The After-Birthday Crafting High

Well I've just been having a blissful week and a half! My birthday shot off into the sky and burst brilliantly like fireworks, it's past now but I'll definitely have another one next year. Who can say if it will live up to this, though?

My parents equipped me with a cell phone that projects a wireless connection so I finally have internet again. My boyfriend Rob surprised me with a jaw-droppingly awesome new bicycle, and I no longer ride a $30 little boy's bike around town. Gifts from my Uncles and Grandparents allowed me to do the thrift shopping I was so eager to do. My boyfriend's parents showed me so much affection with an amazon gift card and cook book. Part of that gift card went towards the purchase of a subscription to Flower Magazine, so I can get inspired and be informed of the latest floral design tips & trends!

Since finding the amazing thrift items I showed you in my last post, I haven't been able to keep my hands from twisting, gluing, tying, and otherwise crafting with them.

Finally my shop is taking shape, but with no sales yet! I remind myself that Etsy is a very competitive site filled with creative people who dedicate enormous amounts of time to growing and developing their brand, who are armed with years of design experience. Nevertheless, I believe my first million is in floral design, ha! I've been focusing more on the attractiveness of my photos and have come up with the ones you see here.

Postman's Wreath on the left was made to be an outdoor wreath. It's meant to be outdoors hanging from a mailbox because of its length and materials.
 Here is the only Autumn flower arrangement I've done so far (beyond wreathes) and it was one of my favorites to photograph. The weathered stairway to my front door has proven to be an excellent spot for fun photos.
 Someone at the grocery store I work at brought in three wicker baskets for the freebees table. They looked a little beat up, but what did I care, I had centerpieces on the brain! So, without knowing why or what I would use them for, they came along home with me.

I cut rectangles from some of the plaid fabric remnants I found at the thrift shop, and before I knew it I was filling them with anything and everything Autumn till I found the perfect combination. Red apples from the front yard, brown pinecones from the Montana University campus, and a little pumpkin I paid 70 cents for at the local grocery store.

Because of these pictures, my items have been included in several Treasuries! My mums are featured at "Pale Dream" by zime and "Inspired by the Constant Gardener" by xxxRedStitchxxx 

It's always thrilling to see your item caught someone's eye!
 My baskets pictured here are now part of the "Sugar & Spice" treasury by armcandyforyou

I'm so pleased that my efforts are paying off, if not literally, at least in the form of recognition here and there. I'm learning so much along the way and love the fact that I don't have to leap into small business ownership. I'm just dipping my toes in for fun and learning my strengths and weaknesses at a pace I can grow along with.

All of these items and more are for sale now  in my shop. I can't believe its transformation in the past week!

All's Well in Missoula

So, Rob's parents came to visit and we all had such a pleasant time! They really got the grand tour and seem to love Missoula. School's just started and things got off to a great start. It's so nice to be enrolled, even though I'm only taking one class.
Having Rob's parents over made me excited for the possibility of my own family's visit. There are no plans yet, but I keep hoping. I'm a very family-oriented person, and have a very close relationship with my parents and siblings despite the distance. I can't wait to be able to share this place with them.

I'm altogether satisfied, and just want to keep living a life that's pleasing to my family and God. I'm happy with school and feel like what I'm learning has practical application to possibly starting my own business in floral design or whatever floats my boat 3 years from now.

I want to share this little arrangement with you. Someone at work anonymously brought in some beautiful sunflowers for the staff to take, so naturally I snagged a couple! The amazing multi-colored roses and blue iris were finds from Bitteroot Flower Shop . The iris cost me $0.50 and the 1/2 doz. roses (I only used 2 here) were free with the bicycle benefits program. ---Making this arrangement cost fifty cents. The mini vase was a thrift store find (probably thirty cents) and the ribbon was free from Bitteroot.

This arrangement celebrates the spirit of generosity that allowed for each of these beautiful flowers to come together in my little vase.

Content by Laura Gabriele