My pal EB is getting married in May, and as a gift to her and her future husband I did the calligraphy on the outside of their invitations. I hadn't worked in pen and ink for several years, but with a little practice I got the hang of it again. Plus it was a fabulous reason to buy a bunch of new nibs and inks.
For me, the best way to hone a skill is by playing for keeps. And this project slowed me down and steadied my hand--it's amazing how few envelopes you waste by actually stopping to think about what you're going to do before dipping the pen. I played with several sizes, styles, fonts and colors before showing EB three samples I thought would work well that were inspired by the scripty font on her invites. She ended up choosing the one I liked best.
I found myself looking forward to the addresses with a capital H or W--those two are fun to do and seem prettier to me than the rest.All this got me thinking about how bizarre it is that I type faster than I write, and when I do jot anything down, endings of words trail off in a squiggle, I often don't bother with dots or crosses, and most people can't even read my handwriting. Why bother? Everything's electronic--H even makes To Do lists on the iPhone--and I rarely have a need to bust out the penmanship. I have even less patience to do it legibly.
But there's a satisfaction that comes with taking the time to make something pretty. And about 160 invites looked awfully sweet laid out to dry. I'm looking forward to doing this again sometime.