reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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187. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

187 box framed copy

i had no idea how much i would love designing.  through the first ten years or so of album covers, i watched.  i sat with my dear friend 20 as he designed so many of my CD jackets and tray cards.  i learned a lot.  not about how to use photoshop or illustrator or quark but i learned about balance and clean design and how to “see”.  so when we started designing for THE MELANGE, that part came more easily.  the photoshop part?  well, that had a bigger learning curve (as does website designing.)  manipulating images and navigating programs without real directions can be a challenge, but i was up for it.  lots of learning.

the thing that really surprised us was when we looked at each of our society6.com stores this week and literally counted our product lines.   there are 187!  187 lines created across the five stores.

187 product lines later, i look back in wonder.

mugs and laptop covers, tote bags, prints and cellphone cases, beach towels, shower curtains…not to mention leggings.  in the course of the last year, i have designed between 50 and 60 pairs of leggings.  leggings with morsels of david’s paintings, leggings with graphics we have designed or photographs we have taken, leggings with words of wisdom, leggings with punchlines, leggings with lyrics.  i was a leggings-designing-maniac.  i think about even just these leggings designed, available on an on-demand site, and think – we could have all those made and just sell them ourselves.  we could sell those designs elsewhere – to a company that already produces leggings.  we could open a shop with all these products – interesting, different, artistic, not mass-produced or mass-purchased.  we could…  there’s no telling what we could do.

i asked david if he knew how many blogposts there had been in this MELANGE year.  he had already done the math.  we each posted 260 posts, totalling 520.  that’s more than a few words, more than a few thoughts, more than a little heart.

immeasurable energy has been devoted to these designs, these blogs, to this MELANGE.  here – at the one-year-old mark – we are astounded by the amount of time and effort this has all taken.  and we look back in wonder.

what has been the reward?

there is no way to underestimate the power of i/we-can-do-this.  the sisu of sticking it out, meeting the challenge, staying in the game, learning.

THE MELANGE is celebrating one year.  but we are celebrating so much more than that.  we look forward in wonder.

if you'd like to see kerri sherwood.. copy 3

if you'd like to see david robinson.. copy 2

if you'd like to see TWO ARTISTS copy 2

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copy 2

if you'd like to see FLAWED CARTOON copy 2

read DAVID’S thoughts on this ANNIVERSARY MELANGE NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

anniversary haiku copy

laughing website box

THE MELANGE ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

images in THE MELANGE ©️ 2016-2019 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

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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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take every opportunity. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

snowman copy

there is something magically sweet about a snowman.  you know, without a doubt, that it won’t last forever, but it makes you smile every time you see one.

weeks ago when it had snowed packing-snow-to-just-cover-the-grass, the little boy a couple doors down went outside and built this snowman.  his silly grin made me stop the car and back up; i had to take a picture of him, preserve him for gloomy days, days of no snow, days when it’s dark at 4:30.

little-kid relationship with snow is good wisdom to remember.  embrace every chance to be in the moment.  cherish the snow falling, the feeling of flakes gently landing on your face.  treasure the slow-down of time, the chance to be with each other.  be mindful that the time is fleeting; it won’t last forever.  in this busy time, i think i will try to take every opportunity to build a snowman.

k and c in snow

read DAVID’S thoughts on this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

SNOWMAN BIG COPY Master copy

thismomentunique WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

arapahoe basin copy website box

FLAWED CARTOON/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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emerging? [merely a thought monday]

emerging with frame

“emerging artists” the gallery signage reads.  or the concert liner notes.  or the application for an exhibition.  or maybe a residency.  supposedly it sounds better than “new artist” or “unknown artist” and precedes the “mid-career” and “established artist” labels.  that’s to assume that anyone moves beyond the perceived “emerging artist” moniker, the context of that word swirling around the body of work the person has created and its presence in the world.  artists in their fluid creativity are ever-emerging.

the dictionary defines “emerging” as coming into view, coming out, becoming visible, manifesting.  i wonder if we could apply this to humankind….are we all emerging?  headed in some manifesting direction? “being revealed”, “coming to light” seem to imply good things.

i worry that,  in more recent times, i may be becoming a bit jaded.

in looking at humankind as it has been “emerging” lately, i would ask if emerging humans are really “emerging”.  as plants emerge from the soil and grow upward, seeking light, they become stronger, taking in nutrients and sun.  they will manifest blooms or perhaps vegetables – goodness.  as humans emerge, in these days of late, are they seeking light?  will they manifest goodness?  where are we headed in the vastness?  the divisiveness, lack of empathy, ugliness, competition and rage are directions i can’t relate to, directions antithetical to unity, to health.  what will bloom in that world?

hopefully, we, as a humankind, will indeed emerge.  and that emerging, that coming to light, will be to manifest good.  for, actually, we are all ever-emerging.

archeswithdotcom

read DAVID’S thoughts on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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inspiration. a gathering storm. [chicken marsala monday]

inspirationisa WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

a few years ago, after my tealight-vessel-throwing-on-the-wheel experience, i felt like i still needed to express myself in another medium (other than music).  as much as i adored the idea of throwing pots, the cost of the clay and studio time was not in direct proportion to my level of ability; it was time to put that aside till the budget was flush and i could return to the pottery studio without counting pennies.  a tealight vessel (ok, there were a couple tealight vessels if you must know) and one lonely bowl were a total joy but it was clearly going to take some good-long-time to get better on that wheel.  demi moore (in ghost) made it look easy.  it is not.

and so i went to the art supply store and bought a huge canvas.  the biggest one they had in stock.  the kind with a deep side (1.5″).  i brought it downstairs to the workroom and searched around for paint.  since i am not well-versed in this area (to say the least) i selected a can of black paint and a can of white paint.  both household paints. latex.  semi-gloss.  i searched around for one of the old brushes i had been using to paint furniture and i set up my “studio”.

day after day i would go downstairs to look at this spot in the basement.  i could feel my excitement gathering.  i had no idea what i was going to do with this canvas, but it was ready for me.  until one day, indeed, i was ready.

i stood before the canvas and began to paint.  i brushed on paint.  i threw paint.  i spattered paint.  i painted over paint.  time fell away and i kept painting.  i’d walk away and let it dry and then return (this doesn’t take very long with household latex…long enough to pour another cup of coffee or glass of wine) and i’d paint some more.  i’d stand back and i could see what it needed (at least what my eye said it needed.)

and then, i knew.  it was time to stop.  i didn’t know where it was going, but i did know when it was time to stop.

now, i can’t say if the cost of the canvas and studio time were in direct proportion to my level of ability, but i can say they were way less than what my heart felt.  these moments, gathered together, a storm of inspiration, fed me.

this painting hangs in the hall in our house. when i sent a photo of it to a friend of mine right after i was done, scordskiii wrote back to ask whose work it was.  i told him it was mine, laughing and apologizing for it.  he was appalled by my apology and made me promise not to apologize again. so now there are a few more in the living room.  arriving after these paintings all had their dedicated spots on the walls of what-is-now-our-home, david, the real painter in our house, said he loves them.  i’m always invested in real art made by real people, regardless of the genre, so i love them too.  not necessarily because of what they look like.  but because of what they made (and make) me feel.

my first painting

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

FALL50%OFFSALE copy

inspiration is a gathering storm ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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inspiration and crazy things. [chicken marsala monday]

inspirationmakespeopledocrazythings WITH EYES jpeg

i’ve never bungee-jumped or parachuted out of an airplane or ziplined across a gulch or dropped on a snowboard off the side of a mountain.  but i understand how inspiration can make you do crazy things.

i remember my first album, 23 years ago now, felt like a crazy thing.  it was scary stuff, putting my own music ‘out there’; it was scary standing on stage telling the stories that went along with those pieces and playing my first full-length concert.  i imagine the adrenalin i had standing in the wings of the stage before the lights dimmed was much like that of stepping off the platform in a body harness ready to fly.  now, the scary stuff would be not doing that which i know so well.

so many people who have stepped out – trusting their instincts, trusting their training, trusting their beliefs and values, trusting their resilience.  following a path that might look unlikely.  following inspiration.  seemingly crazy stuff all of it.  stuff that opens them to a wide spectrum of possible results, from wild success to something that looks like failure.

all inspired.  all crazy.  all learnings.  all life.  it may not all be safe, it may make you feel vulnerable; it may even invoke fear, but it sure is interesting.

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

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

FALL50%OFFSALE copy

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR WEBSITE

inspiration makes people do crazy things. ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood