Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

I wanted to take time to write again since it's been awhile. I am well rested and not near as frazzled as my last post. I am on my break from school for the next 2 weeks- hooray! I had an extremely busy week last week trying to finish up last minute things at work, and on top of that I got a new kitten for our sons and took care of him for 2 days. It was a lot of fun, but busy.
I spent all day Saturday catching up my books for the business, and I'm excited about how it's growing. My Christmas gift this year will be a new computer to be used for the business. This will eliminate some frustrating times between Hubby & I too. When I need to print labels, update inventory, order supplies or just spend hours on the blog it won't be a problem. Just kidding. I have to admit I'm the computer hog in our household.
I have alot of work ahead the next two weeks because I plan to paint our office and reorganize the closets. I hate to admit I'm a packrat, and things tend to just collect. The only time I can take on major projects like this is during my holiday break.
I am all ready for Christmas now. My parents are coming in tomorrow night and will be here for the rest of the week. We will spend time with my mother-in-law too. This year we are doing a "redneck" gift exchange. We did this 2 yrs ago, and it was hilarious. We each buy 10 items that cost $1 each and wrap them in newspaper. Each person chooses 10 things, each taking turns picking one at a time. Then we all open them and all try to barter our gifts at the same time. It is the funniest thing and can get a little crazy. We have also bought real gifts for each other - of course all of my family members will be getting candles :) For the exchange, I try to buy things that are useful like scissors, batteries, highlighters, chocolate covered cherries, thin mints, etc. The Dollar Tree is an excellent place to shop.
I am also looking forward to having fun with friends next week and have made some plans already. If I don't post again before Christmas, Merry Christmas everyone and check back for what's new in 2009! We are planning a totally new line of the business. More on that later.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Craziness

I haven't had a chance to post anything the last two weeks because I had two craft show weekends right after Thanksgiving. Sales have picked up in the stores too, so I have been busy making candles some evenings. I truly don't know if I am coming or going these days. Wednesday is the normal day I meet with my parents at the school, but because it was pouring down rain and I work in a portable building I had to switch days. We met yesterday instead. That totally messed me up because I had visits scheduled and had to rearrange my schedule. I was so confused yesterday and actually overbooked my visits. Another example of my forgetfulness or confusion happened this morning. I had the feeling I was forgetting something (you ever do that?). I get to the end of my street and realize I didn't have my purse or cell phone in the car. They were both on the counter, so I was a few minutes late for work. My phone is my lifeline, can't live without that because I had lots and lots of errands to run today. I enjoyed lunch with a coworker that runs the First Start program at Longwood Elementary, and we did a little shopping together too.
I will have some time off soon though. The past few days I have been getting packages ready to be mailed to family and working on my Christmas cards. Those all went out yesterday and today - hooray. Tonight I am finally setting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house. The only Christmas shopping left is for my sons. I hope to actually schedule an appointment with my hairdresser one day next week :) I'm way overdue.
That's about all the news for now. Looking forward to some down time very soon!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Mini Vacation

First of all I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We made it home from Tennessee on Tuesday night. The pictures on my last post don't compare to seeing the mountains with your own eyes. It was very cold, 27 degrees when we got there on Friday night. The highs were in the mid 40's. The cabin we rented was beautiful.
We enjoyed the hot tub every day, and it was quite an experience to have part of your body emerged in steaming hot water while you could still see your breath above. We were staying between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and visited both places during our stay. We ate at the Brass Lantern in Gatlinburg, a restaurant we remembered from our honeymoon 23 yrs ago. We walked through the shops and went to the Ripley's Aquarium.
We had a nice relaxing time. We didn't get to see it snow, and Lee didn't see any deer or bears. It was great just being away and out of our normal routine. We left Gatlinburg on Monday and went to Dunlap for a night. We got up Tuesday morning and drove up the mountain to see our land. Here are some pics of the drive up Cagle Mountain, and a picture of our land.

I slept most of the way home on Tuesday. I am thankful that we had the chance to get away for a few days. It brings to mind the verse.....come apart and rest for awhile. Now I feel refreshed and ready to handle my busy schedule for the next month. I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving today!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

View from our back porch and the view from the drive to our cabin.
More pics and update to come.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Off to Gatlinburg

I just wanted to drop a quick note and ask for prayer for safety on our trip and a nice relaxing time. It's supposed to snow there in the morning, but we won't arrive early enough to see it (it will probably melt during the day). Lee would like to see a bear and deer (not like the little ones here in Florida), and I'd like to see snow. Pray that God gives us these little blessings and a nice refreshing time! I'll post pictures when I return.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm at the Ivy Leaf Tea Parlor!

I am so excited about all of the good things happening with my business. A special friend,( talked to the owner at the Ivy leaf about my candles. She was planning to order candles for the holidays anyway and wanted to meet me and see what I have. I met with her on Tuesday, and she ordered candles for her tea shop and the flower shop on Hwy.85. I am so excited! The shop is beautiful, and I feel honored to be in there.

I had a cup of French Creme Brulee tea while I was there and had to buy some and get all the accessories to go along with it. I have always been a huge coffee advocate, but now I have a new addiction to tea. It is so good!

I have been very busy the past few days getting my stock up for Hometown Christmas. I have to work Monday & Tuesday night on candles, but then I can enjoy the rest of the week. We leave Friday morning for Gatlinburg! I'll post pictures and updates when I get back.

Monday, November 10, 2008's a small world

I forgot to share some really neat news on my post last night. While in Navarre, a customer came up to me and asked if my last name was Cagle. I said no and explained the story of why I named the business Cagle Creations, and that it's actually after the mountain in Dunlap, TN where our land is and how since we were not able to actually move to Tennessee last year, we decided to bring the mountain to us - therefore Cagle Creations was born. She smiled as I told this story and then informed me that she is a Cagle and all of her decendants still live on Cagle Mountain, and they have a huge family reunion every summer. I was literally speechless and told her that I am so happy to meet her, and that I love that little town and will move there some day. It is literally a hidden paradise, sort of an old version of what Gatlinburg may have been like before touched by the tourist industry. Anyway I decided to take the time to include some pictures of this sweet town, so you can see why we love it so much.

The picture above is from a scenic outlook of Dunlap just outside of town going towards Chattanooga on Hwy.111. If you look closely toward the left of the center of the picture where two mountains sort of overlap, you will see Cagle Mountain to the right of the one in front of it.

The Cookie Jar Cafe is the best place to eat (in my opinion) just outside of town. It is located on the Johnson's family farm. They have country cooking and an awesome view from the front porch of the restaurant as you can see below. Dunlap finally got a Walmart last January. Now the locals don't have to drive across the mountain to shop in Soddy Daisy. It sits below Fredonia Mountain.

Dunlap is known for it's annual bluegrass festival each June. Some people travel a long way to come to this and take part. It is located at the old Coke Ovens Park. There's a museum there telling about the history of the town, and the landscape there is beautiful. There is no alcohol allowed, so it's a fun family event. People camp there and play music for two days. This past June a college student from the local area was doing a project and actually interviewed me & my Mom and got some footage of my Dad playing his guitar along with some locals. My parents travel to the town to meet us there and have fell in love with it too.

I just had to share a little bit of this town that I've grown to love. As you can tell, I am in my Tennessee mode since we are heading that way in just over a week. I hope you enjoyed a little history behind the naming of Cagle Creations.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

God's Goodness

I want to take some time to give God the glory for blessing my business the way that He has! I was at Navarre's First United Methodist Church yesterday and sold well above my expectations! It was my third highest craft show of the past year. When I think back over the last six weeks, I wonder how I managed to get up by 6:00 a.m. on each Saturday morning and head out the door to a show and still have the energy to make candles two to three nights a week, stay faithful to church, work full time at school, and not be a total grouch. All I can say is it is because of God's goodness and faithfulness to me! I also have to take time to throw some flowers Lee's way. I could not do this without him supporting me 100% and being there with me during the shows. He jokes and says he is shipping, delivery, and inventory control. He has nothing to do with making the candles or doing the bookkeeping for the business, but I could not do this on my own. We have our little system, and we've learned what works best, and it just gets better and better. We have a good time together, even in the crazy times when there are three to four customers at the table at once trying to hand us money and candles. Because of my background in accounting and type A personality, we have numbered all of our candles, and they are on a spreadsheet. We print this for each show, and as we sell them, we take the sticker off (inventory number) and track each customer's sales. When it slows down, Lee highlights the candles on the list that have sold. This keeps us straight because we always know what is available or not, and if we need to sell the candle that is on the table. This can get a little crazy because of the rushes. One weekend I felt terrible because one lady wanted a certain scent but wanted to buy three candles and kept trying to decide. While she was deciding, another lady came up and picked up one that she wanted, and it was the only one we had left in that scent & size. Yesterday, a lady wanted to know if I had a smaller candle in the Christmas Cheer, and the same thing happened. According to the inventory list, we had one left and looked all over the table for it. Another customer was standing there with the candle in her hand while trying to help us find the candle the lady wanted.....ooops... Oh well, we have a good time and am thankful that on most weekends we do sell out of certain scents. I enjoy meeting new people too and explaining the benefits of using soy candles, but I do admit I feel like just tape recording myself, so I can hit play when customers come up toward the end of the day.

I was hoping to take a week off, but since my sales were really good I have to work this coming week again. Please don't think I'm complaining, I am very excited! Lee & I are taking our much needed vacation to Gatlinburg, TN next Friday through Tuesday (21st-25th). I can't wait!

My next show is Hometown Christmas in DeFuniak Springs right after Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it and hope that I get some repeat customers that bought candles from me last year. Sales in the stores have picked up also, so I have to keep up with those too. Thats all the news for now.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Heritage Days Highlights

I had a very relaxing day sitting outside at Baker Heritage Days yesterday. I shared my booth with a good friend from the school that works for Title 1. She makes Christmas ornaments from wood that she cuts and shapes herself. She was on one side of me, and Denise was on the other side selling her delicious jams and cocoa mixes. We were close to the music this year, so we got to listen to bluegrass, southern gospel music all day. In one of the old cabins there was a woodburning stove, so the air smelled like Fall. I love the smell of wood or leaves burning.

It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of people there. I forgot my camera again, so I don't have pictures to share. I knew it would be a fun day when we arrived at 7 a.m. to set up our tent and heard the rooster crowing. Blue, the town dog, wandered around us a few times and visited all the other vendors & children that came by. A Republican party van was parked right behind us on the other side of the fence, giving out signs and buttons. At one point a couple of students came by my booth and asked, "What is this, a McCain party or something?" because she said everyone was wearing pins, which I plan to proudly wear to school on Monday & Tuesday.

I did get a good amount of sales and saw a lot of people I know from the school. Several of my First Start families came by to see me too. I saw a dear couple, Priscilla & Roger Bonjour, that we met last year at a craft show. We've seen them the past month at the other craft shows. Priscilla is an artist and uses pastels. She sells her original works, and her husband takes pictures of her artwork and sells the prints and notecards. We bought 3 of her original works last year of birdhouses. They are hanging in my candle room. They are a very sweet couple who have taken us under their wing, so to speak, and shared info about which craft fairs are the best. I recognized several customers from other craft shows. They bought candles again and said they love them. One couple said they plan to visit me in DeFuniak Springs to buy my candles for Christmas gifts. It was a very relaxing day and because of the time change, I got lots of sleep last night!

I had a lazy week this past week, but I have to make candles this week for the "Gingerbread House Craft Show" in Navarre next weekend.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm so excited!!

I had to share my good news. I did a craft show at Niceville's United Methodist Church today and had more sales than I ever have at an event. I topped my sales at DeFuniak Springs last year. I sold 97 candles today.....whoo hooo!
I have two more weekends of shows, and then a 3 week break, then 2 more. The weekend before Thanksgiving, Lee & I are going to Gatlinburg, TN. We haven't been there since our honeymoon 23 yrs ago. We will be spending a nice 3 day weekend in a romantic cabin on the mountain 2 1/2 miles from downtown. I will need the getaway! On the way home, we plan to stop in Dunlap, TN (home of Cagle Mountain & our beautiful piece of land) for a night. It will be nice to be in God's Country :) I absolutely love the mountains! Can you tell???? One day we will be able to settle there.
Next weekend I can relax a little because I will be in Baker for Heritage Days. I'm not expecting to sell near as many candles. I did o.k. there last year because of working at the school & knowing so many people from that community. It will be a fun, relaxing time.
That's about all the news for now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Holly Fair News

I had to share today's news. I sold candles at the Holly Fair in Shalimar, and since it was my first time I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it would be a good day when the Pastor of the church began with a word of prayer before the doors opened to the public. Lee & I had a personal goal, and we passed that $$$ amount by quite a bit. Some of the other vendors told me that next weekend (Niceville United Methodist Church) is an even bigger event, and I better have lots of stock ready. I have to replace 76 candles that sold today!!! I am so excited and exhausted!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taking a minute....

I decided to take time to write a really quick note tonight to let everyone know how things are going with me and the candles. I worked two craft shows in the last two weekends. One was at Mary Esther United Methodist Church on Hwy. 98, and the other at the Hobo Festival in Laurel Hill. I did great in Fort Walton Beach, and I really can't complain too much about the Hobo Festival either. I had some sales, listened to music all day, talked to friends that were also selling there, and ate some interesting food. I'll post pictures of my booth later. I have two very busy weekends coming up. This Saturday I will be at Shalimar United Methodist Church (the Holly Fair), and on the 25th I will be at Niceville's United Methodist Church (the Country Bayou Craft Fair). Both of these are big events, and the first year I've worked them. Hopefully I have enough stock for both. I took this week off from doing candles, but I'm off on Monday and can make up the ones I sell this weekend. Anyway, that's about all the news here. I haven't had much time to just hang out with friends, but I have had an easier week this week. I'll post pictures soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some down time

I wanted to write more on my blog tonight while I have some time to relax and reflect. I enjoy reading everyone's blogs and feel a little guilty about not keeping up with my own news. I sold candles last Saturday, but it wasn't a very successful event. This really was a blessing from God though because I was able to fill the order I received a few weeks ago. All 100 candles are packed, wrapped, and ready to go - hooray! Now I am trying to get busy for the upcoming craft fairs. I need all the prayers I can get because after a break tomorrow, I will be somewhere selling my candles for the next 6 Saturdays straight. You can find out where I'll be by going to my website and clicking on the button that says festival sites. Some of these craft fairs are new to me this year, but I've heard from other vendors that they are very successful. I just hope I can keep up from week to week.

I am back in the swing of things at Baker School, working with some of the sweetest children I've ever known. They are all very special to me, and the families are sort of like extended family. I've had the priviledge to work with some of the families for the last 7 yrs since I started this job. They come in once a week for storytime and an activity to do with Mom. They love the center and usually don't want to leave. I get to work with each child individually at least once a month. It's a wonderful program and sort of like a ministry. I'm so thankful that the program was funded again this school year and not cut like many other programs and positions.

Anyway I was tagged by Jillian a couple of weeks ago or more and never responded, so here goes.....

Two names you go by:
1. Deanna
2. Dee Dee

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Red shirt
2. Brown shorts

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. For my son's prayers to be answered
2. For my friend's heart to heal from the loss of her husband

Two people that will send this back or respond
1 ???
2. ???

Two things you ate today
1. fried mushrooms
2. New York Strip (went to Coach & Four for my birthday today - yes I'm an old woman!)

Two people you last spoke to:
1. Vanda
2. My Mom

Two things you're doing tomorrow:
1. Going to Christopher & Banks to spend my gift card and birthday money
2. lunch somewhere maybe?

Two longest car rides:
1. From Alexandria, LA to Morrow, OH (16 hr trip)
2. Crestview, FL to Morrow, OH (12 1/2 hrs)

Two favorite beverages:
1. Water
2. Coffee

Ok, so if you have a blog it is your turn to post..... TAG YOUR IT!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

quick update


It's been a week or more since I posted and wanted to give my latest news. I was able to get my candles into another store - this time in Destin. They are in Abram's Antiques on Hwy.98 beside McGuires. I sold 3 candles the day I put them in the store! This is my display.

I am still working on getting candles made for the upcoming craft fairs and filling the 100 candle order. I always manage to work best under pressure, so I know I'll get caught up just in time. I'll blog more in the next week or two when I have more time to write.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Caramel Apple Night

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to post a quick message tonight. I ordered ALOT of jars last week, and they were all delivered today. What a chore unpacking all of those boxes. Anyhow I got a start on my big order and made a bunch of caramel apple candles tonight. Here's a couple of pics.

This is my kitty Sianna. She is treated like a baby literally, and the most spoiled animal we have ever had. While I'm busy working on candles, she is always laying in the room somewhere (supporting me).
Here's the candles I made tonight!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy Busy Blessings

It's been about a month since I've written anything and wanted to update my blog with pictures and tell how things are going with me. After a very slow summer (a much needed rest), I am in full swing again at work and with the candle business. My job is going great, and I do believe this will be my best school year yet. I have some wonderful families in my program and miss all the children. I am ready to begin my weekly activities with them next week and start home visits again soon.

I have taken too much time relaxing the last two weeks and haven't made any candles. God blessed me today with an order for 100 candles by October 1st! This is a from a guy that I've known for 9 yrs who faithfully sprays (pest control) my home and has his own business. Last year he bought 30 of them from me to give to widow ladies that are his clients for Christmas. He said God has blessed his business, and he wants to give something back. All I can say is thank you Lord! I have also booked 5 craft shows between Sept. - Nov., and plan to book at least 2 more (they haven't advertised yet, but I did them last year.) I still have candles in the 3 shops also that should do well over the holidays. I give God all the praise and honour for blessing my business.

For all of my friends reading this that go to church with me, if you see me just sitting there on Wednesday nights and not mingling, you'll understand why - I'll probably be totally exhausted. It is a fun busy though, and those that know me well understand I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd rather be too busy than too idle.

Now for some pictures of my little world and some new things not on my website.

This picture is a candle I made for a friend today. This is what they look like when they are just poured before the cooling process. It is a 16 oz candle that sells for $15.99. These are not in the stores yet because they take more wax. I sell them to my regular customers that are already hooked on my candles.

This is a picture of the my 6 oz candles that I have in stock at the moment. Since I don't use any artificial dyes in my wax, I buy frosted jars for the holidays and the customers that want some color. These are not on my website yet. They sell for $5.99 each.

These are 4 oz tins that I just made recently for a special customer. I plan to try these out in one of the stores and at the craft shows. Since every customer is different, I'm going to test the market on these and see if it's something that will sell.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Scents

I have added some new scents to my line. They include Apples & Maple, Creme Brulee, and Black Currant & Nectarine. I also have two new holiday scents available which include Holiday Sleigh Ride and Hanzel & Gretel's House. They all smell wonderful! You can go to my website and click on scent descriptions and find them there.

I am enjoying my summer break from school and preparing for all of the holiday craft fairs. For those interested, I will make holiday scents now for the early Christmas shoppers. Just visit my website and click on the order form and place an order or just send me an email.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spring 2008

In late February I met a special lady that told me about a brand new antique/ tea shop opening in my hometown of Crestview. I was able to put my candles in the store, which opened on March 1st, and since then I have had great success. My candles are now available in two more stores in Fort Walton Beach. You can find these by clicking on my website link, and then clicking on the store locations button.
I expanded my scents this Spring to include many florals, more foods. and exotic scents. These include Clean Cotton, Asian Amber, Honeysuckle Jasmine, Love Spell, Lavendar Fields, Summer Gardenia, Lilac Blossoms, Palm Tree, Very Vanilla, Sea Spray & Jasmine, Seaside, Blueberry Cobbler, Black Cherry, Lemon Chiffon, Strawberry Shortcake, Caramelized Pralines, Honeydew Melon, & Citrus Splash.
I have recently ordered more scents that will available soon.

In the Beginning.....

In the beginning months I started with my simple 10 oz. candle, and only offered 8 scents at that time. These included Almond Biscotti, Hazelnut Coffee, Pumpkin Souffle, Cranberry Bliss, Caramelized Pear, Spiced Apples, Banana Nut Bread, and Cinnamon Buns. I sold to friends at first, and then coworkers at school and immediately began receiving positive feedback and gained repeat customers. I began my business at a perfect time of year, and by the end of September I started making smaller candles in frosted jars for the holidays. I added many holiday scents at this time also, including Christmas Cheer, Mistletoe, Amaretto Nog, Old Fashioned Christmas, Sugar Cookie, Spice, and Caramel Apple . I was fortunate enough to find out about many local craft shows and festivals around the holidays and worked several Saturdays promoting my business.

The Story behind Cagle Creations

Hello Everyone!
This is my first blog post, so please be patient as I learn the ropes. I am excited to announce that Cagle Creations has been in business for one year next month, August 15th to be exact. I started my business with almost immediate success. The product formula for the All Natural Soy Candle was graciously passed down to me from a very special first double cousin of mine. She did all of the work to find the right “secret recipe”. Therefore when others ask me what I use or where I get my products from, I kindly say this is a family secret.
The name of the company comes from Cagle Mountain in Dunlap, TN where my husband & I have bought land and plan to retire someday. The company logo of the dove came from a free clipart website and was inspired because of the dove in the Bible that was released from Noah’s Ark to find land. The dove returned with an olive branch, and the Ark rested on a mountain. I am a Christian and couldn’t have a company without including my faith. I searched the Bible for a verse that mentioned a candle and spoke to my heart personally and found Ps.18:28, “For thou wilt light my candle: The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” This is the verse I use on all of my top labels.