ETSY SPOTLIGHT | sigmosaics, part deux: pastel perfection + valentine’s day picks | How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…

I love it when I randomly take a look at one of the many lovely shops I’ve “Favorited” on Etsy, and find – always to my surprise, for some reason – new and outstanding product ready for purchase.  Say it with me, folks – new product.  Ahh, just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it.  In a hard consonant kind of way.

Well, this was my experience when I paid a visit to my “Favorite Sellers” page recently, clicked on my old friend Sigmosaics AND SAW THESE:




(I know what you’re saying – but no, those are not the same eggs from Friday’s Fab Finds… they are, in fact, smaller mini eggs, and in summer hues.  No I’m not joking, they’re different.  Scout’s honor.)


Does breakfast in bed sound like the perfect way to spend your Valentine’s Day?  Then ask him to buy you one of these – but make sure he knows that you’d like it filled with food before he presents it to you.  Remember, men don’t read minds!  (Thank God.)




How about some heart-shaped creations?  I’d feel pretty lucky to receive one of these little works of art mid-February…







Oh, and by the way, here are two additional reasons why I have mad love (do the kids still say that?) for Kerrin, the creative force behind Sigmosaics:

1. 10% of the listing price of nearly all the items I’ve displayed above (save for the mini mosaic eggs) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

And, as if that wasn’t enough…

2. An excerpt from her bio: 

“Sigmosaics is how I became known amongst my customers in Portugal coupled with the fact it is also the name of my website … therefore I decided to also use this name for my Etsy shop. My children provided the inspiration for the ‘Sig’ part … it’s their initials!”

I’m a sucker for rolling in your kids’ initials when naming your business.  That’s just a certain kind of special, and it’s the kind that I love.

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 2 | Still Staring | a tush God took a few more minutes to sculpt + other eye candy you secretly want to own and/or touch…

I thought I liked my butt until I saw yours, Miss.  I hope you don’t mind me staring a bit.  I don’t think you do, since you’ve made it the photographic focal point.  So I’m going to keep my eyes fixed, as well as send a little shout out to Chris Nicholls for gifting the world with your assets.

Pretty, pretty pink pastel stationery, anyone?  Martha Stewart to the rescue…


By the way, here’s a Fab Friday Tip I remembered I wanted to tell you:
When you finalize your guest list, assign each address a unique number.  Write it lightly but legibly on the back of your response cards before mailing them.  This way, if Mr. and Mrs. Friendorfoe forget to write their names on the card, or Mr. Friendorfoe’s handwriting is atrocious, you’ll still know who’s responding.  Problem solved.


Speaking of wedding correspondence, I scanned these two pages out of my Speedball Textbook to show you.  This right here is a great reference tool for writing out your guests’ addresses.  Click on the image and print it for easy reference, if you’re diy’ing it, like me.


Speaking of writing/typography… I love visiting Briar Press for their awesome Cuts & Caps, many of which are totally free.  And that – say it with me – is a wonderful thing.  This one here costs money, but it’s my favorite “A” so it gets featured.

Speaking of fonts (yeah, I’m gonna keep going with this free association), I found this meticulous masterpiece by Danish artist Peter Callesen, via paper tastebuds.

I still don’t believe that that, right there, is possible.

You must visit his site.  Seriously.  No, seriously, because I need some opinions on whether this is physically possible.  Please weigh in.

And Peter, if you see, this… HOW do you DO THIS, my friend?!?!!  Is this learned, or innate?  I think I love you and would like to be your artist-world-partner, assuming you aren’t already tied down, or anything.  (?)  Our marriage would be based on your talent, not a bond of love, since I haven’t met you.  But that seems to be enough for a lot of people, so whaddya say?

Here’s more of your work, whilst you decide.

That looks like real bones!

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DIY ~ WEDDING CALLIGRAPHY | tools you’ll need to do it yourself | Addressing Your Wedding Invitation & Save the Date Envelopes!


Scroll to the bottom of this post to turn on the musical stylings of my favorite new artist, Warpold Wine.  Mmm mmm goodness.


So, one big decision I’ve made in the process of planning my wedding is that I’m personally going to address the envelopes that will hold my save-the-dates, and then, based on that outcome, I will decide which way to go on my wedding invitations.  Why did I decide this, especially since there’s so much room for failure and frustration?  Well, there are two major reasons, and one minor reason.

Major Reason 1. My name isn’t Moneybags McTonsocash.

Major Reason 2. Way back when I was but a wee babe, I had myself a chic little calligraphy business.  I was kind of super young, but I worked hard at it, and ended up landing some serious business.  Shout out to the recipients of the MVP/Most Improved, etc. sports award certificates… hand-scribed by moi! Your names may never again be written with that much love, care and attention to detail.

Hmm, this was back in the early 90s, so that means all of you are probably in your mid 20s right about now.  Which means you may be in need of some calligraphy services in the very near future. Yes?  Go home and take a look at that certificate.  If you like what I did when I was 10 years old, then get in touch and we can discuss your vision for your wedding calligraphy.  ;)

… Anyway, so given my childhood undertakings, I couldn’t reconcile outsourcing the task.

Minor Reason 3. I heart the handmade.  I strongly believe in doing it yourself if you can do it well.  Don’t have experience with calligraphy?  No problem – do you have good handwriting?  That’s a strong start.


Note: Tunes I Use is at the bottom of this post.

You can get everything you’ll need at your local specialty art supply store.  I get my tools from DaVinci’s in NYC on the corner of 23rd and Lex., because they carry lefty nibs and it is surprisingly hard to find these.  By the way, the difficulty of finding nibs for left-handed people has always weirded me out, especially because I’ve heard and was told in my youth that left-handedness is often the mark of an artist.  No offense, right-handed artists reading this.  You outnumber we lefties, so I am probably setting myself up for a fight (if so, one rule: no hand-attacks), but I’m really just reciting what I’ve heard throughout the years.  Of course there’s always the possibility that everyone in my life has been humoring me all this time.  Hmm.  My fiance does have a scarily high success rate when it comes to fooling me.  This, I will revisit.


There are tons of inks from which to choose.  Since my save-the-date envelopes are red, I am currently experimenting with Winsor & Newton’s #974 white ink, and seeking results similar to those achieved in the following images, from Moira Events (1-3), and Papineau Calligraphy (4).

I may switch to silver ink, as I am doing a process of elimination to find the most opague white ink available on this planet and it is proving quite a challenge.  DaVinci’s tells me this one, below, is the best.  We’ll see.

The ink:


There are nibs for right-handed and left-handed people.  I’m a lefty, and for my envelopes, I will be using one of the bottom two nibs shown in this image (LC-3 & LC-4):


Four of my nibs (here, LC-3 is on the pen holder):

Pen Holder

I use a Speedball pen holder.  You shove the rounded base of your chosen nib into the pen holder.  Once joined, the two together make your calligraphy pen.  Hurrah!

For inspiration, I’ve gathered up a personal gallery of some of the most gorgeous hand-written calligraphy I’ve ever seen.  I find the four examples below to be among the most inspiring whenever I sit down to write.  They are the work of Primele Calligraphy.

I will post updates on my progress with regard to finding the highest quality and most opague inks and which style of calligraphy I end up choosing to do.

Talk soon! -Alison

Stay tuned for continued installments of DIY Wedding Calligraphy.


12.31.09 Update: You may have noticed, I’m way into a certain artist right now.  So much so that the CD jacket made a cameo appearance in this post’s feature photo.  That’s when a person is way into something, methinks.  So, allow me to suggest the following for your listening pleasure…

Artist: Warpold WineAlbum: Warpold WineIdeal for: sitting back, relaxing, doing your own wedding calligraphy, break-ups, make-ups, commuting, frolicking, wrestling with your significant other, and good deeds.  Also, New Year’s Eve festivities.  Sample it here, or check out the touring schedule.

I live for the wow factor in my weddings, and the chill factor in my music. Just let it run; there are 12 tracks, each one with its own charm and brilliance.  Standouts: tracks 4, 5, 7, 8… no I can’t do this.  I love it all, and it actually pains me to play favorites.  Currently listening to 8.  OMG, track 8.  CHILLS, people.

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GIFTS I COVET | This Girl Wants These Gifts. You Will, Too.

Hey everybody, hope the holidays are treating you well this year.  With Christmas days away, unless you have car (not the case for a city-dweller like me), I’m not so sure you’ll be able to grab these gifts in time.  But here’s the thing, and let’s be honest with ourselves… we’ll probably just want to get these goodies for our own personal use.  Am I right or am I right?  And I wouldn’t give myself a hard time if I got myself a belated gift.  Would you?

Most of these gifts I caught wind of either through friends, family, People, or the good ol’ boob tube.  I found the following items to be my absolute faves, and I think you’ll like them, too.  If you’d like to get your hands on any of these products, the links to where you can find them immediately follow each image.  Hurry though; each of these items is still in stock presently, but of course there’s no way I can promise they’ll still be available in the minutes after I post this!

+ Colin Cowie Felt Trivets, $14.95

~ COUPON CODE: C56574 for 15% off your order until 12-31-09 (new customers, only) ~

+ THE BEST eyelash curler ever, $19-$24

+ a personalized stamp for the wedding; this one was created for one of my favorite weddings.

+ Peek A Boo liner in cream, $6, or 3 for $15

+ Yup, comes in black, too, $6, or 3 for $15

+ Love this DKNY watch (looks A LOT like a Cartier I covet)

+ “Dirt” is THE BEST for taming frizzies, $26

+ “Hollywood Intuition” Wrap – Silver Scarf, $15


+ Colin Cowie Notched Serving Bowl, on sale, $19.95

+ Wool and the Gang Scarf Kit, $150

+ Philosophy Classic Cookbook, $35

+ Cookie Pro™ Ultra II Cookie Press, $24.99

By the way, if you like to bake, a Cookie Press isn’t the only thing I’d want this year…

+ Gifts for the baker in your life!

+ Philosophy The Cookie Exchange, $30

+ An embosser!  (priced at around $30)

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