Past Weekend’s Theme Song: Ode to Joy by Beaker

Behind the Scenes, Stunt Double

The past weekend wasn’t the best for me. In fact, it was a bit like the Muppets version of Beethoven’s β€œOde to Joy” performed by Beaker:

Ode To Joy | Muppet Music Video | The Muppets on YouTube

Just to give one example, on Sunday (my dedicated social media day), my brain refused to brain blog work. Tumblr I was able to do, but blogging was like drinking tar. (Something being like drinking tar is an expression from my native Finnish.)

Ohwell. At least the funny Muppet video made me smile – and, after all, I got a blog post out of it, too. πŸ™‚

P.S. Happy Lunar New Year!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

January 2019 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

One of the new things I started at the beginning of 2018 is a month-end recap, a sort of newsletter light. Now I’ve completed the cycle with the first recap for 2019. Yay! πŸ™‚

Speaking of cycles, tax time is rolling around again. I’ve been bogged down with tax prep more than usual at this time of the year.

2018 Jan Tax Work

Unfortunately, Etsy changed the way they bill and pay their sellers at the end of last year. The new system has had some glitches which have increased my bookkeeping workload significantly. I can’t wait to be done with the 2018 number crunching and get onto the tax forms themselves because it’ll feel so much easier – something I never, ever, thought I’d say!

Just past mid-January there was a snowstorm, the first snowfall for the year. Then a front of warm weather with rain pushed through and melted almost all of the snow. It was very pretty for all of four days!

One night right after the snow, we had someone scamper across our yard.

Tracks on Snow from Above

There’s a funny gap in the tracks (in the middle of the photo), though, which makes me wonder whether it might be a sign of a fox jumping to try and catch a critter under the snow. Like in the gif below (but probably much less showy).

Giphy BBC Earth Fox Jump

BBC Earth, via Giphy.

I had a small but very satisfying reading pile this month:

Library Reading Pile Jan 2019

From left to right, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by my favorite living author Nora Jemisin, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming. I also read Ariah by R.B. Sanders and Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang. I’m looking forward to the last two Murderbot novellas, too, which I got as Christmas present. Yay, so many great reads!

On the screen, Husband and I were introduced to the tv series Modern Family by a friend. It’s a mocumentary of three generations of a Californian family. We’re bingeing through the seasons and have gotten up to seven, and are still enjoying it.

My goodness, I never would’ve thought that I’d find a mainstream (i.e., non-genre) family drama interesting, but I do. πŸ™‚ Shows you what production values can do – specificially in this case, attention to quality character-writing and episode structure.

Now that I’ve written a full year’s worth of recap posts, it’s time to reassess. Even though it felt difficult at times, I certainly learned a lot and found that I do like an end-of-the-month look back.

I’m inclined to continue these newsletters, but I might dink around with the topics or proportions. Would you like to read more about something or maybe less about something else? Please let me know!

Increase in USPS Rates

Ahem Ahem!

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, 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.

USA Forever Stamps in a Roll

New this year is that the First-Class Package Service will move to zone-based pricing. 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 on the Shipping & Policies tab to show shipping costs.

Etsy Shipping Cost Screencap

My shipping fees will also continue to include the postage itself and a handling fee (= packing materials, paper and ink).

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

Happy weekend!

December 2018 Recap

After Hours, Ahem Ahem!

Now that I’m back to blogging, here’s the December 2018 recap.

Honeycomb Candle

Unusually, the first snow of the winter fell before Thanksgiving. It didn’t quite melt by the end of November, but for the most part the ground was bare and the weather warm for December.

We put my Christmas ornament projects to use. This year we decided on a rainbow-colored tree.

2018 Rainbow Tree Collage

During our break we cooked, ate well and rested, of course…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

…not forgetting to go outside either.

January Sunset

I really scored at my local public library this Christmas: ALL of the Downton Abbey seasons and ALL of the (so-far released) seasons of Call the Midwife were on the shelf!

Xmas Binge Watching DVDs

Woot! πŸ™‚ And we had a lovely, lovely period-drama-filled break.

Unfortunately, 2018 was a complicated year in terms of health. I won’t go into detail, but the situation is serious enough to have changed doctors, made my first visit to the ER and been introduced to the CT, EEG and MRI procedures. In addition, due to some baffling complications I haven’t been fully perky and/or upright for nine months. (Gosh, such a long time!)

I had hoped that continuing my treatment regimen AND enjoying a thoroughly guilt-free, restful Christmas would enable me to show these complications the door and wish them good riddance, but sadly that hasn’t yet happened. So, I’m going to have to continue with a lighter creative work load while taking care of myself.

What are you wishing most from 2019?

Shop to Go on Vacation Mode until January 2019

Ahem Ahem!

There’s still time to get the last of your shopping done! I will close my Etsy shop for the season tonight, Monday December 10th, at 9 p.m. EST.

PGH Etsy Screencap Oct 2018

The last orders for this year will ship tomorrow, Tuesday 11th, 2018. I will re-open Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy on Monday, January 7th, 2019.

In the meantime, I will be working on various backend tasks. I will also continue posting here, on Tumblr, Twitter and Flickr for another week before the end of the year.

November 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

Both the latter half of October and the first half of November were rainy and felt very dark. I had to wait for good photography weather for a while, but finally I was able to list the three pieces of rainbow-striped wall art I made earlier this fall.

Rainbow Stripe Wall Art 3x
Rainbow Stripe Wall Art 3x on White

There were quite a few brilliantly bright days there, too. Funny how they seemed to get lost among all grey, though.

What a Murder

We got first snow on November 15th this year. What a surprising treat!

Snowy Nov Backyard 2018

I noticed myself yearning for candles, Christmas lights and bright colors very early.

Colorful Inspirational Books

I even accidentally wore red and green at the beginning of the month! πŸ˜€

Red Socks Green Pants

I also did some crafts, using up some ribbon ends that are too short for anything else plus other bits and bobs to make tree ornaments. Here’s a test piece I adapted from a hair bow project:

Ribbon Ornament Test Piece Finished

Having made sure I can do it, of course I wanted more colors! I didn’t have enough of colorful ribbons, though, so I cheated and added a few short pieces of fabric. They look quite good, though:

Ribbon Ornaments Finished

Normally we don’t start decorating for Christmas this early, but this year, for many reasons, we wanted to. Especially since the Thanksgiving weekend was the last gloriously sunny stretch in a bit.

Xmas Decor2 2018

How are you getting on with the rest of the year?

End of the Year Promotion 2018: Free US Shipping on Qualifying Orders

Ahem Ahem!

For a limited time, get free shipping on qualifying orders at Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy! This sale is a part of Etsy’s end of the year holiday sale drive.

PGH Etsy Screencap Oct 2018

The fine print: Get free shipping on orders of $25 or more simply by being your fantastic self – no codes or coupons. Sorry, U.S. addresses only.

This offer applies now through Monday December 10th, ending at 9 p.m. EST (when I close the shop for the season).

Visit Etsy for more fantastic deals from other Etsy sellers!

Shop Holiday Schedule for 2018

Ahem Ahem!

Here’s the 2018 holiday schedule for Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy.

Last recommended orders for Hanukkah should be placed by Monday November 5th, but no later than Monday 19th as I cannot guarantee USPS shipping speeds.

The very last orders of the year should preferably be placed by Monday December 3rd, but no later than Monday the 10th.

2018 Jan PGH Collage

I will close my shop for the season on Monday December 10th at 9 p.m. EST, and the last shipments will leave on Tuesday December 11th. That should leave enough time for the post office to deliver packages, even accounting for delays due to seasonal volume.

October 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

Picking away at the scrap piles and selecting bright colors has been such a relief from the dark, gloomy, rainy October days. Fortunately there haven’t been too many of those.

Another Rainbow Project5 Oct 2018

These pieced and lined rectangles measure roughly 8” x 10” or 26 x 21 cm, and make a rainbow continuum intended as a wall art set. They can, of course, also be hung singly. I should be able to list them on Etsy early November.

In fact, I liked the result so much I’m considering scaling them up for a set of striped rainbow continuum placemats. (A bit like my rainbow placemat prototypes.)

Unfortunately, a chronic condition flare-up and various appointments have significantly slowed me from late spring onwards, but this month was the worst so far. My goal for the remainder of 2018 is to get it under control again and return to normal.

My second priority is to minimize the effects of my ill health for shoppers. I will continue to ship orders and respond to queries as soon as possible. I will also make sure I update my Etsy shop with the latest, most accurate processing times.

Even so, as exigencies are quite possibile, I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

In our corner of Massachusetts, early October can still feel very summery.

October Butterfly

However, the latter half of October is when fall really starts feeling like fall. The leaves turn, nature is settling down for the winter…

View of October Trees over Lake

…except…

Last of Our Zucchini for 2018

…we keep getting zucchini from our garden! πŸ˜€

How has your October been?