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Country Living + 1canoe2

If you are a magazine reader (like we are) you should make sure to check out the December issue of Country Living. We are happy to report that our 2013 desk calendar is included in the “Fresh Picks” section, which features a great selection of affordable gifts. We couldn’t agree more! It is a GREAT gift, and you can find it right here in our shop.

We have a limited number, so make sure to grab one, or several, before they’re gone!

 

 

“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

 

2012 Letterpress Calendar! Get 'em while they last!

 

There have been some sneak peeks of our calendar leaking out ever since the National Stationery Show, but we’ve finally loaunched it in our Etsy shop!

This year was different because we actually designed the calendar in January and printed it in March.  Talk about working ahead!

 

We decided to go with a fun and functional desk calendar this year, and besides some chipper illustrations, one of the coolest and most unique things about this calendar is that it comes with a one-of-a-kind hedgewood stump cut from the fields of the farm where we have our studio. After 2012 has passed you by, you’ll be able to use the stump for photos or cards or recipe cards for years to come!

 

 

 

We really concentrated on the lettering for the months. It’s hard to come up with 12 different styles! And it’s even harder for me not to sing “I’ll be Gone till November honey, gone till November….” the entire time I’m drawing that word.

Here’s a view of all of the designs. See if you can tell who drew what. Here’s a secret: my husband, Jason actually drew one of the months.

 

Be warned: we only printed 600 of these, and we are NOT reprinting. We’ve already sold more than 200, so get ’em while you can!

Here are the details:

  • 12 months on 6 cards, double sided
  • Printed on luxurious bright white Lettra 110lb cardstock
  • cards measure 3.5 x 5 inches and the wood stump greatly varies, but is about 1 inch thick
  • Limited edition of 600
  • Ships in a cardboard box, with recycled packaging materials

~Beth