Everything could be improved with a little gold paint. This is a super quick and easy tutorial on how to class up your wood stump! All you need is the stump from the 2016 Letterpress Stump Calendar, a paintbrush and a small amount of Liquid Leaf paint. Now usually I would show you a picture of the paint jar so you know what to look for when you’re out shopping, but it turns out that apparently I don’t know my own strength and broke the jar while I was trying to unstick the lid! Gold paint was ALL OVER my kitchen. My toaster is now gold, the blender is gold, even the crockpot fell victim to the splash. So no picture of the actual jar, but you can see it on the Michaels website right here.

The size of brush you choose depends on the level of detail you’re looking for in the final product. The bigger the brush, the less detail you’ll end up with — pretty straight forward. I would, however, recommend using a cheaper brush that you could easily live without. This gold paint is a little harder to rinse out than your typical acrylic or gauche.

Here it goes:

1. Shake the Liquid Leaf well before using.

2. Evenly coat your brush with paint. I dipped my brush straight in the jar...no need to dirty things up more than I need to, right? The paint is fairly thin but opaque so it covers very well. You should only need one coat.

3. Get to painting! Remember that there is a definite top and bottom to the stump — the top will have a nice little groove cut for the calendar.

Be sure to post your finished project to our Facebook page! We love seeing these tutorials come to life in your photos. Happy painting!

:: Haley ::

Psst..we also have a tutorial on how to up-cycle the 2015 XL Calendar!

So it's almost 2016 and hopefully, you've already got your refill for our XL calendar hanger. Now what should you do with all of those beautiful florals from 2015? We print our calendars on super heavy luxury paper. It's sturdy and cuts like a dream, so it's perfect for crafty projects. Here's a craft post from 2015 New Years that actually works even better this year. Enjoy!

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Like I do every new year, I woke up this first day of 2015 with a mighty craving for cute organizing tools. No better way to start the new year than with a fresh and tidy desk, right? Right. This will last approximately 15 seconds into my first day back at the office, but a girl can dream.

These pages are so big (20x30 inches) that really the up-cycling and crafting opportunities are boundless! But I thought it might be fun to make new file folders for my "new" desk.

It's so easy, that if you have the supplies on hand, it literally takes about 2 minutes to crank out your first folder. And you could make 12 or 13 folders out of the whole calendar if you want to. **UPDATE! The 2015 floral calendar is organized so you can actually make 2 floral folders out of one page! So the folder count goes up to 24 folders out of one calendar**

Supplies:

  • 2015 XL calendar pages
  • Xacto knife, or sharp scissors
  • Old standard file folder
  • Pen or pencil to trace

folder-supplies
2014 version

Steps:

1) Unfold and trace the old folder on top of one of the calendar pages.

2) Cut out the folder with an Xacto blade or scissors

Folder-cutour
2014 version

3) Fold the old file folder in half, and using the Xacto, lighly score the newly cut sheet in the middle so it will fold nicely.

4) Fold.

5) Make millions more! You will miraculously become organized for the whole rest of the year.

Happy 2016!!!

:: Beth ::

I love tradition. Maybe it’s the ritual of it all, gathering once a year to celebrate occasions, or the idea of large groups of people celebrating a single holiday or event in many different ways. Growing up in the rocky terrain of Southwest Missouri, the ritual of picking out the perfect Christmas tree consisted of visiting our local hardware store under not-so festive fluorescent lights. While it may not seem like the most idyllic scene, it is a tradition I looked forward to year after year of my childhood.

Fast forward to my first Christmas as a newlywed and surrounded by the lush terrain of Mid-Missouri, I could not contain my excitement when I learned of a Christmas tree farm about forty-five minutes from Columbia. A Christmas tree farm was something I had believed was exclusive to New Englanders in L.L. Bean catalogs, a far cry from the pre-selected Christmas trees at Lowe’s I was accustomed to.

My husband Bradley and I loaded up our St. Bernard, Ellie, into our Subaru and took off to select the perfect Christmas tree. As we drove up to the farm, we were greeted by acres of Christmas trees. I scanned the field and saw everything from the smallest Charlie Brown Christmas tree, to the mammoth-sized Griswold Family Christmas trees. We were greeted with a warm Midwestern hello, handed a bow saw (Yikes) and dropped off by way of tractor to our destination.

Admittedly, my husband and I were overwhelmed by the sheer selection of trees. Douglas fir or Scotch pine? Should we play it safe and pick out a smaller tree, or go for a tree that would barely fit in our apartment? We wandered, and wandered; all while critiquing each tree we passed. After a roughly 45 minute search, we had found what we were looking for, a beautiful eight-foot Douglas fir.

Naively, we thought the hardest part of the job was over, until we had to saw the tree by hand and pull it roughly a quarter of a mile to our pick-up location. Talk about a work out! The sight of the tractor coming down the hill was a welcome one, and our tree was loaded onto a trailer to be trimmed down and netted. As we waited for our tree to be loaded onto our car, we were warmed by an iron stove and hot apple cider.

Driving home with our tree safely strapped to our car, I couldn’t help but smile at the idea of the new tradition I had just made with my husband. We lugged our tree into our apartment and laughed heartily as the top scraped our ceiling and the sheer size of the tree taking half of our dining room. As newlyweds, we had been adjusting and melding our respective families’ traditions and routines into our own, and the visit to the Christmas tree farm and our story of the too-big Christmas tree was unique to our new family and the start of a new tradition.

:: Angela ::

Psst..if you're looking to cut down your own Christmas tree in the future and you're in the area, definitely check out Starr Pines!

Nothing opens my mind and heightens my senses quite like a good book. I love the entire experience of reading — from going to the library, to browsing endless shelves of lovingly worn books, to finding the perfect one and cracking it open. (Yes, I still go to the library. In fact, I’ve been known to give my coworkers a little flack about actually buying books. Who wants to store all of those?! And Goodness help you if you move houses. Seriously..book boxes are heavy. Think about it.) Anyway, the point is: while I read dozens of books each year, I only own a handful. They are my absolute favorite books that I flip through time and time again. If you’re a read-a-holic like me, check out the list below. You just may find a new addition to your own collection!

The Forest Feast (Erin Gleeson) | First up is The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson. This is a vegetarian cookbook but I’ve admittedly only made two recipes so far. The real reason this book is a permanent fixture beside my bed is because it is BEAUTIFUL. Each page is a mixture of gorgeously styled photos, watercolor illustrations and hand-drawn lettering. It serves me more as an artist look book than anything else.

With that being said, I do have to mention that both of the recipes that I tried were delicious. Erin’s recipes are short, sweet and super easy to follow! For a non-vegetarian like myself, it looks like it’s going to be a great guide to help me get creative with my vegetables.

Typography Sketchbooks (Steven Heller) | This hefty book is completely filled with hand-drawn typography, something that I can’t get enough of. The book is basically snapshots from a variety of artists’ sketchbooks, each with a different approach to mapping their letters. Some measure out each curve while others go for the "wing it" approach (my personal favorite). Flipping through these pages is a great source of inspiration if you’re thinking up your own typeface.

Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke (Off Track Planet) | A girlfriend of mine bought me this book for my birthday and my goooodness how I love it!!! This is possibly my favorite book of all time. But before I go any further – a warning: If strong language and sarcastic quips aren't your thing, you may want to steer clear. To be quite frank, the authors curse a bit. And by a bit, I mean a lot. If you’re okay with that — great! Keep on reading. It's broken up into 3 main sections: Get Inspired, Get Your S*** Together, and Make Yourself Useful. Basically, it gives you a rundown of some seriously awesome things to see around the world, then gives you traveling and packing tips, and then explains some ways you can volunteer while you’re away! The whole book is full of funny but highly useful and unique facts. For example, I personally love that it has a full two pages dedicated to toilets around the world (which could have saved me some serious culture shock in the Middle East). Another thing I love is that this book constantly encourages traveling alone. This may sound lonely or scary, but speaking from experience, it's definitely worth taking what they say to heart and considering a solo trip. Whether you’re a first time traveler or a polished pro, OTP’s Young, Sexy, and Broke is sure to give you some inspiration and tips for your next vacation.

The Crossroads of Should and Must (Elle Luna) | Wow, guys. Talk about a beautiful, inspiring book. Elle discusses the difference between doing what you should do versus doing what you must do — your calling, so to speak. The ideas she presents are extremely simple but profound..I found myself thinking “Exactly! Yes! Why haven't I ever thought of it like that?" Not only are her ideas great, but the book itself is a work of art. Her use of watercolor typography to evoke emotion is simply amazing.

Happiness (Matthieu Ricard) | In the short time I’ve owned this book, I’ve already read it three times. To put it simply — it's wonderful.  Happiness is written by a Tibetan monk (Richard) on the art of happiness. Ricard writes about finding and keeping happiness in terms of Buddhism, but it's not an attempt to sell you on the philosophy of Buddhism. These principles are easy and beneficial to add regardless of your belief system. Explaining it now, it almost sounds like a self-help book but it’s so much deeper than that. Happiness examines how we interpret our feelings, why we have them and what we can do to not simply let our emotions carry us through life, but to take charge and lead ourselves to be genuinely happy and healthy.

In the queue | The next three books on my list to read were all given to me because my friends loved them so much. The first is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which Beth recently loaned me. If you recognize that name, it may be because she also wrote Eat, Pray, Love! The book explores creative living beyond fear. Um..yes, please!

Beth also gave me Rising Strong by Brené Brown. The quote on the back of the book explains it all: "The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness – actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences including the falls."

The last book was given to me by my great friend, Paul. He's a go-getter if I've ever met one, so it's only natural that he gave me Executive Toughness by Dr. Jason Selk. This is what I have to look forward to: Just as an athlete needs to build his or her muscles to compete on the playing field, you have to train your mind to compete in your field. Executive Toughness is a virtual workout regimen for unleashing accountability, strengthening your focus, and supercharging your optimism in order to consistently achieve at or above your potential. 

We'll see if these make the cut! Do you have any book suggestions that you think may make my bedside stash? Let me know!

 :: Haley ::

    A few winter favorites from the 1canoe2 crew | @1canoe2 on Instagram

 

This month 1canoe2 will celebrate its second annual Worksgiving, a day to share a meal and share what we’re thankful for before we go our separate ways for family Thanksgivings.

   At the heart of this 1canoe2 tradition is Amy, our Production and Inventory Manager.  She’s small but mighty, and she loves to gather people together and celebrate the important things in life.  Last year’s first annual Worksgiving was a result of her labor of love; Amy cooked all of the food and treated us to a feast.  Her gourmet spread is still mouthwatering a year later: lemon and herb chicken, sausage, wild rice and cranberry stuffed acorn squash, homemade rolls and strawberry jam, pear and blue cheese salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing.

   We filled our plates and sat elbow to elbow, enjoying the food and conversation. Over dessert each person was asked to share something he or she was thankful for with the team.  During that time we cheered for one another, laughed with one another, cried tears of joy and gave hugs to those facing a challenging season ahead.  What began as a somewhat cliché Thanksgiving question became a sincere time of sharing that brought us all closer together.

   Worksgiving taught us that traditions in the workplace are just as important as family traditions, rites of passage that move us forward as an organization.  The time we spend connecting face to face and being thankful for our business and the people who make it work is just as important as the weekly staff meetings, creative meetings, and operations meetings, maybe even more so. 

   We hope that in the busyness of this time of the year that you make time to break from your work to appreciate those who work with and for you.  We'd love to hear what your workplace traditions are and how you work to build a strong, supportive work community.  In the meantime, we’ll be working on pulling out our best recipes so that we can all pitch in for this year's Worksgiving meal!  Sweet potato casserole anyone?

:: Karen ::

 

Pumpkin-Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting from Betty Crocker

When my mother-in-law suggested a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains for our bi-annual BIG FAMILY VACATION, I have to admit that I met the idea with only luke-warm enthusiasm. Not because I have an aversion to the mountains, but because I’m one of those people who’s not a big fan of the summer heat unless I’m in or near the water. A trip to the steamy, tropical-like forests of Tennessee—with no ocean in sight—wasn’t exactly top on my list. To my delight, however, I was never so happy that I stepped outside my comfort zone.

As we entered the foothills of The Smokies, excitement began to mount. Text messages were flying back-and-forth from car to car (there were four in our caravan!). “How much longer? What are we going to do first? What will the cabin look like?…”

All of us were to share one cabin the entire week. You could say it was like the The Great Outdoors meets National Lampoon’s Vacation (mind you I was very young when these movies were released, but they provide a great visual for those who have seen these 80’s classics). Our cabin boomed with the sounds of young children running, playing, and bickering, along with the adults letting loose a little or scurrying about the cabin in preparation for the day’s adventures. All-in-all, the mountains proved to be a great place to vacation with extended family, because by the end of Day 2 some may need a little more than just their own room or corner of the house to retreat to when someone or something starts grinding on their nerves. I mean, colossal log cabins with private resort-like swimming pools are great, but what’s greater is having a vast mountain range to fulfill your need for space.

I had just two stipulations for our trip to Pigeon Forge: 1) we must go white water rafting, which had always been on my bucket list, and 2) to actually step foot into the mountains, preferably hiking a trail. I’m happy to report that we checked both off of the list, along with many other firsts.

On the docket for Day 3 was white water rafting. We were all a little nervous, but equally excited. Crazy Carl was our guide, and with his cascading brown beard, he embodied a young and free-spirited mountain man. It just made the outing that much more authentic in our touristy opinion.

After a very quick crash course in synchronized paddling, we set off—navigating rapids ranging from Level 1-3. Just baby rapids, really, but we were so proud of our young girls for being brave and meeting every rapid with a smile and let’s-do-it-again attitude. It was thrilling for the adults, so I can only imagine what the experience was like for an eight- and five-year-old. As we approached the bank at the end of our float, I just knew this would be one of my favorite family memories of all time, and I highly recommend this to all families. This segment of our vacation even ended up being the subject of my daughter’s third grade journal.

When the day finally came for our little family (just myself, husband and two girls) to venture into the mountains for our much-anticipated hike, it was hot. And it was humid. But it was also an excursion that we’ll never forget.

We began our journey by hopping on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail from Gatlinburg. The mountains were heavenly. From afar, it was a mystical scene the way the moisture wafted from the treetops, seriously looking like continuous puffs of smoke (imagine that). And inside the forest was just as breathtaking—but almost eerie. The moisture from the trees created a fog-like screen all around us. We were literally in the clouds.

Our target was Grotto Falls, the pinnacle of the family-friendly 2.5 mile hike on the Trillium Gap Trail. And it delivered. The hike was challenging at times but manageable, and the trail was alive with salamanders, frogs, squirrels, and other wildlife. We even encountered a black bear (at which point we circled back to another trail head)! When we finally reached the waterfall, it was so beautiful and refreshing; my iPhone pictures just don’t do it justice.

One of the other jewels we stumbled upon as we slowly made our way out of the mountains in our car was a small general store fashioned from an old water mill. Inside was a treasure trove. Here we purchased our authentic souvenirs, which were nothing you could find in the shops that dotted tourist alley. The cozy shop was stocked with hand-crafted, artisan pieces: wood carvings, paintings, jewelry, soaps, jams, spices, and more. Just my kind of shop, because when I’m on vacation, I always make a point to purchase a one-of-a-kind keepsake made by a local artist. We even took home a colorful children’s book The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball, which was written and illustrated by native Lisa Horstman.

The remainder of the trip was chalked full of tourist attractions, some worth the money but most of them not. We took a few spins on an alpine coaster, oooh’d and ahhh’d our way through Ripley’s Aquarium (totally worth it), shopped and played at The Island, and shut down Dollywood. Still, our favorite experience was the one nature provided for free.

If you aspire to venture off the well-worn tourist path and appreciate the beauty nature provides, be sure to plan a hike during your trip to The Smokies. There’s just no substitute for immersing yourself into the wilderness and awakening your senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest. A trip to the mountains without an authentic mountain experience would be one to regret.

All-in-all, not quite a Griswold family vacation, but it had its moments. Certainly one to put in the photo books.

:: Crystal ::

Today, boys and girls, we have a little lesson about bunting. Or bannering, or flappering, or whatever you want to call these things. It's so simple you could probably figure it out, but a little prodding goes a long way toward actual production. In fact, I think those words have similar etymology. Anyway.

1> Cut yourself a cardboard template. I used a 45 degree angle on my ruler, but you could use a rectangle, star, scallop or just any old shape.

2> Assemble lots of lovely fabrics from your shameful but glorious stash of lovely fabrics. It might work well to use a charm pack precut here.

3> Use a rotary cutter (I love the blades with specialty edges) and cut out, oh, I don't know, hundreds of triangles, or hearts or whatever you're flapperizing.

4> Out of a coordinating fabric, make yourself yards upon yards of bias tape. Don't know how? It's so simple:

  1. a) Figure out how wide you want the fabric ribbon to end up being. I chose 1/2 inch in this case. Don't freak, but here comes some math --- multiply by 4.
  2. b) Cut however much you need -- 10 or 15 feet worth should be plenty. In my case I cut 30 feet worth of 2 inch strips by width of fabric (remember the math?) I sewed the seams together before ironing.
  3. c) Go to the ironing board and fold the sides of the fabric in to meet at the center folding line. AKA fold 1/2 inch in on each side.
  4. d) Fold the folded edges together so you now have a 1/2 inch ribbon with no raw edges.

**side note: you can buy a little tool to help you make bias tape, but I think it’s faster with the basic manual folding.

5> Take your shapes out and tuck the top edge into the fold of the bias tape you just made.

6> Sew endless zig-zag or other decorative stitches down the length of the bias, tucking in your shapies as you go along. No pinning or basting or other non-sense. And since you're leaving the edges raw, it doesn't have to be perfect. It will do just fine when hanging from your picnic table or over the birthday cake, or wherever you choose to festivigate.

By the way, if you're curious about the fabric I used, check out our new collection called Tucker Prairie!

Happy sewing!

:: Beth::

As a creative person, it’s so important to take time to recharge the source of your energy and inspiration. For a couple of years now, I’ve been seeing some of the creative entrepreneurs I admire most going to and posting about Inspired Retreat. After living vicariously through Instagram, and meeting the incredible Amber Housley at the National Stationery Show a couple of years ago, I finally got up the courage to reach out to her and send her a proposal to speak at the 2015 Fall Inspired.

Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

Inspired is all about creative women entrepreneurs gathering together to learn, listen, and encourage one another. I learned so much from the sessions with amazing women, but I learned so much more from chatting with my dinner partners, roommates, and while hiking to a huge waterfall in the middle of a glorious Tennessee Autumn.

Amber took good care of us, including styling every meal with beautiful tablescapes. I came home with so much swag from washi tape to new socks to inspirational mugs, coozies, and art prints.

We also had some hands-on activities like flower crown making (!!) and a late-night planner session with the incredible Christy Tomlinson.

Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

I spoke about a topic close to my heart: hiring. One of my closest held beliefs about running a business is that people make all the difference. At 1canoe2, we have an absolutely incredible team of people who make the business GO. It’s truly my proudest accomplishment to have selected and developed a team of people who require very little micro-management, and who continue to achieve great things everyday in the name of 1canoe2. It’s also a huge responsibility to manage them in a helpful, not authoritarian way, and to make sure when adding other team members that I don’t introduce someone to the mix that will make trouble. So I talked about that and had great conversation with some of the folks in that session.


Photo credit:
Sarah Frenzel

Aside from the immense about of positive energy going around amongst these amazing ladies, the retreat was chock full of content, from encouragement sessions with Heather Crabtree and Leah Remillet to technical info like photo styling with the amazing Kim Stoegbauer (also my roomie!) and Periscope lessons with Cathy Olson.


Photo credit: Sarah Frenzel

I think the most meaningful thing I left with is this: no matter if you are an enterprise of one, sewing tote bags in your dining room, or you have 70 employees, we all have something to share with one another, and we’re all in the struggle together. What an amazing feeling!

On the last full day of the retreat, Amber handed us posterboard and big markers, and asked us to write a love note of sorts to our younger selves. What would you like to tell yourself 5 years ago to help smooth out the journey from starting out to success?  Here’s a video with some words of advice for all you out there trying to get your creative self to shine. Take a look at this quick clip:

Video Credit: Nicole V. Cole

:: Beth ::

What a great time of year! Fall seems like a time for fresh starts, at least it does here in our part of the world. It’s a time of sweet relief from the summer heat and humidity. The crisp cool air and the bright colors of the changing leaves seems to bring a sense of energy. How perfect of a time then, to start fresh with a new blog!

Isn’t it great when you come across a book, or a place, or a person that just opens your eyes up to something that you never were aware of before? Something that is new and interesting and makes you think? Something that you really connect with? We love moments like that, and we hope that our new blog is a place where you can find some of those experiences! 

What can you expect to find here? We will be sharing pieces and parts of where we live in central Missouri. We will be bringing you things that we think are beautiful and meaningful. We will be talking about our influences, our discoveries, and the things that are shaping our world. Each of our posts will fall into one of six categories. These six different topics will help guide our thoughts:

CREATIVE FILTER:
Where do your ideas come from? What kinds of things influence you? We get these questions all the time! This is the place where we will attempt to answer those questions. The creative process is deep and complicated, often frustrating, but so beautiful!

EXPLORERS CLUB:
We love to get out and see the world! From walks on local trails to trips to the other side of the globe, this is where we will tell you about places that we have explored, and maybe give you some ideas for things that you should get out and see!

SPOTLIGHT:
There are so many important people who help make what we do possible! We have a great team and we want to tell you about how awesome they are! Here you can find features on our staff team, shops and shop owners who sell our products, and maybe even our trusty mailman who works tirelessly to get you your packages. 

BUSINESS:
What an adventure it is to run a business! We don’t claim to be experts, but gosh, we have learned a lot along the way so far. This is where we will share thoughts and tips from our experiences in growing and running a creative business. 

TUTORIALS:
We are a crafty bunch, so expect some creative and fun tutorials! How should you be using that 1canoe2 designed fabric? What is a great recipe for blueberry pie? How can I re-use my XL calendar when the year is over? Be on the lookout for some great ideas from our creative team!

EYE CANDY:
This is exactly what is sounds like - delicious things to look at! We are always pulling out the camera to snap shots of things and places that catch our eye. Artwork in progress. Pretty wildflowers growing on the roadside. The beautiful and sometimes overlooked parts of life.

Welcome! We’re glad you are here! We’re excited to get started, and we hope you come back often to visit and see what we have to share!

:: 1canoe2 Crew ::

P.S. If you’re looking for an old blog post, don’t worry! They’re still there. We have them all stashed away in our blog archive.

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