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I am so excited for the new year, I am going to blog! It’s been a very long time, but I feel like I need to get back into it and also vent about how awesome 2012 ended up being.

This past year flew by me with the speed of light. Seriously I cannot believe it is over. Thinking back I am really quite happy with it. Ellimena turned two! She learned to count to five and some of her letters. She loves to read books and can name all the characters in Doctor Who. She says EXTERMINATE and makes the TARDIS sound! I am proud of my “nerd in training” She also makes her own scrambled eggs (with close supervision) and loved to be an independent yet loving human being. I am so proud of her.

Ellipsis has grown! I am now making the jams and jellies in a commercial kitchen at Ramona Sunny’s Bakery and Delicatessen in Galena. They are also for sale there and have been selling quite well. Jelly for sale at Ramona Sunny'sI am planning to approach other retailers in the area soon.

I made a great friend, Rachel O’Neil of Ayerish Designs. She does amazing knit-work and upcycled jewelery as well as sells vintage clothing. Rachel and I set up at craft shows together this holiday season. I’m looking forward to setting up at more in the Spring!

Business was great this past year. It is the first year I turned a significant profit. Not only did I run Ellipsis, but I also ran two other Etsy shops, Dodge Street Antiques and SisterCollective.Dodge Street is a place to vent all my vintage obsessions. I love vintage games and miniatures, but never indulge myself, now I can help others indulge themselves! SisterCollective is a collaboration between my sister and I. We create different forms of fiber art. Thea makes beautiful hemp jewelery with high end materials and I make needle felted wool sculptures and well as knitted items.

I want to really delve into fiber art and upcylclinNeedle felted owlg fabrics. I have loads of ideas for felting, I am becoming more of knitter, and my new sewing machine should be here soon (thanks mom) I bought a book on crocheting, The Happy Hooker, and I want to pick up that skill as well. I am so happy to be working in fiber again. I love tactile arts.

I am amazed and proud of my sister, her jewelery is beautiful.

Amber Piece with Troll Beads

Necklace with Shells and Blue Glass Charm

I worked my butt off this year, even with all three Etsy shops aside, I added 400 books to my Alibris shop and sold close to 200. I served on the steering committee for the Northwest Illinois Food Co-op and designed their website, maintained their Facebook, and set up their Paypal. Unfortunately it didn’t work out and the efforts were abandoned. I worked two part time jobs as a server in a restaurant and a clerk at a book store. Right at the end of the year I was blessed with a new job offer. I will start at the Galena Public Library as a Page this week. No longer will I be serving schnitzels and frites!

I am also very proud of my garden efforts! We put up the green house this summer and grew seedlings in it. I revamped the garden and even though we had a horrible drought, I think we did pretty well. I learned a lot about how to deal with drought conditions. This Spring I plan on extending the gardens and growing more fruit. Huckleberries and ground cherries as well as some other interesting varieties. And a big shout out to Rachel O’Neil! She allowed me access to her wonderful property where peaches, wild plums, apples,mulberries, pears, and pumpkins were to be had and they made delicious jams, jellies, and fruit butters.

Fortunately, the world didn’t end last week! Bring on 2013!

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I haven’t posted an update on the book end (no pun intended) of the business in a while. It’s been going very well and growing along with the rest. I have almost 300 books listed on Alibris and have been selling about three or four books a week. I’ve also found a couple great sources for books so things are going great!

I’ve also been posting vintage books on Etsy regularly and have some great finds that I haven’t even gotten to yet. There are four boxes of books in my office that need to be sorted and listed to one site or the other or both!

So check out my stores:
ellipsisbooksandmore.etsy.com
ellipsis.alibrisstore.com

As I continually get more and more frustrated with the day to day humdrum of my “day jobs” –Yes plural jobs— the necessity for change becomes all the more clear. So I ask myself, what do I want? I want to garden. I want to become sustainable. I want to help others do the same. So working six days a week is not conducive to this goal. I must find a way to make Ellipsis successful enough online to be rid of at least one job. The search for possibilities is on.

I have been making progress of sorts. In December Ellipsis made a nice bit of money on Etsy. A lot of it is going to have to go into buying more supplies and labels however. A physical business is a necessity, business real estate in Galena is up in the 5 – 600,000’s however. Hmmmmm . . .

As for the gardening, I’m ordering tons of heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, based out of Decorah, Iowa. This summer I will have some very unique varieties and we are planning to greatly increase the size of our yields. Hopefully enough to have an excess to sell at Farmer’s Market along with jellies, pickles, and maybe some baked goods. Mostly I’ve been reading about soil types, compost, heirlooms, and seed saving. Also I’m trying to come up with the best things to start with in the greenhouse and how to best utilize our outdoor space.

Chamomile Apple Cinnamon JellyFinally I made a completely 100% natural pectin jelly! The Chamomile Apple Cinnamon is now totally natural. Apples contain strong natural pectin. Apple pectin is full of benefits including radiation cleansing properties. The jelly is awesome! So tasty with butter on whole wheat toast. Now I will be attempting to adjust all my recipes to work with apple juice heavy in pectin, it will be a complex procedure in which I waste a lot of ingredients!

I’ve also been blending some new herbal teas. January is Hot Tea Month and I’ve been Sage Teaexperimenting with different combinations. It’s so much fun to play with herbs I’ve harvested and dried from my own garden. I have a lot of ideas in mind, but my most recent to go up for sale is a sage blend. Pineapple sage and culinary sage blended is lovely and smooth with just a bit of fruity-ness. Sage is found most useful when combating anxiety and depression. You can read about the benefits of sage here. This is a whole leaf tea of course. When the leaves are crushed, they tend to loose a lot of their natural oils. Left whole they retain their flavors and benefits better.

Soon I will be posting some special Valentine’s Day jellies and more books of course. Currently I have a catalog of over 200 books posted on Alibris and quite a few very nice editions on Etsy, including a second edition Lord of the Rings Boxed set and a first edition of Louisa May Alcott’s “Jo’s Boys.” I also have a beautiful set of Pooh’s Library, on the very early printings – 1965. And of course I have some very interesting vintage offerings in my $2 and $5 bins!

Thank you again for your support!

Gift BundleEllipsis Books and More is finally actually more. In addition to my Alibris store. I now sell antiquarian and vintage books, herbal teas, and jams and jellies on Etsy. I make several varieties of jelly including lavender, white tea and pomegranate, earl grey, and peach butter. All of the produce and herbs I’m using are either grown by me or grown by another local farmer. I’m very proud of that fact!

I’m planning big things for the spring. Reading the book, Vertical Farms by Dickson Despommier and also Permaculture magazine, has really opened my eyes to growing more effective gardens. The idea of “forest gardening” in particular is something I would like to incorporate. It’s when a garden of food emulates how a forest is set up from the forest floor to the canopy.

The greenhouse is also something I really want to do a lot more with this coming season. Including some more tropical varities of fruits and spices.

Look for some different kind of jellies in the next few weeks and over the holiday season as well as more availability of the favorites for the holiday season. And don’t forget to check out Vintage Booksellipsis.alibrisstore.com for your holiday gift shopping. There are nearly 200 different titles listed and counting. If there is something you’ve been looking for, message me. I might have it! Or I may be able to get it at a lower price. Also Ellipsis is venturing in publishing a bit. Which is super exciting! Thank you everyone for your support. This is all becoming a reality!

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