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.

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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!

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…

Things I limit to be productive…

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Last month I shared several health ideas and favorites, but this month I am going to be sharing what I have learned and what I am still learning about productivity. As a work at home mom, it can be difficult to differentiate ‘busy work’ and what has to happen to run a business and keep our family in order. It’s easy to be busy all day doing things that really need to be done at some point, but not what I need to do at the moment. Here are some things that I have had to limit to keep a balance between home and actually making progress in my shop.

1. Limiting Laundry
I’m one of those people who actually really loves doing laundry… I hate putting it away, so we turn that part into a family night, where we all help while watching a movie. LOL. I’m not suggesting that you not do laundry. Please! By all means do the laundry. We will all thank you for it, but I have been guilty of doing laundry to avoid certain things that I really needed to do for my shop. For example, maybe I needed to do my product photography, but instead I decided to go and do a second load of laundry when that load could have waited till tomorrow.

2. Limiting Phone Calls
This can be a really hard one. I used to answer the phone as soon as I heard it, but then I realized that if I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be allowed to take calls at work. I do my best to only work during Sean’s nap and at night after he goes to bed, so I have to work really hard to make the most of that time. I now set my phone on vibrate while I’m working, and generally only pick it up when I’m taking a break. Thankfully, with a smart phone, there are features that allow certain #’s to ring, so I can set my phone to where I hear my phone ring if my hubby calls.

3. Limiting Research
A lot of research goes into what I do prior to creating a new product. I go through hundreds of photos, color palette charts, and magazines to create a new pattern. I honestly love it, and that part really feels more like fun than work. However, as with anything there is a time and place for it. It’s easy to get sucked into only doing research and zero production. I have to be really careful about working on a product, taking a break to do more ‘research’, and then realizing that 30 minutes have already gone by.

4. Limiting the ‘Do It All’ Syndrome
I think we as mom’s living in the internet generation, we tend to live with this guilt if we are not able to ‘do it all’. I know I do! We see these perfect homes and well kept rooms and think ‘why isn’t that me?’. The truth is, no home is perfect. Are some neater than others? Sure they are! But think about why… Does the family have children? Are they older? Does the mom stay at home? Is she currently building a business? Can they afford a house keeper? Those are all things to factor in before we begin criticizing ourselves for what we don’t have rather than thanking God for what we get to do. I try really hard to make sure that Sean has fun crafts to do, the house is picked up, and everything is aesthetically pleasing, but to be honest, depending on what’s going on, it doesn’t always happen. It’s called ‘being human’.

5. Limiting Unnecessary Stress
This one is easier said than done. In my heart, I want to have everything lined up for the next day, blog posts for the next week already scheduled, and menu plans for the entire year lined up and ready to go, but life never goes as planned. That being said, a little forethought can go a long way to avoid stress. This is one that I am really having to work at, but I know it will be worth it.

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By the way, this is a friendly little reminder that I will be drawing a winner for the Valentine’s giveaway this Friday!! All you have to do to enter is join the Weekly Newsletter + Coupon Club and you are all set! If you have already signed up, then you are good to go. You can join right here! One lucky winner will win:
• A set of heart coasters in a mystery color.
• Chocolates.
• And a couple other fun surprises.

If you are picked, you will receive an email from me, asking for your contact info, so be on the lookout for that on Friday!

One of those weeks…

It has just been one of those weeks where the hubby and the little guy got sick at the same time… They’re ok now, but it’s been a little hectic to say the least! So today I’m just going to be sharing a couple of adorable selfies Sean took of himself when he got a hold of my phone. He wasn’t feeling good and he was still such a good sport the whole time. ❤️

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Taking Time For Health: Part 3

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I hope you have been enjoying the topic I have set up for Mondays. Each month we will have a new topic for our Monday’s together. If you have any topics you would like to discuss or would like to know more about, I would love to hear from you!

Continuing with our ‘Taking time for health…’ Series, today I am sharing something that may not seem like a health topic, but it affects our health much more than we realize. In fact, sometimes I don’t even realize how much it has affected me until after the matter.

That little something that makes a big difference would be my daily, spiritual walk with the Lord. I have definitely been guilty of thinking I was too busy to make time to spend with my Savior. That’s humbling and sad to say, but if we are completely honest, we have all been there. We run ourselves ragged, and at the very end of the day, 5 minutes before we crash for the night, we attempt to read our Bibles and retain what little we really comprehended due to the onsetting grogginess.

Do you see how your spiritual walk affects you physically?

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Our entire lives are made up of hustle and bustle. There have been many times that I have worked around the from the time my feet hit the floor to the time my husband got home, and wonder why on earth there was still so much to do.

The truth is, there will always be ‘STUFF’ to do. STUFF that takes up all of our time, STUFF that takes up all of our energy, and STUFF that seems to suck the joy right out of us. By the way, I am not referring to our responsibilities as wives and moms. Taking care of our families is not ‘stuff’. Feeding your husband and children is not ‘stuff’. Just clarifying…

I’m talking about the things that aren’t bad or they might even be good things but… Too much of a good thing… Let’s say your best friend wants to hang out. That’s not a bad thing at all! But after you said yes to your best friend, your neighbor calls and asks for you to come over for dinner. Again not a bad thing, but after you said yes to your friend and your neighbor, you find a million videos on Facebook and waste 15, 20, 30 minutes of your afternoon…

You do all of that ‘stuff’, run your business, do the grocery shopping, answer the phone, cook dinner, play with your kids, try to be attentive as your husband tells you about his day, brush your teeth, realize that you forgot to pack a lunch for tomorrow, wash that load of laundry again because it sat in the wash too long, sit on the edge of your bed and think… Huh. I think I will read my Bible.

You have to learn to say ‘no’… No to some of the things that are asked of us, no to being a people pleaser, and no to waisting our time on things that really don’t matter.

You ever wonder why we are worn ragged… Mentally, physically and most importantly spiritually? I know I have been guilty of this more times than I care to count.

Being in God’s Word everyday without fail has been my goal for this new year. It hasn’t been easy, but I can say that it has made a huge difference in my everyday life. That and prayer.

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So bottom line, say no to ‘stuff’ more often, and yes to our walk with God, time with our families, and doing what will really matter in eternity…