All that glitters

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I have these “great” ideas sometimes, but I usually drop them because I realize they are little too far-fetched. Not this not this time, however.

Several months ago, Bill got me this machine that cuts vinyl. It was mostly so I could do things for him, like make stencils for him to use for his cerakote work. 

It took a while, but I got the hang of the machine and can make whatever he wants in vinyl. I’ve made a calf decal for my car and some small signs, but that’s been about it. A recent trip to a local discount store, however, changed everything. 

I saw all the cool craft items, and all these bells started going off in my head. I’m not a “crafter.” The last time I tried to use a glue gun, I had hot glue all over me, what I was trying to hot glue, and the table it was on. I’m not good at matching, arranging or envisioning things. I can’t even wrap a present very well. I’m not “that” person who has great ideas or skills in that area. Looking at all of the cool craft items, I decided, however, I could take that little machine and make farm-themed holiday items for friends and family. 

I did a test run, and things worked out well, so I went to a “real” crafting store to get the “real” crafting supplies. I figured six dozen blank ornaments would be more than enough. I also needed glitter, not a lot, but enough to do a few dozen. Bill went with me to the store and after a few minutes of roaming in unfamiliar territory, he decided he would be better off waiting in the truck.

I worked all weekend cutting vinyl, gluing, and adding glitter and bows to some of the ornaments. I proudly showed Bill my first creations. 

“Those look pretty nice,” he said. 

“Do you think people would like them?” I asked.

“I don’t see why not,” Bill said. 

“Do you think people would buy them?” I said.  

Bill said he was sure they would. Later that night, after Bill went to bed, I compiled some of my creations, took a picture, and wrote a little advertisement for my ornaments to post on social media. I posted it on my page, and a couple of other pages. 

I got compliments about how cool the ornaments looked and other positive reactions. One longtime friend even called wanting six ornaments featuring her mother’s “favorite bird” – a pink flamingo. It was my first order.

As I went to bed that night, I thought I should head back to the craft store to pick up a few more ornaments because it looked like I might have some folks interested; I was pretty proud of myself. 

At around 5 a.m. the next morning, I walked into the kitchen to start the day, and the notifications were going off on my phone. It turns out farm-themed Christmas ornaments are in hot demand, especially if you know the difference between Boer and a Nubian goat, a dairy cow and a stock cow, a wooled sheep and a haired sheep, a Tennessee Walker and a mule. 

Orders came in from friends as far away as Texas and Nebraska, and from total strangers in Canada, Illinois, Montana, and other states. The orders are still coming in. Some want all cattle. Some want cattle and pigs. Some want rabbits and goats; others want just chickens. Everyone who ordered was excited that someone was thinking about farmers and ranchers at Christmas time. 

When Bill got up a little later, I was sitting at the dining room table making my lists. After I explained how many orders I had, he shook his head and wished me good luck. He doesn’t know it yet, but he will soon become a glitter wrangler. 

If no one sees me in the coming weeks, don’t worry, I’m fine. I think. Maybe. Just follow the trail of glue, glitter, and pieces of craft vinyl, and bring Diet Coke. 

Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected]

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