Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Invitations completed

I'm a bad lil blogger. I finished the invites over a week ago now, but have only just sat down to blog them.

The final set:
  • Invitation
  • 6 page booklet, hand bound
  • RSVP card
  • RSVP envelope
  • Large envelope
So. Things I've learnt from making these invites:
  1. Try to pay someone else to do the invites if you can. If you know a good graphic designer, use them. Unfortunately, I hired myself!
  2. Try to remember to include in the RSVP: details for names of guests, and special dietry requirements. Guess who didn't remember.
  3. Get wedding invites done at least 4 months before the special day if you can. There were other wedding things that I should've been working on at this time.
  4. Adanas just weren't made for big runs.
  5. Make sure your rollers are perfect before commencing a big run like this.
  6. Get someone else to guillotine for you.
  7. Double or triple your allocated time limit for making the invites.

Overall, I'm reasonably happy with them. We've had great responses from the recipients so far.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My new press

Meet my new press!

I raced up to Brisbane overnight to see it before arranging transport. It was everything I hoped it would be. It's rather large, but not too big, moves quietly and fluidly, and is in good condition with little rust. The owner even set up the motor and rollers so I could see it in action. It's not as fast as I thought it would be, so I might not even have to slow it down. I've taken videos of it as well, and as soon as I work out how to upload them, I'll post the link here.

Will post more about it later I'm sure, but for now I have to be quick as I'm sleepy. As of tonight, I've found a transport company that says they can move the press for me, so I'll try to arrange that in the next couple of days.

While I was in Brisbane, I visited John, who one of my dear blog-readers told me about. His home was filled with type of all shapes and sizes, wood and metal. Sheds of type as well... heaven! I'll refrain from posting photos of his home, but here's just a sample of some of his type:

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Invitations update

The large swirls on the original design of the invites just weren't working with my dodgy rollers, so I replaced them with a smaller version that the rollers could handle. Thank goodness they're done.

And now on to the booklets! We're making a 6 page booklet to go with the invites. They include a cover, info on the historic town we're getting married in, accommodation options, a map, gift registry, and the RSVP. Yes, I like doing things the hard way.

Rather than cut up 400 of the postcard-size pages ourselves, my good mate Mel took them to work (she works at an offset printers) and asked one of the boys to guillotine them for me. So I now have a free source for guillotining and scoring. Just have to make sure the sheets are as flat as possible before sending them their way. Once again, don't buy paper on a roll. Buy the sheets.

After a week of trying every trick possible to print the invites, I was expecting all kinds of drama with the booklet pages. Luck was on my side tonight though. I had first colour of the About, Accommodation and RSVP pages done with little worry. Best printing I've ever done on the Adana, and I'm more than a little pleased with myself tonight. All of the Accommodation and RSVP pages are clear and crisp prints with just enough of an impression and ink weight. That's 180 pages. VERY HAPPY. It's quite an enjoyable process when it all works!! I've been on a high all night.

The text for these pages will be black, so hopefully easier to print (black always works better). I'll do them tomorrow. I'm hoping to have all of the booklet pages completed by the end of tomorrow night. That's another 9 plates, or 540 passes through the press. Yeah. Long day tomorrow.

After that, my fiancee and I will bind them. We're debating how we'll do this, but rest assured, it will be the longest, most labour and time intensive way possible :)

PS. Thanks to PG from Middle of Nowhere for a mention on their blog. Now that I've discovered this gorgeous blog, I must make time to sit down and read through it properly. Oh how I love new blogs!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Ok, third post in one night. Sorry.

Just a quick shoutout to Amanda, who found my blog, and then me. I shared an inspiring phonecall with her last night. It's fantastic to know that this blog is being read by others who are finding it useful. It motivates me so much, so a big thanks to Amanda and everyone :)

Wedding invite issues

Spent the last two days trying to print our wedding invites. I mean full days.
The invites are split into these plates:
  1. Green pattern bar at top
  2. Main text
  3. Last 6 lines of text
  4. Little 8mm 'flourish' to break up text
  5. Large swirls over top pattern bar.
The first thing to go wrong was user error - the text plate was longer than my base. Yeah, I really thought that one through. Hence the cutting the text plate into 2 separate parts. The whole thing is only 2 colour, but 5 passes. Brilliant idea. I mean really, why make it simple when you can be this difficult?
The green bar had the most detail, but surprisingly printed easiest. The detail came out, and they looked great.

Then the main text. I didn't think this would be too difficult, but this is the stage where I realised that my rollers were uneven. They have a 0.3mm dip in the middle. So they inked up evenly, but left a random uninked line on my plate. Normally, turning the rollers a few degrees solves this problem, but it just wasn't happening this week.

I got it done eventually, and then added the last 6 lines of text and the green flourish. I'm not happy with the quality of printing at all on these. I'm a perfectionist though, and my fiancee assures me they just have a quaint 'handmade' feel to them now.

The last few hours have been spent trying to print the swirl at the top. You might recall seeing the digital preview of this a couple of posts back. I had no luck with it. Heavy ink, light ink, rollers too high, rollers too low. For tonight, I am admitting defeat. We're looking into other design options now. I have a small version of the swirl that I might use instead. Less surface area. Will try in the morning.

Things I've learnt:

  1. Don't expect to get an impression with an Adana. If you do, bonus.
  2. Don't decide to print your own deep impression wedding invites without first understanding Point 1.
  3. All the problems I was having with the wood base a few weeks ago? Yeah, that wasn't actually the base causing all those problems afterall. It's my rollers. They're not even. They need replacing. This is a bad thing to discover as you start to print wedding invites on a very short timeline.
  4. You need to respect the age of a press like this. It will be old, and may have travelled far and wide. It will have character. This can be good or bad. Either way, it is still a beautiful machine.
  5. My new metal base is the bees knees. It is shiny, and even, and perfect. Plates stick to it with just a little spray adhesive and don't curl up if the weather gets hot. It is so easy to clean up.
  6. Nail polish remover - now an essential part of my clean-up process. A little nail polish remover on a cotton bud cleans up ink and spray adhesive easily. It evaporates quickly, so the base and plates are ready to go in seconds after cleaning. The fumes don't hang around like kerosene. It doesn't eat photopolymer plates. Only use it for little touch-ups, and cleaning off spray adhesive though. Oil or kero for main cleanup of press and rollers still.

Ok, I think that covers it. Will try the alternative design tomorrow and post the results.

Found a floor press

Today's blogging will come in the form of two posts. A lot's been happening.

First post: The good news

Yes, I found a Chandler & Price OldStyle for sale, about a 10 hr drive from where I live. I looked into various transport options, and decided that, though difficult, this was the only option I really had.

A day later I dropped in to see the local printer who had made the film for my wedding invite plates. I showed him the press online, but he wasn't convinced it was a good buy. Needed a bit of work. After talking to him about how rarely presses like this come up and that my options were few, he googled for 2 minutes and not only found me a press in better condition that was possibly easier to transport... but it was FREE.

So I spent a good deal of my afternoon talking to the owner, Ken, and getting very excited. It sounds like it's in great condition, last used about 4 years ago, kept indoors, had a good even impression, 2 rollers in good condition (it holds 3, but Ken always printed with just the 2), and is motorised. I've already looked into options for slowing the speed right down. Ken's also got a chase for it, and some quoins and furniture that he'll also throw in. All. For. FREE.

So this is the press:

It's a Collie's Paragon. If anyone out there knows more about this brand, please contact me. There is nothing on the net about it. Our best guess is that it's actually a C&P NewStyle that was badged "Collie's Paragon". I think Collie's was actually an ink company at the time. Ken's guess is that the press is about 80 years old.

Runs on mains power, not three-phase. Ground size is 1.2m x 1.2m (inc. flywheel, axis) and stands about 5 ft high ("wife-high" as Ken put it). This is a huge press. I really wasn't looking for one this big. But again, it's FREE.

It's in Brisbane, so I'm going to fly up in the next week or two to inspect it properly. Ken's willing to give me a bit of a lesson as well, so I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Press questions

Ok, let's just say hypothetically I was looking for a C&P floor press. Let's just say hypothetically I found one, and needed to ask the hypothetical owner some hypothetical questions about the condition of the press to see if it's hypothetically the right one for me... Just hypothetically.

What questions would you recommend I ask? What are some things I'd need to watch out for?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wedding stationery

We're just about ready to send our wedding invites to be made into film now. The envelope in the mail will include invite, reply envelope and a booklet containing information about the historic town, directions, gift registry and the perforated RSVP card.

Who would've thought it would be so hard to get ready?

Here's a sneak peak at the invitation:

Monday, November 26, 2007

New base!

I finally got to pick it up today: my new metal base! I've never been so excited about a lump of metal before. $100 from a local metal machinist, and he assures me it's even and ready to go. He's also offered to help out with anything that I need that's metal - which might come in handy with the auto-rotating mechanism on my ink disc. He reckons he could even build me a platen press from scratch if he had something to copy from... but I don't exactly have that much money!

Behold it's shiny-ness!

So yes, all very exciting. This is the first positive in a few days. I've been feeling a little unsure about where this is all taking me.

Things on my mind:

  • Will I ever get a decent deboss with my little Adana? Is it a polymer problem?
  • Is it possible to start a business with a tabletop press, or would I need to find a bigger press, like a C&P?
  • Is it just me, or is the hobby/art/business of letterpress mostly about troubleshooting?!
  • Am I using too much ink or too little? I know using less is best, as long as there is even coverage, but so far only heavy ink is working for me. I don't like the feel of it when it dries. It looks more like a lino print.
  • Will it ever get to a point where I find the sweet spot and then the next 100 prints look just as good, instead of one good, 5 bad, 2 good, 5 bad...?
Regarding the first question, I know that if you have large areas of ink, the impression will be shallow, or non-existent. But I can't get even fine line prints to have a good impression. I've been struggling with the packing, the knobs behind the forme, and the type of paper. I've heard that the similiar model of Kelsey rarely gets a good impression. Is it just not possible with an Adana eight-five either? Are my dreams of having high-quality letterpressed stationery just... well, dreams?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tags in process

The guy making my new metal base wouldn't answer his phone and wasn't at his workshop where he said he'd meet me today... so no base to report on.

Mixed up some trans. white and process blue and got a lovely colour, but can't solve printing issues tonight, so I gave up on it to work on something easier. That's the spirit.

These sets of little swing tags in progress. Printed on eggshell Strathmore, which is much thicker than the BFK Rives I've been using. I've printed the first colour so far: swirl plate used for Save the Dates with trans. white/orange ink. Trans. white seems to dry very quickly, so I was cutting out the first few tags about half an hour after printing.

Rabbit will be second colour. Was going to be the full strength orange, but it's a rather dull colour when printed, so we'll see. I mounted the bunny on a base, and did a couple of impressions. I'm keen to put ink on the press right now and get the 100 tags done, but it's almost midnight, so I might just leave that one till the morning...

Friday, November 23, 2007

New goodies

The focus has been more on supplies than prints lately, but I promise there'll be a lot more printing happening soon.

Today's goodies include new paper, calipers and ink.

1.06m x 18m roll of 300gsm BFK Rives white.
I've never spent so much money on paper in my life, but considering my job finishes up in a week, I thought I'd buy in bulk now so I don't have to worry about it for a while again. Also, buying it like this, instead of by sheet from the local art supply store, saved me about $140 - about 35% off I think.

Been borrowing my brother's set for a while now, so I was happy when these finally arrived from ebay. They were about 75% off retail, so another bargain. Very useful for troubleshooting uneven plates and bases. Also good for measuring paper thickness.

Pantone Process Blue and transparent white. Blue, because the 072 Blue I bought previously was darker than what I wanted for my giraffe print. Trans white because... well, everyone else is using it and I'm not sure why. Hey, it was cheap.

After a bit of a play with ink, I now see the beauty of trans white. I wasn't expecting a goo that resembled caramel when I opened up the pot, but mixing it with a little blue I realise the usefulness of this ink. It'll come in handy when I want a washed-out version of a colour. Will try printing with it tomorrow.

For those playing at home, there's a great forum on Briar Press about inks. It's incredibly informative, and explains oil-based, rubber-based, alternative inks, Pantone Matching System, and mixing colours really well.

Another great resource is this PDF from fameorshame.com. It's primarily about printing on a Vandercook, but has some excellent information about inks, colour and additives on page 10. Also has a good resource list and suggested reading list. Even if you don't print on a Vandercook, have a read.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New metal base

My brother suggested a local company that may be able to machine a metal base for me. I rang them and they gave me the number of a bloke that may be able to do it for me. I rang him and he put me onto a friend of his who could do it. Sigh. In the end, I've found a man that can machine the perfect metal base for me for $100.

Well, it sounds like it will be perfect.

I pick it up later in the week, perhaps even tomorrow. Will post photos when it arrives, of course.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I've been tagged by Elizabeth at The Hive Design Studio (who, by the way, has gorgeous cyan tags on her blog right now, check them out).

Rule-posting first:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names, and links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'll try to make my responses relate to letterpress/design... since it's a letterpress blog!

1. I always planned to go to art school when I finished Year 12, but Dad didn't want me to be a starving artist. He wanted me to be an architect (I was topping the class at the time). Graphic design was the happy medium.

2. Letterpress is a combination of a few of the things I always wanted to have in a day job: messiness, ink, illustration, typography, design, colour, paper, working away from a desk, repetitive movements, repetitive movements, repetitive movements, being creative in a unique way, greeting cards, Illustrator vectors, photography, proofing, wearing grotty clothes... I could go on. Being a graphic designer is limiting because I'm being creative without getting dirty. I'm a grot by nature, and being a government graphic designer is eating my soul.

3. I'm a bit obsessive. I don't have 'interests' - I have obsessions. But being on a high with an obsession also leads to an inevitable low. I'm currently in a minor one - doubting my letterpress future and wondering if it's really worth pursueing or if I'm kidding myself. I guess this also comes with just losing your job.

4. I'm a horse girl. I have a gelding named Rick. I do highly detailed horse and animal portraits like this and this.

5. My real name's Louise, and I have a problem with posting my last name on the internet! That will have to change if Poppy Letterpress really goes into business.

TAG to:
1. Megan from
Megan Creates... - Such a wonderful positive spirit and a very talented woman.
Ampersand Duck - Because I know she's a kooky character and would like this ;)
3. Tanya at
Snap & Tumble - It's inspiring watching someone else with an Adana make beautiful things.
4. Lynn at
Satsuma Press - Because I couldn't help but buy one of her cards off etsy as one of my first purchases, and I'm so impressed with the quality. One of the first letterpress blogs I found.
5. Alexandra at
Dolce Press - a website/blog that I discovered only yesterday, and really need to finish reading with a big cuppa tea. It looks like a good one!

Apologies if you've been tagged already. Double apologies if you hate this type of quizziness.

Paper, bases, guillotine, test prints.

Today's little achievements:

I've ordered a roll of BFK Rives 300gsm white from
Melbourne Etching Supplies. THEY HAVE A SALE ON! Nothing like spending one of your last paychecks on paper. It'll be a couple of weeks before that arrives.

I've found someone that can make a metal base for me! WOO HOO! Tomorrow I'll be taking the base that I borrowed from &Duck (yes, I still have it. I'm bad) to Greg to illustrate what I need, then getting a quote for how much it'll cost me. Oh, and &Duck: I'll let you know how much they are in case you need some. I'll try to set it up so it has a magnetic top, and find a way to put a metal base on my polymers to prevent curling - perhaps a metal sheet the size of the base, which I mount the plate onto? I've never seen a metal-backed polymer before, so I'm guessing here.

Oh, and a friend of mine who works at an offset printers can organise guillotining of my next set of cards - phew! Still got sore fingers from cutting on Saturday.

Now, to today's printing. Here's a couple of pics of more test prints. They're much better than yesterday's, but I'm still not happy enough to run the final version. Stinking hot weather doesn't help either. It's going to be so nice to print all day and have time to work things out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I've been doing a bit of forward planning. In two weeks' time, I'll be working on Poppy full-time, but in the meantime I have to sit through the last days at my job. It's hard, when I have so many ideas for letterpress, but no time to do it at night after work. I'm sure once I've been at home for a few weeks, I'll feel like I have far more time than I need, but until then, I can't wait.

Yesterday I cut up 45 cards ready to be printed with my giraffe design. I'm currently working on BFK Rives, off-white, 250gsm because that's the best I can find at the art supply store. I've found some white 280gsm online, but would really like a 300gsm. Oh, and a guillotine. Holy cow, I'm sick of cutting. I might talk to a local printer about cutting some cards to size in the future.

Today I bought some sample coloured envelopes to match ink to for the giraffe. He's quite the cutey. I've also bought some rivets for future swing tags that I have planned.

This weekend's printing was short-lived, but consisted of tests printing on cotton ribbon, as well as the giraffe's first colour plate test. The ribbon I'd like to use for packaging my cards - yes, I know... I'm thinking too far ahead. I really just need to focus on the actual designs and printing, but a little forward though is a good thing. The ribbon printed well, so I might work up a design to print in colour, or a series of colours.

The giraffe plate is a different story. It's been stinking hot here in Canberra lately, and today was no exception. High humidity just before a storm meant I had a cranky little press. Before starting, I had to clean everything again in kero, as oil was seeping out of rollers and even off the ink disc. Think it's clean when you're finished printing? Think again.

The humidty also meant that I couldn't get the giraffe to stick to the base much at all, it just curled right up. I took it off, cleaned off all the residue off the plate and the base and tried again with no luck. Even after being pressed under heavy weight. I guess this is where a magnetic base and metal-backed polymer really comes in handy. May have to look into that for the future. For now, I did a test run in black anyway, expecting heaps of problems, but got some okay little prints.

I forgot to get a photo of the plate curling, but will if it happens again.

What experiences have you guys had with temperature and environmental conditions? We're in Spring now, but about to launch into a hot Summer - temps normally between 30-40 degs C (86-104 F) and I'm wondering what problems I'll experience then.

I've also been experimenting with different ways of cleaning up after pulling prints. Normally my clean-up process is this:
  1. Take ink disc off, clean up with Crisco oil and rags. Quick finish-up with a wipe of kerosene.
  2. Take rollers off. I keep about half a cup of Crisco oil in a 10L bucket, and I've found that the rollers are the perfect width to sit across the top of the bucket. That way they're held in place and I rotate them as I wipe them clean with oil. Every couple of runs I finish up with kero.
  3. Clean plate/locked up type with Crisco oil and old toothbrush. Keep your old toothbrushes! They come in handy. A quick brush with oil, and then final wipe down is usually all it needs.
  4. And then clean up of any palette knives that I've used to put ink on the ink disc.

This routine has been working very well (I'm a cleaning freak with my press and leave it spotless after each run). The process only takes me about 15 minutes. I've read other printers take ages to clean their big C&Ps. God bless my lil Adana.

Today I put a clean sheet of paper between the rollers and the ink disc to get most of the excess ink off the press. After a few sheets, I then added Crisco oil to the ink disc and ran the rollers over it a few times. I cleaned up the ink disc with a clean rag, and gave the rollers a wipe down, followed by kero. I'm not convinced this is a better way of cleaning up, but it made cleaning the rollers easier.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sample packs in planning

I haven't been neglecting my press since the weekend, but I have been planning my sample packs. I'd like to get 4-6 products printed that I can package in a clear box with branding to send off to various small retail outlets. So I've been researching packaging options, what designs I'd like to print, and who I'd like to send them to.

A day off yesterday to celebrate my birthday with my mum lead me to The Style Emporium, a little shop hidden away and full of all kinds of goodies. I could spend forever in there looking at everything. I'll be returning again, now that I know it's there.

Save the Date cards are being distributed this week. Really need to start designing the actual invites asap.

Also, next design to be printed is my giraffe and rabbit. The giraffe's first colour is currently sitting in the press ready to be inked, but physical restrictions are holding me back tonight, so I'll give it a go tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vote now!

Because I'm such a sucker for surveys (and I also want to know if this blog could possible help someone else out) I've added my own survey on the side bar.

Vote now!
You know you want to.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Inspiration wires

Ok, second post in one night.

Taking inspiration from Mav at port2port, I've set up some inspiration wires of my own. I thought it was such a fantastic way to spruce up a studio space, and the perfect solution for someone like me who is renting. I started collecting letterpressed cards before I decided to give it a go, and they were going to waste in a box.

Save the Date

The final finished piece, complete with Sender's address and printing details on the back of the envelope.

I know it's rather lame posting a photo like this and blurring the names, but I just don't want my details up on the web! It does make it hard to show off the cards though...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Save the Dates finished!

They're finally done! It seems like forever, but I have to keep reminding myself that I've only owned a letterpress for 4 weeks, and been printing even less.

The second colour for the cards ended up being a deep green, which worked well. Now we just have to round the corners, put them in the envelopes (which a minute ago, I've decided to print with our names on the back) and send.

Would love to show you the whole design, but I'm not keen on having our full names splashed across the internet. Might get better shots later, but here's a couple:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Second colour test run

Ok, so I totally forgot that I wanted to print the swirls as PINK not green. Woops. Just a little stuff up there. Oh well, they still look okay in the green.

This now means that we can't decide what to make the second colour. Tonight I tested the new plate with a charcoal, but it looked like black that was just running too light.

The REALLY GOOD NEWS is that after a little while fiddling without ink to get an even impression with one of my dodgy wood bases, the type from the very first print was PERFECT. Very happy. I've had to cut the plate edges closer to the type though, as some blank areas were printing as well, but that's easily fixed.

So we're debating now whether the second colour should be black or a really deep green. Either way, I should be printing the finals tomorrow night. My darling fiancee will help with the pressing though, I'm starting to get sore wrists already. I'm also sporting a huge bruise/lump on my right wrist.

In other news, I think I've found someone local that can machine a metal base for me. Might find out tomorrow.

Oh, and acetone nailpolish remover gets rid of spray adhesive :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

First colour completed

Today's (short) efforts saw another 45 Save the Date swirls printed. So altogether now we've got 103 of them. We'll be inviting 80-90 people eventually, but of course only one copy needs to go to each household... so I'll have lots of extras, which I don't mind.

Now that I'm facing unemployment, I'm getting rather excited (and a lot more serious) about developing some greeting cards to sell on etsy and offer as samples to retail stores. Yes, going a little crazy already, I know... but a girl can dream! I'll be looking for a new day job (in graphic design) but the prospect of having far more hours to spend printing sounds like heaven right now.

Of course, that means I'll have to find a permanent solution for my base problems...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

First colour of Save the Dates

Finally, some success! Of course, still lots of room for improvement but it's something. With LOTS of make-ready and way too much time, I've been able to print first colour of the first 58 of 100 Save the Date cards. Why 58? Well, I bought lots of really lovely textured paper to use, and a few sheets of stuff I thought would be nice to have on hand. The nice stuff (Rives) is actually heaps better and very similar to Crane's Lettra, so I've decided to use up what I had and buy more tomorrow morning.

Seems that all of my problems definetly were the base, and I'll still need to think of a long-term solution, but for now, I'm happy.
Oh, and I bought a cheap corner rounder as well. If I do a lot of rounding, I'll need to buy a better one. I'll be rounding these cards though, it seems to work well with the design.

Uneven base

Ok, so it's the base that's uneven. It sinks slightly in the middle. I borrowed my brother's calipers (which are so fantastic, I've just bought a set on ebay), and found a height inconsistency of 1.04 mm.

Would love to buy a proper base, but I just found out that I finish my job in 4 weeks, so financially, it's just not going to happen at this stage. So for now, I have to work with what I've got. I spent a night sanding the high points of the base down, measuring every 0.01 of a millimetre. Works much better, but still far from perfect.

First run from yesterday, print now mounted with spray adhesive, printed with unmixed Pantone Red:

I'm happy enough that it's a clearly defined low area. Much better than being a few areas. Just to make sure it's definetly the base and nothing else, I temporarily pasted paper strips behind the patch, then did a second run:

So it's definetly the base.
Spent a bit more time yesterday making it a less dodgy paper fix, so I could get a little closer to printing the actual cards (yes that's right, 3 colours in one day!). I still have a problem spot, but it's not base-related this time. Low point on the photopolymer?

Also, still working on getting just the right green to match the sample from the bridesmaid's dress (that's the sample up the top of the pic):

And here's where I'm up to. Still patchy, and some uneven inking to boot, but it's getting better each attempt:

Problem with this print is that even though the ink is quite heavy, it's still very patchy when it was more even in earlier prints. Augh, can't win. Can't get any bite in the paper either.

I've got a whole day to work on it again now (and if I can't find a job in the next 4 weeks, I'll have 7 full days a week to work on it... sigh).