Fall=TV...and outside stuff

We've been without a TV for months now, and it has been great. We have a good internet connection so hulu, nbc.com, and youtube (when desperate) have filled the void left without the constant pop culture streaming from our old boob-tube. But, now that fall is here, it's a little hard to keep up with all the new episodes of old favorites (30 Rock, Heroes, The Office) and new favorites (Glee, Community...). Without TV I'm not even really sure what's new and hot. Is Mad Men really good? I've heard it referenced multiple times on the radio. Also, is there a place online to watch the upcoming PBS Ken Burns series on National Parks or do I have to wait for netflix? (Peter just let me know that PBS will be airing it online one day after it airs on TV). Oh, yeah, we have a pile of netflix here, too. I guess we're still pretty much couch potatoes.

Anyway, fall is finally here and I can wear a sweater for portions of the day and I'm happy about that. Peter and FGH went to an apple orchard. We have a pint-sized pie pumpkin for decor and FGH is saying pnkn all the time (he's heavy on the consonants). Our CSA box was plump full this week so our fridge is now bursting at the seams. We had stir-fry last night, giant salads today, and really, we haven't made much of a dent. It will be depressing when the last box is emptied.

Here are some unedited snapshots from today. They're all taken at Como.



We had SO MUCH FUN tonight at Zellas in Hutchinson connecting with Laura and Adam, who bought our farm last fall, and Jena and Aron, old friends and csa members. It was crazy to talk about farm happenings from the past compared to the present goings-on at the farm. Our old dog Toblerone, for example (he stayed at the farm) recently brought a cow head home. Seriously, that dog is more of mystical beast than a dog. He's another species for sure. Craziness.

FGH and I stopped out at the farm last week,too, for a bit of a scavenger hunt for a pie pumpkin (which we found) and a look at the laying hens and berries. I wish I had taken some snapshots, but alas, it was enough to carry him and carry little tomatoes, berries, and a pumpkin.

Computer work has been one of the main things this week. I'm motivated to get my logo finalized for business cards, address stickers, and hang tags within a week or so. I also have a website up and running. It is extremely rough, but a feat nonetheless. Here it is atswirlingtreebooks.com! The gallery is pretty poor with half the pictures super pixelated since I grabbed them out of some strange folder on my desktop, but hey, all fixable. I'm just proud I got that far. Baby steps.

The logo I'm working on is pretty much the same as my new banner for the blog. I messed with that green until I was crazy in the head.

The Summit Eco logo is finished as well. It was a fun experience working with them and I just love their eco-minded, solar-certified, green electrician business model. The logo is fun, I like how the sun is so botanical looking and I was truly proud of my light bulb icon. Yay summer graphic design classes!


Custom (or not) Wedding Books

It took quite a few months to check this one off the to-do list.

Wedding Books!

I designed the innards of my customizable books with my newly acquired Adobe skills. Custom or not, each page has a title and sections for wedding documentation and/or spots for photographs. Of course, there are guest pages, but there are also pages devoted to the families of the bride and groom, courting and engagement information, bridal showers, the honeymoon, and more.

The custom part comes in play with colors, design, general style based on "vibe" of wedding, and also the couples' names, date, etc.

They're in the shop.


Uber Eco Casual Journals

New in the shop!
What I have named, "Uber Eco-Friendly Casual Books".
I found this 100% post-consumer waste, chemical free, completely biodegradable, heavyweight- meant for sketching paper. Phew.
I didn't realize it was BROWN when I ordered it, but when I bound a few books I decided I LOVED the brownness. I attached a hemp and bead bookmark to the back cover of each book. Most of the papers I used to cover the book board are new, too.

I decided to keep one for myself to use as a list book. I write lists upon lists every day. Grocery lists (which needs a subcategory of farmers' market or co-op or costco or super target or newly found awesome Greek market...), and also, lists of Swirling Tree work to-do, IKEA wants, movies to watch... So now I have a bound list book with a book mark to keep my place so I can flip out my fashionable book in a store right to the page desired.

Likin' it.



For no real event, just a general need for wine, we cracked open a bottle the other night and we introduced FGH to drinking from a wine glass. Even though I say it's wine in the movie, it's juice. Of course. I really know how to make a kid look cool with knee-high socks and no pants!

Peter's interviews have been going well. He has had one naysayer and one call back out of the deal thus far with six more to hear from. We're both trying to jump to some conclusions about what's going to happen but that's just not how it works. There are many hoops to jump through before than can happen. Hoops. Not fun. And so taking-up-of-time. To top it off he just got a subpoena to appear in court as a witness regarding our car wreck in July. What a pain. He has a respect for the legal system so he's not going to try to get out of it. He's such a romantic.

Speaking of romance, we actually look half decent for once AND posed for a picture. It was taken after a wedding we attended last weekend in Hutchinson. I made a guest book for the bride and groom:
I hope to get more in my shop soon. I'm awaiting the arrival of some generic wedding-colored book cloth in the mail from Paper Source. Yes, they have a store in Minneapolis, but my time is too valuable to sit in traffic for 1/2 hour each way to pick up book cloth. It's worth $7 to get it shipped. Really. Plus, toddler-man is not a fan of any store that does not sell food or toys.

Here's my work bench tonight:

5 new 5x7 albums, 4 books in the press, 2 more needing to be glued, 1 needing to be sewn. The books in the press are exciting to me. Eco-friendly casual case-bound journals with recycled blah blah blah paper of the brown variety and hemp and bead book marks. I can't wait to uncrank the press tomorrow morning and see if they look as good as I hope.

I applied for a show in Mpls-the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama (is that the title? too lazy to double check) for Dec. I HOPE to get in, it looks very etsy-ish. Hip crafts and the like. I'm also going to be at Jena's show in Dassel next month. Any other shows coming up that anyone knows about? I even applied for a tax number so I guess I'm really going to try to do this (oh, the confidence oozes out of my typed words).

Tonight I'm finishing a logo for Summit ECO, a green electrician company specializing in solar and energy efficiency. Cool company. I will share the logo when it is all said and done.

The elf girl prints still are not pleasing me. I've tried different photo papers, heavy sketch papers, and some linen paper. My next tries are canvas paper and textured card stock. Anyone know what the best printer setting to use? It seems like there should be some way to google this, but everything is dependent upon printer model, ink type, paper, and file format. There are too many variables. It seems this is the hard part of selling prints. Any who, if anyone has any tips please send them my way.


Back to School

It's back to school season. The air is a little cooler in the morning and evening, yet there's still some humidity in the air that keeps us from getting the sweaters out. The big-box stores are full of students loading there carts high, buying those plastic cubes that stack on top of each other and waste baskets and other storage bins. I'm nearing 30 years old and we're back to that school schedule in our house, too. The summer was quick and I enjoyed the extra time I had with Peter around more often. I filled every minute I could with classes, book binding, and messing around with Adobe. That is, the time that I wasn't at the lake, helping with friends' farms and gardens, and playing in our yard (and park, and zoo...) with FGH. I didn't realize that I could still fill each day to the brim much like I did when we were on the farm.

Peter is already into his third week of his second year at Mitchell. He'll be in school for three years total and starts on-campus interviews already this week. He's has 6 or 7 firms with which he's interviewing. These are highly sought after positions, so he may or may not get one, and the position he gets if he does get one is for the summer only with the hopes that it may turn into a full time position after graduation. The interviewing process is like a crazy labyrinth; he has to make his way through all sorts of steps to get through the different levels. He even attended an informational session that tipped them off about what to order if you have a lunch interview among other things. Still, I like the idea that we could have an inkling of a slight clue about where we will end up. Minneapolis? St. Cloud? New Ulm? Winona? Stillwater? River Falls? So, good luck Peter!

A logo job has come my way and it's a lot of fun, yet, like all creative work, frustrating to do at the end of the day with little of my brain remaining awake at 10:30 PM. Then, we've got the BEST -Book binding Etsy Street Team Back to School Sale starting today. Click here to get to the BEST website where all vendors are listed. I was hoping to a get a few more books in the shop before the sale started and they may or may not find their way in during the week. My third big project as of late is my little elf persona, who needs a name by the way and I'll take suggestions. I sketched my little elf girl with vegetables and I think she'll make great 8x10 prints in a little girl's room and also great for little notecards. HOPEFULLY I get to a printer this week to she how she prints. I've got a black and white laser printer here that doesn't do her justice (obviously). So, busy. Yes.

The elf print didn't upload correctly. I got some crazy weird colors, so I'll try to get that figured out, too.