Calligraphy Cruise February 2016 to the Western Caribbean



Come join me and others as we sail to the Caribbean for fun, sun and to enhance your calligraphy repertoire of skills. Calligraphers and NON-Calligraphers, all welcome -Friends and Relatives, spouses and significant others. We are changing cruise lines this time to Royal Caribbean as Holland America sold out the route and week we initially chose. Details are on my flyer above, which can currently be seen on my FB page and in the SHOP on my website. Correct information will soon appear on my CLASSES section. The wrong date is on my Home page and will be corrected. The correct sailing dates are February 20-27, 2016.

                              $100 deposit will hold your place in the class.                             Book early for best cabin selection.

Calligraphy in California!

September 2014 – I continued my summer fun by heading out to teach in San Diego and Huntington Beach! Wendy Watson-Diedrick worked her little fingers to the bone arranging a fabulous line up of classes for me to teach as well as a talented group of people to study with. She also opened her home to me and drove me to Huntington Beach. Gracias! As you can see from the picture below, the San Diego crowd was a large one. Thank you to Terry Bajo for taking over the workshop duties, and to Victoria Kibildis for hostessing me at Wendy’s house, when Wendy had a family wedding conflict. A big thank you to Linda Mirth who orchestrated the Huntington Beach class…found the venue, rounded up the students, the housing and fixed a delightful lunch for Wendy and me at her home.


Back to San Diego. What you can’t see is that we started on a Friday afternoon with a 10 person “Business of Calligraphy” seminar. Topics in the session ranged from copyright, to workshops and retreats, taking the orders, pricing and scheduling our day. We all grew by sharing our insight and expertise.


Friday evening, the guild hosted my “Calligraphy Today” digital presentation to a group of about 25. I walk you through my personal calligraphic background along with pictures of my studio, my father’s and mother’s work and later, I promote colleagues of mine, by showing select pieces of their work with different applications….lettering on glass, clay, tables, walls, violin, logos, greeting cards, books, etc. The lettering arts are still alive and well in this current day and age. Nothing can replace the human artistic touch!

PastedGraphic-1The weekend’s 2-day workshop was my popular Fantastic Flourishes class. Students learn the basics of flourishing on Saturday and then create a circle or a spiral, interlocking the flourishes on Sunday. What seemed to help most was, thinking-out-loud as I penciled in the flourishes on a circular design. I walked away without calligraphy pictures from this class (so San Diego…send examples to me when you can!)

IMG_2877Above, hostess Victoria introducing me to a San Diego beach! Glorious! Below is her penciled spiral complete with interlocking flourishes. Great job Victoria….now to finish!



Monday, Wendy and I drove up the coast to Huntington Beach, where we met with Linda Mirth, who graciously orchestrated the evening Decorated Letters classes there. It was hot, hot, hot! Still there was a wonderful attendance of about 18 students, putting their hand to creating beautiful letters. Here are a few…..first, Wendy’s decorated S with Seashells…..IMG_2986A very clever shoe makes the crossbar of a G, representing a family’s initial and interests…I need the name of the talented designer!! One of their exercises was to illustrate the letter.


Nancy Kazanjian created this lovely “H” below….she is planning on adding another ‘musical’ layer to her creation. This exercise was exaggerating a part of the letter.


Below, Carole Johnson created this flourished “B” combining a more Fraktur looking B with flourishing….


Stephanie Chao worked through the exercise of decorating “on” and “in” the letter. There were more, but these are a few of those who created the letters in about 5 hours or less.


And below is Stephanie, Carolyn, Chris and Wendy smiling in the front. Here we were in Huntington Beach. Thanks to all of them for a wonderful California calligraphy experience!

IMG_2981IMG_2876IMG_2980At the front table, Sandy and _________. Back from L to R, Linda Mirth, ______ and ______


Calligraphy Cruise Alaska 2014 – A good time was had by all!

This June 21-28, 2014 we took our calligraphy pens and brushes onto Holland America’s msWesterdam and journeyed to Alaska’s inner passageway. What a treat to enjoy our artistic endeavors in the lap of luxury! Holly taught Flourished Italic while Gary Lord taught Decorative Painting on Glass. Students combined the two skills in their final projects. Come take a peek – I’ll share a few pictures with you! Get on my email list if you would like to join me on a future cruise adventure!

Marilyn Dietrich, Maria Medeles and Holly Monroe about to board msWesterdam

Marilyn Dietrich, Maria Medeles and Holly Monroe about to board msWesterdam

CruiseTitleLogoNODATEThursday, before our Saturday sail away, we met at a downtown Seattle hotel and enjoyed some time getting to know each other. There were 22 total in our group this year! Friends, Debbie and Ray Story (top right in photo) surprised me at the hotel, I had no idea they were coming. All the way from Tennessee! Others were from CO, OH, IN, TX, and CA.

Gathering at hotel in Seattle

Gathering at hotel in Seattle

Thursday evening, we ate at The Purple, Seattle. Friday, many went on the 3 hour tour of the city, while others went off on their own.

Waterfall park  in downtown Seattle. Peggy Whalen (travel agent), Holly Monroe (instructor), Maria Medeles, Debbie Story)

Waterfall park in downtown Seattle. Peggy Whalen (travel agent), Holly Monroe (instructor), Maria Medeles, Debbie Story

Chihuly's Glass and Gardens

Chihuly’s Glass and Gardens


Friday evening, we gathered at Salty’s and enjoyed the view of the harbor and mountains.

Browns, Judys and Marianne Lord at Salty's

Browns, Judys and Marianne Lord at Salty’s

Ray Story enjoying a lobster at Salty’s, Seattle

Holly at Pike Street Market

Holly at Pike Street Market….original Starbucks after a power walk through town.

Saturday morning, we boarded the ship for our week long adventure!

Flowers on msWesterdam

Flowers on msWesterdam

Our calligraphy/decorative painting class was a serious 20 hour focus. Weather this week was a little cloudy and chilly, was a perfect excuse to be creative! The classroom, lined with windows allowed us to view the Alaskan landscapes as we worked.  Here is Gary Lord showing Marilyn a painting technique.


One half of the classroom! The windows in the room gave us a perfect view of the scenery.DSCN2132Holland America provided us a beautiful classroom for the week. All of our supplies could be left there nightly. Daily, they provided us with coffee, tea and cookies. There was a Chocolate Beverage bar out the back door! Those of us who signed up early for the cruise had a $50 per day credit for beverages of any type! We were well hydrated!


As promised, everyone was able to enjoy all of the towns and excursions as the ship docked. Our first town was Juneau, Alaska where many went whale watching and hiked to  the Mendenhall Glacier.


Totem Pole trail in Sitka


Here we are on the ship’s deck checking out Glacier Bay….


This was out of the Lido window as we overlooked the Ketchikan skyline. Can you see the sea plane landing? Such a beautiful sunny day….


And then there was an evening in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Took a water taxi over to the main part of town! Such fun….

IMG_2403 IMG_2408

So many amenities on the ship…from fine dining every evening



…to formal nights and amazing entertainment….from Dancing with the Stars, music (Recycled Percussion) and comedy


I have so many pictures, it was hard to decide which to share. Ask me to see others!  I’ll close with our fabulous group of travelers on a formal night. (Missing are Abbey and Wayne Hutchison – they did not jump ship! 🙂


Fantastic Flourishes a Workshop

Flourishing adds elegance to a calligraphers repertoire, both with the broad edged pen and the pointed pen. It’s like dancing on paper. The Saint Louis Calligrapher’s Guild kindly invited me to lead them in their opening workshop as they created their beautiful flourished spirals of words. September 2013.


My example above, on genuine vellum and a page from my Book of Hours project, caught their eye. So we set out to not only flourished individual letters, words, and lines of words but also a spiral or circle. Their finished projects were delightful!

Leslie Barnes, Holly Monroe

Leslie Barnes, Holly Monroe

Below are class members Denise Gerstung, Joanne Kluba, Esther and ________

HollyMonroeWkshop Guild




HollyMonroeWkshop (64)Class3StLouisFlourishing

Special thanks to calligraphers Leslie Barnes (contact), Carol Savage (hostess), Susan ______(Friday night lecture & display hostess), Kathy Orf (advertising) and the entire group for making me feel comfortable and welcome. It was my pleasure to enjoy the weekend with them!

Calligraphy Cruise! C’mon, let’s go!! Caribbean and Alaska 2014


While you were shoveling snow, we were enjoying the sun and beaches….

The 2014 Calligraphy Cruises are selected and posted on my website! In March, we’re off to the Eastern Caribbean (from Ft. Lauderdale) with the calligraphy focus – Engrossers’ Script and Flourishing. June takes us to Alaska (from Seattle) with the focus – Flourished Italic and Decorative Painting on Glass. Gary Lord and his wife Marianne will be joining us on the Seattle Cruise.  Please call Holly about the classes and Peggy Whalen with Holland America Line questions or reservations. $100. reserves your place in class!

Cruises > > Scroll down on the home page and find the Calligraphy Cruise logo or click on my CLASSES page. You can download the Class and Cruise info for both.

Enjoy the pictures of the 2013 Calligraphy Cruise to the Western Caribbean. We had a great time! A spacious workshop room, new friends…..

CruiseClassroomFun in the sun at ports of call….Jill Quillian with the dolphins, up close and personal!


Blue skies, beautiful beaches…


Key West from the deck of the msWesterdam….KeyWest

Several on-board pools, hot tubs, spa’s…..

HollandAmPoolTwo formal nights….but always 5 star dining!


Gourmet picnic on the ship’s deck….with travel agent Peggy Whalen. Contact her at or (360)-606-9339 for cruise details.

PegGaryDeckFoodAnd there’s a lot more! Hope that you can join us!