I qualified as an occupational therapist in 2000 and have been working in the UK since 2001. I come from a family of story tellers - my dad has an unpublished book of the most gorgeous short stories gathering dust, my uncle avidly pens his experiences and thoughts in long letters and emails, and I myself have dabbled in a bit of poetry and short stories many moons ago before husband, children and fur baby days. But nowadays I regularly write the stories of my occupational therapy clients who sustained life changing injuries. It is both an honor and a responsibility. While I meet them at one of the worst seasons in their lives, I am deeply humbled that I am able to journey on that bumpy road with them, help then navigate a complicated healthcare and support system and see many return to a fulfilling life, albeit a different one for most. Throughout this season it is my job to tell my clients' stories to the fund holders in a bid to ensure they have access to the necessary rehabilitation, healthcare and support resources.
This may seem irrelevant to calligraphy and lettering, but in a way it is not. For one, both roles have something in common - ME! I have come to realise in the past couple of years that I most connect with custom work - be it for a special gift or event such as a big birthday, Christening or wedding. When I dug a bit deeper I realised it is because I enjoy the journey with the client - initially exploring their thoughts, what they wish to communicate or express through the commissioned piece, and then go on to fulfill those and (hopefully) surprise both the giver and the recipient with something special. My ultimate goal is to express your thoughts and feelings of love, gratitude and appreciation to the recipient - to tell your story in a way that creates a beautiful memory. Those who know me really well will tell you that I will always encourage you to stop. To Listen. To Feel. To Experience. To make a memory for the day that you are old and memories may be all you have. And if what I create for you, be it stationery or a personalised gift, my goodness then I have 100% reached my goal for YOU.
So Why Bespoke Gifts?
When I was at school (too many moons ago) I used to say that I will know the gift is the right one when it calls out someone's name to me. And its honestly how I shopped for gifts. I was laughed at (maybe because of some of my other oddities, but let's just say it's because of this) but I realise now that there is a truth behind it that goes deeper than that. It can be hard to get that gift just right. We all have at least one friend or family member that is such a challenge to buy for. So what do we do? We either buy white elephants that end up as unwanted gifts, or we throw money at the frustration of trying to find the perfect gift. And so much ends up in a corner gathering dust, on the school's tombola table or worst still, in landfill. I am hoping that my creations will become the sort of gift that finds a special place on the wall or mantle piece (or the Christmas tree!) It doesn’t have to break the bank, but it speaks volumes of the time and effort you have put into it. The kind of gift that makes its recipient teary with either laughter or precious memories. The sort of gift that is worth more than the pennies you have spent on it...
Wow, you have made it this far, you can just as well click here to view examples of bespoke commissions that I have worked on, or visit my Etsy store.Thank you for reading my story so far!
Please share YOUR story with me!
Celebrations and Corporate Events
Aaaah, weddings, special birthday parties, engagement parties, corporate events. Who doesn't love a good shindig? From experience I know it can be a challenge to nail the theme, to really convey who you are (or the personality of the person whose event it is). Countless hours go into decision making regarding the theme, look and feel for your event. It may even cost a penny or two (uhm uhm…)
Now, I am not a wedding planner or event organiser (that is really good news for you!). But I love working with wedding and event organisers! I can easily do spot calligraphy for elements of the stationery and provide any or all of the on the day elements - think table names/ numbers, escort or place cards, wooden, acrylic or glass signs, personalised gifts and items for the wedding party... And if you can rope me in to dream up a way to have a name on an item to serve as a place card AND a party favour then I will be in the seventh heaven. Anything I can help with to reflect you and your story - count me in!