Wednesday, June 18, 2014

handmade market #2 recap

As many of you know, we have participated in the Danville Handmade Market for two Saturdays this summer.  Depending on how you look at it - whether you count just the entry fee for four shows, money box, and receipt log - we have come out ahead.  If you consider everything else we've had to purchase like the tables, drop cloths, tent, and chairs, I'm pretty sure we're running in the red.  Aside from the tent, we should be able to get plenty of use from the tables, chairs, and drop cloths in the years to come.  So anyway, all that to say I consider it a win.

I'd consider this past Saturday more of a success than it was at the May market.  I think this  was due to more prayers + a corner spot + different items for sale.  We probably sold equal quantities of wooden goods (succulent planters and animal puzzles) and sewn goods (bibs, crayon rolls, and key wristlets).  But the profit margin on the wooden goods is larger, so that helped.

In addition to selling more goods, we received some great sales advice from a fellow vendor and adoptive parent.  This family, primarily the mother and one of her daughters, sell goats milk soap and laundry detergent.  The girl was actually the only person at the first market who asked us about our adoption.  They stopped by at the end of the day on Saturday and gave us some helpful tips, primarily on how we need to sell the adoption a bit more.  Our sign reads "Chasing Paper Airplanes: Our Adoption Journey."  She pointed out that we need to re-word that to say all proceeds will benefit our international adoption efforts, as "people are likely to think you're adopting a dog if you don't specify."  Believe it or not, we had a handful of people ask us at our garage sale if we were adopting a dog, so I can't assume people know it's actually for a child.  So we plan to word things a bit differently, perhaps make some other signage, beef up the story a bit.

In addition, it's my goal this month to make more adult and pet items.  I'd like to make some zippered pouches as well as journal covers.  I've had a few requests for dog bows too.  Given how many people bring their dogs to the market, several of which ride in carriers or strollers, I really need to target that audience more.  It's just too bad our two dogs are too crazy/love people too much to allow us to bring them along as models.

So that's that.  Thanks for the prayers for this past market; they were much appreciated.



P.S.  In lieu of an etsy shop, I decided to go ahead and post items online for sale.  See what's available!  Again, all proceeds go to benefit our adoption efforts.  Of a child from China.  Not a dog.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

what's for sale

Many of you have expressed interest in items we've had for sale for the recent markets.  I'm (still) contemplating opening up an etsy shop, but until then, I wanted to post pictures of what's available and for sale.  I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality, but I wanted to strike while the iron is hot and get this inventory off our hands and the money into our adoption account!

The rules:
  • Payment - I prefer payments by check or Chase Quick Pay so I can quickly transfer those funds into our adoption account.  I can also take cash, paypal, or credit via square.

  • Shipping - As much as I appreciate the support/purchases, please understand that I cannot drive all over the metro area to make deliveries.  With my old, fuel inefficient jeep and $4/gallon gas, I will lose money.  That said, I'm happy to make deliveries downtown during the week, in my hometown any day, or near my church on the weekends.  Otherwise, the post office is on my way home everyday so I can add shipping to your purchase and get it to you that way.

  • Reservations - This is first come, first serve.  If you want an item but want to wait until we see each other again so you don't have to pay for shipping, I'm more than happy to take payment via Chase, Paypal, or Square and will reserve the item for you that way.


I think that takes care of it all.  Questions?  Interested in an item? Want to see a better picture?  Send me a private message on facebook, see me in person, or send an email to chasingpaperairplanes13 @ gmail.com.

And here's what's for sale!

Bibs
Bibs are 1 for $7.50, 2 for $14, 3 for $20, or 4 or more are $6 each.  I grouped these roughly by color, but you can buy them mix-and-match.  The bibs are 100% cotton on front and are backed with terrycloth and have a velcro closure.  The sizes aren't completely the same on each bib - got a little lazy with the pattern - but I would say these are good for kids up to age 1.

(1) Multicolor chevron
(2) Multicolor butterflies
(3) Multicolor owls
(4) Multicolor stripes

(5) Multicolor flowery print
(6) Light blue travel print
(7) Light blue owls w/ umbrellas

(8) Red with white flowers
(9) Red with white stars

(10) Multicolor animals/flowers
(11) Multicolor something-or-other print
(12) Fall-ish owls
(13) Black/white hearts

(14) Purple/blue flowers
(15) Orange/blue flowers

(16) Pink/purple daschunds
(17) Coral-y pink print
(18) Pink chevron
(19) Large butterflies

(20) Pink hearts
(21) Pink/navy cow print
(21) Pink & blue random print
(22) Daschunds (duplicate) 

(23) Pink/green print
(24) Pink polka dots
(25) Daschunds
(26) Pink/white chevron
(27) Pink guitars
(How is that pink guitar print still available? It's C-U-T-E!)

(28) Green/blue print
(29) Watermelons

(30) Navy/mint print
(31) Pale green trees
(32) Green/blue Eiffel Tower
(33) Mint/white flowers

(34) Pink/orange stripes
(35) Pink/blue flowers
(36) Orange/pink pigs
(37) Pink w/ orange polka dots
(38) Blue, orange, & yellow flowers
(39) Duplicate of #37.

(40) Gray/blue bicycles
(41) Gray/red elephants
(42) Duplicate of #40
(43  & 44) Red multi-color Pezzy print

(45) Foxes
(46) Monkeys
(47) Navy owls
(48) Multicolor owls

(49) Duplicate of #46.
(50) Duplicate of #48.
(51) Blue/green/brown trucks
(51) Blue elephants on light background
(52) Blue elephants on blue background
(Note:  Some of those trucks in #51 have dogs sitting in the back.  Again, CUTE.)

(53) Turtles
(54) Green argyle

(55) Bows
(56) Brown argyle
(57) Brown multicolor dots
(58) Orange dots


(59) Construction machinery
(60) Tools
(These are coordinating prints.  I LOVE them and am surprised they're still around to be honest.)
 
 
Crayon Rolls
These crayon rolls are $12 each and hold 16 crayons a piece.  Once you roll it up, there's a button on back that you can secure by elastic.
 
 
(1) Orange/pink pigs & pink polka dots
(2) Black/white hearts & hot pink

(3) Firefighter print
(4) Red/brown monkeys
(5) Blue/black/red ninjas
(6) Construction

(7) Foxes with orange print
(8) Monkeys with yellow print

(9) Multicolor stripe with purple
(10) Multicolor stripe with butterfly print



Key Wristlets
These wrap around your wrist and have a key ring for hooking onto your keys.  They're thick, with 100% cotton on the front and heavy webbing in the inside.  I scotch-guarded in the exterior fabric in an effort to keep it as clean as possible, but I haven't had a chance to test these out yet to see how clean they'll be after like a year in your purse.  These are $8.50 each.

(1) Black stripes
(2) Black & white damask
(3) Gray stars
(4) Gold & black
(5) Gray multi-colored pluses

(6) Pink & red dots
(7) Red Pezzy print
(8) Pink daschunds
(9) Pink/orange/blue flowers
(10) Pink diamonds

(11) Purple w/ blue flowers
(12) Purple pluses/crosses
(13) Multi-colored flowers
(14) Purple chevron
(15) Purple celtic-like print

(16) Orange stripes
(17) Orange & yellow owls
(18) Blue stars
(19) Blue plaid-like print



Wine Vases
We have four of these wine vases for sale at $15 each.  We have two with bottles and two without (at least until we can drink two bottles of wine).  The flower can be included for an additional $1.



Succulent planters & puzzles
We're currently out of the succulent planters, but stay tuned.  Those were a hot commodity, so I'm certain CJ plans to make more.  FYI, those are $15 each with succulents included.  If I need to ship it to you, I'll ship it without the succulent and will quote you a lesser price.

We sold out of some of the wooden puzzles, so once we have more, I'll post those online.  Puzzles are $5 each at the present time.

Friday, June 13, 2014

quilts for sale (reminder)

I wanted to bump this original post on quilt sales to the top again.  In case anyone is interested, the pricing can be accessed via the link above.  The photo immediately below is of the blue stars quilt I sold to benefit our adoption efforts.  I made the pink and orange quilt as a gift, but wanted to show it as an example.  If you're interested in a handmade, semi-customizable quilt, let me know!
 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

final home study visit

We had our fourth and final home study visit today, this time at our house.  Our caseworker was here and gone in about an hour.

Today consisted of a home tour, so I've spent days cleaning and trying to make the place look presentable so she wouldn't think we'd be questionable parents.  There was still some dirt.  I kind of feel like our master bedroom looks like a bachelor pad.  My bed still doesn't have a quilt or bedspread on it and probably never will.  And our guest bedroom -- which I had to show her -- was still a hot mess from moving.  If you recall, we moved last September.  It's June.  Let's be honest; that room is probably only going to look presentable when we have a second child.  But, we live here and honestly, a little dirt and mess isn't so unreasonable that it should keep us from being parents.

Aside from the home tour, we discussed some other minor things for our home study.  Most of our discussion was centered around next steps, travel, and post-placement.

From this point, we have a big packet of information to submit to our caseworker.  This includes documents I've worked on off and on for a few months now: doctor's visits, background checks, employer and friend references, marriage license, budget, etc.  Our caseworker will compile that paperwork, plus her notes from our four visits, into the official home study document.  She writes it, her supervisor reviews it, the agency's China caseworker reviews it, we review it, and then it's finalized.  All said and done, we're probably looking at 6-8 weeks from this point to complete the home study.

In the meantime, there will be more paperwork to complete.  We will also need to start doing our research on medical care, matching the special needs we said we were open to with doctors in the area that specialize in that field.  We'll also need to decide on an international adoption doctor and we need to find a new primary care physician for ourselves too.

Once the home study is done, then we will start on even more paperwork for our dossier.  A completed home study will also open the doors for us to apply for grants.

All that to say that from this point, we're still probably 12-18 months away from bringing our child home.   May was a nice break from most things adoption, but I am glad that the ball is finally rolling again.

Monday, June 9, 2014

may in review (photo dump)

So May went by in a blur.
 
On the adoption front, we were really only busy with the Pampered Chef fundraiser and Danville Handmade Market.  It's been difficult getting meetings scheduled with our caseworker, which is why adoption activity slowed down for the month.  I had anticipated we'd have the home study completely wrapped up well before now.  But, I travel a lot for work, CJ works three days a week minimum (and he just took on a new job, so that's added about one extra day of work a week), and our caseworker might only work part-time (maybe?), so scheduling home study visits has been a little more difficult than it probably should be.  We should have some more activity to report on later this month.
 
Until then, here's what else we were up to in May:


We planted a mega garden: rhubarb, asparagus, sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, Chinese kale, green onions, cucumbers, snow peas, watermelon, and eggplant.  I still need to plant winter squash and pumpkins.


For people who are not race fans, we spent a lot of time out at the track.  I was out there for the Grand Prix qualifications, the following weekend for Indy 500 qualifications, and the following weekend for Carb Day.  CJ went out to the track for the very first time for the 500 qualifications.



 
And for people who aren't soccer fans, we spent a lot of time at the Indy Eleven games.



 
You'd think I was some big sports fan or something.  I also "caught" the ball.  There's a story.  Ask me to tell it sometime, as it's much better in person.



 
Here's another work picture, this time with me holding $20,000 worth of silver.  And by "holding," I mean I was about ready to drop it on my foot.  Note: don't wear 4" heels and attempt to hold a 75 lb. brick.
 
 
May's Handmade Market was a success, but it wasn't what I'd call a raging success.  So we've regrouped and have created some different types of items to sell.  Here's CJ hard at work:
 

 
 
 
Here are our prayer requests for June:
  • Final home study visit is this week!
  • This Saturday's Danville Handmade Market -- specifically please pray that it will be more financially successful than the previous month