Prairieland Granola

So TC and I are moving forward with this whole granola thing.  We’re s-l-o-w-l-y getting our ducks in a row to start rolling out the bags to the public.  Within the next few weeks, we hope to have online sales available, and will have it at the farmer’s market (occasionally) and even in the grocery store.  Hopefully.  And we’ll see where it goes from there!

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All I know is, I’m having fun trying recipes and testing flavors.  We have our tried and true favorite, cinnamon roll, and a nice basic granola, a double chocolate granola, and a peanut butter granola.  Last night I tried an Almond Joy granola that was pretty blah when I tasted it, but I had some as cereal this morning and it was pretty darn good.  But I think we’ll be putting that one on the back burner.  I also did a banana bread granola, which I was honestly on the fence about trying…ummm, it has changed my life.  It is SO. STINKING. GOOOOD. Holy heck.  I may juts put business planning aside for a while and make/eat a batch of this every day for the rest of my life.  I’m pretty sure that would be a perfectly enjoyable existence.

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Handmade Love

At the craft show on Saturday, I collected many, many business cards. SOOOOOOOOO many cute items and booths. Seriously, there were a couple of booths that made me swoon. I want to be just like those vendors Shen I grow up. Love.

So instead of hogging all the cuteness, I’m sharing the love and recommending a few of my new favorite shops with you all. Try to contain yourselves! 🙂

Frankie and Lulu (emilylbaum.etsy.com): I bought this delightful coin purse from her…it makes me happy to look at it. Abby keeps trying to steal it.

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Earthen Joy: seriously, beyond cute ceramics. Little plaques and Nebraska shaped pendants and more. After visiting her booth, I seriously started shopping for a kiln. Her stuff made me want to swoon.

Boutique ButterLu (on Facebook, not Etsy): This lovely lady had burlap decor that was beyond cute. She also had little hello/welcome vinyl signs for front doors. I have one on our red door right now but I need to repaint the door so I need a new one…she didn’t have the color I wanted but was totally willing to make and ship it for a phenomenal price. So excited!!

There was also a booth with too-cute-for-words screen printed flour sack towels…I’m totally adding that project to my to-do list! Love love love.

Creating: Cute Checkbook Wallet Things

This project falls into the category of “I don’t know if anyone else will think these are great but I’m falling madly in love with them and think they are fabulous.” Whew.

Sewed one of these checkbook wallet things the other day on a whim and then made a couple more the next day.

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They came about because I have one or two too many blue checkbooks floating around, so I decided to sew up a case or two to help tell them apart. I had lots of soft wool flannel, so that’s what I used to make them.

They’re pretty simple; I just wanted a little slipcover to hold the checks and register. You could insert the blue checkbook cover and all right inside. Another use could be to use it for carrying cash, especially if you’re using the envelope system. It’d be great for that!!

I know they’re simple…and not everyone’s style…but I heart them. 🙂

Creating: Junk Journals

Ok. I have had my eye on a Zutter binding machine for a long time. It’s a cool little doodad that lets you bind journals, books, cards, etc. They run $65-75ish, so i’ve never taken the plunge because at that price I feel like o should be fairly committed to using it. And I wasn’t sure about being that committed.

Alas, while recently perusing the clearance section at Hobby Lobby, there on the shelf was a little, lonely Zutter machine for $19.95!!! Woo-hoo!!!

So I’ve kind of gone on a binding binge. I’m slightly obsessed with making little journals. It fast and easy and fun and they’re cute and artsy fartsy and I love them. I use any scraps of paper that I can get my hands on, from scrapbook paper scraps to old file folders to maps to sheet music and on and on. For the covers, I’ve been using chipboard (which need to be decorated but haven’t decided on how to do those yet) and parts from some cute pocket folders. You could use old book covers or cool boxes/packaging for covers, too. I think the reason I love making these is because it gives me an outlet for using everyday items (that i may have otherwise thrown away) in new ways. Fab!!

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That’s why I call them junk journals; you use junk and together all the old papers make a fun, new, one of a kind journal. So many options for creativity with these. Love love love!

Fighting Frumpy Mommy Syndrome

I’ve noticed that I seem to be suffering from Frumpy Mommy Syndrome. Frumpy Mommy Syndrome (FMS) often occurs when you’re stuck at home with one or more small children. Boogers, dirty diapers, and thrown food are often regularly encountered and thus a mother’s desire to actually put any effort into her appearance gradually diminishes over time, until she one day realizes that she looks like a hot mess of a wreck.

So once FMS is diagnosed, how does a mommy treat it?

– Buy a new coat. While running errands and taking care of business, it really does make you feel more human to have a cute coat to wear, especially if your go-to jacket is a boring plain black fleece number. Throwing on a cute coat just lifts a girl’s spirit. Now is the time to buy a coat…they’re on sale everywhere this tome of year. And if you’re on a tight budget like I am, sell some stuff your local buy-sell-trade page and get yourself a cute mommy coat. Because you are cute and you are worth it.

– Dye your hair. And if you’re like me and can’t afford to get it done professionally, I hereby give you permission to buy a box of hair dye, leave your children in the care of their father, lock yourself in the bathroom for 15 minutes and dye those locks. There’s just something about a little mini-makeover to raise your spirits. I even just did a box of temporary color that washes out after so many washes. A girl can only live with those ever increasing grey hairs for so long before doing something about them! And if no one notices that you colored it (which is what happened when I did this a month ago), who cares!? You feel better and brighter and that’s all that matters.

– Use those bath and body products that you’ve been hoarding/saving for a rainy day. Consider it raining and get them out of that drawer! Lather on that lotion, spritz that perfume, use those expensive bath gels! Quit waiting for a better time because that time won’t come and if it finally does, the stuff will smell funny and the lotion will be lumpy and you’ll be out of luck. You’ll feel pretty and smell nice. The kids and hubby will like the newly moisturized and pleasantly scented mommy.

Hooray for Progress

Thanks to the super-motivational leadership class I’m taking, I’m actually making progress in a few small  business ventures that I’ve been dreading/avoiding/afraid of for some time.

One of those ventures that I’ve been avoiding is my poor, neglected Etsy shop.

But never fear!  New inventory has been added, with more to come!  Hooray!   Check it out here.  I even added a widget to the sidebar on the left so you can easily find me on Etsy whenever your heart desires.  🙂

One of the ventures I’ve been afraid of is my photography “business.”  But I’m making progress and moving that forward as we speak.  Good-bye, fear of failure!  Woot woot!  (And if, by any chance, you’re reading this and you’re an Indiana family member who would be at all interested in a mini-photo shoot while we’re in town for Christmas, let me know!)

Oh, and something I’ve been dreading is running….but Angela has motivated me to do a 5k…in  two weeks…so I’d better get over that one.  And soon.  😉

It Is Finished

Tresia and I have been prepping for a craft show. The best craft show EVER, because it’s a four-day commission-based show that we don’t have to spend one minute at. Woo-hoo!!

And today, we delivered all of the items we created. The show organizer sets it all up and tears it all down. All we have to do is get it to the site and pick it all up later. How could you not love that?!

Tresia made some super cute scarves and more fabulous jewelry. She’s going to make a fortune, if those shoppers have any shopping sense at all.

As for me, my goal for this show was to not sew a darn stitch. I went on a small sewing strike. I sent a few projects I’d sewn in the past, and some photographs, and a few new things.

Table runner rag rugs:

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Small, medium and large rugs:

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And some burlap wreaths! I even watched YouTube videos to learn how to make bows.

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I also did some mason jar soap pumps, but no pic of those. 😦

My new craft show philosophy is to not make anything that I wouldn’t want to be stuck with. I love all the rugs, and I love the wreaths. So mission accomplished!! The show is next weekend. Fingers crossed!

I don’t know what to do with myself, now that I don’t have to crochet rugs every night. It’s kind of a weird feeling. 😉