Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Letterpress Holiday Card Swap

I just returned from holiday in Pittsburgh to find my bounty of holiday card exchanges with other printers!

I received this bright holiday message from Ian @ The Printmonkey Press in the UK

Such bright colors and strong image!  The paper has a slight shimmer to it, my photos never give anything justice!

I received this Big Christmas wish from Karl with Letterpressed with a Smile

and an extra to play with and send next year!

Thanks Karl!

I got this one all the way from Germany from Sabrina at Small Caps Berlin

Beautiful deckled edge paper and
Very smart use of ornaments,
and she also sent some fantastic
gift tags, I will have to store these somewhere where I am
sure to find them for Christmas next year!

Thank you Sabrina!!

I received this unique three panel one from Jax from Print for the Love of Wood from Lanashire, UK.

beautiful speckled paper,

really great silver ink,

and creative use of Ys!!

Thanks Jax!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the Season

Well the holiday craft show season is over. Last week, I made a quick turnaround for my friend Annette who ordered necklaces for Christmas gifts! She said she was super happy with them so that's a good feeling and hope her family and friends feel the same way!! The last craft show for me this year was yesterday in Mt. Airy at Church of the Annunciation. It was a terrible venue and there were barely any buyers. I didn't make a sale but I did get a small custom order for some holiday cards from one that was on display. I will be working on those this afternoon. It feels more like Wedding Season for me since I currently have three brides I'm working with. I just placed a HUGE paper order for all of them with Waste Not Paper and Announcement Converters. Still need to get a hold of one vendor for some pricing for Lokta paper... hopefully that will happen Monday. Still also need to find some time to wrap up my own holiday shopping! :) Happy Handmade Holidays to all!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Shows

The show at Friends Academy last weekend in New Jersey didn't go so well. It was a poor turnout overall for all the vendors. It was also the first snow in the area so that could have played a factor. The upside is that there is less work to do now for the next christmas bazaar this Saturday in Mt. Airy. I am hopeful that it will be the best show this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Adana Five Eight Letterpress, in other words, I got a new MACHINE!

I am SO excited to get started with letterpress! I went all the way to Ebay UK to get an Adana Five Eight, surprisingly it got here rapid fast (thanks Interparcel) and I was in Pittsburgh when it arrived! It's the "lightweight" of tabletop platen presses but is still HEAVY! As I opened it, it was upside down and I had a mild heart attack. Then as I started to unravel the many layers of saran wrap I had multiple heart pulpitations when I thought something was broke or missing. I finally got it together. The long "finger" was bent up pretty bad, I guess during the journey, but I got it pretty much straightened at. I got my 3in1 machine oil and odorless mineral spirits from Lowe's. I still don't have everything I need to actually start running but I'm getting there. A nice printer north of Philly is getting rid of his font so I'm dragging Gerson to Allentown tomorrow to a storage unit to see what I can get for free! To be continued...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

a little bit of everything

I was busy finishing up Suz's baby shower invites when my neighbor had me do some bridal shower invitations for her which I've just wrapped up. In between, I've been working on putting together some christmas cards and cards with the milk bands (for nursing). I had a few bites for the letterpress holiday card on etsy but haven't had a sale yet. I've also been perusing ebay and briarpress for a tabletop letterpress from heaven! After one workshop, I'm hooked and hope I can get a press of my own one day and do more letterpress!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I took the handmade pledge

I took the handmade plege on!
I've just finished some wedding thank you cards for a former client, some baby shower invitations for one of my best friends and hopefully have a bridal shower job coming up.
I am hoping to keep busy and always thinking of new ideas. Looking for a good supplier to offer purse valets with paper detail. Also will be trying to launch some cards with milkbands. So lots going on and lots of fingers crossed!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Last weekend I attended a letterpress workshop with Railway Station Press in Alexandria, VA.

Stuart Bradley was great and the experience was awesome! I learned about the letterpress process and the C&P pilot tabletop and made some holiday cards!! They are on crane lettra paper with an ink we mixed to be a blue/grey and also did a blind emboss for the ampersand and "white."

Monday, September 21, 2009


Surgery went well and I've been back in the basement making some new cards with seed paper and some coffee cup shaped/themed thank you cards for my nurses. I wasn't able to use the cricut to cut the seed paper which is a major bummer, but you can cut any shape out of cardstock and just use as a template for hand cutting. A marvy uchida large punch did work on the seed paper though so that's also an option for some projects. Here's a few of the images:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plantable Seed Paper

I just ordered some plantable seed paper so it should be on its way shortly! I have experimented with some sample sheets and was actually sending out "free" bookmarks with my company info on them with all the books I swap with I've recently pposted more books which are flying off my shelves but no more paper so no more bookmarks. :(

I'm also going to incorporate the paper in some holiday card ideas I'm conjuring up!! YES the retailers are already preparing for the holidays, can you believe it?! Although I am usually a summer gal, I'm kind of looking forward to the cooler weather. I think it's because I don't feel well with my arm/neck and just want to wear big comfy clothes and hibernate!! Surgery is on Thursday...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wedding Favors - chair boxes

Just finished up a wedding favor project - chair boxes. The couple customized the color of the chairs and the ribbon, we also recreated a mongram which had been incorporated in their wedding invitations. I am not sure what they are going to fill them with, but I referred them to which is a great source for bulk candy and you can search by occasion or color! I am selling the same chairs and other favors on etsy right now at: but once these listings are over, will be moving to dolceinvito.etsy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Professional and Personal ~ Dolce Invito

New name and hopefully new clients in the near future! I came up with Dolce Invito which is Italian for sweet invitation. It sounds nicer than Minerva and is not in use by others like Carta Bella was. SO I'm testing it out. Once I would open a brick and mortar store, I have visions of cotton candy machines and cupcakes with custom invitation orders.

On a personal note, recently, I haven't been able to use my right arm which is causing a little bit of trouble for working on projects and even blogging. I have another herniated disc. I already had a discectomy and fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7 in November of 2006 but it looks like I've got to go back under the knife. :( I had the x-ray and MRI on Friday and will see the Doctor again on Tuesday to discuss surgery and scheduling.

Hope til hope endures... hopefully from this suffering good things will also come my way.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A few new things

I've been busy with the cricut and the accucut and if that wasn't enough I decided to also use the scraps from some of the decorative paper and make jewelry. I think this is a nice addition though and would be fabulous to incorporate a decorative paper into your invitations and then also for favors, gifts, for your bridesmaids or bridal jewelry.

I also just finished putting together a little invite for my goddaughter, Marissa, who has gone country on me and will be riding her horse next month at a fair.

I will be going back to the cutting board later and getting our wedding thank yous cut and ready to go.

The rest of the new images will be uploaded to and also on facebook!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busy in the Basement

I received my Accucut! I have been busy in the basement with it trying out the different dies I ordered and adding a lot to the portfolio. Even Gerson (my husband) couldn't resist saying how "cute" some of the invitations were!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cricut: you can teach an old machine new tricks

I have been playing with my CRICUT a lot lately, doing some invites with the New Arrivals and Wedding cartridges... BUT I finally broke down and purchased the SCAL software, it did seem a little pricey... I even tried the trial and really didn't have much luck with it so I dismissed it for a while then I continued to see what some others out there were doing with theirs so I decided to give it a real go! I am really happy and have been playing around with different images and figuring out how to take an image from drawing to cut out. It's a little lengthy process for me right now - I scan it with my HP, use PSE to manipulate it, open it with Inkscape (thank you for free downloads!!) and trace it there and save it as the .svg, THEN I open up SCAL and send it to the CRICUT!! Right now I'm refining a birdcage invitation which I think is going to be very nice once it's refined! I will try to post .svg files in the future once I'm a little more than amateur at this and will definitely post some new images up soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Post-wedding update

So I've recently returned from our honeymoon in Mexico which was great! Now it's back to work!! I recently had a friend post my information on a parents' listserv and also posted my business cards at Whole Foods, and I'm really crossing my fingers for some more clients!! I made this photo frame for my friend that just gave birth (she was overdue) and matted with a white mat and visited her at the hospital. Sidney (the new arrival) is so adorable - and has more hair then I've ever seen on a such a small head!!
I'm considering reaching out to friends about creating my very own website but all within time I guess. Right now, I have a potential for a little girl's 1st birthday party invitations and have been in conversations with someone that works with Gerson at the hospital to do their wedding favors so if both of those end up working out, I will be really happy. I'm also starting to work on ideas for my friend, Michelle's baby announcements for her second little boy expected at the end of the month. I'll be ordering my Accucut and dies probably this week. I'm nervous about shelling out all the dough but am trying to be optimistic that it will pay off in the end. Should be super fun to use and I really look forward to getting it moving once it arrives and make different ideas for the portfolio.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Brand new blog

Well, upon some advice I received at the National Stationary Show in NY, I am starting a blog.
This blog is coinciding with my new efforts to start a home based company, Carta Bella, to make custom hand made invitations, announcements, and anything and everything else to go along with them. I will be launching an etsy store soon as well. I am only 20 days from my Wedding so things are a little hectic. But here goes nothing...