Friday, April 29, 2011

finished fridays: sneak peek!

Just a peek of new goodies debuting at the Stationery Show in two weeks!  

This week has been really challenging (in lots of ways), but then I got these lovelies on the press and everything turned around.  Sometimes it astounds me how much I love printing!

Monday, April 25, 2011

on the press (almost)

Monday mornings are always a challenge--and today I had two post-its, written in very tiny print, full of stuff to get done.  Most of which was emails and phone calls...which doesn't make for very dynamic blogging.
So it wasn't until after 3 that I started working on the main body of my NSS recipe cards...which, after a lot of complicated design ideas, turned into this:
Which is way less complicated than it looks!

Friday, April 22, 2011

finished fridays: nothing wasted + the two whites + a new country

Nothing wasted No. 1: I think this is officially the first full can of ink that I've devoured.  Transparent White, of course, is in just about every PMS color...and I guess I use a lot of those really really light colors.
Nothing wasted No. 2: I'm part of a group of printers, doing a collective promo for the Stationery Show.  The theme is recipe cards, and I've been stumped...until today!  Inspiration finally hit, and I pulled out my Valentines hearts and the almost-empty can of transparent white, for the first color/background layer of the print.  I'm super excited about my card, now that it's in progress.  And I can't imagine why I don't print with just trans white more often--I love it!
The two whites: today the Vandercook was inked up with the other white--Opaque White.  It doesn't get much use in my shop (and I had heard that it was a pain-in-the-behind to clean!), but this project called for it...albeit with a little dash of yellow.  Truth be told, I impressed myself with how clean my rollers were--the white was very true first time out!
All that ink, for just a few prints...these are the proofs for a one-of-a-kind, custom personalized guest book.
And...I shipped to a new country today!  It's always exciting to send little packages of pretty things out into the world, and today this Grass is Greener print started it's journey to Sweden!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

wednesday miscellany

Scenes from the studio today:
Plates just off the press.
Pantone 1795 (or so).
One Stationery Show promo piece waiting final trim, one custom order waiting to be boxed, and one custom order in progress.
Two more plates to print tomorrow!

Monday, April 18, 2011

mixed-tape monday: taking measurements

I wasn't able to post this photo on Friday--the recipient hadn't yet seen them...but here they are!
Jodi from Paisley Tree Press drove out to Letterpress Things on Saturday to meet me and pick up her new custom binders--she squealed a bit, I won't lie.  They'll be making their debut to the public at Paisley Tree's booth (No. 1665) at the National Stationery Show in May--do stop by and ogle them for yourself!
Today was a lot of catching up--and then a lot of cutting.  This is a stack of 1200+ 135gsm sheets, if you can believe it.  They started out as 25 x 38" parent sheets, and are now 4-1/2 x 6-1/2".  Whew!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

on the bench: getting to the scary bits

Progress!  Bookcloth is all finished, and today I started working on the pastedown/endsheets. 
It's the scariest bit, being the last step (and the one most likely to get messed up).  No mess ups yet, but one is less perfect than I like.  (Did I mention that I'm my own worst critic?)

Monday, April 11, 2011

mixed-tape mondays: on working BIG.

Yep, binders are still in progress.  I took a tiny break from them this weekend to work on taxes (blech.), and was really looking forward to be working with my hands again today.
Today I finished up the insets, and wrestled the big bolt of bookcloth on the table to trim out the covers--they're going to be full cloth, so I was cutting 13" x 35" pieces out of a 50"+ wide spool.  Awkward!

On working BIG--I forget how much time it takes to do everything!  Even though there are only ten binders to do, when the material dimensions are ungainly, it seems like it takes hours to do each small step.

Friday, April 08, 2011

finished fridays: diving in

Did I mention that the three-ring binders are super-deluxe?  Not just thick and big (11-1/2" x 15"), but with two special insets.
Each inset has to be measured and marked by hand, and then the edges carefully scored with an exacto knife--trying, of course, to get all four sides cut to the same depth.  Then the tip of the knife is inserted into a corner, and a few very thin layers of board are peeled up. 
Only ten more to go!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

on the bench: hooray!

Just over six months ago, this beauty was delivered to the studio.
And today I finished tightening up the last bolts, and was finally(!) able to put the counterweight on.
And then immediately got down to the business of cutting thick, thick boards for a custom order.
These are .120" thick, and by this time next week will be very big and very fancy three-ring binders!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

on the press: old-school

Sometimes it's nice to just stick a plate on a base and print.
But after a long day on the computer, I really look forward to printing old-school: handset type, border pieces and rule, and magnesium plates.  They all have to be set in a delicate balance, snug but not too snug.  Finding just the right spacing is a small triumph! 

Friday, April 01, 2011

finished fridays: when a picture turns real

I saw this in my facebook feed last night:
And thought: Trash?  That looks suspiciously like a printing press!  A few emails (and not more than 18 hours) later:
Ta-da!  A slightly scruffy, but completely functional Vandercook No. 1!  It landed in my studio this morning, after a trip to the high school in the next town, and much help from one teacher (thanks, Marissa!), three custodians, and a bored student to get it into my car.
It came with the original cabinet and ink stand, too!  Here's the catalog photo from the Vandercook Press website.

P.S. You can now find May Day Studio on Facebook!