Announcement: Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy Is Closing

Ahem Ahem!

After a lot of thinking, I’ve come to a decision: I will close down Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy on Wednesday October 14, 2020.

The absolute last day to order anything via Etsy is, therefore, Tuesday October 13, 2020!

On Tuesday October 13, 2020, I will turn the shop off at 9 p.m. EST.

2020 Oct PGH Collage

I’ll only turn my Etsy shop back on briefly on Wednesday the 14th to mark orders as sent through the Etsy interface, so that you can track your orders.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to be able to offer a going out of business sale of some kind, I cannot since Massachusetts regulations are too strict for me to comply with.

I will keep the Playfully Grownup social media accounts (Twitter and Tumblr) at least for a while and continue to blog here, but less often. I will likely also continue sharing photos on my Flickr account.

As sad it is to end something longstanding, I feel good about my decision, and am looking forward to new challenges.

September 2020 Recap

Ahem Ahem!, Newsletters

This month, in addition some smaller projects, I custom-made two new table runners, designed to be either used alone or layered with each other.

Two New Table Runners in Fall Colors

I’m in general not big on seasonal decor, but these I think are nicely fall-ish. Since the stripy runner has dark green, burgundy red and gold as well as brown and orange, it’s also usable at Christmas time – versatility is even better.

After a lot of thinking, I’ve come to a decision: I will close down Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy on Wednesday October 14, 2020. You may remember that last month I was wrestling with the timing. It’s now decided, and, as sad it is to end something longstanding, I feel good about my decision.

The absolute last day to order anything via Etsy is, therefore, Tuesday October 13, 2020!

I will turn the shop off on Tuesday the 13th, at 9 p.m. EST, and only turn it back on briefly on Wednesday to mark orders as sent through the Etsy interface so you can track your orders.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to be able to offer a going out of business sale of some kind, I cannot since Massachusetts regulations are too strict for me to comply with.

I will keep the Playfully Grownup social media accounts (Twitter and Tumblr) at least for a while and continue to blog here, but less often. I will likely also continue sharing photos on my Flickr account.

At the home front, we’ve had a bit of a covid-19 scare. I developed mild symptoms during one weekend. Fortunately, I was able to get tested that same day and results the day after. (Negative!)

The downside to my corona scare was having to re-schedule both my dentist’s and flu shot appointments. The next open ones were almost a month away (oddly both on the same day despite being by very different providers and in opposite directions). The good thing, however, is that people are actually taking advantage of the flu clinic. A sincere Thank You!

The Massachusetts covid-19 numbers seem to have started downwards (the graph plotting new confirmed cases for the past month peaked on Sept 08), so we’re probably just past the consequences of July and August summer gatherings. Unfortunately, despite that, hospital admissions, ICU cases and intubations are all up, including admissions at our local hospital.

I find it stressful, but have come to grips with the fact that I can’t change the behavior of others, only mine (which I have). To spare myself some grief, I’ve limited my news intake and doom scrolling, and am concentrating on other projects.

For instance, I finished my basket-weaving project: I made 8 bins out of recycled brown paper bags.

Baskets from Recycled Brown Paper Done

They look quite handsome even if I say so myself, certainly for a first try. I also whitewaxed a wooden bowl and painted a step stool.

I also started painting a basket and rearranging a couple of rooms, but haven’t finished yet due to busy. Some days are like a death by a thousand papercuts, but I manage. At least the library just announced they’re moving into phase three of reopening, with many, many more curbside pickup hours than before!

The weather has definitely turned more fall-ish, even though some day temps still rise to summery readings. And there are still flowers! Just one reason to love wild flowers – they’re adapted to the local seasons.

Unknown Pink Flower Plant

We don’t know what this plant is, but it probably came to our yard as a transplant thanks to some birds or ground critters. It’s pretty whatever it is.

Husband and I also had an absolutely wonderful family event (and I’m not talking about myself): we had CHIPMUNK BABIES!!!

Our resident chipmunk (whom we named Chipper and headcanoned to be female) is a mother! Chipper herself is missing from this photo, but we saw her earlier returning to the hole and the three babies with her cheeks full.

Chippers Three Babies2

And later I was able to snap a few photos of Chipper herding her brood:

Chipper and Baby

We absolutely did not know Chipper was female. At best it was a guess on the basis of how careful she was whenever she was about to leave her hole. Mostly, though, it was a fervent hope amidst the trashfire of 2020 that was based on her maybe perhaps if-we’re-very-lucky and I-could-be-wrong-but-doesn’t-she-look-a-little-thicker-round-the-middle because it-would-be-so-fabulous-during-this-awful-year.

Babies would explain the change in her behavior we observed late this summer, too. The kids are all gone now, and even Chipper seems to have abandoned her hole. (Chipmunks do rotate their territories every few years, so this seems normal.)

Never did I ever, EVER think I’d end up living anywhere where this was a possible life event! And it certainly couldn’t have come at a better time.

Hope you and yours are well. Please continue to be considerate. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❤

Happy Midsummer!

After Hours, Ahem Ahem!

True to my Finnish roots, I’m taking a few days off to enjoy the midsummer. It’s especially important for me this year when it’s practically impossible for Husband and me to visit Finland to see my family and savor the summer.

Moonrise Jun 2008

While the black nights here in the south are exotic to me (Massachusetts is south to me – I grew up only two hours away from the Arctic Circle), they’re no match to the magic of the white summer nights in the north.

Both the Playfully Grownup Tumblr and my personal one will keep tumblin’, however, and I will keep an eye on Playfully Grownup on Etsy. I’ll resume posting here on Thursday 25th.

Hyvää juhannusta! Glad midsommar!

May 2020 Recap

Ahem Ahem!, Newsletters, Thumbs Up

At the end of the month, Massachusetts moved into the first stage of gradual opening. Accordingly, I’m happy to announce that Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy is open!

2019 Nov Dec Green Blue Collage

Please note: Due to the difficulties and delays in shipping internationally, at this point I will only deliver orders to the USA.

(I’m very sorry to have to do this, but as long as it’s impossible to tell how long shipping will take – or whether an order is going to reach its destination at all! – I can’t in good conscience inflict that kind of stress on my customers.)

From May 25, the first non-essential businesses were allowed to open, as long as certain precautions were in place. I have to say that, of all the business-related paperwork I ever expected to have to fill out, this wasn’t on the list: Massachusetts state Covid-19 Control Plan template form.

Covid-19 Control Plan Form

Fortunately for me, since I operate a one-person microbusiness, the procedures were really easy. I did write an outline of how I work during the covid-19 pandemic. If you’re so inclined, please have a look and let me know if you have any concerns.

Also during May, the Massachusetts confirmed cases finally, FINALLY, leveled! It took about 2 months, a month later than originally predicted. The hospitalizations graph had been trending down for longer than that, though. We’re not out of it yet, but I’m so happy and relieved we’re seeing definite signs of improvement!

The mild symptoms I mentioned in the April recap are unfortunately still with me, plus my eyes have started to itch. As far as I can tell this means they’re allergy- or asthma-based, so I’m not too worried, only inconvenienced. Other people are also reporting a bad allergy year, so it’s not just our neck of the continent.

May is also when the nature here absolutely, definitively moved on to spring: we’ve seen so many critters and birds come out to enjoy the sun, including this wild bunny hiding amongst tall grass:

Bunny Hiding in Tall Grass

We’ve puttered around the garden since it warmed up and finished some long-running outdoor projects. (And mowed for the first time.) My latest one is trying to transplant some wild violets into what I hope will become a natural bed by the backyard flagstone landing.

Violets Transplanted

I love our violets. You can’t really see it in this photo, but there are both white and purple ones. They’ve been especially welcome this spring, as are the other flowers. The best thing about them, though, is that the violets came along for a ride with some raspberry canes we got from Husband’s grandmother, who is no longer with us.

Foodwise, we’re managing with 2-week grocery runs, although at times it means ex tempore solutions and trial and error. Husband experimented with store-bought puff pastry and unsweetened apple sauce. Voila – an apple puff pastry loaf with pearl sugar on top.

Apple Puff Pastry Loaf

It was as delicious as it looks – instead of just sugar, you could taste the ingredients. This will be a keeper.

Stay safe. I know it’s more difficult now, 2 months into our new covid-19 world. My urge to go out to eat, go see a movie or visit the library like in the Before Times comes and goes. Mostly I’m okay being at home. I’m missing the ease of getting physical media from the library most of all. Maybe soon! ❤

Massachusetts Still Remains at Home

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important

Last week it was announced that Massachusetts has extended the stay at home advisory and the closure of non-essential businesses until May 18, 2020. Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy will, therefore, also remain closed.

 

Heart Banner Pink HB005a

I confess there are days when I get really frustrated and annoyed. I want shops and businesses and services to open. I want to travel. I want to visit the library, go out to eat, see a movie with Husband, and I want to do it now!

The rational part of my brain knows that I’m just reacting to the uncertainty. This will pass. It’s just a matter of when, and of how many people will suffer as a consequence of our actions as a community. Massachusetts is currently working on a plan to ease restrictions; we should hear soon what is deemed safe for now.

I’m lucky enough that even though I have chronic conditions, they’re (typically) under control. Having them, however, and having family working in health care, makes it clear to me that those of us who are able to must take every protective measure we can for all our sakes, and especially for the sakes of those who are in the high risk group. So I stay at home, and keep physically distancing when out.

Stay safe. ❤

Massachusetts Stay at Home Advisory Remains in Effect

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important

Just after I published the March recap where I gave details of my situation in our new covid-19 world, Massachusetts Governor Baker announced that the Stay-at-Home advisory and the closure of non-essential businesses would be extended until May 04, 2020.

 

Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy will, therefore, also remain closed until May 04.

Heart Banner Blue HB001b-002b

Stay safe. ❤

It’s a Valentine’s Day Sale!

Ahem Ahem!

In honor of Valentine’s Day – or friends’ day as it’s known in Finland – I’m running a sale at Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy.

Get 15% off orders of $20 and above, no codes nor coupons needed.

2020 Feb PGH Valentines Sale Collage

Here’s the small print:

  • Sale ends on February 15, 2020, at midnight (EST)
  • Minimum order: $20 (USD)

P.S. Remember that I also have a shipping promotion: $35+ orders ship for free (sorry, U.S. only).

Brexit and PGH

Ahem Ahem!

Brexit is now reality – since 31 January, 2020, at midnight (CET), Great Britain is no longer a member of the European Union and is therefore considered a third country with regard to trade agreements and other regulations.

A transition period due to last until 31 December, 2020, is currently in effect. During that period, Britain will negotiate new contracts with EU (and presumably its other international partners where needed). What shape those contracts will take is anyone’s guess at this point – it is perfectly possible that the export and import procedures may change radically, or they may not.

Flickr Banksy does Brexit detail

Dunk via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sadly, this creates too big of a paperwork burden for me in light of my current commitments. I am truly sorry to have to exclude – and apologize for disappointing – potential Playfully Grownup Home customers in the UK.

If the situation changes, I will reconsider and let you know.

Increase in USPS Rates

Ahem Ahem!

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, the USPS shipping rates increase will take effect. As I ship with First Class mail through the post office, the shipping and handling costs for my Etsy shop are also affected.

Weighing and Measuring

However, like before, Etsy will automatically calculate the cheapest shipping option a seller is offering. When viewing an item, buyers can enter their country or a U.S. ZIP code to show shipping costs.

If you have any questions, please contact me either here or through Playfully Grownup Home at Etsy.

Happy weekend!