Green Tea or Coffee?…

I really do appreciate that folks regularly check in with the website to see the new specials and deals!  Each visit to the website confirms my mission, which is to grow my business and gain the trust and support of a loyal following of customers, who come back to shop with us at all of our various shops, including The Tree House Kid, Folks Linen, and Kari Goodwin Quilts, depending on what special person you are shopping for!  Together, we all form the family business of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts.  This week, I would like to offer a special deal to get free Domestic Shipping with ANY purchase from Kari Goodwin Quilts.  The coupon code is GREENTEA and will be good through Friday, May 26th.  To get future deals and coupon codes, make sure you are subscribed to the site and get email notifications so that we can stay in touch!!  Please feel free to contact me here for questions or just to say hello!  Now, if you are wondering why this was called Green tea or coffee, I will tell you…As summer rolls around, and the Georgia heat is already threatening its suppressive power, I turn from the comfort of hot drinks to iced.  I guess you can figure out which way I am leaning today! il_fullxfull-1031818914_jsxk

Big Sea, Little Fish

Lately, it seems like every time I turn around there is some new blog post or sponsored link on facebook or instagram or a new delivery in my email about how to make your business stand out, how to create a perfect funnel for your business, how to be the one in a million who can make six figures in a hand-made profession. There are strategy upon strategy to help people just like ME get to that Holy Grail of the business world, but none of it is (no matter what they tell you!) for free. I signed up for a webinar recently that promised to share for free her strategy for creating a great business, only four simple steps to follow, and somehow it ended with thousands of dollars for this strategy that she was just “giving away” at a great discount…But it’s still enough money for her to base her business on and be the great white shark who is making six figures in a single month…Yeah, you know why? It’s because all of us are dying to break ahead in the market so desperately that we are willing to pay just about anything to be given the tools that will give us that one little advantage…Go that one extra step that maybe no one else is willing to go. It struck me in that moment that what that person has built is not a business, but a scheme, and it is thriving because so many of us are not. Does that make her a great business woman? Maybe. Is it the kind of business I want for myself? Nah, not really. Do I think that *if* I could afford her fee, her plan might actually help my business? Probably. And there’s the clincher. We are vulnerable. We are in need of that one lucky break, and we are willing to throw caution to the wind for a chance at a “Maybe.”

I think staying current and in touch with the business side of things is pretty important. I confess I do not invest enough time into market research or consumer trends before just diving off into the direction that my creative heart tells me to go. I am the hopeless romantic that believes that if I just stay true to myself and not follow trends, I will sustain a more consistent business. But among all of this talk about trends, market value, SEO, metadata, tags, social media, outreach, I confess that I 100% lose my focus. I lose the part of me that loves to make things. I stop being led by what inspires me and I fall prey to the trap which is another media trick, telling us that we all deserve MORE! We all can be a big fish in a little pond! We all can strike it rich! The very essence of these promises contradicts the nature of creativity. Of standing alone where you are with your talents and being proud perhaps not of how many figures you generate in a year, but with how authentic are you being to yourself and how is your work making an impact? How is comparing yourself to others constantly NOT a distraction? How is spending every free moment on blogs and reading and listening to people who’ve made in happen their way, not distracting me from figuring out how to do it my OWN way? It may work for some people, and I am not hanging up my self-education on the market trends all together, but I refuse to let myself be the market that drives the success of other businesses telling me my own place in the market is disappearing. Instead, I am going to devote more of my time and energy to the pursuit of that purest form of creativity, and hopefully my time will come. If it doesn’t, at least I will know I haven’t sold out in the process.

Go Within And Enjoy New Beginnings!

I have “Commitment” issues.  I have “Schedule” issues.  I have “Discipline” issues.  All those goals I set for myself, to do this at this certain time every day, each Monday, each Friday, every fiber of my being rebels against those most basic rules I try to establish for myself.  WHY?!  I figure it is probably a sign of lingering immaturity and nothing can be done to “fix” it.  Life and living gets in the way of work and I get distracted.  Distracted like the four-month old kittens we are fostering at the moment, who couldn’t stay on a straight path unless it was a B-line to a crinkling potato chip bag or the smell of chicken cooking in the kitchen.  Distracted like a kids jumping on a trampoline.  Distracted like a 38-year-old Mom of three who works from home.  Yeah, that is totally Me!  I try to set timers for myself, to diffuse “focus” oils to help me stay on track, I take my vitamins, get exercise, and drink plenty of water, get    plenty of sleep, but nothing seems to help.  I will inevitably find myself wandering through the house looking for a stray sock, just so I can put it in its proper place and it makes me feel crazy!  Like C.R.A.Z.Y.!  Too much to do to worry about socks, but somehow, I can’t make myself focus.  Two weekends ago we were a part of a Native American Cultural Festival and I had SO much time to think and reflect and I think I got a lot of answers I have been looking for my dilemma.  They were subtle and quiet and whispered ever so faintly to me while the drums pounded and the voices rose up and the people mingled in a gentle and cohesive fellowship.  The answers that came told me told me to learn from the mistakes I’ve made, in seasons of life where I not only burned the candle from both ends, but from every direction like the arrows of a compass…All converging to one central point in my mind, heart, and soul to burn me up.  The breath and the oxygen that it requires to keep burning is no small thing!  It is easy to forget the importance of this, but it can’t be ignored for long, and it seems that only by slowing down (just a little!) and knowing when to go inward and recharge can mean the difference between sustaining that crazy pace that life demands of us sometimes and completely burning ourselves out.  JUST like the spring plants in fall, who stop growing in order to come back bigger and better the next season, I too need to go inward to recharge.  The contradictory part of that is that Fall is the big retail season, so it is really hard to find time to slow down and recharge amidst all of the jobs that being a business owner entails…Not just the retail season (which I must admit, I do find wildly exciting!) but also the family holiday season that comes with its own special kind of charged excitement.  After my 6th year working for myself, i can safely say that it is inevitable that I will hit this wall, where not one more project can be started, and not one more stitch thrown into anything, before I take adequate time to recharge, go within, and ask myself the most basic and meaningful questions.  Am I still on the right path?  Am I still doing what I love and living a life of meaning and passion?  Do I still “like” and feel proud of what I putting out to the world?  So until then Friends, I wish you a Happy New Year!  Be safe and keep asking yourself the hard questions.  Take time to truly listen to yourself and find the answers.  If we don’t do this, we will burn ourselves out before our time.  Imagine if a tree didn’t lose its dying, colored leaves in the fall!  Imagine if it held on, no matter what to all those things trying to cast off  to make room for new growth.  We are like that too, when we don’t honor the need for rest and restoration.  I think it is less about the “Lingering Immaturity” as I mused early, and more about the need for this rest and restoration.

Holiday Shipping Updates~

Hi, Hello, and Greetings from the Goodwin’s Custom Crafts team!  The elves are busy working, I assure you!  The Tree House Kid has had another amazing season full of wonderful return customers, as well of plenty of new ones.  Items are currently in production and will be shipping out in time for Christmas!  Folks Linen is happily plugging through all of
the holiday napkin orders, so thank you to everyone who gave the gift of eco-friendly re-usable linen napkins this year, as well as the various other gifts from Folks Linen!  We couldn’t have made it without you all!  To my Kari Goodwin Quilts customers, thank you as well for making this THE most productive year to date for Kari Goodwin Quilts.  Ya’ll are ALL so loved, I promise you that!  The Tree House Kid is closed for orders, but Folks Linen and Kari Goodwin Quilts are still open for holiday gifts with a nice selection of Ready to Ship items.  In fact, nearly HALF of my KGQ shop is Ready to Ship, and I am offering same day shipping for all orders now through December 20th.  There are a variety of shipping options to choose from during checkout, so the closer we get to the 20th, the more I would recommend choosing the “Priority” shipping options.  It is a couple of dollars more in some cases, but it will be well worth it to have your packages in hand sooner.  I have made a new shop section and moved it to the very top of the list for visibility with all of my Ready to Ship items in Kari Goodwin Quilts.  Among them are quilts, baby gift sets, pillows, and wall hangings.  You can see them by clicking this link.  Thanks so much and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!

Thanksgiving Rock, A Goodwin Tradition

This very well may be my MOST favorite post I’ve ever composed.  Work is work right now, it is that season for me where I push through because I have to, but I long for a break from it with the kids home from school, hiking in the crunchy fall leaves, and making long trips to visit farmer friends and pet the piggies just because.  So instead of focusing on work today on the blog, I am going to share something of a much more personal nature.  We started this Thanksgiving tradition years ago in 2009.  I had three kids who, when confined in closed spaces, tended to draw on every single element of chaos available to them.  My Grandmother, their Great-grandmother, at the time, would make a big, BIG day out of Thanksgiving, inviting all of the extended family to her house for the day.  There could be upwards of 40 people in her intimate house at once.  My kids, who spent a great deal of time at their Great-grandmother’s house on a very regular basis, because she has always helped to babysit and raise my kids, were VERY overwhelmed with all these people in their familiar environment.  So one year we decided to opt out of the big family gathering and instead go to Pine Mountain for a hike.  I think we tried to take a “Thanksgiving picnic” the first year, but that was so much trouble that it didn’t survive the first year to become part of the tradition. The hiking did, however, as did taking family pictures on this ONE particular rock, which we have named Thanksgiving Rock.  The first year, it was just a happy coincidence because we had stopped at this beautiful overlook point and the kids, all tiny at the time, all crawled on top of this rock.  They played king of the rock for a while, and eventually just came to all sit on top of it together.  We have been back there each year since that time to hike and take pictures on Thanksgiving Rock.  Here is a compilation through the years.  Enjoy!

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YEAR ONE – 2009

YEAR TWO - 2010

YEAR TWO – 2010

YEAR THREE - 2011

YEAR THREE – 2011

YEAR THREE - 2011

YEAR FOUR – 2012

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YEAR FIVE – 2013

YEAR FIVE - 2013

YEAR SIX – 2014

YEAR SIX - 2015

YEAR SEVEN – 2015

YEAR SEVEN - 2016

YEAR EIGHT – 2016

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CYBER MONDAY SALE~

To say THANK YOU to everyone, everywhere, to all the customers from day one, who have been amazing, presented challenges for me to rise to, who have left feedback that has literally left me in tears, I say THANK YOU.  Today you can get 25% off your total purchase at Kari Goodwin Quilts with the coupon code CYBER2016.  Links to my Etsy shop, as well as The Tree House Kid and Folks Linen can be seen here.

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Black Friday Sale, Going on Now at Kari Goodwin Quilts

It is a little funny for me to promote a Black Friday Sale at my shop because I do not EVER get out and shop on Black Friday.  I am an avid avoider of crowds if at all possible, but guess what!?  You do not have to go through any crowds to get to my Black Friday Sale unless your kids are playing Minecraft (like mine have been this morning) on your computer, then you might have to wait in line a little, but HEY!  It’s a pretty day outside, so kick them off the games and do some early shopping with a Small Business before the madness starts to hit after Thanksgiving.  I am offering Free Shipping on all domestic orders, (including APO addresses too!) now through Sunday, November 27th.  The coupon will end Sunday at midnight, and a new Cyber Monday Sale will activate, so check back with me here, or on Instagram to see what special offers will be coming your way next week!  Until then, my friends, have fun and rock on.   **Hint, Hint, Quilts are heavy, pillows are bulky, and buying lots of things at once costs SO much to ship!!  You could save $20, $30, $40 in shipping!  Just saying…**  Head over to my Etsy shop, Kari Goodwin Quilts by clicking the picture below!  Happy Shopping!  Oh, I guess you might want the coupon code?  I got so excited, I almost forgot.  It is BLACKFRIDAY2016 .

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Click Me and I will take you directly to Kari Goodwin Quilts on Etsy!

 

 

Featured Item of the Day! Forest Themed Items

I wanted to do  special compilation of a few items from my shop that all coordinate together in a forest or woodland themed room.  All the items are made using only 100% organic cotton and use fabrics from my Spoonflower designs.  The blankets and quilts can be made larger for customers who request it, and are already available in smallish sizes for smallish little people.  The best way to contact me is through my Etsy shop here.  So let’s take a look at some of these forest-themed items!

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Crib size quilt, made from organic cotton front and back. The front is a pretty and serene Firefly Forest, based off of a hand painted watercolor picture.  The back is hand dyed from organic cotton in a vibrant, true green.

Organic cotton and linen stitch art, featuring a single winter tree, bare of it's sweet summer foliage.

Organic cotton and linen stitch art, featuring a single winter tree, bare of it’s sweet summer foliage.

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Organic cotton Dogwood Tree bolster pillow~

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Hand dyed organic cotton quilt, featuring a pretty forest Muir Green. A light sage green on the back of this quilt also serves as the binding.

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Unique nursing pillow covers; Black Firefly Forest print, with natural, buttery soft organic cotton fleece. There are a lot of other prints available in my shop.

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Eco felt and cotton Moon Phase banner, in my Black Constellation Map print would go great with the forest themed items.

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My beautiful blue-eyed boy, holding the White Firefly Forest quilt.

Organic cotton baby blankets, made from hand dyed organic cottons or my own exclusive designs, backed with organic cotton fleece. They come in four different sizes from infant to twin sized blankets.

 

 

Featured Item of the Week! Indigo Bonus Quilt

Yesterday, instead of doing a “Featured Item of the Week” post, I had this big idea about putting together a blog post that was a compilation of all of my favorite purchases from Etsy.  It is a great idea, a fun story to tell, and a lot of love to share for fellow Etsy sellers!…So why, instead am I sharing my own newest quilt addition?  Because I am not organized dsc_0243-1enough to put something like that together on the fly.  Apparently, there is this big wide world called the “blogosphere” that I have yet to break into where people do things like that all the time, but for this old gal, it is still a new trick.  The key word(s) being “on the fly”, meaning I will work on putting this post of mine together, but until then, I am going to have to stick to what I know.  SO, on that note, take a look at my pretty new quilt!  I have been working on this one for a while, meaning I spent time on it, got it ready to quilt, then let it sit there while I was distracted with what felt like an dsc_0257-1infinite number of other things while it sat patiently, calling my name ever so softly.  Then one day, it got impatient with me and I could no longer put off the inevitable or ignore its beakoning call.  I am glad it came together in its own time, though, and wasn’t one of those projects I was inclined to rush through.  It feels like one of those special pieces that I will never really forget, and will always (to a small extent) regret dsc_0284-1selling.  It is an improvisational plus sign design, made from old blue jeans that
were too ripped up to pass on, and some red vintage linen that I inherited from my Grandmother’s fabric stash.  Other than the vintage and recycled fabric, it is 100% organic.  The back is my Navy Constellation Map print on GOTS organic cotton sateen, which is also the binding.  It is quilted in a free motion herringbone design with unbleached cotton thread.  I had fun with this one.  See the full listing on Etsy by clicking this link.  dsc_0248-2

Kari Goodwin Quilts, Deal of the WEEK!

This week’s special deal is 25% off all ready to ship constellation hoops in the shop!  I have nine currently to choose from, including this month’s Libra, Ursa Major (Big Dipper), Gemini, Orion, Aquarius, Southern Cross, Leo, Virgo, and Taurus.  DSC_0004 (1)These hoops measure 6 inches across and feature GOTS certified organic cotton, stretched tight and secured inside a wooden il_fullxfull-1024008842_o158embroidery hoop.  The constellations are hand painted with shimmery gold and silver paint.  These would make great handmade Christmas gifts, under $20!!  “You can’t beat that with a stick!” as we would say in our family.  If you would like a custom zodiac painting, I am open to these requests, but the Deal of the Week only applies to hoops that are ready to ship and already available in the shop.  The coupon code is ZODIAC25 and it is good from today, October 7th through next Friday, October 14th.  Just enter the coupon code during checkout and save 25%!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and stay safe as Hurricane Matthew runs its course this weekend.  <3

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