Tuscan Inspired Bridal Shoot by Leah Golter Photography

It’s no secret that I love all things Tuscan which is why I was thrilled to be able to provide calligraphy for a Tuscan inspired bridal shoot by the ultra talented Leah Golter of Leah Golter Photography. What could be better than a Tuscan inspiration, beautiful bride, gorgeous flowers, delectable cake and a stunning location? Not much in my opinion! It’s always a privilege to get to work with other talented industry folk and this was no exception!  Check out some of my favorite pictures from the shoot and make sure to stop by Leah’s website to see all of the beauties from the shoot!

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Vendor team includes: Beauty & the Blush {makeup}, Astride Events in Mansfield, Texas {venue}, Fox and the Fleur {florals} and Pink Apron Pastry {cake}


Mirror Seating Chart

Hey all! Working as a calligrapher means that I get to see all kinds of projects and work with all kinds of creative people, it’s awesome. I recently worked with a bride on her mirror seating chart for her wedding and it was such a blast to work on. She had this really cool mirror that she wanted me to letter her seating chart on. I love the mix of whimsical calligraphy lettering for the table names along with block printing for the guest’s names. I really enjoy working on “unconventional” projects and this was no exception!

Mirror Seating Chart

{Photgraphy credit to Elisabeth Carol Photography}


Birthday Chalkboard Signs

A few weekends ago I had the fun privilege of creating a couple of birthday chalkboard signs for a good friend’s adorable son’s first birthday party and photo shoot. He’s already a laid back dude so my friend knew she wanted the signs to be playful and cute but not girly. I went for a mix of calligraphy lettering and block printing to give it a bit more “masculine” feel and love the combination together. I love how she incorporated fun information about Owen at his big one year mark. It will be such a fun memory in a few years to look back on. Chalkboard signs are a fun way to add a custom touch to any party, brunch, class {I could go on forever}. Now if I could only find the good old fashion SLATE chalkboards in Dallas. If anyone knows where to find them, I beg of you, share your secret!

You can find a few more pieces of my chalkboard work here.

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Classic Southern Wedding Invitations

One of the things I love so much about being a calligrapher is the wide array of projects I get to work on. One of my favorite types of projects is working on a complete set of wedding invitations. I had a great time working with a Dallas bride having her wedding in Atlanta, where she is from. She is a southern girl who loves all things classic and Italian {we’re basically soul mates} and wanted a clean and elegant suite. She chose a light blush cotton paper with a rich green ink and had Florentine paper accents to tie her suite all together. I think they turned out so beautifully! Hollye Edwards of Carta Creations in Frisco did a wonderful job with the printing and bringing the suite together. I would love to open my mailbox and find one of these beauties with my name on it!

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Custom Poetry Piece

Last week a gentleman contacted me asking if I could do a custom piece to give to his girlfriend as part of a proposal. He had a collection of song lyrics that mean something special to both of them and made a sort of poem out of them. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to such an important moment and it’s projects like this that make my job so great! I know this will score major points and hopefully they will both cherish this piece for years to come.

Dallas Calligraphy - Poem Calligraphy

Reply Cards – Ideas for Wedding Reply Card Wording

Wedding Invitations - Reply Cards


Reply cards for your big day should have the same feel as your wedding invitations. If your invitations are very classic and traditional your reply cards should follow suit. If you are going the more playful route with invitations you don’t want your reply cards to be classic and traditional. You get the point! I’ve come up with a list of different possibilities that a bride and groom could use for their response cards. I hope that this brings some inspiration to you if you’re stuck when deciding on how to word your reply cards.

Accepts with pleasure — Declines with regret
Joyfully accepts — Regretfully declines
Will attend — Unable to attend
Happily accepts — Sadly declines
Delighted to attend — Sad to be missing out
Definitely yes — Unfortunately no
Be there – Be square
Wouldn’t miss it for the world — Will be there in spirit
Yes, obviously — No, but I have a good excuse
Will come for sure — sorry, can’t make it
Oh yeah! Can’t wait — Boo, can’t make it
But of course darling — sincerest apologies for the absence
Duh, I’m totes in — Ugh, as if!
Can’t wait to party — Too busy to have fun
Yes, so excited — No, already bummed
Yes, ready for a swell time — Aww shucks, can’t make it
Wedding cake! Count me in — No, I’m on a strict no wedding diet
Already shining my dancing shoes — Don’t save a dance for me
Yes, I’m giving the toast right? — No, but I’ll toast from afar
Two words. Free booze — No, I’m lame and hate a party
Yes, I love weddings almost as much as Ross Gellar — No, I’m more afraid of weddings than Mr. Big
Yes, I can’t wait for a change from football Saturdays! — No, why did you plan a wedding during football?
Our bags are packed — We sunburn easily
Our passports are ready — Too lazy to get a passport
Yes, can’t wait to meet the drunk uncle — No, so take pics of your drunk uncle

Some of these are obviously more playful than others but hey, it’s your day and you can be as playful as you want to be! I hope this gets your creative juices flowing!


A Peek at Polished Pen’s Office

Welcome to my office! One of my projects outside of calligraphy has been organizing my office. I was starting to outgrow my storage space and hated having my supplies on the floor so I made a trip out to Ikea and purchased a new storage unit to help accommodate my things. My desk from Crate & Barrel is a high gloss white so I got the Kallax unit in high gloss white also. How lucky that they matched! I love the clean, white look for my office, it makes adding pops of color even more fun in my opinion. I am still trying to find storage boxes I like to put inside the cubes, The Container Store was surprisingly lacking in that department, but I like how the office is starting to look. I’ve put personal touches that make it feel special like my ceramic letter holder from Florence, a sea urchin I found in Hawaii and the crazy colorful Pucci scarf that is so special to me I had it framed. I hope you enjoy having a little look at my work space!

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Matching Gouache to Envelope Liners – Modern Calligraphy Project

I get all kinds of requests from all kinds of brides. Classic brides with traditional weddings usually want black in, maybe gray or navy, in a copperplate or citadel font. Very timeless. Other brides want to play up their less traditional wedding day plans by deviating from what might be considered “normal” wedding calligraphy and go for a different take with modern calligraphy. I’m not at all picky when it comes to calligraphy and love all shapes and sizes, I don’t discriminate. But when this bride came to me wanting to create some modern calligraphy with such a fun color combination of mint envelopes with the most vibrant envelope liners from Paper Source and asked me to pick a color from the liner and address her envelopes in that color I was more than thrilled to play! I decided on the bittersweet like color I was immediately drawn to in the liner, I thought the contrast of the orange against the mint would really pop.

When I need to use colored ink I prefer to use gouache, which is a watercolor paint, to mix my own colors. I looked up some Pantone colors and then started playing with the paint mixing. I used Winsor Newton cadmium red, orange lake deep and a touch of permanent white. I mix my watercolors with a drop of gum arabic and a little water {always start with less than you think you’ll need and slowly add the water}. I keep playing with the consistency and color until it flows smoothly from my nib and is the color I want on both my up and down strokes. This usually involves trial and error for me but you might be a pro with your first mix!

I really love the color that I got when I mixed these three colors together, I think it goes great with the liner and looks so good against the mint of the envelope. I’m super excited to get these back to the bride.

Mixing Gouache - modern calligraphy

modern calligraphy - gouache

Chalkboard signs for a backyard wedding

I don’t know about you, but I would personally love to have a cool enough backyard to have a wedding in it! A bride I’m working with just happens to be so lucky and her wedding is going to be so adorable. I’ve been asked to create some “day of” chalkboard signs to add special touches to her already cool wedding day. I have really started loving working on chalkboard signs and I’m so happy they’re still on trend. Chalkboard signs are a way for a bride (and sometimes the groom) to get creative and really show their personality. They might hesitate putting something funny on their invitation but can feel the freedom with their wedding day chalkboard signs. If you’re thinking you might enjoy some chalkboard signs for your wedding I definitely say go for it! They’re so much fun! If you have a project in mind please contact me and we can chat about it. If you’re wanting some additional ideas on how to incorporate chalkboard signs into your big day you can check out a good article on The Knot.

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Personalized Stationery

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for all things paper and I love having a job that allows me to create some beautiful things with paper. This weekend was no exception; I got to work on a project that was extra special to me! One of my cousins, Garrett Wareing, is an adorable up and coming actor who is living a fun life right now of premiers, screenings and film festivals! He’s been dressed up by Armani and complimented by Dustin Hoffman. Such a special life needs some special personal stationery. I worked on a few options for him to have printed on all of his correspondence. He’s young and has such a unique and fun personality so we wanted to create a more modern, less classic feel for his name. I love the results and am thrilled to provide them for him! I personally would love to get some snail mail from someone on their own fun, personalized stationery! It’s so much more personal than email in my humble opinion.

While you’re at it, go check out the trailer for his movie, Boychoir, that he starred in alongside Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas and Kevin McHale! He is Stet, the main boy in the movie! I couldn’t be more proud of him and am thrilled that he will now have special stationery to write letters, notes and hopefully someday acceptance speeches on!