reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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a morsel among many. [d.r. thursday]

PeaceOnEarth

i distinctly remember designing this.  for over a year i spent tons of time designing products:  pillows, tote bags, cellphone covers, prints, beach towels, cutting boards, mugs, travel cups, coasters, cards, shower curtains, side tables, leggings.  i would study david’s paintings and extract morsels and execute the process – with great joy – of the choosing of the product lines i wished to represent and the designing of those.  it was our intention to sell these pieces.  i would have absolutely loved to fill a brick and mortar store with these pillows and mugs and journals and tote bags, but the sheer outlay for merchandise and stock and the overhead for a physical store made that impossible.  but online – at an online storefront called society6.com, which would manufacture the pieces as they were ordered – it was possible.  it was a good premise.   so we opened five storefronts online (listed below in case you want to stop by with a cup of coffee) to represent each day of our studio melange postings.

only it didn’t really work.

hundreds, literally hundreds, of designs and thousands of products later, we decided it was time to stop putting the hours of effort into these designs.  we had some sales and it is truly a delight to see someone carrying a tote bag i designed or a laptop cover or to hear from someone who is enjoying their purchase.  the sales trickle in still, $4 here, $2.10 there.  the mark-up, as you would expect, lists mightily to the side of the host company, but we dreamed of great volume – so many pillows that earning a few dollars for each-one-of-many would be a big help to our working budget.

only it didn’t really work.

every now and then i visit these sites and am astounded at how actually cool the products are.  the designs aren’t so bad either, if i do say so myself.  (tee-hee)  there are some really beautiful pieces out there, like this PEACE. EARTH. PEACE ON EARTH. morsel.  simple and profound.  timely.  if you click here, you can see it as a pillow.  if you scroll way down on that linked page, you can see all the other products that we designed and made available with this image.  it was within the painting INSTRUMENT OF PEACE that i found this morsel.

even though it didn’t really work, i suppose it worked.  because i can’t begin to tell you how much i learned.  maybe that’s the point.  maybe that’s always the point.

InstrumentofPeace copy

for more morsels of david’s paintings, click here:

www.society6.com/davidrobinson

for various designs of mine, click here:

www.society6.com/kerrisherwood

for products with photographs or graphic designs or inspiring messages, click here:

www.society6.com/twoartists

for products with our beloved cartoon chicken marsala, click here:

www.society6.com/chickenmarsala

for products that make you laugh, images of our flawed cartoon, click here:

www.society6.com/flawedcartoon

and for david’s online gallery of paintings, click here:

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

their palettes website box

INSTRUMENT OF PEACE/PEACE.ON.EARTH © 2015 david robinson


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old dogs. [merely-a-thought monday]

button to button copy 2

a couple years ago our CHICKEN MARSALA went with us everywhere.  i mean literally everywhere.  FLAT CHICKEN traveled across the country and we have pictures of him in the scion, in front of the ‘welcome to colorful colorado’ sign, with rest area volunteers, sitting with family at an outdoor bbq.

we had submitted CHICKEN to all the major cartoon syndicates with some interest on their part and so we were bringing him with us, to document his travels and keep our hopes up.  ultimately, CHICKEN MARSALA, the strip, was not syndicated and we ended up concentrating our efforts more on short bursts of wisdom and thought in one-panels of CHICKEN in life.

CHICKEN MARSALA and another one-panel cartoon named FLAWED CARTOON, graphic designs we were making or photographs we were taking, david’s paintings, my music – all were fodder for what became a melange, a mixture of it all, the crux of what we would write about each day.  and so THE MELANGE, offered monday through friday,  was born.

it has – this week – been a year since the first MELANGE was published.  and monday through friday since, we have had an image that we each have used as a jumping-off ground for our blogposts, the chute through which we have funneled our thoughts.

i was a crazy person designing products for each of these days…mugs with our sweet CHICKEN MARSALA on them, BE KIND tote bags, FLAWED CARTOON prints, painting morsel throw pillows, what-seems-like a zillion leggings with song lyrics. we posted links for our product lines and re-assessed things daily – placement of images in the blog, placement of hyperlinks, whether or not to include FB ‘like’ buttons….it is an endless list.

somewhere along the way we realized that it was possible that other people might not be as invested in our CHICKEN MARSALA as we were.  he wasn’t their imagined little boy; he was ours…

i have this great tear-off calendar i enjoyed every day last year.  it sat on my dresser and had a unicorn on every page.  it also had a saying of some sort…some words of wisdom, some tongue-in-cheek, some downright sassy.  although i love unicorns, for obvious reasons, i found that i could not tell you what the unicorn was doing each day; i barely looked at the unicorn.  for me, the important part was the saying.  when i realized that, i also realized that was possibly the same reason people were not investing in CHICKEN.  it was whatever the panel said, the words, that held the interest.  when someone would randomly come upon the image of CHICKEN MARSALA, no matter how adorable the drawing, they wouldn’t ‘see the unicorn’ so to speak, but instead would read the words, the starting gate for our posts.  ahhh.  we are ever-learning.

and so, we changed our MELANGE monday from CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY to MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY.  and i stopped, for now, designing more CHICKEN products for a society6.com store that was already full of products.  CHICKEN MARSALA will have his time in the light; it just isn’t right now.

the same thing happened for our FLAWED WEDNESDAY.  as funny as those single panel cartoons were, we found they weren’t necessarily connecting in-a-big-way to our audience, so it was time to re-evaluate our posts for wednesday.  FLAWED WEDNESDAY became NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY with interesting tidbits we encounter in life.

today (ok, technically calendar-tomorrow but alas let’s not be too detailed) we celebrate this monday in february a year ago.  a year of our MELANGE.  a year of selecting images we would feature.  a year in which we have we have blogged every monday-friday.  a year of designing websites, blogsites, products.  a year of questions and thoughts.  a year of assessing and re-assessing.  a roller-coaster of learnings.

who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

thank you for riding along with us.

love needs no words jpeg copy 2

chicken marsala love phonecase

chicken marsala create phone case

 

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copy

read DAVID’S thoughts this MELANGE ANNIVERSARY MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

chicken and dogga roadtrip website box.jpg

CHICKEN MARSALA ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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throw pillow wisdoms. [merely a thought monday]

chicken marsala throw pillows copy.jpg

i love the unicorn on the daily calendar wendy aka ben aka saul gave me, but the thing i really pay attention to are the words of wisdom it offers me day after day.  sometimes it makes me laugh aloud; sometimes it makes me really think.  later in the day i recall a bit of the message, but i can’t recall how the unicorn was standing or if it was flying or rearing up or ….

i think that’s the way with other similar images…like our CHICKEN MARSALA.  CHICKEN is our little made-up boy, a cartoon, who showed up for the first many months of mondays as a part of this melange.  CHICKEN always had a message morsel – a CHICKEN NUGGET –  and it was that message that seemed to resonate with his audience.

taking some of those words of wisdom or expressions, i designed ‘words-only’ products (as well as products with CHICKEN MARSALA on them.)  with the shopping season upon us and everyone seeking something unique as gifts, the next few weeks we’ll revisit some of those products so that you can see what you might have missed.

this is throw pillow week.   you can find these by clicking on the box above or by clicking HERE.  when you get to the society6 site, you will find these same simple images and lots of others – including images with CHICKEN MARSALA – on coffee mugs, travel mugs, laptop sleeves, phone cases, hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags, blankets, towels, coasters, even shower curtains.  it was a blast designing all of these product lines.  i hope that we can help you in finding just the right thing for someone special…or maybe even yourself.

happy holidays with love from me, david & chicken marsala.

read DAVID’S words on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

love needs no words jpeg copy 2

cropped head kiss website

CHICKEN MARSALA designs and products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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chicken marsala monday #2

juststart jpeg copymy sister and i were toodling around milwaukee on one of her visits here, years ago now.  we went to this great little coffeehouse on the lake and there was a stand of cards.  one read “begin anywhere” a quote from john cage.  procrastinators/a.d.d. twins, it jolted both of us and we laughed.  it launched a really honest and vulnerable conversation between us over our coffee mugs.  we bought two of the cards.  hers sits inside a glass frame on her counter in her kitchen.  mine is inside an old window frame on the wall in the bedroom.

starting is the hardest thing.  so often we don’t know how.  and we dread the not-knowing, fearing that we will fail or fall short or never “finish”.  finish what?  we are never “done,” i believe.  we just keep moving.  toward who knows what sometimes, but we keep moving.  life is fluid and fluxes and we try to be flexible.  and sometimes, after we force ourselves to JUST START, we find that the task wasn’t as difficult or involved as we thought, or we were better at “it” than we thought, or there really weren’t the demons we imagined.

i love this CHICKEN MARSALA.  in honor of my beautiful daughter-of-the-snowy-mountains, in honor of all the athletes competing in the olympics who started their sports long ago, in honor of artists of every medium everywhere standing in front of a notebook, a piano, an easel, a barre, a microphone, in honor of THE ROADTRIP – a second start for david and me (starting AGAIN is sometimes a beautiful thing) we offer this CHICKEN NUGGET in the studio melange this week.

you’re at the gate.  poised.  fearful.  anticipatory.  excited.  your imagination is going wild.

just start.

chicken just start mugSOMETIMES THE BEST THING TO DO IS START merchandise

chicken marsala monday

kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

check out DAVID’s thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

chicken just start framed print

 

sometimes the best thing to do is start

©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood