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We Are Flying Solo

Showing posts with label merchandaise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label merchandaise. Show all posts

December 6, 2013

Want The Most Amazing T-Shirt Of All Time?

Well then, as always, my dear friends, I am here for you.

But like everything here at TFS, we can never do it alone.

This project probably started several years ago, floating around in my very strange head associated with good intentions, but it never bumped into the two necessary reagents to complete its synthesis (wow, bad organic chemistry flashback):  time and motivation.

I wandered deeper into the magical forests of Bloggerland and met new people with new ideas and as our ideas began to co-mingle, opportunity came knocking.

Is your heart pounding in your chest with suspense?  Have you caught your breath waiting for the curtain to open?  (If not, well, you need to go look up some LOLcats or something, you are taking life far too seriously.)

Without further ado, then, I bring you....

Yeah.  If you steal it, I find you in your sleep.  Just sayin'.
Yes, it IS an Official Logo, designed cooperatively with the most amazing, patient, creative, thoughtful, and professional Kate at  You may know her better from her musings on her adorable mare and her gorgeous, hand-painted saddle pads featured on The Adventures of Lucy blog (yes, apparently she does sculpture as well, there appears to be no end to her talent).

Now I fully admit to being an OCD art snob, and as previously mentioned, I had a very definite vision.  This is most likely the definition of the designer's worst nightmare.   I had watched Kate's artwork for a while and there was an undercurrent of true talent that caught my eye (if you have not checked out her sketchbook, GO THERE).  I saw a distinct identity, but I also saw the ability to explore different media and stylistic modes and do it well, which is rare, so I decided to entrust her with my brainchild (probably much to her later chagrin). 

It gets better.  Since I was recently contacted by Beck Jordan from Allied Shirts (a sister brand to Build-A-Sign, who printed my license plate and bumper stickers, and Printcopia, who...well, now's their chance!) with an offer to print a shirt with the graphics of my choice for online review.  So, with a frantic email to Kate (who had already been working with me on the logo) after finding out I had eight days to pull together my dilly-dally-ing and order, we channeled our collective energies and out came this!

Ummm, yeah, in my own totally valid humble opinion, it turned out amazing.  Allied had offered us a shirt from their basic line, which is printed on Gildan shirts (there are endless options, including Hanes Beefy-T's and girly little things by American Apparel).  To be honest, I expected one of those super-thin, square, shapeless things you get from cheap printing companies, you know the ones I mean! 

Supposed to be one-sided; they let me add a back tribute for Kate!
I did not realize I knew the brand until I got the shirt and saw the tag -- we have used the same brand for our field t-shirts for the state agency I work for.  Well, I can tell you, I have hiked, snorkeled (which includes dragging myself across rocks and sand on the river bottom), sweated, and rolled in those shirts; they can take some abuse.  I usually end up (a) getting outboard grease all over it, (b) staining it a remarkable shade of blotchy brown from ground in mud and rock slime, or (c) sweating in it so much it assumes its own form (hey, NC summers are even hot underwater), all well before the shirt has any structural failures!  Ours are usually grey with a black logo, but they don't fade or shrink when washed either.  Point:  this ain't a wussy shirt.    

An even awesomer surprise (and I mean this in a nice way, you never know what you are going to get online) was the quality of the printing.  The colours were perfect and saturated and the Solo-orange even has a tiny bit of a metallic bronze or something to it, really making it pop.  I don't even want to wear it because I don't want it to get dirty...

As of today, I have not had a chance to wash it.  I did try it on, I had ordered a small since the sizes were listed as "unisex," which us ladies know usually means "square man-sized" and I have plenty of experience with that due to work uniform orders!  It fit perfectly. 

So while I can't tell you yet how it will fare with use, I can tell you -- that plate and sticker mentioned above? -- one is on the front of my truck, the other on the back of my trailer.  They sit outside all year around and travel to multiple states.  I wash the truck maybe 4-5 times per year (not counting rain) and the trailer...never.  Both, I just observed last week, are pretty much perfect after two years of neglectWe won't discuss the bumper it's mounted under...  The black graphics on the plate have faded just a little, but in Carolina UV/heat, I'm not sure that's avoidable!  My hope is that this printing will live up to that precedent! 

Yes, yes, I will be riding around with my horse's name plastered on everything I own.  Your point?

I have to give HUGE props to Kate for putting up with my 10 million tweaks, my nit-picky questions, and my completely unpredictable schedule followed by 'OMG WE HAVE EIGHT DAYS, GO!'  She made it happen, even when we had file-type conflicts and, errr, operator error.

And THANK YOU to Allied Shirts, for doing such a great job printing our design (fast, it was in my hands in days) and letting me say thanks to a designer who went wayyyy above and beyond!  Go try it out for yourself!  I am now pondering going forward with a related project which would create goodies for you, lucky readers... 

Most of all, thank you Kate, for capturing and bringing to life my vision of a unique way to honour my very special buddy and also, to represent our future adventures at...

October 2, 2011

We're (In)Famous On The Interwebz!

Check it out!  Katie, over at Equine Life, has just posted an interview with Team Flying Solo!  Solo told me he reckons that if he's made it in New Zealand, he can now rest on his laurels.  I informed him that we are at too low an elevation for laurels to grow and resting is boring. 

While you're over there, also check out Katie's stories about the mischevious Jack -- it's a good thing he lives in another hemisphere, because I'd HATE for Solo to ever get any ideas!

A big thanks to Katie -- she has started a series of blogger interviews that are great fun to read (and to participate in).  For direct links:

Our interview is here.
The first interview, with Now That's A Trot, is here.

What a great idea to get to know new blogs and bloggers!

May 2, 2011

On The Way To The Farm This Evening...

I stopped by the local post office.  Which means our three lucky contest winners, Braffie, molly, and sumaclab, will be receiving an exciting giant envelope soon.  Some sooner than others since for some reason Mr. Shiny favoured the Canadians with his nose!  My apologies for the delay but Solo takes forEVER to address a package. Just because he has no thumbs...

Yesterday morning, Solo and I met with P for a dressage lesson to chat about the new challenges the Training Level test has to offer.  Basically, it adds 15 meter canter circles, extended trot, extended canter on a circle, and a stretchy circle.  Both extended gaits only ask that you develop them, which allows for more gradual transitions, easier on horse and rider.  Solo loves nothing more than stretching so I think we're good there as well. 

Tonight we did a very small jump school. BO had set up a four-bounce gymnastic line that I wanted to work, as well as a couple of oxers.

The gymnastic went great -- I only set the jumps at about 2', except for the last one which was maybe 2'9" or so. I wanted to focus on the rhythm and letting Solo work it out. He worked through great as we added one vertical at a time until he bounced through all four, curling beautifully over the last.

Then we rode each oxer, the first I set with barrels beneath it, the second I spread a big blue tarp under to mimic a certain liverpool that will be coming up soon. Wow, it's amazing how nicely jumps flow when I just keep my leg on.

After Solo jumped each one, I felt a little catch in my throat. My horse was finally strong enough that he was jumping casually up and around each jump, using muscle and balance instead of simply hurling himself to the other side. This is a really big deal for a giant-shouldered-downhill-motivated beast. So, yeah, I was pretty much speechless -- this means that Sunday WASN'T a fluke. This out, Training Level, here we come.

April 9, 2011

Time To Be Jealous Of The Contest Winners

That's right, the results are in from our bumper sticker drawing!

Each commenter's name was carefully cut out and placed in the official Bucket O' Possibilities. I explained the rules to Solo (no peeking and no swallowing!) and then lifeshighway presented him with the Bucket.

Solo took on his official duties with great focus and commitment.  Lifeshighway also made sure to close her eyes so as not to unfairly influence the outcome.

After I finished fishing slips of paper out of a mouthful of horse slobber, we discovered our winners!

Congratulations to Braffie of The Embarcadero, molly, and sumaclab!  Apparently Braffie had the tastiest one, sorry about the spit soaking...

Should you wish to claim your sticker, you need to email me at the address on the right so I know where to send it.  As a winner, I fully expect you to supply me with a picture of the sticker stuck to something cool (foreheads and horse butts count)!

Should you decide there just isn't room in your life for a sticker this fabulous, please contact me and let me know and I can save it for a later contest or do a redraw.

Thank you so much to all of you who participated; I am, in all honesty, shocked and delighted that you entered and that you share a part of your day with Solo and me. Solo implored me to let him choose more, as he shamelessly loves all of his internet friends.

Up next...I'll give you a hint: (1) helmet cam + (2) today's trail of choice.

Aaaand The Winners Are....

...people who will be announced later!  I know, I'm cruel.  But Solo and I are off this morning for a much-needed adventure with lifeshighway and Pete, wandering about in the woods pretending we know exactly where we are.

However, later today, I promise, I will present Solo with the Bucket O' Possibilities and the excitement will happen!!

Stay tuned...

April 4, 2011

You Know You Want One -- Enter Now

Oh yes, it's here:  your opportunity to win a Team Flying Solo bumper sticker that you have been lusting after for oh-so-long.  I know, you just flop yourself down on the couch in a pout every day, thinking My life will NOT be complete until I have a TFS bumper sticker!  I am here to make sure that your existence and dreams are fulfilled.

To win, all you have to do is submit a ten-page, fully-illustrated essay to...whoa, stop typing, I'm just kidding!

To win and live a truly whole existence, all you REALLY have to do is leave a comment on this post! I am giving away three bumper stickers in this round, so you have three chances to win. Everyone's name will be put in a bucket full of beet pulp and Solo will carefully draw three lucky winners.  The contest closes this Saturday, April 9th.

If you do not wish to be identified with the dorkiness greatness of Solo and I, then I would warn you NOT to leave a comment on this post, else you may end up with a really dorky cool sticker that will tell everyone what a nerd awesome person you are.

March 1, 2011

We Have Merchandaise!!!!

I've been keeping a secret from you. I wanted to wait until the fruit ripened into its full fruity awesomeness before I shared it with you.

A little while ago, I was contacted by the folks at Build-A-Sign, offering Solo & I some custom printed goodies of our own to try out.  Unable to resist every horse owner's weakness of wanting your horse's name on EVERYTHING, I tried not to sound like a giddy schoolgirl when I said yes.

Our stuff arrived in my mailbox today.  Yeah, that was that screeching whoop you heard about 5:00 pm.


Yes, my very own license plate displaying Flying Solo pride.  I can't say enough how totally great & professional it looks & how wonderful their rep was to work with; she sounded just as enthusiastic about the whole thing as I was!   AND, as if this wasn't cool enough, they also printed me some bumper stickers. 

Now, I currently have...a few...of these.  I am pondering making some available in giveaways.  Would anyone out there be interested in displaying some Team Flying Solo pride of their own?

If you can hardly contain yourself, here's how it's going to work:  if your name is specifically listed on the "Pit Crew" menu link at the top of this page, you are entitled to a free sticker -- you have given an immeasureable gift to Solo & I with your help and support, so it's the least I can do to repay you!  Should you, as a core Team Flying Solo member, want to cash in on this (undeniably once-in-a-lifetime) offer, just click our email link & I will hook you up!

Now, don't lose hope if your name isn't on the list, it is still totally possible to attain this incredible badge of honour & glory!!  If you, dearest of readers, express interest, there will be a contest whose nature I have not yet decided to disperse said priceless items.  So let me know in the comments if there are any of you who can't wait to emblazon your vehicle/tack truck/horse trailer/desk/refrigerator/cat with these totally fantastic stickers!

I'll stop now, but not without a huge THANK YOU to Megan & the folks at Build-A-Sign for your generosity towards my humble endeavors here at We Are Flying Solo. You have a great product & you've absolutely thrilled us to bits.