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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throw pillows part 2 [two artists tuesday]

two artists throw pillows misc

i came into this world..throw pillows..

so. many. throw pillows.  and so much design fun.  these collections represent a smattering of our two-artists-making-stuff-for-humans product lines, a vast array of tote bags, mugs, prints, laptop sleeves, phone cases, blankets, beach towels, cutting boards, coasters, shower curtains, and yes, throw pillows.

as we rapidly approach the holiday-gift-season, we thought we’d enter the pool of possibilities and just offer up a compilation of some of the merchandise that is available in our names.  perhaps it will be just the right thing you need…for you or someone else.  either way, it’s a pleasure to look at our five society6.com store sites and see how very many lines we have designed through the time of this melange.  the learnings have been vast; the feedback and every single sale deeply appreciated.

happy holidays from two artists who love to do art. xoxo

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

LINK TO www.society6.com/twoartists PRODUCTS

BootsWeddingBoots copy

TWO ARTISTS designs & products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 


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a recap of the week [the melange]

smaller product recap copy

several people lately have asked us what we meant by “products”…the “products” we were designing to go along with our blog post images.  many of you may have noticed these product bars on our blogs each day.  we understand that not everyone has seen these or understood our intent.  we have been seeking the easiest way to present these products as options and so we listen to each suggestion we get.

there is sure a lot of fodder in our studios:  paintings, music, cartoons, graphic images, photographs, writings…a melange of our work.  it’s fun (and necessary) for us to turn all of this into a line of things that are purchase-able:  wall art, tote bags, mugs, leggings, throw pillows, home accessories. i love the design work and have learned so much in the process!

we thank each of you who have taken a look at the sites where these are available (we have five storefronts on society6.com.)  we have been told and have seen firsthand that our designed products that society6.com ship are of good quality and they stand behind them if you are not pleased.  if you have any questions, please let us know.  we appreciate you so much.

this week’s product line links are right below.  the link brings you to one of the products in that line on society6.com.  if you scroll down the page a little, it will say “also available as” so you can see the image in its varying iterations.

ROOT IN LOVE PRODUCT LINE (chicken marsala monday)

SHINE PRODUCT LINE (two artists tuesday)

SO MUCH POSSIBILITY PRODUCT LINE (flawed cartoon wednesday)

CLOSELY I WILL HOLD YOU PRODUCT LINE (david robinson thursday)

FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS PRODUCT LINE ( kerri sherwood friday)

and our blog sites:

my blog site: www.reversethreading.wordpress.com

david’s blog site: www.thedirectionofintention.com


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flawed cartoon wednesday #2 (duuuuude!)

claudine's making cow eyes THIS jpegevery time the girl texts me and says “dude!” i laugh aloud.  i have to say i prefer “mom” or “mommommommommom” to “dude” but i’m just happy to hear ANYthing at ANY time from the girl and the boy that ANY name goes.  i’m guessing AllMomsEverywhere get that.

there is a sweet bistro in town called wine knot that we love to go to.  our favorite spot is at the bar at the end in the corner, where we can people-watch or chat with andy or jeremy, awesome bartenders who, for the longest time, knew to order – wait for it – brian’s amazing meatloaf split and two glasses of merlot – the instant we walked in.  there is something smalltownish and heartwarming to be said about this.  kind of like one of the things we all loved about watching the show cheers with a cast of ted danson & shelley long, kirstie alley and woody harrelson, kelsey grammar and george wendt and other regulars who became a part of our living rooms and lives.  given our new dietary restrictions (gluten free/dairy free -more whole30 compliant and feeling good!) we haven’t been to wine knot as much lately; we are cooking more with glasses of wine on our counter.  but sometimes it is nice to just go and sit and visit on a stool in the corner.

this past saturday we were at the cedarburg winter fest, an annual trip for the up-north-gang, an unparalleled and beloved cast of characters.  we walk around town, in and out of fun boutiques and shops, laughing at merch together.  we watch the parade of firetrucks and snow plows and scurry to the frozen river to cheer for the bed races.  it snowed a bit and was very “winter-festival-ish” (as dubbed by dan) this year, as opposed to last year when it was, oddly, almost 70 degrees and forced the bed races to be on the street.  we – without fail – end our day together at the crowded pub the silver creek brewing company.  dark beers, gluten free ciders, wine and kettle corn are our fare of choice.  it’s a total blast.  everyone talks at once; the topics are all over the place.

this flawed cartoon wednesday  in the melange makes me laugh.  the “duuuude”, the (oh-so-wisconsin) “cow-eyes” pun, the bovines at the bar.  every opportunity to laugh.  it’s a good thing.  happy wednesday.

CLAUDINE’S MAKING COW-EYES MERCHANDISE

claudine framed print  claudine mug  claudine t-shirt claudine bathmat

FLAWED CARTOON WEDNESDAY

www.kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

check out DAVID’S thoughts on CLAUDINE

duuuuude! claudine’s making cow-eyes at you! ©️ 2016 david robinson

 

 

 


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there are angels all around you.

angelsallaroundyoujpeg“there are angels all around you,” pete said. he said this a few years ago now and it has stuck with me like glue. it was snowing – fiercely – and i had chosen to go drive in it with my inordinately-low-to-the-ground little xb. maybe not a terribly smart decision, but i needed to purchase a special gift and overnight it, so i left home determined to get to the little shop called ‘peacetree’ and find the perfect present. i took wrapping paper, a card, tape, scissors and a fedex envelope with me, in an effort to be organized and confuse the universe with my illogical logic.

having found and wrapped the perfect gift at the shop, i looked outside the big front window and saw that, not only had inches of snow piled up in my short time there, but the plows had gone by, encircling my little scion with drifts. i looked at pete, wrinkled my face in worry and said, “uh-oh…this should be an interesting drive home.” he looked back at me, his eyes kind and clear, and said, “there are angels all around you.” there were several moments of silence between us and then he said, “really.”

my husband just wrote a beautiful post about the angels all around us…the ones who help us, cajole us, take care of us, leave us favorite groceries on our front steps for when we return home from a difficult trip, make us soup, drop off a bottle of wine, bring us brownies….people in our everyday lives who make things easier. we all have them. sometimes we appreciate them a lot, sometimes we have no idea how life would be without them. they are indeed angels and life is better simply by their being in our lives. angels all around us. i was moved when the girl told me about someone she bought a sandwich and water for outside a convenience store…he was a veteran and she felt like she was drawn to helping him by her pa, my dad and a WWII ex-pow. with not much at all to spare, she was an angel for this man, who needed help. yes, angels all around us. ones we know, ones we don’t know.

and then there are the angels that i believe pete was talking about. the ones we can’t see. the ones who are present with us, but just on the other side. how many times have you felt the presence of someone you love who is no longer on this plane of existence? truth be told, i rely on that. i talk to my sweet momma, i tell my daddy stories. i ask my big brother to help me out, to give me clear, precise thinking, as he had. i’ve seen evidence of them, trying to get my attention…my “coincidental” noticing of the big semi on the highway going the opposite direction with the words “WAYNE WAYNE WAYNE” written across it…the two cardinals repeatedly swooping in the backyard over the deck, in moments i am missing my parents desperately…the intervention i can’t explain in an accident that could have proven to be tragic…the slight smell of cologne or perfume in the air…the can falling off the shelf in the green room beside the stage on the last take of the last song (called “divine intervention”) of my very first album (the-best-producer-on-the-planet-ken and i left this sound in the recording, feeling it an important message)…

i’m not sure we can seek these angels out.   as much as i’d like, i can’t just call them up. but i do know that they are there. and that blizzarding day i was out in the snow and got stuck by the fedex box, there is no explanation as to why i was able to just – all-of-a-sudden – drive out of the enormous drift into which i had slid. pete was right. pete is right.

occasionally, i see pete out and about in town. one of these times i will stop and tell him how much it meant to me that he said that. undoubtedly he won’t remember. but me? i will never forget. there are angels all around me. and yes, there are angels all around you.

kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood

angel you are: track 10 on AS SURE AS THE SUN

there are angels all around you – prints/mugs/pillows/cards


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peace.

in this time of craziness, i strive to be an instrument of peace.

sharpersquareinstrofpeacewordsonlyjpeg

in this season of hope, i hope for peace on earth.

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in this holiday time of wishing, i wish you peace.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/as-it-is/id507694171     (track 5:  peace)

PEACE. from the album AS IT IS. one of my favorite tracks ever, with eternal thanks to the best producer on the planet, ken abeling.

MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF PEACE gifts

PEACE.EARTH.PEACE ON EARTH gifts

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