Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zion National Park

After living in Utah for more than ten years now, we finally made a trip down to Zion. I have been there before, but only drove through, so I have been told that that didn't count.
We lucked out and the weather was perfect while we were there, the national parks were offering free admittance and it wasn't at all crowded. I was amazed at how peaceful and quiet it was. Usually all you could hear was moving water.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And The Beat Goes On...another Etsy Treasury

One of my plans for this year was to be more diligent with my etsy shop. Here it is already February and I haven't been very productive. I did post another treasury today, in an attempt to motivate me. Check it out!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The 3/50 Project

I work in retail in Park City, Utah for a lovely couple .... a true mom and pop business which is a rarity today with all the competition from the big box stores. All the shop owners I know are really struggling just to keep their doors open and to earn a living. Many have closed their doors.

Lately we have had a lot of "customers" come in to "just look" and then go home to make their purchases online to save a few dollars and sales tax. They don't seem to understand (or care) that there is a lot of overhead to run a business, and if they don't start supporting their local small businesses they will no longer have store fronts to visit.

Just yesterday, a man called and wants to return a sculpture that his wife got him for Christmas. She was a last minute shopper and called and needed it shipped out express. So yes, we wrapped it, boxed it, and mailed it for only a $10 fee which didn't nearly cover our costs. Since they live in Utah, they also had to pay sales tax. He now wants the shipping cost refunded too, because he doesn't like the gift that she got him and wants a different one. Then to add insult to injury, he wants us to match an online price that he found. I tried to explain to him that online "stores" don't have any overhead so they can afford to sell way below a fair market price and if that is how he chooses to shop it is his prerogative. I haven't heard back or seen him to know what he has decided.

We and other small business deal with this mentality on a daily basis and it is hard to be polite and cheerful when you just want to scream. There is a movement going on by Cinda Baxter, a retail consultant. It is called the 3/50 Project, and I hope everyone who reads this takes it to heart and passes it on to their friends, relatives and acquaintances. If we as Americans don't consciously make some changes, our quaint and unique small businesses will just be a fond memory.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Extinction of Wedding Gift Etiquette

So, what is the new rule regarding thank you notes for wedding gifts, or for that matter, any gift? Maybe I am old school, but I am under the assumption that every gift given requires a hand written

It is amazing to me that couples spend months and even years planning for their big day. As soon as the engagement is announced; friends, relatives and acquaintances are inundated with "save the date" announcements, shower invitations, and finally the wedding invitation (they may or may not make the cut for the reception). All of these scream "You have to get me a present!" Every bridal magazine spells out the rules: who pays for what, the time line, and YES thank you notes. The stationary usually is coordinated with the invitations and reply cards. Does the couple just decide up front that they can save some money if they don't buy the thank you notes or do they have boxes of them and just wonder what they are for?

We were invited to a wedding last Spring. I spent quite a bit of time, energy and money picking out something that they would hopefully like, wrapped it and mailed it. Fortunately I paid extra for a delivery confirmation because that is the only way that I know they actually received it. (I had a premonition.) I suggest that everyone that mails gifts be sure to get the confirmation. Otherwise you wonder: Did it get lost in the mail? Do they think I stiffed them on their wedding present? And most importantly you don't have to call to see if they got it thus avoiding the awkwardness of the implication that the happy couple has no manners.

Mailing gifts with confirmation may be the best way to go even if you attend the big event. We went to two wedding a few years ago. For both we brought their gifts to the reception and placed them on the overflowing gift table. Again, no thank you notes...we wondered it someone stole some of the presents. To this day I don't know....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fabulous Handmade Hats on Etsy

I posted another treasury on etsy. This one is all hats. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Etsy Treasury of Fabulous Pillows

I have created another treasury on etsy. This one is full of handmade pillows. Check it out!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Project Night Night

I stumbled across this website and thought I would pass it along. It is always shocking to see the numbers of homeless in this country. I plan to make up some blankets....hope others will too!

"There are approximately 298,000 homeless families in the United States.* Currently, there are more homeless children in the U.S. than at any other time since
the Great Depression. Nonetheless, family homelessness often goes unseen as most homeless families do not live on the street.** Instead, most homeless
families are transient, living in shelters, in cars, in hotels in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, or staying with friends or family members.*** These environmental
stresses negatively influence a child’s early experiences and often lead to an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, poor sleep
and behavioral issues."

"To ease the anxiety associated with shelter living, Project Night Night distributes Night Night Packages to homeless children ages 0-10. Each Night Night
Package includes an age-appropriate book, a baby blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend. Finding comfort
is vitally important for children in order to feel secure, loved, and valued – even in the midst of the upheaval and uncertainty attendant to homelessness."