Slinging Ink® Calligraphy & Engraving

Calligrapher for Team USA - 2016 Rio Olympics

Houston calligrapher and wine bottle engraver

LIVE & LOVE THROUGH IT ALL

LIVE & LOVE THROUGH IT ALL

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I stumbled upon my passion for calligraphy and penmanship years ago when my life was turned upside down...or to the extent that I could imagine at the time.  For over a decade, I worked in medical device clinical trials and medical device surgical sales.  The devices that I worked with were based on the same mechanism as pacemakers.  The ironic side of that is that my career back then truly set the "pace" for who I was....my identity.  Or at least the identity that I was allowed to express in that career.   Like many, I identified myself through my work. 

Then the market crash of 2008.....  I was laid off as were so many others.   Financially, we were fine as oddly the timing of the layoff was perfect for many reasons.  The most devastating side of the layoff was you wake up and what do you do with your day.  I KNEW that I didn't want to return to medical devices.  Between only being "as good as the last quarter", incessant travel and the corporate "fit in a box" mindset, that field had lost its luster.   So what do you do with not just your life, but your day.  I'm not an idle person.  I need to feel like I am constantly moving and working to achieve something better than what I had already done.

Well, we also became pregnant and that shifted things for a bit, but I still longed for something creatively mine.  Enter, calligraphy.  Six days before I delivered Lola, I took my first pointed pen calligraphy class here in Houston.  I took that calligraphy class because I used a firm to address envelopes for my daughter's wine soiree (no, I'm not a "baby shower" person).  The "computer calligraphy" that I received was a disgrace to the art form of penmanship in my view.  Out of that small (huge) irritation, I decided to learn calligraphy.  As with anything, I became ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED.  I become so passionate about certain topics until they take over my life.  

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I happened to be in a stationery shop here in Houston with Lola "BabyBjorned" to my chest and began discussing calligraphy with an employee there.   At this time, calligraphy was a beginning hobby.  Nothing more.  The employee asked for my information as she just wanted another calligraphy alternative for wedding and corporate clients.  Sure, why not?  Fast-forward & calligraphy has not only become my passion, but my peace and my career.   I've been fortunate to work for companies that you see everyday.  Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Vogue Magazine, Macallan Scotch, Gucci, Chloe, Martell Cognac, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Prada, Nike & the Olympic team....  I've also become known for writing on "anything, but paper" like mirrors, stones, wood, tiles etc :)

Personally, a number of things have changed since back then as well.  Some were earth-shattering, but necessities for my peace.   I have grown, not just as a lettering artist, but as a person.  Welcome to life!  However, a few things remain constant.  Lola is my heart & my love ...even when she works that last nerve.  Calligraphy is still my life.  I LOVE & ADORE living in letters.  Believe it or not, calligraphy has been the foundation of my sanity & peace....THROUGH IT ALL.

Peace & Love while SLINGING INK®

JHB

Photo Credit: ThreeSmudges Photography

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Women & Whiskies - Modern Calligraphy in Laser Cut Wood

Since I returned to Houston, this has been the first laser cut project that I have executed for a group in Los Angeles.  I'm not exactly sure what the event was celebrating, but any event that requires a laser cut saying "Women and Whiskies" is alright with me!  Love this!

As always, I just simply took modern calligraphy in pen and paper and transferred this over the laser cut modern calligraphy in wood.  These were then stained with a light golden pecan.  Cheers!  

Peace & Love while Slinging Ink®

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Marble Table Numbers - Gold Ink

These marble table numbers with calligraphy have been extremely popular lately.  Obviously, the color scheme would go well with any event.  I usually calligraph these in gold, champagne or rose gold ink.  The calligraphy on these was created using gold ink.  I also placed the calligraphy in a heavier fashion than I generally do.  Interestingly most of the time when I create these, it is for clients outside of Houston however every now and then a client here in Houston will request them.  Cheers!

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Lasercut Wood Calligraphy - Houston Calligrapher

Over the last few years, I have created quite a few of these lasercut wood names.  The ones shown below were calligraphed, cut and then painted in an antique gold for an event in Los Angeles.  I absolutely adore these as they provide another canvas for calligraphy.  I have provided these to quite a few clients here in Houston but also to clients across the country.  If you know me at all, you know that I like to place calligraphy on things that are not the garden variety.  These are perfect for that.  Peace, love and ink!

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ADORE!!! Shades of Gray Custom Ink - Houston Calligraphy

As you know, my favorite colors for clothing are various shades of gray and black.  I guess I'm a little dark :).  So it was quite a treat to meet with a client yesterday that requested a custom made gray ink for her project.  ADORE!  Most people will say "how can gray & black be your favorite colors?"  For me (especially with my clothes), it is utilitarian.  Black and gray go with EVERYTHING and they are simple and chic without any effort.  No mistaking that.   And in my opinion, they both yield a subtle sexiness that doesn't have to scream or beg for attention.  I love gray as it is very chic and subtle, but breathtaking at the same time.  So there it is.  I LOVE GRAY!

In calligraphy, you actually rarely see gray ink.  Of course it is used, but you just don't see it often.  Calligraphers tend to sleep on gray.  Not because they don't want to use it, but likely because we use what our clients request.  Enter: golds, rose golds, silver and the award for the most popular ink color will forever go to black.  Yes it's classic and is one of my 2 favorite colors for clothing, but when it comes to calligraphy, I try to avoid black.  SIDE NOTE: fashion designers do that often too.  They will design their work with color, but their personal wardrobes: BLACK. I digress....

I provided 4 shades of gray as I knew that she wanted something closer to charcoal, but at the same time who doesn't like options....especially when it comes to calligraphy.  Alas, this is what I sent.  

Peace & Love while Slinging Ink®!

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Marble Tile Table Numbers - Custom Ink

Oh how I love creating calligraphy pieces for events.  I have a client out of New York that needed to have marble tiles for table numbers and of course I was happy to oblige.  I have created quite a few of these in rose gold, gold and champagne ink.  However, this client wanted a custom color.  In person, this red is a deep burgundy.  I will admit that I am NO photographer so the lighting in my photograph doesn't do it justice.  Alas, they are gorgeous in person with modern calligraphy.  Shipping out from Houston later today!  Love, Peace and Ink!

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White Marble Tile Place Cards - Houston Calligraphy

Yes, another order of table numbers with calligraphy on Marble tile is going out the door.  These white marble tiles as place cards and escort cards are such a treat for me to create with calligraphy as they are memorable, durable and let's not forget ever so chic.  Love, love, love these!  Cheers!

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RESERVED - Calligraphy on White Marble Tile Signs

Isn't it always just a bit elite when you see a "reserved sign"?  I think so.  I had a client request these reserved signs in white marble and rose gold calligraphy.  So, since I have yet to find a rose gold that I like, I mixed my own.  I like this rose gold ink because on paper it looks gold when you look directly at it, but rose at angles.  THE COOL FACTOR IS HIGH!  These marble tiles are interestingly thick enough to stand on their own therefore no stand is needed.  SCORE!  Oddly, here is Houston I haven't created many of these for clients here.  Most of my work is shipped out to other parts of the country...mainly New York and Los Angeles.  Oh well, come on Houston..let's do this! :)  Peace, Love and Slinging Ink®!

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Calligraphy on Stainless Steel Bars as Place Cards - Houston

Yes...I did it again!  I got bored.  I needed something new to calligraph!  ENTER: stainless steel bars.  Because....because why not?!  I absolutely LOVE the color gray.  It is one of my favorite colors...right next to black.  Yes, I'm dark.  We've discussed this...moving on.   I just adore how chic these look with white calligraphy.  I figuratively stumbled across these and thought "I'm putting calligraphy on those.  Let it be written, let it be done." :)  Peace, love and Slinging Ink®

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Calligraphy on Antiqued Arabesque Mirrors

Mirror, mirror on the wall....who is the fairest of them all?  I have no idea, but I do ADORE placing calligraphy on these little mirrors.   They are roughly 4" and have an antique appearance in an arabesque shape.  I have used these a few times, but sadly I am only just now providing pics of one of those projects.  Please accept my sincerest apologies for the tardiness...and I DO detest tardiness :)  

These are great for 3 reasons:

1. They provide another canvas for me to place calligraphy on as you know that I so often become bored with the garden variety.

2. It provides a keepsake for your guests at your wedding or event that was calligraphed just for them 

3. It's nice for the ladies to have a mirror to check the lipstick etc without looking too vain...because you were checking out the calligraphy right?  Um hum.....

Cheers!  Peace, Love and Slinging Ink®!

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Magnolia Leaf Calligraphy as Place Cards - Houston Calligrapher

If you know me at all, you know that I become bored quite easily with the "garden variety" calligraphy ESPECIALLY that that you see for wedding calligraphy and I am always looking for something different to write on.  Once you've seen calligraphy in black ink on a white/cream place card, you've pretty much seen them all...no offense.  ANYTHING, BUT PAPER, I say.  

ENTER: MAGNOLIA LEAVES.  These magnolia leaves have been preserved to make them as close to uniform as possible and to last for years.  However, please keep in mind that these were created by Mother Nature so there will be some form of variation from leaf to leaf.  Now for my area: CALLIGRAPHY!  I've seen these with gold calligraphy before, but rarely silver or white calligraphy here in Houston.  I ADORE the contrast of white calligraphy ink against darker colors.   Yes I can be a little dark, but let's just keep that between us girls :).  I digress...  

These make for creative place cards and escort cards for a wedding, birthday, corporate event or any excuse to get your crew together.  These are now available in the Etsy Shop!  Cheers!

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Names in Calligraphy for a Wedding Save the Date - Houston Calligrapher

My friends at Cotton Paperie had a client reach out to me just before I left for Spain in June.  This client was interested in a number of things but primarily to have their names calligraphed for their Save the Date.  Once I returned to Houston, I started the process and this client has an affinity for Ornamental Penmanship & calligraphy...YAY!!  We are still "in the thick" of it, but here are a few of the calligraphy options that we are combing through now.....mistakes and all.  Don't judge me, I'm human.  Cheers!

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Monogram Work - Houston Calligrapher

In all honesty, monogram work with calligraphy isn't something that I gave much thought to until about 2015.  It's not something that many calligraphy clients here in Houston requested of me before then.  I believe with the easy accessibility of computer printing and design it's something that became less requested.  However, we are currently living in a calligraphy renaissance if you will as calligraphy, especially in larger cities like my adopted home of Houston, has become en vogue... again.  Thank the universe because that is how I make my living :).  

With that said, clients are wanting more of a personal touch that is individual to them and (thankfully) they want that personal touch to have been created by the hands of a human.  It makes a difference.  Granted, some will say that you can't tell a difference between lettering that is created via computer vs calligraphy from a person.  Of course, calligraphers and those of discerning taste will beg to differ.   There are certain design expressions that computers just can't provide as of the date of this blog post.  I have never seen my style of lettering anywhere else.  Obviously similarities are there but nothing just like it.  Penmanship is individual....like a signature.

Below are a few monograms that I created for clients this year for a wedding, a logo and personal stationery.  I personally have a preference for the ornamental penmanship style of lettering as these monograms yield the appearance of the American Golden Age of Penmanship (1800's-1950).  Of course, I can use other calligraphy styles.  Just let me know.

I believe that calligraphy is the most elegant form of written communication.  Either do it beautifully or not at all.  ¡Qué tenga buen día!  ¡Paz y amor a todo!

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Acrylic & Gold Foil---Why Not?! - Houston Wedding Calligraphy

As you know, I get bored pretty easily so it was time to find another way to incorporate my calligraphy into events such as weddings & corporate events that use calligraphy quite frequently.  Enter: ACRYLIC and GOLD FOIL calligraphy!  I have quite a few events here in Houston that I have the pleasure to create calligraphy for and I have already had requests for these beauties here in Houston.  I figured that it was time to offer these to you as well!  Let's do this! Cheers!

Como Usted ya sabe, convierto aburrida con frecuencia.  entonces, es tiempo para algo diferente.  Ahora, estoy ofertando acrylic con oro y plata para nombres o un mensaje.  si estas interesado, me avisas.  Muchísimas gracias y favor de aceptar mis sinceras disculpas ...estoy aún aprendiendo español.    

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It's 5 o'clock Somewhere - Houston Wine Bottle Engraving

Need I say more..??  Black Stallion Vineyards

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Don't forget to thank friends and family - Houston Calligrapher

This is how it all started.  I just wanted to be able to send out nice correspondence to family and friends.  Fast forward a few years and here we are...a calligraphy business was born.  Cheers!

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VIDEO: Mirror Seating Chart Calligraphy - Houston Calligrapher

Someone asked if I could provide more pictures of the mirror seating chart that I created back in June.  Wanna see it?  Here it is!

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Hugo Boss Fragrance Bottle Engraving - Houston Engraver

I recently started engraving calligraphy for Hugo Boss for events here in Houston and it has been such a pleasure.  I had the opportunity to create this engraving for Father's Day a few weeks ago.  Cheers!

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Slinging Ink® of Bella Grafia Calligraphy is a Houston Based calligraphy firm that was established on the idea that sometimes the vintage way of creating art is the best. Hand written calligraphy is the most elegant form of communication and an event focused on the art of others deserves nothing less.  As a Houston calligrapher & engraver, I believe in doing it beautifully or not at all.

 

Slinging Ink®  Calligraphy & Engraving of Bella Grafia, LLC retains all rights to the content of this web site, as well as all calligraphy and engraving artwork we produce on behalf of our clients. Our artwork and designs may only be used for each specific job we created them for. The client, stationer, graphic designer photographer and printer agree that our artwork will not be copied, re-engineered, re-purposed, edited to create derivative works, resold, reprinted, given away or re-used in any way that would violate our copyright.  Photographs of our artwork are to include artwork credit to Slinging Ink® - Bella Grafia, LLC.

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