I’ve been sharing small shop updates over on Instagram, this time I added a lot more to the shop all at once and I wanted to share it here too. There is such a wonderful variety of earrings in the shop right now. We have earrings in reclaimed Sassafras wood, Oregon Yew wood, and Mountain Mahogany wood. There are different shapes (simple rounds, longer ones, carved ones) and designs (some with woodburning, some with trees.) I love seeing what Jeff comes up with and I love looking through woods with him and picking out all the pieces just calling out to be made into something beautiful. We’ve been loving making so many things this winter. There have been many early mornings in the shop with Jeff sanding while I drill buttons, and then the boy joining us when he wakes up to see what we’ve been up to. I’ve been setting aside some time on Sundays to tie buttons on cards. B and I really enjoy listening to audiobooks together while he draws and I work on buttons, it’s the perfect relaxing time that I look forward to all week. There will be more buttons in the next shop update, but in the meantime… earrings, lots of earrings! Oh, and if you have requests, always feel free to let us know.
Hello there! It’s been over a month since my last post here. (Goodness- I just looked at the calendar- next week it will be 2 months! How is that possible?) As usual, there were many times I intended to come here and sit down and write. With each day that flew by I would think ‘I’ll get there tomorrow’, and then the next day would be just as busy and I felt like I needed three of me to get all the things done that needed doing. I’m sure many of you can relate. My life is busy and full, with limited computer time each day, and I have to work to just keep up with e-mails, so it’s easy for me to go semi-unplugged for a stretch- with no blog posts- for longer than I realize.
It goes like this: hop over on Instagram when I’m in town (with reception) and write a quick post. Done.
Sit down at computer at home (in our living room) to start blog post: begin writing… intend to share quick update… think about what has happened since last post in the midst of busy life… our son sees me sitting still for a rare moment and understandably, would like my undivided attention… get interrupted and lose my train of thought… get back to writing again… try to sort all my thoughts into something cohesive and realize I have a lot to say… post gets longer and longer… have bedtime/chores/meals/responsibilities/life that needs my attention and decide I’ll finish it later… go there again, but it’s more writing to wrap up than I have the time for… feel like there are so many other things that need doing that I should be giving my time and attention to… decide I need to leave the other post alone for the time being and write a quick update instead…
And so it goes. I feel a bit like a broken record because I know I’ve written similar things here before over the years. It’s funny, I don’t know why I find it so challenging to write short updates on the blog, but I do. (Hi guys, we’re still here. We’ve been busy and things are good. Thanks for still coming to read when I don’t update very often. Hope you’re all doing great. Write more soon. Bye!) I’m kind of cracking myself up right now.
Anyway, here I go again when I came to write a quick update! Let’s see… last time I wrote was the beginning of January. Jeff and I have been making the most of winter time, with a break from the garden, to get a lot of work done in the shop. Last year we were really grateful for wholesale orders and custom orders that kept us busy while we worked from home, and then between those orders we focused a lot of energy on our garden and homestead. This year I’m excited about focusing more energy on doing more regular shop updates, and getting our online shop more filled up. The pictures above are from a few mini shop updates I did recently. I have taken so many pictures that I need to sort for the next updates, and Jeff has been busy making new things that we’re looking forward to sharing with you.
Other than that we’ve been busy with daily life, homeschooling, taking our fermentation obsession to a whole new level (more on that in another post), getting Jeff healed up from a few broken ribs (he broke them after that stretch in the hospital in 2019 and once you break them it’s easy for it to happen again, no fun, but he’s doing well now), a building project (more on that later), taking care of animals (we need to share the new pets in another post too, but I will tell you some are insect pets of B’s), and getting outside and hiking when we get the chance. I’m sorry to share so many little teasers above (see why short updates are challenging?), but I do have so many posts I want to share with you, and they will all happen in good time. I’m sure those of you reading have grown accustomed to a slower pace for updates by now, but I will do my best to do shorter updates in between so I don’t leave such a long gap between them. I hope you’re all doing well out there, and until next time- take care friends!
Do your days feel extra full in December too? It’s always a busy time of year. We’ve been working hard to get the last of our custom orders finished up and out the door, and while we haven’t done any shop updates recently, as always we’re busy behind the scenes. Jeff did make a batch of earrings for the shop though, and there’s still time to get them for Christmas! If you are looking for a unique, handmade gift for the holidays, these earrings make wonderful gifts. Jeff has made similar designs over the years and they’ve been so well loved that he decided to make more of them all at once. Each time he makes them they are different, and while these ones all from the same batch (there are fourteen pairs total) might be very similar- no two are exactly alike. So much love goes into making each and every earring.
Jeff made these earrings in red cedar wood and chose a part of the grain that had two different colors, giving these a really fun contrast. He wood burns these by hand, something he really enjoys doing. To me, it’s the magic touch to these beauties and it makes them truly unique. I’m also a huge fan of turquoise, and I love the addition of the turquoise stones in these earrings. I should also mention that the red cedar wood makes for very lightweight earrings, and it also happens to be an absorbent wood so you can use these as aromatherapy earrings if you’d like and add a drop of essential oil on the back of each to enjoy while you wear them.
As for shipping dates in the U.S., I am planning on shipping these out on Monday, December 14th. If you order by then, I can still be shipping out orders through first class mail. If you order them after the morning of the 14th, I would recommend doing the upgraded shipping option for priority mail. Even though USPS says to send gifts no later than Dec. 18 for First Class and Dec.19 for Priority Mail, I think earlier is always better especially since I’ve heard shipping times are running later this year.
We want to thank you for your support this year! We appreciate you supporting a small family business and shopping handmade!
P.S. I have a similar pair of earrings that are one of my favorites, I wear them all the time. I thought it would be good to share a picture to give you an idea of what these look like being worn. I don’t show up here on the blog all that often because I’m usually the one behind the camera, but this time B was the one taking pictures and he took one of me this week. I don’t put a lot of effort in my appearance and when I’m home I rarely even look in a mirror, but when I go out and about I love to put on a pair of earrings- it’s a simple thing that makes me feel dressed up, and it feels kind of special and fun.
In case I’m asked, I’m wearing my Hermione hat I knit years ago. (The pattern is called Hermione Hearts Ron by Christy Aylesworth, it’s free on Ravelry.) I still wear it all the time. My child teased me recently, pointing out the fact that it matches my grey hairs, which is true and also made me laugh. I turned 35 in September and yes, I spotted my first grey hairs this year. I joked with a friend that if ever there were a year to bring someone their first grey hairs it would be 2020, am I right? Other new things this year… I started drinking coffee for the first time, and now I enjoy a coffee drink once a week. Between the grey hairs and the coffee I feel like I can officially be considered an adult now. 🙂
This fall I finished up this bear hoodie for my nephew (which I knit last winter and just needed to add the finishing touches to.) I knit one of these for B when he was little and was looking forward to knitting it again. It’s such a great pattern- The Burton Bear Cowl by Heidi May at The Velvet Acorn. I knit it up in Quince & Co. puffin, in the colorway Twig. It can be a challenge to get good pictures of handknits when they are not being worn, and I found that with this one too, but once this hoodie is on it is just too cute. My sister sent me a picture of my nephew wearing it and he is so adorable, a bundled up cozy bear on a cold day.
The pattern calls for one large, decorative button. I immediately thought of the branches Jeff had in Oregon cascara wood, which is naturally yellow in color and just beautiful. He made me a button to put on the bear cowl, and he made me some extras too. I love these buttons so much! I really liked the yellow button with the brown yarn, I think it makes a great combination. (And I loved how the yellow button matched those fall grapes leaves in the photo above.) I posted nine of these buttons in the shop in case you would like one to make your own bear hoodie, or if you would like some for another project. Happy Creating!
I did a shop update this week that I’ve been excited to share with you! Jeff and I have been focusing on one thing each time- the last big shop update featured our button mixes. I did some mini shop updates since then, but wholesale orders and custom orders are what we prioritize, so the larger shop updates happen when we get caught up on everything else. There’s just the two of us running our business, and these buttons are lovingly made by hand, so the process has it’s own timeline, but they are so worth the wait. That being said, it’s quite exciting when a big shop update happens!
This time, Jeff and I focused on buttons in shed deer antler, since we’d had requests for them. We love the antler buttons! Seriously, so much. Every year male deer shed their antlers and grow new ones. The antlers make for amazing buttons- not only because of how well they hold up, but also because they are so beautiful. I tell people that the antler buttons are worth the extra cost because they can become heirlooms to be passed on for generations, that’s how well they last over time. Unlike wooden buttons, they don’t need the occasional oiling to keep them nice. And the color varieties! I fall in love with each set. Pictured above is one of my very favorites, when you see those buttons in person, the grey-ish color around the edges actually has a purple tinge to it. It’s gorgeous!
We’ve had many requests for large sets of antler buttons over the years, and I want to explain why those are tricky to make. The antler can change size very quickly, tapering from inches to the pointed tip. If you are wanting a set of buttons all similar in size, Jeff can use his saw to be cutting the buttons from the same antler, and he’ll end up with a bunch of buttons in different sizes. If he goes to cut more in a similar size from another antler, the color variations and shapes are often different and don’t match. If you don’t mind the larger set of buttons not being perfect matches in size or color, than we can make larger sets, but if you want them to match- it’s usually the smaller sets that are available. You’ll notice in this shop update that there are a lot of sets of three.
Look at the variety! From a small size with the white hue, to the grey-ish ones (to me, those also have a purple tinge in person, but I don’t see that in the picture as much), to the larger size ones in this bottom picture- see the darker markings in those? It makes me wonder about what created those in the antler- like the rings in wood, I feel like the markings in the antler tell a story.
We have ONE set available of six buttons in a tiny (1/2 inch) size. These tiny sets are rare. Not only is it challenging to get that many matching in that tiny size, it’s also very challenging to sand that size without sanding your fingers. (Especially since Jeff does a “rounded sand” on his buttons, rather than flat sanding them which is more typical for handmade buttons.) To give you an idea, we could cut hundreds of antler buttons, and only come up with one or two sets like this. I want to explain that so our customers understand why they cost as much as they do. Also, the antler buttons in general cost more because we have the cost of purchasing the shed antler, and only get a limited amount of matching sets from each.
When you look at the price of a set and you divide that to figure out what it costs for each individual button, it gives you a different perspective than seeing the initial price of the whole set. I honestly think that if anyone, who thought the price of our buttons was too high, came to watch the process of one button from start to finish, they would come to the conclusion that we were not charging too much but too little. They’d need to spend more than a day in our shop, because the process takes time. Jeff wet sands each button on four grits, ending in a 1200 grit, which is super fine. That’s what makes the buttons so incredibly smooth and gives them a mirror finish. Then they need to dry before the final buffing on a polishing wheel.
Handmade things… and farm fresh food… they do cost more. Being a family that makes a humble income, though, I understand the need for budgeting. I’m sure there are plenty of people feeling that way right now, with everything that’s going on. This shop update happens to have our most expensive buttons, but I want to mention that if you are wanting to use our handmade buttons for a project, but need to keep your spending down- please contact me in the shop, we can make rustic wood buttons for a more affordable option. (And we do offer the occasional trade for things we could use, so it never hurts to ask!)
For fun, I put together some mixed sets with the buttons too. It’s usually too time consuming to list buttons as singles in the shop, or even sets of two, so when I put them in larger mixed sets it’s a better use of my time. (To give you an idea- it can take a minimum of six hours for a larger shop update- to process all of the pictures, and create all the listings. That doesn’t include making the buttons, tying them on cards, and the time included in photographing them.)
AND we have antler toggle buttons back in the shop! I’m go glad to have these back. I love them! I want to show the variety in those also. You can see in the first picture that Jeff sanded those smooth. They feel amazing. In the set of three pictured, you’ll notice a deeper brown hue and the antler left natural on the sides. In the last picture is a mix of both. The colors are different and unique with each antler- no two are alike. We have a variety of longer and shorter toggles available. There are only so many tips per antler, so these antler toggles usually cost more than our wooden toggles (the exception being specialty woods.)
Lastly… something I’m really excited about? I made a batch of antler toggle buttons myself and included them in this shop update. I sanded them, drilled them, and felt so proud when I tied them on cards. I’ve helped with slicing, drilling, and many other aspects of the button making process over the years, but Jeff has been teaching me some sanding techniques and I had so much fun making these. I call these ones our rustic antler toggles because I left the edges completely natural, only sanding them at the very ends. I didn’t sand them as smooth as Jeff sands his, and chose purposely to do this so we could offer them for a little less. I’m looking forward to making more of these! You can see the new buttons in the shop here.
Thank you so much for your support and please let us know what you’d like to see in the next shop update!
Hi friends! Hope you’ve been having a great start to your week. I wanted to share the latest update in the shop with you. We get requests for our handmade button mixes and I’m always glad when we do because I love making them. Last week’s shop update included a bunch of mixed button sets, we had more in the shop than we’d ever had all at one time before. They are so fun! I hope you’ll love them as much as we do. We’ve never been able to keep them in stock for long, so I wanted plenty for people to choose from. (The mixed sets are one of a kind, so we won’t be able to replicate them. Just wanted to let people know since we often get requests to make items that have sold. That being said, if you fall in love with a set, you might want to get it before it’s gone.)
I also wanted to let you know about some shipping changes in the shop. When we first started selling online years ago, we mailed everything out in small priority mail flat rate boxes. It was a really affordable option at the time, the weight didn’t matter so customers could pay the same shipping rate for larger orders, and it was the same cost anywhere in the US. It was great. But slowly, over time, the rates kept going up and up…
I still had priority flat rate shipping as the default shipping method in the shop, but gave people the option to contact me before ordering to switch to first class mail. However, mailing things out in padded mailers wasn’t ideal, even with sandwiching everything in between two cardboard pieces inside the packages. Though it saved our customers money on shipping, it just didn’t protect everything as well as we wanted.
During the holiday season, our friend at the post office told us the shipping rates were going up again, and we knew we needed to figure something else out. With places like Amazon prime these days, people really like free shipping and if they do have to pay for shipping they don’t want to pay much for it. I get it. I don’t want to pay a lot for shipping either. But Jeff and I are a two person business, making a humble living with our hands, we’re not a huge company… so we’ve wondered how to find a better solution to our shipping challenges.
As of this month, we’ve finally invested in buying shipping boxes. (We have to purchase these in large amounts, thus why we hadn’t done it sooner. Plus, we weren’t sure if the cost associated would make it a feasible option or not, but finally decided to take the plunge.) I’m really excited about this! We are now able to offer first class shipping as our default setting for shipping, with an upgrade to priority mail if you so choose. If you have wanted to purchase something in our shop before, but were turned away by the shipping cost, I hope you’ll be pleased with this more affordable option and reconsider. Oh, and before I forget. We are also offering free shipping in the US on all orders over $75! It’s our thanks for your support of our handmade endeavors. We really love what we do, and truly appreciate the support, thank you!
Happy Friday! Just popping by to let you know that I did a shop update earlier in the week. We had requests for earrings, so I posted more earrings. And there are a bunch of new buttons as well! We’ve been busy with custom orders and wholesale orders so there was a longer gap between shop updates. I’m so excited about all the new things! Oh, and I also wanted to mention- with all the new things (another shop update is coming soon!) – we’ve decided to discount the few things that have been in the shop for a little while and are ready to find their new home. So check out the sale section for some great deals!
We got back early this week, but our schedule has been going nonstop since our return, so I’m just now getting a chance to share about last weekend. Knot Another Fiber Festival was lovely. I hardly took any pictures over the weekend, either being busy in the booth, or connecting with friends, or meeting new people (or squishing yarn!) Not only was the location beautiful, being in The Dalles, but the building where the festival took place was such a great space, it was full of natural light and had amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge.
I decided before going that I didn’t really need much yarn (ha!), since I told myself I should make a dent in my current stash at home before adding too much more to it… but I came home with a handful of skeins. Each one called out to me- either for a particular project, or for a purpose that hadn’t revealed itself quite yet. I know they’ll all be made into something. My stash is still at a manageable level, so I could justify adding a bit more, and you know what? Yarn makes me happy. I love it. And I make a lot of gifts with it. (Oh, and there was a yarn-winding station set up at KAFF, which I thought was awesome. I learned how to use a skein winder for the first time and was glad to get some yarn ready to start a project right away.)
I did take a few pictures during our trek home. We stayed Sunday night, after packing up our booth, and headed out Monday morning. We stopped in Hood River on the way to get some breakfast. (We cooked all weekend, so we sure appreciated eating out, it was such a treat for us to eat a meal we didn’t prepare!) We ate at Farm Stand in the Gorge, a great spot with a grocery store and cafe all rolled into one, and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in the area. At our house, eating high-quality meat is important to us, and we’d rather eat less of it if it means being able to afford the pasture-raised meat from local farms. Farm Stand in the Gorge had organic meat on it’s menu, which is rare to find at a restaurant. I appreciated all the gluten-free options too.
We had another fun stop on the way home, Multnomah Falls. It’s the tallest waterfall in Oregon, and such a beautiful sight. Our pup was happy for the opportunity to stretch his legs and have a break from the car. We didn’t go on the hike, our visit was short and sweet that day instead. During the rest of the drive we listened to history curriculum, and I knit while Jeff drove, and B was busy finger knitting. My boy and I declared ourselves yarn buddies, and talked about projects. I thought about how Jeff and I tried different festivals throughout the year, to see which were a good fit for us, and how time and again we came back to fiber festivals. Fiber festivals have been the best fit for our us, and also happen to be the festivals we enjoy the most. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves, so we can continue to delve deeper into the fiber world we love so much!
Hi guys! I know I shared over on Instagram about KAFF, but I wanted to be sure to share here too. WoolyMossRoots will be at Knot Another Fiber Festival this weekend for the first time! I’m really excited to go, and I hear that The Dalles are beautiful, so can’t wait to see more of that area too. You can find the WoolyMossRoots booth in space 26, and the marketplace will be open on Friday 4-7, Saturday 9-6, and Sunday 9-2.
I also wanted to come by to let you know that I did several shop updates this week and there are a lot of new buttons and shawl pins in the shop. I get requests for both regularly, and there is a fun selection of different woods right now. (And if there is something you are wanting that you don’t see, send me a message through the shop and I can add it to the custom order list for when we return.)
My hands have been busy tying buttons on cards, so I’m looking forward to packing a knitting project for the trip. Going to fiber festivals always inspires my knitting mojo. If I don’t get back here before, have a wonderful weekend everybody!
P.S. I’ve been meaning to say thank you for all the kind comments you’ve been leaving on my posts lately. I haven’t replied to each one individually, but please know that I read every word and I appreciate when you take the time to leave me a comment! I enjoy them so much.
Hello friends! I wanted to pop by to let you know where you can find us at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend (if you’re going.) The WoolyMossRoots booth will be in the 4-H building. The festival is open on Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from 9-4. We can’t wait! We look forward to this fiber festival all year long.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!