I wanted to slip in a little Pet Shop update after the (very, very good!) insanity that has been this past week. By noon on the first day of our birthday celebration, we sold well over half of my custom work allotment for the remainder of the year. Throughout the day and over night, the orders continued to trickle in, and before the end of the work day on Tuesday, I had reached my max number of custom portraits possible for delivery before December 25th.
In our 4 years of business, we had never reached the sell-out limit in September; you all rocked our world. Now, I’ll admit I’m a complete mushball about this, but I want you to really understand how much that means to me – to us! (CC models our sentiments of overwhelming happiness exactly.) Back in August, I went over my current list of outstanding orders, and then I flipped through my calendar, page-by-page, and carefully counted the total number of portraits I could physically complete in time for that big, red date in December. Every year I do this, and every year I hope to have my order-ducks-in-a-row by the end of October. And this year? Well, this year, you got us all hot and flustered in the best possible way.
While our custom portraiture listings have been deactivated until January, there are still two ways to stay pet happy as we dive into this holiday season:
- GIFT CERTIFICATES.* If you were hoping to surprise your mom/crazy uncle/BFF with custom artwork of their pet – because let’s be honest, you could milk that awesome gift giving prowess for all of Christmas Day – you still can! Our gift certificates are completely customizable, ad-lib style, and once redeemed, the giftee will be able to go through the art making process one-on-one.
- 2015 PRE-ORDER. If all your requests for a painting of the best dog ever have consistently been denied, we encourage you to treat yourself! Pre-order portraits will be among the first to ship in the new year, cutting your turnaround time in half – and, of course, give you an extra sweet treat to look forward to. In the meantime, pat yourself on your pro-active back, pour yourself a pumpkin-spiced something or other and allow yourself to get caught up in the soon-to-be holiday rush. Go, you.
I’ll pipe down all the shop talk now, and we’ll kick back into our regular routine next week. We hope you have a happy weekend, thank you all (!) and hey, don’t forget that this Sunday is Elkhorn’s last market of the season! That 5AM alarm can’t come soon enough. (Like, seriously. Locals, go!)
*We kindly ask that you purchase GCs as intended, rather than a roundabout way to redeem and cross your fingers for Christmas delivery. But seeing as you all are exceptionally fine folk, we know you wouldn’t do that. xx
This time last year, our poor yard was so covered in sawdust and our contractor’s bevvy of tools that we never really stopped to realize that our front lawn (more of a dirt patch at that point) was almost entirely shaded by 3 mature trees. Why does this matter now you ask? After a few brisk days, those three trees were tricked into thinking that autumn was already here, and it started dropping leaves like it was going out of style.
This is only the second time in our lives that we’ve had a “real” yard to take care of (and a first in Chicago!), so managing the oncoming mountain of leaves is a little bit outside of our wheelhouse. After realizing that we’d quickly be fighting a losing battle if we didn’t get ahead of the leaves early, we partnered with our pals over at Ace Hardware to involve some heavy artillery. Toro Electric Blower/Vac to the rescue!
On no less than three occasions, Kim has been absolutely convinced that we’ve found a way to murder our newly planted lawn. (I’m not saying she’s overly dramatic, but I’m not saying she isn’t…) Each time we’ve raked it, walked on it, or that one time we held a yard sale (literally, in our yard), she was sure we’d wasted time and energy planting it in the first place. A blower/vac was the perfect solution to remove and pulverize the leaves without harming the grass. Yeah!
After a few minutes easily blowing the leaf litter out of our grass and small mulch bed, I switched over to vac mode and sucked everything up into the included bag. The upside to city living? It took no more than fifteen minutes, and our lawn was leaf free! Nice. Side note: The photo below was taken before I had finished blowing the leaves, hence the, um, super leaf-y yard. I may have been excited to give the vacuum a test run!
And because you all know Ace is all about sharing the love and helping you check off your to-dos, together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through Tuesday, September 30th at 5pm CST; simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced within this post by Tuesday evening. Good luck and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with the tools necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own.
Despite the on and off gray skies, our time in San Francisco felt – for the most part – magical. I say for the most part because, well, there may have been a moment of sheer sadness when, upon our plane’s landing, I pulled my camera from my bag and saw the dead battery. And for the first time in my life? I packed light, having left my charger at home. There also may have been countless hours spent fretting and calling shop after shop (but mostly a lot of fretting), and many more hours getting lost near the Golden Gate Bridge during a drive to said shops. Luckily, there was the time we found the seemingly only store in the city that carried a charger for my very-old-turned-very-happy camera.
Camera woes aside, it felt refreshing to be in a city that is so vibrant! Everything is the color of candy. Can we have pink houses here? Can we have blue ones and yellow ones and green ones, too? We’ve both been to San Francisco before (together and separate), and every time we’re reminded of how relaxed it is. Cars stopping at the crosswalk? Coffee served with a smile? Chicago, take note! (I kid! Sort of!)
We were so, so lucky to be in town for our friends’ wedding (big kisses to Rex and Cat!), and we were even luckier that Scott was asked to take part of the celebration. We got teary (okay, we downright cried) during the ceremony, and after all those camera efforts, I grabbed nothing more than a teeny, tiny bridge and groom head – but don’t their faces say it all?
After a full week away, it’s good to be home again. Chicago, we do love you – so much! – but how would you feel if we started a paint all the houses! trend here? How do you feel about fuschia?
PS! If there’s anything you’d like to see in The Print Shop, please let me know! I’m happy to grow our little collection and create new listings as you wish.
PPS! We made a terrarium and it has survived! Months later! That’s huge. You can read all about it (and the dinos we added, of course) at the Bali Blinds blog.
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