Saturday, October 18, 2014

Working on the Shop

Cool Suitcase I found! 
My entire spring and summer I spent outside. No kidding, until dark, I was outside, just loving the weather we had here in Oregon.  I'm not one bit sorry, but I'm making up for lost time now, on the inside!
I got the carpet shampooed, with the help of my sons, and I'm seriously thinking I'm going to tackle waxing my wood floor, too, but...it's supposed to be sunny tomorrow. I think working indoors should be illegal on a sunny day ;-).
One thing that got seriously neglected, was my Etsy shop. During the summer, I could just not force myself to go in and work! But now that our weather is starting to turn, I'm spending my rainy days in my studio, getting stuff listed,  (I can't believe how much stuff I have stuffed!)  Making up for lost time! I'm just loving this little place my husband made me! Nice and bright, next best thing to being right outside!
So, in my effort to get back to work on my shop, I came across the neatest tool, if you're at Etsian, you'll love it if you don't already use it. I'm on a few Etsy Vintage teams, and one of the "rules" are that you need to make at least one treasury a month. I love to look at other people's treasuries, but I don't always have time to make my own. WELL, I came across this really neat tool that you use on your desktop, with Chrome. Treasury Box!! If you don't have it, get it! You can make a treasury so fast, you'll actually have time to work on listing ;-)  Here's my latest treasury, what a lot of fun it is now!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Racing the Rain

Don't pay attention to my grubby shoes. See the hand reaching for my peas? That was my lil' granddaughter crawling between my legs while I was picking, stealing my peas lol!  That's ok, she lives in a condo; she needs to play in the garden! 
I have said all summer, and now fall, I can't believe what beautiful weather we are having here in the Pacific NW!  My garden was THE MOST FUN ever; I'm STILL getting peas out of it! I've never planted late before, but what a nice season we've had.
However...they're calling for rain. And it's supposed to continue for a few days at least. Gosh, I'm almost not used to it anymore!  You talk to someone who doesn't live in Oregon, and that's what they say, "I couldn't live there, it rains all the time!"  Well, our well-kept secret is that isn't always the case, and our beautiful days and really gorgeous. Even our rain can be cozy, it's all in the outlook.
So, since they're calling for rain, and we have no idea if this "is it", end of beautiful fall sunshine, I've been a workaholic and a taskmaster. Windows washed, bottles to the recycle, porch ready for stormy weather, you get the idea. Among other things, I went out today and got several items out of my barn storage, got them cleaned up, and they are now drying, getting ready to be photographed for my Etsy shop. There is no way I'm doing any of that in the rain....
Some of the stuff I've been scrubbing!

Can you imagine hauling one of these around to mop? I think it may be more useful as a flower pot ;-)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Autumn Rest from Summer Work




After a beautiful long, sunny summer, we are heading into a beautiful autumn here in Oregon! I think I enjoyed the outdoors, the garden, and the projects we were working on, more than any other time. I've always liked having a garden, but THIS year I took better care of it, even put a chair and some flowers out there! Must be getting old :-)
What I have to look forward to each fall, is a huge maple tree dropping leaves all over my lawn, raking many times, then starting all over again. It brings back memories of other years I've done this, but having huge piles and letting the kids jump in them. The good thing about this many leaves, my garden loves them!
So now that it's turning cooler at night, it's getting to be that time to sit around an outdoor fire, sit on the tree swing, and just be blessed of all that's gotten done, plan what else I'd like to get done, and relax a little. Happy Fall!
My little Etsy shop has not had the attention it usually gets, so now is the time to spend listing more treasures I've found, and also getting ready to bake Finnish bread fir bazaars! Can't believe my first bazaar is actually the day after Halloween! Crazy how it flies by!

And before I close, thought I'd show this little clip of an adventure I took with my niece and my sis, to New Orleans. I never thought I'd get that close to an aligator :-)  Her video went viral this summer!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Simple Winter Stuff

Did you shop til you dropped this weekend? Actually, I didn't feel at all like braving crowds. We've had a pretty lazy weekend, my husband has found time to do a couple of maintenance projects, but mostly, we've just enjoyed the holiday. We had all our kids and the grandkids together, as well as my parents. Just making memories, eating, talking, laughing- we even put a puzzle together! I'm thinking I need to stock up on puzzles this winter.
My shopping is going to be minimal this season. I have had years where I went overboard, but this time, I want to keep it very simple. The part I am really looking forward to, is the simple things. We are planning an evening Christmas song-athon at the little church down the road. Inviting friends to potluck, to bring their instruments and voices, and have a good old-fashioned time.
For years, I've wanted to host "Game Nights" in the winter. Doing these kinds of things, our kids and grandkids love, as much as all of the grown-ups. This IS going to happen this winter!
And another activity I enjoy with my mom, sister, nieces, daughters and granddaughters, is "Craft Night". We haven't done this in a long time, but basically, getting together to work on whatever art or craft project we each have, and doing it together. We don't always get a lot done, but we have a lot of fun!
These are the kinds of things I'm wanting to do! And they don't cost much, you have to eat dinner anyway, so why not just share?
I'm sure that sometime REALLY close to Christmas Eve, I'll manage a panic Christmas shopping trip, searching for that elusive, just right gift, but, unless an idea comes to me, I'm not going to let it stress me out any earlier!
Enjoy your friends and family, and have some good times this season!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Winter Anticipation

Hoping for snow! If I hope hard enough, will it appear?
This season is flying so quickly, don't you think? Here, in our lives, we've had a lot of stuff going on. Hard stuff, like seeing my daughter go through a miscarriage, and the wait for 2 weeks until she delivered. Hard stuff, but I can't tell you how proud I am of their strength and faith!
It's the time of year when I do several sales with my Finnish cardamom bread. It started early this year, because the first Saturday fell so early. I feel like I'm a week ahead on bazaars and baking. I had a lot of fun, did well, sold out. That's always nice.
I've had a goal since September to really fill my Etsy shop. I've got so many things to still list, and I was almost up to 400 items in my shop! I guess it's a good thing when stuff sells and you have to get more stuff in there. I really enjoy Etsy. I consider it sort of my hobby/job. Thankfully, my husband has had more work this year. Construction in our area had been really slow. Three years ago, he was getting ready to start building a house, finishing another. It was always the pattern that he'd move right into another project, someone would be waiting on him, etc. Well, the lady backed out of that house, and all of a sudden, he had no work. On top of that, he had no reputation really for doing smaller jobs, because he used to have to turn those down b/c he was too busy. So it took awhile to get out there with remodels and smaller jobs. Seriously, I think we could have qualified for welfare at one point, but he reminded me that we're not destitute, that God would provide, and you know what? We made it!! And we had a good time even through the hard part. He's just finishing a house for a man, and he'll be back to a few small jobs lined up. It would be nice if it was a sure thing that he had a house to build, (or 2 or 3, like the old days) but we're resourceful, we're taken care of, and I'm looking forward to what's ahead.
I'm REALLY looking forward to decorating my porch and house for Christmas this year. I've been Pinterest-ing wreaths, diys, etc., thinking of Chrstmas greenery garlands. I need to talk my boys into going out in the woods and gathering me some cedar boughs and holly and stuff. I used to love the gift part of Christmas more, but I'm really getting simpler all the time. 
We're planning a music night with our friends, singing, playing instruments, etc. I have always wanted to get a group together to try playing my autoharp. I think a group of other musicians would make my attempt a lot more fun.  We've talked about doing some good old-fashioned game nights with friends this winter.
Another fun thing I'm planning, is to have a friend come and show a few friends how to make tamales. I've done this before, but haven't tried it in a long time. So, I guess at least one of my goals is to have some good times with friends and family, in a warm, cozy house, just enjoying each other around some fun things to do.
Hope you plan to make your winter a memorable one!!!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Brrr. For Oregon, it's a chilly morning! It's funny that people often think all it does in Oregon is rain.   Yes, we do get quite a bit of rain, but it's not as bad as you might thing.  We've had an awesome summer, and a beautiful fall so far. I'm especially glad for lack of rain in the fall, b/c of the huge maple tree we have in our front yard. In the summer, the tree is a cool place to sit in the shade, or even to get out of a drizzle, it is that big. We have a bench swing, and tree swing, and an outdoor fireplace under it, so we have cozy evenings or warmth and fun.
But in the fall! I wonder how many leaves a tree actually has on it, but this one is crazy! We have used a blower (I wish we had had a blower YEARS ago, they work so great for leaves) countless times and added the leaves to the garden, like every year. The next day, it looks like we never did it! Today we are moving another pile to the garden, and I'd bet they would fill a dump truck, no kidding! And that won't be all! HOWEVER, the leaves are dry! With not a lot of rain, we've been able to do a lot of fall cleanup without the wetness, and that makes it a lot more fun!
I mentioned before the room my husband made me for a studio for my Etsy treasures?  I am so enjoying this room! It's like I'm out in the yard, right beside that beautiful maple tree. The front is all glass, so it's nice and bright, and at night, it is beautiful to look outside.  My son gave me a pretty sweet recliner, and I've been making a spot so that I can sit there and read, or, if I get my wish, watch snowflakes fall this winter. I live a very simple life, and I can tell you, I am so thankful for my quiet, simple life, and for my home, that is nothing grand, but to me, it is my refuge. (The best compliment I ever get when someone comes to my home is that they are "so comfortable" in my home.  I can't think of a better comment from a visitor!)
Well, with fall, and chilly mornings, I've been working a lot on my Etsy shop, getting it filled to the brim. With making soups on chilly days, with getting my kids through school, with spending time with grandkids. With going to my parents to watch the Seahawks, since we don't have TV here.
I saw a comment on a friend's Facebook page, wondering if she was the only one who didn't have a life that was all roses. It made me think about how much my years have seen. No, I have had HORRIBLE days. I've had really hard YEARS in fact, and lots of painful memories of things that are in the past. But I've come to see, you hang on for the ride. You go through what God has for you to go through, and you trust Him to get you to the finish. The finish is worth it all!  Run the race! Go for the prize! 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Roadside Stands

What is is about roadside stands? They just call out for you to stop and buy their wares!  Whether it's lemonade stands, with the little kids running their first business, or produce stands, egg signs that beckon you to stop at the little hut, put some money in the box, and get yourself a dozen eggs, or hot dog stands on the street corner in the city, there is just something special about these real experiences, in not-exactly-brick-and-mortar stands.
I'm a HUGE believer in children's lemonade stands. I've heard that it is actually not legal to have an unlicensed lemonade stand. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, I'm against it. I think every kid should have at least one lemonade stand in their lifetime.
When my sister and I were little, we painted rocks into bugs and sold them to the neighborhood.  We also took styrofoam balls cut in half, and used pipe cleaners to make animals and sold them.  We've thought how funny it would be to go to a garage sale in our area and find one of our old creations, but, I'm not holding out for the possibility, b/c, after all, I was only like 6 at the time, and the quality wouldn't have stood the test of an heirloom. :-)
I live in a very small community. I lived in the same house all my life, until I was grown. I only live a half mile away from that same home.  Well, if you know me, you know I love my life!
Today, I had a huge blessing, to go down the street that half mile again, to my childhood home, and stop at my friend's roadside stand there and buy this beautiful bouquet, all for a whole $2! You wouldn't believe what a very real memory-lane moment this was to me.  To pull into the driveway of my own childhood home, and get flowers grown on that soil, that my mom used to grown flowers on! She spent so much time in her gardens, and you know, to this day, she is always outside in her flowers or riding her lawn mower over her huge yard.  When I would get home off the school bus, she'd be out there working in her flowers in the fall and spring. In the fall, there is a certain type of day, the sun feels just right, the blackberry smell is in the air, the breeze is just that exact same breeze as my childhood, and I get this memory come over me of getting off that bus, mom pausing from her weeding to ask us how school went. It just all comes back to me all over again. I was so fortunate to have such a great childhood. I don't take it for granted. I try to live up to it for my own kids.
So, if you think your life gets monotonous, don't forget, you're making memories. Hopefully awesome memories of sunshiny days, cheerful words, beautiful flowers. Happy children.