Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letterpress or bust!

So, here it is almost a year since I got the press. I'm a bit embarrassed it's taken me this long to sit down and make it work, but better late than never. I decided to tackle our holiday cards. I probably had three different ideas laid out before settling on this one and getting down to business.

A note: Letterpress is not easy.

But, it is very rewarding when you figure it out. Setting type is tricky and I don't think I'm doing it quite right, but for now it worked and that's all that matters. Below are pics of the process. I think once I got it printing evenly it took me about an hour to print all the cards, maybe not even that. Also, even prior to all of this I soaked the press in a vinegar and lemon juice bath for about 3 days. It's amazing how much of the rust came off. Some of it is back already, but I think it helped.

Next step is to figure out how to get some custom plates made. Since the press is pretty tiny I probably won't be doing any type heavy designs with it, but I have some ideas for images/illustrations that I think would make cute notecards, etc. I'm in the process of figuring out what size base I should order. I'm working with Elum Designs. They have been super helpful.

Here are the pics:

Here are press proofs done while I was figuring out how to get an even print. The process involves tightening and loosing screws and adding padding to the tympan. It is tedious, but well worth it.

Plate on press, ready to print

Fancy paper ready to go

Rollers inking the plate

Prints drying

Finished cards

Hat and Scarf Set

Before I made the six scarves for my co-workers I tried out the pattern. I had enough yarn leftover to make a hat to match. Turned out pretty cute. The only thing is that the hat is a little big. I may stitch some elastic thread into it to tighten it up a little. I like how the flower "pops" and the way the hat curls along the edge. Cuteness.

Six Scarves a Curling

I found a super cute scarf pattern (once again, on the Lion Brand site) and it was so easy I decided to make one for each of my six co-workers this year for Christmas. They all turned out really cute and the girls loved them. The scarf curls and when you wrap it around your neck it looks really full and fun.

I also created some tags for these gifts. It's the first time I've tagged my work. I used iron-on transfer paper and an old t-shirt. They look really good. I got just as many compliments on the tags as the scarves.


I was the tooth fairy for Halloween this year. In order to make my costume look more "fairy-ish" I cut the petticoat from my wedding dress to fit under the tooth fairy dress. This left me with a TON of tulle and no idea what to do with it. My co-worker and friend, Kendra suggested I make tutus for my nieces for Christmas. Mmmm, great idea! So, that is exactly what I did. Below are a few picks of the finished pieces. We also got the girls shirts and tights at Target to complete the look. Hopefully they'll have some fun dressing up and dancing around in them.

If you're not up for trying to craft your own tutu, you should order one from my friend Kendra. You can find her on line HERE or in my links under "Crafty, Artsy Friends." Hers are way cuter than mine.