January 2003 - Issue 20

Welcome to a new year of byhand! And welcome to the many new subscribers! We're happy to have you here.

I hope your holiday season went well!

I am really excited and pleased to present to you our Yahoo discussion group. Please consider joining us. There are already 40 chatty artists talking about all sorts of things. If you already belong to Yahoo groups, you will have no problem joining.
If you have never belonged to a Yahoo group, you will have to register with them and give yourself a "name". If you only check your email once a day, you might like to choose the "digest" option where you will get a collection of all the emails that have been posted during the day. It's less clutter in your mailbox and you won't feel overwhelmed! We even welcome lurkers.

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What started all this was an email from Melody. She asked if there was a place on my website to ask questions and here was her question: Is there any type of glue that you can use to attach Mylar WITHOUT the adhesive showing through? We have discussed this in the byhandartists group and have compared notes. Join us to see what's going on or wait till next month when you can see some examples from the Mylar Challenge...

We have some fine new examples of artwork in the Stamping Gallery. Check them out! and don't forget if you're proud of artwork that you have stamped with a Quietfire Rubber Stamp, please send me a copy and I'll be delighted to put in the Stamping Gallery.

Now Available!

More eyelets in Copper and Silver colour, in both long and short neck, "Anywhere"  1/8"punches and more. The long neck eyelets will go through regular weight bookboard. Scroll down to the bottom of the page!

We have 25 participants working feverishly on their Tag Book Swap offerings! If you want to read more about this challenge, click here! I hope to be able to show you a couple next month, even though they are not due until mid-February...

I hope you enjoy this issue of byhand!

Studio Tips

If you include the off-white dominoes in your artwork, have you tried boiling them in tea to tint them? Lizard tells me that if you use blackcurrent tea, your dominoes will take on a purple hue! and suggests trying any variety of teas to colour them - perhaps even wine. (Didn't Martha Stewart have an article once about dying tags with tea and showed all the different colours? - you can get some amazing shades)

Thanks Lizard!

I'd be delighted to receive your favourite tips for inclusion here - we can all learn from them and probably save someone - like me - frustrations!

Site Siting

This month I'd like to point you in the direction of stamping artist Lenna Andrews Foster. This lady will stamp on anything, including her backyard swing! Lenna's stamp line is full of wonderful sayings. Her stamps,artwork and articles can be seen in numerous publications and best of all, she's a subscriber to byhand! If you go to her website at http://www.lennastamp.com/
you can see loads of inspiring artwork, and even more artwork when you take her links to her PictureTrail sites. You can see some of her work directly below as she was a participant in our Seasons Tag Swap.

Important links at your fingertips!

Back Issues of byhand
Quietfire Rubber Stamps
Acrylic Blocks for Rubber Stamps
Stamping Gallery
Subscriber's Gallery Page
Class Photos page
Links Page
Quietfire Design

How to subscribe and other stuff!

If you wish to contact me, my email address is: suzanne@quietfiredesign.com

To subscribe: send me an email saying 'subscribe'!
To unsubscribe: send me an email saying 'unsubscribe'. I'll live....
To change your email address: send me an email with both your new and old address. Thanks!

Please feel free to browse through my website
Quietfire Design.
There is now a link from my website to this newsletter, but I suggest that you bookmark the
index page of this newsletter ,
so you can return here at any time.

Books to Inspire

Living Legacies

Living Legacies - How to Write, Illustrate, and Share Your Life Stories
by Duane Elgin and Coleen LeDrew

This was another library find! It is a combination of memoir writing and scrapbooking (or visual journaling , if you prefer!) I've really enjoyed reading this book as it helps you focus on the stories you might like to share. The authors suggest that you write short, simple stories accompanied by visual images. The book is divided into easily readable sections including; How to Begin, Creating Your Time Line, and sections on Discovering, Collecting and Writing Your Life Stories. I particularly liked the time line approach ( I used a version of it in my Christmas Card letter!) where they suggest you tape sheets of paper together and draw a line along the middle of the page. On the left mark your birthdate, indicate 10 year periods across the line, then begin to fill in the significant points in your life. Some of these would be births and deaths, moves to new homes, marriage and divorce, beginnings of important relationships and so it goes. What a painless way to chart a life whether it be your own or a loved one.

I may have to purchase this one.... I'll just add it to my Amazon.ca wish list... (did you know you could make a wish list online and refer to it whenever you feel the need to spend $ on books? Love it!)

Living Legacies

Seasons Tag Swap

We had 22 players in this swap! And you really have to see the tags in person to appreciate them.
If you're interested in the background of this swap, click here. This selection completes the list of tags submitted to the Seasons Tag Swap. Thanks to everyone who played. It really makes you appreciate there is no limit to what you can do with a tag!

Lenna Andrews Foster

I got Winter - which was fun! I used Stampourri Stamps except for "It's nice to know we're looking at the same moon" ~ That's a lovely Claudia Rose stamp :O)  The 'Have A CooL day' - I do not know who makes it as it is an old stamp! I glued some paper done by Peggy Skycraft on to the back of my tags and stamped one of Suzanne's own Rubber Stamp designs, 'Create Without Limits' in silver Brilliance Ink right on this paper .

Lorna Long

For the wool covered tag I used two sided tape to keep the wool from slipping. The concept was to visualize snowdrops popping out of the snow. I don't have any snowdrops in my garden yet. Maybe this year though I am not sure they will survive in our cold snowy climate. I usually end up in Victoria about the time they are blooming and my sister has hundreds of them. My favorite sign of spring!!!


Marilyn Smitshoek

Marilyn wrote that she immediately thought of sunflowers when she was assigned summer. She wanted to do a window and "in one of those moments of inspiration that occur when you're lying awake at 3:00 in the morning - I decided to suspend the wooden sunflowers inside a window. I used straight pins and snipped off the tips, and the rest as they say is history. The sunflower petals are courtesty of my dad's partner, Anna-Mae. I knew they had grown some sunflowers in their garden this summer and I knew that Anna-Mae had a flower press and since they were coming out here for Thanksgiving, I figured that would be perfect. So a big thank you to Anna-Mae for helping with the project. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done. Thery're always a big inspiration for me."

Gail Ellspermann

Gail made very large tags of leather. The details she has put into her tags are revealed anew everytime I look at them.

Gail's work can be seen in the Melange section of the current Somerset Studio!

Pat Williams

Karin Trgovac


Elaine Yee

Susan Ewart -

Fall to me is … HALLOWEEN … ! My hubby and I love to carve pumpkins every year and it has become a tradition. There are 4 seasons in my world, Spring, Summer, Halloween and Christmas!!! For this tag I used the blue acrylics (again) and dotted with an iridescent white for the stars. The moon is a mix of gold and copper and clear and what-have-you embossing powder. With the pumpkin I photocopied the pumpkin design onto clear acetate and used acrylic to color the backside and then cut it out and applied it with some foam tape. I did the same for the cat except he/she was already black, so no coloring just lots of cutting (don't look too close). The fence was my problem area, as I had wanted to do it in polymer clay and have the cat be able slide along it. But time was short so I had to improvise. Toothpicks were the answer. I cut them and painted with a base of acrylic black - WHAT A MESS! - Why didn't I just roll them in a black stamp pad! UGH! Anyway, I wanted the fence to look like a white fence at night would like. So I dry brushed white acrylic onto it to give it that moon-shinning-on-it look. All the acrylics except the pumpkin had an iridescent medium mixed into the paint for added sparkle. I think I am part crow as I LOVE shinies. I hope you enjoy my tag as much as I enjoy receiving yours.




Shirley Van Eaton -

Tag design grew out of a paper pattern created for a theme I was developing for the London City & Guilds Embroidery and Design course in which I am involved. Hand cut star came from the same theme. (paste-paper, collage and penwork)


Nancy Quinn -

Hand-carved pumpkin, Hand-cut AUTUMN stencil, Leaves punched from photograph, Stampin"UP! Little shapes background.

Peggy Poellot

My Passion for Copper - Part IV

Parts I through III can be found in the previous issues of byhand

Heating Copper

What could be simpler? I took one of the copper plant tags from Lee Valley and, using tongs, I held the tag over a lighted candle. After a short time, the tag began to take on the most amazing colours. This scan just doesn't do them justice! You can also do this on the stove top. If you heat them for too long all the colour seems to disappear, so trial and error will tell you when to stop. The bottom tag has been stamped with metal letter stamps. These come in a variety of sizes and are available on my site here. Just too much fun!


Gentle Thoughts



Suzanne's Schedule
Winter 2003

Jan 25,26 Edmonton, AB Artist's Journal Edmonton Calligraphy Society
Jan 29,30 Red Deer AB Pipe Organ Binding Lettering Arts Guild
Feb/Mar Port Alberni BC Beginning Calligraphy 5 evening classes - starting Feb 11, 2003 - Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Feb 1,2 Red Deer AB Adding Funk to your Foundational Lettering Arts Guild
Feb 22 Port Alberni BC Charmers II Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Mar 1 Burnaby BC Creative Bookbinding Burnaby Continuing Education
Mar 2 Surrey BC Criss Cross Coptic Private Class
Mar 8 Winnipeg, MB Adding Funk to your Foundational Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
Mar 9 Winnipeg, MB Artist's Journal Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
Mar 29 Port Alberni BC Instant Letters Port Alberni Parks and Recreation

brace yourselves...

History Lesson

Here is the eighth and final installment of the information panels from my exhibition, Lines of Evolution....

Contemporary Calligraphy

The modern calligraphic revival started with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. He studied and incorporated historical letterforms into his limited edition books. Later Edward Johnston did more comprehensive study and taught many scribes who expanded the craft to many more.

The 1970’s brought a huge explosion of interest in calligraphy, and guilds popped up everywhere attracting many keen scribes and always more beginners with that “pen-to-paper thing”.

Modern scribes have wonderful new art materials at their disposal: In our work we incorporate acrylic paints and inks with far greater light-fastness than the old dye inks. We use resists and fabric paints, rubber stamps and thermographic powders, stencils and collage materials. We can have our own tiny Gocco silkscreen printers on our tabletops for printing multiple copies with multiple colours, and yet we continue to use some traditional methods for gilding and watercolours and carbon ink for the lettering. But the cold scriptorium is gone forever (we hope!).

We have an incredible variety of papers from all over the world at our fingertips - some of which we are unable to use with pen and ink and must resort to brush and paint.

The lettering tools of the calligrapher are more widely varied than ever before but include the traditional reed pens and quills, as well as metal nibs, pens of all sizes and shapes, pointed and flat brushes, and a newcomer, the ruling pen. Tongue depressors, carrots and musical reeds have not escaped our whims.

And we’ve added new hands to our repertoire, such as Gothicized Italic, Neuland, “windy day” scripts and heavily manipulated forms. We letter on walls, fabric, stone, bodies - anything that will stand still for a moment.

And books. On our calligraphic journey we have discovered the joy of making our own unique books to express our art, our thoughts and feelings, or just to experience the joy of making something beautiful. Calligraphers and artists in general owe a dept of gratitude to the scrapbooking craze, for now we are surrounded by archival materials, as well.

Calligraphy is a craft, an art, which begins with learning and practicing. Oh, the practicing! All the frills in the world will not hide bad letters. But that practice pays off in a big way.

Pick up a pen and have some fun. Go practice!

Top photo: Brush lettering with acrylic paint on decorated paper mache 'box'.
To right: Brush lettering with white fabric paint on white fabric curtains

Non-Traditional Tools for Calligraphy

Now that the History Lessons are over, I thought I might discuss some of the non-traditional tools commonly used by calligraphers to make marks on the page. The calligraphers in the group can roll their eyes (!) and move on or feel free to email me with your favourite odd-ball lettering tool and a sample of work you've done with it! This sounds suspiciously like a challenge, doesn't it?

The first one on my list is the Prismacolor Art Stix. They are the same colours as Prismacolor pencil crayons, but they are square sticks of solid colour. And because if viewed end-on they are square, they can be used as a broad edge when held at the correct angle. The stix are 1/4" square and about 3" long.

Now this is not a great example of calligraphic art, but it shows that you can do. This piece is on Canson Mi-Tientes black which has quite a textured surface on one side. I made the letters as I would with a broad edged pen, then went back in with regular pencil crayons of different colours. The idea was to let the nuit (night) fade into darkness. As you work with the Artstix, you will find that you have to resharpen the end, um, well, it's more like re-flatten the end. This can just be done on a scrap piece of paper. You don't have to work on black paper, any surface that will take crayons will take the Art Stix.
And keep in mind that the Art Stik is 1/4" wide therefore your italic letters will be about 1 1/4" tall.

Waxed Linen Thread

Prices: It is ($0.35/yard U.S. funds).
Here is a list of the colours I currently have in stock

For those of you who have taken the Coptic Stitched Class, it takes two yards of thread to complete the book as we made it.

For those of you who have taken the Criss Cross Coptic, you will require five yards per book.

The eyelets!

These are weeny cute little guys. They are 1/8" eyelets. There are regular and long neck eyelets. The long neck eyelets will go through a regular thickness of bookboard.
100 eyelets per package.

(the long and short Copper are real copper and the long neck brass are real brass)



This is just the best little eyelet setter! It's hard to mess up, in fact, since I began using this setter, I haven't messed up!


This is the Anywhere Punch - it allows you to make 1/8" holes for the eyelets *anywhere*! - not just close to the edge of the paper.

The Envelopes
These cool fellas are perfect for altered books, journals and cards!


Subtle, but they make a statement!

These are washers for your 1/8" eyelets. What will they think of next???




I have put together some Book Cradles for sale as some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really handy for when you have a lot of holes to pierce. The legs come off so they're perfect for going to classes. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length. I will try to bring these to classes so you can see them in person!


Book Corners
Jazz up your book covers with metal corners!
I use them on the foredges of books, by applying a little glue and then crimping them, ever so lightly with a pair of pliers.They are all brass except the 3rd one down is Nickel or silver coloured.

Brass slotted $0.35 USD each
Brass regular $0.35 USD each
Nickel regular $0.35 USD each
Brass scalloped $0.35 USD each

They fit nicely on a bookboard of about 2.2mm thickness covered with decorative paper.

If there is any information you would like to see in this newsletter, let me know. Each month I will email you to let you know the new issue is published. If you know someone who would like to receive notice of byhand, just have them email me and I will put them on the list. Bye for now and thanks for visiting!

(250) 723-0321 Quietfire Design

The original title lettering of byhand was done with a Mitchell's Roundhand Nib, size 0, and Higgins Eternal Ink. Quietfire Design Rubber stamps were used to create the other designs.


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© 2003 Suzanne Cannon
This newsletter is for the personal use of the subscriber and may not be reproduced without written permission from Suzanne. You are welcome to email or print it in it's entirety to share with friends, but ask that you include this copyright. Thank you for your help and your understanding.