Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

The past week has been a mix of work and play. We had a few frozen days where the ponds and marshes froze so we could skate and slide around on them. It very much reminded me of my childhood when this happened more often. We had a couple of mornings where is snowed giant flakes and we all wished it would last forever. Those mornings I made Dutch babies, new to our family but now we are addicted. Owynn now says "It's the food we eat when it really cold out."

But along with outside adventures and cozy inside crafts I had a pretty big workload. My body is still healing so I moved slow but most nights this past week I was over in the studio, listening to tunes and filling holidays orders!

Now I am all done, we leave tomorrow to visit family and feeling grateful for it all. Thank you for your support this season and all year long! It means the world to me! Hope you have a beautiful solstice night and stay cozy out there!

Warm wishes, Lissa 

December

December

December came and I got sick. I spent a night in the hospital and a week recovering. Finally now just getting back to work but sadly due to my health emergency I had to close up shop early this year. If you ordered with me in the past 3 weeks, most likely your order will be shipped out before the holiday but a few orders will have to wait until after the holiday break. You have all been so understanding. Thank you!

Life is a wild ride. You never know what will come your way so I am heading into this new year grateful for friends, family and hoping to work on self care more. Winter solstice is upon us and soon the light will begin coming back for longer each day. It may be a slow change but still it feels good knowing we are almost on a new cycle.

Hope you have a festive weekend ahead! I'll be busy in the workshop this weekend but wound't have it another way. Love making these bags and sending them out into the world! 

xx Lissa

p.s We have lots of zipper pouches still in stock, that's about the only thing available online but they do make great Christmas gifts. So head over here if you are still looking for the perfect gift. I like to fill mine with lots of goodies when gifting them!

( Photo above of our last batch of Zippered Waxed Canvas Backpacks for the year! )  

November Light

As chill in the air deepens and the nights grow longer I have become accustomed to lighting candles each evening. Every morning fires are made in the cabin and in the studio (on work days). Slippers are worn most mornings. Showers outside are becoming dreaded each day but upon hoping out it usually leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Here in the Northwest there is a moisture in the air that lingers all winter. It leaves my bones feeling cold all day. Even the thickest wool sweaters do not seem to do the trick but one thing does, a hot bath! So if you are like me and feel chilled all day with the winter air I encourage hot baths at night. Serious life savor this time of year. 

November in the studio has been busy but also calm. I have 2 wonderful woman who help me out once a week and has made a huge difference this year. Still life is busy and always this time of year it is important to find balance in being outside and getting work done. The never ending struggle of work and family life which seems to be slightly different each season. But most importantly remembering to get outside even in the coldest of days helps me find balance in the day.

If you are hoping to purchase a bag this holiday season then I encourage you to order sooner rather then later. Most of the small items will be in stock throughout the month as we have large stock in those but larger items are going quick. I'll send out a note once the last day to order for Christmas arrival has been announced. I am thinking by December 15th but may be sooner depending on the orders this coming month. 

Warm wishes your way this week! 

x Lissa 

Fall/Winter 2016 + Free Shipping

Hello All! Here is a little look book preview of our latest collection. I used to take all my own photos for these shop updates but was quickly becoming overwhlemed by it so the last two shoots I have hired my friend Demetria. It has made a world of a difference. I can now really focus on the details and the story we are trying to portray. Also I have always had a love for film photography and lucky for me Demetria does too so there is a mix of digital and film. Below are all photos shot with Demetria's film camera. Enjoy! 

Starting Saturday morning in support of "small business Saturday" we will have FREE SHIPPING until Monday. Use code: SUPPORTHANDMADE during checkout. 

I hope you have a cozy and yummy thanksgiving ahead! 

Warm wishes, and forever grateful of your support! 

xx Lissa 

our world

our world

Friday morning and its cold outside. It is a grey day, a day when the color in the sky never changes. It just slowly gets darker as the sun disappears in the afternoon. These are the days that start to drive me crazy after awhile but also brings so much calm and stillness to me. I can hear the ships engines out in the ocean, I see the birds pecking at the last of the crab apples and feel the hot heat from the wood stove next to the sewing machine as it hums away all morning. This is my home and though some days it feels dreary with no sight of sunlight in the future I am forever grateful I was born on this island and still call it home today.

These past few weeks though I have been feeling slightly guilty about where I live, the beauty, the calmness, the unity we have as a community. The rest of our country and world are in a state of confusion and sadly violence. I am not good with words and though at home I have my strong opinions I do not often share them on social media or here as I have a hard time formulating them into well spoken sentences. But today I felt like sharing a little of my thoughts. I feel so saddened by our countries decision last week for president and was shocked by so many on the results. Another wake up call that I live in an isolated area, a little bubble you might say. I don't have any great words or advice on the topic, but I am scared for the people, our children and the environment. It all makes me so sad.

I spent a day this week in silence at a mediation retreat here on the island. It was really powerful and felt like a really helpful thing to do during this time of divide in our country and world. I came home feeling clear headed and somewhat hopeful for the future but also as soon as the news went on reality hit and then I remembered all the terror in the world right now. I have donated to a few environmental organizations this week and to the standing rock movement which has felt good but also know there is so much more that can be done. Writing letter to politicians, the president and joining marches. I hope I can become more active but it is all so new to me but feels right to at least say my thoughts on this space. 

Thank you for reading as always and wishing you a warm and peaceful weekend ahead! 

x Lissa 

(Photo by Demetria Provatas, from our photoshoot last week of the new collection online.) 

Shop Update

We will be having a shop update this coming Sunday November 13th. A mix of new designs and favorites from the past. Some items will be avalible later in the month but you will still be able to view them starting Sunday just not purchase them for a couple more weeks.

Thanks as aways for reading and all your support over the years. Warm wishes your way this week as we adjust to the longer nights and stormy weather. Lots of books, candles and evening baths in our near future. 

xx Lissa 

In the studio | October

In the studio | October  

Its been a busy month over here in the studio. Lots of cutting and sewing going on. I have 2 awesome employees that work once a week and its made a world of a difference this year having their help! We are getting ready for the holiday rush and will be opening the shop up soon! I am not sure on the exact date yet as I am still waiting for a small photo shoot to happen next week but I imagine by the 13th of November we should have most of our items up for sale again along with some new items. Some items will not be available until late November but you should still be able to view them once our shop has been re-stocked later this month. I'll do a quick post during that time to let everyone know about exact dates. I am making a bunch of zip pouches for the gift buying season cause they are a great item to fill with small goodies to give to friends and family. We have a few available in the shop now and more will be coming soon!

I personally cannot believe we have arrived at this time of the year. It feels like I was just here; making fires each morning, sipping on tea and coffee all day, lighting candles each night and gearing up in the studio for the busy season ahead! 

I am hoping to take some time before winter solstice to slow down so I can help Owynn make some homemade gifts for friends and family. He has reached the age where he loves making things and gifting. Its really sweet. Here are some fun winter crafty recipes we are thinking of doing... Beeswax candles, herbal salve and pretty ornaments

Also I really enjoyed this interview last week on Erin's blog. A wonderful approach to motherhood, childhood and living simply. 

I hope you have a good week ahead and Happy Halloween too! 

x Lissa

Balancing home and work

Balancing Home & Work

I love that many of you included in your feedback from last weeks post that you were curious to hear more about my experience of being a mom and running a small business at the same time. So I decided to share a little of our story and a few tips on what I have found that has helped. First let me say this has been a huge 3 years for our family. Alex and I were both quite young when having Owynn so just managing being young parents as well as us both being self employed has had its challenges. Our life is generally pretty busy and many times I have almost completely left Barnacle Bags behind but through lots of work and experimenting we have realized that I love my job too much to let it go. Also I feel like I am a better mom because I have this creative and challenging outlet. 

So here it goes, I began working again when Owynn was about 6 months old. We had not planned for me to go back to work until Owynn was a year old but I was feeling ready to get back into the studio much before then. We started in small steps. Friends and family offered to help a little bit during that time so for about 2 hour chunks a couple times a week I would work in the studio slowly getting my feet back on the ground. 

As Owynn grew and became more independent he was watched for longer periods of time about 3-4 hours max and slowly a routine was somewhat formed each week but still I was working very part-time. I was just barley keeping up with orders and all the demands of self employment. I was really struggling with balancing the workload and my personal life. I closed down the shop periodically over those next couple of years when I felt overloaded. I noticed when I was working too much as Owynn would respond to that at home so I really had to take a step back and reevaluate our daily rhythm.

Now finally after 3 years I feel like I am just now getting a handle on my work while still being present at home. Here are a few ways I have made this happen. I rarely take on custom orders anymore - It took too much time away and I never got paid enough for it. More childcare - I was used to working 6 days a week so I felt like I needed to work at least 3 -4 days to get back to where I was and this only happened in the last year. Work on the weekend sometimes - I try to not but usually Sunday afternoon I slip away into the studio to plan out my week. Working in the evenings - about 2 days a week I work when Alex gets home. Late night emailing - I write emails or order supplies online after Owynn has gone to bed and use free time in the day for actually designing or making bags. "Leave it behind" - When I close the door to the studio each day I really try and not think about work again until I step back into the studio the next day. So basically when I am home I focus on home life only. Obviously I am not perfect at this but I try. Include your kidoo - I try and bring Owynn into the studio once a week for an hour when I have an easy project like wrapping orders so I can talk to him but work at the same time. I think it is important for kids to see what their parents are do. Take time off - I really try and take the weekends off if I can but also just taking a whole week off once an awhile helps me out so much for my creative brain and for feeling more balanced at home too. I try and spend that week organizing and thinking about how to do things more efficiently. Once I return from the week away I always feel refreshed and work harder in the studio. 

I know there are many other things I have learned and still have so much to work on but those are a few suggestions on the subject of working from home with a child. I would love to hear if you have any thoughts or suggestions on this subject! 

Happy Weekend ahead! 

x Lissa  

weekend

WEEKEND

Happy Weekend All!

It was projected to be an extremely windy couple of days here. In preparation for the the storm I did 3 loads of laundry, filled water jugs, replenished our candle supply (in case of an outage), put away our summer tools and other miscellaneous stuff from those warmer days. It made me miss the easy summer living where blankets and chairs can be untouched for months outside. I thought about how I should put the garden to bed but we decided to go for a long walk instead. We walked out along the ocean to watch the storm roll by. It was so pretty watching the dramatic clouds and the dark gray stormy sea below. The colors this time of year are amazing, so muted but so rich at the same time. I highly suggest on these stormy days to get outside when the rain stops cause it changes a mood so much!  

On another note it was great to read everyone's emails and comments regarding my last post. It was fun to see what people like to hear about and definitely inspiring! 

While in the studio each week I listen to music, (I am working on a fall playlist to share here next week) the news but when I cannot take that anymore I switch over to podcasts and really enjoyed this one and this one

Enjoy your weekend and hope you stay cozy out there! 

x Lissa 

p.s for anyone curious Owynn's sweater is from MamaOwl. We bought it last year and still will get another winter or 2 in it!