Holidays are on the Way

 | Backstory

We are getting ourselves ready for another wonderful holiday season.  This year we are busier than ever getting the shops polished up for the Holiday rush, cleaning our always messy work spaces, preparing our property for a massive prairie planting. and planning our overflow of fun family activities.

In what seems like a never ending saga, both shops are in need of updating.  We are moving most of our country wide sales over to the Etsy shop. The website will remain the place to come for local products, including our excellent selection of outdoor games.

In time, all of our product photos will be a little bit more professional looking now that I have a little bit more experience with product photography.  The descriptions may be a little bit more informative.  Products that aren’t selling will be taken down, while new products that we have sitting in our pending inventory will be added.

There is a lot to be done, with little time to accomplish it, but we will learn so many lessons along the way.  Over the years, we have learned that moving forward with ideas, and getting things done, even when they take some time still counts as progress.  We can be proud of our accomplishments.  Sometimes they take a while, but we are figuring out how to enjoy the journey so very much.

Because we are always crafting, creating, parenting, and homesteading, we seldom have time for all of the things on our to do list. Our creative work spaces seem to suffer the most.  Bits of fabric remain stacked all over my work area while Charlie has piles of wood scrap, and endless mini-maker tools and coffee cups littering his crafting table.  We won’t even detail how disorganized the Lego Room has become over the last couple of months.  I still have not come to the acceptance part of the fact that we are a disorganized family.  I keep hope that one day everyone will enjoy the happiness of being organized.  For now, I will hope that all of the play and mess making that goes on around our home and workshop will result in a creative well-rounded interesting people, my family.

Our little two acre homestead is readying for a massive prairie planting.  Yay!  Over the last three years, we have been slowly cultivating some prairie patches in the front of the home.  Luckily, we have a wonderful neighbor who is very knowledgeable in the local flora.  She has even been so kind to gift us many different native plants which are making themselves beautiful out there even now with the November deadening of all of the beautiful plant-life.  In the back of the home, we recently had the unfortunate situation of having to replace our entire septic drain field (so expensive). The digging for this project created a heart-wrenching amount of bare ground.  Coming from the city, I had no idea that a drainage field could possibly destroy hundreds of square feet of our yard.  Actually, I had no idea what a flipping leech field was, until I was paying a very friendly professional to replace mine.

Turning lemons into lemonade, I purchased a ridiculous amount (over $100) of native prairie grass and flower seeds from a Nursery in Minnesota.  This week, the kids and I volunteered with the Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts assisting them with spreading some of their seeds. We learned a few useful tips and strategies for how to plant our little prairie in the making.

The leech field experience was expensive and emotional.  To see the yard get pulled apart like that was surprisingly painful for me. Now that I have calmed down and devised a plan for prairie planting, I am thankful that we hadn’t put much effort into the back of the home just yet.  And  I am thankful to have the opportunity to turn all of that exposed soil into a beautiful native prairie.  It will take three years for everything to emerge back there.  It is going to be amazing!

We are planning a quiet Thanksgiving at home with the immediate family.  We bought a very small turkey and potatoes and plan on having a nice quiet time together.  We will definitely take some time to show thanks to all the special people in our lives who make everything possible for us.  Parents for their kindness and support.  Siblings for keeping everything interesting.  Nieces and nephews for making every family event a hoot.  And, of course, our excellent customers and followers for encouraging us to keep up our crafty creativity.  Your kindness and compliments mean the world to us.  Thank you.

During the buildup to the Christmas Holiday, we have no December fairs to attend.  Hooray!  We intentionally laid low on the fairs this year, as they have been difficult to manage with our paying jobs, the kids’ ever-expanding activities calendars, and the online holiday sales.

Hopefully, our products will be seen and purchased by many people before the shipping deadline (December 20) so Charlie and I can stay busy and have lots of work space messes to clean up after we visit our families for our traditional Christmas Eve festivities!