Do you have your own tiki bar? Swingin’ lounge? Bachelor’s pad? Tropical screen porch/patio? I’d like to ask you a question about it.
How does it smell in there?
If you’ve done all the work to create a great living space to enjoy and share with your closest associates and maybe the occasional new acquaintance or total stranger, it’s possible that you may have overlooked one important final touch. You need to make it smell delightful. I brighten up the atmosphere in my place with tropical scents from Smallkine Creations. I like the candles best, but the wax melts are fantastic too. And such variety! Some of my favorites are Luau, Hula Skirt, Got Lei’d, Pango, Hawaiian Breeze… there are just too many. These are soy wax that burn (and melt) cleanly and always smell great. Not like those mass produced aroma bombs that you can find at any department store, dollar store, pharmacy, etc. These are lovingly made by hand in a small studio on Oahu. I like to imagine Amy, the owner & creator, working late nights (by candlelight of course) in a bamboo walled laboratory, mixing, melting and pouring different combinations of scents until she finds the perfect new discovery.
Check out smallkinecreations.com and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did. And when you order, boy does your package arrive fast! You may find a little hand written note of Aloha and mahalo in there too. Amy obviously likes her customers happy.
Cocktail Nation (podcast)
I often have motivational issues. I think that’s the nice way of saying I’m lazy. Sometimes I just can’t get into a creative frame of mind. Sometimes I’m in a foul mood. None of that helps me get any work done. Fortunately, there is a cure. When I sit down to do some work on a cool, rainy day in June, or a frigid, snowy day in February, and can’t seem to find a groove, all I need to do is call up Mr. Koop Kooper. If you haven’t heard, Koop Kooper’s Cocktail Nation is the coolest show in town. An old-school disk jockey with a velvety-smooth voice, Koop spins the best classic and modern cocktail jazz and exotica from his vintage penthouse overlooking Sydney harbor. A man of impeccable taste and style, Koop knows how to put together a real radio show. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. From Chet Baker and Julie London to The Martini Kings and The Tikiyaki Orchestra with a few fascinating interviews and bad jokes thrown in for good measure, you can’t go wrong spending your Evenings at the Penthouse with Koop Kooper.
Look him up on whatever podcast machine you use, or follow the link…
Stay warm & be cool.
I think I've written before about Zazzle mousepads. They are really nice. Seriously. They are thick and weighty, have a nice no-slip backing, a great surface texture, and the print is always sharp and bright. I just bought the two pictured above and once again, I am impressed. The one with the beach scene is available in my Zazzle shop and I really think I ought to create some more because they're really that good.
Yesterday I received a test print Tshirt that I purchased right here on my own website. I am happy to say that it looks great! The print is crisp and clear, the colors bright and vibrant, and the shirt itself is wonderfully soft 100% ring spun cotton (from Gildan). I'll be adding a few new variations in the coming days. I also added a few items to my long neglected Society6 store page society6.com/madtropic. I'll be adding another link to that on the front page when I feel like it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe later. Whatever. [The island map designs you'll see there are a project of mine with a limited, locally focused interest relating to my home town and county's chain of lakes. I spent months creating the actual maps and I sell them through my other website: www.madisontropic.com (or Etsy).]
Stay warm & be cool.
I've added a SHOP page with a few items from the POD service Printful. I'll be playing around with it for awhile to see if I like it. It's nice that it is easily integrated into my website, but the products available are somewhat limited. The mugs look good (as they always do) and though the beach towels may be a little pricey, I like the look of them too. I'm still working on adding towels, hand towels, tea towels, placemats, pillowcases, etc. to my Zazzle store but I've been lazy and retooling my designs to fit various new template dimensions is tedious work. It'll get done on island time, i guess.
Summer is coming. I keep telling myself that. It's coming closer every day. So far it's been a chilly April (March too). I've been itching to paint my bike, but the air temperature should be above 50 degrees for the paint to dry properly and we just haven't had that kind of warmth yet. So the bike is stripped bare and sanded, just waiting for that new blue coat for summer. I can't wait to get out there again.
Keep watching this space for new stuff, and as always...
Stay warm & be cool.
The first signs of trouble appeared on Christmas Day. A tickle on the back of my throat and a few sneezes. 24 hours later my sinuses were blocked, my nose was on fire, swallowing was a painful effort and I ached all over. The flu-like bug was going around and people everywhere were feeling it. I must've picked it up in an airport or something. The first two weeks were bad. The third week brought hope. Then I got another dose of it and went right back to square one. After a couple more weeks, there is light at the end of the tube. Today, It just feels like it's winter and I'm stuck in it for several more weeks. At least we're back into double digit temperatures after the deep freeze.
So my plan of starting a healthier and more productive 2018 is not off to a great start, but I did manage to get a few things done. I've made some shirts, cards, posters and mugs available for purchase - and they look good! Most are on my Zazzle store, some are on my Redbubble store and I'm planning to add more options in the near future. I would especially recommend the mugs. Zazzle does a great job on the printing and the product is solid. I've bought several over the last couple years and I've always been happy with them. Also, the 20oz size is BIG! I love mine.
There's still plenty of time to work on new things for the new year, and I plan to do so as soon as I feel the spark. For now, I'll continue to take my vitamins with plenty of water, drink a lot of (Yorkshire) tea with honey in my jumbo MadTropic mugs, and occasionally experiment with whatever cold remedies are lurking in the medicine cabinet.
Good luck and happy sails to you all.
Stay warm & be cool.
Once again, the persistence of my procrastination astonishes me. Another two months has passed without a website update. I can't remember what I was doing in November, but December has been busy. I made an escape to California to gather with family for a couple days before we all then flew away to beloved Kauai. Everyone had a nice, warm week of Mele Kalikimaka and a great big refill of ALOHA.
I've never been one for making New Year's resolutions, but now that I've reached a certain milestone in my life, resolving to make some changes doesn't seem like such a bad idea. At the risk of sounding totally unoriginal, I think I'll focus on a healthier and more productive lifestyle. If I can remember to always stretch first, I think I can manage it.
On the business end of things, I've got some plans and I've got some fantasies. Here's hoping I can bend some of the latter into the former category. I'll be starting the year with some new cards, t-shirts, and whatever else, featuring happy little scenes like the ones shown above. (Happy. Beach. Sun.) Fabric design will still be a major focus, because who knows, maybe this year someone will see the potential of MadTropic beachwear, and the wheels of industry may begin to turn.
So here's to hoping the new year brings happy little improvements or great waves of good fortune and that every heart be filled with aloha.
Stay warm & be cool.
I can't believe I haven't posted anything since last spring! I guess I'm just that easily distracted. I goofed off most of the summer, waiting for new inspiration that never really came. But I'm back at my desk now, every day, working on some new designs and rethinking some old ideas. I'll be trying to work with a more limited or focused color palette and finding ways to maintain a more disciplined work plan. To begin this new effort, I created the new logo you see at the top of the page. It's lighter, breezier, and for me, evokes endless possibilities and wide open horizons. Also there's a beach and a wave, which just makes me happy. So watch this space for exciting new stuff, and as always...
Stay Warm & Be Cool.