Sunset is quite possibly my favorite time of day. It's been so gloomy for a while and pretty sunsets have been rare.
We were headed home from town and stopped on the black top, to capture the moment.
I'm ready for the sun to come out and the weather to warm up a bit. I've got several new bouquets and products to photograph, if the weather will cooperate. I prefer to shoot with natural light outdoors, opposed to inside.
I hope your week is off to a great start! For once, I'm excited about the new year and new things to come!
Today is a bittersweet last day of my day job. I've been a floral designer at the same flower shop for 15 years. Its only the second job I've ever had, with the first working for my parents ranch while growing up. I had a birthday a few weeks ago and it really hit me- if not now, then when? It's time to do big things with your life and live your own dreams. I'm going to miss some of my dear customers at the flower shop and taking care of them, but the time has come for me to rope my dreams.
(I might have a slight cuff addiction! This one made by Country Soul / Kristy Walters)
(Via Pinterest and many Instagram accounts.)
Four years ago, I started my etsy shop and told hardly anyone about it. I was scared of failing. Would I succeed? Would anyone buy my products? Friends said, "you need your own store," but would people really buy things I make? The first year, all I made was my "Christmas money" and most of my Christmas gifts are all hand made, so it really wasn't much- just more supplies. It was a hobby that made a little extra money. Not really a success story, but I continued to make a few things anyway. After Christmas that year, I made my first burlap bouquet and listed it in my shop and it sold within 2 weeks. I started getting request for matching bridesmaid bouquets and other wedding related items. Things started to pick up and I seemed to have found my niche.
Between working full time at the flower shop, running the farm, and my shop, The last two years have been nearly non stop.Someone ask me on Instagram recently "how do you do it all?" My answer: I don't know! I answered etsy messages and email while eating breakfast, went to work at the flower shop, checked cows in the afternoon, came home, juggled house chores and filling etsy orders. Many times answering messages and using social media at the same time, multi-tasking - much. Every day off from the day job and weekends were devoted to working on my etsy shop and farm. My house needs a real good cleaning and I haven't spent much time in my yard in two years, and a date- what's that? From January through November, I have non stop orders on my list, with some brides waiting 6-8 weeks before their custom orders were made and delivered.
(Source @bravegirlsclub on Instagram.)
That all is about to change! I am so excited that my etsy shop will now be my main job. I started to say day job, but I'll still probably work on orders at night, because the swing shift is my favorite, most creative time of day. I will have nearly 10 extra hours a day though and checking cows at dark, won't be the norm anymore. (I hate daylight savings time!) That little shop, that I was afraid of telling anyone about, is a success! It's been four years in the making, but now I'm taking a leap of faith that it will continue on a wonderful path. The power of social media and blogs to build a business is truly amazing and I will be forever thankful for the customers who have chosen me to be a part of their wedding day or purchased a hand made item from me. Y'all have been wonderful to me and my dreams! I learned the value of hard work from my dad and I'm thankful for all the opportunities I've had to work and build a business at the same time.
The new year is bringing new opportunities for me and I am so excited about everything. I plan to start offering more items in my shop and creating more. I've often had visions of new items to make, but never had enough time. I love to repurpose items and have a shed full of furniture and junk for "when I have time".
(From Sunflowers and Sweet Tea book by Beki Hastings/ therustedchain.com)
I hope to also be able to fulfill custom orders in a timelier fashion and be able to take on orders that are needed with a quick turn around time, without feeling stressed out.
(From Sunflowers and Sweet Tea book by Beki Hastings/ therustedchain.com)
I've got a few other ideas and opportunities that I want to explore as well. I'm sure you will be seeing me around blog land much more in 2015!
(Source- @bravegirlsclub on Instagram)
As I've contemplated making changes to my career, I've seen all these little signs along the way. Many are from Pinterest or Instagram friends and they will never know how much encouragement they have provided to me... Thank you all! I'm ready to fly!
As part of my hand made Christmas gifts this year, I am making Mason Jar Lights and Wine Bottle Lights. I like to make as many of my gifts as possible.
After all, who doesn't like mason jars layered with burlap, lace, and twine and a glowy look?
I also repurposed some wine bottles into lights as well. With a special drill bit and the help of the mister, I was able to place a string of twenty twinkle lights in the glass jars.
Hopefully, all the gifts will be delivered before they read my blog ;)
I've got more jars in the drying process now and it has me thinking about adding some of these to my shop inventory soon. What do you think?
Now I'm off to go wrap them all up. Are you through Christmas shopping, making gifts, and wrapping? I've got a few more items to be delivered tomorrow and hopefully I'm done! I've got a huge announcement coming this week, so stay tuned!
The little projects in the glamper are ongoing and as time and inspiration allow, I tackle a few things. The most recent thing on the list was a feather chandelier. The gold light fixture was there and two light bulbs worked, there just wasn't a globe to go over it. I wanted a chandy, but hadn't found anything I was crazy about (read: everything was too big or over priced) and I really didn't want to tackle rewiring the lights. It had to be light weight and not too long, so I won't whack my head on it on a regular basis.
I was inspired by the Junk Gypsies gold dipped feather light and decided to make something similar for myself. I debated dipping the feathers with gold glitter, but trips to the store didn't coincide with my "got to do it now" mind set. I had plenty of white ostrich feathers on hand and I hoard lamp shades.
I ripped the cloth of a lamp shade and turned it upside down. At this point, I knew the lamp shade would fit around the existing fixture, but I didn't know how I would attach it. I was thinking some kind of staples or brackets. I grabbed a roll of fishing line and started tieing the feathers to the shade.
I finished it and held it up to the fixture with excitement and then I realized there was three screw holes in the fixture! Oh yes, I knew what to do now - three pieces of light weight florist wire tied my feather chandy to the fixture! Easy, peasy and if I decide I want glitter feathers, it won't be hard to take it down and modify. Start to finish, I had less than an hour in this project and I'm tickled with the outcome.
It's a gypsyfied, country Christmas at our place this year!
We parked the Farmall H tractor so it looks like it's pulling my glamper and lit it all up.
I went to the woods and cut a few cedar trees and anchored them in old rusty buckets.
All I really want for Christmas is to get the outside of the camper painted. I ask a few paint and body shops and said they wouldn't do it. I know it would be expensive anyways, so really, I just need the time to dive it and get 'er done!
I played with the manual camera settings to get the twinkle look on the lights, etc. this is what happens when manual settings go wrong! You set everything on fire! Oops!!!
The Gypsy FarmGirl World Headquarters, aka my glamper, aka Gussie is getting a Christmas makeover this week! Twinkle lights, lanterns, candles, greenery, and lots of burlap and lace of course. I stayed with my neutral tones, with just a few pops of red mixed in.
Oh, I also used an entire package of coffee filters! I saw an idea on Pinterest to make a coffee filter tree and decided it would look neat on my cake pedestal, looking all rufflie and lacy. I wanted a simple, nearly Charlie Brownish style tree in the camper. Thanks to one of my friends for rescuing it out of a store dumpster and giving it to me! I wanted to be able to move everything around if I needed to, so I thought the cluster of trees on my tray would work perfect. It can always be moved to the bed, if I want to work in the front of the camper.
I love my two lanterns. I saw these at Tractor Supply one year for $20.00 each. I didn't have a real "need" for them at the time, so I passed them up. Later in the year, they were on sale for ten dollars each and once again I passed them by. The next week, they were marked down to five bucks each! I decided for that price, I had to get them and let me tell ya, they have made their rounds as wedding decorations and now hang out in the camper.
Burlap poinsettias and red birds are nestled along the garland. I know I could have made the birds, but when I found a great deal on them premade, I jumped on it.
It's all glowing and cozy, just the way I like it.
Now, here's a little sneak peek of the outside of the glamper.
It's all rustic, junky, vintage, gypsy, farm girlish...I need to have another photoshoot and I'll share pictures soon! The south wind was trying to blow all my trees over this afternoon.
As I sit here and think, I'm so thankful for all of y'all. Your outpouring of support, encouragement and trust in me is amazing! I am appreciative for all of you who have allowed me to create wedding bouquets and be a part of your special day. To the ones my wreaths grace your doors and walls, I say thank you. To the ones who always comment, like, share, pin and believe in me and my little business - you'll never know how much you mean to me. Four years ago, I started this business and told no one personally, I was afraid of failure. It was all social media and the folks I didn't know who believed in my dreams and supported me. Today, as I reflect back all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm looking forward to continuing down this path and dreaming about fantastic things to come in the future.
I'm always excited to share and feature customer pictures. Jennifer sent me a few pictures from her recent Virginia wedding. She chose navy, tan, and cream burlap and lace bouquets and boutonnieres.
This has to be the cutest little ring bearer! He is absolutely adorable!
Thank you to Jennifer for sharing pictures and letting me be a part of your wedding day! I send my congratulations and best wishes to you and your new husband for many years of love and happiness together!