Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

After some extensive shoveling
I snipped this last night at about 10:00 from the Weather Channel website

I think my Valentines deserve a little treat.

Wishing all of you a very sweet Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

So, along with masses of other folks, we had a big ice storm. You know me and the nature pics - just can't stop. Bear in mind that there was quite a bit of ice, so I didn't dare venture far from the shelter of the house and most of the photos were taken with lots of zoom. At least one of them was taken through a window. (This was a smart decision, as we had a very large tree fall into the middle of the driveway in the afternoon. I was in the side yard and could hear it *loudly* falling.) Enjoy!

The sun finally came out for a few shining moments at the end of the day.

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Different Type of Printing

I've long been fascinated with all types of printing, on both paper and fabric. Even as a child I *loved* to closely examine the printing on things like wedding invitations and coasters. And though I don't often share my paper crafting projects here, trust me, they exist. So, when the opportunity arose to take a class on letterpress printing at Baltimore Print Studios, I seized it!

In reality, I had to wait a year to take this class. My husband gave me a gift certificate for the class for Christmas, 2012, but my schedule (read: my kids' schedules) was too full to make it happen. But, it was definitely worth the wait.

During the class we learned how the printing presses work, how to print, how to clean the presses, how to set type, some historical aspects of printing, and so much more. The print shop owners, Kyle and Kim, taught the class. They did a great job explaining everything!

We were divided up into groups, and each group selected a phrase, set the type (selecting from the large type collection at the shop), and then printed away. Here are some photos of my group's type on the press.

I could have printed all day.

Some of our prints drying on the (awesome) many layered drying rack.
And here's a print that another group made - by this point we were printing our designs in an ombre fashion - love it!
One of the aspects of letterpress printing that intrigues me is that you can print and emboss at the same time. I learned, though, that professional printers work hard to not emboss prints unless the design really calls for it. They carefully adjust the pressure applied during the printing process so that on something like a poster there is little to no embossing. This is, of course, particularly important for two sided projects.

Each student then type set a small phrase using metal type. We were randomly assigned partners and printed some coasters, which, being a thicker paper, are indeed embossed and printed simultaneously.
(For the record, though I have been known to enjoy a gin and tonic, the phrase I chose was "Yes Please!".)

It was a very interesting and fun way to spend the day - I highly recommend it. Check out the Baltimore Print Studios website if you're interested in trying it out yourself.