January 7, 2013

Over the Holiday Season, I received many greeting cards.  They were all beautiful, full of well wishes, expressing their happiness that I decided to pursue my passion and be a calligrapher full time.  One such card was from a friend I had not spoken with since July 2012 (of course, being a self-proclaimed Crane & Co. Enthusiast, I immediately noticed that it was a Crane & Co. greeting card).  It’s a short, meaningful, and very touching note that I’d like to share with you:

Dearest Ashantai,

             After a few months have passed and not talking – I got your letter.  After reading it, I realized again how easy it is to share your passion through words and must say how inspired I was by hearing that you are challenged by your career but saved by your talent and dreams.  I think if many more people took the risk you have, happier lives would be lived.  Many blessing into the New Year.IMG_4340

I read the note several times.  I was happy to have inspired someone by following my dreams. It formulated the foundation for my “Creating Possibilities in 2013.”  While I do have personal achievements to accomplish, (a 6-pack, learn Spanish, learn to play the violin), these are the meaningful Possibilities I want to create.

  • Make a difference in someone’s life – Not exactly a quantifiable possibility.  But Michele Papineau made a HUGE difference in my life as a calligrapher!  I simply want to pay it forward.IMG_4349
  • “Be Kind to One Another” – Ellen DeGeneres – If you’ve seen Ellen’s show you know it is quite hilarious, energetic, and a Happy Party in the middle of the day!  I watch the show every opportunity I get. At the end of every show Ellen says, “Be Kind to One Another”.  I intend to live by her Mantra.  Starting with simply writing those words as little notes and give them to perfect strangers.  It’s my way of being Kind.  Hopefully it will be paid forward.IMG_4388
  • Inspire and Motivate people to be and do their best – I did several “Boot Camp” sessions to improve my physical health and conditioning.  They were hard.  I was barely made it through that first class.   To get myself through future classes, I would channel my inner Muhammad Ali, reciting: “I hated every minute of training. But I said: ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”  Whenever our trainer would ask us how we felt, I responded, huffing and puffing: “Like a champ!”  Eventually the rest of the class caught on and developed their own brand of being a Champion.
  • Follow my Dream – A Dream guided by Providence, navigated by faith, and steered by fate.  My motto for the year: “Make Magic Happen.”

I can list many more.   But at the end of the day though, I hope to inspire you to follow these words I have on my journal.  In the words of Oprah Winfrey: “Live your Best Life”.  From 2013 to Infinity.IMG_4385

I am a Crane and Co. Enthusiast | Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy
[...] my eyes watered with ebulliently ecstatic emotions!!!  I was especially excited that my 2-week, 1000 Envelopes Journey was mentioned in the intro.  And the ‘secret sauce’?  It is nothing more than Love, [...]
Post Script: Calligrapher Ashantai Yungai | Crane & Co.: The Blog
[...] I didn’t like. If I had to pick one it would be anything letter-pressed Lettra paper. I had my business card done by Crane & Co. on Lettra. Everybody, especially me, absolutely loves [...]
Thanks Lissahn. I will keep "swimming". I like to think of it as the formation of a Diamond. It is the the hardest substance known to man. It is forged under the most intense and highest of pressures. Once it is cut and polished its BRILLIANCE is magnificent!!! Yes we are where we belong. Let's make our dreams a real life magical fantasy!
Wrapped Couture (Lissahn)
You are amazing my friend!!! 13 months ago today, my car flipped over and my world did too. I began to have the same feelings and concerns that you're having now, with my then 18 and 14 year old. God never gives us more than we can handle, although it may seem like it in the moment. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you and I hope to continue to work with you in the industry that we are both meant to be in! Press on my friend. Press on!
My Dear Friend you are AWESOME too! I Love You! :-)
Thank you SO much for the sentiment! I owe the start of ALL my calligraphy journey to your son! He put the idea in my mind and it just took off! So I feel lucky to know your son and daughter-in-law too! :-)
As long as you participate, you join anytime! :-)
Lynn White
So I'm late on this journey with you, but I'm all caught up now. WOW Ashanti you are awesome. I know you can do this!
Loyce Wheatley
It's an honor and a pleasure to know you in the mist of your 1000 envelopes journey. I'm enjoying the ride with you.
Awesome! What a great accomplishment...woohoo
One thing I always told my sons was,"Practice, practice, practice"! In a sense, you're practicing on 1,000 envelopes, so you're bound to get faster...and better!!! You have inspired me to do something with those Phish lyrics now.....someday soon, after I finish these other 10 projects I want to do!! Oh, I've been "borrowing", no, stealing some of your daily quotes and putting them on my FB page. Thanks for sharing those.
My 1000 Envelopes Journey – Day 7 | Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy
[...] on these (I received them on Tuesday, started calligraphing on Wednesday, and averted a crisis on Day 6), THAT is A VERY BIG DEAL!  My first bride started with 375 and ended with 426 guests.  It took [...]
Thank you for showing us those Phish lyrics. Very touching! I would like to frame them also. Btw, when I was in high school, I used to make posters using lines from songs that I liked. Of course, they had lots of neon colors so they'd glow under my black light! I feel very lucky to have a son who has a friend as special as you. And your son is so lucky to have you for his dad! Take care, Ashanti. This world needs you!!
Erica Williams
Awesome...I love the lyrics of that song...Oh by the way did I also mention that you are AWESOME....have a great day :)
Sally Laporta
How's your hand holding up? Are you icing? Try to ice if even if you don't think that you need to. You'll be glad that you did by day 8. Keep up the great work! You'll do terrifically!!! Whoo Hoo!
Ashley Lloyd
Way to go Ashanti! You'll get them done and, of course, they will be stunning! They trusted the right person with their announcements! :)
Lissahn {Wrapped Couture}
I'm so excited for you and look forward to this journey of yours my friend!!!
I love that you are making this into such a fab experience-for you and for us! That is what makes the world an amazing place! Keep up the incredible work:)
Val @ Utah Bride & Groom magazine
Oh, Ashanti, I know you can do it. And do it with a smile! Sending all my well wishes to you.
Jaime Vieta Myers
You are the perfect scribe for this magnificent sentiment! I am privileged to take the "1000 Envelopes Journey" with you! Buono Fortuna!
Erica Williams
This is YOUR time my dear friend....I am so proud of you :)
Loyce Wheatley
I’m so EXCITED!!!..for you. The man with the “Magic Hands” that you’re journaling about your journey and sharing the details with the rest of us. I am also glad that I’ve met another perfectionist who’s passionate about their craft & profession as I am. Yes, iron sharpens iron and sometimes we need someone to help keep us on point in the thick of an out of the box project. I have all the faith in you that it’s going to be an amazing job when you’re done because you are the man with the “MAGIC HANDS” with the big personality. It’s an open door for bigger and better projects to come....Cheers!
Melissa Brown
Fantastic work! 1000 envelopes at once is a feat of epic proportions. Keep going...!!
Melissa Brown
Great job! 1000 envelopes is a feat of epic proportions. Keep going...!!!
Kathy Romero
I love the "Magic Hands" !!! Classic. However, what I love more is that you'll be sharing this journey with us. You are capable of this and MORE! GO! Kathy
Tessa @ Salt Lake/Park City Bride and Groom
Awesome work as always, Ashantai!
Plain & Fancy Living
It was so much fun chatting with you and meeting so many nice people. Your writing is just gorgeous. True talent. I look forward to tweeting with you in the future:) Amy R.
Kate Lewis
All my swoons are yours! I enjoyed being there, too! Great fun!
Michele Papineau
I had a gentleman walk into my studio earlier today and asked if I gave calligraphy classes. His name is David. We talked for about a half an hour and I sent him away with 2 felt tip pens, 2 calligraphy books on loan and a pad of paper. I opened up my computer and showed him your recent blog posting and your website. And then I told him your story. And the more I talked, I realized how amazing your story and talent is. Truly!!!
Tad Feder
Yeah bookmaking this wasn't a risky determination outstanding post!
Whitney Shaw
Nice job!

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