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As someone who’s made all their own greeting cards since they were about 8, I have found myself having to purchase birthday cards for friends at an alarming rate recently – I’d completely run out of hand made supplies!!

Yesterday I set about to remedy this situation (as the birthdays keep rolling around) PLUS I experimented with an idea which I’ve had for a while now; mixing up letterpress print with some other medium, in this case watercolour.

 

 

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the results, and love love love the softness of the pastel (like marshmallow!) watercolour offsetting the rustic typography produced by the weathered wooden type.

Now that I have a fresh supply of cards, I just need to make sure I get to the post office so they arrive at their destination right on time!

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There’s been much cause for celebration in my family lately. My clever sister has just completed her Masters, and her husband has closed (slammed shut?) his Accounting text books for the last time now exams are over.  Of course, plenty of bubbles have been consumed at every opportunity over the last month to celebrate each milestone (handing in of thesis, last exam, getting thesis grade, random sunny Wednesday… etc) – but the opportunity to mark these special occasions in letterpress land could not be overlooked.

The ‘Yipee’ card has been on my radar for a while, and I finally printed a batch last weekend, to present to my sister and brother-in-law as ‘official’ congratulations and recognition of their achievements.

I was feeling quite proud of myself on the day of printing, as things had been going relatively smoothly with the wooden Gill Sans bold typeface I was using for the first time. As much as I adore the characteristics of printing with wood, some of my previous dabbling with other typefaces has been met with extreme frustration. The type is well used, and not always in the best condition – of greatest frustration is the slight variations of the type-height which requires a lot of ‘make ready’ to achieve even inking and impression.

Anyhow – back to the point – things were going smoothly, and I was happy with the effect of orange over-printed on yellow ink, and the heightened sense of texture exacerbated by the paper’s roughness.

When I excitedly presented the results of my labour to T when he arrived home after my printing session, the first thing he said is ‘Isn’t there two Ps in yippee?’. Crap. Probably. I’m not very good at spelling. And it’s not a word I write often. When I surveyed others as to how they would spell it, results were mixed between 1 and 2 Ps (happily the intended recipients of card responded with ‘1 P’ answers).  Alas, the Oxford dictionary has officially confirmed my mistake – I’m not sure I can even get away with the ‘Don’t they spell it like that in America?’ argument.

Oh well – I think the image of the card and the intent of the message is not lost, and I wonder just how many people would even notice if I hadn’t just written a whole blog post about a spelling mistake?

 

 

 

PS: Despite my poor spelling record, I still usually beat T at Scrabble!

PPS: Niether yipee nor yippee appear to be in the WordPress dictionary – when I was editing this post the closest suggestion was ‘yuppie’

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There’s nothing like marking time – and rolling your eyes in disbelief that yet  another year has nearly passed – by making Christmas cards. This is my third Christmas as a letterpress printer, but the first I’ve been organised enough to get printing well before 25/12. Each previous year I’ve made cards for personal use – but this year I’m expanding – woop woop! If you like what you see you can visit my new Etsy shop and get your mits on some fabulous hand made Christmas stationery.

Here are some sneak peeks of what’s on offer.

As you can probably tell, my cards have been heavily influenced by some of my favourite carols (and the slightly ridiculous prospect of printing fa la la la la la la la la on a card!). I was also very excited to incorporate wooden type into Ding Dong, which is actually a concept re-worked from the first year I had the press.

Also on offer are some festive gift tags which will help snazz up the dullest of gifts (socks for Dad again??).

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…amazing to have an extensive collection of type faces to play with!

During my final weeks in London I’ve been going through an accelerated acquisition phase in the interests of expanding my meagre collection.  Here are the latest members of my type-face family.  No time for experimenting with it just yet – as packing has begun – but it will be a real treat to print with as soon as I’m back in Australia.

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So – my first experimentation with the good wood was to make some (long overdue) personal stationery for Moira and Greg, my lovely friends who are about to make the exciting move into their very own flat in London.

These are simple cards, printed on Somerset paper, with a some-what improvised M&G monogram (I only had a ‘W’, but ‘M’ is just about close enough to an upside down W to get away with….).  Red and black are my favourite letterpress colour combo, so it was a no brainer to go for the classic look for this set. The soft texture of the paper shows off the new type beautifully – mmmm..

Here’s to Moira and Greg writing greeting notes to everyone on their fancy new stationery!

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The acquisition of some wood type has been a long time coming. Last weekend we enjoyed a superb day in the sun down in Brighton, and whilst pottering around the markets came across a letter-press stall selling individual letters or all depictions and descriptions.

This encounter motivated me – once we leave London I know it will be much harder to come across back in Australia, so I’m on a mission to build up a small collection, and quick smart!

Here’s my first acquisition – I don’t even know what this font is called, but it reminds me of lettering from a western-style movie, exagerated by the elongated proportions.  The quality of print is completely different from metal type – check out my next post for some up close shots of my first printing adventure with the good wood.

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