Monday Musings...
Dearest Friends of the Crafting Cottage,

In my neck of the woods - the leaves are changing and the colors are fantastic. What is happening in your neighborhood?

I have lots of updates to share this week including information on changes for the Crafting Cottage Inn for 2021.

Last week I placed several orders with companies specifically with plans for teaching new classes and hosting exciting "Creative Challenge" events - all virtually via ZOOM. Two of the new Creative Challenges are in this Musings.

I am offering a very special Workshop (virtually via ZOOM) in early November. The date will be decided once the products arrive (estimated to arrive late October). Additionally, I am offering "Pre-order" for this workshop so that I will have time to order more of the goodies if the first batch sells out. More details later in this Musings.

Without further ado - let's get to all the news!
A Special Workshop
PRE-ORDER for Christmas Cheer Folio Workshop
Date & Time: TBA
Cost: $40.00 + $3.99 s/h
Description: In this workshop, which will be taught via ZOOM , crafters will create a stunning multiple page folio album. Capture your holiday and/or winter memories and pictures or give this as a gift. Christmas Cheer is an absolutely beautiful array of feel good images, color combinations that POP and you will be inspired with this project and with the printed instructions with color photography and cutting guides - you will be able to duplicate this project over and over.

Please note: Guarantee your spot by registering asap. Once the first wave of kits are reserved - there is no guarantee additional kits will arrive prior to early November in time to get the kit shipped to you before the ZOOM Workshop.

To Pre-Order This Workshop: CLICK HERE!
October Creative Challenge
Creative Challenge for Scrapbookers for the month of October is going to be filled with savvy bears and moose, Nordic themed images, icicles, snowflakes and more.
Scrapbookers sent me a few emails requesting "challenges" specifically geared for them. Here are the details:
Once you order your kit, I will send it out to you. The fee for this kit is $20.00 and that includes the shipping!
Also included are four 12 x 12 sheets from Dare2BArtzy's "Snow Much Fun" collection, several various die-cuts (see pictures), solid color cardstock and ribbon.
Participants have until Wednesday, October 28th to create however many layouts or mini-albums as they wish using the products in the kit. A "REVEAL DAY" will be held on October 28th via ZOOM for those who can attend. We'll share what we created and exchange ideas and inspiration. For those who cannot attend the ZOOM meeting - simply email me pictures of your projects and I'll share them in a Monday Musings.
Here are more pictures of what is in the kit:
How adorable are the bears holding their skis?
A moose and her cup of cocoa....lovely.
October's Creative Challenge
Card Makers
Card makers - here is your challenge!! Perfect for your autumnal events. Birthdays, thank you's, anniversaries, get it.

Included in your kit are four 12 x 12 sheets that are double-sided (see picture above). You will also find four blank cards but not your basic A2. You will find a stair-stepper card (as shown) plus three other unique style cards to challenge you! Additionally, discover ribbons, die-cuts and a few other surprises to help inspire your creativity.

I will send out your kit as soon as I receive your order so the sooner you order - the more time you will have to create your projects before October 28th.

The ZOOM "REVEAL DAY" is Wednesday, October 28th at 3 PM (EST). If you cannot make it - no worries, just be sure to send me pictures of what you created so that I can share with others in a Monday Musings.

The cost of the kit is $20 and includes the shipping!
A "Bonus" card to create is included just for fun. You can see a picture of that on the website shop's page.
To order your kit - CLICK HERE!
Crafting Cottage Inn Musings...
As of THIS Musings, my plans are to reopen the Inn in March of 2021. Of course, depending on how things progress in terms of our country getting a handle on the Covid-19 - as well as New York State - will determine any changes to these plans.

I have consulted with several professionals who have been beyond supportive and helpful to me for creating a plan that will keep my crafting guests safe as well as myself and my family.

Here are the updates and changes.

Instead of a "minimum" amount of crafting guests needed to reserve the Crafting Cottage Inn for a weekend - there is a "maximum". The maximum number of guests will now be four.

The rate for enjoying the Inn is now one price regardless of whether there is three or four guests.

**Please note - due to the amount of time and expense necessary to sanitize and clean the entire Inn between guests' visits, a reduced rate is not available for one or two crafters at this time. Please contact me if just you and a friend wish to stay at the Inn and if the schedule allows, I will be more than happy to try and make it happen, if it is possible.

For those groups that moved their 2020 reservations and deposits to 2021 dates - you get to enjoy the 2020 rates and not the new rates. And again - a very grateful thank you from me.

The new rate for a Friday arrival with a Sunday departure is $800.00 plus applicable sales and room tax.

**Check in time is anytime after 1 PM now.
Check out time has been extended to 5 PM!**

For those crafters who wish to arrive a day early and/or stay a day later, the rate is simply $100 per day (which can be divided up amongst all the guests - for example: 4 guests = $25 per guest to stay additional day(s)).

For returning guests, you will be able to check in and check out via the new "contactless" procedures. More info will be sent to you closer to your arrival date.

The retail shop will still be available for guests to access throughout their stay. A new system for tracking and paying for purchases has been created to make it easier for all.

Other updates & changes:
The good news for many returning guests is that you will enjoy having not only a bedroom - but more than likely - a bathroom all to yourself.

The largest bedroom on the 2nd floor, known as the Serenity Suite (the pink room) will be physically divided in half. The room has two doors that lead to the hallway which made it a perfect solution.

The Harmony Suite is being temporarily closed as a guest room so that the large full bathroom can be used by the guest(s) staying in the Serenity Suite.

The Tranquility Suite (the blue room) guest will enjoy having the smaller full bathroom, located in the hall just outside Tranquility's bedroom, all to herself.

On the first floor, there is a guest room, known as the Crafters' Sanctuary, which has its own private full bathroom attached.

The Workshop room will continue to be the room for crafters to enjoy with just a few physical changes. In order to keep all four (the maximum) crafters properly distanced - a simple solution was brought to my attention. I don't have a picture available at this time to show - but basically a third 6' table will be placed between the two 6' tables that run along the huge main window which will easily distance two crafters facing each other more than 6' away from each other.
The picture below shows the tables I'm talking about. Imagine now, another table being placed between these two. There is room behind each of the crafters to move back a bit more.
I have been researching the various plastic shields that are out there and my current plan is to have a few of those installed on the tables as a further safety measure.

If wearing masks is still a necessary action for people to not only feel safe when spending so many hours inside with people but an extra safety measure - The Crafting Cottage will provide masks for those guests that have either forgotten theirs - or if they are with friends that feel more comfortable with everyone wearing masks.
(In my wildest dreams - by March of 2021 - we will be closer to "normal" than we are right now).

Needless to say - there will be "sanitizing stations" throughout the Inn.

As you can imagine, I have spent several, several weeks working on these plans for the Inn. As many of you know, I am a one-woman show and as such, since I do not have the luxury of one or two employees to help me physically move things, clean/sanitize everything plus work on classes, kits, organizing.....I admit - I was overwhelmed for quite a long time. I am now in a better place (emotionally, mentally and physically) to tackle what needs to be done to get The Crafting Cottage ready for a creative, fun, inspiring year in 2021.

In a couple more weeks, the Crafting Cottage website will have the available weekends to book posted for 2021.

Send any thoughts, concerns and/or questions my way by clicking HERE!
Crafting Cottage Musings...
Now that I have figured out how to get the Inn back up and running - what about "Craft 'n Chats", classes and workshops for my local crafters????

Here is the current plan:

Possibly as early as February of 2021 - I hope to be able to hold in-person classes and events. Mind you, they will be limited to four crafters at a time.

In the event of a "Craft 'n Chat" event - if more than four people sign up - the event will be offered on a Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday in order to accommodate everyone.

I have been doing research into air-cleaning machines. There is a lot out there - so I want to make sure I do my homework.

Regardless, all safety precautions will be in place to ensure my crafters can relax while spending time together with fellow crafters: masks, socially distanced seating, etc., etc..
"Get Me Through The Winter"
It is no secret that once we get through the holidays, there is a bit of a "down time" when the grey days of winter, the weather, and the blah, blah, blahs hit us.

Given the uncertainty of when it will be safe to get together in person again for Craft 'n Chats or classes - I have created a fun Club that starts in January. It will finish up in early April.

How will it work?

It will be a combination of projects-in-a-box that will be mailed to you every few weeks and casual get-togethers via ZOOM to show and tell about your projects.

When you join, a brief questionnaire will be sent to you to fill out. This will let me know what you absolutely LOVE in paper crafting and what you are not very fond of. Your "Get Me Through The Winter" boxed kits will be filled with products personally selected for you with "Challenge Sheets" to inspire you to try and create various projects.

Virtual "get togethers" will be scheduled on a regular basis via ZOOM and you simply join the ones you can. Fellow crafters will share what they received in their kits and what they created with their goodies.

Additionally, I will share pictures and Club Members' tips in Monday Musings for all our crafters to enjoy.

It is my hope that this club will help crafters get through the winter months by having fun creative packages arriving every few weeks filled with inspiring surprises plus the joy of getting together with fellow crafters - even if it is "virtually". At least the good news is one won't have to worry about driving in snow to get to the event! :)))

To join, the fee is $50.00 and covers all four months of your kits (January - April) and the shipping. It averages out to $12.50 each month. You can expect to receive at least eight different kits all personally designed just for you.

Join anytime - there is no deadline to join this club.

For more info and to register - CLICK HERE!
Personal Musings...
TARA is HOME!!!!
My dear friends - early Wednesday morning of last week - 1:30 AM to be exact - I was supposed to receive a text from Tara (my daughter) letting me know that her car service had arrived to pick her up (6:30 AM her time in England).
Nothing. No text.
I wait till 2 AM.
Nothing. No text.
So, typical me - I have now envisioned the worst. I imagined that she lost her phone or forgot it or the car didn't arrive and now she is trying to find some other transportation or the car picked her up but it is some psycho who has taken her off on a wild ride or they went off a cliff......
Mind you - her travel was going to be three hours from Durham, England to the Edinburgh, Scotland airport.
Her plane was due to leave Scotland at 10:45 AM her time (5:45 AM my time).
I stayed up, constantly checking my phone for ANY message from her until - FINALLY - she texted me from the Edinburgh airport to let me know that she didn't have WI-Fi until she got to the airport - so she had "Messaged" me via Facebook. Was I looking at my Facebook when I was expecting a text????? I finally allowed myself to go to sleep at 6 AM. I was exhausted but relieved to know that the worst part of Tara's journey was over with. Now, she simply had to board her plane in Dublin, Ireland to arrive at JFK airport in NYC. Which she did.

Brianna and I then headed down to JFK airport to meet Tara's plane which arrived on time at 4 PM. The three of us greeted each other with proper distancing. It was just so wonderful to see her and know that she arrived safe and sound. I could not believe what a ghost town the airport was.

Turns out, her driver in England, was a fascinating individual. He was a retired homicide detective from Poland!!! Tara said the two of them chatted the entire three hour journey.

Tara, Brianna and I have been quarantining at home. I have been keeping my distance from Tara and the three of us wear our masks at all times except when we are in our own bedrooms. I've been basically staying either out on the deck or in my bedroom. Tara had a Covid test done on Friday and the results came back negative - but we are still being overly cautious. My hubby, in the meantime, is staying out of town. He has underlying conditions that we are not willing to take a chance with when it comes to this horrible Covid-19.

October 14th marks the date that the professional movers arrive to move Brianna's stuff from her Camillus, NY home to her new Dresden, NY home. Thankfully, Tara is here to help. I will and won't miss Brianna's apartment. It was very spacious. However, the pipes made a lot of noise whenever a neighbor turned on a faucet or flushed a toilet. When I spent a few weeks living with her after her car accident, I discovered all the pros and cons of her place. I am thrilled that she will live only an hour a way and will probably spend more time at home with all of us anyway (especially now that Tara is home).

Little by little, I feel that I am getting "my life back". I have struggled mightily trying to figure out how to get my business back up and running under all the "new regulations" and safety/health concerns.

And who, among us, is not affected by the news that greets us daily? I know I certainly am. My heart breaks at what is happening to our country, our environment, our climate and our humanity. We are living in strange times right now - no question about that.
It has been interesting to be able to watch basketball, golf and football again - as if things were "normal". I have been encouraged that professional football teams have played for three weeks (thus far) without any major outbreaks of Covid. That is really encouraging. It's fascinating the way they "pipe" in the spectator noise during the football games on television. As a television viewer, one almost forgets that there are no spectators in the stadium.

I have enormous respect for those of you out there that are somehow figuring out how to juggle your children's education needs at home, plus your own job responsibilities and everything else you are juggling.

I highly suggest watching "Masked Singer" for a fun get-away from reality for just an hour each week. It airs on Wednesday evenings at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time on Fox network. My husband, Brianna and I have become BIG fans of this show and we know Tara will be joining us this season. The costumes are over the top - and the concept for this show is wonderful. Celebrities are in disguise and sing. The judges try to figure out who the singers are. The "audience" votes for their favorite and each week, a celebrity is revealed and thus, eliminated.

In the meantime - I am going to enjoy watching the leaves turning gorgeous colors while I also get to chat in person with Tara and Brianna each day. Bliss, bliss, bliss!!!!!

We will all get through these challenging times. I am feeling very optimistic that in just a few months - The Crafting Cottage will be back to hosting in-person classes, events and guests at the Inn. In the meantime - the virtual classes and events are working out - who knew????? :)

Sending you all great hugs of strength!!!

Remember - Stay Crafty My Friends!!!!