Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SockMonkeyCards on Etsy

I was not having one of my best days when I happened upon a card of Sock Monkeys sledding down a hill. Immediately I felt a sense of hilarity wash over my mood and I admittedly needed more giggles. I clicked on the shop responsible for making me smile. SockMonkeyCards by Laurie. I had to know where the heck this humor came from and how such award winning style develops. I feel a first- person inquiry helps to appreciate this brand of success with such positive force.

Thanks goes to Laurie of SockMonkeyCards on Etsy for submitting this tell-all about her shop. 

About 12 years ago I took a black and white photograph of my sister's 3 sock monkeys, then started adopting my own sock monkeys. I made a few cards for friends, then my sister-in-law said she thought I really had something. At the time I started photographing the sock monkeys, my work life was pretty stressful, and this really got my active imagination going in a good direction. When I was photographing sock monkeys, I wasn't worried about the problems of the world. I approached a couple stores, and they agreed to sell my cards. That was probably about 8 years ago. SInce then, other stores have approached me either after seeing my cards in stores, or seeing them on Etsy. 

I truly don't think of myself as having a great sense of humor.  I find such joy and contentment in the simple things in life; being outdoors, canoeing, cross-country skiing, making a snowman, bicycling. I appreciate the awesome beauty and strength of nature. I love photography, which I started studying in the early 90's. I do like to be silly sometimes. I always thought when I grew up I'd feel sophisticated, but that has never happened! 

I was born in London England, though was only there for 6 months. I have lived all over the U.S in this order: 

  • Pennsylvania
  • Wyoming
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Maryland
  • Arizona
  •  New Mexico

We have been living in Maine for the past 14 years and love it. 

When I started college I was a music major, then switched to early childhood education. I taught preschool for a number of years, which I really enjoyed, but the money was terrible. I went on a 3 month bicycle trip in 1982 in Europe with a friend, which got the travel bug in me. When I returned home, I went to a career counselor, who suggested I be a flight attendant. So that's what I've been doing for 28 years now. After 9/11, my imagination went into overdrive, and photographing sock monkeys truly has been a serendipity for me.

I am inspired by those who bring good things to the world, be it medicine, music, art, writing, healing, encouragement and 
support. I love going to art museums, playing the piano, reading, and doing almost anything outside. And of course, sock monkeys are always in the back of my mind. 

I have been making a sock monkey calendar each year for 7 years, and sell my cards and calendars and new book at about 12 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. I have many repeat customers, and I like the fact that my work makes people smile or even laugh out loud. I like the fact that it is good, clean fun. 

Three of my favorite images are "Tiptoeing", which was chosen to be in a juried photography show by well known photographer Joyce Tenneson, "Snow Angels" because my husband and I were cross-country skiing after a beautiful snow when the idea popped into my head. I told him when we got home I wanted him to put up the big ladder in the back yard, which I photographed the sock monkeys making snow angels from. Also I love the "Surfer Sock Monkeys" because people get a kick out of it. I had the surfboards made by someone in Redondo Beach CA. A firefighter makes wooden items, and his wife paints them. She sells her things at the store where I sell my sock monkey cards, so it was a good situation for us all.

Wow-- probably too much information, but I was on a roll there. Sometimes if my husband joins me on a trip or we go somewhere, he'll put a couple sock monkeys in his suitcase so I can photograph them in a new place. The first time he met me somewhere and he was so worried that security would make him open his suitcase and he'd be petrified with embarrassment. Oh- and my sock monkeys all have names. 

Thank you so much Laurie! We want to know their names!
CeCi @ BeltaneMoon

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