The Marie Collins Award

The Marie Collins Award.

Sam and I go back a few years now. We met on Twitter before @tweeinggoddess and @SoulScribeCalli.

At the time, I was going through a tough time. In one of those places where no matter what you do to improve the situation, it doesn’t.

Anyway, when Sam reached out to me on Twitter. I remember thinking…you wanna talk to me? She was like well, yes lol. We were going to the same networking event (do you remember those?) And says, shall we travel together? I was like…well, ok.

I remember meeting Sam for the first time. I was like. Oh my god, she’s beautiful. And, I’m like a rag-a-muffin beside her. Thinking she’s going to be like…Nice to meet you…see ya! I didn’t know then this glamorous blue-eyed blonde would become one of my closest friends.

Samantha Kelly - Tweeting Goddess

Over the years, I have learnt a lot about Sam. She’s grounded and real. She has an amazing gift when it comes to people. Like an insight, if you will. She’s helped and supported so many people that there are too numerous to mention. So, it isn’t surprising that the Women’s Inspire Network is such a success with Sam at the helm.

It hasn’t been a smooth road for her. It’s been full of ups and downs. And unfortunately, she has had her fair share of bullies. But, she has stayed strong and true to herself. And has never wavered.

Rolling forward a few years.

Sam has gone from being the Funky Goddess to spreading her Twitter Magic everywhere. And founding the Women’s Inspire Network, which is more than just a network.

5aa80ed7c4a1af92f69a3615 WIN logo

It’s truly inclusive, warm, supportive and educational. And a safe space to share your difficulties, ask for advice and share your joys. With now over 400 members from all over the world.

She wouldn’t be able to run the network and conferences all by herself. So, over the years she’s built an amazing team around her. One of her founding team members was Marie Collins. Marie was a beautiful woman. She always had time to help and a warm welcome. She had the biggest of hearts and friendliest of smiles.

A little story of how Marie helped me.

I was taking part in the #win17Dublin conference and needed to send in my logo in.

I didn’t have one. Panic hit me. No matter what I couldn’t for the life of me get it together. I think it was nerves. No fear, Marie came to rescue and designed my logo. Just like that! I was amazed. And, thankful. I still use the logo Marie designed today.

Marie Collins

I met Marie in person the night before the #win17Dublin conference at the Radisson Blu.

By-the-way, if we ever get back to “normal” and there’s a #win conference come along to the pre-conference get together. It is the best fun! The night is always filled with warm welcomes and laughter.

Meeting Marie was a fantastic experience. Her smile and warmth would lift the most miserable face. I remember walking into the hotel bar, nervous as hell. With Marie striding over to me her arms open. She gave me the warmest hugs and said, don’t be so nervous, everything will be fine. She was 100% right.

The feedback from the speaker gifts was fantastic!

Speaker Gift

But to our hearts disappointment, Marie passed away suddenly a few weeks after the conference.

With the next, Women’s Inspire Network Conference coming up in Galway.

Sam took the conference to Galway, Marie’s home county. She wanted to create something special to honour Marie’s memory. And, the Marie Collins Award was born. The award recognises members who encapsulated the kindness, support and warmth shown by Marie. And, are made with love and in memorial. Each stroke of the pen is with her smile and warmth.

I am honoured that Sam asked me to inscribe these awards. Calligraphers are generally not the first port of call. Most would go straight to a graphic designer or printers. But, Sam wanted an award that would stand out from the rest. Something that would be meaningful and cherished.

If you’ve never been to a #win conference. I recommend you do! Doesn’t matter if you are a business owner or not. Big or micro or if you are working remotely from the kitchen table.

You will enjoy every moment. They are fun, high energy and full of learning.

Last year, the #win conference went global and online. It was a huge success! Members to join from everywhere around the world. It was absolutely fantastic, a great experience.

I’m really looking forward to the next conference being held on International Women’s Day, March 8th 2021. The topic is about refreshing your perspective and opening your wings to soar.

Would you like to come along? Get your ticket here #win21Refresh and let’s celebrate International Women’s Day together!

And, for information about my calligraphy service, please visit or email [email protected]

Inscribing the Mool Mantar

Inscribing the Mool Mantar or Mul Mantar

When the Covid-19 restrictions came in place last March, like many other wedding services. I received phone calls, emails and notifications from customers cancelling their bookings. 

Finding myself disheartened and despondent. I thought, well this is the perfect time to tidy my scriptorium. Sort through the inks, paints, paper and nibs. Great all done, it was wonderful to see the scriptorium looking so tidy.

But then, I found my sitting at my desk looking blankly at my inks and nibs, wondering what am I to do now? Like a bolt from the sky, it struck me! There’s a heap of projects that I’ve had on the long finger. You know the ones. The ones that you will do when you have a moment. I have the time now, I thought to myself. And, as that thought entered my mind. I knew exactly, what I was going to do.

A while back; my cousin had suggested that I inscribe the Mool Mantar or Mul Mantar. A prayer that all Sikh children learn to recite. Even though I know this prayer by heart, I wanted to learn more before I started to inscribe it. 

The word, Mool means root, main or chief. And Mantar means magic chant or magic potion. Together the words Mool Mantar mean main chant or root verse. This beautiful prayer encapsulates the Sikh Philosophy.

The Mool Mantar is the foundation of Sikh philosophy. And, is the opening prayer of the Sikh Holy Scriptures known as the Guru Granth Sahib. It was composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism. 

It is said.

That Guru Nanak Dev Ji composed the Mool Mantra after his Journey of Enlightenment. He was around 30 years old. And, had walked 28,000 kilometres covering most of the Indian sub-continent and parts of the middle east. Reaching; his final destination in the Punjab 24 years later. This is when he set the founded and formalised the three pillars of the Sikh faith. The Mool Mantar encapsulates Sikh philosophy. 

Like with every piece I inscribe I always love to more. Learning about Guru Nanak’s journey was inspiring. With a better understanding of the meaning, the journey and the importance. I took out my tools. And, embarked on my journey inscribing this beautiful prayer. 

My desk was busy and untidy while I worked. Just the way I like it. The piece that I was about to produce was going to be for my family. And, like me, a few cousins didn’t learn Gurbani. So, it made sense to use Gurbani, phonetic Gurbani and English.

The colours I choose, all represent something. Blue, the Kalsa,” Orange, the saffron of India. And, Brown, the earth and the universe.

Mool Mantar inscribed in Gurbani, English and phonetic Gurbani

A few weeks later, I held my breathe as I cautiously shared it with my family and asked: “Would anyone like a copy?” To my utter amazement and surprise, they loved it! I was in shock and bowled over. It took me a few days to settle myself before organising prints and posting them off.

If you would like a copy as well. You can order through my shop.

Here are some of the resources I used to learn about Guru Nanak’s journey to enlightement.

New Ross Town Archives

Calligraphy-Ireland-New Ross-Wexford-Archives

I know, I know I haven’t written to you all in a while. Let me tell you what I’ve been up to – pavement pounding introducing myself to local businesses and prominent people in New Ross. I ended up in a local politician’s office to whom, when I showed my portfolio to him, he said “you’d appreciate seeing the town archives” he promptly picked up his mobile and organised it for me.

What a privilege it turned out to be. I was taken aback by the beauty of the lettering. The illumination of the capital letters. Imagine what it would have been like way back when the printing press and computer fonts didn’t exist. A scribe with a simple dip pen and produced the most amazing work. I have to say that I was totally in awe of The Original Town Charter which dates back to the 14th Century. But then,  when I was given the meeting books well from a Calligraphers point of view I was in “happy land.” Looking at the lettering and the ornamentation.

As you can imagine I walked away inspired