lisa's blog

Dreamy Days Ahead!

I can't believe how fast time seems to be flying by. It's hard to believe the store has been open for a year now, that our puppy Zorro has passed the four month mark and that it will be summer before we know it (weatherwise it is already here). I have fond memories of summer as a child. We were so lucky - we got to take not one but two trips each summer.

The first was to Camlachie, Ontario to my grandparent's cottage on the sandy shores of Lake Huron. I can still feel the thrill of first seeing the big blue lake on the distant horizon. Countless baseball games, hands of cards, swimming, playing house, walking on unpaved country roads, visiting neighboring farms - it was idyllic for us kids.

In August, we would head east to the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River. This too was a place of amazing beauty. Our family of seven would camp for several weeks on one of the islands; in later years, rented a cottage. The breathtaking scenery was soul food.

I remember times of summer boredom, of course. A new craft, a drawing session or pretend play idea were the cure. A stay-at-home mom told me recently that she was rather dreading the last day of school, not knowing exactly how to keep her kids busy. We have come up with a schedule of summer classes and free activities that I hope will help with that!

-Lisa

P.S. I feel so blessed: once again, I will take two trips this summer. Our July/August classes coincide with the weeks I am in town. And a heartfelt thank you for your support this first year. I am hoping for many more!

Creative Endeavors Make Us Happy!

I read recently about creativity: when we are creating, we are truly in the present, and living in the present is the key to personal happiness. I am a planner by nature, trying to think ahead and anticipate eventualities. While this is a very useful quality for an entrepreneur, it is kind of the opposite of being in the present. Maybe that's why handwork calls to me - something happens when I am crafting: my busy brain turns off and I revel in the pleasure of working with my hands, the color and softness of the wool, the heady scent  of pinecones or beeswax.

And have you noticed that children create differently than adults? Women especially often approach trying a new craft with trepidation, talking about how they aren't very creative or artistic or how what they make "isn't perfect", detailing all the perceived defects in their work. Most children will start their work quickly, forge fearlessly ahead, ask for help when they need it and are proud and very happy with the finished result. We were all children once - former girls and boys - what happened to those confident crafters when we entered adulthood? It can't all be Martha Stewart's fault!

My hope for all of us grown ups is that we take some of the affirming energy we shower on our children and give it to ourselves too, especially when doing something new. Let's say to ourselves "I've never done this before - I am excited to try it!" In this way, we can truly experience the present without the baggage of worrying how it will turn out (the future). Let's be brave, like our kids!

Warmth from the Inside Out

It is in the deeply cold months of January and February that handwork and crafts really come into their own. In pioneer times, warmer months were spent on outside work, culminating in the harvest. The cold months were times to rest, play music, make toys and try to stay warm! Here in Minnesota, we can claim some of that pioneering spirit as we face the cold and snow of January and February (and March, maybe even April but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves!).

In our modern schedules, the December holidays are much more hectic now so it is after the new year turns that most of us rest and regroup. Cozy crafts feel extra nurturing now; most of our classes include warm sheep's wool in some way. And of course a store named Heartfelt will have a natural affinity for Valentine's Day crafting!

Warmly,

Lisa

Make Your Gifts This Year!

A homemade, handmade gift is so very personal - you are proudly giving something of yourself, your time, your hands, your heart. Children especially embrace this notion. And when times are tight, all the more reason to create handcrafted gifts; it helps with your budget as well as giving you much satisfaction!

At Heartfelt, the story is the same - as a beginning retailer, we are on a tight budget for purchasing stock. Customers used to the abundance of the Wonderment store especially miss the "good old days", when the store was packed to the rafters with a dizzing aray of toys and gifts. Times are different now though and very few retailers can afford to stock their shelves full. Like you, we are being especially mindful and discerning in our purchasing these days, trying to ensure we stock the "must haves" and some fun and unique surprises too. We are offering a special order service this fall, to allow you to choose German wooden animals, Plan Toys, doll furniture and more, above and beyond the gift choices we will be stocking. Stop by the store for details - ordering will be available through Thanksgiving weekend.

So, now onto the classes - we have a fantastic array of choices for all ages (and not just for kids!). We can't wait to get started!!

Lisa

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