Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crop Around the Corner



Last Monday I set up a booth in a new local shop, The Crop Around the Corner. For years I've been toying with the idea of entering a craft fair, or setting up an etsy shop. I've been putting it off for many reasons, but mostly due to lack of creating time and a fear of failure. This new opportunity seemed to occur at just the right time for me, so I took the leap!

So far I am selling crocheted hats and chain-stitch cowls. The flowers are removable and can be interchanged with other flowers. I'm also thinking of making hearts for around Valentine's Day for a little festivity. I've been working on more patterns, but time is always my biggest issue, especially around the holidays. The old adage, "the shoemakers children are never shod" may fit perfectly for me this Christmas! I feel very blessed that just about my entire first batch of items sold in the first week. I guess I didn't have too much faith in myself, though, because I didn't make any extras! Today consisted of a yarn run to Santa Fe, and I'll be very busy the next couple of evenings.

I am proud to announce that just about all of my Christmas shopping is finished! :) We are having a much simpler holiday with gift-giving, I've been hunting for the perfect gifts throughout the year, and some recipients may even receive *treasures* from garage sales! The most difficult person to shop for on my list is always my step-father. He likes coffee and hiking, so I've pretty much given him enough caffeine and hiking gear to last a lifetime! Any ideas for middle-aged men are very much appreciated!

Hope that all are enjoying the holiday season,
Katie

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jasmere Giveaway


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and great food. I enjoyed having my husband home for five days, as well as visiting with family and friends who were home for the holidays. It warms my heart to watch my boys interact and form relationships with the important people in my life.

Our weekend was relaxed; I did not partake in the Black Friday extravaganza. I'm much more of a Cyber Monday person myself due to my introverted personality as well as convenience (we're also an hour away from the nearest Target)! My favorite newly-discovered website this fall has been jasmere. I am now considered a "superfan" and have already purchased 8 vouchers from them! Here are just a few of the reasons I love jasmere:

1. Jasmere promotes small and independently owned businesses, many of which are considered "specialty" and/or are quite artsy.
2. Prices--Each voucher is anywhere from 50-70% off. The more people who purchase the voucher, the lower the price gets. You are not charged until the sale ends, and you're always charged the lowest price.
3. Quality. As I mentioned above, I have purchased 8 vouchers from different retailers. They all have had excellent products and customer service. Jasmere also stands by who they promote!

You may find out more information about how jasmere works here.

As a superfan, I received two, $10 vouchers to pass on to new jasmere customers. This could lead to a free, or nearly free purchase. For instance, the ReGreet Hoparounds are currently being offered at $9, plus a $2 shipping fee. If a $10 voucher is used, the total cost (shipped!) is $1.

If you are interested, please leave me a comment by Monday, November 29 at 9:00pm mountain time, and I will have a random drawing for each voucher. For everyone else, here is a $5 voucher code: SF7899239E
It may be used once per buyer, and the buyer does not have to be new to jasmere.

These voucher expire on December 1, 2010 (Wednesday!), but jasmere offerings are always so tempting--it will be easy to find something to use them for! :)

Happy Cyber Monday,
Katie

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leap of Faith

I recently made the decision to rent booth space at a local boutique/scrapbooking store. I am excited about this new adventure, but also a bit scared. I have been crafting for many years now for myself, my family and friends. Like many crafters, I am often proud of my work, but I can also be very critical. Putting my work out there for others to view is a bit of a leap of faith for me. The owner of the shop is great, and the other artists displayed are very talented. I am definitely in good company, and I have a feeling that any money I make will go right back into the store. :) I truly hope this small business makes it--it's just what we need in our one-stoplight town.

Here are a few examples of what I have displayed so far. They are crocheted pieces with bulky yarn. The flowers may be removed and interchanged with other flowers, or the hats/cowls may be left without a flower for a different look. I have more patterns up my sleeves, but I'm trying not to get overwhelmed...wish me luck and happy Thanksgiving! :)



Monday, November 15, 2010

My Little Dream



Except for a patch of Swiss chard, our harvesting is now complete. There will always be room for improvements, but I am happy with how our garden turned out this year. Pat built be five 4x6 beds, giving us 120 square feet of gardening space. We now have a crisper full of carrots, onions in the garage, peach jam and butter, not to mention the fresh veggies we enjoyed throughout the summer. Matthew even brought up the peas today and how he wants to plant more tomorrow. :)

As much as I enjoyed our garden, I'm looking forward to the reflective and cozy times of winter. I'm hoping to also get in some skiing this year, which is something I truly enjoy but have not done since having the boys. I've also been thinking ahead to next year's garden! I have so many plans and often need to slow myself down. For example, my mind has currently been filled with visions of chickens and goats. Now, there is no way we could have goats at our home due to county regulations, but chickens are another story... Not wanting to jump the gun, I'm going to be spending plenty of time this winter researching raising chickens (and trying to talk my husband into allowing me to have a few!).

I have a dream of owning a couple acres of land with a log cabin nestled between some pines (with chickens and goats, of course!) While this dream may not become a reality for another five to ten years (if ever), I feel that I can still hone into my country-living skills here on my quarter-acre. Fortunately, there are many books currently out detailing precisely that--urban homesteading. The latest issue of Mother Earth News highlights the following: "Although many people dream of buying several acres in the country, you can start homesteading wherever you are...In fact, many aspects of homesteading work as well in the city as in the country. Solar panels, straw bale building, heating with wood and collecting rainwater are all possible in the city or suburbs."

Even though I'm not yet in my log cabin, making fresh goat cheese and yogurt while collecting eggs, I feel like now is the time to practice my homemaking/homesteading skills while enjoying my neighborhood and own little quarter-acre! :)

Blessings,
Katie

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Neighbors

Today was one of those days.

Everything started out alright until the usual sibling squabbling. After Matthew tackled Ben for the umteenth time, he was sent to his room for time-out. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal, but when he came out and turned on his favorite tv show, he realized he missed the opening theme song. Tears, kicking, and screaming ensued. I tried to reason with him that he missed it because he got a time-out for tackling his brother, but as most parents know, there's not much reasoning with a three-year-old.

Due to his tantrum, he missed his bus. After he calmed down and we were all dressed, we got into the car only to find that it wouldn't start. Ahh, that's because Matt played "driver" while I was cleaning out the car yesterday... After turning off all of the lights he had turned on, I borrowed a neighbor's vehicle to take Matt to school.

I returned my neighbor's van and had been home for about half an hour when I slammed Ben's pinkie finger in the door leading out to the garage. It was awful. Back we were at our neighbor's house asking to use her van. She offered to drive us to the doctor's office after loading up her three-month old and three-year old. The nurse at the doctor's office advised me to go right up to the ER, so our neighbor graciously drove us up there.

Meanwhile, Matt was due to come home from school on the bus. My husband was on his way home, but he wasn't going to make it to meet the bus, so I called another one of my neighbors. She picked Matt up and kept him at her house until his father arrived.

Ben's finger was not broken, just badly bruised, and for that we are very fortunate. This incident also reminded me of how fortunate we are to live in a neighborhood where we actually know our neighbors, consider them friends, and do not hesitate calling on them for help. Many people do not associate with their neighbors or even know their names. They wish to live independent, separate lives and go about their business unbothered. We all desire independence to some extent, but humans were not created to live alone, being isolated from one another. We are social creatures. Asking for help also places one in a humbling position. I believe that by humbling ourselves before others opens the door for others to ask us for help in their times of need.

I am thankful for my neighbors and feel extremely blessed by them.

Blessings,
Katie

"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality."
2 Corinthians 8:13,14

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
1 John 3:18