Hello snow!

While we're not exactly trapped indoors over the recent snowfall, we are buried under an avalanche of projects.  Here's what's been happening at the HobbledeBarn:

- Ingrid just celebrated her first birthday last week!  I baked a cat cake and threw a party for her which was hosted by her paternal grandparents.  It was a small party, just close family, since I think it's best not to overwhelm a one-year-old.

-We're officially changing our shipping methods over our holiday vacation so that we can have the mailman pick up our packages.  We're a one-car family, so I've really struggled to get out of the house more than twice a week for shipping.  The reason I haven't switched sooner is a bit complex- I don't get out of the house often, so I actually enjoy my trips to our small town post office.  Also, we live down a long lane that's off of a busy street- so leaving my packages near the mailbox is not an option.  Our mailman/woman varies frequently, so I'll be making an appointment with the local postmaster to discuss options.

-I have accomplished next-to-nothing for my shops :(  Between my lack of spare time now that T is working two jobs and the fussiness of a teething toddler... oh, and add on a whopper of a cold that sank it's teeth into me a few weeks ago but just won't give up.. I'm in bed around 9pm every night and asleep less than a minute later.  Don't take this as a complaint- I love motherhood and I'm thrilled that my husband has two jobs that he enjoys.  I miss working though, and will be up and running a bit more smoothly after February (that's when Iggy starts part-time daycare).  I will be offering up a small shop update this weekend, the last of the year's, along with the January HobbledeCLUB.

-I didn't make it into MDS&W this year.  They offered me a slot on the waiting list, but I decided that I'll take a pass and either try again next year, or focus on a new product line for HobbledehoyFibers.com.

-I'm going on vacation... a mental vacation!  I'm so excited to have a much needed holiday.  Even though multiple days can pass between carding sessions, I'm still looking forward to a break in which the fiber arts will be on a back burner while I can prepare for the new year and where Hobbledehoy will be going from there.  My vacation officially starts on December 21st and will last until January 2nd.  Everything ordered will be shipped by then, including anything ordered during my small shop update this weekend.

The last bit of news is extremely sad.  My dear Huxley (my English angora) died on December 1st.  I'm incredibly heart-broken.  He was such a sweet lap bunny and fibery companion.  The week he died, I had trouble keeping my head on straight, and I'm still having trouble not crying when I see my stash of angora fiber.

I won't lie.  The juggling act this year was rough.  This was my baby-year, and believe me, when given the choice between working or snuggling my little lovebug, I picked my lovebug every time... sometimes to my shop's detriment. Shipping was unorganized, communications were slow (have you ever tried to type out an email while a crawling baby was climbing up your lap while swatting at a crotchety cat who still possessed claws? haha!)  To prepare for 2011, some things are going to have to change.  Either:  a) Hobbledehoy Fibers will officially go part-time and downsize or b) the product lines will be augmented by un-dyed fibers and some limited edition batt colorways each month.  I have always been a little too transparent with my business plans, but hey- I'm hoping that my struggles/experiments/successes will be useful to other small crafting businesses out there.

As a final note, I want to thank all of my amazing returning and new customers and fiber-friends.  The community of support and sharing has kept me optimistic about Hobbledehoy.  I love you all, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a belated but Happy Hanukkah, and a New Year full of good things to come!

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