Sunday, December 16, 2012

NINE DAYS UNTIL Christmas!!!!

Only five shipping days though!  Good news:
1) I have finally stocked my Etsy shop!!!  (yay!)  It is very time consuming to take pictures and list items, even with getting used to how it works.  But it's done, and hopefully the pictures do my work justice, though I am afraid they don't.
2) I created a Free Shipping Promo Code: URSHIPFREE18 that anyone can use for the next three days (through December 18th)!!!
3) My Etsy Shop now accepts debit/credit cards! (Formally, only Paypal and checks were allowed).
Here are some examples of my work.  Have a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Handmade Holidays!

Handmade Holidays was a HUGE success!!!  I want to thank EVERYONE who came out and made it so!
The Vendors were A M A Z I N G, seriously, there was so much great stuff there!  The talent!  The uniqueness!  I think we were all blown away by the sheer skill in this very large rooms.  The Wilma Rudolph Convention Center was huge!  I think it's so wonderful that the people of Clarksville (and surrounding areas) and those on vacation here came out to support local and shop Handmade!

It was my first show to vend in of that magnitude and it went WONDERFULLY!  The "wrap bracelets" were the biggest seller at my table- as they practically flew off the table (YAY!!!).  I am now working hard on a few special orders I received and also working hard to make more beads & bracelets for the Winter Market and Lylewood Inn's Craft Fair!

Thanks again for making it a success friends!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Handmade Holidays
If you are wondering where to find me (and I truly hope you are!):
November 16th: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
November 17 & 18: Handmade Holidays @Liberty Park Marina - Wilma Rudolph Convention Center.   Saturday 10:00-6:00.  Sunday 12:00-5:00.
November 23rd: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
November 25th: Lylewood Inn  Bed & Breakfast 12:00pm- 4:00pm
November 30th: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
December 7th: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
December 14th: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
December 21st: Winter Holiday Market 9:30-1:00 @Smith Trahern Mansion
My goal is to have the rest of my inventory listed on Etsy by December 1 to give all of my wonderful customers at least two weeks to place orders, as the last order will need to be placed by December  14 (for shipping purposes).

If you are thinking about requesting custom orders, now is the time!

I can't wait to see you at the Holiday Markets!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hold onto your Jingle Bells!

It's NOVEMBER!!!  I had imagined that I would say that I am busy working like an elf in Santa's workshop for all of my sweet & wonderful friends who want their gifts to come from a "Made by Hand (from recycled materials)" friend. many of you know we adopted two puppies a week ago.  That was, how can I explain this?  They are so cute and so sweet and so fun to play with and watch.  And yet, they pee and poop all over the place!!!!  They are incredibly messy and have yes, caused me a few tears of frustration.  I try to be a good mommy-figure to them and take them out every hour, but it's just not enough I guess.  Ha!  Oh well, one day they'll get it, right?  Until then...well, just pray for me, will ya?  I am not a "dog person" or even close, but I know the benefits of having pets, especially a dog, and I am learning some (obviously) much needed patience and grace.
Well, my life may never return to normal...but I must keep trying to stock my inventory which means create & recreate!  I LOVE doing just that!  So, I have a new necklace coming out soon and more wrap bracelets and of course earrings.  Hopefully, I will get some coasters and bookmarks done!  And, I will also have Laundry Soap made and available to any of my customers who wish to purchase that during the Winter season.

I am still trying to figure out "WHERE" you will be able to find me this Winter.  I would like to vend the Winter Market (at least until Christmas) on Fridays at the Smith-Trahern Mansion from 9:30-1:30, but I am not sure how that will work with preschool for my youngest.  
I am also considering the Handmade Holidays "A Crafters Bazaar" which sounds perfect, but costs $100 to vend.  At that rate, I'd have to raise my prices.  This is something I've already given much thought to, and it's coming.  Many customers & friends have encouraged me to to charge more, knowing that it takes me a lot more time than I consider.  I know they are right.  So, upon deeper review, my prices are going up and I should start making closer to the true value of my time, supplies, and all of the other factors involved (packaging, labels, promotion, etc...). 

Thanks for being a follower and a fan!  You make the difference with every choice you make!  I'll keep you updated!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Favorite Market Moments #3 & #4

#3 - Seeing one of my former college professors from Austin Peay State University at the Market and getting to tell her what an impact she'd made on me!  At the same time we saw our children's pediatrician walk by after purchasing produce from the Food Initiative.  Love to see our community "leaders" supporting the Market and a healthier lifestyle!

#4 - My first return customer (that actually remembered to bring back his jugs) and get his .50c/jug credit and purchase two more bottles of Laundry Soap!
My view from my Market booth!
I've had lots of return customers (love that!!!) but he was the first to bring back jugs for credit - so I was super excited!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Are you a Playdough Parent?

Playdough sells to the parent, not the child.  Actually, the children who get MOST excited about the playdough I sell at the market are the ones who already have a parent who lets them really play with it. They already know.
Many parents simply say N O.  They do not want to deal with the mess.  
Now, I'm not condemning them for not buying playdough!  There are days that I don't want to mess with it either.  
But back when I taught Preschool and brought out playdough the kids would be ecstatic!  They loved markers and scissors too!  Because they weren't allowed to touch them at home.  It makes me smile, but it does make me a little sad too.  
Children love creating.  They need to develop their fine motor skills.  And they love using their imagination.  It gets messy, sure.  

But is it worth it?  I ask.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thanks for Stopping by.

I am one of those people who don't really mind door-to-door evangelism- and if I have the time, I will talk.  It helps me to remember what I believe when I share it with someone else and sometimes they are just the easiest.  I mean, they are standing right at my door reading verses from the Bible to me, so why not?  And I usually get the chance because they generally say something I don't get.

Today, for instance.  Two well-dressed men show up, one in his 60's, the other in his early 30's?  I am guessing the younger is interning to see what's done to carry on the ministry, because he says nothing.  Ever.  Older guy begins with there being "good people" and "bad people" in the world.  <<<<<Hault>>>>>>>  I mean we all have made "bad" choices right?  Does that make us "bad people?"  It's a choice, right?  Clearly, I was not hearing him correctly.  "Well, yes," he said, "it's true.  But there are really BAD PEOPLE in the world."  Wow.  Enlightening. Not.
I won't bore you with the ongoing semi-debate that we had, but I will tell you my conclusion:  I am not going to say I am in with "you"-- "you good people" just because I am a Jesus-Loving Christian.  I have evil tendencies and thoughts that sometimes I act upon (ugh!) and sometimes I have to reign in and release to God Every. Single. Day!  And some days are harder than others.  And in my early twenties it felt darn near impossible!!
I don't think I'm the "bad people" either.  But I am NO BETTER than the lady sitting in prison because she made the choice to steal: food, alcohol, cigarettes, food stamps, whatever.  We are both in need of the SAME Grace.  The grace that One Man, One God gave for us all (equally to us all) on the Cross to save us from this mess (that we call sin).  And I need it more than one amazing time, more than daily...more like moment by moment.  Just because she acted on a certain temptation (that others may deem horrific) or didn't have direction or encouragement in her in her LIFE does not mean she's "bad."  C'mon man!   Don't show up at my house telling me this or expecting me to choose a SIDE.  I won't hear it and I won't choose.

It's confusing.
I am generally a nice person.
Yet, there is an evil that wants its way with me. 
I have a Power within me that has already won the victory over this evil.
And I am amazing. 
Yet, I am low like the dust of the earth.
I live and walk and breathe because of God's great Love.
But, I forget this far too often and act in my own way.
I need His Grace desperately.

It can be confusing.  But it is so worth pondering and living- within the beautiful balance.  Because there is SO much more than we can ever understand about it all.  That's what makes it such a glorious mystery!  Grace.  Love.  Victory.

And so I'm sorry (no I'm not) but sides only separate and PULL us further from the truth that God created each one of us and wants every one of us as His own.

Everyone gets to choose 
It's so freakin' Amazing: this LOVE -- our C H O I C E.

Friday, August 31, 2012

At the Market this Saturday, September 1st!

I am so excited that tomorrow it is September!  That is probably because I loathe August.  I know that is not nice.  But, August is simply defined in my head as: Hot & Humid.  It hasn't been that bad, honestly.  Still, September always sounds more like Fall, which seems more promising.  Odd that July is my favorite month of the year, October shortly following, with April close behind October.
Anyways, there are reason for all of this, but I'll have to share them another time, as I am working hard tonight to ensure I have plenty of stock for tomorrow's Market day!  There will be no Downtown Market next weekend because of Riverfest, so tomorrow is a good morning to come out!
I regret that I have not been able to get my Etsy shop up and running again since the Market has started last May.  But I just do so much work for the Market that it seems too much at the time.   Hopefully, next year I'll be able to simultaneously do both!
(p.s. it is a wonderful "problem" to have and I thank all of my customers for such success!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Favorite Market Moments #1 & #2

Okay, I am just now starting my list of Favorite Market Moments.  I've had previous ones as well, and as I have time I will post them too.  But I have to just start, so here it goes:

#1 (This one was two weeks ago) A woman walking by said, "Those are the same ingredients I use to make my Laundry Soap."  She was a few years older than me, okay maybe ten-fifteen years...and so I assumed that she'd been making it awhile and was aware of the cost savings and other benefits in making your own laundry soap.   I mean, a lot of people are, they tell me all of the time!  But she stopped, turned, and said, "You know, I think I'll just buy yours and save myself some time."  Surprised me!
But as I thought more about this...I realized:  I know how to make my own bread.  I know the cost savings and the benefits.  But I don't have time right now!  I also know how to do a vast variety of other things.  But we can't do everything we know how to do, or want to do!  So there.  Sometimes we have let others do it for us and pay them for their work.  It's just the way it is.  It makes the world diverse anyway and allows each of us to use our own gifts!

#2 (Last Saturday) I had a returning customer, a sweet girl about the age of 6 or 7?  and her older sister 8? 9?  The younger sister had bought a pair of earrings from me previously and she was wearing them.  I love to see people wearing my work!  LOVE it!  So, naturally I was excited!  They were returning to purchase more and the younger sister bought a wrap bracelet and the older sister, a tie necklace.  I had other customers at the time also, so they paid me and moved to the side so the dad could tie the necklace onto the older daughter.  My heart melted!  This family of four walked away as my crowd was clearing and so I called out to them "Thanks again!  Have a wonderful weekend!."  And I thought to myself, they are like a walking, advertising family for my artwork creations.  It is moments like this that make all of the time and effort worth it.  LOVE it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Community Garden Harvest

Here I am raking off the dry grass from the garden
Here we are starting the whole process.  Phil got the LAND and tilled up the garden.

 I was already babysitting Miles this day so I just kept him in Brielle's former sling (lovingly made to fit me perfectly) and he was happy.

This garden is where the tomatoes & squash will be planted.  The lower garden contained the corn.

Planting Seeds!

 I don't have any pictures of the tomatoes growing...but we went back and weeded them a couple of times and they grew (despite the drought) and so did the corn.  We harvested corn first.  I was working at the Downtown Market, so I missed the picking & shucking of the corn but here are their pics:

 Then we all gathered at the Catchims' to clean, bag, & freeze the corn.  FUN, sticky, & an all around good time!

Two weeks later, after taking turns picking tomatoes and delivering them to the Catchims' house, we met back there again to can the tomatoes!

We divided everything equally.

And that is communal gardening!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I am super excited to be vending this Friday Night at my very first ever Jammin' in the Alley/Downtown Night Market!!!  My husband and I have been there for a "date night" before, but this is the first time as a vendor. Most of the vendors have said they generate more interest and sales on Saturday mornings of course, but I'm just going to give it a try for the fun of it.  If nothing else, there is a band called Yesterday! playing and I am hoping they might be a Beatles Tribute Band? 

So....the Market is going WELL!!!  If you are one of those nice people who have picked up one of my cards and have come to my website to see what's going on (or even if you are a regular follower) here's the jest:
I am at the Clarksville Downtown Market *most* Saturday mornings 8am-1pm.  I sell Homemade Laundry Soap (64oz bottles) for $3.00 a bottle and $2.50 if you return a previous jug.  I'm already getting return customers and I'm super excited!  The laundry soap is great and we use it solely and love it.  I also sale Homemade Play dough for $2.00 a bag.  This too is great! (I would only sell something our family loved and used regularly, if that helps.)  It doesn't dry out easily and is made of non-harmful ingredients.  I had requests to make scented play doughs, so I tried it, and people either loved it (and bought it) or said their kids would eat it, it smelled so good!  Ha!  Okay, so I'm not going to make scented for awhile and see if I get any more requests for it.
Last, and my favorite is:  I personally hand roll all of my beads out of recycled papers (I generally use calendars-- to give away my secret).  Then I make them into necklaces, earrings, or wrap bracelets.  The earrings fly off the table.  I most likely will have to raise my price because I cannot keep up with the demand for them.  The braided-tie necklaces that double as wrap bracelets are close behind.  I sell those for $7.  I had a customer from Canada last Saturday (who sells bar soap at the market there) tell me that those same necklaces would sell for $25 at a Canadian Market!  I said, "what?? Is that because of the currency exchange difference?"  She said, "no, no, no.  The dollar value is the same there.  It's just that in Canada there is already and appreciation and awareness of hand crafted items.  And people there want unique." 

I think that the customers who frequent the Downtown Market already hold this view also... OR they soon will. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Market Love!

If you haven't yet been to the Clarksville Downtown Market, you are sorely missing out!  I went there yesterday and must say I do love being a customer as well as a vendor!   I purchased this beautiful ceramic mug to have enjoy my coffee in!  I LOVE it!  Isn't it so beautiful?  They had so many more that I loved, it was so hard to choose.  I called it my "early" birthday gift.  Personally, I would like to buy something unique like this from every vendor EACH Saturday!  Remember, the Market is located around the City Hall building Downtown Clarksville and operates every Saturday from 8am-1pm (unless extreme heat, then 7a-11p).
My mom gave me my gift a few days early this year: a beautiful Indian wrap skirt (picture coming) from my favorite Arkansas hippie shop: For Mother Earth.  That store has taken some of my inventory and begun selling it there.  I'm so excited!!!!   That is also where I purchased my Utopian Rope Sandals which a lot of people ask me about.

Also, I've developed an absolute LOVE for Peppers this year!  They are plentiful at the Market and I'm not sure if my love extends from that or if it's the other way around.  My favorite thing to do with them?  Grilled cheese!  The sourdough bread from Evawood Bakery (sold at the Market- but must come early) or Silke's Bakery (sliced Italian) works best! Butter each side, lay down 1/2 slice of provolone cheese, slice up the peppers (be sure to remove seeds inside first) lay down the other 1/2 slice cheese.  SOOOO YUM!  *if I have a fresh tomato I'll usually add a slice or two after grilling is completed.  I also add the peppers to my eggs, kielbasa, spaghetti.....anything goes.  They are in season now so enjoy while you can!  
I like to be up on the hill at the Market and two times I've been near Pappas Peppers Pizza Oil (Mr. Pappas owns).  He sells peppers and makes great pizza oil (Josh is hooked) plus he's a super nice guy.  He'll give you free sample if you stop by!

More to come on my Birthday plans for tomorrow!!!  Stay tuned.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why do what we do?

So okay, awhile back we were hanging out with friends and a question addressed to me was, "so I've seen people raising their hands when singing those songs in church and I'm wondering what is the point of that? Why do that?"
Hmmmmm.....Good question!
Well, why to do people clap or cheer? Why do they pump their fists at rock concerts? Shout for joy when they hear exciting news? Whoop & holler or jump up and down when they are excited? Bow their heads or kneel down during a prayer?
My answer was... "it's an expression? An act of worship."
Truth is: I used to wonder the same thing! I grew up in a very conservative church that sang straight from the hymnal- sans instruments. There was no act of expression, unless you count standing, sitting, or bowing your head (and we were instructed when to do so).
The first time I physically knelt while singing a song I felt a very humble way rush over me. I couldn't explain it, but there was a connection with singing a praise to my King while bowing before Him.
Imagine my surprise when I was attending church with a friend and full out dances evoked (involving long colorful ribbons), and people were raising their hands and shouting, "Hallelujah!!"  At the time I felt mildly uncomfortable, but intrigued.

Then, one day I was standing in my kitchen listening to a David Crowder Band cd I felt it. So, I thought, why not?  Singing this song, I raised my hand, and with my heart worshipped my King. I cried. I felt free. In public gatherings I have felt it since, this strong urge to raise my hands in praise to God the Father and our King. Initially, I suppressed it. Several times actually. I had never openly worshipped in a physical way like that publicly, and it went against what I'd been accustomed to.  I mean, we were made to run, jump, clap, sing, yell, play, and dance! Why? -no When did praising God and worshipping Him become limited to just singing to Him? How did that happen? Who exampled to us that that made the only sense ?  Time and time again, year after generations of Christians - sing together, pray together, and learn a spiritual message together. That has been the routine.  And that's fine if simpling singing is a person's way of worshipping.  I'm not saying it isn't!  It's fine. There is something very powerful about hundreds, even thousands, of people coming together and singing praises to the One King, Almighty God. I'm way for that!  But I can't believe that God, in His infinite CREATIVE wisdom, designing us all uniquely, created us to worship Him in only "certain" ways. 

My friend asked a good question.
Why DO people do what they DO?

I have never seen spontaneous African dance in person, but have you ever seen the videos? They are so expressive! They sing, they feel, they express it in dance. It's amazing. There are a lot more expressive ones that this:
but I just tried to imagine a dance such as this within the confines of a "typical" American worship service.
Well, today I freely raise my hands to praise God publicly, privately, whenever I feel compelled (or moved) to do so. I sit too and bow my head somtimes. When I am home I dance. Yes, I do. I sing, I write, I run, I pray, I ask, I listen, I smell, I see, I serve, I create, I love....all of these an act of worship. An expression. A response. Of the heart. Of the body. 
I even imagine a day when no one is questioned for using their art or expressions, in whatever form (morally conceived, naturally) to worship God --and when they truly feel free to do so. Because we all are. Free to worship Him. However we may choose.

Friday, July 6, 2012

To Market! To Market!

Tomorrow is Market day!  I'm super excited, despite that I was just there last Saturday!  The hours are  7am-11am, just like last Saturday, due the the triple-digit heat.
 My friend, Tiffany, was kind enough to take these market photos from a few weeks ago.  Most of you know that I sell Homemade Laundry Soap, Handcrafted Play Dough, and Hand Rolled beads that I string into various forms of jewelry.  I also roll coasters as seen below.  They take about two hours to roll & seal...whew!  But they are fun!  I wish I could produce more, more, more (of everything) but alas....
I have a family.  That means my full time job is with them.  Wife.  Mom.  It's the best job EVER, but to actually do well at it requires focus and attention...  to the people dwelling and coming and going around these the dishes and the bank account and the sounds.  The sounds are important.  So are the silences.  Because life with each other, while sometimes so full of joy and love, can also be messy.  I'm not saying it is my full time job to "work things out."  It's not.  But it is my goal to help guide and direct these not-so-little people in my life.  Thank God I have His help!  I'd screw it up on my own...and I know that from experience! 
Now, why am I talking about my real job?  I suppose because it is my most important! Another important job of mine is loving on a special certain five month old baby on weekday afternoons! 
But, I've also been working on restocking my inventory for the Downtown Market and that has been fun & challenging.  I have made so many new friends.  I have been amazed at the people God brings to my booth on Saturday Market mornings.  People are so supportive and appreciative of the work I do.  Some people have returned to find me!  It's so COOL!  My friends here in Clarksville find me and hang out chatting and I love it!
 I love creating something with my hands and seeing it move into the hands of its new owner and the admiration on their face--then I know it was worth the time and effort I put into upcycling that old calendar into something wearable!
The Market has been going so well that I haven't even touched my Etsy shop, despite that I've been giving out the web address to everyone.  I am going to try and blog weekly (I know I've made this effort before in the past and failed).  But I am really going to TRY!!!

Summer here in Tennessee is HOT.  I don't mind heat much.  I was born mid-July and had most every birthday party in my backyard (thanks Mom!) and in the pictures we were all sweaty. smiley happy little kids.  Today's kids are spoiled rotten with air conditioning.  I know, I know, mine too.  Me too.  But sometimes mine get out there, you know.  Like last night.  They have a new program here in Clarksville called "Summer Night Lights" and I encouraged them to ride their bikes down to it last night and they loved it.  Came back drenched.  Also, I am playing (and co-coaching with my brave husband) womens' softball.  It's far more fun playing that I thought, after playing four seasons of co-ed softball. 
As for the rest of our summer it has looked like this:  shuttling teens to church camps, preschooler to swim lessons, library programs, swimming, teen to kayaking, teen to basketball camp in Nashville, preschooler to tumbling camp, teen to football camp, swimming...  And of course the tragedy of loosing my mother-in-law of 17 years unexpectedly (she was 60).  She was my husband's mom who lived here locally the past few years with his dad (married 38 years?), who was close to her grandchildren, three of them being has been a shift in life for us all.
Then the truck quit Tuesday.  We are hoping it is fixable, and my ever-capable husband is attacking it in all his spare time.  I am confident that he will do everything in his power to restore it, as time is sensitive...
I have been trying to find reasons to pick up "Catching Fire" then reasons to put it down, and have taken to eating peppers from the market.  I have some made some Amazing Lunches!  More on that later.....  see you at the Market!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fan Like This

I'm procrastinating.  My mother-in-law, Sharon, has probably read every blog I have ever posted (some twice).  From Blue Moments to Unearthed Roots, she has followed me.  She always encouraged me to write.  She would tell me, "Jenna, never stop writing." And if I went a long time without blogging, she would say, "I know your busy, but I haven't seen you blog in awhile."  Because I procrastinate.  I know I have things to say.  She knew I had things to say.  Sure, she wanted to read them, but I think she knew more that I needed to write to express what I think, how I feel.  She liked my pictures and my musings...she was one of my biggest fans.
And now, everyone is asleep still.  My house, full of eleven, 8:41am is quiet.  We are all tired from the last three days.  The thoughts, the going on ourselves.  The realization of life and immortality.  The uncertainty of what is to come.  We laugh and eat and hang out and then it is quiet and we remember why we have come together.  All nineteen of us.  It can get loud, but her voice above all others would have rang louder.  We all know that.  And while we can hear it, we can't, and it feels strange - to me it does at least.  She was so loud.  Who thinks they are going to miss the loud?  It caught me off guard.  
Procrastinating, I was wandering through my Facebook page, just seeing what she "Liked" in the last week or so...and the picture of me selling for the first time at the Downtown Market.    She commented, "So Blessed to have this wonderful creative woman as part of my family!"  
I will miss her encouraging words. About my blog. About my recycled creative art pieces. But fortunately (ha!), she was loud enough that I should be able to hear her encouraging words long into the years to come.
She loved God and all of her family and friends very much.  She enjoyed reading and perusing the www, especially inhabiting FB and online games.  I know many will miss her because of continued involvement in their lives, whether it was in person, via phone, or online.  She was especially proud of her grandchildren: Josh, Tyler, Austin, Archer, JonPaul, & Brielle.  Especially proud.  I know they will miss her encouragement & "Grandma" privileges.  
I know she is in amazing place right now, so I am happy for her honestly.  She talked so much that if I listen, I can almost hear her telling me about it!  "Oh Jenna, it's so beautiful, if you could just see this and that and on.....and on......and on....."  That's the way she was. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

How went the Market:

I had a few people tell me they looked for me at the Market this past Saturday, and unfortunately I was not there.  I only have certain dates I am permitted to sell, so to make it easier I'll keep them posted at the top of this blog throughout the summer, but they are:  May 26th, June 9th, June 30th, July 7th, July 28th, August 4th, August 18th, August 25th, September 1st, September 15th, September 29th, October 13th, October 20th
My first time selling there was wonderful!  I really loved the customers and I guess that I hadn't considered that part much.  But being out there, hearing them talk, seeing their interest in my hand crafted was so inspiring and encouraging!  They also had great tips and advice and they really helped me know what styles, colors, and designs to create more of as far as the jewelry was concerned.  
A few people asked if the play-dough was scented and I was listening!  I have made four varieties of scented play-dough that I am excited to share this upcoming Saturday!  
The laundry soap was a big hit too.  I brought 10 and came home with 3.  I believe in it and feel that when customers try it they will like it as much as we do, and come back for more (hopefully bringing the container to recycle and save .50!).  
Also, the other vendors were wonderful!  They were so supportive and friendly, it was a very vibrant atmosphere.  I really enjoyed myself.  If you haven't been to the market yet, you should really check it out, there are some great booths full of neat and useful items!  And of course, I personally hope to see you there!!! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Downtown Market!

I woke up at 5:32am.  Believe it or not it is already Light out at the time of day!  I'm so excited about selling at the Downtown Market this morning!  I'm a LOT nervous about setting up, but I know once I get past that I'm really going to enjoy myself.  I'm selling 13 dates this summer, which are spaced out and random, but I'm just super glad I get a vendor table at all!!  I'm so thankful that Clarksville provides a venue like this for the people here, Vendors and Customers!
So, I've been thinking about how this all got started with me....this "creating things."
And I've realized that it all began in my veins.  Which goes quite well with the name of my little work here "Unearthed Roots."  Discovering, Living who I am.  God created me.  He created this entire world.  He creates every day.  He is a Creator.  I believe He loves it.  He must.  I think I get it most from Him. 
My gramma is a crafter.  She loves to create with her hands.  When I was eleven and flew on a plane to visit her in Michigan by myself for the first time, I was able to sleep in her craft room.  I will never forget what I observed and how inspired I was.  There was a Feeling of creative flow there.  I think I get some of mine from her.
As for the practical creations (laundry soap?  play-dough?) well that very well may come from the other side of my family which in my opinion is mixed with Settlers and possible Indian heritage?  I'd LOVE to research that.  The more I create, the more I discover.  My roots are in the Ozark Mountains, Twin Lakes, and from their flowing Rivers.  My roots are in Germany and in Michigan.   My roots are in the creative possibilities! Yet I am not rooted in this world.  My roots are in Him, my Creator.  He is the Source from which I truly grow from.
Completely amazes me.'s to creating and roots!
Come visit me at the Downtown Market!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Rivers & Spires.  Yes, it was chilly! :)

Always excited to spend our afternoons with Miles!

I have been trying to get Brielle to write her name how I taught her too
(with lowercase e's) and she usually doesn't.  She surprised me with
this Stick-It note.  Upside-Down. 

All Smiles

Planting Seeds
Community Garden Planting
This sling continues just to get use! 

 These are just just a few Highlights from our lives over the past month.  Life is busier now that Miles comes in the afternoons.  The end of the school year snuck up on me, and now there are only 2 days left of school!   Soon, summer will be engulfing us and I hope, hope, hope to blog more.  The Downtown Market opens Saturday and I couldn't be more excited!  I will love to update & share my experiences there.  As well as my thoughts on life, which I believe are good now and possibly worth sharing :)  Thanks for reading.

First Trip to the ZOO!

Brielle & the Giraffes
Last bus trip downtown to MOPS :(

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Five short years

Many times I've heard people say, "If you would have told me __ years ago that I would be doing _________ I never would have believed you." I easily can say that of my life just five short years ago. I would not have believed it if someone had said to me:

1. You will have a four year old daughter.

2. You will have a daughter.

3. You will have labored at home, birthed in your SUV, nursed her till she was nearly three, carried her in sling nearly everywhere, and used cloth diapers!

4. You will not have a bachelors degree.

5. You will embrace a life as a wife, mom, homemaker, and afternoon baby care provider.

6. You will bake your own bread.

7. You will grow your own garden.

8. You will make your own laundry soap.

9. You will enjoy jogging.

10. You will play on a Co-Ed softball team with your husband.

11. You will take Public Transportation and advocate for it.

12. You will bike or walk to the stores you have always driven to --from the same house you've been living in (when you can).

13. You will have a blog. Yes, that blog you always tried not to have.

14. You will actually be somewhat involved in your teens' lives.

15. You will join a Moms' group and be an active part of it for four years.

16. Your deeply knitted church family will shift, people will move, and it will alter and restructure almost completely.

17.  YOU will change a lot in five short years.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Where I've discovered

I am here in Mountain Home (Arkansas) where part of my earthly roots extend from and go deep.  Deeper than I may ever know.  I love the mountains here.  They are vast and so soft on my eyes.  They aren't like Nevada, or even the Smokies and that is why they are sometimes referred to as hills.  But I call them mountains because they were.  They are.  My mom and I were driving to my favorite store around these parts and I realized that having grown up here I thought this was what the Earth looked like. 
Natural.  Beautiful.  Mountains.  Lakes.  Rivers.  Crystal clear waters.  Bluest sky.  Fresh air.
And just like that I took the seven years I lived here completely for granted.  I thought I was just passing through, as it could not be my destination. 
So, even though I canoed these waters and jumped off boats and bluffs in these coves.  Even though I sat on these rocks looking out at lake and sky and mountain hills, I did not know the deep deep beauty of it all.  The way my roots run deep here.  The roots that follow streams in bare feet and gather berries and grow gardens and bear babies and wipe the sweat off of the brow again and again.  The cool breeze.  The one that only day of saturated sweat can close the eyes and lean back the head and feel and appreciate. 
But now when I come back I can feel it.  These hills moan and call and beckon.  These waters rush and invite and I hear them.  Like the ocean once pulled me and I did not make it quite there, I feel drawn.  Not to stake new claims, but to enjoy, to appreciate.  To know.  This is where I came into the earth.  This is where I returned for my coming of age.  This is now where I hear the lost heartbeats of ancestors and feel the presence of God through His amazing and glorious creation of Earth and Sky.  He knows where I am.
He knows where I've been.
He know where this is going.
And I'm so small in it all.  But I'm here.  And I'm trying to pay attention and listen. 
These earthly roots.  My unearthed roots.  My roots in Him.  My home with Him.  This all a journey passing through.  All.  But not a second that isn't to be recorded or lived fully present, because this journey matters.  It matters so much!  It matters because it is a journey to Him, a journey with Him, the reason we were created.
I follow the sky and the horizon and feel my roots spread out wide and flow over this land and these mountains and rivers and lakes.  And like a tree stretching up to sky, branches, limbs, and leaves all lifted in highest adoration to the One who I sink my roots into deep now. 
To grow.  To unearth.  To discover who I am and where I am from.

For discovering all that it means on this journey...