Video | Valentine's Day Lettering on Macarons

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I hope it's filled with lots of love and sweet treats! 💕

I've never been a big fan of this "holiday" but in recent years it's inspired me to tap into my creative side as a baker/blogger and now, a calligrapher.

Lately, I've been obsessed with these cookie/cake artists on Instagram that specialize in painting on treats using edible paints and markers - they even inspired me to host a holiday cookie painting/lettering workshop over the holidays!

Too bad my macaron-making days are long over - these are courtesy of Trader Joe's. They're surprisingly tastier than some of the ones I've had from local bakeries. Much cheaper, too. 

macaron-calligraphy.jpg

So now that I've tried lettering on macarons, and fondant-covered sugar cookies, next on my bucket list is a cake. Any takers? ;)

Just for fun, here's a time-lapse video of the macaron painting/lettering process - over 10 minutes in real-time, condensed to about 40 seconds. Apologies for the weird lighting - I thought the sunlight would help show off the gold shimmer but it just ended up being overexposed in some parts. 

I used "faux calligraphy" on these macs as they were on the smaller side, and I didn't trust the cheap-o craft detailer brushes I had on hand to create a clean, elegant look. The edible pen has two tips - one is a bullet tip and the other is like a fine liner. Worked liked a charm!

Supplies used: 

 

Free Download | Screenlock | Done is Better than Perfect

Every now and then, I will offer some of my original work free for download -images, printables, desktop/smartphone wallpapers, etc. I'm still learning as I go in this graphic design/lettering world, but practice makes progress. And practice will inevitably lead to a lot of completed work that will just sit and collect digital dust unless I share them with others. Although the pieces/designs may not be perfect, I hope they will still encourage and inspire. I've learned that some things don't have to be perfect to be shared.  Done is better than perfect.


To download, tap on image or FREE DOWNLOAD link below. Download/Save image to your phone and set as wallpaper and/or screenlock.

For personal use only. Hand lettering by lillianliming.

  F  REE DOWNLOAD  | SCREENLOCK | DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

FREE DOWNLOAD | SCREENLOCK | DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

Done is better than perfect.
— Sheryl Sandberg

For the last year, I've been trying to make this quote my motto (re: blogging) but somehow I keep getting stuck. Whether it's the blog layout or the photo edits, I get overwhelmed with the idea that each aspect should be perfect - that it should look like this blogger who has properly lit, crystal clear photos or that blogger who has such a pretty & professional blog design. Ugh. Why do we put ourselves through that? 

I need this constant reminder for myself - that's why I created this wallpaper/screenlock. And the irony is that while lettering and editing it, I started noticing minuscule flaws and allowing doubts creep into my brain. So what if there are hundreds of other similar designs out there? NO ONE has my handwriting/lettering style! So what if I don't use professional/paid programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator or whatever you're supposed to use? I make do with the free ones out there, and you know what? The images I create are not too shabby for someone without any formal training in graphic design or the visual arts. 

Hopefully, this freebie will be helpful to at least one other person out there. Please give me a shout in the comments if you decide to use it - and do let me know if I can make any improvements as far as dimensions and alignment goes. I would love your feedback. Thanks!

PS. Eventually, I would like to post a tutorial or write-up of how I create my images but for now, my go-to (FREE) online programs are PicMonkey, LunaPic, and Canva.

What design tools do you use for creating graphics?

 

Hustle and Grace

Grace can take you places hustling can’t.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

When the term, "hustle" started popping up everywhere a couple years ago, all I could do was roll my eyes. To me, the word has negative connotations - I mean, literally, the very meaning of the word includes "aggressive", "fraud", "coerce". So then why was it showing up on t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags? I get that there is an alternative or “urban” definition that means to work hard to achieve your goals - your dream, job, etc. I just don’t get why we have to use that word. What, you mean that “hard-worker” or “work hard everyday” isn't as catchy as “hustle on”, or “everyday I'm hustlin’"? Ok, fine.

It wasn’t until recently that I was able to finally grasp the concept of the word “hustle” for myself. It was this quote that put it into new perspective: 

 A piece I lettered this summer

A piece I lettered this summer

Hustle is about focus, not frenzy. It’s not doing more, it’s doing less, so you can focus on what matters most.
— Jon Acuff

Frenzy is exactly what I’d thought hustling was about - doing whatever it takes, working endless hours, etc to reach your end goal. When I would hear someone say that they’re hustling, I pictured them running around like a chicken with their head cut off. I wouldn’t admire that person, I’d feel sorry for them. Yes, goals require hard work, long hours, and sacrifice. I’m just in the camp of “work smarter, not harder” and now I’m trying to incorporate Jon Acuff’s definition of hustle -- “doing less, not more” to focus on what matters most.

This summer, my hustle was to learn modern calligraphy, or hand lettering for the sake of learning a new skill (as prompted by Acuff's #DOsummer2015 challenge). Three months later, I have 67 posts on my lettering-focused Instagram account and I got my act together to publish this site. 

However, it's with God's grace that I was able to put so much time and effort into this hand lettering hustle. It’s by His grace that I was able to spend a year in Taiwan to focus on the important things like my marriage, family, and faith. This experience has not only changed my perspective on the meaning of one word, but so much more.