Wednesday, August 22, 2012


So... so much for my 'at least one post each week' plan!  Lots of fun and adventures these last two weeks to tell you all about!

It all started with a family trip to the farm for Grandma's memorial celebration.

     Mom, Dad, Big Sister, Jack and I were the first ones there, (missed you big time Kyle, Little Sister and Andy!).  Mystery hidden terminals and slightly delayed connecting flights aside, we all made it pretty successfully.  A 2 hour drive and a serious rainstorm later we found the farm, John, Dodie and 3 sweet dogs!  7 cousins (and cousin-in-laws) and 4 more aunts and uncles all made it within the next 24 hours.

     Green, beautiful and a little bit smaller than I remember.  Apparently the last time I was there I was 8, and 8 year olds are smaller than adults... Weird!  Oh, and I am told this barn is no longer full of kittens, but I believe in my heart it always was and always will be.  It was such a wonderful, relaxing, fun place for us to all get together (which doesn't happen nearly enough) and remember Grandma!  Thank you everyone for having us, coming, sharing, laughing, crying a little and eating a lot! It was a great (if a little bit hot and humid) weekend.

Oh and did I mention this amazing box of fresh picked
peaches the neighbor brought over that became
both cobbler and ice cream.
I love summertime!
     We all made it back home successfully and only a little bit exhausted.  The week that followed involved 5 1/2 hours standing at the The Market in 95 degree heat.
Looks nice, doesn't it?

     Too hot for customers, and the ones who were there were hot, tired and grumpy!  I sold one onesie.  That's right. One.  In 5 1/2 hours.  So, I have apparently met my first week of Fun Little Things disappointment.  I am obviously not giving up that easily, but it does make it pretty hard to motivate myself to sew every day as is my rule.  

    So, to take this and be positive and keep working forward!  The market is up and running smoothly.  I have enough inventory to keep my table full.  I am happy with my display.  I have my seller's permit and insurance all settled.  I have learned how to actually use my square card reader.  And I don't get all stressed out the morning before anymore.  Just go about my morning, eat a big lunch and at 1:30 put everything in the car to head over.  For those who saw me the morning of the first market, this is a huge accomplishment!

     With that all running smoothly, my moving forward job is to get back to working on my online presence and how to improve it.  I read a great (and pretty short) article on SEO (Search Engine Optimization for those like me 2 months ago who have never heard of this) that was posted on Facebook by EtsyKids Team.  It was just the perfect thing for me to read at the perfect time.  When I started this full time Fun Little Things journey a little less than 2 months ago I read a lot about SEO.  Everything that I read basically led me to believe I had to host my own website and learn all sorts of things about making one so that I could put keywords in all these different strategic places around the page.  Places on the page I could not control using only Blogger and Etsy.  This overwhelmed me and made me more than a little bit scared.  So I kind of just took notes in my notebook, turned the page and moved on to things I actually understood like building up my inventory and stalking local farmer's markets.

     This article (btw, who really knows if it is right or not, but it made me feel better, so there) said that Google has changed how they do SEO and its no longer just about keywords.  It is now more about social networking and how your customers/ followers interact with your brand.  Now this is something I can understand and work on!

     I made Fun Little Things a Facebook page!  So far we have 21 likes!  9 More and Facebook will start showing me statistics on what is going on with my page.  I would love to hear from all of you on my wall, post pics of things you have gotten from FLT, stories of me making custom orders for you, or let me know if you have any ideas of custom orders I could make for you.  I really love doing them!  And I love all of you for supporting me.  Really.  Really, really.  Not just because I am trying to get my SEO up.  :)

     I also started using Instagram to show all my messy, behind the scenes, projects in progress.  Follow me!  gracefunlittlethings (is this a # appropriate occasion?) I still don't really know how it works, but I am trying to learn.  

     Anyone out there who knows more about this than me have any opinions on what other social networking sites Fun Little Things should get on? LinkedIn? Twitter? Other things I am not cool enough to have heard of?  

     I also got to spend an amazing day with Big Sister and Jack at my very own house!  And those poor working guys Andy and Kyle got to join us for dinner!

Watch out Tony Hawk!

Don't tell Dad!

     Up and down and up and down, checking out lots of busses and airplanes!

How cute is this kid?

     Haircut tomorrow at the super awesome Beauty Carriage.  Trading sewing for hair is exciting and excellent!  And I love any chance to get to laugh with Margeaux!  Then another Market Day right after.  Please keep all your fingers crossed for better weather and happier customers!
     Then Friday morning it's vacation time!  Day 1- 5 hour drive then camping at North Lake Campground in Inyo (in yo'!) National Forest outside Bishop near Mammoth Lakes.  Day 2- 4 hour drive and camping between Mono Lake and Yosemite! Day 3- 2 hour drive to a beautiful rented lake house and a whole week of hiking, rafting, swimming, reading, board game playing, eating and fun with the whole family in North Lake Tahoe!!!

I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


     So, I have to start by saying that it feels a little strange to be writing my first non-Fun Little Things related post, but as promised this blog is about my life this year, and that definitely includes more than FLT!

    I have wanted to get chickens pretty much forever.  My family had them for a short time in high school, ending with a tragic bear related/ traumatizing my vegetarian sister incident.  Since then I have been waiting for the right time and place in my life to be able to get them again.  Two years ago while planning our move to San Diego I was slightly obsessively on researching all of the chicken laws for different parts of town (what? you mean to tell me you were unaware that there are chicken laws in big cities?).  Sadly, due to ease of commutes, price of rent and coolness of neighborhood restaurants and dog parks we ended up in a part of town where 50 feet were required between chicken coop and the nearest house.  50 feet?  In the middle of the city?  Give me a break! So the chicken dream was put on hold again.

    But to my very excited surprise, the law changed in January of this year!  Now all you need within San Diego city limits is 4 feet to have up to 5 chickens.  We could also have two dehorned goats and two beehives!  So, obviously, by February we had a coop and 2 baby chickens, with 2 more coming to us in March.  In the last 5 months we have gone from

Peep and Puffball - Partridge Rock Chicks, like Barred Rock,
but brown and red instead of black and white.
Also, apparently less "racist" towards other chicken breeds according
to the strange man selling them to us.  
Marilyn and Millicent - Buff Orpington Chicks.
So cute and worth waiting two weeks and
driving to Vista one more time for!

Okay, they are kind of hard to see through the door, but if
we don't keep it closed they will come inside and
poop by our washing machine!

I realize 5 months isn't actually long for an animal to go from tiny adorable baby, to fully matured and able to produce babies, but while waiting for our delicious eggs it seemed to take forever!  

     There were some adventures along the way.  Learning which food and water dishes worked best in their tiny indoor, heated homes.  Trying to keep them from pooping directly into the new food.  How to fit 4 ever bigger chickens in plastic tubs in our living room and how to get their light farther away every week.  Introducing little baby chickens to their most adoring fans.

Moving them outside to the wild world or cats, possums and hawks.  Learning how to convince them that going back inside at night really was for their own good.

And the sad day we were forced to admit that Millicent should really be named Murphy and had to go back to the feed store.
She really just wants to take a nap,
but her babies keep trying to cuddle with her!

But then! One day! A few days ago!  There it was! A little egg (I admit, lying in a pile of poop!)

The shell was a little soft and squishy, but hey, they are still learning!

And yesterday they were considerate enough to leave one right on the back porch!  We have eaten a few (that actually had hard shells).  Beautiful, bright orange yolks and super yummy flavor.  We can't wait for more to come!

***And on a related note... If any of my friends out there want to "chicken sit" for a week while we are in Tahoe, fresh eggs!