Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take What You Need

A while back I saw a post online some where about a poster called "Take What You Need". I thought it was a very cool idea, so I printed out one and put it on a bulletin board at work. People immediately starting tags off the sign. I kept putting up a new sign when it would get done to a tag or two. The last two times I put the signs up people left notes thanking "whoever" puts the signs up. The current sign up has a note from one of the people that left a note last time asking for some new words. I asked my friends on Facebook for ideas and just made up a second one tonight. I'll post it at work as soon as the current one is ready to be changed out. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Treasury

I have been so busy with many changes in life here, I haven't been on much. Going to get started back at it tonight with Tuesday Treasury Shopping with Friends. Click on the title of the Treasury to go to Etsy for a larger more detailed view.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Treasury

Once again today got away from me, so I had to swipe a few other people's treasury's they put together. Click on the title of the treasury to get a closer look on Etsy. Happy Shopping!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guest Blogger Sunday

Alyssa wants to make a blog post, so I'm going to let her have today's blog post for herself.

Alyssa:9    Bradley:6 [and a half]     One night I was playing with my Kindle in bed, then got bored so I put my Kindle in my pillowcase. The next day Bradley and I woke up, he almost pushed me off the bed so we got in a pillow fight. Bradley had the one with the Kindle in it, but he didn't know that. Then he hit me in the head with the pillow. Then I felt my head because I thought my head was the thing that got hurt,  then when I brought my hand down to my nose and looked at it it had blood on it. So I felt my head again because it stung and then started to cry. Then I ran to get Michelle. She told John to follow her and she took me into the bathroom, then she gave me a washcloth to cover my eyes and used the water sprayer. I actually was watching the water the whole time and I saw a bunch of blood which made me cry harder. Then it was finally over and I went and cuddled with Michelle for a while. Then later on when I went home, Mom asked me if we should let a doctor look at it but I said Noo!

It hurt really bad.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fun Night

Alyssa and Bradley are here to spend the night tonight. We have been having so much fun. First we played "glasses" and tried on a bunch of different glasses.

Then the fun really started and we moved onto playing with markers :)

I was going for squirrel, but Alyssa said Chicken.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Family Friday Blue & Gold Macaws

Since Sarge had the blog to himself last week, I figured I would let the rest of the Blue & Golds have it this week.

Hi my name is Samantha,. I'm a 12 yr old Blue and Gold Macaw. My hatch day is April 25th,2001 and I came to live here on Sept. 8th,2001. I was the first baby to come here and live and I suppose the rest of the birds would tell you that's obvious, by the fact that I'm so spoiled. Sarge is the one who named me, he was always yelling the name out, so when I came home they decided that would be my name. I wish he wouldn't say it so much though, because most of the other birds have learned it now too and everyone is always yelling my name. I think they are trying to get Mom to think I'm doing something wrong, so she doesn't think I'm her baby anymore.

Anyone want to go for a walk?

Hi I'm Ms Margerette, I'm a 21 yr old Blue and Gold Macaw. My hatch day is August 20th,1992, I came to live in this zoo on May 25th,2002. I used to live with a guy who kept me in a room all by myself in a cage with only one perch and one little toy. It took me sometime to get used to being here, but now I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well except maybe a place Mischief isn't. I don't know what is wrong with that boy, but every time the curtain blows at him he hollers my name. Duh, does he think that is the curtains name?
Don't touch my toys!!!

Zoey here, another Blue and Gold Macaw. I'm 11 yrs old, my hatch day is Sept 23, 2002. I came to live here in 2007. My previous Mom loved me and gave me a good home, but then she had to move to a home for older people and they don't allow loud obnoxious Macaws to live there. That's okay, because here we are allowed to be loud and obnoxious all we want.
What are you looking at kid?

Hi I'm Gonzo a Blue and Gold Macaw. If you ever watched the muppets and look at my picture you'll know where I got my name from. I'm 9 yrs old, my hatch day is July 3rd, 2004. A friend of Mom's had me before I came here to live. He started going to school and working and didn't have the time for me anymore so he thought it would be best for me to move here. My beak was already crooked when he got me, so no one really knows when or how it happened. It doesn't really slow me down at all, Mom just has to crack my nuts for me and make me toys that are for smaller birds.
Aren't I cute?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Etsy Friends Tuesday Treasury

Little less busy today so I made three treasuries today. They are all different, my mind is going many different ways today :) Click on any of the Treasury Title's to be taken to the Treasury on Etsy, Happy Shopping.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Friday Sarge

I have been pretty busy lately and haven't done Family Friday or much else on here. So today I'm going to let Sarge have the blog to tell his story.

Am I handsome or what?

My name is Sarge, I'm a 21 yr old Blue and Gold Macaw. My hatch day is April 22nd, 1992. My story begins when I was only 8 yrs old. I was living with a nice family. Soon strangers started showing up and only seem interested in me. I knew for the fourth time I was for sale again, I met this with great displeasure. I had no idea what my next home would be like.

You see my breeders were nice people, but they didn't educate my first owners on owning such a big bird. They were nice to me, but unsure how to deal with me. So I was off to my second home. Here is where I found out how much of a disagreement birds and people could have. They didn't think I should be so loud and things got violent. My wing was dislocated, but they didn't care so it's still not right to this day. As a result I was moved onto my third home. As I mentioned they were nice people, but I had already lost my trust for people at this point. And now here I was faced with moving yet again. The first three people that came to look at me,I bit in hopes I would not be taken away. I was nearly sold to a breeder, but the lady I was living with thought I would once again make a great pet in the right home.

Then one bright sunny afternoon another couple came to see me. They seemed more gentle and patient then the others had. I stepped up on the mans arm and said "gimme kiss" and kissed him right on the lips. I thought these people are nice and then I remembered I didn't want to move, so I screamed as loud as I could. Well it was too late the deal was already done. A few days later my owners put me and all my stuff in their truck and took me to live with John and Michelle. That was July 4th, 2000. In all the years I have been here it hasn't mattered what I have done, whether or not I screamed too much or pinched a little too hard I have never witnessed any violence. It has taken lots of work on their part, but there are even times I let them pet me. I have been here 13 yrs now and I know now that I am now in my forever home.

When I first moved in Nicky was the only other bird here. Now as you look around you'll see that our Mom just can't say no to any birdie looking for a forever home.  The girls always argue about who is Mom's favorite, but you see who she let go first.

This toy is called Sarge's Little Chews, Mom designed it for me. Even though I'm a big Macaw, I'm not really too much in to being a buzz saw like some of the other birds here. 

 It was nice to meet you, my brothers and sisters will be back on another Friday to share their stories with you. If you want to see some of other toys our Mom makes and sells to help support us you can go to our toy website.  For Birds Sake Toys    Sarge

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Treasury Tuesday

Treasury Tuesday is here again!!! I'm too tired and too busy to make one today, so I'm stealing one someone else made to feature. I honestly don't know if I could compete with the beauty of her Treasury anyways. Just click on the title of the Treasury and it will take you right to it on Etsy. Made by Cheryl from MakeMeSmileJewelry

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Etsy Friends Sunday Spotlight

This week's featured shop is: WyrembelskisVintage

1. How long have you been in business?
Opening my store towards the end of August, I have only been in business about two months. They say your first year is the most difficult, yet most important time to stick it out, and learn as much as possible about the keys to having a successful store on Etsy.

2. How did you get started in this business?
Over the past few years, my favorite show on TV was always American Pickers. I knew that I was passionate about picking ever since I was first hooked on the show! After a few years of watching every single episode I told myself that this summer I would begin my first picking excursion with my long time best friend Sean Siggins. After picking a few places around our hometowns we realized that we can do this too. Ever since then, I have had my Etsy store, where I share my treasures with my customers.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business?
First I will give you a description of what a picker is. I shall quote a fellow Etsian; "A person in the noble profession of rescuing unrecognized treasures from the clutches of their owners who are going to abandon them and finding them new owners who will love and care for them for the rest of their useful life”. And hopefully make a profit along the way. Finding items and putting them in their place is what
picking is all about. When I can find a stoneware jug from Delaware Ohio, and my customer online from that same city finds that piece and then they can now own that piece, is what picking is all about. Once I have obtained these treasures, I clean them up, spend some time to research that item, and then it goes into my shop after spending some hours on photos, and listing that item. I also sell in person offering Vintage sales on the weekends.

4. How did you come up with the name of your business?
The name of my business is rather simple. I wanted something that was easy to remember and a title that could include my name. Wyrembelskis Vintage is the name of my store. I am a true fan of the "KISS" policy. Keep it simple silly! That was always a saying when I was in grade school, and It sort of stuck with me. I like to apply it to a few different aspects of my life.

5. Is this your only job?
This is not my only job. My day job is a IT technician, serving my local computer shop. I work about 40 hours a week at my job you can imagine when I have to squeeze time into my busy life to attend to picking and my Etsy store. It truly is a second job, and the hours and time I have put into it have been reflected by my early success. I would one day love to be able to quit my day job, and pick and sell vintage full time. Although in today’s real world, that can be a stretch from reality.

6. Favorite part of owning your own business?
My favorite part of owning my own business is that when I am picking, its not work. I do not have set hours or guidelines. Its just me, my best friend, and the open road. Being a sole proprietor has taught me that you are only as successful as the amount of work in which you put in. If you only out in 80% of the work, you will only receive 80% of success. When you are passionate about something, you never work a day in your life.

7. Least Favorite part?
The least favorite part about my business is the process of actually listing the item. I may have 3 hours into cleaning, researching, photos and listing a single item. Since I am the only member of my business, that responsibility all falls on me to make sure products are listed correctly and professionally. It can take a toll on you mentally and physically.

8. What has proven to be the best ways to market your business?
The best ways to market my business is letting my photos and items speak for themselves. With Esty, SEO, tags, and photos are the single most crucial aspect of having a successful store. Many
store owners overlook the importance of spending time on these three aspects. When a potential customers uses a search engine to search for a specific product, you want to make sure that if they are
searching for a product similar to yours, that your item is found. Also, make friends with collectors and
others in your community who are interested in the same things that you are. You would not believe the connections that I have made just by getting involved in whats going on around me.

9. Your advice to someone just starting out?
My advice to someone who is wanting to enter the Etsy market would be simple. Only make this commitment if you are passionate about what you make or do. If you are not 100% passionate about it, you will fail. Its really that simple. The level of competition on Etsy is fierce. Only the best shops will make it in today’s economy. When you are passionate about what you do, it will almost feel easy. Stick to your goals, and have confidence in yourself if you truly do have a passion for something.

10. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?
As a conclusion, I would like to thank Michelle for taking her time and choosing myself as an entry to her blog :).

Thanks to Derek for agreeing to be my feature this week. Stop by his store and check out some of the treasures he has found. WyrembelskisVintage

Friday, October 11, 2013

Life is Too Short

The last week most all talk and events at work and around town  have revolved around the loss the Mayor of Elmore, OH.  Lowell Krumnow He was the Mayor of the little town of Elmore for 22 years and he was a major part of the Elmore Historical Society for 33 years, so just about everyone in town knew him. At his funeral today one of the towns residents read a poem she had wrote for the day, it was beautiful. Had it been appropriate to do so at a funeral I think she would have received a standing ovation. It was along the lines, maybe you knew him as Mayor, maybe as a co worker, maybe as neighbor, maybe as a uncle or brother and on down the line, it showed truly how many people will be affected by his loss. At the funeral home and at the dinner they had pictures remembering his life. One of them touched me more then others. It was of him and two of his brothers. It was taken at the last event that took place in Elmore at the Historical Society. Someone up higher must have guided that cameraman's hand that day. In less then 24 hrs after that picture was taken Lowell would find out that the headache he had, was actually an inoperable brain tumor and he only had a short time left. His family, friends and community rallied to his side to offer hope, love, encouragement, prayers and to cherish every last minute they could with him. It was only 31 days before he left them all with tears and great sense of loss. He will  be missed by so many and some wonder how the little town will survive with out him. I'm sure his family wonders that even more.

The picture has me thinking about how we take so much for granted in life and all expect to live to be a ripe old age. Do we tell our friends and families how much they mean to us everyday? Do they know how much we love and care about them and their loss would leave a hole in our lives? More importantly do we love ourselves and live the life we should? The one that makes us happy and fulfilled? Or are we just waiting it out and hoping someday it will get better or change on it's own? Or do we feel we aren't worth it, we don't deserve happiness? Do we see family and friends struggling with the same emotions? It's time to stop thinking those thoughts and to stop letting our loved ones think it too. I don't know how to change it all, it's a vicious cycle, but I'm going to start with my family and friends and make sure they always know "they are worth it" and I love them. "Remember, tomorrow is promised to know one"

Rip is Peace Lowell - you'll be missed by many, including me, even if we never did see eye to eye on the candy :) And thanks for the visit, I didn't understand it at the time, but do now and I'll work on it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Etsian Friends Tuesday Treasury

This week I started my own team on Etsy to try and help others and myself with promoting. Tonight's treasury's are all items from my fellow team mates. Click on the title of either treasury and it will take you right to the treasury on Etsy. Looking for a friendly promotional team to join? Stop by and check my new team out. Etsian Friends

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Solar Heat Catcher

I hate being cold and I hate even more giving the electric company and propane company so much of my money every year. This year I'm stepping up my winterizing game to try to give them less of my money and maybe be a little warmer. On top of that I was talking with a customer yesterday whose son lives out west where the blizzard is hitting right now. They are without electric for who knows how long, which also means no heat!!! I'm hoping not to be without heat this winter, but just in case hopefully the little things I do will help us have some heat. On to today's project, my first Solar Heat Catcher. I have multiple ideas I'm going to try out this year, this is the first, simplest and cheapest. Here is where I got my idea from: Lower Your Heat Bills with a Heat Catcher

List of supplies I used:

Roll of aluminum foil
Can of flat black spray paint (next time I'll use a can and brush, much faster and less fumes)
Packing tape or any other tape you have around.

Short list huh, and the only tools I needed were a tape measure and a pair of scissors.

I picked my dining room french doors to try this on first. They are big areas of glass to get lots of sunlight from and covering them more then half way up means the dogs can't see the cats in the back yard and bark at them :) I didn't want to cover them 100% because I still want light to come in, so I don't have to turn lights on during the day.

I started with measuring how much of the window I wanted to cover up, then cut the foil to the size I wanted. The foil is a little skinnier then my window so I did too pieces for each pane and used packing tape to hold the 2 pieces together.
 All ready to be painted 

I painted these is a spare bedroom, I recommend putting plastic or newspaper down and opening a window for ventilation. I used my $.98 can of Walmart spray paint and they were done in no time.
Painted and ready to hang up

It really didn't take long at all for them to dry and be ready to hang up. I only used packing tape to tape them to the windows.
All taped in place

They aren't pretty, but either is writing big checks to pay my heat bills every month. Once I had them up I also took down the worn out vertical blinds that have seen better days. I found two curtain panels to hang up in place of them. One is dark blue and one is gray, but I'm really not into looking fancy :) The curtains will help keep the cold out at night and if the days are too dreary I can keep them shut too. 

Today is a dreary looking day, but not bad temperature wise. I didn't figure there would be any heat drawn in today, but I was wrong. I walked by the window and touched the foil and noticed it was warm. I got the Infrared Thermometer out to see the difference in the foil covered part of the window versus the glass. The foil was about 5 degrees warmer then the glass was. 5 degrees is better then nothing and like I said it's not even a sunny day. I will have to check them on the next sunny day we get and see what the difference is. I'm going to do this same treatment on my sliding glass doors and a couple other windows, but I also have some more ideas I'm going to try out. I'll be sure to blog about them as well. Feel free to share any ideas you are doing to help keep warm this winter.

Stop by my shop and grab yourself a vintage book to curl up and read on one of the cold winter days a head of us. MichellesVarietyShop

Etsy Friends Sunday Spotlight

Taking a break from working on my taxes to feature another Etsy Friend's work this week. This week's featured shop is FolkandHound

1. How long have you been in business?
Folk and Hound has been an official shop for only about two months, since August 4th 2013. But I was in the planning stages for months. I wanted to find the best materials, from the best suppliers, at affordable prices. Finally I just had to start the shop and try to improve it as I went along.

2. How did you get started in this business?
I fell in love with a bracelet I saw at a WV State Park gift shop. I thought, “I could make that if I tried”. I started out making resin pendants just for myself. I was getting a lot of compliments. I then decided to try embedding photos in the resin. I am completely self-taught. These days you can teach yourself anything through books and internet tutorials. The internet has revolutionized the learning process. Then someone asked if I had any other pendants made, they wanted to buy one as a gift for their mother. I was so flattered. The planning began after that, a lot of planning.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business?
Folk and Hound offers keepsake jewelry specializing in pets. I embed photos in sterling silver, silver plated pewter and other lead and nickel free pendants. I am also starting to offer vintage style dog breed pendants that are interchangeable as key chains or necklaces. I have about 44 different vintage style dog prints I plan to offer, it just takes time to get them all made and listed. They will also be customizable with your dog’s name. The jewelry ranges from inexpensive $20 items to nicer sterling silver bracelets and necklaces. Your photo keepsake doesn’t have to be a dog; my first sale was for a mouse! The picture can be a dog, cat, mouse, horse, any animal, (it can even be of a child or of children’s artwork), you name it.

4. How did you come up with the name of your business?
I spent months thinking about a name, the whole time I was in the planning stage. I had originally come up with other names, but they were already in use. I went to the etsy forum and complained a little about how hard it was to come up with a name that hadn’t already been taken. A kind person responded by saying I would come up with a name before the day was over. They were right! I guess I just needed a pep talk. I thought Folk and Hound had a nice ring to it. As I recall I even did a thesauruses check for other words for “people and animals”. I knew I wanted to involve animals. I have always loved animals. Up until a few years ago I was heavily involved with volunteering with Little Victories Animal Rescue. We started out as a group of people meeting together and discussing the need for a no-kill shelter in our area of WV. We didn’t even have a pamphlet or anything. It is now 10 years later and we have a wonderful facility that provides forever homes for cats and dogs. I now have 2 children and can’t volunteer like I would like to, so my way of contributing is to donate $2 from each of the sterling silver sales to the rescue. Every little bit helps.

5. Is this your only job?
It is the only job I get paid for. I am also a wife and mother of two toddlers. One son is in kindergarten and the other son is in preschool. Doing a good job at home is my top priority. But I have always worked so it is difficult for me not to be doing something.

6. Favorite part of owning your own business?
I really do love almost everything about it. I suppose the best part is knowing I am in control of my own destiny. In most 9 to 5 jobs you don’t get extra pay for working extra hard. But by being your own boss you have the potential to increase your earnings. I enjoy the hands on work with the resin, and the business side too. I was a finance major for a short time in college so I kind of like the economics part of owning an etsy shop too, not just doing a craft.

7. Least Favorite part?
Photography can be tricky when you don’t have a good camera so I would have to say taking the product pictures. I plan to invest in a camera that can take good macro shots by the end of the year. I have to compensate by making the most of lighting and taking lots of shots. Close ups can be difficult and with an Etsy shop having fantastic pictures is essential.

8. What has proven to be the best ways to market your business?
The verdict is still out on that one. I believe all my sales so far have been through etsy. I have already had repeat customers so hopefully word of mouth will help too. I am not a social media person, I don’t Facebook, twitter, or do Pinterest. I made myself start a Pinterest page recently. I have picked up some followers there. I figure I could increase sales with Facebook but I want to be true to myself and Facebook just isn’t my thing. Of course that could change in the future.

9. Your advice to someone just starting out?
Don’t over analyze your plan. I wanted everything to be perfect. Don’t get stuck in that mindset. Make a goal of how many products you will start with, or something like that. And jump in. I didn’t even tell my husband I had a shop until I made my first sale! You will always want to improve things, and you can. That is the beauty. You are the boss, if you want to change it, change it.

10. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?
I have known since I was in college I wanted to work for myself one day. With an etsy shop you are in total control. I think Etsy is a great starting place. I can’t wait to see where I go from here. I have so many ideas. I know I will always want to work with my hands. And I know I will always want animals in my life. If you are an animal person you know what I mean. We receive so much from them. Even if I can’t play with dogs all day, at least I can look at their photos. And this business gives me the opportunity to give back to them. Donating some of the revenue to Little Victories Animal Rescue is the least I can do since time is so tight. It is my way of giving back, and it helps advertise for them. It is a win-win for everyone.

Melanie Aldridge
Folk and Hound

Pet Memorial Necklace

Pet Memorial Bracelet 

Stop by and visit Melanie at FolkandHound and check out her beautiful memorial jewelry. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Dreaded

Taxes that is. Every year I say I'm going to get better at keeping my book work in order, but I never do. April 15th I filed for an extension for 2012. I knew since then the day would come and I would get the letter telling me I had to get them done, but still that didn't get the fire lit for me to get my receipts entered. Well yesterday the letter came in the mail and now I have until Oct 10th to enter a years work of receipts so I can get my taxes done before the extension expires.  So now the fire is lit and licking at my heels for me to get in gear!!! Anyone want to come enter a years worth of receipts into the computer for me???

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Treasury Tuesday

It's Treasury Tuesday once again. I made three last night, it helped pass the time when I had to stay up until the wee hours of the morning monitoring John's blood sugar levels. Just click on the title of any of the Treasury's and it will take you right to the Treasury on Etsy. Happy Shopping!!!

How many do you know the connection to October for?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Aren't these so cute?

Happy Tuesday everyone!!! Stop by and visit me sometime. MichellesVarietyShop

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Etsy Friends Sunday Spotlight

This week featured shop is DrowsyAurora

1. How long have you been in business?
Not long--I opened my Etsy shop in the beginning of this year.

2. How did you get started in this business?
My husband joined the military a couple of years ago and I knew I wanted a job that would be portable. I’ve always enjoyed making things, so I decided to make my own business selling things that I would make.

#.Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I completely hand-make adorable plushies. I started my business making what I now call “officially unofficial plushies”—they’re my own plush versions and style of characters from books, movies, video games, and so on. I currently carry 6” versions and 2.5” versions of some characters; I call the smaller size “hobbit-sized.” I’m currently working on a dwarf-sized line in time for the next Hobbit movie coming out this year.
My more recent line of plushies are called “chichaimon,” which roughly means “little monsters.” They’re small round plushies made to look like different animals—fox, narwhals, cats, and so on. I also decided to make my chichaimon with an added touch of my officially unofficial line—I now have a couple of chichaimon that are inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (yes, I’m one of those people in their 20s that like that show).

4. How did you come up with the name of your business?
My business’ name is “Drowsy Aurora.” It’s a bit of a pun, actually. First of all, I like to sleep. Secondly, the fairy-tale princess I’m most like is Sleeping Beauty, aka Aurora.
My sister and I decided when we were children that she was dark and I was light. “Aurora” means “dawn” or is used to refer to the Northern Lights. Basically, it all refers to me.

5. Is this your only job?
Indeed, it is. Between Drowsy Aurora and housework, I manage to keep pretty busy.

6. Favorite part of owning your own business?
I enjoy having flexible hours. I’m a night-owl, so it’s nice to be able to stay up late to finish a project without having to worry about missing work in the morning.

7. Least Favorite part?
The legal aspect. It’s so difficult, and admittedly boring, to figure what I need to file and what I don’t need to file…I’d much rather be creating something.

8.What has proven to be the best ways to market your business?
One thing that I think has been extremely beneficial to my business is I have a Facebook page dedicated to my business. I’m able to, in essence, advertise multiple times a week without feeling guilty about it. I don’t spam my followers by any means, but I do post a few scheduled things each week: a “creative spotlight” post on Mondays—I feature different artists that I find online; new products on Thursdays; and post little previews of my current project(s), what I call “spoilers,” during the week.
One other thing that I’ll share is that I advertise a lot within the Etsy teams. Many of the teams include games people have made up in order for all participants to get more publicity. I’ve been busy recently with some custom orders and personal things lately, but I still try to take part in the teams’ games at least one or two times a week.

9.Your advice to someone just starting out?
Take decent product photos. It’s one of the first things people will notice about your product, so you need to make sure that they are eye-catching and, well, amazing. Once you take the photos, make sure to touch up the photos before you upload them. Sure, this can sound intimidating, but you can use a simple tool like to edit your photos. They even have an “automatically adjust” button for some of the settings. How easy is that? Another tool for photo-editing that I recommend is Gimp; it’s basically a freeware (free and not pirated) version of Photoshop. Did I mention that both of these are free?
Another thing I recommend is to make sure to add a personal touch to your listings. Look at the listings of those who make Etsy’s front page and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t copy them, of course, but do be inspired. I’ve redone the wording of my listings a few times now, and I doubt it’ll be my last. Don’t be afraid to make it your own brand.

10. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?
I’ll be attending my first two craft shows soon—one is in November near Omaha, NE; the other is in Chattanooga, TN on Saturdays and Sundays in December. I’m pretty excited to spread the word about my shop to people who likely wouldn’t know I existed otherwise. Since I’ll be travelling and working remotely near Christmas, be sure to plan ahead and order early if you want to get Christmas presents!

If you're in one of these areas, be sure to stop by my booth!

OESC Holiday Bazaar, Bellevue University
Saturday, November 16, 9am-3:30pm

Chattanooga Holiday Market, Convention Center
Saturdays and Sundays in December before Christmas
Saturdays, 10am-5pm; Sundays, 11am-5pm

Shop online:
Follow me on Facebook:
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Katniss Everdeen

Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat)

Stop by and visit Abby at DrowsyAurora and check out her unique creations. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Family Friday - A Day Late

Just like lots of things, I'm running late. Last Family Friday was "The Boys", so this week I'll do "The Girls". At the current moment all barn animals are girls. The Hens were first. I remember loving my Great Grandpa's chickens and wanted the kids to have the same experience. I have had the hens about a yr now. I started out with 3 Columbian Wyandotte's I found on Craig's List. A month or so later I found 9 more hens on there. They are Black Star/Cochin Mix, Buff Orpingtons and mixes of both. A month or so later a customer came in to the Post Office and asked me if I wanted a few of his Rhode Islands Reds. I said yes and when I went to get them he gave me 8 of them. I love having my own farm fresh eggs to eat. One of Bradley's favorite things to do here is collect the eggs. They coop in built inside my pole barn for added warmth in the winter. They have a run built off it inside and one on the outside, so depending on their mood and the temperature they can decide if they want to be inside or outside. Here's the girls in their outside run when I went down tonight.

The other barn girls are kittens. Last year when we first got the pigs and chickens I started noticing lots of mice in the barn. I was thinking about getting a cat from Larry and one day one just showed up, so I started feeding her. I named her Flash, because when she first came here she would run so fast if you got near her. Here she is last year with the pumpkins I bought for the pigs and chickens. 

Shortly after Flash showed up another cat showed up too. She was very round in the belly area and I was sure she was going to have kittens, so I named her Mama T (not sure why I picked T) Time would tell me she was just a well rounded girl, she never did have kittens. She was a love bug and wanted to be on you, particularly your shoulders. Here she is curled up on my shoulder.  

Spring came and so did a boy cat :( I started calling him Friend of Flash after I caught them in the act. He didn't stay around, mostly just for feeding time. It wasn't long and Flash was a new Mommy to 2 little kittens. Unfortunately one didn't make it. The little girl left was named Dolly. Flash was very protective of her with Mama T and Fof (we shortened Friend of Flash) and they both disappeared before too long. Here's Dolly today hanging out with me while I hung laundry up.

About a month later I went down to the barn in the am to do chores before work and found 5 little kittens locked in the chicken's inside run. I had no idea how they got there and just shooed them out since I was in a hurry to get to work. Later when I got home I could only find 4 of them. It was a few days later and I found out they were the neighbors kittens, she came and got them which they were none too pleased with. The very next morning 2 of them were back. I decided if they didn't really like it there they could stay here, also reasoning Dolly needed other kittens to play with. Flash was reluctant at first, but it wasn't long and she took them in as her own. Once the kittens were all old enough to be completely on their own Flash started disappearing days at a time. Now she may just show up once a month. Here is Milo and Zippy playing under foot today. Bradley asks Alyssa all the time why they have boy names, and she just says they could be girl names too.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I think I'm a throwback, because I love everything vintage and I think I should have been born way before I was. Maybe it was just the time I grew up in. My Grandma & Grandpa Kelley and my Great Grandma & Grandpa walker grew up in a much simpler time and most the the modern conveniences most houses had even in the 70's they didn't have. I can remember begging Grandma Kelley to let us do laundry in the old wringer washer, because it was so much cooler then the electric one we had at home you just threw the clothes in. They also had a tilt out floor bin that held a 50# bag of flour, I loved opening and closing that.  And there kitchen stove, what a treat for a little kid. Mom and Dad just turned a knob to turn ours on at home, but there you got to put wood in the top, how cool is that? We felt like we won the lottery if we were the one chosen to put the wood in.

My Great Grandparent's was much the same, except they had a lot of animals. Milk and eggs came from the barn, not the grocery store. And they weren't just plain old white eggs, you could pick your own color to eat from brown to blue. In the summer/fall you went out to the garden to get fixings for dinner. Grandpa cooked his dogs dinner on the stove every night and took it out to them. The joy of being a 5 yr old and rolling around in the yard playing with a half dozen baby raccoon and getting to bottle feed them. Having to feed the cows, chickens, turkey's, pheasants, quail, owls, geese, ducks, horses, raccoon, dogs and for a short time even a baby deer, all before you could sit down for dinner. When you woke up in the morning you fed them before you sat down to eat. I guess you could say my love of animals came from my Great Grandpa. I love having my own chickens to get eggs from now. Though butcher day was a little hard on me, I love knowing the pork and chickens in my freezer were raised with love.

Laundry time, while I don't have the wringer washer my Grandma's did, I do hang my clothes on the line to dry just like they did. I have an Aunt that hangs her clothes out on the line year round in Western New York. I don't go to that extreme, I hate the cold, but I do have a 4 line clothesline strung between my dining and living rooms for when it's too cold to hang them out.

I would love to go back in time for clothes too. It seems once the 70's were over fashion went down hill. Give me something made from the 40's- 70's and I would be happy. I see no reason to run to the store for a new pair of jeans just because I ended up with a hole, that's what patches are for. I don't need to wear anyone famous' name on my clothes or the newest rage in name brand shoes, just give me a solid pair of work shoes.

Check out the Vintage Books in my shop MichellesVarietyShop and remember what it's like to have an actual book in your hands. The smell of old books shows they have history. You can sit and wonder and make up your own story about the person or persons who read it before you, maybe even some just by the light of the candle.

I'm trying to get my self thrown back to the simpler times and hope each year I can get a little closer. Are you trying to go back to simpler times as well? Comment below and let me know what you are doing to throw yourself back.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In Memory of my Dad

My Dad was born on December 31, 1938 and passed away 20 yrs ago today. I have the best memories of him from when I was little right up until he passed away. He was the funniest and kindest man I have ever known. My Sister and I meant everything to him. I was a true Daddy's girl and no matter how bad I was when I was a teenager he always loved me!!! I was devastated when he died and didn't know if I could go on. A friend of his sent me a sympathy card and wrote that I should think how lucky I was to have a great Dad for 23 yrs instead of a rotten Dad my entire life. She was right and I have always looked at it that way ever since, not saying I wouldn't love just one more day!!!! Here's some pics of cards between my Dad and I.

When I was 8 my Dad was pulled into a printing press at work and was in the hospital for a while. This is the card I made and sent to him. 

My sister and I had bunk beds, I must have thought everyone did :)

 The picture is me on my first birthday. (I still have the chair) My Dad gave the picture to me on my 20th birthday with the note on the back.

He had a great sense of humor. 
My sister graduated high school the week of my 21rst birthday. My Dad made her a sign and put it on the fridge. Well the natural jealous Daddy's girl I was wanted to know how come I didn't get a sign. The next day this was on the fridge.

My last and most precious note. When my Dad was in the hospital at the end he couldn't talk because of the tubes. After I told him I loved him, he made the motion he wanted to write something and this is what he wrote.

For those of you missing your Daddy like me, here's a hug and know your not alone. For those of you that still have your Daddy, go hug him and tell him you love him and give him a hug for me, Daddy hugs are the best.