Dinner Party Calligraphy

Dinner Party Calligraphy

Before my last dinner party, I took a few minutes to work on a few small details. I pulled out my calligraphy kit from a workshop I attended to make place cards and a menu. These little additions were the perfect finishing touches, making the dinner table seem so put together.

Dinner Party Calligraphy


Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day from Dressed In Orange


I tried my hand at some ‘modern’ calligraphy (above) and I think I need to keep practicing. It’s on my to-do list for this long weekend. That, and watching the new season of House of Cards. What are your Valentine’s Day / weekend plans?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

More Petals & Penmanship

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

Petals & Penmanship title by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

After a bout of calligraphy in the first half of the Petals & Penmanship workshop, we moved on to a lesson in floral design.  This second half of the workshop was led by Kiana Underwood, owner of Tulipina, a San Francisco-based floral design studio.  I wasn’t familiar with Kiana’s work before , but I started following her on Instagram shortly after signing up for the workshop and I was immediately smitten with her aesthetic. Her designs are refreshingly nontraditional and they have a breezy and organic quality to them that is so appealing.

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In OrangeJasmine, Geranium, Juliet Garden Rose, Poppy, Hellebore, Ranunculus, Kumquat, Anemone

Each person was provided a bucket of flowers (above), a vase, and a pair of garden shears.  Even the bucket of untrimmed, un-arranged flowers looked gorgeous, don’t you think?

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

Kiana demonstrated how to design a beautiful centerpiece in her signature style – asymmetrical and unfussy. One of her pointers was to use the existing curves and shapes in your materials to create a natural flow. With a quick trim and the right placement, a droopy looking hellebore can actually help shape the bouquet. 

She encouraged us to make use of flowers, branches, and vines that are accessible in our own gardens.  A beautiful bouquet doesn’t have to cost a lot – just keep your eyes and mind open.

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

One of Kiana’s favorites is the Juliet garden rose, which she grows in her personal garden.

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

Even the scraps looked beautiful

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In OrangeAnd here’s my final centerpiece!  I proudly displayed it on my dining room table.  It somehow made eating dinner at the table seem so much more special.

Thanks again to Maybelle, Kiana, and Angie for putting together a lovely workshop.  It was inspiring to be around your creative energy and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Photos by Robin for Dressed In Orange

Petals & Penmanship

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

Petals & Penmanship title by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

Since I took a calligraphy workshop a few months back at Makeshift Society, I’ve been practicing, practicing, practicing.  I’ve definitely seen some improvement, but I have been dying to take another class with Maybelle.  She’s a great teacher who is incredibly sweet and personable (plus, I secretly want to be her best friend).  When she posted about another calligraphy workshop combined with floral design (are you kidding?!) on her Instagram, I signed up immediately!

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

Maybelle shows us The Language of Flowers

The workshop was a joint effort from calligrapher Maybelle and floral stylist Kiana Underwood.  Their inspiration came from a unique find at the Alameda Antiques Faire –  a vintage copy of The Language of Flowers. Perfect, right?  They held the workshop in photographer Angie Cao‘s beautiful studio in the Sunset neighborhood.  Despite the rain and dark clouds outside, the studio was full of beautiful light and life.  As soon as I walked in, I was enamored with the styling of the abundance of flowers and calligraphy supplies.

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In OrangeMaybelle’s journal of all her workshops and attendees. 

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

In the last workshop we practiced the alphabet, but in this class we jumped into flower names – some of which were flowers we would be using during the floral design portion.  Seeing and writing such pretty floral names in calligraphy was inspiring and relaxing.

Petals & Penmanship | Dressed In Orange

This was the first workshop of its kind, but Maybelle and Kiana are planning to host another session in the fall. Sign me up!

Check back tomorrow for a recap of the floral styling portion of the workshop!

Photos by Robin for Dressed In Orange

Write More Letters

2014 resolution: write more letters

Following the theme of resolutions this week, I’ve resolved to write more letters this year.  With endless texts, emails, social media updates, (snapchats?), contacting friends is easier than ever, but there’s still something so special about receiving a hand-written note.  Taking the time to say thank you or just hello on paper is a universally appreciated gesture. Just browsing beautiful stationary (I love Rifle Paper Co. and Sugar Paper) inspires me to write just-because notes to my friends.  It’s nice to remind those closest to you that you’re thinking of them – with more than just a quick text.

images via 1 & 2


Calligraphy with Maybelle

Calligraphy | Dressed In OrangeOver the weekend, Grace and I attended a calligraphy workshop at Makeshift Society.  Our instructor was the charming Maybelle Imasa, an Oakland-based professional calligrapher who travels the world teaching the art of calligraphy (what a dream!).  The workshop covered modern calligraphy basics, perfect for beginners.  I highly recommend taking a class with Maybelle if you’re at all interested in calligraphy.  She hosts workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Sydney, with a few more international locations to be added next year.  If you’re in the Bay Area, she will be teaching another class next month with all proceeds going to typhoon relief in the Philippines.

Makeshift Society, SF | Dressed In Orange

Calligraphy by Maybelle Imasa | Dressed In OrangeMaybelle’s class notes.  Start with compound curves, ovals, and flourishes. Then move on to letters and numbers.

Calligraphy workshop at Makeshift Society, SF | Dressed In OrangeMaybelle’s husband created these wooden ink well holder/pen rests specially for her workshops and she personalized each with our names. Such a lovely element of her class that you can take home with you.

Calligraphy workshop at Makeshift Society, SF | Dressed In Orange

Calligraphy workshop at Makeshift Society, SF | Dressed In OrangeThank you, Maybelle!