Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Sunday, June 25th, 2017


Last Thursday I took Madison out for her birthday splurge.  It's a new tradition I am starting with the grandkids.  We give them money.  They give 10% to God, save at least 10%, and then I take them shopping with the rest.  We went to Maddie's Two favorite stores - Claire's (where I forgot to take a picture) and 5 Below.  At Claire's she bought some earrings, and she bought a friendship necklace for she and her best friend.  

At 5 Below she found some lab putty, a lanyard with her name on it, and a handsanitizer and magnet with an emoji that is apparently all the rage.  Silly me, I thought it was chocolate ice cream.




Displaying image1.jpeg


After shopping we went to lunch.  She chose Pixie.  I haven't been there in years.  We sat in the Elvis booth.  Maddie said he creeped her out.  


Usually, when I take the grandkids out for lunch, they have to have milk as their drink, but on birthday splurge day anything goes (almost anything).  She had a blue slushie with her cheeseburger and fries.  















 We ended the day with a visit to the antique store in Shepherd where my friend Shelley works.  Maddie loved walking around and looking at all of the "old stuff."  She was particularly fascinated with the typewriters.




It was a fun day and we both had a good time.
**********

On Thursday night we had torrential rains.  Ove 30 roads in Isabella county had to be closed due to washouts.  Unlike the flood of 1986, our area was spared the worst damage.  We have water in the basement, but we usually do with a heavy rain.  I couldn't believe the pictures I was seeing on Facebook.  

Today was the Henry Moeggenborg 39th annual reunion.  Thank goodness we had a covered pavillion because, of course, it rained.  Then it got very chilly.  Summer was nice for the 2 days it lasted.  



After the reunion we went down to Nina's so Harold could fix the switch on her water pump.

When we got home I finished making some candles that I had started after church.  I am changing up labels again.  I seem to do that a lot. 







It was a long day.  Tomorrow Claire and Garret are coming down and we are going to work on the garage.  The annual     Pizza Party/Fish Fry bash is fast approaching.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017




I took Meghan and Madison to the shop with me yesterday.  I decided I needed to put them to work so they labeled some bags for me.   






While I was there I got two Etsy orders.  I was out of the Old Red Barn candle so I made a batch.  I love making the grungy candles and most of them have a story behind them.  This is a picture of our barn as it began to burn.  Twenty minutes later it was gone.



Oh my aching back. Spent most of the day in the dungeon trying to get it into some kind of shape. 

I have learned to make a list of things to accomplish because if I look at the whole picture, I get overwhelmed.  First I finished getting all of the fragrance oils organized. That is kind of a big deal because it's too easy not to put them back and then they pile up on the table. I end up ordering oil I don't need because I can't find the bottle (until the order arrives).

Next I started finding a place for things.  That is also key.  When everything has a place, I am much more efficient.  I sorted jar candle lids, candle odds and ends, tart odds and ends.  The average person wouldn't see a difference, but I know I have made progress.

I also needed to do inventory for the shop up town.  I made 2 batches of lavender room spray and collected things I was running short of.  I work there tomorrow.



I packaged up the Apple Jack soap that finished curing last week.  I have started wrapping the soap in tissue paper rather than cello bags.  That serves 2 purposes.  It allows the soap to breathe and it allows the customer to smell it.  Samples are one less thing I have to deal with at craft shows and at the shop.




There is always some overpour with each batch.  I love the goat soap mold.  I do bag these because of their irregular shape.



I got all of my paper work and bill paying finished before heading down to the dungeon.  I still have laundry to fold, Christmas stockings to make, orders to process for shippng, and a bit of quilting to do as my reward..

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Busy day today!  I made two batches of foaming hand soap. We were just about out of both at the store.



Claire and Garrett helped me bake some cookies, but the oven thermostat is wacky and 2 of the batches overbaked.

Made 2 batches of wax melts
I have also been working on a series of Made in Michigan candles.  Hmmmmm, all three involve chocolate.  I am sensing a theme here.
Today's batch was Detroit and the Sanders Ice Cream Shoppe.
Monday was Mackinac Island and Traverse City



I still have 5 stockings to make and 1 stocking for an order.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Time has sure gotten away from me - as it always does.  To say I've been busy doesn't even come close.  Since I last wrote, our oldest daughter got married, moved to Midland, acquired two children, changed jobs, sold her house etc.  I know, that is her change, but somehow when life speeds up for our kids, it speeds up for us.  In my case, Kelli and I have now taken over Anna's duties.  Thankfully, the grandgirls are now getting old enough to help.  My biggest challenge through all of this has been learning to get organized.  I am not a naturally organized person, but I do love organization.  

Between the shop up town, the online shop, and craft shows, I am pretty much always making something.  Lately I have been stocking all of our 1/2 pint jar candles.  I finished all 48 scents on Monday.  Now I have to tackle the wax melts.  I also need to get our foaming handsoaps stocked.  I am embarrassed to say that I still have winter hand soaps in the store. 

Soooooo, on the goal docket today are 3 scents of foaming handsoaps and I am going to try and get 4 sets of wax melts done.  We shall see. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's been a very busy few weeks.  Having a small shop uptown is creating a bit of a learning curve in regard to keeping on top of inventory.  Kelli and Claire have been my helpers lately.  We have been transitioning into Fall.  When there is a physical store to consider, the changing seasons become much more important.  Besides mixes, I have been working on Fall lighting.





Friday, September 16, 2016

It's been a very busy few weeks.  Having a small shop uptown is creating a bit of a learning curve in regard to keeping on top of inventory.  Kelli and Claire have been my helpers lately.  We have been transitioning into Fall.  When there is a physical store to consider, the changing seasons become much more important.  Besides mixes, I have been working on Fall lighting.








Saturday, July 16, 2016

     Once a week I go down to Ionia to watch Ben.  On the way, just west of Carson City is an Amish store.  I had always thought it was just a fruit stand until I stopped one day on the way home.  I chatted for a bit with one of the owners, Sarah Imhoff and then made a few purchases - among them a 2 pound canister of lye for making soap.  The next week I stopped in with Maddie and Meghan and gave Sarah a bar of our soap.  She mentioned that she had been buying goat milk soap from someone in Lansing.  It turned out that the people she had been buying from are actually from St. Louis.  I know them - they've been competitors for a few years.  Sarah said that she wanted to buy more but hadn't heard from them and would I be interested in making soap for their store. I had heard that the other soapmakers had sold their goats, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't stepping on any toes.  I told Sarah I would check with them and get back to her.  It turns out that I had heard right.  They were no longer making soap to sell so I am free to sell to Sarah.  

Sarah has one customer who likes a plain, unscented oatmeal soap.  Not a problem.  Here is the batch I made.  It will be ready on August 13.  


                                              

I am slowly getting more organized, although it isn't obvious yet.  We had our annual pizza party/fish fry last week.  Lots of fun!!!  We added a bounce house this year.


Maddie and Ben in the bounce house
And we had the annual hay ride thanks to
Andy and Gina  Filhart
We went through 15 pizzas



Everyone had a great time - including us! We get so busy that it seems the only time we see our neighbors are at weddings or - more often than not - funerals.

I bought some graphics this week from one of my favorite graphic artists -  Mary's Montage  I used one of them on my newest candle.



It's hard to believe that I am already getting the sign-up sheets for this year's fall craft shows!

Today I had the twins.  They were way overtired, eventually fell asleep, and then woke up in a super great mood.




June 27, 2016

I have been super busy the last couple of weeks.  I may have mentioned that I am listening to a podcast, Etsy Conversations.  I have learned a lot about improving my Etsy shop.  I have spent the last couple of weeks re-doing my tags and titles.  I am learning a lot about SEO - search engine optimization.  My views have gone up quite a bit, but not much of an increase in sales.  However, the shop has doubled in income compared to this time last year.  I am finding it fascinating how descriptions and tags affect views.

I have also been revamping the labels on our products.  I am a "visual" person so packaging is high on my list of priorities.

Here are some of the labels I have done for our jar candles.














          The wax melts have a new look also:








                                              Soaps too!








The brick and mortar in town is also keeping us very busy.  Our dips and mixes are selling very well.  I laugh now when I think of how nervous I was about this move, but I am so glad we went on board.  The people I work with are fantastic and a lot of fun!!


I've also been working on grungy candles.  I love the Candy Cane scent even though I really should be working on the fall grungies.  






Thursday, June 9, 2016

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had switched supplies for my container wax.  Bad move.  I am back  to using what I have always used.  The first candles I made with the new wax  turned out nice - but after a few days they looked awful.  You could see air pockets and they took on a gelatinous look.  I am so glad I didn't order a lot of it.  It is gooey and a total pain to scoop out of the plastic bag it comes in.  Ugh.  I am using it a wee bit at a time in my tarts.  

My problem with the sink holes turned out to be that my wax was overheating in my melting pot.  It heats up way too fast now. I think it might be time for a new one.   

Here are a few of the things I've worked on since my last post.