The 2024 calendars are now in my Etsy shop. I was so happy with the quality of the print from last year that it was an easy choice to have Gooten print them again this year. I actually have two calendar design options: Alaska Animals (last year's model) and Pretty Patterns (new this year). I never wrote in my calendar last year, but I wished the dates were larger so that I could see them from a distance. So I made two print size options. The paper is the same size, but the large print version has much larger numbers. All in all I am very happy with how this year's turned out. I am already making plans for my 2025 designs.
I am working on adding a few new products to my Etsy shop. They are all going to be print on demand through my printing partner, Gooten. I think I might have to get one myself. I've been wanting a new water bottle that will actually fit in the side pocket of my Fjällräven backpack and I think this will work.
These 16oz metal water bottles are insulated... and incredibly cute!
Another quality control update for my Threadless shop. I haven't been happy with how the print quality has lasted on black background mugs. The mugs that I've had for just a couple months show black streaking through the white design after just a few washes. I haven't had any trouble with the white background mugs. In fact, I've had my Couch Pickle mug for a year now and it still looks great. I'm gradually going through and updating the designs I offer. I no longer offer any mugs with a black background. Also, at one point I had a couple dozen designs up. Now I have a lot less. I plan to add more back as I gradually tailor the designs for white background mugs. Here's the two latest that I've fixed.
Step 1: Outline ambitious goals.
Step 3: Life happens causing an avalanche of non-productivity.
Step 4: Do anything creatively that still feels good.
I am officially in the very long process of updating my designs on Threadless for mugs. Here is a new one. My daughter had a "duck" mug that I think was actually geese. She loved it and she dropped it. So this is my attempt to replace the mug. I think she'll love it. For a while when you go to my threadless shop it will look like I don't have very many designs for sale. Gradually, that will change as I add more back in.
After getting several dirty looks (something I don't appreciate), I came home and decided to make something good come out of it. First I did a little research and learned that it may even be genetic. I liked the "it's not me, it's you" scenerio. Anyways... owls usually have a serious and menacing look and I knew they would be a great bouncing off point. I especially love this on the mug!
New design! AND IT IS ON SALE!
What is the deal with the Couch Pickle? Watch Goulet Pencast Ep.44 Time Stamp 1:35:00 to catch the reference. These guys crack me up all the time. Drew Brown (same name as my husband) has a son around the same age as ours. He was gifted/allowed to bring an inflatable pickle home from a friend's house... where it now lives on his couch. LMAO when I was watching and I knew I needed to put it on a mug!
I just love these raccoons! They make me so happy and crack me up! I created them for a fun caption activity in April and I love the idea of getting a pair: one for you and one for your bestie!
Personally I don't connect with the classic image of besties: a cat and a dog curled up together. But, raccoons eating out of cans while they have a casual conversation: ABSOLUTELY!
It was about time for me to get a bunny on a shirt. Plus I loaded up the design on some new things... like a skateboard, a journal, and a beach towel. This all got me thinking about making a design specifically for a shower curtain... or a beach towel... we'll have to see what I put up for T-Shirt Tuesday next. It might not even be a shirt?
This bunny is the stamp that I carved a few weeks ago and you can watch the process here.
So excited to share the Howdy! Howdy! design with the world. This started with a drawing Karl did of a couple sharks (I thought they were fish for the longest time). We turned it into this fun over the top design. He has been hounding me for weeks to start getting his designs up on the site and I've finally started... so there is a lot more where this came from. Stay tuned every Tuesday for a new shirt design. #tshirttuesday
There I was minding my own business drawing a crawfish holding a microphone. Suddenly that Brian and Drew on the Goulet Pencast started talking about their newly acquired fanny packs. They of course say the most ridiculous things and I absolutely had to stop what I was doing and make a new shirt.
Originally Posted April 20, 2007
Wade - 55.0 miles
As I sit 10 miles from the Alabama border in Wade on the cott provided to me, I'm trying to reflect on the day. Nothing exceedingly specific happened on my ride today. One boy told me I was his new role model. Then 10 minutes later some child threw something that left a white powdery mark out of a school bus window at me. I met James Dean in Larue. Shortly after that I met a van full of people lost trying to find their way to the Crawfish Festival. I spoke with some folks back in Sitka and I wished I could be back in a place that celebrates Earth Day for a week. Sitka may be small, but it does some things better than anywhere else. I missed the entire spring season of Monthly Grinds. But I must finish my trip, find my turtles somewhere in the room, and go to sleep early.
11.7 ave - 25.2 max - 2428.7 odo - 4:40:07 time
I was headed east on LA-38 getting close to Easleyville. The sun was about to set and I needed to find a place to camp for the night. Then there off to the right was Firetower Rd and I glimpsed its namesake. Intrigued, I turned and checked it out. I didn't write about it in my journal or in my blog. It was probably trespassing or something and I didn't want to get in trouble. I was able to hike up the tower a good ways and take in a magical view of the sunset. After contemplating stealth camping at the base of the tower, I pedaled off into the dark to an established campground like a good kid.
Big shout out to Google Maps for helping me turn this vague recollection into more than just pieces of a memory. Their satellite images and 360° roadside photographs helped me figure out that this is the Liverpool Fire Tower. However, I am incredibly surprised that there are no other pictures or records of it on the internet.
And of course I had to make it into a t-shirt! I really love this one!
Originally Posted April 16, 2007
Easleyville - 49.92 miles
The bathroom was of the condition that I was more comfortable walking naked to and from the shower than changing in it. The water was cold, but the cement cell was warm. This campground was my only option in Easleyville at 8 o'clock at night. I was delayed today by a visit to the Audobon State Historic Site (note pictures of flowers and caterpillars...) and a flat tire. It was my second metal shard. The terrain has changed from super flat to slightly rolley since I crossed the Mississippi. The trees, draped in spanish moss, are not struggling for life. More than anywhere else I've been through, Louisiana logs. Sometimes the clear cut fields come right up to the road as if to shove it in your face that owls no longer swoop gracefully there. Though it didn't rain, the ground here is damp and my tent is already covered in dew. Tomorrow I'm headed to Bogalusa which boasts a population greater than 100 including cats and dogs.
10.2 ave - 26.5 max - 2315.9 odo - 4:53:01 time
15 years ago it sounds like it was an idyllic day to be back on the road after the significant layover in Big Cane. Part of what made that day amazing was the lack of traffic. Louisianans were especially prone to honking at cyclists just so that they would know that a truck was coming. Looks like Delaware even made unnecessary honking at cyclists illegal. So I designed a shirt in hopes that we can spread the word.
Also spread the word: the folks in Louisiana were some of the most generous and hospitable people ever!
Originally Posted April 14, 2007
Simmesport - 32.27 miles
Most people would not get excited about liquid oozing out of a limb. I, however, was tired of the painful tautness of the skin from the mass of liquid built up. Aside from perhaps finally getting back on the road again, this was the highlight of my day. St. Augustine once again doesn't feel very far away as I plan to finish off the fifth of the seven maps tomorrow and cross the Mississippi. Checking my email in Simmesport, I received several happy birthdays. A couple of which were from people who claimed not to know me, but were friends of my mother's. So later on the phone I asked my mother if she'd sent a provoking email out. She had. I caught her. Not that it's bad, but usually I'm lucky to have more than one or two people remember it's my birthday. The day hasn't traditionally been great. Last year's was good though.
9.5 ave - 15.1 max - 2214.2 odo - 3:26:38 time
I don't think I ever made it into the Bunkie Record, but I did do a little digging and found a rough website. There were a couple current articles. One about the school district adopting a 4-day school calendar for the 2022-2023 school year caught my eye. I keep hearing from teachers around here that the job description for a teacher is a little rough. It was rough before the pandemic and the toll of the workload has them leaving the profession in droves. I love that the Avoyelles Parish School District is trying something new next year with a longer school year, but only 4 days a week. Very cool!
Originally Posted April 11, 2007
After feeling completely horrible for far too long, I decided to go to the doctor. Claudia took me to the Bunkie General Hospital which bears no resemblance in size to the Tacoma General Hospital or even the Sitka Community Hospital. It reminded me more of my orthodontist's office. They were quite enamored with my story and the doctor consulted me about Alaska before before he inquired after my head cold and the bite that was growing in size on my thigh. He prescribed some antibiotics and gave me some Allegra D. To top it off I got a shot in tush of something all with the promise that they should solve all my problems. Before I left they took down my story and took polaroids for the Bunkie Record. Maybe I'll make the paper after all. I forgot to mention that I wanted all the Louisianans to stop honking at me.
In honor of Louisiana, "The Pelican State", I set out to design a pelican t-shirt. In the process I designed four others.
This is how far I got on the pelican...
Originally Posted March 31, 2007
I wish I'd realized sooner that my bike shoes make a great pillow. With toes pointed together and slightly overlapped, they cradle my neck nicely. This is all quite pleasant unless they are severely stinky. Though it rained in torrents here today, I did not ride and my shoes did not get stinky. My bike still sits upside down next to the pink and white wall with the ceiling fan whirring above. The cot I've been afforded in my lay over is quite comfortable. Today's events included not getting my package, beginning the production of 40 some postcards, a viewing of Borat, and a trip to The Market Basket. Did you know they call grocery carts buggies here? I wonder if laundrymats are called washeterias here too. Also of note: my parent's 25th anniversary is tomorrow.
Clearly the bike repair technician at Capitol Cyclery in Lake Charles, LA was top notch. More than the techs that came before him, he looked at my whole situation and found the right long term solution for me. It wasn't the cheapest or the fastest solution, but I didn't have any more trouble with my rear wheel for the rest of the trip... or since then. I designed this shirt in honor of all of the great repair outfits, but I think it also applies to the medical profession and some really good salespeople. Does this resonate with you and the work you do?
Originally Posted March 30, 2007
Mike, Pat, Steven, and I took the trip into Lake Charles. My wheel was dealt with (a new one ordered). It arrives Tuesday. I spoke with 360 Cycleworks in Austin and they did put my old spokes on and they new better. They would probably argue that they told me this too but I didn't want to argue. I would never have had the old spokes put on if I knew that it would weaken the wheel. They'd never give me my $100 plus dollars I wasted there back. So now it's a new wheel and a 40 hole one to be exact. It's probably the wheel I should have started with. But if I'd done that, I wouldn't have gotten to spend the five days I will in Kinder hanging out with the Baptists. I'll catch up on my postcards and several phone calls I need to return. I'll be rested and ready for the last thousand miles. The Atlantic doesn't seem that far away now. Oh and the long awaited (one week) package of camera can be picked up here in Kinder tomorrow. Pictures should follow shortly.
Originally Posted March 26, 2007
Dayton - 60.58 miles
Did I forget to put sunscreen on my arms? They're awfully red. In other news my parent's old camera should be arriving in Basile on Thursday. I'm excited. I've gotten really attached to photography on this trip. Additionally, I listened to classic rock while taking a bath. Now I'm listening to a station that boasts "The Mix" in the dining room of The First Baptist Church's "Blue House". Instead of letting me camp on their lawn, they let me stay in one of their houses. I spoke with Jeff and Teeny who tried to convince me to go on a kayaking expedition that I couldn't afford. Jeff said I could mow lawns while I'm riding the rest of the way to Florida. You have to hand it to him for his creativity. I was also extended a courtesy invite to take the Yukon River from Johnson's Crossing to Dawson or Whitehorse. I can't remember, but I'll be working anyway. Wisps of summer keep finding their way to me. Before I know it I'll be back in Sitka enjoying burrito day.
9.6 ave - 22.3 max - 1934.1 odo - 6:15:23 time
15 years later and the link still works! You can still get the fabulous shirt I took on my bike trip from the same guy. Sadly, I don't think I still have my original shirt. I don't think I would have gotten rid of it, but I am also pretty good at not holding on to things I don't need or fit into anymore.
Also, just this last Friday I launched my very own t-shirt shop using Threadless Artists Shops. To kick things off there is a great sale my first week:
$15 Regular Tees + 10% off Everything Else 1/7 10:00am - 1/14 5:00pm CT
It is the second day of the New Year! I've never really done New Year's resolutions, but this is a time of the year I feel energized (refer to my "Winter Project" post). The busy holiday season has died down and I suddenly find time my hands to think about what I really want to be doing with my life... and I have a little time to do something about it. Last year I launched this website. This year on Tuesday, January 7th, I'm launching my Threadless Artists Shop. I've been a big fan of Threadless for years and I'm excited about selling t-shirts with them. I started screen printing as a hobby last year, but I have no desire to print and sell the shirts myself on any sort of scale. I enjoy designing the shirts so much more and Threadless will take care of the rest.
Couple thoughts on 15 years ago... I haven't seen the Keanus in ages. I wonder if they still have a Texas themed bathroom. Also, I still have those rain pants with a gash. The patch has held up surprisingly well.
Originally Posted January 02, 2007
I made my second jaunt out on Madeline in South Kitsap. However, the weather was not quite as favorable today. Initially, I tried to get my sister's bike trainer mechanism to work with my bike. I had little success and finally opted for the weather just as the bus rolled to a stop to deposit my brother at home. Clad in my rain gear and determination, I set out. Past Black Road and past Mullinex Road, I found myself on Banner. Banner is nice. It is straight and relitively flat. It was a nice break. I hopped over Sedgewick and rolled into the Keanu's driveway.
This being the second day on clipless pedals (they clip into the bottom of my shoes, but don't have toe clips) I fall. I just didn't get my feet out in time. But I don't hurt, and so I lean my bike against the white electric garage door and trudge up to the doorbell. Eventually Maile comes to the door. Man is she taller then I remembered her. People grow. I was unsure I was invited in, but then she called for Kaleo, who looked about the same as a couple years ago...maybe even smaller. As we stand around the dark entryway, Alan, the father, comes out from the living room and tells us all to come in and sit down. Also under Alan's instruction, Kaleo gets me a cup of water. We exchange the customary what are you doing with your life?'s, couldn't get a job?'s and are you crazy?s. At some point in time I look at my finger and see blood, but no laceration. I look down at my right knee and there's a five inch gash in my rain pants. Damn. It looked much worse till I cleaned off all the blood to reveal two tiny bloody dots on my knee. WFR taught me to clean a wound before dressing it. These didn't even deserve band-aids.
My knee will heal faster than the pants.
I didn't go in their Texas bathroom.
At least I think it is still a Texas bathroom.
Many things can change in a few years.
Oh and I fell again in there somewhere.
48 degrees - Avg. 11.1 - Max. 34.3 - Dist. 12.2 - Time 1:05:33