Congratulations

JESSICA F.


Please contact me and we'll make arrangements from there! :)

Thanks to all of you who participated! Giveaways are always fun!
 
 
Hey all!
It's the last day to sign up for the giveaway here at Whispers of Joy! Go back to this post and comment to enter (plus share on FB for a bonus entry!).
The winner will receive this fun Advent Christmas Countdown
And some more fun news...
About a month and a half ago, I listed my various wrapped ornament set on my Etsy shop.  I got some immediate response from them, increasing my traffic drastically! 
Not long later, I was contacted by a woman from NYC, who was with the company Food52.  This summer they opened a shop section of their mostly food-related website that features various items created by people from all over.
They were interested in working with me to sell some Christmas ornaments for their holiday decor collection in November!
Gulp!
So after lots of communicating, pricing, thinking, and craziness, we developed this collection for them to feature!
It has been a learning experience, (and caused plenty of stress) but it's fun to see your product featured on a big company's website such as this!
Here's a link to the homepage of Provisions, if anyone is interested.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support as well!
This last month has truly been crazy for me, but things are settling down, stress levels are lowering, and my house is SLOOWWLY getting back in shape.


Don't forget...last day to sign up for the giveaway!

 
 
Introducing:
Whispers of Joy on Etsy

Some of you may have guessed that this was part of my announcement. Some of you may have already visited my shop and discovered it before I shared.
I've slowly been adding things here and there as a side thing, when I made something fun to sell.

Now I'm starting to get a bit deeper into my business (more news to come!), and will be adding new things to my shop more often.  Now that my bazaar is over, I can put all my stock on here as I am able. Mostly, this has just been a way for me to enjoy creating, a great outlet for me, being a little side income as well. It's like getting paid to have fun! ;)

Etsy makes things a bit easier on the business end of things than this website did, back when I sold things here. I've been playing around with various ideas, and hope to be able to share more there in the future.

Here's a few samples of what is in the shop, or has been, since I opened up awhile back. Head over there and browse, then come back and read the last part of this post for a fun giveaway (finally)! There is a new 'shop' link on the top of this page also.
GIVEAWAY

Here's the Prize


Christmas is coming!
Do you do a countdown, or Advent calendar with your family?
This is a neat way to anticipate Christmas, and tie in fun activities, treats, and the Christmas Story into each day leading up to Christ's birth.
Each box is approximately 3x3x2, the entire calendar is 15x15x2.
I also have printables for sale to make your own calendar, if you aren't the lucky winner!
TO ENTER:
(2 chances per person)
1. Go to my Etsy shop and come back and leave a comment about which product is your favorite, or what you'd like to see more of.
2. Share the Whispers of Joy link on FB and come back and tell me that you did in the comments
Also, the more likes the FB page gets, the bigger chances of another giveaway soon! When I hit 400 likes, I will be doing another giveaway, so be sure to spread the word! Also, I have had some other business opportunities come up recently, which I will share more about next week, but the more my page can be spread, the better! Thanks so much! :)

Free Shipping available to US addresses only. 


Randomly chosen winner will be announced on

NOVEMBER 15th, 2013

through this blog and on FB.  Leave your email address and I'll email you if you're the winner as well!

Good luck! Hope to hear from lots of you!
 
 
It was crazy...
it was a lot of work...
it was fun!
Here's a few photos of the booth before the crowd hit.
The morning was nuts, but the afternoon slowed down and it got pretty quiet!
Good thing I had my sister in law there to help and keep me company!
Thanks, Lila! :)
 
 
It's here! This Saturday is the big day!
Whispers of Joy is hosting a booth at a local bazaar.
Here's a few more quick snapshots of a few more projects.
Sorry about the quality, but figured I share a few more photos that I had already taken.  Other previews here and here.


The event is held in Perham, MN, at the PACC
(Perham Area Community Center)
On Saturday, November 2nd from 9am-4pm
Let me know if you'd like more details!
I'll be in the large gym, near the entrance into the second gym.
There will be right around 140 venders there, so it should be a good one!
A great girls day out before the guys start hunting the next weekend! :)

Hope to see some familiar faces, as well as meet some new people!
I'm looking forward to it, and hoping to have a great event.
 
 
I've been crafting up a storm over here! 3 more weeks until the craft show and things are craziness. Thought I'd give you a peek at a few of the things I've been up to the last couple of weeks.
Upcycled Tshirt Blanket
One of my favorites yet! SO soft and cuddly and big enough for swaddling
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Having fun with lots of basic headband ideas.
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A couple of the hats
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Some camo blankets for the coming hunting season
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Another one of these kind blankets.  I love how they turn out, but they are fairly time consuming.
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Some functional home decor
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Some decorative pillows - both have the floral orange on the back side
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And a few of several burp cloths
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I've been having a lot of fun designing and painting various types of signs, made with pallet boards. The problem is, I want to hang use them all in my own house ;) 

I actually have much more home decor/gift type of products than baby items, compared to past years. It has been neat trying new things and learning different techniques. Up-cycling furniture, making display frames, and so on is a nice change. Of course, the baby stuff is just too fun, so I'll still be throwing some of that in, too!


The 'big announcement' will likely be coming next week. I haven't decided yet if I should do the giveaway then, or wait until after the craft show is over. I'm lacking in the feedback department on types of giveaways people like best; home decor/baby/holiday/gift cards/etc. Come on, readers! Are you out there?! I know you like free stuff! :)

More big happenings coming ahead. Life has been crazy and there have been some amazing changes and opportunities happening. Stay tuned for future updates!

Thanks again for stopping by! 
 
 
Christmas is coming!!
(!!??!)
Well, yes, it's still a few months away, but for some of us, it's time to start planning and creating for gifts and decor!
Last year, I had fun updating some of my old ornaments for our tree.
Here's a few of them...
It's always exciting to change up the typical Christmas decor once in awhile, and this fit with my style a lot better then the classic bright reds and greens.
This year, I have been making a few sets to sell (or possibly give away!).
These ones are bigger and better then my experimenting last year. 
I love how they are turning out!
ALMOST makes me excited for Christmas!
(but not quite!)
If you're interested in buying some for yourself (or as a gift!), email me for prices or more info!  I'm selling them in mixed sets of 4, you choose the styles you like from the photo above.
Thanks for coming back to Whispers of Joy!

PS. Still needing feedback on giveaway ideas! :)

 
 
  Well I have a few things for you today.
The first is a technical update on the website.

As most of you know, when I first started this site, it was a way to market and sell some of my handmade creations to all of you.  As my life changed (I mostly blame my babies...SO worth it!) and my style continues to shift, I made the decision to shut down the shop part of my site. 
I kept the site going, planning to use my blog to continue to update my friends and readers about my life (especially since we moved cross country). I also have used my blog to document and share my craft projects, with a possibility of accepting custom orders from any of you.  I have now changed my site so that this page (my blog) is my home page. This changed my site address, which means if you follow me via and feed readers or RSS, you will need to update the address to receive future blog posts. 

www.whispersofjoy.com
Also, I am going to make a confession!
I struggle with this blog!
...
...
Oh. Yeah. You already knew that! It's only a LITTLE bit obvious,
with my lack of consistency in posting :)

I guess the thing is, I truly enjoy blogging and I would love to be able to regularly post and update. But as many times as I have made resolutions to do better and post more often, I have come to realize that at this point in my life, it's just not reality.  Keeping up with my 3 preschool/toddler age kids, my husband, my home, and the other basic commitments and activities we are involved in, my blog is NOT a priority.  And I've come to accept that.  Now I just hope my readers do to! :) 
I have decided that I WILL keep my blog, but won't try to force myself to be a committed blogger. I will post when I feel like it. When I have something to share; be it a project, kid update, topic, question, or WHATEVER!  Some weeks I might post 3 times, and some MONTHS I may not post at all.  It's all about flexibility. Forced blogging isn't fun anyways. Sometimes when I read other blogs, I'm inspired. Then I wish that I could do better here at Whispers of Joy. Then I get discouraged again. So there's my struggle.
And now that I shared with you the way this blog will work from now on, you know too.  Come back when you can! Hopefully there will be new things on occasion. 
On to the fun announcement...
I'll be doing another booth at a local bazaar this year!
Remember this and this?
The craft events that I participated in throughout past years were so much fun to me.  This year seemed like a good one to jump back into the craziness. We've lived in Minnesota for about a year and a half now, so we feel pretty settled into our home (that's a whole other store for another time) and life here. Also, here's my 'baby':
Yeah...not really. :(
So anyways, since I don't have any clinging attachments right now, I thought it would be a good time to do it.  For the last couple of months I have been collecting, crafting, re-purposing, painting, sewing, gluing, sanding, designing, and creating. What fun! I have expanded a bit, and don't do as much for baby supplies as I used to.  I have discovered that variety is more interesting, so I have expanded into different products, styles, and designs. I enjoy creating a lot more when I can try new things and have a more unique products, in comparison to having many of one thing. That's another reason why I quit selling the way I was on this site. I STILL have a bunch of pacifier clips from when I 'mass produced' them a few years ago! I still use them for Vayah, give them as gifts, and so on, but got burned out on making so many! Lesson learned!
Here's a sneak peek of a few of the many things I've been working on lately...
As you can see... a little mix of this and that.  There's so much more, but this is just a little hint of some of my new things.
I may be putting a few things up on here in the next couple of months for sale before the craft show. Or maybe not. You know me! ;)
Either way, whatever doesn't sell at the bazaar WILL be available for sale online soon after. If you see something you like that you'd like to pre-order, let me know! I'm always up for custom orders for my readers.

AND....
as many of you have probably been waiting for...
there WILL be a giveaway!!
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it before my bazaar (Nov 2nd), or after, when I share ANOTHER big secret, but will keep you updated and let you know.
Throw some ideas at me... what kind of prize would you like?

Baby items?
Home Decor?
Christmas Decor?
Party/Photo Props?
Gift Certificate?

Help me choose! I want to give something that YOU want to win!
I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for being patient with me as a blogger. Your support is so much appreciated.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

 
 
Another great post written by my deep thinking friend, Carissa (who has yet to start a blog!! No pressure hey?!).  She has put into words what so many of us stay-at-home moms feel so often. Thanks for your honesty and openness, Carissa!
Desperate. The title jumped out at me. I looked it up and on a whim, bought it. Once I started reading it, I knew there was a reason why I impulsively bought it. Almost every chapter had me getting tears in my eyes, nodding my head and thanking God for the words these mothers took the time to write. I want to share a portion of it with you. The book is Desperate, by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. 

“Days are long and mundane. Every need, every ask, every complaint feels like a burden. I’m angry and tired and I don’t want to take care of my children. I love them, but I just want to hide away and do my own thing and have everyone leave me alone. I want quiet and time and long, hot baths with no interruptions. I want to do what I want to do. 

I’m selfish and don’t I know it.


  “Mommy, will you play dragons with me?” “Mommy, will you do a craft with me?” “Mommy, will you sit with me and watch this movie?”  

Most of the time, I just want to go run away and hide.
Motherhood is too hard for me.
I am selfish to my core.  

I’d rather write or read or do nothing but drink my coffee and stare out the window enjoying the peacefulness of the falling snowflakes. I don’t want to spend twenty minutes bundling my children up and go outside in the cold and tell them not to throw snowballs at each other’s faces and then rush them back inside because no one went to the bathroom first. I want to be where it is warm and quiet. I don’t want to deal with the mess that comes after the snow; the wet floor, the globs of damp clothes and coats and boots.

  In theory, I love the idea of my children frolicking in the snow and coming in for hot chocolate and an old episode of Lassie. But something in the last couple years has changed. I’ve gotten tired, and the thrill of watching my children light up at the glories of a new-fallen snow has been shadowed by my tired spirit. I guess the truth is that I liked watching children explore when it was new for me too. When I had one little one and everything was a grand experience for the both of us. Now, after three babies, the new is gone and I’m back to my ugly root: self.  

Selfishness is an ugly, life sucking disease that infests our very DNA. I think I have an extra dose of it. 

I long for the thrill of something new. I ache for the joy I once had when I had my first baby. I ache for the hearts of my children, who have been put in front of a TV screen, so I don’t have to entertain them. I ache for my ugly heart, and how desperately I want it to be beautiful and humble like that of my Father.”
--- 

How many of you, like me, have found this to be true? God has been showing me how incredibly selfish that I am, and how it literally affects every decision I make, all day long! I was blown away when I became aware of it and watched for it in myself. I always knew I was selfish, (I mean, really, who isn’t?), but this is a whole new level to realize how deep it is in me!

  The reason I have a hard time being consistent in discipline and training is because I’m selfish. I want to see my friends and go to the park. I want my house cleaned up and dishes mostly put away. I am too tired or just don’t feel like going through the effort to correctly discipline, because I’m too lazy to stay strong and win the battle. I focus on how hard it is, how I don’t have the energy to follow through and how it’s just not working, when in reality, I don’t put in the effort to be consistent, day in and day out, because of the afore mentioned reasons. I get tired of the repetition when I don’t always see results.

  The reason I occasionally snap at my boys to ‘hurry up!’ or half heartily listen to some imaginative story is because I’m selfish. I have some place to be. I’m in the middle of making supper.

  The reason I get frustrated with them is most often selfishness. I don’t feel like stopping what needs to be done to deal with some ungodly behavior. I get tired of constantly trying to teach the correct way to ask for something. I don’t want to miss out on good conversation to keep fishing rocks out of my baby’s mouth or chasing after the boy who is constantly running off at the park. I get annoyed when it’s the tenth poop diaper I’ve changed that day because I’m tired of poop and have other things I’d rather do. 

I could go on and on. But, seriously, take a look at all those statements! Did you notice how often I said ‘I’? It’s often all about what I want, what I need to get done, or how I feel or don’t feel. Since when is my little world all about me?! I don’t mean to act that way but it seems to be so embedded in me, that it’s what happens if I don’t intentionally do otherwise. I challenge you to, just for one or two days, make a conscious effort to observe your thoughts and actions, and see how much time you focus on yourself. It’s been very eye opening for me and I’m thankful to God and the people He used to point it out to me. It’s been humbling. 

“This selfish blood that burns me with guilt and threatens the souls of my children, this selfishness cannot live. I need to bleed it and be filled new with the blood of the One who laid down His very life for those He created. This is the sacrifice we are called to make: “Greater love has no one than this; that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)


  "The opposite of humility is pride. And it is my pride that keeps me from doing the hard thing and giving up myself for the sake of my children. Pride, that ugly beast that convinces us we are better, above, more important. If we didn’t believe these things to be true we’d easily lay aside our own agendas and offer our lives to our babes in order to give them the time and training and actual love they need. You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings. We would die for them. But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts, in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, and fill their souls with life every day. 


What is so hard about playing ponies? Or sitting and doing a craft? I think it is two fold. One is that it’s boring to play with little children sometimes. Sitting on the floor playing ponies and trying to drum up conversation between Star Song and Rainbow Dash gets old really fast. Two, we know that if we sit down to do that craft, our two-year-old is going to jump in, make a mess, fuss, upset the older ones,  and everything is going to go south fast. We’ve done this before, so we know. 

Choosing to enter into the mundane with our children, who see playing ponies as anything but ordinary, is a sacrifice of love. Choosing to enter into a project that will probably turn into a training session is also a sacrifice of love. We will have to choose patience and kindness over frustration and giving up. We’ll have to choose to take time to train and teach and perhaps discipline. The choosing to engage means choosing to do the hard work of loving through our actions.” 

That is some good reading! Now that I am aware of it, I try instead to focus on my kids, my husband, others and what they want or need. I am trying to lay down my life for others, but especially for those He personally gave me to raise. And trust me, I am not “there” yet, nor do I think I ever will be. Just ask those who know me best. They would probably laugh hysterically if you even suggested that, because it’s so far from the truth. I know how to throw a pity party like no one’s business and it can be a struggle every day, every hour, to lay myself aside. I often lose the battle against feelings of inadequacy, failure and discouragement….most of which are caused because I was selfish. Don’t let Satan tell you that I have it all together and all figured out. Because I sure don't.  

 In my little world with my boys and man, it can’t be about me. It needs to be about Him. Jesus is the ultimate example of what it looks like to serve. May we look to Him in everything. To God be the glory. In my little world. And yours.


-Carissa

  Thanks again Carissa, for contributing to this blog, even when I haven't been very active on it myself! :) Still to come soon...big announcements as well as a great giveaway!

  Hope you're all settling in to fall schedules, school days, routines, and bedtimes fairly well!  As I posted on Facebook earlier today, I am snuggling my little ones a bit closer today, as I see all of my friends posting back to school pictures and 'I miss them' sentiments. I'll enjoy one last year of no kids in school.  I think. ;)  Some days I'm ready!

   Working on setting a better routine and schedule that works for my family.  If you're interested in hearing more about that, maybe that will be included in a future post. It helps to know what my readers want to see!

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to check out the latest on Whispers of Joy!
 
 
Yup! We're still around...just busy enjoying our summer!

I have 'committed' to updating my blog on a semi-regular basis so many times, that I have basically given up.  I feel like if I'm forcing myself to do it, I don't enjoy it as much.  So I just post when I have time AND desire to do it.  That combo (obviously) doesn't happen a ton! :)  I do have a few posts started in my drafts file, that should show up here eventually. 
Also, there are a few 'new' things going on with Whispers of Joy, that I will be sharing in the next few weeks, most likely.  So stay tuned for that! A giveaway may be in the works also!
Another guest post will be showing up soon as well.  So don't give up on me completely! The blog hasn't died, and new things WILL show up on occasion!

Come back again, and follow us on Facebook