CraftSanity Podcast Episode 177: Valerie McKeehan discusses her handmade business and new book, ‘The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create & Develop Your Own Style.’

by jennifer

All photos courtesy of Valerie McKeehan.

On this episode of the podcast, artist and author Valerie McKeehan tells the story behind the 2012 launch of her Lily & Val hand-lettered art business that now employees both her and her husband full-time.Valerie-McKeehan

Val, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania stopped off at CraftSanity as part of her blog tour to promote her inspiring book “The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create & Develop Your Own Style,” (172 pages, $19.95). This book is unique in that it includes chalkboards to practice on. (The inside front and back covers double as writing surfaces.)

Chalk Lettering 3DA self-taught hand-lettering artist, Val walks readers through the process with photo illustrated lessons on how to write messages using popular fonts and then eases them into experimenting with chalk dust as a shading technique to add dimension.

Readers also learn how to embellish hand-lettered works with banners, frames, fourishes and more. But before she launches readers into any of this, Val shows them how to condition their chalkboards and sharpen their chalk.


And no matter what kind of handwriting you have, Val presents her hand-lettering techniques in an empowering way so even those with less-than-awesome penmanship can join in the fun. Instead of stressing over writing in a beautiful script, Val teaches budding hand-lettering artists to approach the process by drawing the shapes of the letters and building decorative text art one simple step at a time.


So grab a project and settle in to listen to Val’s story.

Want to learn more about Val and her book? Check out the rest of Val’s Blog Tour below:

Dec 8 Arrow and Lace Designs
Dec 9 Girl Inspired
Dec 10 Handmade Mood                   
Dec 11 Rad Mom Cool Kid
Dec 14 Flax & Twine                   
Dec 16 Jaco’lyn Murphy Designs
Dec 17 A Little Craft in Your Day                  
Dec 18 Craft Gossip                  
Dec 21 Nearly Crafty                
Dec 22 CraftSanity                  
Dec 28 Canary Jane                  

ENTER TO WIN: Leave a comment below about your fondest chalkboard memory and enter to win a random drawing for a copy of Val’s book. The deadline to enter is Dec. 29, 2015.

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to ACS Home & Work for being a longtime podcast sponsor and also thanks to my Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going. I couldn’t do this without your support.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

PastedGraphic-1IN OTHER NEWS

I’m will be podcasting from the Midwest Craft Con Feb. 19-21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio.

Tickets are on sale now! I hope to see you there! :)

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Renee December 22, 2015 - 8:41 pm

My fondest memories of chalkboards are from elementary school. I wonder if classrooms even have them now! What fun to be chosen to erase the board or to write the days date!! Thanks for a great podcast.

Kristyn McCain December 28, 2015 - 5:00 pm

I loved it in elementary school when the teacher would let us play tic tac tough on the chalkboard.

marcy December 29, 2015 - 6:56 pm

i made chalkboard signs for trader joes for many years and have lots of fond memories refining my hand lettering skills and learning really simple tricks that change how words look :)

Heather April 4, 2016 - 3:43 pm

I recently did the chalkboard lettering for a friend’s wedding. I was flattered to be asked, but scared as well because I had only ever done boards for myself. It was so much fun, but my hand was so tired!

Jen May 26, 2016 - 10:26 am

Sorry I missed the giveaway but wanted to share my chalkboard memories. My grandpa had a large chalkboard in his office and when he retired my dad hung it in our garage. I spent hours and hours playing/chalking with my neighbor friend. I don’t know what all we drew or planned but my mom had to have loved it! It’s now hanging in my garage and the little girl who lives next to me found it the first time she was over.

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