Practice makes perfect

This past weekend I decided to take some time to practice photographing my cards and staging little vignettes. The inspiration actually came from two types of my favourite May flowers - lilacs and lily of the valley! Ahhh that captivating smell! I still can't decide which one I like better so I decided to go with both.

And then I simply played around with the placement of the cards (product of the letterpress workshop I took back in March) and the decorative pieces. Here are some shots.

Now, the goal is to actually get a professional camera...I mean, something a bit more powerful than my phone camera. On the flip side, it is impressive that these were taken with an Android, wouldn't you agree?

The long weekend

Today is the last day of a wonderful long weekend. Filled with small reno projects and gardening, late breakfasts and relaxing in the park, those were three fantastic days I got to spend with my love. What could be better than that? The sudden outburst of green and sunshine definitely added to the mix and lifted up our spirits. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:

The earth laughs in flowers.

This photo of the blooming crab apple tree in our yard most certainly visualizes this quote. It also sums up my weekend!

Hello May

Happy 1st day of May! I might be biased (I was born this month) but May is my favourite month! Unfortunately it doesn't feel like May outside as it has been pouring rain for the last few days and the the trees are still bare. But as the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers". Here is hoping! Off topic, but related to happy things, here is a little letterpress inspiration coming from FuguFugu Press. I received this beauty of a card as a little surprise from my husband. You should feel the impression on it! The design is brilliant and so is the printing. I love it!

The sun was shining bright the day I took this photo. Nice to see the sun beams shining through the window frame and reflecting off the card.

Quest for a letterpress

Let me start with this:

The last few weeks have been busy. Alongside a full-time job, I have been filling my days with online letterpress research, gathering a ton of information and reaching out to fellow printers. I'm on a quest for my own letterpress!

When I first discovered, and in turn, became obsessed with letterpress printing (which was shortly after my wedding), I made a secret pact with myself. I promised myself that I'll trade my wedding dress for a letterpress! I thought to myself, what a marvelous idea to exchange something as precious and lovely as my own wedding gown for something that my soul desires so deeply. And let's be honest, since purchasing a letterpress is a significant expense (as was purchasing a wedding gown), the idea of exchanging one for the other seemed ideal to me. It still does today, however the process of selling the dress is not as quick as I thought it would be. But I haven't given up yet!

And then there is the predicament of purchasing the right press. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there, yet the process is still confusing for an inexperienced printer like myself. I have reached out to the one and only letterpress equipment supplier in Canada, Don Black Linecasting, and placed a hold on a 5x7.5 Sigwalt. I have read so many wonderful things about Sigwalt presses, however the size of the press is a concern. For the amount of money to be spent, the return is questionable as the size introduces various limitations. All along, I have come across numerous ads on Briar Press (an invaluable source of information for letterpress printers, by the way). However, all of the presses listed on there are located in the US, which again becomes tricky in terms of transportation and additional expenses. I also found an ad for a 6x10 Kelsey located only few hours away from where I live. Perfect, I thought! The press however requires new rollers and some cleaning. I have also read enough about Kelseys to know that they are not the best of the best. Again, whether it's the right investment....I'm not convinced. And to top it all off, today I routinely checked Ladies of Letterpress (another wonderful letterpress community), and spotted an ad for a C&P Pilot! This the press I fell in love with during my first ever letterpress workshop and I was so excited to find this ad. The price is right, yet the press is missing rollers, has a crack in the frame, and is located in the US. Not a simple decision yet again...

Decisions are hard indeed, but I'm determined to keep going on my quest for a letterpress! I have invested so much into this process already. And I like to believe that the more time I spend on researching and asking questions, the better decision I'll make in the end.

Life is short

Today has been difficult...I received news about a family member's health concerns via a phone call. My family is not just in a different city or country, they are on a different continent. The physical distance is difficult on a daily basis, but especially when there are problems or health issues on either end. It is tough to be away from the family network, and it seems unfair at times, especially during those difficult moments. But such is life... And then we received shocking news at work about sudden death of a certain politician. He stepped down from a public office just a month ago, ready to enjoy life after retirement. And look what happened. Such is life?

After the string of bad news today, I remembered the quote I saw on Holstee's Instagram page not too long ago:

Chase your passion, not your pension.

- Denis Waitley -

It pulled on my heart strings the first time I read it and it did the same today. This is my strong belief put into most perfect words I could never come up with myself. It talks about the internal struggle of heart and reason. It is the internal struggle that my heart and my reason seem to be involved in these days, which is way more pronounced now than ever before in my life. It might be the fact that I'm getting older and finding out for myself what is truly important in life. And it might simply be the certainty of knowing that life is short and that we should never take it for granted.

4:06 minutes of happiness

Pharrell's Happy is my recent obsession, that is for sure. I love this song! And I'm happy to see that it took over the world. There are a number of videos on YouTube of people from all over the world dancing to this gem of a tune. Regardless of where we are in this world, happiness is present, and that is lovely to see!

Happy Friday

Here is a little weekend inspiration. I think Ella got it right:

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.

- Ella Fitzgerald -