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Monthly Archives: December 2012

So Long 2012!

 

Well, here we are at the end of 2012, and what a year it has been! We are definitely looking forward to what 2013 will bring, but first let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the past year…

* We were featured in a book!

* We found ourselves in New York three (three!) times this year…in January, and May and again in August.

* Our logo grew up a little bit, and we got a completely new website and blog!

* It was a busy year on the farm. We went farmin’ with Brett once in the spring, we checked in with him in the middle of the summer, and we rode in the combine with him in the fall.

* Some of our products were on the Today Show.

* We worked hard, but we definitely set aside some time to play too! Some of the places we went…Colorado, Tennessee, Oregon, and Florida, and Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna.

* Our 2013 calendar sold like hotcakes! And that meant that we cut lots and lots and lots of little wood stumps to go along with each of them. (By the way, if you haven’t gotten yours there is still time…we have some left!)

* We spent one fun day helping out some friends who are starting a blueberry farm.

* Zach joined the team…and now we don’t know how we ever did it without him.

* Etsy featured us in their “Quit Your Day Job” feature, and our calendar was in Country Living Magazine.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. What a great year, we are really really blessed! It’s crazy to look back over the course of a whole year and see all that happened. We have so many exciting things already lined up for 2013…so let’s get on with it!

Thanks to those of you who have followed us this year – our hope is that 2013 brings you joy and happiness. Let’s make it our best year yet!

 

Cookies for Everyone!

I spent a good portion of my day yesterday baking cookies.  Lots of cookies. We have been blessed to be able to work with a few local businesses over the past year in various ways, and we decided that nothing can spread a little Christmas cheer, and show our appreciation, better than a batch of homemade cookies. I decided to go with the classic chocolate chip cookie. Everyone loves chocolate chip. And, it was snowing like crazy outside, so I really didn’t mind spending a few hours in the kitchen. It was perfect, really.

There are so many of you out there who have supported us in so many ways, from purchasing our products to following our blog to giving us business advice. We wish that we could make cookies for all of you! I’m afraid that’s not going to happen, but I’ll share my cookie recipe with you, and the next time you bake up a batch think of us!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
 
Combine all ingredients, and drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown.

 It’s a pretty basic recipe, which you can’t go wrong with, but here are a couple of things I’ve learned that make these cookies just a little bit better. First of all, use BUTTER. Not margarine or some other form of butter substitute. The real thing is SO worth it. Also, the recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt, but sometimes I add just a little bit more for a better salty/sweet combination. This is something that I learned from my friend Lynne a couple of years ago. Lynne used to work at the Uprise Bakery, one of our local hangouts, and her cookies are legendary. I don’t know her exact recipe, but she once told me that she always doubles the salt. So, I’ll leave you with that, but be careful. Too much salt is not a good thing. And, lastly, pull them out of the oven before they get too brown. In my opinion, a soft chewy cookie is much better than a crunchy crumbly one!

:: Carrie ::

 

New Prints!

It’s been a little while since we’ve added any new art prints to our line, but the wait is over! We now have two new letterpress prints in the shop.

Take a Hike! Inspired by our love of the outdoors. This is a companion print to our Go Outside and Play and Let’s Go Ride Bikes prints. They’re the same size, and would look great together on the wall!

Details:

Hand-drawn illustration
8×10 printed area on 9×12 paper
100% Cotton Letterpress paper
Printed in 7 colors on our 10×15 Chandler and Price letterpress.
edition of 400, signed and numbered

Things that are Tall. The third print in our series of “Things That Are…” these things are tall!

Details:

Hand-drawn illustration
Printed in four colors on our Chandler & Price press
Measures 11×14 inches
100% cotton letterpress paper
Limited edition of 400, signed and numbered
 

You can find both of them in our shop!

Thank You Chicago!

About a week ago we went up to Chicago for the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market, which we’ve done every year for the past four years. We love it, and this year was no exception! The weather was great, the crowd was HUGE, and the atmosphere was festive.

A big thanks to those of you who stopped by to take a look, chat with us, and make a purchase. We loved meeting you!

Also, we got to see some unexpected familiar faces, which is always great. I was super excited that one of my best college friends, Erin, made the two hour drive down from Milwaukee to Chicago. It was SO good to see you Erin! And, a special thanks goes out to my cousin Katy and her husband Mark who braved the crowd with their six week old baby girl, Charlotte, who I got to meet for the very first time. Thanks, you guys! She is beautiful…she’ll fit right into the family!

We were really busy in our booth, but we definitely made sure to take some time to do a little shopping of our own. Beth and I both checked off several Christmas gifts from our lists, which we obviously can’t tell you about, but I did buy a fantastic screen print from an awesome little girl named Ella. Ella’s dad is Dan Grezeca, who owns Ground Up Press, which is located in Chicago. Dan always has a booth at Renegade, and every year Ella comes along with him and sells her own prints. It’s the best thing ever. According to Dan, he set up a little corner in his studio for Ella to do her own work. She’s also quite the little salesperson! I now have three Ella prints, from the last three Renegade craft fairs. It’s my favorite purchase every year. Hands down!

Here’s my collection so far. We have an owl, a pair of cardinals, and a Merry Christmas Reindeer, which is my most recent acquisition. As someone who used to spend eight hours a day teaching art to kids Ella’s age, this makes my heart so happy.

This girl is going places!

:: Carrie ::

Mpix + 1canoe2

If you are in the market for some family photo Christmas cards this year head on over to Mpix! We partnered with them again this season on some holiday card designs. Go ahead and find your favorite family photos from the past year, or better yet, dress everyone up and snap a holiday photo, and just upload it to their site. It is super easy, and the options are endless.

They do really nice work, the customer service is top notch, and the turn around time is really fast. We love working with them!

Aside from the traditional Christmas cards, we also worked with them on several holiday ornaments which would look great on your tree!

Or, maybe an accordion mini photo book?

And, if you are looking for gifts, they also do calendars, growth charts, photo boxes and lots of other great stuff! Go make something awesome, and tell them that we sent you!

:: Carrie ::

Shop Handmade for the Holidays

I just wanted to go ahead and say thanks to those of you who have purchased, or plan to purchase, something from our shop to give to someone special this Christmas season! We are certainly busy packing up orders to be sent out the door, but we wouldn’t want it any other way! The mailman might tell you otherwise. We’ll be sure to bake him some cookies.

In my extended family this year, we traded names, as usual, but our gift giving requirements have changed. We decided that we are all going to give a gift that we either make ourselves, is handmade by someone else, or is purchased at a local independent shop. I think this is a good move, and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

We are hoping that you decide to shop handmade this Christmas! There are SO many amazing and talented people out there who are making products, that in my opinion, are far better than any you could find at the big chain stores. And, giving a handmade gift seems much more personal, don’t you think?

We’ve met and become friends with so many people over the past couple of years who are making a living, just like us, by working really hard and using their creative talents to make beautiful things. I want to introduce you to some of them…

 

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If you are looking for some eye-catching jewelry, check out Lily Dawson Designs. Our good friend Lily Dawson, who lives right here in our hometown of Columbia, is the creative force behind this company. She designs and makes everything you see in the shop, and we’re pretty proud of her!

We met Kate Thomas through the Renegade Craft Fair circuit. Her line of art prints, calendars, and cards sell under the name Little Things Studio. Kate is from Jackson, Mississippi, and is a true southern girl. My hope is that you get to meet her in person someday. Seriously. She is a ray of sunshine, and we LOVE her.

We are pretty big fans of Dolan Geiman, and we always look forward to catching up with him when we visit Chicago. Dolan makes everything from small 10 x 12 inch panel paintings to large mixed media constructions. He calls his style, contemporary art with a southern accent. Dolan, along with his wife and business partner Ali Marie, have been business mentors to us, and we’ve learned so much from them!

Beth Lawrence, aka “Freshie”, creates hammered metal jewelry under the name Freshie & Zero, which is based in Nashville, TN. Freshie and Beth became friends when Beth was living in Nashville, and we have continued to keep very much in touch with her and the goings on of her business. She makes some really beautiful pieces!

 

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These people are all great friends of ours, and tons of fun to hang around with. Check out their shops, maybe go and buy something, and tell them that we sent you!

:: Carrie ::

 

Here’s Some Advice…

Hey, guess what? Today we are featured on the Etsy blog in their Quit Your Day Job section!

We feel really honored that they wanted to let us tell our story of how we started out, and give our two cents on what it takes to make a side project become a full time career.  We’ve taken advice from many people before us, and now it is our turn to pay it forward. So head on over to the Etsy blog, and read our interview! You can find it right here.