I have been asked what to do with old practice or scrap sheets. Well.. keep em! This is one of my scrap tubs, which I keep everything I’ve done over the years. Old drills, letters with blots and splatters, torn test papers.. everything goes into the tub. It serves two purposes: you can just dig into your tub whenever you need scrap paper for practice, and you can also keep track of your progress. It is so enlightening when going through a scrap tub after months of work, you’ll see with fresh eyes just how horrible months old work can be. It is quite encouraging to compare the then and now!


And then a hero comes alongWith the strength to carry onAnd you cast your fears asideAnd you know you can surviveSo when you feel like hope is goneLook inside you and be strongAnd you’ll finally see the truthThat a hero lies in you

I received this very considerate and thoughtful book of International USPS stamps from Bill M. of Alabama.. you guessed it, he is sponsoring 20 international Annoy A Postman participants! Along with Sandy W. of California who is also sponsoring an international participant, they are the hero Openinkstand needs but not the one it deserves..
Before this, the Annoy a Postman project was more convenient for US residents because all anyone has to do is mail me one USPS first class stamp (and be from a state not already done). Of course, this is a challenge to international participants because it is difficult to procure one American international first class stamp so Bill M. sent a book of em for our international readers. Very thoughtful!
So, if you are living outside of the US and am interested to participate in Annoy A Postman, read on.. The same rules apply (read them here), no country will be duplicated, and you must send me a full English version of your address! Mail me a letter with an intro note with your name and date, full address and country and email address. Please mark clearly that this is for the Annoy a Postman project. If you want to include a thank you card to Mark, I will forward it to him. 
Please be aware that international mail is much more difficult especially for non-English speaking countries as they may not be familiar with calligraphy, and the return rate is much higher than US mail. It may even take many weeks for your envelope to arrive especially since our intent is to annoy. I won’t be trying any insane stuff really, personally I would be happy if my crazy envelopes even arrive. Therefore I must be sure you are ready to keep an eye on your mailbox for weeks if you have to, and to scan the envelope with all its battle scars when/if it arrives! Don’t participate if you’re in the middle of a move, or am not ready to commit! But if you are a snail mail enthusiast like us nerds, have a love-hate relationship with your local postal service, willing to invest in the long con and am curious to see how an ornate western calligraphed envelope will fare in your country.. hop aboard and let’s Annoy A Postman! High-res

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

I received this very considerate and thoughtful book of International USPS stamps from Bill M. of Alabama.. you guessed it, he is sponsoring 20 international Annoy A Postman participants! Along with Sandy W. of California who is also sponsoring an international participant, they are the hero Openinkstand needs but not the one it deserves..

Before this, the Annoy a Postman project was more convenient for US residents because all anyone has to do is mail me one USPS first class stamp (and be from a state not already done). Of course, this is a challenge to international participants because it is difficult to procure one American international first class stamp so Bill M. sent a book of em for our international readers. Very thoughtful!

So, if you are living outside of the US and am interested to participate in Annoy A Postman, read on.. The same rules apply (read them here), no country will be duplicated, and you must send me a full English version of your address! Mail me a letter with an intro note with your name and date, full address and country and email address. Please mark clearly that this is for the Annoy a Postman project. If you want to include a thank you card to Mark, I will forward it to him. 

Please be aware that international mail is much more difficult especially for non-English speaking countries as they may not be familiar with calligraphy, and the return rate is much higher than US mail. It may even take many weeks for your envelope to arrive especially since our intent is to annoy. I won’t be trying any insane stuff really, personally I would be happy if my crazy envelopes even arrive. Therefore I must be sure you are ready to keep an eye on your mailbox for weeks if you have to, and to scan the envelope with all its battle scars when/if it arrives! Don’t participate if you’re in the middle of a move, or am not ready to commit! But if you are a snail mail enthusiast like us nerds, have a love-hate relationship with your local postal service, willing to invest in the long con and am curious to see how an ornate western calligraphed envelope will fare in your country.. hop aboard and let’s Annoy A Postman!

I am trying to contact Bill Lilly about a pen / nib holder. The holders that I have seen online are just beautiful. Please help. Thank you. Donna

Asked by Anonymous

Aren’t they simply amazing? You can find his email on his blog here: Lillyscript. Here’s a pic of mine.

Hi Schin, I love your penmanship so much that I have been following your blog everyday for a month or so now. You are such a talented lady! I followed your advise and got myself an oblique pen holder and a couple of nibs - Leonardt Principal EF and Brause F66 etc. etc from Paper & Ink. I am not getting the shadow as thick as yours though. Does it need to be broken into? Or was I not pressing 'hard' enough?

Asked by Anonymous

Thanks! I’m so glad you like my blog and am getting into the addiction runwhileyoustillcan hobby. As for thick shades, I use the Principal and/or Brause Rose and do add a little extra pressure usually, but remember a thick shade is not always important to create beautiful calligraphy. A nice flowing feel, consistency and good looking letters will always be better than super thick shades for the sake of it. Once you have your fundamentals down, the knowledge on how and when to apply the thick dramatic shades will follow. Hope this helps!