Pressing Letters.

For nearly four years, since shopping around for my own wedding invitations, I have been learning, slowly but surely, about the lost art of Letterpress. I say ‘lost’ because thats what it was four years ago. Well, in this country anyway. Not in America. No, siree. It is most definitely thriving and flourishing there. However, it’s picking up here now. I’m in touch with a small network of people who have taught themselves or have been taught by a master craftsman to print in the single, most beautiful way you can. Its traditional. Its hand crafted. It produces instant results (well, almost). And its specialised, so only the most determined and most passionate get to relish in its results. Well, thats how I see it. And this network of people are friendly, and they share their knowledge. There doesn’t seem to be any ‘I’m-better-than-you’ or ‘You’re selling more than me’. I mean, there is only so much printing one person can do.

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To begin with, I was intrigued. I was baffled by the beefy, glossy, black Vandercook. Craning my neck when studying photos, tilting my head to the left ‘How does that work?’, squinting my eyes close to my monitor ‘And what is that for?’ You’d think that the best way to learn about letterpress would be to see one in use, in the flesh, right? (If someone can point me in the right direction around my neighborhood, then I would be most pleased). It is assuredly challenging trying to locate a letterpress printer nearby, where I can invite myself along to be mesmerized into a state of hypnosis, whilst watching vividly rich ink be pressed into decadent cotton rag paper. Just writing those words makes me want to do a star jump onto a downy, feathery queen-size bed.

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Since I can’t actually touch or feel a letterpress press yet, I turned to You Tube. Trusty? Always. Something for everyone? Every single time. Hey. C’mon, come see this: The Art of Hatch Show Print. This current favourite video of mine also made me curious to want to find out more about these smashing people at  Hatch Show Print. If you’re reading this thinking ‘OH! There’s one of those places in……..’ (fill the gap with somewhere in England) then please email me and let me know – I would be your friend for life.

And thennnnnnn, I found this other Letterpress video, after it was tweeted by Print Magazine. Let me tell you, it gave me goosies. And since I watched it for the first time I can safely say I am OBSESSED. I even commented about it. *Cringe. If you love letterpress, you may have seen it. If you haven’t seen it, take a look. You may see where I’m coming from.

Type Ornaments

Photo via Andrei on Flickr

Some day soon, I will have my own letterpress printer. Vandercook. Adana. Heidelberg. One or all of them. We shall see. I will be printing wedding stationery, posters, notecards, party stationery. I know I will have one, because I dream about it in my sleep. I think about it at every spare second. I drive myself nuts with my musings.

Alas, until then, all I can do is to keep on absorbing, so that on the day I take delivery of my own press, I am ready.

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A Mothers Day Greetings Card

*Whispering. Let’s hope mama isn’t peeking at my site tonight, because here’s the card I made her. And, it’s sitting on top of part of her gift. The other part (A Raymond Blanc Apple Tart) has just finished caramelising in the oven. Over and out.

P.S I know my photos are terrible in quality, I’m just holding out in the hope we might get a new snapper soon. Watch this space.

My Ray Of Sunshine.

A little treat popped into my Inbox yesterday. An email from the little ray of sunshine we like to call Badger. She’s not had it easy lately. I won’t go into details – its not my place. Despite this, she still manages to display a sunny disposition. I truly admire people who have this quality. There’s nothing worse than wallowing in self-pity, for the person doing it and for those who surround them. So, she wrote me this lovely mail, of the electronic variety, filled with snippets of news and wondering if there was something up astronomically on Wednesday. I can wholeheartedly confirm that, yes, there was something up because like Badger, I too, lost something on eBay I was chasing. Isn’t it, like, a monumental anti-climax? The adrenalin is pumping. Your heart is beating. FAST. HEAVY. You’re thinking ‘Its gonna be me. I’m going to beat anonymous bidder S*****10’. 3 seconds. 2 seconds. 1 second. Big. Fat. Red. Cross. ‘You have been outbid’. Harumph. Whatever, I didn’t want it anyway.

Back to Badger. She’s done me proud. She’s no longer chasing her dreams, but actually fulfilling them, as we speak. Isn’t that great? I think so. Aaaaand, she says things like ‘bad ju-ju’, which guarantees miles of smiles from the Lovebird, making me realise how much I loves her and how I never tell her. So, Badger, if you’re reading, get the message? *Nod *Nod *Wink *Wink. I dedicate this post to you.

Its a bit early, but since I may not be blogg-a-raming on Sunday, the award for The Lovebird Mummy Of The Year goes to……*awkwardly opening envelope….BADGER! *Global applause. The End.

Badger

Image courtesy of Forest Wander. Sketch via Trees For Life

P.S I realise I’m making a big statement dedicating a post to someone, but sometimes, you just have to do these things, otherwise how will anyone know what you think?

P.P.S If my own Mummy is reading, I love you too, I know you know that already x

P.P.P.S My apologies to you for the schmaltzy tone to this blog. I hope I haven’t put you off your sandwiches.

New Greeting Card: Pastures Greener

Available to purchase. Printed greetings card on 12cm x 12cm 250gsm White Hammer, supplied with a 12.5cm x 12.5cm Kraft envelope.

Greener Pastures

I’m most excited.

For nearly two whole long weeks, I have, yet again, been excited about seeing the Postman. It was his task to bring me my first piece of Lovebird merchandise.

Today, he passed. May I proudly two sheets of Lovebird stickers. Ta-da!

Lovebird Stickers

Thank goodness the waiting is over. It was becoming too much.

Go on….let it all out, dear.

Ok. I’ve just sat my little self down, with a cup of coffee and a slice of homemade banana cake. Yum. First of all, I just need to say, the coffee I’m drinking is a free sample of Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew . Its revolutionary, let me tell you. As they state on their website:

“This is not instant coffee as you know it. This is rich, flavorful Starbucks® coffee in an instant.”

And, y’know what? I agree with them. I excitedly tore the top of the sachet off, poured it into my favourite cavernous polka-dotty mug and thought curiously. “It looks like filter coffee”. I wondered if I was going to be sampling a mouth full off coffee grains, as I was drowning the pungently scented powder with boiling water. With a little squirt of Agave Nectar to sweeten my cup, I guzzled down my cup of comforting, steaming, sweet coffee like a builder (sorry to all builders out there, can’t imagine any reading my blog, but this is the 21st century). It was delicious. I almost forgot about my warm, spongy slice of banana cake. Crazy.

Yummy Banana Cake

Moving on. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little low. I don’t really have any reason to, when you look at the bigger picture. I’m healthy, my family are healthy, I have a job, my husband is working (very) hard for us all, we have food on the table. I mean, really, what else do you need? Oh, central heating. Yes, of course. But what else? Sometimes, even when I reflect on how fortunate  I am, doesn’t help lift my spirit. I’m tired, my skin and my diet are suffering, there are hardly moments to breathe. I know my job right now is to bring up my children. I know my job is to look after my family, to make sure they have everything they need. And all those things, naturally, come before my needs. Thats how it is when you’re a mum, right? Please. Correct me if I’m wrong. Every so often, I struggle. What about me? What about what I need? I know. Change the record. Yawn. Believe me, I bore myself with this arguement. I try not to talk about this particular dilemma, because I’m conscious that everyone has similar feelings, and that our circumstances and feelings are relative to our own lives. For example. Haiti. I can’t begin to imagine. The Thailand Tsunami…..again, for me, its incomprehensible. If I do decide to try to chew over how I’m feeling with people, I imagine them rolling their eyes. So I try not to even take that breath. But then sooner or later, it explodes. Because it has to escape eventually. So I guess its a good job I have this blog.

Time to re-focus. What’s my point? I’m frustrated. I have so much going on in my head, so much so, that I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus. So much I want to do. So many patterns, and ideas and fabrications. I want to sit down at my computer all day, every day and let it all seamlessly pour out. But I can’t. I have a full time job, and I have two children and a husband. And I have to prioritise the most important tasks over  my needs. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking after my family, I wouldn’t change a thing. This particular feeling won’t last forever, I’ll probably be all thrown off balance when I have no one to look after, I realise that. Its just sometimes the juggling act has too many balls.

This post isn’t one I would normally be inclined to publish. I relish all the fluffy, pretty, far-away thoughts I have like a kitten bathing in the warmth of the afternoon sunshine. But I also want to relay that I have down days, and I get annoyed, just like everyone else, by…well…..life, y’know? People, the news I hear on the radio, selfishness, incompetent human beings. Stuff you’d normally share with your Gran. But I can’t because she’s no longer with us.

Anyway, rant over. Next stop: Positive Street.

Positive Street