This holiday season feels compressed doesn’t it? I guess because Thanksgiving was so late this year. Christmas is in 3 weeks and we’re in the thick of things right now, but so far, no lost sleep or panicky situations. We have a new car so we don’t have to worry about the car dying in the middle of Times Square on delivery runs like last year or the timing belt falling off while circling around Grand Army Plaza like the year before. It was always the damn car that was the tipping point towards some kind of holiday madness breakdown.
Have you ever tied 250 ribbons? 500? How about 1000? It’s a lot harder than you’d think. We tie shoes and knots all the time, after all, but I remember the first time I underestimated how long or hard tying bows onto packages would be. I thought I would be done in 2 hours, but I ended up struggling with every other bow until I had to search on Youtube the proper way to tie a ribbon so that it’ll lie flat against the package. It’s so counterintuitive to how you tie a shoe. So my life these past few days is tying ribbons and bows for hours upon hours every day. Not so bad if you watch a movie or a show on the laptop (we started and finished The Walking Dead – we’re all caught up for when it resumes in February) and now that I think about it, I can associate a show to most of our holiday seasons. Last year during the massive calender production I watched all of Gossip Girl. The year before was binge watching Mad Men.
Sometimes I laugh when I think to myself, “my life is a pile of ribbons. I have a graduate degree and here I am tying endless ribbons all day”. Of course I want to slap myself for even thinking obnoxious, elitist thoughts, but I’m not going to lie…I do occasionally think them, even if it’s just in jest and I can laugh at myself. But the truth is, there can be something soothing about manual labor, as tedious as it is, and it’s definitely satisfying seeing a pile of finished, neatly bowed packages ready to be delivered. Every year we get faster, holidays are a bit more manageable and near nervous breakdowns seem to be a thing of the past. Hey, who says we’ve haven’t learned a thing or 2?
P.S. Holiday ordering deadline this year is December 13th.
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We missed the peak colors of Fall apparently, but I’ll take any excuse to drive up the Hudson Valley. We didn’t get dazzling color, but we did get fog and a moody overcast day that quite frankly, I often prefer. Sometimes there are compelling enough reasons to blow off all your work so that you can go hang out in the woods, wouldn’t you say? I’m paying for it this week, but that’s what I told myself on Sunday morning when we decided to join Mark for the drive up the Hudson Valley to deliver boxes of cookies to one of our retailers.
It’s true. I have this totally weird, irrational aversion to going into stores that carry our stuff. I can’t explain it…so I won’t, but I will tell you this little anecdote. A company that I have been freelancing for this year has offices in midtown a block away from one of our newest retailers and one day I popped in to kill some time before a meeting. I was standing in front of shelves that had some of our cookies when an employee of the store popped up behind me to tell a customer about cookies of ours he wanted to recommend that he was raving about, only to realize that they had sold out of them. For some reason I blurted out, oh, I own this company and we chatted for a few minutes. They jokingly asked if I had any of the sold out cookies in my bag (I get that a lot, is that strange? Should I start carrying around packages of cookies with me?) Don’t know why I decided not to be anonymous since my normal reaction would be to run away, but what are the chances that I walk into a conversation about our cookies at a store I would otherwise rarely go into?
Speaking of cookies, I don’t know if Mark has ever baked as many as he did this week. Nearly 7,000 cookies baked on Tuesday alone. I still don’t know how he does it, though we do have PT kitchen help now from a dear friend who comes in to help Mark bake. She’s been a lifesaver these last few weeks as we get into the thick of things.
Thanksgiving is in a week. That just snuck in there, didn’t it?
P.S. Head over to our Facebook page for a calendar giveaway…
P.P.S. We had to cancel our last outdoor Flea date this Saturday. We’ll be at the new indoor market in Williamsburg alternating weekends starting in January and back outdoors, of course, starting in April.
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I know I’ve said this before, but the baking business is all repetitive tasks. We’re getting ready to engage in some pretty hefty repetitive labor in quantities we haven’t seen before. Our busy holiday season came early this year and I’m prepared to hunker down. Between that and my freelance workload, I might not see the light of day for awhile. I’m lining up my Netflix cue right now. What I need is another gripping television series that I can marathon watch for days while zoning out on these repetitive tasks. Any suggestions?
Hard to believe, but we’re wrapping up the outdoor Flea season next weekend. We have just 2 more Saturdays in Fort Greene and Mark will be bringing hot chocolate both weekends (sold out at 1pm last Saturday, so come early if you’d like a hot cup). We’re going to try and bring a new flavor tomorrow. Looks like good weather too – not too cold like that sudden blast we had earlier in the week where it actually snowed for a bit. The Flea has been really good to us this year and we’ve had consistently great sale days so we’re sorry to see the season end (although Mark’s cold toes aren’t sorry that he won’t be standing outside for 9 hours). We’ll post our holiday market events soon!
Posted by Jenna | 38 Comments
I’m a bit late on everything this year, but I’m finally happy with the way the NYC calendar turned out and it’s available for sale now. Find it on our website and on Etsy.
Speaking of NYC, it’s election day and we’ll be getting a new mayor today. The democratic candidate who lives in our Brooklyn neighborhood actually, is most likely to win. I don’t know how any other New Yorkers feel, but I think it’s so strange that we’re getting a new mayor today. I’m pretty sure I felt that way when Bloomberg replaced Giuliani in 2002, but it’s not often we get a new mayor here in the city; there’s only been five in the last 40 years.
Say what you will about Bloomberg and some of his more crazy proposals like his big ounce soda ban (which I was amused by and secretly hoped would pass just because I was curious to see if it could), but the guy worked for free for the last 12 years. I mean sure, he’s a multi billionaire and doesn’t need the salary, but you gotta have big love for this crazy city if you’re willing to do an often thankless job for basically nothing in return except for a legacy and a part in NYC history. I didn’t always agree with some of his policies but I did appreciate how he tried to raise the quality of life here in NY with smoking bans in public places, bike lanes, car free plazas, and recycling among other things (oh, I know he tried to get composting going here in the city this year, but that is a huge effort considering just how big the city is). Is NYC a better place to live than it was 15 or 20 years ago? There’s always going to be a debate on that one and with a city this big, you’ll always get polarized opinions from its citizens, but personally, despite or aside from the fact that the city has gotten more expensive to live in, I would say generally yes.
I think us old time New Yorkers like to romanticise the old days of New York and see the graffiti covered, gritty and seedy New York of our childhood with rose colored glasses of nostalgia. But that New York, despite how much we “pine” for the old days before gentrification took over and before the last two mayors turned NYC into a Disney-fied version of itself, was not really fun at all. It definitely had more character and flavor and we didn’t know anything else at the time, but hindsight makes us look back and see how far the city has come, for good (and bad).
Mayor Bloomberg, I will miss your calm inducing sweater ensembles during your televised press conferences to the people of NY during times of crises like the hurricane. It’ll be weird, for awhile, to hear someone else’s voice and see another figure up on that podium when we tune in for press conferences. It’s a new era.
PS. The New York Times did this fantastic interactive piece a few months ago on how Bloomberg reshaped the city over 12 years. It focuses only on the topology of the city, but very interesting nonetheless.
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Had a rare free day from work commitments yesterday so I took care of W&S business that’s been hanging over me since the holiday rush is now basically a little over a month away. Reordered product labels, took stock of inventory and finally listed the 2014 Year in Food Calendar. A little late this year, but here it is. Available in our Etsy shop and on our website.
I get asked quite often where I get my calendars printed. I print them in-house, trim the pages one by one with an exacto knife, collate the pages together with a bellyband, then slip each one inside a cello sleeve. Pretty sure I do a lot of things like this in the least efficient and most time consuming way possible. But hey, at least you know it’s handmade.
Last year when I held my fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief through my NYC calendars , I literally spent the whole month of November printing, trimming and and running to the photo store – sometimes twice a week – for emergency ink and paper runs, in addition to ordering supplies online. It was pretty maddening. It got to the point where the paper guy at Adorama would see me coming and just hand me the boxes of paper that he had in stock (although I could only carry 5 boxes out with me at a time because of my back issues). At one point in January both Adorama and B&H Photo started limiting the boxes of paper that you could order online and then it went out of stock completely. I’m pretty convinced that 98% of the reason why that happened was because of me.
And oh yes…NYC calendars…I’m trying to get it together…I don’t know…we’ll see…
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Ahhhh Fall. The season of everything pumpkin, crispy mornings and the best time for Farmers Markets. Never mind that September is the transitional season of confusing footwear, (although I think I’ve conceded to the fact that I might be putting away my sandals for good at this point. Oh, high heeled clog sandals…how I never wore you this summer, ah well) I’m all for tying on scarves and leaving the house with a jacket on. The nights are legitimately cold though as soon as the sun goes down, but it makes sleeping all the more delicious when you can cozy up to a comforter.
Now that Fall is officially here and we’ve settled back into familiar routines, we’re looking ahead to holiday planning stuff which does bring about the anticipation of stress – but not yet; let’s enjoy a few more weeks of Fall before we get ourselves too tied up in holiday angst.
Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies are now back in our shop and available at weekend markets for the Fall season (we’ll be at the Dumbo flea this Sunday). Earl Grey Hot Chocolate Mixes are now back in stock too.
And this is the last weekend of voting for the American Made Awards. I’m fairly sure that we won’t be moving to the final round, but wow…thanks for all the votes so far! Have a great weekend!
Posted by Jenna | 9 Comments