists, artists, and leaders and posting them on Instagram, with some great response.  So I made many of them into prints, and print sets.


I am selling the “Good Trouble” series of prints, with quotes from John Lewis, Angela Davis and Sam Cooke.  50% of proceeds go to Color of Change.

After Ruth Bader Ginsburg died (beyond devastating), I created a series of prints honoring her, and when those sold so well, I decided to put one of them on a sweatshirt – which I can’t wait to wear all Fall and Winter.  50% of proceeds on all these products go to Flip the Senate.

With the outrageous threat to dismantle the USPS, I thought it was important to encourage letter writing and mail sending.  I also thought that people who were stuck at home and not seeing friends and family might want a fun way to communicate with their loved ones, so I created Quaran tīnes, pronounced like “Valen-tines.”  They are really pretty and sweet and also a little cheeky.  😉

I also made stickers to show USPS support for people (especially me) to plaster all over their mail and packages.  We sold out the first round of white ones in just a few days, so I made new HOLOGRAPHIC stickers, which I might not want to let go of at all.  (For those of you looking to have stickers made, StickerMule made them for me, and I cannot say enough about the quality of the stickers or the ease of working with the company.)

Anyway – just wanted to highlight a few of my favorite products.  There are some more in the shop, and we will hopefully be adding a few more soon, so keep checking back.  I’m also game for any other product ideas you might have.  Anything you’re dying to see from me?  Or anything you always wanted but couldn’t make yourself?  I’m all ears.

20202020-10-06T09:52:53-07:00

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF ME

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day.  I’ve talked here before about my many losses, and have done a lot of work for #IHadAMiscarriage, helping to stop the stigma, the shame and the secrecy that comes with miscarriage and other losses, but since this day means a whole lot to me, I always like to contribute a little something to spread awareness and to help, (even in just the slightest way,) mothers who have experienced such heartbreaking losses.

Something that I read years ago that has stuck in my head as a small source of comfort is that some number of cells from every baby that a woman carries somehow travels up to her brain and stays there after the birth (or death) of the baby, and possibly for the rest of the woman’s life.  So we literally carry a piece of all of our children with us, wherever we go, and wherever they are.

Hence, this print.  It is available here and in my shop as a free downloadable print, and I would love for any of you who are touched by it to do whatever you would like with it.  Print it and hang it on your wall.  Use it as a screensaver.  Or tuck it away in a box, like I have done with all of my ultrasounds, letters to my babies, etc.  Hopefully it helps in some way.

xo,
Anne

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF ME2018-05-18T11:22:52-07:00

FREE GIFT TAG PRINTABLE

FullSizeRender-15
As a little thank you to all of you who have supported me over the years, I created these super-cute hex gift tags that you can print out on your own and use for whatever you like.  I thought the “Cheers” tag was perfect for a gift of a bottle of wine, but it would be great to attach to a hostess gift for New Years Eve, or really for any occasion.  The “Love” tag is also pretty universal, while the two others are more specifically for the holidays.

I used a bit of a watered down white ink on a brush to letter these, and love how the variation in the ink is still visable in the printable.  You could almost pretend you wrote them yourself!  I won’t tell anyone!

Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  It’s a little late to receive anything from the shop for Christmas day at this point, but we’re still around Monday – Wednesday of next week if you have any more gifting to do.

printable gift tags
To download the printable, just click HERE, and then print, cut, and you’re good to go!

xo,
Anne

FREE GIFT TAG PRINTABLE2018-05-18T11:23:49-07:00

NEW HOLIDAY GIFT WRAP IN THE SHOP!

ARC gift wrap

Every year for the holidays I send out a gift to the nearest and dearest to my business.  In the beginning, I baked cookies and pumpkin breads.  Then I sent chocolates.  But in the more recent past, I have been creating prints that were “tinged” with holiday and sending those out.  This year, though, I wanted to change it up a bit once again, and I think sometime in February had the idea of creating gift wrap.  I literally have been working on this since then.  I’d do a word here and there.  Come up with new words.  New styles.  New combinations.  I had pages and pages of calligraphy to sift through a couple months ago when we finally were ready to put it all together.  And when the test prints arrived, I was so thrilled!

ARC gift wrap

I tried out two different versions of the gift wrap, thinking I would like one better and just go with that.  But I couldn’t make a choice.  So I decided to print both and give them together as my gift.  And now I am offering them as a set of six sheets (3 of each version) for sale in my shop.

ARC gift wrap ARC gift wrap
ARC gift wrap ARC gift wrap

I love the black and white because it can be graphic and pop-y, or you can personalize it and make it your own because it’s almost like a coloring book!

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Anyway, hope you love it as much as I do.  It really was a fun project.

NEW HOLIDAY GIFT WRAP IN THE SHOP!2018-05-18T16:26:08-07:00

HOLIDAY CARDS

holiday card set

They’re finally ready! Semi-custom holiday cards that are easy and inexpensive but still luxurious and super cute! They’re double thick, and printed on beautiful bright white recycled paper.

This year we have added lots of new greetings in new styles, but more exciting are the new envelope liners. I love them so much!

Plus, you get a FREE address stamp ($75 value) when you order. Head on over to the shop to check it all out!

happy new year

HOLIDAY CARDS2018-05-04T15:43:58-07:00

LATELY ON INSTAGRAM

brush lettered envelopes playing with different envelope styles
black and white ink stain invitation suite Wtf notecards
the mrs box Modern Calligraphy
invitation design love notes
lindsay balton wedding pitbulls and posies
Mother's Day Tatoo MStarr Design

1. Brush lettered envelopes for Amber Moon Designs.

2. Envelopes in different styles to coordinate with Underwood Letterpress Vintage Postage.

3. An invitation suite that I designed – my favorite part is the ink-stained liner.

4. WTF Notecards inspired by my WTFWednesdaycallig hashtag – available in my shop.

5. The Mrs Box now has an option to use monograms with my lettering.

6. You can now enroll for The Modern Calligraphy Summit any time.

7. Another invitation suite design – this time using a handkerchief.

8. I love this idea of layering text on text.

9. Escort cards on denim and coordinating menus.

10. More brush-lettered envelopes in a new style that I’m loving.

11. Temporary mom tattoos.

12. New logo for MStarr Design.

LATELY ON INSTAGRAM2018-05-07T19:32:14-07:00

DANIELLE + BRIAN – BOSTON, MA

danielle and brian

I’m so excited to finally share the photos of Danielle and Brian’s AMAZING wedding at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA.  Now that is has been officially debuted on Martha Stewart Weddings, I don’t have to keep these photos (all from the talented Erin McGinn) to myself any more.

Emily Starr Alfano of MStarr Design designed this spectacular wedding, and I always love working with her because she has great ideas and lets me run with them.   This one was especially up my alley because I grew up with a huge appreciation of contemporary art, spent a lot of my childhood in museums, and even minored in Art History in college.  I loved the idea that my work would be showcased (probably for the first and last time) in an actual museum, and I loved taking abstract expressionism as an inspiration for all the pieces.

menu invitation suite

We stuck with this “brushstroke” idea and used it throughout, even in the lettering, which was also done with a brush.  The invitation suite, which was so incredibly luxe with triple weight paper, letterpress, gold foil and colored edging, set the tone for all the paper throughout the wedding.  (Since the invites were actually addressed and mailed while I was on maternity leave, the wonderful Li Ward addressed them and did such a great job.)

invitation

(This is the save the date (blurry in the background) and the rehearsal dinner invite – there were so many pieces to design for this wedding and I loved every minute of it!)

place cards
reception

Can you even imagine what this space looked like in person?  So gorgeous!!!

danielle and brian
bridesmaids placards
take your seat
giveaway details
drink menu
program
say no to cellphones
gift bag

Congrats Danielle and Brian!  You were such a pleasure to work with and I hope you loved how everything turned out as much as I did.

DANIELLE + BRIAN – BOSTON, MA2018-05-22T13:20:04-07:00

SPRING WORKSHOPS

handout
A couple weekends ago, I hosted another round of calligraphy workshops.  I taught, as usual, a Saturday beginner class and a Sunday intermediate.  I have to admit that every time I plan a workshop, I get a little bogged down with the details and all the work involved (as I do everything, including shopping, flowers, decor, favors, set-up, and cooking (with some help from my mom who is a TROOPER)) and start to dread it a little, but once all is said and done with, I have such a great time teaching that I can’t wait to do it again.  It’s so fun to see someone pick up a pointed pen for the first time and learn to letter with it, or to expand someone’s practice in an intermediate class and watch them find their own style.  Plus, since my work is pretty solitary for the most part, a fun day chatting, laughing, and drinking champagne with a bunch of ladies (and the occasional dude) is such a nice change of pace.  Anyway – thought I’d share some pics from the weekend so you can see how much fun we have.
workshop set up
tote
foodThe donuts might be my favorite part!  (Kidding…maybe.)
calligraphy
nibs
burning residue (This is the trick that I teach to get the chemical residue off the nib – I promise nothing illegal is going on!)
Anne
calligraphy practice
writing calligraphystudent
Anne

writing calligraphy

AnneHope to see you at a workshop soon!  You can sign up for my mailing list to be one of the first to be notified when enrollment opens, because they tend to fill up pretty fast.  Or continue to check my shop for new dates.

SPRING WORKSHOPS2018-05-22T13:20:47-07:00

CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES!

Anne Robin Calligraphy suppliesEvery time I post a photo of my work on Instagram, I am asked what nib, or what ink, or what brush I used.  I get it – I often wonder the same thing when I see other artist’s work – and the right supplies are definitely crucial to good calligraphy.

I supply some of my favorite nibs and inks for my students in my workshops, and I also contributed some of my favorites to the Modern Calligraphy Summit supply list, but I thought maybe I’d let you in on the supplies that I use every day – the ones I absolutely can’t live with out.

One of my favorite online shops for supplies is Paper and Ink Arts.  They have good prices, almost everything I need, and ship really quickly.  I also love that they are a small business, and exclusively dedicated to calligraphy.

Here’s what I always order from there:

Brause EF66 nibs – My absolute favorite nib.  I hardly ever use anything else.  It’s flexible but creates nice hairlines.  Ink flows from it smoothly.  Seriously, my #1 love in the world of pointed pen.  I buy them in bulk, as you can see above.

Speedball Straight Holder – I use a straight holder (not an oblique) and it doesn’t get cheaper than this.  Standard but works totally fine and I can have a lot of them and not feel bad about it.

Koh-I-Noor Cork Tipped Penholder – This is a little more expensive, but nicer than the Speedball, and it has a flexible prong to hold any size nib.

Tachikawa T40 Holder – Even more expensive, but super cute, with a nice rubber grip and slots for different sized nibs.

Anne Robin Calligraphy supplies

Winsor Newton Calligraphy Ink (in black) – My go to black ink.  It’s not too thin but still flows nicely.

Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White – My go to white ink.  Opaque.  Flows nicely once you get it to the right consistency.

Dr. Martin’s Iridescent Colors (Copperplate gold) – My absolute favorite gold.  Nice color.  Nice shimmer.  Flows when a lot of metallics don’t!  (I also use the Silver and the Copper)

Winsor & Newton Gouache – I almost always use gouache over colored inks, and you can’t go wrong with Winsor & Newton.

Pentel Aquash Waterbrush – My favorite brush to use, whether it is filled with water or not.  I love it because it keeps its point so well.

Single Refill Jar with Cap – Great inexpensive jars for mixing and storing gouache or ink.

Anne Robin Calligraphy supplies

Sakura Gelly Roll (White) – A great monoline white pen. Writes on a lot of different surfaces and goes on very opaque.

Small Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser – The eraser I’ve been using for about a million years.

Deluxe SpeedStir magnetic Ink Stirrer – This is great for metallic inks, which tend to settle.  Now you don’t have to stir your ink for every envelope!

Canson Marker Paper – My favorite paper for spot calligraphy and practice.  It is really smooth and semi-transparent so you can see liners under it without using a light box.

And below are a few other things I use all the time that, unfortunately, Paper and Ink Arts doesn’t carry (yet – hopefully soon, because it would be so awesome to only have to shop in one place.)

My light box – I used the same small, clunky light box for about 10 years, and just recently bit the bullet on buying a new one.  And it wasn’t even expensive – I don’t know what I was thinking!  I love it!

Tombow Dual Brush Pen – Great marker brush pens, especially for beginners.  They come in almost any color you can think of.

Pentel Standard Brush Pen – Similar to the Aquash brushes, but I use these when I want black ink.

And of course, my magical Envelope Template Liners.  I have been using them for years and years and can’t imagine my life without them!

Envelope template liners

(Please excuse how dirty some of my supplies are!  They are obviously well loved and I am NOT GOOD about cleaning them…ever!)

CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES!2018-05-22T13:21:16-07:00

LATELY ON INSTAGRAM…

Pink watercolor PC Monthly photos Fiore Kindness Print Workshop picOrnaments Kindness confetti All I want for Xmas

1. Watercolor place cards for Traci Hoffberg Events.

2. Custom monthly photo signs.

3. The unveiling of a logo on the door of Fiore Designs‘ new shop.

4. My holiday gift this year – “Throw kindness around like confetti”

5. The set up for my December calligraphy workshop.

6. Ornament place cards.

7. Kindness confetti.

8. For real…still waiting for it.

LATELY ON INSTAGRAM…2016-01-08T17:11:19-08:00