Archive for the ‘for sale’ Category

Harvest Moon by Hand is a member of the EtsyKids team, and
is participating in its annual 
EtsyKids Team Christmas In July Sale!

 There are two ways to visit the team shops: 
1. Use the links below to visit each shop.
(A link to Harvest Moon by Hand’s shop and the discount code is below.)
2. Go to http://www.etsy.com and in the search box use EK christmasinjuly or EK CIJ
to view some of the many items available for sale.

Please enjoy and take advantage of these great sale, deals, and steals!
Hurry the team sale is from July 14th – 31st!
Here is a list of participating shops that are having a sale:

Stitched Stuff for Families to use and love everyday!
Sewing for babies, kids, and moms. 10% off entire store with coupon code: christmasinjuly

Infant through size 8 little girl’s clothing and nursing covers
10% off  all items except already discounted items in my sample/discounted section   coupon code is CIJ10

Hairbows, headbands, hair clips,pony tail holders, etc.
Offering 25% off entire purchase. using coupon code CIJ25

Auntie Robin 
Clothing for little girls and quilts for babies and toddlers.
All in-stock items will be included in sale at 15% off with coupon code JULY15.

Aunty Ann Designs  
Wild, Fun and Unique Sock Monkeys.
Bonus will be “free” name embroidery with sock monkey or blankey purchase.  Be sure to put EKBONUS in comments at checkout with the name. Plus a special 10% discount when using the code EKSAVE10 at checkout on all purchases.
Ava Bowtique  
I sell all kinds of hair accessories.
All items will be 10% off.
Christmas themed lounge pants on sale.
The lounge pants will have free shipping.
Custom-made clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers.
Offering free shipping on select items and 15% all car cozies and crayon rolls
I sell baby and kids toys and christmas ornaments.
I will offer 15% entire store coupon code Christmas10.

I sell quality handknits for babies and children.
10% discount off the purchase price coupon code is ~ xmasjuly2011
30% off sale on anything red in my shop.
Photo prop crochet hats. 
All holiday items 20% off.
Bibs Blankets and More  
Bibs, receiving blankets, baby gift baskets, nursing pillow covers. 
Promo: Free Shipping
I sell fine art and art prints for children’s rooms and the young at heart.
Use code FREESHIP for free shipping (domestically) on anything in the shop.
Accessories and patterns. 
15% off storewide.
Bison Girl  
Bison Booties (soft-sole infant/baby/toddler booties made with designer cotton fabrics). 
15% off all Bison Booties with code “SUMMER15.
Blush and Bashful Studio  
Crochet designs for all ages.
Free Shipping Promo.
I design photo cards and invitations for birthdays, parties, and events.
15% off all photo cards.
Bows, clips, hats, botties and other crocheted items. 
25% off your entire order.
BronStar Originals  
Growth Charts, Art Prints, Bow Holders. 
Free Shipping(Excluding Stretched Canvas).
BOGO Half Off Wristlet Key Fobs.
Coupon Code is BOGOFOB… Users are also required to “”Like”” my Facebook Page.

Chew Chew’s Closet
Children’s clothing and accessories.
15% off your total order excluding shipping Coupon code: ChristmasinJuly.

Childrens toys, example: crayon rolls, tool belts, car rolls, crayon aprons and some fun dressin up dresses. My sale will be 20% entire purchase.

Elementary school memory books for mothers and daughters.
20% off storewide using code “EtsyKids20”.

I am going to have lots of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas shirts listed and all will be buy one get one half off!

I sell children’s clothing — skirts, dresses, onesies, t-shirts, and more
offering 25% off your entire order.

crocheting4baby {aka Tutus & Tea Parties} 
Crochet beanies and blankets, handpainted baby bodysuits, and tutus.
All will be included in the sale Free Shipping.

Hair accessories for kids, pacifier clips for babies, badge clips and stethoscope tags for adults.
15% off everything.

Photo Birthday Invitations and Party Supplies.
15% off all birthday invitations with code: JULYSAVE.

Cute items you’ll find in my shop: cloth dolls, cloth baby dolls, headbands, aprons, print artwork,original nursery paintings.
50% in most of my handmade items with tag: EK Christmasinjuly Free shipping in most of my items with tag: EK Christmasinjuly.

Custom Party Invitations and Decorations, Personalized TShirts.
15% off of Entire Purchase – Use Coupon Code ETSYKIDSROCK.

I make felt sets, felt boards to go, felt animal masks and felt books.
15% off entire purchase excluding felt books. coupon codechristmasinjuly15.

Dapple Gray Designs 
Clothes that are cute & comfortable for little boys and sweet & sassy for little girls! – dresses, shirts, skirts. 40% off entire purchase (excluding shipping) – Code CIJ40.

Darcey Lane Designs 
Sassy Ruffle Fancy Pants (Bloomers), pillowcase dress. Christmas outfits, birthday outfits.
15% off.

Denise Jacobson- Momma Fix 
Little girl dresses sizes 6 months-9 years.
My sale will be 40% off entire stock of dresses.

Dinos In Space 
One of a kind felt applique wall pieces for kids of all ages.
I am going to be having a 20% off sale of everything in the shop, plus I slashed the shipping charges!

Dragonfly Bowtique 
Hair Accessories.
30% off using code christmasinjuly Spend $25 and receive a free item (buyer does not choose this item).

Fairy Godmother for Hire 
Selling children’s dress up costumes.
Free shipping to the US coupon code SandyClaws.

felted kitten 
Felt crowns
All items in my shop will be 10% – 50% off.

I sell natural, Waldorf inspired toys, dolls and pretty treasures for children of all ages!
I will offer free shipping coupon code XMASINJULY1.
All items in my shop will be included in the Christmas in July special.

Children’s Clothing, Accessories, Granny’s Little Blessing Dolls.
Entire shop will be on sale Free Shipping US. Discounted shipping Everywhere Else. use code FREESHIP.

Harvest Moon by Hand 
Origami window stars/suncatchers, hand-embroidered/all-natural toys for children; needlefelted toys made from all-natural sheep wool; PDF patterns, children’s accessories, and crafting supplies.

Everything is for sale in the shop! Use code EKCIJ10 to get 10% off everything in the shop (products only; not on shipping).

Changing pad covers, fun pillow cases, and coffee clutches.
Free shipping as my promo with the purchase code of 711ChristmasinJuly.

I sell custom, handmade art, clothing for children, and drawings.
20% off anything plus a free surprise gift with each purchase.

Baby, girls some teen and adult hair accessories.
Offering 30% off discount on entire order.

Kidz Wiz Padz 
Waterproof Carseat Padz-Great for potty training on-the-go!
Buy one, Get one 1/2 off coupon code KWPCIJ.

Kind Living Designs 
Personalized gift items.
will be on sale a % off.

Stylish Cloth Play Blocks and hand knit items.
BUY 1 MEDIUM sized cloth play block, get 1 FREE.

Kooky Critters 
Tooth fairy pillows, baby blankets, t-shirts, bed pillows and plush critters.
Use coupon code LSLSL10DIS for 10% off anything in my shop!

laniec1- Niah Bella 
Custom kids clothing and a few other tidbits.
Get free shipping all month and on all items by using coupon code FreeShip.

Creative on-the-go-fun for young Picassos: art folios, crayon rolls, and Dine.n.Doodle mats.
Free Shipping (worldwide) on children’s products.

I sell lil ones clothes and things for baby or lil ones rooms.
FREE shipping to USA all through July and a free custom painting for your lil one.

Linda’s Krafty Kreations 
I sell felt quiet books and toys and stuffed animals .
offering 15% off of any purchase before shipping.

Little Miss Iz 
Little girls Skirts and leggings – size 12 months to 6T.
15% off entire purchase, shipping not included. Code CIJ15.

Little Purple Dragonfly 
Boutique Hair Accessories and so much more!
15% off using Code: CIJSave15.

Little Sweetie Boutique 
Little girls pillowcase dresses & skirts.
10% off all items.

Fiber arts made with repurposed + natural materials… softies, tooth fairy pillows, wall art, fiber jewelry, party decor and lots more!
10% off entire shop and free shipping on christmas stockings.

Lovely’s Baby Boutique
Diaper Cakes/Cupcakes, Hair Clips, Boutique Diaper Wipe Cases.
15% off entire purchase.

Lucy Mae Designs
Boys Tie Shirts and Hair Accessories.
FREE SHIPPING on all hair accessories .

Heirloom Children’s Clothing .
10% off (coupon code CHRISTMAS) on all new custom orders that are paid in full.
25% off (coupon code RTS25) on all “Ready To Ship” items.

Specialize in newborn – children photography props including hats and booties. I have a great red and green stocking hat, with jingle bells that is a big seller for christmas pictures!
Offering 20% off items in my shop.

Markoos Modern Design
Modern Kid’s clothing and accessories.
Offering a 15% discount on all purchases with code – 711XMAS.

Specialize in hand dyed & stenciled baby onesies, but sell paci clips, look books, & I SPY bean bags.

Michelle’s Zoo 
Stuffed Animals.
20% entire purchase coupon code is CIJ20.

Monkeys ‘N Munchkins 
Children’s jewelry (baptism, flower girl, big sister/big brother, everyday, special occasions).
15% off entire purchase with code “july15”.

My Little Angel Co. 
Diaper cakes, baby shower items, hair clips, beanie caps, and headbands.
40% off hair clips and headbands, coupon code is SANTASWEATIN.

My Little Pixies 
Creative Hair Accessories All Christmas and Holiday items will be marked.
15% off. These items will be featured in the “Christmas Preview 2011” category in my shop.

My Lovebug Baby 
Useful items for mom and baby.
Free Shipping to US & Canada with code: FREESHIP.

My True Nature 
Natural & organic kids bath products.
30% off using code “christmasinjuly”.

Everything! Custom children’s wall art, canvas & wood growth charts, wood surfboards, wood dolls.
Use coupon code OPENJULY for 20% off everything!

Nana Brown’s 
Insulated Lunch Bags, Reusable Sandwich Bags, Sun Hats, Travel Crayon Caddies, Baby Bibs, Cosmetic Bags, and more.
15% off purchase, excluding postage. Coupon code FIFTEEN.

Nikki, In Stitches 
Handmade hair accessories.
15% off storewide…coupon code JULY15.

Northwoods Toys 
Felt play food and plushies.
Free Shipping promo.

Handmade children’s accessories: blankets, car seat canopies, bibs, burpies, paci-bibs, changing mats, pillow shams, nursing covers & adult throws.
15% off all items during CIJ promo event  Use coupon code: JULYXMAS.

Embroidered hair bows, bottle cap hairbows, embroidered clothing and accessories.
Offering FREE SHIPPING on any order over $20.

Children’s couture including modern, customizable birthday and flower girl outfits.
Enter SUMMERISFORLOVE for 20% off your entire order!

Pickled Beads Jewelry 
All children’s jewelry.
Free Shipping (Domestic (US) Orders Only).

Pink Stripe 
We make Fun and Funky Goodies for Children and their Families. Sale items include tie shirts, birthday shirts, tulle cupcake aprons and lots of other fun goodies!!
HUGE sample sale on ready to ship items– plus low flat rate shipping for unlimited sale items.

Felt play food, unique plushies and rattles among other kids goodies.
Free US shipping for july- JULYSHIP coupon code.

Infants/toddler quilted waterproof bibs/sets & coordinating paci clips – all bibs are individually quilted .
Use FREESHIP at checkout.

Red Baby by Redrane 
Baby and Toddler Items – Swaddling blankets, burpies, car seat blankets, some OOAK clothing.
10-35% off selected items.

Reet Momma 
Make personalized xmas stockings and each one is uniquely designed for the person.

Snuggly Monkey 
Ouchie Pouches, Toys and Accessories.
Certain items are 20-25% off – look for the “CIJ SALE” in the title (including my Snuggly Baby Dolls!); And 10% off all non-CIJ SALE items with CIJSALE coupon code.

sugarbumps creations 
Unique children’s appliques, accessories, and clothing.
20% off any purchase coupon code  JULYSALE.

Sunny Brook Farm Design 
Specific items marked down with “Sale” in the title.

All holiday items – hooded towels, hair clips, etc. – will be on sale.
20% off all holiday items.

Swirly Sensations
Tie dyed items (tshirts, dresses, bags..etc).

The Bitsy Beau
Childrens hair accessories and hand knit hats.
Entire store is 15% off with coupon code CIJ15 and a free gift with $25 or more purchased.

The Little LOVE Bug 
Felt Play Food.
Use coupon code LOVE15BUG for 15% off your order.

The Lollipop Boutique 
Hair accessories (bows, clips, headbands etc), Baby wipe cases.

the trendy tot 
Red Snow Flake Jumper and other items are also available in the sale section.

The Trendy Tot Shop 
Tutus, tutu outfits, and flower headbands. Everything will be on sale.
10% off everything just enter coupon code christmasinjuly.

The Voodoo Kitten- Cranky Cat Studio 
Baby and toddler items including blankets, bibs, burps, clothing, hair accessories, diaper bags, and more. 20% off everything.

Trendy Tykes- TTykes 
Embroidered items for Infants, Toddlers & Moms.
I will have my Cookies & Milk Place Mat & my Princess Playwear Jacket on sale @ 20% off plus free shipping on both items.

Baby blankets, burp cloths etc.
Everything will be 20% off with coupon code JulyXmas.

TZ Burps 
Plush owls and birds and other gifts for children.
20% off purchase with coupon code Julyxmas.

Villa Pernilla 
A free snackbag with every order in my shop.

WalterSilva aka: Silva Ware 
Kid’s Decor, Original ART, Wall Plaques, Wall Sculptures .
Everything in the Shop 15% off.

Zoe Girl Designs
Children’s Clothing Boutique.
Buy 2 items and receive the 3rd item 50% off (3rd item must be of equal or less value).


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Each month the Unique Women in Business (UWIB) team does blog hop. This month’s theme is “Red, White, and Blue.”

What immediately comes to mind for me is the 4th of July (also known as Independence Day).  There are plenty of parades, picnics, fireworks, and other events to celebrate the day.  But why are we celebrating it?

According to the History.com website:

July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83).

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

What are some ways to create a festive environment at home to celebrate the 4th of July? 

Reusable Fabric Bunting

This year, I made some red, white, and blue buntings to decorate the home and yard.  I made some extra ones that are available in my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

Red, white, and blue bunting
available at Harvest Moon by Hand.

Table Runner

In a past issue of Home Companion magazine, there was a picture of a table runner made from kraft paper that had flowers and circles cut from decorative paper sewn on with red thread.  I thought it would be nice to have something special for the table that is a bit more permanent.

So, I picked out tan linen fabric, red thread, fabric in red, white, and blue patterns. I cut out different sizes of circles and then sewed them randomly onto the fabric.  After that, I hand-embroidered each circle onto the fabric using the blanket-stitch.

Hand-embroidered table runner
with red-thread accent lines.

Origami Centerpiece

My daughters and I made this centerpiece by making origami cranes from scrapbooking paper, and punching circles from red, white, and blue scrapbooking paper.  We hung the cranes and circles on branches that were placed in a vase.  There are red and white glass pieces at the bottom of the vase.

Vase with Origami Cranes
Vase with origami cranes and
red, white, and blue paper ornaments.

Window Stars

I also like to decorate with red, white, and blue window stars.  There are many different patterns available at Harvest Moon by Hand including the trio of stars below.
The red, white, and blue window stars are available here:

If you would like to see what other women on the UWIB team created for the Red, White, and Blue Blog Hop, please visit the websites below:

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One of the Etsy teams I’m on is EtsyKids.  Each month there is a challenge, and for June it is “Party!” It’s all about fun, sparkle, confetti, buntings, games, and cupcakes.  By going to Etsy and using the search code EKchallengejun11 you’ll see a wide variety of party items.  Here’s the LINK that will take you directly to all the items that were made.

I chose to make a Fourth of July bunting (also known as a garland) for the challenge.  I’ve seen quite a few on the internet and thought I’d try my hand at making one. 

4th of July Fabric Bunting
Available here:

In addition to the bunting for the challenge, I also made a blue one for Olivia to use for her upcoming half-birthday in July.

Two buntings: one for Olivia’s half birthday;
and one for the 4th of July.

Buntings are a great way to use up fabric on hand or reuse fabric.  I’ve seen some buntings that are single sided and cut with a pinking shears.  However, they can only be viewed from one side.  I chose to sew two pieces of fabric together for each flag, so the bunting looks nice from each side.

Because the sides are finished, the bunting can be machine-washed and ironed. The fabric won’t fray since there are no raw edges.

When making or purchasing a bunting, most people choose by favorite color or pattern; coordinate with their home design; or match with their party/special event theme.  Custom buntings can be made (either by oneself or by hiring someone who can sew).  Imagine a bunting for a child’s birthday or graduation made from her/his clothes throughout the years.  What a special – and meaningful – decoration to celebrate a milestone. 

Buntings are reusable, eco-friendly decorations – both for festive celebrations as well as everyday decor for walls, windows, or rooms.  Rather than using decorations that are disposable and end up in a landfill, using decorations that can be used year after year is good for the environment…and is something that children (and parents) look forward to bringing out and using each year.   

What are some handmade decorations that you’ve made…or that you remember your parents using when you were a child?

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Each month the Unique Women in Business team does a blog hop.  This month the theme is “Wedding Bells.”   Harvest Moon by Hand is focusing on brides who want to incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in their weddings.

White window star from Harvest Moon by Hand

Many brides are unfamiliar with the origin and meaning behind the old-new-borrowed-blue custom though. This tradition stems from an old English rhyme “Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe.”

Family members and the bride’s attendants gave old, new, borrowed, and blue items and a sixpence to the bride as tokens of love on her wedding day for good luck just before her marriage.

What does each item represent?
Something old – Continuity
Something new – Optimism for the future
Something borrowed – Borrowed happiness
Something blue – Purity, love, and fidelity
Sixpence in your shoe – Wish for good fortune and prosperity (although this remains largely a British custom).  Sometimes this is adapted in the United States to be “a penny in your shoe.”

Today brides are working the old, new, borrowed, and blue objects into their weddings themselves. Here are some ideas for brides to personalize the old-new-borrowed-blue custom for their weddings.

Something Old

The old item can be an antique, an heirloom object, or a sentimental piece that represents the bride’s past.

– A locket containing a picture of the bride’s grandparents
– Antique combs, pins, or barrettes
– A baby bracelet from a family member used around the base of your bouquet
– Place an antique bookmark to mark ceremony readings
– Use a childhood pillow for the ring bearer’s pillow
– Display wedding photographs of parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents at the reception
– Have the bride carry a childhood treasure she has saved (like a ring, bracelet, locket, etc.)
– Bring out the heirloom jewelry to wear like an engagement ring or wedding band, a brooch, earrings, a bracelet, a necklace, or some sparkly hair pins
– Sew a button from one of the bride’s father’s old coats on the inside of the bride’s gown at the hem or place it in her purse
– Give the bride a vintage compact mirror for her purse
– Wear a headpiece, tiara, or veil that has been handed down
– Take some of mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown fabric or lace and sew it inside the bride’s gown or to her petticoat
– Display a photograph of the bride as a little girl or carry it in the bride’s purse
– Carry a wedding photo of parents’ or grandparents’ in the bride’s purse (it can be copied to reduce the size if necessary)

My mom and dad when they were married in 1964.

Something New

– Find a lucky penny minted in the year of the wedding
– Buy a new lipstick in a pretty shade (the bride does not have to wear it on her big day)
– Have a custom perfume designed for the bride
– Purchase a new makeup bag or new purse to use on the day of the wedding
– Select a new jewelry item to wear on the day of the wedding like a bracelet, earrings, or a necklace
– Purchase a special guest book with extra room for guests to include a personal note at the wedding
– Pack some mints or a stick of gum

16 point window star from Harvest Moon by Hand
Something Borrowed

Some brides use a borrowed item from a long-time happily married couple for this item, but it also can be something borrowed from a friend or other relative who is symbolic of happiness.

The borrowed item should be returned to the owner following the wedding day. It is helpful if one of the wedding attendants or mother-of-the-bride returns the borrowed item to the loaner to relieve the bride of this duty. A thank you note is always appreciated and appropriate when the borrowed item is returned.

A flower in the garden can be incorporated into a bridal bouquet.
This flower is one that I helped my dad plant this year.
(He has Alzheimer’s Disease and needed help planting flowers in containers.)

– Include flowers from the bride’s parents’ or grandparents’ garden in floral arrangements at the wedding or in the bride’s bouquet
– Let the groom borrow grandfather’s pocket watch or have the bride carry it in her purse

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– Borrow the song from the bride’s (or groom’s) parents’ wedding to dance to
– Use sister’s silver knife to cut the cake with at the reception
– Borrow a book from the library that has a poem or reading that will be used in the ceremony or borrow a reading that was used at your sister’s wedding.  (See the end of this post for a book that is available at the library that has a great selection of classic and contemporary readings.)
– Borrow a button-down shirt or robe for the bride to wear while getting her hair and makeup done

Something Blue

There are unlimited ways the color blue can be incorporated into the wedding day. Keep in mind there are many shades of blue and one may work better than another for the bride depending on how the blue item will be used.

Some brides will not want blue to be a dominant wedding color and so they will prefer to limit the blue color to less visible areas. The something blue item is also an opportunity for the bride who loves blue to embrace the color blue as one of her wedding colors.

– The sash on your dress
– A bouquet of blue blooms
– A blue garter
– Sapphire jewelry
– A blue pen, for signing the marriage certificate
– Use blue confetti
– Use blue ribbon or flowers in the bride’s bouquet or on the groom’s boutonniere
– Wear sapphire, tanzanite, opals, or aqua marine jewelry

Blue window star from Harvest Moon by Hand

A Sixpence in Your Shoe

The sixpence is traditionally placed in the bride’s left shoe, but it can also be carried in the bride’s purse or sewn into the hem or lining of her gown. Including the sixpence in your shoe is largely a British custom today.

Sixpence (front)

Silver sixpence coins can be purchased from various online stores that sell them specifically for weddings, but many brides have found other ways to interpret this wedding custom by using different items and carrying the item instead of placing it in their shoes.

Sixpence (back)

– Buy a silver sixpence (an English coin) to use for the wedding
– Use an old coin from the country of the bride or groom’s ancestry (this could also double as the something old item)
– Get a mint coin for the bride to carry (this could also double as the something new item)

By choosing items of significance to the bride for something old, new, borrowed, blue, and the sixpence; this English tradition of good luck will be a significant way for brides to have with them on their special days.


To see what other members of the UWIB team created for the “Wedding Bells” theme, please take a look at the follow links:

Rita Wetzel http://ritascreativenest.com/
Judy Woodley http://wellspringcreations.blogspot.com/
Ann Rinkenberger http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/ (you are here now)
Cory Trusty http://aquarianbath.blogspot.com/
Nancy Pace http://nancyswildwirejewelry.blogspot.com/
Trudy Miller http://mommagoddesstreasures.blogspot.com/
Linda Stranger http://capecoddreamer.blogspot.com/
Wendy Kelly http://blog.vintageday.com/
Miriam http://goldcrestbags.blogspot.com/

I was at the library a few days ago and Bartlett’s Words for the Wedding was displayed.  Since the UWIB Blog Hop was coming up, I thought I’d check out the book.  There are some lovely poems and thoughts expressed in the book – classic and contemporary.  Here’s one that I liked:
Apache Wedding Prayer
~*~ Printed in Bartlett’s Words for the Wedding ~*~
Edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelley
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good
And long upon the earth.

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Each month, the Unique Women in Business team does a Blog Hop focused on a different theme.  For April, the focus is on celebrating womanhood.

Each woman has many roles in her lifetime.  At some stage in her life, a woman may only have a couple of roles (perhaps a daughter and niece, for example). 

My Niece's Hand
One of my niece’s hand. Her fingers are saying
“I love you”
in American Sign Language (ASL).

At another stage in her life, a woman could have many roles such as: daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, wife or partner, mother, grandmother, worker, volunteer, leader, follower, nurturer, caregiver, peacemaker, teacher, artist, or more. 

Nana and the Girls
My mom with two of her grandchildren:
Sophia and Olivia (my daughters).

Some of these roles are not of one’s choice – they are made by others…while other ones are clearly personal choices. 

Two of the roles that I have chosen are: stay-at-home mother and homeschool educator.  When I was younger, I did not even envision my life as having children in it…much less being a mother who homeschools her two daughters.  Yet, being a mother and homeschool teacher have been two of the most challenging and rewarding roles in my life!

Girls in Awe as Monarch Flies Away
The girls watching a a monarch
that they raised from a caterpillar
fly in front of them. 
This particular monarch stayed around them
for quite a while before flying to the pasture. 
It was such a memorable and amazing moment for us all!

Prior to adopting Sophia in 2000, I was content with running a non-profit organization that I founded that offered art and farm camps to children; a teen mentorship program; and volunteer program for individuals, families, corporate teams, and individuals required to do court-ordered community service.  A good percentage of my year was spent writing proposals and seeking funding to do the camp program; and writing curricula for each of the camp weeks. 

Once Sophia and Olivia were adopted from orphanages in China, and their special needs were diagnosed in the United States (both came with referrals as “healthy” children), life took a very different…and unexpected…turn. 

With Olivia requiring in-home therapy multiple days per week from an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and special education instructor combined with therapy that I needed to do with her multiple times per day, my decision to end my outside-of-the-home career was necessary.

Playing in the Body Sack
Sophia and Olivia playing in the Body Sack I made.
It was designed so that they could go into the tube of fabric
and move, crawl, and stand up
(they were small enough to do that at the time this picture was taken).
It helped both of them with their sensory issues
(sensory integration dysfunction); and
helped them identify where their bodies started and ended
(a proprioceptive issue).

I have learned a tremendous amount over the past 11 years in terms of special needs; health/medical issues; developmental delays; learning disabilities; educational philosophies and methods; and a variety of subjects that I have taught the girls….just to name a few areas of growth.

Womanhood, though, isn’t limited to child rearing. While this is certainly an important role and is central to many women’s lives, there is so much more that we (as women) are called to do.

One of the things that I believe celebrates being a woman (and that I try to make a central focus of my life) is is of helping and serving others – whether people are struggling financially, emotionally, or physically.  Women can help individuals outside their family or they can choose to focus on providing support and care for their own family or aging parents.

Looking at the Sensory and Memory Quilt
My dad looking at the sensory and memory quilt
that I made for him (he has Alzheimer’s Disease). 
I gave him the quilt for Christmas 2009.

As the Washington Post reported in its June 16, 2009 issue, “Assistance for frail elders comes, the majority of the time, from a single individual. More specifically, from a woman: Seven of every 10 adult children who help frail parents are daughters.”

Another way in which women can celebrate their gifts is by working with their hands and sharing their creativity with others.  I believe that creativity can inspire, encourage, and even provide comfort to others. With only one lifetime given to us, it’s important to use our time wisely to make things that are wholesome, beautiful, nourishing, and inspiring. 

Mary Mom Me Sophia Olivia
From left to right:  My sister, my mom, me,
Sophia, and Olivia on my mom’s 80th birthday (April 24, 2010).
I made the quilt she’s holding. 
It has the handprints of each family member on white squares. 
On the blue squares, I hand-embroidered words that
were qualities her family used to describe her.

As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” It’s worth taking some time to think about how you can make a difference with your gifts and skills.

The poem, Beauty of a Woman, was written by the late eduactor-humorist Sam Levinson for his grandchild and read by Audrey Hepburn on Christmas Eve, 1992.  I think it is a wonderful poem that celebrates womanhood:

For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things,
have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,

you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands,

one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in

the clothes she wears,
the figure she carries,
or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman
must be seen from her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman
is not in a facial mole,
but true beauty in a woman
is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
the beauty of a woman
with passing years—only grows.

Harvest Moon by Hand celebrates womanhood with the following products:

Set of three fabric bags that can hold gifts for a special woman in your life.
A peaceful image of a swan to hang in your window
made from hand-poured beeswax.
A set of upcycled notecards made from wallpaper samples.
Wonderful for sending a beautiful greeting or thank you letter to
a woman who has made a difference in your life.
A hand-embroidered needlebook made with all-natural wool felt.
If you sew and share your skills with others,
a needlebook is a good way to keep your needles and pins handy.
A four-color window star to beautify one’s home.
Window stars are lovely gifts for birthdays and Mother’s Day.
The UWIB team has many inspiring and creative women who are participating in this month’s Blog Hop.  Please take some time to visit these women and see how they are celebrating womanhood:

Audrey Fetterhoff http://audreygardenlady.blogspot.com/
Linda Stranger http://capecodjewel.blogspot.com/
Judy Woodley http://wellspringcreations.blogspot.com/
Janet Bocciardi http://www.honeyfromthebee.com/
Ann Rinkenberger http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/ (you are here right now)
Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri http://elephunkstrunk.blogspot.com/
Wendy Kelly http://blog.vintageday.com/
Cory Trusty http://aquarianbath.blogspot.com/
Karen Terry http://jmjcreations.blogspot.com/

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This week I continued working on the 30 Days to Simpler Life project. Each day, Fairy Tale Mama at Enchanted Schoolhouse posts an activity from the book 30 Days to a Simpler Life.  

The projects so far have been ones I’ve wanted to do, but haven’t made the time for…or ones that weren’t on my list of things to do, but have been good to do in an effort to de-clutter and simplify my life.  Here are the actions for the past week:

Day #15 – Today seek, sort, and organize the keys to everything in your life—cars, boats, bike locks, gates, sheds, houses, and offices. Purchase key labelers and rings and make duplicates, if needed. Finally, create a place just for keys. Install a rack or board with pegs or nails and label it so missing keys can be identified. This system works well for duplicate and seldom-used keys.

For everyday keys, we have three suggestions: 1) Put a basket by the front door for family members to deposit their keys. 2) Hang a hook inside your entry door. 3) Provide each family member with his own complete set of keys. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 93)

Having hooks for keys was something that I put inside my kitchen cupboard many years ago because I was constantly misplacing keys.  After coming through the mudroom, the kitchen is the next place people enter.  Since keys were often just tossed on the counter, it made sense to have a place to hang them when coming in from outside. 

What I didn’t do was label each key hook which is a good idea.  So, I did that this week.

Key hooks with labels

In this process, I went through all the keys in the kitchen drawer (over a dozen) and tried them on the locks on the doors.  None of the keys matched any of the locks, so I threw them away. No point in keeping them when they don’t open anything.

Day #16 – Declutter your desktop and surrounding counters. Spend at least an hour sorting and tossing. Make your work space the most efficient area in your life. Clutter is especially annoying when it is on your desk or in your office. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 100)

Normally my desk does not look like this.  In the process of cleaning over the past 15 days, I have simply dumped items onto the desk that need action in the short-term.

Desk before cleaning. 
It’s become a dumping ground during the cleaning process. 
(Again…this is not representative of what my desk normally looks like.)

My goal was not simply to clean it and put the items in a pile or file folders.  I wanted to look at each piece of paper and take some form of action on it.  At that point, the paper could then be filed or recycled.  After I was done, my desk looked like this:

My desk…after.

Day #17 – Organize your computer life.  To simplify your computer life, make three piles: pile one, manuals; pile two, floppy discs and CD-ROMs; and pile three, registration materials and bills of sales. Read on to discover how to handle these piles. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 111)

I had some boxes and computer discs on my desk which were just taking space.

Computer disks and program boxes
taking up space on my desk.

In addition to these items, I don’t have a tremendous amount of manuals and registration materials so I was able to place them all in a bin.  The floppy disks and CD-ROMs are all together now. 

Bin with computer disks and programs.

Day #18 – Go for Financial Freedom – To achieve financial freedom, first figure out what you have and then manage it well. Today, collect your documents that are associated with large assets—documents for your car, house, investments, and so on—and put them in one filing cabinet called Assets.

For your house: file your deed, purchase contract, closing papers, title policy, and insurance papers. For your investments: file confirmations, year-end statements, and tax reporting forms. For cars: file ownership papers, registration documents, and insurance papers. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 116)

Rather than follow what was recommended, I am continuing to use the system I have set-up.  All the important papers regarding the house are located in the safe deposit box at the bank (e.g., deed, purchase contract, closing papers, title policy). To me, this is the best place to keep documents that there is only one copy of and that are critically important.  For the home owners insurance policy information, I have a file in my desk.

For investments, I use to put them in my files in my desk.  However, I realized that it might be easier (if anything happened to me) to have everything in a 3-ring binder. When I did filing last month, I shredded all old paperwork and kept only the most recent statements for all investments, bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.

This binder is the second item in my desk drawer (the first item are receipts and paperwork for 2011 income taxes).  In this way, the most critical paperwork is located in an easy-to-find spot.

For the car, everything is in one file folder in my desk. 

Day #19 – Run Fewer Errands – Today, create a box for errands. You can use a great-looking basket, plastic tub, or shopping bag. Whatever works. Keep it by the door and fill it with film to be developed, shoes to be repaired, purchases to be returned, and papers to be taken to the copy center. On errand day, take the box in the car. When you come home, it will be empty. What a feeling! (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 123)

Since I live about 14 miles from the closest town that has the public library, grocery stores, Target, and other stores where I get household items, it is – by necessity – that I’ve grouped errands for the past 15+ years. 

In the kitchen, the washer/dryer unit is built so that there is a space for the top-loading washer to open.  I’ve placed my bag as well as items that needed to be taken for errands there.

Generally, I put items in cloth bags for each location where I need to go (e.g., one bag for books/CDs/DVDs that go to the library; one bag for books that need something photocopied).

My bag plus two bags for errands
(each bag has items that go to different locations).

The mudroom also has a bag for items that are going to be donated.  Whenever someone comes across something that is no longer needed or wanted, or no longer fits, it goes into the donation bag.  When the bag is filled, it goes to Family Pathways (the non-profit thrift shop). 

Day #20 – Be Mindful, Savor Time – Today, practice living in the present—not in fast forward or reverse. Do one mundane job with your full attention. When you pay attention in your daily life, whatever you do becomes transformed.

Step 1. Sit still for a few minutes before beginning the next activity on your To Do list. Focus on your breathing. When you feel calm, centered, and grounded, turn your attention to your task. Next, walk slowly to the site of your task.

Step 2. Now do the job slowly and deliberately. Perform this act as if it were your last.

Step 3. When mental and physical distraction arise, remind yourself to refocus. If the interruption is about something you must do later—such as calling the plumber—write it down and return to your chore. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 131)

I tried doing this a few times during the day, the first time being when I was organizing homeschooling resources.  I was going through my closet and bookshelf in my office to look at the curricula and books that I have for the girls’ education.  My goal is to go through everything before the homeschool conference this month so I know what I have on hand so that I’m purchasing only what I absolutely need for the 2011-2012 school year.

As I was dividing the curricula and books into different categories (e.g., use for next year; sell at upcoming curriculum fair; donate; books to read this year), I found it was easy to do the job slowly and deliberately because I needed to looked at each resource and make a decision. 

Since my mind was focused on the task at hand – and there was a purpose to it – I didn’t find that there were mental distractions.  I did have a few other distractions (e.g., cats exploring what I was working on, Olivia asking what I was doing and expressing interest in starting the Character First! curriculum right away).

Another task that I did that I enjoy, but is mundane in that it is repetitive and doesn’t require much mental concentration, is making window stars.  I had several orders that I needed to complete today.  Since I have made each of the stars that were ordered many times, I found it difficult to “practice living in the present.” 

I kept thinking of things that needed to be done (e.g., call about my parents’ long-term health care insurance, fill out my dad’s V.A. paperwork, do the laundry) or was interrupted with questions from the girls regarding what they were working on (e.g., “How do I reduce this fraction?” “Could you check my long division?” “I need help with the ‘short e’ page?” “What do I do on this page?”).

Spring Rainbow Star
One of the window stars I made today.

Day #21 – – Travel Light in Style – Set up a Travel Center today. Include travel lists, travel documents, travel accessories, frequent flyer information, travel destination files, and books on travel. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 136)

Travel Center:

Put your travel phone numbers (airlines, frequent flyer numbers, passport numbers, etc.) in one place.

Make permanent travel lists for what to pack, thing to do before you leave, house sitter instructions, household operations (e.g. how to run the sprinkler system, the alarm system, etc.), and medical release forms for your children for caregivers.

Put all your travel accessories (e.g. earplugs, eye shades, neck pillows, etc.) in one place.

Make travel folders for frequent flyer miles and trips (i.e. upcoming trip, trips I’ve taken, trips I’d like to take).

Create an area for travel books.

I use to travel a lot more than I do now.  To make things simple, I use one airline and have one frequent flyer number.  In this way, points accumulate on one number and result in free airline tickets quicker rather than flying multiple airlines and spreading miles across different numbers/airlines.

At this point in my life, traveling is a luxury which I wish I could do. I have no trips scheduled requiring air travel or being gone an extended period of time (more than a few days).  Thus, I didn’t want to spend much time with this activity only because there are other things that need my attention at this time. 

However, I do have a file folder filled with magazine clippings of places I would love to travel to someday.  Some of the destinations are within the state, but many are places much further away (domestic and international) that I hope to be able to visit at some point in the future. 

When I was cleaning my office closet, I found some travel books from AAA, but they were outdated and from a trip that I took many years ago.  I recycled them since they were more than a few years old, and I do not plan on returning to that location in the immediate future.

Two books that relate to education and travel.

I did find two books on the bookshelf in my office that related to travel, so these are now together on the shelf.

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This is the second month that the Unique Women in Business team on Etsy has done a blog hop.  This month’s theme is Spring. 

Some of my first thoughts when I think of the signs of spring in Minnesota are:

– the geese and other migratory birds returning

Girls Walking Towards Geese
Sophia and Olivia trying to get a
closer view of the geese

– sprouts of bright green grass emerging from the ground and freshly-plowed pastures

On a Walk in the Pasture
Olivia (and Sophia in the background)
on an early-spring walk in a near-by cornfield

– buds appearing on trees

Northern Magnolia Buds
Buds on the northern magnolia tree

– beautiful flowers

Yellow Tulips
Tulips in spring

– rainbows after nourishing spring rainfalls

Full Rainbow
Full rainbow in Duluth (Minnesota)

I enjoy seeing rainbows in the spring.  There’s something that’s so uplifting about them that represents the return of goodness and happiness (like the sun after the rain). 

As one of Harvest Moon by Hand’s customers recently said, “…There is always something good in bad situations! Your rainbows remind me of that…after the storm a rainbow will appear!”

So, to celebrate spring, I made two rainbow window stars.  The points of each star are individually folded multiple times.  Then, each point is glued together to reveal a pattern.

Two Rainbow Window Stars

The rainbow mandala (on the left hand side) is folded 9 times per point.  With 16 points, it takes 144 folds to make the design.

Rainbow Mandala
Rainbow mandala

The rainbow star with floral center (on the right hand side in the picture above) has 19 folds per point.  With 8 points, that’s 152 folds to make this star.

Spring Rainbow Star
Rainbow star with floral center

To see the different rainbow items that are available in Harvest Moon by Hand’s shop, please click HERE.
There are many great blogs to visit on the UWIB Blog Hop.  To see how others have interpreted the spring theme, please take a look at the participating blogs below:

Rita Wetzel http://ritascreativenest.com/

Jenn Nolda http://brynnsbeautifulbows.blogspot.com/

Ann Rinkenberger http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/ (You are here right now)

Robin Koehler http://www.nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com/

Linda Reynolds http://bellalindadesigns.net/

Audrey Fetterhoff http://audreygardenlady.blogspot.com/

Birgitte Hendricks http://sewdanish.blogspot.com/

Wendy Kelly http://blog.vintageday.com/

Janet Bocciardi http://www.honeyfromthebee.com/

Linda Stranger http://capecodjewel.blogspot.com/

Karen Terry-McDuffie http://jmjcreations.blogspot.com/

Judy Woodley http://wellspringcreations.blogspot.com/

Trudy Miller http://mommagoddesstreasures.blogspot.com/

Cory Trusty http://aquarianbath.blogspot.com/

Nancy Pace http://nancyswildwirejewelry.blogspot.com/

Lois Stifel http://foxygknits.com/

Jenn Brockman http://alexshares.com/

If you would like to check out UWIB’s bog, please click HERE.

Rainbow Mandala
Rainbow mandala that I colored with
Prismacolor color pencils
A thought to leave you with from an unknown source…
May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always carry a shilling or two,
May the sun always play on your window pane,
May a rainbow chase after each spot of rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May your heart be filled with gladness and cheer you.

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