Thursday, June 28, 2018

                                        The Magic Behind the Unicorns

I wanted to give a special "shout out" to my husband, Jerry, for all the help and support he has given to me since I started Pear Creek Cottage 8 years ago.

When we started this adventure, I had just completed over a decade of working for a corporation.  As with "corporate work", there were definitely ups and downs.  Major frustrations, a few "highs" help balance the "lows".

Jerry believed in me, right from the start.  He willingly supported the lack of income we received, while the business was being birthed and grown.  He was and still is my #1 moral support.  He believes in me and my dream...sometimes more than I believe in myself.

Here we are 8 years later, and we are working side by side in our small home business.  Neither one of us saw this coming, but when Jerry's company sold the part of the business where he worked, he was let go.

He has company while he cuts out shapes!  His favorite is John Wayne movies.  He has seen them so many times, he has them memorized I think!  :)

We teased each other, about him "working for me"...but low and behold, it has come to pass.  Well, he doesn't really work for me, but with me.  He has become an excellent die cutting apprentice!  Can I just let you know that he has been cutting felt unicorns for the whole month of June and beyond.  He has cut over 4000 unicorns!  Whoo hoo!

Taking a lunch/walk break along our lovely Santa Cruz Coastline
It may not seem the "manly man" thing to do, but yet there he is still cutting and stacking the unicorns all nice and neat as they await shipping out to customers.  His large fingers, delicately cradling the fragile unicorns as if they were a newborn babe.  Observing this, as I routinely work on filling orders, has brought a new surge of love and admiration for this man that I said; "I Do" to, over 39 years ago.

I just had to stop and share with you the importance of our love and commitment to each other.  Doing things for each other, even when we don't "feel" like it.  Placing each other as a priority.  Working together to achieve our goals.  Realizing anew, that we need each other.  We were not made to do this life alone.  God intends for us to live in joy, and in relationship.  Just as The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit live in community and relationship, we too are designed to live in relationship.

My joy level has risen as I see the care and love that Jerry displays by his actions.  The Magic behind the unicorns?  LOVE!!

 Together, we both are so grateful for your continued support of our small home business.  You are helping us as a family, and our THANKS is heartfelt and sincere.

Did you know that you can use our "White Wax Dipping Felt" shapes for more than dipping in wax!    Use your favorite markers, and color right onto the felt. Great for kids crafts or for your own personal muse.   Let your inner artist out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

June is my Birthday Month!  Yay for Special Days and Celebrating.

Celebrating birthdays can sometimes be tedious.  Depending on the frame of mind one has.  The age old adage, "you're only as old as you feel"...and other great sayings can leave one feeling older than they really are.

This year, I am turning 59!  Yup!  It's a big one.  Not ready for retirement, but viewing it off in the distance.  When I think of retirement, I really don't know what to think specifically.  Does one really retire?  Retire from what?  Living?  The "promise" of something better in retirement shadows the present. The scene similar to hanging a carrot in front of a rabbit.  Teasing.  Taunting.  Causing dissatisfaction with current situation.  I don't want this to be my focus.

I've decided that today, right now...I'm going to live in the present.  Not exerting energy into speculating, what the future may have.  I feel mentally stronger, and accepting of my place and position in life.  I want to move forward confident in this acceptance of self.  Focusing on contentment, not discontentment.  Finding things to be grateful for, and appreciative of.

Recently, I've been able to work on new art pieces.  You can see some of the pieces here:
The words and verses on these art pieces are all meaningful to me.  This has been my process.  When you view these pieces, you can see what I've been thinking on, and where the direction of my life is heading.  Check the shop to see when these pieces are listed: here

As I look forward to my 59th year of life, I am excited.  I am anticipating great adventures and life lessons learned.  I am learning to see Immanuel's (God with us) presence in everyday moments.  I'm full of joy and expectancy as I look forward to what lies ahead on my life journey.

Sharing smiles with you straight from my flower garden.  Do you see them?  The little smiley faces in the middle of the daisies?  I just love how happy these make me.  Hope you enjoy them as well.

Thank you for joining with me and being a traveling companion on this adventure.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What You Do, Is Important

Do you find yourself questioning your significance?  Is what you are doing right now of lasting importance?  Are you really making a difference in someone's life, or the world?

These are all natural questions that humankind asks.  We have a deep need inside each one of us, hardwired into our DNA and makeup, to be important.  To matter.

Every once in awhile, God pulls back the curtain and reveals to each of us "how" we matter to others.

I recently had this experience and wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

I own on online business called Pear Creek Cottage.  One of the services we offer are die cutting shapes for customers.  It often doesn't seem like a "big deal", but to our customers...we give them the gift of time.  We cut the shapes for them, freeing up their time to create, make, or do what is more important to them.  While we offer products for sale, we also consider that we are offering a service and gift of time.
 Pear Creek Cottage is situated on Family acreage bordering Pear Creek Lane 

Today, I would like to introduce you to a sweet customer named Dannell.  I first had the opportunity to work with Dannell in 2015.  She needed some of our felt die cut shapes for a project that she was working on with her son.  Most recently, I had the opportunity to work with her again, and this time, she let me know more of her amazing story.  You can read her story on her blog.

Special, sacred, holy; are the words that come to mind reading and hearing of Dannell's story.  She is a chosen individual that has a unique anointing to do the work of God.  I feel blessed indeed, that I was able to have a miniscule part in her story, by providing felt shapes for Levi.  In order to not detract from her writings, I encourage you to use the link to her blog.

The neat and extraordinary timing of Dannell sharing her story with me was, I needed encouragement.  I was taking a stroll down the path of discouragement, feeling like I wasn't making a difference or doing anything important.

 Isn't that just like God?  Just when I needed an uplift, along comes "angel Levi", and his mom Dannell to share their story with me.

May I encourage you today to know, even if you don't "feel" like you matter or are making a difference.  In the huge big picture, you are.  You are a uniquely designed, creatively placed, "puzzle piece" that completes the picture.  Without you, the "puzzle" has a gaping hole.  You matter.  You are needed.  There is a bigger picture and plan that we don't yet see.

Puzzle Blanks for sale in the shop

Thank you for reading and following along.  Please visit Dannell's blog and give her some love.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Spring is Here...feeling GRATEFUL

 After a couple of bouts with sickness this past winter, my body and mind are rejoicing that it is Spring.  Winter felt long and hard.  I was forced to rest and care for my health, which isn't a bad thing. 

I am a doer.  A "go-getter".  A planner.  Sometimes, I don't know when to stop.  Thankfully, my Creator God, has allowed me to experience sickness in order to stop and rest, and regain health; as well as learning to be more grateful for the health I do have.

In between sleeping, and coughing, I had some moments where I had mini inspiring creative moments.  Wanting to work in my planners, and get them spruced up, I came up with some designs that would help me be more organized.

 Recently, I started embroidering again.  Using wool blend felt shapes, and acrylic felt shapes gives me a great "canvas" to practice my stitches on.

 Here are some pictures of projects that I worked on while recuperating.

Hand-stitched basket of flowers
journal notebook book band.

Travelers Notebooks (TN) book bands. Elastic bands stitched with
decorative wool felt shapes.

Jumbo paper clips with decorative fabric shapes.
Stitched rabbit journal notebook band.


Yesterday, I was able to go for a nice walk with my daughter and grandson.  As I was walking along, all of a sudden, I realized..."I'm grateful!"  Grateful for the beauty of creation that surrounds me.  Grateful for movement, and the ability to walk.  Grateful for the company of my daughter and grandson...having family close.    Sharing these moments together, fills me with JOY!

I hope the season change to Spring has allowed you some time to capture and rehearse being thankful and grateful.  Thank you for reading and traveling with me on this life journey.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Living in the Moment

My day was planned.  I was carefully orchestrating the details for a productive work day. And then, I heard a knock on my back door.  My grandson Caleb, almost 4 years old, came over to ask me to go for a walk.  I had already declined to his mom.  Somehow, my declining and his mom explaining my unavailability to walk at that time, was not going to deter him.  He decided I needed another personal invitation; thus, the knock on my door.

Caleb insisted that our walk would be fun, and that I would enjoy it.  He willingly offered to wait for me, while I got ready to go.  Several adoringly sweet smiles, and 100% charm, and this Gramma was jumping up ready to go wherever her adventurous little grandson wanted.

This year, I am trying to learn to live more in each moment.  Not just looking toward the future, but what is happening in the here and now.  Practicing being present.  Living in JOY.  I am learning that JOY is relational.  Joy starts with a smile.  Joy means someone is glad to be with me.

The fact that Caleb was expressing his joy and delight in wanting to be with me was extremely contagious!  All of a sudden, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to be with him.

What a beautiful lesson I received this morning in JOYfull living.  The weather was perfect!  The fresh sea-salt air was invigorating.   Inhaling the "signs of Spring" that surrounded us on our walk was mind renewing.  Below are a few photos snapped on our unexpected, and enchanting walk.

Freshly plowed brussel sprouts field on the left overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
 Sharing the hiking path with "Indy" and his rider!  Walking up to Indy and letting him check me out and then, getting to pet him was a glee filled moment!
 These apple trees are on the historic Wilder Ranch just north of Santa Cruz.  Meandering through the ranch setting and letting my imagination play was a great exercise.  Thinking of the people and their stories, folks that lived in this idyllic place gave me greater appreciation for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of earlier generations.  To be three generations observing the scene together was heartwarming.  (Gramma, daughter, grandson)
Isn't this the most perfect playground for children?  Caleb wanted to show me how he could climb this tree, and explore the "mature Aloe Vera plant hedge forts" that were surrounding it.

Surrounded by natural beauty.  Inhaling the freshness.  I am so thankful that I allowed my schedule to be interrupted and gave myself permission to be.  "Be" in the moment with my loved ones.  Be present with Creator God who made all the beauty I was observing. Just being present in the moment.

For a recovering workaholic today was just "what the doctor ordered".  I needed it more than I realized.  I am so thankful for the ways that God uses people in my life to show me things that I might have missed otherwise.  I am thankful for little Caleb. and his insistence that I accompany him and his mom on the walk.  I am thankful for all the little and BIG ways that my Creator God continually reveals his love for me, and his JOY in me and being in my presence.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Good-Bye 2017

What a year 2017 has been.  Some years zoom by with relative sameness as past years.  For us 2017 was not like past years!

We started off the year with big plans for Pear Creek Cottage to attend the Business Boutique one day event in Sacramento, California.  This was Pear Creek Cottage's first "Live Event".  Taking ones on-line business to a "Live Event" is revealing, to say the least.  Learning to display items; engage in conversations that are in real time and not "virtual", and using different financial services for handling transaction were all part of our learning curve.  But, we LOVED it!  Meeting other women who are either in business, or dreaming of starting a business was such and encouragement and inspiration to us.  It was a big booster shot.

After returning home from this event, Terri and I were hustling.  We were super busy through-out the Spring and Summer.  Not only with filling orders and running the business, but we also were planning and creating for the Super Business Boutique Event in Nashville.  The plan was formulated, and to be executed by Jan and her husband Jerry. 

Yet another curve ball came our way in July of 2017 when we were notified of Jerry's pending layoff from his company.  Not what we were expecting as we had carefully planned trip expenses to Nashville.  We had decided to drive and take some extended time traveling since we were coming from California.  As the clock ticked down and the departure date arrived, we had by that time gone back and forth on the practicality of attending the event so far from home. 

The practical side was tugging on us to "throw in the towel" and claim defeat as our plans were shattered.  But, we are people of faith!  We made the decision to step out in faith, believing that this wonderful opportunity that had come to us was a gift given by our Father in Heaven.  So, against conventional wisdom, we stepped out and drove ourselves back to Nashville for the Big Business Boutique Event.

Along the drive, we were encouraged and had our spirits lifted by the adventure of "not knowing" what exactly was next.  Expectancy and excitement were our companions as we literally were moving forward in faith, believing that the risk we were taking was and still is part of our growth process.

Seeing the different parts of America as we drove to our destination was also a moral booster for both of us.  We have always dreamed of driving across country and exploring this great nation.  So, we decided to enjoy the adventure and the scenery, even though some states topography are not our favorites, we did find beauty in the diversity.

There was so much to absorb and learn at the BB in Nashville.  I am still applying the notes I took, and making changes and adjustments to my business to help grow and blossom in 2018.
Needless to say it was overwhelming and invigorating all in one.  To see the power of women believing in their dreams, and the people who are behind them helping them realize their dreams is a powerful force.  Many husbands also attended the BB, which kind of surprised me, but then, on the other hand, inspired me.  Seeing the men, behind the women believing in "the dream" sometimes even more, than the woman herself is amazing.
I had my own support team rooting and cheering behind the scenes and in the grandstands! Thank you to my family and friends who have supported and believed in me, all the way.  Of course, I too had my husband right there by my side. Speaking life giving words of hope and encouragement over me.  Also, I had the very best traveling companion.  My best friend and my soulmate.
As we come to the close of this year, and look forward with anticipation to the faith adventures that await us in 2018,  we especially want to THANK YOU for all your support, belief, love and favor that you've blessed us with this year.  It may not seem like a big thing to you, but by supporting our small business you are believing in our dreams and promoting us to move forward in helping others realize their dreams as well.  So ,a huge big Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.  Looking forward to exploring 2018 with you.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Patches and Daisy's Adventures to Nashville and Beyond

Patches and Daisy's Adventure to Business Boutique was full of unique opportunities to meet new people, and to even go home with their new owners.

As we left California, and drove across Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, I was assembling new brothers and sisters for the original Patches and Daisy's that I made.  I wanted to be able to have as many as possible to take to the Business Boutique in Nashville.  Each time I would complete one of the bears, I would smile.  Hoping that each bear would offer their new owners the same response!  JOY and gladness.  Learning to live as "The Beloved".

What a great time of learning and sharing we participated in at the Boutique.  Laughing with others, and encouraging them in their business endeavors.   Exchanging ideas and contacts.  I am particularly grateful that Jerry, my husband, was able to make the trip to Nashville with me, and all the Pear Creek Cottage goodies that we piled in the car.  Having his stable presence was calming for my excited nerves, and his assistance in set up and take down was so helpful.

It was such a great re-connecting time as husband and wife.  We were both under considerable amount of stress the weeks leading up to the event.  Me, with getting items ready to take with us and sell.  Jerry, with finishing up things at his company, as he lost his job, right before our trip.

This whole year has been teaching and reminding us that we live by faith and not by sight.  When we said yes to attend the conference in Tennessee, we had no idea at the time that Jerry would be losing his job.

We are thankful we stepped out in faith, and followed our hearts, and went on this trip to Tennessee.  We are not sure how God is going to work, but we believe with confidence, the changes we are experiencing and traveling through are for a greater, deeper purpose than we realize.  We are choosing to TRUST, and live in JOY.

We have a fondness for The Great Smoky Mountains.  They have become one of Jerry and my favorite places to visit.  We weren't sure that the trip would allow for extended travel time that allowed us to journey into our beloved mountains.  But, as it turns out, that was another added bonus from our Loving and Caring Father God.

It seemed so fitting that Patches and Daisy were able to enjoy the scenery as much as Jerry and I do.  The musical sound of rushing water over the rocks in the river.  The ever so slight timbre of leaves falling, and the brisk Fall air were a soothing balm for us.

My eyes were brimming with tears of joy and thankfulness for the opportunity we had to take this trip and enjoy the majestic beauty in God's creation.  It seem like a "Shalom Moment" ; all is peaceful and calm, knowing that no matter what happens in the future...we know that we are safe in God's hands and He will carry us through these times of unknowing and uncertainty.

"In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him".  Psalm 95:4 

We don't see all the answers from our current perspective, but we are continually choosing to "walk by faith, and not by sight"; as the journey continues to unfold we will share what we are learning along the way.

"But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1"