Back in the mid 1990’s, when Old Town wasn’t full of name brand chain stores, we had a small, but thriving, handworks business. One time we had about 1/2 dozen “mom and pop” stores carrying our handmade leather and fiber items along the Colorado Blvd strip. After they were driven out by high rent and big business, we now have so many boxes of inventory (handmade many years ago). With business being slow on ourhandworks site , we will turn our efforts into redesigning ourhandworks site after revamping thePeddler’s Wagon into a more commerce friendly site. On our handworks site we plan to reenergize it with a few more handmade items. And we’ll try listing them on Ebay.
First “clearance” items to list onEbay are handmade/carved/dyed and paintedleather “magic wallet” which we made for a consignment client of ours who thought such designs would appeal to the younger crowd. I think the Mayan carvings the guys did are awesome. Even though the guys love to carve, it just didn’t pay for such time consuming handwork pieces, so they turned to just basic leather work with hand lacing. Those of you in the handmade craft world know that with cheap imports, many don’t appreciate the time and efforts that go into each handmade piece. Well, correction, they may appreciate it but can’t afford to pay US dollars for American labor.
Catalysts for Change
One of our readers wrote:
….I think this is that I believe it’s important for your family to be able to continue to be idea generators and catalysts for change. And this can only be possible if you have some time to do that and aren’t always doing repetitive work for income. It’s like we need good chefs who write cookbooks as well as ones who work in restaurants. Usually the good chef/author does some of both like Alice Waters.
Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go before we reach that stage to have the luxury of taking such time off to write books or produce videos. Right now we are just like ordinary folk. We need to continue doing “repetitive work” so we can earn a living. Hence, the reason that Part II of the website is on hold. What’s Part II? Well, part two would contain overview writings and pictures of specific projects we tackled the last 6 years. We estimated it would be add about 75 additional pages to the website.
Peddler’ Wagon Update
The updated PW site is coming along nicely. The new commerce template is about 85% complete and right now we are working at putting in the index pages, item photos, descriptions and coding the shopping cart. Products used here on the urban homestead will have a little symbol by the item. We are also thinking of including a pop up window which we can rate or write about the specific product (perhaps with a photo of the item being used on the homestead). Our goal is to get it up and running by Thanksgiving.
We are still am awaiting wholesale/distributor info on compost systems, books, organic clothing, organic seeds and more.
After the PW up and running we, like I mentioned, hope to revamp ourhandworks site. We also are considering working on a friend’s online shop site. They really need a new website and with our self taught web expertise, perhaps they will pay us to build them a new online shop. I asked them if they’d consider it and we are still awaiting word. We figured that would bring in some more income also. As you can see we are certainly busy with all sorts of things going on. The time is now to tackle such products. Come spring, any computer or non homesteading work is practically jaunted aside.
The Animal Farm
A friend of ours took these cute photos of Jordanne with one of our twogoats. Blackberry, our pygmy goat, likes to be held like a baby. One of Blackberry nickname is “black-belly” because of her cute little “chunky belly.” Our goats are certainly spoiled! What a pair those two make together.
Speaking of pairs, I am sure many of you reading about our experience are perhaps considering getting a goat. We have to stress with folks who write or with those we meet that goats are, by nature, herd animals. So, if you are thinking of getting a goat, you must (emphasize MUST) consider getting two; otherwise, they will be very, very lonely. True goat lover and breeders who are concerned for the well being of the goats will only sell you a goat with proof that it will not be an only goat. Seeing our two goats interact as they do with each other, we really understand how goats need another goat companion; otherwise, the goat will adopt you. Then, if you have to leave them alone for long periods of time, the goat would be miserable.
Another one of the biggest misconceptions about goats is how they are able to give milk. Unlike chickens and ducks, who produce eggs without the presence of a male, to get goat’s milk the goats need to have baby goats first. Goats, like chickens and ducks, have quite similar feed needs–some grains but also some hay. However, like all our animals, goats love fresh greens, leaves from banana trees, blackberry vines, grapes and leftovers (oatmeal, rice, fruits and more) .
As with kids, these kid goats do need to be taught a bit of discipline, especially when twice a day, we let them out to roam. The goats need to be taught not to eat everything in site and, around the backyard, it’s quite a tempting goat smorgasbord. So, one of the major commands they were taught is “leave it” said with a slightly authoritative tone. Sure, they tried to sneak in a few tasty nibbles when they think we aren’t looking, but once they hear “leave it,” they know that if they don’t obey they’ll get a squirt of water from a water bottle.
Fairlight posing for camera & looking out the front screen door
Goats are very curious creatures, almost like cats in that they have to check out everything. They especially like when we clean out the animal enclosure or do work nearby – they just have to be involved too! We sometimes feel like we have to ask them “everything meet with your approval?”
The goat training is going well. Jordanne has even taught Lady Fairlight to “beg” and Blackberry to do her “twizzle” (er, dance) on command. The goats, ducks and chickens get along together. It’s like one big happy animal family. Hmm, that reminds me. I will have to update and upload some new photos onto the photo gallery… so much to do on this site, one needs a full time web site operator.
Hopefully, if all goes well, we will be hatching some duck and chicken eggs this spring. We should be bringing in a male Khaki Campbell sometime in December to visit our lady Khaki Campbells. Unfortunately, Khaki Campbells aren’t known for being good “mothers” in that they aren’t ones to hatch their eggs. So, we either hope find a broody chicken somewhere, hope one of ours gets broody or hatch them in an incubator. And then we also have make time to bring the goats to meet a billy goat somewhere and all that surrounds such an operation (mating, birth, any complications especially it being their first, baby kids finding homes for them, etc.). To breed our gals, we at least have to drive about an 1 hour or more. That’s one thing we dislike about being in the city to get to “real” country, farm places– you have to drive on our horrible freeways to get there.
Around here, the freeways are car to car come afternoon/evening, it’s ridiculous. Imagine having to travel freeways everyday. Thankfully we are free of that insane system of travel because we work at home.
Journal Photo Troubles?
A reader emailed saying she was having trouble viewing photos on the journal. She said, ther was a “failure of photos on the journal page.” Anyone else experiencing this problem? Please let us know. Thanks.