The Beautiful Art of Calligraphy: Getting Started

Calligraphy and Design by Fox and Flourish | Invitation, envelope liner, wax seal from Paper-Ya, flowers by Celsia Floral | Photo by Tahnee Sanders

Calligraphy has a rich and beautiful history and is considered to be one of the world's oldest forms of writing.  V. Lazursky describes it as "a kind of music not for the ears, but for the eyes." It allows you to paint words across a page and bring a new layer of meaning to the text. With all the styles out there in this art form, it can be quite daunting to try to learn!  

Starting calligraphy takes investment in the right tools, some patience, and lots of practice. Beginning with a simple dipping pen, ink (we have plenty of scrumptious colors to choose from!) and a few different nibs is a great starter kit. 

There are many different sources to help you figure out where to begin, so don't worry! Books, video tutorials, and our newest edition of the Uppercase Magazine can all help you figure out what style you'd like to experiment in.

Christina Luo, calligraphy and lettering artist based in Vancouver and creative mind behind Fox and Flourish, gives this piece of advice, "Find a class or workshop (either in-person or online) that teaches the style of calligraphy that you are drawn to. There are so many different subsets: copperplate, spencerian, gothic, blackletter, and of course the more modern takes on pointed pen. Once you learn how to use the tools properly, work on mastering that alphabet, and once you feel confident in the consistency of your letterforms, continue to add our own style."  Christina offers workshops for modern pointed pen calligraphy in Vancouver. 

Above are just a few examples of the beautiful things you can create with paper, pen, and ink. There are so many reasons to love calligraphy, and when asked why she loves the art form, Christina said, "That moment when the ink is still drying onto the paper, and afterwards, how you can run your fingers across the words and physically feel what was just written mere minutes ago. I'm drawn to the ephemeral and nostalgic quality of it, but as a graphic designer by trade, I think it's so amazing that we can take these handwritten words and create digital copies of them for my other paper- based love, the art of print!" 

Calligraphy can be used to personalize a gift, create party invitations, commemorate a special event and so much more. It truly is a stunning art form! Visit us soon, and get started.

Making your own Wedding Invitations is an exciting adventure and we are here to help you enjoy the process and be thrilled with the results.

Your invitation will set the tone for your wedding while expressing your unique personality as a couple. We offer a complimentary consultation to help you answer important questions and get a good sense of the "feel" of the invitation you want to create.

While we do not print or design your invitation we do have many examples of invitations that will inspire you. Make some time to visit us. Look through our sample books and exceptional selection of envelopes, papers, ribbons, wax seals and more.

You don't need to worry about making a final decision the first time you come into Paper-Ya. Remember, this is a process to be enjoyed, keep an open mind and surprise yourself. You may not have done this before, but we have! See you soon.

Chiyogami patterns originated from traditional Japanese designs of flora and fauna.

New designs are continuously being created. Like Japan itself these exquisite handmade Japanese sheets of paper have a feeling of old and new at the same time.

Colors are rich and the golds and silvers shimmer and shine. Each color is hand silkscreened one at a time onto the sheet. There are hundreds of patterns available, we can supply you with morst of them!
We sell the highest quality chiyogami. The base paper is high in kozo content and a nice weight thereby giving a stronger sheet. The pigment-based inks are an excellent quality and great care is put into the light fastness and adherence of the pigments. We sell the full sheet size of 24x36 in. so when comparing prices always note the size.
Probably the most common use of these papers is in accents and decorative embellishment for invitations and envelope linings. Bookbinders discovered them long ago as cover papers. Now many artists and printmakers are finding these papers inspiring in collage and digital applications. 

Envelopes part 2: Making your own envelopes is easy enough if...

you have patience and some extra time. It also helps to have dexterity. You can make something amazing with our selection of decorative papers at Paper-Ya.

We also sell templates to make the job easier. As well, you can use an existing envelope as a template. A vast selection of videos on You Tube can assist in the project. If you only need a few envelopes, making them just might be a good option. Some situations for making your own envelopes could be:
-a special gift
-a knock out presentation
-a very unique resume
-an invitation to a small and intimate gathering
-you require an envelope that is of a non standard size
After viewing a few videos on making your own...I was even more impressed at what good value a pre-made envelope really is. We carry a supurb selection of beautiful envelopes. And we can help you sort through the maze of sizes and styles.
And, by the way, if you do lack dexterity, don't forget to choose your envelope first before designing your project!

The complexity of envelopes! Who knew. Part 1.

How can something so simple cause so many problems? Over the years we have had more than a few customers come in somewhat flustered because the invitations that they have designed and often finished printing do not fit well in any available envelope.
You have heard of the saying "don't put the cart before the horse". This is one of those situations. So, "forwarned is forearmed"...(I'm just full of ancient wise sayings today!) The moral of this story is to choose your envelope first. In doing so, you will have a much more interesting and beautiful invitation.
Envelopes can inspire and influence your invitation design. Decorative pockets and pouches in  colors from natural kraft to luscious pomegranate.
What was once industrial is now a contemporary string and button envelope. This is just a mere smattering of our envelope selection. Of course, if you only need a few envelopes, there is the option of making them. More about that in envelopes part 2.

Put the Wedding Party in a delightful mood. Create a table that is charming and unique.

If you have some time, paper pinwheels or windmills are fairly easy to make. Go to for instructions and a free template. We have all the paper in the world for you to pick from to make yours just perfect. Or, you can choose one of these babies that are ideal to set the mood of any festive table.

What do you mean you can't have your cake and eat it too? Actually, you can't eat these slices, sorry, but you can put something very special inside these cake boxes! Yep, cake boxes. Oh, how delightful.
You don't have to be having a wedding to enjoy these and many more little surprises we have in the store for you. You just have to have a party for two...or more, and an appreciation of the delightful.

Do it yourself! Yes, you can make your own wedding invitations and more.

We have years of experience helping our creative and boldly individual customers make amazing invitations. No matter what your personal style is: traditional, quirky, green or blue, just be you!Use your home computer and printer and our gorgeous papers, ribbons and charming decorative elements. Come in and view our sample books of one of a kind invitations to get you started.Think of us when the time comes to plan for your special day. Visit us at Paper-Ya for inspiration and ideas for unique wedding favors, guest books, photo albums and stationery.
Color is everywhere for this summers weddings...Think coral, tangerine and citrus yellow, whites, turquoise, silver, and ripe tomato red...some of the color trends we are seeing for this unforgettable occasion.