What I’m Working On Right Now

Half blog, half journal.

Check back every few weeks to see what’s up on the farm!

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

Today is day #4 of our new life on the road. We left the farm on December 15th, stopped in Virginia for pre-Christmas with family, then down to Daytona Beach (well, Port Orange, but more folks know Daytona than Port Orange!) to work on the van. It took about 2 months to get the van converted to a mini camper and we headed out a few days ago.

Right now our focus is on learning to live on the road. We are off-grid with a portable solar setup. It’s a learning curve for sure to get the hang of handling basic daily tasks we took for granted… bathing, cooking, finding a bathroom. 

So far we’re really loving it! I’m 100% focused on staying on top of client work in such a non-standard office. That, along with the basics has kept me busy, but it’s in the back of my mind that there’s going to be long expanses of time perfect for more writing.

Jeff and I are also talking about doing more content creation on the road. It’s easy to make fun of the idea (everyone’s doing it!) but in reality, we haven’t seen a lot of people like us (i.e. old as the hills) doing it. Not sure yet how that will fit in. 

We’re also working on the shop, which we have kept up and running with inventory up in Minnesota for my mom to handle orders. It feels all so far away right now!

Until next time!

Updated February 25, 2018


It’s already the holidays here on the farm and the last few months have been a whirlwind!

We staged a show in mid-October where we brought our handmade soaps and candles, found items and a bunch of new things we sourced from some of our favorite vendors. Once again, sales reflected what we’d seen in our shop in Virginia… folks love to LOOK at the found items, and they buy the new stuff. Over 60% of our home decor sales were new items, not vintage and antiques!

One of the super fun things about the October event is that I included a mini-launch of 3 Snugbugs Studios clothing! As some might remember, I won a business grant a few years ago and was just rolling into sales when the opportunity popped up last year to take over the B&B up in Minnesota. Since the move, I’ve been focused on client work and learning how to run a B&B. It was a real milestone to get a small release finished and ready for sale. Now it’s time to focus on the photographs and other things that we need to do to list and market the clothing. With such a unique style, we’ll really be looking at online as our main sales platform at the beginning. 

This weekend we’re out in our barn gift shop hosting one of two holiday-themed shopping events in concert with a neighboring business in our small community. It’s cozy and we finally found a decent Pandora station that plays holiday music that doesn’t kill me — I’ve already OD’ed on the big band era Christmas station. Mom’s here to help out and Jeff is manning the till and making candles while I’m working on my laptop. It’s so fun to have a shop right on our farm!

Until next time!

Updated November 11, 2017


And I blinked… and it was fall! Just a quick update… we made it through a very busy summer and now are slowing down a bit with guests and getting ready for the holiday retail and show season.

We are linking up a few craft shows to attend close to the B&B where we will be showing our soaps and candles along with some vintage items and a limited release of clothing from 3 Snugbugs Studios. We’re super excited to be pulling everything together and the whole family is in on it, including my mom.

It’s leaf season in northern Minnesota, so we’re still getting a fair amount of guests coming through which we love! I expect we’ll see a slow-down in November and December with things picking up a bit in January/February and then dropping again until June. We’ve got a lot of projects to work on during the ‘slow season’!

With everything that’s happening at the farm I haven’t had nearly the discipline to write that I’d like. It’s a constant struggle to prioritize and get out of putting-out-fire-mode.

The farm menagerie is doing well. Biscuit the kitty is finally a semi-outdoor cat and has lots of fun AND entertains guests with his kitty antics. Peppermint is as sweet as ever and the Northern Comfort flock is holding at eight hens. We lost two chicks and just recently lost my favorite chicken, Speckles, to a hawk. She was a pretty, inquisitive little thing and it was a sad day on the farm when we realized she’d gotten ‘gotten’ by the mean hawk. 

Back to work!

Updated Septemer 18, 2017


 

Whew! This has been a crazy month. I completely overcommitted myself to various sewing projects and realized that I was sending myself off the rails, getting distracted with fun things that don’t necessarily contribute to the direction I want to go.

And this has made me a little crabby. 

Also, we got our first batch of chickens a few weeks ago. They are growing like weeds and fun, but extra work. We also had a small cat emergency surgery mid-month due to Biscuit’s love of eating things that aren’t food. 

As we head into May I’ve rearranged my goals for June to help me focus. In addition to client work and B&B work, I’ll working on writing and nothing else. In order to support this, I’ve been working on this daily journal practice from Randy over at Advanced Fiction Writing. I’d never thought of using Scrivener in this way, but really like the use of document templates and being able to condense everything into one journal!

Spring is in full force here on the Farm. The leaves are out and a few of the fruit trees are starting to flower. The lilacs are just peeking out and the bleeding hearts have little baby heart-shaped buds out as well. 

And… I lied a little 🙂 In June I’ll also be experimenting with a video format for my blog posts over here at PattyBrower.com. I’ve been wanting to play with it, and think I might be a bit faster doing a weekly Facebook live and posting versus my normal ridiculously long blog posts. 

At the B&B Jeff and I are untangling our 2016 taxes and negotiating unanticipated (and not very well explained) new insurance payments thanks to aforementioned chicks. We’re also sorting out the leasing relationship with the folks who own the B&B property — a process not always enjoyable and frequently ire-inducing for me….

We’ll see how it goes.

Updated May 30, 2017

about patty

Hi there! I’m Patty. I’m a writer, maker and creative entrepreneur living on the road with my husband and Peppermint the basset hound. Read the blog for tutorials, tricks and inspiration. Visit the online shop to check out our handcrafted soaps, candles, cool finds and more. Curious about our experiment in teeny-living? Then read more about #vanlife! Are you a business owner? I also work with indie retail and creative business owners to build beautiful social media platforms, websites and email marketing programs.

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