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.
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.