Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fruits, Veggies, Flowers, and Fun: Martin's Garden Center in Murfreesboro

My Watermelon From Martin's All Sliced Up
Looking for a family destination destination in Murfreesboro where the focus is on fresh, healthy eating and improving the look of your yard? Try Martin's Garden Center. They are located at 1020 N.W. Broad Street.

I found Martin's last week while looking for a fresh catnip plant for my kitty. Having no car, I hopped on the Rover bus to look for a plant at Walmart. I greatly prefer shopping local and supporting family businesses, so I asked the bus driver where to go in Murfreesboro to buy plants. He answered, "Martin's, everyone knows that is where you go for plants and gardening, plus the staff is friendly and the prices are good."

Now, I had never heard of Martin's, or been on that section of Broad Street before, but the Rover drivers took good care of me and made sure I was dropped off right in front. The place was large and welcoming with a gift shop, greenhouse, and an adjacent woodworking business. When I entered the greenhouse, I was greeted by a smiling teenage girl offering free melon and strawberry samples. I grabbed a sample and asked about the catnip. Of course they had catnip, along with hundreds of other herbs, from the mundane to the exotic, including such offerings as lavender and pineapple sage.

In the greenhouse, they also had flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, fruit trees, fertilizer, and lawn decor. The gift shop had tasty treats like jams and jellies and an assortment of seasonal, fresh produce. I asked where the produce is grown. All of the produce is grown in Southern Kentucky by Mennonite farmers. I'd prefer Rutherford County, but grown in Kentucky is better then the produce flown in from Chile at the grocery store.

Stuffing my basket with huge beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, catnip, and a watermelon, I was on my way back to the bus stop and thinking of the delicious fruit and salad I was going to enjoy. The Murfreesboro farmer's market on the square is amazing, but it is only open on Saturdays. The other market on John Rice Blvd. is not serviced by the bus. I am so happy that I discovered Martin's as an alternative to the farmers market, and I spent over an hour looking at the huge selection of plants and gardening items.

Here is Martin's website for more information:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Fashion Soptlight

Mineral Makeup Made in TN http://www.etsy.com/listing/99422793/complete-makeup-kit-12-pcs-kit-custom

Warm weather is here and the season is now to wear all things colorful and bright. Like the handmade mineral makeup above from BeauteCrue, Tennessee artisans are making all sorts of wonderful items for you to show off during the summer months. Let's take a look at some of the summer trends and pictures of goods made right here in TN. Whether to adorn yourself, or your home, get aboard the warm weather wagon and get your inspiration from the season!

Summer Trends:
-bright colors
-light fabrics
-wood jewelry
-bohemian maxi dresses
-beach and nautical theme jewelry and prints
-flower and nature accessories

Flower hair clip by BowCheekyCreations:


Colorful Glass Necklace by Llanwynn's:

Flower Note Cards from Dianne's Creative Place:

Beach Fine Art Photo from DDM Photography:

Handmade Earrings from Mylana:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Friendship Bracelet Kit: Dollar Tree Craft Kit Review

Kit From Dollar Tree
Weaving Failure!!!
Normally, I am not a huge fan of buying cheap, imported plastic things from China, but I found myself browsing Dollar Tree in Murfreesboro and I stumbled upon this friendship bracelet weaving kit. Shrugging my shoulders, I thought, "What the heck?", and put it in my basket. I don't sew, knit, or embroider, so I wondered, how could I do with this kit? The product is clearly designed for kids, must be easy, right?

How did I fare, and was it worth a dollar???

First of all, it most certainly was worth a dollar...for my cat. He loved le mess royale that I created and biting the strings. I was so proud; he even waited for me to remove it from the package before pawing at the pretty colored thread!

My second observation was that you get what you pay for. In this case, what I saved in monetary cost was compensated by the lack of clear directions included. There was a tiny black and white manual, complete with diagrams 1-11, filled with gloriously complicated and poorly labeled strings and arrows.

The item itself was a good value. I set out with the intention to purchase a higher quality thread or waxed linen cord if my project was a success. With that in mind, I put on my glasses, studied the directions and attempted to follow diagrams 1-11. Unfortunately, I ended up with a failed item creation. After 3 rounds of using the weaving wheel, I had a large, colorful knot. I blame this on the unclear directions, not my lack of natural talent, lol.

An hour after I began my adventure, I gave up and discarded my bracelet. I did keep the weaving wheel itself. Maybe in the future, I will try and find a you.tube video showing me how to do it properly, or an unsuspecting relative to regift it to.

Ultimately, I would skip this purchase. It is made for children, but a 35 year old could not figure it out. For the price, it might be a good buy if you all ready know how to use a weaving wheel or know someone who could teach you. As in most crafts, materials are inexpensive compared to the time we invest in learning, practicing, and refining our skills. Next time, I will pass on the bargain price and pay an expert to teach me properly.

The moral of the story is that with handmade, your time, technique, and knowledge is the most valuable component of your products! No one can make exactly what you do in the way that you do it. The next time someone tells you that she could make the same hat/necklace/magnet/candle for much less money, hand her a weaving wheel and tell her to make you a friendship bracelet to trade. I promise, she will come running back the next week to return the wheel and gladly hand over her money for your creation!
Happy Kitty

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A New Online Venue For Handmade

Handmade Candles
Happy Mother's Day! Buyers and sellers of handmade, get ready for a new online place for creations and supplies; The Craft Star is supposed to be opening today. With similar fees and appearance as etsy, shoppers and artisans should feel quite at home, although vintage is not allowed. The Craft Star is for handmade and supplies only.

They are not yet open, so no one can predict whether they will be a success or a bust; however, any businessperson knows to diversify and not to put all your eggs in one basket. I plan on opening an account and listing 10 items or so, to see how it goes. At the very least, it is another platform to get my business name out there.

If you are curious about checking out The Craft Star, here is the link to get started:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

October Tullahoma Craft Fair Information

Soap from http://www.etsy.com/shop/TreasuresSeven
Laura Franklin from the Etsy shop Treasures Seven is helping to organize a craft fair in Tullahoma in Oct. 2012, and she is looking for some talented vendors and eager shoppers! Treasures Seven offers a great selection of handmade jewelry, soaps, and supplies. Tullahoma, Tennessee is located south east of the Nashville metro area. This would be a great destination for a fall drive in scenic rural Tennessee. Below, is a letter from Laura with all the details about the craft show and links for more information:

Tullahoma Map
Dear fellow crafter,

I am coordinating a craft fair for St. Paul the Apostle school in Tullahoma, and would like to invite you be one of the crafters at this event. The fair is scheduled for Saturday, October 6, 2012. We will be holding the fair in the school gymnasium. Setup for vendors will begin at 8:00am Saturday morning, and the fair will be open to shop from 9:00am until 4:00pm.

There are a limited number of tables available, so crafters for the fair will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to bring a covering for your table, please do so, as some of these tables are not in the best cosmetic shape. Like so many of us, they’re sturdy, but have a few scars to show for their years! =)

There will be a $10 reservation fee per table, plus 10% of total sales to be given to the school. Each crafter is responsible for honestly and accurately tallying and paying their 10% of sales at the end of the day. Crafters are welcome to share a table with another crafter or crafters if they would like.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me at Seventreasures7@aol.com with your name, a list of what crafts you will be bringing (does not have to be comprehensive), and the number of tables you will be needing. Checks for the table reservation fee can be made out to St. Paul’s school, and sent directly to the school at 306 W Grizzard St., Tullahoma, TN 37388. Please note in the memo field that this is for the craft fair. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! This will be my first time coordinating a craft fair, and I am depending on my fellow crafters to steer me in the right direction!

If you would like more information about the school, please check out their web site: www.cafes.net/stpaulcc/

This is the school my son attends, as well as the school I attended as a child. For those of us in this part of the state, it is, in my opinion, the best education to be had—not for its religious roots so much as its strong academic standards. I also believe strongly in my fellow etsy crafters, and would love to help my fellow Tullahomans become more familiar with the great crafters to be found here!

Thank you for your time, and I sincerely hope to be meeting you at the craft fair!

Laura Franklin

Contact her here for more information: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TreasuresSeven

Scenic Rutledge Falls Near Tullahoma TN

Newest Team Treasury Challenge Winner

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