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Letterpress, a platypus, and the best gift for Mom - Introducing Orange House Press!

3 min read

In this unusual time full of Zoom gatherings, living in sweats, carb loading, and kids daydreaming of being in school… I wanted to create a fun distraction. Mom’s especially deserve a treat now more than ever!

I’m thrilled to team up with Wren Crosleycone of Wren’s Culinary Salts and Carol Clifford of Orange House Press to present special gift sets in time for Mother’s Day.

I’ve known these phenomenal ladies for some time, we’ve done shows together, neighborhood walks, and I’m their #1 fan. It was a no brainer when thinking about what small businesses to ask to join me in making gift sets.

Today I introduce you to Carol Clifford, letterpress artist extraordinaire.

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I own many of Carol’s wonderful prints, each gives me a little boost in a different way. And I love giving (and gettting!) her beautiful cards.

Two of my favorite Orange House Press prints hang on my living room wall, salon style among other favorites.

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The hammer holds a special place in my heart because it honors one of the metalsmithing traditions I use on the regular. And I love that the mighty unicorn reminds me that we can do great things and make big change in small ways. A little thing like telling someone a joke or giving an unexpected gift can have huge ripple affects in their day.

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I asked Carol some questions to help us get to know her….

If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?

Platypus. Pretty self-explanatory. Just kidding. What I really like about them is their flexibility in wandering, to be able to go by land or water. Kind of like a frog or a duck, but harder to spell and more cool looking. They just seem exotic. And I've never seen one in a person- kind of like a unicorn.

What inspires you to do what you do?

There's a magical quality to printmaking because everything starts in reverse. The type I set is backwards, reading right to left, or the image on a linoleum block I've cut is flipped. The composition is in reverse and hard to read but when I ink it, run a piece of paper through the press for the first time, and pull the sheet of paper up, I see that the image is now right reading and how I designed it. It never ceases to make me smile with wonder, and exclaim, "Oh yeah, it worked!". 

What’s your favorite coping mechanism during times of stress, like the current Covid 19 pandemic? 

Currently my coping mechanism for handling stress has been paying more attention to nature – being in my garden or going for a walk for example. I find I'm stopping a lot more to enjoy the birds singing and to observe nature alive and active while we are at this time more still. For me Spring always feel like a promising time, and right now, I need that reassurance that life continues. When I'm in the studio and the printing process is frustrating, I stop to pay attention to my breathing. I put my hand on my chest, close my eyes, and breath in 4 counts and exhale 7 counts while thinking, "Everything will be okay." 

 

I love all of Carol’s work, but the 3 pieces chosen for our gift sets are a true delight.

This card perfectly sums up the most impressive people in your life. Big hearted Moms especially!

This card perfectly sums up the most impressive people in your life. Big hearted Moms especially!

These cards are lovely for any occasion. I always keep a few of these on hand when I want to send a special note to someone to say thank you or sometimes for no reason at all, except to share the beauty.

These cards are lovely for any occasion. I always keep a few of these on hand when I want to send a special note to someone to say thank you or sometimes for no reason at all, except to share the beauty.

I Love You more letterpress print - favorite quote from mom. Expressive in gold, blue and red

When Carol told me this is one of the last things her mom said to her before she died, I got tears in my eyes. This print is a fantastic reminder of unconditional love.

Isn’t Carol’s work fantastic?!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do in our unique handmade gift sets.

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