Sunday, December 26, 2010

Year One: Letterpress Christmas Cards

My husband asked how I felt about having created a Christmas card from start to finish and the answer was: relieved. Meeting this goal has been on my mind for more than a year. However, I wish the preparation had been; now I understand why Christmas begins in July.

Our inspiration was a cross between constellations and chapel ceilings. The design, a term I'm going to use loosely here, since it was done quickly and after midnight one night, actually resembles neither chapel nor night sky. We went with a back-up design after not liking how our initial one printed. Some of the photos above are mess-ups, as it was tricky business running the cards through a couple times and not letting them stick to the ink plate. The mess ups were quite pretty in some ways - large, unexpected swashes of gold.

The hardest and most ridiculous part of printing our Christmas cards was the nearly 2 hours it took us to open the vacuum-sealed can of ink. Fortunately, the set up and registration was comparably easy and unusually fast after that. It was my first time using oil-based ink and the platen was either over-inked or there was too much packing and pressure on the plates because the print is not clean. At any rate, we finished just in time for Christmas! And through the thoughtfulness and generosity on the part of several people, I got a brand new copy of the CS5 Design Suite!

I hope everyone's holidays were wonderful.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful. I love the combination of blue and gold--it's wintery and elegant without being too Christmasy. The people who received these are lucky indeed!

  2. Thanks, Michelle!

    And Thank you, Maggie! I really enjoy your blog; your photos are beautiful.