handmade holiday: dear darling

Suzy Lee is the creative mastermind behind Dear Darling. I fell in love with her work awhile ago -- how can you resist that penmanship? Her calligraphy is so inspiring. It is so whimsical, dreamy and perfect! I can't get enough. We're so lucky to have Suzy on adore more today!

What inspires you and your work?

I think I'm inspired by a lot of different things, but in regards to calligraphy specifically, I think it's just the beauty of words. Words are so important to me, and can carry so much weight. I think it's just a result of that romantic affair that i have with them. I read this quote that says so much to me about the way letters kind of remind me of people. Matthew Carter once said, “As the saying goes, type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters.” I think letters find their homes and meanings in the words they're placed in, and I think people can be the same way. Alone, we can only be so beautiful, so it's in community and the incredible and complex people that we're surrounded with in this world, that we can find an even deeper meaning. At least that's been my experience.

Why calligraphy?

Calligraphy is a practice of staying in the present to me. I have this tendency to always be thinking of the old and good times, or always dreaming up what the future could look like. I love those things about myself, but I think I aspire to be more consistently in the moment. I love my past and future, but don't want them to steal from my present. My present makes up my future and made up my past. When I'm practicing my calligraphy, I look to the beginning of a word or line and to the end as reference points, but my attention has to always be focused exactly on the tip of my nib. That's where the real stuff is happening. That's what I have control over. I think calligraphy teaches me so much about life, and that a very kind, mysterious God is changing and shaping me through it.

What does your workspace look like?

Nomadic. So, in the fall of last year I began a crazy adventure. I decided to go see some more of the world. All my stuff was given away, sold, or packed up and stored away, and I left with a couple suitcases to Scotland. Ever since then, my workspace has not been consistent. Sometimes I'd be doing work at the kitchen table of my flat in Glasgow, other times I'd be in coffee shops and libraries, and sometimes I'd even take it down to a quiet pub! I've even worked out of the booths in Whole Foods before!! All of my calligraphy goods go into a special bag packed with everything I might need. My lifestyle has made my workspace a constantly moving and changing space, but I'm looking forward to the day that I can have the comfort of a consistent workspace again. One Day!!

What is your favorite thing?

My favorite thing is music! and reading! and music! Like I said, words woo me. So basically a good song lyric will change me forever, and a brilliant and complex book character will become my dearest friend.

What are you looking forward to most about this holiday season?

Every new years I go up to the mountains with a group of really dear friends. We pack the car with groceries and go stay in a friend's cabin for a few days, watching movies like Annie Hall and When Harry Met Sally, listening to tons of really good music, going on long brisk hikes around the lake, and cooking up a feast together. I always manage to read at least one brilliant life changing book while I'm up there and spend tons of time journaling. It's always been the perfect environment to reflect on the last year and the wishes for the year to come. I feel pretty changed from this last year and all the adventures it brought, so I'm excited to spend some special time revisiting it all with dear and brilliant friends.

Imagine you're throwing a holiday party, no limits on anything. what would it look like and who would you invite?

Wow! What a tremendous question. My favorite parties always involve building forts, crafts, and projecting movies outside under the stars, so I think it would involve all of those things. If I could have anyone I wanted there, it would be all my friends here and in the far away countries I visited, together with all my favorite book characters. We would probably watch Home Alone and drink hot toddies. This would be a dream. Rachel, do you happen to be a genie? Could you make this happen, please?

I wish! And then I would come to the party, too! I love Suzy's heart, it's so cool to see how beauty and God play into her work and complete it! Love it. Don't forget to check out Suzy's blog and etsy! Cheers!