Category Archives: Letterpress

Letterpress Baby

I’ve been playing with my Letterpress plates again – this time with their Baby set.

The card uses Crane’s Lettra paper.  I’ve mentioned this paper in a previous post.  It’s 100% cotton and Crane’s made it specifically for letterpressing.  It is sold in 110lb and 300lb weights – the 110lb weight is very thick and sturdy, yet soft enough (because it is cotton) to take the letterpress plates and make a good impression.

The paper that is sold by Lifestyle Crafts, who make the L Letterpress is very good paper too.  It is thick and soft but it is not sold in sheets.  They sell it in card sizes but if you want a top fold card like this one you are out of luck.  This  is one reason I am using the Crane’s paper.  Both the Lifestyle Craft and Cranes paper are sturdy enough for a no layer card. 

I aligned the letterpress pieces and paper on the plate, inked them with light blue ink and ran it through my Cuttlebug.  The sentiment was done the same way using a Spellbinder oval die to cut the shape first, then press the image.  Here is a close up of the images to give you a better idea of how the machine presses the plate into the paper for a debossed, or engraved image.

For the “onsie” image in the center,  I punched a star using a small hand punch I’ve had for ages and just adhered it onto the image.

Blue sheer ribbon and silver cord are  the finishing touches.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Embossed cherry blossoms

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that we spent much of last week on Pensacola Beach, where the beaches were free and clear  of oil and tar balls.  No sooner had I posted when I turned on the news only to find out that overnight a bunch of oil had washed ashore and that while the beaches were still open, the water was off limits for now because of the oil.  I feel like a jinx!

On to better thoughts….I really love it when a card comes together on the first try.   When I set out to make a card, my usual process calls for a series of samples – testing out the image, coloring and sketches before I decide on the final version.

I had this particular sketch and image in mind and as I started putting it together somehow all the test pieces worked perfectly the first time.

I stamped the cherry blossom (from Stamp Francisco) in versamark and embossed it with a sepia colored embossing powder from BMuse. The image was colored with SU pink markers and an aqua brush for a water colored look.  The pale blue background was also color washed with bashful blue ink.  The sentiment, from Flourishes, was stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa.

Here is a close up of the chocolate cardstock.   This piece  is embossed – or debossed really –  with the Leaf plate from the LetterPress Holiday – Thanksgiving set. 

A note about the white cardstock.  For this card I used Cranes Lettra cardstock.  I purchased this specialty paper  to use with my Letterpress kits.  The paper is made by Cranes specifically for letterpress.  It is 100% cotton and has a wonderful softness to it – like, well, cotton!  Since it is 110lb weight it is stiff enough for a no layer card and perfect for letterpressing because the plates deboss, or engrave, so well in this cotton paper.

So – why did I use this paper for “regular” stamping instead of saving it for letterpress?    A few reasons.  I had the top piece left over from another project and I wanted to see how well the paper did with regular stamping, wet embossing and watercoloring.

I am happy to report stamping and wet embossing worked perfectly.  With the watercoloring, I first started with a blender pen and did not get good results, so I switched to an aqua pen and achieved the results you see here.  I’m thinking that because the paper is 100% cotton it works well with a wash of color and water, and while it is not watercolor paper, it held up well.

Since the main panel was the Cranes Lettra paper I decided to make the base card with the same paper.  It is heavyweight, but very soft and because of the high quality that goes into making this paper the overall card ended up “feeling” like a high quality card.    The paper is expensive, but is perfect for no layer cards and letterpressing.

Thanks for stopping by today!

back to stamping!

We had family visiting last week so no time to craft, but what an enjoyable week it was!

We spent just about every day down on Pensacola Beach and I am happy to report that there was no oil and no tar balls!  I  spent most of the time under the beach umbrella, but did manage to get a little color on me.  We saw alot of fish in the water – one day a small group of sting rays showed up and just kept swimming along the waters edge – they did not seem to mind the people in the water – it was a great sight!

Today’s card is based on the sketch challenge at SCS and I wanted to use some of the Stampin Up ribbon I’ve been holding on to. 

The image and sentiment were stamped with celery, apricot and pumpkin inks.  The flower is from Starving Artistamps and the sentiment from Flourishes.  The paper is celery and apricot.   Both the striped and solid ribbons are from SU.

You can’t really tell from the photo but the middle panel has the flower image stamped in white on it. 

The back panel is embossed with a Letterpress diamond plate that is part of their Baby set.  I used this plate uninked to get an embossed (really  debossed) look, but I could have easily used white ink with it to bring out the pattern a little more.  I really like this particular pattern and will most likely use it alot!!  I also like the flexibility of using these plates with or without ink.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Letterpress – take 2; travel notes – a rainbow of greens

I first tried the L Letterpress dies and inks back in April with no success (see my brief notes on this page here  Essentially Letterpress is debossing images with ink onto a paper.  In my first try I had trouble with getting the ink on only  the small die (and nowhere else), and the die kept slipping even with their adhesive sheets.  What  ended up was a mess!

My local Hobby Lobby had a sale this past week on all L Letterpress items (30% off), so I decided to get a different die, some Letterpress paper and more ink in other colors.  

My results were much better this time around.  Here is my clean and simple card – you really can’t see the debossing in this photo, but it came out very nice.

I think my results were more successful this time around for a few  reasons.

First – I used the L Letterpress paper.  This is heavyweight, but soft paper that takes impressions well.  I selected a package of 40  A2 flat pieces and with the sale price it came to $4.90.  The Letterpress die made a nice impression in the paper – I tried it first without ink  and then again with ink – both results were clean and crisp.   My only disappointment was the card size.  Since my background die was about a 6″ square it would have been nice to have paper close to this size.  I believe you can get full sheets of Letterpress paper and I may just do that instead of purchasing the cards.

Second:  The background and sentiment die used in this card have a larger “footprint” than  in my first try  – which was a delicate and very narrow flourish die.  Because the dies used today were larger, I was able to apply the ink better.  I ended up with no smudges – in fact my card done on the first try!  The small smudges on the sentiment came from me handling the paper before the ink was dry.  (Letterpress ink takes a loooong time to dry).    In the future I will stick to dies with larger footprints  –  I especially like the backgrounds.  My card was made with the “Everyday – Blossoms” kit, which contains the background and sentiment shown here,  as well as 4 floral images, 3 other sentiments and one long, narrow decorative line.  I will probably never use the long decorative line because it is so narrow, but the rest of the pieces will be usable.  The price, with the 30% discount came to $17.50, but you can get it cheaper if you wait until it is not on sale and use your 40% off coupon.  So, for about the cost of a stamp set you can get a background image and 8 other images that can be used both with and without ink. 

Third –  I don’t use the adhesive sheets that come with the dies as they just don’t do the job.  I use scotch double stick tape.  And I did not use the little foam pieces that came with the Letterpress starter kit.    The pieces of foam are supposed to be used to hold your paper in place, but there is just too much “give” in them and can cause your paper to shift.  Instead, I used scotch reposition-able tape  at the top and bottom of my paper, which means I lost a little bit  of usable paper once the ink was applied (because the tape covered a small portion of the paper).  This is another reason to get larger sheets of letterpress paper!  Anyway, the reposition-able tape worked well.

So, my second time around with L Letterpress was much better and I think more dies (with a 40% coupon of course!) will be in my future!.

Notes from the Travel Journal:  a rainbow of greens

From the Outer Banks, NC, we traveled north to Virginia to drive the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway.   The 460 mile scenic road follows the Appalachian mountain ridgetops through much of its course and takes you through 4 states – Virginia, North and South Caroline and Tennessee. 

The drive through the mountains is serene as well as scenic.  I marveled the “rainbow of greens” here!  There was every shade of green imaginable  – from the deepest black green to a sage green that looked white in the sunlight, to pretty yellow greens, and every green in between.  Interspersed in all this greenery were pops of bright colors from the flowers and shrubs: pink and purple rhododendrons, flaming orange  and red azaleas, white hydrangeas, and small blue flowers called bluets. 

If you are going to travel the parkway, get your hands on a copy of the free Blue Ridge Parkway Directory and Travel planner.  It tells you,  by mile marker, the sites and towns along the way.  There are several visitor centers on the parkway, but no gas stations and the directory provides  information on where to stop for gas and food and lodging.

One of the most picturesque places on the parkway is at mile marker 176, the site of the old Mabry Mill.  This gristmill offers demonstrations during the summer months (a week after we were here), but were able to walk the grounds and into the mill and get a sense of what life was like 100 years ago. 

 Photos of this mill are on many of calendars and postcards – here is my scenic shot – the reflection of the mill came out great and the pink flowers on the right help to frame the shot.

Thanks for stopping by today.  In my next post I’ll talk about our last stop before heading home – Asheville, the home of the Biltmore Estate and tell you why I don’t recommend it as a place to visit.

a card makeover, a letterpress mess, and finally facebook

You ever have one of THOSE days?  

While trying to get my mojo back, I made this card for this weeks clean and simple sketch challenge at SCS.  It’s apparent that my mojo has not returned (I think I threw it away by mistake while cleaning the stamp room last weekend)

So, this morning I could not stand to look at it and took it apart.  I salvaged the card base and the stamped images and created something slightly different, but a little better (imho!).  While this version does not meet the challenge criteria at least I felt better about it!!!!  The images were stamped on Fabriano Watercolor paper using Brilliant Blue and Green Galore markers.  The blue and green papers are from The Paper Company Seaside collection.  The stamps are from Stamp Zia (nautilus), Fred Mullett (starfish), and Flourishes (scallop and sentiment). 


I made a Letterpress mess this morning.  I purchased the L Letterpress kit a few days ago and tried it out this morning.   What a mess!  Ink all over the place and a letterpressed image that was far from the quality impressions you see on their site!  It is going to take alot of trial and error with this machine and I hope I can make it work.   If you are just starting to try out this machine you want to be very careful to line up the plate and your card, and inking the plate requires a very delicate touch to prevent getting ink on areas that you don’t want ink.    You know how when you ink a rubber stamp and some ink gets on the edges where you trimmed the stamp?  Then you stamp the image and you have those areas that ended up with ink on them and they end up on the paper?  The same holds true for the letterpress plates only it’s a little harder to make sure the ink is only on the raised portion of the plate.

Anyway, i’ll need to do more playing around with this machine before I can post.

Finally Facebook

I didn’t think I would find the whole Facebook thing interesting or appealing ……until I signed up!!  I already spend way too much time on the computer and this just adds to that problem.  I’m sure the newness will wear off after awhile, but until then I’m enjoying connecting with my family members from around the country and with friends I’ve lost touch with over the years.

If you’re on facebook, let me know!

thanks for stopping by!