Friday, August 30, 2013

fff vol 80

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

Words cannot express how much I love this print!

Please can I move in?

If I wanted to move to a city..this would be my dream house..

Get in my belly!

The mister's favorite cake is my mom's carrot cake that she makes for his birthday every year. But this year I might just have to test out this recipe and have a "cake off"

Tee shirt of the week:

I would have expected this be organic cotton for the price, a tad pricey for a kids shirt thats not organic but super cute and hand made in the US.

This weekend marks the start of my vacation (yes another vacation!) I'm so excited because we have lots of day adventures planned with the girls. I will also be able to go to next weeks Thursday market. Then next Saturday we head out to Massachusetts to hang out with Kevin's family. 

Should be a jam packed awesome week! What are you all up to?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

four years ago today...

I got married to my mister..

Why yes, we had a dunking booth, pedal carts, sling shots, bouncy pillows, a cow train and of course an ice cream truck. Who doesn't have those things at their wedding? Add all those, with down pouring rain..makes for a grand time.

Happy Anniversary Mister! Love you xxx

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIW vol 32 - Birders: The Central Park Effect

2012 - NR - Documentary
Streaming Netflix


Birders: The Central Park Effect reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan's celebrated patch of green and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. Acclaimed author Jonathan Franzen, an idiosyncratic trombone technician, a charming fashion-averse teenager, and a bird-tour leader who's recorded every sighting she's made since the 1940s are among the film's cast of characters. Featuring spectacular wildlife footage capturing the changing seasons, this lyrical documentary transports the viewer to a dazzling world that goes all but unnoticed by the 38 million people who visit America's most famous park each year.

Such a great movie, it made me laugh because the entire time all I could think of was Steve Martin in 'The Big Year' and that he was going to pop out at any moment. (another great movie to watch - how I love Steve Martin) But if you like birds..or nature..and want to see lots of birds you may never have seen before, or maybe never paid any attention to this film!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekend market and Roller Derby Madness

The haul: Green beans, butter, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, orange pepper, potatoes, onion, jam, eggs, corn on the cob, gouda cheese, bratwurst, minute steaks, pork chops, hamburg. Gonna be a yummy week!

Roller Derby was a success!

While we didn't win. Our first bout is behind us and we are all feeling great and more confident for the next one. Hoping to maybe get one more in during the fall, if not it will be in the spring. 

Lots of fun, but a real long day. Was at the market all morning, early afternoon then came home for about an hour and back out the door to the bout and there throughout the night. Hoping the next bout isn't on a day I have market! 

How was everyone's weekends? I have to get caught up with my shop and making lots of soaps. Our markets have been great on sales so I'm way behind on getting more inventory. Time to focus more on me and the shop again. Derby on the back burner!

Sorry for the mini leave of absence! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 71

This week we travel to Scotland..

Name: Emily Raemaekers
Age: 27
Etsy Shop: Talented Apple

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Emily and I run my fabric printing and accessories business, Talented Apple, from my home studio in Edinburgh. It's a great place to live during the festivals in the summer, and the mountains are only an hour or so away when I need some space. 

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
As I child I was always drawing and rummaging about in the dressing up box. I studied at Performance Costume Design at Edinburgh College of Art and spent a few years working as a freelance Costume Designer before I began teaching myself to print on fabric. I loved making pieces with my own prints on them, and Talented Apple was born! I opened my Etsy shop in October 2011 and I've been nurturing it ever since. 

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
Yes! It's from an odd family saying. Before I was born, my parents lived in a forest in Thailand, in a hut they built themselves, and some they still use some Thai words. They say "Talented Apple" when they mean to say "me too". Because "me too" in Thai is "pom doo-ay" which sounds a bit like the French "pomme douĂ©e", meaning "Talented Apple". It's a bit obscure but I wanted a name that was personal to me as well as unique, and it makes me laugh to try and explain it!  

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
At the moment I run my Etsy shop part-time and work elsewhere part-time, and I feel that gives me a good life balance just now. To be involved in creative pursuits all the time would be wonderful and I'd love to be involved in more craft events and markets. 

How would you describe your creative process?
I use my own hand carved lino cuts and screen printing to create my fabric designs and my ideas usually start with a new print design that I evolve in a sketchbook. I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to organising things and I really enjoy working out a germ of an idea through all of my planned stages, and sewing it into something beautiful and practical that's all packaged up and ready to ship. I still get that excited feeling I used to get as a child using potato stamps at school when I try out a new print design for the first time. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I'm constantly inspired by the nature and wildlife of Scotland which is a strong theme in my print designs. My love of whimsy and colour influences my designs, too, and I'm forever on the look-out for images and fabrics that catch my eye.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?

• What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 
I attend a few local arts and craft markets in Scotland including the regular Out of the Blue Arts Market in Edinburgh. In April 2013 Edinburgh's first Mini Makers Faire came to town and I had a brilliant time at my stall, selling Talented Apple products and running free lino printing workshops for adults and kids. I have just come back from a my favourite craft show so far: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Arts and Craft Market where I had a stall for a week. The city was buzzing with festival-goers and the atmosphere was just fantastic. 

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
If it's just a day-long show then I usually have what I need in stock and I keep everything stored ready to pack up in the car, so an hour or so the night before to sort out last minute things is all I need. A show that lasts several days or weeks means that I do a lot more planning ahead, gradually making stock a month or so ahead of time and working out all the logistics in the week before I leave. I like to be prepared! You never know when that dream customer will pop up and want two of everything.

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 
There's just nothing better than having a customer tell you they love your work and handing over their hard-earned cash so they can treasure something you have worked so hard on. I've had so many lovely comments standing behind my stall and if I'm having a bad day, or a bad month, those comments help me to remember that it's all worth it and go out and do it all again.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
My apron. It was the first garment I ever made when I was at school and I was so proud of it. It's not very fancy or even very pretty but it started me on my creative journey and it's lasted me all this time. I wear it almost every day, whenever I'm printing, so it's streaked with hundreds of colours of ink and I have a badge pinned to it that I made at the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire. 

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Outdoor pursuits are what keep me sane when things all get a bit hectic. My parents used to take me hillwalking every weekend and holiday (and still do!) so getting out into the countryside has always been a passion of mine. I love camping, climbing, cycling, wild swimming, all of it! I also love to travel and explore new places. 

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
When I was little I wanted to be an explorer, not exactly a real job but I like to think I use some of the same skills in my current work: persevering, being hands-on, having an enquiring mind, nature-loving.

Five years from now you will be…
In my studio, finishing off a large order of bespoke purses, drinking a cup of tea out of my favourite mug. 

Describe yourself in five words:
Imaginative, organised, active, eager, a trier

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <MP3 player>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Paolo Nutini, The Chair, The Vaccines, Billy Joel, Basement Jaxx

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Start small and build your way up, learning from your experiences. It can be hard to know what advice to listen to, so try to take a step back now and again to get perspective on what you're doing and you will usually see what the right way to go is. Immerse yourself in your field, go to local craft shows and shops to gain practical ideas. Enjoy yourself! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Market Mondays

We now actually get two fills of market tastiness. The mister goes out to the Clinton market to vend on Thursdays and brings home some yumminess, then of course we both go on Saturdays and bring home even more goodness.

Here is the loot from this past week

Cinnamon raisin bread, garlic, peppers, onions, basil, cucumber, zucchini, squash, and minute steaks. (some of this was bartered for!)

Then the weekend loot: Corn, pork chops, hamburg, gouda cheese, red potatoes, peaches, squash, zucchini, bread, croissants, and (bartered) cookies.

So yummy. The mister has been making up little red potatoes that are to die for. Next time he makes them I'll have to watch closely and maybe post the recipe because they are AMAZING. Nothing like eating all fresh, all local ingredients on a daily basis. So, so tasty.

In other news, derby news that is..our bout is this weekend.

Sooooo much left to do - so there will be a little mini hiatus here until after the bout. I'm really excited, but super anxious and nervous at the same time! Wish us luck. If you are local we are still looking for sponsorships and NSO volunteers for the bout. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

fff vol 79

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

How cute is this little guy?!

Please can I move in?


Get in my belly!

grilled potato, lemon + zucchini salad with romesco - Yum!

Tee shirt of the week:


This week has been insanity - derby is starting to consume my life right now - our first bout is next Saturday the 24th. So excited!

This weekend is farmers market as well as the yearly antique show..should be a fun weekend

what is everyone else have going on?!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PETA and The Hive

PETA has always been one of those organizations that I admired and stood behind regarding their stance on no animal testing (among some of their other stances). I remember being in high school and having the pocket sized, cruelty-free pocket guide in my wallet. Taking it out and looking up everything I purchased. Never did I expect that I would someday own a company that would grace the pages of that little pint sized travel guide, as well as listed on their website!

Yes! You heard me right!! I have gone through the certification to get all my products, and company certified and licensed by PETA. I am now a proud member in the "Beauty Without Bunnies" program!!!!

Over the next few weeks you will start seeing a change to some of our packaging and also in our Etsy shop to share and spread the word that our products are cruelty free, and many also vegan. 

Some packaging won't change immediately because of large investments that have already been in the current labels. But you can be assured that once they have run out, new labels proudly displaying our new certification will be ordered.


This is a really big deal for us over here at The Hive and I just wanted to share with all of you this awesome news. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 70

We head to Alabama for this week's installment..

Name: Anna Kerley
Age: 48
Occupation: Wife, Mom, and Mini Maker

Tell us a little about yourself.
I have 4 children and 2 beautiful granddaughters. We adopted our youngest daughter from China. We took our whole family to China to get her when she was 8 months old. She is 10 years old now and she is the best thing that ever happened to us. I stay busy between taking care of my family, and right now planning a wedding for my 25 year old daughter, and trying to use every spare moment doing the thing I love - making miniatures from polymer clay.
 When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I have been interested in minis for a few years. I started making miniature cakes from clay just for fun and it turned into a passion. I then decided I needed to build a bakery for all of my goodies. I played with clay and created sweets everyday. I posted a few on facebook and all my friends couldn't believe I had made these tiny creations. They all said, "You should sell these!" So I opened my Etsy shop March 21, 2011 with one little cake and to my surprise it sold! I have been going strong ever since.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I already had a blog called, "It's The Little Things." I loved that name because most of the time it is the little things in life that make us smile. So when I started my Etsy shop I wanted to call it "Little Things by Anna."
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
My Etsy shop is my only job along with caring for my children and 3 cute Chihuahuas. I use every spare moment to go to my craft room and create miniatures. Sometimes I am there into the late hours making cakes and cupcakes.

 How would you describe your creative process?
I have found that I create best when I wake up and say, "What do I feel like making today?" If I see a picture in my head, a picture on pinterest, or a picture in a magazine I want to try to recreate it in miniature scale. I love to try new things and I am determined to figure it out until I perfect it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from magazines, pinterest, other artists, and a lot of time from things I do in my own home.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
I have sold my minis only one time at a craft show.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
My very first bakery filled with my first handmade cakes and sweets. Someone asked if they could buy it from me, but I could never part with it.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time with my family, I like my little Chihuahuas...they make me happy, I like to watch television, go shopping at craft stores, growing African Violets, and the list could go on. But I do have to say that creating miniatures is something that I will never get tired of and look forward to every moment I have to spend in my craft room. 
Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
No, just being a wife and mom was all I ever dreamed of. Now that I have an Etsy shop creating miniature things I love - that's my dream job.

Five years from now you will be…

making miniatures and selling dollhouses. I want to eventually have a website to sell dollhouses that I make and decorate.

Describe yourself in five words:
Perfectionist, creative, organized, giving, having good people skills
 Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
If you were to turn on my Ipod right now you would hear Colbie Calliat and The Zac Brown Band.
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
My advice to someone thinking about opening a shop would be to just go for it. Spend time perfecting your product and always remember to be nice to people and do right by everyone. Don't allow yourself to feel pressure to fill your shop. Take your time and only sell the things that are your best work. You want your customers to open that box and think,"This is even better than I thought it would be."

Friday, August 09, 2013

fff vol 78

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

Who doesn't love a happy sloth?! Especially one that looks like he's throwing gang symbols!

Please can I move in?

Yes, I will take this please!

Get in my belly!

Zucchini burgers?! These look so delicious!

Tee shirt of the week:

I love this Etsy shop - they have so many awesome tee-shirts that I could probably list one a week for months.

So another week down. Can't believe how quick this summer has gone. I was off a few days this past week (wed-fri) and we started up a new market on Thursday. It was fantastic. So glad we started and hope we have many more repeats of yesterday in the weeks to come. Unfortunately I'll be stuck home working and being sad and jealous while Kevin gets to go and hang out with the fun crowd. But we had a great first day there. Meet some new vendors and have already established bartering systems with an amazing farm. (they make AWESOME bread and have lots of good veggies)

This weekend holds are normal Hamilton Saturday market - I also should be getting in my shipment of more essential oils for some special Fall Only soaps I'm going to be making. Excited about that! 

Oh! I have a new soap to introduce to everyone as well, a "wilderness adventure" soap that will be great for camping! It has citronella and fir needle in it - it's amazing! I'll get that in the shop asap for people that are still camping into the fall.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

wiw vol 31 Mystery of Easter Island, Nova

2012- 52 minutes
Streaming Netflix

Easter Island and its giant statues have mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. "Nova" explores recent controversial claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the ancient islanders.

We have watched quite a few documentaries on Easter Island but this one is really fascinating because it explores how they may have moved the statues. It's always been a bit of a mystery how thy moved these enormous statues. But after watching this, I believe they have cracked it. Great watch.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Individual Peach Pie...

So the idea for these babies came from here but when I was at the market, no one had any honey comb so I bought some local honey. I also am a little bit of a "crust snob" and never go the easy route with premade crust, only homemade for us. And I could not resist adding some icing to make them feel more like the hostess pies I had when I was growing up. (Man, I know those things are loaded with bad stuff - but they are just so darn delicious!)

So if you want to make my version, here it is:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Fresh peaches (we got white peaches from the farmer's market)
Pie Crust 
Powdered Sugar

Pie crust (via Martha Stewart November 2012 issue):
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces and divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup ice water

1. Lay out three quarters of the cubed butter pieces on parchment and freeze until hard, at least 30 minutes. Take the remaining butter and refrigerate.

2. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add refrigerated butter and pulse to combine, roughly 10 times. Add frozen butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some blueberry sized clumps.

3. Add ice water, immediately pulse until water is just incorporated, about 10 times. Squeeze a small amount of dough to make sure it holds together.

4. Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty 1/2 the dough onto each piece. Bring the edges of wrap together to gather the dough. Press into disks.

5. Roll out the disks, still wrapped in plastic, to 1/2" thick rounds (8"). Refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days. (dough can be frozen for up to one month)

I only used one of the rounds, the other is in my freezer for next time. Or you can use both if you have a large family, or well don't want them to be gone the first day you make them!

Next Steps:

Cut the peaches in half and dig out the pit. In one side of the peach, fill with honey. Place the sides back together and wrap in dough. I took my round, rolled it out and cut into four pieces - I'm sure if I rolled it even thinner I could have easily gotten 5 pieces to wrap.

I wrapped each peach. Placed them in a muffin tin and then took a little bit of milk and washed the tops with the milk. Cut a few small slits in each top and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden.


Take 1 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of milk and stir.

Once your pies are out of the oven and cooled, drench (or drizzle) in icing.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Market Mondays

Lots of goodies this week.. carrots, eggs, onions, peaches, corn, tomatoes, greens, bratwurst, cheese (from the nice cheese lady - not the meany butt baret wearin cheese lady), honey and strawberry rhubarb jam. (we still have a mega freezer full of meats from Kevin working on the farm)

Yes, there is a story (quite a few actually) about a mean cheese lady. But I'll be nice and not go into details.

The weekend was also spent coming up with some new soap ideas for the fall. Designing a logo and making individual peach pies. Holy mother! Are they amazing. Stop back tomorrow for the recipe and mouth drooling photos!

And just so you know..I'm popping up all over the internets.

You can stop by here to get in on the action of winning my Son of a Bee balm and you can swing by here to read a awesome write up about my soaps and grab a discount code that is good until the end of August.

It's a VERY short week for me this week. Only working on Monday and Tuesday and then I have the rest of the week off. We are also going to be starting another farmer's market this week! Every Thursday we (well the mister) will be the Clinton, NY farmer's market from 10-4. So exciting!!

Happy Monday all! 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 69

This week we are in Shelburne, VT..

Name: Brittany Witt
Age: 34
Occupation: Owner :: Red House Inc

Tell us a little about yourself.

Well... I am a wife and a mother. Our family lives in Vermont, the most lovely place on planet Earth. We are originally from Arizona, both my husband born and raised in Phoenix. We gave up everything to start our lives over, away from the arid dry desert and onto a small forested village. Our big move happened just a few short years ago when our children were just eight and six. It took us a good while to get our footing, but we have and we feel like we are living a blessed life; the one we were always meant to live

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I found my creativity in just recent years. I have been continually inspired by this simple life we sought to live. Inspired to create small joys within it, therefore feeling more joy all of the time. I began making more handmade everything, from ice creams and treats, to banners and bows, to full out parties and holidays. I decided that I would fully live the life I was destined for, in that, I would remove myself from fast paced and frantic to more intentional and meaningful. 

I began to sell on Etsy just this spring, as a means to continue to stay at home while my children grow.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I have always wanted to live in Vermont, in a small red house, with a wood burning stove. I wanted to smell my fire going as I raked the fall leaves in my yard. I wanted to drink apple cider with my little ones and watch the winter come. I do believe this was my destiny and not just a simple wish in my heart ... for we came here with next to nothing, we lived in a small loft above a jewelry shop for over a year, we were not certain we would ever be able to buy a house again; here or anywhere.

Then, one day, 1/4 mile from where were living, a small red house with a wood burning stove went up for sale. And wouldn't you know it, the house was for us.

We live in it now. We heat our house totally with wood. We do all the things I always wanted to do. It only seemed fitting to name our next adventure Red House.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

The Etsy shop is not my full time job. Being a homemaker in every sense of the word is what I 'do'. Within the context of that title I feel as though I am always working on Red House. I am always drawing inspiration from our daily lives to feed the creative process. Our long term goal would be to have our in home studio be both my husband and my own full time devotion. We hope to work side by side, on our own terms, creating art and sharing it with the world.  

How would you describe your creative process? 

Red House is definitely a partnership and our process is finding its footing all of the time. My husband is the skilled pen in our gig, in that he draws all of our designs by hand. We begin by simply talking about what we would like to see on a fabric and go back and forth until one particular idea stands out among the rest. Mister Witt draws several images and we pick out which ones work together. As for the sewing, same process really except I often find myself alone in our studio just playing with shapes and ideas. I will make a prototype and when Matt gets home from work he will say, "Awesome job darling! I love it!" And of course we will tweak it and see what can be improved. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

His inspiration, our inspiration on what he draws comes from our surroundings. Our geese are ones we see flying above us, our flowers are seen on nature walks in our forrest, and our bicycles are how we like to get around. As for me, I am inspired by home decor when sewing. I love a good tote bag and all its functionality, but I also love how my bag looks, hanging on a hook, awaiting its next use. I don't want a bag that I shove in a drawer or in the back of my car. I want it to have multiple functions 1. carrying items from one place to another and 2. being a decoration.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

This is something I would like to get into within the next year. There is a lot of research I need to do to be ready for something like this. I have my eye on The Renegade Craft Show coming up in December. Keep your fingers crossed!!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

Of all the things that I have handmade, for myself, I cherish my apron the most. The longer I have it, the more stains it acquires, the more tattered it gets ... the more i love it so.

Of the things that have been handmade for me, it is a small neon Red House that stands on a lovely green box. It was made by Our Sue who hand carried it all the way from England. It was made in honor of our Red House endeavor and I adore it.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I love to make short videos of life in Vermont. I am an avid runner and I practice Bikram yoga. Though very new at it, I love to tend to my small vegetable garden in my backyard and I hope to become good enough at it that I am eating mostly from garden to table during our Vermont summers in the years to come! I absolutely love to bring my small radio to the lake and hand with my family. But I think my very favorite thing to do is to cook dinner for my family each night of the week. I find that although quite ordinary on most nights it is a ritual I simply could not live without.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

Interesting question. I do not think I ever pictured myself growing up and even now still feel like a small child on the inside. I didn't go to college right out of high school. I traveled. I didn't have much aspiration towards any certain career ... that is, until I became a mother.

Five years from now you will be…


Describe yourself in five words:

Meticulous. Thoughtful. Loyal. Reliable. Determined.  

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Bright Eyes :: The Lumineers :: Vampire Weekend :: Paleo :: Young Buffalo 

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Just. Keep. Going.