Category Archives: Awards & Reviews

Staff Selections for 2016 — Inspiration in the New Year

As the new year approaches, it’s always a thrill to see all of the new calendars in racks here in the office as well as in stores around town. We work closely with our contributing artists, photographers, and authors to craft calendars that we hope will support mindful living. The art and text in each calendar allows people to express their individual tastes, use it as touchstone for goals during the year, or add a bit of flair to personal spaces. Even though we always have a hard time choosing, sometimes a calendar or five (looking at you Tim 😀) will ignite a spark. Here are some of our staff selections for 2016:

Pollen Seeds Fruit 2016 wall calendar Healthy Dog 2016 wall calendar
— My favorite this year is a new title: Pollen Seeds Fruit. Rob Kesseler‘s microscopic photography of minuscule pollen grains is weird and breathtakingly beautiful. Kesseler makes artistic color choices, and his results seem almost alien. Plus, science!

My perennial favorite is Healthy Dog. I’m in love with the border collie on the cover this year, and Jamie Pfleughoeft has a real gift for catching the personalities of her furry subjects. Plus, puppies!

Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar Yoga Meditations 2016 wall calendar
— Animal Tales makes me happy. I love looking at the photo composite work of Sarolta Bán. It has so much symbolism and depth of meaning that it feels like layer upon layer of a possible fairy tale. And all of the dog images are of rescues from shelters around the world that found forever homes as a result of her Help Dogs with Images project.

Yoga Meditations also features photo composite images (must be a theme for me this year) by Elena Ray. I’m inspired by the vibrant colors, the textures that remind me of textiles, and the quotes from yogis, as well as the asanas, that inspire my own yoga practice.

Pollen Seeds Fruit 2016 wall calendar
— My favorite calendar this year is Pollen Seeds Fruit because it puts in focus the intricate beauty of the natural world.

For the Love of Frida 2016 wall calendar Fairy Houses 2016 wall calendar Women of Myth & Magic 2016 wall calendar A New Earth 2016 wall calendar
— It is always difficult to choose a favorite… but this year I have to say I’m very taken by For the Love of Frida. It’s not artwork by Frida Kahlo, but instead artwork and inspirational text inspired by her. Frida was my hero when I was young, and still is. Angi Sullins writes great text to go with each painting; her words inspire you to grab a hold of life — just like Frida did.

Other titles that charm me are the adorable wee Faerie Houses of Sally J. Smith; Woman of Myth & Magic with fantastic illustrations by Kinuko Craft — the details are extraordinary; and an old favorite, A New Earth, which is always on my fridge.

Shepard Fairey 2016 wall calendar Land Art 2016 wall calendar
— I have a strong preference for our new Shepard Fairy: Graphic Activist 2016 wall calendar. The extraordinary graphic design is the immediate draw, but the messages of peace and environmental activism convey the true spirit of this calendar.

My second favorite is the Land Art calendar. The natural sculptures of Dietmar Voorwold are superb — meditative and calming. His work inspires me to create my own beach sculptures and stone creations.

Art of Magic 2016 wall calendar Pollen Seeds Fruit 2016 wall calendar
— My favorite calendar this year is Art of Magic, which features vintage magic act posters. It’s beautiful. I also love Pollen Seeds Fruit.

My Tibet 2016 wall calendar
— I am digging the My Tibet calendar for 2016. The photographs are stunning and the text is insightful. I really like that a portion of the sale of each My Tibet calendar goes to the International Campaign for Tibet.

Wanderlust 2016 wall calendar Art of Magic 2016 wall calendar Sacred Images of Tibet 2016 wall calendar Pema Chodron 2016 wall calendar Zen Mind 2016 wall calendar

Wanderlust: I love to walk, and subscribe to the mantra of ‘Solvitur Ambulando’ — solve it by walking. A calendar dedicated to lovers of walking seems perfect to me.

Art of Magic: These posters from the golden era of stage magic remind me of the blurred lines between the material world and the world of the imagination.

Sacred Images of Tibet: This is the first calendar to feature sacred Tibetan thangka art painted by Sanje Elliot, a living contemporary master of the tradition who also happens to live in my hometown of Portland, Oregon.

Pema Chödrön: This combination of incredible images and immediately useful text reminds me of everything I love the most about what we do at Amber Lotus.

Zen Mind: The Zenga art masterworks paired with impeccable text by Suzuki Roshi are a daily source of inspiration. This calendar is always one of my favorites.

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Enjoy 25% Off 2016 Calendars

Use coupon code FRIEND25 during checkout to enjoy 25% savings on all 2016 calendars — wall, engagement, and mini. Coupon code expires 11:59 p.m. (PT), Thursday, December 31, 2015. Limit one use per customer.

Artist Spotlight — Lynn Karlin Wins Gold with Simply Raw

September 2015
Press Release Excerpt from the Garden Writers Association:
Lynn Karlin Receives 2015 Gold Award for Best Talent or Product

Simply Raw 2015 wall calendar. Click image to see the 2016 edition.

Lynn Karlin based in Belfast, Maine, received the Garden Writers Association Gold Award for Best Talent or Product in the Photography category for Simply Raw, a vegetable portraits calendar.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications.

“The Garden Writers Association Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers, and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications,” says Larry Hodgson, president of GWA. “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.” Continue reading

The Healthy Dog Wins for Best Graphics

Artist Spotlight — Jamie Pflughoeft and Caroline Coile

We’re thrilled to announce that The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar has been awarded the Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America for best Graphics in the Calendar & Poster category! Congratulations to Jamie Pflughoeft for her delightful and engaging photos!

jamie-pflughoeftProfessional pet photographer Jamie Pflughoeft is the owner of nationally recognized Cowbelly Pet Photography, now based in San Francisco, California. When not photographing dogs in Washington and California, Jamie can be found with Fergie, her beloved lab-mix pooch, by her side. The duo enjoys all the City by the Bay has to offer. Like the dogs she photographs, Jamie believes life is best when it’s filled with play, sleep, food, love, daydreams, adventures, and joy.

Jamie shares more about her inspiration:

I started photographing cats and dogs back in 2000 when I was majoring in Animal Behavior Psychology at the University of Washington and working part time as a dog walker and pet sitter. I couldn’t resist the Kodak moments that were happening all around me, so one afternoon I went home, grabbed my old Pentax film camera, and started bringing it to pet setting jobs. For several years I captured furry friends’ mugs in backyards, living rooms, sidewalks, and bedrooms all around town. When the demand for my photos grew to the point that I could no longer afford to give prints away for free, I launched Cowbelly Pet Photography. That was in July of 2003, and I have been a full-time pet photographer since early 2005. I truly adore my career and am one of these rare people who makes a living doing what I genuinely love. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The people and the animals I work with are simply the best.

For more information about Jamie and to see her outstanding portfolio, please visit her website.

Continuing with more exciting news… Caroline Coile has been named a 2014 Hall of Fame Winner by the Dog Writers Association of America. Caroline is our author contributor for The Healthy Dog wall calendar, where she shares natural homemade remedies, holistic techniques, and a bit of animal psychology to assist canine fans in caring for their companions and helping them to flourish.

caroline-coileD. Caroline Coile, PhD, is an award-winning writer of hundreds of articles and 34 books, including Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds and Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop? Her research interests include domestic animal behavior and physiology, and she has been interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and quoted in Newsweek and USA Today. Caroline has always had animals in her life. She lives in Florida with her salukis and a Jack Russell-ish mix, all of whom conspire to ensure that she doesn’t know as much about training dogs as she thinks she does. For more information, please visit her website.

Congratulations to Caroline for being recognized by both peers and the public as an expert in the field of canine writing!

9781631360213_MAIN-blogJamie and Caroline are teaming up again for our 2016 wall calendar. The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar sold out and we expect the same for 2016 due to the wonderful images and in-depth content. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover. How cute is that?!


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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 Meditation 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 — 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 — 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!

  ZM15-0C-b  PC15-0C-b
Tim — 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.

Review — Day of the Dead: Sugar Skulls 2015 Wall Calendar

Day of the Dead 2015 wall calendarOur skull art loving friend, Anna at Skullspiration, posted a review of our 2015 wall calendar: Continue reading

Like to Plant a Tree?

Celebrate Earth Day with us: Help us plant another tree!

In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we at Amber Lotus are upping our commitment to plant more trees with a little help from our friends.

Tree Huggers

photo © Lydia Hess / Amber Lotus Publishing

LIKE us on Facebook – or share this on your own timeline.

For every Like or Share this post receives, a tree will be planted (up to 5,000 Likes).

Continue reading

Amber Lotus Journal Give-Away

Amber Lotus is proud to be a founding member of Green America, and we were excited to partner with on a special calendar offer in August.
People who took advantage of this deal were entered to win a free travel journal. Watch Facebook or sign up for our newsletter to find out about future specials and giveaways!

Congratulations to journal winners Ann Burkhardt, Charles Shelton, Cheryl Summers, Chris Herman, Darlene Bejnar, Douglas Labier, Elizabeth Galles, Erik Batz, Gaella Elanrah, Gayle Helseth-Kenison, J. Dollinge, Jane Wilson, Kelly Smith, Laura Doty, Loretta Keane, Nancy Pourciau, Roberta Eckard, Robin D’adam, Sherry Sidler, Sraddha Durand!

Simply Raw 2013 Wall Calendar Wins Photography Award

We’re delighted to share that Lynn Karlin has won the Garden Writers Association’s Silver Award of Achievement for the Simply Raw 2013 wall calendar in the Photography—Calendar category. The full announcement will appear on the GWA website in May, but we’re so excited we couldn’t wait to tell you the news. The calendar will be displayed at the GWA Annual Symposium and Awards Banquet in Quebec City, Canada, on August 19.

2013 Simply Raw wall calendar

Photographer Lynn Karlin’s portraits honor farm-fresh vegetables, fruits and mushrooms by literally placing them on a pedestal and capturing their simple beauty. Lynn is an internationally published photographer for garden and lifestyle magazines. She began photographing “The Pedestal Series” after bringing home an amazingly beautiful purple cauliflower from the Belfast Farmers‘ Market to her studio and placing it on an old white pedestal near an east-facing window. Now, dozens of pedestals later, she exhibits her beautiful photographs in galleries and stores nationwide. This body of work shines a spotlight on the obvious but often overlooked beauty of the harvest.

2013 Simply Raw wall calendar - Radishes

In our calendar, these gorgeous images are paired with delicious, accessible recipes by well-known master raw food chef and best-selling “cookbook” author Matthew Kenney. As a classically trained chef who developed a distinct Raw-Foods lifestyle brand, Matthew frequently lectures at food and philanthropy events around the globe. Along with operating his licensed raw food culinary academies and restaurants, he is involved in raw food projects around the world and travels extensively to forward his mission to show others that food can be delicious and vibrant while healthful.

Follow us on Facebook to get a sneak peek of our Simply Raw 2014 wall calendar. We wouldn’t be surprised if Lynn wins another award for her bold images of the everyday beauty of fresh food.