Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Press!

I've been meaning to write about my press - how I found it, trying it out, getting it, etc. - for some time now, but it's been a little hectic with Hurricane Sandy coming in to town. (On a side, but related, note - my husband and I, and our two pets faired the super storm well compaired to others in the DC area.  Our lights only flickered a couple times, and we only had a couple broken branches from our tree in our yard.) I wish a fast recovery to everyone affected by Sandy!

Let me preface and say that this post is a little longer than my usual posts.

I'll continue on with the story of my press where I last left off, which was with my "midnight idea" (which I had back in late July.) As I mentioned in a previous post, I took a letterpress class in early August. It was so much fun; I was hooked, and officially bitten by the letterpress bug.  After that, I wanted and needed to learn more.  I found all these great resources that tied my letterpress craving over till my next scheduled class.  One of those sites was Briar Press.  Oh my goodness, it is a wonderful site for those who love letterpress.  I spent most of my time browsing through the classifieds section, searching for any tabletop presses.  Pretty much the month of August was devoting to finding a press. From my research, I was on the hunt for a 6.5x10 C&P Pilot tabletop press.  I found a couple that interested me, but they were either too far away or had too much needed repairs for this novice to handle. I wasn't having any luck finding a C&P Pilot. But persistance is key!

I came across two 6.5x10 Craftsman Superior tabletop presses! (The Craftsman Superiors were modeled after the C&P Pilot presses.) The first one I came across was located in a small PA town, about 20 minutes from where I went to college - it needed new roller cores, the price was right, and appeared to be in good operating condition.  The other press I found was located in Brooklyn - it was out of my preferred price range, but came with a few supplies, and was in good operating condition. 

Letterpresses go fast.  If they are in good operating condition, they will not be on Briar Press for long.  I emailed both sellers, and luckily both presses were still available.  The Brooklyn press really interested me for some reason, however the seller said that he only sells his presses to those who get to try them out first. Fate was working its magic though, because my husband and I were taking a weekend trip to Montauk, which is on the opposite end of Brooklyn on Long Island, for a Disabled Sports USA event. 

As for the other press, fate was working its magic for that one as well.  My husband and I had tickets to the Penn State vs. Navy football game on September 15th. We figured we could go check out the other press then.

The week leading up to our Montauk trip, I was planning on how our weekend would pan out so that I could go see the press in Brooklyn.  On the way to the BWI airport, my husband and I were going over the pros and cons for each of the presses. Did I want to deal with new rollers with the PA press? Would that be too complicated?  Or did I want to spend close to $3,000 for the ready-to-use press from Brooklyn?  Before we even made it to the airport, I had my decision, which is actually quite a feat. I am HORRIBLE when it comes to making decisions.  I over analyze nearly everything. I decided against the Brooklyn press. It really came down to the money, I just didn't want to spend that much money on a letterpress.

A couple weeks after our trip to Montauk, and after the Penn State vs. Navy game, my husband and I headed north to Bellefonte, a quaint little town outsite of State College.  The couple I bought my press from taught me a lot about my new tabletop press. I got to try out my new press in their basement print shop, and she was exactly what I was looking for.  I happily named her "Bellefonte Press."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Midnight Idea

Have you ever had a night where you couldn't sleep because your brain just couldn't shut down? I had one of those nights back in July. It was a long, sleepless kind of night. I maybe got 3 hours of sleep because my brain would not shut down, but for good reason.  I had a great idea!  I'll give a little recap on what led to my midnight idea. 

Back in July, I had a huge deadline for work.  It was a large, multi-office pursuit for a planning IDIQ contract for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I'm shuttering right now just thinking about it.  It was a very stressful deadline and it almost led me to quitting my job. I was stressed, and my only outlet was the gym...when I actually made it to the gym.  So a couple weeks passed by and then comes my midnight idea. I realized that I did not have a means of being creative anymore.  And I needed a creative outlet.  All my life, I have had some type of art form that has allowed me to be creative and expressive from ballet to art classes.  I realized I needed to bring art back in to my life.  I needed to take ballet classes again, and I needed to do something fun besides work and the gym.

That night I was up for hours coming up with all sorts of ideas for future crafts. I knew it was time for me to get my hands dirty with paint, ink, and glue. It's been a couple months since my midnight idea, but it has brought me to where I am now with my letterpress.  During the week, I can't wait to get home from work to do something related to my letterpress hobby. It's been fun, I now have one creative outlet - making stationery cards for myself and family and friends.  Next up is getting back into ballet.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Loving Letterpress

Lately I have been obsessing (you could ask my husband if that's the right word), but obsessing over letterpress.  Not sure where the obsession came from, just one day I really wanted to learn more about letterpress. I've taken a couple letterpress classes at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, a local arts studio in the Washington, DC area.  In the first class we printed on two Vandercooks.  At the time I had no idea what a Vandercook even was, but it's a large flat proofing press. The class was a lot of fun! I loved it so I signed up for a couple more letterpress classes.

A couple weeks ago my mom went to a class with me and we printed small stationary cards for my sister on one of the studio's tabletop presses.  It was a lot of fun having her come with me and showing her why I have become so obsessed with letterpress.

Isn't my mom so cute?  She had so much fun too, she wants to go back and take more classes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two Years!

Two years ago my husband and I got married on a beautiful fall day in Hershey, PA. It's crazy to think that our wedding was two years ago! It feels like just yesterday that I was hovering over my computer looking at all my favorite wedding blogs or working on a wedding-related craft. 

These two years have been wonderful and I can't wait to make more memories with my husband!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday!

Hello! Just a quick (and first!) post today and a sneak peek at what I've been up to lately.

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!