People Who Make the World Go Round {The Tax Expert}

TaxExpertCard

Happy Tax Day!

It’s April 15th, and hopefully your taxes are all done, paid, and in the mail. If you are anything like me, you have a trusted someone who helps sort everything out, fills out all the forms, and explains all of the hard to understand things that come with making sure you give the government their share.

In recent years that has all become MUCH more complicated for us as small business owners. Luckily we have Wade. Wade is our accountant. He’s the guy with the brain that knows everything that we don’t, and helps us tackle our taxes. We appreciate him more that he probably knows, so we wanted to make sure to tell him! We dropped off this card to him today along with a little surprise, that hopefully he can enjoy now that his busy time of year is over.

We are hoping that you take a little minute this month to let your tax expert know how much you appreciate them! Maybe you use an accountant. Maybe your dad, or your older brother, or your spouse, takes on the task of helping you complete your taxes. Or, MAYBE you do your taxes yourself. If that’s the case, way to go! Great job. You should just go ahead and treat yourself today.

You can click right here for a free printable of the Tax Expert card. Go give it to your tax day hero and tell them how wonderful they are! (Don’t forget to tag any social media with #WorldGoRoundProject and let us know how you used it!)

:: Carrie ::

{tutorial} Painting Blown-out Eggs

It’s that time of year — Easter eggs!! I was shocked last week to find that some of the folks here at the barn had never painted blown-out eggs, something my family has been doing for as long as I can remember. It’s one of my favorite family traditions. Every year my mom pulls out a beautiful glass bowl full of the eggs we’ve painted over the years. It’s so fun to see the watercolor eggs from when I was just a toddler compared to my intricate paintings today.

Bowl

To see just how much fun this could be, the 1canoe2 crew took an afternoon off to paint some Easter eggs of our own. We had a wonderful time, and so can you! Everything you need to know is outlined below..happy painting!

Supplies

Here’s what you need:

> Eggs

> Paint (We used acrylic, but you can also use watercolor for less detailed designs)

> Paint brushes

> Bowl

> Pins

> Newspaper (or anything to protect your table from paint!)

First, use a pin to poke out a decent sized hole in each end of your egg. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to poke several pin-sized holes fairly close together, and then poke out the areas in between to connect all the small holes into one bigger one. Try to keep the edges as clean as possible so the egg doesn’t crack down the sides. If it does, there’s a good chance the shell will crack apart as you try to blow out the center.

Pinned

Hole_size

Above is a picture of roughly how large the holes should be. If you’re not quite sure, start small. You can always go back and make it bigger if you need to!

After you’ve made a hole in each end of your egg, it’s time to get your bowl and blow out the middle. Warning :: the sound effects aren’t pretty!

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If you’re having a hard time blowing out the center of the egg, go back and make your holes a little bigger and try again. You’ll know you’re done when all that you hear coming out of the egg is air. When that happens..you’re ready for the fun part. Painting!

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CueTips

Tip :: Q-tips are super handy to have around! If you pull off the puffy ends, you can stick the Q-tip through the holes in the egg (above) so you can paint the entire thing and keep your fingers clean. You can also keep the puffy end on (below) and use it to make perfect little dots!

Claire_Painting

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Voila! You have beautiful eggs to keep for years to come. If you already know you’ll be doing this again and again, try keeping an egg from each year, like my family does! It is such an amazing thing to look back and be able to see the progression of your style and creative ability.

Hopefully this project marks the beginning of a new tradition for us here at the barn…and for you at home! Happy Easter, everyone.

:: Haley ::

Lately…

Sorry things have gotten a little bit slow here on the blog. It is definitely not a sign that there is nothing going on! The truth is that I’ve been so busy working and painting and making new things that I haven’t had much of a chance to think about blogging. We are gearing up for the National Stationery Show which we’ll be attending in May, and now is crunch time. Here are a few photos of some work in progress, which you can look forward to seeing more of in the future!

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:: Carrie ::

Easter Tulip Glass Toppers

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We’re sending you tulips! The hand-painted kind, that is. This year we decided that we’d like to contribute a little beauty to your Easter. Download and print these FREE glass topper place cards and have a beautiful place setting in just minutes.

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It’s super easy. Just print the template (below) as many times as you’d like, cut out the tulips, write a name on each, then slip onto your favorite glass. Voila! A festive Easter setting.

Click here to download and print your own Easter tulips. **READ BEFORE YOU PRINT :: When you click above and are led to the download, the image may scale to fit your screen instead of showing the appropriate printing size. If it looks a bit small, try clicking the image once more and it should get bigger.

We want to see pictures of how your table turns out!! Tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #1canoe2tulips! We can’t wait to see your place settings.

:: 1canoe2 crew ::

People Who Make the World Go Round {Your Hairstylist}

hairstylist

This month we are thanking our hairstylists!

Yesterday afternoon I made a trip to see my awesome hairstylist, Jamie, for a little cut and trim. Just a routine maintenance visit, but I felt like a million bucks when I walked out the door! It’s a great feeling to know that when I sit down in her chair that I’m in good hands. I slipped her this card before I left, with a Starbucks gift card tucked inside, as a thank you! (she loved it!)

A great hairstylist is a valuable friend to have, and we hope that this month you tell them how much you appreciate their work! Who do you trust for your cut and color? Maybe it’s a trusted stylist who you have seen for years, or your best friend who colors your hair for you in her kitchen. You can download our hairstylist thank you card right here, and next time tell them thank you!

And, tell us about your trusted hairstylist! We would LOVE to see some before and after photos…hint, hint! You can tag any social media with #worldgoroundproject, or send us an email about it to promotions@1canoe2.com.

:: Carrie ::

A little luck

Luck

Last August, I took a two week trip to the Azores Islands in Portugal. 1canoe2 had just moved into the new studio so, naturally, I wanted to bring back something special to hang at the barn. Giving Beth and Carrie their gift introduced them to a fun little fact about myself — I am strangely brilliant at finding four-leaf clovers!

Good Luck from Portugal{Good Luck from the Azores, Portugal}

I’ve been finding four-leaf clovers for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I would spend hours..literally, hours..sitting in the side yard listening to the Beach Boys and picking four-leaf clovers. It absolutely wowed my mom. Even to this day it never fails to impress anyone who is around. I’m usually just casually walking along, barely looking at the ground, when a four-leaf clover will pop out and catch my eye. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but that extra leaf is all the detail I need for it to stand out amongst the rest.

Cluster

I dry them in anything I can get my hands onto to keep them safe — in the pages of sketchbooks, my car manual, in between credit cards in my wallet, anything.

Pressed Clovers

I never really thought that my quirky ability to find four-leaf clovers amounted to much, but it’s been amazing to see the joy it’s brought to others over the years.

My favorite story is about my dad. A couple years ago, my dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Thankfully, they caught it early, but he had to have surgery to remove one of his kidneys. A day or so before his surgery, he called with a story he said he just needed to tell me. He had been up at our family farm getting a few last things in order before his operation. He admitted that was feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing that day. We all were! So right before he left, as he was worrying about his cancer, he went to total up the time for some of his workers. He picked up the little blue time book…and four-leaf clovers showered the table. I had worked at our farm that summer and dried dozens and dozens of clovers! Seeing those four-leaf clovers pour so unexpectedly out of that book calmed my dad. He said he took it as a sign that everything was going to be okay, and was so thankful that he ran across them that day. And so am I…he’s now cancer-free!

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So keep your eyes open today — you just never know where you’ll find a little luck! Have a wonderful and safe St. Patrick’s Day!!

:: Haley ::

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.

flowersketch

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 ::

People Who Make the World Go Round {The Handyman}

handyman

Never take for granted a good handyman!

This month we are giving a big thank you to a couple of guys who have literally helped transform our business , our handymen, Steve and Brandon.  They make our world go round! Almost exactly a year ago we began the big project of renovating our barn and building a place that we could call our headquarters. It was no small task, and it took a lot of ingenuity, but Steve and Brandon were definitely up for the job, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! You can read about the whole project right here.

The guys just finished up little bit more work for us, installing more insulation and doing some finishing work in our storage room, so we really feel like the WHOLE project is finished. Today we all brought in a dish and we are having them over for a thank you lunch, which will also include a handwritten card from us, of course!

We hope you join us in thanking a handy-person that you know. Maybe your mechanic, your neighbor who always jumps in and lends a hand, or even that guy at Home Depot who always helps you find exactly what you need for all of those DIY home projects. You can download our handyman card right here. And, don’t forget to let us know about your handyman! You can tag any social media with #worldgoroundproject, or send us an email about it to promotions@1canoe2.com.

:: Carrie ::

Happy Valentine’s Day