Archive for January, 2008

Likes/Dislikes

I am thinking that everyone has likes and dislikes. I thought I would share some of those with you in hopes you get a better idea of what I am like.  So here it goes.

Likes:

1. Honesty

2. Loyalty

3. Being Real

4. Being a Mom (you might also find this under dislikes…lol)

5. Peacefulness-if only for a little bit.

6. Optimism

7. Laughter, Clean jokes

8. My husband

9. My Children

10. My Pets when they are behaving.

11. When life is busy-but not so busy that it stresses me out.

12. Positive Thinking

Dislikes:

1. Fake-ness

2. Cheaters or Dishonesty

3. Negativism

4. Mushy Bread (thought I would throw that one in).

5. Disrespect from children or anyone for that matter.

6. How our world is so full of what Britney is doing or Lindsy Lohan is not doing or Paris Hilton did-get the picture? Maybe if we as a world didn’t care what they were doing-the press would lose interest.

7. Old news being rehashed for the 7th year in a row-(nothing against Princess Diana)-but who really knows what her plans were or what she was thinking that terrible night? do we really have to go that low than to keep disrespecting the dead?

8. Repeats-unless I missed them…lol kinda a catch 22 on that one.

9. News that interrupts what I am currently watching-especially if I taped it-and the DVR didn’t know this news was going to interrupt my show.

10. Parents that don’t value their daycare provider.

11. Shopping for comfortable shoes or bras….lol….

12. People (namely politician that trash others) for their own gain.

Ok there are many more likes and dislikes that I have but I think a dozen of each is a nice even-ness for now. Feel free to comment or mention some of your own.

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Taxes, Weather and the pursuit of calmness

Is there any such thing as calmness? Right at this moment and time I am trying to do our taxes, (for 2 self employed businesses). I stayed up until 1 a.m. last night-my shoulders up to the top of my neck trying to figure out all of our spending-as when your husband does daycare-you can claim things that normally you wouldn’t claim. The daycare kids food; your own food-that you can’t claim-but how do you decide if they ate all of the nuggets you bought or your own kids? And with all the deductions and expenses you feel like your head is swimming in a cloud of receipts. After looking at them all I swear we must have stock in Walmart.  Then we put a purchase offer in on a house-that I keep thinking-is this the right house? How do you know if it is the right house? Will it be big enough for 3 growing kids, 5 dogs, and us? Plus daycare-I am starting to think any house big enough we wouldn’t be able to afford…That in itself makes me want to throw up….Then the weather first it snows, then it rains, then it ices and this morning went from a 2 hour delay to no school at all….which was great-I was able to sleep in a bit after being up until 1 am. laboring over the vast amount of receipts…Then to top it all off today was a Dr appt for my 13 year old that is having ‘boy’ issues…a problem that arose 4 years ago when we were told he had 2 undescended testicles…which we got taken care of after 2 surgeries. But after 1 month and 3 week wait for this appt-we aren’t any farther as now he needs blood work and such. He hates needles-so I am glad that my husband will be taking him…phew!

So on the personal side that is what is going on with me. My husband is feeling much better-I am so glad-and I am feeling just about back to myself. Which is great as the orders keep coming in. So that is what I will be doing all day tomorrow!

So I will write more as more things arrive. Which lately seems to be everytime I turn around. 🙂

Some items we have been working on.

Rag Quilt Runners

I wanted to be able to offer something in homespun rag quilts. Luckily my Mom is talented in this aspect of the business. We will be offering them in Navy, Burgundy, Green, and Americana-soon we will be offering them in Mustard/Black prints. If you are interested you can check out www.cntrykeepsakes.com for pricing and size.

 Muffin & Cake Top Melts

Our cute little muffin and cake top melts are a nice addition to our line. These will be found on the Melts section of both of our sites. If you are looking for wholesale pricing-send us a wholesale request and we will get you the log in information you need to view our wholesale pricing.

Great Places To Check Into

I have been thinking it would probably be a great idea to give some of the places that I market my web sites on.

 If you are willing to spend 30-45 minutes a day reviewing 5 other sites, looking at 25-30 (your 5 can be included in that 30) and pick one as your favorite and do 1 forum post-Link Referral is great for getting your web site out there. You get a lot of traffic and although some people are just looking to click on your site to get their 30-you will find people that are really interested in what you have to offer. I have gotten a few customers this way-and would recommend it to anyone. I learned from my father at an early age that numbers is the key to any business. The more people that see what you have to offer the more chances you are of getting more customers, and more customers means-you guessed it more business!

<a href=”http://www.linkreferral.com/adwel.pl?oldrefid=128575″ mce_href=”http://www.linkreferral.com/adwel.pl?oldrefid=128575″><img src=”http://www.linkreferral.com/images/linkreferal/linkbutton.gif” mce_src=”http://www.linkreferral.com/images/linkreferal/linkbutton.gif” border=”0″ width=”114″ height=”32″></a>

Another great place is www.thecinnamonhollow.com . They have a lot of advertising offered at great prices. They also have a surf program that by you looking at other people’s web sites-your web site in turn gets looked at. I am getting traffic from here-the only draw back I would say is the time it takes-but like all free traffic places-you have to do the time to get something in return-and I have to say what is a better way to spend time than looking at other high quality web sites-from people that, like you, are just looking to promote their products?

Some other great places I am going to just name their sites and feel free to browse them-some are Top 100’s, others are Craft Malls, and some-I just like them-so take a minute just to check them out.

www.crowcanyonmercantile.com , www.cranapplechristmas.com , www.craftshowonline.com , www.djdoodlejunction.com , http://cranapple.proboards92.com/index.cgi .

I have more to name-but I need to help get dinner finished. So I will try to write more tonight. Stay tuned….

I almost forgot to mention one other place that I have been working with

<a href=”http://sharedreviews.com/signup_member?ref_nick=houseonthehill06″><img alt=”Join SharedReviews” height=”90″ src=”http://sharedreviews.com/images/img/sr_ref_button.gif?ref_nick=houseonthehill06” width=”120″ /></a></div>You sign up to do reviews of products that you have right in your hom. Then once your review is approved you get $2.00 per review and a payout once you have hit 5 approved reviews. it is worth checking into.

What to Write….

countrykeepsakesscreen.jpg

 I have been thinking about having a blog for a little while now, but I really didn’t know what to write about. Then after reading other people’s blogs I finally realized to just write about me. Write about what I am up to, what is going on in my business and in my family life. So this is my try at having a blog. I want to first give credit to Eva Bethel for the wonderful topper at the top of my blog-I received it free from her site www.primlicious.com when I purchased a web set for a new business I have started. But probably I should back up a bit and talk about how I got into this country craft business that I enjoy so much.

THE BEGINNING:…..lol. Back in 2002 my sister started showing signs of country decorations. See my Mom had seemed to be in the country scene for as long as I can remember. Not so much primitive at the time-but old things, buttons, mason jars, baskets, angels, rusty items. My sister on the other hand-was always modern-brass, black/white themed. I started seeing my sister have wooden painted blocks, distressed type items sitting around, cloth that she called homespun. I wasn’t sure what it all meant-until our town had a Grand Prix-which attracted alot of tourists-and out front of her home she set up her hand made items. Well I felt the excitement of these people wanting to purchase her items. Ok, not many purchased but did show interest-and that is when I found out she was planning to open a country shop. So in the next few weeks I found her front 2 rooms go from “extra” rooms to 2 rooms filled with soybean candles, berry garlands, rusty items, bobbins, buttons, potpourri…..some of the items she had made I didn’t realize she was capable of making-I was to say the least amazed. I smelled the candles and couldn’t believe a candle could smell just like Mulled Cider, or Caramel Apples-and they were candles I could afford. Other candles that I had purchased before either were too expensive and didn’t smell for very long-or they burnt straight down the middle leaving me dissapointed. I HAD to figure out how to make these-as if I was able to do that maybe she would carry my candles in her shop. Well I could go on and on with this story-but to jump ahead.

AHEAD: After much research I was able to find the supplies necessary to make these soybean candles. At first I mainly worked at knowing that it would take me time to formulate the right “recipe” in order to get a candle that burned clean and evenly. I had to make sure that the scent was as strong at the beginning as it was at the very end. The look took some time -as when I first started I just used the jars I could get at our local hardware store. I found out very quickly that making a great candle takes time and patience. But finally in the spring of 2003 I was able to present Melissa with a great candle-and she bought from me wholesale and then resold them in the store. After a bit of time went by my sister decided she would like to offer anything she made in the store wholesale-but where did this leave me with the candles? as I knew she couldn’t buy from me wholesale and turn around and sell them wholesale. Did I mention I had started working in the store part time? Well I did-learning everything I could from Melissa-so I could be a great employee to her-she had so many great ideas-and I just wanted to be a part of this great operation. Well to make a long story short-I did what I always seem to do-and gave up something “that I really didn’t think I wanted” anyways…and sold the candle business to Melissa-I stayed at the store and helped make the candles but I didn’t have to order the supplies anymore-didn’t have to make the decisions anymore-I just worked-and believe me at the time I was happy with that. Melissa always gave me credit for the candle recipe….but somewhere I found that I hadn’t given myself a chance-and as time went by I started to regret my decision….or did I?

So during the time I worked part time for Melissa I tried graphics-making graphics, learing about making graphics….I also talked her into starting her own web site. www.cntrykeepsakes.com I knew enough on the web to get her web site up and running. I did all the updating-as she told me what she wanted to be on it and kept it listed in the search engines. I tried a small business with my Mom selling stuff on Ebay and we even did our own site-that didn’t seem to work…so we ended that. I continued to work for Melissa-and really enjoyed it. Then in May of 2006 Melissa decided to close the store front and take her business home to do it solely on line. I was so sad-but told her IF she ever decided to give it up totally to please let me know-as I might very well be interested.

PRESENT: Well to make this long story finish up-in January of 2007 Melissa came to me and offered me the whole business. She said I could keep what I wanted and let go of the rest and when I was ready-if I was interested-I could take over Country Keepsakes. Well if you ever knew what it was like not to know who you were or what you were supposed to be doing-I can tell you that it was in that moment I had finally figured it out.  All the wanting and waiting and being patient had paid off. In March of 2007 I took over Country Keepsakes-all of the work I had done helping Melissa paid off; as I was able to keep offering the same great products just as stores had been used to having them. Melissa gave this store a terrific foundation-and I have found that I can be as creative as she was-but in turn I learned a lot from her-which has kept this business familar for people. So that is how this business started. It has always been family run-and continues to be today. Our Mom helped a lot when the store was a store front-and she continues to help me now-whether it be putting homespun on the candles, mixing up the great mixes or mixing up terrific potpourri. My husband helps carry boxes, do candle dishes or lugging my heavy wax boxes up the stairs. I will end this post for now as I can see it is a big one. I will write more later.