Monday, 26 March 2012

Calligraphy at Denman College

My Mum is an avid WI (Women's Institute) member and many years ago she treated me to a weekend away at Denman College, Oxford. This is an amazing retreat where you can learn or improve any skill you can think of....cookery,  computers, history etc etc. At that time we attended a card making course and we had such a good time that we decided that on another occasion we would love to learn Calligraphy. Well this weekend we did just that and returned to Denman and spent from Friday night until Sunday afternoon being taught this wonderful skill.
The main house is a listed building set in 17 acres of stunning gardens. At this time of the year the daffodils were in full flower.







There were drift upon drift of my favourite flower to greet us. 













The accommodation is set in the grounds in small units named after different trees. Our rooms were in Holly House and they were so modern and comfy. My room was the top left window and my Mum's the bottom right.










This is my room and you can see the crafts centre where the courses are taught out of my window.













On the very first evening after dinner we we started our course. The first letter we learnt to draw was the letter O. We were learning Foundation Script which is a lovely rounded script which dates from the 10 century.









We learnt to write the alphabet in lower case, first with a large nib.









   




and then started to use a smaller nib and introduced capital letters.










Over the weekend we enjoyed delicious food, cakes and lots of walking in the sunshine in the grounds. The weather could not have been more perfect and the sun shone from dawn to dusk.























Our finished piece was to be a piece of poetry and I am sure those of you who know me well will guess my choice...yes "Daffodowndilly" by A.A.Milne. I chose it at home and it could not have been more apt for seeing the displays of daffodils at Denman.
We had a few practises and then we cut out the lines to check how they would look on the final copy.
And then it was time to write the final copy which we finished with pastel chalks.
I am hoping to use this new skill with my card making and also any signs that need writing for the wedding. It was such a great weekend. For those of you in the UK, Denman in now open to anyone, WI member or not; including men. It was such a real treat to learn something new in such wonderful surroundings. I can very highly recommend it (and I am not a W.I member). 

After such a sunny weekend I feel the need to share a cheerful Spring card for my card challenge today. This one is the card I made for my very dear Mum. 
I used one of Penny Black's Betsy Bluebell stamps and coloured her using my trusty Promarkers and Prismacolor pencils.





I cut some lovely yellow butterflies using my new Martha Stewart punch and added lots of Spring touches.










I even spritzed the flowers with Glimmer Mist glitter to give then some sparkle.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Scrapbook Sisters Anything Goes
Flutter By Wednesdays Open #195
Paper Sundaes #113 Spring Blossoms
Joanna Sheen Spring is in the air
Papercrafting Journey  #5 Pretty Pastels
Cupcake craft challenges Music or inspired by a song My song is the old hymn I sang as a child, "All things bright and beautiful".
The Secret Crafter Shabby Chic/vintage #178
Simon says Stamp Bingo my line is the middle line; glitter, lace, punches
Papertake Weekly Bingo my line is the right line; flowers, punched shapes, lace


Our lovely weather is still continuing today and the sun is up and the sky is blue. Sending some of it to you all wherever you are. Happy Spring and if you have any near you enjoy the Daffodowndillys which are bursting from their buds everywhere here :0)

Bye for now,

Jane x

42 comments:

  1. Yet another string to your bow Jane!!!
    What an amazing start to calligraphy you have made. I can see how useful this will be in your card making and for the wedding as well! What stunning surroundings to learn in too.
    I'm sure your Mum was delighted with her pretty springtime card.
    It's like the summer here today, yipeeeeee!!
    Have a great week Jane,
    V x

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  2. It really was the most inspiring place to learn Vivienne. I am in my studio enjoying this wonderful weather. Enjoy your sunny day too,
    Jane x

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  3. A lovely fresh card Jane, so pretty. Thanks for joining us this week at CCC.

    Liza x

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  4. Thanks for visiting Lisa,
    Jane x

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  5. Hi Jane,
    What a simply amazing weekend you and your mum had. How nice to learn something new and this will be so useful in your card making. Speaking of cards that Mother's Day card is fabulous. Just love the brightness, butterflies and the sweet little girl! Great job! You can tell you really enjoy making them it just shines though.
    xoRobin❤

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  6. We had a lovely Mother/daughter weekend Robin. It was such a treat. Hope you are getting some signs of Spring now :o)
    Jane x

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  7. Beautiful calligraphy, Jane! And what a lovely creative weekend with your mum in such a beautiful place, it sounds perfect! Love your pretty card for your mum too, I'm sure she was thrilled.
    Have a sunny week!
    Helen x

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  8. Thank you Helen, Denman is such an inspirational place to learn a new skill. My Mum did love her card very much.
    Jane x

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  9. Lovely card Jane. Thank you for entering the Scrapbook Sisters Card Challenge. Hugs xx

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  10. Wow Jane...what an amazing skill you now have. Hmmm...maybe I can get hire you to do the place cards for me for Nic's wedding lol. I love your card...so bright and fresh and really suits the weather we're enjoying...even here in Scotland!! xx

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  11. Hi New Nanny great to see you at my blog.
    Jane x

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  12. LOL Kerry...my daughter's fiance used to work for a print firm so they are getting all their invites,place names etc printed BUT I think I may be asked to do the table names and table plan...should be fun. It's a great skill to learn, I just need a bit more practice. It's been glorious again here, it 5.50pm and still warm and sunny outside...yipee!
    Jane x

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  13. Gorgeous card, fabulous image and perfect for our challenge of Vintage/Shabby Chic at the Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge this week
    Hugs Kate xx

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  14. Lovely! I'll look forward to seeing how you use your new skill on future cards.

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  15. Linda I shall be thinking of lots of ways to keep practising my new skill. I have ordered some Japanese stick ink and I have bought a couple of my own pens so I'm nearly ready to roll!
    Jane x

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  16. So enjoyed your post - wonderful pictures and info... Your card is just darling!

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  17. Dear Jane, we have ***SO*** much in common, with our jewelry and now calligraphy! I learned calligraphy in my high school art class and have enjoyed doing it for many years. I've taught classes in it and did some commercial jobs with it, too. You make me want to get my pens and nibs and inks out and do some lettering. You did a GREAT job for a first time, wow!!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  18. My goodness...such a beautiful house Jane!...I have always been interested in Calligraphy and would have loved to have been there too!..It would be a lovely addition to your card making...Sadly, it seems to be a very rare skill these days!
    Love your card making as always...little Betsy Bluebell is so cute..
    Wishing you a sunny week,
    Susan x

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  19. Hi Jane! That looks so wonderful place and I'm sure you had the best weekend! Looking forward to see your new creations! Such a lovely spring card again! x Teje

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  20. You are a natural :O) Beautiful place and lovely script, can't wait to see what you are going to do with the cards and the posh writting! Hope you are feeling better, and yes, you did tell me...heheheeh...
    Laney x

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  21. Thanks so much Lori,
    Jane x

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  22. Hi Teresa we certainly do seem to have much in common with our skills don't we. How lucky you were to be taught it at school. We used fountain pens at high school but were never taught any scripts. It sounds as though you are a real expert..I need to keep practising!
    Jane x

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  23. Denman is so peaceful and beautiful Susan. Such a perfect place to relax and study.. and such delicious food too.
    Jane x

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  24. Thanks Teje the weather is still perfect at the moment, it is like a summer's day here this afternoon.
    Jane x

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  25. Tee hee Laney thanks as always for your sweet comments. I have just seen that Mr Postie has delivered our
    beads....can't wait to open them,
    Jane x

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  26. Gorgeous photos and a lovely Spring card for your Mum. Thank you for joining us on the Joanna Sheen Challenge & good luck. Jane (DT) x

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  27. Thanks for popping by and your kind comments Jane,
    Jane x

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  28. Dear Jane,

    Your weekend-treat looks wonderful, all that green&flowers, and extra-special mom&daughter-time! Not to mention that calligraphy, it looks wonderful, one more skill to your endless list!!!

    I am so happy your weather is still beautiful, I wish it'll continue until this weekend...It'll be a special Sunday am I correct :)

    Kisses to B and happy Tuesday!

    Yours,
    Mia

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  29. It was very special mother/daughter time Mia. A rare thing these days. I am so looking forward to Sunday, how quickly the year flies by.
    Jane x

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  30. Jane!! I'm thrilled to see this post..goodness, you must know that I absolutely love handlettering and calligraphy! It is AWESOME that you spent the time with your dear mum learning something so wonderful. It is those times that are simply too precious. Your photos and lettering are lovely and I do hope you spend time with letters on your cards..how fabulous! Here is a link to a fabulous workshop that someday you must attend should you ever travel to the states...http://www.calligraphycentre.com/che.o.html
    I was so fortunate to have attended a week long course taught by Sheila and Julian Waters (mother and son) and learned so much from these masters. Please google the two of them too..gosh, I'm gushing now. : ) Always so good to visit you!! And by the way, your 4 peas in a pod is stunning. What a beautiful family heirloom!

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  31. Beautiful! Thanks so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp.

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  32. I shall certainly check them out Shirley. Calligraphy is a dying art and it is wonderful to still find skilled teachers isn't it?
    Jane x

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  33. I have never heard of Denham College (my Mum was also a big WI lady in her younger days) but it sounds like a fantastic place to visit for a course and I think learning calligraphy is a great idea. We paid a small fortune to a lady to write the name cards for our Wedding!

    Lovely bright and cheerful card you have made as well, hope it wins for you.

    Bethx (the linen cat)

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  34. Thanks Beth, Denman is trying to branch out to offer courses to everyone Beth. It really is the most wonderful place to learn a new skill.
    Jane x

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  35. Thank you so much for joining us at The Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge with absolutely adorable creation its just perfect, I hope you will try to join us again next week,
    Have a lovely week,
    Hugs Bridget SCSC DT

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  36. Thanks so much Bridget
    Jane x

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  37. Absolutely gorgeous, many thanks for sharing with us at Cupcake Craft Challenges.

    Love
    Maarit

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    1. Thank you Maarit and good to see you here,
      Jane x

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  38. Wow wherever you were the grounds are stunning. The flowers are great. I love your card. Thanks for playing along with Paper Sundaes.

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  39. The grounds at Denman are stunning Shanna. Thanks for your visit
    Jane x

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment; I really enjoy reading every single one of them.
Jane x