Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter vacation re-visited....

Every year about this time Bittersweet and Calico Petals takes a long winter vacation.  The studio closes through the month of January and life in general is at a much slower pace. 
 The winter rest is not typical of what most refer to a a vacation, but rather a time to reflect on current business thoughts as well as future ones.  Mostly the time is spent pondering and creating new designs for Spring.

This coming spring will bring with it a seasoned 14 years of owning my own business.
I have numerous stories and real life business experiences within my possession that I consider to be a metaphor of a trunk filled with precious treasure.

Although I've always taken the path less walked, not yearning to be big and mass produced, and realizing which opportunities were right and which were wrong has always been the most valuable lesson learned. Both businesses have been operated by instinct and grit, with many stop to smell the flowers along the way. 

As the old year closes and the new one approaches I feel blessed and honored to continue to stroll along the winding road. 
Sometimes not knowing what's behind the next turn can be overwhelming and unsure. An occasional trip is sure to happen.

The most important lesson I've learned...
Never quit what you love to do! 
There are always new treasures awaiting your discovery alone, and although cliche, I do really believe. If the going gets tough, then yes, the tough get going!
That's what you're made of, right? 

 Enjoy a caring and sharing New Year, 2011!


Jill 00
Two hugs are better than one

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sugar Plums Danced in my Head...

I've been rummaging through studio pictures from this past summer. It's always bittersweet to look at these photos and reminisce about past creations.
The "Flirty Frocks" were a favorite summer creation.
Creating new handmade is always a satisfying feeling.

The months of December and January are usually centered on the focus of new spring and summer creations. I look through pattern books and search fabric swatches for new ideas and looks.
I've always considerd Bittersweet and Calico to have their own style. Every attempt is made not to copy or duplicate other creations.
Although I like some of the designs I see in magazines, I really don't want to saturate the market with similar creations. 

Making a living from creating with my hands is beyond rewarding.

It's always so very soul satisfying when a customer contacts me to say the still have a handmade Bittersweet or Calico from many years ago.

Fourteen years ago when I quit my secure weekly paycheck job I had no idea what the future held. 
Although it's been challenging at times as the owner of a small business, I've never looked back or had one single regret. 
If you're a maker of handmade and hold down a regular job but are desperately wanting to make the big plunge I say "go for it!" 
Through passion and hard work you're destined to be a success!
Always trust your instincts. That's the best advise I can offer.

Enjoy caring and sharing holidays.
Jill 00
Two hugs are better than one  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Natural Home Keeping Woman...

When creating new Bittersweet and Calico products generally I focus on things that I like and use. Linen water's and natural aromatic laundry soaps and home keeping essentials are atop the list.

Using smell good natural tinctures and days gone by aromatic additives helps to make normal hum drum household chores a pleasant home keeping pleasure. 


Off to do washing and ironing, sweet!

Enjoy caring and sharing holidays.

Jill 00'
Two hugs are better than none

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brave Girls Club

My friend Mandy sent me this link.
I think you will enjoy.

a link to their blog too.

Enjoy caring and sharing holidays.

Jill 00
Two hugs are better than one

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Another banner changement. Into black and tan at this moment in time.
Studio corners tone on tone.

Enjoy caring and sharing holidays.

Jill 00
Two hugs are better than one

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chutney Love...

I'm not a seasoned canner, but every time this year I prepare and can fresh jars of Cranberry Chutney to give as gifts to my friends and family.
The recipe only makes 6 half pint jars so I'm fastidious in choosing who receives a jar.

I love this simple recipe and using fresh cranberries to make it.

Canning is not difficult to do. Mostly time consuming. I don't use any special tools or gadgets to can. I have a large stainless still pan for boiling the jars and then remove them with a wooden spoon handle. That's kind of funny to watch, me maneuvering the glass jars on a narrow handle, but nevertheless it works.

Personally, I would much rather receive a handmade gift for Christmas over anything else!

Enjoy caring and sharing holidays.


Jill 00
Two hugs are better than one


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