A Gangster Letterpress Valentine … and sushi/aquarium extravaganza

Vintage letterpress printing press Metal Text Plate

So the bestie Lindsey over at Vialin Design Studio is super talented and creative. She managed to source a vintage letterpress printing press and start a business with hand-made custom stationary. It’s really quite impressive and I still don’t know how she does it all.

But one day, she asked me if I wanted to do a little project for Wil. He loves all things Rap/Jay-Z and apparently had asked her to do a print of a lyric from the Intro of American Gangster…. Don’t ask. Anywho, I thought it would be fun to learn how to use the press and do something for Wil in the process.

We’re not big on Valentine’s Day but we do like to do random little things for one another. That year, I did this print so I’d have something to give him after our day-date. Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday so we took the day off and went to Ripley’s Aquarium, then out for a geriatric sushi dinner at our fave spot Ja Bistro  (to be ironic). We thought we were so smart for avoiding the cliches because we’d be finished and back home before all the suburb couples made it into the city for the night.

In honour of this upcoming Valentine’s Day… here’s what we did!

First, behold Lindsey’s printing press….This 100 lb beast is where the magic happens

Vintage letterpress printing press


Vintage letterpress printing press


Vintage letterpress printing press Metal Text Plate
The text plate up close. Ink it up and just press down.


Vintage letterpress printing press
All lined up and ready to go


The lyric Wil had asked for: Damn it feels good, to be a gangster. LOL.

Vintage letterpress printing press Print

The final result:

Vintage letterpress printing press


I wasn’t necessarily excited for the aquarium but I actually had a lot of fun. It was quite impressive.

Shark Tank!
Shark Tank!


Ripley's Aquarium Toronto
No clue what this is ….


Ripley's Aquarium Toronto Sea Dragon
Sea Dragon!



After a nice afternoon of wandering around the aquarium with hoards of children and their parents, we immediately hightailed it out of there for some real adult beverages and delicious sushi. Ja Bistro does this sushi called oshi zushi, where they press layers of seasoned rice and toppings into a mould, hence the rectangular shape, then blow-torch it for a perfect sear. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…

Oshizushi Ja Bistro
Ja Bistro’s signature flame-seared sushi! Haha…sorry new fish friends from the aquarium…

We have a shared obsession with French macarons and the Nadege on Queen West was right up the road from our condo. So to wrap up our day, we settled in at home with a cold bottle of Verve Clicquot and macarons. Damn it feels good, to be a gangster.

Side note: sadly, we’ve moved over to the East side but now we can get equally (dare I say better?) delicious treats from Bobbette and Belle in Leslieville!

A little V-day dessert
A perfect end to a wonderful day

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