Christmas is Coming!

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About once a week I drive past a big sign that loudly proclaims how many weeks until Christmas, well this morning when I drove past that sign I nearly chocked on my coffee, can you believe it is only 7 weeks until Christmas?

I was considerably well prepared this year, having designed my Christmas range back in September and printed it in October, I have, however been a little slack in sharing all my wonderful Christmas paper goods with the world, so here goes…

introducing my range of letterpress Christmas cards, gift tags and new this year- coasters! You can of course purchase any of this loveliness from my Etsy shop, Coco Press.

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Letterpress Christmas Coasters

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Father’s Day Card

I know I love to search high and low for the perfect Father’s Day gift, but we all know you can’t find the perfect gift and not have the perfect card to go with it!

Introducing my new letterpress Father’s Day card, printed in a fun aqua green and bright orange, this is not a card that will get lost on the mantlepiece!

It is of course available in my shop.

letterpress fathers day card fday9 fday1

Start at the Beginning

I have decided to get back to those New Year’s Resolutions, I know, I know, that was six months ago, it will be time to think about 2014 resolutions soon… Anyhow back to the blog post, I want to start sharing more of my story, a bit more about my journey so far, so where else to start but at the beginning?

Why did I start my business in the first place?

Two little girls raced each other home from school, anticipation shining in their eyes, so excited were they by the afternoon ahead.

Pink cheeked and breathless they dove into cool shadows beneath the veranda, and the hunt for perfectly shaped rocks began once again. By dinner time they had a line of freshly painted pet rocks arrayed before them.

These two little entrepreneurs were determined to go into the business of selling pet rocks with the lofty goal of saving enough money to buy a kitten.

I guess you could say my entrepreneurial journey started early, though it has been on hold until more recently. Caught up in the global zeitgeist that is the handmade movement, I have rediscovered my love of art and craft in a big way.

Rediscovering my love of art and craft especially print making lit a flame in my belly that I have only been able to control by immersing myself in the handmade movement. Not content to watch from the sidelines I decided the best way to get involved was to start my own business.

Being a part of the handmade movement makes my heart sing with joy, I love the idea of someone working from a home studio crafting an item that will end up a treasured belonging in someone else’s home. I love that hand made harks back to an earlier time when you know the person who grew your food, made your bread and yes your gifts, cards and homewares- a time of hand crafted goodness.

Introducing My New Press

My 7x11 Challenge

About a month ago, after many long months of searching, I was lucky enough to win an eBay bidding war for my beautiful new letterpress. Its a 7 x 11 Craftsman, its hand operated makes beautiful music when in action and I am in love with all its shiny brightness.

Hmmm, but I hear some of you ask, what is letterpress?

Letterpress is a traditional printmaking method that harks back to a time of handmade, when things were done slowly with love and care. It is a technique of relief printing using a printing press, where the printmaker composes and locks moveable type into the bed of the press, inks it and presses paper against it to transfer ink from the type to create an impression in the paper. Though I have a substantial collection of moveable type and can print text invitations and business ephemera in this method I usually print in a modern letterpress method that employs the use of custom made photopolymer printing plates.

I had a wonderful weekend experimenting with my press and wanted to share some action shots with you.

Letterpress Craftsman

This is a view of the rollers and the inking plate coated in sexy silver ink.

Letterpress craftsmanA view from above, you can see the photopolymer plate, the rollers and a printed card on the right.

Letterpress Craftsman

This is another view into the press, you can see the inked up photopolymer plate ready to be printed.

Vintage Letterpress Cards

I’m really enjoying the challenge of expanding my range of Letterpress Cards. I have learnt so much about letterpress in the last year and I think it’s starting to reflect in my work. I am starting to probe the boundaries of my design capabilities, experimenting with how much detail I can incorporate, learning to mix ink colours and all sorts of other fun printery things.

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caravanI hope you enjoy this peek at the new additions to my Letterpress Cards and as always they are available at my Made it Shop, my etsy Shop and if you are in Brisbane or Melbourne you can find my work at in.cube8r.

9 Inspirational Reads

Lately I seem to be consumed with a thirst for knowledge, from somewhere deep within I have dredged up even more passion and fire for my fledgling printmaking business. I have been seeking out advice, inspiration and motivation wherever I can find it.

In between looking after my beautiful baby girl, did I tell you she took her first steps yesterday, and creating a business I don’t have a great deal of spare time but somehow I always manage to squeeze in a little reading here and there. In the spirit of sharing and nurturing, after all isn’t that one of the things that draws us to the creative handmade community, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite reads.

Who knows maybe they will inspire and motivate you too and on the flip side if you are reading anything great please tell me all about it and I will follow you down the information rabbit hole!

So in no particular order:

The War of Art – Steven Pressman

The Skool of Life blog – Srinivas Rao

Create and Thrive blog – Jess Van Den

Forbes blog

The Purple Cow – Seth Godin

Build a Little Biz blog – Karen Gunton

The TMF Project blog– Ash Ambirge

Betty Means Business blog- Kate Byrne

The Small Army Strategy – Srinivas Rao

Please note I was in part inspired to write this post by the wonderful lady behind the great blog Create and Thrive, Jess Van Den, she has a regular post full of great ideas for more reading, called Sunday Reading, you should check it out!