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Summer Vacations

super yummy popsicle I acquired at the TEST Midsummer Market from the fantastic The Pop Stand

I don't usually take time off in the summer. I mean each month has a long weekend built in to them, so I usually just take advantage of the given mini-breaks.

But right now I feel the need to shut it all off and reset. It's been a weird and stressful couple of months, just life in general. And when coping mechanisms are down things aren't likely to get any better. Or get done at all! So time to tune out to better tune in.

That being said, I'm sure all my Canadian peeps out there have all heard about the looming Canada Post strike. While it's not a definite, I am going to take it as a sign to shut down the shop for a bit. So Wednesday June 29th will be my last day shipping orders for the whole month of July. I'm going to stock it up with some new downloads that I've been working on, and going to test out putting some of the cards up as digital downloads. New things. Worth a try! Wholesale sales are still going out, so you can always pick up all the goods at one of our local retailers. And they might even have some new cards in there this month (um... guess I'll have to post those up at some point too!) Of coarse the Society6 shop is up and I'm just starting out on a cool greeting card site based in the UK called Thortful (so really you CAN purchase thunderpeep cards, just not direct from me!) More designs will be going up this week so be sure to check back occasionally to see what's new.

some fun new things I had with me at the Midsummer Market, that will eventually make it into the shop and into shops!

Also to note, the blog will be in summer slow down as well - but if you like all the non-thunderpeep pursuits you can always follow the MichelleInTheSnow blog which is just starting to ramp up with summertime fun.

Enjoy the heat little peeps!


Ten Trees

photo courtesy of tentree - found here

I don't actually know when I first heard of the company TenTree, but I remember thinking they were the coolest kids on the block right away. But now that I've dealt with them, and am in love with the product I have from them I HAD to share them with you.

Let's start off with a wee bit of the backstory....

photo from tentree.ca

I liked this photo on instagram. Not just because it's a gorgeous shirt, but when I learned the meaning behind the name tentree.
(These guys have the BEST feed, if you're into nature and adventure and all the hidden parts of our beautiful planet. If that's you FOLLOW THEM)

I sent this pic to a friend through instagram.
She loved the picture too.
(we both love the wild and wonderful outdoors)

Months later she came to visit and brought me a belated Christmas gift. It was this - but in the t-shirt version. In green.

Some people just get you!

Let me tell you a bit about TenTree and why you should love them too.

  • They're Canadian - based out of Regina, Saskatoon (not necessarily the first place you think of when you think of big bountiful Canadian forests, but yes, they do have lot's of trees!) Ok, so not all of you reading this are Canucks, but we can all appreciate the feel good of a local company doing good and doing well.
  • The name.... it's not just a name. They plant TEN trees for every purchase made. And they don't just plant trees in Canada, they also plant in Madagascar, Senegal, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Kenya, Haiti and Cambodia.
  • They believe in responsible manufacturing and want to be an example in the garment industry, promoting fair labour practices and safe working conditions.
  • tentree wants to be more than garment company, they are working to leave a lasting impact on the communities they work with. They partner up with not-for-profits and the communities in the areas they are planting, hiring locals to help work and manage the areas.

The list goes on. I love my comfy new tee, and oh yeah, the spring jacket I purchased. I'd been searching for a new jacket for awhile and just couldn't feel good about anything I found. Until tentree.

But wait, there's more...

So, every purchase comes with these cute little tokens. Each one has a unique code on the back, which you can register on the company's site, so you can track the trees that've been planted for your particular purchase. OMG, this right up my nerdy alley!

Now, the first token I got registered no problem. There are my 10 trees, planted in Madagascar. But after I bought my jacket and went to register that second code, I got the worst message ever. "This code has already been registered". Now, ok, this means that trees have been planted. So really I shouldn't be sad. But, like I stated already, the nerdy side of me just wanted to be able to track all my trees. In a cool infographic. So sad.

I emailed tentree. Not to complain, I showered them in all the love I was feeling, except for the nerdy sadness I was having over my already used code. Really just to let them know this had happened, because as a small business owner I know, when you offer such a cool service you'd want to know if it wasn't working. What followed was easily the Best Customer Service EVER. Erin was her name, and she was fully apologetic, and explained they'd had a glitch in the coding and some were duplicated, and assured me that regardless of whether or not the codes get registered, the trees are indeed always planted. Then offered to send me a token. Well now there was no need for that, that's just a waste. So she sent me a new digital code. Now I can track both my tokens and all 20 of my trees. And honestly, this little extra effort is what really makes me love tentree the most. And why I wanted to share them with all my peeps. Even if you're not into stylin' tees like me, maybe you can pass on the story of a good people, doing good things.

You can read all about Madagascan trees here as well as Eden Reforestation, the company they work with. As of this posting 4,666,190 have been planted in Madagascar by tentree. High Fives all around!

You can also follow their blog, which has lot's of info on tree planting and reforestation programs here.

Have any tree planting stories to share? I had some friends who worked as tree planters as summer jobs, and it sounded grueling, but so rewarding. And all that time in the outdoors! Maybe I have a new calling....?


What's all the Buzz about

So, I'm a bit behind on posting this one, but not so behind that you are missing out on it. If you follow me on Instagram/twitter you may have seen me posting about the Bees {& the Birds} show that had it's opening last Thursday. Well.... that show is still going on until this Sunday (May 29) so if you're in Toronto go check it out. (Graven Feathers hours for this weekend: Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. / Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.)

A group of 38 artists coming together to use their art to help the bees.

Each of the artists participating in the show want to make a difference and help the bees. The works are bee inspired pieces that explore the role of this alchemist insect in our world. 

These artists felt their work could play a big role in raising awareness and money - offering solutions for individuals - for our community - and for our world.

That's why 10% of all show proceeds - including sales - will go to the David Suzuki Foundation's efforts to save the bees.

I was super excited and kinda nervous about the show. I committed early, then almost got cold feet. I've done plenty of craft shows, but never a gallery show. Luckily being amongst such talented folks, and my good friend (oh yeah, and the curator/organizer of the show) encouraging me and having faith in me, helped get over that insecure moment and I got my piece finished and up on that wall for opening night. It wasn't the piece I originally set out to create something entirely different, but that ended up becoming a bit of a beast and took on a completely other life (ie: something really fun for the Midsummer collection) and what came to be was the lovely Bee Keeper.
You guys know me pretty well by now, so you'll know I'm pretty much down with any kind of environmental cause. But... I'm also totally afraid of bees. Even the big fluffy bumble bees. Actually I'm kind of a wimp about anything buzzes and flies. Tenfold if it'll sting me. You haven't seen anything until you've witness my bee dance. But you know, I can get over myself to remember that these little dudes, and all pollinators, are very important to the planet and to all of us who want to continue living here. Anything that helps to bring awareness, spread the word and raise a bit of money for, I'm up for it. And since this lady got so much positive feedback I'll be doing up some smaller prints to bring with me to the TEST Midsummer Market next month. And of coarse for you non-local friends, they'll be up for sale in the shop soon!

I had a great time at the opening night, got to catch up with some old friends I haven't seen in awhile, browse through the other gorgeous pieces, make some new artist friends and honestly just be surround by good vibes. Hopefully you get a chance to make it down to see the show, or maybe you already have - if so let me know what you thought.

Happy Summer little peeps! 
{I forgot to mention that it's already officially too hot for me here in Toronto ;}


A wee bit of an adjustment... Spring Cleaning

When I decided to take a step back and re-brand myself, I knew it was going to be a rocky and complicated road. For me. All the good, positive stuff that would come out of it, and how much happier I'd be for it. And I am. SO much Happier, and I'm still only beginning to come into my new skin. When the journey first started, what feels like a lifetime ago, I really wasn't sure what to expect. (you can read all about those first steps here)

What I didn't anticipate was the confusion and backlash from those around me. While I thrive with change, not everyone else does. We grow apart, we move on. This has been my challenge of late. Maybe we don't like to see our friends and loved ones move on to better places, if we're stuck. To see them settle and happy when we're not. Or maybe we're confused by their new being and don't know how to ask. I can't answer these questions for someone else. But I can react. And that's where one of my faults lay. Because I don't. I let it slide and distance myself from the negativity. Classic Michelle.

But my friend Christine summed it up quite well for me (she's so smart that lady!) She said (and I'm paraphrasing here a bit) that we all have our people in boxes. The way we know them, and have known them for however long they've been in our lives. Now they've moved to a new box and we aren't sure about it. It's change. It can be confusing. We want them back in the box we are comfortable with. Maybe they need an adjustment period to get used to this new box. Maybe they aren't sure they will be in this new box with you, or will want to.

Just remember folks, when someone is growing and changing, it's good to support them. Not poke fun at what you may not understand or what might be a challenging time for them. We are all human and should support growth and new challenges and passions. If we don't understand it we should engage in conversation. It's good for both sides to talk it out and then hug it out.

With all that said, it's time for the business and blog and personal life to part ways. I was blogging about personal life changes here and it's been a big part of my growth - and thunderpeep has been such a big part of me, but we've grown apart a bit. I did contemplate walking away from it entirely, but it's still enough of a part of me, and there is still lot's of fun to be had that I just can't.

But it's time for my personal blogging to have it's own space, as it's really become so much larger than I'd ever anticipated. So folks who want their thunderpeep can still have it and those who want some of the new #Grexy Michelle can have that too. (you're going to want to read about that #Grexy on the new blog)

So most of my blogging will be happening over on my personal blog - michelleinthesnow - and you can come visit as you wish. thunderpeep blogging will continue as well, with less personal content but all the fun will remain. So Bear With Me... Both are in transition for the month as I get them both setup and scheduled in between life and work!

I'm really excited for the new blog to take shape and see how thunderpeep settles back into itself. It's been a long road but what lies on the road ahead is so much more exciting.

Peace Out Peeps


Who turned the lights out?

Hopefully you did. Or are going to. Tonight's the yearly lights out for the Planet movement known as Earth Hour.

Started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the grassroots movement has become a planet-wide event with more than 172 countries worldwide engaged in promoting environment concerns with lights out events. But Earth Hour is more than a one hour event, it is a movement that has achieved massive environmental impact, including legislation changes. It's a wee reminder to be mindful of your impact on this planet we all call home, not just for the one hour, but for every hour of every day.

This year Earth Hour falls on a friends 30th birthday celebration, so while I don't want to hijack the party, I'll be hoping that the shenanigans will come under candlelight for at least the one hour. But one thing I can do is set my own Earth Hour agenda and spend my day off the grid. Enjoy the forecasted sunshine and cool temperature. And catch up on some reading!

What are you plans for Earth Hour?

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