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10 Years and Counting

10 Years ago my older brother, Mike, decided that we should cut a giant maze into one of our corn fields and open it to the public.  It sounded like a big undertaking, but we went with it.  We created a 14 acre maze, and we really had no idea if people would even want to come wander around in the corn field.  As it turns out, people LOVE it.  This year marks our 10th anniversary!

We’ve kind of created a monster.  The corn maze has become quite the fall attraction here in our little part of the world.  A typical Saturday in October can bring in more than 1500 people.  Yeah, that’s a lot.  Did I mention that things sure are busy around here in the fall?

Over the past 10 years we’ve created some pretty intricate maze designs.  You can see photos of all of them right  here.

This year, being our 10th anniversary we wanted to do something a little special.  It just so happens that another big milestone happened in our family this year as well – Grandma Shryock turned 90 years old!  Mike decided that we should surprise her by making this year’s maze in her honor.  And when I say surprise, I mean surprise.  We planned, and constructed the entire maze without revealing the design.  Then we had an ariel photographer fly over and snap a photo of the entire maze.  We said nothing about this to Grandma until we showed her the photograph at her birthday party.  She was pretty much speechless.  At first she thought it was a joke, but when she realized what we had done she said, “it’s awesome!”

Here is Grandma fishing this summer in our lake.  She was reeling them in left and right that day!

And here’s the photo of the corn maze.  Yep, that’s grandma’s face!

So, if you are in or around the mid Missouri area this fall come on by and see us.  We’ll be open on weekends until November 6th.  

We have pumpkins, and kettle corn (yum!) and hot cider and hot chocolate.

You can roast something over a fire.  May I suggest marshmallows?

You can definitely get lost in the maze for a couple of hours.  If you are brave enough, you can get lost in the maze for a couple of hours in the pitch black at night!

It’s fall on the farm…the best season of all!

:: Carrie ::

A Big Step Forward

We’re approaching mid August, which for the past several years has meant that it is time to start prepping my classroom for the upcoming school year.  Usually at this time my head is filled with thoughts of classroom decorations, art supply orders, and getting back into routine.  But, this year things have changed a little bit.  Earlier this summer I decided that I’m not going back into the classroom this fall, and I am going to focus full time on letterpress.  Yep, you heard me right, I quit my job!  Yikes.

It has definitely been a dream for us, to be able to do what we love full time, but I didn’t think it would happen this fast.  Being a part of the National Stationery Show this year was really eye-opening for us.  We came home feeling very encouraged about the work that we have done so far, and with a real sense of direction as to where we want to go with our business.   Initially I thought I would teach part time this school year,  but after a lot of deliberation I finally decided to just take the leap and devote all my time to 1canoe2.  Why not, right?  Now that Karen has become a partner, and Beth’s schedule is a little more flexible, we are all really excited about putting more energy into working toward reaching our goals.

In the past week many of my friends have been getting their classrooms ready and attending faculty meetings, which has made the reality of my decision start to sink in.  It is pretty great!

I do love teaching, and there are a lot of things that I am really going to miss.  Mostly I’m going to miss seeing all of my awesome co-workers/friends every day.  Hopefully I’ll still be invited to their after school gatherings!  Of course, I’m going to miss the kids, and all the funny stories that come with working in an elementary school.  I’m going to miss getting notes like this:

And, I’m going to miss spending time in this colorful room:

I’m not going to mention the things that I won’t miss, but there are a few.

It is one of those times when I can look back on all the wonderful things that happened over the past few years, and be thankful, and then look ahead and be excited about what is to come.  I might still have to go out and buy some shiny new shoes and stock up on crayons.  That’s just what you do at this time of year, isn’t it?

:: Carrie ::

Changing Media is good for you

The title of this post sounds technical, but all I really mean is that I’m at Quiltfest this week working on fabric instead of printing. Carrie took a big vacation and saw the world, and I went for the relaxing route and am spending time with my extened family on a lake in Eastern Tennessee. Both trips serve a creative purpose though: breaking out of your current mind frame.

I have all of these theories about creativity and how doing other types of art and going at problems from a different perspective is good for your brain. And it helps you to be more creative. I have plans to do some drawing this week, but mostly, I’m trying to set a record for bib-making.

In past Quiltfests, I’ve started and (less than most of the time) finished big quilt projects. Now with sweet Amelia here, I had low expectations for big project. And I have a few of those big projects that really need to be finished. One thing I didn’t think about: there are 2 other kids here, and they’re always begging to play with Amelia. Brilliant! All kids are occupied! If all else fails, I just put Amelia in her high chair with some empty spools and she’s set for at least 3 minutes.

During the Day I…

Teach art to about 600 elementary school students.  It’s an adventure, to say the least.

[(6 classes per day) + (art supplies)] ²  · 600 kids =

600 future Picassos —  (1 tired teacher + 1 messy room) ³

 

I do feel like my school days are a complicated math problem that I have to figure out as we go. And sometimes, I’m amazed to find at the end of the day that we actually did accomplish everything that was planned.  Sometimes even in one piece!

We move at breakneck speed most of the time.  50 minutes to…

Welcome to art!…keep your hands to yourself!…listen to directions!…put on your aprons!…pass out the paint and brushes and water!…write your name on the back!…don’t spill the water!…Oops, you spilled the water!…share with your neighbor!…NOT TOO MUCH GLUE!…aww, you got paint on your face!…GOOD JOB! now, go wash your hands!…help clean up!…hurry! there’s another class waiting in the hall!…

But, the good thing is that I’m inspired and entertained all day long by some great kids, who create some awesome work.  And, we have a pretty amazing room to do it all in.  Here’s a look into our world.

No, this is not a party!  Serious work goes on in here!

Carrie

There's a baby in there!


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it or not, but I’m all set to pop out this baby in 2 weeks, give or take well, 2 weeks. Isn’t it strange that one of the biggest events in your life is so completely and utterly un-plannable?

Let me tell you that being uber pregnant is not conducive to doing a lot of work. Thankfully I have had a lot of help from Carrie at the barn and at home from Jason and from my mom and dad.

December was a crazy month sales wise, but it was wonderful! Thank goodness we had everything printed already, and all there was to do was ship everyday, something that took Jason or my mom less than an hour or so. I can’t speak for Carrie, since she ships 50%. What a brilliant idea to have a partner! It works out so much better when life (baby) takes priority over your hobbies.

I have some serious anxiety about how this is all going to work out after having the baby. How will I find time to print and work on things? I just don’t know, but it might be a great catalyst for me letting go. Maybe we’ll find a great intern to be our printing monkey. We’ve hired an awesome wholesale liason/life organizer, Karen, and I hope to hire someone else to do the bookkeeping. It would be great if Carrie and I could just draw and design. Those are the things we’re good at.