Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Years Resolutions

First, since my last post...bright days were NOT ahead. OUCH...but....I finally came to grips that I can't be in a funk forever....it's not a good place...so, last of me even hinting that my personal issues have been challenging lately!!!!

I will tell you though, over the last month....something I knew, but, have had over reinforced to me: ONCE YOU PUT SOMETHING IN WRITING...YOU CAN'T TAKE IT BACK!!! So....I am going to DIGEST and think about my New Years Resolutions before I actually commit....
I have unfinished biz from 2010 (blog biz)...and I want to make that good (Lia, my dear friend)....before I get too excited about 2011!!!!

But...a GOAL I've been mulling over for about 4 years now...is to simply create FIVE (new design each month) Christmas cards each month...for 10 months in a row...that when the middle of November comes along....I'll have them ready to mail out. I have neglected in mailing cards for YEARS now....I've had significant things occur in my life that my closest friends from the past have never heard about....at least not from me....so.....this goal I am putting in WRITING....So, to make my blog "come to life"....I'm going to publicly announce...that I will be posting ONCE A MONTH a picture of that month's card.....what I don't know now is...WHEN....(might have that figured out by the end of this post though....)

Since the downturn in the economy, I've had to re-do my approach to marketing very differently, and am targeting a totally different market (in my chocolate business)...one that requires me to complete proposals in FAST time...for future needs....it's fun and exciting and it's got my whole "self" getting more organized....and if not for the recent upset in my life....I'd have been creating up a storm in my little room....(my upset has caused a LOT of tears...but, thankfully....it's personal conflict and not more than that...) I've been filling orders....big and fun orders...then coming home, getting kids ready for bed and hybernating in my room...no holiday cheer for this girl....I feel I owe my kids another Christmas....

So....my table is CLEAN right now....I have a GREAT project molding (for next October)...plus a few unfinished cards for next autumn....YIKES....but, sitting prominently in my "spot"...is a small pile of Christmas stamps.....

Resolution #1: 5 Christmas Cards per month, 10 months in a row (They need to be done by November anyhow...at that time...we know I will be up to the sky in chocolate)

So, I will decide when you can expect, each month, my card.....I'm thinking the 3rd Monday of every month......So, there it is: IN WRITING.....the 3rd Monday of every month...for 10 months....I will feature a Christmas card, with intent to mail these puppies out directly after Thanksgiving....

I *think* this is doable....

Baby steps....I'm taking itty bitty baby steps....oh...and the picture...is a little ME....I was about 11 or so when this was taken. I'm a glutten for punishment....this picture is a reminder of innocence and happy girls....oh personal stuff "go away"....at least now, I've come out of my hole and am facing it....I posted this picture, because it was the first picture I found in my gallery that "felt" right to post....and I feel I should *always* have a picture to show...even if it is meaningless to anybody but me!!!
Back to baby steps....it's a day by day thing.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello Kitty Birthday

Good grief...I took these pictures with my iPhone and have struggled tremendously to upload them onto my blog...I had to send them to myself e-mail...copy and paste them into being a jpeg....I KNOW there is a way to use my phone...just haven't figured it out yet. You can be sure I will find out....
This card is the one my daughter designed for her sleepover/birthday party tonight. I did guide her with the Cricut...and helped glue the little intricate parts on....but, the rest was really her...she picked the kitty...(I suggested the cloud...which didn't start out as a cloud...it was a background oval to me....looked like it could be a cool cloud)....she picked the papers/colors/etc....my suggestion of course for the buttons....
I really enjoyed this card....it was pretty quick...and making 6 wasn't taking on a never ending project....I will be posting my New Years goals soon....and "making just 6" of this or that will be on the list...not this 20 stuff...that I start and leave 1/2 done when time gets crazy!
Well...party to plan...
Hope everybody's holiday is all they want it to be....I'm still licking some very deep personal wounds....but, I realize I need to see that sun eventually....so....perhaps bright days are ahead!
Toodles, my friends,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm Still Here

Long time no post! I'm still here! Business is brisk...I sent out literally a ton of chocolate this week....on Monday, one 800 pound pallet, only to follow it up with Tuesday 400 more pounds...this is only ONE customer....and I've supplied to oodles more than that! I'm exhausted...and as much as I luv business...I'm ready to let go of a little of it...just to stay home with my little family.

Thanksgiving...lots of family drama...trying to sort all that out....it's great having a big family...but sometimes communication gets garbled....I'm ready for some alone time too...this year, for Christmas....it's all about our kids...my husband and I are not doing anything for each other...just making it a nice season for our kidlets, who are rapidly growing up....

We also decided, on Christmas Eve...it's about the true meaning of Christmas....so maybe not so much of the presents and stuff...but, the giving your heart and soul for what Christmas is all about.

My state was/is under a blanket of snow and sleet and ice...we rained today, finally...at first it was snow...then rain...just hope it doesn't get below freezing...it was close to 37...so the slippy stuff was subsiding....It's only the beginning of December and I don't like winter already!

Hope all is well...I suspect I'll be a hit and miss for the next few weeks....my hard work is almost done...I almost shudder to say it...but, I have a bunch of chocolate ROSES lined up...yup...Christmas is ALMOST over for the chocolate world...onto the next! And can you believe it...I have a distributor ready to give us EASTER orders! YIKES!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting in the Holiday Card Making Mood

I'm not going ANYWHERE today...in fact, I'm making a pot roast and spending my day in my studio!!! I see my unfinished project all over the table, and I'm wondering...do I finish it, save it for the next early autumn season to send to my friends...or send it late...I'm thinking save it...but..then I ask...do I finish it NOW or put it off to the side and start something else? I think I want to at least finish the design....the project is time sensitive, and although I could mail it...I'd rather wait when it means more...so RAK group...if you are still in the group next Septemberish....I've started your RAK! LOL!!!

In the meantime....I'm a huge fan of gingerbread houses.....I may have posted this before, sorry if I did...this was one of those really labor intensive cards....but fun to do...

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Smack Dab in the Middle of Production

Things are going rather smoothly. I'm in a tradeshow tomorrow, and do not plan on getting any of it ready until tomorrow...beyond that...I'm happy with progress....haven't had a chance to get into my craft room though...another couple of weeks and that will change. November is our busy month as the stores need holiday delivery NOW...by December...we are somewhat back to normal...for now...I'm getting pallets of product ready to go and UPS shipments out the door, all shipped to retailers scattered throughout the country....

Today...this was my fun...about 450 pounds of this....700 bags total...that, plus much more! The ones I am working on now differ slightly, as they have a corporate logo on the bow....it's hard for me to keep my hands out of the taffy...it's so good...and when under stress...I tend to "eat" the profits, so to speak! Sorry about the black "mat"...you see little bits of white chocolate on it...my picture taking is literally spur of the moment...usually for me to have as a graphic to refer to when I receive custom orders....I often photograph chocolate unwrapped AND wrapped...to avoid glare...anyhow...not that savvy with the process, but, I've improved tremendously since my first attempts, 10 years ago...when we got our first digital camera!

How about the recent Gypsy download for those of you who own a Gypsy!!!! That's pretty exciting!!!!! I struggled through the sync...but, well worth the wait!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Just been up to the sky in chocolate. Had a little bit of stress today....I'm sure a few people think of me as this! Won't go into details...oh well...it is what it is....Trudi

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cancer Awareness

I have been in huge production mode this week...started a craft project last night, but will finish it off in the next few days. This picture is something we recently did for an event held for cancer awareness.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friends -- Fun!

My card. For some reason, no matter what I did to this card...it was fun. It might be that I'm the only person on this earth that likes the result...but no matter what, no matter how...I had fun. My sewing machine was "catching"...so I have imperfect stitches (gasp)...and I rocked my stamp on one of my cards...so a little brown spot appears in the tree branches on one of my cards(shudder)...my sun has funky strange stitching on it....I couldn't manipulate my circle very easily...(I'm shocked!)...and...I'm sure there are other blunders...but...I still had fun....I grabbed this and went for that...and didn't overthink my card. I didn't agonize over which was the best designer paper for my hills...or background stamp for my sun...or colors for the sun for that matter. I realize my quail have little blue sky bodies because the stamp shows this...and I wasn't about to color them in! At the end of the day....I REALLY ENJOYED making this card...AND THE MULTIPLES I made of it!
I can't wait to mail these out to my friends....this is my first go around with this set...and I knew from the getgo...I was going to luv it! It puts a smile on my face...and hope too, that the recipients can sense that when they receive theirs (sometime next week!) Sorry ladies for the little blurb here and there...all is good...I found my style again while making this card (it was gone for awhile)...so, I thought I better run with it while I could!

Now, I can start my next project...the one I've been wanting to start for a long long time!

FYI: Those little "suns" in the picture are chocolate suns...well, technically not chocolate...I guess orange and lemon flavored fake chocolate....real chocolate has to have cocoa in it...even white chocolate isn't real chocolate. Anyhow...these were an overrun of an order that we shipped out a month ago...I thought I'd add them to my picture for FUN!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

I LOVE these kids!~

It's been a week since my last post, and I do have something almost finished to share...ALMOST...LOL...we know how my almost can be!!! I MIGHT be making pickles again tonight...we have perfect pickling cucumbers with NO home...I hate to see us throw them out...we are about ready to call that season OVER. I'm uber busy with chocolate right now, and feel that my priorities need to shift to my business...I won't miss the hard work of picking those nasty 4-1/2 LONG rows of cucumbers though!!! In the meantime, this picture was taken this time of year, 4 years ago...my how time flies. This is one of my ultimate favorite pictures of my 2 blessings....not only siblings, but the best of friends...I think I will put this picture on my desktop to remind them how much they mean to each other...WHEN THEY ARE FIGHTING OVER who has to do what or who gets what or who x'd the chair or whose turn it is to do what...WHAT being whatever you can imagine my kidlets can dream up. At the end of the day....I have to beam with pride, knowing how much these 2 mean to me and how much they love each other.

Hopefully...new crafty picture coming soon!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Fortune

Ko Neechi Wa (I know, Japanese not Chinese)....I wanted to get this uploaded before now....I designed this card for a RAK group that I'm in...and *typically* I would wait for the group to receive their cards before I post...but...(gasp)...I see I have not uploaded ANYTHING NEW for so so long...and....recently I have my creative energy in overdrive (yippee!)...so, I thought I better get this up before I lose my momentum....(my momentum has been hibernating for about a year now...considering I've done the late night (papercrafting) thing for over 13 years or so...(before that, it was something else....I LUV to embroidery) I WAS PROBABLY DUE!!!!

I'm mailing my cards out TODAY, so today it is that I post it on my blog...I noticed a little funny today...for those of you who read my blog...you may have learned that I own a chocolate business...I'm getting ready to make a shipment to Maryland today...and it occurred to me...this order MATCHES my cards!!!! Since it's a fortune cookie order....I COULDN'T RESIST taking a picture together!

I have another card in the making...I put it off (the idea) because I wanted to do a "simple" card...and just the thought of it didn't seem simple....well, the other night...I decided just to "fiddle" with the idea...and guess what...my labor intensive card isn't as labor intense as I thought...either that...or it's so flippin fun to make that I'm not noticing it! LOL!!! I plan to mail IT out to my RAK group on Monday (you see, I have been a tad bit slow...this will catch me up!)...look forward to something NEW again!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!! I have lots of plans for October!!!!! (creatively, that is!)


Friday, September 10, 2010

Turkey Trot

I'm not sure I've ever posted this picture...but this was the first Fun Run I have ever participated in...it was Thanksgiving 2008....I would luv to participate this year, but am recovering from a very painful condition called Plantars Fasciitis...I feel like my HEELS are broken...my podiatrist (yes, I have one!!!) told me that he didn't think my heels were fractured....I'm feeling a little sad over all of this, but I am putting things in perspective....I walked into his office and could have stood (not enough chairs in the waiting room)....I can't say that for the others...I'll count my blessings and keep quiet!

I'm off the streets for now, and unplugged my treadmill...in a couple of weeks...I hope to report differently!

I made this and framed it for a gift to my dear sister for Christmas. I made one for me too, but have yet to attach my leaves....hmmmmmmmm...perhaps a project I should buckle down and finish!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Birthday Card

I'm back from Seattle....interesting....quirky....I guess you could say somewhat of a success...no complaints on the business we wrote/brought home for us....we are busy through Valentines Day now....just not like it once was....the times have changed, and along with that...we are too....I can say, I picked up quite a few new customers, which is good! The show was A LOT smaller than normal....what used to be 5 healthy rows of food vendors shrunk to TWO!!! Not sure how to digest all of that (no pun intended)....like I said...quirky, strange, interesting...and HARD....this was a hard show this year....

In the meantime, my Mom needed a card to send to my aunt for her birthday...so, I brought my stash from the past for her to pick from....this is the one she chose. It includes a packet of cocoa inside...I purchase cocoa packets from one of my friends who is the Mktg Director for a fun company that packages TONS of themed cocoas in packets and tins. I've gotten to know them quite well over the last 20+ years of doing the Giftshows....and am in the process of getting my order together right now! I managed to take a quick picture of my cocoa card before we shipped it away with a gift!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seattle Here I Come

I'm not even close to being ready for the show...it is what it is....as usual, I'm flying by the seat of my pant on this one...I'll catch up next week!
This is I think last years pic....I don't even like to think about my tomorrow...this is not fast, fun or easy to set up...BUT...Saturday morning, all spiffed up (me) and ready to go...it will be fun. I like doing the shows...just not the prep or afterstuff!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Been A Little Teeny Sidetracked

I've had an interesting social life lately, it sort of put me out of whack...some heavy emotional stuff....but, I'm getting back on track. I have only one little task to do, and my cards will be finished...out in the mail, will post pictures then!

In the meantime, I've been faithfully working on my brochure for the Seattle Giftshow, which is next week...for me, my Christmas has started, I even am 95% certain of my first volume order today....(3000 units)....time flies....

I got a kick out of this...can you believe I have to start planning Valentines Day? I took this picture today...our "Cookie Poppers"...FUN STUFF!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tinsel Cord

I like having my inspiration back....my cards are progressing nicely :)

Yesterday, while working on my cards at my daughter's piano lesson....it occurred to me that I was using an awful lot of my retired commodity...gold (non stretchy) cord. I remember when this became retired a few years ago (SU) and at the time....it really didn't bother me....afterall, ribbon is a huge part of my chocolate business and I have suppliers all over that I probably could find it if I tried hard....

So, yesterday....I thought...wow...I see the cardboard...my never ending roll of nonstretchy metallic gold cord will be gone after I finish what I'm working on....This morning, I squeezed in 1/2 hour of time....big smile on face...I don't know why I'm "happy" when I use something up. My smile turned into a FROWN. You see, I like my project (sorry RAK group, I'm going turtle slow...) and plan on bringing my supplies to Seattle (I'm there on business for 5 days or so in the next few weeks...I want to have stuff to do at night!) and make even more of these for a Christmas gift for one of my sisters, who does not craft. (I won't elaborate...but will after I post a picture of the completed card)....I did NOT want to run out of my supply!!!!!!!!! So....I did a quick a roo-ie and found an alternative "look".

I'm sitting at my workdesk right now....and thought I'd browse through one of my supplier's catalogues (30 pages of nothing but ribbon!).....it took about 30 seconds to find what I was looking for.... WHEW .... (and we order from this company pretty much weekly....)

So, my craft world will not stop spinning for today, I can use up my roll of gold nonstretchy cord...now that I did the substitute on a few of my cards....I'm not sure what version I like better, I may like my alternative better than my original...I can say, it was a lot less work too....

A little teaser picture here....cord version vs fancy ribbon version on my card element ....(I really really LUV this ribbon...can't wait to get a chocolate project to use it on....this is really cool stuff...)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time In My Studio!

Good news, bad news....first the good....I got motivated and finished the design of the card I'm working on. After the design is finished....it's easy from there. I am making multiples though, so, I may not be finished by tomorrow. I am taking things to work on during my daughter's piano lesson late this afternoon...I'm really excited to get this one done and photographed! I've wanted to play with this set for SO LONG now....and I have to admit, my original "vision" did not happen, but looking at what I ended up with....I KNOW my original "vision" would not have worked for me.

Now, the bad news.....I have a special hiding spot in my studio for my treats....I literally lost oodles of weight on WW by having my stash of WW treats in my special drawer.....Well, it's been a long long long time since I've actually spent TIME in my room. I've only dabbled a bit here and a bit there....and I have not really even sat in my chair in there let alone dig into my treats....it's probably been about 6 months....

No worries, somebody else found my treats....aka...a MOUSE. I admit, we had a little creature in our daylight basement awhile ago....my husband trapped the poor little guy .... he's now in a place where our former house kitties can chase and play with him. (We lost our beloved kitties about 9 years ago...they were very well taken care of...ages 16 and 15...previous farm kittens, given a charmed life).....I was HORRIFIED seeing my treats all shred up to pieces....with rubber gloves....I took the drawer AWAY today.....I've thoroughly inspected my craft studio for any other kind of evidence....and I'm fairly confident...Mickey is gone....BUT...that being said....with our next batch of farm kittens....I plan to have a house kitty in our future!
You are probably wondering what this picture has to do with anything? It's sort of a clue! You'll see in the next few days!
Bye for now!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back Home

So, I managed to get away for a few days of R&R...I've decided it's not possible, and getting readjusted is just as hard as getting ready for the 2-3 days away. During those 2-3 days...all I think about is what I've left. So, note to self....probably not a good idea to do what we just did. I truly need to seek some answers, because right now...I'm feeling a bit down about it all...long story, and I won't go into it....just a little down.

I have unfinished cards to finish, and I'm working on my little blog gift that my friend Lia will be receiving! I wish I could have had it all complete before I left...just didn't happen! I'm anxious to see my kids, they have been with their grandma for a week now...so, maybe I'll be a bit more cheery when I see them!

This picture is of a little cocoa holder that I made a few years ago....I kept my last sample and gave it away for a gift...so, I'm glad I have a picture of it. I don't like to let go of my last sample, just in case some day I want to repeat it, or make something similar. I like to have an example....well, after 12 years or so of creating...samples are taking over my craft room...so, I'm going to have to let go of some it someday! LOL! Since I've been a little slow at creating things, I'm glad I have pictures to share...this particular card/package...was super easy to make...one ink is all...maybe a little work with the glitter...but fun all the same!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Little Counter

Is going to make it to 4 digits with the next person who comes onto the site....which funny could be ME after I post this...it tends to create a "hit".... anyhow, next person...(whether you are my 1000th or not)...(plus, I already have hit that...just I have 2 little counters...this one tends to not be as ahead of the game and "misses" counts...that's ok...when I truly hit the 1000 mark...I wasn't "ready", I am now...
Anyhow, for the next person who wants to leave a little comment for me...I'll send them a little treat ... sort of a little blog candy I guess. Of course, you won't know what it is quite yet...but, I have ideas...I will correspond privately for mailing info....

And....by the way....my creative inspiration came BACK...In my deep-cleaned (partially deep-cleaned) house....I have a little tray of something I'm working on...I usually don't bring my works in progress out of my craft studio into other parts of my house...I even have my scor-pal out of it's "spot"....I went home at lunch and "eyed" what I'm doing...I am excited to tackle it tonight...won't leave a picture though...my camera batteries are recharging! I'm tickled pink (or maybe I should say red & gold) that I am not "stuck" on a design! I just needed to move on from what I was doing!

I am putting up a picture of one of our most popular items though...chocolate dipped fortune cookies...each cookie has a custom message inside, dipped in chocolate and drizzled in any colors...perfect for weddings and events! I send these all over the hot nation all summer long...this week we shipped cookies to Michigan, actually had 2 orders going to 2 different locations in MI. Sent elsewhere too, just not cookies. Next week...Windermere, FL...yep, I am a meteorologist in my spare time!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm actually inpsired to work on something!!!!! I've had a particular set for about a year now, that I just had to have (SU)...it's still current, and I really really luv it....just haven't had time or inspiration to do ANYTHING. I'm still "working" on my last card, but decided I'm going to finish it and leave it SIMPLE. It is a sympathy card, and I had attempted to put my usual "extra" on it...but, am thinking twice about that....I think simple is probably more tasteful...

Oh...and NEW RIBBON arrived today!!!!! Hopefully, I'll have an ELEMENT of my card to show you tomorrow....I'm taking my set, ink, and scissors to my daughter's piano lessons tonight!

In the meantime...this arrived at the factory today! Grinch green is IN ... now to get busy making samples and prototypes for the Seattle Giftshow, which is only ONE MONTH AWAY!!! Yep, Christmas is here at Adams Place Country Gourmet!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Deep Cleaning

I'm really not happy in my extremely messy house. I think once it gets "fixed", I might enjoy my free time more. I have my work cut out for me...it's been years...and I just can't seem to convince my children that a garbage can is there for a reason....mind you, I'm not a neat and tidy person. I'm that "expressive" personality type A person you learned about in college....brainiac scrapbooking had me as a right brain, or was it a left brain scrapper. I know the left part of your brain is the creative portion...but I think the quiz I took had it flipflopped. Anyhow, when I took those courses, I fell into the "no rules" everything but the kitchen sink, bling bling SLOW category....I guess there are less of me than I thought...most fall into the category somewhere in between. I'll find my quiz and share the deets with you in the next few days. In fact, I'll share the whole concept...(I took a seminar...just LUVVED it!!!!)

In the meantime....my plan is to take a couple days off this week...and deepclean...but, unfortunately, it took me 3 hours to clean my fridge yesterday....I'm getting a jump start on it before Thursday and Friday roll around. I really don't want my cleaning to continue on the weekend, but, I'm fearful it will...I guess it is what it is...I don't want to admit it...but, it's been literally too long to share how long it's been. I have 3 other family members also involved, maybe a little reluctant...but we all agree...we don't like living in mess.....

Today, I uncovered a project I started 3 YEARS AGO!!!!! I made a recipe box for my dear niece for Christmas, and the idea was to make more for sisters. Anyhow, the naked boxes along with the paint and dried up paint brush were found....I was doing these in the kitchen...I guess I better move them back to my studio, so I can stare at them unpainted for another 3 years! LOL!

I'm posting pictures of what I did do for my niece. I had huge inspiration from one of my favorite designers, Linda.
Like I said this was YEARS ago...I'm not sure where you would find her original posting, but....her style is awesome, if you get a chance...you ought to stop by. She's also one of the nicest craft people I've corresponded with. That too, has been over a few years...but, I remember how nice she was the few times we did e-mail back and forth!

Have a nice Monday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


OK...I read my blog post from the other day pertaining to Farmers Market. Part of me wants to remove the post...I was -- shall I say, a little passionate about the subject? It still makes me a bit peeved....but, I'm sure it will catch up to the market eventually. I could complain loud enough that it changes, but I think I'll just let it go, and find another way for my children to learn marketing. It's not worth the negative energy....besides, all the customers who come our way support us...and luv to comment. :) Truly, my personality isn't that impulsive is it? To actually write about it on my blog? haha

We started picking peaches....I feel like a sheepdog since I have NOT ventured in my craft room. I haven't told many, but I am having some serious pain with my tailbone for awhile now...so, at night...I just want to go lay down on a heating pad! It's been since the beginning of the new year (even before)...I'm finally convinced to go get it looked at. (how embarrassing is that?!)

I'm posting a picture of me in the past....I think this was 1982...the newspaper found me newsworthy.....


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Sign!

My sister is visiting from Virginia...she's an artist on the side, and has had many of her paintings sell for very impressive amounts. She's always dabbled in paints, clay, and now is writing a book. She's uber creative. Anyhow, once upon a time, probably about 40 years ago...she painted our original sign that lead people into our place to buy fruit. Years later, my Mom painted one since hers was chipped, warped, etc....well....that was about 25 years ago...and we were in need of a new sign. We do have a professional sign directly in front of the driveway which leads to the salesroom...but, we need something on the edge of the property.

My sister, patience of a saint...made a memory for my children and hand drew our logo...I cut out letters on my Cricut...and my 9 and 10 year old painted the sign. This was a huge memory for the kidlets...how special it was for them....we need to talk my husband into putting up the sign...maybe I can take a picture of the 3 of them next to it!

The 3 of them all decided our girl looks like a GOY. (girl/boy) Given time and minus the 2 painters, I'm sure she would come out a bit different...but, this is PERFECT. It gave my kids a sense of ownership and gives my sister a piece of her childhood.

I LOVE you sis Holly...thanks for being you...I appreciated you giving my kids a part of your heart...they really LOVE their A(u)nt Holly!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stamp News~

CHF is quitting biz! Ouch to the stamping world! I sincerely hope I see this company reappear in the future! Bummer for me, bummer for many!

As far as my life....I'm still out picking cherries. I'm not ready to call it quits yet. We wanted to take our children to Farmers Market here locally, but were advised that the markets were already saturated with cherries, but we certainly can bring our specialty line. (We have a national reach with our specialty foods...and USED to do the Farmers Markets, in fact in 1982, I was one of the first vendors with my sis...my Dad bought us a little truck and we earned college money...then, after college, I was on the Market Advisory Board...oh, and designed their first ad promo)...but got to a point where we didn't have the time...the sales were good...but no time)...so, we thought this year...we would expose our kids to the fun of selling at a Farmers Market.

I'm a bit peeved...not ONE, but TWO directors turned us away....because they had enough cherry vendors...SO...we went "shopping" the other night to "see". What I saw....$4.00/lb for cherries...(we are selling them for $2.00/lb)....we are also WSDA (WA State Dept of Ag) APPROVED...and can provide proof of business....the young couple selling the wormy apricots ($2/lb) didn't even know what kind they were.....not to begrudge them, they didn't know....

I'm not trying to police the participants....just think that our tax dollars should count too (one of these markets originated on government grant money, and we were asked to help start the market, that it was farms like us they wanted to attract)....and no way, no how are we going to leave our produce home...we are a farm enhanced specialty food business....not a specialty food business that decided to grow a farm.

Next time we are asked to give a speech .... which we are often asked to do ... or consult ... I hope I'm not carrying this same grudge...cuz...I'm a little peeved right now....PRICE FIXING IS NOT what makes a market....oh yeah, I forgot...the director lady thinks all farmers wear straw hats, overalls and have a corncob pipe in their mouth....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Back to stamps.....I cannot wait to get my hot little hands on the new SU catalogue....I saw glimpse of it the other night....and wowie zowie....I have buying inspiration!

My photo explanation: This is HARRY the Heron. Having lived out here in this neck of the woods...I can honestly I NEVER had seen herons living nearby...BUT...when my kids (age 9 and 10) were babies....a Heron appeared...and every summer...he comes to visit....we even had a flock of "Harry(s)" here....when my kids were 4-5ish...we went to the local library (I really enjoy childrens books...I get so many creative ideas from childrens books!)....and did a little "Harry" research...

If my memory strikes...Harry is the closest LIVING animal to resemble the DINOSAURs! The flying dinosaur (was that the teradactyl? sp?) is speculated to have the same bone structure as a heron. (grammatically, should I have reversed that? The heron has the same bone structure as the flying dino? ) Oh who cares...you get my point! It's hard getting a good picture of this little creature...(little, who am I kidding....see one fly, and it's spooky...pretty large wingspan!)...

Now...don't laugh....I have actually bought craft supplies with dinosaurs on it...to SOMEDAY SCRAPBOOK HARRY. I admit it...I just look for reasons to buy....


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Last Trailer!

So this was the last of the big stuff. It's now the odds and ends that are left, summer is over now as far as the stress. It rained right before harvest, but not so close to harvest where it did any damage. The rains did devastate our early variety (we only have 100 young trees), but spared our major crop, (the Bings)(about 2000 trees). I should have taken a picture of us sorting the Chelans....it was NOT fun....but fortunately, by the time I got my hands into that process...we were down to only 500 pounds to do or so. We sold every single cherry of the Chelans, but did not pack them out, kept them for our sales here locally. Our bings were HUGE, and no splits.....and all those bins, filled and gone! Yippee! Today, we are taking the kids to Toy Story, 3D......sort of a "yippee" after the season...
Next, it's apricots....my last picture...those wood bins...are to store apricots....(the truck brings empties and takes away full ones)...we have probably pounds wise....twice as many cots than cherries....1/2 the crew stays and moves right into those orchards....what a life!
Now that things are settling down...I REALLY want to do something crafty...REALLY really REALLY really REALLY really!!! Hopefully, I'll blow off the "dust" (figure of speach, my studio is actually pretty clean right now due to lack of activity! :( and get busy on SOMETHING.... after Toy Story 3D...I KNOW I'm going to want that new Cricut Cartridge coming out in July!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Cherry Process

I'm actually having fun with these pictures. My contribution to the overall process is MINOR...In fact, today, I reflected how little stress the whole season was...like it passed all around me...but, I'm sure it was stressful for my husband...that, or he has it so organized that it's actually easy. I've had as many as 20 people working for me during a busy "candy" season...and that isn't easy..so for him to be able to pull all of this off with 40-50 employees.....I can't see how painless this can be....but, it seemed to be....so, I won't question it....in the meantime...a few more pictures...I have more to share...but, for now...this is it.

I'll bet many of you never imagined the "process"...or maybe you have...or maybe you don't really care! But, it really is a process...from the first blossoms in early March to now...when the precious fruit gets picked and sent out to stores...as we speak, our cherries are on their way to markets overseas, across the country, and probably a bit locally too....once it leaves us....it's a whole different process!

The commercial season officially ended today at about 9 a.m. when all the pickers were paid and sent on their way....I did take semi truck pics though, tomorrow or over the weekend...I might share! I want to do something craft related...but, am a bit tired, and was reminded I have to finish a pie cherry tree tomorrow and a rainier tree or 2...it's all for sales at the place now, so it's up to me...the big stuff is over! I guess I'll be up with the chickens tomorrow! NOT....we don't have any chickens....I'll wake up when I wake up...just make sure it's before we open for sales.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cherry Harvest 2010

Yesterday, while fiddling with my Cricut Gypsy, which I think is the cat's meow...just luv my little Gypsy....and I have yet to cut with it...I like it to design and see what the new cartridges are like, portably that is...anyhow...daydreaming as to how to get out of my creative slump...it dawned on me...I need to work on something NEW...I've been doing swap things, gifts, etc...but nothing NEW for ME...so...idea jumped into my head....and in the process, I think I need to invest in one of the new cartridges....the "Freshly Picked" one.

I grew up on the very farm that my little family now depends on for livlihood...(that and our specialty food business)....and as I reflect how it was THEN and how it is NOW...I'm sad to say, I don't have pictures of the THEN days....but I can have them for the NOW....so my children can share with their children years to come...

So, today, close to the last day of cherry harvest....I grabbed my camera, my kids, and tried to document the day. Of course there are little distractions along the way...but, I have a few pictures to share! I'm running to the next place to be...I will elaborate later, add pictures later, and hopefully have a scrapbooked paged to share soon! yeah right....

Oh, my daughter had the liberty to use my camera...I do NOT like the way I look...but, cameras don't lie? PLEASE tell me I don't look like this! I've taught my children to NOT be vain...you are what you are...so, I'm reluctantly posting an orchard picture of ME....oh well...someday, I'll show you the all decked out me....it's quite the opposite, but, I am what I am...and...I'm ok with that! So, orchard me it is!

Next post...cherries 101....I'm showing you the light skinned ones, Rainiers, and the Bings (the ones that we are shipping out, our field man told us today that some are already being shipped to the stores, Japan, etc...)....


Friday, June 18, 2010


This week, our ribbon rep stopped by our factory. He visits us 3-4 times a year, and we do our holiday buying...we have to think 6 months ahead, so this visit we were thinking obviously Christmas, but Valentines Day and Easter as well. Lately, I've been receiving numerous packaging catalogues and am seeing consistently Grinch colors are IN this year!!! That, and magical whimsicial colors. I'm wondering if the Alice In Wonderland craze has prompted all the fun wild trends, I for one, LUV it...

Every June, we start making our merchandising decisions, in a few short weeks, I'll be working on our holiday line. Last year, we stayed pretty close to tradition...holiday red and green....the year before, it was all old fashioned....hunter green and burgundy...this year...I'm going Grinch. Of course, we will offer "tradition"...you can't go wrong with tradition. BUT...I fully intend to promote and design with some of these fun Citrus Green colors. Of course, we have fun ribbon coming our way....we managed to impulse decide...it's kind of hard not to when it is right in front of our face!

A few years back....like 5 or 6 year ago.....a Christmas card I designed for a swap I was in...was done in Grinch colors. I liked it enough to make my daughter's birthday party invites similar...she's a holiday baby...so, we had a Christmas theme....I found my extras and thought for grins...I'd post the card for you all to see. My new ribbon shipment I suspect will be here in the next week or so, perfect timing for us to start our picture taking and making samples for the upcoming Giftshows.

I do have to say however, IF I plan on going Grinch on a personal level this year...I do need to stock up on the Green Galore cardstock (Stampin Up!)....this is one of many colors that are retiring!

I took a couple of pictures of our ribbon supply here in the factory. Each roll you see is a 100 YARD roll...and I only took pictures of a couple stands. (It's a mess, the big stand actually has rolls behind the ones facing out....)This is about 1/3 of the inventory...we literally have thousands of rolls...but, can ALWAYS find room for more!!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend....and it might be too late for me to buy Grinch (Green Galore) cardstock already....for those of you who need to load up before they are gone...you may want to consider it now!!!!!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Background Stamps

Last week, I meant to upload a picture of a card I created quite some time ago. I intended to upload it onto the CHF gallery during their first week of summer fun...each week they are featuring a different line of their wonderful stamps. I hesitated to upload this for a couple of reasons. First, I feel that somewhere I have seen something similar done with this background stamp...and I'm afraid subconsciously I may have "cased" it...I don't want to take the credit entirely on my own...BUT...that being said....I suspect with a background stamp like this...a design probably will be similar to others...it's such a nice stamp...it doesn't need much more than stamping it!

I machine stitched vellum over the image (Toile Backgrounder) and stamped a sentiment on the vellum so it would "pop". I think it's the use of the tulle that may have been something I've seen in my mind....the felt heart was cut using my ancient red original sizzix machine...(I have about 75 dies....I will never part with....)and the button...well...that's almost a given with me...if there is a spot on the card for it...I will put a button on it! This is sort of a vintagey feel ... or those french plates....I enjoyed making this card...and the little boy on it...sort of reminds me of my Dad with my Grandma...I have that vision for some reason!

Oh, and the 2nd reason I didn't upload it...I had a CRUDDY end of my week last week...full of shipping stress. It all worked out, but I had an issue with 2 of my overnight shipments...and was on the phone all day Thursday with our shipper trying to get some decent answers. We made the deadline, and the packages were finally delivered a day late....but....in the meantime....it had me in KNOTS. When oh when will this stress get less stress? Yesterday wasn't much better, but I went running at the end of the day and got some of that negative energy out...Exercise really does a body AND soul good....

Have a good day!