Baby Stepping into Letterpress

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I am super excited to be writing this post, as this marks the beginning of my letterpress documentation. You get to sit in shotgun and watch me stumble and learn how to letterpress.

If some of you were curious – I am hoping to be able to create my own stationary. I am especially interested in creating letterpressed cards featuring whimsical, weird messages (think unicorns, narwhals, and such) and/or science-nerd-love cards. I am more than slightly obsessed with the beautiful texture letterpress provides, which is unachievable through screen printing. Correct me if I’m wrong.

How did this interest begin?

Well, I surprised my boyfriend with a letterpress workshop last year as a present. Then several months later, I took it upon myself to learn screen printing. I slowly developed a strong desire to create adorable cards, but realized most places producing beautiful, imprinted cards used some type of press. So of course, I immediately signed up for a letterpress class.

Let me introduce you to a couple of my friends over at Spudnik Press:

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Meet The Pearl. By spinning the wheel on the side, you move the rollers up and down so it collects ink from the circle above. You are also probably not paying attention to what I am saying at this point, and instead thinking about Pirates of the Caribbean. I don’t blame you.

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Meet her sister, The Pilot. She operates with the side lever, which makes it a tad clunky to use. Moving the lever down brings the two rollers up (thus inking the letters) and your paper is pressed into the type. At the roller’s highest point, it makes contact with the inked surface, thus collecting ink. When the lever is brought down, it sets a new layer of ink on the type and your piece is moved away from the set type.

As you can see, my project was set up on The Pilot. We were only focusing on setting Linear Type: having the same type of character and point height on the same line.

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While setting the type, it was super important to make sure everything fit tightly and that no pieces could fall out when lifted. I even snuck in some thin pieces of copper to make the type more snug.

The wood pieces surrounding the type are known as furniture. These are blocks of wood used to help hold the type in place.

The little alligator teeth are known as quoins. These are screwed tightly together using a quoin key (not pictured), so as to lock the furniture in place.

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I didn’t personally mix any ink this time around, but a few of my classmates mixed colors together based on the Pantone Color Guide. In letterpress printing, a little bit of ink goes a very long way.

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And here we go! First official print job ever – a simple business card for my blog and dream print company.

Baby steps, y’all.

Those Things 004: Bird of Virtue

GEOMETRIC ALERT.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend (A, featured from my last post) and I were galavanting in San Francisco. We hold many dear memories from the time we both “interned” in the city during our young college years (if you call interning working at a small chocolate company, sure).

Our main focuses in SF: window shopping, occasionally purchasing, waiting for 3 hours to eat, and eating.

One brand of jewelry I came across that I adored was Bird of Virtue. Linnea uses wood laser techniques to craft her beautiful necklaces and earrings. I only managed to leave the town with studs and I wish the store had featured her other pieces. Upon looking online at her work, I also discovered she has a “String Theory” collection. I, of course, giggle with happiness.

Ah well, better late than never, am I right?

She has a fascinating collection of braille necklaces as well.

“Wonder”

She also has a delightful collection for men. Great presents for the men, ladies. (My man is a startup lad, so no formalwear for him).

My heart literally stopped for this piece. The geometric pattern! The colors!

Resource Run 07/26/15

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++ Fashion ++
I’ve been looking for a pair of light wash jeans that would look amazing with some brown, short boots. I may have found a stunning winner from Judi Rosen of Wicker Park, Chicago.
++ Blog/Coding ++
Too be honest, still trying to figure this article out. I’ve never thought to figure out a hierarchy for my tags, but I think once I get to truly designing my own blog layout, this is something I would like to focus on as part of that project.
++ Letterpress ++
I am currently three classes in deep with my beginner’s letterpress course and am absolutely in love. Another part of my secret dream is to have my own letterpress studio that creates custom letterpress materials for events and distribute my own designs to stores. Anyways, enough dreaming for now, but I did come across this great post about 7 places to find a letterpress. Holding on to this one, for sure.
++ Design ++
If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve been using this blog to minimally practice some flat design skills (cough, this post, cough). I came across this infographic about flat design when I created my own first infographic, and was sure to incorporate some elements into my image. I hope you find this as useful as I did.
Let me know if you found any links this week that fall under these categories! I also wanted to share my official Space Thyme Pinterest with y’all, where these links will definitely live along with other things I find fascinating (Tswift styles? Hollaaa).

Those Things 003: Eshelman Pottery

For these past couple of weeks, my best friend and I have been taking part in a beginner’s pottery course (largely for mental health reasons, of course).

As cheesy as it sounds, I signed up largely for the experience rather than the final product. I don’t really mind if I don’t take anything home.

That means when I see inspiring pottery, such as Eshelman Pottery, I am itching to reach for my wallet and purchase, oh you know, like half of their pieces.

I absolutely adore the simple yet unusual shapes of their pieces. And their color glazes make my heart melt.

Storytime: found out about these amazing artists at Hyde Part Art Festival earlier this year. My boyfriend bought an orange version of the mug below, and was not a fan of the light blue. I, on the other hand, am completely in love with the blue and I am having the opposite of buyer’s remorse. Is there a term for this? Non-buyer’s remorse? I reckoned we had so many Starbucks mugs, Adventure Time mugs, etc. I wouldn’t regret it. Now every time I see his orange mug I am crying on the inside.

I should probably buy it right? You tell me.

Resource Run 07/19/15

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++ Blog/Coding ++

Some prime advice from the lovely lady of Its Pink Pot on CSS tricks to transform the look of your blog.

++ Typography ++

Who knew that a special form of font was created for vision tests? Learn more about optotypes here. 

++ Design ++ 

Little does my boyfriend know that I am doing a bit of promotion on his behalf – not that he needs it for his already well-read article on the 5 principles of User Friendly Design in action. But seriously, give it a read. Clear, succinct advice that can apply to any designer’s work.

I also spoke to soon last week. Another excellent tool for your toolkit in Flat UI design for selecting colors. Apparently these colors are deemed best for Flat Design due to their lack of saturation.

++ Print ++

I stumbled upon HelloLucky, a letterpress card maker, during my recent trip to San Francisco and was hit with a smattering of envy. This is what I strive to achieve, I do not lie.

++ Fashion ++

Speaking of envy, Sade of In my Sunday Best poses in a glorious jean dress with an adorable head scarf. These are going on my next month purchasing list for sure…

Create More Than You Consume

It’s been a strange past three weeks – I have been intensely busy with my new work. It is not detrimentally stressful nor painful for my soul to do, which was how I felt with my first few months of teaching.

Instead, my Google Calendar (which I’ve never really relied upon before) has been chock full of phone calls.

As suggested by a coworker, I have now begun blocking off 4-5 hours of a time per day and labeled it as “Sanity”. No phone calls, no interviews, no meetings allowed. Phew.

I wanted to create a separate blogpost to highlight something I read as part of Sean Wes‘ newsletter on Handlettering. The email was titled “Has Your Hand Lettering Spark Fizzled Out? Here’s 5 Ways to Stay Motivated & Driven”.

Number 3 was a screenshot of the words: “Create More Than You Consume.”

Hmm.

When I read it, I was in momentary denial that I consume much more than I create. I mean, I’m not a huge shopper! But after a moment’s reflection I realized the consumerism in my life was subtle.

I love to learn. I really do. I could devour books, read blog posts with informative tutorials and tips, watch tutorials on Codecademy/Team Treehouse, go to lectures, peruse Etsy, and listen to podcasts on end. I am an image and information sponge. But the truth is, when it comes to my dreams of wanting to do X, Y, and Z after being inspired by all the things listed above, I halt at creation. Instead, I fall back into the “consuming” information cycle.

Why do I do this? Well, because it’s easy.

Creation takes more than inspiration. It requires planning, diligence, development of skills, setting goals with tangible steps, and most importantly, follow through.

Action Item? To hold myself accountable – every 5 things I peruse, I must create.

Whether it be drafting an idea, adding to an art project, designing my webpage, writing a blog post, sketching, painting, creating something after being inspired, etc… creating must > consuming.

How do you feel about this concept? Do you think you consume or create more? How do you find the balance? Let me know!

002 Those Things: Mica Peet

For those who don’t know me (and even do know me), I am a sucker for a few things in the holy Jewelryland:

1. Earrings

2. Geometric shapes, particularly triangles or hexagons.

3. Anything eccentric/weird.

I came across Mica Peet’s Etsy store while I was on the hunt to create a bird-themed collage. I became so enamored with her work that I felt the need to create an entirely separate blog post. Cue the birdsongs.

Mica Peet uses a combination of paper, brass, and lasered cut wood to make her beautiful creations. Her shop features items in addition to jewelry, like these coasters below (I can’t handle how much I love the contrast between the colored paper and the infinite black circles in the badger’s face!).

So I could stop now or just keep going…