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Here’s a little bit about the process that went into making these wedding invitations recently.

I’ll go into more detail around the concept next-time; today I’d like to focus on the rather extended design and construction process, which included: copy writing; layout and design of body text and graphic content; (digital) printing of inner pages; letterpress printing of cover; hand-sewing to stitch binding; book-press time to flatten booklets; and, finally, manual trimming of inner pages.

Times that effort by nearly 100 booklets!

Here’s the finished product, plus a few snaps of the journey taken…

The finished product

Sew much work yet to go!Out of the book press - flat as a pancake!

TTrimmed & terrific!I’m still tossing up ideas of how to achieve a complemtary look for wedding church booklets, but through a slightly more expeditious process…. Ideas, anyone?

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So today I was lucky enough to get a day off work. I had grand plans for what I would acheive, namely update my Etsy shop with the bits and bobs I’ve been working on lately.

Eight, (yes 8!) hours later, I am finally ready to sit down with a glass of wine and relax. Taking product pictures all day, setting up shop profiles etc has been just about as taxing as a day in the office!

Hopefully I will retain some of the ‘lessons learned’, and will be more efficient at photography in future (which will mean I don’t need to re-take a certain angle 5 times to get it right!).

Meanwhile – please do check out my Etsy shop – chock-a-block full of new goodies!

Today, the camera was my best friend!

Studio 112

This is a little belated, but I’ve been meaning to post a few pics of the letterpress studio I’ve set up since arriving back home in Oz.

This pic sums up the studio space: letterpress cabinet housing my loose type collection, and shelves for furniture are set against the wall. Most other essential supplies (letterpress related or otherwise) are stored underneath the collections of coffee tables I’ve pushed together in lieu of a continuous work bench. One day, I tell myself, we’ll get a custom bench made with excellent storage built in!

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(Can you tell I’ve been playing with some iPad photo app with these pics??!)

The beam set in the wall provides a convenient magnetic board for pinning inspiration. To the left is my book press, (a birthday present from T), and further shelves storing paper, envelope, cello bag and twine supplies.

The Adana sits on the sturdiest table / bench we have at the right height for me to work.

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I love the silhouette of the Adana in this picture, looking out towards our balcony, through which lots of natural light floods my work space. If you look carefully, you’ll see a couple of pieces of paper stuck to the balcony walls.

These are pizza menus written by T for an evening with friends the night before I took the studio shots. It would be remiss of me not to include a snap one of the highlights from that evening (fresh fig, honey and goat’s cheese pizza. Devine.)

Fingers crossed

My tongue tastes of glue gum, and I’m having flashbacks to that Seinfeld episode when George’s fiance Susan died after licking the cheap envelopes that George bought for their wedding invitations.  Fingers crossed they were a different brand to these ones!!

More on the content of the envelopes next time.

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!

Like many (crafty) youngsters in the 1980s and 90s, my mother introduced me to the fine art of cross-stitch, which I attempted once or twice with little patience and rare satisfaction. Partially complete cross-stitch swatches from my youth still languish in my sewing basket today!

I was recently introduced to blackwork, which is simple embroidery using black thread, through Sonia Lucano’s book, Made In France – Blackwork. I was immediately captivated by the possibilities of this cousin of cross-stitch, the book’s blurb hints at the goodness inside: “You’ll be seduced by this timeless and elegant form of embriodery.” Indeed I was.

A far cry from the fusty cross-stitch patterns of the past, Blackwork is full of contemporary inspiration and designs that translate effortlessly into the stylish home. (Okay, I am yet to embroider a tea-towel, but it’s not far off!).

PLUS I was curious to explore the mash-up of blackwork and letterpress. I finally got my chance to mash-it when my friend Ingrid had her first baby, beautiful Elise Grace, last month. I designed this card and matching envelope based on some of the themes in Blackwork, and was very pleased with the results.

Perhaps it will be my duty to introduce Elise to cross-stitch (or preferably blackwork!!) one day…..

Yipee – (i think)

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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