Monthly Archives: December 2008

Written With Love & Filled With Snow

I’ve been under snow for what feels like a month! But it was nice to have a white Christmas, a rare event in the Pacific Northwest.

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The snow got so deep that Mom worried we wouldn’t be able to reach her to pick her up and bring her back to my home in order to spend Christmas Day with us. So a couple days before Christmas we went to pick her up and sooth her nerves. She brought along her snow shovel and the plowing began!

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Talk about a big dig! But first thing’s first, I promised to show some of my envelopes from my Christmas cards.

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Sorry for having to blur so much, but I want to keep others privacy.

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Silver & gold, that was the color scheme for this years card.

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I letterpress printed the card and I’ll show you those once they’re all sent.

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But I can show you the Christmas 2007 card.

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I had extra 2007 cards so I sent some to some new folks on my list this year.

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My 2007 Christmas card was all handmade and designed by me.

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Water color painted in gouache paints. With a little sparkle added here & there with Stickles.

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Calligraphy was written in a flourished blackletter letterhand. This is another favorite letterhand of mine. It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve used it, however.

I have a couple things to finish up before the year comes to a close.

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One thing is to thaw out from this constant snow fall, but first I need to finish sending out my Christmas cards.

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In case I don’t post before the new year, everyone have a safe and happy new year! Oh! And before I forget, I resolved the trouble with seeing these photos larger! Now you can once again click on the photos to see a larger image! Yay!!!

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Elf In a Storm

A storm is a-comin’. They say it’s a blizzard. Up to 70mph wind, snow, ice, it’s fun sometimes, but there are times when I do wish I had dry pavement to drive on.

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But good thing for Ken, my UPS guy. Without fail, everyday he comes with a new delivery of pressies. He’s even better than the US mail! img_6531

I’ve heard it said come rain, come sleet, come ice or snow the US mail is always there. But not here! We hadn’t received mail for two days until today. I’m sure no one did in our cul-de-sac because there were no tire tracks in the snow at the mailboxes.

countrygirl(photo from Ann Wood Handmade)

But what to my wondering eyes should appear? A birdie I’ve been waiting for for what feels like a year! I’ve been waiting to get my hands on one of these and it finally arrived in the mail today. They’re so adorable and much larger than I imagined. I could hardly wait to open her up! And then there she was — Libby. So adorable, Miss Libby. She’s on my fireplace mantle right now.

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(photo courtesy of Ann Wood)

Handmade by the extremely talented Ann Wood. Have a look at what she’s currently working on on her blog here. When Ann sends out a notice that she has some new handmade treasures available on her web site they go fast! You can special order little bride & groom birds to use as cake toppers for your wedding or anniversary party or for just whenever. Put a handmade Ann Wood bird on top of any cake and I’d be a happy camper for sure! Mmmm…cake!

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Love this photo of my dogwood out back. The red branches against the white snow really pop. Well done Mr. R, well done.

Tonight I’m watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf. My all time favorite is A Christmas Story, but I watched that one recently. This is my most favorite scene.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Why is it that I’m 37-years-old and this scene cracks me up?! Anyhoo, watch a movie this weekend to help you get in the mood of the season. And stay off the naughty list everyone!

Next up, my Christmas cards…or maybe just the envelopes since they’ve not all been sent. If my power goes out, because of the snow and wind and all, it may take a while. It’s really comin’ down tonight! To everyone in snowy and chilly weather, stay warm and safe.

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Give Me An S! Give Me An N! Give Me An O! Give Me A W!

Today I’m definitely stuck inside, which isn’t all that bad since I do have Christmas things to do which require being home to do them. Why, you ask? Snow.

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Here in the Pacific Northwest, when the snow hits we all bunker down and try as much as possible not to drive anywhere (notice no cars coming down the busy road/hill in the photo – tonight I’m sure to hear a lot of drivers slipping and sliding trying to get up this hill), well at least most of us. We’re not normally a snowy part of Washington, so we don’t have the large amount of plows and other equipment to keep the roads and sidewalks clear. Definitely not like when I was living in Utah going to college. I swear the sidewalks must be heated on BYU campus! They always seemed to be perfectly clear!

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The past four or five years or so here the snow seems to keep coming much more often and much, much deeper. What is the new phrase they’re using? Climate control?

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I woke up this morning and there was almost 11″ of snow in our small city of Duvall. Now it’s past 12″ because my ruler is completely covered and it’s still coming down! The most of the traffic in Duvall are cross country skiers and my neighbor plowing the street and his long driveway on his quad. How fun is that?! It seems to be snowing everywhere in the Puget Sound areas surrounding Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.

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It was so deep that shoveling was required to carve a pathway to one of my plants to let my cute little Kosmo go out and pee. I think I’m going to have to dig a longer pathway for him to do his b’ness.

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He’s so funny! He goes outside and he stands there and does a quiet bark as if he’s Moses telling the sea to part. Then he runs to another area and barks, then another area and barks and that darn snow just doesn’t move! When he finally gives in he comes back inside and runs like mad dog around the house to let some energy loose.

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The snow has never been this deep before since I’ve lived in Duvall. Anyone care to roast some marshmallows in our fire pit above? Geez! I think my bird house is going to tip over from the weight of the snow!

It appears that most people are staying home, all schools are closed too. Some are forced to stay home from work as all on-ramps in Redmond to Highway 520 are closed. Guess that means Duvall has a lot of people working for Microsoft from home today.

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In other news, I’m trying to figure out why you can no longer click on my photos and enlarge them for a larger view. WordPress recently made some changes and I can’t figure out what I need to do to make this possible. I’m working on it though.

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Happy Wedding Day Olivia & Dion!!!!

Yes, it’s been a while. I’ve been swamped! Do you ever feel like you have so much to do and when the major stuff is out of the way all you want to do is relax and do nothing but decompress? Well that was me on Saturday. But now most all the packages are shipped to family & friends for the holidays, all invitations are done for the rest of the month and I even printed my Christmas cards too!

But first thing’s first, it was O & D’s wedding Saturday!!! Congratulations O & D!!!

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Saturday afternoon there was a knock on the door. I was still in my PJ’s, see I told you I did nothing! Knock again and what should appear? A beautiful bouquet of roses from O & D as a thank you.

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How lovely & how sweet!!! Right? They even match her wedding colors, burgundy & ivory. She must have planned that. I really love my family back in England. They’re all so very nice. O & D will be cruising on their honeymoon through the Caribbean. Looking at about six inches of snow in my back yard, our first snow in the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean sounds nice, warm, tropical and refreshing right now! O & D, here is wishing you many happy years together. May your wedding day be the start of a long adventure.

Last week I worked very hard on completing my first letterpress project for my local fire department.

circleinvitejpeg(The diamond hash marks are meant to just give an idea as they’re meant to be pressed with no ink. The calligraphy done by yours truly.)

I really thought I would have had time to play and test out my letterpress before promising someone some invites, but the repairing and restoring took much longer than expected, or rather, I just had a lot less free time than I expected. Thank you Mr. R, I couldn’t have met my deadline without your help.

cleaningpress(I’ll do a post later on cleaning & restoring the press.)

With Mr. R’s recommendation, I ended up splitting the two polymer plates I ordered from Boxcar Press into three parts.

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One part the upper diamond plate pattern,

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second part the lower diamond plate pattern

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and third the remaining polymer plate printed in silver ink. Cutting the diamond plate pattern into three parts and running each part separately through the press helped give a better, although still not the best, impression.

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However, it also made it that much longer to finish. It’s almost like doing three ink runs!!!! That gets really pricey from what I’ve seen from letterpress artists & vendors and now I know why.

I’ve learned that with my letterpress printer, a Kelsey 6×10, doesn’t do so well in giving a deep impression with a large surface area.

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These little tabletop presses just can’t apply 2,000 pounds of pressure like the motorized, floor standing presses. But it did a decent job. I’ve read that some older letterpress printers say the presses weren’t meant to give deep impressions, but many artists will continue to produce letterpress this way because that’s what the public wants and they will pay extra to get it.

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On the final day of printing I printed the last plate in silver ink. Getting the correct roller height took some maneuvering. I used the trick I learned from Boxcar Press about taping the press rails so that the rollers are just barely touching.

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However, it’s just like me to not realize straight away that I failed to tape them all the way down the rails, thus causing an uneven impression.

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No matter how much padding I added or took away, the printing still looked thicker on one end of the words “Annual” & “Recognition”. I had 20 left to print and then I saw it! The rollers were inking too much of my plate because I failed to apply the tape all the way down the rails! Oy Vey!

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But I wasn’t about to reprint.

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Especially since the fire department is only being charged for the cost of materials. You can’t tell in these photos really, but trust me, it was a bit uneven.

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Until I have my press, its name is Clark by the way, comfortable, mounted to its painted counter top, all press supplies organized and sitting in its permanent location, I’m holding off on doing anymore press work. But it was fun to do and I’m glad I got to help the fire department one more time.

There’s rumor of snow Wednesday! It’s cold here and this weekends snow has iced over. Once again, have fun in the Carribean O & D! I’m so envious!

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