Almost a Year and Scenic Drive

It’s hard to believe that next month will be a year since we moved to WI. This year has sure flown by. Last Spring and Summer was a blur as we were still unpacking. This summer is going to be a lot easier. Although we have gotten use to navigating around Ohskosh and Appleton some we have been too busy to wander much further until recently. A few days ago with temps near 70 we decided to go for a drive. Sure glad that we did.

There is a tiny little town about 10 min from us called Waukau, WI. They have a fishing pond and creek there. The first picture is of the Dam that is right next to the pond as seen below. It was really rushing that day.
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The next picture is off the pond itself.
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We then drove about 10 minutes more and arrived in Berlin, WI, They had a beautiful quarry there and I too some pictures of that.
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water dam,quarry,fishingwater dam,quarry,fishing

We plan to explore as we fish this Spring and Summer. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

A New Arrival to the IB Designs, USA Family

Bravo Zulu Award Print, Nautical, signal flags

t’s been a while in the making, but we’re excited to introduce the newest member to our family:

BRAVO-ZULU (BZ) Presentation-Quality Color Print

We previously offered a fabric flag vertical banner with the letter B (Bravo) and Z (Zulu). These two flags are a sort of “well done” acknowledgement in the maritime services. Then we realized how much time it took to make the flags, while at the same time some of our customers wanted to order quantities. We did a lot of ponderatin’, thinkinating, contemplatin’, cogitatin’, bamboozlizin’ and meditating.

Then we came up with a photo-realistic, 3D image of the two flags and saw we could do some really cool things with it! Our next problem was how to get it from our imagination into the real world, onto the Web site and available for purchase. At last, we figured it all out.

The new Bravo Zulu is:
An 8×10″ quality color print on 32-lb laser paper,
Ready to frame in whatever frame or matting you’d like (frames are not included),
Carries a much lower price than our fabric ladder flags.

Additionally, each BZ print comes with its own custom-designed gift card and envelope, featuring a crest we designed with a gold banner proclaiming “BRAVO ZULU.” The card opens to a simple message stating, “BRAVO ZULU, Well Done!”

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Craig designed this and the quality is excellent. This is just the beginning, and we intend to introduce other high-quality 3D paper signal flags in various sizes and banners in the future. We’re thinking of 1-click-to-buy banners that spell out various events like: “Happy Birthday,” “Just Married,” “Congratulations,” “Welcome Home,” and so forth.

The paper-letter signal flags will be DYI, where you order the flags and cut them out to string together. I’ll have more about them as we get closer to finishing them. The BZ award is an example of what we also can offer as “portrait” flags, all suitable for framing. The individual letters we’re thinking would be wall size, about 8×10 and then smaller versions. For example, we hope to produce “stick flags,” about 4×5″ that you cut out and fold to wrap around a typical skewer. The result could be part of a floral arrangement or hung on string instead as a decoration.

Several years ago, we saw a post from Martha Stewart that went on about putting small signal flags on toothpicks for cakes. Oddly enough, she had no connection to where anyone could buy some of these! So we decided we should be the ones making them! Those could even go on Christmas trees as a sort of garland. Fun, right? But of course!

We’re also able to do things with paper that we simply can’t do with fabric. We’re thinking of “repeater” flags, and things like pirate flags for birthday parties with a nautical theme. Another problem has been number pennants, which we do make in fabric but they’re cumbersome. With numbers in “stick flag” size, we could offer things like “Happy New Year 20-##” at a much more affordable price.

It’s an exciting time, but Holy Cow!…there’s a lot involved! At the moment, we’re redesigning the Web site, so keep an eye out for Breaking News!

Check out our BZ page to see the images and to order.

bravo zulu,signal flag, nautical, award print

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ~ 2015

We wanted to take a minute to wish all our friends and followers a Merry Christmas and a wish for a healthy and successful new year. This sure has been a busy and exciting year for us. We celebrated our 10th Anniversary in February, even though it was among a lot of boxes. Seriously: a LOT of boxes! At the beginning of the year, we were packing away towards our April move. Then the move itself was huge, being out-of-state after 25 years in one place.

We wanted to learn a whole new area, and most importantly, to finding all the fishing spots. We love to BBQ, but it was a lot more difficult in Batavia, in the apartment. This year was all about the grilling! We made up for lost time, going all out on the hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, and Ribs! Oh, and chicken, of course. Oh wait — and the Korean bulgogi, Chinese char siu, and of course, Mexican fajitas.

We needed new drapes, and couldn’t find them. The windows are weird, being around a half a mile wide, and they’re not patio doors. So we needed something around 72 inches. We could find 63 or 84 inches, but at last, J.C. Penney’s came through for us, with 72-inch long drapes.

And let’s not forget the lawnmower we needed, going from an apartment to a half-acre lawn, and the snow blower for the Wisconsin winters. (“Yer gonna want one of them 6 horse blowers, ya know, not one of them little ones. Ya know.”) Then there was registering the vehicles, getting unpacked, buying some other furniture, getting rid of stuff we didn’t need; the list goes on and on.

Because of all this, we decided to start a new tradition: a memory tree at Christmas time. We’d hoped to find some little ornaments that would remind us of things we did, but couldn’t find them. I guess they don’t celebrate Christmas in China, so they don’t make as many unusual ornaments. Solution? We would make our own. As we go along, each ornament will remind us of what we did in a particular year.

Below is our Christmas tree, and a couple of the ornaments. Next post, I’ll show how we did it; it’s pretty easy, and a lot of fun. Not to mention, a lot less expensive than commercial ornaments. Click to enlarge any picture.

christmas tree,holiday,new year,ornamnets

Next is a picture I took at the Outlet Mall in Oshkosh with their holiday decorations

christmas tree, ornaments,holiday,shopping
Here is one of our memory ornaments showing our 10th anniversary.

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We found this little house ornament that we love!

christmas tree, ornaments,holiday

Lastly we visited the Oshkosh Celebrations of Lights. It was wonderful!

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Have a great Christmas and New Year!

Kathy and Craig

Happy Nautical Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away. This year has sure gone by fast. I remember last year and how many boxes were around the place as we were packing. We are looking forward to our First Thanksgiving and Christmas here in WI.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year. The move went well, overall our health is good and we have food on the table.

From our house to yours wishing all my friends and followers a wonderful Thanksgiving as we enter the holiday season.

thanksgiving,nautical,signal flags,holidaysIB Designs, USA

Fall Pictures in WI- 2015

As promised in my previous post I was able to get some pictures of Oshkosh around our area. The first picture is my favorite. It was taken at Menominee Park. We were sitting on the dock fishing and this is what we were seeing. On all picture you can click to enlarge!

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This picture was taken through our living room window looking out towards the East.
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The next picture would be our view of across the street facing North.
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Lastly this picture is a tree that is in our yard. You can see the mesh of the screen a little bit but you get the idea.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Not bright colors but pretty good.

6 Month Update on Move

It’s now been 6 months since we moved and the house is starting to take shape. It’s starting to feel more like home. Time really flies by fast! When we moved last April, the two-car garage got overrun with boxes. It was at the point, in the beginning, that we had to create a path just to get from one side to the other. We have a nice long driveway, so we left the cars parked outside. Since then, we’ve been working away most of the summer, (between fishing and grilling and mowing a lawn for the first time). Now, with Fall having arrived, we wanted to be able to put the cars in the garage for the winter months ahead.

Below is a picture collage I put together showing the before and after. The bottom two show the after. The before pictures really don’t show all the boxes we had in there, and we had some furniture the first few days that the mover guys put there. We didn’t know what we were going to do with it back then. But now, at least, we can finally park both cars in the garage, which is great!

moving,wi,boxes,packing

We’ve learned a lot over the summer months, about just how much stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. After living so long in apartments, we are seeing what a difference living in a house can be. Especially mowing a lawn for the first time in years (yes I already mentioned that, but it’s a huge deal for us!). Still, we really are happy that we moved to Wisconsin, and we love the rental we found, even with the kitchen being a bit small for us. And we just got a snow-blower (a really huge one!) so we should be good to go for the winter.

I was hoping to include here some Autumn pictures, since we live in a area with lots of trees. But although a few trees have started to change colors, it’s been a warm fall so they haven’t changed all that much. If we get some really good colors on the trees, I’ll take some pictures for maybe the next post. I was going to include a picture of the snow blower, but it’s so big I couldn’t fit it in the camera!

IB Designs, USA