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Cologne, Germany

Well, I know that I promised that I’d give you updates as I made my way across Europe, but I guess I got too caught up in it all, and that didn’t happen, did it? I hope you weren’t too worried about me. The good news is that I saw so many amazing things and I took a bunch of photos!

I think I mentioned that I was traveling with one of my college roommates, Mei Ling. She lives in San Diego now, so any time that we get to spend together is always fun, and especially when we can be together in Europe! When we were in school at Mizzou we actually lived in a house next to campus with five other girls…seven of us!  Today we are scattered all over the world, literally, and it’s not very often that we get to see one another. So, after our time in Amsterdam we hopped on a train to Germany. First stop was Cologne, the home of one of our other former roommates, Kristi!

Reunited!!  So fun!

Kristi gave us the grand tour of her city, and even took us to a 4th of July picnic, complete with live country music.  Felt just like home, sort of, aside from the fact that people around us were speaking German.  We also visited the huge Cathedral, took a cruise up the River Rhine, and got to explore an old castle!

The view from the top of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was beautiful.  Huge and gothic, but what impressed me the most was the tile mosaic floor.  Everyone else was looking up at the domed ceiling and marveling at the gigantic pipe organ and colorful windows, but I couldn’t stop looking at the floor.

I was also fascinated with the ornate signs on the storefronts and restaurants.

Cruising on the Rhine.

:: Carrie ::


National Stationery Show :: We Did It!

We’re back home from New York safe and sound!  The Stationery Show was a huge success.  We took lots of orders and made a ton of contacts.  We will have so much to share with you in the near future, but for now, here’s how our week went…

We showed up at the Javits Center on Saturday morning relieved to find our big huge crate still in one piece waiting for us in our booth space.  We spent most of the day unloading it, setting up the walls, and arranging everything to look *just right*.  We added an extra wall for this show, and it worked out great.  Thanks Dad!

Several of our products made their debut at the this week, including our 2013 calendar, and four new notepads.  They got great reviews!  Look for them at one of our retailers and in our online shop real soon!

The show lasted Sunday through noon on Wednesday.  At least two of us were in the booth at all times during the show answering questions, taking orders, and chatting with everyone who stopped by.  It is a lot of fun sharing our story and what we do with everyone who’s interested, but let me tell you, at the end of every day we were exhausted!

When the show wrapped up on Wednesday no one wasted any time in starting to pack up.

In just a couple of hours the Javits looked like this.

For the second time we’ve been lucky enough to find a place to stay that’s just a couple of blocks from the Javits Center.  We rented a small (very small) apartment for the week, which was great.  Being so close made it easy to relax for an hour or so at the end of each day before heading out into the city for the evening.

During the course of the week we visited a couple of retail stores who carry our products.

Cursive is a tiny little stationery and gift shop right in the big bustling hub of the city – Grand Central Station.  There is also a second location inside the beautiful home decorating store ABC Carpet and Home.  1canoe2 will be available in both locations very soon!

We also stopped by the Anthropologie store in Rockefeller Center and look what we spotted on the shelves!!  Our Recipe Binder!  I have to say, it was quite a thrill.  Anthropologie is one of our favorite stores, and to see something that WE MADE on the shelf was so satisfying.

New York is obviously a different world than where we live, but that’s what makes it fun!  Some other highlights included…

Eating.  There’s so much amazing food to eat in New York it can be overwhelming.  We went to the Shake Shack  in Madison Square Park  for burgers, fries and milkshakes.  We had some mouthwatering bar-b-que at Southern Hospitality.  Dos Cominos  in SoHo  served us some fresh guacamole and tacos.  We had a real authentic Italian experience in the lower east side at Lanzas.  We walked a couple blocks from our apartment to  Five Napkin Burger, which  never disappoints.  And, of course, we hit up the Magnolia Bakery for their famous cupcakes.  Yum.

We also hung out with our buddies Ted and Samae from MPix, who we’ve done some design work for.  They treated us to dinner (thanks guys!) at Birreria, the rooftop restraunt at Mario Batali’s Eataly.  So. Good.

It was a whirlwind of a trip!  The crazy thing is, we’ll be doing it again in August when we go back for the New York International Gift Fair.  That will be here before we know it.

:: Carrie ::

Living off the Land

I don’t know about where you live, but spring seems to have come early here in Missouri this year.  Actually, the last few days have felt more like summer.  We took advantage of the great weather this weekend to head out into the woods to go hunting for mushrooms.    If you live in the midwest, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s that small window of opportunity, when you hope the conditions have been perfect, to find the elusive morel mushroom.

They’re a midwest delicacy.  When you find one, it’s unmistakable.  Here’s what they look like…

Hopes are always high.  Some years there are a few, some years there are none.  We headed out to an undisclosed location (it’s a secret!) to see what we could find.  This year I guess the conditions were perfect, and we picked the right day, because it was a bumper crop!

Four bags full.  And, we could have brought home more, but we ran out of room.  Successful hunt!

Not only were the mushrooms plentiful this weekend, but the fish were biting too.  On Sunday afternoon Natalie and I spent a little time fishing from the dock on our lake.

We pulled in at least fifteen fish in a little over an hour!  That makes for a fun fishing trip for a five year old.

Toby was loving it too.

Sunday night dinner was fried morel mushrooms and fresh caught crappie.

Can’t beat that.

:: Carrie ::

Happy Weekend!

This week we got our first snowfall of the season!  They say it is going to be a severe winter – get out the boots and hats and let the fun begin!

We spent much of this week recovering from our weekend in Chicago at the Renegade Holiday Sale.  It was a busy couple of days that went by like a flash!  This was our third year participating in this show, and it is one of my favorites, hands down.  I think it is a combination of the hustle and bustle of the city, the big crowd of shoppers full of holiday spirit, and the close (and cozy!) quarters which forces us to get to know our neighbors real well!  For the second year in a row we were placed right next to Nicole from Riproost, which was a fun surprise.   She makes the most awesome boxes from reclaimed wood and found materials.  I think they are pretty great, and so did everyone else.  They were flying off the table!

Our new display set up worked great!  For not having a very large booth area we were able to display everything so that our shoppers could see it all up close and personal.

It was non-stop busy the whole time.  As always, we loved chatting with everyone who stopped by the booth.  If you came by to see us, thanks!

While we were in the big city we made sure to take a little time to stop by Whole Foods.  It’s a great store, we don’t have them where we live, but the main reason we went was to see our products on the shelf!  Last year at the Renegade Holiday show we were approached by someone from the Whole Foods Corporation who asked if we were interested in putting some of our products in their stores.  Fast forward a whole year later, and there they are!  I’ll be honest, it was a thrill for us to see them there!

On the drive home from Chicago we had nice long session of talking shop, scheming, dreaming, and planning for the next couple of months.  We’ve got lots of work to do!

:: Carrie ::

Renegade Holiday Sale

It’s that time of year again!  Time for the Chicago Renegade Holiday Sale!  THIS WEEKEND!

We’re packing up and driving north for one of our favorite weekends of the year.  The guys and gals at Renegade put on such a great event, and we love being a part of it!  Last year was a big success, and we’re hoping for nothing less this time around!  Come see us!

We have several new products that are making their debut!  Our recipe binder would make a great gift for anyone who loves to spend time in the kitchen.  And, our Home Sweet Home print would look fabulous on anyone’s wall.

Hot off the press this week is our bigger, more colorful, and simply more awesome version of our popular Lets Go Ride Bikes print.  And don’t forget to pick up a little holiday card to send to someone special!

We’ve had some help in the wood shop over the last couple of weeks building a brand spanking new display for our letterpress goods.  We’re ready, and we can’t wait to see you!  If you are anywhere near Chicago this weekend come to the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse.  I really can’t think of a better place to shop for the holidays!

:: Carrie ::



The Great Road Trip of 2011: beautiful paper, breakfast & bears

The really great thing about selling wholesale is that we get to ship our products to some of the most amazing shops all over the country.  But, what we love even better, is when we are in a place where we actually get to visit one of those shops.  As I was driving across the country a couple of weeks ago I was pretty pumped to visit Missoula, Montana, not only because I had a feeling that it might be a town that I could fall in love with, but because it is the home to one of our retailers, Noteworthy Paper and Press.

As it turns out, Missoula reminds me a lot of my town.  It’s also a college town and seems to have a lot to offer culturally, and it has a vibrant downtown area, much like Columbia.  Unlike Columbia, it is much closer to the mountains.

If only I lived closer to the mountains.

Noteworthy Paper and Press is located on one of the main roads right through the heart of the city, and just a stones throw from the Clark Fork River.  They offer a wide variety of stationery, greeting cards, wedding invitations and other paper goods – and they run an in house press for custom work.  Really beautiful stuff.  1canoe2 is in good company.

We couldn’t resist picking up a couple of things while we were there.  Abby bought a tiny journal to stash away in her backpack so she could record all of the details of our trip into the wilderness and beyond.  Smart girl, because there were some details that we won’t want to forget.  Or, maybe she was thinking, “If we get attacked an eaten by a bear it would be good if we left behind a record of what happened.”

Several people have asked if we ran into any bears, and the answer to that is, yes.

First of all, it’s been a rough summer for hikers and bears.  Early in our trip, when we pulled into Jackson Hole, WY, we were greeted with this:

Yes, the day before we visited Yellowstone a man was killed by a grizzly bear.  This made national news, so of course our crew back home was concerned.  Beth even laid claim to some of my stuff if I should happen to not make it out of the park alive.  Glad to know she was thinking of herself.

Abby and I actually wanted to see a bear.  Not up close and personal, but from a safe distance.  We had a whole list of wildlife that we were hoping to spot, and we were able to check off every single one.  In Yellowstone we saw deer, elk, bison, pronghorn, and a sly little fox.  But we didn’t see a bear.

When we got to Glacier National Park, before we even were allowed into the backcountry, we were required to watch a video about what we should do if we encountered a bear.  Don’t run, back away, and don’t look the bear in the eye.  And, if it attacks, you better hope you have bear spray.  We did, don’t worry.

This is a picture of Abby and I on day 5 of our backpacking trip.  We’re eating breakfast.  It was pancakes that day, and they were delicious.  What you don’t know is about 30 minutes after this photo was taken a grizzly bear wandered into our camp.  Just sauntered on in, smelling everything, looking around to see what was going on.  But, did Abby and I get to see him?  Nope.  We were off brushing our teeth in the designated tooth brushing area.  The rest of our group was pretty excited, and a little freaked out.  We heard the yells and the whistles, but by the time we got there our guide, Corey, had already calmly shooed the bear off on its way.  Apparently the bear sniffed around our tent.  I guess he was looking for us.

So we didn’t see a bear while we were in Glacier, but later that week, as we were driving out of Montana heading west we saw a little black bear along the road.  Not quite as exciting, but we got to check “bear” off the list.

Interestingly enough, Abby and I got to see something that no one else in our group saw that same morning the grizzly bear paid us a visit.  While we were waiting for our pancakes, which were delicious, we walked down to the river to hang out on the suspension bridge.  We just wanted to see what was going on down there, and we saw…

**If you are planning on visiting Glacier and want to experience something like we did, please check out Glacier Guides.  Abby and I have both backpacked before, and planned our own trips, but since our backpacking week was in the middle of our longer three week trip we decided that it would be easier and more stress-free if we went with a guide service.  We were glad we did!  Glacier Guides was great, and our guide, Corey, was the BEST.  We learned so much from him.  He is super experienced, really knowledgeable about the Glacier area, good at getting rid of grizzly bears, and he makes delicious pancakes.


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!


Heading West

Summer is here.  In full force.

In our part of the world that means every time you step out the door you get slammed in the face with a wall of humid, hot, sticky air.  It also means thunderstorms, which I love, as long as it doesn’t get too out of control.  It means wildflowers are blooming, and the corn is growing.  Sometimes if you look close enough you can actually see it grow.  Well, no, not really.  But it seems like it.



I have spent the last month printing, and printing and printing like CRAZY.  I’ve been trying to get us caught up on all of the production work that needed to be done so we can fill all of the orders from the National Stationery Show.  And also because I happen to be taking off today on a little adventure, well, kind of a big one, and I didn’t want to leave Beth and Karen with my end of the work undone.



I’m off on a LONG road trip with our friend Abby, who is moving to Portland, OR.  Yay for her!  Sad for us.  Our route is going to take us through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and we”ll finally end up in Oregon.  We’re going to hit up a bunch of the National Parks, and do lots of hiking, including a week long backpacking trip through Glacier National Park in Montana.  The temperature here has been hovering in the mid nineties recently, and I’m packing a down vest, a winter hat, and bear spray.  I hope I have to use the vest and the hat.  I hope I don’t have to use the bear spray.



I plan on posting pictures and stories of adventure from the road.  If any of you know of any great places we need to stop along the way I want to hear about them!


:: Carrie ::

Fun in New York!

Our trip to New York was centered around the National Stationery Show, which was a blast.  But, when the day came to an end we made sure to take advantage of the fact that we were in New York, and found some other fun things to do!  The weather didn’t exactly cooperate.  It rained almost all week, so picture taking opportunities were few and far between, but here is a glimpse into our time away from the trade show.

Amelia visited Radio City Music Hall!

Our apartment for the week was not too far from Rockefeller Center, so of course, we had to pay a visit to Al, Natalie, and Matt!

Karen was really wanting to get on TV, but we just missed it.

I got to celebrate my birthday in the Big Apple!   I wanted cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery.  Yes, it’s the place made famous by the girls on Sex in the City.  But it is also where Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell ate cupcakes on the way to see the Chronicles of Narnia in Lazy Sunday.

“Two, no, six, no, twelve, bakers’ dozen.  I told you that I’m crazy for these cupcakes, cousin.”

We also squeezed in a Broadway show.  Karen was really excited about seeing Mamma Mia!

The night after the show ended we ate dinner at  Eataly, one of Mario Batali’s resturants.  It was delicious!

On our last day in the city we crossed over the river to Brooklyn to the area known as DUMBO, which stands for  Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

Our reason for making the trip into Brooklyn was to visit the Etsy headquarters!  I think this was a highlight for all of us.  It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes, and to actually talk to the people who are the backbone of the whole Etsy community.

When we introduced ourselves as the girls from 1canoe2 they actually knew who we were!  That was kind of an honor considering that there are a gazillion people selling on Etsy, and a ton of really great shops.  They asked for our opinion about certain features on the site and asked if we had any concerns or suggestions on how to make it better.




What a fun trip!  We learned SO much about what it takes to be successful at a national trade show, and we are already talking about how we’ll come back bigger and better next year!

:: Carrie ::







National Stationery Show Preview

We have been absent from the blog recently, and we apologize.  But, don’t think that things haven’t been happening!  We have actually been busy.  Really busy.

This weekend we are jetting off to New York City for one of our biggest adventures yet.  We are taking the plunge and setting up as vendors for the first time at the National Stationery Show.  You can find us in booth #1055 at the Javits Convention Center this Sunday, May 15th through Wednesday, May 18th.

Last week we shipped off a pallet loaded with most of our supplies and inventory for our booth.

How do you prepare for a national trade show?  Well, let us tell you, it is a lot of work.  Here are some things we’ve been doing…

::  Designing and printing lots of new products.

::  Designing and producing (if we do say so ourselves) a top notch, colorful, glossy, informative, can’t take our eyes off of it press kit to hand out to potential clients.

::  Making decisions about…lighting, flooring, wall materials, display options, colors, shelving, advertising options…and the list goes on.

::  Tracking down furniture that will work in our booth and is portable enough to ship to the site.

::  Consulting with several like-minded creative types who have gone before us.  The information we have gained from them has been invaluable!

::  Booking airline tickets and tracking down a place to stay in NYC.


Yes, it has been a lot of work.  But, we can’t wait to go and see how all of our hard work pays off!

Here is a sneak preview at a few of the new products that we’ve recently completed, which we will be debuting next week at the show.








Here’s to a great first show, meeting new people, and successful navigation of the NYC subway system!

We’ll be back with a recap when we get home!