Posted: October 06, 2019
So, is it really lying to your child to perpetuate the Santa myth?
Before my children were born I was writing and illustrating letters from Santa.
I’d met a woman who wrote letters to her boys each year, inspired by the Father Christmas Letters JRR Tolkein wrote to his children. Lois loved writing adventure-filled stories from the North Pole, but wasn’t much of an illustrator. She noticed my simple drawings for an office publication one day and asked if I’d embellish her latest Christmas letter.
The combination of writing a story, illustrating and painting it to bring magic to a child captivated me! That year I started writing and illustrating letters from Santa to my nieces and nephews, children for whom I babysat, and children of friends. Five years later, I started offering them for sale.
Eventually I attended juried shows along the East coast. I was lucky enough to have my sisters and p
Posted: July 19, 2019
It is mid July 2019 and I am in Denver attending the IAMPETH conference. This is my fifth time attending, and I grieve for all the years I didn’t know it existed. Two thousand nineteen marks seventy years of this International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting, offering the absolute finest of teaching and sharing the art of beautiful handwriting at their annual conferences.
I have practiced calligraphy for over thirty years, for the first twenty-one I would say, mostly self-taught. It was difficult to find local teachers with whom to work, and it wasn’t until on line resources were available that I actually found my first one-on-one lettering mentor. This was in the form of a correspondence course with Thomas Ingmire, a calligraphic artist in the San Francisco area.
Thomas sent me a thick packet detailing what paper, pen, nibs, and ink to buy, with meticulous instructions about lining my paper and creating exa
Posted: May 07, 2019
I love the headline for this article from Buzzfeed:
“26 Incredibly Meaningful Gifts You Can Give Your Kids
Because they don't need another Frozen toy.”
This is the philosophy that supports my continued writing, illustrating, painting, and hand lettering envelopes from Santa at the North Pole for (yikes) over 30 years.
I’m not saying I haven’t bought plenty (ok, too many) toys and clothes and stuff for my children over the years, and I have a growing appreciation for the minimalist approach, and for my mom who continues to clear things out of our childhood home so we won’t have to mess with it later.
But, if there was a fire and I could save one non-living thing...it would be my children’s Letters from Santa.
Archived in these letters are the funny, the somber, the wry, and the sentimental. The private jokes and shared family experiences. Moments captured that I would increasingly never remember if I hadn’tcommitted them to paper