New Year

4 Jan

Lately I have been thinking about using this blog again.  Clean it up and keep it up to date.  When I started looking at it yesterday, it was a little overwhelming!  Where do I start?!  You may see a few changes here and hopefully some updates.  But don’t be surprised if I ditch the whole thing and start over!  A lot of the information here is still useful and or relevant, but there is stuff that is way out of date and has nothing to do with my current life and business. 🙂  One problem I am having is WordPress has changed a lot while I haven’t been blogging and I am trying to relearn how to use it.

Happy New Year!  Let us trust the future to our ever faithful God whose mercies are new every morning!

Dress 01

Resent sewing project. Lots of fun!

 

 

 

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A Cry From the Streets

30 Nov

A Cry from the Steets was written by Jeanette Lukasse and published by YWAM Publishing in 2002.  It is a part of their International Adventure series.
Here are some paragraphs from the back of the book:  In the dark world of the Brazilian streets, children, toddlers and teenagers search trash cans for food, steal knives to protect themselves at night, and live in fear of being beaten or even killed by the police. For these desperately needy children, nothing was free – until they encountered the love of Jesus through the compassion of Jeannette and Johan Lukasse.
When this young Dutch couple asked God if He could use them to do something about the immense suffering they saw in the world, He led them on a winding path from their home in the Netherlands to the coast of Greece and eventually to the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Their calling was clear: millions of orphaned and abandoned children were living and dying on the streets, caught in the deadly grip of drugs, violence, prostitution, and abuse.
What followed the Lukasses’ step of faith is a stunning example of how God miraculously uses the surrendered lives of believers to transform the lives of others with His hope and healing.
Although I didn’t agree with everything in the book, I enjoyed reading about the work that God performed for the street children in Brazil.  It was heartrending as well as inspiring at times.

Family Times -Painting Jars

27 Nov

The other day my niece and I painted glass jars to use as candle holders.  I never did this before, but it turned out pretty good.  We used all shapes and sizes of jars so we have a nice assortment.  My nephew decided it was time to sample all of his bottles!

Vera The King’s Daughter

24 Nov

From the trauma of childhood abuse to a crippling accident to years of dispair and loneliness, Vera’s early life was a miserable existence indeed.  The story of her journey from despair to faith is an inspiring monument to God’s faithfulness and and love.  You will marvel at Vera’s stories of miraculous feedings, supernatural protection, and amazing provision.  Her irrepressible joy, even in suffering and abject poverty, makes this unlikely princess a credit to her Father and an inspiration to all who will meet her through the pages of this book.  –from the back of the book

I was blessed and inspired by reading Vera The King’s Daughter. It is definately worth your time to read.  It is interesting and captivating.  I read most of it on a Sunday afternoon; I just couldn’t put it down.  This book was written by Harvey Yoder and published by TGS International in 2011.

One paragraph which really stood out to me is as follows:  ” “I’m just a crippled princess in her castle, serving her Master.  I’m doing what any rescued and restored servant would do for the One who brought hope and peace to a sad and neglected life.  Whatever little things I can do for God are only a small token of my eternal thankfulness and love for Him.”  With a smile that lit up her entire face, and with eyes that were filled with life, Vera constatly radiated a depth of character that came from hours with the Master.  ”

This book is not in my library yet.  My friend Rachel sent me a box of her books when she found out I was sick. So this is one of those I have on loan right now.  I guess most people who know me, know I love to read! 🙂

Happy Holidays

19 Nov

I hope you have a blessed holiday season! I am looking forward to it! Especially as my Sister and family plan to come visit soon!! My blog will also be having a holiday.  Since I was sick I have been having trouble fitting everything in and looking forward to the holidays I’m quite sure it’s not going to get easier.  I have gifts I want to make, I would like to go to the flea market a couple more times, family activities… So in prioritizing, the blog kinda gets the back burner.  I will try to post sometimes, but not making any promises! This was taken at the flea market last Saturday. I was freezing cold!! Not sure why I look so solemn, though. I had a good time. (Between Shivers) 🙂

In the Package

15 Nov

I did a post on The Package recently explaining how I package my items and I thought some of you would be interested in the details of what is inside the package. One of the first things I do when someone purchases an item is make a sales receipt in QuickBooks.  I use the information from PayPal -name, address, ect- to fill in the receipt.  I started using QuickBooks for my bookkeeping last year and I love it! It is pretty big for my little business, but it makes tax time so much easier! When I started using it I envisioned keeping track of my inventory and all that, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.  At least not without doing a lot of extra work.  I use Quickbooks for both my eBay and Etsy sales.

Recently I started sending along the thank-you cards.  I read several places on Etsy that people seem to like this idea.  I have gotten several positive comments on eBay since I started including them.  I made my own cards using my photos.  They are cactus flowers of course, since I am from Arizona.

This one I use for eBay orders: And this one for Etsy orders: I made them different so I could just grab one instead of having to look. 🙂 I have my store name and address printed on the back.

I also send a business card with the order.  A couple of weeks ago I changed the calendar on the back to 2013.  It’s hard to believe the year has gone so quickly!  My business cards are the same for both my sites except for the address, so I have to make sure I send the right one.  I have the stacks at certain places on my desk so that helps -just don’t anyone mix them up please! 🙂  For Etsy orders right now I am actually sending two cards.  The regular one has the coupon code on the back and right now I am also sending one with the calendar on the back.  No one seems to be using the coupon codes, should I just stop sending them?

The tract The Significance of the Christian Woman’s Veiling, I send with all of my hair net orders unless I know the customer ordered before.  Then I send a different tract.  I get the veiling tract and some other tracts from Christian Light Publications.  I don’t get a lot of feedback from the tracts and what I do get is usually positive.  The last item -or the first, however you want to look at it- is your hair net, gift bag, or towel that you ordered!

Thank-you for shopping at My Desert Deals! Have a great day!

The Package

1 Nov

One way to make an impression on your customer in an online business is the way your package looks.  I’m not an expert, but I have always tried to make my packages look as neat as I can. You never know what it’s going to look like once it’s been through the mail, but I figure if it starts out nice it won’t be as bad!

My packages are all fairly small because my items are small and flat, but the general ideas can be used on any package.  So this is where I start:I have all my things gathered up: envelope, packing slip,  tract, business card, Thank-you Card, and the hair net. I get it all folded up to a size that will fit in the envelope I am using.  Right now I am trying to use up envelopes we have around here that aren’t being used.  When I buy envelopes, I buy the 6×9 brown ones.  I can get them at Wal Mart, but they are a bit cheaper from Office Depot. Then it is ready to weigh so I can print the mailing label.  I don’t know how other people do this part, but I use a scales that my Dad uses in his appliance business to charge refrigerators. It is a fairly accurate scales and works really well for my small packages.  The picture turned out dark, but right above that white part on the right it tells me how much the package weighs and I then type that into PayPal where I buy my postage.  There are some orders like foreign orders from etsy.com that I have to purchase the postage from the PO.  Those I just print out the address, or write it, and tape up the package.  Once I have the label printed, I cut it down to the size I need to fit the envelope.  I lay it on the envelope to make sure it fits:Then it’s ready for tape! I use wide clear packing tape and tape the flap down and then start on the front and tape all around the edges of the label. It ends up with a bunch of tape on the back, too, which is fine because it will make the package sturdier.  So there you have it! Ready to go out the door:And when you receive it, you will find your beautiful hair net!Hopefully it won’t be squished too flat.  They fluff up pretty good though if it is.  I have gotten a few returned to me so I have an idea what they look like!

As in any business, there is always paperwork, too.  I take the receipt printed with the postage label and staple it onto the paypal record that I print out.  That is what I keep in my file as record of the transaction.This makes it seem like a long drawn out process, but it doesn’t really take long.  Especially after you’ve done it awhile.  I did realize how much work it is when Mom shipped orders for me this Summer.  I was on the phone telling her how to do it and wondering why I hadn’t taught her before I left?! I didn’t make her do the fancy packing slip and I hadn’t started doing the thank yous back then.

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Picture God’s Creation

30 Oct

Busy Hands

25 Oct

Although I haven’t much energy, my hands have found plenty to keep busy with! When I came home, I had several purchases on eBay and Etsy to mail. That is when I realized my inventory is down again! I was looking forward to spending several weeks doing ‘fun’ projects before getting back to ‘work’! 🙂  Oh, I don’t really mind crocheting hair nets at all, it’s just that doing the same thing over and over and over, gets a little old sometimes.

Between crocheting hair nets, though, I have snuck in some other projects. I have an afghan I have been working on. I tried to make a goal of doing 3 rows a day so it doesn’t take me a year to get it done! I have also started a new project on my new knitting loom, but I’ll wait to tell you about that til after the Christmas presents are given. 😉  The other day I also made a card for someone. It seems like such a little thing, but it’s so amazing how much energy those little things take, when you just have. no. energy.

Time seems to be moving rather slowly.  Looking back it seems I was in the hospital a long time.  It has some kind of dream quality where every day blended into the next.  Now it seems I have been home a long time.  Is it really just 7 days?  The days themselves don’t feel long though.  That is a blessing.  Until I get all my meds in, rest, eat, crochet a bit….  Not much time left.  Everything seems to take a long time since I have so little energy.  I am so thankful for the things I can do.  I thank the Lord for the ability to crochet and do other hand work even when I can’t do much else.

I have managed to list some items on eBay and Etsy again, too. Yesterday I listed this set of 3 hair nets on eBay and I hope to get it on Etsy soon, too.  There is one Burgundy, one gray, and one white.  As always, you save a bit of money by buying a set of 3! 🙂

Blessings

23 Oct

Being away for 11 days brings the blessings of home and family sharply into focus! I have so much to be thankful for. In short, I am so glad to be home!!!  What a blessing to be surrounded with family who loves me and wants to care for me. The challenge is to accept the love and care instead of wishing for the independence I would so much prefer.

It’s so comforting to be in your own home. My own bed, my own computer, my own nebulizer and other equipment, a friendly living room, the familiar kitchen. The list goes on and on. Things I seldom think about until I’ve been out of it.

The physical things of my home aren’t the things that bring the most comfort however.  It is the presence of a loving family. The knowing that their care comes from love, not just a job or a nice thing to do.

Absence of things also contributes to the comforting atmosphere of home. Lack of nurses, lack of noise, lack of machines, lack of doctors. All those are so important, but when I get home where none of them are, I feel like I am getting closer to that land of “health” where I am hoping to get to one of these days. To sleep the whole night through without being woke up…. ahhhhhhh

God is so good!  He met my needs in the hospital. He let me feel the comfort and strength of family and hospital staff.  Now He is seeing me through each day.  I can face each challenge, each struggle because I know the He is right here with me each step of the way.  God is in control of everything happening!

Maybe Tomorrow

16 Oct

I have heard this phrase many times in the last week! I have ‘moved into’ the hospital a week ago, the intent being to clear the junk out of my lungs. After a couple days they started saying ‘maybe tomorrow’ you can go home. It appears that the junk in my lungs has settled in pretty good and is putting up a good fight against the good guys, otherwise known as antibiotics.  The good news is that the bug is sensitive to several antibiotics.

I have been reading a lot and not worrying about my stores, which has been a great blessing. Now that I have Internet access, thanks to my SIL’s iPad, my customers have been very understanding.

The Lord is so faithful and the best of Friends to those who are weak.  One verse that has really been a blessing to me is “in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15 I am very confident God has everything in His control and knows how it is going to work out, therefore I try my best,through His strength, to be ‘quiet’, or calm.

I will be extremely happy when ‘maybe tomorrow’ turns into ToDay!! I am thinking of all the things I would like to crochet when I get home. 🙂 Obviously, it will be awhile before normal comes back, but it’s always good to feel like I’m on the right path.

God bless you with a very lovely day!

Shark Iron

5 Oct

One of the tools I most depend on in the sewing I do is my iron! I had been wanting a new one for quite a while as mine was quite dilapidated and very tempermental. Therefore I was so happy to find this Shark at Goodwill -and on 50% off day! It is in beautiful condition. And it works very well except when it automatically shuts off after being on for a while, I have to unplug it to make it start again. No big deal though, because my old one was just like that! I was so used to the old thing that didn’t heat up as hot as it was supposed to that I burned one of my towels! 😦 I wasn’t used to the mega steam either! But since we got used to one another, we are great friends. After I started using the new one, my old iron gave up the ghost completely! So I was extra thankful that God provided me with a new iron at an excellent price!

I love getting my crafting supplies from Goodwills and other thrift stores. Part of it is the challenge of finding good stuff at the right prices. It does take time and patience though!

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Picture God’s Creation

2 Oct

Take my Hands

1 Oct

Take my Hands, the remarkable story of Dr. Mary Verghese

This book tells the inspiring true story of Dr. Mary Verghese, a lady doctor from South India. She overcame many obstacles in order to get her medical education. After an accident that left her paralyzed and unable to walk, she overcame this devastating handicap and became a successful surgeon, performing many hand and face operations from her wheelchair.

I enjoy reading about doctors and others in the medical profession, but this book was especially interesting as it is from a Christian perspective.  We found it in our public library system, but it and Dorothy Clarke Wilson’s other books are available on amazon.com. This book about Mary, published in 1963, is very interesting and is written in a way that really keeps the reader’s attention.

Flea Market

25 Sep

Although I haven’t been very active on my blog lately I have been quite busy here at home! My recent ‘big event’ was the flea market here in Congress. I wasn’t sure how that was going to go, but it turned out really good! For some reason, my online sales did really good that weekend, too. It was a good weekend all the way around!

I had been thinking about doing the flea market for quite awhile, so I worked at slowly building my inventory up the last several months. And of course, the last two weeks I jammed everything in that I could -between doctor appointments! (It just so happened that I had like 4 appt. for tests, doctors, ect right in that time frame!)

I sewed Hand Towels and Gift Bags down to the hand sewing. Sewing goes faster for me when I work on the multiples of the same thing for awhile. I packed my bag full of hand sewing to take along to my IV appointment, but it just so happened that they started my IV on my right hand that day! I got a nap instead. 🙂

The flea market was held in the parking lot of the Congress Depot Marketplace. They have a marketplace inside for vendors to rent spaces to sell their things. It’s nice stuff, a lot of antiques. They have a bit of produce and baked goods, too.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better spot for my space. It was right up front where people walk in. They ‘had to’ walk right past my tent to get to the food! 😉  While we were setting up the manager told us to leave Dad’s truck parked behind the tent so people would see the signs for his appliance business.  That was nice of them, although we weren’t expecting that. Mom and Dad set up the tent for us. It actually didn’t take that long. It got a little breezy at times during the day, but the tent seemed pretty stable. My gift bags kept blowing away and then I realized I had laid them on the table so they were open to the wind.

It was cold in the morning when we left the house, but it really got warm during the day. Mom & I both got sun burns. There was quite a bit of traffic through the flea market until a little after noon. It really dropped off then and we were home around 3:00. I didn’t think I really sold that many items, but when I sat down and added things up I was pleasantly surprised at how much I had made. The very low entry fee ($5) helped a lot too!

So now I am quite excited to come up with things for next month! My towels sold pretty good, so I will just re-stock those, but the gift bags didn’t sell well at all. I think I need to figure out how to display them different.  While selling online has a certain appeal, I really enjoy selling local. It is so much more interesting to be able to see your customers. And maybe if I keep practicing, I won’t be such a shy saleslady! 😦  Have you had any experience with a flea market? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Picture God’s Creation

25 Sep

Picture God’s Creation

18 Sep

Picture God’s Creation

11 Sep

New Hair Net Listing

6 Sep

I created a new listing for my large hair nets on eBay. After getting several requests from customers about other colors and/or quantities, I wondered how many customers didn’t buy because they didn’t want to bother with a special request.  Now it is very simple to order your large hairnet through a fixed price listing offering the choice of net style or flower style. You can also choose from one of the basic colors: black, brown, natural, and white.  I will still continue to list auctions for the large style, to gain more exposure.

Check out the new listing here!

Picture God’s Creation

5 Sep

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