Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It's the end of September.  School is in full swing for both of my children.  Life is moving at a brisk pace.  There is much to plan and do over the coming months.  Preparing - it seems as if it's never ending.‎  Fortunately it does and I'm able to enjoy the fruits of that labor!

Preparing for WoodstreamDream's Anniversary...
I'm 28 "Likes" away from posting the giveaway from my shop! Please share with your friends! I would love to post the giveaway before October 5th - WoodstreamDream's 1 year anniversary! Only 8 days away!!!I've been working on a few items that will be in the giveaway - something to look forward to - it's not just one thing!!!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/WoodstreamDream/131330936956305

I'm learning how to add Gift Certificates to my etsy shop - now you can give something handmade that the recipient can choose for him/herself!  Look for them in the next couple of weeks.

I am working on a couple of custom orders for crochet items that I'll post pictures of when I'm finished.  I have made two hats (one women's and one 5-8yo boy) and another felted cashmere flower pin that I will be listing once I get them photographed.  I plan to make several more felted flowers and crochet items in the coming month before my next craft fair event on October 22.  More information coming about that in early October.

Preparing for Halloween...

I think that Halloween is a fun day full of imagination for children.  I have made several of my childrens' costumes over the years.  This year we're still undecided.  My older son would like if they could be the Wild Kratts - after a PBS show featuring Chris and Martin Kratt - nature loving brothers.  The thing is, they wear khakis and shoes and one brother wears a green shirt and the other wears a blue shirt - normal clothes.  The neighbors would think that I'm just sending my children around without costumes.  I've got to come up with something to "jazz it up" - that or convince my younger one that he wants to use his brother's lion costume while the older one is a Kratt brother (wearing the green shirt - because that's my older son's favorite color!).  This is the lion costume I made three years ago:

It was quite labor intensive, but quite fun to make.  It will be one of the things that I keep from my children's childhood.  I'm hoping I can convince my little one to wear it.  He was the bear in the picture - a lion and a bear for Halloween 2008.  We don't do scary costumes.  We've had a duck, a dog (homemade), a construction guy, cowboys, Woody from Toy Story... I'm missing one, but I really can't remember any others!  I try to make the costumes every few years.  I think they're more fun than the ones ordered from catalogs.

Edited to add...
This is the puppy dog costume I made for my older son years ago.
This is Halloween 2010 with the little one wearing it.

This year my husband will be away on business for Halloween.  Fortunately my parents will be coming to help with the trick-or-treating.  I'll definitely have to take pictures to share with my husband - it's so hard to be the one missing something for the children.  Life is so different when you add children to the equation.

Preparing for Thanksgiving...
I think my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It has nothing to do with giving or receiving THINGS - it is about a feeling of thankfulness.  Being thankful for health, family, our home, my husband's job, enough food, warmth, and of course our salvation.  Something I try to do each day is to name things that I'm thankful for - I usually do this in my prayers during the day and in the evening.  I've thought about keeping a grateful journal or something to that sentiment, but I'm not terribly good at keeping up with that kind of thing.  I far prefer to let God know how thankful I am for these blessings He's bestowed upon me and my family.  I love this holiday because it's when we make an effort to show our thankfulness to each other - something that we're often too rushed to do on a day-to-day basis.  Common courtesy is not so common anymore, unfortunately the same can be said for thankfulness.

Preparing for Christmas...
Yes, I said it - Christmas!  Do not shudder and worry about how much there is to do.  It will all get done and if it doesn't, no one will know the difference!

It is less than three months until Christmas - the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus!  As I prepare my heart and home for this time of year and this great celebration, I also have to prepare my etsy shop.  This is a new and different experience for me because I am not all for the commercialization of Christmas.  I respect that not everyone believes the same as I do and may celebrate differently - or not at all.  I am in the process of tagging items in my shop with "Christmas" and "holiday" since Christmas is a holiday, but other customers will be looking for nondescript holiday items.  Some of my items are useful all winter, so some will receive that tag.  I'm also tagging items with "under x dollars" - so you can search for under 5, 10, 25, 40, 50, 75 dollar items.  It's a new experience being a shop-owner during the Christmas season.

As we played tonight, one of our boys opened the piano bench and I saw the booklet of Christmas Carols that lay in there - something I kept from childhood.  I took it out and flipped through it, reliving fond memories from of singing carols.  I cannot picture exactly where we were, but we sang them and we had friends with us and it was a joyous time.  It was a warm and lovely time, something very important to have as a foundation memory from childhood.  So, as I go through the next several months, I will be praying about how I can create those warm and lovely experiences for my children.  There are so many "things" going on - but I want to focus on my family because that is what is most important and the greatest gift God has blessed me with here on earth!

I also take time for myself during this preparation for Christmas Day.  I plan a time to have a small group of friends over for either dinner or brunch to celebrate our friendship and participate in a cookie exchange.  It is time that we take each year - this will be the 7th annual cookie exchange that I've hosted my dear friends.  It is important to build each other up because so often we're caring for everyone except for ourselves.  This has become an important tradition - these women have become my extended family.

There is so much to prepare for over these coming months.  I know that all the planning in the world will do nothing without God's grace.  I know that each day is a blessing and I'm making an effort to seek the beauty in life, to enjoy each phase, to learn something.  Seasons change, life changes, but there is something to enjoy and be thankful for in each of these steps through our life on earth.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A few updates...

Good Morning! Remember that when WoodstreamDream reaches 100 "Likes" I'll be posting a giveaway from my shop. My shop turns 1 on October 5th, I would love to post the giveaway before then!  http://www.facebook.com/pages/WoodstreamDream/131330936956305 - This is where you go to "Like" my FB page.

I belong to the Sunshine Farm Girl Co-op Team on Etsy.  We're a group of women who belong to the Mary Jane's Farm Forum and also have shops on Etsy.  Below is the link to the ongoing Online Craft Show that we're having.  There are 16 featured shops, all have coupon codes that are valid on anything in the shops - not just the item featured.  There are so many talented women crafters and vintage collectors with beautiful items available for purchase.  Think ahead to Christmas or other holidays that you may celebrate, any birthdays coming up?  There are exquisite items at all price points available.  Even preserved items by SweetNSourInFlorida - I ordered two different curds and marmalade from her... can't wait for it to arrive!  If you're interested in supporting artists and crafters, please visit:

This week I finished my samples for the card making workshop I'm teaching at Zuzu Studio Gallery in Collingswood, NJ on November 19 from 1:30-4pm.  Please contact Allison if you're interested in participating http://www.zuzujewelry.com/.  Costs are $25 per person or $20 per person if you sign up with a friend.  We'll be creating three cards and a set of four gift tags.

We've had a string of rainy days here.  Hopefully the weather will clear next week and I'll be able to take better photographs of my newly listed items.  I feel these photos are very dark, but they're what I have at the moment.

Marie Collection No. 036
Felted Ivory Cashmere with Embossed Purple & Black Vintage Button

Marie No. 032
Felted Black Cashmere with Vintage Brass/Gold Tone Button

Crochet Cowl Neckwarmer in Peacock Blue

These items are currently available in my shop:  www.woodstreamdream.etsy.com

I'm currently working on a few more felted flowers, a baby blanket in pink and lilac acrylic with ruffle edge - perfect for the little princess in your life, and a hat for my older son.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

SUPER Success

How do you judge success?  It changes day to day for me.  I set goals either the night before on in the morning over breakfast as to what I'd like to accomplish.

I have many different goals, not all are attained each day - or week for that matter.
personal goals ~ catching up with friends, fitting in a bit of yoga, studying/reading my Bible daily, setting time aside for prayer
parenting goals ~ reading to & playing with the children, keeping my cool when they're having tantrums or choosing to be difficult, remembering that those times are fleeting and to enjoy them where they are because they grow so quickly!
household goals ~ laundry, housekeeping, cooking meals, maintaining some sense of order
professional goals ~ creating, photographing, listing new items, marketing, craft shows, contacting customers
marital goals ~ having some kind of positive conversation with my husband daily - no matter how busy we are, setting time aside periodically for date night, doing little things for him that may make his day easier, telling him, "I love you," each day.
There are miscellaneous goals that I have, too.  Stuff gets thrown in there occassionally that isn't always easy to categorize.

I view success as accomplishing a small set of items well and not overloading myself on any given day.  I used to be SUPER-ME, or at least I got away with trying to be for several years.  Now I am just me.  I have learned that it is not how much I can cram into a day, but how much I enjoy the few things I have done in each day.  How accomplished I feel when I complete a task that I don't particularly care for - cleaning toilets with three males in the house - not my favorite!  But it's that sense of satisfaction that I've completed a task, no matter how desirable, that I call success.  I may not tick off all of my goals on my mental list for the day, but those that I have completed, I've done well.  Doing something well gives me a sense of successfulness.  Feeling successful gives self-worth, and that's invaluable.  I try not to focus on those things left undone - that list will always be there.  Everyday there is something to wake up and take care of, but those completed things and how I've worked through - that is something to feel good about!  God has blessed us all with different abilities.  I'm glad that I have Him to rely on instead of trying to be SUPER-ME - He's all the SUPER I need!

Saturday was a successful event at the Blue Barn.  I sold many felted flowers, some of those I'd only made the night before, so they never made it to my Etsy shop.

Marie Collection No. 033 Felted Cashmere and Merino Wool with Vintage Button (sold)

Marie Collection No. 034 Felted Cashmere and Merino Wool with Vintage Button (sold)

I have three more felted flowers, two are pins, to share with you.  They will be listed on my etsy shop this week.  I also finished the banded cloche that coordinates with the cowl in peacock blue.  I cannot wait to show that to you - I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever created!  The Lord blessed us with a beautifully sunny day, so I will be taking photographs this afternoon.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

WoodstreamDream Events

Yesterday the winds of autumn swept into New Jersey bringing just the chill that I was desiring after too many muggy days!

Crochet Cowl in Peacock Merino Blend with Vintage Carved Shell Buttons

I'm currently working on a coordinating cloche.  This morning I cut out five new felted flowers - some cashmere, some a combination of cashmere and merino wool.  All are absolutely divine and I can't wait to have them stitched!  That will be my job this afternoon!

Today I'm featured in this Online Craft Fair on Etsy.  Stop by, leave a comment saying I sent you!  Then browse the shops.  There are coupon codes for most shops that are good for anything in the shops, not just what's featured.  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NTk2NTQyNnw3MTMwMzUwMDk/open-sfgcteam-fall-decor-online-craft  There are a lot of Farm Girls out there who make beautiful items that would be ideal for Christmas and holiday gifts.  Why wait in line when we will make it and ship it to you?  Also, most shops offer custom ordering if you're looking for something in particular, just ask and we can help!

Tomorrow my etsy shop will be closed because I will have my inventory at the Blue Barn in Marlton, 1004 Tuckerton Road, Marlton, NJ.  I will be in booth B-9 from 8-2pm, I hope to see lots of locals come by to check out my wares.  I only accept cash, as do most of the other people who will be there tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why is Handmade SO Expensive?

You may have visited my website and said to yourself - I can find something at Target, Walmart, Macy's, Kohls or wherever for a fraction of the price - why would I spend $40 on a cowl?
This article explains the intricacies of how handcrafters price - or should price - their handmade merchandise.

I am one of those handcrafters who is still trying to figure out pricing.  I've been keeping better track of my time as I make crochet items - something that's harder with certain pieces as they're long-term projects.  I know how much time it takes to make my felted flowers, depending on design.  I know how much time I put into making cards, gift tags, and favor bags.  I know how much my materials cost.  I have a formula that I use and I am not getting "paid" $20/hour for my work.  I am not getting paid for overhead.  I work hard in my little spare time while raising my boys, running our home and being a faithful & involved Christian.  What I can design, make, photograph, list, and advertise in my "spare time" amazes me.

I think that we should all reconsider how much we're willing to spend on big box store wares and how much farther that dollar could go if we support the independent craftspeople in our community.  Think about it, pray about it.  If you can afford it, love it, and can use it - then support the craftspeople in your community.  For sure you'll have & enjoy these handcrafted items far longer than the big box items.

Thanks for reading & have a blessed day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Week's Events!!!

It's a week full of firsts and lots of excitement here!

Today was the first day of preschool on his own & my little guy didn't shed a tear - and surprisingly neither did I!  I know that I shed a few (at least) with my older son - so it was weird not to have cried at all.  My husband said I'm jaded - second child syndrome.  I don't know, I think I'm just exhausted and a bit overwhelmed right now as I have a lot on my plate!  He had a great time and is ready to go back tomorrow morning.  Both of my boys had their first swimming lessons for the fall.  They both did great - like fish!  My little one stays in the same Sunday school class this year as last, but my older son moves up this Sunday.  I can barely believe how quickly the time is going!  It's so exciting to see them growing emotionally, academically, physically, in athletics, and in the Lord.

For all of you smart phone users - scan this to go directly to my Etsy shop!

For anyone following me without smart phone technology - the link is http://www.woodstreamdream.etsy.com/ - I'm right there with you!  As excited as I am to have a QR code & to have figured out how to make it myself, I still have the cell phone that I got in May 2005 - it still works and I see no need to update just yet!

WoodstreamDream Activity

Tuesday - Friday:  We're open for PreSale - Sunshine Farm Girl Coop TEAM Fall Decor Online Craft Show (BNR for other Estians 1-6pm ET Thurs & Fri) - shop anytime now through Friday 6pm ET!http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NTk2NTQyNnw3MTMwMzUwMDk/presale-sfgcteam-fall-decor-online-craft  Click the link and find coupon codes on the first page!

Saturday: CRAFT EVENT my Etsy shop will be closed for the day.  The address is 1004 Tuckerton Road, Marlton, NJ - it's located in the Blue Barn Rec Center behind the Municipal Sports Complex.  I'm in spot B-9, walk in and I'm the second spot on the left.  There will be other crafters, home-based businesses, local businesses, and yardsalers - something for everyone!  If you're local, please come out and see my wares in person!  8am-2pm

It's a busy week and I'm trying to get more added to inventory before this event.  I will be finishing a peacock blue cowl and listing it by tomorrow sometime.  I have the ideas for a hat to coordinate in my head, I'm going to have to crochet it to see how it looks in real life - sometimes those thoughts don't actually look good once constructed!

Thanks so much for reading & have a blessed day!

Friday, September 9, 2011


I'm so glad that my husband is home!  He was away this week on the west coast for business and I missed him greatly, as did our boys.

Tomorrow we will start to put our home back together - two weeks after hurricane Irene passed through.  On Wednesday the township cleared the tree off our fence & out of the yard.  Jason will repair the fence and we'll move the swingset back into place for the children to play on once again.  I will work on the tasks that I've ignored through the week as a temporary single-mother - vacuuming and swiffering.  What did we call it before that contraption came along?  sweeping -  but I loathe the dust pan!  I love my reusable swiffer broom/mop with microfiber pads - it's green (always good) and does such a nice job on the floors with very little effort (my kind of cleaning).

I am also going to be working on photographing a table set up for a juried craft fair that I'm trying to enter.  They would like to see how my table set up would look as well as photographs of my work.  I will get that done in the morning so that I can hopefully get it into tomorrow's mail.

This week I've been crocheting up a storm!!!  I used the mustard organic cotton yarn to make a hat, cowl, and mittens!  Each piece took more yarn than the last!  Each piece is currently available in my shop.  http://www.woodstreamdream.etsy.com/

Besides the house work and work to enter the juried craft fair, I will be working on finishing a project for my mother this weekend.  Once that's done, I'll be working on stitching a few more felted flower pins.  In searching for the vintage buttons for the cowl, I found more vintage buttons with shank backs in my grandmother's sewing kit.  I am delighted by what I found and have new inspiration for creations!

I thank you for reading my blog and hope you have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Warm Up!

Yesterday was our first raw, rainy, almost bone-chilling day - and it was the first day of first grade for my older son!  Today it's moderated in temperature and feels muggy rather than raw.  It's amazing how quickly the weather changes from blistering hot to shivering with a chill!

I decided since the cooler weather's moving in to put my scarves and hats on sale this week for WoodstreamDreamWednesday.  All of the "winter" items are on sale.  I have a few hats not on sale, but if you'd like to use the coupon code:  DREAMBLOG10 you can save 10% on your order - including any sale items!

I'm finishing up the mustard organic cotton hat.  It's incredibly soft and I'm tempted to keep it for myself, except I know there are others in the world who look far better in mustard than I do!  I may have to go back and buy myself a different color in that organic cotton!  I have enough of the yarn to do either a pair of mittens or a scarf - not both.  I think I'll put it up on my Facebook Fanpage to see what my fans would like to see me make with the yarn.

I'm single parenting this week while my husband is away on business on the west coast.  Summer single parenting is much easier - no alarms or lunches to pack and one doesn't have to be out of the house by 7:45 with two little people to drop off the older of the little ones!  I am grateful beyond measure that my husband has a job in this miserable economy.  His being away helps me be all the more appreciative of how involved he is with our day-to-day life as a family - I have a much heavier line to tow when I'm alone.  We're a truly blessed family!

Pictures tonight or tomorrow of the mustard hat.  I'm in love with this yarn & I'm sure the owner of this hat will be, too!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Supplies a Plenty!

I am so excited to have a ton of new yarn on hand to work on short-term and long-term projects!
~raw silk yarn in an oatmeal color - softens up even more with each washing!  still working on plans for this
~jewel-toned (multi-color) fingering weight wool yarn that I'm making into a wrap or cowl (depending on how long it goes) - this will be a long term project as the stitching is very small.  This will be dry clean only because it's pure soft wool that's not superwash.
~organic cotton yarn in mustard - hat and scarf planned
~bamboo blend yarn in butternut - hat and scarf planned
~merino blend yarn in peacock - hat and scarf planned
~merino blend yarn in charcoal - to finish a cowl for myself... maybe mittens, too!
~bamboo blend yarn in kiwi - hat and mittens planned for my older son
~cotton yarn in lilac - something for my brother's new baby girl who should be born any day now

If you see a color here of yarn that you would like me to make a custom item for you, please email me at woodstreamdream@gmail.com to discuss size, pattern, and cost.  I have not started any of these projects, but I have enough yarn of these to do what I have stated.  Instead of a scarf, I can crochet mittens.

Right now I'm working on a little project for my mother and getting everything ready for my older son's first day of first grade tomorrow!  My younger son starts preschool in a week - I can barely believe it!  There are a lot of things happening here by the woodstream.  It's an exciting time of year!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed week!