Archive for the ‘Hand set’ Category

Here’s the second of my Christmas 2010 cards.

I’ve borrowed peep-hole style effect (see one of my earlier posts – It’s Love!) – which worked well then, and I think it works well here too.  I’ve also borrowed lyrics from a well loved christmas carol (Oh! Christmas tree, Oh! Christmas tree …etc) to accompany the christmas tree peep-hole.

Hmmm, I should stop here and admit I don’t actually know any other words to this carol – just the tune – which was subject of many silly childhood verses.  I thought I’d remedy my ignorance in honour of this blog post, but having looked at 3 different Christmas carol websites, I’ve found 3 different versions of the carol. What are the official words? It seems the only lyrics all versions can agree on are the opening lines of Oh! Christmas tree, Oh! Christmas tree… so let’s leave it at that.

I love that this card opens up to reveal a fancy fleuron tree design – ready to be decorated or the perfect centrepiece for a Christmas message to family and friends.


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I first came across fleurons whilst browsing the  The Happy Dragons’ Press site, an informative collection of letterpress history, printing tips and a well stocked shop for some essentials. So I promptly bought a bunch and have been using them regularly on greeting cards since.

Fleurons provide an endless variety of patterns and also challenge me on the press – especially in this example where I struggled a little with the registration (alignment) of colours.  I’ve since been working out smarter ways of making sure my colours line up (that is, smarter than trial and error, but within the constraints of my limited studio resources!)  Let’s just say the old overhead projector acetate sheets (pilfered during an office move some time ago) are proving very useful! I’ll take some working pics and provide a more informative explanation another day – perhaps when I attempt a similar design to this, but with my new found wisdom in registration.

Here are my fleuron fancies…

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I don’t even like gherkins – in fact, I would go so far as to say I despise gherkins!  Don’t ask me then, what inspired the term ‘Great Gherkins!!’, or indeed, what it means. I suspect the lure of simple alliteration endeared this phrase to me when dreaming up random greetings. I love these cards for the marriage of quirky text and traditional design and setting.

The boarders comprise individual fleuron elements, which are so flexible and offer unlimited design configurations. BUT – their use is not without setting and  printing challenges, which ensures I’m always learning / troubleshooting….. (but that’s half the fun, right?!). I’ll have some more fleuron fancies to share soon – stay tuned.

Of similar design and less obscure meaning is the Happy Birthday greeting card – already sent out to a few lucky birthday boys and girls.

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Greeting cards are an excellent vehicle for experimenting with lay-out and mixing colours on the press. Usually, I make them based on my own demand for greeting cards; this batch was inspired by some clever friends publishing their first book (‘congratulations’) and my generous friend who helped me get to Paris last weekend for a fabulous day at Roland Garros (‘thanks’) – lucky me!

I like the idea of a simple message (as most greeting cards are) – followed up with an ‘in other words’ statement – a fun way to emphasise the point.

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