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A Letter from the Arctic

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Do you know this surprising fact about me? I’m obsessed with improv comedy.

We will get to the Arctic connection - stay with me…

Back in 2008, once my divorce papers were signed and official, I found myself with a sense of wide-open new horizons. I was bursting with creative energy, curiosity, and a desire to connect with the world.

In a local newspaper, I spotted an ad for a free drop-in improv class, held at a local dance studio. I convinced a new friend to join me as a lark. We both found it such a hoot that we spent the summer learning the basics, cracking each other up, and even got cast in an improvised film set in a local cemetery.

So - what does this have to do with the Arctic? It’s coming…

Through my improv studies at Second City in Chicago, my teacher Susan Messing made a life-long impression on me. She’s devoted to the craft, and she’s a force of nature onstage. You can’t take your eyes off her. Susan posted that she’d written an intro for a longform improv work by UK-based improviser Katy Schutte.

I ordered the book because Susan is basically a goddess, and thus I became a fan of Katy’s, as well. I followed Katy’s adventures online since I live in Connecticut.

A few months ago, Katy posted a crowdfunding request to support her artist residency on a boat in the Arctic.

In a moment of inspiration, I envisioned my floral cards in the Arctic. I signed up to support Katy’s venture. One of the incentives she offered was a video. I sent Katy a box of my cards which she stashed in her bag for the trip.

Internet coverage in the Arctic is spotty at best, as you can imagine. I was invested in Katy’s adventure, curious what she was experiencing, how she was going to interpret it as an artist. She shared glimpses when she could on her Instagram. I felt immersed in the cold, the grey, the rocking boat, the hypnotic ice floating in the water.

When she returned, Katy sent me a brilliant video that touched my heart. She captured the heart-to-heart connection that is the mission of my Vivid Cottage brand. When she could not be in touch with friends online, she wrote them cards. My cards.

I invite you to watch the short and charming video, which will bring together the haunting beauty of the Arctic, give you an introduction to improviser Katy Schutte, and leave you longing to send some of my cards out into the world yourself.

Katy Schutte can be found on Instagram @katyschutte and on her website at

Susan Messing can be found on Instagram @susanalicemessing and at Second City in Chicago.



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