Choose Joy

tumbler sleeve coming to shop this Tursday

I know I’m starting this post off with a product photo, but today I really just want to be an encouragement to you. Life can get a little crazy sometimes and there are times when it can really get us down. 
Through it all, there are times when we don’t understand why we face what we face. But one thing is for certain, and that is the Lord already knows and He’s there with us.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”‭‭ Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭
I don’t know what you’re going through, and I don’t always completely understand other peoples’ trials. But thankfully, we can find comfort in God’s word, no matter what the circumstance.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬b
So no matter what happens… Choose joy.

When all the world looks bleak… Choose joy.

When your tired and worn… Choose joy.
God has a reason and you’re part of that magnificent plan!

  

Cherry wood and wool…

  
Making an entire winter line by hand is a really special experience in itself, but I love it when I’m able to use the beautiful work of other makers. By incorporating the talents of other people into my work, I feel like it allows each piece to tell a deeper story. These beautiful cherry wood brand tags have a story all of their own.
  
Ana and her husband over from allthiswood.com  in Washington dtate are creating beautiful custom pieces for their customers. I was really impressed by all of the customizable options that they had to offer. I went with a cherry wood but they also offer walnut, mahogany, and maple. I went with the cherry wood because I wanted something light enough to stand out against the bright colors of the wool, but still had a little more color than Maple.
  

I asked them to send me a couple of in progress shots and they graciously sent me these photos of the tags being cut. I was always that kid that enjoyed seeing the little video clips on shows like ‘Reading Rainbow’ and ‘Mr. Rogers Neighborhood’ that showed how different things were made. These pictures really took me back to that childhood joy. 
  

While a lot of the tags on the site are offered in a two whole format, they were able to make a few adjustments for my order. Due to the really bulky nature of my knits, I wanted a tag that would not ‘wobble’ on the yarn. After sewing a couple on and testing it I couldn’t be happier with the results! You can tell that they take a lot of pride in their work by the smallest details that were incorporated. Everything from their desire to have the exactness of the artwork to the heavy duty packaging to ensure that everything got to me safely, it was definitely a work of love. ☺️

  
As we get closer to launch day on September 10th I hope to share more of stories behind the beautiful work that helps to make my pieces complete. 
** This was not a sponsored post, just my appreciation for beautiful work.

Nontraditional winter wear.

Well guys, I took A six month vacation from blogging due to some unexpected events, but I’m back with new ideas and a fall/winter product launch coming up in just 10 days! 😱 🎉 I’ve learned so much over the summer, and I took that time to refresh my creativity and get a new perspective on my shop

One thing I am doing differently this season is, instead of focusing on a select few products, I am launching a whole color collection and basing everything off of it. 

  
I’m really loving the bright and cheerful color palette. The colors are  definitely nontraditional for the season, but the materials are just everything warm and cozy. I’m designing all of the chunky knit hats, cowl scarves, etc in a Peruvian wool so it’s super soft without any of the scratchy.

chunky knit slouchy pom pom hat

I managed to find a way to incorporate it into every day household items too! Cup coasters, tumbler sleeves, coffee mug cozies, are just a few of the initial ideas that I’m creating with these colors.

heart shaped coasters

Aren’t these heart shaped coasters adorable? One of my favorite features about this season’s line is that you can customize everything in any color from the collection. So if you want a beanie that matches your cowl you can do that, or if you would rather have them in contrasting colors you can do that too. And while you’re at it you might as well get a matching set of coffee table coasters! 😉

tumbler cozy

 
There’s still so much I have to get done but the closer we get the more exciting this is! I’ll be showing off more of the line over the next two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled! 👀
XOXO,

Julie

Echoview Mill

So after having a Valentine’s weekend getaway and taking a week to get caught up on projects and spend time with family, I figured it was high time I get back on here!

Scott and I started planning this getaway a little while back. Asheville is where we went on our honeymoon over 6 years ago, so we thought it would be fun to go back and spend Valentine’s weekend there. As crazy as things have been, we had not had a chance to spend a lot of time together, so it was definitely a much needed weekend vacation.

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While we were up there, I got to visit Echoview Mill, the only LEED gold certified yarn mill in the US. The vision behind this mill is seriously amazing. From using solar power to sourcing local alpaca and sheep wool, you can tell that there is something different about this place from the moment you walk in.

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From the second floor you can see the the wool being processed and spun. There is a ‘community’ room where you can bring you projects and enjoy a peaceful working environment. On one wall there are nothing but shelves full of books on fiber art and agriculture that would make any knitter jealous! They even thought to put a bucket of toys for little ones.

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I haven’t decided what to make out of it yet, but I did bring back some hand dyed yarn. I really love this corral color and I want to actually make something for myself this year. lol

Do you have a really cool place that is related to your industry? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Some of my small shop favorites…

One of my personal goals for 2015 is to buy more handmade and local items, especially if they are made in America. Not only do I want to support my fellow small shop owner, but I feel like the entire shopping process makes me rethink the way I buy. It’s so easy to walk into a store and buy things that I don’t need, just because they are on sale or cheap. When you buy handmade, while the prices may be slightly higher (not always the case), you really start to rethink about wether or not you need it, and appreciate the gorgeous work that went into it.

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1. CraftyLia heart pouch
My friend, Amelia, makes these adorable pouches. I have a bag for all of my knitting tools, but I had been looking for one to use on the go. Now I can just take the tools I need for my current project. I’m super excited about using it during a trip this weekend!!!! You can find the zipper pouch and lots of other adorable pieces she has made in her shop.

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2. Wemak body scrub
I purchased the ‘Woods’ scented body scrub at the craft fair I was a part of last Saturday. Veronica’s table was right next to mine, and I really got to learn about their process and how their business came about. I went home that night and used the scrub to give myself a pedicure, and I seriously felt like a new person… The scent that I got has cedar wood and lemongrass oil in it. You can check out their shop here.

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3. Me & Ris jewelry
Some jewelry, you can just pick up and feel the quality. The bracelet I got from Me & Ris is one of those pieces. Harlee and Marisa do such a beautiful job creating necklaces and bracelets out of various stone beads.

There are so many amazing local and small shops out there. It takes some effort to find them, but I promise that it’s worth it. I hope to share more products/shops as I discover them throughout the year. 🙂

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. These are all products that I bought and genuinely love.

Put aside the important things…

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If you’re wondering why I’m bloging on a Tuesday rather then on Monday, it’s because I decided to take the day off after working hard to prepare for the craft show I had last Saturday. It was much needed and it really help me to refocus and recuperate!

I will be sharing some of my favorite products on Wednesday but today I will be continuing with the topic of using our time wisely. Last week, I shared several things that I limit to be productive. I’m not going to be giving you any kind of list or ‘how to’ today. Rather, I’m sharing something near and dear that can’t be confined to a list…

We all have important things to do… Most of us have too many important things to do. There’s so much we have to do and no matter how wisely we use our time, we never get it all done.

We’re all in different situations… Some of us chose to be insanely busy while other work and work just to put what little they have on the table. I know because I’ve been in both situations.

But I’m not here to discuss the factors of our busy lives. I just want us all (myself included) to remember that wether you have 5 min or 5 hours, those few sweet moments will be remembered by your little ones long after our memories fade. Whatever time you have for them, give them 100% of it.

Read the time management articles, the mompreneur blogs, and the self help books, but also remember, that while we are blessed to work at home and be around our children, they need us to ‘be there’ when it’s time to play together.

I realize that this concept isn’t anything new to you, but this week I have been hearing Sean quote more and more things that I say to him when I am playing/spending time with him. He may never come up to me and say, “Mommy, I’m so glad you spend time with me,” but the very fact that he says the things that mean the most to him really made me do some soul searching.

Sometimes we need to put aside the important things… Even if it’s just for one minute to hold our loved ones tight and let them know they’re even more important than the “important things” in our lives…

P.S. That’s spaghetti all over his face… Spaghetti makes him very happy. ^_^

Strength & courage for days like this…

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I used to think that courage meant that you were never afraid. I used to think that having strength meant that you could take anything that came at you in life. But nothing could be further from the truth…

Last October we realized that our little guy was really having a hard time in group settings. My normally sweet, calm and cuddly little boy would get so worked up and uncontrollably frustrated in group settings, to the point that I would often be called out of church services because the nursery volunteers wouldn’t be able to calm him down. I had no idea what was happening, I was confused, embarrassed, and frustrated.

After seeking the help of a pediatrician, we left with a diagnosis of a developmental delay, with the understanding that he did have some of the mild symptoms of autism. From there we have been moving towards therapy, and through all of the assessments, autism was brought up yet again…

I know I’m super biased because I’m his mom, but Sean is smart, loving, and works hard to do everything the other kids do. He’s about as determined as his mom & dad combined, so I have no doubt in my mind that with a little help, he’ll succeed in whatever he tries to do.

So here I am… Believing that with my whole heart… And yet I found myself afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of being inadequate, afraid of being judged for my inadequacies…

I felt so weak and cowardly for even feeling this way until it dawned on me that being courageous and strong doesn’t mean that you will never be afraid. It means that you take that fear and weakness and cast it at Jesus’ feet.

Peter 5:7
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

God already knew what we would face in our lives. He already knew that Sean would have different challenges to face and he already planned for me to be his mommy.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”

I realize now that without these feelings of weakness or insecurities, I would probably be prideful, but they’re also not there for me to wallow in. They’re there for me to give to Jesus and draw closer to Him, as I take our crazy life one day at a time…

So I’m writing this, hoping that it will give you courage to face today and all it holds, knowing that Jesus cared enough to know you and all of your future…