NEW! DIY digital files and custom, hand screenprinted wraps!

I'm happy to announce that I am now offering DIY digital files on select designs in my shop, as well as custom, hand-screenprinted papers to use as wraps, belly bands, envelope liners and more!

There are only three designs in the DIY category so far but I have ideas for about a half-dozen more so stay tuned for additions to the shop over the next few weeks.

And here are a few images from a recent order that took advantage of my screenprinting services:

This bride ordered a sample of the butterfly motif ensemble and liked everything about it, including the wrap, but was interested in a palette more along the lines of the dragonfly motif ensemble.  Since I had just started putting my new Yudu to work, I created a similar wrap, printed in two colors ("plum" and "grape" purple, which matches the rest of her ensemble) on a lightweight chartreuse green paper.  This is a great example of how you can add a handmade and unique touch like a screenprinted paper to your ensemble but still keep the crispness of flat printing for the text of the invite itself.  If you're interested in a more detailed description of the screenprint process for this particular order, check out my other blog!

Congratulations, Julie & Albert!

fresh from the Makery: YuDu, round two

After posting my initial review of the YuDu home screenprinting machine, I had the opportunity to do another primarily text-based invitation order. Now, the only reason I was willing to even try this project via YuDu after all the difficulty I had the first time around is because the client wanted, once again, silver ink on dark card stock (impossible with the standard flat printing I typically offer). Otherwise, I really don't recommend screenprinting for fine text - flat printing is always going to look crisper and if you want a little something extra in the printing department you might as well investigate thermography, engraving, or letterpress. Well, once again, despite claiming victory over machine in that first review, I ran into much of the same problems, mainly getting the emulsion on just right. My screen wasn't wet enough so I tried to spot treat it with my fine mist spray bottle but then the screen was too wet, my emulsion got all drippy, and half of my image wouldn't rinse out (meaning half of it wouldn't print). I ended up modifying the design so we could go with flat printing instead, feeling slightly defeated and disappointed that I wasn't able to provide this client with exactly what she was looking for.

However, right after that order, while her graduation announcement text was still half-assedly burned onto my 220 mesh screen, I started work on a wedding invitation order that included a patterned wrap with the right idea as far as design but whose colors were all wrong. So I bravely proposed using my YuDu to create a customized version in the form of a two-color butterfly pattern screenprinted on a lightweight colored wrapping paper, all of which I was able to match to the colors in the client's wedding palette after a couple of print proofs.

(What a difference printing the lighter color over the darker color makes, huh?)

I determined that it's really best to get your screen wet enough (but not too wet) before you apply your sheet of emulsion. So once again, I thoroughly wet my screen in the sink, let it drip dry for a minute or two, then dabbed it with a paper towel so there were no drippy areas. Of course, now the screen was too dry, so once it was on the YuDu, I took my wet sponge and went over both sides in both directions (horizontally and vertically across the screen). There's pretty much no way this will make your screen drippy but it will ensure there's water in each and every little hole. Applying the emulsion was no problem this time around, and I did it twice, back to back, since I was using both of my 110 mesh screens for this two-color job. There was some webbing on one of the screens but toward the edge, leaving plenty of space for my 8 1/2 by 11 inch design. I didn't fuss with the water bottle this time and that seemed to do the trick.

As you can see, my design is a lot bigger and bolder than the text-based project I blogged about before, so my 110 mesh screens worked just fine this time around (I highly recommend getting yourself a 220 mesh screen for anything with fine detail, although you can see the line-based butterflies printed as well as the solid silhouettes in this case). I still had a little bit of difficulty with the YuDu brand printing ink. I'm finding that the viscosity is really inconsistent depending on the color, and it annoys me that they don't have a cyan/magenta/yellow kit (which, with "k", or black, provide the basic building blocks of printing a full range of colors...yes, I am a certified member of the cult of CMYK). But, as we learned with the last order, non-YuDu brand inks, of course, work just fine. I actually ended up using a weird mix of colors and inks to match the "plum" and "grape" colors used elsewhere in this couple's invitation ensemble.

One thing I added to my YuDu arsenal this time around was yet another squeegee. YuDu must be reading the reviews (you may remember I was a little snobby about the pathetic piece of plastic they pass off as a squeegee in the kit that comes with the machine), because they've come out with a "pro" squeegee. The non-YuDu brand squeegee I bought for the last order was a little too flimsy for this one. The YuDu brand "pro" squeegee was a nice compromise between the basic squeegee that comes with the machine (which is completely rigid) and the squeegee I bought for the last order. Since I'm printing much larger areas of solid color with this order, I needed something a bit more rigid. The YuDu "pro" squeegee worked really well in this case.

Who knows how the next project will go. Just when you think you've mastered it, something goes wrong. But I'm sure, like anything, more practice will bring me a little closer to YuDu perfection.


so you think...it's already summer?!

I will be watching (and by watching, I don't mean listening/glancing occasionally while working on something else). I will be taking notes. I will be blogging about it. At least, that's the plan. I'm happy about the top 10 all star aspect. Less happy about having to hear Mia Michaels wax poetic each and every week up there on the judges' panel. But I guess I'll have to get over it.

Let the show begin!


winter & spring 2010 press round-up

I'm not sure if these kinds of things count as press but I'm pretty pleased to have been included regardless.

Most recently (and perhaps most exciting), my hydrangea motif wedding invitation ensemble was included in yesterday's Etsy Finds: Summer Shopping Guide.  I knew something was up when I checked my views on Statsy's Vutrac and had over 50 new views since checking in about an hour earlier (yes, I'm obsessed with my stats!).

I've also noticed a couple of my invitations popping up on wedding related blogs and inspiration boards, like this one from A New Sunrise, all about the classic fleur-de-lis motif.

My butterfly motif wedding invitation made its way into this orange and teal inspiration board on the WeddingWire blog.

And finally, Eventful Occasions,  a full-service wedding and event-planning company in Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley linked to my photo booth film strip bookmark save the date on their Facebook page.  I know, I know, that's really stretching the "press" definition a bit, but I'll take any shout-out I can get!

It's been a busy couple of weeks so stay tuned for more updates in the coming days!


Real Weddings: Caitie & Reid

Caitie sent me some fabulous photos for her save-the-date bookmarks, paired with a very fitting palette of navy blue and purple (don't you think those colors look just great with her pics?):

Since the couple is getting married in Charleston, North Carolina, a city known for its beautiful wrought-iron gates, I incorporated several scroll motifs and chose a font combination that was a little more formal than the one used in the original sample.

And that just about wraps it up for me for about a week as I prepare to head east to enjoy a late spring break with my family! The shop will re-open on May 12th with all of my samples as well as some exciting new additions! Stay tuned!


Real Weddings: Greta & John

Greta first contacted me about save-the-dates around the New Year (my how time flies!). At the time, their wedding theme and palette was still in flux so her invites, based on the mod ensemble, vary a bit from her save-the-dates, which were based on the red and turquoise daisy photo magnets with layered paper backing.

After customizing the mod design with her information and colors, Greta wanted a little something more and it took us a couple of versions to get it just right. We toyed with adding a floral illustration, and then a floral die-cut, and finally settled on a subtle solution in signature Paper Punch Press style that I just love.

Where I had small dots printed on the invite in each of the inverse rounded corners of the burgundy frame, we decided to instead punch this little dot out of the main invite, revealing the navy blue paper layered underneath. Pretty classy, don't you agree?

Congratulations, Greta and John!