Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feel like helping me out?

So.... I had this thought to do a gathered bag.  Similar to the one I used to make... only with it gathered at the top AND bottom.  So I made a hipster style... thinking that a long handle would be a nice option for a lot of people.  (Ignore the bad's late here, lol)...

When I posted it on Facebook there were nice comments... but a few people suggested I make it wider and shorter.  I wasn't sure if that would work with the hipster style so I made this one...

This one is more of the over-the-shoulder style.  What do you think?  Which one?

I have my biggest show (and last show of the season) coming up and I wanted to make a few.  But unfortunately I only have enough time to do one style.  Help!! Opinions please!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm feeling pretty grumpy today. But instead of grumping to you... I'm just going to share of my cute little family instead. Here we are back in February when we went on the Disney Cruise.  My kids look so different now... and it's only been a few months.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I am pretty sure that the universe was trying to show me some humility today.

I'll admit it. I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.  I was featured in real, honest to goodness newspaper. Multiple people stopped me and said it was a nice article.  I was  feeling pretty good. Thinking about this weekend's shows (I was in TWO) I was thinking... whew!  I am going to make some MONEY! lol  I had it in my head... well... at the least I should make such and such at this one... and such and such at this one.  Right?  So life was good. Christmas shopping here I come.  :)

On Wednesday evening I dropped off my items to Beneath the Tree. It is a local Home Tour style show that has artists inside a series of homes. This is my third year. My first year I sold one purse, lol. Ouch. But there wasn't a booth fee.... they simply take a percentage, so I returned the next year.  Last year I did quite a bit better and was pretty darn happy.  This year I was hopeful... but expecting about the same income as last year. So I set up my stuff on Wednesday... then returned on Friday to do some touring/shopping. I was really disapointed to find that there were several other vendors with key fobs. Some of whom didn't tell the committe they were bringing the item. That's okay though. Mine are beautiful... they'll sell anyways, right?  Then I noticed some tissue cozies too. Sigh. Okay... I only brought purses, tissue cozies, lanyards, a few wallets, key fobs and my mixed media.  (Which is about half of what I have, lol).  So I started to get kind of punchy. Okay, I was downright feeling sorry for myself. I just KNEW I wasn't going to sell anything. 

Enter 8 am this morning.  I'm all set up at my show for today.  I got there and was surprised to see a very confined space to set up in. I made it work, with the help of my friend Celene. She's awesome. :)  Enter 9 am this morning. One hour into the show and $0 sold. Hmmmm... this was supposed to be the show with the HIGHER sales.  Uh oh. Enter 10 am.  One lanyard sold. Panic started to set in.  Celene came to see if I needed a potty break and and I expressed my concern. Normally I have sold the majority of my total sales for the day by 10 am.  By noon I was downright grumpy. I'll admit it. I kept trying to look at the bright side... but frankly couldn't find one.  Then after lunch it picked up a little.  I had  made my booth fee back. Phew.  But had JUST broken even.  Then a little more came in. Okay... end of the day.. I'm thinking that it was a bad day... but at least I came home in the black, right?

So I headed over to my Beneath the Tree house to get  my remaining product. I walked in and noticed there were a couple of purses gone. Hmmm... that's a good sign, right?  Then I look over the key fobs are all but gone.  Hmmm.... maybe I shouldn't have been so grumpy about all of those other key fobs. :)  Turns out I did about double there than I thought I would!  So basically... I just flip flopped the shows. The 'big' show became the 'little' show, and vice versa.  Phew. 

Are you still with me?  Yeah, I know, that was a really long post, lol.  Thanks for sticking with me. ;)  Anyway, all of this to say... sometimes I think I just need a little reminder to not sweat the small stuff.  I was so stressed, so bummed, so... just UGH.  And then I go and there is a sweet little surprise at the end of the tunnel.  :)  Sure would have been nice to have a flashlight, huh? ;)

Want to see some pictures of my house at Beneath the Tree?  Good! :)

Here's my tissue cozies... and some very popular mittens. :)

Some of my wallets. :)

I fell in love with these little wooden figures. He had a nativity... one that your kids could actually play with. LOVED IT!!! You do to?? You are so in luck. He has an etsy shop. :)  You're welcome. ;)

Oh, and this GORGEOUS arwork. I wanted it. Like.. really wanted it. I just loved everything this artist made.  Someday...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Good Day

It's a good day when you wake up and you are news worthy.. and not in the my-house-burned-down, or the I'm-going-to-jail sort of way, lol!  Today I was featured in the Home and Garden section of the Grand Rapids Press. Smiles all around!!

Want to take a looksie

I was super excited that she included the link for Beneath the Tree. If you are local to Grand Rapids and you haven't been to Beneath the Tree... you are missing out!!  If you want more information (and you should, lol) go to  I'm also at Our Lady of Consolation next Saturday in Rockford.  Come on, admit it, you want to start Christmas shopping so you aren't stressed come December. ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun Fun

Today I did a little show at a local movie theater.  Fun fun fun!  It was slow, but the ladies there helped me have a great day.  I shared the booth with my bestie Stacie.  She makes the most adorable hairbows. Seriously.

Our stuff looks so cute together doesn't it?

My friend Sarah was there too, and I swear, the three of us just love each other. They can both just make me smile any time they want.  So I had to get a pic...

So we look pretty normal right?  We look happy... the show had just begun. After about 7 hours of sitting and people watching, Stacie and I got a little punchy, lol. There was a girl that was set up right in front of life size aliens from the new movie Planet 51.  It cracked us up... she looked like she was surrounded, lol. I told Stacie I was going to take a picture, and she said, no we need to take one of the 3 of us... only we need to make the same look they are making, lol. Oh my gosh, it just made me giddy. I am so NOT silly like that. Stacie is so good for me.  She makes me take life less seriously and just have fun.  So guess what?  You get to see us being totally silly...

I was trying SO HARD not to laugh that this look was all I could muster, lol.  I LOVE the looks on the other girls faces. Seriously, this picture just makes me CRACK UP.  Love it.  Thanks Besties. ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


When it rains it pours. Both the good, and the bad. Don't you think?  Right now I feel like I'm being pelted from all sides. Let's start with the good...

I feel like my business is in such a great place.  I go to a show and have a confidence I didn't have before. I am sure of my product, and of my abilities. It's a good feeling. The other day when I did a show my wonderful friend came and helped me. At one point a person bought a lanyard, and I mentioned that they are $10 or 2 for $15.  She then asked me if I would do a dog collar ($16) instead of the lanyard at the same price. A fair question, but I declined, and said, "No, I'm sorry, I can't do that, as they are not the same price".  My friend looked at  me and said "I'm so impressed. You just said no, with such confidence. No back and forth."  And it sort of made me giggle. When I first started this, I was so far the other direction. I would either fall over myself apologizing, or just give them the deal... so happy and honored that they wanted one of my items.  Now I'm still honored... I just agree with them. :)

Another great thing that is happening is my new job. I love it. My only real complaint is that I wish I could be there more. Seriously.

And this weekend I got a call from a local freelance writer who writes a craft column in the Grand Rapids Press. You might know her from Craftsanity.  She is pretty awesome. She wanted to feature me in this Sunday's paper.  Honestly... even if it doesn't make it to print, I'm just giddy with pride. 

So things are good. But they are also stressful.  I have someone in my life that is less than supportive of my business. She doesn't say anything to me directly... but tries to convince others to not help me with the kids on days I have shows.  Part of me says that it shouldn't matter... it is between me and the person helping. The other part of me is hurt. Hurt that I don't have that support that I wish I had.  And I don't really know what to do with that.

Then there is my one sister.  She had her second mastectemy last week. Sigh.  I feel for her. I wish there was something I could do to help. But really... I think she just wants things to be normal, and calling to help is just a reminder that things aren't normal.  Hugs for her.

And you know that interview for the press?  Well, right about when she was emailing me to see if I could get together... I was dying my hair. Brown. The same brown I've dyed it twice this summer. Or so I thought. It came out Jet. Black. Seriously. Like, get out the black nail polish and dark eyeliner black. (Not that that's not beautiful on some... it's just certainly not me).  The interview was to happen the next day. With pictures. I ended up trying to strip my hair with the "oops" stuff from the store. It faded to a dark brown with reddish highlights.  I'm learning to love the new me. :)  (You'll see pictures soon...)

Then there is Haley, who is really struggling at school.  I am frustrated with her, and FOR her.  Having an 11 year old is hard.  WAY harder than I thought. And frankly, I've been scared about this age since she was born.

There are more... just silly little things that all add up to a big ball of hail, lol.  Some days I am just so exhausted, tired, and overwhelmed. And then I remember those wonderful things I talked about at the top of this post. Plus my two kiddos who are the most wonderful things in my life.  And I have a few really great friends, who support me in everything I do. In that, honest, I'll tell when I think you're screwing up, but still support you kind of way, lol.  And that makes me smile.

Forgive me while I share some lines from another song...

Call it what you will, I call it rain

When troubles come and pan against my soul
Go in if you like, I will remain
And let the washing waters make me whole
Just when I'm sure that I can't bear the rain
A tiny leaf starts pushing through the ground
In a place where the soil was too dry to sustain it
A new tiny flower can be found

I like to remind myself that with every struggle comes wisdom.  And just like the rain, those troubles do make me the person that I am. And I like that person. Even on the days I question what it's all about. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sleep well tonight :)

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell

If you slept peaceably in your bed last night thank a Veteran!

The above sentences were on a friend's facebook status this evening. I couldn't agree more.  I would just add one thing. Don't forget their families. :)  I have always respected, admired and was thankful for, every person who has ever been in the service. But I'll admit that sometimes I underappreciate their wives, children and other family.  I always appreciated their sacrifice... but not enough. I have a friend whose husband has been gone for 8 months... and her courage, generosity and humility inspires me.  And every time I think about her husband being in Iraq, I wonder if I could make the same sacrifice with the smile that she has.  So thanks to her, and to everyone out there sacrifcing for our country.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Words of Wisdom from Davis...

Just a quick post... a few words of wisdom from my son. Who just cracks me up.

Today we got into the car after school and Haley said, "Ugh. My shoes are full of sweat." And Davis replied... "That's funny, my shoes are all full of feet." 

I don't know what, but that just cracked me up.  So matter of fact... and so silly. Love him. ;)

Worky work, busy bee

Phew. That was a big week!  Sorry I didn't have any posts this week!  I worked at my new job, which I just absolutley love.  Then I had a show on Friday, and another on Saturday in another city.  I set up my booth twice on Friday!! That was a new experience, but it was worth it. I had a great weekend. :)

Of course, I forgot my camera, so no pictures. But I had my first 'sleepover' in many years and felt like a giddy little teenager again. The show I did on Saturday is about an hour away from my home, and I wanted to set up the night before.  So I called my friend who lives about 20 minutes away from the show (about 45 from me) and asked to spend the night on her couch. She immediately volunteered to come and help me at the show. Woot! I never have a helper, and it was absolutley amazing.

Then on Saturday night I got a call from an awesome lady that freelances for the local press... and she wanted to do a feature on me in the craft column that she does. WOOHOO! So we met on Sunday and talked for about 3 hours more than it normally takes her, lol.  It is a special talent I have, you see. ;)

Hope you all had a great week... I'll be back to posting soon, i promise. ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Have you ever waited for a movie come out forever, watching your kids get more excited by the day, only to and have the entire movie be inappropriate for their age? Sigh.  Yeah, that sounds very frustrating. Fortunately, I know a way to avoid it altogether.

I use  It is a Grand Rapids MI based (my home town, WOOT!), non-profit organization that reviews movies.  They not only review the content to say whether it was a decent movie, but also if it is approriate.  Here's the nice thing... they also tell you WHY.  Not just 'violence' or 'language'. In the review, they tell you, the parent, that they said the word 'butt' two times, etc. Now, the word butt seems harmless to me... but maybe not to someone else?  Also, for those religions that do not condone sorcery, they will tell you about that too! 

I always thought this was something everyone knew about and used.  Then when I offered the site to a local mom, she said she had never heard of it!  A shame!  So I thought I'd share it with all of you... just in case. :)  Happy movie watching!

Monday, November 2, 2009

More of Sara

Since I some great responses from my other Sarah Groves post a few days ago, I decided to share another.  :)  This one has another very special place in my heart, and it is from the same album. 

I am a person that feels called to volunteer. Partly selfish, I love the feeling I get when I am giving to someone else. I love that my time, my thought, my effort can help another person.  I used to help run a Mothers of Preschoolers group, and loved it.  Giving a group of mothers time for themselves helped them be better mothers, and it made me feel like a better person.  I have done a lot of volunteering over the years. Girl Scouts, school functions, etc. You know the drill. ;)  And I have to admit that there were definitely some rough times. It is a lot of work.  You have to balance alot when you volunteer.  Why are you doing it?  If you are voluntering for Girl Scouts, are you doing it for your daughter? For the other girls?  When it starts to take too much time away from you family is it really a benefit anymore? So many adversities, so many reasons to keep doing it.  And when I first heard this song, I just sighed, and said "Thanks Sara. For getting it. For saying it."

Know My Heart

Inspired by Psalm 24:3-6, and Psalm 139:23 & 24.

Why do I pray-do I pray to say I prayed an hour? Why do I love-do I want you beholden to me? Why do I help-do I want to hear my name called out? Why do I sing? . Chorus: Search me and know my heart, oh God. See if there is any wrong thing in me. All I have ever really wanted are clean hands and a pure heart. . Why do I tithe-do I tithe so I can get a blessing? Why do I praise-do I praise to do the right thing? Why do I serve-do I serve so others will serve me? Why do I sing? . Chorus

I would love if every person who volunteers could hear this song before they choose to do it. "Why do I help-do I want to hear my name called out?"  Some people truly volunteer to help because it makes them feel important.  Which is in some ways, is justified. You SHOULD feel great when you help others. But it shouldn't be WHY you do it.  Do you go to church because that's just 'what you do'?  Do you help others to get the thanks?
I'll admit, sometimes I feel down when I don't get a thank you.  But then I have to remind myself that that's not why I did it.  This kind of goes along with this post.  My self proclaimed mission is to make at least one person smile every day. Even if that person is me. ;)  But I really don't do it because I want others to say "Gee, that Karin is really great", though of course, I certainly wouldn't mind hearing it.  I do it because that's what I'd like every person I encounter to have a happy moment.  And if I never get a thanks, well, that's okay.  Because just knowing that I made someone smile is thanks enough for me. :)  

"All I have ever really wanted are clean hands and a pure heart."

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yesterday morning Davis asked if we could go to the library.  So we all piled into the car to go.  He had asked a few times the last week or so, but for some reason or another we just weren't able to go. So he was pretty excited. After about 5 minutes, he had only picked out one book.  Now, my kids read an hour before bed every night. Every. night.  So they go through a lot of books.  So when Davis had only picked out one book, I gave him kind of  a hard time about it.  What's the deal?  Then he asked me if he could just go lay down on the couch in the corner. Uh. oh. :(

And when we got home I took his temperature. 101.1.  Yupper.  No trick or treating for you.  Okay, I admit it, I thought about going with him to a trunk or treat (NOT our usual fair, frankly, we consider that sort of cheating here at the Schueller house, lol) or something.  But he was really not doing well.  And when I offered to bring him somewhere he said he didn't want to get anyone else sick. What an awesome kid!  So I asked him what we could do to make his night better, and he asked for a movie.  Done!  We ran to the video store to pick one out. And he wore his costume there, just so he'd be able to show somebody the costume that night.  But now what do we do for Haley???  It's not really fair to make her stay home just because Davis is sick. Aunt Susan to the rescue!!!

My sister Susan drive all of the way to my house (the opposite direction of where they actually trick or treat, which is by my mother's home 35 minutes away) just to pick up Haley and bring her trick or treating.

But the best part?  Aunt Susan dressed up in that costume JUST so that she could trick or treat too!! She gave all of her candy to Davis so that he'd still have his own stash. :)  Seriously.  That's one awesome Aunt. She defintely has cool points right now.  When he woke up this morning the first thing he said was "I am so glad that Aunt Susan did that for me."

When we were taking pictures, suddenly Davis appeared in costume. I thought he just wanted to get in the picture... but he told me later that he was going to try to go to a few houses with them.  (He thought they were going in our neighborhood).  It was so hard to watch him.  He was so exhausted.. but yet so sad about the whole thing.

But that was all better when Aunt Susan showed up with the candy!

This was at 10 at night. That smile is so big I can't even explain it. This is my junk food boy. He LIVES for Halloween. No kidding.  When she handed him a WHOLE candy bar, woah, that smile was true. :)  Of course, if he hadn't been sick and tired, he would have been jumping up and down and I wouldn't have gotten the picture, lol.

And here's Haley with her Hershey's bar.  She had an amazing night. This morning she came into my room and told me about the entire night. She was HIGH on sugar and happiness. It was awesome. She was talking fast, not making any sense and just purely joyful.  Halloween was officially awesome. :)