Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Black Friday

I don't participate in Black Friday. You are probably shaking your hand in amazement, right? "But, you had a shop and are a retailer!"
I like the idea that every purchase is thoughtful and conscious. Much like Larkmartin Soaps. Every bar is made with care and always with love. Black Friday doesn't represent Larkmartin Ideals.
So, I apologize that there won't be any special deals on Friday, but I do promise you that you'll get incredible soap, superior customer service and a holiday happy in every order!
Look for specials after Thanksgiving weekend for local purchases at the Handmade Holiday Shop!
Thanks so much for your support! Briana

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pinterest....on my last nerve

So, truly, I adore Pinterest. I really enjoy the ideas and creativity. I've done several projects or have implemented ideas inspired by Pinterest. But, I'm overload on the styled perfection on there. I'm starting to be more critical of my flaws, like dumping the clean clothes in a pile until one day they get folded. Should I care? Hey it works, it's not perfect, but neither I am. I dare you to come over and let's see how many times I apologize for the state the house is in. I've got to get over it. We live here. We make messes. Totally not Pinterest worthy. I've got to go. It's pretty apparent that I've should have cleaned out the refrigerator a long time ago! That pin on Pinterest inspired me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An abundance....

Just a moment ago, I was putting away the dishes. I opened up the dishwasher, overflowing with an abundance of water bottles, sippy cups and glasses of all kinds. I precariously pushed mason jars, pint glasses, Winnie the pooh juice glasses and coffee mugs all together in one cabinet. (The boys have their own drawer, where they grab what they need at their level safely. Now they are able to get their own water without having to ask me. I still control the milk and juice). I have a serious amount of drink ware. I have an entire cabinet full. It is sickening. Not only I am able to have glasses, I have an abundance. I am saying it in a positive way, because I see that it all was acquired through abundance.

I have enough and I am grateful.

My kids and I had an eye opening meltdown tonight after I refused to buy a crappy toy. We have an abundance of toys. There was a sense of entitlement that made my heart sink. Do I dare say what my first thought was?
So, I'll be culling the glassware here tonight and finding ways to teach my children that they are and have enough. An abundance.

By the way, if you want to see an abundance of stuff in our storage unit, search for it on eBay under "entire storage unit contents". The auction ends Monday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Outside moveable sink- Part one

We've been working on a moveable outside sink that you can hook up to an outside faucet. It needs to be lightweight, weather resistant, and inexpensive. I came up with a quick sketch based on a cast iron sink I had. I quickly realized it was incredibly heavy and I was a little bit too fond of it to donate it. Oh, my goodness that sounds so selfish! I was able to find a plastic sink with a faucet for $5.00 at Abilities Unlimited. Then I made a trip to Falk Plumbing, our local supply house. I'm happy to say they only laughed at me a bit after I explained my project. Falk and Dean Jackson plumbing helped me find what I needed and they even tested my faucet for me to make sure it works! I got a 6' washing machine hose for $6.96, a 1/2" hose adaptor for $3.30, and a 1/2" threaded cap to cap off the hot water pipe on the faucet.
Adam put together a top made out of 1x cedar left over from the house. He's going to work on it so it will be ready for the Historic Farmers market on July 3. We will be donating it so the market will have a place to wash their hands!

To be continued....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

finished....for now

Monday we had our final inspection with the bank.  We busted our butts to finish up all the little things and didn't quite finish. But, I'm done for now.  I'll live with the primed trim until I can gather the energy to start again and paint the final coat.  It feels good to take a break and enjoy not being "owned" by the house.  It has been 11 months of construction today.  Three months of preparation to our previous house getting it ready to sell.  Add 8 months of designing/planning for the new house and you've got one tired girl. We are finished, but not done. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sliding door

Adam really should be writing this post. He did an incredible job creating this sliding door for our downstairs bathroom. He used sliding door track from Lowe's and some scrap lumber. He even created the stops and the thingy to keep it from being wobbly out of wood that we had. There is a tutorial floating around the Internet, but I'm pretty sure he gleaned a bit here and there to make it his own.
I accidentally stripped the door using isopropyl alcohol trying to remove latex paint from the backplate. It worked a little too well, but I love the old paint distressed look. The alcohol dried out the wood, so I oiled it before putting a tung oil finish on it. He epoxyed an old door knob on the outside and we have a simple hook latch on the inside.
We are still waiting patiently for the plumber to hook up the faucets in there, although he did set up Adam's shop up with plumbing. I asked at the very last minute to have another faucet outside so I can have a designated outdoor sink for plants or rinsing out really dirty boy clothes.
Also, I found a fantastic rug at an estate sale on Thursday for $25.00 and a beautiful cake stand for $12.00. I love a good find!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A visit to a beeyard

the large queen cage
  Yesterday I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Doyle Hawthorne's bee yard. The visit was organized by the Hot Springs Beekeeper's Association and Betty Smith from the Arkansas State Plant Board was there to facilitate the inspections of his hives.  He has 39 hives on his property and it was an incredible sight to see!  The weather was mild, partly sunny and no wind.  It was right after six o'clock when they started the inspections.  I've read not to disturb them after five, because the whole gang is back at the hive.  But, they were in good spirits and not at all aggressive.
  We witnessed a new hive being created with the addition of a queen and three frames from an existing hive.  His queen cages are much larger than the industry standards and he believes that the larger cage allows greater acceptance of the new queen.  He has a 99% acceptance rate.
  Then we looked at frames with capped brood cells.  I was amazed that different bees have different cell characteristics.  Worker bee cells were large and domed and they reminded me of the top of a pencil eraser.  Queen cells look like a circus peanut, spread out across the foundation.  Finally, they inspected two hives that were swarms caught in Hot Springs Village.  They cut the comb to fit into the foundation and then rubber band them into place.  One of the hives was queen less.  There was no new egg cells and they were very disorganized.  They were not aggressive, but flying around unsure of the situation.  I watched with amazement as they had another queen ready to take over.
 Betty Scott was a wealth of information.  For example, I learned that there could be two queens in a hive if it was a mother and daughter.  If the mother is ailing, the daughter will let her live.  If there are two sister queens, the new one will sting the other one to death.  I also learned that I need to register my bees with the state! Betty does apiary inspections and I'm very excited to have her come out and see my little hive.  The visit was a wonderful experience and I'm looking forward to opening my hive this weekend to do my own inspection!

Mr. Hawthorn feeds his bees a mix of simple sugar, corn syrup and  a concoction of ripe fruit boiled down and strained.