heldThis week I sent out one of the most heartbreaking pieces I’ve done in a long time. A woman ordered this necklace for her friend who had lost her child this week to drowning. My heart breaks for this family. It could be any one of us. Will you pray for them?

Despite the sadness of what making this piece (and others) means, I know that this is a ministry in times of grief. This is a small way that I can let people know that they are being thought of and prayed for. The meaning behind the pieces that I send out does not get lost on me. I know that each one has a story attached.

Today only I’m making all necklaces 15% off with the code necklace15 – it’s valid on any item in the Necklace Category. What will you celebrate and remember?

{coupon valid 7/1/16, not valid on previous purchases or with any other coupon code. expires at midnight EST}

Startup Stock Photos

If you’ve been on Instagram already today, you’ve seen all of the chatter about Instagram changing their algorithms and making the feeds non-chronological. Nearly everyone is posting pictures pointing to those triple dots in the top right corner and asking you to turn on post notifications. Well, I’m telling you today to please don’t do that. If you really want to, you can…however I know for myself I have enough distractions throughout the day. I don’t need my phone to ping every time someone posts a picture on Instagram. I’m telling you right now that getting a notification when I post a picture of a new item is not important enough to distract you when your family needs you, when you’re at work or when you’re driving. You should just be able to come to social media when you’re able and see what you’d like to see.

The Instagram changes are a challenge, but here are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re getting the information that you want from the feeds that you love. The first is to ENGAGE. Like pictures. Be sure to comment. This goes for Facebook as well – the more you engage, the greater the chances to keep seeing those feeds that you enjoy. And on Facebook it’s a double bonus because when you do those things it shows up to your friends, which can help a small business like mine to grow organically.

Another thing you can do is to sign up for my e-newsletters. Chances are, most of you already subscribe. But if not, go ahead and sign up here and snag a 15% off coupon. I hope to send emails out a few times a week with coupons, sales, new products and other items that have value. If you have other small businesses that you love and don’t want to miss, see if they have an e-news as well that you can sign up for.

Lastly, clean up your “following” list. Maybe it’s time to clean house and make sure you unfollow those feeds that you no longer need to see. That way you’re free to see the ones you do want to see.

When I first heard of yet another change, I did get scared. This business is a good chunk of our livelihood and income. I am my only employee. Instagram has been integral to the growth of my business. But you know what? If people love my items, they’ll come shop with me when they need jewelry…regardless of if they see me in their feed. I just trust you all to share your love for my items with your friends and direct them to my site. It’s okay. I love and appreciate all of you for the support over the last 12 years…and the continued support in the future.

IMG_4592A few weeks ago I did a make & take at my house with a few friends. We made diffuser pendants, bath salts & sugar scrub. Today I want to share with you how to make an easy bath salt that is perfect for gift giving! It’s not too late to whip some of these up for gifts!

The original recipe is from TidyMom. To make Lemon Rosemary Bath Salt you simply mix together the following:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest (optional)

I didn’t use that much rosemary in mine because I only had a small amount. It is still very fragrant even with only one tablespoon. I also didn’t use as much lemon zest. I just zested some of the peel until it looked like enough. This recipe fills one pint and one jelly jar.

IMG_4593If you want to fill up three pint jars, you simply double the recipe. That fills the jars almost to the top (add a little more epsom salt if needed). This recipe can easily be amended to whatever oil you want to use:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups epsom salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 12-16 drops of essential oil

IMG_4584Tie them with a sweet bow and tag and you’re all set! To use, measure out 1/2c-1c of the mixture and put in your bath water for a relaxing detox soak. Some of the oils that we liked to use in the ones we mixed up are lavender, cedarwood and peace & calming.

If you’d like more information on Essential Oils, you can read more about what they are, why Young Living and how to buy.

 

This year was our biggest Handmade Vintage Market yet! We had a blast and we are worn out. Putting on a market is not for the faint of heart. Lots of hours and prep and meetings took place to make it happen. We had a great list of vendors this year. Wonderful musicians. Fabulous sponsors. We are so grateful to the amazing customers that came through and supported small businesses.

Our amazing Market Photographer is Matthew Doudt Photography and you can see all of the pictures on our Facebook page.

HVM3 HVM4 HVM1 HVM7 HVM8 HVM2 HVM9HVM6

Take a peek at the vendors for the November 2015 market! They were amazing and still have a lot of goodies that need new homes:

Musicians:

Market Sponsors:
Matthew-Doudt-Photography

Amy-Cornwell

Handmade Vintage Market swag bag sponsor Carrie Grace Shop

Handmade Vintage Market Swag Bag Sponsor: Made by Betty B

Handmade Vintage Market swag bag sponsor Cards by Jessica

Handmade Vintage Market swag bag sponsor Rehabbed Handmade

packages-impactSoon, these packages will be under your trees. I wanted you to know today that your purchase impacts more than just my family. They impact the family of Amber, who helped me cut bands in November to prep for a sale. They impact the single mom at the post office. They impact members of my church’s food pantry. It’s more than just me.

I live in a small town – the kind of small town where there’s just 1800 people. We have a small country post office with two employees. The other day the lady at the post office told me that one of the town’s business owners who shipped a lot moved to another town. Now there’s just two of us that own businesses in our town that ship packages. She told me how much she needed my packages because otherwise they’d be hurting, insinuating that she’d lose her job if my packages weren’t there. She’s a single mom to two boys and knowing that every time I bring packages to the little post office, I’m impacting her family keeps me going. YOU are impacting the lives of this single mom and her boys…simply by purchasing something on my website.

A portion of the profits each month is given to my church. I do this because I believe God commands it in the Bible. This portion given to the church helps the ministries of the church, including the food pantry. Our food pantry feeds around 200 families every week and your purchase helps provide food for a family in need. There is hardly a greater gift than that.

It’s not only about me (although we’re grateful that this job helps pay for our needs) and it’s not only about you. Lives are being impacted with every sale and every package sent out. Thank you for giving that gift.

Much love.