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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Following The Course

Well, shame on me! I have been getting very bad lately about posting on here…Between babysitting my nephews, fighting a cold, and taking a trip up north to our property, things have been pretty hectic.

While we were up north, we had some time to poke around in some shops. I came across some great vintage kitchen items that I hope to list in my shop in the near future. One of my goals is to expand my Etsy shop and offer some quality vintage kitchen items that would go hand in hand with my primitive items and theme. I am excited about getting started on this…

We also planted a few fruit trees on our property. It is an experiment of sorts…We will see if our wild residents leave them alone and let them grow! And here I am with the boss and our head honcho…

In the background you can see our super deluxe model of the Up North Clothes Dryer…lol!

For the Etsy shop I’ve also been looking through a bunch of Fall patterns I am going to get started on soon…I love harvest and Halloween and am so excited about trying a lot of new patterns out. In the shop I have my things in up north the customers start looking for Halloween items by August! If you are ever up in Houghton Lake, MI you have to stop in at Morning Glory Mercantile on Co.Rd. 55. She has a lovely shop with so many talented people in there…I got a new color of dish cloths done to offer too. Love these colors:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/100625920/set-of-2-summer-melon-and-raspberry

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Odds And Ends

Well, that is what has been keeping me busy the last couple of days…On the whole there’s not been too much to blog about. I’ve just been working a little bit here and there on a lot of different projects. Yesterday I watched my 2 year old nephew and we worked in the yard for quite a while. The grass is growing so fast it needs to be mowed every few days. And my maple trees are releasing their “helicopters”…While I love my trees, I don’t look forward to this every year. It seems like I sweep and rake up a bag full of them every single day while they are falling! My beautiful lilac tree is in bloom now…it perfumes the air and I can smell it on the breeze all the way to my back door.

As far as crafting goes, I have been working on a few different things. First of all I am putting the finishing touches on some adorable lady bug bowl fillers that I am going to list on Etsy in the next couple of days. I am also working on two different large patterns. One is a 3′ by 2′ large prim shutter with sheep on it. I am also working on a large wall hanging piece that is a fabric sunflower and crows. Because of their larger size I am not going to list them on Etsy but am going to put them in the shop up in Houghton Lake where I have some of my things. But I will take some pictures when they are done to post…

I have been feeling very peaceful and content working on my tasks…I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love. While each little task isn’t much of anything on its own, I know that it is a step towards reaching my goals and realizing my dreams. Even when things are slow and sales are way down we just need to keep plugging along. Our hard work will eventually pay off. If you dream it and believe in it, you can make anything happen!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Staying The Course

Well, today marks the end of HMC Boot Camp and it has been kind of bittersweet…What I will miss most is checking in throughout the day on the Boot Camp FB page to see what the other teammies are up to and what’s going on. But on a positive note, I know that we have formed friendships that will last a lifetime and that we will always be there for each other…

Today doesn’t really mark the end of anything, but really it is just the beginning. Our wonderful leader Debbie Nowicki taught us how to map a course for ourselves and our businesses. She gave us all of the tools that we need to follow that course and to succeed. And now we are on our paths to turning our dreams into realities…We just have to keep believing in ourselves and staying the course.

I want to thank Debbie Nowicki again from the bottom of my heart for all of her hard work and guidance and for inviting me to be one of her initial Boot Campers–it was truly an honor. I also want to thank my fellow teammies for all of their encouragement, help, love, and support.

We would all love for you to see how we are progressing on our journey…My lovely fellow Boot Campers shops can be found here:

Debbie http://www.etsy.com/shop/GrowingPhasesFarm

Erin http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePrettyDoGood

Lulu http://www.etsy.com/shop/DivineLuluCreations

Marsha  http://www.etsy.com/shop/bagsbyhags45

Red http://www.etsy.com/shop/GoGreenWithRed

And remember, by believing in yourself, you can turn your dreams into realities!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Sowing Seeds

Hello and Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful day here in Michigan–perfect for checking some things off of my gardening to-do list. My beautiful purple iris have already finished blooming so I cleaned them up a bit. Also trimmed up my Dwarf Burning Bush–much easier in spring before it grows out of control! I am also getting my vegetable bed ready. I am cleaning the weeds out that have been popping up. We need to add some compost and additives this week and get it rototilled. I will be planting my vegetables next weekend. I always do this on Mother’s Day weekend. While a lot of people around here think it is a tad bit early, my beloved late grandma always planted then and I have been too for almost 25 years now. I am happy to say I’ve never lost a plant yet due to late frosts or freezes.

And speaking of planting, I am gonna move on to another subject…As I have previously mentioned, I am very honored to be in the HMC Team’s Bootcamp as one of the initial trainees. It was decided that tomorrow is our final day. Debbie Nowicki has been an exceptional leader and I can never thank her enough for all of her hard work and guidance. While Debbie is an extraordinary bee-keeper and gardener by her own right, she has also sown seeds in each of us trainees, seeds of believing in ourselves and our dreams for our businesses. She has also given us the tools we need to cultivate and nurture them, all the things that we need to grow our dreams into realities.

So I am sending a huge hug to Debbie and want to say THANK YOU! Love you lady!

And I have to tell you all, too, that I am excited to be planting some seeds from Debbies’ lovely shop for pie pumpkins…Here is the link for them for you to check out. You will love her shop!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/93082385/flower-seeds-pumpkin-pie-garden-seeds

Have a great day!

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Appreciation

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope that everyone’s weekend is starting off great!

Today, I just want to say THANK YOU!!!!!! You know, no matter how hard we work at our business, it can only be successful because of our customers, fans, followers, family, and friends. Without their support, it is nothing and means nothing. I am sending you all hugs. I want to thank each and every one of you for your love, support, friendship, and belief in me. I treasure each and every one of you…

As a small token of my appreciation I would like to offer a shop discount for 25% off everything–just use coupon code TAKE25. And in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am sharing with you an awesome looking recipe I found. So pour yourself a margarita, enjoy your day, and remember…it’s 5 o’clock somewhere:)

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Making Wood Work

TGIF! Whew, it’s been a long week…Today I worked on some of my wood projects out in the shop (aka our garage) and wanted to invite you in to see what I have going on…

It is looking a little dusty and messy at the moment but that is how my husband keeps it. Since he is nice enough to share with me I kind of just leave it like that for him! To make the best use of my time and space, I usually have more than one project going on in various stages. Using a couple of projects, I will kind of walk you through the process…I am starting on a patriotic Uncle Sam and am finishing my primitive sheep, both patterns by Beein’ Creative With Mis.

The first thing I do is trace out a pattern onto the piece of wood I am going to use. In the photo below I am getting ready to saw out the pieces on the band saw. Some people like to use scroll saws but I like our trusty old band saw. I am sawing out what I call accessory pieces. They are usually attached to the main item and offer more detail to the piece.

After the pieces are sawn out, I give them a preliminary sanding on a stationary sander using the spindle. This takes the really rough edges off.

 

I then sand the pieces by hand with a sponge sander until they are smooth. Wiping them off with tack cloth removes all the dust and gets them ready for painting…Here I have applied a coat of paint to the accessory pieces.

After these are dry, I will sand around the edges to give them a slightly worn appearance. They will then get a light coat of stain on all surfaces. In the photo below you can see the various components of my sheep, which are ready to be assembled. The watermelon are something else I’ve been working on too.

To assemble my pieces I first affix the accessory pieces onto the main body with a little bit of hot glue. I then use brad nails to make sure the pieces stay firmly in place. The brad nailer is attached to a large air compressor.

After this step, the only thing left to do is add some Spanish moss. And here is a prim sheep, ready for listing…

 http://www.etsy.com/listing/90078793/primitive-sheep-primitive-blessings

Thanks so much for stopping by the shop today! Have a great weekend!

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

An Apple A Day…

http://www.etsy.com/listing/96096563/set-of-3-prim-and-grungy-homespun-apple

Just as it is important to have regular check-ups to keep our bodies, teeth, and vision healthy, so too is it a good idea to regulary check to see how our business is doing. This enables us to see its strong points and weak points, see what is working well and what needs improvement. One way to check how a business is doing is already a given…comparing sales against expenses. While this is very important to do, another good test is customer feedback.

Our assignment for HMC Bootcamp for yesterday and today was to ask some of our past customers a few questions to get their feedback on how we are doing. I just love my customers and so very much appreciate the feedback and advice they gave me.

As with many shop owners, one of my concerns were my prices for my products and for shipping. From the feedback I got on this, I was very relieved to learn that they thought that my product and shipping prices were right in line with my items and how I package and ship them.

When I get an order, I am so excited to package it all up. I love to make it extra pretty and strive to put a smile on my customers’ faces when they open it. I so much appreciate their business and when they open their package from me, I want them to know how much they and their business mean to me. I asked my customers if this was conveyed when they got their order from me. I was happy to learn that my packaging was getting this effect.

Lastly, I asked if they had any ideas or items that they would like to see me offer in my shop. For me to figure out what people want to buy is difficult at the very best. I got a lot of positive feedback and wonderful ideas and I feel that this was a very beneficial question for me to ask. This will help me to determine what kinds of items to add in the future.

So just as we do things to maintain our health, it is important to monitor things to keep our business running smoothly too…

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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