Important Advice on Envelope Addressing

In a world where everything seems to be digital, the written word is still “a thing”. Every now and again I hear someone comment that hand written notes and envelopes are a thing of the past. Well, I say… NO WAY! Even though it can be easier to print out an address from the computer, it’s just not very personable. I love receiving hand calligraphy in the mail! Often times my students will send me a note with a beautiful calligraphied address which makes me so happy to see how far they have come! And YES, I keep every single one of them!

If you have the task of getting envelopes addressed for an upcoming wedding or event, there are a few things to think about when choosing whether or not to hire a calligrapher.

  1. First, check your budget. Calligraphers range in price depending on their skill level. If you have a tight budget, consider hiring a new calligrapher or maybe even learning calligraphy yourself! You can even purchase my new addressing guide ( in a variety of sizes ) for those difficult envelopes. You know, the ones that you can’t see your guide sheet through! Expect to pay anywhere from $8-$20 per envelope set for master calligraphers, $4-$6 per envelope set for intermediate calligraphers and $1.00-$3.00 per set for beginner calligraphers. Envelope calligraphy pricing is based on color of ink, number of lines, opaque envelopes, timing, and lettering style. Remember: the more elaborate your envelopes, the more it will cost.

  2. Lettering Styles DO MATTER! Be careful! You want your envelopes to get to their destinations. Keep addressing simple, so that the post office can read the addresses. If the post office can’t read an address, it will get lost and that means double the cost for you to send that invitation. Keep the zip code simple. Avoid adding fancy flourishing or dots between the numbers. That can only cause more money and headache for you when your guests don’t receive their invitations.

  3. Etiquette still counts. Always use Emily Post for guidance when addressing your envelopes. In our modern world, there are some new rules to consider, so if Emily Post doesn’t answer your question, always ask your invitation company or calligrapher. If your event is modern or informal, then you have the flexibility of breaking the rules.

  4. Be sure to get a sample from your potential calligrapher. Never let someone take your expensive envelopes before you see what they are going to do to them! Even if the calligrapher is good, you might have a different idea in mind and a sample just clears up any possible miscommunication. A PDF sample is a fine option if you do not have time for them to send you a hard copy. When I address envelopes, I always send a PDF and verify the color ink.

  5. Allow enough time for envelope addressing! I can’t stress that enough. A good calligrapher should be given 1 week per 100 envelopes. If you can give them a little longer that is always best. You really don’t want to have someone ( or yourself ) rush through the addressing process. There will be more mistakes and no time for corrections.

  6. Setting up your address list correctly is important. If you are using a calligrapher, ask him or her how they prefer the list to be set up. When I address envelopes, I ask that the list be set up in label format with everything spelled out. The reason I like the list in this format is because I know exactly where each letter falls on the envelope. For example, if I am centering the address, I can tell where to start the line underneath. Thus, allows me to go a little quicker with no mistakes. But some calligraphers might prefer a spreadsheet or another format. We are all different and what works for me might not work for someone else. One last thing… be sure to review your list before sending it to the calligrapher. Human error is inevitable, but reviewing the list can save you money in the end. Calligraphers write what they see and often times won’t know that you made a mistake on a street name. If it is an obvious mistake, most calligraphers will make the change.

Good luck with your envelopes!

Learning Calligraphy is Fun!

As I enter into the spring season, I am always inspired by nature. This morning I went outside to walk my new puppy ( Leo ) and noticed that some flowers were starting to pop out of the ground. A neighbor had even put out a few of those hanging pots with brand new colorful plants. Ahhh! This is when I begin getting all kinds of ideas for my business and for my calligraphy students.

If you have never picked up a calligraphy pen because you think you have “horrible handwriting” then I offer you a challenge! Go to and purchase 1- Speedball Plastic Pen Holder, 3-Nikko G Nibs, and 1 jar of black sumi ink. Grab a pack of some cheap copy paper and give it a whirl! I offer downloadable sheets so that you can “try before you buy”. Place the copy paper over the downloadable sheet ( that you print at home ) and trace. The rule of thumb is … Press Down for thick strokes and when going up you should lift up ( light touch ) for thin strokes. I promise you will get hooked! When you are ready, order my Copperplate calligraphy workbook. It will give you all the information you need to learn how to write script calligraphy. If you live in Virginia, North Carolina or DC I offer calligraphy classes and workshops. I also offer private calligraphy lessons in Charlottesville. Calligraphy is a fun birthday party idea for kids and it can be a wonderful way to spend time with friends. Email me at to book a private party or private lesson. Email me anytime with your calligraphy questions!

The Jessica Style

Are you a wedding invitation designer looking for an easy way to have custom calligraphy for a fraction of the cost? I have created a vectorized calligraphy style as an eps, jpg and svg file format that includes all of the major words included in a wedding invitation suite and day of signage.. Everything you need to have a real looking wedding invitation and reception signage! I have a 1 time usage fee for $65 or a 5 year licensing agreement at $350. If the clients want their names in matching calligraphy-- NO PROBLEM! For an additional $75 ( discount for purchasing the Jessica Style ), I will add their names. Please email jen@ifsoinklined for more information!

Cake Toppers Anyone?

Well, after 2 years of waiting and waiting and waiting... my laser cutter and engraving machine ARRIVED! It's been a long few years of creating and designing products specifically for my new machine. Now the time has arrived... I HAVE CAKE TOPPERS! 

Each special cake topper is cut and/or engraved out of maple wood or clear acrylic which can be painted and sealed depending on customer requests. The last few cake topper designs have been created on my IPAD using my handy dandy apple pen. I have created my own special calligraphy brush stroke that I use make each design. Some creations have been from clients-- hand designed custom crests or calligraphy from other artists. What a wonderful way to collaborate! 

A very popular cake topper idea right now is a custom monogram or letter cut to fit the top of a wedding cake, rehearsal dinner cake, birthday cake or mothers day cake. Funny cake toppers are great for milestone birthdays, bachelorette parties, backyard BBQ's and all kinds of festive affairs. These cake toppers are food safe and can be reused, so grab yours today!

If you have a custom cake topper request, please give me a shout. I love hearing your ideas! To purchase a cake topper please visit my Etsy page:

How to become a calligrapher!

Several times a week I get requests for my level 1 beginner calligraphy workshop here in Virginia. I love the fact that people are so interested in learning how to create beautiful letterforms. It truly is a lost art and has become popular in the wedding and event industry.

If you are interested in becoming a part time or full time calligraphy artist, then there are a few things you must do. First, take my beginners level 1 course! I provide you with ALL of the materials and information to get you started learning calligraphy. I only teach with the materials that I actually use in my daily work. I take the guess work out of learning how to write in copperplate calligraphy. I also provide you with monthly updates and free downloadables to keep you moving in the right direction. You don't have to have beautiful handwriting to learn calligraphy! Remember, it is a skill you are learning.

Secondly, you must PRACTICE! I know, easier said then done, but it's true. Like anything you do in life, you must keep working on the skill and building on it each day to become successful. I suggest practicing every day for 2 weeks at 1 hour at a time. Keep all of you practice sheets and then check back each week to see how far you have come with your writing. It's amazing! 

Last but not least... I offer a level 2 calligraphy workshop at least 2 times a year. It is important that you continue educating yourself, especially if you want to become a part time or full time calligrapher. The workshop appears at first as expensive, but ask anyone who has taken the class. You will find that it is worth the investment! Actually, the class is worth twice as much, given the amount of information you will receive. So what have you got to lose? Bring a friend and join the calligraphy movement!

If you are interested in taking my workshops, CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW.  Currently, there is a level 1 beginners class available for purchase. I look forward to teaching you how to create beautiful pointed pen lettering! 



New Products are here!

I love weddings! And baby showers! And parties! Over the years, I have worked on thousands of wedding invitations, calligraphy wedding day signs, place card lettering, and envelope addressing ( to name a few ). BUT, now I have decided to start branching out and offering some products. It's amazing the things that can be created with calligraphy and art!

My fist launch is my line of coffee mugs.  You can purchase one today for your sweet mom, grandma, new mom or friend for Mother's Day on Amazon here:

If you are looking for something unique give me a shout! Keep checking back on my blog for upcoming laser cutting products such as cake toppers in wood and acrylic, wedding vows cut in wood, house warming gifts and more!


Best mom mug box-photo.jpg


Tis The Wedding Season!

WeddingInvitations and Envelopes-- OH MY!

It's amazing how calligraphy designs come alive when paired with a lovely block font. Designer,  Sue Corral of in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia, knows exactly how to make my calligraphy jump off the page. Have you ever thought about a calligraphy invitation? To save money, only have your names and a few key pieces of information added to your wedding invitation suite. As you can see, it allows your names to stand out, while conveying the important information in complimentary font. For an invitation quote, head over to Sue's website and she will get all of your information and paper needs that match your budget. Give me a shout if you have some lettering ideas in mind. I have some amazing products and calligraphy workshops coming this summer, so be sure to check back often! Until then, brides and grooms, happy wedding planning

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