Merry Knitmas!

Yesterday was a bit of a cliffhanger, but I feel like it was obvious enough. We’ve got new patterns!

I decided to make a line of Dress Up Dolls patterns. Say you are a knitter and love our items, but they just aren’t in the budget. Well now, you can make one for yourself! They are a more simplified version of my shrunken wool rabbits that I’ve been creating lately, but they still have hips and feet and shoulders and beautiful heads! Another bonus: they are knitted in the round! Makes knitting a breeze. No mountain of body parts waiting for their seams to be sewn up and attached. They look beautiful dressed and undressed.

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The pattern is a standard deer: one color, no muss no fuss. So if you’re still a kind-of new knitter, you can do this! If you would like to venture out, you can change colors like I did. I simply knitted the muzzle a different color (tip included in pattern), added antlers (also included in pattern), embroidered on some spots and ‘hairs’ in the ears and voila! Rudolph! My daughter went nuts over him.

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I also bought a skein of a mohair lace weight and knitted it together with my wool to create a fuzzier doe:

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ALSO, You can see they have little sweaters on–that is also available as a pattern! It was so easy to make; I foresee a boatload of beautifully detailed sweaters in the future! The pattern is for a simple, single-colored sweater. However, as you can see, it makes a great base for being creative. I double-knit in a nordic design on one. I embroidered little holly cluster polka dots onto another. I made Rudolph’s sweater striped! Details for the stripes  included in pattern. I can’t wait to see all of the different finishes!

***Please note, I created this pattern as just to be knitted, not shrunken as well. If you do decide to shrink it, it will look completely different than this! I do not use these designs for my shrunken wool dolls. I merely created a pattern to look similar to those. ***

I wasn’t really sure of when I was going to offer these patterns, but I figured no better time than the present! It may be a little bit like offering in the eleventh hour, but they don’t need to be holiday deer. There’s always New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthdays, nightly toy knitting, or just ’cause! So grab these patterns at our Etsy shop; more are already in the works!

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No rain, no flowers.

Hey, how are you? It’s been a while. I hope you’re doing well, that things are okay. If you’re not all right, well then, that’s okay too. Truth be told, I think the majority of us aren’t “all right.” We all go through an ebb and flow of difficult situations that are essentially helping us grow up into better versions of ourselves, even though they seem to come in the version of 20-foot waves.

I love (yet also simultaneously despise) the saying “no rain, no flowers.” It’s reassuring that the waves of torrential downpour will guarantee growth, but nobody wants to keep getting dumped on in order to see the bounty of blossoms.

Did you know this business began over 30 years ago? Bet a dime you didn’t, and it’s likely that you may have never even heard of us until recently, or even today. See, shortly after my mom and grandma started this business, it rained. And it didn’t just sprinkle or mist, we’re talking 40 days’ and 40 nights’ worth. Could you imagine essentially being a nobody (sorry ma) that people were still so threatened by? There was wave after wave of people who sought to fight against the productivity, the growth of this little business.

The flood of legal battles have ended all in our favor (thank you God), and so seems the defamation as well. The army we once faced for nearly two decades, many of those jumped ship. However, after the water dissipated, we realized that the time lost on protecting our possessions would never be recouped. In those days of legal paperwork and continuously setting the record straight, we were outrun in the race. We had lost time investing in promoting our products. People who had just begun these crafts were already widely known. We thought the lack of interest was because of the types of products we made, so we invested even more time in design, and even less in advertising and reaching out.

Friends, can I tell you, sometimes it feels like The Great Flood is at your door. You may feel like you are experiencing tumultuous undercurrents from other people, which keep you from your full potential. Don’t look at it that way. It becomes really easy to be dismayed, trust me. To be clear, you’re not a bad person for losing faith over it.  I’ve been there. Sometimes, I didn’t want to be faithful, but I looked at it as a duty. If you focus on the bad that’s happening, you’re only going to drown yourself.

If we hadn’t experienced everything that we did, we may not have grown into creating better products, we may not have grown into becoming wiser in business relations and protecting our intellectual property. We’ve become more bold. We also relate to a lot more people now, sharing struggles. This business may not mean anything to anyone else, except those who wanted it snuffed out. But we’re here, we’re growing, and I think it’s finally showing! We are pretty dang excited with our refined designs (we’ll share more in the next few days).

Recite these, heck, stitch it on your sleeves: no grit, no pearl; no pressure, no diamond; no rain, no flowers. And just remember, you aren’t the only one who gets to enjoy your flowers!

Here’s some florals from around my house to distract you and temporarily drown away your sorrows. I hope your clouds will clear out soon!

Hugs,  Rhonda

Stay Gold

I thought I’d take a quick break from the Prep- and Dessert-Day minutiae before tomorrow’s hustle. I bet that if asked what you’re thankful for, your first answer is “family.” Now, unlike those of you who just say it to give the good and noble answer, I am truly thankful for my family, especially this time of year. In fact, my family are kind of a hidden treasure. Gold coins, really. On a more technical scale, our family name is Aucoin. Now, “Au” on the Periodic Table of Elements is Gold. And “-coin” is pretty easy to figure out. Gold coins.

On the surface we may seem like a normal group, kind of a simple troop. Nay, I say. We are not normal. Growing up with three sisters was anything but dull. We live to laugh; everything with us ends in a comical skit or joke of some sort. When we were younger we would think of all kinds of antics to arouse some kind of merriment–which may have included pantyhose on our heads from time to time, don’t ask. We just enjoy each other’s company. There have been many times of sadness or frustration where I just needed the entertainment my family bring, and boy do they bring it. I mean, sometimes the 200+ texts may be a bit much, but it’s all good.  Aside from all of us girls inheriting same laugh as our mom, I see so many of her characteristics in my sisters and in myself. We are strong, we are forgiving. We are tolerant, we are giving. We commit, we are faithful. Our husbands are pretty fortunate… But faith is the largest trait that I can see in our family. Our family motto is actually: “Pray about everything;” that and “Drink more water,” or “Pie is a breakfast food.” I’m thankful that we had parents who invested time teaching us to do good and be good; to put God first. I’m thankful that now that I’m grown, I benefit from it every time I spend time with them. Now those values get passed onto my kids, and I’m so thankful for a good husband who sees the importance of praying many times a day with us and the importance of being present. I’m so glad that now I see the thankfulness in my children (as seen below). It’s also nice to see that I fall under “bed” for the things that my son is thankful for, hah!

I know that I can call on my family to pray, to laugh, to seek advice. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Tomorrow, I will wholeheartedly thank God for the treasure he has given me in them, and I hope you do the same with yours. Happy Thanksgiving.

Hugs, Rhonda

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Oh, October

As the foliage fireworks display makes way for the Winter dormancy, as so do we prepare for the repose of these seasons. This is the time of year to celebrate change and celebrate coziness. We’ve celebrated Autumn births and birthdays, we’ve celebrated new friendships and the rekindling of relationships. The brightly dappled bursts of color will soon fade and fall away, baring the empty branches. We hate there comes a time to say goodbye to everything pumpkin. But, we are reminded that the time of slumber during the Winter allow for closeness, and Spring will soon be here again with it’s own colorful parade of petals. We just plan on enjoying the cozy over these next few months, and hope you do as well.

Here’s a few snippets of our Fall thus far. Enjoy!

Hugs, Rhonda

Babies and cake

We’ve been on vacation! The last few weeks have been spent kissing on a new baby and celebrating with a little lady who turned four! It was a perfect time for the arrival of my niece, Emily. We had a ton of friends and family in town to pass around the new little lamb, and it just so happened to coincide with my daughter’s birthday. The party was a success–a lot of laughter was shared, it looked like a confetti and wrapping paper bomb went off, and a dozen kids rolled around in a bounce house after eating far too many sweets. But this mama isn’t gonna complain when they are asleep at 7:30 without argument. I wish those busy, entertaining, comforting moments weren’t spread out so far between. Maybe we’ll just start celebrating half birthdays.

We shall return back to work with some new items real soon!

Hugs, Rhonda

A well-rounded week.

This week has been a full one.

We picked about 200 plums from our tree. About 70 were gifted, another 100 were used in homemade plum chutney, and a few dozen were plucked by the kids and inhaled right where they stood. And I’ll be the first to tell you that canning is no joke. Chopping and pitting all those plums was, well, the pits. However, I can’t wait to pass around this chutney and enjoy a spread of it on crostini with some brie. The plums that are still on the tree are being thoroughly enjoyed by a dozen birds daily.

Though it was extremely hot down here in the Southwest, we enjoyed some of our time outside letting loose a few thousand lady bugs. The kids were in heaven. They squealed and let the bugs climb all over them, carefully picking them up and placing them on rose petals. It was really sweet and entertaining.

And as we usually do, we spent entirely too much time taking photos of our flowers and ate too many sweets. It was a good week.

On the business side, my mom finished a few little bears and had them photographed, patiently waiting for their debut. Keep an eye out for these 100% wool, crocheted-then-shrunken, creamy-hued cuties on Ebay. Also be sure to check back soon with some new and not-usual products from us! we’ll also be making visual changes as well!

Thanks for following!

Hugs, Rhonda