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April 20, 2014


Finished Print ›   Kids ›  

Baby Shower Inserts

So, I'm finally back to start sharing some projects and the first I want to share is this set of inserts for a baby shower invitation. The invitations were ordered from another company and were printed in yellow and navy so I matched those colours. I love this idea (being a huge book lover myself!) and if baby showers were more popular in the UK I would totally steal it. 


I love the little heart vest (onesie) and think this motif would be so cute used on a birth announcement or thank you cards for baby gifts.


The cards are printed on my standard paper, Crane's Lettra, which really takes an impression beautifully. 


If you are looking for letterpress cards for your baby shower, please get in touch. I would be happy to work on a custom design or can happily modify this for your purposes. *I have blurred out some personal information from the cards

February 07, 2013


Finished Print ›   Process ›   Tips ›  

Printing with a Split Fountain

I've recently printed my Valentine's Day Cards. They are for sale here:

Valentine's Day Card from Cerulean Press

The plate that I designed was very simple because I wanted to try a new (to me) process, printing with a split fountain, which results in a gradation between two colours in the final print, which can be seen better here:

Letterpress Ombre Heart Ribbon Valentine's Day Card

Because I printed these cards on a platen press (my little Kelsey), I had to rig it so that the ink disc wouldn't spin. I did this simply by tying the ink disc ratchet to the roller arm so that it couldn't engage with the ink disc as I was printing.


It was a bit crude -- I just used a bit of yarn that I had handy -- but it did the trick. Then I mixed up the ink I wanted to use and put each colour on half of the disc. As I was inking the disc I rotated it a small bit back and forth so that the colours would start to blend together a little bit in the middle.

Letterpress split fountain printing

It was a fairly simple process and I love the results! I definitely plan on experimenting with this process a bit more, maybe on the big press next time. Once I was done printing the front of the card I simply cut the yarn and ran the press for a few minutes so that the two colours would completely blend together, then I just used that pink to print the message inside the card.


I liked the colour in the end, but I mostly did it because it was the lazy option -- easier than cleaning the press and adding a new colour. Next on the press I have a couple of custom orders, but I've also got my Mother's Day cards designed and ready to print, so look out for those coming soon!

January 24, 2013


Finished Print ›   Life ›   Notecards ›  

Snow, Life and a New Card

This past week has been crazy. Between snow, illness and injuring my back I've gotten very little accomplished. I managed to get Matthew bundled up and out into the back garden to experience his first snow.

matthew snow 1

To be honest, it was nap time and he was a bit grumpy so I don't think he enjoyed it much, but at least we got a few pictures. I'm sure next winter he'll be able to enjoy it a lot more.

In addition, I did a bit of printing and have listed a new type of custom stationery to my Etsy shop. A client contacted me about my personalised notecards but asked if I could change them up a bit by printing in the bottom right corner with a chunky san serif font using no ink (called a blind impression). I liked the look so much that I made a couple of additional samples and they are now for sale.


In addition to printing a new design, I also tested out a new paper. I printed these cards on Saunders Waterford 300gsm paper. I was a little worried before I started because the paper feels so much more substantial than the paper I have been using (Somerset Velvet), but I was pleasantly surprised. It takes a beautiful impression and comes in many different weights, up to 640gsm, so is definitely an option as a house paper for Cerulean Press. I have some Valentine's cards to print as well as a couple new wedding invitation designs so I look forward to experimenting with this paper a bit more... once it stops snowing that is!

Happy 2013!

Happy New Years! I can't believe it's already January. I was SO not ready for the holidays this year and New Year's Eve completely snuck up on me. We had a very busy end of the year (travelling to the States for two weeks to visit my parents and then to J's family home for Christmas) and I think I'm looking forward to getting back to our normal routine. I say normal routine, but since Matthew was born (8 months old today!) I haven't had much time to work on this little printing business and I'm hoping that changes now that he's getting a little bit older. I had a little flurry of activity before Christmas and had a few orders for my personalised notecards.


I set up my little Kelsey press inside so that I could print the cards in the evening once J got home from work and that worked really well. There are definitely limitations to what the press can do, but it's perfect for little jobs like this. As a bonus, it's so much easier to clean up than the big press! While I had the press inked up I also printed a couple of samples of custom letterpress calling cards. The first uses a modern calligraphy font:

cerulean press letterpress calligraphy-calling-card

The second style is a more modern typographic card:



If you click on the photos above they will take you to my Etsy shop where you can see more details about the cards. Both samples are printed with just name, phone number and e-mail address, but they could easily be modified to include a business name and be used as business cards. I'm working on updating my website to have information about all of my custom stationery so there will soon be more information and options available. Anyway, I don't generally make New Year's resolutions, but I have been thinking about some goals for the upcoming year. There are lots of small things that I want to do to grow the business this year, but my main goal is to get one order for wedding invitations. I do hope to have more than one, obviously, but I feel that getting the first order is the hardest and that will open the door for more to follow. I'm sure it won't be easy, but I think it's an attainable goal and one that I look forward to working towards in the coming months! Have you set any goals or resolutions for the New Year?
June 08, 2012


Finished Print ›   Notecards ›  

Custom Letterpress Notecards

A couple of months ago I printed some custom letterpress notecards for myself and as gifts for friends and family.


Each card is A6 size (148mm x 105mm). I printed 10 of each card and paired them with 10 recycled envelopes, tied up with coordinating yarn. I think I would like to get some baker's twine (maybe Divine Twine, although that stuff is pretty pricey) since it was really coincidence that I had yarn that matched the ink colour I used.

Custom Letterpress Notecards

I played around with a variety of fonts and pretty ornaments to flank each name. I think my favourite combinations are the top and bottom examples in the picture above.

Once I get the studio back up and running I will be offering custom notecards in my Etsy shop.

May 08, 2011


Finished Print ›  

Busy Bee

I've been super busy the past few weeks preparing for my first show, so I just wanted to take a quick break and post a few pictures of what I've been working on. Here is a set of greeting cards I designed based on some Mexican tiles. I've got two more designs in the pipeline but I haven't received the printing plates from the platemaker yet. Next, for the open studios I had to provide a piece that the organizers could sell for £55 (which goes toward the cost of putting on the show). It took me awhile to come up with something, but in the end I designed this three color print. I hand-carved all of the plates into linoleum (including the words) and then ran them through the press. I framed the print that I gave to the studio organizers and kept a few other unframed copies to try to sell myself. Finally, I've printed quite a few small pieces and turned them into notebooks. I feel like I'm finally starting to get to know my press and am getting prints that I am happy with. Now I just have to hope that other people like them as much as I do  :)
April 04, 2011


Finished Print ›  

Linocut Experiment

A couple of months ago I decided to try a little bit of experimentation with linoleum carving and printing. I started with something small and simple because I didn't want to get too frustrated. I decided what size paper I wanted to print on and then sketched out a basic sun design. The carving was more difficult than I was expecting, especially with the small "V" tool, which kept skiding across the surface and stabbing me in the hand. After carving (and a couple of bandages), this is what I ended up with, without the magenta ink.

I set it up on the press, mixed a blue ink and started printing. I printed two blue suns on either end of the paper, but when I looked at it I decided it was missing something. I wanted to print another sun with a different color, but that would have to wait for the blue ink to dry. The next day I went back to the studio and printed a third sun in magenta. I then set some type with my web address and printed that in the magenta. This is the final print.

There was only minimal overprinting, but I think it is a nice effect. Since the paper was long and thin I decided to do some bookbinding and turn the prints into little notepads, a perfect size to slip in a pocket or handbag.

As for the wording on the back, I've recently had a photopolymer plate made to use on the back of any items I make, so I probably won't be using this handset type again.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I really enjoyed the process and especially love that if you have the materials on hand it's easy to turn your idea into a printable plate without having to wait for a company to make/send a photopolymer plate. I look forward to a bit more experimentation!

October 06, 2010


Finished Print ›  

The first prints from the Arab

First, an apology: I had my camera with me in the studio, but when I was working and my hands were covered in gunk and ink I forgot to take pictures of the process. I definitely want to share those things here so I'm going to try to pay more attention in the future. Anyway...

Before moving to England I ordered a Boxcar base for my Kelsey 5x8 letterpress, along with some photopolymer plates with a few random designs. I tried printing a few of these designs on my Kelsey, but I could never really get good results because I was too ambitious with the designs and the little rollers couldn't put enough ink on the plates for a good print. I was really looking forward to trying out the plates on my new press, so the day I got my rollers I was off to the studio to test them out.

Letterpress Test Print

I was really happy with the way this first plate printed. The paper I was using was not particularly soft so there isn't much bite (impression) into the paper, but the ink coverage is even and it looks like the platen is adjusted correctly, so it was a pretty good start (aside from the fact that it took me awhile to get the gauge pins set up, so I wasted a few sheets of paper on crooked prints).


While the printing is pretty good for a first attempt, I think the card looks a bit plain and unbalanced as it is, so I'll probably have another plate made and add some words or something before I send them out into the big wide world.