penmanship & calligraphy by Schin Loong | updated everyday
  • Painted Pen #5 - I just let my imagination free on this one. Somehow these flowers emerged. I think it looks a lot like a venus fly trap forest, don’t you think?

    Please contact Brian for details for purchase. He does all the business stuff. I’m just the art person.

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  • Dasherie Magazine Review & Giveaway

    A proper published magazine about calligraphy? Whaaat? 

    But that’s what Dasherie is! From the website, it is a magazine that “features carefully curated modern and classic calligraphy, lettering and design.” The debut magazine was sent out recently and it’s very exciting to see a brand new magazine catering to our niche hobby.

    The front cover. The paper stock is very lovely and thick and colorful, and the whole magazine is about 100 pages and chock full of beautiful photos, articles and information for calligraphers. Took me about 2 hours to get through everything!

    A reader gallery! You can also submit your work for consideration here. It’s very exciting to see all the different calligraphy styles together.. plus I know some of those guys! Teehee!

    One of the featured artists is the amazing Joy Fairclough from France, one of my heroes, and the accompanying article mentions her background with plenty of photos. Boy do I love the photos!

    In addition to artists portfolios, there are plenty of articles too, from USPS guidelines for addressing envelopes, a wedding logo tutorial, calligraphy business card designs, calligraphy gift ideas, etc. 

    There is even a shoutout to Annoy A Postman in the USPS guidelines article.. LOL. They should have just said ‘This is what not to do.’

    Okay, I don’t want to post too many pics because I am going to be giving away FOUR of these magazines! All four are brand new and still in their plastic seal (ignore the pic, the top one is my personal copy). Two will be given through this Tumblr blog, and another two through my Instagram. Rules are as follows:

    How to enter the Tumblr Openinkstand Dasherie Giveaway:

    1. I will pick two winners through a randomizer and each will receive a copy of this magazine. Shipping is free to the US and international, so it doesn’t matter where you’re from, as long as you have a valid address, I’ll mail it to you via USPS First Class.

    2. You have to have a Tumblr account and follow this blog, like AND reblog this post.

    3. If you win this giveaway, you’re not eligible to win the Instagram giveaway, lol.

    4. Please, no giveaway accounts or any funny business..

    How to enter the Instagram Openinkstand Dasherie Giveaway:

    1. Same deal, I’ll pick two winners through a randomizer, and you can be from anywhere in the world.

    2. You must have an Instagram account, and go here for instructions: http://instagram.com/p/s9GrxRIxBh

    Winners will be picked on Sept 22 so have fun!! 

    If you don’t want to wait, you can simply pick up your own copy of Dasherie here.

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  • Making envelope liners

    I don’t know how this never entered my life before, but I am recently obsessed with lining envelopes. I mail out dozens of envelopes a month and none of them are lined, I thought they were silly and tedious! That is.. until I learned how easy it is to make them! Now I am lining everything.

    So this is the stuff I use to make them, just basic stuff like glue, pencil, scissors, bone folder but the most important of all are envelope liner templates. You can kind of download the templates online but these come pre made on a thick material which make things much easier. I buy a lot of my envelopes from Paper Source (I am not affiliated) so these templates match their stuff perfectly.

    Next you need to get some paper to line the envelopes with. You can use any beautiful paper, fine papers, gift wrap, scrapbook paper.. warning, you may end up with a stack of loose beautiful papers! 

    Once you have selected your envelope and matching template and liner paper, trace the shape on using a pencil. As you can see, a 12x12in scrapbook paper can make two A6 sized liners.

    Then cut out the whole thing with a pair of scissors or a cutter. The most important part is the rounded section at the top, make sure that is rounded out nicely. I guess you could use a corner rounder, but I’m not made of money so I’m using scissors.

    Slip the liner into the envelope, its should fit perfectly! Next you want to fold it carefully, just close the envelope and it should fold right where it should.

    A bone folder works very well for this purpose and leave no creases. They’re a little expensive but will last you forever. Other alternatives would be to use the back of a plastic spoon, a credit card, plastic ruler, butter knife.. etc.

    After folding, apply glue or double sided tape to the underside of the liner. I am using a glue pen in this pic. Then fold the envelope down on the liner! This will ensure that the liner will stick accurately.

    And there you go! A lovely lined envelope!

    Careful! They’re pretty addictive!

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  • Painted Pen “Bird Flourish” No. 7

    One of the biggest challenges about painting pens is to make sure that it looks good on every angle of the pen. Sometimes some areas will look good but the back looks sparse, or one side looks weird.. I gotta say this one turned out to look on every angle. Hence all the photos, it looks like two different pens but actually it’s all on one pen! 

    I was severely tempted to keep this pen! I think I just might!

    This is a collaboration with Brian Smith of Unique Obliques.

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  • The unedited, uncleaned-up Openinkstand computer blog central. Don’t worry, my actual writing desk is opposite this messy desk.

    Look for:

    • Big stockpile of envelopes and papers
    • Tubes of glitter
    • List of addresses for an envelope exchange
    • Relaxing scented candles
    • Little drawers full of postage stamps
    • Cotton buds for impromptu nail polish changes
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  • Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I’m telling lies.
    I say,
    It’s in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Maya Angelou

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  • Don’t worry, I don’t use my flower and birds stickers and glitter for my male pen pals. They get to keep their dignity with a formal looking envelope. Can’t escape the flourishes though.. no one escapes the flourishes.

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  • This video covers some different methods of cleaning a nib prior to its first use.

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  • These lovely place cards were made for Sarv a year ago. Photography by hudsonriverphotographer.com

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  • Onion skin letterhead paper

    So the other day this mysterious package arrived in my mailbox. Uh oh.. one of those 3am sherry-infused purchases again eh..?

    Turns out it is a box full of vintage onion skin letterheads for the Nickel Plate-Wheeling and Lake Erie Federation, they’re a kind of organization or union or something.. I don’t know, can’t read this stuff puts me to sleep.

    The paper is very very fine and thin. The seller said there is probably a thousand sheets in the box, but who’s counting? All I know is there’ll be enough for half a lifetime of letter writing.

    I did a bit of research on the people on this letterhead.. one of them is dead but the other is on Facebook. Would it be weird to use their letterhead from 60 years ago? 

    Anyway, I tried out a sheet of it. The paper is almost translucent, so a guideline placed underneath is easy to read. The feel is very fine and smooth and the lines just zip along.. it’s like skating through a freshly cleaned ice rink. Unfortunately it does not take swells very well.. you can see how even a little pressure buckles the paper. Oh well, I guess this will be my ladies hand or business penmanship paper.

    You can still find vintage letterhead and onion skin paper on ebay. Happy hunting!

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  • Look at these new gorgeous Hudson River stamps from USPS. I didn’t think I would like them so much when the designs were first shown, but seeing them first hand really shows how lovely they are. And I think they’re even more elegant on an envelope.

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  • I have sent many letters to international recipients, but Germany tends to be rather strict about their letters, and have had two that came back. I believe they don’t really care for my more laissez faire calligraphic envelopes. I don’t think Annoy A Postman would do very well there at all.

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  • justtonirose asked : Hi! Can I still participate in the Annoy a Mailman project? On the successful Annoyed list, it says California, but there is no link to it. So, I was wondering if I could still do it...

    The California annoy a postman is still ongoing (good luck Californian postmen!), but I’m sorry, I am no longer taking submissions from that state. Here are other completed states: Georgia, Washington, New Jersey and Massachusetts. 

    If you are not from these states (or from another country), you can still participate!

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  • Pink envelope and roses liner. I am a simple person, just hand me some flowers, birds (and maybe some glitter) and I’m a happy crafter.

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  • I am pretty obsessive with oblique holders. I don’t know why, I usually stick to using just one or two, but I am pretty much obsessed with collecting them. But look at this one, how can anyone resist? Yes, a metal oblique holder!

    Made by Salvador from Mexico, these aluminium holders arrived in 2 weeks. It is quite light, but not that light.. it is metal after all. So I was not quite used to it really.. and another thing I wasn’t expecting, it is slippery! The metal is polished so smoothly that it keeps slipping through my fingers. It certainly takes some time to get used to.

    That said. the flange is set pretty well, a little high but takes adjustment if needed. I believe Salvador will set it to whatever nib you want. You can email him if you are interested.. tell him Schin sent you.

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