Tulsa Tuesdays: Brush and Pen Workshop 

Some of you know that I work a side gig for the very place that brought me to Tulsa – Foolish Things Coffee Company.  My best friend from growin’ up, co-owns the shop with her husband and their ambition to have their own places of business really inspired me on the couple of visits I made to Tulsa.  I figured the best way to get that going for myself was to surround myself with it, one of the many reasons I chose Tulsa over Austin after graduate school.I now work for them part time as the event coordinator of their beautiful space.  We host anything from work meetings to rehearsal dinners to baby showers to wedding receptions.  This past weekend we had the pleasure of hosting a craft workshop called The Brush and Pen Workshop.  It was not the first time we hosted, but I did promise myself last time that I would get in  on the next one.  So I did!

It is hosted by two girls – Brittany and Alex – who each run their own Etsy shop, selling their handmade goodies.  I’ve followed Alex on Instagram for almost a year before meeting her in person and totally crushing all over her creations (you can follow her too @prairielettershop).  I didn’t know Brittany before the event but she is a very talented and passionate artist too (find her @brittanyviklund).

Let’s get a little background on the creative prowress that is not me.  I’ve never excelled in any kind of art – drawing, painting, music, choir – except a really fantastic color-by-number book my grandmother had.  I still dig that up every time I go to her house.  I thought this workshop would be a great way to have some tutelage as I attempted to ease into some right brain exercises.

And it blew me away.  There were about 18 or 20 attendees and we were each greeted with our own little set-up.

Alex spoke to us first, reviewing supplies and essentials for getting started in calligraphy.  We learned about nibs, ink and all kinds of paper I had no idea existed.  The best part was that the supplies we needed to get started were included in the workshop registration fee!  

She let us spend some time practicing various brush strokes, patiently answering questions and referring us back to the packet she put together with examples.  I did up strokes and downstrokes, lead ins and tails.  Over and over again.  

I’ve got some work to do on consistency of the shapes of the letters but had a lot of fun creating my own combination of cursive and flair. 

Next up was Brittany who walked us through the basics of watercolor (more paper options!).  We talked about brushes and tube vs. container paints before going into a technique tutorial.

We practiced fat and thin lines, wet on dry, wet on wet and all kinds of other techniques.  I made some up myself, too.  She walked us through a flower and wreath tutorial and then we combined the two arts by using the brush to letter with ink inside the wreath.  I wasn’t too impressed with mine BUT it was easier than I thought and the process of creating was magical.

  I discovered my favorite thing will be water coloring backgrounds and lettering powerful words over them.  Warrior was the first one I chose and it turned out great – lots of new mantras to create!
All the participants also walked away with swag bags in addition to most of the supplies and all the knowledge we need to keep going!  Check out my goodies – lots of creations from the girls’ online shops.

 Overall I cannot recommend this workshop enough to the aspiring crafter.  It’s a simple start with just the basic tools so not much upfront cost.  There’s plenty of practice time, encouraging coaching and resources for after the workshop is over.  

Their next workshop is in Arkansas on September 19 and you can register here:  www.brushandpenworkshop.com.


Tulsa Tuesdays

One year ago this week I had moved everything into my house in Tulsa and was spending my last week in Austin as a guest in a friend’s home.  August 9th will mark one full year in Tulsa already – time is just whooshing by.

Even before I moved I’d found my favorites after several trips visiting:

  • Pizza: Andolini’s
  • Park: Guthrie Green
  • Hike: Turkey Mountain
  • Coffee: Foolish Things

But I’m thinking it’s time to bust out of the routine rut and try exploring some new places.  I did this in Memphis and Austin as I was on my way out, and while I have no plans to leave Tulsa, I do want to explore its people, places and things to do a little more than I have been.

Introducing………..Tulsa Tuesdays (can’t help it with the alliteration).  Each week I’ll write about a new Tulsa event, place, restaurant or business I explore sometime the week before.  This week I’ve got nothin’ for ya except to tell you about the new plan!  Here’s to exploring new things in your town 🙂

Exploring T-Town

Exploring T-Town

Motivation Monday: No Deadlines

Happy first Monday of August!  I’ve always loved this time of year – it’s traditionally been a time of moving (one year to Memphis, one year to Ireland, one year within Memphis, one year to Austin, one year within Austin, last year to Tulsa), a time of starting training plans for fall races, a time of celebrating my birthday (!!), going back to school, and perhaps, if I’m lucky, a slight dip in average temperatures by that last week.

This year I’m stuck.  I’m not moving (thankfully actually).  I’m unlikely coaching a running group this year so am thinking of going for a PR at the Route 66 Run.  That’s 16 weeks away.  I’ve also been toying with the idea of 12 weeks of big lifting at the gym to get some muscles back.  Or maybe 12 weeks of straight PiYo.  Who knows?

I do know one thing – for me, and I think people in general, it’s important to have a timeline and some kind of goal.  Otherwise your workouts and daily decisions have no direction.

Do I have a goal, or do I want to sleep until 10am?  That answer is simple with no driving force.  It’s a little less simple, but still obvious.

So, I’ll use this week to figure out where I’m headed in the fall, and to play around with some of the workouts I’d like to try in the fall as well.  I did get up and do a 45 minute run this morning to keep the blood flowing!

What are you working on this fall?