November 19, 2008

A Tip for Sending Holiday Greetings

Before I started Skeese Greets I either bought really cool holiday cards to send to family and friends, or made some of my own. Either way I would end up with extras that would hang around until the next year. I still liked the cards from the year before and still wanted to use the cards, but I asked myself, "Who got this one last year?"

You see, I would buy several boxes of different styles of cards. I'd have one set of 10 with a snowflake and one set of 10 with a dog wearing a Santa's hat. But I couldn't remember if my Aunt Patty got the one with the dog the year before and I wouldn't want her to get the same one again.

My solution - only buy one style of card per year. Yes, this might feel kind of boring and it might not agree with your shopping habits, but trust me - it makes the holiday season easier. Unless you're some kind of super star organizer, you're not going to remember which card you sent to each person. This way, the only thing you'll have to remember is what card you sent everyone the year before. (save one, mark the year and place it somewhere you'll remember next Nov/Dec.)

Have any tips of your own? I'd love to hear them!

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Quote of the day:
“Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.” Charles F. Kettering (1876 - 1958)
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November 18, 2008

SOY - It's What's For...

dinner and candles and clothing and...Skeese Greets!

My grandfather was a farmer almost his whole life. Each summer I'd go to that South Dakota farm and help with the chores, ride the tractor and pick the eggs. Besides the livestock, my grandfather also grew corn, alfalfa, sorghum, beans, and one year - SOY beans.

I remember when he grew the soybeans about 25 years ago. He only did it once but reaped the benefits of that stellar crop. He really seemed ahead of his time because now soy has become the go-to product in the green movement. Not only do we eat it in the form of tofu and edamame, but things like candles, fabric, and inks are also made from the beans.

From the Farm to the Cards:

For the last couple of years Skeese Greets bicycle cards have been printed with Soy Based Ink. But why does this matter?

As opposed to traditional petroleum-based ink, soy-based ink is more environmentally friendly, healthy, and a safe approach to printing that takes only a small amount of energy to make. In fact, cultivation of the soybeans uses only 0.5 percent of the total energy necessary to produce the ink. Much of that crop requires no irrigation, limited fixed nutrients, and leaves fewer agricultural residues than other crops. The main environmental advantage is that they release less than 1/5th of the mass of volatile organic chemicals compared to petroleum inks and this helps to reduce air pollution by minimizing toxic emissions.

And although you would never toss a Skeese Greets card into the recycle bin (because you'll keep it forever), paper printed with soy ink is much easier to recycle than the kind made with petroleum.

I'm proud to be using soy based ink on the cards. Not only does it create a brighter color, which is important on these colorful designs, but it's easier on the environment and it puts money into the hands of family farmers, as it did my grandfather many years ago.

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Quote of the Day: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Steve Jobs (1955 - )


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November 17, 2008

Etsy: Holiday 2008 - Our Favorite Cards

The Skeese Greets bicycle holiday card titled, "JOY" received enough votes for 6th place in the Etsy Holiday Cards 2008 Contest. Sixty cards were nominated out of over 150,000 cards on Etsy. As they say, "It was an honor just to be nominated." Thanks to everyone who voted; I really appreciate the support!




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Quote of the Day: “Be careful that victories do not carry the seed of future defeats.” Ralph W. Sockman


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November 12, 2008

Holiday Card of the Year Nomination

Out of over 150,000+ greeting cards on Etsy.com, 60 were nominated for Holiday Card of the Year. To my surprise, a new Skeese Greets card was chosen to be part of the select few. I received this email from one of the Esty.com administrators:

Your card was one of 60 cards chosen by Etsy admin to be voted upon for our blog's Best Holiday Cards 2008!

Please spread the word and encourage folks to vote. Details here:
http://www.etsy.com/storque/article/2899/

So now I'm spreading the word and asking, like a politician, for your vote!




It's the JOY bicycle chain holiday card and it looks like this:
Yes, you have to register, but it only takes a minute and then you'll be able to easily shop on Esty.com in the future.

Voting ends on Friday, Nov 14 by 12:30 Eastern. So hurry and get out the vote!

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Quote of the Day:
“Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.” William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

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November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Thanks

November 11 is Veteran's Day in the United States. Called Armistice Day until 1952, the name was then changed and the holiday was re-geared toward all military veterans, not just veterans of World War I. In France, Belgium and New Zealand today is called Armistice Day. And the Commonwealth of Nations including Australia and Canada know it as Remembrance Day.

So here's to the Veterans - Thank you!



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Quote of the Day: “When one is grateful for something too good for common thanks, writing is less unsatisfactory than speech-one does not, at least, hear how inadequate the words are.” George Eliot (1819 - 1880)


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November 7, 2008

LUNA Fest Donation

LUNAbar, the makers of nutritional bars for women, is hosting LUNA Fest in Austin, TX this weekend. In case you're not familiar, LUNA Fest is a national traveling festival of short films by, for and about women. But don't worry guys, you can still attend!

Here's the info:

Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 5pm
Regal Arbor Cinema

Presented by: Austin Team LUNA Chix

Invite a Friend

There will be fun give-aways, including some boxed sets of 10 from Skeese Greets! In addition, this card will be in all the goodie bags for attendees:

Inside reads:
What a beautiful sight
to see new gear
'neath the tree tonight!
Happy Holidays!


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Quote of the Day: “Take hope from the heart of man, and you make him a beast of prey.” Quida


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November 6, 2008

Featured Bike Art: Becky Tesch

Most bike jewelry involving chain links are very similar in design, like one link hanging down in dangle fashion to form earrings. Now meet Becky Tesch. Her bike jewelry is far from ordinary. She incorporates wire, links and other bike chain pieces to form some really cool earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Upon first glance you might not even realize that these very stylish pieces are made from used bike parts.

I've been admiring the chandelier earrings below for quite some time. They'd be great for a night out on the town.



If you're looking for something a little more casual, these copper swirl earrings fit the bill - simple, classy & cool.



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Quote of the Day: “The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future.” Stephen Ambrose (1936 - 2002)


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November 5, 2008

November Observances

Thanksgiving isn't the only holiday in November. Put on your Party Hat for Mickey Mouse's B-Day, but then remember to recycle it because it's America Recycles Month. On Tuesday, Nov 11th we have Veteran's Day which means schools and post offices will be closed. Unfortunately school will not be closed for Children's Day on the 20th. Sorry kids.

Here's a list of what else will be observed and celebrated this month:

Nov. 1: All Saint's Day (Dia de los Muertos)

Nov. 2: All Soul's Day
Nov. 3: Sandwich Day
Nov. 4: Election Day
Nov. 11: Veterans Day
Nov. 11: Armistice Day
Nov. 15: America Recycles Day
Nov. 17: World Peace Day
Nov. 18: Mickey Mouse's Birthday
Nov. 20: Children's Day
Nov. 20: Great American SmokeOut
Nov. 22: National Stop the Violence Day
Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Day

*****
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
American Indian Heritage Month
Addiction Awareness Month
Alzheimer's Awareness Month
Child Safety & Prevention Month
Diabetes Awareness Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Great American Smokeout Month
Home Care Month
Hospice Month
Drum Month
Peanut Butter Lover's Month
Real Jewelry Month
Stamp Collecting Month
World Communication Month
National Novel Writing Month
America Recycles Month
Vegan Month
National Novel Writing Month
Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month

What will you celebrate and/or observe? I think I'll roll three up into one by eating some vegan peanut butter off the spoon in observance of Gluten-Free, Vegan, Peanut Butter Lover's Month.

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Quote of the Day:
“Hope is a waking dream.” Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

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November 4, 2008

From Ballot Design to Card Design

For some reason, though we don't get the day off work and the banks & post offices aren't closed, Presidential Election Day feels like a holiday. Like the build-up for Christmas there's excitement in the air, yet everyone is ready for it to be over. There are those, however, who have to endure a few more weeks of the madness, and I used to be one of those people.

Before I started designing greeting cards, I worked in elections - first with Voter Registration and then in ballot design. Yes, election ballot design. Bet you didn't know a job like that existed.

Ballot design is actually kind of complicated. In Texas there are 254 counties and within each county there are about a million precincts. OK, that's an exaggeration, but there are a lot. Nevertheless, each of those precincts has different election items and therefore needs its own ballot in English and 90% also need Spanish and Harris County needs Vietnamese. Each county orders its ballots for all of its precincts; the ballots get designed, then proofed and then finally printed or loaded onto a voting machine. Barring no typos or mistakes (talk about a crisis when that happens) we wait... until Run-Offs and it starts all over again.

It was kind of exciting during elections to be working in that field, but all-in-all I hated that job. Today I'm glad to be designing stuff that's much more fun.


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Quote of the Day: “It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


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October 31, 2008

Halloween Sale!

It's Halloween so we're having a sale! This weekend, starting today, (until Nov. 2 at 11:59PM) get 15% off all orders at Skeese.com. This goes for all cards, including boxed sets of 10. Now is a great time to stock up on all your Christmas and Hanukkah card needs. There are currently 12 Skeese Greets holiday cards that feature bicycle chain designs. Each of the holiday cards come individually packaged or in a boxed set of 10. Type in Halloween at checkout for the discount.

Have a happy & safe Halloween!

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Quote of the Day:
Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
~Dexter Kozen

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October 30, 2008

Featured Bike Art: SpokesPeople

SpokesPeople, run by Sue Ellen Klein, is out to help a good cause. She's creating jewelry and accessories made with bicycle parts with profits benefiting Neighborhood Bike Works. NBW is a nonprofit educational organization in West Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth through bicycling. SpokesPeople offers necklaces, bracelets, earrings and change purses all created primarily from used bike parts. I really like the green necklace below made from a used washer off a bike.



In addition to selling on Etsy, SpokesPeople has a "Bike Part Art Show" each year in which artists donate their work to raise money for NBW. Here are a couple of the pieces donated:



How cool is that stuff?

SpokesPeople is doing all kinds of good things in the City of Brotherly Love. Wouldn't it be great if all cities had SpokesPeople in it?

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Quote of the Day:
When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween. ~Author Unknown

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October 29, 2008

Etsy Treasures

If you're not an Esty.com shopper yet, then I'm thinking you should be. It's an awesome place to shop for anything from art to clothes to soap and jewelry and of course greeting cards. I'm constantly amazed by the unique and creative items that people sell on the site.

Because there are over 100,000 vendors, a "Treasury" is one way to expose a few of those vendors and their work. My cards have been listed in several treasuries, but until now I have failed to save them (they disappear after a few days.) Below is the most recent one in which a Skeese Greets card was listed. The Treasury is titled, "Be Happy" and consists of Happy Face items from 12 Etsy.com shops. The creator of the Treasury chose the "Happy Links" bicycle chain card.


Another way in which Etsy shops can gain exposure is through "The Storque." The Skeese Greets Etsy shop had only been open a couple of weeks when one card was featured in a Storque article and displayed on the front page of Etsy. To my surprise, the featured Stripes card received over 700 views in about 30 minutes. Unlike the Treasuries, Storque articles stay archived on the site and you can read the one about Skeese Greets HERE.

When there are millions of items from which to choose, it's pretty cool to be hand selected for Treasuries and Storque articles. I'm flattered and very appreciative each time.

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Quote of the Day: "There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask." ~Colette
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October 28, 2008

Bizarro Du Donation

The Austin Duathletes, a club that Skeese Greets sponsors, held it's Bizarro Duathlon on Saturday in Smithville, TX. This unique event was brought back to life after its inaugural debut in 2006. Participants raced the 10 mile bike, 3 mile run, 10 mile bike portions and were then treated to New Belgium beer, food and a costume contest. The president of the club told me that it was the best event the club has ever had. Each person also received a good race packet which included this bicycle Christmas card:



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Quote of the Day:
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
~Author Unknown

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October 27, 2008

Halloween Cards

Trick or Treat
Cleats on my feet.
Give me some gel

& a new carbon seat!

Happy Halloween!

That's the verse on the inside of this Halloween card from Skeese Greets. It's called "Spider" and it's from the first set of eight cards that I designed in 2005. Halloween cards are becoming more popular these days but they're still very low on the list compared to Christmas (#1), Valentine's Day (#2) and Mother's Day (#3). Every once in awhile I'll receive a Halloween card from a friend and it's actually a nice surprise. So maybe I'll mail out a few myself today. And maybe I'll create another design for Halloween '09. What should it be...a pitch fork, devil's horns, a pumpkin, bats? Any other ideas, let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Have a happy Halloween!




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Quote of the Day: "If a man harbors any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost." ~Lloyd Douglas
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October 23, 2008

Featured Bike Art: Rat Trap Press

Next time you want to show your passion, do it in fashion! Check out the designs from Rat Trap Press; the artist is a cyclist and screen printer out of Fort Worth. He has several different t-shirt designs featuring bikes and bike parts. I love this double bike design in blue on orange. Pair it with this bicycle birthday card for a great gift to your favorite cyclist.



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Quote of the Day: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
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October 20, 2008

Freedom of Speech Week

I'm happy to have it and this week we're celebrating Freedom of Speech Week. This is a newly formed observance which takes place on the third week of October. We, of course, can't always say what we want unless we're willing to suffer the consequences. The consequences are, in the grand scheme, usually pretty minor especially as a child: mouth washed out with soap, detention, a paddling. As an adult, however, I can pretty much say whatever the hell I want, and I love it.

Here's a little history on this freedom:

The First Amendment is one of the 10 original amendments to the United States Constitution known as the "Bill of Rights." The first Congress presented these amendments to the legislatures of the colonial states on Sept. 25, 1789. Here's what it says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."



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Quote of the Day:
“The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.” Justice Anthony Kennedy (1936 - )
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October 17, 2008

Skeese For Motorcyclists?

A few people have mentioned that I should sell the Skeese Greets bike chain cards to bikers. And by bikers they mean the people who prefer the roar of the engine to the sound of their own racing hearts. So for the first time I'm introducing the cards to some bikers down in Corpus Christi, TX.

The 2nd Annual Lions Charity Bike Run will have some donated boxed sets of Skeese Greets holiday cards and thank you cards for their silent auction. We'll see how it goes!

Here's the info on the event:
2nd Annual CHARITY Bike Run
Lake Corpus Chrisi Roadrunner M/C & Aransas Pass Lions Club 2nd Annual Charity Bike Run 12030 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas 1st Bike out at 11:00 AM , last bike in at 5:00 PM Entry Fee: $15.00 per person (Includes BBQ Plate) For More information contact Aransas Pass Lions Club.

I, however, will most likely be volunteering at the Texas Tri at Canyon Lake. My friend, Nick Seidel directs the race and I've helped him out in previous years. Last year I assisted with timing. Old fashioned timing. I sat there and wrote bib numbers and times down as participants crossed the finish line. In fact, you can see the back of my head in all the finish line photos. I think I'll volunteer at a different position this year!


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Quote of the Day: “Strive for excellence, not perfection.” H. Jackson Brown Jr., O Magazine, December 2003
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October 16, 2008

Featured Bike Art: Ya Betta' Supa Don't

Bling for the bike from my college town of New Orleans. Maria Fomich at Ya Betta' Supa Don't offers decorative reflectors to keep you a little safer on your cruise around town. The reflectors are cut by hand from aluminum and riveted to the yellow reflector plastic. You can choose between a star, peace sign or flower. The backs on all of them have an adjustable steel pipe clamp and should attach to almost any bike. The reflector or similar ring would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift combined with this holiday bicycle card from Skeese Greets.

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Quote of the Day: “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.” Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
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October 15, 2008

Love for the Grouch

If you're a grouch and you know it say GRRRR. Today is National Grouch Day! So if you feel the need to put on your unhappy face, go ahead because today is your day.

This drawing is from cyberkisses.com.

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Quote of the Day: "The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.” Shana Alexander
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October 13, 2008

Columbus Day Sale!

It's Columbus Day so we're having a sale! From now until tomorrow (Oct 14 at 11:59PM) get 14.92% off all orders at Skeese.com. This goes for all cards, including boxed sets of 10. Now is a great time to stock up on all your Christmas and Hanukkah card needs. There are currently 12 Skeese Greets holiday cards that feature bicycle chain designs. Each of the holiday cards come individually packaged or in a boxed set of 10 like pictured below. Type in columbus at checkout for the discount.



*Can't be combined with other offers/discounts.

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Quote of the Day: “It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.” Publilius Syrus (~100 BC), Maxims
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October 10, 2008

Kona vs. Austin

This weekend while my hubby and all of our pro triathlete friends (Michael Lovato, Amanda Lovato, Desiree Ficker, James Bonney, Pat Evoe, and others) are in Hawaii at the Ironman World Championships, I'll be hanging out with SkirtSports founder and former Pro-Triathlete, Nicole DeBoom. She's created a super fun 5k here in Austin called the SkirtChaser. Last year it proved to be a hit, so this year I'm gonna check it out. I won't actually be racing, but I will be enjoying the happy hour style food, drinks, fashion show, and watching other people sweat it out for the $500 prize purse. Hope to see you there (that is if you're not in Kona relaxing on the beach!)


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Quote of the Day: “Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.” Howard Aiken (1900 - 1973)


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October 8, 2008

Featured Bike Art: dstuck

If you're like me, you probably have some empty space on the walls of your home or office. Why not spice them up with some original bike art? dstuck - Power to the Pedal People, can help you out with his cool and colorful 11x14 screen prints. He can even create one from your favorite bike. All of his designs are great, but if I had to choose, I would put these three together for a nice arrangement on the wall:

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Quote of the Day: “I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.” John Cage (1912 - 1992)
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October 6, 2008

Longhorn 70.3 Donation

The Longhorn 70.3 Triathlon took place in Austin on Sunday. Skeese Greets had a presence at the Jack and Adam's Race Expo and in the race packets. Each packet contained one of three Christmas card designs from Skeese Greets. The designs included "Snowflakes", "Poinsettia" and "Santa's Hat." The bicycle holiday cards, like all Skeese Greets cards are created from bike chain and parts. It took hours to individually package each card for all 2300 participants, but it's definitely worth it. Congrats to all and thanks to the volunteers and organizers! Here are the cards that went into the packets:





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Quote of the Day: “The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them.” Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947)


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October 2, 2008

Featured Bke Art: Tangerine Tree House

Christmas is still 2.5 months away, but if you're looking for a really unique gift for a cyclist, then you should get a jump on it. Artists need some time to create their wares which means ordering in advance is a good idea. Check out these custom head badges from Tangerine Tree House. Artist Laura Crawford writes, "If you can draw it as a simple black & white line drawing, then I can make it into a head badge." So if you know a person who, after a wreck, asks about damage to their bike before worrying about themselves, then this is who would love a custom head badge. Pair it with this bicycle Christmas card for an awesome gift.


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Quote of the Day: "Experience teaches slowly and at the cost of mistakes." James A. Froude (1818 - 1894)
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October 1, 2008

October Observances

As previously mentioned, October is my favorite month. And who wouldn't love a month that observes apples, caramel, dinosaurs, sausage, dessert, pretzels, seafood, books, magazines, vegetarians and many other things all in 31 days? Here's the rest of observances for the month of October. What will you celebrate and/or observe? And for which one should I design a card?
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Eye Injury Prevention Month
  • Celiac Disease Awareness Month
  • Chiropractic Month
  • Dental Hygiene Month
  • Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Halloween Safety Month
  • Healthy Lung Month
  • Let's Talk Month - Advocates for Youth
  • Medical Librarians Month
  • Physical Therapy Month
  • Sarcoidosis Awareness Day
  • Spina Bifida Awareness Month
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Talk About Prescriptions Month
  • Apple Month
  • Auto Battery Safety Month
  • Book Month
  • National Book Foundation
  • Car Care Month (Fall) - Also observed in April
  • Caramel Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month (Pastor Appreciation Month)
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cosmetology Month
  • Country Music Month
  • Crime Prevention Month
  • Dessert Month
  • Dinosaur Month
  • Drum Month
  • Energy Awareness Month
  • Family History Month
  • Fire Prevention Month
  • German American Heritage Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)
  • Kitchen & Bath Month
  • Magazine Month
  • Pasta Month
  • Pastor Appreciation Month
  • Pickled Pepper Month
  • Pizza Month
  • Polish-American Heritage Month
  • Popcorn Poppin' Month
  • Pretzel Month
  • Rollerskating Month
  • Sarcastic Awareness Month
  • Sausage Month
  • Seafood Month
  • Stamp Collecting Month
  • UNICEF Month
  • Vegetarian Month


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Quote of the Day: "Experience teaches only the teachable." Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)


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September 29, 2008

Monday Musings - Already Autumn

It's officially Fall and we're almost to my favorite month of the year - October! Why is it my favorite? The main reason is because I love Halloween. I can't fully participate anymore because it's a busy time in the greeting card world, but I love it nonetheless. The creative ideas that people have for costumes amazes me. Other reasons I love October are cooler temps, pumpkins, colorful leaves, Halloween candy, Oktoberfest, seasonal beer, football, fall fashion, and the ability to wear boots, long sleeves and jeans without sweating too much. What's your favorite time of the year?



Inside reads:
Cleats on my feet.
Give me some gel &
A new carbon seat!

Happy Halloween!


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Quote of the Day: "Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience." James Boswell (1740 - 1795)


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September 18, 2008

Featured Bike Art: Urchin Bags

It's hard to make an old bike tube look good, but Urchin Bags sure knows how to do it. The company combines fashion, passion and functionality to create some really great bags out of used inner tubes and scrap vinyl. Choose from several different styles ranging from gym and messenger bags to this one called the Peata Pocket. Combine it with this bicycle greeting card from Skeese Greets for a unique gift for your favorite female cyclist.




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Quote of the Day: "Not by age but by capacity is wisdom acquired." Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BC - 184 BC)


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September 17, 2008

NEW Bike Chain Magnets

Get 'em while they're hot: new magnets from Skeese Greets! On the fridge in the office or on the locker at school, these magnets will get the job done in style. Each magnet is designed using old bicycle chains to form the shape of a guitar, flowers & LOVE. It's a 2.125" x 3.125" magnet with a flat, strong magnetic back, metal shell and Mylar/UV protecting cover.
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Quote of the Day: "A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top." Unknown


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September 16, 2008

Viva Mexico!

It's Mexican Independence Day and that can only mean one thing - margaritas! OK, not really but that's how I plan on celebrating. Today, September 16 is actually an important day in Mexican history; it commemorates the day in 1810 when Father Hidalgo called for the fight for liberty from Spanish rule. Eleven years later, the war ended with a victory for Mexico. As a Texan, Mexican culture has greatly influenced my life and I'm grateful for it.

I created a special "Viva Mexico" screen saver for the day, which like all other Skeese Greets designs, incorporates bike parts. It's only available as a full screen image at 1024x768. How to install: Click on it, then right click & "Set as Desktop Background."



The fine print: Skeese Greets™ makes this content available for personal, desktop use only . All copyrights remain the property of Skeese Greets™.


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Quote of the Day: "Wisdom outweighs any wealth." Sophocles (496 BC - 406 BC)
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September 15, 2008

Monday Musings - Wedding Invitations

Three weeks - three weddings. And here I thought wedding season was over. My desk is overflowing with wedding invitations and response cards. Each time I open one, I think about the time and cost involved with sending the announcement. In fact, the average cost of sending invitations is around $1000. This "tradition" is so ingrained in American culture that I assumed it had been around a long time. Turns out they're a relatively new addition to weddings.

The practice of sending written wedding invitations emerged among the nobility during the Middle Ages. Families of means would commission monks, skilled in the art of calligraphy, to handcraft their notices. Such invitations were rare and reserved for the elite, as most people were illiterate and too poor for such extravagances. Before the invention of the Printing Press in 1447, weddings in England were typically announced by a town crier: a person who walked through the streets announcing in a loud voice the news of the day. Traditionally, anyone within earshot became part of the celebration.

It wasn't until rapid industrial growth directly after World War II that wedding invitations became popular with the masses. New inventions, like thermography, allowed the common man the ability to mimic the lifestyles and materialism of society's elite. Thermography (a less expensive method of achieving raised type) allowed wedding invitations to become affordable for all.

Skeese Greets doesn't offer wedding invitations, but we do have a bicycle themed wedding/anniversary card. It's great for those couples who love bikes. The design is also available as a boxed set for "thank you" cards after the wedding.


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Quote of the Day: "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
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September 13, 2008

Weekend Warrior: MS150 N. Cali

Bike MS150 is hosted in many cities throughout the US during the entire year & this weekend it starts in San Francisco. It's called Waves to Wine Ride - a fully-supported, two-day bike event. There are rest stops approximately every 12-15 miles along the 150 miles, plus a lunch stop and post-ride dinner both days. If you know someone who finishes, be sure to congratulate them on this endeavor. Skeese Greets has two bicycle congratulation cards perfect for the occasion.




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Quote of the Day: “Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.” Charles F. Kettering (1876 - 1958)


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September 12, 2008

Free & Fun Fridays

At a recent Danskin Tri expo I overheard a man say that he uses a Skeese Greets card image as his screen saver. I was kind of surprised by this, yet flattered at the same time. I wondered how he obtained the image so that it actually looked good on the screen. Nevertheless, it gave me the idea to create some free screen savers. This "Unchained Heart" design was the first bicycle chain greeting card I created. So here it is as the first of several soon-to-be released screen savers. Right now it's only available as a full screen image at 1024x768. How to install: Click on it, then right click & "Set as Desktop Background."

I hope it works for you & I really hope you like it!



The fine print: Skeese Greets™ makes this content available for personal, desktop use only . All copyrights remain the property of Skeese Greets™.

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Quote of the Day:
“An idea is salvation by imagination.” Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

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September 11, 2008

Featured Bike Art: CapsForSale

I'm a sucker for hats and I definitely don't wear them enough, but that doesn't stop me from buying 'em. CapsForSale offers cool handmade cycling caps in a variety of fabrics. The designer writes in her shop profile, "i started making these hats because i often have the problem of helmet head since i bike everywhere, haven't owned a car since 2000. they're stylish, collect sweat and rain, and keep sun off your face to boot." Sounds good to me.

So if you're in the market for a cycling cap check out CapsForSale. These would also make great gifts...maybe you're in the doghouse with your significant other who happens to love bikes. Forget the flowers, instead pair one of these caps up with this bike card and you'll have 'em eating out of your hands in no time.


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Quote of the Day: “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” Jules de Gaultier


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September 10, 2008

It's Grand

CK Sports, a new sporting goods store just north of Dallas is set to open this weekend. The store carries a good selection of Skeese Greets bicycle greeting cards. The owner sent an email with the following info about the Grand Opening:

I just wanted to drop you a quick line to remind you about our upcoming CK SPORTS Grand Opening scheduled for Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14 (now postponed until Sept 20-21 due to Hurricane Ike). Outlined below is a rough draft of what we have planned for the weekend.

Saturday Morning will begin with a guided Bike Ride - approx. 25 to 30 miles pending RSVP's - We will start this ride at 7 am

Activities and store opening will begin at 9am on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday

We will have the following set up outside for customers.

In the parking lot and up around the awning at the store will be:

Snow Cone Machine
Pop Corn Machine
Bounce House

From 11 to 2 pm we will be grilling hot dogs

Throughout the weekend we will be drawing tickets for free give aways

Inside the store we will be having short seminars on the following topics:

  • How to get Started on a Fitness Program and Stick with it
  • Can I really do a Triathlon?
  • Why Swim?
  • Bra Fitting -- what you should know
  • Biking Apparel -- what you should know
  • Safety when Biking or Running - what you should know?
  • How to Care for Technical Apparel
  • Shoe Fitting - why can't I just buy the one with the silver stripes? Pronation/Supination - What does that mean to me?
  • Tri Apparel - what you should know
  • Nutrition - does it matter what I eat if I work out hard?
  • Hydration - why is it so important?
  • Socks - what's the big deal on socks?
  • GU, Shots, Bars, Chews - how do I know what to get and when to eat them?
  • Vitamins - Why should I take them?
  • Massage / Sports Therapy -
  • Injury Prevention
  • Volleyball Clinic (these will run about 20 minutes)
  • Soccer Clinic - (these will run about 20 minutes) (if you have any other topic ideas; please let me know!)
Sounds like fun! So if you're in that neck of the woods, check out the store. I'd be there if I could, but instead I sent some mini cards as give-aways, and they look like this (without the watermark):




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Quote of the Day: “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


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September 9, 2008

Love For the Weirdos

To all the weirdos out there, today is your special day - it's Wonderful Weirdos Day! And by "weirdo" we're talking about the good ones, not the psychopath, dangerous or vicious ones. This day was created by Tom & Ruth Roy of Lebanon, Pennsylvania of Wellcat Holidays to celebrate the people in our lives who remind us to think outside the box. If it weren't for the wonderful weirdos out there, we wouldn't have some of the music, art, books and movies that enrich our lives every day. We even have two races in Austin that celebrate weirdness: The Keep Austin Weird 5k and the Bizarro Du. So say "thanks" to these people on their special day, because our lives would be kinda boring without 'em.

Maybe you're the weird one; see how "normal" you are
HERE.





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Quote of the Day: “Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)


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September 8, 2008

White House Greetings

Although most people would prefer to get a Skeese Greets bike birthday card, you can also have a b-day wish sent from the White House. They'll only send to newborns & to those over 80. Here's how to do it:

For newborns send the following information:
Baby's name, address, birth date
&
requestor's name and daytime phone number to:

The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
Washington, D.C. 20502-0039

Or Fax Your Request To:
202-395-1232

Or for the easy online way do it HERE.

The White House will also send a birthday greeting to any U.S. citizen 80 years or older.


You must submit your request 6 weeks in advance. Include the name, age, birth date and complete address of the recipient and the telephone number of the person making the request.

Mail Requests To:
The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
Washington, D.C. 20502-0039

Or Fax Your Request To:
202-395-1232
Or do it online HERE.

If I knew someone older than 80, I would definitely do this for them. Or if I was over 80, I would have one sent to myself every year. I'd better mark it in the Outlook Calendar now so I don't forget.




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Quote of the Day:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge...” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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September 5, 2008

Share the Passion

If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, join Jack Murray, owner of Jack & Adam's Bicycles at the "Share the Passion" Calendar Gala. I'll be there & we hope you can be, too! Here's the scoop:

You Are Invited!
What: Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas - "Share the Passion" Calendar Gala
When: Sat., Sept. 6, 2008
Time: 5pm - 8pm
Where: ART on 5TH Gallery, Austin, TX
Why: Because Jack of Jack & Adam's is in the calendar!
Cost to Attend: FREE!

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas invites you to be our guest in launching the celebration of the 2009 "Share the Passion" Calendar! We hope to educate the public about the talents and abilities of all individuals with Down syndrome. Come join us for this grand celebration and view the beautiful photos on display, and get your calendar before anyone else! Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres will be provided by Fleming's Steakhouse. No admission charge. The "Share the Passion" calendar highlights local and not-so-local celebrities doing fun activities that they have in common with individuals with Down syndrome. Past celebrities have included Gilbert Tuhabonye, Desiree Ficker, Gov. Rick Perry, and Marcia Ball. The 2009 calendar has the following people: Jack Murray, Brad Pitt, Nolan Ryan, Paul Corozza, Senator Kirk Watson, Andy Roddick, Los Lonely Boys, Fiona Shaw, Judy Maggio, Art Acevedo, Dr. Susan Culp, DVM, Brad Womack (ABCs, The Bachelor) Wes and Chad Womack and Jason Carrier. More info at: www.dsact.com


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Quote of the Day: “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)


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September 4, 2008

Featured Bike Art: Chaingang Designs

There's a lot of bike jewelry out there, but this is definitely one of my favorites. Chaingang Designs created this Innertube Lacelette from bicycle inner tubes, spray paint and a little hardware. The size can be adjusted with the buckle on the back and any color is available, you just have to ask. Couple it with this Skeese Greets bicycle chain birthday card, for a great gift.



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Quote of the Day:
“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.” Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

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September 3, 2008

Bicycle Gifts at FlowerPedal.com

It's always been a challenge to find cool cycling gifts. That's part of the reason I started Skeese Greets. But now with the new online cycling gift store, Flower Pedal the task has become easier. They've got everything from bike jewelry and clocks to pajamas and hand towels - all in one place. They even have harder to find stuff like this biker wine caddy. And soon they'll have a nice selection of Skeese Greets bicycle birthday cards, thank you cards and everyday cards packaged in sets of 10. They're adding new products and other fun stuff to the site every day, so check back often.


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Quote of the Day: “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” Demosthenes (384 BC - 322 BC)
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September 2, 2008

Bicycle Film Festival

The Eighth Annual Bicycle Film Festival is coming to Austin, TX on September 19-20. This is the first year Austin will host the event. The other 17 cities in the World Tour include New York, London, LA, Tokyo and Paris. The organizers are looking for help in organizing the event or just spreading the word. If you'd rather just go watch, the screenings will be in the 150 person capacity theater at Studio 501 at 7 and 9pm on both nights.



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Quote of the Day: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)

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August 30, 2008

Weekend Warrior: The Austin Tri

The featured event for this Weekend Warrior post is The Austin Triathlon.

The 2nd Annual Austin Triathlon takes place on Labor Day, Sept. 1st. Skeese Greets is a proud sponsor of this race held right in the heart of downtown Austin. The event includes a Sprint Distance Tri, Olympic Distance Tri and a multi-sport expo with a Bike Art Exhibit. The expo is on Sunday at the Hyatt downtown from 10-6; it's free and open to the public. If you're not doing the race, then come out to watch. It kicks off at 7:30 AM with Grammy Award Winner Shawn Colvin singing the National Anthem.



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Quote of the Day: “If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” Brendan Francis


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August 29, 2008

Music For Spinning

If you need some new tunes for your next indoor spin session (or for your next run), then check out UrbanOutfitters.com. The clothing store offers free music downloads from its website each month. This month you can get 21 new songs from up and coming bands. Most of the selection would be considered alt-rock (I think.)

I usually like their free collections and this time it's no exception. On the initial listen, I'd say there are at least 5 songs that are too slow for workouts, but there are several others that'd work great. If I ran with music, these would be the top five:


Lolita by Throw Me the Statue
Woodfriend by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You by Black Kids
Like It or Not by
Architecture In Helsinki
Taking the Farm War On Drugs

My favorite is Reservoir Park by The DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE, but I don't know if I'd run with it.

So check it out and you might also discover some songs that are great for workouts or for just listening to while you're at the desk. **********************************************************************************
Quote of the Day:
“We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.” Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


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