Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'twas the night before Thanksgiving

Hi friends!  Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  It is gray and cold and rainy here and, while normally that would bum me out, it somehow makes it feel just right for a holiday.  Arthur and I did a big grocery shop this morning and now we're stocked up on food and happy to be cozy at home for a few days.  All we need is for Steve to get home from work for the celebration to begin!  And my brother will be here tonight as well!

Last weekend, we were so busy with the West Elm event that we barely had time to breathe.  I am happy to report that it was a huge success- and so much fun!  Star came with me to help out and we spent the day chatting with each other and with all the shoppers.  

One of my favorite parts about the event was that we got to use anything in the store for display purposes. Star and I "shopped" the store for trays and baskets and lots of large vases.  The vases were perfect for displaying bow ties and scarves, which can be really difficult to display.  

I'm super excited about the upcoming long weekend for lots of reasons.  Personally, I can't wait for the great food, Macy's parade, extra time with my family, and Christmas decorating!  Business-wise, I'm expecting lots of holiday sales and am trying to roll out a few new products (world map tech cases!) and photograph our new packaging.  I can already tell it's going to be great.  

We're keeping it low-key for Thanksgiving this year, but I am trying out a new dessert recipe: Mocha-Espresso Cream Pie.  I think Steve and I both are a little over-excited about it.  

As usual, we have so many things to be thankful for this year.  I hope that you find yourself counting your blessings tomorrow too, in between bites of pie.  

See you next week!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

West Elm

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were preparing for a show at West Elm and, just as I suspected, the weeks have flown by and the time is here.

Did you know that West Elm is a huge proponent of the handmade movement?  They purchase items wholesale from Etsy sellers to sell in their retail stores.  They include handmade art in their catalog layouts. And they host awesome events where they invite Etsy sellers to set up in the store for a day.  I have always wanted to be a part of one of these events and I'm so excited about this weekend!

Here are the details, for the local crowd:

Saturday, November 23rd from 1pm to 4pm (possibly longer)
Charlotte West Elm, 1100 Metropolitan Avenue

There will be about ten local Etsy sellers there, offering everything from iphone cases to jewelry to throw pillows.  And of course, cool leather pouches and flannel scarves.  I've also heard rumors of food and drink, but I can't promise anything.  But there is a frozen yogurt place next door, so either way I think you're looking at a delicious afternoon.

Also- have you been to West Elm recently?  Their holiday decorations put me in a festive spirit almost immediately.  Lots of antiqued gold and silver and glass- it's so beautiful.  I'm actually looking forward to spending the better part of my Saturday in the store.

I'll be working hard over these next two days to get all the final preparations done, but, as you can see, the house is filling up with stacks of completed products.  I've really been pushing the limits of time to get everything done and a big thanks goes out to: Steve, for not minding when we have things like scrambled eggs for dinner and Arthur, who is content to play with the fabric scraps I drop on the floor like they are a new toy.  Love those two.

In honor of the season of gifting, we're also rolling out some new product packaging and will have everything ready to box your gift up right there in the store.  Even if it's just a gift for yourself.

Steve has promised to take lots of pictures, so hopefully even if you can't make it, it will feel like you were there!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

new hampshire / new normal

We took a lovely, lightening-fast, adventurous trip to visit Steve's grandmother in New Hampshire last weekend.  Getting there involved a car, a bus, an airplane, two more buses, and a rental car.  We brought exactly one change of clothes per person and carried most of our luggage on our backs.  Steve attached the car seat to our small rolling suitcase using some rope and a couple of D-rings and we wheeled that thing through the airport like we were professional travelling parents.  Which we're totally not, but we have flown with a two year old twice now in the span of six months, so we're certainly getting there.  

 As luck would have it, Nana is currently living in the most precious spot.  There is an old train station and lots of mountains for skiing and one night we ate dinner at the Muddy Moose.  You can't make this up. 

Side note: every time we visit New England, I beg Steve to move there.  I think I'm wearing him down.  

 Because we were only there for the weekend, and we wanted to spend as much time as possible with Nana, we had about one hour for sightseeing.  We spent it wisely, at the train station, running in the town green, and drinking hot chocolate at a local coffee shop.  

AND WE SAW SNOW!  We woke up to a beautiful snow shower on Sunday morning and I couldn't believe our luck!  Arthur had never seen snow before and we all three watched it fall outside our window while we were cozy in our hotel bed.  It felt like a gift, just for us.  

Speaking of luck, I decided that having your toddler fall asleep at the beginning of a flight probably feels a lot like winning the lottery.  It's like, you've heard of it happening to other people, but you just can't believe that a commoner like you could be so fortunate.  During the awake part of the flight, we plugged him into the portable DVD player and thanked our lucky stars that he can watch "Cars" over and over without getting bored.  

So now we're home again and it's Wednesday night and I am just getting around to blogging.  I realized something important last week when I noticed that blogging wasn't even making it onto my list of things to try to accomplish each day, because there were so many other priorities and the list can only be so long.  I realized that, due to the finite nature of time, right now I can run a business and live life with my family, or I can blog about those things, but probably not both.  Of course, the running and living wins out.  It always should.  

I love to blog and have a record of our days and share shop updates, but I think that my posts will be once a week, at most, through the holiday season.  If you find the inconsistency annoying, there is a handy little feature in the sidebar where you can enter your email address and receive blog posts by email, so you don't have to bother checking back every few days to see if I've updated.  

This probably also means that my posts will be longer and cover more topics within the same post.  Like this one, for instance, where I cover New Hampshire, blog frequency, and our weekend plans.  But a little variety is fun, right? 

Weekend plans include photographing some new leather pencil pouches and tech cases for the shop, plus stopping by the Vintage Charlotte Holiday Market.  We have a few friends who will be exhibiting, plus we went last year and there were these amazingly large pine cones that I debated over and didn't buy, but have dreamed of ever since.  I'm going back for the pine cones, man.  

I'm also hoping to share a hot beverage with Steve, enjoy some chili, and rake leaves for the short guy to jump in.  Hope your week is full of your favorite fall things!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

thoughts from under the falling leaves

Today just might be the perfect fall day.  I am sitting outside, semi-working, but really just admiring the way the sunlight hits the trees.  It's breezy and there is a constant dusting of leaves falling down, sometimes right onto my keyboard.  Nap time on the new patio is a gift I give myself, when I can manage it.  

November is flying by.  We're one week in already and we have so many big things coming up that it feels like we may just jump from one to the next and it will be December before we even blink.  I'm trying to remind myself to slow down a bit and watch the leaves, enjoy the cars stacked up methodically around the house, talk to Steve for more than five minutes at a time.  

Also, this guy learned to wink, so there's that to enjoy.  

One of the things we're preparing for is a show at West Elm later this month.  I want to take plenty of merchandise, in case all of Charlotte decides to finish their Christmas shopping that day.  Hence the alarmingly large pile of zipper pouches.  

For nourishment, we've been eating this Roasted Wild Mushroom Chowder all week.  Two thumbs up.  (Side note: I really like to make notes on my recipes so I know which ones to make again.  My college roommie and her boyfriend-now-husband used to make notes for me when they tried something out, so I'd turn to a recipe and see things like "two thumbs up!" or, my favorite, "good show!".  Boy do I miss those two.)

Hope your fall is humming along quite nicely.  I'll be back next week with some more business-y type reports!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

coming up for air

I'll be back with a proper blog post later this week (hopefully), but for now I am buried under piles of wool and leather and zippers and have vowed to put everything else aside (except the ever important laundry and cooking) until I finish these 40 pouches.  

After the pouches, of course, comes more scarves and bow ties, probably in multiples of ten.  

The goal for this November: make it through.  

Anyone else notice my shop name change?  I've had several conversations about it this week and realize that I need to fill everyone in soon.  More on that next week!


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