how do you even arrange photos on a blog to look nice

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[march study challenge] • 05/03/17

Day 5: studyblrs get real

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, because I am nowhere near the picture-perfect accounts with clean uncluttered desks and white backgrounds and neat handwritten notes with every title written in flawless calligraphy. It’s a shame because the studyblr community sort of conditions you into thinking that you need to have an aesthetic or you won’t get notes, and then that means we have an unrealistic view of what studying should really be. This is something I wrote in my very first post:

“I realised I wasn’t cut out to be one of those cool minimalist bloggers that used mildliners to highlight every second line of their aesthetic study notes. So I reckon my posts will lean towards the study end of things, but this probably won’t be Scandinavian stationery and pastel-coloured calligraphy. If it does turn out like that, I’ll cry a little inside. This, for me, is an online journal to document how I go this year. I want a place to keep it real, to post things that I learn and to see how I’ve grown over my final year of school.”

I have to shamefully say that I’m not really upholding my aforementioned promise to keep it real on this blog, so I hope that the following list makes up for it:

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Size Isn’t Everything 3/4

(Yes it’s 4 chapters now)

Summary: Kurt’s got a bit of a size-kink. Based on this prompt from the @prompt-a-klainefic blog.
Chapter: 2/4  Read Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here
Words: ~2745 (this chapter)
Warnings:  I guess? PWP, Size kink,

Many thousand apologies for the long delay in between chapters. Blink and weeks disappear. The final chapter should be up before the end of the week, and thanks for still reading!

forever thanks to @mshoneysucklepink for the beta!

“They’re a Black Sabbath tribute band, Kurt. I think they do country versions of all the songs.” Rachel scrunched her face at him. “I think it’s supposed to be ironic.”

“Rachel, we’re in Brooklyn, of course it’s supposed to be ironic.”

The bar was much more crowded than he had expected, with probably close to 40 or 50 people filling up the small space. The stage was low, but so was the ceiling and the band were already crammed up on the tiny stage when they walked in. He and Rachel bought drinks from the bartender and perched themselves near the rear.

“Are we staying for the whole show?” Kurt asked.

“Come on Kurt, Tina and Santana have been rehearsing for two weeks. We all promised to support each other in our creative pursuits.”

Kurt held his hands up. “I’m here! I’m supporting! But I fully expect you will all be there when my show opens.”

“Of course we will.” Rachel patted him on the shoulder, nodding. “I’m going to text Santana and tell her we’re here. I don’t need her to get all pissed off thinking we didn’t show.”

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anonymous asked:

The reaction w/ the boys (Reiji, Ruki,Laito Carla) s/o sexting them? So thirsty (ಥ﹏ಥ)

[Mun] マリ: Omg yes coming right up! The - sign stands for the boys’ texts, the ♥ for their lover’s. Get ready for some light NSFW and dirty talk! Hope you like it 💕


Reiji
Rjiesan… what didyou put in my tea……
- Seems like it is finally starting to kick in, is it not? Only a few drops of vampire juice, that’s all. It does no harm.
But i feel all waaaarm, Reijiisan!! Ho w do I get rid of this heat…. What do I do…… 
♥ Heyy, Reiji-san… you’re cold. And I’m REALLY hot right now… Hey, hey…. you know what that means.

Come cool me off…. I want your bare skin on mine… I’m already in my underwear, Reiji, the kind that you like best… The ones with the garters…
- I would usually say that you are not in the place to make demands, but I admit you are kind of cute when you are drunk. 
- Come to my room and I will take care of you.
But I can barely walk… and I’ve already gotten started.
[sends him blurry photo of her appearance in the mirror, sitting on her bed on her knees; her bra straps have fallen off her shoulders and she has two fingers underneath the hem of her panties]
- Such a demanding little thing you are. And very uncourtly, that is.
- Fine. I shall be right there.
- I will show you how to pleasure yourself properly.

Ruki
Ruki, are you on your way home yet…
- I am at a meeting, as I’ve told you. I will be home in an hour.
♥ [sends him photo of herself on his bed in lacy, see-through underwear, thumb  teasingly pushing her panties down slightly as she innocently looks into the camera] But I’m waiting for you, master… and I’m impatient…
- Well, well. I told you I will not be home in the next hour.
- Humour me and film yourself while you masturbate. Fuck yourself on your fingers and send it to me.
♥ What? But… Ruki! I didn’t mean to…
- Don’t even pretend to be innocent.
- I have long fucked every last trace of innocence out of you. 
- Now do as I say.
♥ [sends him the video after a couple of minutes, her face twisting in pleasure and her body trashing around as she gasps obscenely; she appears to be purposely exposing her neck to the camera, occasionally dragging her fingers along the nearly invisible scars left by his fangs] I imagined you dominating me, taking me rougher than you have before… It’s been so long, Ruki…
- Filthy Livestock, distracting your master like this… Your neck looks too untainted for my liking.
- And on that note, I don’t think you would like me to go even rougher on you unless you have a dying wish.
- Keep pleasuring yourself like that until I get home. That’s an order. Devote yourself to me and I’ll fuck you good, babygirl.

Laito
- Bitch-chan! How’s Maths without me~
♥ I’m bored and I’m thinking of you…
- Oh… me? Heheh. Are you fantasising about me?
♥ Yeah… 
♥ I really like it when you overpower me and fuck me in places where people can catch us…

- Hm. Is that an invitation, Bitch-chan? Tell me more and we can arrange something…
 I want you to drag me into the storeroom and force me onto my knees… and fuck my mouth while I pleasure myself on my fingers… and then pull me up by my hair and bend me over and take me as roughly as you can… Want you to fill me up and cum all over me…
- Ah, so naughty today, Bitch-chan. I love it! Come see me in the storeroom after class then… I’ll gladly fuck that pretty little mouth of yours… I bet you’re even wet right now, aren’t you?
- I’m already getting hard just thinking about it, Bitch-chan! Hurry…

Carla
Carla-san, about last night…
- Yes?
My throat hurts… I’ve skipped school because I don’t want anyone to see me like this.
-
And why is that? What’s the matter?
I’m not sure if you noticed last night, but…
[sends him photo of her neck and part of her upper body; her neck and chest are excessively covered in bite marks and hickeys, his fingerprints wrapped around her throat like a tattoo; she visibly looks insecure]
It hurts, but it looks so pretty too… It’s almost like I can still feel you on my skin…
- Huh. You are such a fragile little girl. I didn’t think I’d leave you that beaten up, to be honest. But you’re right, it does look pretty on you. And pretty… hurts, don’t you humans always say?
- It’s a nice token to show everyone to whom you belong. Nonetheless, I suppose I understand why you might be embarrassed to have everyone know you had the most mind-blowing sex last night.
Then come and kiss it better, please… It’s not like I have anything to do right now anyway so I feel kind of lonely.
-
Can’t promise you I’ll be gentle the entire time. My throat’s dry, so I will have to feed on you.
- But alright. I’ll try my best. Get in bed and I’ll be there in a bit.

Newbie passes her first exam!  Find out what she did right in handling this “POT”

I received this message from a real sweetheart and, I have to share it with you as an example of how to handle a POT “gone bad”.  I am frankly so proud of how she handled this situation and I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned here!  [I have edited her message to me a little bit omitting details that aren’t necessary for my purposes, but everything here is “out of her own mouth”, so to speak] :

I met a POT today… He lives in my general area, so that was a plus because I only had to travel about 20 minutes. He seemed pretty nice through text and we actually have common interests, so I didn’t bother asking for a picture of him because I was afraid it would ruin it. He’s asked for “sexy” pictures several times and each time I’ve said “maybe after we meet/if there’s chemistry/if I’m not busy later.” He was pretty much as attractive as I expected. I’d give him a 3/10.

Our conversation was okay, I tried to make it about him as often as I could. He ordered my coffee right before I arrived, and we talked for maybe an hour before he had to go back to work. We discussed payment expectations before we even met, and being that I’ve never been an official SB and I’ve never actually met a POT in person, he mentioned [what he paid in] his last arrangement. … It didn’t sound bad, I just want something small and easy to help me save a little here and there.

But now he’s being persistent with mentioning pictures and honestly, I feel like they haven’t been earned because we just met today. Coffee=pictures of my body??? I don’t think so. And he also texts me multiple times if I don’t reply quickly enough (for him, quickly is 15 minutes or less. Like come on! I’m busy!) I told him I wanted to meet him again before committing to an arrangement just yet, but now that he’s been pestering me for nudes like a teenage boy, and he’s being relatively needy, and not really offering a lot of payment considering our differences in attractiveness, I really think I want to nip it in the bud, but I don’t know how….. Can I just delete this texting app, block him on SA, and disappear? I don’t want to be rude to him because he was extremely nice to me. I just don’t think an arrangement between us is going to be realistic…

The problem with sugaring is that you have to put up with so many guys who JUST DON’T GET IT!  They don’t get the concept of “mutually beneficial”; they don’t understand the boundaries that must be a part of a good arrangement and they don’t know how to act like a gentleman in the presence of a beautiful young woman.  

Unfortunately, so many women who are new at the game don’t yet have the experience and the knowledge to see a train wreck as its coming down the tracks and end up making mistakes. Some of the mistakes end up simply as a waste of time, or getting “shorted” on a date, and some of the mistakes are more serious, and involve being put in a dangerous situation with no easy way out.  

Further, the impression that a lot of newbies get from reading some blogs gives them a mistaken impression about how finding, getting and keeping a SD is all about.  It’s not all glamour; it’s not all about finding a “hot daddy with a lot of money” and it’s not all about landing 10k allowances after an exchange of a couple messages.  Having unrealistic expectations will kill a SB’s career before it starts; putting on “rose colored glasses” will blind you to the realities “on the street.”  Sugaring is a grind.  There’s a lot of frustration involved, and, sadly, a SB ends up dealing with a lot of real slugs that try to pass as men.

However, a good SB will take some or a lot of satisfaction out of spotting and dumping a POT before he becomes a PITA (no, not that delicious bread, but rather a “Pain In The Ass”, lol).  And that is valuable.  I have often posted about the mistakes that newbies have committed.  Here is my opportunity to point out what a newbie did RIGHT.   So, with that in mind, let’s turn to this newbie’s first big exam and see how and why she passed with flying colors:

First Question on the Exam – Is it okay to send “naughty pics” to a POT before the arrangement begins?

Our student has been talking with a POT.  Early on, before they even meet, he starts asking her for “sexy pictures”.  Let me say this clearly:  you fail the exam if you send “sexy pics” before you have received your allowance.  Our student here deflected this POT’s advances perfectly:  

He’s asked for “sexy” pictures several times and each time I’ve said “maybe after we meet/if there’s chemistry/if I’m not busy later.”

 It is still early, so she wants to keep this POT on the hook until she has a chance to see if he is going to materialize into a real prospect.  So, she doesn’t say no, but she doesn’t say yes.  She makes a promise that she will keep, if he ends up keeping his promises.  Most importantly, she does not send the pics in order to get him to meet her.  She passes the first exam question!

Second Question on the Exam – When do you bring up the terms of an arrangement?

Our student passed this no problem!  She discussed the terms of the arrangement at the outset.  Now, the amount he is willing to pay is not really relevant! All that matters is whether YOU are satisfied with it or not.  In this case, our student went through that mental analysis, took into account her personal situation and concluded:  “It didn’t sound bad, I just want something small and easy to help me save a little here and there.”  Perfect answer.  Question 2 passed!

Third Question on the Exam – How do you handle the initial meet and greet?

Our student breezed right through this one!  First, the guy is not exactly easy on the eyes!  She rates him a 3/10.  lol! However, our student keeps her eyes on the prize – the money – not on toad-man’s face!  Lol. She steers the conversation so that she made it more about him than her.  Very good move:  you want to find out as much as you can about him; listen to him, draw conclusions about his personality, about the way he handles himself and look for warning signs!  Further, the less he knows about you, the better!  You create an air of mystery.  At the end of the “meet and greet” he goes away happy, but realizes that he wants more!  Who is this girl?  I have to see her again to find out!  This student is really impressing her professor!  Question 3 passed!

Fourth Question on the Exam – Hypothetical:  A POT buys you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Do you owe him something?

Okay, now we are getting into the tough part of this exam!  After the meet and greet, the POT is obviously intrigued by our student. He wants more!  He hasn’t parted with the cash, but he feels free to continue with and step up his demands for pictures and attention.  What is a newbie to do?  Her answer blows me away!

But now he’s being persistent with mentioning pictures and honestly, I feel like they haven’t been earned because we just met today. Coffee=pictures of my body??? I don’t think so. And he also texts me multiple times if I don’t reply quickly enough (for him, quickly is 15 minutes or less. Like come on! I’m busy!) I told him I wanted to meet him again before committing to an arrangement just yet

 Let’s unpack this! First, the guy pesters her for pictures! Sheesh!  This guy is obviously a photo collector, and, perhaps, nothing more. Our student analyzes this using sound economic principles and concludes that a cappuccino does not entitle him to photos of her beautiful body.  Bravo! Second, she recognizes that the guy is a needy jerk and gets irritated if she does not immediately respond to his texts!  Very good! You can find a good looking vanilla boyfriend to blow up your phone, you don’t need that from some old dude! Third, and most importantly:  she uses this information to draw the conclusion that the guy is not worth her time:  

I told him I wanted to meet him again before committing to an arrangement just yet, but now that he’s been pestering me for nudes like a teenage boy, and he’s being relatively needy, and not really offering a lot of payment considering our differences in attractiveness, I really think I want to nip it in the bud

 Yes, that is exactly what our student should do!  She stays in control!  She knows that this is all just going to be a waste of time!  Question passed!

Bonus Question on the Exam – How do you tell a POT to get lost?

I’m going to give our student full credit for the bonus question!  She says:

Can I just delete this texting app, block him on SA, and disappear? I don’t want to be rude to him because he was extremely nice to me. I just don’t think an arrangement between us is going to be realistic…

 The answer to that is YES! You owe nothing to this guy!  You do what you have to do to “nip his bud” so to speak!  And, I understand that the guy wasn’t mean to you, but that only gets him so far.  I think the best thing to do is to send him a quick text saying, to use your own words, that “I just don’t think an arrangement between us is going to be realistic…”  If he continues to try to contact you after that, hit the “delete button” and disappear.

Our “newbie” has passed her first big exam in “Sugar University”.  She is no longer a newbie; she is now officially a Sugar Baby! Congratulations, honey!  

Let’s Talk About Money

There is nothing sexier than watching a man withdraw money from an ATM and knowing that money is meant for you. There is nothing more annoying than waiting for a man, that is too old, too unattractive, too much of a conservative, too much of a racist to really warrant your attention, to decide he is going to give you money. There is nothing more annoying than smiling and preening for a man you’d otherwise ignore. You’re tired, cranky, getting close to broke, in need of a vacation, and running out of foundation. Small talk is annoying. It feels like all you ever do is introduce yourself. You’ve done that and rattled through all of the things that make you unique dozens of times. So often, it stops feeling like you. It’s a script. A script so well rehearsed you find yourself using parts of it even when the situation doesn’t call for it. No? Not you? Just me? That’s fine.


I’m sugaring for a reason and for a limited time. I’ll elaborate. I’m sugaring for the funds to build a successful business. Once I have that business up and running, I’m leaving online sugaring alone. I’m leaving allowance talks alone. Neither are things I enjoy. I do, however, enjoy nice things and trips that I don’t pay for. So, I’ll be free styling. No more talks of allowance. Talk, instead, of buying me property, trips, and continued educations classes that will make me a better person. I just need to make a few more dollars and I can make my dream a reality. Or so I thought.

 
I woke up one day and realized that I have already been gifted every single thing I need in order to make a business work. I was gifted art supplies. I was gifted the furniture I needed to set up a dedicated creative space. I was gifted the laptop, iPad, and phone I wanted to run my business. What in hell was I waiting for? 


I was waiting for the fear to die. I didn’t think anyone would care about this blog. I didn’t think anyone would care about my words. I didn’t think anyone would care about my voice. I started writing anyways even though I didn’t really have anything to say. And you have almost daily reached out to me and loved on me in a way that has left me breathless. In spite of that, I was still afraid. You loved my words but would you love my paintings? 


I realized that if I continued to let fear and doubt shackle me to the rock of perpetual indecision I would never know if you would love my work or not. And I’d add another weight to my shoulders: regret. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. 


My paintings and writings are fueled by the same emotions that pushed me to start this blog: loneliness and a desire for inspiration and motivation to keep pressing forward. 


We as sugars, as sex workers, understand loneliness in a way very few people do. The truth is no one gets being a sex worker the way other sex workers do. No one gets being a sugar baby the way other sugar babies do. But we’re a hard bunch to connect to, to form bonds with. Despite our ability to finesse money from a man’s wallet, we find ourselves awkward around sex workers we admire. Did we say too much in that message or ask? Reveal to much to this woman we respect? Are we bothering her if we reach out again? How do we develop a friendship with this faceless, nameless entity that we’ve fallen in love with based on words and images alone?  
I didn’t know. I was blessed with @lustington and @brownstatuesquesugarbaby; with kind words from @thotianaxoxo. They saw past my awkwardness and stuck with me; responded to me when I messaged them. I will forever be grateful for that. And for the deeper bonds I forged with brown and lust. 


But I didn’t always have them. I did, however, always have my pen and my easel. I followed my usual habits and turned to them. Like Pinocchio’s Geppetto, I created the sugar friends I wanted. I based them on women whose stories I admired. Creating them visually and literally gave me peace. And when I put my pen down, when I set my paint brush aside, I felt emotions that surprised me. I felt connected to the sugar baby community as a whole. I couldn’t explain why at the time but my feelings of loneliness had lessened. It was as if having this piece of art, this visual cue, had the power to remind me with just a glance that I was not alone. 


I felt motivated and for a woman that had quit the bowl twice before this was important. Every single woman I created embodied traits that I wanted or had. Every single woman had reached a point in her sugaring journey that I wanted to reach. I’d look at them and realize that I could reach whatever heights I wanted. I realized that they only thing stopping me was me. Looking at those paintings reminded me that to succeed, I would have to work. What’s more they made me want to work. 


It shouldn’t have surprised me. I have always been a visual person. I see things and understand them. I love vision boards, inspiration photos taped to the refrigerator, and Pinterest. In fact, I’d tried, upon first entering the bowl, to find art for sex workers but nothing satisfied me. Everything looked as if it had been created by an outsider and was therefore for outsiders. Like I said, we all know no one understands sex work, truly understands, the way other sex workers do.
I’ve satisfied my needs with these visuals and their accompanying stories. I’ve found a way to combine my love of words and painting. I’ve managed to ease my loneliness. And I’ve created a (what I think is) beautiful, daily reminder to never give up on my dreams or the unconventional path I chose to get there. 


I’d like to now do the same thing I always do when something, anything happens to me. I’d like to share my art with you. Come back tomorrow. I’ll begin sharing the stories of 12 women who were inspired by fellow sex workers, fellow sugar babies. I call them The New Money Girls.  You may recognize them. You may recognize yourself. See you tomorrow.

Je Donne ma Langue au Chat part 4/?

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4  / Part 5  / Part 6  / Part 7

Ao3

“The entire class had been shocked when she’d shown up in the pink dress and makeup that Juleka had done for her, stammering out her quick explanation and ending with “so please don’t call me a boy anymore.”  No one had said anything.  They’d just stared at her like she was an explosion, or a typo.  She’d been about to run away to go puke in the bathroom, when suddenly she’d heard Adrien’s voice, clear and kind, say, “It’s nice to meet you again, Rose.””

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anonymous asked:

I really want to become a SB, but I know nothing nor do I know how to actually get involved. I'm a college student and I find myself to be very lonely. I would like to be treated nice by a man (even if sexual relations is asked for) but how can I do this without friends and family knowing? Sorry ... Lol, I'm just curious.

No need to apologize, my dear!  I’m always happy to satisfy your curiosity!  Let’s move through your ask, but, I’m going to start with the last thing first and move backwards from there!

Practice the art of discretion in all things sugar!

So, “first” let’s look at the issue of sugaring without friends and family knowing.  First, you are being smart for being concerned with that! I believe that you have to treat sugaring, in all respects, as a life completely separate from your vanilla life! In other words, the only way to make sure that family and friends do not find out is to be completely devoted to and practice the art of discretion in all of its forms.  That means that, no matter how good – or bad – things are going, you always, always have to resist the urge to tell any body about what is going on!  Even your BFF! (especially her or him!)  That’s what tumblr is for!  Blog away, if you need to; just do not share anything with anyone in your vanilla life! And that goes for inadvertent “disclosures”:  If you get a text from a POT, read it and delete it!  Do not keep those text conversations or any other “evidence” of your sugaring on any device that someone else can access!  Do not “store” your SA username and password on your computer!  I cannot stress how important that is.  Failing to do that causes drama! There is nothing worse than a family member, friend or vanilla boyfriend going through your phone and confronting you with text messages, emails, photos, etc.!  Believe me, your SD will also appreciate your devotion to discretion!  

Looking for love in all the wrong places!

I understand that you find yourself lonely and you crave the attention, affection and kindness of a man. And, quite frankly, I find that arrangements that involve intimacy (sex) can go a long way to satisfying that primal and basic need to feel desired, attractive and connected; especially with the right SD.  However, please be careful!

If you find yourself drawn to sugaring to satisfy certain unrequited needs, whether they are financial or emotional, you are setting yourself up for being used and manipulated by unscrupulous men who will sense and take advantage of that!  The most successful SB sugars from a position of strength, not weakness!  

The idea of sugaring from a position of strength, not weakness seems ironic, I know, but it is true. If you sugar because of financial need, you will end up accepting offers from guys who you would not otherwise give the time of day and you will not be happy.  Likewise, if you sugar because you are lonely, you will attract men that will take advantage of your loneliness and, at the end of the day, or when you are deep into the arrangement, you will realize that you feel worse, not better, because your SD is demanding, controlling, or doesn’t treat you well.  You may end up feeling worse as a result of getting involved with a SD than you did if you just stayed by yourself!  My oft-used phrase of “taking off your rose colored glasses” applies with full force here. So, it is okay to want to sugar to find the company, attention and cash from a man, but make sure you analyze each POT dispassionately and objectively before making the decision to accept an offer!

Sugaring 101 – all in one place!

I think a good place to begin when doing some basic research into sugaring happens to be … well, on my blog! And here are a couple of links that will “get you up to speed” relatively quickly!

First, we have the basic discussion of what sugaring is about and how to set up a profile:

How does sugaring work?  Honey, let me take you by the hand …

 Second, here are a couple of links to discussions about the POT types you simply have to avoid and run away once you spot them!

The things POTs say when they’re trying so hard not to pay!

MORE of the things POTs say when they’re trying so hard not to pay!  (Part II)

Third, we’ve got an exam to see how you’re progressing!

Newbie passes her first exam!  Find out what she did right in handling this “POT”

Fourth, and, finally, for now, we have the reverse of that coin; here are links to help you spot and focus on real POTs!

Spot the real POT:  Things to look for that will tell you that he is for real!

Spot the real POT (Part II):  How a real POT handles the “meet and greet”

Spot the real POT (Part III):  How a real POT handles the “allowance talk”

 I think that is a good “starter kit”! Master that material and you’ll be on your way!

Fic: Development

Inspired by this post and much encouragement from anderson-hastings. All canonical dialogue sourced from gleetranscripts. ~2700 words, PG, probably obscenely sappy.

In Kurt’s mind, McKinley High School had exactly one thing going for it: the wifi was unblocked, thanks to Figgins’ total technological ineptitude.

(And, okay, glee club was also decent sometimes, when everyone wasn’t infighting over solos and relationships. It still gave Kurt more stress headaches than he really wanted to have, though.)

This complete access to the Internet allowed Kurt to scroll through his Tumblr pretty much whenever he felt like it, so his queue could always be stocked and he could be in near constant contact with his small collection of Internet friends. Sure, his blog wasn’t massively popular, but he got enough messages swooning over its aesthetics that he wanted to devote as much time to it as possible to keep it looking good.

He had only one rule: everything he posted had to be black and white, with the occasional text post thrown in for fun or as a life update. If Kurt was being honest with himself, the black and white reflected how muted and somber he felt outside of the Internet, like his world was just dreary, interchangeable shades of gray.

Kurt shook himself and focused back on his phone, where a new post had shown up in the “black and white” tag he tracked.

bowtiebirdie: hey guys, what’s up? I’m new here and hoping to find some good b+w blogs to follow as inspiration - like this post if you think I should give you a look!

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lookatmewhenever  asked:

Hello, I was just wondering if there are any ways you could help me to get started on calligraphy! Like, what kind of materials, where to go to learn, etc.? Any help would be much appreciated! :) Thanks!

Well hello, canon-jesus!  I’m always happy to answer calligraphy questions!  I’m decidedly an amateur with a lot of work still to do to really get good, but hopefully my amateur perspective is exactly what you are looking for!

As to where to go for instruction, there are all sorts of options.  You might be able to find local classes, depending on where you live.  There are professional organizations like IAMPETH that hold conferences and workshops.  You can find state/city/region calligraphy guilds that hold courses and can connect you with calligraphers who may be willing to teach you.  Here is a list of state guildsHere is another.  Some have modest fees to join whereas other guilds are slightly more informal.  I follow a few on facebook - poke around online and you can find some people to chat with, gatherings to go to.

I…haven’t done any of that YET.  I missed the last workshop for my state calligraphy guild but I’m really hoping to catch some future meetings.  I know I’d benefit from some formal instruction but I don’t look forward to having to unlearn my bad habits.

Now, if you just want to dive in like I did, I’d recommend three basic things.

1) A Pilot Parallel Pen.  If you’re in the US, I recommend jetpens.com.  They even have a nice tumblr here.

There are three Parallel Pen sizes.  I think the 2.4 mm is the easiest to use, followed by the 3.8 mm.  The smallest, 1.5mm, and largest, 6.0 mm, are awesome, too, but harder to use.  I love the 6.0 mm, but it takes a bit more finesse.

 

They all come with two cartridges of Pilot Mixable Colours ink (as shown) and a handy guide that explains how to use the pen.  It also includes 3 sample scripts, with ductus (the sequence of pen strokes you use to build the letter) for each.

Each pen is a very reasonable $12 and they are built to last.  I really recommend picking up 2 if you can, as there’s a super easy ink blending trick you can do that is a ton of fun.  I get a lot of positive comments about my excessive use of ink blends.  :)

For additional ink, I’d recommend a set of Pilot Mixable Colours - $5.50.  They’re well behaved, they look nice, and they are hassle-free.  I’ve had excellent luck running just about any fountain pen ink I like through my Parallel Pens, if you want to branch out into the world of beautiful inks.  You can get a standard Pilot converter, or just rinse out the Mixable Colours cart.  Find colors you like and it should inspire you to do more calligraphy!

2) Decent paper.  This is easy to overlook if you are not a fountain pen user, or traditional artist.  Paper is paper, right?  Wrong.  Cheap paper will bleed and feather and turn even the best lines of ink into blobby messes.  If you spend a little extra on paper, you’ll be able to put your ink exactly where you want it to go.

I like Rhodia dotpads.  It’s wonderful paper and the dot ruling is a nice balance between having some guides for your work and having the grid distract too much from the finished piece.  A standard A4 pad is $10-15.  Pricey, but worth every penny.  Write all over each sheet and a pad will last a long time.  You can also find the huge Rhodia A3 dotpad for only slightly more money.  Look around online.  That’s a very economical choice.

I’ve moved over to Tomoe River paper lately because it is so lovely to write on.  There are other great brands, too, but I’ll spare you several more paragraphs of paper talk.

3) A script to learn.  I looked around online for a script that sort of looked like what I pictured in my head if I thought about calligraphy.  You can google image search for blackletter or gothic script/font, italic, roman square capital, etc.  Here’s a nice collection of fonts based on calligraphic scripts.  You can see alphabets arranged by time period, style, country.  You can find something that inspires you there and just print out the alphabet to work from.  This also gives you the name of a particular type of script that strikes your fancy - some are more loopy, some are more angular, some are more ornate, etc.

In terms of a book to learn from, I cannot recommend Mark Drogin’s Medieval Calligraphy highly enough.


He goes through a very readable (and funny!) account of the history of Western writing forms, and he provides an alphabet with ductus…es?  Ducti?  for each script he discusses.  It’s kind of everything you need, including some decent photos of actual medieval manuscripts which can give you lots of ideas. 

The other book I always have by my side is Gothic and English Alphabets.  There is no accompanying text - just 100 different alphabets to look at.  The scripts I currently practice are all from that book.

Looking at either amazon link will give you recommendations for a zillion other books of woodcut letters, monograms, decorative borders, books on illuminated manuscripts…

So that should be more than enough to get you started.  I am not a big dip pen user at this point, but you can find plenty of tumblr users who can recommend things if you want to go that direction.  Dip pens are quite a bit harder to use in my experience.

Last but not least, follow the excellent scribebynight blog to see calligraphy at all skill levels and have your work shared with the community!

Good luck and have fun!

Pete

mindless blabber

Wild Run

Ive had the same bag of horse hair for the past 2 years… only every pulling a small tuft out on occasion…
But i found myself looming around the bag of hair,  and decided to try and use a small bit for a necklace…..and thus…. ’ Wild Run’ Was born.
Threw up some wire wrapping, tiny golden seed beads ( of which i have also had a long while) various beads from various trades and flea market finds, a little sliver of quartz and some teeny seed beads i purchased through a local shop in Olympia ( i actually bought new beads? this is INSANITY!)

Which throws me into a dream glimpse of last night…. i was flea market shopping and found a 10 foot long strand of old silver Ethiopian beads, seed beads, wooden disk beads and long tarnished silver tube beads…. the 10 foot strands were 89 dollars for all…located at a weird market held within a dusty dim flickering light horror movie basement… this basement was full of all sorts of forgotten treasures/books/vintage clothing and textural lace!

Ill cross my fingers and hope
the dream was prophetic, some old silver beads would be delightful.
Moving on….


These weird looking odd balls were made from a bunch of random beads that had no matching partners aside from the vintage squared beads up top.
I have been trying to delve into the stash of misfit supplies i have, and perpetually avoid. Square beads and colorful glass faceted beads being terrifying perfect examples.
I like circles and rounded beads, not squares and i love rustic earthy tones…. not colorful sunny vibrant hoohah tones…but just because i prefer the dismal tones of an overcast day.. doesn’t mean everyone else in the jewelry world does…right?

So into the stash of scary angled cubes and colorful glass beads i go!  
Silly how those 3 glass beads seem so colorful to me.

Another hint of color… These lopsided ladies are also from a stash of beads i feel lost in, aqua blue wooden beads scrounged up from yet another flea market…
Light sea foam lava rock beads ( i brushed with a hint of deep gold to tone down the brightness), a beige vintage bead salvaged from an old necklace and teeny sheen pinkish white seed beads gathered from the local Olympia bead shop. Odd ball mermaid sea foam earrings, for all you odd ball mermaids.

Now to the good stuff <3

Ive got a real weakness for some good feet, specifically dinosaur feetsies.
This black hen claw was acquired from Jesse ( whom does wonderful work) and chaotically wire wrapped to a hammered wire circle base… I then threw on 2 scrap pieces of wire both sanded and hammered and a final old dyed bone bead   ( acquired through trade)  
Love the way the back claw curls up a bit.

There is my goofy mug sipping coffee out of my favorite fox mug and arranging product photos.

Another dinosaur claw acquired through the same lovely soul, this one is larger and belongs to a rooster. Old scrap leather has been sewn at the ’ wrist’ of the claw and a piece of rounded hammered wire threaded through, then some ornamental wire wrapping for extra support and simple aesthetic.
There are teeny bronze colored seed beads going across the leather, cant see them well in the photo but they make a nice tiny detail i think.


This past week i have been meticulously chipping away at my owl pellet supply and organizing tons of supply lots, curiosities and inspirations for skull shadow box necklaces …. i also got a pleasant surprise from my land mate of.. MORE PELLET FINDINGS<3
Ive collected a bunch from her offer and have been strewing them away for future projects<3 <3 my giddy excitement is out the roof.

Since i had already gone through my own and organized them, i decided to do some miniature rodent bone sets for you fellow crafters and creative types.
Here is an example of one…


2 lovely mandibles, 2 femurs, two tibia and fibula bones and 2 coxae
Are they not the loveliest little bones?
I am even making tiny baggies for them with pieces of old paper bits and dictionary pages <3
So many of these will be listed in the following weeks. Not sure what to charge for them, each bone does take time to dig out and give a general clean to, … few bucks perhaps? A dollar? the soul of your first born?

No clue why i decided to make a post with little snippets of my mind and projects being made… I think its because ive been on a binge of reading all sorts of jewelry blogs and love when they throw in commentary on their own pieces and thoughts…………………..


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