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Tuesday Mornings

Have you ever seen the segment on the Jimmy Kimmel show where they have celebrities read mean tweets about themselves? It’s pretty funny. And, its nice to see that they can have such a sense of humor about it!

We do something similar every Tuesday morning at our staff meeting. Thankfully we don’t get very many mean messages from customers, but we do get a lot of really nice ones! Every time you make an order from our website there is an option to leave us a little comment, and we really love it when you do! Whitney is in charge of packing up most of our retail orders, so she reads all the comments that come through, and she likes to set aside the best ones each week and save them to read aloud to us at our weekly staff meeting. We love it. It’s a highlight of every Tuesday morning around here!

The next time you make a purchase make sure to leave us a note! It won’t go un-noticed. It might just really make our Tuesdays a whole lot better. Also, we really like to hear jokes, funny stories, and your grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just don’t say anything mean!

:: Carrie ::

A Creative Pep Talk

To all of you creative folks out there…LISTEN UP!

Let’s talk about the creative process a little bit. The process of coming up with original ideas, developing skills, fitting pieces together, editing, refining and knowing when something is finished. Sometimes, especially to someone watching from the outside, it may seem like everything just falls into place effortlessly. But I know, and I’m sure you do too, that that is very rarely the case. Most of the time, it can be a frustrating process, and the end product can fall short of the vision that you had in mind at the beginning.

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Sometimes it’s hard to keep pushing through when what is coming out of the process doesn’t live up to your ambition. I feel like this all the time. Really, I do. It’s not uncommon for me to be a little bit unsatisfied with a final painting or illustration, because in my mind, I know that it doesn’t quite match what I had set out to accomplish. But you know what? That’s okay. Actually, I think that’s a good sign. It tells me that I have room to improve, and develop, and evolve, and it lights a little fire in me to keep pushing myself down the path of improvement. That’s why it’s called a process. Embrace it! Don’t let the frustration that you feel in the midst of it stop you.  Keep working!

This line of thinking isn’t limited only to those of us in the creative field – it translates to almost everything. I actually find a lot of joy in seeing myself improve, develop new skills, and just get better – not only in my artistic career, but it other areas as well. It’s something that I think about all the time.

I recently ran across this video, and it sums all of this up better than I ever could. It comes from NPR’s Ira Glass, so of course he says it better. Don’t miss this! Here’s your pep talk…

:: Carrie ::

1canoe2 on Ice!

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A couple of weeks ago we all took an afternoon and shut down the office to get out and have a little fun! We all worked so hard during the holidays, and we are so thankful for our crew and the work that they do, and we decided  that some play time was in order. When the idea of an afternoon of ice skating was brought up, everyone was all for it, so we headed straight for the ice rink!

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Look at the joy in those faces!!

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And, Kate!!! What?! Spinning and jumping and making the rest of us look like such amateurs.

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It’s official, we have Olympic fever – can’t wait to watch the competition in Sochi!

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Before heading home we made the required stop at Central Dairy for some ice cream. THE best ice cream counter around. SO many flavors!

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Ice skating, ice cream, and some quality time spent with some of the best people around! An afternoon well spent!

Here’s a little highlight reel. We all had a bunch of fun, even though some of us are much more graceful than others…

:: Carrie ::

 

 

Highlights from the Weekend…

The 2012 True/False Film Fest, one of our town’s biggest events of the year, is in the books.  And it was GREAT!  More than 40 documentaries were shown over the course of the weekend, and they say that more than 30,000 people attended this year.  Wowzers!  Yes, there were some amazing films shown (more about those in a bit), but there was more to the fest than just the films.  Here are some highlights…

If you walked down Ninth Street this weekend you might have seen Kyle Durrie and her Moveable Type Truck.   A fellow letterpress printer!  Kyle is in the middle of an ongoing, cross-country adventure in her delivery truck turned letterpress studio.  She set out from her home in Portland, OR a year ago to literally bring letterpress to the masses.  She’s been traveling around the country for the past year visiting schools, festivals, and galleries sharing the history and process of letterpress printing.  Kyle contacted us a while back to let us know that she would be at True/False, so it was really great to meet her and see her truck in person!  Natalie thought it was the coolest, and she did a little printmaking with Kyle…

The organizers of True/False set out to make attending the event a great experience all around, and that includes opening acts.  There were probably around thirty different music groups whose job it was to entertain the crowds waiting for films to start.  There were some really great ones, but my hands-down favorite was a group out of Brooklyn called Pearl and the Beard.  I wish I’d gotten out my camera and filmed them, they were so much fun!  I didn’t, but here is a video of them playing in the NY Subway system…

And, word on the street was that James Franco was in attendance this weekend!  I didn’t spot him, but I heard some people talking excitedly about their brush with celebrity.

So which were the best films?  Well, obviously I didn’t get to see them all.  I’ve heard from friends about a few that were really good, ones that I’ll try to catch later.  But of the ones that I did get to see, these were my three favorite…

The Imposter,  directed by Bart Layton

Apparently the trailer for this one hasn’t been officially released.  It’s the story of a 13 year old boy from Texas who goes missing, and then re-appears four years later in Spain.  That’s all I’ll say, I don’t want to ruin it, but I can tell you  that it has so many twists and turns and you’ll think you have it all figured out, but trust me, you don’t.

Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch

Wow, this one was heavy, a heart-breaker.  It makes the bullying epidemic in American schools intensely personal, and shows how for some kids survival is a daily battle.  It was unsettling to watch but I think one that everyone should see.  Here’s the trailer…

Undefeated, directed by  Daniel Lindsay & T.J. Martin

This is the film I was most excited about seeing, and it didn’t disappoint!  Last week Undefeated won the Oscar for best documentary, and it was well deserved.  It follows a football team from a north Memphis high school through a season of ups and downs, and their volunteer coach who shows what it truly means to love and care for a group of kids who at times can make that task almost impossible.  Yes, it is a football movie, but it is so much more than that.  It’s a powerful and inspiring story that you should watch with a tissue in hand.  Seriously, there weren’t many dry eyes in the 1,700 seat auditorium where it was shown.

The best part of seeing films in a setting like this is that afterward the director, and sometimes the subjects, spend time talking about the movie and answering questions. I can tell you that everyone had goosebumps when Bully came to a close and up walked two of the kids in the film who were victims of bullying. They got a standing ovation from the entire auditorium. So cool.

Way to go True/False team! Such a great event! Multiple times over the course of the weekend I just had to look around and say to the people that I was with, “We live in such an awesome town!” Can’t wait to see what next year has in store, and hopefully 1canoe2 can play a small part again!

Beat 2012

If there is one thing I’m looking forward to this summer it is the 2012 Olympics.  I. Love. The. Olympics.  How can you not?  The stories of overcoming obstacles, the national pride, and all those obscure and quirky sports that get time in the once-every-four-years spotlight.  It’s just the best.  I always find myself thinking “How can I get to the Olympics?  Surely there is some obscure skill out there that I could become world class at.”  Archery?  Badminton?  Shooting?

So what will the Olympics sound like this year?  Check this out.  Mark Ronson spent months with Olympic sports men and women from across the board, sound-recording their every hop, skip and jump.  He collected enough sound to use as ingredients for some exciting, Olympic tunes.  Here is the trailer for  Beat 2012  â€“ a film documenting his journey.

It’s time to work on my Badminton serve.

:: Carrie ::

A Chance Encounter

Here’s your vocabulary word for the day:  Murmuration

Sound it out.  Mur-mur-ation.

Good!  Do you know what it means?  A murmuration is a flock of starlings.  You’ve probably seen it before, when a huge group of starlings fly in a big mass.  They swoop and dive and kind of dance in the sky.  I saw a group of them doing just that the other day.  It’s pretty amazing, right?  Well, wait until you see this.  These two girls in Ireland, who just happen to be in a canoe (love that!) witnessed a murmuration that is INCREDIBLE!  Lucky for us they got it all on video.

:: Carrie ::