Welcome Chesney!

On Tuesday, we brought this little guy home to join our crazy homestead.

He is a long-haired dachshund and is 12 weeks old.

Carson turns the big 5-0 this December, and has always said that when he turns 50, he’s going to get a long-haired dachshund. I tried to convince him otherwise, but he was sure.

Needless to say, I fell in love immediately!

And so did the kids!

Even the sheep and the bunbun are fans!

The big dogs don’t seem to have a problem with the baby either.

Cotter would love to play with him and tries to help when he cries… and Moose is just minding his own business so far.. I think he doesn’t know that he’s ours yet!

Here’s Chesney trying to help me with the chickens!

Despite being teeny tiny, he fits in very well around here and we’re grateful he’s ours to keep!😊

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The Market… Why Am I Doing This?!

Makers and Growers Market – Why Do I Do This?!

Instead of another Sneak Peek for the July Market, I thought I’d take today and write about why I decided to do the Makers and Growers Market and how it came to be!

My husband makes beautiful cedar furniture, and he didn’t believe people would want to buy it. He made us a double patio chair, and then he made our neighbor a set of single chairs for Father’s Day. EVERYONE LOVES THEM… but he still didn’t believe me. I told him that if he made some chairs, I’d sell them and then he’d see.

He dragged his feet. Then our very good friends asked for a set – he eventually made them two chairs. And they loved them so much – and so did their dog – that they decided the dog needed a matching cedar patio dog bed. He made that, too.

Then we got alpacas! And we got alpaca fiber… and I started to make things with the fiber. I started to learn to spin, but it was really hard and I took a break and decided to make dryer balls.

Those were selling like hot cakes with family and friends, and people I didn’t even know on Instagram were even buying them.

I also started making greeting cards with the photos I take here on the homestead. And I started making things with the millions of wine corks I had lying around (mostly donations… I didn’t drink a million bottles of wine, don’t worry!) – like trivets and cork hearts and magnets.

Millions of ideas of things to sell were coming to my mind. And pretty soon we had a little booth of items (mostly in my head because not all of them were actually made).

I have a few friends who are creative – some make jewelry, another crochets and works wonders with flowers, another makes wood signs, and I had a few more people I was going to ask. I started to envision a market on my property… a flea market/farmers market with booths with homemade and homegrown products. I figured it would be three or four of my friends, and we’d have our friends and family come and buy stuff. Kind of a glorified yard sale.

In fact, two neighbors across the street were having their yard sales on April 27th, and we figured that would be a perfect kick off… lots of exposure for all of us.

Everyone I talked to got excited. Pretty soon I had strangers reaching out to me over Facebook asking if they could have a booth. Suddenly, I was hosting an actual market, not just a mini market. Well… it’s still mini, but it’s not just friends, it’s people I don’t know (new friends!) joining all the time. And people from all over coming to shop and get farm tours.

I intended to sort of build community with people I already know… but what I’ve done is grown and built a new community. We know so many more people in town and in our immediate area now. We only moved here to our small town of Stanwood less than four years ago, and even before the market, we’d made some very good friends… but our circle has grown because of the market, and some of our existing friendships have deepened in a such a sweet way.

I’m so grateful for all of you who have reached out to have a booth or who have come to the market to check it out and support local makers and growers, including us. We love our little town, and this has only strengthened that love!

So, no sneak peeks today… but I will say, we Stevenses will have cedar patio furniture, wooden fish, alpaca dryer balls, cork products, homemade play dough, photo greeting cards, and a few other surprises! Maybe I’ll do a sneak peek of our products tomorrow!

If you know someone who might be interested in joining our market this time ( only 4 days left!) or in August or September, please send them my way. My email address is stevenshomestead@hotmail.com or you can find me at Facebook.com/TheStevensHomestead

And don’t forget to come see us at the Makers and Growers Market on Saturday (THIS SATURDAY), July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm at our homestead at 30709-68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

Thanks for reading!

July Market Sneak Peek #5

July Market Sneak Peek #5 – ReJoyce – lotions, creams, deodorants, lip balms, soaps

Today’s Sneak Peek is ReJoyce. Diane Meyer joined us for the first time in May – the rainy day market – and she was a hit! She makes lotions, creams, deodorants, lip balms and soaps, and she has samples, so everyone left her booth smelling so good with soft hands… and, usually with something from her booth to take home! Her prices range from $1 to $20, so there’s something for every budget! 🙂

We love her mosquito repellent (peppermint and gardenia) and her sunscreen (it really works!), and use them a lot this time of year! My son loves her Orange Creamsicle lotion and lip balm.

You can find her here on Facebook.

And come and see her in person at the Makers and Growers Market on Saturday, July 27 from 9 am to 4 pm here on the homestead at 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

July Market Sneak Peek #4

July Market Sneak Peek #4 -Ts Craft Garage – pottery, iPhone and iPad stands, copper etched bookmarks, knit scarves, fleece dog blankets and toys

Today’s Sneak Peek for the July Market is T’s Craft Garage. She was with us for the June market for the first time and we loved having her here. She makes pottery, iPad and iPhone stands, copper etched bookmarks, knit scarves, and fleece dog blankets and toys.

Everyone in our family ended the day with something from her booth and we loved visiting with her, too.

Here’s just a glimpse of the fun stuff she brings:

You can find her here on Facebook and here on Etsy. And come see her in person at our July Makers and Growers Market on Saturday, July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm, here at Stevens Homestead – 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

See you there!

July Market Sneak Peek #1

July Market Sneak Peek #1 – Lacey Hill – handcrafted jewelry for Pacific Northwest style

Our July Makers and Growers Market is coming right up in about 10 days. We have some amazing makers and growers coming this time. I’ll be posting as many sneak peeks as I can!

Sneak Peek #1 is my very good friend and one of my favorite people on Earth, Lacey Hill. She makes handcrafted artisan jewlery to complement the everyday Pacific Northwesterner’s style! She’ll have earrings, necklaces and bracelets ranging from $5 to $20. Check out these photos of her beautiful work!

I can’t wait to see them in person! You can, too, on Saturday, July 27th from 9 am to 4 pm, here on the Homestead 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

Walking the Bunbuns

I read that the bunbuns should be getting some outside (their hutch) time and that they like to explore and take walks on leashes. This intrigued me so I bought some leashes with harnesses at the feed store yesterday.

It’s a little (okay a lot) less fun and relaxing than I thought it would be.

The plan was that Braden would play with the buns and I would do some weeding and planting in the garden.

That didn’t work. Rosie is adventurous and Blossom is scared frozen.

Braden tried to get Blossom to venture out.

And I had Rosie.😍

Blossom did get a little bit braver, thankfully, but she got tired quickly!

Here’s Rosie checking out the garden!

And the weeds!

Shaleigh and I tried my you-play-with-the-bunnies-while -i-garden plan. The bunnies tried to go different directions and she dropped one of the leashes.

Luckily we caught them and I cancelled my plan and we played with bunnies together til they got tired!

Turns out it’s a grown up hands on job not a turn the kids loose job… ok, I’ll play with the cutest bunbuns around! Tough job!😍

Feeling so grateful

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I took this photo last night, but I just keep staring at it.  This is my home, my favorite view, the happy place.  I still have a hard time believing it sometimes.  We love living here so much and we are really making an effort to take the time to sit and enjoy it more.  There’s always a lot of work to do, especially this time of year – yard work, gardening, animal care (someone always needs food or poop clean up or love!), and don’t get me started with what needs to be done inside the house (oh, ok, I’ll get started – dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting… and then as soon as it’s finished, it’s time to start again!).   We enjoy doing most of the this work, honestly… what else would we do with our time, really?  It keeps us active and young (okay, not actually young, but… anyway!)… we really do enjoy what we have, and we love the way everything looks and feels when the hard work is done… I love that we can be proud of where we live, and share it with others.

After last month’s market, we were so tired that we could hardly move.  We declared it Lazy Sunday, and it really was.  We fed the animals and the children (and ourselves) but we really did take it easy for the first time in forever.  Carson asked, when was the last time we had a day like this?  And I honestly couldn’t remember ever having that kind of day.  We plan to have another Lazy Sunday after the market tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to it!

Tonight, I’m feeling so grateful for where we live and where we are in our lives.  This market has been such an amazing example to me of dream it, make it happen!  It is so out of my comfort zone… the introvert side of me is just shaking her head wondering what is happening.  I opened myself up and talked about this little dream I had of having a market celebrating people who grow and make things… it was one of those “if you build it, they will come” things… but I thought it would take years to build.  All I did was open my mouth and say it out loud and people are coming – sellers and shoppers!  It has a mind of its own and I love watching it grow.  I love to think about all of us getting ready  for the market – putting ourselves out there making things and sharing them with others.  I’m meeting wonderful people and learning so much every day.  Every day, I hear from people about how great this market is and how fun it is to be part of – sellers and shoppers.  Our community is so wonderful and I love how connected everyone is to other people – the small town connections are so great!

The support from my family and friends is EVERYTHING… my parents are coming to tomorrow’s market (they also came to last month’s market) and are bringing us dinner so that we don’t have to think about food tomorrow night.  My brother and sister in law are bringing their kids from Seattle.  My cousin who lives in downtown Seattle came up last month and is planning to come tomorrow and has a shopping list already!  My aunt and my cousin and her family came to the last market from Tacoma – a two hour drive!  Some of our friends couldn’t make it to the market, but they sent really sweet, supportive and loving texts and messages letting me know they were thinking of me, and waiting to hear all the details.

Most of our family and friends thought we were a little crazy to be moving into the country with nearly eight acres in our 40’s, but I think people get it now.  (I don’t think any of these people are thinking of making this move themselves, mind you, but they understand why we did it and why we’re happy here.)

So, as I finish up decorating 700 billion cookies, and finalizing the plan for our display… and checking and double checking the weather forecast for our market tomorrow – which, at this moment, is not looking very good, I’m staring at this photo, and feeling grateful and supported and loved.   (And hoping that tomorrow looks a little more like this… and NOT 70% chance of rain.)

Rain or Shine, the Makers and Growers Market happens tomorrow, May 25 from 9 am to 4 pm at our homestead – 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA.    Come out and see what I’m talking about – and do a little shopping while you’re here, too!  Support our community and these brave people who have amazing skills!

 

 

First Makers and Growers Market… a great success!

Yesterday was the first Makers and Growers Market and it was amazing.  Everything went so well, all the work we did to get ready and make connections completely paid off.  The weather was nearly perfect – the sun was out most of the time… there were a few crazy wind gusts that caused the tents to leave the ground for a moment, a potting stand to blow over, and some of the metal yard art had a little fall – but no big damage.  We started off with a bang when there was a car accident right in front of our property four minutes after we opened… I think everyone was okay, though and it was cleaned up pretty quickly.

We had 10 booths with tons of awesome products, and we think there were between 200 and 300 shoppers throughout the day.  It was so great to see friends and family and to meet so many neighbors and people passing through. Lots of fun stories were shared and connections were made.  We even had several people asking to be part of the next market on May 25th.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, and the ones I took weren’t great because I was busy chatting and selling and checking in with everyone… and trying to be responsible for my kids and property, too.  Here are the ones I took and a few that I copied from others who shared pictures (Thank you, Wayne, and Heidi!)

This is our booth – we sold the double chair but the single ones are still available!!   We also have some dryer balls and photo greeting cards.  Email us if you’re interested! 🙂

BriAnn and Melissa had the booth closest to the road 

Christopher’s “Glassholes” were very popular!  And Amy is there with her beautiful smiling face (and lots of beautiful wood decor!)

Kris and Wayne’s booth is just past and behind Carson

Our kids had a great time passing out cookies and lemonade, and giving farm tours, and they had lots of help from other kids passing through with their parents.  

A much better view of Kris and Wayne’s booth

A view of the market during a quiet time… Becca’s booth is on the left, and Wild Roses’ booth on the right.   

Another veiw of Wild Roses’ booth and Kim’s booth just past it.

Very cute and sweet kids at the beginning of the day!  So fun to see Ella Jo! 🙂

When the cookies were gone, and Shaleigh was ready to go play with the kids, she thought it would be good to let everyone know that the kids’ booth was closed (or closd)… 🙂

Here are the things that we got to keep at the end of the market! 🙂

A welcome sign made by Kris Wendell

Bear juggling fish by Freeborn Metal Art

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Wood decor with a farm theme by A & R Decor

Suet bird feeder with suet eggs by Rebecca Pratt

Cotton scrubbies by Kim Erickson

A book from Rebecca Pratt that we’re both looking forward to reading

Bird house by Wayne Wendell

 

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a wonderful day!  We’re already looking foward to and planning the next one on May 25th.  We hope you’ll join us!

Makers and Growers Market Sneak Peek #5 – Wild Roses (Marissa Cornish the Urban Farm Girl and Christianna Burns)

The Makers and Growers Market is just five days away, and today’s sneak peek is Wild Roses, a collaboration of Marissa Cornish (the Urban Farm Girl) and Christianna Burns.  Marissa ran the Urban Farm Girl store in Marysville until last year and has such a great eye for cute, farmy stuff.

Together, they’ll have felted soap, silicone teethers and baby items, bath bombs, bath salts, up cycled furniture, vintage treasures and fiber!  Look at the pictures below of some of the amazing booths that Marissa has set up.

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I can’t wait to see what she comes up with here next week!  Come join us on Saturday, April 27th from 9 am to 4 pm.  Click here for more details.

Broken Greenhouse Gets A New Life

Our property had two greenhouses when we got here.  This one is the smaller and fancier of the two.  It is closest to the house, but honestly, I was a little intimidated…

When we first moved in, we weren’t ready for greenhouse stuff… we were just learning and figuring out what we wanted to do with all this land.  We let it sit, and then it got filled with weeds – and I was sure there were rodents and bugs, and it hadn’t made it to the top of our priority list.  (And likely wouldn’t for a bit!)

When I was out planting on Monday, I got a message from Facebook from a woman who is restoring an old house and property just down the road from us.  We’d met last year at a mom’s homeschool coffee group, and then I found her accidentally on Instagram and realized it’s the same woman.  She asked if we were using the greenhouse with the broken roof… I said that I hoped so sometime, but not this year.  She said they’re looking for one and were interested in buying it.

We have a bigger greenhouse that we’re using and I can’t imagine that we’ll ever need more space… and it would be amazing if someone could fix and use this one.  They came over about 15 minutes later and looked at it, and thought they could definitely move and fix it.  The next day, they came and cleaned things out and tried to figure out how to make the move.

And the next day was the move day!  David brought his excavator.  We asked him to take out a couple of our trees while he was here… that job was done in less than five minutes and it was like picking up toothpicks… crazy cool to watch.

Carson and David worked together to get the greenhouse up on boards so that it could be lifted and then hooked up the excavator to the greenhouse (or the other way around, perhaps.

And UP she went!

Up, up and away!

Flying through the air on a wing and a prayer!

And onto the truck!

And now we have this empty space…

Maybe a picnic table/resting area for the Makers and Growers Market?  There’s a little brick pathway and some pea gravel there now…   Stay tuned… we’ll probably attack this job this weekend, at least make a decision and a plan!

I ran into my friend – and the woman who sold us the property – at the grocery store this afternoon and I told her about the greenhouse.  She said that this greenhouse was on the property when they moved here 21 years ago and it was broken then, too.  I felt so much better about then! They had to drive to Snohomish, Washington to get replacement parts for it, and got it all fixed up – probably just in time for it to break on our watch!  I love that it has a history and now it has a future – a bright one – with a family who will love and use it!