Ellie’s First Prints

Corn Cob Print

Today I was finally able to get Ellie on the move! In case you are unsure about who Ellie is, Ellie is the name I have given my Gold­ing Pearl Press. Mar­tin is the tiny Kelsey who is not ready for print­ing yet, but will be soon. Ellie had her first small run today of a two color A2 Greet­ing Card. She did a great job. Work­ing on a platen has proven to be much more chal­leng­ing than the cylin­der press I used to run, but all-in-all we had a good day!

For those of you who are unfa­mil­iar with how let­ter­press print­ing works, each print is pulled by hand and each color of the design you cre­ate is printed sep­a­rately. Design­ing for let­ter­press is a bit dif­fer­ent from design­ing for flat/digital print­ing. Reg­is­tra­tion can be fairly tight, but on a 100 year old press, there is always slight vari­a­tions in color & reg­is­tra­tion in each printed piece. That is part of the charm in hav­ing some­thing hand-printed.

Printing Curry

Color One: Curry

The first color to go on the press today was Curry, which is a lovely muted yel­low. The card being printed today fea­tured a fun ear of corn so yel­low seemed like a great choice. Today I printed with pho­topoly­mer plates as I had an orig­i­nal illus­tra­tion that I wanted to print.

Printing Cement

Color Two: Cement = Mocha

The sec­ond color I choose was sup­posed to be a grey, but with all things let­ter­press, sur­prises are always just around the cor­ner. The ink looked like grey in the tin, but printed more of a muted brown and it looked good so I stuck with it. That does mean I am going to be mix­ing another tin of cement for those times when I actu­ally want to print grey!


Color Three: Blind Deboss

The final step in my process is adding the scor­ing line for the card and also my logo. Some print­ers choose to print their logo’s in color, but I choose to print mine in a blind deboss. Blind means no ink so you go through the same set-up as you would with a color, but you sim­ply don’t add ink. Deboss is the actual depres­sion that let­ter­press makes. Some peo­ple get it con­fused with emboss, which is actu­ally a raised impres­sion. Deboss is an inden­tion into the paper, push­ing the paper fibers down, not up.


Well, kind of. After all of the prints are run, then I move onto trim­ming, pho­tograph­ing and pack­ag­ing. Super fun. I hope you enjoyed see­ing the process of Ellie’s first prints. Con­grat­u­la­tions Ellie!

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Metal Stamped Jewelry


With all of the hub-ub around the presses last week, I didn’t get a chance to snap a shot of the new prod­ucts I added to the shop this week. Come visit me this week to see my new line of metal stamp jew­elry and recipe cards. Sorry for the “not so great” photo of the recipe cards, I am still try­ing to fig­ure out the best pho­tog­ra­phy tech­niques for shoot­ing inside the shop.


The new metal stamped jew­elry line includes ban­gle bracelets and neck­laces. Check with me if you have some­thing in mind for per­son­al­iza­tion on these. If you have some­thing to say, I can per­son­al­ize these for just a lit­tle bit more.


Three new recipe card designs made it to the shop today. There are two mod­ern type style designs and a beau­ti­ful flo­ral. All three designs are avail­able in card packs and in gift sets that include an acrylic recipe box, a set of recipe cards and a set of pretty pat­terned dividers.

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Big News for Powpourri


As many of you know, I was a let­ter­press printer for years, but my new home in Win­ter­set did not have the space for a print shop, so I sold my print shop last Jan­u­ary in prepa­ra­tion for sell­ing our Des Moines home to move to Win­ter­set. We had not antic­i­pated that we would open a retail space here in Win­ter­set, but now we have the space for a new print shop!

Today, two new (to us) presses arrived at Pow­pourri. Our heavy hit­ter is weigh­ing in at 570LBS is a 1903 Gold­ing Pearl #3. She is a trea­dle pow­ered clam-shell style press and she is beau­ti­ful. The new Pearl is in need of a clean­ing, a full set of rollers and some new wood draw­ers & tray tables. The clean­ing will take place tomor­row, her new rollers should be ship­ping soon and the new wood will be ready in a few short months. There is no big box store for vin­tage print­ing press parts so some­times there is a lit­tle bit of wait­ing involved for some parts.


The other new addi­tion is a tiny baby weigh­ing less than 50 LBS is the 3x5 Kelsey Excel­sior. I need to do some research about the year my par­tic­u­lar Kelsey was made, but the model was in pro­duc­tion from 1901 to 1993. The Kelsey just needs to be put together and she is ready to go!


Hope­fully my two lovely ladies will be up and run­ning by the end of the month. I plan to share more about the art of let­ter­press, the process and progress shots of our print shop at Pow­pourri com­ing to life.

In the mean­time, you are wel­come to stop by for a visit to see the presses. As soon as they are up and run­ning, they will be run­ning most days so you are always wel­come to stop by to see them in action. Would you like to learn to print? Classes are also in our future plans, check back late spring for details.

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What’s in Store!


Yes­ter­day the ambas­sadors from the Cham­ber of Com­merce joined us for our offi­cial open­ing with a for­mal rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony. It was so fun! Here is a shot of all of us cut­ting the ribbon.


Here are some shots of the fin­ished shop, well fin­ished for now! New art­work & gifts will con­tinue to be added so some shift­ing might occur, but for the most part, here is how we turned out.





And of course the cus­tom design con­sul­ta­tion table, which is nice and cozy. Just a reminder that in addi­tion to our retail items, we offer beau­ti­ful & unique invi­ta­tions & per­son­al­ized stationery.


I hope you have enjoyed see­ing our progress shots for the shop. This month was a crazy one, but both Jason & I are so happy with how the shop came together. We would love the oppor­tu­nity to meet you and show off our new shop. Please feel free to stop and visit anytime!

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We are Open for Business


Today is the grand open­ing of Pow­pourri! We were so excited to get things started that we barely slept this week­end. Just a reminder that the ribbon-cutting cer­e­mony is com­menc­ing at 11:30am, so if you are in the neigh­bor­hood, please stop by and say hello.

Our reg­u­larly sched­uled busi­ness hours are Thurs­day & Fri­day 11am to 5pm and Sat­ur­day 10am to 2pm. We are also plan­ning a spec­tac­u­lar open house to take place in late March, so we will keep you posted on the date & time. We look for­ward to meet­ing you all.

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Ribbon Cutting on Monday


I had hoped to post another round of shop update photo’s before open­ing, but if you can believe it, we open on MONDAY! This month flew by like you would not believe.

We will be open­ing on Mon­day at 10am for the first time. The Win­ter­set Cham­ber of Com­merce has sched­uled a ribbon-cutting cer­e­mony for 11:30am if you would like to join us, we would love to see you there.

For those of you who can’t make it, I will be sure to post photo’s on Mon­day after­noon, or Tues­day morn­ing, of the cer­e­mony & the shop.

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