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Alphabet Challenge: 26 Days of Hand Lettered ABC’s

Like everything else, handwriting gets better with practice. That’s why I’ll be hosting an alphabet lettering challenge on Instagram and Facebook.

Join in on the fun and follow me as I post a new letter of the alphabet each day. The goal is to hand draw each letter in a variety of styles and mediums. I’ll tag each photo on social media with #letteringchallenge.

So if you’ve been dreaming of dreamy writing, this is something you can easily do with me! Just draw, snap a picture and post it using the hashtag. Just don’t forget to tag me @RaleighCalligraphy so I can see comment and share some of your best work on my page.

All skill levels are welcome, because the more the merrier. {smile}

The #letteringchallenge is starting August 1st. Get ready to share your ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYandZ’s! Yep. That about sums it up. {wink}

I’ll be posting updates here on the blog as well as a recap post at the end of the challenge.

If we’re not already besties on social media, you can follow me here: Instagram Facebook Pinterest

So go pull out a fresh notebook and some writing supplies and I’ll see you on Monday. Have an awesome weekend!

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Simplify Your Space to Simplify Your Life

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. This quote makes me think of the beauty behind a minimalist design. The zen feeling of a streamlined living space. I’m not a big fan of clutter and I bet most of you feel the same way.

A place for everything and everything in its place is a nice theory but if you share your living quarters with a roommate, a partner, family or the like, it may be easier said then done. And no doubt, you’ve accumulated things along the way. The hula dancing bobble head collection from Aunt Maggie’s trip to Hawaii. Tubes of acrylic paint from last year’s attempt at finding a hobby. Boxes of clothes that you once wore that you may wear again but don’t quite fit in the meantime. In other words, stuff. {smile}.

Well, we decided to try a challenge inspired by one we found while surfing Pinterest for bookcase inspiration. The Pinterest challenge went like this: Each day for 30 days you get rid of items from your home and either sell/donate/discard them. One the first day, two things the second day, etc. At the end of 30 days, you’re magically 465 ‘things’ lighter. Well we don’t have nearly that many things to downsize (I don’t think?), but I liked the idea behind it of taking a conscious look at what objects surround us everyday. Oh and because one of us misread Trisha’s blog post at 1 o’clock in the morning, {ahem, me} we were removing up to 30 things each day.

It became a game between my husband and I. And it gave us a good nudge to go through the things we didn’t usually go through. Like sorting our closets and pulling out ‘retired’ but not yet ‘donated’ clothes. Or weeding through our stashes of paperwork and mementos that we no longer wanted or needed. And of course, raiding the medicine cabinet and food pantry for expired items- because a point is a point. {wink}.

We’ve been at this for a little over a week with good results. Though we are coming to the point were we’re starting to scratch our heads looking for unwanted excess. Which is a good sign I suppose. The best part about this challenge was that it only took 20 minutes a day. We didn’t have to sacrifice a whole weekend to decluttering a walk-in closet or the garden shed. That and the friendly competition of the point system made it kind of, well, fun. {smile}

How do you declutter your space? Will you try this downsizing challenge? If you put your own twist on it, I’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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A Year From Now…

What can you do in a year?

Take up a new hobby… Finally read through War and Peace… Master a new skill… Learn a foreign language… Fall in love… Write a book or a blog {wink}… Enroll in classes to advance your career… Start a business or a family…

The possibilities are endless here. Karen Lamb said it best when she said, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” This is one of my favorite quotes at the moment. I especially love how it can apply to both personal life and business life. A year (okay a year plus) ago we started our family and took a gamble on our dreams, and I am so glad we did. A year from now, I will be grateful I never gave up on my business despite the many challenges of entrepreneurship.

A year is a long time. Or is it? People will often tell me that they love my work and that they wish they were as talented. {blush} I am always quick to stop them and encourage them to try. Okay, confession time: my regular handwriting is not glamorous and my grocery list does not warrant framing. {smile} Like most things in life, calligraphy is a learned skill. A skill that took me roughly a year to ‘master’. Which to most people may sound discouraging, but the year is going to pass whether you’re learning skills and doing things, or not. So why not give your future self something to thank you for, maybe she’ll buy you a drink to celebrate. {wink}

So what will you be doing now, that will earn you a watermelon martini a year from now? I’d love to hear what you are working on/planning that will pay off done the line. Feel free to share in the comments. For me, I’m a writer, so I’m writing…