Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vintage Pens Giveaway

I never stop collecting items associated with the history of books and writing, both for my own pleasure and to share at workshops and presentations. Recently I discovered two vintage boxes of William Mitchell's Pens in a local shop. As you can see, the top of the box is embossed and inside there are twelve nibs and a handle. I hope someone will tell me their likely production date.

So, as a token of thanks to all writing and calligraphy friends, cyberscribes, blog and website visitors, schools at which I have conducted workshops, people who I have interested... I'll give one of these boxes away (99% pristine - a small fragment of the lid's side needs reattaching). Just add a comment to go into the draw. I hope you'll also consider following this blog.

To save getting the parcel lost in the seasonal mail, I'll make the draw on Jan 1st.

I also have another promotion - this time, in association with my latest book, 'Calligraphy for Greetings Cards and Scrapbooking'.

It has an enormous amount in it to teach calligraphy skills and using them for any purpose. It's for adults and older children and covers tools and equipment, alphabets, spacing letters and words, layout and design, creative letters (cut, decorated, embossed, pop-up and more), trails and borders, mass producing and printing cards and invitations, envelope design... and there's a gallery section of inspirational work by a variety of craftspeople. It's been beautifully designed and the publisher, GMC Publications.

It's available or able to be ordered from all bricks and mortar bookstores and online retailers worldwide.

As reviews help to sell books and I’m dependent on royalties, which won’t be payable until about 2,000 more copies are sold (mid- to end 2013??), I’m doing a promotion. If anyone who visits here, or any of your friends or blog readers chooses to buy a copy, after they have added a review on the retailer’s website or in a Guild/Society/industry newsletter, teacher's or librarians' journal/newsletter or similar, I will calligraph and decorate a name of their choice and snail mail it (they email me the details to Peter (at) I’ll keep this offer open until I have 10 reviews on each website, and one in each of a large number of relevant journals and newsletters.

Enjoy celebrating your seasonal festivities and wishing you Peace, Love and Joy throughout 2013 and every year,

Peter Taylor
Writing for Children


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Eggs, Eggs and a Border Design

There are noticeable differences between eggs from factory-farmed caged hens and from those kept in back yards and fed food scraps and allowed to forage and eat worms and insects. It surprised me to learn that medieval scribes and manuscript illuminators, who used egg yolk and egg white to help make gold and colours stick to the page, also had a preference for eggs from country hens for some purposes, and from town hens for other requirements.

Today I'm working on a border design to hopefully gain an editor's interest in a project. The boxes at the bottom still have to be completed. The design is a 'modernised hybrid of The Luttrell Psalter and the Macclesfield Psalter', and chosen to accompany a story set in the 14th century.

If I use 23ct gold, the finished work will look wonderful - but could it be satisfactorily photographed or scanned and reproduced in a children's book? Would its use impress or deter a publisher? Hmmm. I've been putting off that decision for a while. Maybe I'll have to do two versions...

Have fun being creative

Peter Taylor