Friday, November 30, 2007
I didn't grow up in what people would call a pet-friendly home. As a child, the farthest I got as a pet owner was with Carl, the little green lizard (a 6-inch anole) who spent 4 lovely years in the aquarium in my bedroom. Three interesting facts about Carl: 1) I fed him crickets. 2) He was named after Carl Lewis because he was SO FAST. 3) He was actually a SHE. After his male naming, Carl laid eggs. Oh well.
Fast forward about 15 years, and I got the most wonderful gift in the world. After a long day at work, Liz came home with then a 10-week-old Kingsley. I've never been so happy.
Fast forward a year and a half, and this little puppy has grown to become such an integral part of our lives. I used to cringe when I heard people refer to pets as their "son" or "daughter." I won't say those words in public, but I get it. We love our dog and it's in a way I could never have imagined.
But now back to why I'm writing. We like to think we've trained her pretty well. She can sit, lie down, stay, leave it, won't eat her food until we say "ok," shake paws, etc., but the very staged picture above shows one of her worst talents. Jumping.
I walk her in Prospect Park during "off-leash" hours most mornings--and the amount of muddy paws she places on strangers' coats and pants each day is startling. The puppy apology worked for a while, but now that she's almost 2, that's losing some validity. Most people don't mind, but those that do, DO. And in a big, sometimes overbearing way.
It's the same thing with house guests. It's never aggressive. She doesn't bite. But she will knock you over if you're not paying attention. They laugh it off because they're friends and family, but I can tell they're wondering when she will grow out of it--if ever.
She's perfect in every single way. I love her like a daughter. There I said it. But the jumping has to go. I just talked to one of the area's best dog trainers. I'll keep you posted.
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We recently introduced our Paper Package. I'm obviously a huge paper fan - and thought this might be a nice thing to offer around the holidays. You get a notepad, a pack of note cards and a calendar - all for the same price as the sum of it's parts, except that we wrap it up with some cool ribbon and attach a gift tag. Love the blue tissue with this little package, too.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Don't mean to be tooting my own horn here - but as a small card company, to see all these boxes lined up ready to go is pretty exciting - and making us a little nutso around here. Thank you, DailyCandy! The shipping bonanza continues today as we spread the L&H love with red & green pigs, moose notepads and 2008 Calendars.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
DailyCandy asked us to be part of their DailyCandy Deals email. I had no idea they even had a deals email, but I of course said yes and then signed myself up! Every Tuesday they send out an email featuring a few products at a discount of at least 25%. So get all the Linda & Harriett goodies your heart desires - and when you sign up for Deals, you'll get 25% off. Happy Tuesday!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We cooked our very first turkey and I'm happy to report it didn't totally suck. It was quite good actually! We brined the thing for a good 15 hours before and then cooked it for about 5 hours. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. But the whole giblet thing? Woaaa, didn't see that coming. I stupidly didn't take any photos of our prized bird, but did manage to capture the pretty pecan pie. Yum! My sister also made pumpkin bars - a recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. Enough said.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Flour Sack. Scottish Shortbread. Olive Oil. Bread Dough. Colors from Martha.
Off to do some painting of my own. Great timing before hosting Thanksgiving, Liz! Way to go. Let's hope I'll have some good things to share come Friday.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I love getting packages in the mail. Yesterday, I got a great one from my sister who lives in London. She went to Origin The London Craft Fair that was going on last month and had designer Teresa Cole for Teresa Green Design make this tea towel for me. Here she is thinking about me when she's about to give birth to her fourth child any day. So sweet. It made my day. Thanks, K - I love you!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
John and I went to see The Swell Season (Glen Hansard from the Frames and Marketa Irglova) last night at Beacon Theatre. Oh my goodness. I had chills the whole time. I first heard these two talented voices in the movie Once and was immediately in love. And last night, they did not disappoint.
If you haven't seen Once, you must. And if you haven't heard The Swell Season, listen here.
Monday, November 19, 2007
It may be a bit too early for this kind of posting - since this week is all about turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing - but I had to share this oh so sweet invitation we recently did for a four year old's gingerbread house decorating party. I wish I had had fun parties like this when I was four. Or now.
Friday, November 16, 2007
There was an interesting article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal regarding the surcharge on square envelopes and how the shape is declining in sales because that extra 17 cents postage is just so darn annoying - extra stamps, but how much more?, having cards returned for extra postage. (Been there, too? Annoying!)
I'm a huge fan of the square. Square paintings, square photographs, and absolutely cards & envelopes. I love the composition a square allows for. It's more interesting to me. A colored envelope in my mailbox is a treat. A square colored envelope is a sweet treat. The Post Office, more specifically the machines at the Post Office, don't get this. Literally. They reject any square envelopes as "unmailable" which results in a person having to hand-sort these envelopes. Hence, the 58 cents postage required to mail square envelopes.
In the article the manager of a post office in Buffalo, NY had this to say about why the machines can't do squares:
Rectangular envelopes are always knocked down by sorting machines onto one of two long, stable edges. Ink detectors find the stamps: front or back, upper right or lower left. It then takes only two steps -- flip and turn -- to line them up for a computer to read addresses and spray on bar codes.
But squares land on any one of four edges, not two. So for half of them, mathematically, finding addresses takes four steps. When the machines fail, humans get involved -- at a cost, Mr. Mazurkiewicz explained, of $52-per-thousand envelopes instead of $4.Read more from the article in the WSJ here.
[photos courtesy of Barry Newman for the Wall Street Journal]
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The contests are fantastic. Seeing how people approach the same challenge differently is 100% entertaining for me. I've been reading about this season, and it seems like it's going to be a good one.
Tune in for the season premiere tonight at 10pm on Bravo.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I came across these sketches from Paris Breakfast. Oh how I wish my hand could move like this. Plus, I'm dying to go back to Florence where I lived for 4 months in college - so these images of Venice really tug at my heart.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Many bands sell posters at their concerts, but I am particularly drawn to the ones Wilco sells at their shows. They are all produced in limited quantities (~300) and designed by a variety of independent designers and design studios. They usually sell from $20-30 and when I've bought them, I feel that I am purchasing art and not an overproduced commodity that would have sold for the same price. Wilco's tempered level of success may lend to this. Their shows almost always sell out, but their audiences (and venue capacities) number in the low thousands and sometimes high hundreds. Numbers that make selling a limited edition product sensible--from a business and logistics perspective. I get why U2, the Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen don't do this (at least today), but it's also why people aren't clamoring for them with the same passion.
AND - I just went to their site to copy the link, they have a short intro clip of behind the scenes footage of a photo shoot. Maybe I'm really behind on this feature, but I think it's very smart. Check it out here.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The look of a website is very important to me - it keeps me there or kicks me out. I recently decided that I wanted to change the images on our note cards section - but wasn't sure about the backdrop. My inclination was to go with white - but then things kind of disappear, especially when our cards have so much white already. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - especially the patch-like effect and texture of the wooden planks.
But what do you think? Is seeing the whole card better than the thumbnails?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Read on here: (click image to enlarge it)
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I was recently asked by The Daily Obsession to comment on thank you notes. I am by no means an authority on etiquette (read on...) and was feeling pretty guilty about even responding because I, myself, have not written a lot of our long-overdue wedding thank you notes! I'm ashamed - but, yes, it's true! I'm a terrible terrible person. And even more so because I'm going to follow it up with, what else, an excuse!
My computer died earlier this year, and I lost everything. All of my work until that point - all illustrations, all InDesign, Photoshop, Word and Excel files - gone. And along with my precious three years of work was our crazy super duper Excel spreadsheet titled, Master Guest List. This was our list of those invited to our wedding, those attending, what day they were arriving, what they were eating, where they were sleeping, and what gift they so generously gave us and on what day. And when this list disappeared into Cyber La-La Land, so did my motivation to thank anyone. Terrible. But sadly, very true.
So what follows is my attempt to have an opinion on thank you notes - which I think are the just about the nicest, most gracious way to show appreciation and gratitude. And in my defense, barring the whole wedding list/thank you note mishap, I'm pretty good:)
You should send thank you notes that are appropriate. To me, this means 1) you actually like the card you're sending, 2) the card matches the the reason for the thank you note in formality/design, and 3) the tone you use reflects the level of relationship you have with the person you're thanking. If you barely know this person, it's completely okay to keep it short and sweet. A gesture, if you will. (This goes very far. Who poo-poos someone for sending a thank you note? No one.) If you're thanking a good friend or close family member, feel free to throw in some humor (I must add here: ONLY IF you are a person who jokes anyway - your thank you note is not the time to play stand-up). But most importantly - don't be fake. I attribute this to all letter-writing - but be gracious and heart-felt without gushing to Aunt Betty that the cookie sheets she gave you at your bridal shower are the best gift you've ever received. No they're not. And Aunt Betty knows they're not too. But perhaps in addition to the nice cookie sheets, you're grateful she was able to be there or very sorry she missed it. That might be something Aunt Betty would like to hear and appreciate.
Part of why I love the retail side of this business is getting to know the store owners and seeing how they represent themselves online, since I haven't physically been to most of the shops.
So starting now, I'm going to start featuring some of these stores and store owners - giving you a little snapshot of the brick and mortar shop and the people who run it.
I'm starting with one that I think has one of the most beautifully put-together websites and photographs out there: Cotton located in Laguna Beach, California. I met Mindy at the National Stationery Show and am thrilled to be represented in her new shop - because her store looks just beautiful and because Mindy is such a lovely person herself!
I can't wait to visit someday! But until then, I'll drool over these photographs.
[photographs by Trever Hoehne for cotton]
Monday, November 5, 2007
Yesterday was one of my very favorite days of the year in New York City. The NYC Marathon. I love and thrive off of the energy out there - of those pounding the pavement and of those watching, cheering, high-fiving anyone who's up for it. It's an incredible feat - for first-timers and many-timers alike - and still gets me choked up year after year.
It was especially meaningful yesterday because my dear friends Lizzy and Jenny ran their first marathon! It was thrilling be able to see them at our corner in Brooklyn - and then to jump in at mile 20, along with Lizzy's sister, and run the last 6.2 with Lizzy. I felt like a complete poser - but was happy to be playing the role of team support.
Problem is, I've got the bug now. It's been three years since I ran the 26.2 in NYC myself and now I want it again. Next year - game on!
Congratulations Lizzy & Jenny!! You did it!!!!!
Friday, November 2, 2007
My first post will take you back about 15 years to the world of--believe it or not--Barney and Friends, with a 2007 twist made possible by YouTube and a 17-year old rapper named Soulja Boy whose song was atop the Billboard Charts for 7 weeks in a row (it just fell to #2 today). It's a most unlikely, but entertaining, pairing that's been viewed over 6 million times:
Intrepid video editors (with freetime aplenty) have done the same with SpongeBob, Dora, the Lion King and Pooh.
That's all for today. See you next week.
Update! Creative Thursday is not sold out! Marisa told me she had only posted ten of her 35 initially - which all sold out. But she has the rest up on her Etsy shop now. I've already ordered mine because they are flying! Get yours here.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
So starting tomorrow, we are going to feature Fridays With John. John is without a doubt the most resourceful person I know - online. And that's not really a stab - it's just true. He's the master of web content. There's not a show he can't get tickets for, an ebay auction he can't win, or a hilarious YouTube video he hasn't seen. And you'll get your first taste tomorrow. Should be fun.