Working for Reforestation: One Tree Planted With Every Purchase

I have some exciting news to share! I am officially registered as a Reforestation Partner through OneTreePlanted! What exactly does that mean? Well, starting from January 1st, 2017, with every purchase made from Ink & Matter, one tree will be planted somewhere in the world via OneTreePlanted. OneTreePlanted is a non-profit organization based in Vermont, focusing not only on collecting donations, but also in educating the world and spreading awareness about deforestation and the impact it has on our planet.

So, why am I doing this? As we all know, paper is almost always made from tree pulp. As most of us also know, the stationery industry is pretty much entirely paper based. And while I try to use as many recycled and repurposed items as possible and avoid wasting paper, the paper use is inevitable when it comes to owning a stationery design business.

Reforesting the Planet, One Tree at a Time

Ever since I started Ink & Matter, I’ve been extremely conscious of my paper use and the potential impact this could have on the environment. I recycle everything I don’t use and encourage those who purchase items from me to do the same. But it doesn’t feel like enough. Trees are being destroyed on a regular basis, due to various industries and disasters such as wildfires. In the most extreme cases, entire forests are being destroyed. OneTreePlanted offers an opportunity to finally give back to the environment by planting trees in the areas that need it most.

Where will the trees go? As of right now, all of my donations will be going towards planting trees in Indonesia (I will be rotating through the other options regularly.) Indonesia is currently facing quite a deforestation crisis. According to OneTreePlanted, 85% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by forest destruction and degradation. The country’s poorest residents are suffering as a result, living with some of the worst health standards in the world.

The Reforestation Impact

Trees planted in Indonesia have a huge positive impact on the local population. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and consumer of palm oil, which is great for their economy, but terrible for the environment. The palm oil industry is not only destroying forests, but also leads to an increase of carbon and other pollutants in the air. Trees planted in Indonesia absorb the carbon pollution and improve air quality.

The rainforests of Indonesia, recently named one of the most biologically diverse biomes in the world, are home to all kinds of animals. Trees create new homes for the animals living there, who have been faced with shrinking forests and destruction of their natural habitat. Indonesia’s largest rainforest, the Sumatran rainforest, has been given just 20 years left to survive by leading scientists. I feel it’s incredibly important to help reverse the damage that’s already been done.

Finally, the planting of trees in Indonesia helps bolster economic prospects, and improves living conditions for indigenous communities and environmental standards. Local communities benefit by selling the fruit, allowing local farmers to make a steady living. On top of all of this, OneTreePlanted works with programs that help build schools in these areas and donates to incentive school programs, so it’s an organization I’m very happy to support.

What does this mean for you? I hope this allows you to feel good about serving our planet, as much as it does for me. Prices will not be going up – this is coming straight from my revenue. Our planet has taken a beating and it’s important for me to give back in whatever way I can. After all, the earth does provide us with a place to live and beautiful lands to admire. It’s the very least I can do.

Thank you for supporting me and in turn supporting our wonderful planet.

– Amber

Upcoming Holiday Events in Buffalo, NY & East Aurora, NY

img_0610Hey friends! The holidays are a crazy busy time for all of us, and nothing is more needed than last minute shopping destinations. I’ll be at a couple locations this December with calligraphy and hand lettered products, as well as on-site custom calligraphy for gift tags. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

Thin Ice Gift Shop Trunk Show
719 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Saturday, December 3rd, 11 AM – 5 PM

Handwritten custom gift tags, unique gift ideas, home decor, and holiday cards. Click here for more information.

Elm Street Market
Elm Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
Saturday, December 17th, 5 PM – 9 PM

Click here for more information.

Calligraphy Workshop Recap | East Aurora, NY

I taught my first calligraphy workshop back in May, at the beautiful Roycroft Inn, located in East Aurora, NY. We were able to set up on the peristyle and enjoy the perfect weather while eight lovely ladies learned calligraphy!

img_0208One of the highlights of the day was teaching the THREE left-handed calligraphers I had. They were all amazing! Some lefties think that calligraphy would be impossible for them, but I’m here to tell you: I saw with my own eyes that lefties can pick up calligraphy just as quick as a rightie. It was interesting to see the different techniques in action (since I’m not left-handed), while also watching each and every student learn at their own pace.

By the end of the class, most of the students were connecting letterforms and some were even writing out their own quotes and sentences. In just two hours, eight students were able to learn the beautiful art of modern calligraphy. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!

I will be teaching a few more calligraphy workshops at MUSEjar, also located in East Aurora. You can get more information on how to register here. Hope to see you there!

Modern Calligraphy for Beginners Workshop in East Aurora, NY!

workshop5I know what it’s like to try to learn a new hobby. You see all the beautiful pictures on Instagram of people doing awesome things, maybe pick up a book off Amazon or your local bookstore on the topic, and then let it sit on your shelf for weeks and months while you find the motivation and time to sit down and do it. Getting started in calligraphy is not a difficult thing to do, but taking a workshop can give you the extra push and tips that will excel your practice.

I’ve always wanted to teach classes on the topic, so I’m excited to be teaching my first ever at the beautiful Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, NY on May 25th! You’ll learn to assemble and use a pointed dip pen, how to create basic letterforms, and extra tips for continued practice. You’ll get all the information in two hours that it took me weeks to figure out on my own.

Calligraphy takes practice, patience, and more practice!

While you won’t be an expert right away, with enough practice and continued patience, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful, complete pieces of calligraphy artwork. We’ll not only have fun learning it, but you’ll gain insight on what has helped me to avoid the kinks and get past the difficulties of writing with a pointed pen.

Feel free to contact me for more information or sign up today for my Modern Calligraphy Workshop!

Wedding Tips: When should you book a calligrapher?

Wedding etiquette is constantly changing – and the rules are never set in stone – so how do you know when to book your calligrapher? Well, the most important thing to consider is when you should send out your invitations and save the dates, and when you will need your RSVPs back.

How far in advance should wedding invitations be sent?

fiona2Most wedding professionals would say that wedding invitations go out 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding day. However, certain situations such as a destination wedding, could require more time (upwards of 3 months!) or less time. Save the dates are not required but if you decide to use them, they are usually sent out 6-8 months before the wedding.

RSVP deadlines are generally around 2-3 weeks before the wedding. Many brides and grooms decide to adjust these dates as necessary, depending on caterers, calligraphers, venues, etc.

How long does calligraphy take?

cards1At Ink & Matter, my calligraphy turnaround is 2-4 weeks, which is pretty standard in the calligraphy industry. For place cards and escort cards, you’re generally looking at 2 weeks. Bigger projects and custom projects will likely take more time, so consider that if you’re planning on a big project. Plan to have your calligrapher booked at least 2 weeks in advance or risk paying a rush fee, running into booked up calligraphers, and added stress.

If you’re hiring a calligrapher to address your wedding envelopes, you will have to do some backwards calculating to determine when you should book the calligrapher. For example, if you’re sending your invitations out 6 weeks before your wedding, you will need to have your calligrapher booked and ready to go at least 8 weeks before your wedding.

However, most calligraphers book up fast, especially for summer weddings, so it’s important to get in contact as far in advance as possible, even if that means you’re just putting down a deposit. A good rule of thumb is to book your calligrapher at the same time as when you purchase your invitations.

Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone in the wedding industry – so don’t stress too much!

I’m Attending the Modern Calligraphy Summit!

After I missed the last registration, I finally decided to sign up for the Modern Calligraphy Summit! I couldn’t be more excited to learn from some of the calligraphers I’ve been admiring since I got involved with this whole thing.

If you don’t know what the summit is, it’s basically a two week online training camp for calligraphers of all levels. I’ve already met (virtually) so many people involved, from complete beginners to advanced, amazing calligraphers (though let’s be real – you’re all amazing!)

The Modern Calligraphy Summit starts February 22nd and runs through March 5th, with plenty of videos, Q&A sessions, and practice sheets to go along with it. There will be nine super talented calligraphers, showing us everything from beginning calligraphy to brush lettering and flourishes. I’ll admit, I’m mostly excited for the brush lettering because I haven’t had a good chance to really practice that.

I’m so ready to learn from some of the professionals and build on the skills and knowledge I already have. If you’re even the least bit interested in calligraphy, go check it out! Enrollment officially ends tomorrow, February 12th.

What’s the difference between place cards and escort cards?

Place cards and escort cards – what’s the difference? I get asked this question a lot, and to be honest with you, I didn’t know either until I started to work on weddings. And believe it or not, the explanation is easier than you might think.

Place Cards vs. Escort CardsPlace cards do not include a table number (only the guest name) and are usually placed in the seat where your guest will be sitting. Place cards may also be next to/under a sign or other indicator to show where the guest’s table will be. This option allows for easy last minute arrangements if necessary, since a table number wouldn’t be permanently on the card.

Escort cards include the table number and are usually laid out on a table (alphabetically) where guests first walk into the venue. The table number may be directly on the front of the card, on the inside, back, or even in an envelope. I can happily accommodate all these options!

Sometimes, both escort cards and place cards are used. The escort cards are used to show the guests to their table, while the place cards indicate where they will be sitting. Every option has it’s pros and cons, and the possibilities are nearly endless – it’s totally up to you!

Updated Styles for All Our Calligraphy Services

As a start to the new year, I updated all my old calligraphy styles and photos. I now officially have 5 different calligraphy styles for you to choose from. These can be used on place/escort cards, invitations, envelopes, menus, seating charts, and more. See the image below and let me know which one is your favorite!


The New Home of Ink & Matter

Welcome to the new site and home of Ink & Matter (previously Moon Daisy Design). In case you don’t already know me, I’ll go ahead and introduce myself.

My name is Amber John, and I started this little business back in January 2015 under the (quickly thought-up) name Moon Daisy Design. I started selling my calligraphy products on Etsy, quickly turning my hobby into a legitimate business. I had more interest than I could have ever imagined, which I couldn’t be more grateful for.

EtsyBannerwhiteOver the last year, I’ve learned so much – about myself, calligraphy, lettering, and especially running my own business. That’s why, after several months, I decided to create a name that more accurately reflects myself and my business. I settled on Ink & Matter for several reasons, which I’ll go into in a future post, but for now I’m so excited to continue to develop and maintain this new brand identity.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me – clients, friends, and family. I plan to use this blog to share my own lessons, reviews, insights, and to share a little more about myself and my business.

In the meantime, take a look around this awesome website built by my good friend Michael Mann! Cheers!