Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Idont careif you thnk im trendy

I created my second ever treasury today. See below:
(Please click here to see the real thing with bigger pictures, more comments, and, best of all, where you can click on items to see more. Click on the ninja, I can't get enough of his tag line.)

I had something entirely different in mind to post about today, but this has come up so here it is. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately (as in this post here.), and as a maker and seller of things it's something to really be conscious of. I'm taking my own direction in a more true-to-me route which means making things for me as much as making them for sale. I hereby refuse to feel guilty that my store's not more stocked. I hereby refuse to feel like I should be a more serious entrepreneur. And I accept that this may mean I don't sell a darn thing. And I'm ok with that, because there are things more important in life than selling things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Harvest Weekend!

It turned out to be quite the harvest weekend this weekend!

Boy, does this time of year ever just tear me in two. The blogs I seem to follow are written by overbearing optimists who savour every bit of every season and love every minute of life. At least that's what it seems like to me. Here at Silver Sisters it's ok to not anticipate the coldness of winter with bated breath. Who are we kidding - it's not "crisp" and "fresh" it's darn cold and dark and I'm just not looking forward to it, no matter how much you use pretty words to describe it. (But I'll still read those blogs, who am I kidding.)

All right, back on track, this season is heart wrenching because it's getting colder and darker and it's only going to get worse. But on the flip side, the summer's going through it's great crescendo of growth. I'm taking fruits and vegetables, my friends. All that work you've put into your garden this summer is finally paying off, and the farmers' markets are FULL. This weekend was the final climax of that - the last farmers' market of the year. In celebration (and sadness) I took out a whole bunch of cash, knowing full well that I always spend every dime I come with.

Here's the haul:

And it was a haul, you'll notice. Not everything fit into the wagon so I ended up pulling a wagon plus carrying two bags of produce. The box is full of tomatoes which I made roasted tomato sauce for the freezer. Imagine in February savouring those September tomatoes. There are also 2 big bags of peppers which I chopped up, froze on cookie sheets and then put into bags. I just love having peppers frozen to pop into recipes in the winter when they cost far too much for watery produce from another continent. The green foliage you see are beet tops, goldens for my family and reds that I picked up for a friend. I also splurged on some honeycomb that I've been eyeing since the spring. I've always wanted to try it but it's expensive so I've been putting it off. For the record, I'm glad to have tried it just once, but it's just honey and wax - I don't quite get it. And the icing on the cake - fresh local strawberries!! I was so excited to see these - it's been a rough year for strawberries and I thought I'd totally missed the season. Boy, store bought berries have nothing on these babies!
And we're not done yet! On Sunday we ventured forth to harvest our potatoes. Friends of ours generously agreed to lend us some garden space this summer. We eat a mountain of potatoes each year so I thought they'd be a good thing to grow. Plus potatoes are easy, and require little care so success is almost guaranteed.
Here is a view of our garden as we are harvesting. My stuff is in the forground. bare earth and dead potato tops.
Our friends generously added in a couple of extra vegetables that they had more than enough of - romaine lettuce, kohlrabi, coriander and kale. The potato yield was very low this year as it was quite dry at the farm, however, I was still happy to see how many boxes of potatoes we ended up with. We'll be eating well this winter. At least for a couple of months.

When I say "we" I use that term loosely. "We harvested" means I dug up potatoes and kids yelled "Potato" as loud as they could and scrambled to grab the miraculously appearing spuds from the dirt. It was great fun. For the first row. until interest waned. Then I dug potatoes and the almost 2 year old yelled "tados" and grabbed what she could. Still quite fun, but it really is exhausting work to to all day when you're used to sitting in front of a computer instead. I'm not sure we'll have a garden out there again as we weren't able to give it the attention it deserved and I really felt bad when the weeds cast their seeds on everyone else's soil.
Here's a picture at the end of the day of my little helper. You know, she stayed out there for the whole day picking up potatoes and throwing them in the boxes. Amazing, really, that it caught her attention for that long. The rest is well-deserved.

p.s. Anyone want some mint? As usual, I've got more than enough to feed to mum in tea this winter.

p.p.s I'm also looking for recipies for things to do with mint... any ideas?

p.p.p.s. I'd give you a mint plant, too, if anyone's interested.... for free and you don't even have to tweet about it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

slump. i guess it's official.

Well, it’s been a long time since I wrote here. That usually means that I’m either thinking about something too big to be contained in a single blog post (turns out I'm not the only blogger this happens to) or that I’m overwhelmed again. Well, it’s the latter this time. I’m really wondering about the wisdom of setting up an etsy shop when I did. I had hoped that I would have help with uploading photos and setting it all up, which I did but there is a whole lot else to do and I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to the store. I’ve got two small kids and a full-time job after all and I’ve never been really good at the whole balance thing. I keep telling myself to be patient and be happy with “slowrolling” the store a bit but, truthfully, I wonder if this is where I should be putting my energy right now.

When I started I kept saying I was feeling compelled to do it, and I still am, but I’m starting to wonder where that is coming from. I recently looked at some eye-opening stats (I wish I knew where to find them cause I’m paraphrasing badly now.). It showed a huge surge in traffic to etsy this summer. But I know from the forums that sales have been down. Also, the vast majority of the people who open stores there are middle aged white women. Um… me. And then the thing that really opened my eyes – a list of other websites that are popular for people who visit etsy. They were all craft supply sites, or etsy sites for sellers. And it hit me like a brick – most of the traffic on etsy are sellers. Not buyers. So, all the middle aged white women are flocking to etsy to sell stuff. And that’s just what I did, too. I don’t know why, but maybe me being “compelled” to do this is just following my demographics. Sad isn’t it?

So, what’s a girl to do? I’ve got stubborn genes, so my first reaction is to outlast the trend and make something of it.

I’ve really enjoyed the focus on creating having the shop has given me. I love making things, and am glad to be putting that as a priority, but I can’t help but wonder if my energy wouldn’t be better used making things for my family rather than engaging in the economy.

I guess I’m in a little slump, as some might call it, or a moment to pause and reconsider my direction as I like to think of it. I believe things happen for a reason so now I put the question out to the universe, and we’ll see what answer comes back.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I got my very first treasury today!!
When I get a screen shot I'll post it here.
It's all for my sister who's expecting and they've nicknamed the baby "Ninja".
Go check it out!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I guess it wasn’t meant to be. 2 days after we listed our house we put in an offer for the house we wanted. We ended up in a competing offer situation and they choose the offer with no conditions. Go Figure. So our house is still on the market because we just couldn’t bear to take it down yet. We’ll see what happens, maybe something will come up and our house will sell at the same time. I hear that happens from time to time.

We spent the long weekend in Golden BC which was just what we needed. Time away from the house, and doing things we enjoy.
I finally got out the camera and took pictures of several more things to list in my store. The first one has just been listed:

I made him quite a while ago and thought he might have some fun out at Halloween. I have one more monster to list and some other, more grown-up fall things. It looks like I can do one per lunch hour so it might take a couple of weeks to list them all.

I also bought some vintage books that I'd love to share a little of with you sometime. I could have spent all afternoon in that store snooping around at all the useful things like jello molds and vintage wedding dresses.



p.s. just for fun since you read down this far:

Someone had a little fun in the costume box this afternoon (I'll probably regret this later). I told you he was Really Scary, didn't I?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Well, this day is about as exciting as it gets around here.

First off, we listed our house for sale last night! Finally! After 3 weeks of non-stop working on it it's up for sale. Don't get me wrong, there's still lots to do (isn't there always), but there should be some calm here soon.

There must be some secret to taking interior house photos that I haven't learned yet. Man, is it hard! I'm used to taking pictures OF light, and now it's in the way. I'm feeling a little vulnerable having our house up on the market. Naked. Exposed. Of course, I have a blog that has pictures and lots of writing about us, but it's different because I get to choose what the world sees. With a house they see every messy little corner.
Secondly, today is my daughter's first day of kindergarten! For 20 minutes anyway. She's so excited, I'm so excited - she's really ready and I think she''ll get a lot out of it. But we both recognize that it's the end of an era. The end of little kid freedom, and the start of learning to play within the rules. It's also the start of packed lunches, consent forms, after-school activities, and since she's the first one I'm a little scared about how we're going to manage to keep up with it all. I think there'll be lots of hugs and cuddling today.

Thirdly, there's the welcome to school party that i somehow agreed to. Oh boy, did she have plans! She was getting way carried away (confetti?!) and my first inclination was an outright "NO!" But starting school is something worth celebrating so we're trying to do it in a manageable way (think slowcooker and corn on the cob on the bbq).