Happy Mother’s Day to all!



Christmas 2018

Greetings Everyone!

It is that time of year again and my leader informs me – Myles – that it is my turn to practice my creative writing skills.We are apparently very well although one of us is getting creakier, slower and stupid. This a great challenge for the one who is getting younger and is very active.

Jean is very involved in her artistic endeavours with calligraphy societies, art workshops and calligraphy workshops. She puts her considerable skills to work in the preparation of posters for church and miscellaneous events, greeting cards and artwork, She is the coordinator, editor and publisher of the CWL and Calligraphy Society newsletters. She is also very involved with church activities  as a volunteer at  funeral receptions, greeter and participant in Faith formation groups. Her main interest remains the family and their development. We help with getting Lauren to her skating practices and occasionally with her studies. We share dog walking duties for Lola and Inka, the Lewis’s dogs. We do not see Janet and Molly as much since they are very busy with their educational pursuits.

I seem to be more and more busy with less and less. I play golf badly along with a motley group of peers. We attempt to play year round but our regimen of two games a week has diminished to one except in fine weather- mostly Summer and Fall. I dog walk, do chores and hang out. I have recently enjoyed participating in an interesting Alpha program at church.

2018 has been a good year for seeing and doing things. Our activities have been based locally in BC except for our long-awaited Alaska Cruise.

With no air travel, the Alaska trip was especially pleasing. We could take a city bus to the Cruise terminal, and return home the same way. We had spectacular weather for the whole trip. Our smaller ship was able to enter some of the smaller ports in Alaska such as Wrangell, Sitka and Haines plus the larger ports of Juneau and Ketchikan.  We visited two impressive glaciers and visited a small corner of the Yukon on a land excursion. The folks in Alaska were extra friendly and it was easy to feel at home wherever we went. Our final port was Victoria which is always impressive and interesting.

Other local adventures included a day trip to Bowen Island, a ride on the Sea-to-Sky gondola at Squamish, a tour of the railway museum at Squamish, outings to Riefel bird sanctuary in Delta, a day trip to Lynden WA and Whiterock, shopping excursions for art supplies to Bellingham and Seattle. And there were the tulip festival, Harrison Hot Springs and Mission to visit the Abbey.

Our favourite adventure took us to Lillooet for a train ride on the Kaoham shuttle to Seton Portage. After our adventure on the train we planned to return to Vancouver by a different route. We were boxed between two landslides but luckily were able to return to Lillooet and get a hotel room.  Visited Devil’s Canyon on the way back.

Randy, Jennifer and Lauren are healthy and very busy.  Neither  Randy nor Jennifer realize that they are revising the reputation of the civil service by trying to do everything themselves, Lauren is very busy with school work in Grade 10 while participating in an ambitious and competitive  figure skating program with the Vancouver Skating club. They all had a great holiday in France for a change of pace. 

Janet is working on a Master’s degree while working as a coordinator for placement of student teachers at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She is on loan from the Vancouver school board to fill this function. She is hoping that she will be able to continue for a 3rd year if SFU and VSB agree. Janet had her own ambitious  special adventure by walking across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. 

Molly is also at SFU in 2nd year business. She is also a happy over-achiever with many interests and committees. She is also a teacher’s assistant for a freshman class.  She is one of very few who may make a profit while going to university. 

Sadly, 2018 brought some grief as family members and friends left us and others have become incapacitated in some way.  Randy’s mother, Jean, died at the age of 100 but earlier in the year, she was able to celebrate her birthday as she always did,  with a very large number of her extended family. She knew them all. 

Our Christmas season will include attendance at some choral concerts, some gatherings with friends, some church events and a family Christmas dinner at our home. 

2019 still has a relatively clean slate so far. The only major item is a plan for a Spring Break Caribbean cruise with the Randy, Jennifer and Lauren. (Do you think that Jean and I should be going to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break?)

 Happy Christmas to all  – and every good wish for 2019.  from Myles and Jean

NOTE: There are photos from 2018 in our Photos section and some of Jean’s artwork in the Gallery. Apologies for the advertising …those are extra from WordPress!

6 Techniques for Calligraphers

A class last weekend….with the always excellent teacher, Martin Jackson.
This is a class I repeated. I first took it some years ago as a very new calligrapher and had forgotten much of what I learned that weekend. Still a wonderful class with very useful techniques to be used in many projects. All patiently explained by Martin.

6 techniques
Martin Jackson

Louis Lemoine

A weekend class with Louis is a magical experience with a joyful man who loves his work with Disney Studios in California and loves letters – especially decorative and playful letters. A good and supportive teacher and an entertainer extraordinaire. What else can I say? It is a privilege to be able to meet and learn from instructors like Louis. Thanks always to Westcoast Calligraphy Society and the hard work and talents of the volunteers who organize such events. An exemplar below and – following that, some of my practice efforts.


Louis Exemplar
Louis Exemplar

Louis Exemplar


Practice sheet – Mine

Neuland plus Script class

Very good class given by Violet Smythe on the use of Koch’s Neuland letters with an addition of script. She also introduced many new techniques for backgrounds for art and lettering. Violet is not only an excellent teacher, but her bound books of exemplars, samples and instructions are always real treasures to keep. These days shared “playing” with friends and trying out all kinds of tools and art materials are such fun too.
My name – by Violet
. Bleached “jean” on black stock, gouache  and Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White……


Classes with Yves Leterme

Spent three days in a class with Yves, working on brush forms of Roman Rustics for one day and the other two days exploring gestural writing.
How anyone could explain and demystify gestural writing was an intriguing thought…though the idea of actually tackling it myself was more than scary. Yves proves to be an excellent teacher and quite serious about his students getting their “money’s worth” – so there was no slacking during these days. That said, he is also very warm and supportive – and a very entertaining teacher and speaker. Did I “get it”? Yes….but it will take an awful lot more practice to do anything I will like. I will persevere.

Below is a little “present” he produced for my granddaughter Lauren. Her name…Yves style


Class called “Focus on Design”

Spent another great workshop with fellow calligraphers and artists last weekend. Barbara Close was our inspirational and multi talented teacher of many techniques. We had fun but I was wiped out at the end of it. When I recover I will post some photos on the art gallery page.

Just one as a sample here. Playing with making marks of all kinds with a rectangle shaped piece of balsa wood, sumi ink, walnut ink and tiny splash of watercolourcombination

Damp…but lovely – and another class

After lots of sunshine and warmth this week, we have light rain today. This is all of course a perfect combination for our glorious flowers and blossoms everywhere. Here are some shots of our front patio this morning



Last weekend was spent with friends of our Westcoast Calligraphy Society and a fine teacher, Peter Thornton. This class was a second attempt for me involving trying to understand and produce decorative letters in the manner of “Adolf Berndt”. Peter has been teaching and enthusiastically endorsing and promoting these lovely letters for some time now. More can be learned about the letters and the artist/calligrapher via Google.

My next class is one with the Alphabeas Guild and is all about design and layout…with Barbara Close. Looking forward to this one especially. Not much good learning all about letters and practicing like mad and then not knowing what exactly to do with them – other than used them for a simple card greeting or an envelope. Barbara comes highly recommended as a teacher.