Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Two-For-30 Sale No. 2!

Last week's Thrifty Thursday was super fun! So we decided that the twofer is a keeper. Buy one as a gift, keep the other as a treat. Or - you can be super generous and give the other away, too. I'm far from encouraging selfishness. ;)

This week it is a new combo - a Kenzie and an Ava for $30. Kenzie is regularly $25 and Ava is regularly $22. So the savings on the pair is $17!


PS: The sale will continue until next Thursday when a new combination will be announced.

PPS: Because this is such a great deal, we cannot honor coupon codes in excess of 10%! Thank you for understanding.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Home Business Success

This is going to be a short post because, well it is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday. This is especially difficult for someone as chatty as me to achieve, but I will do my best.

Carrie texted me the most wonderful news today. Our Adoption Fundraiser kits are proving to be a huge success. We launched the idea in 2012 as a way to more directly incorporate our heart for adoption into our overall mission as a company.


You can read the details on our website. But, the point of this post is to share that THREE people requested kits this week. Every time someone places an order, my heart leaps for joy because I feel like Scarlet Threads is really helping to make an impact in this world.

Here's a photo so you can see some of our recent January orders all ready for shipment.  Look at those beauties. Something about packages with postage stamps makes me giddy.



We would love to see this facet of our little cooperative expand! Our mission to bring children home to their forever families is a permanent part of ST now. We have a growing adoption grant fund, thanks to the proceeds of Scarlet Scraps sales, which we are determined to "grant" to a deserving family in 2013. We have a "Give Joy" event going on to benefit New Day Foster Home.  And now, we have a growing contingent of people creatively raising funds for their adoptions by way of our adorable Fair Trade aprons.

Simply amazing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Garlic Pull-Apart Bread and Chicken Soup




Several weeks ago (New Years Eve, in fact), Steve and I roasted a chicken for dinner- one of my favorite meals. He had to work during the day, but I was off, and spent some time on pinterest, natch. I found this recipe for garlic pull-apart bread, and it sounded like the perfect thing to go along with the chicken! 


It wasn't a terribly difficult recipe, though I'd make a few tweaks, I think. Here's the original:


Ingredients:

1 can of refrigerated Grands biscuits (not the flaky layers)
1/2 stick of butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning 


Instructions:

1-  Preheat the oven to 350* F. Throw the cold stick of butter in a bundt pan and let it melt in the preheating oven.

2- While the butter melts, cut the Grands biscuits into quarters. In a bowl, toss the biscuit pieces, garlic, Italian Seasoning, and Parmesan cheese together.

3- Once the butter is melted, add the biscuit mixture, sprinkling with any cheese and garlic that gets let behind in the bowl.

4- Bake at 350* for 20- 22 minutes until golden brown. Turn out on a dish and enjoy!



My notes:


I might use less than a full stick of butter next time. It was a lot. 


I didn't use the Italian seasoning either. Steve isn't hugely wild about it. 


Since I had a chicken in the oven, I couldn't melt the butter in the pan while preheating, so I melted it in the microwave. After the butter was melted, I used pre-minced garlic, as I realized I didn't have any full cloves in the house. For shame! Also, I was quite low on parmesan cheese....clearly I did not think this through carefully before I decided to make it! 


So I added the minced garlic and the parmesan cheese to the small bowl of melted butter and as I cut up the biscuits (and I DID use the flaky kind, despite the recipe saying not to!), and I'd "marinate" them in the mix for a few seconds before putting them into the pan. 


Most of the butter mix was soaked up to an extent, but the little bit that I had leftover, I poured over it afterwards. What I didn't realize, was that while baking, it would sink! So, when they came out, the bottom layer was somewhat sopping in butter, while the top layer was just about perfect! So, less butter would be ideal for the next time, I think. 


Before baking photo:




After baking photo: 







Overall, this was a great recipe, and so easy. You could also try other spices too, to switch things up. Maybe rosemary and thyme? I do love rosemary! Another cheese would be fun too. Maybe add some olives and feta, for a Greek take on this? 


Also, the best part about roasting a chicken? The leftovers! I made a homemade chicken soup the next day, which was remarkably easy! 


Throw the carcass in a big pot and cover with water. Simmer, for hours. Many hours. 


I thought I was doing it wrong, I will admit, as it didn't seem to look any different, about four hours later! I called my mum of course, who walked me through it. After a while, I pulled the carcass out of the pot to remove the chicken from the bones (that was not fun! ha!). I pulled the meat bits from the bones and put it back into the pot. I added a bunch of spices and rice, maybe a cup or so. I let that cook together, heat higher this time, around medium, I think. When the rice was cooked through, I added a bag of mixed frozen veggies (see below! so colorful!). I added more spices again. I love spices! 


This soup was delicious, and we really enjoyed it. It made A LOT! We had leftovers for a week! I probably should have put some in the freezer, but didn't, for some reason. Oh well, next time. There willl definitely be a next time! 







Do you like making soups in the winter? This New England girl sure does. How might you change up this recipe? Or the bread? 


What's cooking in your kitchen this week? 



Also! This is our 350th post! This calls for some sort of celebration, me thinks.....


Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Montage: A Bowlful of SuperSnacks!




Perhaps you've heard that there is a big football game this weekend? SuperBowl Sunday, it seems? Now, I will admit that I am really not much of a football fan...first down, third down, what's the difference? No idea. I've never claimed to be a fan either, so I have no real loyalty to any team...though as a New Englander, I suppose I root for the Patriots by default, but looks like they were beaten two weeks ago...and now, since I live in DC, does that mean I root for the Ravens? Even though they beat the Pats? Yeah, I don't know the rules either!
 
 
In my opinion, the best part of SuperBowl Sunday is the parties people have, because that means SNACKS! I may not know football, but I know that snacks make anything better. Over the years, we've had lots of snacks featured on our blog, and I thought you might need something to bring to a party this weekend. Rather than going back through our archives, here are a few great recipes that would be a great addition to any SuperBowl party!
 
 
 
 
 
I made these when home with my family a while back, and they were really fun. A bit different, but we really enjoyed them! So simple. Add some cheese and/or marinara...or maybe ranch? Whatever you like would be fantastic!
 
 

 
 
Another something made at home with family, and this was really good. Unexpected, but really good! I do remember also that the recipe made A LOT! So, bring it to a big party  ;)



 

 
Everyone loves fruit pizzas, don't they? You could really use almost any fruit with these to really make it to your taste. With all of the heavy meats and dips that come at SuperBowl parties, these are always a lighter alternative!



 
 
 
 
I know, I know, this is a birthday cake....but, make it in a trifle bowl and it would be perfect. Of course, if you like the monster truck, feel free to keep it!
 
 
 


 
One of my all-time favorites! I think I will definitely be making this for the party I'm attending this weekend. Everyone loves it. 


 
 
 
 
They are a bit messy, yes, but really great! They probably don't travel well, so I think these might be best to make if you are the party hostess! 


 
 
 
Without the pasta, they'd be a great party snack!
 
 
 
 
 
My second favorite thing. Have I mentioned my red velvet obsession?  :)
 
 
 
 
 
Perfection. That is all.
 
 
 
 
 
So! Here are just a few ideas for you. We'll be tweeting other ideas throughout the week too, so if you aren't already following us on twitter, make sure you are! 
 
@ScarletThreadFT
 
 
 
Are you attending any SuperBowl parties this weekend? Which team are you cheering for? Feel free to share recipe ideas with us, and send us a photo later...who knows, we might even post your recipe one of these days!
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Fantabulous Friday: A 2-fer Sale for You!

We are about to launch some new aprons! Are you as excited as I am? These happen to be some of my very favorite pieces that Scarlet Threads has ever produced. It helps that this was my first opportunity to assist in the fabric selection at the market in China. But, then again, Lexi wasn't able to make it this year and these are her favorites as well.

The closet at Carrie's house is getting a little full now that the new inventory has arrived. (See how coy I'm being?) So, we would love to ship two products instead of just one! We asked people to vote on which deal we should launch this week and it was a tie. The only equitable way to resolve this, is to give you a choice when you purchase!

We are pairing one reversible apron ($34) with one half apron ($22) for a weeklong special price of $30! That is a savings of $26!

This steal of a deal will only be available until next Thursday (or while quantities last).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Cowboy Stew

The part of Indonesia I live in is pretty much on the equator, so it's warm year round, like 90 degrees all the time, but yesterday it was 'cold' - the high was only about 85 degrees.  It was quite amusing to see the locals in sweaters and jackets and yes, gloves!  To me, it was heavenly!

So in honor, of our little cold snap, I decided to make one of my favorite stews.  It's hearty and easy to make.  The recipe I use comes from my mom, so Thanks Mom!

Cowboy Stew
2 lbs hamburger meat
4-6 potatoes, cut up in chunks
water
1 package taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
2 can tomato sauce
2 cans Ranch style beans
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole corn, drained


Brown meat in large soup or stock pot. Drain fat.
Add potatoes and enough water to just cover to meat and potatoes. I added about 2 1/2 cups here.


Cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Cook for another 30 minutes then add the rest of the ingredients.

Cook on low until the potatoes are soft and everything is heated through.
Since it's Cowboy Stew, it goes great with cornbread!  Enjoy!




Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Montage: Tri 4 Freedom

I feel like I am running out of time - I am purposed for higher things and time is indeed slipping by at the same pace as always. The task is so daunting, isn't it? "Making a difference?"

I think adopting an "as you go" philosophy really makes it bearable. Instead of completely rearranging my life, my career, etc - I want to work the things I care about into the individual moments. My passion and heart should come through in every activity or conversation. It's kind of like St Francis - make your life a prayer.

One of those things that I love - as some of you well know - is triathlon. What's not to love? A little competition, a reason to eat a little healthier, a reason to keep my mind and body active, and - above all - the capability of eating as much ice cream as I choose without going up a dress size. Feeling as though this is a waste of time, despite the numerous advantages listed above, is one of those things with which I struggle. And then...

I discovered "Tri 4 Freedom."


I mean it's a match made in Heaven. The proof is in the mission statement:
Tri 4 Freedom is committed to raising awareness about the global extent of human exploitation and empowering survivors of human trafficking and marginalized communities by promoting fair trade in sport.

Clearly there is an opportunity to turn a leisure activity into a quest! Now, their 27 hour triathlon in Lexington, KY might be a bit out of my league. But, I could do something simple like purchase a shirt to wear while I train.

Alternatively, they reached out to us after my blog post proposing an ST Workout Squad. It's nothing fancy, but I was just thinking that we could form a little accountability group and wear ST shirts while training or racing. And... wouldn't it be amazing if we print our design on shirts made by human trafficking survivors? And, for the eco-friend in all of us, they are organic cotton - 100%!

Yes, yes and yes!

I would love for you to take a look at the different shirt designs and let me know which one is the most appealing to you. There's a little tweaking that needs to be done on each, but, what's a little rework between friends? The important thing is to get the feel right, to strike the right chord, and to create a shirt that will appeal to you - as well as to my girlfriends who race with me.

Drum Role ... (Vote for your favorite by leaving a comment. Or, press like on the Facebook Photo Album!)


Shirt #1

Shirt # 2





Shirt # 4

Aren't they wonderful? This could be Scarlet Threads first foray into the "End Human Trafficking" space! And, we have another first coming this year. I'm just going to slip this in here at the end of this blog post to see who is paying attention. I have always dreamed of an artisan group closer to home - possibly serving a refugee community. (It's part of my "as you go" mentality.) Right now, it is an opportunity that Carrie is actively pursuing - so keep our new initiative in your prayers. I'm hoping we can share more on this very very soon! I know, I'm such a tease...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Frenzy

I have been experiencing the most frenzied start of a new year that I can remember. Somehow I got so behind on everything before Christmas and it has not been easy getting caught up! I'm sure I'll get more that one "amen" there! I am beginning to rely on several new necessities for 2013 to help me put my life in a more organized, less hassled, increasingly good-looking order...

1.) "Better Homes and Gardens" 
It keeps me inspired and motivated around the house and helps me plan ahead so I don't get caught kid-May with unplanted tulip bulbs and the wrong wreath on my door. When I read a few pages with my first cup in the morning I keep a note pad handy for the constant "oh yeahs" that pop into mind.

This picture inspires me to simplify my sometimes "busy" décor.
2.) Aveda Inner Light Concealer
It hides all my unevens and blends so well with my skin! A good concealer is a must and I love this one that I've just discovered.

     2b.) Lancôme Hypnose Mascara- it's worth the money; I'm totally hooked!

3.) Power Mate iPhone Charger
I'm always unplugging my phone to make a call before it's charged and then forgetting to plug it back in. The Power Mate is half the size of a deck of cards, holds its charge forever and can fully charge my phone, even while I'm on it. Plus it's leopard print!
4.) Pavé Link Bracelet
It makes me feel "styled" even when I'm really not and goes with everything. I found a necklace on Etsy to match and bought one for me and one for my mom.

5.) Nike Pro Running Tights
We got a puppy in November so all my runs have slowed down into walks until she's a little older but I still love putting on my running tights. They are more flattering than ugly ole sweatpants (try a pair on and ask your husband if I'm right), they motivate me to exercise, they're warm, and they come in awesome colors. I also like the ones at Target and Old Navy. Sweatpants are just not good- they make you feel like a slob which isn't relaxing it's degrading and they're not that comfortable in my experience. Make the switch to running tights, that's my 2013 advice!

This is basically what I look like (ha!).
I hope your year is settling nicely and you're not feeling as frenzied as me but if you are you're not alone- Buy some running tights and cruise through it with me!! I'm sure the Spring will find us with all our ducks in a row and tulips blooming in our yards!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: CNY Ornaments

As most of you know, Scarlet Threads was born in China and a big chunk of each of our staff's heart is tied to that land and its people. I would venture to say that many of our readers and customers were first led to us by a similar love for the people of China (particularly those beloved orphas of New Day Foster Home).

Scarlet Threads has grown in size and scope over the past few years, but we have never forgotten the reason that we started this little company, the reason that Jacob and Carrie traveled to China in the first place.
  
With Chinese New Year almost upon us, we want to celebrate ST's Chinese heritage with a limited edition "Celebration" of CNY Ornaments!

The are intended to be wall hangings and have little silver hangers for that purpose! But, be creative in your displays!

The incredible demand for our Wired Hearts Christmas Ornaments this year showed us that we stumbled onto something truly amazing! The wonderfully talented Huan Mei and Lao Yen created a product that flew off the proverbial shelves faster than they could make them.

We have several sets to choose from on the Scarlet Threads Facebook page. And, all you need to do to purchase is leave a comment! Carrie will contact you with payment options.

Or, if it is easier, just leave a comment here with which set you would like to bring home!

The profits will benefit both the New Day Foster Home
and our own Adoption Grant Fund.

Everything is ready for immediate shipment, but a word to the wise we only created one or two sets of each! I've shown some of my favorites below, but the Facebook Photo Album has several more!

"Congratulations on Getting Rich"
"Get along well for hundreds of years"

"Have a Fish Every Year!"

"Let it be as lucky and auspicious as you wish" er... "Hope it Goes Well"


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Gumbo

Gumbo is a delicious, easy and healthy way to feed your family for a week (at least a few times in a week)! My Southern bred family has always made this warm and hearty stew and I just recently revitalized it for my husband and I. A big pot keeps for at least a week and reheats really well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 whole Carrots
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • 1White or yellow onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Bell Pepper (I like red or orange)
  • 2 bags of Okra (Frozen bags can be found in the frozen veggies section. Whole is preferred but cut works)
  • Olive oil 
  • 3 Chicken or Pheasant breasts**
  • 2 or 3 links of Andouille Sausage
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (optional)
  • 2 boxes of Chicken stock**
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 3 tbsp. Flour
  • Gumbo Filé ( a spice you can find in most supermarkets)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano

Directions:
  • Cook your andouille sausage in a big stock pot. After they're cooked, remove and set aside. Leave the grease in the stock pot.
  • Dice your onion, carrots and celery. Put them in the sausage stock pot with a drizzle of oil and cook on low heat until the onions are translucent. Crush then dice your garlic cloves and dice up your bell pepper, add to the other veggies and cook for a few minutes. 


  • If you need to cook your poultry add it to the veggies (if I'm in a hurry I add whole frozen breasts). Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Cover your pot and allow the poultry to cook. Once it's cooked remove the breasts and let cool.

The frozen chicken breasts cook right in the same pot.

  • Slice the poultry and sausage. Remove shrimp tails and set shrimp and tails aside***. 
  • Slice okra in 1/2 - 1/4 inch chunks. Set aside.
  • Add the rest of your stock chopped poultry and sausage. Add spices to your taste. If your unfamiliar with filé I usually start with about 1 tbsp and add as necessary.
  • Let all this simmer for at least half an hour. 
That little cheesecloth bag is all my shrimp tails simmering in the gumbo.
  • Make your roux. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and allow it to brown a bit. Add the flour and whisk a bit so there aren't any clumps. Whisk every once in awhile while it cooks until the flour is golden brown. Once it's golden, add cup or so of the broth from your stock pot and whisk it into the roux. Once that's well mixed you can add the whole mixture back into the gumbo. Simmer for another half hour at least.
  • 20 or so minutes before you're going to serve the gumbo add the okra.  
  • Serve with fresh french bread or baguette or serve over rice. Allow guests to add their own shrimp. I put an array of hot sauces to the side for people to add as well.


** If you want to save some money and go the extra mile you can buy a whole chicken (they are so inexpensive- usually about 99 cents a pound!!) and cook that. After it's cooked pull all the meat off for your gumbo and simmer the carcass with a whole onion, garlic clove, salt and pepper for at least an hour. Strain out all the stuff and you will be left with the most delicious chicken stock for your stew.
*** The shrimp should remain separate until the gumbo is served. Overcooked shrimp aren't very good so I leave them in a bowl for each person to add their own. If you want a really rich gumbo put the tails in a cheesecloth bag and put that in your pot to simmer with the soup. Remove it when the gumbo is done.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Montage: One Little World




Happy Monday, dear friends! We hope you don't mind the little holiday break we took these past couple of weeks, but again, thank you for all of your love and support. 2012 was a wonderful year for us, and we have high hopes that 2013 will be even better!


I'm so pleased to share the most wonderful etsy shop with you today. Jodie of One Little World, based in Dallas, Texas, has such a good heart, and she really pours her soul into what she does to help advance the fair trade movement. I was thrilled to have found her shop, and we emailed back and forth, asking questions and sharing answers. I love what she had to say, and I know you will too! She speaks so beautifully and passionately, I wanted to keep things in her words, so I'm posting both my questions and her answers for you today!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Jodie, I'd love to hear more about you, to get to know you a bit. First, are you a coffee or tea drinker? How do you take your coffee/tea?

Tea, green.  I drink 3-5 cups every morning, throughout the morning, plain.  I enjoy the ceremony of tea.  It calms me down.



Please tell me just a bit about your background,
 ie, where you grew up, how that led to where you are now, family, etc.

I grew up in Virginia on a small farm, surrounded by nature. I am the oldest of three and I'm very close to my siblings and parents.  The place I grew is so pretty and peaceful, but in many respects, not diverse.  I became more aware of "differences" once I moved to Austin, simply because I was older and more interested in learning about the happenings that existed outside of my little world.  It wasn't until I took my first trip outside of the U.S., to Mexico, that I had a better understanding of what our world looked like and how others lived.  It opened my eyes to real poverty and need.  Although Mexico is alive with color, family, food and amazing artisan skill, that trip stayed in my mind for a long time.  

I suppose that experience was the moment that the one little world seed planted itself and the desire to help others in this "fair" way, truly began. 

Are you a dog person or cat person?

Meow.  Nine years ago "Nesta" walked up to our back patio dinner party in Austin, and she's ruled our life ever since!  But we dream of adopting a dog one day too.

What is your favorite book of all time, and why? Is there one book that you could read again and again? What is the last book that you read?

The last book I finished was "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and  Sheryl Wudunn.  It gave me an even deeper understanding and respect of what I thought I knew about the conditions in which women in the developing world, live with on a day-to-day basis.  The stories of these very women, taking a stand for justice, equality and care, despite the many obstacles that challenge them, are beyond incredible. 

I am currently reading "A School for my Village" by Twesigye Jackson  Kaguri.  It is the true story of a man who grew up in a small village in Uganda and was fortunate enough to receive an education, which eventually brought him to the United States for study.  When he returned to  Uganda years later and saw the great need that existed for children
orphaned by AIDS and the "mukaakas" (grandmothers) that now raise them, he was inspired to make a difference.  His story is beautiful.

The books I most often return to time and again are children's books.  My forever favorite is "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo  Lionni.  It's the story of two colors that when they come together make a brand new color...it's such a sweet book and can teach so many lessons.    
  



What is your most prized possession?

My gorgeous niece, Naya.  Although she's not mine, having her in my life is the sweetest thing I've ever known and she’s what I value most in this world.



Do you speak any other languages? What would you learn next, given the opportunity?

I speak really good "Spanglish"...which is almost helpful when I visit my artisans in Ecuador.  But I would like to become a full and real speaker.  I would also love to learn Portuguese, my honey's language.  And I’d like to master social media for the sake of One LittleWorld.  This includes a one little world blog (the name of my soon-to-be blog is; love speaks the world), twitter account (@onelittleworld_) and eventually, our very own website (onelittleworld.org)…so stay tuned!
You said you're a teacher...what do you teach, how long have you been teaching, did you always know that you wanted to teach?

I’ve been educating in so many different and unique capacities for close to ten years now.  I've worked in schools in both Mexico and Ecuador, tutored children to adults in English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and other subjects, I’ve taught 1st and 4th grade in a Title I public school, worked within a Montessori classroom, taught as a home-school teacher, ages 3-14, and I currently work within a private school as academic and teacher support in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms! 

I did not always know that I wanted to teach.  Initially I started my professional life in non-profit and realized soon after that I really enjoyed being part of something that allowed me to teach and inspire, love, acceptance and value for others in our world.  Kids are naturally open and excited, which makes it really easy to guide them to learn about such things.   

Do you collect anything?

I
collect two things from nature; love rocks (rocks shaped like hearts) and peace branches (little tree branches that naturally make the peace sign...they're everywhere).  I also love pretty dishes, non-electric juicers and aprons.  My honey, Adriano, is crazy about orchids, and our home is full of them, so I guess I am a part-collector of these gorgeous plants, too.  



Do you have any other hobbies? 

I like to cook from scratch, using fresh ingredients (no thank you to baking, though).   I've recently found my way back to yoga, which is so helpful in re-finding calm in my day.   I like to take walks.  And I really love to clean.  I don't know why, but it makes me so happy!    
 
Do you have any role models/inspirations? 

I am inspired by people.  Amazing things happen every single day in our world because people care.  I've learned that the big things do make a difference, but it's the tiny things that matter even more.  There is so much goodness in our world...kindness, compassion and love, and people really want to be part of this.  Whether it's on the giving or receiving end, people inspire people. 



You mentioned that you love to travel...where have you been, where do you want to go next?

I’ve traveled Europe, Asia (Nepal, China, Bali), throughout Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa), South America (Brasil, Ecuador), Mexico, the Caribbean.  My honey and I had planned to visit Australia and New Zealand last summer, but decided instead to begin our adoption!  This year we are headed back to Brasil for spring break to visit Adriano's family and this summer I have one little world business trips planned to both Ecuador and Nepal (seeking out more artisan partnerships with a little trip to India too, since I'm over that way).  But the most anticipated and desired trip of 2013, is the hopeful one to Uganda, to meet, know and bring home our sweet baby (and of course while there, create some fair-trade partnerships too).
You also mentioned that you're in the process of adopting!
Is that something you've always wanted to do? 

We began our process on February 24, 2012.  The idea of adoption always made sense to both Adriano and I as individuals, so coming together as a couple made it even more of a desire.  Visiting Africa in 2010, we fell in love with "everything Africa", and after learning of the needs within Uganda, we fell even deeper.  At this very moment we are "waiting" to be matched to our somewhere-out-there little Ugandan.  Waiting really is the hardest part but I know once it happens, every wish and dream I've ever had about our babe, will be even more wonderful than I imagined it to be.   


How did you become involved in the fair trade movement?

What led you here and what does it mean to you?



When traveling to markets in different cities around the world, I was bothered with the expectation that visitors/customers/tourists should "talk down" the price set by the seller/artisan.  Of course, this is sometimes appropriate, but when an artisan is trying to feed and dress their family, send their children to school (a free, public education is often not available in many parts of the world), and live a modest to comfortable life, it is not appropriate.  It takes skilled artisans hours, sometimes days, to create a single item and almost always there are additional material costs involved in creating that single item.  The thought is disheartening that these handmade goods aren't considered something of value and worth the set price.  After seeing this many times and being uncomfortable, I had the idea to bring products here to the U.S., to sell for the artisans.

It is a life-changing gift for me to be part of the relationships created with my artisans, because I know that One Little World is directly helping these parents (artisans) give their children a brighter future full of possibilities.
  My artisans and their families are beyond grateful.  It means everything to them!  But then I reflect on how loved I am...I have my artisans, all around the world, praying, dedicating, celebrating, honoring, keeping ceremonies and wishing for me and one little world's well-being, every single day. 

I am blessed. 



How do you find the artisans that you work with?


 I love all things of unique beauty and color and am always searching for such items in my travels...but more than that, I seek out artisans in need of opportunity. Once I find a product I like, the first question I ask the artisan is, "did you make the product?" Sometimes they are honest, sometimes not and if I discover a true "yes", I then ask if I can visit their workshop (which is almost always their home), to see the product being made. This ensures that the product is in fact made by the artisan and a "middle-person" is not involved, taking advantage of the artist or the situation. After seeing the workshop, I begin the one little world, handmade, fair-trade conversation, explaining the purpose of my business and inviting that artist into a one little world partnership. 

Almost always, at this point, I meet the companion and children of my artisan, which is my favorite part! Together we discuss, in whichever broken language I am trying to speak, a "fair" price/wage, I then buy an inventory of product upfront, and place additional orders once the product begins to sell. During the initial first months the artisan and I work together on product quality and further product development. If a product were to not sell, the artist and I would continue to develop until we got it right. Once I create a partnership with my artisan, I will not break it, which is a real fear with all my artisans.    

   

Which items in your shop are your favorites, if any?
Are there any items that you are especially fond of? 


I really love all of my products.  But the story I love most so far is the one that comes with one little world's llama and alpaca wraps.  The loom which Alonso uses to weave the wraps has been in his family for three generations.  He cares for his loom like one would a child because he knows this loom is his means to providing for his family.  And his heart is so pure and good, it makes it even sweeter to be part of his life in this way.






I can't decide who I love more...this fair trade felted crocodile or this hippo! Both made in Kenya, just like the rest of their felted friends!








Four strands of knotted hemp twine, interlaced with natural and naturally dyed multi-colored acai and pambil seeds, come together to make this full and stunning necklace.  All seeds are sustainably gathered by local natives in the amazonia region of ecuador.  No trees are harmed in the harvesting of these seeds.  


handmade in Ecuador by Juan, using fallen tree branches and natural coloring.  each branch used was found in its natural, fallen state. some branches/crayons have peeling bark, with each looking uniquely imperfect.





Tell me about the new co-op in Nepal!

I have a very good friend who is from Nepal and I began to learn of her beautiful country by listening to her stories. I decided to visit in 2008 and have since became really close to her mom ("Bhumi"), who is helping one little world create a women's co-op in Kathmandu. Nepal is one of the most resource-poor countries in our world where many women struggle daily to be seen as a valued part of society...but it is also a country of beautiful, bright color and amazing skill. 

Together, Bhumi and I developed a sweet product; wool ear wraps (currently sold out online), with the idea that we would gather women in need of an opportunity and teach them how to knit these "wraps". We are beginning small, having identified only four women, and are in the process now of building our idea, together as a group. We are discussing other product concepts too, based on materials local to the women in their homes and communities and we hope to soon grow our project, inviting more women to join. A goal for my summer visit is to set up a "learning hour" every day, bringing in a teacher daily to help each woman learn to read and write. 

One Little World wants to provide a means to help support all families, but even more so, to empower our artisans with confidence, pride and self-love, which will allow for them to do so much more for their families, communities, countries and our world!





How do you see the future of the fair trade movement and what do you hope for it?

When I speak of fair-trade, people become interested and excited! Most everyone wants to be part of purchasing a (fair-trade) product when they know the personal story behind it, so I want to dedicate more of my time telling the artisan's stories and educating others on fair-trade practices and why they're of value. Humans are very kind by nature, and when we know a simple purchase can make a meaningful impact in the life of someone else, we step-up and take part! I am hopeful that we continue to learn of our world and one another and evolve our societies into ones that cultivate even more tolerance and compassion, letting go of the "boundaries" and differences that keep us apart. I am hopeful that people within developed countries who have the means and ability, bring a fair-trade understanding and participation into their conversations, habits (spending), and daily lives, because I promise it matters to someone-out-there, half-a-world away!

 

Wow. I have to say, I am blown away by Jodie and the things she's done and hopes to do! She's an inspiration, really. I'm so glad to have found her, and hope that she will allow me to call her a friend one day! She has such a good heart, and is just the kind of person that the fair trade movement needs.


Jodie has just created a twitter account for One Little World, so please go and follow her, and encourage her to tweet her beautiful shop!


Find her at on twitter at @onelittleworld_


Jodie has also kindly offered a 20% discount in her shop to Scarlet Threads readers. Use the code LOVEFAIRTRADE for a discount in her shop.  


I hope that you will all stop by One Little World and see what Jodie has to offer! There are so many lovely things to see, and there are always new items popping up, so check back often!


Jodie, thank you so much for "speaking" with me, it was such a pleasure getting to know you this week! We will be checking back in, to see how things are progressing with your shop, your adoption and all in between!


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Final question: what do you think of this "interview" format of today's Monday Montage? Something to do again, or do you like our motre traditional format better?