Have You Seen My Keys?

Nick got really tired of looking at my dirty, not-so-tasteful “key fob” (as they’re called), so he decided to help me make a new one. I had bought the old one at the place I get my hair cut just because I thought I needed one- not really sure why I picked this particular one out. . . I guess it was better than the other ones available. It turns out that they really are handy. It makes it that much easier to find your keys in your purse, or you can hook it on your wrist if you’re not taking your purse with you. So, being the super handy dandy husband that he is, he picked out some scrap fabric that we had and figured out how to undo the old one so we could still use the key ring part of it. About 15 minutes later I had a brand new, much more tasteful gadget to hang my keys on!
fab fob
Now Nick’s not embarrassed of my keys, and I have to say that I am a much happier person because of it (he can’t bug me about it anymore). I think my keys are happier too!


The Syrup Sop

This Saturday we attended the annual Loachapoka Syrup Soppin’ Day. For those of you who don’t know, Loachapoka is a very small town a few miles down the road from us. The syrup soppin’ festivities begin at 7 am for those avid syrup fans. We didn’t get a chance to sample any of the syrup this year, but Nick had some with buscuits last year, when we had a booth there, and said it was very good. I grew up in the south (although some don’t really consider Florida the south, even though it is most southern in location) and I had never heard of eating syrup with buscuits! Nick informed me, however, that at his house growing up this was a normal, occasional breakfast choice. While at the Syrup Sop (at it is affectionately referred to around here) one can sample the fine southern cuisine of, well, syrup . . . not only syrup though: boiled peanuts, kettle corn, pepper jelly, fine jams and preserves, and huge honkin smoked barbecue turkey legs! That’s right folks, you can walk around chomping on a whole turkey leg! Classy! I’ll bet they’re really good though- Nick was looking pretty longingly at them.
syrup soppn' chicken
A few of the other activities to witness while at the Syrup Sop are watching the mules give rides to children while they (the mules, not the children) work to crush the cane to make the syrup as well as go visit the chicken show which ran hourly. We didn’t get to see the show, but we did get to see the chickens- which Noah loved!  Noah was also pretty excited about the wooden snake that we got him. We also got little Olive a cute hand-knit beanie from a girl that we bought a scarf and beanie from last year. She now has an Etsy shop called Paradise Knitting.
soppin' purchasesWe had a great time and had planned on visiting the pumpkin patch on our way home, but Noah fell asleep . . . I guess he had fun too!
soppin' nap


Fun Etsy Finds and Trades

Not only am I an Etsy seller but I have also purchased and traded some fun things in the online marketplace for handmade goods. Trading on Etsy is, in my opinion, the coolest thing ever! You can offer your goods and/or services in exchange for someone else’s. Most of the time no money is involved, except in the case where one person’s goods are worth more than the other’s agreed upon item for exchange. The list of items I have traded for include (mostly for little Olive): a baby memory book fromednamaebaby (in exchange for a mobile and two pillows); a tiny bracelet (in exchange for a bib/burp set); stationary and address labels from artsynikki (for a giraffe); and thank you notes from twopoodlepress (for babydarling store credit for the holidays).
When a trade wasn’t convenient I have also purchased a couple of things- a “big bro” shirt for Noah from happyfamily, some cute leg warmers for Olive fromknottybabywear, and little “olive” booties from carameldiezel. I have greatly appreciated those sellers who were willing to do a trade with me and hope that more will be willing in the future!


The Elephant in the Room

This post is sort of an addition to Monday’s post, but I just finished this blanket last night and took pictures of it this morning. This is another custom order for a lady in Illinois. She came to me wanting a blanket for her baby’s nursery and found this fabric from a seller on Etsy. This adorable fabric is hand screen-printed on “yummy natural organic hemp/ cotton” over in Australia by umbrellaprints, and the price tag goes along with it! It is super cute though, and when I had finished the blanket- I have to admit- I really wanted to keep it!


Sweet Extras

In my business I do quite a few custom orders for people.  I enjoy doing these “sweet extras” because it’s a nice change from the usual stuff I make, and it gives us a chance to try out new fabrics that could eventually be added to our repertoire.  It’s also fun to take a few pictures of these special orders, and now I have somewhere to put them! Here are a couple of the most recent ones.
This custom crib set uses some fun fabrics from Joel Dewberry‘s Aviary Collection, most notably the “sparrows” print in almond. These fantastic fall colors were a great break from our usual fabrics.  These giraffes are miniatures of the ones in our shop. They were sent to San Francisco where they will be made into a mobile.


Around the world in 534 days

So the great thing about Etsy is that it can make a really small business pretty big, geographically at least.  Brooke and I (this is Nick) were amazed when we got our first international sales to Singapore and Portugal. Now our international sales list includes the UK, Italy, Germany, China, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada… oh yeah and the bizarre metropolis of Dubai (that happened this morning). We were also excited when we began shipping to fun cities all around the US like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Boston. Finally we decided to map our sales on Google maps… it’s a pretty tedious process that I’ve been doing during my Revit (computer) class.  We’ve had 412 sales on Etsy to date, but I think I’m about two-thirds the way done.  Here it is so far:
Teals are crib sets, purples are mobiles, and magenta is everything else, and if you click on a marker it will say what it was that was sold. I thought about including an image of the sold item, but I don’t have that kind of time. It’s interesting to see where sales are concentrated across the US, mainly around denser cities like New York and LA. If you don’t see your city, purchase something and represent.


Into the Woods

We signed Noah up for a program called “Forest Friends” at the Forest Ecology Preserve here in Auburn. The program is on Tuesdays for an hour and a half  for kids ages 2-5.  He has had a blast! We did a program back in the spring called play gym, but when we found out about the Forest Friends program we thought this would be perfect! It’s a great opportunity to get outside and learn about the wonderful Earth that God has created for us to live in. Noah has learned about beavers, snakes, turtles, earthworms, spiders, and the like. At one meeting they got to plant a tree! He’s also made several adorable little crafts to bring home including a snake sock puppet and a pot he decorated and planted an acorn in! And, at each meeting we go on a nature hike through the woods- which I think is Noah’s favorite part. They stop and talk about anything neat that they come across like caterpillars, spider webs, mushrooms, leaves, or moss. We’re a little sad because this coming week is our last meeting, but they start it back up again in the spring.  I’m sure (with little Olive in tote) we’ll be doing it again.
Nick and I are so glad that Noah enjoys the outdoors. Back in May we went on a camping/hiking adventure with our good friends the Birds, and that confirmed to us that Noah loves being outside! He did so great on our 7 mile round trip hike!