new parents with their newborn in calligraphy birth certificate
Custom Calligraphy, Unique Gift Ideas

New Baby Gift

The Perfect Gift for a New Baby

When a new baby comes into the world it's such an exciting time! Having a new baby, whether it's your first of fifth (or more) is time for a celebration. You want to get the perfect gift for a new baby.

Going to the stores gives you the fun of looking at all of those adorable outfits for the new little one. And when you want to get a really unique gift (everyone ends up getting clothes) calligraphy is the answer to your dilemma. Parents get so many baby clothes for gifts. If you have a baby yourself, you know how fast they grow out of the clothes. You don't have to worry about the size, or how long the baby will wear your gift before they outgrown it. 

colorful calligraphy new baby birth certificate

Unique Baby Decorated Birth Certificate

When you have a special friend or relative who has a new baby, you want your gift to be unique, and something special for them. That's why a decorated Baby Birth Certificate is the perfect unique gift. These custom calligraphy gifts are unique and personalized with the baby's birth information. It's a nice house present, as well as a gift for the baby. I love to add fun images and lots of color in the piece. That way it will catch the baby's attention. As the baby grows, this becomes a delightful image for them - and they get to see their own name and recognize it. When you know the colors that are in the baby's room, I can customize the calligraphy so it follows the design of the new baby's room. It's a gift that will be cherished by all.

I frequently add the older sibling's name on the piece, so the other children feel special to have their names on the artwork.

Personalized Gift for New Baby

When you choose to get a custom designed baby birth certificate you can add any colors, text, photos, and whatever you like. Many people like to include the name of siblings so they don't feel left out when the new baby arrives. 

New Baby Birth Certificate

Fill In Print New Baby Certificates

If you have a smaller budget check out the options in my store for pre-made backgrounds for the artwork. Of course I will add more limited personalization, but it's less expensive that a totally custom baby birth certificate. There are some designs that may be your choice for a new baby boy or a girl. 

Parents Message to their new baby

For a first born baby, this is a very emotional time. I loved writing out this beautiful letter the parents wrote to their first child. They also had an amazing photograph where I was able to superimpose the calligraphy right on their photograph. But if you don't have a photo like that, I can still add your photo to the birth certificate. 

Parents letter to their newborn written in calligraphy and framed

This calligraphy style called copperplate was chosen by a new father for a letter he wrote for his newborn baby boy.

Favorite Poem for New Baby Birth Certificate

My favorite poem in the world.. ok maybe not my #1, but definitely top 5 is from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran. I cannot read this poem without having tears come into my eyes. It is such a pleasure for me to do a new baby birth certificate with this poem. 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.


You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Really, isn't it amazing? You should get this book of poems because they are all so moving and true! And this first photo of the mother and father with their newborn is so perfect, don't you think?

Calligraphy poem The Prophet on Children for baby birth certificate in calligraphy

Include First Family Photo in Baby Birth Certificate

If the family is lucky, there is often a nurse or someone who can take the first photo of the new arrival meeting their parents for the first time. I LOVE being able to include this type of picture in the certificate. It's such a joy to see the happiness all around- (even if the baby is crying). It's so emotional!

new parents with their newborn in calligraphy birth certificate

Name Poem for New Baby Gift

A name poem can be another unique gift for a new baby. It's also known as "acrostic" poem. Because my calligraphy services are all customized, I can either add a photo of the baby or any background of your choice. Of course the text would be very different than this love poem below. Here's a great link to generate an acrostic poem. All you do is enter the name and gender! 

There are also "name definition" poems that could work really well as a new baby birth certificate gift. Find the origin of the baby's name, and the meaning. It can make you wonder: does the baby grow up to fit the name? Then the parents should be very careful about picking a baby name carefully. 

Acrostic Love Poem for Rachel in calligraphy with beautiful leading letters

Poems About Baby Boys or Baby Girls

There are lots of sweet poems about baby boys or baby girls. They can be general about their characteristics, or even religious.  The example above is entitled: "Why God Made Baby Boys". Here are poems about all sorts of occasions. If you want to find a poem that fits, all you have to do is ask Dr. Google! Nowadays we don't need the World Book Encyclopedia anymore. We have everything we need on our fingertips! 

Children Love to See Their Names

Another nice thing about these decorated new baby birth certificates is that children love to see their names written out. That's one of the first things that children learn to write: their own names! Having a beautiful calligraphy birth certificate for them can encourage them to learn to love calligraphy, and have a nice handwriting. Who knows? Maybe they'll want to grow up and be a calligrapher! LOL

But seriously, we can design the perfect unique gift for the new baby in your life, or the lives of someone you care about. And I know they will love this gift. Look below, and you'll see that you can also get it already printed on a surface that will make it ready to hang, right out of the box! 

New Baby Gift Completed Quickly

I know you'll want to have a gift to give to the parents for their new baby as soon as possible. Don't worry, I can generally get your gift done quickly. It can also be mailed directly to them if you live far away. Just contact me, and we can get started right away! 

And give the new baby a cuddle from me!

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Funny affirmation written in calligraphy
Custom Calligraphy, Gift Ideas, inspirational quotes, Motivational Quotes

Affirmations Help You Through Hard Times

Affirmation- I Am in calligraphy

Affirmations Written In Calligraphy

It can help to have your most powerful affirmations written in calligraphy and where you will see them every day. One of my customers put this affirmation in her bathroom (on a metal surface that's safe in that damp environment) so she would see it every morning to start the day. These statements can keep you going when times are hard and the person you are having the most trouble with is YOURSELF!

Affirmations are statements that we repeat to ourselves. They’re like a mantra that we say again and again to be Inspirational to remove our doubts. It’s amazing because psychological research has proven that repeating affirmations really does work!

It shows us that the human experience is universal. Go into any house and you will see meaningful written words pinned on the wall, stuck to a refrigerator, or sticky notes on your computer. You want to be reminded of their meaning. Perhaps you have your own personal affirmations, sayings or quotes for a situation you’re going through. They help you to keep going when you are feeling down, or fearing failure. If you use an old affirmation, or a famous affirmation, saying or poem, they tell you that other people before you have had the same problems before you and said these words to help themselves. It makes you feel like you're not alone having a problem. 

Serenity Prayer as an Affirmation

I use the Serenity Prayer as an affirmation to help me when I’m not sure what I need! I think we all have those times in our lives when decisions are hard to make and you don’t want to do the wrong thing. But you're not sure of what is the "right thing" to do. That’s when I repeat the Serenity Prayer as my affirmation.

Serenity Prayer in calligraphy above the clouds

In the clouds version

An Affirmation Can Be Funny

Affirmations that are funny or disgusting are more memorable. I always go for funny because I'd prefer to have that repeated in my mind instead of something ugly! 

This little quote is funny and makes a lot of sense!

You have an impact words to inspire in calligraphy


One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time written in a calligraphy design

An affirmation that people with addictions rely on is "One Day At A Time". But it doesn't just have to apply to people with addiction. Anyone can have pain and focus on the fact that you can only deal with RIGHT NOW. This moment is what counts. So this affirmation could also be one moment at a time. I just have to get past this one moment.

Having a powerful affirmation in your head and right in front of your eyes reminds you that you are not alone, and that many others are going through something challenging. 

Affirmation for Healing in Calligraphy

Affirmations for Healing

I have worked on affirmations for healing people of many illnesses. It really touches my heart when I know the power of beautiful calligraphy combined with prayer to help someone heal from a terrible disease.

Victoria had cancer. Her best friend asked me to make this calligraphy affirmation for Victoria to look at while she was having chemo-therapy. 

I also did a very large hand painted piece with images of Gandolf from The Ring to help another woman beat back cancer. Although I haven't heard results from Victoria, I am so thrilled to report that the original piece that I did may have helped this young woman to overcome acute leukemia. WOW! It warms my heart to know that I may have contributed in some way to her healing!

Words To Live By

Do  you use "post it notes" to remind you about what you want to do? Calligraphy can serve as a much more beautiful and inspirational reminder. Maybe for yourself, or for someone you care about who is having a hard time the visual impact can be powerful. The Serenity Prayer and  One Day At A Time are available as prints (that's a lower cost alternative). They can also be personalized for yourself or the recipient of your gift. 

Say Positive Affirmation To Yourself

Get rid of negative language about yourself. Be kind and gentle and forgiving with yourself. Be the best person you can be, and forgive yourself when you slip up. Being harsh never helped anyone!

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Calligraphy of First anniversary poem written in by wife for her husband using their wedding photo
Custom Calligraphy, Photography

7 Essential Photography Tips

Taking a Great Photograph

7 Essential Tips can help you take pictures that are in focus and look great, and it’s not hard to do.

I have been taking photographs my entire life, and used to even develop my own black and white film. But with digital photography taking a great photo is so much easier!

These seven essential tips are important in order to take great photographs, and it doesn’t take much effort to use them.  Practice using these tips and they become a great habit. Then, when you want to print your pictures  you won’t have to hire someone to do much editing, which isn’t always able to totally correct a poor photograph. After all, a photo is being in the moment, and if you miss the shot, you can rarely have a chance to take that same great picture again.

Photography is like our memory’s external hard drive! When there was a hurricane coming through where I lived, I grabbed my photo books and double wrapped them in plastic bags. Of course I grabbed my kids as well (LOL)! Those were the olden days when you had paper photos and negatives (which you rarely saved). Now the majority of photography is digital and you’d just have to grab a disc, or your computer, unless you have your pictures stored in the cloud. Even though it’s so much cheaper to take pictures now, you still want to capture the best image you can! These tips apply to actual cameras as well as phone cameras.

Here are 7 essential tips to taking the best photograph.

1. Consider how much of the person you want to include in the photo.

Standing too far back will make their face (the important part) very small. Coming in very close can make keeping the camera (or phone) very still so you don’t giggle it and get the picture out of focus. It can also exaggerate parts of the face, depending on the camera settings.

2. Look around to make sure that the background is good

Sometimes people take photos and it seems like a branch or object is sticking out of someone’s head. I remember a picture my mother took of my father on the honeymoon in Washington DC. He was standing DIRECTLY in front of the monument, and it made it look as though the pointy Washington Monument was coming out of my father’s head! Pretty funny!

I had another person submit of a photograph of his beloved aunt standing right next to the garbage can in her kitchen. Not a pretty site! Thankfully, I was able to make it disappear with the magic of photoshop.

3. Brace you arms against your side to keep your phone or camera steady 

Moving the camera or phone even slightly, especially when in a darker setting will result in the picture being out of focus. If you can’t find something to lean against, bracing your arms against your sides will help stabilize the picture and keep it in sharp focus. Even better is if you have a tripod and a release cable (really for professionals) that snaps the photo, so pushing the button doesn’t move the camera.

There are some terrific devices now that keep the camera or phone stabilized- but they cost a ton of money. But there are some great little tripods that can set your camera to take great, in focus pictures.

4. Make sure there’s good lighting on your subject.

When you think about it, you are taking a picture of LIGHT. Observe to see where the light is coming in. You know how hard it is to see out of your car windshield when the sun is directly in your eyes, and you have to try to block it out to see what’s in front of you and not crash into the car in front of you? It’s the same thing with taking a photograph. If the light coming in is too bright the picture will be overexposed. Also, taking the picture in the best lighting adjusts the automatic settings in your phone or camera so you can get a better, sharper picture.

5. Don’t take a photo with bright light behind people

When you take a picture with a bright light behind your subject, your automatic setting on your camera doesn’t know what to do! The camera doesn’t want to overexpose the light, so it adjusts for the bright light, and your subject will be very dark. It can make them appear as a silhouette, and the background will be overexposed. No good.

6. Conversely, don’t take a picture with the sun shining in someone’s eyes.

First of all, if you take a picture with the sun directly pointed at your subject, you’ll get a lot of pictures of people with their eyes closed and people blinking! And secondly, you get harsh shadows from the nose and around the eyes. People are very unhappy with the results and will ask you to trash the picture!

7. Take a picture where it’s bright, but in what’s known as “uniform shade”.

Don’t take a picture under a tree where you have lots of shadows and light coming through, and you’ll see “spots” from leaves that are darker around brighter spots where the sun shines through. Find a place where the shade is the same- but it’s still bright- like the shade of a building, where the building behind is the same brightness as your subjects.

Check your camera or phone’s setting

Pictures taken with your phone can be great or a problem. If it’s a selfie that you’re taking with the back of your phone, the resolution is great to look at it on your phone or computer, but not for printing. When I ask people to send me their photo in “full resolution” that means a picture where there are LOTS of pixels, which are necessary to make a clean, sharp print. If a picture is only 72dpi (like on a computer screen) when you go to print it, the photo will look like a comic book picture with dots. It can be enlarged, but only slightly, and it will never be as crisp a picture as you’d like.

iPhones are supposed to be set to take the highest resolution pictures, but I’ve seen cases where the setting is off. Make sure to check this BEFORE you start taking pictures and then realize this is a problem. Make sure when you take a picture on your camera or phone that you have the resolution set for the highest quality.

Sometimes even if you have a great photograph there’s no place for me to put your calligraphy text. In that case I’d have to box the picture separately from the photo. But if you want me to be able to superimpose calligraphy on the photo, you have to plan and leave a place that’s not  too “busy” with detail. 

Your photo boxed with calligraphy text when there's no room on the photo

I can also make your photo stand out by superimposing it on another beautiful background that gives the picture real depth and makes it even more beautiful! 

New Baby Birth Certificate with baby's photo boxed and placed on a pretty background

Think before you shoot

Sure, it’s easy to press the button, but if you put a bit of thought into your pictures, you’ll be a lot happier with the results. And, as your calligrapher who wants to use your pictures, it will cost you less money if I can use your picture “as is” without me having to use Photoshop Magic to remove objects, add more space for the lettering, adjust exposure or remove photo bombs!

If Worse comes to Worse

I think the saddest thing was a job where the couple’s wedding photos were all destroyed in a fire. Only one picture remained of the wedding bouquet. And unfortunately, that too was out of focus and damaged. I knew it wouldn’t look nice with the calligraphy. That’s a place where Photoshop Magic really works. I made the out of focus picture look more like a painting, and that solved the problem.

Check the Photo after you take it to see if it’s in focus

Look at the picture on your phone or camera and enlarge it to see if it’s in focus right after you take it. You still have the opportunity to retake the picture. Have a critical eye right then and there, otherwise, no one will be able to make it a better focus when you submit it for printing.

I hope these essential tips will help you take the best photographs possible. And one final tip: If you want to add calligraphy text to your photograph, leave space on the side of the people where’s there’s not a lot of detail so I can have a place to put your words. The only other option is to box your photo and write the text on the side, instead of superimposing it directly on the photograph. But both can look great – especially when you have a great picture using these tips.

 

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Business Calligraphy, Calligraphy Blog, Custom Calligraphy

Business Calligraphy Certificates

Mission Statement of Dental Office

Business Certificates, Resolutions, And Mission Statements

Every business should proudly display their Mission Statement in their lobby. It tells you customers, not only about your business, but the ethics and what your business stands for. It should be an impressive, large piece that tells your customers they have chosen wisely to use your business!  Having your business certificates, awards and resolutions written in calligraphy makes a statement about the value that your company places on these important words and on the people who have worked for your business. It impresses me when I read about the contributions of people who receive these awards! And, it really looks impressive.

Retirement certificate in calligraphy
Award for National park with decorated leading letters
Happy retiring staff receives calligraphy hand lettered certificate

Company Logo Can Be Included in Business Certificates

Because of the improvement of technology and giclee printing, all awards can now include company logos and designs in the exact colors of your company brand. 

Business Awards that are REALLY Exemplary

When a staff member or retiring long time employee or high level CEO leaves a company they deserve acknowledgement of their contribution to your company. 

Gold Leaf Leading letter in business award
Outstanding Lawyer Award
decorated first initials for business award
Contemporary calligraphy treatment for award for the Honorable Senator Boxer

Certificate Completions

If you have pre-printed certificates that are type-set, I highly recommend leaving a LARGE space for the recipients name. That's what they really want to see. I put special care and detail into making their names stand out on the page. Whether you like "Old English", or a more contemporary look for your business awards, resolutions or certificates, the choice is yours!

ps- I can also help your company to design your typeset certificates, and then just leave the name of the recipient and the date of the award. That's a cost saving measure, but the recipient still appreciates the extra effort of having their name calligraphed. 

Printing For Contemporary Look

If you are not looking for an "old world" look with a heavy wooden frame, I have some really great looking alternatives to traditional framing. The text can be printed on metal, canvas and wrapped, acrylic, wood and other surfaces. Look at the examples. Then your calligraphy will arrive at your office ready to hang. 

Quotes for Entrepreneurs

There are some exemplary quotes by great sales people, politicians, statesmen (and women) that can make your office very impressive for visitors. The quote you choose says a lot about what is important to you. Who wouldn't want an amazing piece like this in their office?

This famous quote by Teddy Roosevelt ends with the famous lines:

"..if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theordore Roosevelt
Quote for entrepreneurs office


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Custom Calligraphy

Beautiful Background Choices

So Many Beautiful Background Choices

Your text of calligraphy looks even better with a beautiful background image. Finding the right choice of a beautiful background can make a text even more special to you. Just think about it: practically every written word you’ll see in advertisement or any media has a background. Professional know the impact of a photograph so they don’t use a plain color or parchment background. The visual picture with the words just pops and makes your message stand out even more! And it can be any kind of photograph- like from a place you’ve been, or up in space!  Beautiful background choices will make you have a hard time deciding which one you want to use! But I’ll help you. 

How I  Incorporate The Background Image You Choose

Your handwritten calligraphy will be scanned and printed on a choice of background. Then, a high-resolution giclee printer, makes the calligraphy look like an original, but with the advantage of being able to print with the beautiful background of your choice, or a personal photo. In fact, sometimes I use both a background choice and will take a selfie photo and superimpose the person on the background! (Please note that even the “parchment paper” choices are photographs of actual parchment paper, and your calligraphy will not be printed on actual animal skin. (read more about “parchment”)

How to Pick a Great Background

So many people say they’re not creative and can’t think of what a good background would be. Read here to release your inner creativity and learn how to pick the perfect image for your text. There are a just a few backgrounds on this page. But you have a world of choices available to you. If you don’t see an image that feels right for your project please take a few moments to browse StockFresh. You can also choose www.Pixabay.com.

Use keywords in the search bar. When you find images that you like please either create a ‘light-box’ and include the URL in your custom request or simply send the URL to the single images.

On this page, you can click on an image to expand your view. Note that these are small versions of the high-resolution images that we have on file for use in custom pieces. They can be used as the entire background, or just a small boxed area on the calligraphy art piece.

Your Own Photo in the background

If you would like to submit your own photo for use with your custom piece it must be high-resolution with at least 240 DPI. Photos by other photographers are accepted but will require a written release for use in your project. I may not be able to write the calligraphy superimposed on your photo, but it can also be “boxed” on the side of the text. That also works out well. You can send me the photo along with your request for more information.

A Few Examples of Background Images

Here are just a few beautiful background choices for your calligraphy. You are NOT limited to choosing one of these!

Where To Find Background Images

There are so many sites with gorgeous photographs. It can really be enjoyable to look at all the pictures. The important thing is to put in search terms or you'll waste a lot of time. And make sure that you take down both the name of the site, and any identifying numbers or information so I can see the pictures you like and determine whether it will work with your text.

Check out: pixabay.com , unsplash.com, http://photopin.com  - and if you haven't found anything, let me know and I can help. 

Once you have the perfect photo I can start on your beautiful calligraphy project!



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Custom Calligraphy

Prices for Custom Calligraphy Services

Peace Prayer of St. Francis written in calligraphy with Rock cairn showing the way

How Much Does Calligraphy Cost?

The price for custom calligraphy varies by each piece. It’s like asking me: “how much does a dress cost?” As you know, it can be anything from $2 to $2 million dollars depending on a lot of different factors! I promise, my calligraphy is NOT going to cost you two million dollars!

There are many moving parts to determine the prices! Much of it depends on the length of the text and  how many lines there are to write. The background is important, and how much work I have to do with Photoshop to fix either your photo, or make the text visible on a background of your choice. And there are other considerations as well.

I know that many people intend to frame their own artwork, and would like the text to fit in a standard size frame. Unfortunately, I cannot always make your finished quote fit into a standard size. Calligraphy has to find its own dimensions. Calligraphy text has a shape, and that must be part of the consideration of the final size, whether small, medium or large.

Minimum Fee & Text Size

Although you may have a very short quote, the price will not be below $150, which is my minimum fee. It takes a long time for me to write out your text in calligraphy. It’s not like I just put my pen to paper and write it out one time! There are concerns about line spacing, where the calligraphy will fit when you have a photo, getting flourishing perfect, fixing the photo so it looks great, and SO MUCH more!

I’m not a newbie at calligraphy. I’ve been taking classes to improve my skills over decades. (yes, I am old – but not shaky! )

Sometimes a piece with fewer words can cost more than a longer text. That’s because there’s more design element with a short quote. I love solving the riddle of a good design.

Why I Ask For Your Budget

If you want to purchase a Hyundai but have Ferrari tastes, it’s important for me to know. I don’t want to waste your time or mine. That being said, I will try to make suggestions that can work within your budget if possible.

VERY long Best Man's speech written in computer font with calligraphy titles superimposed on a beautiful background saves the cost of all calligraphyI will do my best to offer options that will reduce the price on very long texts. One option is to create the text in an appropriate computer font, add personalization, titles or other parts of the text in hand calligraphy, and then use the photograph of your choice. Then it becomes really important to find the perfect background for your calligraphy text! The only additional charge is for printing and shipping. The calligraphy piece still is personalized and has a custom look.

Of course, you may want to have it printed on any of the amazing surfaces that will have the piece completely ready to hang, right out of the box!

I don’t specifically use a word/line count to determine a price. However, the price may be close to $1 per word. But other consideration in pricing is the number of lines of text and Photoshop Magic design work time necessary. These are considerations in determining a final price for your custom calligraphy.

Large Pieces & Digital Media

If you are choosing a photograph from existing pictures, there’s no extra charge. But if you are choosing a new photograph from Stockfresh there’s a charge for using the photo, dependent on the size necessary to accompany the calligraphy. There are wonderful FREE photographs available at Pixabay.com. Make sure you save the identifying information about the photo you like or you may never find it again!

Very large pieces necessitate more time, and have an additional charge. Smaller pieces can be achieved by reducing, but I can’t enlarge lettering or it gets very blurry. With smaller pieces printing charges are lower.

Framing

I’m very happy to offer wonderful options for printing on a variety of surfaces. These options will deliver the calligraphy to you ready to hang. You will not have to take the paper print and have it professionally framed, which can often cost more than the price of the calligraphy! The prices are reasonable, and again based on the final size of the calligraphy design.

Do check out these alternatives (see pictures). Prices start at about $45 just for the framing part (for 8×10 size) and go up according to size.

I hope you’re excited to see your text written in beautiful calligraphy!

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Custom Calligraphy, Gay Marriage Certificates, Love Poems, Valentine's Day

Gay Love

Love song lyrics

Gay Love - 

LGBTQ - It doesn't matter whether your straight, gay or anything in between. Love is what unites us all. Because Gays celebrate the same holidays as straights there's always an opportunity to do a version for the LGBTQ community. 

Gay Weddings

Thankfully laws have changed, and now Gay weddings are just as legal as straight weddings. It's a big decision to make a lifetime commitment to be with another person for a lifetime,  in every way. It doesn't have to be condoned by a religious group (although many religions now do accept Gay Marriage). 

Marriage Vows are the most requested calligraphy project for any type of wedding or anniversary gift. I love adding a photo of the couple to make the piece even more personal. 

A specially designed Gay wedding certificate can incorporate the theme of the rainbow. But just a design that you both love is also the right decision. 

LGBTQ- Gay Wedding Vows in calligraphy with photo of the happy couple

Thanking Mom

Love is love- no matter who feels it, and/or where it's directed. It's a wonderful thing when a parent accepts and supports their child's choice- even though it's may not have been what the parent had expected, or even hoped for.

I just love how this loving mother allowed her daughter to grow up to be the best person she could be. She was so happy that her daughter found her perfect partner. That's how we should all feel when our child or anyone we care about connects with a beloved life's partner. 

And I was so happy to be able to write this statement of gratitude in calligraphy from the loving daughters!

Lesbian daughters thanking mom

Gay Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a special day when we can all express that love. But of course love is probably strengthened when you don't wait for one day in the year to say: "I love you"!

Song lyrics are wonderful ways to say the words "I love you" and can apply to straight or the LGBT community. I've written many songs in calligraphy because the message in the lyrics are so universal. John Legend's song, "All of Me" is one of my most frequently requested songs.

All-of-me-Legend-lyrics

Your Favorite Song Lyrics

Many song lyrics can apply to gay or straight couples. Of course there are tons of sources on the internet to find new lyrics specifically related to being gay. Although it's nice to use "your song" that means something to both of you. 

Here's a place with top Gay Pride anthems to celebrate LGBT pride. Music can express the inexpressible words that you feel. It can bring people closer together. Here's another source for Gay and Lesbian Love Songs.

I love including a couple's photo and important details of their relationship, such as the date and where they met along with their names. Because Gay marriage is legal now (YEH!!) in many states, I can also do wedding certificates for gay and lesbian couples.

calligraphed Lesbian/Gay marriage vows with happy photo of two brides

Gay Love Art Gift Printed and Ready to Hang

Order yours now, and watch your loved one's eyes fill with tears of joy! Happy Valentine's Day- and celebrate your love every day of the year!

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Calligraphy Blog, Custom Calligraphy

Calligraphy Book

opening page of bound book written in calligraphy

Your Own Book in Calligraphy

This Christmas I had a request to write an entire book in calligraphy! This was to be a very special gift to the love of her life. In fact, they co-wrote the book together. Never having written out an entire book, I had to learn a lot!

Price for A Book Written in Calligraphy

There are a lot of words in a book! And there are also a lot of pages in a book. The layout is very important because you need to have borders that are even from page to page.

Luckily, my client was open to suggestions from both the book binder and me, the calligrapher! The expense of writing out an entire book in calligraphy is significant. As a calligrapher who does custom calligraphy, I have many requests to write very long texts; poems, biblical verses, and Best Man Speeches which can have MANY words. The way I determine the price for calligraphy is to consider the number of words, the number of lines, whether I will have to spend time working in photoshop on backgrounds and personal photographs. If someone wants the words to be very large that can also take extra time.

Computer Font with Hand Written Calligraphy

When your text is very long, and your budget is short, I have a wonderful alternative! I can use photoshop to pick an amazing computer font, and then write titles and specific important lines in hand calligraphy. Then I can bring the price down to half of what it would generally cost for a calligrapher to write out the entire text! There are beautiful new fonts available. When combined with the calligraphy headings, it really looks like a custom calligraphy artwork!

That was the perfect option for my client. She picked a computer font and I wrote titles, page numbers, leading letters and more in calligraphy. That way she got a custom personalized hand made book written in calligraphy and computer font at a price that worked for her.

I needed 2 things from a calligrapher: professional guidance on a project, and artistic, meticulous delivery of the product. Lianda exceeded my expectations on both. She is an experienced professional, and an artist. I feel so fortunate to have found her, and would not hesitate to use her again. – Cynthia H.

Technology: Combining Your Photo With Custom Calligraphy

I have not found another custom calligraphy site on the web where a calligrapher combines hand written calligraphy and superimposes it on photography and a client’s choice of background. Most of the calligraphers I have seen do hand painting or border designs on their calligraphy artwork. It can be very beautiful. (But I have seen some really awful examples as well!). And because of the time it takes to do both, it is generally very expensive- and worth it when you find a really talented calligrapher.

Happily, I have an option for people who want their own photograph or selfie with their text written in calligraphy. Another calligrapher would have to tell their client to have the photo and calligraphy combined with a matt cutting out two spaces for each part in a traditional frame. But with photoshop, I can combine both together! And it costs a LOT less money!

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Invictus, Famous Poem honoring soldiers written in calligraphy on mountaintop background
Christmas Calligraphy, Custom Calligraphy, Military

Invictus-Poem-Honoring-Soldiers

 

Invictus, Famous Poem honoring soldiers written in calligraphy on mountaintop background
Invictus, Famous Poem honoring soldiers written in calligraphy personalized with photo on parchment background

Invictus - I am the Captain of My Soul

 The famous poem, "Invictus", by Willian Ernest Henley is one of the poems my parents read to me as a child. It is a well-known and moving poem. But I was never good at being able to memorize and recite poetry, and that's why I like to have them where I can read them. Invictus has the two famous lines that are so memorable:

 

"I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul"

 

Poem Honoring Our Soldiers

 "Invictus" is Latin for "invincible." Just reading these two lines from Invictus can give me the chills. What does it bring to mind? It is the best of what we expect of our soldiers. "My head is bloody, but unbowed".... wow. Can you just imagine what these brave souls have gone through? I guess we don't even have to imagine because war movies are so graphic with violence that is hard for me to watch. The news stories and reporters tell of the horrors of war. But rarely do the returning soldiers want to recount the battles.

Gold Star Family

It breaks my heart to tell you this story. A buddy of a fallen soldier wrote to me. A year after his death, this dear man wanted to do something to support his fallen friend's wife for her strength. It was a tough year raising her little daughters by herself without her beloved husband. 

This quote entitled "Spartan Wife" explains that it's the strength of the wives that keeps our country going after the men go to war. Read it... but it will make you sad.

Calligraphy quote: Spartan Wife- soldier's memorial

Veterans Day -  Honoring Soldiers

 Veterans Day precedes the winter holidays. I thought that this would be a wonderful gift for a soldier.  Invictus tells the story of war. It is  inspirational and makes you realize what we ask of our soldiers, and how brave and selfless they are. They put themselves in harms way to protect those they love.

My dad served in WW2. He was in the Navy, on a PT Boat - like President John F. Kennedy. But when I asked him about the war, he wouldn't go into details. He would only tell me about how the waves were huge and he never got sea-sick. Although he had dark curly hair under the constant sun his hair turned light blond. In fact, his nick-name was "Whitey" (please, don't think this is a racist comment, it is NOT!). He told me about how the dolphins would race his boat, and how they would protect soldiers who went overboard from sharks by swimming fast and using their beaks to do into the sides of the sharks- and then swim away. 

I finally found out from my brother that my father serviced at the Battle of Dunkirk. My father never would tell me, but he did speak to my brother about it. Dad was also in the Pacific Theatre. I cannot fathom how frightening that must have been. 

My Mother was in the Army in WW2

Not to dishonor my mom, SHE also served during WW2 as a WAC (The Women's Army Corps (WAC) was the women's branch of the United States Army. I'm very proud of my parents, although they are both long gone. 😢  She's in the far left with that curly black hair and the beautiful smile.

Adele Ludwig, my mom served in WW2 as a WAC

Returning Soldiers - Wounded Warriors

Invictus is wonderful poem for many people who have gone through hardships and come out on the other side stronger. Perhaps it could even inspire those who have recovered, our Wounded Warriors.

They say the things that don't kill you make you stronger. This poem is just what that's about. It's a great gift for returning soldiers, or anyone who has faced terrible hardships. It can show your soldier how proud you are of them. Write to me to personalize Invictus with their photograph and details of their service. 

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Calligraphy Services, Custom Calligraphy, Marriage Proposal

Calligraphy Marriage Proposal

Marriage Proposal in CalligraphyCalligraphy Marriage proposal with photo of couple and happy memories - and the ask to marry

Calligraphy really makes your words so beautiful and romantic. So what could be more romantic then having your happy memories with your girlfriend commemorated in calligraphy, and then ask for her to marry you?

Successful Marriage Proposal

I’ve been asked to write out marriage proposals at least ten times. It’s one of my favorite requests for calligraphy. I can report to you that every proposal has met with a resounding “YES!!”.  (for the sake pdf privacy, I have removed last names on the examples).

Perfecting The Marriage Proposal with Photography

I just loved this photo of the couple, but the original background was too busy. So I used photoshop magic and removed the couple from the background and superimposed them on this lovely photo of a beach.

I had a choice of personal photographs of the couple to choose from. Lots of times people have photographs with a background that is awful. The worst one I had was a woman standing next to her overflowing garbage can in her kitchen. I had to laugh when I saw that! Luckily, photoshop magic enabled me to remove the garbage can!

Sometimes there’s no space to write out the calligraphy whether it’s a marriage proposal or a poem. Then I have to extend the background to make room for the poem. All that takes a lot of time. So make sure when you want to use a photograph you are aware of the background. Read more about how to take a great picture. 

Your marriage proposal becomes a treasured keepsake. When framed, a perfect place to put it is over your bed. It will remind you every night of those happy memories!

Married Already?

Even if you’re married already, I can always write out your original marriage proposal. I can add your wedding photo, names and date of the wedding. It’s never too late! Calligraphy always makes a romantic gift for any occasion- especially for a marriage proposal!

 

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