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Archive for the ‘Crafty!’ Category

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Dec
05
2011

And she’s back!

I took a bit more of a hiatus than I planned to but it was needed.  But here I sit this rainy, RAINY morning planning another Christmas shopping trip, attending Sam’s school Christmas play where he is a snowman <3 and future blog posts.  And happy news about MORE giveaways here at NotQuiteJuneCleaver.com!  I will be giving away not one but TWO beautiful new Gooseberry Patch Books this month and posting some lovely recipes and reviews for you.  My review of  101 Soup, Salad and Sandwich Recipes. And as usual having trouble paring down my list of recipes to review!  But you may look forward to at least two delicious recipes by Friday of this week.  And Sunday a drawing for a copy of :

m668csYAY!!! The first recipe I review will be a soup recipe – and if this isn’t soup weather, I don’t know what is!!!

So you know the drill by now on how to enter this Early Bird Review and Giveaway:  All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered.  I will be posting at least  4 amazing recipes from this book over the next couple weeks and then on Monday December 12,  I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner.  You have at a couple chances to get your name in the drawing!  And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your  own.

Find even MORE from Gooseberry Patch online!
www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com
www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch
www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch
www.youtube.com/gooseberrypatchcom
www.scribd.com/gooseberrypatch

And if you like what you find here at my blog you can check out the right hand column and subscribe to my feed and follow me on twitter and facebook.

Alrighty, I wonder what all of you have been up to!? I have been busy as usual but thought I would share a few photos with you. See you Wednesday with recipes and review!  So please come back.  And thanks for your time.  It’s good to be back to sharing with you all!

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There you go.  Just a few things I have been up to.  More later.  Let me put on my hip waders and go shopping!  See you soon and we will cook up a little something from Gooseberry Patch!  Happy HAPPY Monday and I really and truly am happy to be back to blogging.  I have a lot to catch you up on so I hope you will stop by again!

Aug
24
2010

I am not going to let Facebook ruin my blogging!

Seriously.  I find I update my facebook page and feel like I would be repeating myself here! Not so.  Plenty of people have not gone the facebook route.  Many times I wish I hadn’t! So I am going to make it right!  Starting today!  I am going to catch y’all up on what has happened in my life since I last posted and reinstate some things that kept me writing and hopefully you reading!

WOW, where to start? Go ahead and get that cup of coffee or tea and a biscuit and have a seat, this may take a while!  And I will try not to confuse you and keep my timeline straight.

It honestly isn’t like I have been holed up not living life.  Au contraire, mes amis! This Summer of 2010 has been crazy busy!  Gardening, mowing, kids, grandkids, short adventures, long adventures.  I will admit the cooking bug has been squashed in this horrible endless heat.  We have had so many days over 100 and even a couple with the heat index into the 100-teens.  I don’t know all the statistics but July broke records for heat and drought in my area.  I will never believe anyone who says “But it was a dry heat so it wasn’t so bad.” BULL!  Hot is hot.

Last time I posted was my birthday.  And it was a very very good birthday indeed.  Big OLD 51.  Not a milestone but something about starting on the second half of a century is kinda mind blowing.  I got this great wagon from Jerry.

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Isn’t she a beauty?  We have already put her to much use hauling pears from our one, insane pear tree.  These pears are inedible unless you are a raccoon or a possum.  And I forget how many Jerry said he hauled the last day he picked them up but it was a ridiculous amount.  They are gone and now the mama raccoon and her four little bandits are eating our cats’ food like crazy!  When Jerry gets home, if they are still around we are going to trap and relocate them before someone (namely Mo, Julius or Siobhan) gets hurt or killed.

Okay, so August moves along ~ rapidly it seems!  Jerry headed back to Tunisia the Monday after my birthday.  Here are a few pictures of the highlights of August. On the gardening subject, I have started some tomatoes I hope will be winter/greenhouse tomatoes.  This is a new thing for me.  I will see how it goes.  This is an early picture.  They are still alive, and have 6 little leaves, so that is a good sign, right?

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Oh and I have new overalls!  I bought these for myself – sort of a birthday present – sort of I fell in love with them and needed them!

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And the color is coffee!  Perfect!  And of course I needed new rubber boots and have been needing them for forever.  The ones I have are so dang heavy I can’t walk very far in them without getting leg cramps!

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Cute huh?

Okay, let’s see.  OH both girls, Hannah and Rachel started college yesterday.  That is sort of getting my cart before my horse in the timeline but it is pertinent to the next bit of what is going on and what will be going on.  So yes, they are both Northwestern State University Demons as of yesterday.  Hannah is in Accounting.  Rachel in Fine Arts.  I am sure as time goes on, they will provide me with tales to tell!

With Rachel starting college, she is dropping the baking biz all together.  That was a given.  Baking does not fit in her very busy schedule.  So I did this order all by myself last week.

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NOT FUN by myself!  Yes, that’s 16 boxes you count!  Petit fours, decorated cookies, mini Bakewells, cream wafers, chocolate chips…but it all turned out lovely and the customer was very very happy.

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The person I made all this for is a friend from way back and she called yesterday to say it was all a hit.  So happy to hear that!  And I have a little baking order today and one for this weekend for family and I will try to get postings made of those.  But I learned a lot doing this big (to me) order by myself.  One thing, I want/need help for something that big.  Two, it’s not that much fun working in the kitchen by myself on something so important.  Three, I miss making soap.

There I said it.  I have been saying it to myself for 6 months. And to Jerry for almost that long.  Just blurting it out every now and again in the middle of a discussion that has nothing to do with soapmaking.  Then I would follow up with “I don’t mean that do I?”  I know how much he hated how the soap took over our house before.  Here is just a small example.  Look at all the soap stuff! My poor kitchen!

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He even built me a shoppe.

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And still there were oils in every corner, soap curing all over the place.  Stacks of wrapped. Girls wrapping soap.

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Boxes waiting to be mailed.  UPS delivered something nearly every day. And this was a picture of my porch ONE DAY the week before Christmas 2007:

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The post office sent a separate truck to my house. They were so excited!  So was I – as far as I know not ONE mistake in that day’s shipping!  Business was so good and then along came MaryJanesFarm!  WOW.  Amazing.

And then my mom got sick. And everything changed.  Everything.  Soap was WAY down on my list of things that mattered.

When I sold the internet part of my business and forwarded my wholesale customers information about the new owners, I agreed not to go back into the internet soap business and compete with the people I sold that part to.  However, I just learned last week that they are no longer making soap to sell.  And have closed their internet shop.  I found this out when an old customer of mine emailed me to say the site was down, she had been ordering from them since I closed, and I sent out an inquiry to try and help her get what she needed.  I got a response that said “I am still making soap, just not selling it at present.We have closed down the web site and do not now for the time being have an internet presence.”

WOW! Really?  So what does this mean?  Will they never?  Could I make and sell again without breaking my word?  I am still mulling all that over.  I never want to do wholesale again.  About all it did was keep a little money in the kitty for ingredients and work me half to death!  I don’t want to put up a website again.  For one thing I don’t want to maintain one.  That alone is a lot of work.  But I don’t think my making soap for customers who have asked for it since I quit, doing an catalog in pdf form and talking about it here and on facebook violates that.  Especially since they are no longer doing business.  It was almost like that was the door I was waiting to open.  I have not sold soap locally in over three years.  And that was always part of the agreement.  I could make and sell all I wanted to locally.  I don’t want it to get overwhelming again.   Some months I mailed 2000 bars of soap not counting the local wholesale and local retail.  It was too TOO much for just me. I always, ALWAYS, wanted to have my hands on every bar that left here. I never expected it to grow into something I needed to hire someone besides the girls to help with. And as girls grew up and got jobs outside home, they didn’t have time.  And now they are both in college.  And I don’t think Ben has one bit of interest in soap. Other than for his personal use ;)

So yeah…I’m a nut. That’s not news to anyone.  I have felt so happy since I decided to give the soap pot another stir.  I just have to keep it real.  Keep it manageable and do nothing to violate my agreement.  An agreement that may or may not exist any more.

Enough of that.  Here is what’s coming up.  Interviews this Autumn that you will NOT believe.  Seriously. I get butterflies just thinking about it.  Oh please, please, please don’t fall thru!  Opportunities of a lifetime!  To pick these brains!  And then share my pickins with you happy people!

So let’s see.  Soap? covered.  Interviews? said all I can at this time.  Squeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Now…more stuff. I am going to reinstate and reorganize some “Days of The Week with NotQuiteJuneCleaver”:

  • Magpie Mondays ~news from here, chit chat, talkie, talkie, interviews{squeeeeeeee!!!!!}
  • Treehuggin’ Tuesday ~ pretty self explanatory – I’m a treehugger and I am going to talk about it on Tuesdays! Green products, etc
  • Wednesday’s Woman ~ I will introduce you to a blog I follow and the woman who writes it-maybe even a short little something from her
  • Thoughtful Thursday ~ What ever is worth thinking about. Words of wisdom from all sorts of people who have inspired me & made me think.
  • Foodie Friday ~ Recipes and menus, food photography, trends, you know – food news ;)
  • Simply Saturday ~ things that simply find themselves bound to Saturday – movies, books, gardening, housework
  • So…It’s Sunday ~ recapping my week, announcing what’s coming up the next week, soap news – stuff, know what I mean?

This does not mean I will post everyday but I will at least have an outline!

AND I would like to do a  Photo Contest every so often.  Working on the details of that. Will announce that pretty soon.

So…whew.  Told you it would take a while. Okay, that’s what I have in mind.  Actually I have quite a lot in mind.  But the things I am most excited about are stirring up some soap and the interviews.  Whoa, baby! So excited!

By the way peeps, I LOVE comments.  So leave me some, mmK?  I know you visit.  I have a stat counter!  But you never comment.  I don’t mean NEVER never…but I do love comments.  Nice ones that is ;) Okay, neither do I.  I visit the same wonderful blogs everyday but seems someone always beats me to the punch.  I think awwww someone already said that.  Well I have a new rule! I am not reading comments before I post mine.  If I repeat something well so be it!  I am saying my piece anyway!

Now for your Treehugging Tuesday Tidbit: Recycling Soup Cans – so cool! Click on the pictures to read all about it!

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See you happy folks tomorrow.  It will be Wednesday’s Woman so stop by!

Jun
27
2010

It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day…

and likely a scorcher with a high of 97.  You know, I just don’t understand the whole “heat index”/”actual temperature” stuff.  Look, if it feels 107, then it IS 107.  K?  And apparently, it isn’t going to get any better for the next, say 60 days or so and while I will tend to things outside early, early in the day and late, late in the evening, most of my time will be spend indoors.  I started off the weekend cleaning book shelves.  Ridding myself of 10 (more in some cases) of magazines.  One part of me wanted to gather them by year, wrap them in brown paper and store them.  But NO.  NO.  NO.  I am 50 years old (very nearly 51) and there are important worthwhile things I need to do.  Decluttering is at the top of that list.  Some useful things I will be offering up in my etsy shoppe.  I have quite a lovely collection of vintage cookbooks/booklets and I have looked at and read them all and now it is time for them to find new homes.  I will also be looking for places to sell tons (and that might be literal) of gently loved schoolbooks from our 22 years of homeschooling.  Yes, Benjamin is still in “school” but he will be a 9th grader this year so I have absolutely no use for 6th grade math books!

Also, with both Hannah & Rachel going to college in August, the baking business will no longer be something I will pursue.  I have no desire to do it by myself.  It isn’t that much fun!  And it is an awful lot of work.  It has been a good little cottage business that we have moved in and out of over the years.  But I do not care to stand on my feet as many hours a day as that requires especially on top of the baking I am doing preparing the next NQJC cookbook.  So I have found a friend (Hiya Nan) who might be interested in some of my paper products: cake boxes, pie boxes etc.  What she doesn’t want, I will add to my etsy shoppe.

Then there is the haberdashery that is my life!  The dictionary calls a haberdasher: a dealer in sewing notions and small wares. Oh yeah…that would be me.  I deal with them on a daily basis!  But I have accumulated way too many to ever use so they will be making appearances in my etsy shoppe as well.   The balance will find their way onto and into aprons, tea cozies, market bags and other such lovelies that, yes, you guessed it, will be part of my wares over on etsy.  You will all know just as soon as I have my shoppe set up!  I have the banner up and categories named so if you want to take a peek and bookmark it here’s your link:

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I mentioned I am working on book 2 of the NotQuiteJuneCleaver cookbooks ~ cakes…YUM.  And I am still trying to get at least one quilt square (hexagon??) done a day.  So maybe a year is a reasonable goal to finish the pieces to the quilt? Maybe?

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I will be posting more pictures of finished hexes soon.  It is going to be so pretty.

Okay, my tea cup is empty (yes, I drank a cup of tea instead of a POT of coffee this morning).  Got to get rolling around here.  Still two more areas of my computer cabinet to clean and organize this morning.

Please PLEASE check back often – I have an AMAZING giveaway/interview coming up…the first of at least three that are confirmed – one a month is my goal.  And now I will leave you with this little tidbit that could have actually been writing by me but I borrowed it.  VERY fitting though!

I know a little bit about a lot.  Actually,  just enough to make me dangerous.

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