Yesterday was the day. We finally had to pop the AC into the living room window. For about a month we've been turning on the bedroom air conditioner when we go in to sleep (as much for it's sound as for it's cooling qualities.) but it really hasn't been hot enough to warrant the installation of the living room AC. In the history of me and Aaron living together I bet this is the latest we've ever waited. Two factors come into play...first off, holy cow, it's been a mild year! And all over I believe...not just here in Jersey. (which apparently is a global warming symptom.) And second...our change of address. Being by the ocean is fantastic! It is automatically ten degrees cooler and the breezes are perpetual. So up 'til this point we've been getting by with open windows & ceiling fans and the many many paperweights that are required by crafters like us. ( I bet every crafter in the world can write a short story or two about the projects that have been ruined by a renegade breeze.) But finally, this week the triple H got us...Hazy, Hot, & Humid...and Aar had to wrestle the AC into the window. I'm bringing this up because I'm noticing that the change in atmosphere has been sorta dramatic...and it's more than the temp. With the windows shut we've lost the neighborhood sounds and the cacophony of birds right outside our windows. (and I say cacophony purposefully...I swear, our neighborhood birds are relentless...they almost don't even let you get a word in edgewise!) But yeah, the atmosphere...it's been only like 48 hours but already our creative habits have changed. I feel like we're sanding things faster and generally jumping around from project to project. I just stood up a few minutes ago and painted a whole pile of wooden things that have been sitting there waiting and raw for at least a couple of months... like shelves and frames and boxes etc... It's like you shut the windows, take control of your temperature, shut out the world a bit, and get to work. Not like we weren't already workin' 'round the clock but you know, it feels different, and different is ALWAYS good when you are self employed and working from home!
I wrote last entry that we were featured in the New York Times Magazine but at that point I didn't yet get my hands on the actual mag...I only saw the online version. Well, the next day Aaron went out and picked one up from one of the three 7-11's that are within five minutes from our home.(seriously...three of 'em in a five minute range!) Plain and simple, I love getting press! Mostly because I'm a big fan of magazines, and nothing is cooler than being featured in something that you were gonna go out and buy anyway. I remember a while back, years ago, we were featured in Woman's Day magazine. And it was a great feature. It was the very last page in the mag...a great head to toe pic of me and Aar standing there, posing like we knew what we were doing. Our first and last names were big and bold across the top. There were like five or six pics of our artwork and a brief but great interview. And the issue just so happened to hit the shelves the same month that we had opened our retail store of handpainted furniture. Needless to say, we were psyched! And the mag had insane circulation. It was in every store everywhere and usually it was displayed right up at the check-out registers. And since it was a special edition it was on the shelves for like three months! During those three months when me and Aar would go out grocery shopping we had a little ritual we liked to perform. While waiting on line with our cart full of groceries we'd pick up "our" issue of Woman's Day, flip it open to "our" page, and then put it back on the rack opened up like that. And then we'd of course laugh at ourselves for being such cheeseballs. We'd sometimes even pose like we were posed in the magazine and pretend like the people on line behind us would maybe put 2 and 2 together and say "hey honey look! those people in front of us are the people in the magazine!" Of course that didn't happen. And of course we weren't really being "those" people...we were just pretending to be "those" people. We were having our own private fun while the gettin' was good...and it had a three month shelf life! You can't beat that. But anyway, yeah, there's a peek into the dorky life of Jenny and Aaron...our idea of a good time! So, back to the present tense. The New York Times mag feature is great. It's a great publication and I'm proud to be part of that story. The Keep Calm poster phenomenon is such a cool thing. And the response has been shocking! Our presence in the story is so very tiny and yet the emails, inquiries, and etsy traffic have been so very abundant. Our actual names and Everyday is a Holiday are printed in the teeniest tiniest font along the inside margin but still, people are finding us. I consider myself a bit of a media sleuth...I can always track down the parties responsible for the artwork or products I'm admiring in a publication. I've always been a reader of the small print. I get psyched when others go to the trouble of seeking out little ole' us! So, another thanks to the NY Times and really big thanks to everyone that searched us out...and if you've come by to check out the blog for the first time, then welcome welcome welcome!!!
The 4th of July already seems like ages ago so I definitely will avoid going into great detail about our adventures. The evening started off on a not so good note but since I vow to keep the 4th of July as a stress free holiday I made sure to not let the bad news get me down for even a second. This was the bad news: when we arrived at Point Pleasant boardwalk we found out that the fireworks were unexpectedly postponed 'til the 5th....for no good reason...it was a clear night...families came in droves. The night time beach was FULL with people awaiting fireworks and you could feel the anticipation in the air. But nobody actually informed the masses that there would be no big explosions in the sky. We overheard some cops talking about the postponed fireworks...but instead of sulking about it, we jumped in the car and drove a half hour south to the next big boardwalk on the ocean. We got there just in time to view the fireworks from inside our car while we were parking!! But like I said, no big deal. We hung out at Seaside Heights boardwalk all night long...Aaron and Walt got all the boardwalk food that they had been craving for weeks. Waffles & ice cream, cheese steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried stuff galore...the trick to eating all the stuff you want is to walk around a lot and to stay there for many hours. By 4 am you will have had your fill. We played tons of Skee Ball in our favorite arcade. I think it's the only arcade on the boardwalk with the really old Skee Ball lanes, with the wooden balls. They also have a Flashback room with all of the old video games...Ms. Pacman, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, which of course made me think of the awesome documentary "King of Kong" if you haven't seen it...please watch it now! I guarantee that you will love it. Two nerdy guys competing for the Donkey Kong crown doesn't sound like cinematic gold but I assure you, it's riveting and examines all facets of the pursuit of one's dreams...the sweetness of victory...the agony of defeat...the drama of life. I promise...watch it. Anyway, back to our Seaside Heights experience... Have you ever seen one of those old west shooting galleries? I grew up with them. I've seen them many places and they're all the same set up...the piano player, the cow skull, the sewing machine, etc...anyway, when you shoot the targets your gun actually shoots a little beam of light and the beam of light is what activates the object to make it move...the piano player plays, the bird squaks, the harlot's skirt flips up, etc...welllll, here's a little trick...if you pull out your camera and take a picture with FLASH...guess what? Every single thing in the shooting gallery moves at once! It's this big loud pandemonium every time you snap a photo! Try it! It's soooo Fun! Only, eventually, the manager or owner of the place will come over and give you a big bad dirty look and shake his head "NO." and make you feel like a misbehaving third grader all over again! It was a good time. We have been working ridiculous hours...barely leaving home except for supplies and shipping...so getting out around all those people for all that good old fashioned fun was so refreshing. Truly a recharging experience. We came back home from our Independence Day, slept it off, and were ready to get back to work. Isn't that so American? In Europe they say they work hard in order to go on vacation. In America we go on vacation so that we can come back home and work hard.
A couple entries ago I showed some pics of our new cake and cupcake peg racks that were inspired but the oh so sweet spread in a recent Romantic Homes magazine. Well, in addition to the peg racks we also did a brand new painting that was inspired by the spread. Only, at post time it wasn't yet ready to be photographed. So here it is now...our Ballerina Cupcakes! Of course, we own a whole bunch of those classic ballerina cupcake toppers and we've probably had a dozen working sketches of these cupcakes over the past few years...but you know how it is...too many cupcakes, too little time. Well, we finally put paint to canvas. And we made sure to paint it so that it'll fit a variety of formats...8 x 10 plaque, 5 x 7 plaque, matted prints in 11 x 14, 8 x 10, and 5 x 7. And the plaques look fantastic with a metallic gold rim to match the tiny bit of gold on the ballerinas. We love this painting!
We also have a some additions to our line of vintage inspired die-cuts. A jumbo soft serve ice cream cone, a big pale seafoam Summer green stand mixer, and our pin up girls, also known as our "baking beauties". All the die cuts are big, just like the kind you'd find behind the counter at Woolworth, an old fashioned ice cream parlor, soda fountain, etc... We were also experimenting with a really really big ice cream cone...I'll let you know if we're ready to offer that. In general, man oh man do we need to paint more ice cream. I love the imagery so so much! Just looking at Aaron's gigantic Waffles & Ice Cream on the 4th of July was so inspiring! I really hope to find the time. I promise though, no matter what, more die cuts are on the way!
Ok, bloggeroos! Once again I've talked your ears off. I'm thinking about putting a movie on. Me and Aaron go out for a walk every single night unless it's pouring rain but tonight, even though the satellite picture showed no sign of rain, I think we're skipping the walk. It's so humid that you can literally See the air in front of you. It's absurd. Well, thanks so so much again for reading! Keep cool. xoxo, Jenny