August 23, 2016

Calligraphy Tutorial | Ruling Guidelines on Blank Paper

Ruling guidelines can be a bit mind-boggling when you first start out in calligraphy, but is doesn't have to be! It's really just a formula and it's all about ratios; your x-height in relation to how tall your capitals are. 

We've made a short and sweet video sharing how we rule paper for our in house script. Different script styles use different ratios so play around and find your own style. This may seem really basic but it's the key to well proportioned words! Even if we don't use lines, this ratio is still in play because we've trained our eyes to see it and write that way.

We hope this is helpful! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
Peace, love and letters,
Bailey & Emma

December 11, 2015

Merry Everything! 20% the Entire Shop this weekend!!


This sale only comes along ONCE per year! It's also your last chance to stock up on holiday gifts and custom stamps before the new year!

Our ENTIRE SHOP (yeah...EVERYTHING) will be on sale this weekend,
December 12-13, 2015.
Use coupon code, MERRY20 to redeem 20% off your entire purchase!
Sorry, no offline orders will be included in the sale. Sale runs December 12th 12am EST to December 13th 11:59 pm EST. No rain checks will be given.
Happy Shopping! Let us know if we can help with anything.
Bailey & Emma


November 23, 2015

2015 Holiday Card Exchange!

One of the most fun parts of the holidays for us each year is our annual Holiday Card Exchange! See 2013's Holiday Card Exchange here and 2014's here. We're always THRILLED by how many of you write to us! It is so fun to see your families, hear your thoughts and see what holiday cards you picked!

We just LOVE getting snail mail and we have a feeling that you do too! Who doesn't adore finding a gorgeous piece of mail in their box amongst the bills and flyers? We know it brightens our day.

So why don't we exchange some holiday cards? This year, we've chosen to use our new Handkerchief Holiday cards...which we think are the perfectly festive for the season!

Here's the scoop: You add us to your mailing list and send us a hand addressed (practice that calligraphy folks!) holiday card and we'll have our resident calligrapher, Bailey Amon Rivera mail one back from US! Sound like a plan?

The details: Mail your card to Bailey at:
℅ Bailey Amon Rivera
2441 W. Rowland Avenue
Littleton, Colorado 80120

Be sure to include your preferred return address (in addition to the one on the envelope-you know how the mail can be) so that we can mail one in return! We are SO looking forward to hearing from you. Now it will be FUN to check the mail:) Yay!

Peace, Love and Letters,
Emma & Bailey
Find us on Instagram @antiquariadesign and tag your pics #longlivesnailmail

August 26, 2015

Calligraphy Tutorial | Additional Tools for Lettering, Writing Surfaces

We thought it was HIGH time to share some of our favorite resources in a new mini blog series, Additional Tools for Lettering. This is part two...all about the surface that you write on! By now, if you're reading our blog, you're probably already obsessed with lettering and stationery. We too are, of course, as well! We try not to buy EVERYTHING that comes out, but we do have a few luxe favorites that make our day to day practice even more enjoyable.
A more recent find for us is one that we would now not want to live without, a leather desk blotter writing surface! Writing with a dip pen is so different than normal writing - as anyone that's practiced the art-form well knows. One thing that is very different is that you NEED to have a good writing surface so that the edges of the nib connect properly with the paper, giving you lovely letters. @antiquariabailey's blotter is shown above.

For beginners, we suggest writing on a stack of paper, so that you have a nice padded surface. This is a good, inexpensive option (it's basically free). Another option is using a craft foam pad, like this one. This is what we used for years...until discovering the GORGEOUS leather ones that are shown in this post, made by craftsman Mr. M.G. Ward

We had to custom offline order one when we found out that he was making them on Insagram...but luckily, he just opened an Etsy shop for the leather blotter writing surfaces (and some of his rad calligraphy)! Not only is this upgrade beautiful, it is actually a BETTER writing surface than the ones mentioned before. Throughout time, scribes, calligraphers and penman wrote on leather surfaces, as it was the optimal writing surface for lettering.

Not only does Michael Ward (Mr. M. G. Ward) sell just the standard leather writing surface, he also offers beautiful script (or whatever you want) customizations for your luxe blotter. Bailey had a signature custom designed for her...but the choice is up to you! The photo above shows examples of different lettering that has been customized on the blotters (top to bottom, @petitserif, @melissapher, @bienfait, @elegantinkwell, @eileenmgustafson).

One of Bailey's FAVORITE things to-date was watching Michael at IAMPETH, burning this custom signature for @everlycalligraphy one evening on her blotter, shown above! It was pretty incredible to watch in person. Luckily, Michael occasionally posts videos of him burning script into leather on his Instagram account, @mrmgward. Lucky us!!

Have you guys read this AWESOME post about Jake Weidmann's top calligraphy tools? It's pretty good. He also mentions how he uses a leather blotter to write on...and his work is beyond good!

We're just SO excited that the option is now out there for calligraphers! It's something that Bailey has been searching for, for years! We're not even joking.

What do you guys use for your writing surface? We're so curious!! Let us know in the comments or over on Instagram at @antiquariadesign

Until next time...
Peace, Love and Letters,
Emma & Bailey

P.S. We were not paid for this post or given the product for a review...simply big fans of it!

*all photos except from the top two are copyright Michael Ward

August 21, 2015

Calligraphy Tutorial | Additional Tools for Lettering, Pen Holders

We thought it was HIGH time to share some of our favorite resources in a new mini blog series, Additional Tools for Lettering. By now, if you're reading our blog, you're probably already obsessed with lettering and stationery. We too are, of course, as well! We try not to buy EVERYTHING that comes out, but we do have a few luxe favorites that make our day to day practice even more enjoyable.

It seems like every time we post a photo with one of Bailey's pens on Instagram, we get questions about what pen it is and who made it. Compared to some others, her collection is really, really small. But the holders that she has are for a reason...and I'm sure that there will be more on her desk in the future!

From left to right: Yoke Pen Co., Unique Obliques (with painting by Open Ink Stand), Michael Sull, Jake Weidmann, Black Oblique from our Calligraphy Starter Kit

So, besides being GORGEOUS, why would you have different pens? 

The biggest reason for us, is to have pens adjusted the the different nibs that we use (more on that later). Nibs are like people, all made in different shapes and sizes, so it makes sense to adjust your flange (the brass piece) once so that you don't damage it. The other reason is that different pens have different grips and weights. It's really hard to know what you like until you try lots of different holders, hold them in your hand, and write with them.

It can be VERY hard to buy a pen online, especially at $100++ so that's why Bailey attends workshops and conferences, such as IAMPETH (more on that later too) where they sell them in person. Once you get an idea of the feel that you like, you can compare the measurements to the one that you have and use. That way, you're more likely to invest in a pen that really suits you.

Pens can be very simple (and really only NEED to be simple) or they can be very elaborate, like Bailey's hummingbird, shown above. But really, they should mostly be balanced in your hand and the flange should be adjusted correctly. If you order a pen from an artisan, you should be able to request that it be fitted to a particular nib before you receive it. can do it yourself!

This article, written by Chris Yoke, is one of my favorites for selecting a pen. And the video below, also by Chris is an excellent tutorial in adjusting your flange.

We hope that this shed some light on some of the more expensive and FUN penholder options out there...and why you would choose to upgrade or add to collection as your practice grows. There are SO many other lovely craftsman (and women) out there too! Just trolling Intsagram these days shows how many new, beautiful options there are!

Who's your favorite pen by?? Leave us a comment or tag us in a photo of your own pen collection on Instagram @antiquariadesign.

Until next time...
Peace, Love and Letter,
Emma and Bailey

August 13, 2015

DIY Tutorial | For Happy Tears Hanky

Today, you're in for a treat! Not only is this blog post in conjunction with a DIY tutorial on the lovely Oh So Beautiful Paper, Bailey has filmed a Calligraphy In Action video to show you exactly how it's done! So, we hope you enjoy the video below and be sure to pop over to OSBP for the step by step instructions as well as a full materials list!

Emma and Bailey

August 06, 2015

Calligraphy in Action | Brush it Out

Hi Folks!

We're so happy to be back with more calligraphy videos for you. It's been QUITE a while and there are a lot of reasons for our absence. First and foremost, our resident calligrapher, Bailey, has been moving across the country, from Los Angeles to her new home in Denver, CO. 

It's so nice to be back with you and sharing our love of calligraphy, design and stationery. We hope you enjoy the demo and please let us know if you have any questions!

This demo was written with a Pentel Sign Pen ( a new find for us but becoming a fast favorite!

Peace, Love and Letters,
Emma & Bailey

Calligraphy by Bailey Amon Rivera
Music by Chris James 

May 12, 2015

NSS 2015!

After months of hard work and preparation, we can't believe the The New York Stationery Show is finally right around the corner. We leave for New York tomorrow and we couldn't be more giddy with excitement! Stop by and see us in Booth 1956.
Please note that our studio and store will be closed while we are gone May 13-21st. Normal studio hours will resume when we return on May 22, 2015.
Below is a peak of our 2015 NSS Show Mailer. We had so much fun putting these together!
Wish us luck! xoxo, Emma & Bailey
©Antiquaria 2015

January 30, 2015

DIY Tutorial | Flowers and Lace Invitation Suite

We're back with our first DIY tutorial over on Oh So Beautiful Paper today! We just love, LOVE the way that this gorgeous, delicate suite turned out. Want to make it yourself? Pop on over to the tutorial for all of the details!

Have a fabulous weekend and happy creating!
Bailey & Emma
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