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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Oregon

I spent this past week in Oregon, and I think I’m officially in love with the Pacific Northwest.  I went to visit one of our best friends Abby, who moved there a little over a year ago. You might remember that last summer I went along with Abby on her drive westward. We turned it into an epic three week road trip that included lots of camping and hiking in some of the most beautiful places our country has to offer. It was unforgettable.

So last week I hopped on a plane to Portland, sleeping bag and tent in tow. We packed up the car and headed to central Oregon.

We camped by a lake, pumped water from a mountain stream, cooked on a camp stove, hiked to the most beautiful waterfalls that I have ever seen, hoofed it to the summit of a real big mountain, and maybe got a little too close to a forest fire. It was beautiful, relaxing, and exactly what I needed.

Here are some things we saw…

Seriously. So amazing!

This may have just become an annual event. We’re already talking about where we want to go, who we want to bring along, and what we want to do next year. Alaska? Canada? Grand Canyon?

Feel free to throw out some ideas. Tell me about beautiful places you’ve been that shouldn’t be missed. You should know that we aren’t afraid to get dirty, we like some physical exertion, and going several days with no shower isn’t really a problem (just as long as there’s a hot shower and a big meal waiting at the end).

:: Carrie ::

 

The Good and the Bad

Do you want to know one of the worst feelings in the world? It’s when you have been working for hours upon hours cutting paper, mixing ink, setting up the press and printing some really beautiful wedding invitations, and then when everything is printed and you go to trim the edges with the big giant guillotine paper cutter, in your haste you measure wrong and don’t catch your mistake, and then you accidentally chop off the ends of half a stack of RSVP cards. I did that. Yesterday. It’s a real bad feeling. Kind of made me nauseous.

I know you’ve probably done something like that before. Admit it. Doesn’t feel too good does it?

To the bride and groom, if you happen to be reading…DON’T WORRY!!! I picked myself up, took a deep breath, and headed back to the press to print some more. No problem. I just spent a little more time in the print studio that I had anticipated, but the invitations are spectacular!

In better news, yesterday Beth and I spoke to the senior graphic design class at our alma mater, the University of Missouri! How about that? We told them all about what we’ve been up to since our days at Mizzou, how we started our little business, and some of the things we’ve learned along the way. A big thanks to Deborah, Ric, and Jean who invited us to come, and to the students who asked great questions – we loved your enthusiasm!  It’s also pretty great to be able to give back a little bit to a school, and faculty, that did so much for us!

Hope you have a FANTASTIC weekend!

:: Carrie ::

“Hey! Where do you get those stumps?”

We get this question a lot. Usually people are referring to the cute little stump that comes with each and every one of our calendars.

Don’t you love it? It really is great, and it’s perfect for sitting on your desk.

So, where do we GET those stumps? The short answer to that question is we make them ourselves. But that’s only part of the story. The long answer is much more interesting, and you’ll probably learn a thing or two, so keep on reading!

Our little stumps are cut from old branches of a tree called an Osage Orange.  Or, as we call them, a hedge tree. If you live in the great plains region of our country you’ve probably seen them. Hedge trees are the ones that grow those big green balls known as hedge apples. They grow to about the size of a softball  (which makes them good for throwing) and they look like this…

Did you know that hedge trees are either male or female, and that only the female trees produce hedge apples? It’s true.

There are a lot of hedge trees growing around here. According to my dad, who seems to know a lot, the hedge tree is the most widely planted tree in the United States. No other tree has been planted more than the hedge tree, which seems crazy, but he went on to tell me why.

Way back when the great plains region was being settled the farmers and ranchers needed a way to keep their livestock contained. They needed fences. Since barbed wire hadn’t even been invented yet, they grew their fences. They’d take a whole bunch of hedge apples and grind them up to make a kind of a slurry, which was full of hedge seeds, and they poured that slurry into a trench that they had dug around their pasture. Then they would have to wait for their fence, or hedge, to GROW! Talk about having to plan ahead! Seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it? I’m sure it was, but that’s how they did it. Hedge rows were planted all over the great plains, and we have old hedge rows on our farm. Of course, they aren’t used as fences anymore. Today they look like this…

So, this is where our stumps come from! Now, you should know that we are not cutting down live trees just for this purpose. No, not at all. We actually gather up dead branches from old growth. Wood from a hedge tree is extremely dense and highly resistant to rot and decay, so these branches have probably been lying on the ground for a several decades. Seriously.

Gathering up all of that wood is only half of the job.

The miter saw has pretty much taken up residence in the unfinished half of our barn for the past couple of months. This is where the branches are cut up into little discs.

Look at that sawdust fly!

Now, I have to give my Dad all of the credit here. He has actually done most of the cutting for us, and we are SO thankful. There’s not an exact count, but I’m pretty sure he’s already cut about 1500 little stumps, and we still can’t see the end of the tunnel. Not quite yet. Thanks Dad!

After we chop up the branches we head over to the table saw to cut that little groove in the top which holds up the calendar.

I don’t know if you have ever used a table saw, but it’s kind of scary. That blade. It could get you. When I use the table saw I am highly attuned to where my hands and fingers are at all times.

Cutting the grooves involves sliding each stump across the scary table saw blade. We have a good system for doing this, which involves some wood blocks that hold the stump in place and keeps our fingers as far away from the blade as possible. Rule #1: Don’t. Touch. The. Blade.

 

So that’s how it happens. That’s where we get our stumps! From the plains of Callaway County, Missouri, straight to your desk top.

Make sure you visit our shop real soon to pick up your 2013 calendar. And while you’re there grab a few more – they make excellent gifts!

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P.S.

Erin, thanks for the use of the photo that I snagged from your instagram feed. You are the only person I know who has a photo of hedge apples. I think this proves that we are related. Get yourself home for a visit soon. We all miss you!

♥ Carrie

 

1canoe2 in the wild…

Over the past year or so we have been working really hard to grow the wholesale side of our business – that means getting our stuff into stores all over the place so that it can be discovered by people like you! Lots of packages and boxes have been leaving our doorstep with destinations like Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Or Bellingham, Washington. Berkely, California and Asbury Park, New Jersey. It sure is exciting to think about how far and wide we are reaching, but the best part is when someone we know stumbles upon something of ours in a place where they least expect it. That’s when we get an excited text message that says something like…”You are famous!!! Look what I found!!!”  This is usually accompanied by an awesome cell phone photo. We love it.

Here are some of our recent favorites…

Keep them coming!

If you happen to stumble across something of ours in a store in your hometown, or when you are traveling the world, snap a photo and send it our way.  We’d love to see it! You can send them to hello@1canoe2.com.

:: Carrie ::

 

Football Saturday

Football season is here! Although it doesn’t feel like fall yet, it’s a guarantee that when the pigskin starts flying the weather is about to start cooling down. After this summer we are all ready for that.

Last night it was finally time to head over to Faurot Field to watch our Mizzou Tigers take on Southeastern Louisiana in our first game of the season. Karen, Beth and I are all alumni of the University of Missouri (and proud of it!) and I love the fact that we still live close and can cheer on our Tigers from the stadium seats. There’s nothing like being part of that big sea of black and gold! It ended up raining for most of the game, but no one seemed to care. We came away with a 62-10 win, and our boys looked good!

There are big changes going on around here. BIG changes. It’s our inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference, and you know those SEC schools take their football seriously. The schedule this year looks so strange. No more Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas. (It’s kind of sad, really) Instead, we’re about to welcome Georgia, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Alabama to town. Alabama!? Holy cow. We better be ready for that one. Make sure those helmets are fastened on extra tight!

Next Saturday the Georgia Bulldogs make their way to Columbia for our first SEC game ever. It’s going to be a big day, and apparently, our defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson, isn’t scared.

So, here’s to a good season! Yeah, it may be an adjustment year. I think we (players and fans) have a little bit of learning to do about what it means to be a part of the SEC. I’ve heard it described as the biggest and most powerful conference that ever existed.

Oh boy. It’s time to up our game.

:: Carrie ::

 

Winslow’s Home

Attention all you midwesterners! The next time you are in or around the St. Louis area I highly suggest that you find some way to make a stop at Winslow’s Home. It’s a  family owned new American general store – a restaurant, gift shop and grocery all in one. And, we are happy to say, you might just find some 1canoe2 products on the shelves!

The folks at Winslow’s Home serve up seasonal dishes made from fresh ingredients – some of which is grown on their very own farm. The menu changes daily, but I don’t think you can go wrong. And, they make some REALLY good pie.

You’ll find it on Delmar Boulevard, on the west end of Forest Park. It’s worth the trip!

:: Carrie ::