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Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Great Road Trip of 2011: Things that Inspire Me

There sure are some exciting things going on here at 1canoe2. It is a busy season – moving into a new workspace, shipping lots of orders, cranking out new designs, and being featured in a nationally circulated magazine. But, I don’t want to get so sucked into all that we have happening and forget to share with you some more of what we are calling “The Great Road Trip of 2011”.

I’ve always been a nature girl. Give me a creek where I can skip rocks or a campfire to sit by and I’m happy. Give me some paper and a pen and my drawings usually lean toward flowers and trees. The natural world amazes and inspires me, and one goal for this trip was to come home with some inspiration. Mission accomplished.

Here are some things that inspire me:

And, have you ever been to Yellowstone and seen Old Faithful erupt? I shot this video when we visited, and I love the reaction from the people around us. That geyser sure is a crowd pleaser!


On Newsstands Now!

You might not be a regular reader of Brides Magazine, but if you’re waiting in the line at the grocery store this month you might want to flip through the August issue. We were thrilled when wedding planner extraordinaire, Tara Wilson, asked us to design some coasters for her article about ideas for wedding favors. It’s always exciting to see our work in the print media – you can check us out on page 140!


Moving Day

Today all of our presses made the trip down the road to our new work space!  It is quite a process to move one press, let alone three.  Luckily we have people with the brains and the equipment to get the job done!

The presses were transported one at a time on the back of a flatbed pickup truck.  The mile long trip down the gravel road didn’t take much time, but it is the loading and unloading that keep us all on edge.  Remember, we’re talking 2000 lb. hunks of cast iron machinery here.

Loading them up for their journey required a forklift, which we have on site.  How convenient!  There is no forklift to be seen, however, at the unloading site.  So, we used a tractor with a loader.

Tractors weren’t designed to transport printing presses.  At least I don’t think that is what they had in mind.  But we made it work.

This is when you hope that my brother, who is behind the controls of this monster machine, doesn’t accidentally hit the wrong lever and drop the press on the ground.

Luckily he didn’t.

Easy does it.

This is the universal signal for “a little to the left!”

Once we had the press on the ground just inside the barn we took it the rest of the way on a pallet jack.  Getting it off the pallet jack onto the floor is a whole other story.  It involves putting wooden blocks underneath the press and lots of phrases like “Carrie, will you stand on the corner here and balance the press so it doesn’t tip over?”  True story.

Everything made it inside safe and sound, but I can’t take you in just yet!  We still have a lot of work to do before we’re ready to actually start using our new space.  But, take a look at the beautiful doors! These doors originally came from the old farmhouse that used to be right here next to this barn.  It is the house that our family used to live in, up until I was about 6 years old, before my parents built the house that they live in now.  I remember these doors as the ones that separated the kitchen from the dining room.  They have fancy glass knobs, and they have been waiting up in the loft of the barn for the last couple of decades.  I’m glad we get to use them.


Home Again, Home Again

During the last few days we visited Astoria, Oregon (one of the most picturesque and adorable towns I’ve ever been to), drove down the Oregon coast, camped by the beach, hiked some amazing trails in the Columbia River Gorge, and soaked up the culture of Portland.



The past three weeks have been a dream! I have a lot more to share with you, which will come later. Abby and I talked a lot about how lucky we are to be able to take the time to see and experience so many beautiful sights, and to meet some awesome new people. We’re trying to figure out when we can do it again.

We said our goodbyes this morning. Abby starts a new job on Monday in Portland, and I’m on my way home. From what I hear it’s blazin’ hot in Missouri. That might be a shock to this girl, who has been living in a world of perfect weather for the last three weeks. At least I’ll be sleeping in my own bed tonight.




1canoe2 plus 1 = 1 great team

Carrie and I want to introduce our new business partner, Karen Shryock (Carrie’s sister-in-law) to the 1canoe2 community.   We’re still working on her official title, but she fills in a lot of the gaps that us creative types need covered (like organization).   She’ll be writing blogposts now, too, so we thought we’d give her the opportunity to introduce herself to you through one.   Enjoy!   ~Beth

Magical.   It was a place bursting with every color of the rainbow, smiling children and hands-on art activities, and it’s name was just as fitting, Kaleidoscope.   As a third grader on a school field trip (back in the spring of 1987), coloring a crown and making cards at Kaleidoscope and touring the Hallmark museum were the beginnings of my own in-home stationery line.

The following summer I began “ked cards” (ked were my initials) in my parents’ unfinished basement, creating a production line that included design, folding, envelope creation, stuffing, and addressing.   I “employed” the two neighbor kids and we worked for what my mom says was hours each day creating our line.   And just like Hallmark, my cards had a signature “ked” label on the bottom of the backside of the card.

I think it was very comforting for Carrie and Beth to know this when they hired me to do a few hours of administrative freelance work; they wouldn’t want anyone who didn’t have “professional experience” in stationery!   Thankfully I did have real-world experience to compliment my childhood imaginative play that would be of assistance to them!

Being part of 1canoe2, first as the supportive sister-in-law (I’m married to Carrie’s brother Mike), then administrative freelancer, and now as a full-fledged partner, is nothing short of magical itself.   I watch the magic happen every time I watch Carrie and Beth draw or listen to them talk about new ideas they want to pursue.   Being able to support their dreams with my contributions and spending most of my time being a mom is just about perfect.  

I do my best to serve as head cheerleader (aside from their doting parents), keep-to-it researcher (Yea, Hail to the Chief and the Smithsonian!), boutique finder, customer-keeper, organizer of all things important, and crafter of wonderful writings (e-mails, letters, convos, blog posts, etc.).   After all, it takes all three of us (and our loving and supportive families) to keep the magic going…hopefully (for you and for us) for years to come!


*Note: Kaleidoscope continues to be a magical place for children.   Last summer I was able to watch my four-year-old daughter delight in making drawings with melted crayons, watercolor a fish, color and cut a Hallmark crown-shaped puzzle, and more.   If you live in the Kansas City, Missourivicinity, it is well worth your time!   Check it out at


The National Park Tour Continues

After staying in Seattle for a night we made our way to Mount Rainier National Park.


Beautiful. Huge trees, moss covered rocks. Everything is so lush and green.



Mount Rainier is full of surprises. Cloudy overcast days can suddenly turn bright and sunny.


Rainier has also seen a lot more snow than normal this year. We were expecting to see more wildflowers, but there are still huge piles of snow.


It's July! Free Calendars!

Warning: this post will not be nearly as aesthetically pleasing as Carrie’s adventures, but there’s something in it for you!

So it’s July, and we have a few of our lovely 2011 Calendars still hanging around. We want to give them to you, loyal followers!

If you purchase any print 8×10 size or larger (Let’s Go Ride Bikes, Cameras, Alphabet, Hail to the Chief, Outlaws, Things That Are Round, and many more!), we’ll throw in a calendar free of charge with no extra shipping! Just let us know which one you want. And if you’re not inclined to buy one of those other prints, the calendars are now listed at 50% off, and the shipping is also free.

Here’s Jason’s version of this blog post:

Jason is our shipping guru….

Mountain Fever

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Midwest. I love letterpress, and I love what we do. But in a different life I’d live in the mountains. There is just something about the crisp air, cold lakes and rivers, and the amazing views that just feels right to me.

Abby and I just returned from a week of backpacking in the backcountry of Glacier National Park, and it was spectacular. I’ll go into more detail later, but for now here are a few photos of some of the things we saw, and places we got to call home for a few days.




We also got to experience a little winter in the middle of July. After making it out of the backcountry we got to take a trip across the park via the Going-to-the-Sun road. The road actually was just opened two days earlier due to the record breaking amount of snow the park received this year.


This was July 15th on Logan Pass. Snowballs were thrown.

Tonight we are in Spokane, WA. Tomorrow we continue on to the pacific northwest where we’ll be seeking out some more adventures.



Just passing along an update from the road. We’ve been moving right along. Colorado, Wyoming, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, into Montana, and today we arrived at Glacier National Park. We have seen SO many beautiful sights!


Tomorrow morning we set off on a six day backpacking trip into the backcountry of Glacier. Everything is packed, we think, and we’re looking forward to seeing some parts of the park that not many people get to see. We’ll be off the grid for the next six days, but we’ll check in when we get back to civilization. Probably after we take a long hot shower and eat a real big meal.


:: Carrie ::