Monday, October 31, 2011

Spark the Event - October 2011

From what I saw from years past and the previews we were shown through the website, I thought I had an idea of what to expect from Spark.

I had no idea.

What I ended up with was a new desire to learn, to stretch, to create, and of course, to make things pretty!

Two days filled with 200 other women all with the same desire to share their lives and talents and make new friends was AMAZING.

I really don't know how to sum up the whole event except to tell you that you really should start saving your money and try to attend next year. It's worth every dollar I paid (and there were 350 of those just for tuition) and every mile I drove (about 1100 each way!) to get to spend time with my sister.

Oddly, what I think I learned more was how to market myself. And by myself, I mean my goods. And by my goods, I mean Vanilla Extract, vintage goods, handmade hairbows and headbands, and trinkets.

Here are the fabulous pictures my sister took for me, who is equally fabulous.

My labels and hang tags were designed by my blogging friend Laura.

My display was an old hotpoint stove from the 1930s (which I was lucky enough to find IN Utah, thank goodness) and an antique collapsible wire laundry basket.
{Both are available for sale, should you fall in love with them like I did}

How did I do at the Market?

For my first one, I was pleased. I really had no idea what to expect.
I am ALWAYS curious how much people make and how much they have invested when they do craft events/boutiques, so I'm going to break it down for anyone who happens to stumble across this post.
8 - 16oz. bottles of vanilla extract (VE), priced at $20 each - sold within 2 hours
27 DIY Vanilla Extract Kits - sold all but 9, $8 each
12 - 4oz. bottles of VE - sold all, $7 each
24 - 8oz. bottles of VE - sold 15, $12 each
7 vintage aprons - sold 2-3 (don't remember) $13, each
countless felt hairbows - LOTS left over $6 clue how many sold and no idea how many I have left.
The event took 10% of all sales, so my total sales was $676 something. I sold a few of the above items via trades with other vendors (madebyjewls and EmilyRooney) which don't factor into the number above. And I did a sale after the market closed and ended up with $100 bill for vanilla (also included in goods above) which didn't factor into the total above.
So, my take home was $690-something, after the 10% take and sales tax factored.
Was I happy? Yes. Very.

Will I do it again? Definitely. I am already figuring out how I can leave my 5-mo.-old baby for two days (well, he/she would come with, but maybe stay with my MIL during the day?) and at the same time, recruit my friends and sisters to come. And not just to help with my booth. ;)

And I'm already getting batches of vanilla stewing.
(The leftovers ALL sold right before Christmas to Ryan's coworkers!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unconditionally, Head-Over-Heels, in Love

I have a post about Spark the Event coming but until then, I just wanted to share my and Ryan's happy news:

We're having a baby!

After 4.5 long years of trying, our little miracle is on its way.

I'm due in May, which means I'm almost out of the first trimester. I really had planned on waiting to say anything until I was 13-or-so weeks, but I'm just so excited that my big mouth can't be shut {or held responsible! - do you blame me?!}

We're thrilled, to say the least. So many years and tears and prayers have lead me to now and I'm still praying and the tears keep coming, this time out of gratitude and unconditional love.

I'll probably make everyone sick and tired of the things I start making for this kiddo, but bear with me, I'm sure they'll all be cute.

Here's another kicker - we're not going to find out the sex ahead of time. Ryan put it into words so well that I'm going to steal his.

"It's like finding out what you're getting for Christmas ahead of time but not getting to play with your new toy for 4 months!"

heh. This is why I love that man. He gets me and better yet, allows me to dictate.

So, that's that.

Thanks for sticking with me. I know it's been FORever, but I have news and updates forthcoming.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Longer a HausFrau

I started a job last Monday and it's been sucking all of my brain-power and energy by 6pm. But not enough to actually fall asleep, only to lay in bed and toss and turn from 11pm until 6am. It's such a huge adjustment and I can't even imagine how long it's going to take me to retrain myself to go to bed early to get up early. Maybe a month? Please?

So, Friday night I saw a posting for a yard sale with lots of lace trim and notions. Ha! Like I was going to wake up early on the only day I could sleep in to drive 30 minutes for a yard sale.

Okay, I was. I have Spark coming up and I have lots of stuff to make that includes lace. Do you KNOW how expensive lace is? It's a pretty penny. Enough pretty pennies that it was worth taking a looksey.

Was it worth the drive and waking up at 6:30a on a Saturday? Hells yeah. This was all $10. It pays to lose sleep sometimes.
Also, I got a calling today at Church: (what-was-formerly-known-as) Enrichment Leader. Totally excited and nervous! On top of that I'm responsible for planning the RS Christmas Party and I was extended a calling to be the committee head for the Ward Christmas Party. As things come together, I'll share my ideas! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's the Happs?

I've joined the 21st Century and gotten a phone that can take decent pictures. This is what I've been filling it up with and chronicling my travels with.

We found this coffee table on craigslist in the FREE section! Score, huh?!
This isn't new, but it's so cute. I don't have much room for it but I'm not willing to just get rid of it. I'll eventually have the need. Eventually...sigh.
From a high chair to a play table/chair. So cute, huh?
Girls Camp Craft (1 of 3)

out with the old couch (which was sold on craigslist)
...and in with the new....
...with matching side chairs (2)
aren't these SO cute!
love this light fixture. the lighter spots are crystals - and this is actually mcdonalds - go figure!
the Peabody Library in Baltimore
Isn't it the most amazing thing...EVER?!
I've never been to a library like this in my life. Larger than life
dog days of Summer
the smallest roma tomatoes I've ever seen, but they're home-grown and delicious!
the small yellows are cherry tomatoes and to-die-for!

Now that Summer has slowed down/ended-for-me I should be updating more often.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Spark Artisan Market

I've started preparations for Spark this year. Only two months away (from yesterday!) and I'll be selling Vanilla Extract, Baked Goods to make your mouth water, Headbands, and Vintage Quilts & Quilt Kits. Among other things. My shop is Vintage Kitchen.
This year they are opening up the Artisan Market to the public. If you're not coming to Spark but want to shop all the fabulous vendors, AND if you're in the Salt Lake area, stop by! Bring a friend or 3!
Open to the Public
October 21st-22nd

Below is a list of all the vendors for the market:

Olio Aprons
The Girls Loft

If you have any questions about what I'll be selling, just leave me a comment! I'll share pictures as things come together.

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Long Summer

I tell you, I've traveled more this summer than any other time. For reals.
It started off with 5 weeks in Utah for Becka's wedding and the subsequent births of little Claire and Abigail.
James and his lil girl
me with Claire - one day oldClaire in her blessing gown
Abigail Elizabeth
Abigail after open heart surgery

Thunder and I made the long drive home by ourselves because Ryan had to get back earlier in the month for school. The trip was great and I made good time until I didn't. I got lost in Iowa for nearly 3 hours from 11pm-2am. It was awful. When I think of Iowa it is not fondly.

A few short weeks later we were lamenting the fact we just couldn't make it out to Utah for Grandpa Alexander's 80th Birthday and the family reunion. Ryan's dad called and changed that and the week after we were flying in on a Thursday and returned back to Kansas on Monday. Thanks, Dad!

The family reunion was amazing. It involved Grandma & Grandpa Alexander, their 4 children + spouses, their kids + their spouses and children. I think it ended up being more than 60 people. {There are 9 kids in Ryan's family and another 9 kids from his Uncle Allen's family, 6 kids from his Aunt Vicky's, and 3 kids from Uncle Wade's family.}

Activities for the reunion were unbelievable. Aunt Denise really outdid herself. It was awesome: pony rides + petting zoo, some delish BBQ, a magician, rocket making + launching, badminton/volleyball/net games, trampoline, fishing pond, Minute-to-Win-It games (by Becca and Taylor), and the night ended with a square dance and an official 'caller'. It was fabulous weather and such a memorable day.

We arrived home on Monday night around 1am and stayed up until 4am. We've had an upside down sleeping schedule ever since! We stay up until 3-5am, and sleep until 10am-12pm...for the last 2 weeks. It's so bizarre! I've worked my butt off trying to get our abode cleaned up and it's worked out well having these hours. I've pushed myself to work late into the night (whereas usually as soon as it's dark out I don't want to clean) and I've gotten a lot accomplished. Here's an embarrassing picture of my craft room, but I sent this picture to my sister to show her the shelves I built. Once it's completely done I'll do a separate post. Oh, and a few pictures of my hallway and the art I finally got framed and hung. AND I took apart the chandelier from Ryan's party to use in the hallway.
This past Friday night we had some visitors! Mandi & Daniel are making the move to Grad School in North Carolina and Lawrence is almost exactly half way. We convinced them to stay an extra day and recoup some sleep. Saturday we started off with a tour of campus to show them the pretty buildings and show off our little town. We stopped at the Museum of Natural History at KU and explored. There are some pretty cool exhibits! {Ryan now is on the lookout for a mini skeleton under glass}. After the museum we headed down to Massachusetts Street (referred to as Mass by the locals) for lunch and walking around. Mass is one of those picturesque downtowns that all quaint towns should have. For some reason, Lawrence has made it work and it's really successful. We had lunch at The Burger Stand and walked it off by window shopping and ended the afternoon sweaty and hot and cooled down with Sylas & Maddy's Ice Cream. I loved this weekend. Mandi and Daniel are a lot of fun to be around. We loved having them here and I was sad to say goodbye this morning when they left!

We're not done travelling yet! We still have a wedding this summer to go to {in Pennsylvania} and soon enough, school will be starting and I start working outside of the home. Boo to jobs but HELLO to saving for a bathroom remodel!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yard Sale in July = HOT

I know what I was thinking. I walked in my house after 5 weeks away and wanted to walk right back out. I have created a Monster House!

Immediately I thought, "this has got to go." YARDSALE!

What I didn't account for was the following list:

cleaning and sorting
set up
take down
and worst of all, the HEAT and HUMIDITY of July.

It wasn't as awful as today {the high is 100F} but it was pretty miserable.

Ryan and I got sunburned while taking everything down and loading the majority of leftovers into the car, destined for a short drive to Salvation Army.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the amount of unnecessary stuff we relinquished.

But my goal was to make $200, which we happily met! Huzzah!

I think the next time I consider having a yard sale, it will ONLY happen in cooler weather.

The winner of the Tiny Party Kit is Audrey {user MarcusJ}. Sorry it took me so long! I almost totally forgot :| Audrey, please email me your mailing address:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Old + New + Borrowed + Blue Bridal Shower

For the bride, a special mock-birdcage veil to wear for the night.
Made by yours truly. I think I need to make one for me.

I loved throwing this shower.

I had these grand plans of using big white flowers in painted mason jars but when I went to buy/find jars from the thrift store they were almost as expensive as brand new canning jars. I placed them in my cart, all the while looking for an alternative.

The thrifting gods were shining upon me because I found that big beautiful tool box thing. It was shanty looking and a little scary but I figured a good coat of aqua paint {$5 gallon of oops paint from Home Depot - a fortuitous find!} would make it PERFECT.

Luckily, I was right.

The night started with a photo scavenger hunt from Bountiful to South Jordan. It was so awesome. It gave me an extra hour {after I met the bride and the guests to do my hostess duties} to prepare dinner while the teams drove to the various locations taking pictures and racing to the ending location.

After all teams arrived we sat down for dinner of Grilled Shrimp with Tomato & Mushroom Salad, Chicken Salad on Croissants, Ginger Mango Lemonade, Fresh Strawberries, Vanilla Cupcakes and Vanilla Cake with Raspberry-Blueberry filling.

Hands down, the cake was my favorite part. I tooted my own horn for it. I'd love another reason to make one, like, yesterday. It was THAT.GOOD.

Huge props {and even bigger THANKS} to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law {Sarah} for totally bailing me out and helping me with setup and cleanup. I was in my usual time crunch.