I'm feeling a bit feisty this week for various reasons, some of which have been on the news and I will offer no comment at the moment. However, if you have earplugs and are up for three hours of straight yelling, feel free to call me any time!
BUT, I am going to express myself on another outrage that touches each and every one of us. Unwelcome, criminal touching.
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THESE?THESE TWIST TIES HAVE SERVED OUR NATION'S CITIZENS FOR DECADES, TIRELESSLY, EFFECTIVELY, SELFLESSLY.
AND NOW, WITHOUT WARNING, THEY HAVE BEEN REPLACED WITH A HORRIBLE PIECE OF EXTRA STICKY TAPE, ARRANGED IN A BERMUDA TRIANGLE, STUCK TO ITSELF AND TO THE BAG, FORCING YOU TO TEAR THE BAG AND UTTER SHOCKING OBSCENITIES WHILE RUINING YOUR BREAD AND SCANDALIZING YOUR NEIGHBORS, CHILDREN AND PETS.
WHY? WHY DEVOLVE THE FORMERLY SIMPLE PROCESS OF OPENING AND CLOSING YOUR BAG OF BREAD? WHY?
BRING ME THE HEAD OF THE PERSON WHO INVENTED THIS ATROCITY.
(Not really - it doesn't have a brain in it, and I'm sure it's hideously unattractive.)
Here's an idea. Why don't you rocket surgeons who came up with this affront to the bread eating public just throw the bread on the floor in the bread aisle and let us pick it up there? For one thing, we'd be able to get at it before we starve to death, and for another - IT'S GOING TO GO ON MY FLOOR WHEN I RIP THE BAG OPEN ANYWAY, SO SAVE ME SOME TIME AND SOME CUSSING!
Seriously - do you want a piece of me? Come and get it, bakeries. Come. And. Get. It.
Warmed up? Good. Me too. Now all of this, of course, is related to a product critique. :) I wanted you to be good and sure I'm not gonna blow sunshine up anything when it comes to an opinion. You're gonna get pure, unvarnished old me. :)
So here goes. I got my Epic 6 letterpress kit and Epic 6 machine a few weeks back after a long wait (I pre-ordered it this summer), but I was too busy to play with it until today. So I busted it out, and here are some of my initial observations.
First, I was EXTREMELY disappointed to read "Made in China" when I opened it. I should have researched that. :(
Next, it's a nice size if you're working on items of any length and 6" wide. It doesn't have the nice solid feel in the handle that the Big Shot does - it's sturdy, but not AS sturdy or heavy. The operation of it is otherwise identical - base plates and a hand crank. I'm not interested in any of its functions outside the letterpress as of yet because I think the Big Shot is the best die cutting machine ever and have no desire to switch. But it's very compact, and I love that in a craft product.
Letterpress - I love. And this is the first tabletop letterpress machine. So bravo on the invention.
The process is fairly simple. Stick the designs on one side of the folding plate with some double sided adhesive (provided), ink them with letterpress ink and a brayer, put your paper opposite the dies, fold closed, run through machine.
Just so you know, letterpress ink is rough to work with. It's sticky, it smells, it's extremely hard to clean. I used to carve my own stamps and had forgotten what a pain it was. You have to be careful inking up the plates, both to get even coverage and to not leave voids. Cleaning it takes a herculean effort, although rubbing alcohol helps. If you have OCD, you will not enjoy letterpress ink.
The dies I ordered are gorgeous. They chose really timeless designs that will be so completely useful and stylish - I think everyone will find something to love. The dies are a thin, hard plastic. You need to be careful when removing them from the adhesive - I have a feeling they will break if you don't have a light touch - especially on the longer, intricate dies.
I picked kind of a modern one for starters, and I didn't do a good job inking up the die, as you can see. However, I think for a first try, it's not a disaster. This is my actual first pass through the machine. Look at the bottom of the stems and on some of the flowers for where I missed inking the die.But the beauty of letterpress is here with this machine. See how perfectly the design is recessed into the paper, despite my poor inking? See the crisp edges of each letter and shape debossed into the card?
Beautiful. Despite my bad first try, I loved the look of the pressing. So I thought - well heck - who needs ink? Those designs are pretty on their own. It would be fun to play with them just in white and skip all the cleanup for the evening. Especially since I want to try to learn needlefelting tonight! So I picked out one of the monogram dies and made myself a little "L" notecard.
Oooh - I like that. Like making my own monograms! Now see there's a little ghosting around the letter? That's the edge of the die getting pressed into the paper. I haven't looked around to see about other papers, etc. so this may be something easily fixed. However, I love it, and that ghosting isn't a deal breaker for me at all, especially for a homemade letterpress card.
Here's another ink-free design.Now how fun is that? Notice - no ghosting! There may be something about the smaller individual letters that presses the die harder into the paper. Repetition will tell.
Also, each of the dies are individual, so you can combine them any way you want to create your own little scenes, which is a big advantage over cutting and embossing dies.. With those, you'd have to emboss and then punch or cut out the images to combine them. With letterpress, you create your own designs with freely placed images. Freedom is a good thing!
There's a grid on the plate that helps you align the clear dies - and it's very, very easy to do. It's also a surprisingly fast process. I shouldn't have waited so long to play.
I think I'm going to have a heck of a good time playing with this and making elegant and simple cards. So that's the bottom line. If you want one, and you don't like messy stuff, just get it without the ink. You'll like it.
I hope you're having a good short week and enjoying the holidays still. Do you have resolutions? Wanna tell me?
Leave a comment and my favorite resolution will win a set of monogrammed notecards! :)
Oh, and since I'm still feisty, one more thing.... An important disclaimer ;)
Dear FTC and anyone else who feels the need to intrude upon my freedom of speech as a way to increase the revenue of the federal government by making sure that no one receives any 6 yards of yarn in exchange for a product review without paying the appropriate fine.... You're barking up the wrong blogger. I bought the Epic 6 letterpress machine with the roughly 40% of my hard earned dollar that was left after income tax, sales tax, shipping tax, trans fat tax, tanning bed and botox tax and gas tax. Furthermore, if I die because someone on a terrorist watch list is free to get on my plane and has a bomb in his girly pink terrorist panties, and is not stopped by a Dutch filmmaker who comprises the entirety of our homeland security system (even though he's not from our homeland - chew on THAT) then whoever I leave the Epic 6 to will pay inheritance tax on it. Happy? Good - I live for that.
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