The weekend proved to be near fatal for our sweet grey tabby, Demi as she began Saturday quite suddenly lethargic, with no appetite or ability to drink water. Off to the vet we went to be shocked with a diagnosis of diabetes. Quite a surprise as she did not seem to have any noticeable symptoms, the vet felt like we just caught it and expects her to recover well as soon as we get her through this retched period. We were able to take her home the next day but she took a turn, largely my fault by underestimating how much she needed to eat prior to her insulin shot. FYI, if you ever suspect your cat (or anyone) is going in diabetic shock -- corn syrup on the gums. It probably saved her life. So now we wait until tomorrow to try once again to take her home and figure out a new routine of healing and wellness for sweet Demi.
I've had Demi since almost day one. She and her siblings were abandoned by their mother for some unfathomable reason, and I found them crying a squirming under my bedroom window the next morning covered in maggots. We bottle fed them for 2-3 weeks; the siblings did not make it but Demi did (not without a horrible case of ringworm). And for a little over 10 years she's lived problem free as a happy indoor cat.
I've gotten a little push back from friends and family as to why would I even try to extend her life. It seems unfathomable anyone would respond this way, just say "sorry" if nothing else. But, diabetes, just like in humans, is very manageable and this cat knows no one else than us -- so why would we let her slip though our hands when she has to have at least 2-3 more lives left?
In South Louisiana, we're lucky (for many reasons) but if for none other...Mardi Gras. Or in retail, for me, its the bridge between Christmas and Easter and a lot of fun to plan displays, research products and even design a few of my own.
This year Mardi Gras is early, February 9th. It's a quicker season than we like but we try to remember to carry the spirit with us throughout the year.
I was fortunate to sell out of this towel before Christmas and get blanks back in time to screenprint another run to hopefully last us through Mardi Gras. This is my "Live Everyday Like Fat Tuesday" linen towel. This year I revised my popular towel to be a "double print" in that I screen it twice to reflect two colors. It's harder (I admit, I've never tried it before) and I was quite nervous I'd never get the prints to line up but it all came together...luckily!
I also sell this design through Cafepress, which is available on most anything they print...including dog tees! Yes! And new this year...
is my Mardi Gras Hair Don't Care design, again at Cafepress. Most often they offer coupons when you click on the site and currently they are offering 20% OFF with code XOXO20 at checkout!
I also have a Mardi Gras based design in my newest Spoonflower collection, Louisiana State of Mind.
I'm still developing a few ideas for the next season; Mardi Gras is such a niche market but its one that the people who have been touched by Louisiana and New Orleans never forget. I love getting warm messages from all over the United States from a former Louisianian that treasures something I source or have made. Home sweet home, y'all!
Featured in this post:
Fleur de Lis Mardi Gras Ornament with fine glitter - at Nest Interiors
Happy New Year! Between the intensity of running the retail store and online shops, plus my twins very first Christmas, I took some time away from the blog to focus where needed. No resolutions this year either, I'm discovering revelations about myself instead...I'm really trying to delve into the good stuff and the bad stuff. One thing for sure, my year 2016 mantra is to not always be working. Sounds funny - but until you run your own business, you can't understand how hard it is to shift from always being ON.
We started the year with a family vacation, to the beach - in January (freezing) but the perfect time to think to yourself in an amazing and serene landscape. I highly recommend the Little Pearl Cottage in Grayton Beach - pet and baby friendly, could not ask for more!
The bird watching was amazing; I went to two state parks surrounding Grayton Beach and still didn't see as many birds as right in Grayton Beach. If you go, find the Western Lake boat launch...there is an adjoining private property (without entering it) - you can view lots of birds from the fence. If they're home try not to look creepy.
Back at the shop, things are mismatch of Mardi Gras (Feb. 9th) and Valentine's Day (Feb. 14th)...plus, if you can believe it, a few people have asked about Easter (who are you people!!) Slowly, I'm pulling it together in the shop - online, I'm doing much better with updating new stock as ordered and arrived. Another goal/intention of the new year is to put 85% of our inventory online. It somewhat conflicts with my "not always to be working" intention but I keep telling myself I always have tomorrow.
I wanted to say a word of thanks to everyone that supports my Etsy shop -- this month I made 1500 sales. Etsy has been a great home for me and connected me to customers I could of never had just standing still in my brick and mortar.
On a personal note and as an armchair ornithologist, I'm excited to announce that we have a rare winter hummingbird at our home since late October. A Black Chinned Hummingbird - rare for Southeast Louisiana and as of right now the only record of any winter hummingbird for Tangipahoa Parish. I think this deserves a post on its own and I'll recap once the season is over, but isn't he lovely...
And - short notice but it's FREE swatch day at Spoonflower; its the perfect time to try one of my patterns. They also have a few "cut and sew" patterns just made for the 8" x 8" swatch.
Featured in this post:
Mardi Gras Fleur de Lis ornaments - large scale and on sale at Nest Interiors
Bethany Lowe Valentine Silhouette Ornaments - Discontinued and at an excellent price at Nest Interiors
Have you heard the big news (well, for color nerds and the like) Pantone just announced the 2016 colors, yes colors of the year. First ever, two colors have been selected...rose quartz, a sweet party pink and serenity, reminiscent of a pale periwinkle Crayola crayon.
After the day's rush, I started combining what I already had in the store that fit these two special colors. Oddly, everything was very vintage! What's old is new again, right?
This year's selections, its been suggested, were due more to influences in equality and social justice and not just trends. Art imitates life, or is it the other way around?
I think its lovely, like a gentle sunset. I hope to bring both colors into the shop more and I definitely see, at least a limited edition release in our chalk paint line. But for me, I must be personally on trend because I've been seeing pink and blue for sometime now...
Here are our twins meeting Santa for the first time. Not exactly their cup of tea but they loved the lights and music!
Fun things to look for:
Pantone offers desktop wallpaper and phone screen savers in these luscious new shades here.
It may not be what you expect, but in Southeast Louisiana...this is probably the closest we'll get to a White Christmas! A couple weeks ago, we took a drive slightly north to Baton Rouge to take in the beginning of the White Pelican migration. Soon there will be thousands that over winter in this particular spot at the Capitol Lakes Park adjacent to LSU's campus.
Unlike our State bird, the brown pelican, these beauties are sleek against the sky with black and white markings and gracefully drop to the water. We weren't the only ones taking in the sites...this venue is perfect for the whole family.
We hope to check them out once more before they head North, but it's time to get busy at the shop!
Last night, I thought about how 2015 is winding down and how much has just happened alone in this year. Our twins arrived, we lost our dog, Pepe, and Cat, Sophie, and just yesterday I hit a milestone of 5 years cancer free since my diagnosis. And our store...considering I never thought I'd live to see another 5 years, its been amazing and emotional seeing the store full and sparkling!
This year, to celebrate, we're hosting our biggest after Thanksgiving sale ever! In store, on Black Friday, we'll hold multi-tiered discounts throughout the day beginning with 20% off the entire store starting at 9am. Small Business Saturday we will host our ornament sale geared to collectors or ornament exchanges -- buy 3 get the 4th free. And all weekend long - spend $25 in store and receive a special gift.
Of course, not everyone can get to tiny Ponchatoula, LA - so I've launched our online sales today lasting through Cyber Monday.
Etsy shop - 15% OFF your entire purchase with coupon code CYBER15
Main website - 20% OFF your entire purchase with coupon code SAVENOW20
Spoonflower - FREE shipping on fabric and paper orders placed on Fiber Monday - check out my shop with my newest Louisiana State of Mind design (Mardi Gras is already the most popular!)
Have a beautiful holiday and thanks, as always, for letting our nest be apart of yours!
Finally, I can reveal a fun project I've been kicking around for months that is now complete...a nice little fabric collection based from my Louisiana Home Sweet Home design in most Louisiana football home team colors, plus Mardi Gras (obviously, right?!)
It's a simple design, yet I wasn't finding anywhere...so, voila! Most importantly, I wanted it to be non-directional to be used easily from a fun scarf, tote to a dorm room pillow.
Teams and schools in the first batch are:
LSU (my alma-mater)
ULL Ragin Cajuns
and Mardi Gras
All of these fun fabrics live in my Spoonflower shop (where you can actually turn these into gift wrap and wallpaper too).
To see my coordinating Louisiana Home Sweet Home collection, visit our shop in Ponchatoula, LA to see the full collection or check out my online listings for a select items: