Magnificent Trees for Earth Day 2016

Old growth forest in Hartwick Pines, Grayling, MI

Last week while traveling in Michigan we spent an afternoon in Hartwick Pines State Park. When I was a kid my family spent a lot of time vacationing in nearby Grayling so this whole Au Sable River region holds special memories. It was great to be back (snow and all, ha!).

Chapel in the Pines, Hartwick Pines State Park, Grayling, MI

It’s also fitting because today is Earth Day and this year’s emphasis is Trees for the Earth. If you want to celebrate trees, Hartwick Pines is the place to go. It’s a 9,672-acre park that during the late 1800s was owned and logged by the Salling-Hanson Lumber Company. Thankfully in 1927, Karen Michelson Hartwick, a company heir, donated the land to the State of Michigan as a memorial to the logging industry. With that came 85 acres (now 49) of old growth, 350+ year old, red and white pines. Talk about glorious trees! There’s also a second growth forest that was planted in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

How blessed we are that people in the past cared enough to preserve trees for us today. Now we have an opportunity to pay it forward. In recognition of its upcoming 50th anniversary, the Earth Day Network has set a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by 2020 and they’re looking for us to help.

Reliance Peach bareroot trees

Here’s our contribution: Peach trees. They’re replacement for those we lost a few years ago to Wisconsin winters. Since peaches aren’t native to this area, their lifespan isn’t as long as it might be in a more southernly climate (oops, we’re not exactly following the article I wrote for Forward Mutual’s weekly news:-). Nonetheless, I’ve been missing the home-canned goodness they offer, so we’re happy to replace them as needed. Grow fast trees, grow fast!

Happy Earth Day everyone! Plant a tree and celebrate the good earth God has given us!


Nature, agriculture, food and history are some of my favorite topics. If you need copywriting for your organization, drop me a line!

Creative Thinking for The Blogging Bee

The Blogging Bee website, designed by Adunate.com

Last week Chris Kirsch and I were excited to kick off The Blogging Bee, a collaborative venture in teaching fiber-istas the fine art of blogging. Today I’m going to approach The Blogging Bee from an art director’s view. I want to share our creative thinking and explain just how it is campaigns such as ours come to be.

Our Challenge

One day months ago, Chris mentioned many of her fiber friends would love to blog but don’t know where to begin. Would I be interested in teaching them? I jumped at the idea. I regularly teach my clients to blog and they quickly learn it offers great benefits to their business.

And so, The Blogging Bee was born.

The Blogging Bee logo

Our Target Market

Quilters—all fiber artists, in fact—are as diverse as a patchwork quilt. Yet, according to a recent Quilting in America survey, the average “Dedicated Quilter” is female, about 64, well-educated (79% attended college), has a household income in excess of $100,000 and has been quilting an average of 20.3 years.

Quilters are becoming a tech savvy bunch. Five years ago when I introduced Chris to blogging, a concern was that many of her peers barely used email, let alone the internet. Today, she averages more than 1100 views a week on Chris Lynn Quilts. Quilters are looking to get cross-creative with their fiber art. They want to challenge the analytical side of their brain. Blogging is just the thing, especially when taught in a personalized, hands-on method—the very way they’ve been learning fiber techniques all these years.

The Blogging Bee website, designed by Adunate.com

Our Brand: A Romantic Contrast of Old and New

I have two antique sewing machines with drawers stuffed full of vintage gadgetries. Their emotional factor is priceless. They also create an interesting, if not paradoxical, brand. In addition to using them in our website imagery, I also started an Instagram photo series the week before our kickoff. I plan to continue this through April so be sure to check it out.

Here’s where the paradox happens: Even though our look is vintage, our design is trendy. And for very good reasons.

Our website uses a responsive framework, complete with scrolling navigation, full screen images and large text. Being mindful of our target market, we want to make our message easily readable on whatever device the viewer chooses.

We’re also trendy with color. Drumroll, please, for Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity!

Pantone is the leading color authority and each year it introduces its attention-getting Color of the Year (this year it chose two). While Pantone is most associated with the printing industry, it inevitably sets the trend for interior design, fashion and…fiber arts. Naturally, this season’s fabrics will show lots of pink and blue, and with Dedicated Quilters spending an average of $3,296 annually on quilting-related purchases, you can bet they’ll notice this color trend.

Pantone poetically describes its 2016 colors as an “inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” Our goal was to bring this intrigue to our brand. The Blogging Bee is a romantic contrast of old and new, from the glorious tradition of quilting to the exciting, new levels of online technology.


If you’re in southeastern Wisconsin and want to learn blogging, check out The Blogging Bee. If you’re a business and want this same creative attention for your marketing, check out Adunate!

Introducing The Blogging Bee! (No April Fools!)

The Blogging Bee, a blogging workshop for fiber artists

It’s April 1 but there are no April Fools here! Today Adunate is proud to announce an exciting new venture: The Blogging Bee!

It all started months ago with a random idea from quilter extraordinaire Chris Kirsch. Chris is a long time client, but even more importantly she’s my dear friend and walking partner. One day while trudging together on our snowy country roads, Chris mentioned the idea of a blogging class. She said many of her fiber art peers would love to blog, but don’t know where to begin.

And so, The Blogging Bee was born. It’s a 1-day blogging workshop, with a focus on fiber arts. How fun is that!

Chris and I are a dynamo duo for this workshop. As we say on our bio page, “Chris brings the beauty. Di brings the brawn. Together we cover everything you need to get your blog up and running with easy pizazz!” You can read more here.

There’s a catch!

If you’re interested, you’d better sign up soon. We’re limiting our class to only 10 people. We want to make sure everyone gets personalized, hands-on attention and by the end of class they have a blog online and ready to go. Yes, it’s going to be a great workshop!

Find out more at The Blogging Bee!

The Blogging Bee promotional ad, designed by Adunate.com

 

How Fun – A Promotional Photo Series!

Vintage Needles and 1910 calendar

One of my goals for the year is to challenge myself with something new. That opportunity came along right away in January when my walking partner proposed a brilliant collaboration. Since then we’ve been busy planning, scheduling, designing, and doing whatever in preparation for a big opening this Friday, April 1. No April Fool jokes happening here!

In the meantime, I want to share some vintage advertising I found stashed in a drawer. For the rest of the week I’ll be posting these and a few more treasures on my Instagram. Be sure to check them out!

Art Nouveau in advertising

I’ve always loved art nouveau and according to this history, it was a popular medium for advertising from the 1880s until World War I. This is the cover to the 1910 calendar above.

Advertising copy for wright's Fancy Patent Flour

Who says copywriters aren’t fun? Or creative? This reminds me of the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder story contest in Anne of Green Gables!

Stay tuned until Friday!

Celebrating Possibilities on National Ag Day

In celebration of National Ag Day , I bought my first bee hives

Today is National Ag Day and we celebrate our abundance of food, thanks to American agriculture. Think about it, where else can we enjoy such epicureous quantity, quality and diversity?

I was recently discussing my design project for this autumn’s Fermentation Fest, a convergence of agriculture, art and fermented foods. October seems so far away but as event co-founder Donna Neuwirth shared new ideas, I was inspired with anticipation. As Donna said, oh, the possibilities.

Oh, the possibilities

Such a simple phrase, yet so fitting for National Ag Day. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet,” and the possibilities ahead are bountiful. Farmers are increasingly listening to consumer demands and striving to produce their products in healthier, more earth-sustainable ways. CSAs, farmers markets and farm-to-table organizations have become a societal commonplace, meaning our access to local food is so much greater. And the ever-growing specialty food market offers us cleaner ingredients and values we care about.

Speaking of specialty foods; several weeks ago I took a beekeeping class from Mad Urban Bees. This bee farmer, as owner Nathan Clarke describes himself, keeps an office in the vintage-li-cool Madison Enterprise Center. He describes the neighborhood as burgeoning with specialty food businesses. How cool is that?

So yes, today, in celebration of National Ag Day, I bought my first bee hive. It’s my effort, small as it is, to produce better food and be a healthy steward of the planet God has entrusted to us. I’ll certainly not make it to the eminence of farmers, but I’ll be a good writer and designer for them. Oh, the possibilities!

Give me a buzz :-)

National Ag Day 2016 banner