Almost halfway to another Christmas tree...where have we been?
There is no possible way that I could just gloss over the fact that it is now the end of May and the last time we blogged was Thanksgiving. Also, there is no way that I could begin to explain the reasons for the 6 month absence. But it is by far the longest stretch of nonblogging since we started the blog back in 2006, and it's the very first time that we missed a Christmas. I just now re-read our Thanksgiving post and in it I talk about measuring life by how many Christmas trees have passed and how many more you might get. And here we are now...practically halfway to the next Christmas tree!
We certainly didn't lose interest in blogging, but I guess we kinda reached our limit time-wise and communication-wise and creativity-wise, and the blog must've been the one appendage that we could afford to cut off for a little while. But then the little while turned into a long while. I'd be lying if I said that the loss of Aaron's mom wasn't a huge factor. I think we spent many months sorta numb and maybe slightly in denial. But then your emotions will always catch up with you. It isn't clear that it's happening at the time, but when you look back on those months it's fairly easy to see.
But ok, I promised myself I'd keep this as brief as possible. Why are we back to blogging now? I guess the short answer is that we really feel like blogging again. And I don't mean that in a selfish way. I mean that we really really feel like connecting again. We want to share a bit of our lives and we want to hear back from all of you. We want to put ourselves out there again. Get back out into the world. Me and Aaron have been just working, and working, and working, and not much else really. But it's not like we have a desire to work any less than we are right now. We just want to add some playtime to our work time.
It would be impossible to recap the past few months in full, (and who would want to endure that anyway?!) but it would feel weird to just jump right into the present tense. Since 2006 the blog has at least casually chronicled where we were and what we were doing during whatever time of year it was. So for the sake of posterity (using that word as loosely as possible) it would make sense to do, I guess you could call it a "virtual slideshow", of our hiatus.
Lets start with the aforementioned Christmas tree. (so so weird to be blogging these pics in May!) The first thing you might notice is that our pink and cream striped walls have been replaced by a color that looks nearly BLACK. Yes, I know, big change. But before we talk about that I need to mention that this angel tree topper is one of my favorite things ever. She's vintage but when I got her she was in super brand new condition in her original box. If you look closely you can see the tag around her wrist.
So...the dark walls. This pic was taken with some late afternoon sun coming in our windows, and you can see that a room can still glow with warmth even with walls this dark. For us it was a much needed change. It's super soothing to unwind in this room after a long day and night in the studio.
Sure, it looks like our tree is pretty much as full as it can get. But we are always on the hunt for more magical ornaments. Our newest favorite additions this year, like this blue haired girl above, are from Crankbunny. Love love love her style.
We got this tree at Target for like 16 dollars if I'm remembering it right. I added the gold glitter tips just like you'd see on the vintage ones.
Great friends send great gifts. It's not a rule, but it's nearly always true. This is some stuff from my dear friend Beca, who totally gets my aesthetic. And when I say "my aesthetic" I mean that pizza wrapping paper, bright pink tissue, and a dusty pink vintage prize ribbon go together like peas and carrots. (Sidenote: I'm very much a fan of "5th Place" winners. They are wayyyyy more down to earth than those snobby First, Second, and Third placers. 4th place is also ok in my book.)
And of course that ribbon found a home on our wall right away.
So yeah, remember when I said that we were working, working, working? Well this was our busiest and best holiday season on the ornament making front. We had so many more varieties this Christmas. We loved making these, but boy oh boy, our sore fingers were furious with us.
And of course we made a ton of our wood diecut plaques too. (and these are much nicer to the fingers, haha!)
And one thing that we changed this year was that we moved our studio upstairs, and it made all the difference in the world. The downstairs of our house is so so cold in the winter, and working on detailed stuff is tough when your hands are nearly numb. Seriously, just that slight change, working on holiday orders upstairs, made life so much better.
I can't remember the holiday rush entirely, but I do remember making a couple dozen of our 8 x 10 Christmas house cake plaques and doing a "Ready-to-ship Flash Sale".
We need to do more ready-to-ship sales. We love being able to ship the pieces the very next morning.
I love our new Fave Craves mugs! They were a big hit for the holidays. I'm thinking that we may have never blogged these before. We love how they came out and we plan on making some new designs soon.
And many many art filled pink bakery boxes shipped off to homes everywhere.
Despite being absurdly busy with orders I am so happy that I was able to find the time for a holiday swap. Here's the stuff I sent, all wrapped up and just about to be shipped. And yes, I got my swap partner the same pink tree that you saw in our living room.
Did you ever have a long long long holiday season and in the end you're eyes start looking like this??
These stickers are from a Gabby doll that we gave to our niece Olivia when she visited us for the holidays. Go ahead and google "Gabby doll". I think you'll enjoy it.
Aaron had a big bday at the end of January! It's weird, but it seems like he has a birthday every year on the same date. Uncanny.
You can see that the overall vibe of the new living room decor is a bit more masculine. And Sir Kyle back there in his swim trunks is bringing the handsome to this little corner of the room. He's also made by the amazing Crankbunny.
Those twinkle lights over our mantle are not for the holidays. We like to twinkle all year round.
And yes, Lieutenant Dan missed you guys dearly.
He lives a hard knock life.
These two kill me. They are always right at our feet and they'll gladly take whatever amount of attention you've got to offer. But mostly they just want the day to end so that we can all go "bedtime!"
(I neeeed to make a video of Lt. Dan jumping into my arms when I yell "bedtime!" It's priceless.)
Little old man Carlos. Such a good big brother.
A big thing I miss about blogging is sharing about the latest additions to my fave collections. I'll never stop adding to my vintage paper mache bunny gang.
And apparently my paper mache love extends into the world of nuts. That giant paper mache walnut in the background was a gift from my dear friend Kimberlee Edgar, and when I found this paper mache peanut I simply had to have it.
We love our new cards! Great new addition to our packaging.
And maybe our favorite new design is our Happy Everyday cake diecut plaque. We launched it a few months back and it has been a collector favorite too. Everyone can identify with the classic "party sheetcake". You can find them pretty much anywhere. From the small mom and pop bakeshop, to the bakery counter at the supermarket. They're not super fancy or anything, but to us they simply mean: Celebrate!
Ok, I just decided that this post will be Part 1 of the recap. We'll be back with Part 2 pretty soon, and that will bring us into Springtime. And before you know it, we'll be all caught up, and we'll be blogging on a regular basis! We can't wait to get back in the swing.
And we also cannot wait to hear from you guys! Drop us a big HELLO in the comments!
Love from the Jersey Shore!
xoxo Jenny & Aaron