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One Week

In one week, I'll be self-employed.

In one week, I'll be responsible for my own health insurance.

In one week, I'll set my own schedule.

In one week, I'll live in a new house.

Next Wednesday is not only my first day of full-time Blonde Chicken Boutique shenanigans, it's also Moving Day!

The whole family + the whole Boutique is moving (just across town).

To say I'm overwhelmed in as understatement.

Excited and nervous and scrambly and full of oh-my-goodness-what-did-I-forget sort of thoughts!

Last night I couldn't sleep and started thinking about ALL the yarn and fiber I need to pack before moving. And the unpacking! The new place will have a dedicated fiber studio (yay!) but I hate to be apart from my fiber for even a day or two.

So instead, instead of moving all that yarn across town,  what if I just send it to you?

How about free (domestic) shipping on any order over $50?

You'll be cheering up both of our weeks by heading over to the Boutique and stocking up handspun yarn, organic cotton and Spinnables.

(to get the free shipping, just place your Etsy order (of over $50) and wait for a CORRECT Paypal invoice)

This little moving sale will be on for just ONE WEEK and on July 1st, I'm going to close the Boutique until I'm all settled in my new studio.

When it reopens, it'll be filled with new and different yarns, so if you like what you see, snatch it up now!

Summer Manifesto

Each season I make a little list of the pleasures I want to soak in. I call them manifestos, but they’re really just love letters to the season. These seasonal lists are my own little things-to-do-before-the-moment-passes.
I hope to keep listing these, every Thursday, as a reminder to soak it in over the weekend (and as a mid-week cheer-up).

This past week has been less-than-fun. With my wheel breaking and just the general blah-ness of re-entry to the real world after a lovely vacation, I need a little cheering up.

And what could be cheery-er than reminding myself of all the  summer-ish activities left to be delighted in?

(and yes, I know it's technically not Summer, but I can't believe it's still Spring when the temperatures top 80 everyday)

Summer Fun that awaits me this week:

  • Rekindling my weekly date with the local farmer's markets
  • Checking out the newish  farmer's market in Jonesborough (perhaps applying to be a vendor there?)
  • Visiting my best-est friend and her husband. First time I'll see their home!
  • Begging my best-est friend for one of her life-changing massages
  • Enjoying the last of the local strawberries and making some more jam.
  • Getting some of these local blueberries!

Summer Vacation – Day 6

This week I’m on vacation on the lovely shore of Emerald Isle. But because I love my work, the Boutique is still open with new yarns everyday and I’m still talking to customers via email. So I’m away but still checking in. Each day I’ll be posting a few pictures from the vacation, especially the yarny inspiration.

Today I recovered from a super-mild case of sun poisoning (ugh) by laying around inside: Marathon Scrabble games and piecing a quilt.

Scrabble
Cut & ready fabric

Sewing strips

Summer Vacation – Day 3

This week I'm on vacation on the lovely shore of Emerald Isle. But because I love my work, the Boutique is still open with new yarns everyday and I'm still talking to customers via email. So I'm away but still checking in. Each day I'll be posting a few pictures from the vacation, especially the yarny inspiration.

Today we wandered the length of our island, just to see where it led. Then we checked out the local towns – Morehead City and Beaufort.  Beaufort's full of antique stores and marinas and the small but interesting North Carolina Maritime Museum. Threads & BUttons Hand-hewn boat whale bones (whale bones – as big as my head!)

Summer Vacation – Day 2

This week I'm on vacation on the lovely shore of Emerald Isle. But because I love my work, the Boutique is still open with new yarns everyday and I'm still talking to customers via email. So I'm away but still checking in. Each day I'll be posting a few pictures from the vacation, especially the yarny inspiration.

Today was a beach all-day sort of day. Lounging, soaking, and strolling.
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beach walk

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What I did on my Summer Vacation – Day 1

This week I'm on vacation on the lovely shore of Emerald Isle. But because I love my work, the Boutique is still open with new yarns everyday and I'm still talking to customers via email. So I'm away but still checking in. Each day I'll be posting a few pictures from the vacation, especially the yarny inspiration.

Today (Saturday) we got up early and drove the 8 hours to the coast of North Carolina. We stopped at a…colorful fruit stand, unpacked in our gorgeous beach house and hit the beachFruit stand

View from the Porch
View from the living room

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Beach
house at sunset

Making Jam

In our family, jam is more than just a sweet topping for your toast. It's a little jar of spring sunshine – preserved for the whole year. It's memory and taste and love.

Jay's Grandma Mary made jars and jars of jam every year – strawberry, raspberry, boysenberry (after her trips to Oregon). You always knew to take a few jars from the freezer when you ran out.
Knowing how my husband loved Grandma's jam, I asked her to teach me and she scoffed – “It's just the Sure-Jell recipe that comes in the box, read it yourself!”

Grandma was straight like that and that's why we loved her.

When she passed away last October, I knew that this would be the year that I got serious about jam. I bought a few boxes of Sure-Jell and waited for the first strawberries.

They appeared last weekend and I got to work.
YIP 9 Strawberry bath
Washing

Clean Strawberries
Topping

Crush it!
Mashing

Add sugar
Adding the sugar (4 cups)

Pour it on!
And pouring.

Quilty jars of jammy goodness
I'm particularly smitten with the jewel-y pink in the quilted jars – so beautiful!

The jam turned out perfectly, just like Grandma's!

PS. Really, if you want to make it, get a box of Sure-Jell and read it yourself (it's the freezer recipe)!

Big News

I've tried to write this post for weeks.

I can't figure out how to say it in a way that conveys the big-ness for me and for Blonde Chicken Boutique. This is a huge, scary, exciting step, but it's just so hard to express.

So, how about I just say it:

I quit my day job.

June 30th is my last day working in an office, for an employer.

July 1st, I wake up to…Blonde Chicken Boutique!

I'll be a full-time fiber artist, yarnie, fiberista, spinster – whatever we're calling it that week – it'll be my full-time job!

Even though I handed in my resignation a month ago, it still feels crazy and new and exciting!

This will allow me to do SO many new things with BCB, things you've asked me to do and things I've been waiting to do. More craft shows, more in-person lessons, more yarn!

As I transition into this new role, I'll be sharing more and more about the business-side of BCB: what systems I use, how I decided to go full-time, all sorts of stuff! I know only some of you might be interested in that, so instead of bore the blog readers, I'll be writing about it in a little newsletter-y thing. Sign up here if you want to learn more biz-stuff.

Thanks for helping me make all of this possible!

Spring Manifesto

strawberry

I love the changing season and I love to celebrate each of them with their own fresh, local food, flora and yarn-y inspirations.  Each season I make a little list of the pleasures I want to soak in. I call them manifestos, but they're really just love letters to the season.

Reading Havi's list of things-to-do-before-she-dies, I realized that these seasonal lists are my own little things-to-do-before-the-moment-passes. And goodness! Spring is nearly gone without a proper love letter.

I hope to keep listing these, every Thursday, as a reminder to soak it in over the weekend (and as a mid-week cheer-up).

This week,  Spring is feeling like a great time for:

  • Finding floral inspiration
  • Eating lots of strawberries
  • Making jam
  • Starting the garden
  • Sorting Easter Egg dyes
  • Baking tasty things

I did a few of these things last weekend, I'll be sharing them with you soon!

What do you like to do to celebrate Spring?

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