Celebrating Calligraphy – Featuring the Pen Museum

In the 19th Century, Birmingham was the centre of the world’s pen trade. Here, in an area called Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, various writing utensils were created. An upgraded pen nib was created that could be mass produced in a manner that allowed them to be made efficiently and sold cheaply. These were sold worldwide, allowing many more people to write. The Birmingham Pen Trade not only boosted the economy but also provided people with writing instruments for cheaper – which boosted education and literacy for all. The irony of that, however, is that the history of this pen trade is not taught very widely in school. And so, in 2001, the Pen Museum was opened in one of the former pen factories.

On World Calligraphy Day, I had the absolute pleasure of spending the whole day at the museum. It only seemed appropriate to visit such an important location on this day. The Pen Museum has three spaces. The first contains the history of the museum and the pens, a beautiful display of nibs and a great little shop. The second has more nibs that a stationery shop. They walk you through the manufacturing process here and you can even make your own nib to see how it’s done! The last space is where they set up several little workshops. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the things that happened on the day at the museum. Continue reading “Celebrating Calligraphy – Featuring the Pen Museum”

World Calligraphy Day 2019

WCD LogoThe past few months have been a bit of struggle. A lot of trying to find my feet in the world and getting back to where I want to be. In order to improve my physical wellbeing, I started to focus a bit more on my health. Attempting to eat a little healthier, take the stairs more or walk a bit. But my physical health is also very intertwined with my mental health. To look after the latter, self-care became a priority. For me, this was finding a way to relax as well as express myself. Self-care means something different to everyone, unique to people’s hobbies and interests. For me, stationery is one of the biggest ways for me to look after mental wellbeing. After all, I did list the top Stationery Self-Care methods I recommend, which I still use to this day. And so, World Calligraphy Day could not have come at a more appropriate time. And I am super excited to be involved with it. Continue reading “World Calligraphy Day 2019”

Goodbye February, Hello March – National Craft Month

Many years ago (well when I was a child), Craft and Hobby Association (now known as Association For Creative Industries or AFCI) made February the National Craft Month. This has been a big part of the craft industry in North America, I believe. And despite it not being very relevant to where I live, it’s something I really wanted to focus on this month.  

So Happy National Craft Month!

National Craft Month

For me, crafting is a really fun hobby. I could definitely spend more than just a single month talking about craft. I’m sure I’ll have more craft related posts later in the year for you. However, I did want to focus on it because I wanted to introduce more crafting to my life. Although I love arts and crafts, it’s also one of those things that I never seem to have time for. There’s always other things to do, for example, like blogging. Craft is a really good way to look after your mental wellbeing though and it’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my weekly plans. Every week, I try to dedicate a little bit of time to just crafting something – absolutely anything.

So in National Craft Month, I am going to ensure I stick to this plan and craft a little bit every week. The best thing about this hobby is that there are many different things you can craft. It’s not limited to just paper materials, for example. Craft includes needle work or knitting, upcycling furniture or heck, even brewing beer (it’s called Craft Beer, is it not?).

Essentially, craft is some sort of activity that involves making something by hand. These are a few of the things that I like. However, it would be great to hear what sorts of crafts you enjoy and if you are planning to do anything for it. If you’re curious, a lot of these ideas are also in my Stationery Self-Care post, which shows the different ways you can do self-care with your stationery addiction. Continue reading “Goodbye February, Hello March – National Craft Month”

Handmade cards featuring Manuscript

Yesterday I mentioned how I’ve been bitten by the calligraphy bug and pointed out a few of my favourite gifts for people.  If you didn’t read it, you can check it out here.  I didn’t mention one product, however, that I’ve really started to enjoy using and I wanted to talk a little about that today.  It’s the Manuscript Italic & Poster Set.  I challenged myself to try and make some handmade cards featuring Manuscript calligraphy products and this one jumped out at me.  It’s so perfect – and I’m really excited about today’s post.

Continue reading “Handmade cards featuring Manuscript”

World Calligraphy Day

World Calligraphy Day 2017
Calligraphy has definitely gained a lot more popularity in recent years – and it’s very much deserved. Scroll through social media, and you’ll find thousands of beautifully addressed letters, handmade cards or motivational quotes. Whether it’s simply to improve your day to day handwriting or to produce incredible typography, penmenship has become a trend that people strive to improve in. It’s growing in popularity daily. So, it’s great to hear that the very first World Calligraphy Day is being held today, on the 16th August 2017. This day has been founded by Manuscript Pen Company, who’ve been at the forefront of the pen manufacturing industry since 1856.

“We are thrilled to be making this announcement as the founders of this very special day. Calligraphy and hand lettering are at the heart of what we do here at Manuscript. In recent years, the art of beautiful writing has taken to new heights with the trends of Modern Calligraphy, Faux Calligraphy and Hand Lettering. These new trends have really taken off, encouraging everybody to try their hand at a whole variety of wonderful creative ventures.” Charles Stockbridge, Managing Director of Manuscript Pen Company Ltd.

Get involved

I’m a total beginner when it comes to calligraphy. I would love to be better at it.  However, a lack of practice thus far in life has prevented this from happening. My plan is to practice today so I can hopefully pick up a trick or two. There’s plenty of ways for you to get involved too and give it a go! Whether you’re a beginner or a world renowned calligrapher, there’s always a way to get involved.

If you’re based near Birmingham, there’s a fantastic event happening at the Pen Museum, hosted by Manuscript Pen Company who have brought together several amazing artists. It looks like it will be a great day full of free workshops.  So head on over – you could also get the kids involved too! Great activity for those on their school holidays.

Fear not if you can’t make it to Birmingham or find a local event. You can follow the hashtag #WorldCalligraphyDay and #ManuscriptWCD on social media to see what people get up to and share your own creations. I noticed a few sales this morning too, so be sure to check it out if you want to grab a bargain.

Do it at home!

I recently tried a few of the Manuscript products and found that they were quite easy to use for beginners. I’m not great at it yet but it’s definitely something I enjoyed creating. You can pick up the Beginners Calligraphy Set on their website today!  I used two of the nibs available in that kit in the photo below.

Manuscript Beginners Set
The Manuscript Pen Company have also kindly provided a practice template.  So you can print it off at home and still get involved. You can download this by clicking the image below.

Click to download WCD Template
Visit the Manuscript Pen Company to find out more. I’ll also be attending the event at the Pen Museum day so come say hi if you’re around! See you soon!