Water Water Everywhere...

Have I ever told you how much I LOVE this time of year. The craft shows have ended and I get to do a bunch of things that are time consuming but rejuvenating and inspiring. Today C and Dad took over and did some amazing things!

Today I got a new sink and a spiffy new faucet. It is a single deep stainless steel sink. I can actually fit a pot in it. And my faucet is the type you see fancy kitchens, the ones that have a sprayer and come up tall with a spring over the sink. (picture above). So now I can use the sink and fill up pots and plastic containers, etc all at the same time.....Whoo Hoo!!!

I also had the door removed to the kitchen part of the work shop. This allowed me to free up a wall where I could move the file cabinet and some pictures and cork board. I started to file labels and that sort of thing. Still have a few hours to go through show applications, etc...

I adore this renovation, moving, restocking, reorganizing, cleaning part of the year. It makes it all fresh and new again. I got new lights for the workshop, now it is bright and cheery rather than dark and cave like.

Now C and Dad need to fix the drain. I have water, but it has no where to go right now. They need to put in a garbage disposal and a new pump and then my sink will be complete and ready to rock! And I can stop cleaning molds in my kitchen sink, and get my kitchen island back too!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Monday after the show K and I spent a good portion of the day getting things put away and counted for inventory. I started to rearrange the workshop once again and try to get some things into places that make them easier to find/get to, and generally pick up (those heavy boxes on the top shelf have sucked!).

Tuesday and Wednesday C and I went to Atlantic City. We lost on the slots, but had some nice meals, got to sleep late, and saw Avatar in Imax 3D. Pretty impressive movie when it comes to the special effects and 3D. I think on the smaller screen in 2d I wouldn't have been as impressed or happy with the movie. 3D is the way to go and IMax for sure if you can too, well worth the price of the tickets.

Christmas Eve we came home in the afternoon to dad. He is decided that driving big rig isn't for him anymore and it is time for him to move on. Not sure to what yet, but until he figures that out, I'll put him to work in the workshop as much as I can.

Dad made a great meal for Christmas Eve- BBQ Pork Ribs and I made a loaded potato soup to go with it. Yum. Christmas day we all opened gifts and generally hung around and napped, ate, and slept. I knit some and tried to figure out how much more I need to do to finish my afghan. in case you wondered, the answer is lots---

The day after Christmas we went to see Sherlock Holmes. Pretty cool movie and Robert Downey Jr is getting handsome in his old age. Quirky cute in this role. Most movies I have seen on the big screen in ages. It was a nice treat. Stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few things, came home and decided not to cook.

Yesterday I cooked a nice lunch and then C,K, and I went shopping. 4 hours in a mall. The most time I have been in one of those in probably 5 years or more. We got her a load of clothes for her new job and new school. They all look great on her and shouldn't be too hard to wash, I don't think anything needs to be dry-cleaned, just pressed by hand sometimes.

Today is lunch with B, and time to start in on cleaning the workshop. A little a day and it shouldn't take too long. Just lots of stuff to put away. Then to work on the January sale and get the web site updated for that. The work never ends even when I try to make it!


The show is over...

The workshop is the emptiest it has ever been. This makes me happy (but a little stressed too). But it is time to enjoy time with family and friends. It is also time to think about changes for 2010 and to think about my show schedule, wholesale opportunities, and how to clean/rearrange the workshop to make it more efficient.

There were some wonderful milestones this show. Seriously. If you take it as four different shows (each weekend being its own) then week three is was my highest grossing craft show ever. If you take it as one big show (all four weeks together, which is how I think of it), then it was my highest grossing craft show ever. Sales were up by 25% over previous years. I have really been blessed.

Actually when I think of it it really still boggles my mind. It hasn't set in yet that I can actually go this spring without taking out a huge loan for supplies, that I have enough to pay the bills I need to pay, that I won't need to put off my student loans for the spring, or turn off my credit card processing, or the dozens of other things I have gone through in the past to make it from December to May. I can't run off for a cruise either, but there is a certain comfort level going into 2010 that I have lacked in past years.

For me 2010 will be the year of balance. I tried to get more balanced in 2009 and I think I have come a long way. But there were big changes here in the house, with lots of travel and new routines, and my dad being here. I want to take this level I have found into the next year. I think that I fell the happiest I have in a while when it comes to the whole of everything. I have always been happy at home in that part of my life, but other parts needed some love and attention and I think in 2009 I had that chance and I am going to continue that into 2010.

Like the t-shirts say..."life is good"


Weekend three is over!!

And it was the best one yet!! I am above my projected sales and very happy with the way things are going. I haven't run out of anything yet so I am really happy that I pushed myself as much as I did right before the show. If I hadn't I would have been out of stuff for sure. But i am positive that some things will run out by the end of the show- Lavender soap and Shampoo bars are almost gone, as are Oatmeal Almond bath fizzys.

Thursday wasn't bad, it wasn't as good as last Thursday but it was much, much colder out so I think that kept people home and warm. Friday wasn't much better than Thursday, but it was even colder outside so it wasn't surprising. The wind was wreaking havoc with the show and the lights even flickered a few times. The tent was flapping in the breeze by me and the wind was freezing my feet. I brought in a foot warming pad (the kind that usually goes under desks) and toe warmers I bought at LL Bean. So although it was very cold in my booth, I was OK.

Saturday was about the same as last Saturday, which was very good. We had a lot of buses full of buyers. I really, really need to redesign my booth next year because my position in the booth is just a huge log jam of people trying to sniff and trying to pay. A bad choice that I will need to really think about next year.

But Sunday killed. I did great, almost as good as Saturday. That was a surprise to me. This was the day I finally started to think about running out of things and how I was going to rearrange and cope with that fact. I have run out of many fragrances of sachets too.

I have started to think about load out and how to get everything home in one trip. I think I need to bring home a bunch of stuff on Saturday night, a few displays, extra stock, and the cooler. So if you are thinking of coming to the show next Sunday- this is fair warning- I may be out of something you want before you get there:)


Weekend 2 is done!

And I kicked some soapie butt! Sales exceeded my goals/expectations. Customers were so pleasant and happy. It was COLD in my booth a few times, but I survived with my leg warmers, double socks, and heating pad (and hat).

I get to spoil myself again since I did so well. I think this week I am going to get myself a garlic pot to store my garlic in, rather than the cereal bowl on the counter it is currently sitting in. Then I get my cereal bowl back to eat out of :)

I traded some soap for some hand spun BFL Ia really yummy yummy yarn) in bright yellows and greens. It is very happy yarn.

It snowed on Saturday but it didn't really diminish sales until the afternoon when things got sorta bad out and it slowed down and got cold.

I made a huge list of things to do on my "weekend" off (Monday-Wed) but I forgot it in my booth so I am trying to recreate it and remember everything I wanted/needed to do.

I have been proud of myself, I have been exercising on my days off and hope to keep it up after the show ends. I also have been trying to eat better too. Less chocolate (the horrors!) and more veggies.

My toe seems back to normal. It hurt like crazy over the weekend, deep in the foot, must of been where the nerve was pinched or something. But the feeling is back and the color is good, and I won't wear those shoes with two pairs of socks ever again.

I bought a pair of tights to wear under my pants to stay warmer, and put a run in them the first time I wore them. Had to get another pair so I can wear them with a skirt/dress and not look stupid.

Got almost all my Christmas shopping done and boxes have started to arrive. Just have a few more things to order tonight. We are trying to decide where we will be for Christmas/New Years. Maybe home, maybe Puerto Rico, maybe Orlando Florida. I have to see where dad will be over the holiday as well so we can make a decision.

I am really excited about 2010. i am ready to hit the ground running, make lots of inventory, and get things ready- like the web site, and some stores to sell at, and some home shows to do. This is the first year I can remember in a while where I feel invigorated rather than tired at the end of the year. I think this is a great sign of things to come.


Back to work tomorrow

Well it is back to work tomorrow. Second weekend of the craft show. It has been raining hard all afternoon, so I hope that I don't have too much water in the booth. I will wear my duck boots just in case.

I have been getting lots done. Got the last soap out of the molds finally. Glad there was a bunch of small shaving soap, because that is selling really well. I also figure out how to get the molds I bought to release without destroying them in the process, it was an easy fix, and will save me lots of money in new molds in the future. It also opens me up to being able to so some soaps in different sizes, so that is something that I want to pursue in the next year. maybe sample sizes or hotel/guest soaps... not sure where to go with it.

My toe is still weird. better than it was the other day, but now it feels like I am walking on a blueberry that squishes every time I step down. It feels fat (and it isn't) and is just odd. But the feeling is certainly on its way back to normal.

S and I went to the Sands casino today in Bethlehem. Only the second time I have been there. I won $20. So since last time I was there I lost $20, I'm now even. It was fun to have lunch there and play a bit.

Got to go to the show early tomorrow and inventory and put out new stock. The empty boxes are starting to pile up here, If I have a few more good weeks, who knows what I will have to sell the last week. Lets hope that happens, I would love to just sell it all and start fresh next year.


So much for a day off...

I got orders out and lots of other things done. Including some exercise , which according to my Wii is the first time in about 4 months.. that was depressing.

But the weirdest thing is that my tie is numb, I wore these shoes the other day and two of my toes went to sleep (I think the extra pair of socks made them too tight) and it is still asleep. No pins and needles, just an odd numbness, like it was wrapped in plastic or something. Too weird. Must of pinched a nerve or something. It just feels really odd in a shoe, like it is fat or swollen, but it bends fine and the color is fine so I don't think it is falling off any time soon...

It felt good to get almost caught up, probably need Tuesday to get completely caught up. But I did get to take a nap and go to bed early. Which explains why I was wide awake at 4 am today.

Off to keep myself motivated...