Staying Creative

This time of year especially, life can get crazy busy and creativity suffers. So here's a bit of inspiration I found on the Uppercase blog

29 ways to stay creative 
(click for the video - sorry blogger won't let me embed vimeo videos)

Have a safe and scary Halloween - try not to eat all the candy ;)

Don't forget to check back on Friday for the launching of the 2013 Polar Nights Colleciton!


Weekend Rap with no paper cuts!

Whew. This past week was exhausting. Even the weekend, gone in a flash. Mind you it was a fun flash, but still. It really is true when they say "the older you get the faster time flies". Gosh....

I had stacks of Christmas cards, and notepads and paper all sorts just waiting patiently for the big packing party weekend. I thought, no biggie, it won't take us long. Lesson learned. Plan LOADS of time for packing piles and piles of cards. Like more than one evening kind of time.

Packing and tying and stamping oh my! Plus my first attempt at gluten free pizza. Successful weekend all around.

This time of year is busy for everyone, so trying to get a group of my friends together in one place, at one time was challenging. Life happens. But my friend Steph was a trooper. She came, I fed her, she packed, and cut and folded and tied for hours. She also brought Kettle Corn. And good chats. I have to say it's the first time since we met last Spring that we really sat down and chatted about all sorts. I got to know her a whole lot better. And I'm really happy for that. She's definitely a refreshing addition to my life!

And did I mentioned we packed? It was overwhelming how much work packaging really is. Cutting all the cord for the tags, cutting enough cord for the hundreds of card sets that needed to be tied together. That alone filled Friday evening (along with more of the Halloween Horror Fest). But it's almost all done. At least my One of a Kind show stock, forget about the Etsy and Brick and Mortar stores I have to stock. Being a small business is draining, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's funny how this kind of work for some random workplace would be crap, but when it's for yourself and you're surrounded by friends and good chats (not to mention good eats) it's an adventure. Oh yeah, did I mention I made my first gluten free pizza. I used Bob's Red Mill pizza dough - so not totally from scratch, but it was so tasty. I think next time I'll have to add some spices to the dough, it was a bit bland. But I found some Sheep's Feta to top the pizza and holy moly it was SO tasty. Unfortunately the cupcakes I attempted failed miserably. I blame that on the oven, I've made the recipe a billion times with tasty results. But my current oven has some issues....

Hopefully next weekend I can wrap up the majority of all my packaging, and turn my attention to my display. I have it planned out in my head, just need to build it now. 1 month to go, plenty of time ;)

This musical Monday contribution is for my packing minion Steph, and all the other small business ladies out there. A little Annie & Aretha for you!


Scary Movie Marathon

It's October... Fall is here as is Halloween.... And I love watching truly scary movies (and the odd TV show). Not the slasher, blood and gore types, but the ones that have me in a tense ball of nerves, wondering what's going to happen, the ones that are just believable enough to leave me sleepless for days. The ones that understand sarcasm. The TV shows are tough, it doesn't take long for the story to become predictable and characters truly annoying, unless you are American Horror Story (seriously I will forever be creeped out by Zachary Quinto after season 2...)

So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share my 5 favourite Scary movies with you:

1. The Exorcist (1973) I still can't sit through the entire film without getting up and taking a break. And don't get me started on that re-release, those added scenes were some of the creepiest, weirdest things I have ever seen. At first glance, I didn't quite understand why they were deemed to extreme, until I stuck in the middle of the isle, in a theatre full of people, with no escape, watching that re-release. If you haven't seen this one yet, definitely watch the original first, it's well creepy on it's own (then watch the re-release to see the scenes that were deemed to extreme for 1973)

2. Halloween (1978) I love this movie. Jamie Lee Curtis kick some serious ass (especially that stabbing with the knitting needles) just enough build up and tension so that you will need a massage after watching it. And that music. All the greatest scary movies have a killer theme song. I also love that this was one of the first "slasher" type films but it's not all blood and gore like today. What you don't see is what makes it scary.

3. Candyman (1992) Now, this one might be a surprise, but it's one of those urban myth type movies that works. The scary part isn't Candyman and his bees (although Tony Todd does a great job and being creepy and alluring all in one) it's Helen's journey in crazy. Did she go bonkers from all her research, or is the myth real and she's the only one who can see it. Wouldn't that drive you nuts? Being locked in the mental hospital and going to prison because NO ONE BELIEVES YOU. That kind of stuff creeps me out.... which leads us to #4.

4. Season 2 American Horror Story (2012) This season was set in an asylum in the 60's and houses some serious deranged characters plus the fact that every season of the show is based on factual events makes you wonder just which events are true. Being wrongly committed is up there with drowning, one of those horrific things that could happen to you, that you would be 100% aware of the whole time. I was watching this season all after it originally aired, and usually I watched an episode or 2 a night if it's really awesome. I had to stop watching this as it was giving me nightmares. Now that's what the horror genre is supposed to be about! Can't wait for season 3 (has Kathy Bates = Awesomesauce!)

5. 28 Days Later (2002)  Call me weird but I don't find zombies scary at all, gross yes, scary - not so much. What was really eerie about this movie was the human reaction. If zombies ever were come to be, I'd be more likely to believe this scenario to something like Walking Dead (really can they all just die already) That moment when Jim wakes up and is wandering a very empty London, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Can you imagine waking up from a coma and NO ONE is around. Anywhere.

Honourable Mention: Dead Snow (2009) Ok, you've heard me talk on and on about this one. I have to say, it's really not that scary of a movie but there's that one scene with the outhouse.... gets me every time. I already had a slight phobia of outhouses, after this movie I'll never EVER go in one again. Now, even though this movie isn't really scary, it's all kinds of amazing. Fun and silly and gross and really well done. And FYI - this one is subtitled, but Norwegian is such a fun language to listen to :)

What it comes down to for me... movies that make me jump out of my seat all good fun, but movies that keep me up at night, wondering what every little bump in the night is, those are the ones that are true horror films. But ask anyone, they've all got an opinion on what's scary.

Happy Halloween Peeps!


Holiday Shipping!

Someone posted on facebook that there are only 9 Saturdays left until Christmas.

I was shocked. I mean, I KNOW it's the middle of October, but still... only NINE Saturdays?

So, I can't help you with your shopping, but I can help with shipping woes. I certainly don't want you to be that frazzled person standing in the massive Post Office lineup so I've put together some super FUN shipping deadline graphics for you. Feel free to download them to keep on hand and pass around so all your friends and family send out their parcels on time (especially the ones to you ;)

These are based on shipping out of Canada, if you're outside of my awesome country just check in your countries postal website. I'll list a few at the bottom of this post for you.

Now, if you're looking to order some gifts from the thunderpeep etsy shop or the Society 6 shop (which are both fully stocked with Holiday goodies) here are my shipping deadlines to ensure arrival by December 24th. Don't forget that during the super busy Holiday shipping season things can get delayed, especially crossing borders so it's always best to order ahead of the deadline.

Here's a list of links to some other post offices:

United States Postal Service

Australia Post

New Zealand Post

UK Royal Mail


Weekend Rap

Last week SUCKED. I don't know what was in the air, but it was one of those weeks where everyone seems to be off and nothing goes right.  This weekend was a welcome retreat. And I do mean retreat. I burrowed in and worked the weekend away, watched some scary movies and played with the kitty cats I'm looking after for the next week. You may have seen pics of Brutt on my Instagram but now she's got a younger bro, Jasper, who's a bit of a diva. They get a long for the most part, but if I pay too much attention to Brutt then Jasper gets a bit jealous and gives a wicked stink eye!

Brutt and those soulful eyes ~ Jasper is just a big sucker for attention

The pressure is on to get everyone ready for One of a Kind. I have a gal in my building who has been doing the show for years and she was giving me some advice on how much stock to bring and now I'm starting to think I need to plan on more. MORE. Oh my gosh, my little house is already stuffed to the gills and so much packaging needs to be done. Plus I have to start planning my online stock and all my lovely stockists. The Joys of small business. I do have a packing party planned for next Saturday. Putting all the little elves to work stuffing and wrapping and cutting and stamping.

On some really FUN thunderpeep news I put the finishing touches on both my 2014 calendar as well as the Polar Nights collection. I'll be test printing this week and then the calendar will be available next weekend and the Polar Nights on November 1st.

The Calendar is a collection of typographic works of some goofy and perhaps somewhat inspiration sayings. Kind of like the cards, but not really occasion based. I realized last year that the season illustration calendar was a harder sell when my customers are all over the globe. Not everyone has the same seasons at the same time as I do here in Toronto. There are some really funny ones, and some will make their appearance as cards next year. Oh yeah, and I forgot to tell you, in 2014 I'll be officially switching over to silkscreening all the cards, not just limited edition ones. Yay. That will mean some re-designs, but that's all good!

As for the Polar Nights collection, I may have mentioned that this one was inspired by my love for the polar regions and this year I stayed closer to home, focusing on the Canadian Arctic. The illustrations feature and new Troll character as well as some Arctic wildlife among polar scenery. I'm in love with the collection and I was showing the cards to a coworker who is usually my first test market and is a pretty good gage for what will be well received, and she was ooing and awing and giggling so I'm super excited to bring it to everyone else :)

As it is still October, the month of all things horror, I watched a lot of scary movies this weekend. That means I didn't have any musical inspirations for your Monday video. SO.... how about one of the most awesome music videos ever made, that features Vincent Price. Can you guess?

Happy Monday peeps!


Long Weekend Rap full of Good Food and Thanks

As you may have heard, it was Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada. An extra long weekend to spend time with friends and family, enjoy big feasts, sleep in and even take naps. It also meant I had lot's of time to finish off all the work in progress, including the Holiday Collection, which I posted about yesterday, finishing up the 2014 Calendar and the Polar Nights Collection.

I can't wait to share the Calendar - hopefully I'll get a test print this week so I can share it with you next weekend. This years calendar is 12 months of extra special quotes. These ones are just too damn special special for regular old cards, so I decided to use them on the calendar. All month long you'll be able to see them and have a little giggle. Who wouldn't want that?

I'm really excited to launch the Polar Nights Collection next month. I didn't release one last winter so I had to make this one extra special. I wanted this collection to be more personal and Fun. I'm been wanting to created more Troll stories and illustrations and as I was working on a new one, he kind of evolved as a bit of a super Troll. The Grandpappy of all Trolls and since I wanted the collection to be a bit more Canadian inspired, I figured he should be from the Arctic - the Protector of the Arctic. Because we need one..... That's all I'll give you for now, maybe a few more sneak peeks before the official launch at the One of a Kind show ;)

That's what I was up to this weekend, on top of dinners with friends and making my first ever Gluten Free stuffing. It was surprisingly easy (this was my first time ever even making stuffing from scratch). I had this basic recipe from GlutenFreeGirl and the toughest part was finding the right GF bread. I certainly wasn't make it from scratch! My house smelled sooooo delicious while it was cooking, I think one of my candle making friends needs to make a sage scented stuffing candle. Yum! It turned out ok. A bit mushy and not quite as flavourful. I think my next attempt at Christmas will be more adventurous, maybe some cranberries. Any suggestions?

Instead of leaving you with the soundtrack of my weekend, I thought I'd leave you with something a bit more festive... you can watch the entire Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube!

How did you spend your weekend? 


Holiday Well Wishes

It's finally all ready to go. The 2013 Holiday Collection that is. This one is smaller than previous years, but there's more variety, and one product I'm SUPER excited about. (all products available online here)

The Cards

2 new designs... all in good Holiday Fun! (seriously, what IS the point of a naughty list?)

Don't want to write out a bunch of cards? No worries... we've got Gift Tags!

2 designs - both come in packs of 8 tags!

This year we've even got GIFT Wrap 

2 designs to choose from. Will come packaged with 4 sheets - for the Wreath design you'll get 2 of each colour
(sorry kiddos, this one will only be available at the One of a Kind Show and select stores in Toronto)

and the big top secret piece... ready made Letters to Santa!

I've had this one up my sleeve for awhile. And it was all hush hush, you never know who's watching, and I couldn't find anyone doing anything similar - I wanted to keep it that way ;)

You can sit down with the kids, help them fill out all the info the Big Guy needs to know to fill his Big Bag of Gifts before liftoff on December 24th. Fold the letter in and use the awesome stickers to seal it shut. And if you live in the US or Canada you can just drop that letter into the mailbox (yeah, Santa is such a Rockstar you don't need postage to mail him a letter) FUN all around! I was excited to be able to design some stickers to go along with the set, what kid (or some grown ups I now) doesn't love stickers. I wish they could have been scratch and sniff, but we'll have to work up to that one!

So, I'm almost all ready for the Holiday rush now. Just need to finish off the Polar Nights collection, which will be the centrepiece of the One of a Kind booth. *hint... I stuck a bit closer to home with my inspiration, it seems our Arctic was in need of some serious protection ;) Look for the launch later on November 3rd.

*Order any of the Holiday goodies during the month of October and you'll get Free Shipping (blog readers this one is just for you because you've been so patient with me lately) use the coupon code BLOGXMAS at etsy checkout. Hooray for Free Shipping! There are also some of last years cards still up in the shop, and they are part of the Free Shipping deal as well.

PS. As this is Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada tomorrow is a Holiday (yay for an extra day to sleep in) so the Weekend Rap will come to you first thing Tuesday morning!


Long overdue Weekend Rap

I do love fall. The warm sun and cool breezes. All the colours of the changing leaves. Knowing that winter is right around the corner. The insanity of prepping for the Holiday rush (ok, that last one might not be one of my favourite things!)

What I don't love is the head cold that hits, without fail, every September. All 3 years I've been back in Toronto I've gotten knocked back on my ass for days with snot and coughs and drowsiness. This one was exceptionally bad because I had so much work that had to get done, so I had 2 down days then had to work through the rest of the cold. That's life as a grown up :)

So, with that, I've been a bit absent online, so lot's to catch up on.

The Holiday line is starting to pop up in the shop. I'll do a post on that later this week, to introduce you to all the goodies. Some are still being finished up (yikes, where did all that time I had go?) Prep for One of a Kind continues, although I'm still not firm on my display. It's so tough. I did acquire an AWeSOME new (vintage) drawing table, that is helping with the creativity. Seriously, it's a sweet setup.... check it out

yes, that IS my love seat as a drawing chair. It works unbelievably well!

Holiday prep is well under way, but as I'm learning you always have to be a step ahead, the Midsummer idea board is already and up and filling up. Um, yeah. Plans for the launch at next spring's One of a Kind show are starting to form. So many ideas. My head is all full of good fun. And this spring I'm officially in a grown up booth. I have LOADS of space to fill with stationery goodness. Excitement (and nerves) I'm also working on a new photoshoot for the cards. Stepping it up a notch, have to stay ahead of the pack! Oh yeah, and there's that book with Trolls in it.

It's a wonder I have any time to sleep!

Speaking of sleep.... those 2 glorious days I got to spend in bed in being all snotty and coughy, I watched a lot of movies and TV. And when I'm sick I tend to go for old favourites, as I know I may doze off and don't want to miss out on any important details. On that list was one of my favourite TV shows that went bye bye WAY too soon... Being Human (the UK version not that crappy sappy US version) I love British TV for loads of reasons, but one of those reasons is the awesome soundtrack they provide. At least Being Human did. So, during one episode in season 2 they played one of my favourite Cure songs.... Lullaby. Suited the moment too, all dark and creepy. I was inspired to pull out all my Cure songs, I'd forgotten how much fun they are!

With that said, here's your Monday musical offering. Maybe not the most upbeat one I've provided, but after being dragged down into a week of sleepless nights I thought this particular one would be well suited!

Happy Monday Peeps... hopefully this doesn't give you any nightmares, but it is almost Halloween so get used to the creepy ;)
 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_09.jpg