Happy Sunday everyone. We are delighted to introduce Ashley Balding, the ultimate Atlas Insider. By day, Ashley is MDK’s all-powerful, all-knowing Ecommerce Manager. She knows where the SKUs are buried, what a “product assembly” means, and why one would need such a thing. Ashley tried to keep her excellent, exuberant writing skills under wraps (cardboard Sta-Flat mailers, to be precise), but we got wise, and recruited her to contribute her unique perspective to this column. Welcome, Ashley!
—Ann and Kay
That is, If You Know You Know.
Here at Atlas we have clear boundaries to our sprawling space.
There is the front area upon entering with our VERY ALIVE AND THRIVING TREES DON’T QUESTION ME ON IT, as well as the set of rattan furniture from Ann’s house that I definitely have never taken a lunch nap on.
There is the massive block of shelving that is carefully laid out into aisles but somehow still feels like a corn maze. Instead of scarecrows, the shadows of DG and Nathan wisp around the corners, picking and packing orders.
There is the printing station with our giant fancy printer that does a lot more than print, but who has time to figure that out? Its real job is to spit out Hannah’s glorious visual creations at all times of the day … with which to adorn our bathroom walls. #readingmaterial
There is the kitchen, aka what in the WORLD has Chris been up to since his alarmingly early arrival before most of us have even considered being a human. Sometimes he has cooked. Sometimes he has made a repair to an on-the-fritz fridge. Sometimes he has solved all of the world’s problems before ascending the stairs to the upper crust of our campus, or, The Art Department.
Ah yes, The Art Department.
The Art Department hovers in the mezzanine, over the desk clump that Allison, Ann, Kay (when she is Tennessee Kay), and I inhabit. We often hear mysterious footsteps, oddly large scrapes of furniture being tetris-ed to various corners of Chris’s photo studio (yes the same Chris who regularly chefs his way into our hearts), and cackles from Hannah’s slack-slinging cubicle. Have you ever heard a pin drop? I did today when Chris dropped a plastic bin full of clear push pins. They didn’t so much drop as clatter, and then disappear into the white floor amidst a sing-song of very appropriate language.
Perhaps the most popular Art Department zip code is The Craft Table. Um yeah, we do Crafts here.
Earlier this year as we began to do research for our Holiday Shop offerings, we would take samples up to The Craft Table and morph into the kindergarten versions of ourselves:
Allison: will win the game of Crafts; gets the gold star.
Hannah: never follows classroom rules; draws own gold star.
Chris: looks for harder ways to accomplish all Crafts; secretly gets gold star, too, but doesn’t want anybody to know.
Nathan: always first to finish Crafts; cannot be bothered with said stars.
Ashley (that’s me): follows all rules so she can gauge her perfection on a standard scale; would prefer a color coded star system to rank various abilities within Craft-making
DG: usually making fun of us from down below; is a Gold Star.
Regardless of stances on stars, The Craft Table has become our own little therapy zone amidst the spaceship that is the vast upstairs.
When things feel a little extra crazy, as they do most of the time these days, we steal away to The Craft Table to busy our hands and relax our minds. There is usually a lot of giggles, plenty of jabs at each other, and absolutely NO complaining. Somewhere between the tissue paper version of a fried egg (Hannah), an origami bird (Chris), an abandoned half-felted Moose (Allison), and a very unabandoned felted tick lovingly named Tick James (Ashley) is a sense of peace among the chaos.
It’s easy to forget that half of us regularly fall UP the stairs, not down, or that I almost daily fall out of my chair because my memory foam derriere cushion slides out from under me, when you’re caressing a felting needle the size of a Bic and jabbing it into whatever new creature that is just begging to be born out of that technicolor wool.
And if that’s not enough happy-making distraction for you, enjoy this bonus picture of my dog-potato, Rose—the eternal sunshine to any cloudy mood.
A Super Special Giveaway
On Saturday, November 13 at 12:30 p.m. EST, Kay and Ann will give the keynote address at Virtual Knitting Live, and thanks to Vogue Knitting Live, we’ve got a Knit One, Purl Two package to give away. The lucky winner of our drawing will receive two classes, one lecture, access to all shops in the Virtual Marketplace (our vendor session starts at 2 p.m. Saturday), and all Marketplace Extras for the entire event November 11–14.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.
Step 2: Question—Which new-to-you needle art or fiber art would you most like to learn next? (It’s probably among the offerings at VKL!) Answer in the comments!
Deadline for entries: Sunday, November 7, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email. Please make sure that the email where you receive Snippets is an address you check daily. If you are already registered for VKL, this prize is transferable.