OK, I can see that this post will be a long one with lots of pictures and I hope you will bear with me and if you have the Northern Trim Letterpress Plate . . . maybe you learn a little bit from me based on my experiences.
The first time I inked up the plate (following the directions) I had results like those above. I used Real Red Craft ink and I used my brayer. I groaned a bit when I saw how the edges got full of ink . . . but believe it or not . . . the impressions came out perfectly as you can see below.
But, the problem I was having is that my fingers kept getting into the ink as I handled the letterpress plate and then I was getting ink pretty much all over everything. Craft ink doesn’t really dry in a timely manner and on a plate of plastic . . . it could probably stay inky indefinitely. It was bugging me to say the least. Then, I had a brainstorm and put post-it notes onto the plate. 

This is what it looked like when I used the post-it notes. Much less messy!! Before I ran it through the Big Shot machine, I removed the post-its and the results were perfect, and my fingers stayed ink free!

Above you can see close-ups of what the Craft ink looks like on Watercolor Paper and on Naturals White paper. You do get a deeper impression on the Watercolor paper . . . but  not enough to make that much of a difference. I decided to create my projects using the Naturals White paper as it is just easier to stamp on.
The card above was my first attempt. I tried to use the Craft ink to stamp my main image from the Northern Hearts stamp set . . . but again, it’s kind of messy and I was getting frustrated so I grabbed my Real Red dye ink and just got it over with. Then, I have to say, I wasn’t very happy with myself. I wondered how I would be able to promote this to my customers as most of them do not have craft ink and once they get it . . . well, let’s just say there is a “learning curve!” I also didn’t like that fact that my wreath image was a darker red than the craft ink on the letterpress strip. It’s probably not all that noticeable to you . . . but it jumps out at me because I am super, super picky. Just ask my customers . . . most of whom start rolling their eyes at me when I come running with the Stamp-a-ma-jig.
I decided to see what would happen if I used dye ink on the Letterpress plate. It is NOT recommended because it isn’t supposed to adhere real well to the letterpress plates. But, mine adhered PERFECTLY. (mind you, it had been used with craft ink initially . . . and then thoroughly washed with Dawn soap and dried well with paper towels.) Take a look at the strip below.
 It’s perfect, isn’t it!! And, YES . . . it’s dye ink! So, the moral of this story is that you have to follow the directions and then, experiment!! I like it with dye ink better and it’s MUCH less messy!!
Above is the card I made using the dye ink. Notice how the main image matches the trim images perfectly? I like that!!
This is the inside panel of the card. I used a sentiment from Many Merry Messages.
 And, just a hint. If you decide to recreate this card and you have the clear mount option . . . the snowflakes can be very quickly stamped onto your background by putting all of them onto the Clear Mount Block E. I’m addicted now to assembling several stamps at a time now onto one block for creating quick and easy backgrounds.
Congratulations . . . you made it through this super long post!! I hope my experiments can help you!!
Stamps: Northern Hearts (level one stamp set), Many Merry Messages (for the inside panel of the card)
Paper: Real Red, Garden Green, Naturals White
Ink: Real Red
Tools: Big Shot Machine, Northern Trim Letterpress Plate, Ticket Corner Punch
Adhesives: Multi Purpose Liquid Glue, Stampin’ Dimensionals
Misc: Post It Notes
Kay Kalthoff is a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator in Lino Lakes, Minnesota stamping, caring and sharing with customers and demonstrators locally and nationally!

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