Shopping Basket
Your Basket is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should receive an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Basket

By Hand, Ink

Books ~ Stationery ~ Gifts



My Tools

Posted on 28 August, 2014 at 11:10

     Many of the tools I use in my work can honestly be classified as “vintage.” I’m still using the same Sheaffer fountain pens with calligraphy nibs that I discovered decades ago. (I just framed an article about me that was published in The Salem [Ohio] News on July 29, 1983. Yowza!)

     Of course, I’ve replaced the nibs several times and ink, especially colored ink, is becoming more difficult to find. I’m left-handed, and need special nibs – if I try to use a right-handed nib, the ink doesn’t flow properly and the nib catches on the paper fibers . . . not good. I adore the Zig felt-tipped markers and brushes I found recently, but the fountain pens are my go-to, always-reliable workhorses.

Two of my most cherished possessions are a small camel hair brush and a pair of needle-nose pliers with spiffy red handles.

     The brush belonged to my father, Robert Vincent Oktavec, a talented, creative man who was an airplane/helicopter mechanic by trade, and an artist by the grace of God. He was a gifted photographer (obviously, I did not inherit that talent!) and an equally gifted artist who could sketch a life-like bunny or deer whenever his spoiled rotten little girl asked her daddy to please draw something. In retirement, he took up model railroading and jewelry making. When I found his brush as I was sorting things to use in the studio, I thought it would be perfect for dusting the glass, mat, and paper before framing my calligraphy. There is nothing more annoying than assembling a framing project and then discovering a speck of dust or piece of lint behind the glass! Sadly, the brush is so old that the bristles are loose, and create more litter than they remove! But it 's at my work table, a daily reminder of my daddy’s presence, and his unconditional love. I know he would be so proud to see what I’m up to these days.

     The pliers were hastily stashed in my toolbox for the trip from our condo over to the studio and then promptly forgotten until I needed them one day. The first time I used them, they pinched my hand quite hard and when I turned them over, I began to weep – not from the pain, but from what I saw: “Missy” . . .

Michelle Lynn Thompson Hahn was our precious daughter-in-love who married our son, Robert. A brain tumor took her from us when she was only 29. She was the daughter I never gave birth to - bright, funny, beautiful, mischievous, and loving – and the most spiritual person I’ve ever known. She will be an inspiration and role model to me for as long as I live. I miss her dreadfully, but I thank God for the gift of her in our lives, even for so brief a time. She taught first grade, and the pliers were ones she used in her classroom. When I saw her name, I smiled through my tears and said, “Good morning, Missy!” I have other needle-nose pliers at home, and they’ve never hurt me. But every time I use these, I get a gentle pinch . . . so I smile and tell my pretty girl hello, and that I love her and miss her.

     As I sit at my light table using the age-old artform of calligraphy to create items people will enjoy in their homes or give as gifts, I am warmed by being surrounded by tools used by special people who have been so very important in my life, making my work even more rewarding.

     Life is, indeed, good.


Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply kariatid
9:45 on 10 September, 2014 
now, will you explain to Deirdre why she should have let me keep Willard's ancient, well used and worn, paint brushes. The old brings not only memories but a texture that the new cannot give one's art. Once again, good luck in your venture!
Reply ★ Owner
10:53 on 1 October, 2014 
kariatid says...
now, will you explain to Deirdre why she should have let me keep Willard's ancient, well used and worn, paint brushes. The old brings not only memories but a texture that the new cannot give one's art. Once again, good luck in your venture!

Sorry, I just found your comments! Perhaps that knowledge only comes with age? I agree about the memory and texture . . . and I feel that both of those things imbue whatever is being created with something more than would have been present if the artist had used tools that meant nothing.
Reply V.E.G
12:21 on 13 January, 2016 
Robert Vincent Oktavec was married to Rose Marie Fagan. Fagan was the mother of Donald Francis Fagan. Donald was the grandfather of the world famous Sandy Hook Elementary School Teacher and hero, Victoria Leigh Soto!
Reply imopenufogiok
1:19 on 7 March, 2020 
Notwithstanding pace straw [URL= - combigan[/URL - [URL= - aziderm cream[/URL - [URL= - depo medrol online[/URL - [URL= - filitra[/URL - [URL= - caduet canada[/URL - buy caduet [URL= - buy nicardia retard cd on line[/URL - whereby personnel combigan purchase aziderm cream buy aziderm cream without prescription depo medrol online generic filitra professional lowest price caduet online where to buy nicardia retard cd best, combigan canadian pharmacy aziderm cream buy depo medrol filitra professional prices caduet online nicardia retard cd no prescription lack supraventricular qualified.
Reply alaxovoyipihs
16:39 on 8 March, 2020 
Prescribe rise cerebral, [URL= - stud 5000 spray without a doctor[/URL - [URL= - prices for valif oral jelly[/URL - [URL= - buy shilajit gold online cheap[/URL - shilajit gold [URL= - on line tenvir[/URL - [URL= - generic v tada super tablets[/URL - [URL= - order amifull forte[/URL - mail order amifull forte [URL= - generic duolin canada pharmacy[/URL - [URL= - cialis 20 mg cost[/URL - penetrance, stud 5000 spray prices for valif oral jelly best price shilajit gold shilajit gold non prescription tenvir v tada super commercial buy amifull forte without prescription duolin lowest duolin prices buy cheap generic cialis uk intussuscepting importance stud 5000 spray without a doctor valif oral jelly prices shilajit gold cost buy shilajit gold online tenvir v tada super on line lowest price on generic amifull forte generic duolin canada pharmacy cialis 20 mg cost sardine concordance.
Reply balenciaga sneakers
6:46 on 11 August, 2020 
I am also commenting to let you understand what a remarkable discovery our daughter enjoyed reading your blog. She realized a lot of details, most notably what it's like to have a marvelous helping character to have the rest without hassle master selected multifaceted subject areas. You undoubtedly did more than my expectations. Thank you for distributing such useful, healthy, revealing and in addition easy thoughts on this topic to Jane.
balenciaga sneakers
Reply nike air vapormax
19:06 on 11 August, 2020 
I wanted to write a comment to appreciate you for all the marvelous tactics you are writing on this website. My rather long internet search has now been compensated with awesome points to exchange with my pals. I would repeat that most of us visitors actually are rather lucky to dwell in a fantastic website with many brilliant professionals with very helpful solutions. I feel quite grateful to have discovered your website and look forward to plenty of more pleasurable minutes reading here. Thank you once more for all the details.
nike air vapormax
Reply balenciaga sneakers
17:00 on 13 August, 2020 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone an extremely spectacular chance to read from this site. It really is very pleasurable and as well , full of fun for me personally and my office fellow workers to search the blog at minimum 3 times per week to read the fresh guidance you will have. And definitely, we are actually fascinated with your splendid tactics you serve. Some two tips in this posting are rather the most beneficial I have had.
balenciaga sneakers
Reply chrome hearts online store
5:03 on 14 August, 2020 
I have to get across my appreciation for your generosity giving support to folks who should have assistance with in this idea. Your very own commitment to getting the message across appeared to be surprisingly valuable and have in every case empowered individuals like me to reach their targets. The invaluable facts signifies so much a person like me and much more to my peers. Warm regards; from all of us.
chrome hearts online store
Reply westbrook shoes
14:14 on 14 August, 2020 
Thanks for every one of your efforts on this site. My mother take interest in working on research and it is simple to grasp why. My spouse and i hear all relating to the powerful form you provide powerful solutions through your blog and increase response from people on the subject matter so our favorite child is actually becoming educated a lot. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You are always carrying out a brilliant job.
westbrook shoes
Reply air jordan
21:57 on 15 August, 2020 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely special possiblity to read from here. It's usually so good and full of fun for me and my office peers to search your web site particularly three times in a week to read through the newest things you have. Not to mention, I am just usually happy considering the terrific methods served by you. Some 1 areas on this page are undeniably the simplest I have had.
air jordan
Reply goyard
18:35 on 16 August, 2020 
I simply had to thank you very much all over again. I do not know the things I could possibly have worked on in the absence of the type of ideas discussed by you on such a theme. It had become the alarming problem in my view, nevertheless taking note of the very well-written fashion you dealt with that forced me to cry with gladness. Now i'm grateful for this assistance as well as expect you realize what a great job you are always putting in teaching people through the use of a blog. Most likely you've never met all of us.
Reply kyrie 6
13:09 on 18 August, 2020 
I have to get across my affection for your kindness in support of those individuals that require help on in this study. Your special commitment to passing the solution across became definitely significant and has always permitted somebody much like me to attain their ambitions. Your entire warm and helpful information can mean a lot to me and still more to my office workers. Regards; from each one of us.
kyrie 6
Reply kyrie spongebob
18:14 on 21 August, 2020 
My wife and i felt absolutely lucky Louis could carry out his preliminary research out of the precious recommendations he came across out of the web site. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be freely giving solutions many people have been making money from. Therefore we see we need you to thank for that. The most important illustrations you've made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you will make it possible to promote - it is all incredible, and it's really facilitating our son and our family feel that that subject matter is satisfying, and that's quite indispensable. Thanks for the whole thing!
kyrie spongebob
Reply jordan 12
21:59 on 21 August, 2020 
I am just writing to make you be aware of what a notable experience my wife's princess developed reading through yuor web blog. She realized some issues, which include how it is like to have an incredible teaching heart to have certain people just learn about various problematic subject areas. You truly surpassed her expected results. Thank you for distributing such effective, trusted, revealing and fun thoughts on the topic to Gloria.
jordan 12
Reply birkin bag
16:31 on 23 August, 2020 
I really wanted to write down a simple word in order to say thanks to you for the amazing steps you are showing on this site. My prolonged internet investigation has at the end been rewarded with really good tips to exchange with my guests. I 'd say that most of us visitors actually are rather fortunate to be in a fine place with many lovely professionals with very beneficial methods. I feel truly lucky to have discovered your entire webpages and look forward to many more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks once again for everything.
birkin bag
Reply yeezys
8:03 on 24 August, 2020 
I actually wanted to jot down a quick remark to be able to say thanks to you for some of the splendid hints you are writing here. My incredibly long internet search has finally been compensated with reputable insight to exchange with my best friends. I 'd assert that most of us site visitors actually are rather blessed to be in a good community with many perfect professionals with insightful strategies. I feel somewhat fortunate to have seen your website and look forward to many more pleasurable minutes reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.
Reply bape hoodie
5:18 on 26 August, 2020 
My husband and i ended up being now relieved when Chris managed to complete his reports through the ideas he came across out of your site. It's not at all simplistic just to happen to be freely giving tips which some others have been trying to sell. And we all do understand we have the writer to appreciate for that. All of the explanations you made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you can aid to engender - it's got many fantastic, and it is making our son in addition to our family feel that the issue is amusing, and that's highly vital. Many thanks for everything!
bape hoodie
Reply jordan shoes
14:07 on 26 August, 2020 
I precisely needed to say thanks again. I am not sure what I would have gone through in the absence of the actual tricks provided by you directly on such a subject matter. It actually was a very difficult situation in my position, but understanding the skilled technique you dealt with the issue took me to leap for contentment. Now i'm happy for this support and as well , wish you realize what an amazing job that you're undertaking training people today thru your blog. I know that you've never got to know all of us.
jordan shoes
Reply pg 1
19:54 on 27 August, 2020 
My husband and i got quite fortunate Jordan could round up his investigation through the ideas he got through the weblog. It's not at all simplistic just to choose to be freely giving key points which often many people could have been selling. And we all know we have got the writer to be grateful to for this. The type of illustrations you made, the easy site menu, the relationships you will assist to foster - it's got many incredible, and it is facilitating our son and our family believe that this idea is excellent, and that's really fundamental. Thanks for everything!
pg 1