Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday Series: The Scarlet Threads Story

As we were working and preparing for the upcoming busy season here at Scarlet Threads, we began to discuss the purpose of the work…reasons why Scarlet Threads exists as well as the reasons it should continue to. We narrowed our conversation down to five purposes…five succinct statements that embody who we are and why we do what we do. We wanted to share the heart behind Scarlet Threads with you all, so we have put together a "Five for Friday" series, which will continue each Friday over the next several weeks. Our first installment was from Carrie, taking you back to the beginning of Scarlet Threads, and our first purpose of empowering artisans through employment! Meredith is sharing today about the our heart for orphan care and the ways Scarlet Threads works towards that, especially this month. Check back next Friday for our third "Five for Friday" post!

Purpose #2: Orphan Care

It seems so natural to me, so fitting, that orphan care is included in Scarlet Threads' mission. Knowing the history of Scarlet Threads, the hearts of women behind it, and the close connection with a special needs foster home very near and dear to all of us, the choice to include orphan care in Scarlet Threads' vision just made sense. We will talk more about our commitment to adoption, through our apron fundraising kits, in the weeks to come, but as November is National Adoption Month, we wanted to highlight this special part of our mission. 

Our founder, Carrie McKean, and her husband Jacob lived and worked at New Day Foster Home, a special needs foster home outside of Beijing, for four years. Scarlet Threads was started in that same village during the time they were there. I was an intern at New Day several years back, and after completing my internship, my family ended up adopting a sweet little girl with a severe congenital heart defect, who was cared for and loved by New Day. As is more than apparent, we have very close ties with New Day, and are committed to working with them as much as we are able to help them in their mission to bring hope to the hopeless and the fatherless home. Many of their children have severe medical needs, and New Day is committed to providing surgeries, medications, and therapies needed. We have partnered with them for the last several years to help raise funds for surgeries or medications. Last year, you all helped us raise $7,580.00 to cover the cost of anti-rejection medications for 2 children for several months. The year before that, our little community was able to raise $5,000.00. We have plans to do the same and MORE this year! 

The story comes full circle. Last year, two children needing anti-rejection medications were very very sick. This year, they are doing incredibly well, both are matched with forever families of their own, and will be joining them soon. We want to be a part of continuing this circle of hope. Joining the orphan care movement does truly make a difference. Lives are impacted and hope rises. 

This month, we will be featuring guest bloggers discussing all sorts of topics within the orphan care/adoption realm…from special needs adoptions, to mission trips, to orphan prevention programs. We would love if you would follow along with us this month and discuss with us some of the prevalent issues surrounding orphan care! If you have a topic or idea you would like to bring up or see discussed, please email and we will fit it in! 

We will also be hosting a fundraiser for New Day Foster Home this month! This year, we want to raise the funds needed so a sweet little boy named Eli can get the heart surgery he needs! He is oh so precious and oh so blue…and we would just LOVE to see those little lips and toes turn bright pink! We will be launching that on Monday, so stay tuned for details! 

Photo from New Day Foster Home
Orphan care is so important, and it is truly at the forefront of Scarlet Threads' mission and business. We want to be wise in the way we approach and discuss it, and want you all to join us in the mission. Will you? Let's fight to make a difference together. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: The Nora Apron!

We have another amazing deal for you this week! Our Nora apron has been marked down to just $12.00…what a steal of a deal!! The Nora is one of our classic half apron styles, and is made from a bright, beautiful turquoise patterned fabric and a big red ruffle. It's so fun and adds that perfect splash of color to your kitchen! It can also be ordered in the full apron style, but just a few are left! Order quick…don't miss out! This sale will run until Wednesday at midnight.

Which products of ours are some of your favorites? Is there that one certain apron you have been hoping will go on a Thrifty Thursday sale? Let us know in the comments! It might just show up sometime… 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Rainbow Chard and Eggs

What better way to spend a Saturday morning than trekking through the local farmer's market, right? I did this the other week and had such a fun time checking out all of the colorful produce. And when I say "colorful" I mean it! On an impulse I purchased a veggie that I had never eaten, much less cooked, before!

Rainbow Chard. At least that's what I think it was.

My Beijing backpack was the perfect bag for lugging pounds of veggies around town. Sure, people stared at me because I had giant leaves sticking out behind my head... but I'm used to getting stared at (just not in America).

Isn't the chard pretty? Who can resist such lovely colors? Now... what do do with it?

I started by chopping the stems up. Evenly diced the stems looked a whole lot like celery. But this is not celery!

Toss the chopped up stems (about a cup) int a pan along with half of an onion, and minced garlic. I melted ghee as my cooking fat, but you could use any sort of oil or butter. Toss in spices; pepper, salt, thyme and anything else that catches your fancy.

After your stems have cooked until they are not too crunchy, add the leaves (which you should have chopped up).

Put a lid on the pan and steam for a few minutes until the leaves look like this:

Toss things around a bit, get the veggies nice and soft and combined... and then crack two eggs on top of everything.

Plop the lid on the pan again so that the eggs cook even (and the veggies don't burn) until they are set just how you like them. Sprinkle more salt and pepper.


There you have it. Lunch. Maybe add a piece of toast, or a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin, if you so desire. Squirt ketchup or mustard if you have a craving for more flavor. And now give yourself a little pat on the back - you just made a colorful and nutritious meal in less than 20 minutes. Hurrah!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: The Annie Jane Apron!

There's a fun new Thrifty Thursday up for you today! Our beautiful Annie Jane apron is marked down to just $18.00 this week only…a steal of a deal! This apron is so fun because it's reversible! It's like getting two aprons in one! Order by next Wednesday to make sure you grab one before they are gone! 

Don't forget about your chance to win one of our aprons from our new fall line! There are two Naming Contests currently open for just a couple more days…head on over to our giveaway HERE or the giveaway hosted by our affiliate and friend, Mommy's Kitchen, and help us name our new aprons! The winning name will receive a beautiful new apron of her very own! Aren't they just beautiful?! Don't miss out! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Apron Launch: Mommy's Kitchen Affiliate Giveaway!

Have you seen the five new beautiful new Scarlet Threads aprons we just released for this fall season? We are SO excited about them, and are enlisting your help to give them their new names. In case you missed our first giveaway post, held here on our blog, you still have time to enter here! Today, we have another exciting opportunity to introduce you to…and another chance to win another apron from the new fall collection! Aren't the ruffles just perfect? 

One of our incredible affiliates, Tina from Mommy's Kitchen, is hosting a naming giveaway for Scarlet Threads over on her blog! It's open for a few more days, so head over and read more about the giveaway on her blog for the "MK Apron"! We can't wait to see what lovely names you come up with! 

Simply head on over to her post and leave a name suggestion in the comment section (mandatory). Scarlet Threads names our aprons with "girls names", so keep that in mind when selecting an apron name!

Extra entries can be earned by doing one or both of the following: 

1) Become a fan of Scarlet Threads on Facebook.  “Like” the page and then come back and leave a separate comment saying you did so.
2) Tweet the following: Name this beautiful @ScarletThreadFT apron at @mommyskitchen for a chance to win it!  Come back and leave a separate comment saying you did so.  

We are so excited to have Tina as an affiliate partner with Scarlet Threads, and I wanted to take this chance to introduce her to you all a little bit! 

Tina is the author of an incredible cooking/baking/all things delicious blog! If you need a recipe, help with meal planning, baking tips (I SO love her tips!), etc, her blog will be such a huge help to you! All of her recipes are laid out in an amazing step-by-step direction format, with pictures to accompany the steps. It's so hard to choose a favorite, but her caramel apple crisp and Pumpkin Patch Pancakes are some of my absolute favorite fall must-have's!

We are so thankful to have had a partnership with Tina for some time now! She explains more in-depth how she became a fan of Scarlet Threads over on her giveaway post, but we wanted to share a little bit over here with you!

"I found out about Scarlet Threads about 4 years ago from a fellow blogger. I instantly fell in love with their product and their mission. I especially loved their aprons, so I saved up some money and purchased my first apron. When the apron arrived in my mailbox I could see ll the beauty, detail, and hard work that was put into the making of my apron.

I collect several aprons, but all my Scarlet Thread aprons truly are unique and beautiful. I love that part of the proceeds from product sales go to help woman, mothers, and families in need. The opportunities that ST gives to these woman truly is amazing." 

Tina, we are so thankful for you and the friendship that has been formed through our work together! We are excited to see what name your readers will come up with for the "MK apron", and couldn't be happier to have you as a part of our Scarlet Threads affiliate team

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Five for Friday" Series: The Scarlet Threads Story

As we were working and preparing for the upcoming busy season here at Scarlet Threads, we began to discuss the purpose of the work…reasons why Scarlet Threads exists as well as the reasons it should continue to. We narrowed our conversation down to five purposes…five succinct statements that embody who we are and why we do what we do. We wanted to share the heart behind Scarlet Threads with you all, so we have put together a "Five for Friday" series, which will continue each Friday over the next several weeks. Our first installment is from Carrie, taking you back to the beginning of Scarlet Threads! Check back next Friday for our second "Five for Friday" post!

Purpose #1: Empowering Artisans Through Employment

I have to admit that way back when we started Scarlet Threads, it was purely a lark. A whim.  Something to DO with all that beautiful fabric at the Beijing Fabric Market.  It was mostly a way for me to have a crafty side in China when I didn’t have a Hobby Lobby or a Michael’s down the street.  I wanted to connect it to my heart for justice, and as the full idea for Scarlet Threads formed, I was more and more convinced that this was a way to tie my heart for people to my creative side.  And in true Carrie-fashion, that seemed like enough of a reason and I decided it was perfectly sensible to start a business.
I had no idea what I was doing.  I had no idea what the name Scarlet Threads would come to mean as the business unfolded.
We named it Scarlet Threads because of an old Chinese proverb… you’ve heard it, maybe? That two people destined to meet will be tied together with a red thread regardless of time or space or circumstances, and though the cord may be twisted or tangled it will never be broken?  It’s a romantic sentiment, and at the time we chose the name, we mostly selected it because it seemed clever, had something to do with fabric, and we thought it might be familiar to families who had adopted little ones from China and knew all about “red thread connections.”

What I didn’t anticipate was that I really would become tied to people on the other end of the thread.  And if I had known, would I have ever started this little venture?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I’m somewhat ashamed to admit I’m only just now starting to understand the responsibility.  The other night while talking with my husband, he said something – not meanly – but in that gentle, truthful way only a spouse or extremely close friend can do… He said that I’m very good at mobilizing people; at getting them excited about a cause… but that sometimes, I lose interest in whatever it is that I’ve mobilized them for and then I leave them hanging because I’m moving onto something different.  It’s painfully true – perhaps one of my greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses all rolled up into one.
In the last 6 months, I’ve been seriously thinking it was time to “move on to something different.”  And so I’ve been pondering  ways that I could graciously close-down Scarlet Threads….to liquidate our remaining products and say zaijian to this season of trying to be a stay-at-home-mom/social-entrepreneur (and feeling like I was doing both poorly).  I have lots of good reasons, and a few bad ones, for wanting to go in that direction… and really we can never know where we will ultimately end up.  But one factor recently came up that overshadowed all the other ones for now.
It’s the red thread.
See, we asked our artisans in China how important the ongoing work of Scarlet Threads was to their families.  They are not our full-time employees.  We pay them when they make product for us, and I really wasn’t sure what percentage of their business came from us.  One of them said it was half of their annual income in a good year.  The other said it was almost a fourth.  (For the one that said it was half, it is not lost on me that a “good year” is entirely dependent on how much we sell on this end.  When we sell, she makes more.  When we don’t sell, she doesn’t make more.  So in a “bad year,” does her family just adjust their lifestyle to the lower income? Make it up somewhere else? I don’t yet know the answer to that…)

It was a lot to take in, but I realized I’m tied to them with a red thread. 
For two families in a small village outside of Beijing, China, Scarlet Threads isn’t just a hobby.  It is a substantial part of their families’ livelihoods.  And as the leader of this little enterprise, I’m here to confess I haven’t treated that with enough solemnity.  It has been a hobby for me.  I've toyed with the business when it was convenient and I needed a distraction.  I’ve shelved it when I was busy without figuring out a way to transfer my responsibilities to someone else so we could continue honoring our commitment to our partner artisans.  And now that I’m sort of losing interest in it – mostly due to my two little chickadees who take up so much of my time and energy – I’ve been quick to consider moving on. 
But just because I don’t rely on Scarlet Threads doesn’t mean no one else does. 
We have been actively trying to shift our focus this past year from “empowering through employment” to “connecting you with artisans.” We don’t want you to pity the people behind our products or feel like you’re making a charitable contribution to their families when you buy an apron or some ornaments.  And while that is still our heart – they are amazingly talented artisans running their own businesses, not the recipients of our charity – the fact of the matter is, they do need us to do our job.  They do need us to share their handicrafts with as wide of an audience as we can find.  They do need us to sell their products so they can make more.  It isn’t just what they need, it’s what they want.

And so we are taking that more seriously.  We are bringing on our first ACTUALLY PAID part-time stateside employee, Meredith.  (Who’ll you’ll meet soon… though a lot of you already know her.)  We are working on figuring out a plan for how we can sell (and therefore make!) more product given the life-constraints of those of us working behind the scenes.  (Namely – two small children in my house and one very large/60+ hour a week career in Eileen’s.)  We don’t know ultimately where all this will end up, but this is our public proclamation that we are going to give it our absolute best and see what happens.  (And that's a scary proclamation to make.)
I hope you can see you are part of this story, too.  When you buy our products, give them for gifts, tell a friend where to find a cute apron, post a link on your facebook page, or share a picture on Instagram of you doing your holiday baking in one of our aprons, you aren’t just building a brand.  You might as well be walking into Deng’s home and sitting down at her table on the little 3-legged stool to slurp up a big steaming bowl of noodles as you peruse the aprons she’s made and figure out a way to help make her business a success from your corner of the globe. 

You’re tied to her with a red thread, too.

And though I’m just starting to understand it, it’s always been about those scarlet threads. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Our Scrappy Potholders AND Harper Apron!!

We are back again with an exciting new steal of a deal for you this week! We have our Scrappy Potholders marked down to just $9.00 for you! They come in a set of three, and all are absolutely unique and beautiful…made by Deng Jie out of a mix of Scarlet Threads fabrics. Look closely, because you might see a fabric scrap from one of your favorite Scarlet Threads aprons! Starting your Christmas shopping early this year? These potholders are the perfect size for stocking stuffers, or even Thanksgiving cooking preparations! The sale will end Wednesday at midnight!

The Harper Apron sales from last week went so well, we decided to extend the sale for another week! Usually priced at $26.00, it's marked down this week to just $14.00! We are making room for all our beautiful new aprons we just launched, so make sure and get your order in before it's gone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Apron Launch: Naming Giveaway!

Thank you so much for stopping by! We are so, So, SO excited to introduce you to one of our aprons from our new product line! We have five beautiful new aprons that are available on our website, and YOU have a chance to help us name them with your favorite girls name and to win them! 

Keep reading for your chance to win the first apron in our Fall Collection!

If it is your first visit to Scarlet Threads, allow us to introduce ourselves! We are a small fairtrade boutique changing the world by introducing our community to the aprons and wired arts (Christmas ornaments, anyone?) by artisans in rural China. And, we are thrilled to announce that our little business provides almost half of our artisan's normal yearly income. The rest of our mission is centered around our heart for orphan care and adoption, proceeds from our Scarlet Scraps shop go to our adoption grant fund. And, we created a special adoption fundraising program for families looking to adopt.

I know what you are thinking: This is an amazing project and what a gorgeous apron! How do I get involved? Where do I enter to win? Keep reading for how to enter...

 Over the next few weeks, this blog and several of our affiliates' blogs will be hosting naming giveaways for our beautiful new aprons! We are kicking it off here today with this apron, and couldn't be more excited to see what you come up with! Classic lines...feminine but not too "frilly"…the perfect new apron to welcome in the fall season. 

Comment with the girls name you think best fits the first apron of the season, and the winning "namer" will receive an apron to keep for themselves! Hmmm…what do you think? Make sure you check out the other aprons in our shop to double check that your PERFECT name isn't already taken! 


Fine Print - Giveaway Ends 10/29. We ship to the US. We will select our favorite girls' name from the list to win!

Get involved and spread the message!

1. Like us on Facebook.
2. Share the Facebook giveaway post.
3. Follow us on the blog.
4. Pin this apron photo on Pinterest.
5. Become an Affiliate! (We share 5% of each sale.)
6. Like our Affiliates on Facebook (Mommy's Kitchen, Five Heart Home, Mitchael Journey)

Use the code "giveaway" in your shopping cart for 20% off your purchase of $30 or more!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Affiliate Spotlight: Mitchael Journey!

We are so excited to introduce Andrea, from the blog "Mitchael Journey", to you today! She has recently signed up as a part of our affiliate program, and we thought we should introduce her a little bit to all of you! It is so fun to be able to share the mission of Scarlet Threads with other women, and have them join us in our vision to expand the impact of Scarlet Threads! We are so excited about this partnership, and can't wait to get to know Andrea more! We asked her a few questions, to introduce her to you all as well, so read on and welcome our newest affiliate! 

1. Blogs usually say a lot about a person, why did you start yours? What do you hope that yours accomplishes?

When our family moved from NW Arkansas to S Florida in March of this year to begin full-time worship ministries at a church (, I decided to use the Mitchael Journey ( blog space as an opportunity to stay connected with our family and friends with ministry and family updates. I had written occasional posts previously, but when I began staying home with my son full-time I had time to be more consistent with my posts. I enjoyed composing the updates, and realized that I wanted to share more than monthly reports. A friend of mine from college has a lovely blog called Oak and Oats ( and wrote a post about getting started with a blog and why she does it ( Her ideas encouraged me and helped me realize that a blog is a wonderful platform to make a difference in the world around us. If I was writing for family and friends, why not also share truth and hope with people I've never even met? With that inspiration, I began blogging more consistently and intentionally in the following months. The topics range from parenting and marriage lessons that we've learned, to our church ministry and simply how we live our lives! I hope that I can build a community where the important things in life are emphasized and we can mutually encourage one another to pursue good!

2. What led you to write a "Gifts that Give Back" blog series? I'm really interested in what kicked of your search that led you to ST!

I used to struggle with gift-giving, primarily because I found it frivolous. In college ( I was introduced to several wonderful organizations and businesses that made beautiful products for a greater purpose ( to give back to those in need. The Gifts that Give Back series ( was inspired by both my compassion and my frugal sides -- I wanted to share the vision of gift giving for a deeper meaning! I then began the search to find 21 Gifts for 3 categories, Women ( , Men (, and Kids ( During this search I poured over blogs and websites which led me to other blogs and websites and I was ecstatic to share my finds! I found Scarlet Threads during my search for the kids gifts post (the last in the series) and ended up featuring 3 Scarlet Threads products! The response I have received on these posts was SO encouraging and I will likely do more series like it in the future. I really believe that eyes were opened to give in a deeper way!

3. When you did find ST, how and why did you decide to become an Affiliate? What part of our mission speaks to you?

As I clicked through the Scarlet Threads website, I looked for the "About Us" portion in order to link-back from my post so that readers could get connected with the WHO and WHY behind ST products! As I browsed, I came across information about getting involved, and consequently found the affiliate information! This sparked my interest, as I love to find opportunities to connect my blog with purpose. What could be better than to help support my blog and link others to the mission of Scarlet Threads? I sought to get involved right away, and have already enjoyed the connection and support! I love the opportunities that ST gives to women that are in situations where they were not given means to provide well for their families and had to make sacrifices that they shouldn't have to make. I am encouraged by ST that they saw the need and created a business that could empower! The adoption and mission trip opportunities are also so meaningful to me! I hope that Scarlet Threads continues to grow and make a life-changing difference in the world!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Andrea! We are so excited to have you as a part of Scarlet Threads' team. Can't wait to see what we can do together! 

If you are interested in becoming part of Scarlet Threads' affiliate program, you can go HERE for more information and HERE to request an account. Feel free to email with any questions. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: The Harper Apron!

A crazy new deal, just for you! Our beautiful Harper apron, usually priced at $26.00, is on sale today for just $14.00! Get one fast before they are gone, and help us clear out some space for lots of fun new inventory! What little details do you like to see on your aprons? Cute stitching? Pockets? I'm personally a fan of lots of ruffles!

Yesterday, we gave you a little sneak peek at some of the new aprons in our product line this fall…we are so excited to show you the rest! And don't worry…there are DEFINITELY some ruffles ;) Take a peek if you missed it, and don't forget to check back soon for the big reveal!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Sneak Peek

A brand new line…a little sneak peek. Like what you see? Stay tuned…our new product line is coming very very soon…hint hint. Don't miss it! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Pecan Pie?

I posted a tidbit of my pecan pie fiasco on our facebook page. Y'all, it was so disappointing! I was so thrilled to be in America with things like corn syrup and pecans and butter and molassas at my disposal, and I thought how hard can it be!?

Well, turns out that pecan pies have to be done right. After baking for an hour and then cooling for a few more, the pie was not set. It was not even gooey... it was runny. I asked the all-knowing google what went wrong, and came up with a few answers.

Instead of telling you how to bake a pecan pie today, I'm going to tell you how NOT to bake one. 'k?

  • Eggs. If the recipe calls for eggs, use large. If it calls for large, use jumbo. Or, just add an egg. Eggs are important!  The 8in pie I made called for two (I think) and I used two regular sized. I should have used three at least.
  • When you mix up your filling, do not use a mixer. I repeat: do not use a mixer. I don't know why the recipe I used actually called for a mixer, but it didn't work. A whisk should be fine, but you don't want to get everything too frothy.
  • When the recipe says to mix until frothy, listen to it. Do not go beyond the beginnings of froth. And after you've got everything evenly mixed together? Skim off the froth. Bubbles are not wanted. 
I still can't be sure exactly what went wrong, but I know for sure that I did the above three "no-no's" and my pie didn't work. least it looked pretty.

I want to try again while I'm still in the country of corn syrup and butter! Have you been successful before? PLEASE tell me what you did!?