My Top 5 Books for Cultivating Creativity

Photo via Elizabeth Gilbert Facebook

Photo via Elizabeth Gilbert Facebook

The other night at our Calligraphy Meetup, we got onto the topic of creativity and started sharing some thoughts from books that nurture a creativity landscape in our lives. Here’s 5 of my favorite books  on creativity that I am constantly recommending to friends and clients!

  1. big-magic-elizabeth-gilbert-books-for-creativityBig Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    A longtime fan of Liz Gilbert’s, I bought Big Magic the day it came out and have read it at least 4 times since then. Her philosophies of carving out space for creativity in your daily life make creativity so accessible. You don’t have to quit your day job to cultivate creativity. Just follow creativity where it leads, follow your curiosity and be led to your next exciting project. “Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”
  2. firestarter-sessions-danielle-laporte-books-for-creativityThe Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
    I first saw Danielle LaPorte speak at a Startup Princess event in Salt Lake City and I was transfixed. Her style of speaking is so intimate that it feels like it’s only you and her in the room. Plus, she’s a Vancouver, Canada native (soul sister from my home and native land!) and she shares tips on soulful entrepreneurism laced with Buddhist philosophies. This book takes you through a series of burning questions including:

    • When do you feel powerful, free, passionate, incredibly useful, excited, inspired?
    • What do people thank you for most often?
    • Who do you think is really cool, elegant, or powerful, and why?
  3. show-your-work-austin-kleon-books-for-creativityShow Your Work by Austin Cleon
    The chapter that resonated the most was to share something small that you’re working on each day, be it a video on Vimeo, a blog, or a photo. At the end of the month, you’ll have 30 shares, at the end of the year, you’ll have 365. It’s all about making your work discoverable discovering your voice by flexing it. A quick and easy read!
  4. rework-jason-fried-david-heinemeier-hansson-books-for-creativityRework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
    A brilliant book about doing it better, faster, and stronger. When they were editing their book, they cut it in HALF, deciding that they could streamline and still get the point across. Like Brad Pitt’s character says in Ocean’s 11, “Don’t use seven words when four will do.”  The point is that you need less than you think you do and it’s all about actually getting to work instead of planning to work or talking about it. This will light a fire under you to get started.
  5. the-artists-way-book-julie-cameron-books-for-creativityThe Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron
    This has been a seminal guide to creativity for over a decade. I first picked it up as a teenager and was always enraptured by the encouraging quotes typed in the sidebar on every single page. My biggest takeaway from it was a practice called the Morning Pages, an exercise of writing three pages of stream of consciousness writing each morning before starting your day. In other words, letting whatever comes into your head flow through your pen onto the page without judgment. This practice helps you to clear the clutter from your mind and frees you up for more spontaneous creativity. Believe me when I say it WORKS.

What are your favorite books that help you foster creativity? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

Why the “toss it if you haven’t worn it in a year” rule doesn’t work

When should you toss your clothes?

Photo via Pop Sugar

A common idea among for closet purging that I hear is the “if you haven’t worn it a year, then toss it” rule. While this philosophy can certainly help weed out things that aren’t worth keeping in the long run, it doesn’t always work.

Here’s why:

  • You may not have worn your wedding dress in the last year. But are you planning to toss that out? What about your grandpa’s hand knit sweater that was left to you? Make room for family heirlooms to stay. (They just don’t necessarily have to be taking up valuable real estate in the closet)
  • You may separate outfits or clusters of clothes that don’t function properly alone. If you know that the only time you wear a certain shirt is with a certain combination, hang onto it. Otherwise you’ll have nothing to wear with the rest of your outfit!

The unpleasant task of purging your closet is made more pleasant and illuminating when you hire an Image Consultant or Wardrobe Stylist to help you stay on task and give you a birds eye view of your wardrobe. I’d love to help you on your closet audit! While I’m based in the Seattle area, I offer virtual styling worldwide.

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Seattle Calligraphy Meetup: Tuesday, March 29 at Roy Street Coffee & Tea

Cable Car Calligraphy-113 BW

For the last few months I’ve been hosting a casual calligraphy meetup around Seattle as a way to foster community, build better relationships, and provide opportunities to practice. You don’t have to have to have been through my calligraphy class to attend: it’s open to the public and free! Well, besides your hot chocolate, that is :)

Grab your sketch book and supplies and join us!

  • Tuesday, March 29th from 7-9pm
  • Roy Street Coffee & Tea in Capitol Hill

Hope to see you there :)

Announcing Brush & Bloom: Wild & Free Floral Crowns and Soulful Calligraphy

blush and bloom wild and free

Back in December, I sat down with the ever-lovely Amy from GATHER Westcoast for coffee and we decided to embark on a collaborative class teaching floral design and calligraphy in a day-long workshop. We had our first Brush & Bloom workshop in February and are thrilled to announce our latest workshop Wild & Free on Saturday, April 16 where we’ll teach floral crowns and soulful calligraphy.

Brush & Bloom: Wild and Free. you belong among the wildflowers

  • Saturday, April 16 from 11am – 6pm
  • New Tomorrow, 1417 10th Ave. Seattle, WA
  • $199, early bird pricing $169 until Sunday, March 27

brush and bloom neal floral crown

We’ll end class with professional photos of each student wearing their crown and holding their framed print.  We hope you’ll join us and let your inner gypsy delight in these tactile arts.

Champagne and snacks will be provided, as will all floral crown and brush calligraphy materials.

For more details, visit our Brush & Bloom page. If you register by Sunday, March 27, you can get the special early bird rate of $169. Hope you can join us!

Photos by Moss Floor | Floral Crowns by GATHER Westcoast | Makeup by Taylour Chanel | Wardrobe by Cable Car Couture | Calligraphy by Cable Car Calligraphy | Models Angie Hansen + Neal Haley

Corporate Calligraphy: Brush Calligraphy Class at Moz

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On Friday I had the pleasure of teaching a Brush Calligraphy class at Moz, an SEO and marketing tech company based in downtown Seattle. The class was a gathering of Moz’s lovely employees as well as one lucky pup (Dogs are integral to the company culture at Moz!).

Friday’s “overhead at calligraphy class” quote came from Mallari talking about the connections on the letter O: “It’s like a toupee, you never see where it stops or starts.”

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Friday’s calligraphy take home goodie was an homage to spring.

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Photo by Jennie Moore

If you want to learn calligraphy, we can bring the class to you! It’s a perfect way to build morale at work and can be a great option for a company retreat. We require a minimum of 5 attendees and the person arranging the workshop attends the class on the house. Special pricing for classes of 12+. Check out our Private Calligraphy Class page for more details.

New Ted Baker Store at Bellevue Square

Recently the new Ted Baker store opened its doors at Bellevue Square. Known for its luxury clothing, including menswear and women’s wear, this is the only Ted Baker on the west coast north of San Francisco. While his line has been carried at Nordstrom, now you too can dress “Ted to toe”!

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I was at the opening and was delighted by the store merchandising and “high tea” theme of the store, which apparently is an homage to Seattle’s love of coffee. On the night of the event they had lovely juice and gin drinks served in beautiful china dishes.

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It’s located down the aisle from the Kate Spade store at Bellevue Square. Check it out!

As Seen on The Perfect Palette: Pantone Color of the Year: Rose Quartz & Serenity

Here’s a sneak peek at the Pantone Color of the Year photo shoot I was part of that was published on The Perfect Palette. Inspired by love in movement, with overtures of ballet and brimming over with romance, these photos are absolutely breathtaking!

www.bjonesphotos.com

I did some whimsical wedding envelope calligraphy for this shoot that reflected the ethereal nature of the shoot.

www.bjonesphotos.com

 

www.bjonesphotos.com

B. Jones Photography

Isn’t this gem breathtaking?

Seattle Wedding Calligraphy

www.bjonesphotos.com

www.bjonesphotos.com Continue reading

March Brush Calligraphy Calendar 2016

march 2016 brush calligraphy calendar: free digital download

you know what this means. spring is just around the corner.

Last week I stole away to the mountains for some hiking and it was almost too warm for leggings. The cherry blossoms have started to bloom. And someone came to calligraphy class the other day wearing sandals! It’s happening, it’s really happening! Oh, spring, we can’t wait to see more of you. In the meantime?

Download your free March 2016 Brush Calligraphy Calendar printable below. Print out your copy and since you’re creative, share and show us how you’re using it in your space! Tag us @cablecarcalligraphy on Instagram or post a photo to our Facebook page.

Love Yourself Valentine’s Digital Download

love yourself calligraphy digital download

Let’s hear it for the mothers, and the lovers, and the best friends, and each blessed soul that loves you. How grand it is to be known and loved by another human being. But there’s no one else on the planet that knows how to love you the way you do.

So today, on this day of love and romance, turn some of that love inwards and love yourself.

Indulge.

Curl up with a kitten and a cup of coffee.

Read that sumptuous novel that feels like a homecoming.

Wear the lacy underthing and the lipstick that makes your skin look like porcelain.

Today is for you to love yourself. 

Click below for our “love yourself” digital download for a lovely visual reminder.

Brush & Bloom: Floral Design + Calligraphy Workshop

Brush & Bloom: Calligraphy & Floral Design Workshop

Take two of the most romantic arts and combine them in a single workshop and you’ll have Brush & Bloom, a floral design & calligraphy workshop. The brainchild of floral designer Amy Ly of GATHER Westcoast and myself, come to class and build a verdant floral centerpiece, and create an original Valentine for your love, yourself, or your bestie.

  • Saturday, February 13, 2016
  • 10am to 3pm
  • New Tomorrow, 1417 10th Ave. Seattle
  • $249
  • Register today!

Brush & Bloom: A Floral Design & Calligraphy Workshop

You can make your Valentine as sensual as you want. No judgment here!

Brush & Bloom: A Floral Design & Calligraphy Workshop

We’ll have a variety of blooms available for you to choose from so you can create a bouquet that reflects your own personal tastes.

Brush & Bloom: A Floral Design & Calligraphy Workshop

Think about what phrase you might want to letter in class and I’ll help you hone your design.

Brush & Bloom: A Floral Design & Calligraphy Workshop

Hope to see you in class!

  • Photography: Tessa Budny
  • Floral Design: Amy Ly of GATHER Westcoast
  • Calligraphy: Sarah Ward of Cable Car Calligraphy