My instructor was right about how many projects we should expect to accomplish during one summer; I was wrong. It had taken me 5 classes to complete the first project, so I only had 3 weeks left. Making 2 sets of greeting cards seemed simple enough.

My initial plan was to use the clam shell press for both sets. I didn’t think this would be a problem because there was only one other woman in the class who was interested in the clam shell press; everyone else wanted to use the electric press from the 1970s (called the Vandercook).

When I got to class, though, no one was using the Vandercook. It seemed silly to have a press not in use that near to the end of the semester. Plus, my instructor thought it would be good for me to learn how to use as many different presses as possible. The Vandercook required less work, but was still cool.

I feel like I’ve been congratulating people a lot lately (marriages, graduations), so I made a card for that. “Huzzah” seemed best (the writing’s not actually backwards, but the program I used to take the photo takes a mirror image).

For my other set of cards, the cards for any occasion (“Kara says…”), I went back to the clam shell press. The most fun part of making this card was that my sister Alyssa got to help me. She was visiting during the last week of class, so she came with me. She is a great printer’s devil (what pressmen’s apprentices were called). She let me boss her around, helping me line everything up and get the ink on the press. Once we got the press inked, I made a few cards. Then I wanted to give her a chance to try. Despite being strong enough to almost drown me in the pool when she was a ten-year-old, Alyssa couldn’t keep the press going. She made a few cards…very slowly…and then I let her quit. Mentioning that she had trouble with the clam shell press won’t destroy her self esteem or anything; she’s better than me at a lot of things: baking, gymnastics, archery.

We cleaned up the mess we had made and got ice cream.

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