Chicago Calligraphy Workshop - Saturday 4/27/2019

Join me! I’m back for a beginning pointed pen course in Hyde Park!

This workshop will arm you with the tools you need to begin tackling the basic techniques of modern calligraphy using the pointed pen. How to hold the pen, practicing brushstrokes and finally constructing letters of a full alphabet will be covered. Highly recommended for those of you who are just starting out... Don't worry if you've never picked up a pen either, I make sure EVERYONE is comfy!

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Workshop includes:
– 3 hours of instruction with Christy Toney
– 1 oblique pen holder
– 2 pointed pen nibs
– 1 jar of black ink
– Multiple drill / practice sheets
– 1 calligraphy alphabet exemplar (Upper/Lower case letters + numbers)
– Extra/bonus goodies!
– Refreshments

Purchase tickets here, space is limited! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beginners-modern-calligraphy-workshop-tickets-57800697442?aff=ebapi

Check out more information about my workshops here: http://www.calligraphybyct.com/workshops

Hope to see you!!!

Til’ next time,
—ct

Five Showstopping Mirrors (Event Decor)

Wanted to take the time to share some mirrors I’ve done! Amazing, amazing photography! Just breathtaking and I’m so proud. Thanks to everyone for trusting me with your important days/milestones!

Planning:  @shannongailweddings  | Florals:  @valeofenna  | Photo:  @stofferphotography
Florals:  @keshevents  | Photo:  @sodafountainphoto  | Planning:  @mdurpettievents

Florals: @keshevents | Photo: @sodafountainphoto | Planning: @mdurpettievents

Planning:  @dejanaeevents  | Venue:  @rm1520  | Photo:  @jermainehortonphotography
photo credit:  @carascophoto  | planning:  @dejanaeevents  | florals:  @keshdesigns

photo credit: @carascophoto | planning: @dejanaeevents | florals: @keshdesigns

The Room 1520 Bar Mirror - Calligraphy Lettering

I have had the privilege of lettering the MASSIVE mirror behind the bar at Room 1520 SIX times now since April 2018!

Wanted to share a little #BTS and my process.

April 2018 - Wedding

I think this is the largest WRITING that I’ve attempted as far as the real estate of the mirror goes. SO tough to get a good shot of them, but you can squeeze it/blow it up to get a better look.

I had to stand on the bar in order to write so high on the mirror!

I had to stand on the bar in order to write so high on the mirror!

For a better look, take a look at my IG post capturing a little video: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhh_y4eHIva/


September 2, 2018 - Wedding

This couple had a specific point of view and utilized all three mirrors. Mirror 1: Names and date | Mirror 2: Signature Cocktails | Mirror 3: Full menu of beers/wines/spirits!

I used the blue painters tape just to section off my work areas. I think it came out great and although the writing was as “voluminous” as the prior job, I think it was easier to photograph.


September 28, 2018 - Wedding

Another couple who requested all three mirrors and I was told I could go crazy and I DID. This was the first time I introduced little representational pics of the drinks… Highballs, cocktail glasses, etc. You can really appreciate it by seeing the vid. I’ll link to the IG post underneath the picture gallery.

Here is a link to the IG post w/video! https://www.instagram.com/p/BoX5JzfnTkD/ also more pics: https://www.instagram.com/p/BoX59p0nReQ/


December 8, 2018 - Wedding

Ahh, a winter wedding. I was told by Kristina and Curtis that I could go crazy with “wintery” elements. It was a winter wonderland theme, but I wanted to play up the branches, holly, mistletoe look vs. snowflakes and such. LOVED this one. Only two mirrors utilized this time. Couples names and date on the first one and signature cocktails on the second.


January 27, 2019 - 2nd annual West Loop Wedding Walk

SO honored to be asked to do this! Multiple venues participate in this event and a trolley shuttles couples from venue to venue in order to start confirming big details for their big day! Unfortunately I couldn’t execute until the “day of” and accessed the venue around 9:30A.

I ACTUALLY wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do when I arrived on site to do these mirrors! I was told to write the “West Loop Wedding Walk” and then I could add my company name on the last mirror. I looked up the event on Eventbrite and BAM it was a no brainer, I mimicked the logo so everything tied in together nicely. Even added some florals/offhand flourishing.

I was fortunate enough to get a nice shot of the work because of Michelle Cox Photo! Thanks so much!!!

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March 9, 2019 - Wedding

The latest mirror that I executed. Client again knew just what they wanted. Gave me some freedom as far as the flourishes were concerned. Not as constricted design wise for sure.

I captured a tiny bit of video too: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuwnWIGHHRV/

The 2nd Annual West Loop Wedding Walk - 1/27/19

I was so stoked to be invited to do the bar mirror at Room 1520! I wasn’t sure exactly what the Wedding Walk would entail, but later found out that it was basically multiple venues having open houses with attendees being transported between the locations! So nice! Transportation was provided by  Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.

Participating Venues:

The Lakewood
Room 1520
Ignite Glass Studios
Moonlight Studios
Ovation
The Publishing House
Salvage One
Loft on Lake
Venue West
Loft Lucia
Morgan's on Fulton

I was only able to access the venue in the morning so only a few hours before showtime as the guests would start arriving at 2:00P.

I thought it came out well though its TOUGH to capture with the venue’s reflection already being so WHITE. I was going to do something really scripty and wedding like but then when I saw the logo, I thought it would be pretty cool to mimic that and then just add some offhand flourishing. I posted a short video clip on my IG.

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Room 1520 had some great vendors on site and I WISH I’d documented everyone! Some vendors I knew and others I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with for a good little while.

This was a wonderful experience overall and I’d love to be a part of next year’s festivities! The couples I met were flat out adorable and I hope I get a chance to work with them either this season or next!

Heads Up --> U.S. Postage Stamp Increase on Sunday 1/27

Brides, buy as many Forever stamps as you can prior to Sunday if you want to save a few coins! Between save the dates, wedding invitations and the thank you cards that need to be mailed, your savings could end up being significant!

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The USPS has proposed new postage rates to be implemented on Sunday, January 27, 2019. Here is a brief overview of how First Class Mail will be impacted.

 First Class Mail Letters

  • The First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office is increasing by five cents to $0.55 from $0.50.

  • Each additional ounce for a First Class Mail letter will cost an extra $0.15 (a decrease from $0.21 in 2018).

  • First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope rates are not increasing in 2019, remaining at $1.00 (1 oz.), with additional ounces costing $0.15.

  • Postcard rates are also not increasing in 2019, remaining at $0.35.

  • Customers who print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will now be a 5 cent discount compared to the Post Office price with rates increasing to $0.50 in 2019 from $0.47 currently.

  • Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.15 in 2019, a decrease from $0.21 currently.

  • The five cent discount for online postage on a one-ounce First Class Mail letter represents a savings of 9% for consumers and small business owners.

Matrimony Monday - 2019

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CONGRATS out there brides and grooms to be! Today is referred to as “Matrimony Monday”. THE busiest planning day/week after the 1st of the year. Its almost like the bookend to engagement season with couples busily attempting to lockdown goods and services as they plan their weddings for the upcoming year!

  1. THE most important thing to secure is your venue. Full stop. Popular venue’s are often booked up to a year in advance to don’t wait if you have your heart set on a spot!

  2. Popular vendors get booked QUICKLY. If you have your heart set on a florist, baker or photographer, do not wait to at least have a conversation with them. Share your date and your needs and get an idea of what you need to do to book them in time.

  3. As a rule, send Save the Dates out 6-8 months in advance of your date. Especially if inviting a high volume of out of towners or if the event itself is a destination. Invites should be sent 8-10 weeks in advance, however you can cheat with this range a little if you have sent Save the Dates already.

  4. Speaking of paper goods, you’ll need to determine if you are someone who would like to work with a custom invitation designer or if you are comfortable with the online options out there. Its a personal decision but again, if you have your eye on a vendor, make sure you give yourself enough time to work with them, it can be a time consuming process.

  5. Calligraphers are booked early. Another time consuming craft. Reach out early so your work can be scheduled!

  6. If you are super busy and feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to reach out to an event planner. They are literally WAITING for your phone call during this period so that they can jump in an help you bring a vision to life… On time and on budget.

    FINALLY, enjoy yourselves! This is such a special time and although it will feel like a NEVER-ENDING process at some points, you WILL get through it. Congrats again and come find me for your lettering needs! xoxo —ct





Calligraphy by CT | Best of the Knot - 2019

So excited to announce that I got the “Best of” the Knot for 2019. I had previously gotten it for 2012 and 2013 so LONG time in between (I just returned to the Knot as an advertiser after a break). Happy to have my 3rd. It was a wonderful wedding season and I met some great clients. I also got acquainted with some new vendor partners both here and out of state. I feel blessed and privileged to work in this industry. Cheers to 2019!

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Mirror Lettering Class - Review

Ahhh, continuing the year of firsts! I taught my FIRST mirror lettering class and it was outstanding! The class was based off of my e-book of a similar title! There is nothing like actually auditing a class in person, however if you are interested in getting a head start, grab this resource to start learning the basics!

The students that took this class were pretty much already confident letterers so it was truly all about tips, tricks and techniques!

Will teach this one again, definitely!!!

—ct

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Beginning + Intermediate Modern Calligraphy Course

My first time executing a Beginners and Intermediate class on the same day! SO much material covered, wow, just wow! I already know how I want to change things up next time, but a good time was had by all and it just felt great to letter ALL DAY!

Beginners Course:

I focused on the mechanics of the pen as usual. Making marks and alternating pressure using a pencil, a fine line brush pen and then the steel nib dipped in ink. Then practice forming letters from an alphabet exemplar.

Intermediate Course:

Introduction of new writing mediums. Bleed proof white, Pearl-Ex pigments, walnut ink, etc. Some light off hand flourishing and basic envelope lettering. Manipulating the steel nib to create different kinds of letterforms. A second alphabet exemplar to work with.

Definitely will do this again!

—ct

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The Kesh Experience: The Art of Floral & Event Design (2018)

My first quarter was such a WILD ride. 2Q flew by almost as quickly. Before I get too too far into this packed and jammed wedding season, I need to share both the absolutely stunning Kesh Experience collaboration as well as my 1st calligraphy workshop this year.

Akeshi Akinseye asked me to collaborate once again on her floral masterclass that draws students/floral enthusiasts from all over the country.

Photo Credit: @amyanaizphoto

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Royal Wedding Pics

Ahh, so much to share, but I would be remiss if I didn't share pics from the Royal Wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry. They wed on 5/19/18 and Meghan was a vision of simple elegance in a custom Monochrome Givenchy gown. Prince Harry was certainly dapper in his frockcoat uniform of the British Army's Blues and Royals. Official wedding portraits by Alexi Lubomirski

Calligraphy by CT & Macy's

I mentioned prior that I had partnered with Macy's recently to teach a mirrored lettering class for their annual Flower Show, Once Upon a Springtime. I've FINALLY been able to share a synopsis of this day along with the professional pictures. Such a great experience and I'm so grateful for all that attended.

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The class was held on the 7th floor inside the Frango Café. Nice and spacious and I was even given a body mic. There was a full class thanks to people waiting outside so no shows places were taken immediately.

This was my first time TEACHING students of varying levels how to actually handle paint pens and write onto mirrored surfaces. I used my Mirror Lettering Guide as a basis for my handouts. The idea is to get comfortable with straight edge tools, centering layouts and becoming adept with a paint pen. It was a thrilling experience, I will likely teach a class of my own soon.

Each student got a pencil, a Bistro chalk marker, a DecoColor paint pen, a "how to" guide and an 8" x 8" mirror. They were surprised that they were able to walk with all of these supplies, but my goal/desire is that they will be able to successfully letter mirrors later either for fun or profit. In other words, I want you guys to keep practicing! Thanks again to Macy's for inviting me, I had a great time!

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Photo credit: Jesus Santos Photography | @eflash35

 

 

 

Calligraphy by CT Inside Weddings Feature

SO excited to announce that my work has been featured on Inside Weddings! I wrote quotes on frosted 8 ft panels for a Kesh Experience floral masterclass back in November.

It was a new experience for me lettering such a frosted panel vs. an acrylic or mirrored surface. The results were awesome though as the room ended up looking like these panels were in subzero temps!

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Photography credit: Collin Pearson Photography

Check out the entire spread at Inside Weddings! Thanks as always to the amazing Akeshi Akinseye of Kesh Events for including me in this ridiculously gorgeous creation! 

I'll be back soon as I have a TON of info to share! The timing of this feature caught me by surprise! --ct

Beginners Modern Calligraphy Class Review

The class held on April 21st was a success! I was able to introduce more concepts than I thought possible. 

I like to take students through different drills using a pencil, brush pen and THEN the steel nib dipped in ink. Each student receives a lesson guide, 1-2 alphabet exemplars, a canvas tote and other goodies!

I hope you can join me for upcoming classes!

—ct

Calligraphy by CT Paper Goods Available on Etsy

I did a couple of padded products a short time ago and decided to make the balance available on my Etsy shop. Check them out! 

I decided to mix some of the offhand flourishing techniques I learned in  Heather Held's  class with some bouncing baseline modern scripts as a bag stuffer for an event. Thought I'd sell the overrun. Super cute, I keep one in my purse! Perfect for a small biz pro or busy bride on the go!

I decided to mix some of the offhand flourishing techniques I learned in Heather Held's class with some bouncing baseline modern scripts as a bag stuffer for an event. Thought I'd sell the overrun. Super cute, I keep one in my purse! Perfect for a small biz pro or busy bride on the go!

I based the cover of this sketchbook from a  drawing I did on a welcome mirror at Venue SIX10  last year! I took a pic of the mirror, scanned it in my computer, cleaned it up and added to it. Being a native Chicagoan I was pretty proud of how it came out. Perfectly imperfect but captures the essence of our hard working, much maligned, world class city. Only 2 left in stock, order today!

I based the cover of this sketchbook from a drawing I did on a welcome mirror at Venue SIX10 last year! I took a pic of the mirror, scanned it in my computer, cleaned it up and added to it. Being a native Chicagoan I was pretty proud of how it came out. Perfectly imperfect but captures the essence of our hard working, much maligned, world class city. Only 2 left in stock, order today!

Meghan Markle's Background as a Calligrapher

I've been a longtime fan of Meghan Markle mainly because of her role on the hit show "Suits". I bumped into an article a few years ago that revealed the fun fact that she was indeed a real live calligrapher and it endeared me to her even more. 

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Not only did Meghan do calligraphy projects between acting gigs, she also (like myself), taught formally at her local Paper Source. The Beverly Hills Paper Source confirmed that Meghan taught all levels of students and even scored the envelopes for Robin Thicke & Paula Patton's nuptials.

Envelopes hand addressed by Meghan Markle for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's nuptials. Source:  Reddit

Envelopes hand addressed by Meghan Markle for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's nuptials. Source: Reddit

She also handled Dolce & Gabbana's celebrity correspondence over the holidays so this freelance work was far from casual.

She credits her foray into calligraphy with attending an all-girl Catholic school that had strict standards for penmanship (raising my hand with you again Meghan, I too attended Catholic school). Here is more of Meghan in her own words discussing her penmanship with Larry King:

Now that Meghan will become one of the most famous women in the world thanks to her fast approaching nuptials to Prince Harry, its nice to know that she is so real and relatable. I encourage everyone to binge on Suits because while the character she plays is obviously fictional, it will still give you an opportunity to witness her soft spoken demeanor and just HOW adorable she really is. I TOTALLY get why the Prince swept this one off of her feet!

From one calligrapher to another, I wish them nothing but good things.

--ct

Heather Held: The Passionate Pen

I recently attended "The Passionate Pen" with the wonderful Heather Victoria Held out in Arlington Heights. It was a wonderful treat... 

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Heather has a large following and most of the other students (from the Chicago Calligraphy Collective) had taken other courses and were well acquainted with her. I was grateful to have been a part of this class after finding out that Heather is booked through 2020! The warm up exercises, the approach to actually practicing and dedication to diligent study was much appreciated and will absolutely impact my routine.

Heather explained the origins of English Roundhand, and also shared Ramon Stirling’s Roundhand exemplar. SO MUCH info to go through. Definitely a challenge but I am determined to have a new approach.

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Thanks to the Chicago Calligraphy Collective for bringing Heather to Chicago, I am forever changed from the experience and I wish her well with the rest of her dates/workshops. Til' we meet again!

Our class... Really, a special time, I'm SO glad I took this class and had this experience! 

Our class... Really, a special time, I'm SO glad I took this class and had this experience! 

My first attempts at off hand flourishing... Long way to go!

My first attempts at off hand flourishing... Long way to go!

--ct

 

Calligraphy by CT Partnering with Macy's!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a mirror lettering class at Macy's on Thursday, March 29th! Unfortunately, the class sold out pretty quickly. If all goes well, I'll be adding mirror lettering to the courses that I teach. I'll come back and post pics!

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