Catching up on stuff

The summer has been hectic.  I’ve been trying to make lots of pillows, do some paintings, and build up dog toy inventory while working and doing shows.  I’ve had mixed success, getting a few painting projects finished and making some new catnip pillows.  But I’ve been restricted by a lack of two key resources: money and time.

What I have learned from this is to pace myself, and to be patient.   Keeping up with a household, a job, a crafting business and an active teen and toddler is challenging.  I have a list I prepared before our most recent event, of inventory I wanted to have for that show.  My plan now is to chip away at the list as our next show approaches.

Today we were out of town all day, and my toddler and I spent the day visiting parks and a library.  The plan was to keep him busy and entertained, but it was great fun!  and two nature walks gave me plenty of imagination fodder for new ideas.

School starts for us next week.  I have our September shows marked on the calendar, and October shows too.  I’ve also taken to drawing blocks around open days.  I usually have to decide between household chores, crafting and errands on those days.  Now I’m going to pay more attention to leaving some as fun days.


Enjoy the end of the summer, please!  It’s good for you!




Big Shows Coming Up/Today is National Mutt Day

We’re busy scheduling fall shows, and prepping for a big show coming up next weekend, the Angel Days Holistic Fair at the Leesport Farmers Market.  Considering the last two times we were there it rained, I’m pleased that this show will be in the indoor part of the market.  The fair goes from 10-5 on Saturday August 6, and 10-4 on Sunday, August 7.  Come see us at the show, and get 10% off your order if you wish our toddler a Happy Birthday!


Today is National Mutt Day.  I love my mixed breed dogs, both Shepherd crosses.  Whether your dog is full breed, cross breed or a true mutt, they are family.  You can find my dog toys for sale on

on Etsy: Craftypatternsnmore,    on eBay: larastop   and at:



Making Progress and Pretty Things

It’s week 2 of no shows, and the first weekend that I really had time to work on crafting.  So far this week I’ve finished two mermaid tails for a child’s birthday party, a ring bearer’s pillow for my sister’s upcoming wedding, and I’m just about finished with a handpainted wooden plate with a loving poem for a brother, requested by a friend.


In between I make dog toys whenever I can, and have restocked one of the stores I sell through and taken inventory at another.  The store that I recently showed the ropes to needs hanging tags on the ropes, so that’s something else I’m working on this weekend.


Toddler obliged today by taking a world record nap after a nice long walk and a snack.  I’m going to wake him up soon, or no one will be sleeping tonight.


We have just a few shows scheduled so far, and the first one isn’t until June 25.The next two upcoming shows will be outdoors.   Enjoy the nice weather, get some fresh air, and if you can, come see us.

Shows versus Internet

We have had a busy Spring show season, with a show almost every weekend for the past couple of months.  I changed up the venues in hopes of finding some good shows.  The results were mixed.  A popular local outdoor flea market did not work well.  Neither did a large show where we had a very poor spot.  Vendor bingos were mixed.  We did have a fantastic show at a large park, and discovered that an added factor in evaluating the  success of a show was proximity of a playground for our toddler.

For the next few weeks, we are going to work on new items and focus on our online sales.  Those have been steady, but I’d like to give them some focus.  I also took dog ropes to show to the owner of two area pet stores, and am waiting for a response, plus I have a friend who will take some ropes and some new catnip toys she suggested I try out to some shows she goes to.  This will give us a break from getting up early/staying out late for shows, and hopefully we will resume shows near the end of June with renewed enthusiasm.


Let’s call this a Pre-post.  We have East Penn (formerly Macungie) Vendor Bingo on Sunday.  I’m working on decor, dream and tooth pillows, all princess and angel themed this morning.  Will post pictures later today.

New Items in Process

Working on new items.  We have four events upcoming in April, and are low on pretty much everything.  Taking advantage of some free time to work on pillows.  First up, replenishing sold stock.  Next, some new, decor sized pillows that will match my tooth and dream pillows.


Paint vs Poopy

I was planning to do  a little painting today.  I was scheduled to work yesterday, today and tomorrow, but our precious toddler has had a fever since Monday afternoon.  Yesterday was a snow day so I would have been off anyway.  I made dog toys yesterday, and thought I would paint today.  But sick toddler care comes first, dirty diapers and all.


Here’s a little project I made on Sunday.  These sock roses would make cute table decor for a baby shower:20160214_142413.jpg

Painted Commemorative Wooden Plates

I actually started painting these many years ago, to commemorate the births of my children.  Then I branched out to plates for grandparents and other family members. I stopped painting after my second child was born, limiting my work to a few plates for family and friends.  Recently, I found some photos of my prior work, and posted a few of the grandparent plates on Etsy.  I have been gratified that the photos have resulted in some sales.  Here is one of the recent grandparent plates, customized for a great-grandparent:  Pastel Great Grandparent

Craft Fairs, Kids and Paperwork

yesterday we sold our crafts at a Bark for Life event.  We were missing half our team.  My middle child was sick.  It poured in the morning, so Daddy stayed home with sick child and toddler.  It was a fun day!  I was sorry the toddler couldn’t join us, but with only two adults, it would have been too much to handle.  Hopefully next year we can all go.  Just as well this time though, because in the middle of the night, our toddler came down with older child’s sickness.  So I spent a quiet morning catching up on income/expense reports, baby hugs.   It was nice to see that while the shows have been hit or miss (and more miss than hit), we are turning a profit.  Baby hugs are even better than that!

sometime this week I will try to post some new pictures!

Back on eBay!

We are back on eBay!  Right now, you can find our sets of five dog toys for sale there.  Search the username larastop to find our listings!  we will be adding more listings this week.  Anytime you see something on this blog and can’t find it on our sites, please leave a message on the blog.