Letterpress with Grapheme and Field Trip Society
Another awesome Field Trip Society class under my belt. :)
What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by beautiful handcrafted letterpress goods, type drawers, and creativity. I needed this time to get my hands moving on something other than a keyboard. Field Trip Society puts together awesome events, and I am more and more impressed each time I take a class. If you haven’t tried one of their classes you should.
This class we were doing Valentine’s Day Letterpress Cards at Grapheme in Seattle. The shop is so lovely, and the products are absolutely beautiful. If you’re in the area and in need of some cards, stop by!
We did two projects, the first was a blind emboss of a heart on one press. We were given the choice to either leave the cards a-la-natural, or do some watercolor on top. They had some examples of potential patterns to paint as inspiration.
Our second project was choosing a small phrase to typeset, and/or choose some pre-existing valentines illustrations to go with it. Typesetting is more challenging than it sounds, and it makes you REALLY appreciate how newspapers were entirely set with this type back in the day. I can’t even imagine.
To finish off the cards, we were given different colored envelopes to choose from, stickers as accents, or even trace and cut some envelope flap inserts. No details overlooked during this workshop! This is what I love about Field Trip Society’s classes. :)
The finished product…yes, it’s a design pun. :) Hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Christmas Card Wall Display
One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting Christmas cards in the mail from your friends and families. Each family has their own tradition of how they display their cards…sometimes on the refrigerator, on the mantel, or in a special container. Growing up we kept ours in a built in pocket in a multi-colored macramé Christmas Tree…straight from the 70’s. :) This year I decided to stick with my “gold” theme and create one using some brass tubing and brass ring.
What I also love about this DIY is that it can be used year round. Hang it up in your home and display cards, postcards, notes, drawings…the options are yours. :)
- Brass tubing (you’ll need 2 pieces at 15″ long, and 2 pieces at 18.5″ long)
- Mini tube cutter
- Ruler (or measuring tape)
- 18″ metal ring
- Krazy Glue No Run Gel
- Spool of black waxed cord (70 ft total)
- Brass curtain hooks
- Nail (to hang on the wall)
If you haven’t cut the brass tubing yet, use a mini tube cutter to cut your four pieces.
Arrange the cut tubes on the top of the brass ring evenly (from top to bottom.)
Add a little dot of glue on the ring, under each end of the tubes. Leaving an equal amount of overhang on each side. (NOTE: I tried a bunch of different glue types on this project before landing on the Krazy Glue No Run Gel. Make sure it’s a similar type of glue that is thicker. Regular Krazy Glue just runs off the sides of the ring. The glue doesn’t need to be super strong, just enough to hold it decently so when you tie the knots it just gives the rungs that extra stability.)
Cut 8 pieces of 8” long waxed cord.
These will be used to tied a transom knot to secure each end of the horizontal tubing to the ring. Follow the diagram from the link, to tie a knot on each end.
Bring the two ends around to the backside and tie a tight double knot.
Trim your loose ends to about 1/2″ long each.
Repeat the knot on each end until you have all the tubes tied on tight.
Leaving a 6″ tail, start at the bottom left rung by wrapping the waxed cord tight around the top 1/2″ tail. Continue wrapping tightly until you go ALL THE WAY around the ring and back to where you started.
This is when you put on a movie and just sit and watch…and wrap. It’ll take awhile.
Once you’ve wrapped the whole thing, tie off the cord in the back with a tight double knot.
Attach the curtain hooks to your cards (before hanging.)
Hang your display on the wall, and start to see the collection grow!
If you don’t have time to get crafty and make your own metal card display, here are a few examples of store bought ones that would be perfect card displays!
Seattle Bloggers Unite Summer Meet-up at Fare·well Paperie
Last week I was fortunate to have joined all the lovely bloggers at the Seattle Bloggers Unite summer meet-up at Fare-well Paperie. I had an amazing evening at their Georgetown studio mingling and meeting talented bloggers from the area.
The founders of Fare-well Paperie, Jen and Lisa, produce an amazing line of letterpress cards. You’ll find the typical standard celebrations in their cards, but with a snarky twist. I love them!
We started the evening off with some eats and a cocktail from DRY Soda. Then we heard all about how Jen and Lisa started their letterpress business. I love hearing stories of talented women who start their own businesses…it is so inspiring. :) After a little introduction, they let us wander around their studio to check out all their Their beautiful letterpress cards, wrapping paper, and colorful envelopes.
We then took our turn creating our own custom letterpress note cards on their platen press named “Bill.” We cut and created envelope liners to go with our note cards.
It was a fantastic evening. :) Thanks so much to the organizers and to the amazing sponsors…Fare-well Paperie, A Fabulous Fete, Cameos and Crowns, Chronicle Books, DRY Soda, Fran’s Chocolates, Jet Pens, Olive Box, Ravenna Girls, Sasquatch Books, Tattly, The Container Store, and Tutta Lou Press.
Day 8: Holiday memory box
Christmas Eve at our house means sitting around the table sharing our cards from various friends and family. It’s fun to see how kids have grown, or what new adventures our friends are having. It’s one of the highlights of the holiday season. So for day 8 we bring you this holiday memory box for all your treasured keepsakes.
This craft requires a Silhouette Cameo to print out the stencil. It will also take a few days for painting and drying time.
- Wooden box
- Red craft or acrylic paint
- Gold craft or acrylic paint (optional)
- Paint brushes (medium and small)
- Medium to coarse sandpaper
- Vinyl “Merry Christmas” template (see note below if you don’t have vinyl)
- X-acto knife
We decided that we wanted to make this memory box a storage for all the wonderful Christmas cards we get in the mail each year. Michael’s Craft Stores had a few options to choose from, but we chose this one because it was large enough to fit most card sizes.
We decided we wanted a “retro” feel to our box, so we downloaded a retro styled “Merry Christmas” template from Silhouette. You could do any message you’d like, in any typeface you wanted, depending on your selection of fonts on your computer.
Determine the width and height of the top of the box and size your template accordingly. Our box is 11.75″ x 9″ so we made the template 9.5″ x 4.5″. We added some stars to the template to add to the sides of the box. Print out your template on vinyl paper.
Remove the paper around the text and transfer your stencil to your box by hand, transfer paper, or painters tape. Make sure to center the “Merry Christmas” in the center of the lid.
(Note: If you don’t have vinyl paper you can print it on a 12″ x 12″ piece of card stock. To adhere the paper to your box use a Xyron or Light tack spray mount. DO NOT use permanent spray mount or you’ll be finding yourself removing each letter for a few hours. Take it from us, we learned the hard way. hint hint.)
Once your stencil is ready, place it on the box and make sure it’s firmly secure. You can use the back of your hand or a brayer to adhere it to the box.
Now you can begin painting it. We started by painting the inside of the box with gold paint. If you choose this route, leave the box open overnight to dry completely.
Once the inside is dry, you can begin to paint the outside. We chose a deep red acrylic paint. The paint we picked out was a little thick for our liking. It didn’t go on too smooth, but as it dried overnight it started to look better.
Before it’s completely dry, carefully peel off the template using an X-acto knife. This was the tricky part. If you find that the paint bled underneath the letters or you get some smudges it’s OK. You will be able to fix this in Step 7.
Once the paint is dry take your sandpaper and begin to sand down each side, including the edges. This gives it more of a vintage and worn look. Once you have sanded down your box, wipe it down good with a dry paper towel. (Note: Do this step outside and don’t wear a white t-shirt. The red dust gets everywhere!)
Now you are ready to keep your holiday treasures! Merry Christmas!