orion nathaniel & milan aurelia

Posted by debbie lee on

you've got to love unique names. this past weekend i finished up baptism invitations for a joint baptism for orion nathaniel and milan aurelia-- the first born children of two cousins- debbie & dawn- and their lucky husbands. of the two cousins, dawn is a good friend of mine, who also happens to be the executive director {among a list of hats she wears} of the ever so talented culture shock chicago, a non-for-profit professional hip hop dance troupe and youth outreach organization. they have saturday classes that are open to the public so if you want to get your dance on, you should give it a try!

{printed with magnesium plates in silver oil based ink on 110 lb crane's lettra in pearl white and matted on metallic silver 102 lb cover, paired with a soft white rounded envelope}

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gertrude update

Posted by debbie lee on

a few months ago i acquired gertrude, an old style gordon. this is her before shot-- all dismantled, sad, and pathetic

she's been out of commission for some time now... but look at gertrude now

she's still not all together yet, but she's feeling much better {you like how i humanize my presses?}. she still needs a new feed board, new motor, new rollers, and a heavy duty cleaning, but thanks to my husband and his newfound interest, gertrude should be up and running in no time!

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welcome gertrude

Posted by debbie lee on

i saw an ad on briar press for an 8x12 chandler and price platen press for a good price, but dismantled.. i of course jumped at the chance. after a lovely 20 minute phone conversation with linda miller, the owner of the press, i decided to go see it. so last monday the husband accompanied me to the small town of loves park, il. we drove through two hours of scenic grassland and had some windmill sightings, which perked the husband's interest.

when we got there, it was NOT what i expected. i thought maybe a few things were dismantled-- maybe a lever here, a lever there, a flywheel here, and an ink disk there. oh no. it was almost COMPLETELY dismantled. one good thing though is that the press was a 10x15, not an 8x12 like the ad stated. after looking at the press up and down- all sad and dismantled- i was ready to say my goodbyes, get back on the road and drive two hours back home. but when i looked at my husband and said, "so what do you think?", he gave me this look and said, "sure, get it" what?! i asked my husband warily, "you know this is all you, right? you're going to help me clean it up and put it back together?" the good husband appeased me and said yes. so after an hour of watching the amazingly strong linda miller and my husband pick up and pack the car with over a thousand pounds of cast iron steel in the blistery cold wind, we were ready to lug my new press home. this is what we saw when we arrived

and this is what the dismantled press and all its pieces looked like in the car

am i crazy or what? miss miller kept calling the press "fred", but i have a friend named fred and it just didn't seem fitting. my husband came up with "gertrude"... i like it... gertrude it is. so now gertrude is in our garage, waiting to be cleaned up and put back together.. a big project ahead of us as gertrude is covered with years of dirt, grime, and grease. i'll be sure to post on our progress and of course the finished product.


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flirty business cards for flirtation flowers

Posted by debbie lee on

my good friend jackie, sole proprietor of flirtation flowers, asked me to make some business cards for her.  note to self-- make some business cards for myself!

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goose, as in wayzgoose, not the feathered friend

Posted by debbie lee on

last weekend was hectic. the good husband accompanied his wife and drove her 4 hours away, to stay only 3 hours, to drive back 4 hours on only 2 hours of sleep to the amalgamated printer's association's wayzgoose & 16th annual midwest and great norther printer's fair (that's a mouthful!) in mt. pleasant, iowa. i had no idea what wayzgoose even meant until a few minutes ago when i looked it up on wikipedia, meaning- "Wayzgoose was at one time the name for an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew's Day (24 August). This marked the traditional end of summer and the point at which the season of working by candlelight began. Later, the word came to refer to the annual outing and dinner of the staff of a printing works or the printers on a newspaper."

on with my little road trip story.. so we awoke at 4am and drove through hours of a whole lot of this

when we arrived though, we saw plenty of neat things like this



and check out this paper cutter.. this is no fiskar's brand paper cutter from hobby lobby

we saw recycled type being cast right in front of us by sky himself, joined by his wife johanna, the dynamic duo of skyline type foundry. i even bought some brand spankin new type and a border set from them

the coolest thing was the newspaper demonstration on the steam powered babcock press. how crazy is this?

after the paper is printed, it's fed through this crazy contraption to get folded and the ends trimmed

we also saw some letterpress posters like this

and amid all the huge, industrial machinery, we also saw these cute collectible hand presses from paul aken's massive collection that make up the platen press museum in zion, il

and after all of that, i just couldn't leave empty handed! i of course had to purchase a few goodies...

-3 used type sets

-7 tubes of oil based ink

-2 new sets of type

-1 new border set

-3 new gauge pins

-a ton of old but never used borders

-and a husband with a greater appreciation for letterpress!


now how fabulous is that?! go wayzgoose.. can't wait until next year!

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