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Half a Million Trees, Art, Commerce, and Service

During this holiday of giving thanks, we’re honored and excited to share this wonderful news (first published on Elephant Journal):

500,000 trees planted!What do art, commerce, service, and 500,000 trees have in common? They are all an integral part of the mission of Amber Lotus Publishing. We are an independent publisher of mind-body-spirit calendars and greeting cards that recently reached a significant milestone of 500,000 trees planted through our partnership with Trees for the Future (TREES). What began as a simple strategy in 2008 to offset the number of trees used to produce our products has morphed into a fundamental component of our ongoing mission. Continue reading

We Love Bees!

Bee Happy 2015 wall calendar

Bee Happy 2015 wall calendar — currently sold out on our website. Please check with your favorite local or online retailer for availability.

Bees are all the buzz. In the past decade, backyard beekeeping has multiplied exponentially in urban areas. Budding apiarists around the world are tending beehives just about everywhere, from suburban patios and rooftop terraces to elementary school gardens. These urban naturalists are preserving a tradition that has been alive for more than 4,000 years.

Bees are in our blood. Images of honey collectors were carefully painted in caves 1,500 years ago. Ancient Egyptians introduced the form of beekeeping we practice today, and they took pride in their beehives and carved detailed images of honeybees into temple walls. They knew then what we are just beginning to rediscover about the infectious pleasure of beekeeping.

Bees are often kept for their honey, but honey is just one of their gifts. They offer beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and pollen packets. Some people keep bees as pollinators, as this is what bees do best. Bees are essential to the food we eat. The tiny, stingless orchard mason bee, for example, will visit more than 2,000 flowers a day. These insects perform their task rain or shine and help keep our crops growing. All they ask for is a safe place to raise their young and access to the glories spring brings. For those who have learned to appreciate bees, honoring this request is a pure delight.

Here in Portland, we have had a mild winter so far. We’re hoping our bee friends are thriving, happy, and ready to bounce into spring as blossoms open. The Xerces Society, also based here in Portland, offers an abundance of information about bees as well as monarch butterflies and other precious invertebrates.

Other kitchen and garden wall calendars:

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Vasant Panchami: A Celebration of Spring

Land Art 2015 wall calendar by Sally J. Smith

Land Art 2015 wall calendar by Sally J. Smith

The fifth day after the new moon of January (January 24 in 2015) marks the first day of spring in the Hindu holiday calendar and is celebrated in India and Nepal. Yellow is the auspicious color to wear:  the color of happiness and the color of the mustard that is blooming at this time. (In my neighborhood in Seattle, witch hazel is already unfurling its yellow fragrant petals.) Continue reading

Oh So Many Choices! — Staff Selections for 2015

Every new year it’s a fun challenge to select the calendars that we hang in our spaces here at Amber Lotus and in our homes. We’re fortunate to be working with so many incredibly talented contributors—artists, photographers, and authors. But it does make it hard to choose. Here are some of our selections for 2015:

Aleta Florentin — I always choose the Rumi: Heart of the Beloved wall calendar, with translations by Coleman Barks. His translations of Rumi are always inspirational, and I particularly love the Persian art.

Dianne Foster — For home I selected the Meditation calendar for its lush, intense images. On each day that I have taken time to go for a walk or to meditate, I place a little gold foil sticker (Remember those from elementary school? They still make me smile.). I love celebrating these simple acts of self-care. I feel gratitude for each little star. For the office, I selected Hafiz. The text is extraordinary and I love the intricately layered artwork of Silas Toball.

Ethan Disbrow — Hanging at my office desk is the Gardens of the Spirit wall calendar. The calming photographs of Japanese gardens provide a nice sanctuary for my eyes when the computer screen has strained them. At home I have the Bicycle Bliss calendar reminding me to get outside and enjoy a rambling ride without a destination.

Lawson Day — As an avid Tai Chi Chuan player, I enjoy the Tai Chi Spirit calendar as a reminder of my practice while sitting in the office. At home, The Lakota Way calendar provides a unique philosophical perspective that I enjoy exploring.

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Leslie Gignilliat-Day — I have four places where I put up wall calendars. Two are for functional use (at home on the fridge and by my desk at the office). The other two are purely for visual pleasure: an artistic statement as a part of my home and office decor. Needless to say, it is really, really hard to choose which four out of all 70 that we publish. Knowing that they are all my favorite children (teehee), here are some that have graced my walls in the past: Gig Posters for the awesomely groovy graphics; Zen Mind for the sophisticated Zenga brush art; Meditation for the lovely images and calming, meditative quotes; The Organic Kitchen Garden because I am a foodie; and The Power of Now for the gorgeous nature photos and make-you-think-deep-thoughts quotes. This year it will be: Earth Is My Witness, Faerie Houses, Environmental Art, and Simply Raw.

Lydia Hess — This year I have The Garden Sanctuary calendar in my kitchen. I love the garden structures and meditative spaces. They’re calming and inspirational at the same time. Gardening is my second love, right after creating spectacular calendars. Also at home, my daughters chose Day of the Dead: Sugar Skulls which was a close second for me too.

Michelle CampbellMeditation at home, because who couldn’t use some mindfulness. Eight near my desk at the office. I love all of our calendars! And I’m especially fond of bright colors.

Neil Johnson — I’m a fan of the Green Patriot and Posters for Peace & Justice calendars. There is a great assortment of artists in both calendars and the artwork is engaging. I’m an activist at heart (currently posing as a bookkeeping stickler).

Susan Shepperd — I absolutely love the Women of Myth & Magic wall calendar because Ms. Craft’s illustrations are incomparable and inspiring. Her paintings have a depth and richness that touch something in me and reminds me to look closer. I feel like I have a priceless painting on my wall next to my desk — a painting that changes every month!

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Tim Campbell — You know me, one calendar is not enough! We have the Meditation calendar up in our kitchen at home. Michelle chose that one, and a great choice it is. The image for January is a Buddhist statue of a Dakini (a female messenger of wisdom) making an offering. The image is paired with the Rumi quote: “What you seek, is seeking you.” That’s a powerful combination. At work I have to say I have 25 calendars up in my work area. I love them all, but I have a special affection for Zen Mind and Pema Chödrön. The combination of text and images there does everything I want our calendars to do.

Our creative and development teams are currently working on our 2016 calendar line, which will include 7 brand-new titles along with many of your returning favorites. Look for our new title announcements in the coming months.

Eating Your Way to a Healthy Life

The Organic Kitchen Garden 2015 wall calendar

The Organic Kitchen Garden 2015 wall calendar

From A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Our culture encourages us to think of treats in terms of eating and spending money. This year, why not explore ways to enrich your life with wholesome treats that increase your health, strength, stamina, and wellbeing? For many of us, this positive path might begin by creating a healthy relationship with food. Continue reading

Calendar Giveaways on Facebook, Coupon Code, and Sales

As a calendar publisher, each December and January we party like it’s 1999…. er… well actually we party like it’s 2014 or 2015. Oh shoot, you know what I mean ☺

We get super excited to share our new calendars and send them all over the world for people to enjoy. In addition to the US and Canada, since September 2014, we have received orders on our website from people living in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Israel, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Bermuda, Estonia, Singapore, Slovenia, and more. We’d like to give a special shout out to our friends in Australia and New Zealand who outpace most other countries outside of North America. Thank you all very much!

So like at any great party, we have some fun things to share… Continue reading