A Note from Ryan

November 12, 2007

A Note from Ryan

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

This note makes me smile. The story behind this True Writer began one morning when I received an invitation to explore Second LIfe Abott’s AeroDome from Ryan/Austin. Ryan had made a giant True Writer Shuttle in Second Life. I think it is the same color even. Back then Ducce was a noob and could not fly it very well…and he’s still is to some extent. I have earned my wings indeed. I like the green ink that Ryan uses. The True Blue has a nice finish and weight. I can refill it with six styles of Ballpoint, Roller, and my favorite Anti-Gravity.


flickr truewriter

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I wanted to introduce you to my work – I’m a hand lettering artist in Southern CA (I live just outside LA County, east of Los Angeles). You can see samples online at www.bluebirdstudios.com. I’ve been working with clients since 1998 professionally on weddings, special events, print projects and product design throughout the United States. My work has been featured on the fabulous Oh Joy! blog(http://ohjoy.blogs.com/), Daily Candy (www.dailycandy.com), and has been featured in The Bride & Bloom, ME’s Home Companion, and Brides Receptions magazine, among others. In addition I’ve worked with numerous retail shops, fine letterpress printers and wedding collateral/graphic designers across the country and as mentioned, hundreds of brides across the US.

I’m not sure if you currently work with a calligrapher or hand lettering artist or artists, but would love it if you would consider me for client’s projects or shop projects, as needed and as appropriate. As you can see, my style is not at all traditional but has been called elegant, whimsical and one-of-a-kind. I’d love to hear of your interest level and discuss how our relationship could work best for us both. I’m happy to offer a reference fee for any client referrals with you and will gladly send out samples of my work to share with your clients. Please let me know if you’d like some samples, price lists or a hard copy of my terms. Please find all docs attached as well. I would be happy to provide references upon request.

Please let me know if you have any questions…you can email me or call me at (909) 803-2972. Leave a message and I’ll return your call at my first opportunity (at my home studio). Thanks for your time and consideration!

Best regards,

Rebecca M. Trawick


Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone who might be interested! Thank you!

special thanks: Laura Crookston, Crookston Design; Hello! Lucky; Carrot & Stick Press; Lisa Wong Jackson, Good on Paper; Rori Nicole Zendek, Paper Monkey Press; Jose and Melody Nunez, photographer/styling; and Paper Source for source materials, photography, graphic design, collaboration, printing and inspiration!


Rebecca allowed me to post some of her handy works. In an email, she asked me if I need additional information. So I wrote her:

Hi Rebecca,
First of all I would like to thank you for the use of the images. I really like your ‘font’.
Well first thing I can think of is how did you come up with the idea that people needed hand lettering and who are these eccentrics?

A very Personal Touch

Hi Duc:

Well, its something I’ve always done for myself. it’s been a passion- ever since I was a little kid I’ve been interested in hand-drawn type, hand-written missives and have been in love with mail and personal letters. I also love vintage and antique ephemera, all the better if someone’s handwriting is present! So just doing what I do somehow led to people requesting I do it for them for special events. I primarily work with brides lettering invitations and addressing their envelopes, but I’ve also hand-lettered marriage proposals, party invitations, memorials, posters, products and whatever else comes my way! So as far as it being unusual, in the wedding world my style itself is unusual – certainly not any kind of traditional calligraphy font but the fact that people want to use my lettering in wedding collateral isn’t strange or underground. although, that said, I don’t get the traditional brides contacting me – often they’re young, women who collect contemporary art, who think outside the box, who are educated and want something NOT traditional. So I guess what you say may be on the mark – perhaps I do attract the eccentric bride?! I like that – “the eccentric bride.” I think people who contact me for more personal missives and missions, so to speak, are really creative people who understand the beauty of handwriting and somehow want to capture that personal element in whatever project they commission me to work on. I’m rambling…does this answer your question? Of course, send any others you might have.

Best, Rebecca

A cabinet of curio

Hi Rebecca,
Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I was thinking of questions to ask you.
This sort of mini interview is fun don’t you think? And yes you’ve answered my questions. I think that the reader would like to know the materials you use; pen, paper etc. My own wedding invitation was almost non existant. You provide a very unique service. Even if I wanted to get hand letter invitations I wouldn’t know where to go or who would do it. I like the ‘eccentric bride’. I can imagine that it would be fun to receive a hand lettering letter from you. I belong to couple of letter exchange groups made up of some artist on flickr.com. I think that would be cool to get a letter from you. Anyway. Do you write like that all the time?!? Do you have a bad handwriting ever? hehe. I try to keep a common book and practice handwriting and lettering, I think it’s a good idea. I wonder if you ever got commission to do a whole book of other people’s poems or common place book etc.

This one reminds me of the biscuits I use to eat.

yes, very fun. thanks for asking questions. it gives people more of an idea of what I do, how I do it, etc. oh, materials – well, I LOVE love love my super cheap wood dipping pens and my cheap nibs. I love to buy premade inks, although finding one that is the right consistency for a dipping pen can be a challenge. many inks are pretty in the bottle, but then won’t work for me. so I have a lovely collection of bottles though! mainly I have the best luck with guoache inks and I mix them and use them for writing. I also love black Pilot rolling ball, extra fine tip pens. they’re my favorite. so nothing fancy in terms of writing materials and instruments. now paper is another thing…I love all kinds of papers from paper source papers (www.paper-source.com) to amalfi papers. I love fine papers and am happy to work with them, if possible!

Letter exchange groups? I didn’t know there was such a thing. how wonderful!! I’d love to research that more thoroughly, although I have to say, I sort of missed the boat on Flickr and totally don’t get how to navigate that site at all. It confounds and finally frustrates me, so I’ve all but given up on it. Not sure if its me (probably is) or what – I’m usually pretty computer literate. hmmmm. Any advice or groups to search? Do you have to have a profile to access everyone in Flickr? Perhaps thats my problem as I don’t. Please advise.

No, I’ve never been commissioned for such a project. How wonderful, though! I would be delighted.

Also, for all of my love for handwritten items, mail art, papers, etc. I’d never heard the term “commonplace book” and just love that. So thank you for opening my eyes to such a thing! I intend on researching it further.

Thank you again and hope to hear soon re: flickr advise.

best, rebecca

(I came across this website via Goodonpaperdesign, via Outblush. Yes I must confess that I sometimes puruse that site. When I’m caught in the act, my usual excuse is that I’m shopping for my wife.)



design sponge from-the-desk-of bluebird-studios-rebecca-turbow


Feel free to use the comment section to ask Rebecca additional questions.


dakegra on livejournal saw Rebecca’s hand lettering and decides to link this post. Very cool.


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A Postcard

March 9, 2007

A Postcard

Originally uploaded by lexly87.
Updates, Here’s an email regarding a Hand made Postcard Exchange Group:

That’s so cool! It just came in today! what a coincident!

I love it, it’s really nice and it’s still looking for a place around the apartment, right now it’s on the large metal heater with a drawing I made of snakes, a photo of Ducks I got from my husband’s dad and a Ben Frost exhibition invite, but it might still move around, usually it takes a new piece of art a couple of weeks to acclimate here, and they keep moving around afterwards…

Thanks so much


clarity (the gift of a small bird)

Originally uploaded by conceptvessel.
a small bird, a sweet anam cara, has arrived from across oceans, bringing a song of clarity…

– Jeanne Grossetti

I like belonging to the “Letter’s Lives” Group of Flickr, because of these small jewels.

M Seal Letter

February 16, 2007

the seal

Here’s a letter that I would like to get from Melpin of our Letter’s Lives Group. malidinapoli photograph this one in macro mode.

melina´s flying letter which arrived together with glittering snowflakes ~

ευχαριστώ, thank you so much for this enchanting treasure, dear friend 🙂

Letter´s lives

Such a seal temps me to go out and get one!

How Seals are made

Letter’s Lives

January 12, 2007

Update: 3/16/07 rhodiadrive.com/2007/03/12/letter-writer/

Update: 2/5/07 Monday…A letter from France arrived. I suspect it was from Nath. He sent me a note apologizing for the tardiness and two exquisite tea stained calligraphy. I wish everyone apologize this nicely.

The Name of the Gold

Update: 01/11/07

I started my new year with a precious Letter from Lunarmusings.

flickr.com/groups/Letter’s Lives

Update: 12/6/06

Writings inspired by Magic Paula’s question: “What is Time?” from the Letter’s Lives Group on Flickr.

A nomadic tribe wondering through a labyrinth carried by the wind
An ancestral grid dividing the chronology
the wind whispering it’s strange language for trees to decipher, transmute and deflect.
The days are a canonical mocking of our small existence.

Update: my letter to Lunarmusings arrived shortly after October 14. I wanted to mail it on time for October Friday the 13th cancellation date. I am glad that I can bring joy to others through my letter. I will work on a letter for my wife, and a few out of state friends. One I met at the Hungarian Residency, an other friend in Japan. I met Masao in college.

I’ve been writing more letters now. I sent a missive for my brother A’s 30th birthday.

On the island Pulau Bidong, I saw my neighbor writing letters all the time. I didn’t even know where the post office was on the island. I wished that I had writen. I was only ten years old at the time.

To Nath,

What’s the rule about posting photos of the letter i’m going to send to Lunarmusing? Should I not post the photo of my letter to her before she gets my actual Letter?


ps notice my name is french derivative. I don’t know the history of my name.

A few words about my letter to Nath. Nath has started a Letter’s Lives group on Flickr.
Some related links:

my wordpress tag Vietnam

To Whom it may concern,
I would like to write to Binh Danh and correspond with him on his visit to Pula Bidong. I lived there in 1978.
-Duc Ly

Hi Ee Lin Wan,
My name is Duc. I lived on Pulau Bidong in 1978. Thanks for your story. I’m trying to remember much of my experience on the islan. Hope you write back and share some more stories.

Some related links:

my wordpress tag Vietnam