Smack dab in the middle of Kansas (or pretty close anyway!) you'll find a little pocket of goodness called Prairie Flower Farm...lucky for us, Linda is not only a busy wife & mom but she finds time to blog too. No matter where we are, we can visit the farm anytime!
If you haven't guessed by now, Prairie Flower Farm is this week's Featured Friday blogger...Linda is such a sweet soul and it shows in everything she writes, creates and shares. We're so happy to shine our spotlight her way!
Her blog is full of inspiring ideas, stories about life on the farm, goodies to make...both in the kitchen AND the craft room. We hope you enjoy her voice as much as we do.
Not only does Linda maintain her main blog, she also has a store called Peace Creek Collections. Full of handmade-with-love goodies and e-patterns so you can make your own, you're sure to find something special.
Let's get to know the blogger behind Prairie Flower Farm...
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I was born and raised in Alaska. I met my sweetie husband Phil in Anchorage. He and his brother went on a trip to go moose hunting. We always say he bagged his “dear” in Alaska and it was not a moose!
We moved to Kansas and raised our 5 children on his family’s farm. I love everything about being a stay at home mom. Three of our sons are married to precious daughter-in-loves and two daughters are still at home being home schooled. I cannot ever imagine having an empty nest...I know it will be very difficult for me.
The Lord has blessed us with 9 grandchildren. I love sharing time with them on our farm for what we call "Grammie and Poppa Camps." If you would sum up who I am, it would be that I am a Princess of the King, a woman in love with her husband, a momma to not just my own kids, but to a lot of borrowed ones as well and a Grammie to her grandbabies!
I want to leave a legacy to my family of who He is. Leaving memories and special times is a priority for me. Life can be hard for all of us and you have to intentionally carve out special times for fun and encouragement for family and friends. I want to show my children and grandchildren that a good marriage is possible. and I want to live
out a relationship with my husband that demonstrates the promise I made on our wedding day.
What originally inspired you to start blogging? How do you stay inspired?
For years I have wanted to start a blog and many who have bought our products would ask if we had one. I knew last year that I really needed to find a new avenue to showcase our products and I'm so blessed to have a daughter who is my technical person.
One gift the Lord gave me is that I can see a finished product in my mind. Designing the blog was not a problem at all. I could just see it! I proceeded to take down the curtains in my front room, scanned them, started taking photos of what was on my wall and that's how we got started.
I wasn't sure how I'd get anyone to even find my blog so I started visiting other blogs. They, in turn, visited me and I've met so many wonderful ladies all over the world. I truly feel like they are my extended family and I enjoy sharing in their lives as well as the inspiration that they give to me.
At the top of my blog I say "enter and leave with a happy heart." I put that there because some ladies do not have a happy heart and have been hurt or are hurting in some way. I also have been hurt by life and just trust that when they come to my blog that they will feel loved and can know that I really do care about them as a person.
With a busy family, how do you find time to share all that you do?
We are a very close family and love working together. We each have different roles to make Prairie Flower Farm and our business Peace Creek Collections work. I am the one that comes up with the creations and designs, but each family member contributes their part to make it all come together.
For me, personally, I need to be refreshed in the morning with a quiet time with the Lord. Getting encouragement from Him daily helps my day. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, He made me who I am with gifts and a purpose. With Him helping me, I won't miss out on what I need to get done in a day.
Schooling the girls is done in the morning and then, throughout the day, they are learning life skills that we trust they will take into their homes. They are both crafty and very good cooks. They help me a lot by coming up with menus and wonderful meals. This gives me the freedom to work on things that need to be done for our business.
When I am designing fabrics, our oldest daughter Tressa scans the art work and then we work together on making the art into a new fabric line. The photo of myself (above) is one where I am working on a fabric line called “Winter Thyme” which will be in stores late summer 2010.
The photography that we use on the blog and patterns are done by each of us, including our youngest daughter Taylor. A laptop computer has let me use idle time when I am away from home. Recently, my Dad has been very ill in the hospital and I've been able to use this time to sit with him and still work on things that I need to write or sew on as he's been sleeping.
I always have handwork ready to go out the door. In fact, there is going to be new craft bag that will be designed specifically for handwork so it'll always be ready when you have some sitting time. I work rather quickly so I tend to get a lot accomplished in a day. Somehow I have more ideas in my mind then I could ever produce. I love to create. I can see a particular color as it will instantly bring an idea to mind.
Because I have so many needs to be met daily, I love the flexibility a laptop gives me...I would not normally be able to finish many tasks without it! I usually start blogging about a new product that I want to share or something I think that my followers might be interested in. Sometimes I just write about what is going on in my life...that way it has been journaled for my family and friends.
What inspires you creatively?
Magazines, different colors, paints, fabrics, and even embroidery floss. As far as design, lots of times it comes out of a need for a gift or a giveaway on my blog. I get inspired by lots of different things around me on the farm. Almost anything can start the process!
General Fabrics/Fabrics by Spectrix, the company that licenses my art work, will normally ask me to create a line of fabric. I start drawing and writing in my journal as the ideas start flowing. Last year we did Farmer's Market and so I designed a fabric line just for market. It was really fun to be able to put the words Prairie Flower Farm right on one of the fabric pieces.
Another favorite for me to start my creativity going is fabrics. One piece can give me an idea and I just go from there. Putting different fabrics together is one of my very favorite things to do.
Another inspiration is to look at anything published by Gooseberry Patch. You've been inspiring all of us for many years to create new things for our home. The cookbooks encourage us to make wonderful meals for our families that create memories for a lifetime. My cupboard is full of Gooseberry cookbooks. How can you not create with them in your house?
Care to share a favorite recipe or tutorial from your site?
If you come over to our blog you will see some of the Grammie and Poppa Camps we have done. After CHRISTmas we always have a Snowman Party. It is always such a wonderful time of cooking and making crafts with every one of my grandchildren . Look at the January 6th post for the Snowman Party. You will find a lot of ideas and tutorials for you to do the same with your children or grandchildren.
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
I love to go out in the warm weather and gather my chicken eggs in my nightie...my family would say I'm ornery!
Thanks so much, Linda...we always find something inspiring at Prairie Flower Farm!
We know you're ready to click over and check out Prairie Flower Farm right NOW but let us share one MORE surprise with you.
Linda is hosting a drawing on her blog and it starts today!
You can enter to win one of the adorable Market Bags from her shop...instructions for entering are over at her blog but basically if you leave a comment here, it'll count as an entry! Just let Linda know (on her blog) that you left a comment and you'll be in the running.Click over there now!