Lost Without…….

WSD Banner 2.15

PicMonkey! Lost without PICMONKEY! 

This is my first thought after editing my shops’ “about” page on Etsy. I have to admit, I am really ‘bad’ about updating my ME AND V BAPTISM ETSY 2Etsy page info. Honestly? I have a really hard time editing photos, resizing images, and cropping things to fit the pages. It’s me though; not them. I would rather spend my time MAKING ALL THE THINGS! THANKFULLY, there are programs out there designed for folks like me who don’t have the know how to use Photoshop (I’ve tried; I really have. It is OUT of my patience zone. Notice I said PATIENCE; not ability, just patience) and actually enjoy it. My husband is good like that. Me? Meh, not so much but really, I am totally okay with that! We can’t all be good at all the things all the time. (Apologies if YOU happen to be good at all the things, all the time! That’s impressive.)

Chicknz Etsy PicI happen to love (and I DO mean LOVE; and NO I am NOT endorsed by them whatsoever; I just LOVE them) PicMonkey. Yes, I am SURE there are other programs out there that work but this is JUST what I use. It’s easy to use, takes the horror out of editing and there are cute little things to play with like little pictures you can add to your photos, text with really cool fonts, LITTLE BIRDIES! OhEMGee. I got a little carried away today. I made a new banner for my shop as well as updating my about photos and etc. I also use Picassa which is ALSO user-friendly and I love that too. I use both sometimes.

Picmonkey (TO ME) seems more artistic than Picassa. You can use PicMonkey free, which is what I started with, but I did upgrade to Premium and the cost per year is, for my sanity, relatively inexpensive. Picassa is also free.

At any rate, here is a link to the new changes in my Etsy shop. Winter Solstice Dreams Etsy Shop. 

JusDSCN2757t thought I’d rant and share my rant a bit. If you have any advice for folks who are not so Photoshop savvy, feel free to comment below! (PS: If you DO comment, be sure to be KIND. Thanks).

PS: FYI! The name of my business will be changing soon! I am soooo excited! I’ll still make all the same great products BUT I am planning to expand the lines along with the business overall. STAY TUNED.

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Handmade with Love

So I have a friend online… NO REALLY, I do!

luandedShe runs an outstanding business called Lu & Ed (yes, click it and be wowed by her work). She creates amazing critters by “turning textile discards into upcycled laundry and toy storage solutions for kids called Mon-stors!” Her name is Cody and she hails from Missouri. Now, the reason I bring this up is for two reasons: 1) her work is awesome and I love repurposing/upcycling 2) she runs a really great blog called Daft Crafts where I’ve met many other makers who are a blast to network with 3) she has a created a great place where handmade makers can share their work on her blog for free! (super nice of her I think).

I wanted to share her blog with you so you can see what other people are making with their own hands and share her LINK UP so that if you are a maker of THINGS you can promote your work with some fantastic peeps! I’ve purchased UNIQUE items from some stellar artisans because of her blog. Without people sharing their work there, I NEVER would have found such cool items.

storenvyI could seriously go on and on but I’ll let her blog speak for itself. Go check it out because I believe in ETSYHandmade and not only because I have my own handmade shop, but because handcrafted products are so special and the artisans who make their own products are too. They work hard at what they do, go the extra mile for their customers, and make truly incredible things you cannot find anywhere else. Especially if they are made one at a time.

Have a look see and like I said, it’s a great place to network, share new creations, and make some friends too!

HAPPYHANDMADE

PS: Here were a few of my favorites from the link up (so far!) this week. 

Handmade Adorable Hooded Cowl by AnnaBela Artistry

Essential Oils Zippered Pouch by Lil Alice Sews

Monstors Tooth Pillow by Lu & Ed 

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It’s Just Silly…and CUTE…and Funny and We All Need a Laugh Sometimes…

Good Morning. Short and sweet today….

My parents live in NY but my husband, daughter, and I reside in Maine. When we went visiting for the holidays, the weather was unusually warm on Long Island and there was more “critter activity” outside than usual.

One morning, we were all in my mom’s kitchen getting properly caffeinated (well, not the kid; she’s only five) when my husband looked toward the door leading to the deck and spied this guy:

Squirrel

Apparently he was waiting for us to acknowledge his ppresence I wish I had a crown to put on him.

Cute, well-fed, NOT SHY, little squirrel guy.

Perhaps you had to be there or perhaps you see the hilarity in this; either way I wanted to share it because well…..we all need a little cute now and again.

And laughter…..LOTS and LOTS of laughter….

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

e. e. cummings

And if that doesn’t work…..here is my kitty, Angelica who was in a state of absolute, purrrfect bliss when I took this photo a few weeks ago.

Angelica

Until next time……

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My Workspace

KSNP3 WORKSHOP1No, my workspace isn’t Pinterest perfect nor is it always clean. I sometimes wonder where the millions of little threads come from and how it can possibly be so incredibly cold in there but it’s my workspace and I know I am lucky to have it! I thought today I would talk about where I work.

Over the years that I’ve been growing the business, the SHOP (as well all call it) has also grown. It is attached to our cozy home and only now finally has a proper ceiling! The rafters were bare before my dad Workshop Linen 3and I put up a ceiling. We had a tornado rip the roof in places so once that was fixed, (and WAY better than it was!) we put in simple boards for my ceiling. The garage doors are drafty so I plastic them in the winter. Still need a better floor (just concrete and part of the driveway really) for many reasons but it is a work in progress just like everything I do.

I LOVE and I MEAN LOVE creating with what I have, building with what I have, and homesteading. I especially love that I built this business with a sewing machine that was given to me, 1/2 yard of fabric, organic lavender from my garden, and balsam that I wild harvested myself. That was the start. It has grown beyond my Etsy shop where I now have wholesale customers around the country and retail customers from all over the world. KSNP 2

I did NOT think for a moment that my Etsy shop that started with one tiny sachet would grow, morph, and becDSCN2723ome so much fun. The journey (while YES there have been tears shed my friends, many tears!) has been a greDSCN2722at one and I am excited for what 2015 will bring. Business is difficult that is for sure especially when you have to make each little decision yourself (not to mention make the products too!) and be self-motivated but I have been so fortunate to have such an amazing “village” to help out.KSNP4 February will be 5 years and cheers to all who are embarking on this same journey for the first time! It’s one heck of a ride!

My plans for this spring/summer include: painting the shop (!!!! Bout time!), putting in a simple floor (save my back a bit and serve as a cold barrier), and putting a few more shelves in here and there. Work in progress and all about enjoying the journey.

Until next time….keep creating! I myself am off to tend to my chickens, make new designs, and bake some bread. Not necessarily in that order either! 😉

xoxo

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DIY Dish Soap SUCCESS!

FullSizeRender_1IMG_0596SO….This past weekend I had an epic DIY dish soap FAIL.

I followed a recipe (sort of).

I added my own stuff (without measuring).

It kinda worked (no, not at all…Not even a little). FullSizeRender_2

My 5yo daughter commented on my “failed” recipe and said, “mumma, it looks like goblin’s breath”. (HONESTLY, I have no idea where she got that idea but ya know, she’s kinda right. Having never MET a goblin though, I don’t know if her statement is entirely accurate.)

IMG_0597My husband (the chemistry/science teacher) said, “Hmmm. How and what did you make this with?” (I WISH I had taken a picture of his face when he said that. Man of few words, not easily wowed by much, man who makes a LOT of expressional faces. I am learning slowly what they all mean…another post for another day indeed).

IMG_0603So off I went in search of the most amazing, incredible, awesome DIY Dish soap recipe. I checked out a ton, cross referenced them with my homesteading books, and found THIS one,IMG_0605aptly named “Homemade Natural Dish Soap That Actually Works!” WHY I have not found this blog until now is BEYOND me.  It is a great blog written by a wonderful writer and FULL of useful and interesting information. And no, my lovies, I am not getting paid or prompted to write this: THE RECIPE WORKED. 

TFullSizeRenderrue to its’ word, this dish soap does cut grease and does work and DOES cost less ANNNND, IMG_0606more importantly, is SAFE for our environment. I did add Organic Rosemary Essential oils because I love the smell, it has fantastic cleaning properties, anti-bacterial properties, is a main ingredient in my newest room and linen spray, “Fresh Kitchen“, and works to RELIEVE HEADACHES which I often get when I have to do dishes (again, a post for another day). Win Win people. WIN…WIN…

Thanks so much Sarah of Nature’s Nurture blog!! YOU Rock. I mean that. 

Have you had an epic DIY “fail” before? Feel free to share!

Sharing is caring and it is also a way to get ideas with others who are in the same “boat”. I don’t know about you but I always feel better when someone else “gets it”.

Till next time…..

Oh, and PS, my daughter thinks we should save this green slime soap concoction for next Halloween when we decorate. If you meet any goblins, ask them to breathe and then let me know if my soap looks like their breath. Thanks.

–Kim

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You’re Such A Card….

When I was a kid, I invented my own card “company” called Kim Cards: When You Can’t Afford to Send the Very Best. My mom thought it was hilarious. I would sign each card I made with that “tag” line and a tradition was born. Sometimes I still do that when I make cards at home, but only for the sake of perpetuating a 30+ years old family joke.

At one point, in my college years, I actually collaborated with a graphic design friend about starting our own card business. We wanted to create anti-Valentine Day cards, break-up cards, and basically become the foil character to the big card companies in “town”. We designed a couple but we never actually did much with it. We made some for friends here and there but that was about it.

I have a SERIOUS obsession with paper and office supplies; always have and always will. It takes tremendous strength, courage, and willpower to not lose the mortgage money to office supply stores. I don’t even CARE which ones they are; big or small, dirty or clean, I love them all. The gleaming aisles of PENS….OMG in every color, shape & size….PAPER CLIPS…same description (some are even zebra striped….ZEBRA STRIPED)….MARKERS and SHARPIES?!?!?! Folders? PAPER? TAPE?!?!?! It’s enough to drive me absolutely mad.

Look, some people love shoes some love their fine wines….I happen to love office supplies. Don’t judge me.

The reality of it all is that I don’t have an expendable bank account nor do I have a trust fund and my little business is small but more than that, I honestly don’t like wasting anything. Yes, YES I would love to have 8 trillion pens, 75,000 notepads, or 9000 packs of sticky notes in each color and size but I can’t and I wouldn’t anyway. I enjoy using what I have on hand.

Each year we get awesome Holiday cards and admittedly I am horrible at sending my own out to people; the irony here kills me. However, what we do with the cards is we save them and put them carefully away with the ornaments. The following year, when we are decorating and wrapping gifts, we use the old cards and make new ones from them using whatever we have on hand: ribbons, paper, glue, GLITTER (squee!) and fabric scraps. We also make gift tags as well.

The cool thing about using old cards to make new is of course the repurpose aspect but also remembering who sent it and the fact that they remember our family during this special time of year. I adore making the repurposed cards with my daughter and then sending that same card to the family who originally sent it to us. It’s a lot of fun, memorable, and costs nothing but my time. Win. Win.

This year though, I did purchase cards from my good friend Beth who runs her own handmade Etsy shop as well. Those cards will be used as NOEL Card WSCard“holders” for the honor donation gifts we purchased this year (see my last blog post). I can’t wait to get that started! I love her shop, her work, and I really just couldn’t resist. I love to support small businesses and hers is absolutely top notch.  She and I have worked with each other for years online and she’s like family to me. Did I mention that I love her work?

I hope that the cards I send out this year get recycled into something cool and new and I really hope I get to see it next year! Whatever they turn out to be!! 🙂

Love and hugs from the Maine woods……..

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Tis’ the Season….

From Fan Pop WebsiteFa la la la LAAAA la la la LAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

I know you were singing along. If not now, you will be later ((mwuuhhhahahahh!) You’re welcome.

So the Holiday season is in full, chaotic, frenzied SWING. I happen to like it a lot because, well, that’s kind of my style but I know it isn’t that way for all and to be QUITE honest (I mean, we are friends right?) it wasn’t always for me either. For a LONG time. I’m talking A LONG time….

I won’t get into the why or the how or the “I did this x,y,z to get to this point x,y,z or you should x,y,z, etc.,” but I will be honest. Things changed for me slowly. For me, this season is more than anything about love, giving, and kindness. Don’t get me wrong, I try to do that always (no way am I close to being perfect!) but this is the season where we’ve saved up a bit and can give more to those who have less. My husband and I can also buy some cool, fun things for the kiddo (who really knows what kindness is all about. Five year olds; sheesh so full of LOVE) and the house. Of course, we make a LOT of things too!

I am seriously considering sewing up little capes for our chickens……….

This year, we decided to give honor gifts to our family and friends through donating to different charities. Everyone has said to us, “we don’t NEED anything else or please don’t worry about getting us anything or (my favorite) Kim, we’re OLD, we have everything already, spend the money on Veronica or yourselves!” So, we picked specific charities, some local, some international and of course, because I am SOOOO A-Type personality, they had to MATCH the family.

Some examples: We do a Winter Solstice Celebration each year in my family which involves smashing a peppermint pig while wearing goggles and a Darth Vader helmet (it’s elaborate so I won’t get into it now). Some family members are vegetarian/vegan and some are not. I decided that we would donate a gift of trees in the names of the family members who are vegetarian. For another family, who love pets and helping rescue animals, I thought, “why not donate in their name to our local shelter?” I did this online for all and printed out the honor cards. Since we don’t have a color printer, I am going to enlist the help of my daughter to color them in while I explain it all to her.
We also donated to a local food pantry mission in Maine. giving-back-main-1024We didn’t have a ton to spend but it really made my day to “shop” with a purpose this season.We gave what we could and of course, wish we could give more. I hope it makes a difference in someone’s life for sure; I know it has in ours and our daughter.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

― Mother Teresa

SO, my friends (in the internets and beyond) I will leave you with this…

“The best and most beautiful things in the world

cannot be seen or even touched.

They must be felt with the heart.”

-Helen Keller

Happy crazy holiday season everyone! Happy winter and all my best for a healthy New Year!!!

……And especially for those of you who suffer through this time of year (and those who don’t!!!!)

REMEMBER THIS:

YOU. MATTER. 

buz3

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