The Art of Sharing

“Happiness that can not be shared, can hardly be called happiness” - unknown

At the moment I’m sitting crosslegged in my shop office( it’s more or less a kingdom for my son, plus a desk for me) My little two year old is dancing around, trotting in circles around me, occasionally stopping to lean on me or take a sip of my tea. Now, is my time to sit and do my “puter work” as he calls it. 


“Puter work” is my least favorite part about being an entrepreneur. My favorite part of having my own little business is the creative process. Making a huge mess, and then piecing everything together to create something to share with everyone. I just love sharing what brings me joy, in hopes that it will bring others joy.- Sharing that processes, as well as the end result involves much “puter work.” Having to do so much “puter work” was never something I would have foreseen in my early life.


Making a business of sharing coffee and tea- among other treats- was not even on my radar when I started Prairie Whims. But, here I am writing on here to telly you we are officially opening up the kitchen to sell baked goods and beverages. It just feels natural to add this to the shop. Baking, blending tea, making lattes and coffee; is all a creative process. It is one I can more freely share with people. Most people enjoy my artwork, but they may not want to hang it on their wall. Whereas, almost always people would like to at least try a piece of pie. My hope is to make a profitable business by sharing my creativity with others- the baked goods is just another way I can share!

As Always,

Stay Creative!

-Allison with Prairie Whims

[Suh-bat-i-Kuhl]

Sabbatical [Suh-bat-i-Kuhl]

 

Definition: Bringing a period of rest. 

 

When I say, “I’m taking a Sabbatical” the image of me taking long leisurely walks on a beach somewhere may come to mind. That image is VERY different than what I actually mean when I say, “I’m taking a sabbatical.” 

 

First off. 

 

My faith is very important to me, which is why I will be heading to a church convention this afternoon. I will have four days there. Since I was a kid, every year since before I could remember, my family and I have taken time to do this. This one the best opportunities I get every year to really reset. - this is the real sabbatical. Unfortunately, it’s only 4 days long…

 

Secondly.

 

My son will be TWO whole years old on September 15th….TWO! I have been so insanely busy we have not even scratched the surface of the whole potty training madness. (any helpful information you can share with me on this??!)

 

Third in line. 

 

If you remember I’ve been doing the marketing for the local farmers market. With that added responsibility, it has been the main source of the busyness of this Summer. As the season comes to a close I have quite a few things to button up, before the last market (October 6th) As I will be handing off that position for the next season.

 

The Main Take Away... 

 

I need to change my business model in order to make this dream of mine really work . Which starts here. Me writing - laying it all out:

 

I’ve got this dream of making my shop a hub of old junk, art and food. The best combinations, in my opinion. - To be honest its not just my shop I envision its the city of Huron....But thats a long way off if ever. 

 

In order to do that I have to be consistent. I have took crank out dreams and ideas and artwork and share them with you. 

 

Somewhere in all that I want to turn those dreams into reality. Right now, I if I continue the way I’m going- that won’t happen. If I take the time to plan, construct, and build a better way of doing business, then Prairie Whims can grow.

So here's how this applies to you,  take a rest and ask yourself "What is my dream?" Make a plan, share it, build it, and make it happen. 

Feeling inspired? Shoot me a message. Lets collaborate! 

As always,

 

Stay creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

Diaries of an Amateur Pig Wrangler

Some of you may know this already, but my hubby is working in North Dakota for a few weeks. You may also know, my husband and I raise chickens, turkeys, and pigs (and a cute little boy.) Usually I just ride on his shirttails (not actually doing much of the farm work, but enjoying meals of pastured meats) No longer can I skip the dirty work- the manual labor has now been graciously passed to me. 

 

Raising baby chicks is not foreign to me, I’m a bit of an “old hand” at that. Pigs are a different story. To be honest I’m actually scared of pigs. - The’ve got wicked teeth. My dad telling me horror stories about pigs eating bodies of passed out caregivers, was not a help. 

But alas, I am now an amateur pig wrangler. 

 

Day One: Okay, moving the pigs to new pasture. I got this. Loren showed me how. He’s already set up the corner posts and ran a strand of electric wire. 

  • Feed for luring the pigs to the next pasture. Check. 
  • Volt gauge— for checking to see if the wire is working or not. Check. 
  • Pray for strength to overcome fear of pigs. Check.

 

Everything went very smoothly, until I came back on Day 3 to check their water levels. All 25 of them were running wild out side of their pin! Thankfully - if I counted correctly - all of them survived. I had completely left one section of the fence wide open. 

 

Since then I’ve made a few more mistakes, but I'm learning to check the fence twice before I leave the pasture! 

 

So heres my point- Everybody has to get out of their comfort zone. This might mean we make mistakes, but we can always learn from them! 

 

Now if you’ve read all of this, please enjoy the pictures of the cute little piggies! 

 

And always,

 

Stay Creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

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Free to Dream

The ability to dream is the ability to obtain freedom. -original quote

 

What feels like a long long time ago I was a little girl who loved to draw. Nearly everywhere I went I was drawing, on the bus, in the middle of math class, durning band rehearsals, in the middle of the cow pasture — you get the picture — no pun intended. 

 

I loved drawing, creating stories and ideas. I had a love for making something out of nothing — to this day that love is continuing to grow and change as I seek new ways to be creative. When I make time to create I am most joyful. 

 

However there was a time in my life when I nearly gave up on creativity. In all of the places that this could have happened, I felt like I lost my ability to dream and create while I was in Art school. I was only doing projects for assignments, I was working all the time, I rarely had the chance to see my family, I was stacking up student loan debt, I had been through a some emotional traumas I hadn’t taken time to deal with — you get the picture — 

 

So, I made the choice to leave school. I would work, pay my debt and get my balance back. For a number of reasons it took me nearly 2 years to really start dreaming again. I would try a little bit here and there, maybe sell some things on Etsy- do a project here and there. It wasn’t until I was expecting my son Elias, that my husband encouraged me to pray for the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do with art. 

 

Piece by piece, I started dreaming again. I started painting again. One day I walked into a shop downtown with my dreams and prayers — that shop is now Prairie Whims: Arts and Crafts Collective. And even now I still feel like I’m not quite to the point that I  have imagined. 

 

But, here’s my point to this very long— highly condensed — story. It might take some time but you have to work and pray for your ability to dream. It is then that you can have freedom to create again. 

 

As always,

 

Stay creative! 

 

Allison with Prairie Whims

Stop

I usually keep it pretty light on here, so I'll apologize in advance if I'm getting a little too deep. This summer has shot off like a bullet. This week something happened that brought everything to a halt. 

Sunday morning my husband woke me up. There's nothing unusual about that, he's always the first one out of bed.

 " You don't have to get up, its still early, but I have to tell you, " his voice was strained, "I just got off the phone with Grandma Harriet. Uncle Daryl suffered a massive heart attack.... He's gone." 

I didn't ever know Daryl very well. I had spent a few Thanksgivings with him around. I enjoy meeting up with his kids when we visit Wisconsin. They are all close to my age. Daryl was the same age as my dad. But all of that doesn't matter so much now. What mattered to me was, in an instant his life was over. I am no stranger to loss, but any experience I've had has been gradual. 

This was a reminder to me. 

In a second, my life could be over. Where do I stand? What do I do in my life that's going to matter when I'm gone? 

So here's my point- When it's all said and done, what will matter is if I lived my life in sincerity and love. I must be constantly reminded to stop and reevaluate my service to the Lord. 

 

Keep loving, 

And as always,

Stay Creative.

-Allison with Prairie Whims

If The Shoe Fits...

“If the shoe fits, wear it!” -unknown origin 

 

It seems like in my daily life I am always trying to find balance. By that I mean wobbling abound on a tight rope wearing shoes 3 sizes too big balancing a ball on my nose. That may not be the true picture of what I do, but it is too often how I feel. 

 

BUT I do know what it is to feel centered, perched on what seems to be the edge of a mountain I’ll be climbing. That feeling is what I search for when I start to loose my balance. I pray to leave the work with the Lord that I can be used as a tool. Although I forget too often that obtain balance is that easy. 

 

So when I someway or another got voted into the local Farmers Market board when I hosted the annual meeting at my shop. The prerequisites for the position were basically just to be present. So here I am, not really having a clue what I’m doing, standing at an open door. 

 

I think that this door may lead to making my dream of blending tea and roasting coffee possible. Not having enough funds to put in a commercial kitchen necessary to have a typical coffee shop- I now see an outlet to get the funds. I can roast coffee at home(like I do already) and sell it by the cup, or by the bag at the market. Save the profits. Finish the kitchen. 

 

So my point is, follow your balance.  I am not certain of what will come out of this, but I am reminded once again that there is a plan from above. 

Thats all for now-

 

As always, 

 

Stay creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

Applied Life Lessons

The last time I was rambling on here I told you a bit about an epiphany I’d had. “This is what I got. Be joyful in it!” I recently decided to take that outlook to my living room. 

When we moved to our little trailer home my husband and I were newly weds. We’re just grateful to have place to live! I wasn’t to concerned about furniture or wall color or 1995 fake wood cabinets. But as we spent more time there I did my best to use what we had to spruce it off- but we just living on love. It was not in the budget to paint walls or buy new curtains. I then got the opportunity to start our shop downtown- at this point we were expecting our son Elias there was just no time to paint walls.

 Long story short we still don’t have nice walls but we do have a minimal budget so this spring I set out to make our 1990s house work for us, regardless of its dated interior. Cause its just “what I got” until there’s an opportunity to paint!

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This was the before picture. Elias was such a good helper. 

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Tah-Dah!  We decopdged the back of the book shelve to add a little color to the room. As well as the painted frames.

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So there it is folks. Use what yah got!

What I Got, Folks!

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness.” - William E. Gladstone

 

Picture this: 1995 Dodge Ram Pick up truck. Chipping paint- blue, gray, and rust. Engine roaring, the truck swings to the far right side the bank drive through lane- this is because the window no longer rolls down and the driver must need to step out of the vehicle to make any transaction. The heavy door squawks as it’s opened. Out steps a young lady in pair of worn leather Mary Janes, maxi dress and a dark teal cloche. - This was me. 

The truck had to get me and my son from A to B for a few weeks before my Hubby could get all the necessary work done on the Honda. The first week I had to driving it were the worst. I absolutely dreaded having to lug Eli in his carseat into the backseat. The radio didn’t work, the windshield whippers barely worked, and the windows both stuck. I especially detested trips to the bank. I would have to open the door(which screeches like a banshee) and then proceed to do all my business with the door wide open. All of this just made me disgusted- until one day: 

 

I pulled into the lane and a thought came to me- “ This is what I got- be joyful in it!” 

 

So here’s my point: Work with what you have. Be grateful for what you have. Forget what you "don’t have". There is no joy in being ashamed or angry. Everything in life has been provided by the Lord(even something like an old pick up) 

This philosophy is one I often need to be reminded of.

 

To Those Who Wait

"All good things come to those who wait." -Proverb of unknown origin

It is March 6th, my family and I are finally out a blizzard. Meanwhile my cousins in Kentucky are posting pictures of daffodils. Now, ordinarily I would get very disgusted with this, but today I am glad to be enjoying the snowy tundra. It seems like I have been running around like the roadrunner - you know the bird that is always running from one disaster to the next. For now nature has said, 

 

“Hey you, take a break!” 

 

Thats what winter is about- it’s natures way of telling us that everything must have its time of rest. I yearn for spring to come, I really do. But, us South Dakotans, we have to be patient. 

 

So, here’s my point: It’s okay for things to take time. Now, that may seem contradictory to my last post- But hear me out- Things in life tend to move so fast we feel out of control. On the other end of the spectrum, there is always something that doesn’t seem to moving fast enough. Truth is when something comes along just take it as it comes. 

 

As always, 

 

Stay creative. 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

You've Got to Start Somewhere!

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” -G. K. Chesterton

So, I may have fallen down the rabbit hole. After obsessively watching videos on youtube about the science of coffee, coffee roasting, making espresso, latte art, etc…I came across an entirely foreign concept: Roast your own coffee- in a popcorn popper! Wouldn’t it be grand if I could provide my own freshly roasted coffee to people who come to visit our shop- SO inexpensively??! -The answer is, obviously, YES.  

 

This is what led me to scouring all the secondhand stores for a suitable popcorn popper. Then finding a green coffee bean supplier to send me samples. All the dots connected- leading me to my first coffee roasting experience. 

 

Even with all the extensive instructional videos, I still managed to make some very large blunders. But, even though I burnt myself and smoked up the whole shop, at the end of the day I had a pound of freshly roasted coffee. Which, tasted especially delicious in my latte the next morning. 

 

So, here’s my point: You have to start somewhere! Maybe you’re a bit like me; you’ve been obsessing over the idea of doing something, pinning pins on Pinterest, reading tutorials, watching every video you can, but you don’t know how it will turn out. It’s okay to be terrible at something the first time, or even the 5th or 6th time- but the each time you do it again- you get a heck of a lot better at it.

 

 

 

As always- 

 

 

Stay Creative!

 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims