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Vintage Globes for a New Project!

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Over the past couple of weeks my work studio has slowly been filling up with globes. All vintage, some bigger, some smaller. Some with round bases, one that is square, and one mounted on a wire stand. They look really beautiful all together, and they are the basis for a new project! I’ll fill you in on the plans I have for these globes as the project unfolds, so come back soon to see how things are progressing!

:: Carrie ::

Settling into our New Studio

A few weeks ago we officially moved into our new workspace, and we are slowly but surely getting settled in. It’s been an adventure – taking a 100+ year old barn and making it into a place that we can use – but we are SO glad we jumped in and did it! To hear the whole story you might want to go back and read this post, and this one too, and finally this one. All caught up? Good.

To get the full appreciation of how much changed take a look at the barn loft before…

Kind of dark, and rustic to say the least…

But it had good bones, and a lot of potential.

And here it is after…

A pretty big change, isn’t it? I still can’t believe that the old barn that I played in as a kid is now where I go to work. It’s really crazy.

We’re thrilled with how everything turned out, it is just what we needed, and it’s made all the difference in the world for us! We still have some details to work on, and some furniture to buy, but it is coming along.

One of the very most difficult parts of the whole process that we found was trying to figure out how to get high speed internet wired into the barn. We are definitely not that far from some highly populated areas, but it seems like we are in a black hole as far as internet service goes. After sending a guy up to the top of the grain bins next to the barn to mount a little receiver, and then running a wire into the barn, it seems to be working well. Most of the time.

We have a lot more work space now for packaging cards and packing orders…

and enough shelf space to keep the inventory nice and organized.

Most of all, it is so fantastic to have a place that is bright and cheery, where we can all work together. EVEN if that means that sometimes I have to shut my door and separate myself from the fun that is happening just so I can concentrate. It’s a good thing.

:: Carrie ::

Onward and Upward

We’ve got some big news.

Our barn is in the process of getting some major upgrades. That’s right! The 1canoe2 studio space is expanding! We are so excited. So, so excited!

This is the barn where our print studio is currently located.

And this is our current workspace in the barn. If you have been following us for a while you know that a couple of years ago we moved our printing presses into this little studio space that my dad built for us here. It has been GREAT, and we love it. But, the other half of our business, where all of the packaging and shipping takes place, is currently located in Beth’s basement. It’s true, and yes, it is probably just how you imagine. We are BUSTING at the seams.

We’ve known for a while now that we needed to do something – to find more space – and to find a location where we could have all parts of our business in one place. We weighed several options, and thought really hard about exactly what we wanted and what we think we will need in the near future. We came to the conclusion that the barn where our presses are is really the perfect location for our entire business. It’s located almost exactly half way between Beth’s house and my house, and literally just down the road from where Karen lives. The only problem was that most of the barn was still exactly that – an old barn. But, also, it’s kind of a really awesome old barn, with a lot of potential.

The plan is to completely finish the entire barn loft for our offices and workspace, and to turn the unfinished half of the lower part of the barn into a warehouse type room for storage. We decided a while back that this is the route that we wanted to take, and we hired some builders, but construction didn’t start until last week. Things are moving now, and we cannot wait for it to be done!

Last week we poured fresh new concrete in our entryway…

and also in the remainder of the barn that still had a dirt floor.

Here’s the loft! It’s not much to look at right now, but we have big plans for this space. The barn itself is over 100 years old. Originally my great grandpa, and probably a generation or two before that, stored hay in this loft – floor to ceiling. My whole entire life the loft has been used as a storage space for lumber and other building materials for my dad’s woodworking projects. It’s been the home to many farm cats as well.

Back in December my Dad and I spent a day pulling all of that lumber out of the loft and taking it to another barn on the farm. I was really thankful on that day that I work out on a regular basis because, man, there were some really HUGE planks of walnut and oak up there, but I handled it just fine. I literally had never seen the entire floor before, so to see the whole space empty now is already a big change in my mind.

Right now it is pretty dark up there, but the plans include putting in some big windows to let in a lot of light.

And don’t you worry, those really awesome beams are going to be left exposed. We’re definitely keeping the character of the old barn – just updating it to our specifications.

The whole thing is a little overwhelming, but we couldn’t be more excited. I think it is going to be so amazing to see this barn take on a new life, and I’m really happy that we are doing something that is going to help preserve it for many years to come.

I’ll make sure to keep you updated as things progress!

:: Carrie ::

 

A New Favorite Thing

I’ve got a new favorite thing. It’s called Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White.

I can be kind of a snob about the art supplies I use. High quality materials are the only way to go, and this stuff has definitely made the cut. Not only has it made the cut, but it has soared to the top of the list, and it has revolutionized the way that I’ve been working lately. But, apparently I haven’t been using it the way that it is intended to be used. Here is how it’s described…

“Cover mistakes using Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. It is an opaque watercolor that covers dye colors, markers and designer colors such as gouache. It is not intended for mixing.”

Well, that’s not true! I’ve been mixing it with my gouache and watercolors and it has done amazing things! It makes the paint more opaque. In other words, it makes it non-translucent, so I can paint multiple layers. I know some people who use it as as ink for calligraphy. It can be watered down and tinted to any color, and writes beautifully on dark paper.

It’s good stuff. Real good. My only complaint is that it comes in tiny little 1 ounce jars.

:: Carrie ::

This Week in the Studio…

We had a great time at NYIGF!  Travel went smoothly, we had a great place to stay, and the show went really well!  So, what happens the week after a trade show? We all take a big sigh of relief, first of all. Then, its packing orders and shipping boxes to our new wholesale accounts, and re-printing items that we sold more than we have in stock. There’s a lot of following up with the contacts we made in NYC. We’re also taking a good hard look at where we are, and setting some goals for where we want to be in the weeks and months ahead.

More about our time in New York later, but for now, here are a couple of things that came out of the studio this week:

One of our favorites!  Hail to the Chief!  This is the second edition of this print, and it’s back in the shop.  So, if you have been thinking about needing a little presidential history in your life, now is the time.  Presidents day is Monday, February 20th, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate!  Treat yo’ self!!

Also, this week, another printing of our ever popular valentines!  Don’t forget your sweetie!  This reminder might be a little late, but in case you are running behind (we all do sometimes) you can find our valentines right here.

There has also been some interesting things going on just outside our studio this week as well.  On Wednesday I took a little break from printing to go for a walk with Toby (Karen’s dog) to the big lake on our farm.

We’ve had a GIGANTIC flock of snow geese visiting this week.  A lot of geese.  I mean, a lot.  Thousands.  Sometimes they all congregate in the middle of a field, and sometimes they sit on the lake.  They are loud, and they draw a lot of attention.  There have been pickup trucks (ones that we don’t recognize) driving ever so slowly up and down the road.  Prospective hunters, I’m guessing, just watching the birds.

The best part is when they all decide to take flight.  Remember this video I posted?  Amazing.  Well, on Wednesday when Toby and I took off on our walk all the geese were sitting on the lake.  It’s pretty hard to sneak up on a flock of geese with a labrador retriever in the midst.  I had my video camera ready, and here is what we saw…

:: Carrie ::

In the Studio

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Sometimes I have to leave myself reminders to do those important things that sometimes get overlooked.

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Today I just finished up printing some promotional materials that we’re sending out to prospective buyers in hopes that they will come visit our booth at the gift show in New York. We think they look pretty sharp!

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Speaking of the gift show, here is an update on the progress of our booth set up…

The walls are constructed, and yesterday we had a little planning session about how we’re actually going to display all of our products. We ended up with this complicated diagram. Now to build shelves and add all the details. Hope we got those measurements right!

:: Carrie ::

These are the People in Your Neighborhood

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are SO excited to formally introduce you to the first four prints in our new series that we call “The People in Your Neighborhood”.  These have been a work in progress for quite some time, and you can expect two more to be added to the series sometime in the near future.  We think they are quite charming.

The idea for this series has an interesting origin.  Last school year I was lucky enough to get to host a student teacher for a semester.  It was great.  An extra set of hands in an elementary art room is like striking gold.  My pre-service teacher (that’s the official title) did a fantastic job developing projects for our kids to dive into.  One of the projects that he taught was relief portraits.  Any time we use clay it is always a big hit, but these were just the best.  The kids did a super awesome job and they had so much fun doing it. *

*  Here is where I need to tell you that I did take photos of all of their awesome and hilarious relief portraits, but somehow they all got deleted from my camera before I uploaded them to the computer.  I’m sorry, my fault.  Trust me, they were great.

The best part about having a student teacher is that by the end of the semester, they are fully in charge of the classroom.  What did that mean for me?  Well, it meant that I got to play with clay too, right along with the kids.   Let me tell you, it is really rare in an elementary art classroom to get the chance to actually sit down.  But to sit down AND get to use my own creative juices to make something awesome?  Unheard of.

So here’s what I made.  Well, these are the two that survived the kiln.  I had another, but he fell victim in the great kiln disaster of 2011.  Let’s just say, I probably fired one batch a little early, before the clay had fully dried out.  Most of those came out cracked and broken into lots of pieces.  That was fun news to break to the kids.  ”Boys and girls, today we are going to have a lesson on dealing with disappointment…”  They actually took it REALLY well, I was worried.  I guess we both learned something through that experience.

When I showed them to Beth she immediately said, “You have to draw those so we can print them!”

So I did.  And I came up with a few other characters while I was at it.

Here we have Beehive Betty the Librarian.  She has a very high-maintenance hairdo.

This handsome man is The Professor,  a kind and scholarly gentleman.

 The Sailor  sports a righteous mustache…as all self-respecting seamen must.

And finally, please say hello to The Mermaid…the siren of the sea.

Each of these prints is 8×10 and was printed in our studio on our Chandler & Price letterpress.  They are all available in our shop, so get them while they’re hot!

:: Carrie ::

Today in the Studio…

Beth and I started work on an exciting new project. We experimented a little bit with printing on a new material, and it went really well. That’s all I’m going to say about that! Stay tuned.

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I also organized ALL of our printing plates in our flat file so we don’t have to dig through all of them every time we are looking for something specific. Ahhh…that feels better.

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We mounted some hooks for hanging bags and coats and aprons and important stuff like that.

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I signed lots and lots of prints so they will be ready to send out into the world.

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And, we mounted a new light fixture over our big work table. It is nice and bright, and makes a huge difference. Our new little work room is coming right along!

:: Carrie ::