Friday, December 9, 2011

Its A Business Now!

Well, I'm in business for real! Labeling, shrink wrapping, shows, web site, online store... all the way.. even have a cute little credit card machine!
Here's a pic at the Christmas Bazaar at the Senior Center in Athens,TN. My niece Britney is in the pic also... she makes soy candles and can coordinate scents that match my spa products.. pretty cool! Setting up at shows has been a huge learning experience for me. Setting up the online store has been too... I thank God my husband has a head for business and marketing or I would have never got this far into it. I've had 'businesses' over the years... my first was a doll making business I started when I was 19.. it never made that much and I really didn't have support from anyone or any knowledge on marketing, craft shows and festivals for it to amount to anything.
My second business was teaching Bellydance and yoga... which I soon decided I didn't have the patience to be a teacher for bellydance.. and teaching yoga was a hard one because I was in a small town where alot of people didn't understand what yoga was.... but bellydancing led to costume design and making... I did pretty well with that through the years. But never made the 'leap' to do it on a large scale... then once it became easier to get costumes from Egypt I couldn't compete with those cheap basic costume prices.
I thought I wanted to do seamstress work for awhile.. but no... I knew when a lady contacted me about wanting a floor length duchess satin wedding dress with a hand beaded corseted bodice and I quoted her a price of $800.. and she thought that was WAY to high!! I knew a seamstress business wasn't for me either... not in this area anyways!
So I've always had some kind of side 'business' but never had a 'real' business... thanks to my husband,, this is the real deal! and I couldn't be happier about it!!
It seems like everything has come together... my seamstress, costume design skills.. my absolute love for dairy goats (all goats!).. and my education in skin care.
I was afraid that my Esthetics's education, that I paid so much for, was a waste... but you never know what God has planned... because its been a huge help in creating my skin care line!! Since Goat milk is so so good for the skin... goat milk skin care is the perfect 'marriage' If beauties like Queen Cleopatra used milk for skin care (most likely goat milk) who am I to disagree!

Second line of business... Farm Girl Couture... my hand bags and accessories made from the animals feed bags... they are so cute! I love thinking of ways to make recycled things cute and unique... attention getting doesn't hurt either! So far I have a line that consists of large shopping bags, messenger bags, 'little box' style bags, and bucket totes... and 2 styles of wallets.. there was a definite learning curve to cutting out, constructing and sewing the feed bags! even lining them... ...but worth the time I put into them. Being recycled is a bonus... I'm feeling all 'organic and green' about them!

Goats!!!! My newest favorite goat is Coco Channel... she's the little brown Nigerian Dwarf with the blue collar.. I adore her.. Thanks to Fields of Grace for selling her to me!! I know it was hard for Lisa (owner of Fields or Grace) to let her go.. she's a great milker, good mannered and sweet.. plus polled! The kids that I've seen from her are all beautiful! I'm very excited to have her!
I admit... the Nigerians are my favorites... their personalities are awesome! Even if you do happen to get a hold of one with attitude its no big deal... because they are so small and easy to handle!

Well.. thats all for now. Gotta get back to work on the web site... soap making... so much! The next show I'm setting up at is The Boat Show in Knoxville and will be the biggest, longest show I've done! So I have alot of inventory to stock up on!

I haven't even started Christmas presents yet!

God Bless and have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Busy Fall Days

Making so so much Goat Milk soap, Goat milk lotions and more that I've added to my skin care line based on the Goats milk... with 2 upcoming craft fairs I am in 'get 'er done' mode! heehee
I have 18 different fragrances of soap and shampoo bars in my collection now! I lobe the soap... I have always preferred goat milk soap to any other soap I've ever used... but the goat milk shampoo bars are amazing too!! My long, heavy, yet thin, hair has never been this manageable, nor this healthy and have this much body! I don't even have to use conditioner anymore!! Goat Milk lip balm has been added! And a whole skin care system based on what I studied and the products we used in Esthetics school! I'm super excited about it! I used to have super sensitive skin and it was alot of work to get it normal so I won't just use anything on my face!
I have used $100 face creams... had super facials with top of the line products so no... I really can't just use anything on my face...I love the products I have made for the line so far.. they have alot to measure up too... so far so good!

AND kicking out my line of Upcycled Feedbag Farm Fashion Handbags and Accessories... like this market bag!

Cute tote style purses.. as well as the messenger bags like the one in the previous post... bucket totes, wallets! I'm experimenting with cuffs too. With much more in the future. I have some really good ideals for this stuff.

This is a good picture of the farm my niece Britney took.. she took quite a few I need to add to my website!

I love fall.... I wish it was always spring and fall!

Though We hardly ever go out anymore.. and when we do we rarely ever have a camera! so this is a rare going out pic of me and my Bald Man hanging out, having a cocktail.. watching people in Athens,TN at a Mexican restaurant having karaoke... highly entertaining.. yet sometimes painful to the ears!!

Here's a picture of a bucket tote I made from a sunflower wild bird seed bag...

All in all... busy fall days... Bald Man had to remind me to slow down and enjoy the goats, the farm and not forget why we did this to begin with...

Its hard when I want to get SO much accomplished and its all so time consuming... but he's right..

Its good to slow down and take a look at what you have accomplished and not focus on what you didn't get done.

My man is pretty smart... just don't tell him I said so!

God Bless! Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sewing, Fall Garden & more Introductions

Happy Monday! Its going to be a busy week.. but its always a busy week here. Check out little LTE Melody and her friends(and some not her friends, she hates that nubian wether and head butts him every chance she gets!) I've been working on making hand bags out of feed bags for a while now.. here's one I did Saturday. Its made from a timothy/alfalfa hay pellet 40 lb feed bag which has really nice pictures of horses and colorful logos... lined with denim. Made in a messenger bag style.
Now I don't have horses, but my girls like getting alfalfa pellets and timothy pellets for treats.
Here's the back of the bag. The whole exterior is made from the feed bag material, except the strap.. that's made from the denim.

Inside of the bag... 2 pockets..

Front of bag. Shoulder straps attached with D-rings. Its very time consuming to cut these bags out because I really work to line the pictures up to get the best look from the bag. The woven plastic the feed bag is made of is challenging to work with but makes a bag strong durable bag.

And easily wiped off if it gets dirty. I won't be keeping this bag I plan to put it up for sale in my etsy store I'm trying to start.

I currently carry a messenger bag I made from a chicken feed bag! Very "attention getting"

The latest edition to the herd.... Nolin Farm Reese, purchased from Autry farms. He is a Myotonic buck (fainting goat), 7 months old and we love him!

The Bald Man and I think he's one of the prettiest goats I have... love the way his head is shaped, his stocky body , his extra soft coat.

So so pretty, I can't wait till he's grown and has his full horn rack!

Another one of the 'prettiest' goats I have... this is SGM Goldie Locks... we call her Goldie for short! She is a Nigerian Dwarf, 6 months old in this pic. She's so friendly!

And here is Thunderhill Brie!! also a Nigerian dwarf baby! I love love love!! the way Brie looks!

Brie was not easy... I bought her(and Goldie) from Fields of Grace farm which is just about an hour and half from me... but little brie here didn't travel well and got pretty sick, plus she was stressed, I'm sure, from just being taken away from momma... And she wasn't friendly to people AT ALL ! She hated me! and everyone else! I considered taking her back to Lisa (Fields of Grace owner, who is absolutely wonderful to deal with, very helpful!!) but I just couldn't... my husband (Bald Man) told me to take her back, cause she was way to much trouble... and her blue eyes creeped him out . But, no... . I put in alot of time with her to get her over her 'shipping flu' , her stress and spent weeks of getting her to like people! and it was worth it cause now she's my buddy! It was also hard because none of the goats liked her.. not even the one she knew, that she came with(Goldie)!! She would spend her days hid from everyone in a corner behind a feed trough... so I kept her in the house and on the deck for a long time... then put her and Goldie alone in the kidding pen every night until they bonded.. so she would have a friend in the herd. Whew... alot of time and work but so so worth it... she's amazing now... jumps right up in 'king of mountain' games and challenges the big Nubian and alpine kids! even though they are more than 3 times her size! She's still the tiniest one in the herd. I'm looking forward to breeding her next year!

Fall Garden Time! I love fall/winter garden veggies! I also love that its not a hundred degrees while trying to garden! I only have a very small fall/winter garden this year... but just wait next year will be huge! maybe... if I find to time!! Plus this time of year some summer stuff is still producing.. even though whats left of my summer garden is scary grown up... I still picked ALL these peppers from it!

My fall section gave up kale, lots of leaf lettuce and arugula! with broccoli , romaine lettuce and brussel spouts looking good!

If you've ever planted 6 or more pepper plants you know they grow well in TN and you soon get over run with them! Dehydrating and vacuum bagging is my favorite way to preserve them. I also like to pickle. Dehydrated peppers are awesome in soups and chili through the winter... you can freeze peppers too but that takes up freezer space and to me they just don't taste as good.

That's all for now... y'all have a blessed busy week!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life with Goats

My first post on my new blog! Now I'm no stranger to blogging... but it has been awhile! I started a sewing blog while living in Knoxville back in 2007. Posting mostly things I sewed... and that was mostly all clothing.. I look back at it now and think... my, I was bored! I made SO many cloths! Some I never liked or wore... but it was something to do that I did enjoy. I love to sew.. I just really didn't need to make 20 something tops in a month! But I didn't have anything else to do.. but maybe clean the house (NO!ahhh!)
I have since down sized my closet ALOT. I find I don't need 10 mini dresses and 40 pairs of heels anymore... life on the farm in tiny little Niota.. is not life in Knoxville... and I don't have time to be bored. haha! I still have plans to make and refashion jeans.. one item I can never have to many of no matter where I live. Jean jackets are necessary.. and tees.. I do need t-shirts and I prefer to personalize them. I still like cloths.. its just not a real focus in my life and I'm glad for that.
I sew different things now... like recycled handbags and wallets from my animals feed sacks! More on that later!
My life on this farm wouldn't be complete without 'the girls'.. my goats! They give the best milk that I make the best cheese and yogurt from!! They also give me the milk that has allowed me to put my Esthetics education to work making skin care products. The best soap and lotion I have ever used has been made with goat milk. I was using goat milk soap I bought from the farmers market in Knoxville long before I made my own.
The goats, what can I say... I get up every morning and can't wait to look out the window to see what their doing.. I look forward to feeding them, milking them and just being around them everyday... I can't wait till my girls have the first goat kids born on our farm!! I got my first pair of goats in Feb. of this year.. which is entirely another story! Since then a few goats have left the farm and quite a few more were bought in.. I have completely thrown myself into caring for them and learning as much as I can about them.. you can never learn all there is to know about goats.. they are quite unpredictable!
and now...
I want ya to meet a couple of my girls.... This above is Petunia! A blue eyed Nigerian Dwarf darling that I love! She's very vocal, so tiny and cute. So friendly!

This is Star... a Nubian. Not my favorite breed but she's special. One Nubian in a small herd of Alpines and Nigerians is not that bad.. the Alpines really keep her in check! The first goats I bought were Nubians, 3 of them, and one of them came with her 2 babies. Star is the only left out of those goats... why? I guess because after the other 4 were gone Star got quieter.. not as rowdy.. just a nicer goat! So I decided to keep her and see what happens as she grows up... and hopefully she will have tiny Myotonic/Nubian cross kids for me next spring!

Plus she's extra loving! She loves hugs... now not all goats do!

She should be a good milker.. we'll see!

I have many more girls (and boys) to blog about... as well as skin care recipes, sewing projects... farm stuff, goats,, chickens and so much more!