etsy · Folksy · Handmade · Letterpress · small business

Why Shop Handmade? #celebrate_handmade

Hmmmmm …..a lady walked past my craft stall last year …. hmmmmm she sighed and looked up at me and then said ‘Why would I buy a single card from you for £2.50 when I can get 10 in the local discount store for that’?

The neighbouring craft stall owners leaned in with huge furrows across their brows…. they were waiting for my response…..

‘That’s fine’ I cheerily replied….. ‘but let me briefly explain my prices…’

‘My costs reflect the quality of the card stock and work involved. Due to the nature of letterpress, each item will be unique. Each design was hand drawn my myself and printed by hand on a vintage platen press. My cards are not mass-produced, you will not find them anywhere else (apart from local independent shops which I support), you are paying for an individual piece of art directly from the artist’.

 Think of the reasons you send cards, it’s about ‘the thought’ it’s about the time you have taken to make your choice. What does mum love? What would make her smile?

Customers that appreciate handmade don’t look at physical boundaries, they buy with their hearts. Why else would a customer pay to ship a single card all the way to Australia on the other side of our planet? My amazing customers even take the trouble to tell me they have survived their long journey…

Heya Emma, just letting you know the card arrived safely today 🙂 it’s gorgeous!!!

Gabbi – Australia

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Printing in the Ellie Press studio = a room in my house!

My Aunty has Parkinson’s disease and recently sent me a birthday card that she had commissioned especially for me because it was hand-made, and she knew I would like that. I was touched that she had gone to the trouble, touched that with her deteriorating condition she had managed to pen the card and get it to the post-office.

A single card can emotionally move you if it’s been really thought through by it’s sender.

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The beautifully sewn handmade card I was sent. Unknown maker – if this is you please let me know so that I can credit and thank you!

 

I could continue and discuss how supporting small business means supporting a mum who is at home to be there for her children, or how it puts money into the local economy, the massive environmental benefits and of course the personal levels of customer service … but you know all of that right?

If like Folksy you support small businesses and feel strongly about keeping craft skills alive rather than supporting large faceless corporations then please use the tag #celebrate_handmade and help spread the word! 

Ellie Press products can be found on Etsy and Folksy which are both marketplaces which support independent makers. Folksy deserves specific mention as they support and nurture UK based designers and makers. 

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Letterpress · Thank you cards · wedding

Tips for sending wedding thank you cards

The big day is over, your guests have travelled far and wide just to see you in ‘that’ dress, they have left amazing gifts and cards… you have travelled to exotic places on your honeymoon….

…but now you’re back home and you have lots of people to thank for making your day so special. But worry no more as here Ellie Press shares their top tips on tackling that thank you pile!

1. Follow your theme

Continuation of the wedding theme gives the overall feel a finished and classy look. Using the same fonts and colours from your wedding invitations and on the day stationery gives a cohesive design that will continue to thrill your guests even though the wedding is over.

2. Have your cards prepped in advance

Not only does it save time and stress to have everything ready for your return, but often you can get savings by ordering all of your stationery at the same time.

3. Ask if your printer will print your guest envelopes

If you have a file (Excel .xls or spreadsheet equivalent), your printer can pre-print all of the envelopes so all you need to do is write a personal note, stuff and send! They can also digitally print these with a beautiful font so they arrive looking super special!

4. Pace yourself

Don’t try and tackle over 100 thank you cards in a single evening. It will sap all of the joy from what should be a thoughtful gesture. Pour a glass of wine, put on your favourite music or tv programme and just tackle them in batch of 20 or so every evening. Share the load with your partner and make it your first project together as a married couple.

5. Leave your guests with a gift

We live in a digital age, your photos will be all over Instagram or on various mates iPhones but everyone still appreciates a printed photograph to frame or stick on the mantlepiece. Send them a special photo taken by your photographer inside a gorgeous keepsake card and if you are feeling ultra swanky wow them with your own monogram or new initials!

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Letterpress thank you card by Ellie Press
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Postcards by Ellie Press

For more information on pricing and letterpress items, why not visit the ‘thank you’ card section of the http://www.elliepress.com website.

Letterpress · wedding invitations

Rustic Letterpress Wedding Invitations

If you’re planning a rustic wedding then a splash of burlap or hessian has to be top of your list. Numerous brides have fallen for the rawness of its frayed edges and earthy feel. As an added bonus its sustainable and biodegradable, so perfect for the eco-conscious bride too.

And even more importantly …. it doesn’t cost the earth!

Set the tone of the event up front with a simple romantic design printed on eco friendly Kraft card stocks like ‘Clarabella’ shown here in a dark grey ink. This was printed on 300gsm card stock which keeps costs low for the budget conscious unlike the heavier 4 to 600gsm stocks.

 

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Letterpress wedding invitation printed on 300gsm Kraft card stock by Ellie Press

 

Banners can be used to spruce up your wedding reception and you can still use it over the fireplace or draped amongst the trees in the summer when you have a barbecue or birthday party. This is also a simple way to DIY some of your own wedding decorations – don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Burlap Love Banner by Ellie Press
Burlap ‘love’ banner by Ellie Press

The wedding table is the main setting for a splash of burlap. Table runners give the main top table a focal point and afterwards you can reuse it on the dining table at home. Wrap small pieces of burlap around your floral centerpieces for instant charm and style with simple white porcelain and a white table-cloth.

etsy · Folksy · Letterpress · Notecards

Martini Notecards

These letterpress martini notecards have just shot of the press, they are part of the Ellie Press ‘cocktail’ card collection which also includes kir royale cards, gin & tonic cards and … pinacoda cards (coming soon!).

Printed on A6 sized flatcards (postcards), they make great gifts for your boozy friends.

Every man needs some bond style correspondence stationery right!

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martinib

 

These can be found in my etsy and folksy shop along with lots of other items!

Letterpress · lino

Lino Printing using a Platen Press

I thought I would babble on a bit about lino carving and a window into the process I use at Ellie Press for printing lino art prints and other stationery goods.

First the sketch! I use a soft pencil to draw the image I want to carve out of the linoleum. At this stage I can rub it out and amend it to my hearts content until I am happy with the final artwork. You can draw freehand or transfer the image to the lino from your own original artwork using tracing paper. Some people use a sharpie so that you don’t smudge lines out or to make it clearer for cutting but I like the pencil…

Once I am happy (I normally find walking away and leaving it helps to give fresh perspective at this stage!), I start carving and cutting out the larger areas. I cut around my lino to ensure there are no inky marks transferred onto the card stock when printed. However, some artists use these areas and leave them in to add interest to the background.

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Lino ready for printing

You can then use a brayer to hand roller your lino and place the cardstock on top to lift the print. I have heard using the back of a spoon does a great job but I haven’t tried this technique myself! I mount the lino type high using some pieces of thick board and a piece of wood. Once mounted the lino is run on my vintage platen press with a ‘kiss’ print (i.e. I don’t try to leave any impression due to the area and softness of the lino).

The final result…

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Please visit my shop to see more items which have been printed using lino and also letterpress items using polymers.

 

craft market · Letterpress

Tring Craft Market Saturday November 21st 2015

In the run up to Christmas, Ellie Press will be attending a number of craft markets and events with a range of letterpress Christmas cards, tags and gifts.

The first market we will attend is on Saturday November 21st 2015 at Tring Baptist Church. We will be bringing along our little Adana press (Ellie) for you to try your hand at personalising your own cards.

The craft market is located in the Baptist Church, 89 High Street, Tring, HP23 4AB. It is opposite the Library and car park (which offers 1 hour free parking!).

Entry to the market itself is FREE.

If you’re in the area please pop in and see us, you never know you might find ‘that perfect gift’ too.

For more information on Dakini Craft Markets click here 

Christmas · Folksy · Letterpress

Send a Letterpress Christmas Card this year

There is something about receiving a Christmas card through the post, and for those relatives and friends who you don’t really see over the Christmas period (and you can’t send presents to everyone either!) you want to send a card that stands out.

Letterpress cards have a luxurious quality and tactile feel that have a charm all of their own.

The Ellie Press Christmas Card collection is now available on folksy. And if you’re having trouble choosing which one to buy…we can send you one of each (which is a cheaper way to purchase them to!). If you are after larger quantities (25 or more) then you can also get further discounts, simply contact us for a quote.


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Rabbit under the mistletoe                                       Rabbit in the snow

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Deer Lino Print                                                         Mistletoe Card

And don’t forget to send them before Saturday the 19th December for them to arrive in time (UK only). For deliveries further afield, check with your post office before sending.

Christmas · Letterpress

The Difference a Letterpress Gift Tag Makes

Ellie Press has launched 3 different Gift Tag designs this year to make your Christmas gifts look super exciting. Your recipients will be clapping their hands in anticipation to rip that parcel apart….

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Set of six Letterpress Ho Ho Ho tags can be purchased here
Place little gifts into the arms of a toy dinosaur to create lots of fun when the kids wake up on Christmas morning! This dinosaur was spray painted gold, using a watercolour masking fluid to keep his teeth and eyes nice and clear.
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Set of six Letterpress Merry Christmas tags can be purchased here
Or just keep it simple with a beautiful letterpress calligraphy style font. You could use this tied around a bottle of wine or on any of those ‘can’t be bothered to wrap’ items … these also make lovely additions to the your Christmas table decor tucked into a napkin.
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Set of six Letterpress Merry Christmas tags can be purchased here
Have you been naughty this year? I’ve been running a little poll over on my FB page, so pop on over and update it with your comments (keep it clean though!)
These tags make any gift look super luxurious and exciting. Combine with simple brown kraft wrapping paper or why not wrap your Christmas gifts in a piece of fabric to be super eco and different!
Letterpress · wedding invitations

Aylesbury Wedding Show – Sunday 11th October 2015

The Aylesbury Wedding show takes place this year at the Waterside Theatre on Sunday 11th October 2015. Ellie Press will be displaying a selection of letterpress invitations and wedding accessories such as seating plans and thank you cards. Brides in the bucks area can book a FREE consultation so that we can design around your chosen theme.

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Letterpress

Letterpress Wild Rabbit Mini Notecards

These little wild rabbit letterpress mini notecards have become very popular on Folksy. I took a decision when printing these to leave them blank inside so that they can be used for anything. I always find it handy to  have a stock of little notes so that I can write a quick thank you or attach as a gift tag to a present. I even scribbled one out for a friend when I needed a birthday card the other day.Letterpress Mini Notecards

They are packaged as a set of 6 and are printed onto a luxurious 300gsm card stock using my lovely old vintage platen press. They are A7 in size (74 X 105mm) and come with kraft C7 envelopes.

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