Monday, October 31, 2011

Julianne's fundraiser flowers

When Allison was offered the opportunity to sell her fabric flowers to raise funds for quiz nationals, I got thinking that maybe Julianne should try selling some of her crocheted flowers as well. After all, they'll be at a scrapbooking fundraiser and I think her little flowers would make great embellishments for a scrapbook page.

She's been concentrating on making flowers that are flat, rather than dimensional, to work nicely on pages.

Her smallest flowers are about 3/4-inch across with the largest flowers hitting around 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

She also tatted a couple of butterflies. Isn't it cute? Alas, it takes a long time to tat so she quickly resumed crocheting.

We are, again, wondering about how to price them. Any suggestions on pricing are more than welcome. Thanks!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Allison's busy hands

This summer, when our church was holding a garage sale for missions, the quiz team held a bake sale in an effort to start earning money to travel to Seattle next year for the national competition. Allison put out some flowers she made, priced them super cheap, and they sold incredibly well.

The missions director of our church loved Allison's flowers and told me later that she just couldn't stop thinking about ways Allison could market her creations. One thing she thought of was another upcoming fundraiser for missions, a scrapbooking/craft day. She offered to let Allison be a vendor there without paying a fee, if she'd just donate a couple flowers for door prizes.

She's been building up stock:

She makes them in various sizes for a variety of uses. Aunt Kathy shared a big pile of scraps with her when we were there recently.
She made a cool multi-colored flower a while back and then we found some rainbow buttons in Shipshewana-perfect!

She doesn't love making the tiniest size because they're pretty difficult to work with. But, they make the most darling earrings so she's been plugging away at them even though they aren't her favorite thing to do.

One problem she's having is trying to figure out how to price them. The plan right now is to assemble the flowers into pins, barrettes, hair clips, head bands, or earrings, custom-order style, so the customer can choose exactly what they want. We have some pricing ideas but are certainly interested in more input.

Would you mind leaving a comment saying how much you'd expect to see something like this sell for at a craft show? Once I get some pictures of what Julianne is working on, we'll be wanting some pricing input on her stuff, too. Thanks!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

September was a busy month for all of us in our FIAR group so this month was our first meeting of the new school year. We chose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and everyone really enjoyed it.

Our day included some language arts exercises for the kids-taking text from the book and noting which words were "lightening" words. The kids took some of Mark Twain's sentences and changed some of the words to simpler ones, then took simple sentences and gave them more flair, using lightening words. It was amazing to listen to their creativity as they read the re-written sentences aloud.

They talked about persuasive speech techniques and each of the kids had to think of a way to try to convince the other kids to take on an unpleasant task, like Tom did to get the other boys to paint the fence for him. The kids tried to convince the rest of us to do things like vacuum the pool, vacuum the floor, write a paper, go to the dentist, become a vegetarian, sell discount cards for a fundraiser, mow the lawn and clean the litter box. After they finished, we took a vote and the job most desired was vacuuming the pool. My friend, who usually has to do that job, was quite excited to think she'll have all those willing helpers next summer.

For our snack, I decided on "wedding" cake to remind us of the cake Tom and Becky ate in the cave when they were lost. The girls and I made our first attempt at making fondant roses without having our friend nearby guiding us. Allison made most of the roses because Julianne and I ran out of patience for it. I really do enjoy trying to think of a snack to go with our books but cake decorating is not my forte, that's for sure.

After lunch, the kids acted out a skit they made up during lunch. They pretended to be newscasters at the scene when the boys go pirating and are missing. They interviewed family members, then covered the story when the boys came to their own funeral.

It was good to be back with all our friends, beginning another year of reading and learning together.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Renaissance Festival

Back in September, my Aunt Barb offered us three tickets she'd won to the Renaissance Festival. Since we had been learning about the Renaissance in history recently, and it would only cost us the price of one admission, we decided to go. Clarence and I had gone years ago, back before kids, and were less than impressed, but were hopeful that it had improved in the interim.

We didn't arrive there until 2, by the time we got some items off our to-do list. I worried that we would be sorry we hadn't allowed more time before they closed.

We walked in, started looking around, and my girls' first impression was that it wasn't a Renaissance festival at all, but was actually a Medieval festival instead. Much darker than the name implied to them. I had to agree.

The girls were ready to leave almost immediately. We kept strolling, hoping to find something to catch our interest. We enjoyed watching the glass blowers for a bit while Clarence watched some jousting but there was little else we bothered to stop to watch. It felt like a waste of a beautiful afternoon.

As we made our way back out, however, the day was redeemed.

The potter who made Clarence's favorite mug ever was there!

I'm sure, since this was the Renaissance Festival, that these are actually tankards but we like to think of them as really big coffee mugs. Allison's is on the left, Julianne's is the center one, and mine is on the right. (Clarence got one too, but he carries it every morning so it's never here for a picture.)

We don't plan to go ever again but we've been enjoying our tankards mugs an awful lot and are very glad we found them there.

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