Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Total Recycled Feed Bags

I was requested to post pictures of the bags I have been making in my 'mini sweat shop' as I call it. I even tried to get Mr. JW into it, but he said "I don't want to take away any of your fun, so I'll just keep to my activities.". So, I have been making them by order and for others who think they may want to take a look.

Be creative, I forgot to take a picture of my 2nd horse bag, but it's just like this one. Purple/Plum for the accent color.
Bird feed bag #1
(also forgot to take a picture of the finished product.
But it's pretty and goes for a pretty penny.)
Smaller version of bird feed bag #1.
I made 2 out of 1, there was a need for smaller book-bag size bag and
this was what I came up with.
The handles are of nylon strap, the only two with out the actual feed bag material for straps.
(Imagine the top for one bag and this bag is the bottom half.)

Bunny food bag, with lime/kelly green for the accent color.
This bag also is smaller since it was a 25 lb. bag and not a 50 lb.

Birdseed bag #2
It looks a bit rough, that's because it is.
The 'original' chicken bag that started the rave of these bags.
Horse bag #1
Chick Bag
Whole Oats bag with hunter orange for the accent color.

I even got scolded by my friend, Ms. L saying 'she was the first order and she still hasn't gotten her hands on one'. Well that was the beginning of February and it's now the end. I will have to say, I do have a supply to show her so she can take her pick. And of course, be cool like me. Another friend L also wants one but I'm not sure which one would 'suit her fancy', so I'm needing to talk her about this.

And I need to announce that I just received a whole new shipment of bags and I am so excited, you don't even know! I am getting them made up and out to sell.
I might even get them into a consignment shop besides the Old 52 General store.
How exciting.

So, which bag is your favorite?
If you could choose any picture for the side of the bag, what would it be?
Due to much debate, how much would you pay for one?
Size: depth: 4.25", width: 17" & height: 17"
Completely recycled from a feed bag, body, handles & pockets.
Thread is the only outside source used.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentines, over rated...

Valentines, totally over rated, just another holiday to spend money, even though I'd love a gift and a couple of hours with my rock-star husband, but that didn't really happen. It was not romantic, 'take time for ourselves', and all about chocolate and hearts, but still, it was wonderful.

What made it so wonderful?
~ My g'parents came Friday with their two lovely pups for the night. Left early Saturday for their trip to Texas!
~ I hardly cooked a meal, meaning we ate lunch at the in-laws, leftovers for dinner and Sunday lunch was eating out.
~ CMW did take good naps along with myself.
~ Jim and C made cookies, the really good ones that have a box of instant vanilla pudding added. (I know, super healthy, not!) They are super chewy and moist, my friend Katie is the giver of this recipe. Thank you, Thank you!
I should of had pink M&Ms.
~ The auntie across the way took C so we could attend out Sunday evening bible study with out a small child in tow.
~ My friend Sonja randomly called Sunday afternoon with the message: she was in Fargo and wanted to meet up. So, we did do this as well, after bible study. I guess we did have a little more 'alone time' then I thought.

Yes, I'd say after I reflect, it was still wonderful.

You ask, what did I get my valentine?
A super sweet 'grain shovel' that he's been meaning to purchase but I beat him to it. This new piece of equipment helps him shovel snow real nicely. :-)
What did I get? Nothing but it was a great weekend with two people I love.
What my husband would say; 'I got her a sewing machine!' This line is going to be used for some time to come, I assure you.

How was your Valentine weekend? Anything worth remembering?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Part 2: Entrepreneurship

The 'Rest of the story'...

Jim gave me the idea of making a large reusable shopping bag out of our chicken feed bags. Which I did and started to use and low and behold, this bag became a hit. Which leads me to this story of how I got to sewing more bags then I actually have on hand. I ran into the right couple at church who also has chickens and thought, 'this bag was pretty cool'. They also happen to own a general store & I gave them the idea of selling them. They agreed and now I'm sewing up a storm. Plus I get outside orders and I'm running out of feed bags. Yikes! Besides my friend T who's stable she boards at, throws away many feed bags a month, & friend E who is the store owner, I am searching for hobby farm owners who might have a feed bag with a great picture to give away as well or a very pretty sunflower bag from Fleet Farm also makes a huge hit with the bird lover as well. And lucky me, most of my hobby farm findings are 'from where I come from', meaning I get to travel back home to get them. But still, people who have ordered are getting what they want & I make a little extra cash. And my back order list gets a little smaller. Never in my life have I had a 'back order list' to complete. It is rather cool on my end of the deal! Waa-Hoo!!

My thoughts (and the help of some friends) of why all the rage of these bags, in no particular order are:
1) They are a plastic woven material, similar to the blue/brown tarps one uses to cover split wood, a trailer, or a boat. The material is quite sturdy.
2) They are totally 100% recycled from a feed bag. The body, handles & pocket all cut from the bag, the thread is the only outside source.
3) They have a great picture to show off.
4) They hold a lot of stuff; groceries, toys, weekend bag, a wet bag for the beach, or the personal everything bag (in my case).
5) A plus (in my mind), they are pretty dang original!!! Which is my specialty. I love having the 'one and only' even though, my chicken bag will be out in the hands of another lady or gent soon since there is one on the store shelf.

So, that's the story and I'm lovin' it.

PS. I even posted my bag idea on a craftsters challenge of making a 'reusable, recycled shopping bag'. Labeled, "Cheep, Cheep, Cheep Bag." Not sure I'll win, but people are commenting and like the idea, some are going to start using their own feed bags. Now isn't that spreading the love of being environmental friendly.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Part 1: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur: a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome.
(Definitions from Wikipedia)

I recently went to a small women's day event, featuring Entrepreneurship out in central ND with my two SIL & my MIL. My SIL lives in this small community and invited us. It was a great day, with good speakers & area women with their small business, they offered their products & some shared how they got started. The state of ND has what is called a 'Horizons Community' grant. It's for communities through out ND who apply through the Extension Service, get money and put on a program that will help or encourage to strengthen their communities. When I was invited, I was all for this since SIL and I talk some about plans of starting up some small business and I think there is a lot to do to become an entrepreneur. By no means will I most likely become one. I watch my aunt T do this and that's all I need.
The first presenter spoke on starting your own small business and all the extra components that go along. She gave out a lot of information along with web sources that I've looked over as it's all very interesting. Even though right now, I will not be starting my own small business, it helps me to think about the bigger picture.
For instance, I was shocked as I looked into selling my eggs and veggies at the farmers market in WF this upcoming summer. The fee is $135.00 for 4 months and I need my own liability insurance, I'm thinking 'crazy and boot that idea out the back door'. But it was an eye opener since I thought it was a bit more simpler then this. My new plan, wear a head band that says 'Fresh Eggs, $2.00' at church and that's all I'll need. What do you think? Will it pass for a good act of entrepreneurship?
The second presenter was a small business owner who started her own 'Home Organizing business' and she now supports her family & also owns a small coffee shop. It's exciting to hear about people who are successful, because I know and seen many from my small town who have started and closed since it was not a 'hit' and they would be better off doing something else.
So, I am not venturing into becoming an entrepreneur by any means on a large scale but I could say on a very small scale it is happening. By using my sewing skills & the product being 100% recycled! Yea for doing something I love, saving the environment, and making a little bit of cash on the side.
Stay tuned for the "rest of the story".