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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 1,931 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest

Creative Invitations: Perforations at their Finest


Perforated paper is simply delicious. Those tiny dotted punctures have a nice look, have a fun feel, and make you want to interact with whatever it is they're on, whether it's something being used for functionality purposes or not. Ideally, they also tell the viewer what to do without actually telling them what to do, which can be pretty convenient when you want an uncluttered design.

This post brought to you by the leading greeting card and postcard printing company, Next Day Flyers. They're bringing creative invitations to life.

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In vite verb |inˈvīt| [ with obj. ] make a polite, formal, or friendly request to (someone) to go somewhere or to do something

Invitations tend to go hand-in-hand with the traditional carnival ticket as a form of entry to an event. By means of tradition and sentimental memories, utilizing the idea of a ticket in design doesn't always mean to literally include carnival tickets (but that can be a cute addition that never gets old, too!).

Wedding invitation booklet using digital, letterpress and perforation - by dolcepress.com

In these dramatic wedding invitation booklets (above), simple perforation was used to create a tear-off RSVP postcard. This postcard tear-out is an excellent idea as it cuts down on providing an extra envelope while also using a portion of the invitation to re-use (tearing out and mailing the RSVP).

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Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time

Mattel Hot Wheels: Coloring Playtime, One Car at a Time


The launch of Mattel’s first line of Hot Wheels cars in 1968 was the beginning of what would become a big part of many of our childhoods. Almost 45 years later, Mattel estimates that about 41 million kids have grown up with their model toy cars, while the faithful enthusiasts have become collectors as adults. So, what was the secret to Hot Wheels' success?

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For starters, a constant stream of new models and concepts has enabled Hot Wheels to remain competitive. Its rivalry with Matchbox, which had a 15-year head start debuting in 1953, has resulted in a very colorful history that has transformed our entire preconception of what model toy vehicles should or should not be.

Hot Wheels 1968 Advertisement Featuring the Cheetah (source)

Often referred to by collectors as the “Sweet 16,” the first 16 cars that were released featured metallic “spectraflame” paintwork in such exotic colors as Antifreeze, Magenta and Hot Pink. Soon to follow were a collection of 48 cars released in the 1970s, which included the Paddy Wagon and models with rotating crash-panels called Crack-Ups.

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COLOR CONFERENCE NYC | 2011 - A Success!

COLOR CONFERENCE NYC | 2011 - A Success!


The entire COLOURlovers Team spent the better half of last week at Print's COLOR CONFERENCE in NYC. This was the first year of the event and I can definitely say we look forward to many more!

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Aaron & Darius (aka Bubs) | "Creative Differences" 

As the event organizer, Print had the tough job of narrowing down what topics would be covered to rein in color at its finest. Topics ranged from color trending to a variety of looks at color in product design to how color affects our lives on personal levels, business and even non-profit. Between some great speakers, fun activities and CMYK Cocktails, I'd say we all had a wonderful time discovering color in ways we hadn't thought of before. It was truly intriguing to meet and talk to so many people interested in color and who work with it in a variety of fields. From those who deal with it broadly between science and art, every attendee brought a unique addition to the conference.

If you'd like a full rundown on the happenings, see blogpost, Viva Color at Print's First Color Conference  - great images of the CMYK Cocktails, the speakers panel and many fun candid shots.

Andy Gordon of 48HourPrint.com using Jamie Aylwin's palette | "Planking" | @48hourprint

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Project from Sharing Stitches: Amazing Artist's Apron + Giveaway

Project from Sharing Stitches: Amazing Artist's Apron + Giveaway


In two previous posts—one for the Market Bag and the other for the iPad Sleeve—I shared with you some techniques I love to use for painting layers on canvas and then using the canvas to sew projects with. Well this time, I wanted to kick it up one notch by adding some hand stitching to my painted fabric. I chose the Amazing Artist’s Apron from the book, Sharing Stitches by Chrissie Grace. Liz Lamoreux—one of 15 contributing artists in Chrissie’s book—designed this project.

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I was already of fan of Liz’s aprons, so I was excited that she shared how to make one in this book! The yummy palette I was inspired to draw from for my apron—How To—comes from lover Phoenixfire. So, with my palette in mind, I headed to Michael’s for paint and embroidery floss and found it easy to find all of the colors in both instances. Having the ColorSchemer app on my phone made this super handy, as I could just pull up the palette and have it in my hand as I visually scanned the products.

How_To

I started by painting plain pieces of light-weight cotton (I only used a small amount of duck canvas this time) with the five basic colors, then had fun layering them with spatters, drips and, of course, lots of stencils. After my fabrics were dry, I cut all the pieces I would need, according to the directions in the book. The focal point of this apron is the pocket, which is a mini quilt of sorts, made up of strips and squares of the various painted fabrics. The pocket is lined and divided into four sections—making it like four different pockets—but before I sewed the patchwork pocket to its lining, I went to town having fun with hand-stitched doodles (or embroidery if you prefer).

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Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!

Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!


Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)

Presented by the offset printing services company, Next Day Flyers. They offer fast turnaround time on printed materials including business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures.

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Tour Eiffel during the exhibition (source) | (source)

The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.

1927 Poster for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (source)
This vintage 1927 movie poster epitomizes a very vivid sense of power that was a popular theme in the posters created in the 1920s.

1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)

This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.

1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)

Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.

1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)

The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.

1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)

Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.

1920s National Dairy Council Milk Poster (source) | 1928 Milk Bottle Lawrence Wilbur Poster (source)

Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.

1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)

Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.

1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)

Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.

1920 French Railroad Poster (source)

This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.

1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)

This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.

1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)

This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.

Vintage ambient advertising for women's stockings, 1920s (source)

These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.


In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!

If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.

header credit: poster source | palette

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Using the Color of Cause in Business

Breast Cancer Awareness: Using the Color of Cause in Business


Millions of pink Breast Cancer products get ready to take October by storm. The colors of awareness are popping up everywhere by any number of businesses large and small…

“Buy this pink product and all proceeds will be donated to breast cancer.”

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photos by me | The Human Bean donates all proceeds to the local hospitals on a certain day in October.

This might be one of the most successful marketing ploys of the twentieth-century. Why? Because people don’t mind contributing when they feel like they are getting something out of showing their support.

Take a look at the average consumer, who generally does not have or want to spend the extra cash to simply donate. Now they can donate and get something in return. Wouldn’t you much rather spend $8.00 on a pink water bottle than donate $8.00 directly to a charity? I am going to buy a water bottle anyway.

Embrace Activism Products specifically designed around Breast Cancer

The sheer number of charities asking for donations can be daunting. How do you pick one if you don’t necessarily have a sentimental reason to go with one or the other?

Being an average person and general consumer of every day products, I have no personal reasons to choose to financially support a cause. So unless someone asks me to donate I most likely wouldn’t think to donate if it wasn’t right in my face when I go to the store. But, since I’m there, I might as well buy the loaf of bread with the pink ribbon graphic promising to donate for me. I feel good about supporting a cause and I get my loaf of bread, everyone wins.

Simple Methods, Big Impact

A couple basic cause-based advertising models…

Spare Change: Asking customers if they would like to round up their purchases to donate the extra change to a certain cause or charity. Normally something at a grocery store, but you could use this on a smaller scale in almost any type of situation.

Color it Pink or add a Pink Ribbon: This is the biggest marketing scheme we see on a daily basis. Companies small and large use this method to generate awareness for their brand, products and the cause (of course). Pair up with a foundation or simply donate to local programs (organized charities, hospitals, groups) to draw in community members.

Small & Large Scale Business for Charity:

With October just a hop over the fence, there is ample opportunity to get in on it some way or another! From using the color pink and boobies in unexpected product design or creatively funny ads, it's a great way to step out of your regular routine and make a splash at it!

Products & Proceeds

Jordan "Think Pink"Nike "Think Pink"

 

Pink tortillas, El Rey tortilla factory (2009) 

Putting on events or being involved in events can get your brand out there in any number of ways...

Ladies Golf Breast Cancer Day at Jamberoo Golf Club. 

2011 Camaro SS Pink Breast Cancer NASCAR Pace Car

Penny Lancaster Pink Ribbon Walk 2011

Etsy...

I'm actually surprised at how little Etsy crafters have made for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm even more surprised that more than half the crafters displaying content for sale, are not even trying to pull off donating proceeds or a percentage to some foundation or another...which would probably help their purchases. Maybe we'll see more pop up as we get in to October more.


 

So is it wrong or right to run creative promotions and sell product based on Breast Cancer Awareness?

With October being the official month for Breast Cancer Awareness, there are plenty of opportunities to run a caused-based promotion with your small business be that an Etsy shop or physical business.

So morally, is this a bad thing to run a creative promotion or sell your products based around Breast Cancer Awareness? When it comes down to the dollar and the sense of it all -- what this has really done is create HUGE avenues to more regularly and more actively generate money and massive awareness for these causes. Think of how much more funds have been raised due to proceeds and percentages donated by businesses than before when people were simply asked to provide a dollar donation.

However funds are raised, the cause is important and breast cancer takes too many of our wonderful women. And as always directly donating to an organization is a great way to make a difference. Foundations such as the SUSAN G KOMEN - for the CURE provides tons of resources to understand Breast Cancer for both the diagnosed or if you just want to know more about it along with donating and finding things like races and events to be a part of.

What's the coolest breast cancer product or ad you've seen? 

If you are a Breast Cancer Survivor or know someone who has been diagnosed, what are your thoughts about businesses donating proceeds and percentages?


Choose_to_Standout--Miracles_do_happen..Check_the_boobs!Survivor

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Announcing Winners: Betabrand Striped-Sock Design Contest

Announcing Winners: Betabrand Striped-Sock Design Contest


The suspense has been high between two layers of voting and over 2,000 participants - the Betabrand Palette-Sock Contest has finally come to a close. So without further adieu, the winners are...

Luna Rose "Urban Nature" | Northern Dancer "80 proof socks" | earlgrey "Good Morning"

These striped palette-socks will be sold in packs of three together in time for the Holidays over at Betabrand.com.

 

A big congratulations to these three ladies! They will each receive a $100 Betabrand gift card, their username on the sock packaging, five free sock three-packs and recognition on the Betabrand site in photos/videos (when able).

For the rest of you, Betabrand is offering great pre-order savings on the winning shirt and socks. And a special 20% discount on everything else at Betabrand.com. Click either of the links below...

COLOURlovers Striped Socks: $33 $25 Pre-Order Price

COLOURlovers Plaid Flanel: $80 $60 Pre-Order Price

A Look Back at the 30 Finalists & COLOURlovers Votes

Enjoy a looksie at the 30 most loved striped socks in phase one. Again, great job everyone, thanks for participating!


Bluegum_Dreams



Glowing



SILENT_FOOTSTEPS



Feel_The_Feet



Urban_Nature



80_proof_socks



Neon



In_your_shoes



socks_for_H_O_P_E



Made_with_Sunshine



Compass_for_One



Walk_Into_Plum



Frosty_Desert



Funny_socks



Good_Morning



Romantically_loved



Friday_Night_Alright



cozy_warmth



Socks_For_My_Daddy



Cant_say_no



rainy_day



Dancing_To_The_Beat



World_Domination



HAPPY_FEET



Earth_Toes



Rosey_Toes



on_grass



Rainbow_Connection



Two_Magpie_Socks



Soft_spot


header sock credits:

Sunshiny

topaz jazz

Wear It Is

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The Sketchbook Project: Transforming a Library into a Successful Business

The Sketchbook Project: Transforming a Library into a Successful Business


For the past decade, the libraries we knew as children with the Dewy Decimal System and the Card Catalogue have been approaching the brink of extinction. We live in an era where the Kindle and the iPad challenge the need for physical books, and libraries and bookstores face the daunting task of attracting the readers’ attention just to stay in business.

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"

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Granted, those who are surviving have found some sort of niche to keep the interest going. For example, the bookstore Barnes & Noble has always had a sort of coffee-house atmosphere where people actually go to enjoy an experience. Amazon.com, already online and a threat to physical bookstores, quickly became a source for digital media along with its physical media. So, how about the local library? What has changed to keep it in the running?

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"

The Brooklyn Art Library is not exactly a traditional library, but more of a co-op gallery. It does provide a library-type experience, but with so much more. The library acts as a physical extension of Art House Co-op, a library featuring artistic talent from around the globe encompassed in sketchbooks.

Folding Sketchbooks - source

Art House opened its doors in December of 2006 initially as a pay-to-play gallery, but it didn’t do so hot. Scrounging for ideas to keep the business going, the co-op started the first ever, “A Million Little Pictures,” meaning a million photographs and one cross-country exhibition.

“A Million Little Pictures is a community-supported exhibition of snapshots captured around the world. By joining together thousands of specific moments to create a single immersive environment, A Million Little Pictures imagines a communal story from the images of our lives.” - arthousecoop.com (A Million Little Pictures)

The exhibition did okay, but it didn’t help fully support Art House’s gallery. The one thing it did do was give birth to idea of “The Sketchbook Project”—a traveling library of artists’ journals that is open to anyone around the world. The Art House gallery has had three locations and finally resides in Brooklyn, NY, as the Brooklyn Art Gallery—the home of many sketchbooks from around the World.

Art House Co-op & The Library

The library acts as the physical extension of Art House and is home to the Sketchbook Project. The walls are lined with shelves of sketchbooks from The Sketchbook Project. Visitors can check out a pile of books or simply peruse sketchbooks from around the globe. How amazing it must be to sift through so many varied mediums and talent.

The Brooklyn Art Library

Sketchbooks are individually catalogued and bar-coded so that they can easily be found (by artist name, location and theme). Authors can also choose to have their books digitalized, which means they are scanned and become available online at the Art House Co-Op online in their Digital Library.

The physical library is also a storefront for, you guessed it, sketchbooks, notebooks, art supplies, stationary and vintage trinkets.

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

The library’s purpose is to connect artists from all over the world and encourage the Art House community to interact with one another face-to-face, while showcasing members’ artwork to the local Brooklyn audience. The library hosts readings, discussions, workshops and performances. (source)

A West Coast US location may be opening up in the San Francisco area. Participants in the 2012 exhibition would be included in the launch of the West Coast hub.

The Sketchbook Project

When you sign up for participation in The Sketchbook Project you will get to pick from 40 themes. Themes are there to give you a little boost in the creative direction of your sketchbook and are not restricted to any specific rules. Basic participation costs $25 (USD). This gets you a sketchbook and helps in the expense of the entire project overall. Other optional expenses include requesting that your book be scanned for online viewing ($20 USD) and/or a Sketchbook Project t-shirt ($20).

From the sketchbook of, Gení§ay Aytekin Istanbul, Fatih, Turkey | 

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

I signed up for the Category, Monochromatic and plan to either stick with a single color in many different mediums to create my sketchbook artwork as a whole or use a different hue in single color creations for each page. I am considering a way to incorporate COLOURlovers color swatches.

From the sketchbook of, Jane Kim Los Angeles, CA, United States | Coffee & Cigarettes

Unique Folded Sketchbook - source

Take note that these sketchbooks are not restricted to the format of a regular book either. Creative foldouts, popouts and any type of mixed media is acceptable with a warning to adhere things strongly since these will be handled and viewed from people all over the world. Your book will be well traveled.

source

What a great outlet to work on your creative style and promote your name as a creative individual be it Graphic Design, Illustrative Design, Mixed Media Artist and any type of singular art such as drawing, sketching, painting, inking, stamping and so on. I am looking forward to participating and experimenting in varied mediums.

source

Apparently themes fill up fast with over 10,000 people in participation. You must sign up no later than October 31, 2011 in order to participate for the 2012 exhibition. Deadline to turn in your finished sketchbook is January 31, 2012 (postmarked by) and the Tour starts in April 2012.

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Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge


Hi, I’m Sarai, and I want to share a little style and sewing challenge that I’ll bet many of you will be interested in.

First, let me introduce myself. I am the designer and founder behind Colette Patterns, a boutique sewing pattern company. I also write the sewing blog The Coletterie and have a forthcoming sewing book, The Colette Sewing Handbook.

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One of the reasons I started a sewing pattern business is that I love the idea of investing our everyday lives with creativity, making conscious and creative decisions about how to dress rather than feeling overwhelmed by the push of fast fashion and cheap, disposable goods.

To that end, I came up with a fun way for sewists to get their creative juices flowing, by challenging my readers to create a seasonal mini-wardrobe based on an inspiring color palette. We now host palette challenges in the Spring and Fall, and it’s always fun to see what amazing projects people come up with.

Grey_Basement

The logistics are simple: You create a moodboard and color palette that is inspiring you for the season. Then you choose the number of projects to sew in an 8 week time period, based on your color palette. In the end, you (hopefully) have a coordinated mini-wardrobe.

You can use any patterns, any fabric. The idea is just to focus your sewing around the colors that inspire and excite you.

Fall_Palette_2011

For my Fall palette this year, I chose sunset hues of mustard-gold, pumpkin, and red punctuated with black and ivory. Here’s what I’ve made so far:

WEEK 1: Lonsdale Dress

 

This late-summer dress is my transition piece, I suppose. The pattern is the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress, and the fabric is a beautiful Italian cotton.

WEEK 2: Clover Pant

 

Last week, I made these slim cigarette pants from my new Clover sewing pattern. The fabric is a mustard wool blend, underlined in cotton twill.

WEEK 3: Chevrons + Clover

And finally, my latest outfit is a second pair of clover pants in black velveteen, paired with a cotton/silk version of the (free) Sorbetto top pattern.

You can still join up!

If you’re interested in trying out your own palette challenge, you can read more details here on the Coletterie (blog).

Get a re-cap or see even more inspiration from our sewing challenges here in the SEWING CHALLENGES section (includes Spring 2011 + the current Fall Challenge underway).

Image credits for my moodboards: vintage mustard wool skirt from Dear Golden1930s crepe dress from thirteeneightyfiveimage via junebugweddingsthe character Joy from Mad Menorange dress by Erin Fetherston via Style.comred dress by Marc Jacobs Fall 2004 via Style.comOrla Kiely cookbookimage via ginnyandjudes Etsy shop

 


From the Forums

In the Forums we invite all those doing the challenge to post their inspiration boards, color palettes and anything to do with the challenge. It's amazing where some people draw their color inspiration from!

Outer Space Inspiration by "sweetjane"

"I decided to draw my color inspiration from outer space, since I'm a huge nerd & I associate fall with stargazing on brisk September/October/November evenings. (this particular photo is the Horsehead Nebula... I really like the muted almost-autumnal glow of all the colors. My palette could use a little work, but it's pretty close to what I'm going for.)" - sweetjane

Nature Board by "julie s"

Emralds by ginnie.wise

Creme + Orange by michaelannn

Muted Orange + Reds by Chance Of Rain

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Striped Sock Design Contest with Betabrand... 30 Finalists -Go Vote!

Striped Sock Design Contest with Betabrand... 30 Finalists -Go Vote!


Pitter patter I hear a lot of palettes waiting to be worn on your feet! We recieved over 2,000 entries in the Betabrand Striped Sock Design Contest! Here we are in the final round - 30 finalists have been determined with the highest LOVES. I can't believe only three will win?! The winning sock designs will be sold as a 3-pack and ready for the Winter holidays.

Voting ends Tuesday, September 27th at 5:00 pm Pacific. Only THREE entrants will win and you only get to vote once! Additionally, FIVE lucky voters will win a prize from the Betabrand product line! So get your bunz over there and make it count!

Also, Betabrand is giving everyone a discount code:

"StripeSaver" is good for 20% off until the end of the September.

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