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July 2015

summertime (?)

After feeling complete surprise at the arrival of June (where DID that time go?), Mother Nature quickly reminded me that it was summertime with a few high 80/90 degree days. And then yesterday I was so cold that my nose was cold. Still, the cool weather makes for much nicer sleeping, except for the fact that someone was using a chainsaw in my neighborhood at 5 this morning. Grr.

But that gives me plenty of time to get work done, right? All that work that was piling up and making me feel overwhelmed? So, shall I fill you in on all the new arrivals? Though there are things coming in over the course of a few months, we've had plenty to keep us occupied, and to challenge me with the matter of finding space.

This week's notecards include: love from Madison and Wisconsin, popsicles, and a few expletives. I must say that I generally don't feel that expletives are necessary to communicate, but some of these had me bursting out with laughter.

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We did get more of the very popular Secret Garden coloring book in. I think this was a back order from our first order. There are still more coming. I appreciate that the publisher is actually filling orders, it seems, according to date placed, not just sending all the books to the biggest demand (Amazon, I'm assuming). And, yes that is a calendar you see in the photograph, just the first of many. We'll have the full assortment in store around the beginning of August so I'd recommend waiting until then for best selection. Unless you think you simply must have these delicate flower drawings on your wall next year.

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I also finally wrapped up a variety of Photoshop projects: updating the text on our Keep Calm Wisconsin print and small business print, making some new Madison thank-yous, and three new Madison prints.

We received the wonderful collage/stitched prints which have me mulling over my own endeavors. I still feel like I have lots of techniques that I haven't full explored, not to mention tons of paper for collaging - I need to work on giving myself time to work on my own collages. It is challenging for me sometimes because I'm thinking so much about how to translate works into things commercial, but it would be fine to just play around...

 

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Oh, in other exciting news, our Wisconsin patch arrived. We were so thrilled to be able to work with some artists to come up with this design! And now, at least, I can answer yes when people ask if we have patches.

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Earlier this week I was feeling pretty discouraged about the state of politics in this state. The Republicans are in complete control and it feels like they are driving this state into the ground just to adhere to ideology. I don't understand it - emotionally, intellectually, morally/Christian-y, or even as a business person. It is very frustrating. Though I did realize that I was not following my own words from my button "live and vote your love and faith not your hate and fear" and was doing exactly what I dislike so much about the conservative movement in this country right now. Everyone seems to be so reactionary, grasping on to what they have and completely disregarding the way other peoples' well-being has concrete effects on their own (never mind the theory of being a Christian nation). So I lectured myself about not stewing in my fear and sadness for our state. Well, as you can see, I am not really over it. I think I have to temper my newspaper reading for a bit. The current hastily-passing legislation is about a 20-week abortion ban and hearing women stand before politicians to tell their stories is heart-wrenching. I heard a story on the radio a long time ago about the suicide hotlines that have signs at major bridges around the country. The person was saying that these are the last-resort measures, but that when you are talking about mental health services, it is really ideal if you can deal with issues "upstream" as opposed to waiting for the moment when things are tumbling over the edge - cheaper and more effective than waiting until the moment someone is standing on a bridge. That's kind of how I feel we are (not) dealing with so many issues right now, just waiting until the last crisis moment when all you can focus on is just the immediacy of getting that person off the bridge. But where are the people who are concerned about abortion who are providing services that mean the situation never occurs in the first place? Why do we spend so much energy (and anger) on this moment when it would be so much more affordable and productive to focus on education and contraception? Where is the funding for such things? and if you are so concerned about Life, where is the funding for all the things that are required for everything that comes after? These women share stories of a baby who might have a short life in excruciating pain if they live that long at all. And how is the GOP planning to fund the prenatal care, even the testing? I keep forgetting what the estimate is - $275,000? to raise a child to the age of 18? What is the GOP doing about creating a state where people have good jobs and ability to raise their children? Oh, and don't get me started on schools. or the Bucks stadium. It feels like everything being done right now is just going to create more situations of metaphorical standing on bridges. Not to mention really bad business decisions. (I know, I used to think that government shouldn't be run like a business but I've modified my position somewhat. It helps that all the things I want seem like good business decisions: like investing $1 in the University and getting $25+ in returns, unlike the Bucks which is more like a $3 return.) But there I go again. I'd better go make some more buttons. Or maybe color something.

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Anyway, as you can see, I am in the midst of ongoing "snap out of it" lectures to myself. Luckily we received more of these cards. I'm posting one by my door so I see it every day as I leave. I think we should all have such encouragement.

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the first arrivals

        
well, that took the edge off anyway. I still feel like I received shipment notifications for things that haven't yet arrived so there is more on the way even though the rest of the New York orders are spread out over the next few months.


Kudos to Sock it to Me for being the fastest shippers. I think the box arrived even before we did. I'm really glad I'm not the only one who likes knee socks.

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Some of our earliest arrivals came to us from across the pond... no, the other pond. I don't remember Australia being at all represented in previous years. Even though the shipping is a little bit much, we couldn't resist. This gorgeous wrapping paper is double-sided. I can't decide what to do with it though simple paper garlands would be totally suitable. I need to hurry up with my studio reorganizing so I can set up my design wall and add these to it.

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Speaking of other interior design matters, my long-time tendency to use greeting cards for decor has only been reinforced with the other new arrivals from Australia. I had a brief moment where I was thinking about replacing the small notecard decor with larger pieces that were more... Art. But I simply must get some of these cards. Perhaps I will expend a little more effort - right now I just have some of those floating shelves from IKEA that I use for rotating displays of color-coordinated notecards. I'm starting to think about a wall of clipboards for my design wall. or maybe some jerry-rigged clipboards made with book covers and bulldog clips. So much more fun to think about than all the actual winnowing that must still be done to make room for shelves. But I'm making progress. It is a shame you can't see the before picture, but there's no way I can share that. Anyway, I did buy some of these cards with my niece in mind because her baby blanket was a tiger so she has a fondness for tigers and I loved the series of the girl with the tiger. But I'm also thinking that I might need to bring some of these home to add to my walls.

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Still more notecards arrived yesterday

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And I spent some time rearranging the collection. I know that while we were in New York, I was thankful for the square footage that we have, but I'm back to wishing for just a smidge more. Also another spinner or two..... There were so many great cards to choose from!

DSCN6313 (800x600)In addition to cards, these wonderful journals arrived yesterday. I love the patterns, and I especially love that they lie flat when you open them. If I wasn't already trying to figure out what to do with all the blank journals that I have at home, one of these would definitely be coming home with me. It might yet.

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Not to worry if you aren't a paper lover, there have been other arrivals. We got a reorder of our wonderful vintage remix posts, and finally found a better display of the rings that we have (great mini glove molds purchased in New York at Fishs Eddy). More of the pressed flower earrings are on their way, and Sachi just put in an order for more mini food jewelry.

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 And now I am just waiting for UPS to see what arrives today...