Years before we were married, my husband wrote me a thank you note with such stunning handwriting that after my initial, “Wow!” I next wondered if there was something wrong with him.  There isn’t, but for whatever reason, when he was young and learning penmanship in school, he decided that beautiful cursive handwriting was the hallmark of being an adult and so applied himself diligently to mastering the skill.  Not only have I saved every card and little note he’s written me over the years, but I also have drafted him into helping with some of my marketing images for my card business.

(His handwriting, my photography…)

Simply Put thank you written note2

Unfortunately, my husband is too busy to be my regular scribe, and since I own a gorgeous vintage Carter’s fountain pen, I decided yesterday to make a conscious effort to improve my own handwriting.  Online research brought me to this helpful cursive script practice page.  Did you know that this sentence contains every letter in the alphabet?  I must have been absent that day in school…

In any case, here’s my “normal” quick handwriting.

my bad handwriting sample

Although tracing the letters in the cursive script practice page did help, my first attempt at recreating the script didn’t send me over the moon.

1st attempt cursive redo

One of the keys to beautiful handwriting and to making the best use of a flexible nib fountain pen like the one I have, is to make most of the stroke as a pulling rather than pushing motion.  I felt like I needed even more basic information on how to form each letter.  The lower and upper case cursive examples on this site contain directional instructions for each letter.

Before I started, I downloaded and printed several sheets of free blank cursive practice paper, then took a deep breath and tried to make multiple copies of each letter on my practice sheet.

Laborious, perhaps, but as you can see from my attempts on the right page in the photo, I was beginning to feel more confident.

cursive lower letters practice

Even better, the capabilities in variety of line from my nib pen started to be much more apparent (I starred letters that are still giving me problems so that I can revisit them in further practice sessions.)

close up of cursive practice

And, since I’m always eager to learn and chart my progress, I went back to “The quick brown fox…” sentence writing practice on another sheet of cursive practice paper.

cursive sentence writing

What’s next?

Lots more daily practice…and then maybe a love letter or two to my husband!


    • Joana says:

      Merci beaucoup, ma cherie. 🙂 It’s funny, when I was young I think I was so enamored of how my mom signed her checks (illegibly) that I decided that writing fast was a sign of sophistication. Trying to slow myself down to write legibly and nicely will definitely take practice, but I think it’s well worth it. I know from receiving Andy’s cards and letters that his handwriting conveys attention and care. (It doesn’t hurt that he also expresses himself quite eloquently.) One step at a time, though…;-)

      XOX – Joana

      On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 5:23 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


  1. meh meh says:

    Or you could write a love note to your MEHMEH! (who would love it even if she couldn’t decipher the handwriting…)

    • Joana says:

      Hi Meh-meh,

      Of COURSE I will write you a love note! And a love text, and a love phone call…

      Because I LOVE YOU! J

      On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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