I confess to stealing an idea -- wait, I mean finding inspiration -- from Ersi's post, where she doodled all over a sheet of paper, then tore it into random 7 cm squares as her background.
I had some paper that I had covered with illegible writing, mostly in walnut ink. After I tore it into the background squares, I added letters cut from some paste paper that I had made in a workshop a few years ago.
I have a psychological block when it comes to calligraphy, being always afraid that my letters will not be beautiful. So to sidestep the block, I have taken to making letters that aren't beautiful, just functional. This is a personal alphabet that I have used many times over the years, executed in various mediums. I guess it's loosely based on the classic typeface Optima.
When I cut letters out of paper, I use an X-Acto knife but I like to work from the back of the paper, without marking it. I find that working blind and in reverse gives a spontaneity that I would never achieve if I were obsessing from the front.