September 3rd, 2008

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Where, oh where, has Trish-E been?

It's been so long since I've posted anything! I've been a busy little monkey the past couple of weeks. I thought I would jot down some highlights for my memory.

- We moved to the new Dojo for our martial arts. It is an IMPRESSIVE place and I love being a part of it. I've been putting in sweat equity. Since I have no job, I have been working my ass off (what's there in the first place) by doing odd jobs for the school. I have painted a border mural in the kids' area, filled and sanded nailholes, painted and varnished the mat frame, varnished the kitchen cabinets, and made signs for the student entrance and the instructor area. I'm doing all of this to cut down on our martial arts costs.

- I made my third red stripe testing last week, so in about two months (hopefully) I will test for my red belt. After red belt comes brown, then after that you are a black belt candidate. Can you BELIEVE THAT????? The boys had a bad month and we gave them a final say on TKD: Either shape up in the next four weeks and learn your forms or you will be taken out of TKD. The instructors have to sign off that they are making significant improvement in order to stay. I'm not paying (or working) for them to just goof off and not even be able to show them a form they have known for two years now.

- I got my new passport and from September 17 - 21, I will be sunning myself on the beach in Aruba. I get to fly first and business class from here to Miami and then to Aruba. WHEEEE! I can't wait!

- I got all of the stuff I won in the Mt. Dew / Amp Energy contest. That will be a post of its own.

- Michael and Matthew LOVE second grade so far. Matthew is doing great in class without Michael and thinks this is going to be the best school year ever. I offered to be a room parent, and ended up getting assigned to Michael's class. They both seemed to understand that the school picked, not me, and that next year I would sign up for Matthew's class.

- I have decided to give corporate America the finger (while still searching for a corporate American job *laugh*). That will be a post of its own as well. I've gotten back into art and design, and I'm actually thinking about staying here.

- Probably the best thing (ok, just short of Aruba) is what happened today. I was brushing one of the dogs in the entryway and heard a *THUMP* at the front door. No doorbell, just a thump. When I looked outside, the mailman had dropped a box on our step. A package of Hawaiian goods from GS! It's a shame that box of macadamia nuts is so close to empty. Wonder how that happened? *ahem*. There is a cute surfing Santa ornament, a fridge magnet to go with my collection and the COOLEST THING!!!! -> Del Sol nail polish!!!! I think I remember us talking about this when we were in Florida. I liked our Del Sol t-shirts so much, since they spring into great colors when you go into the sun, and GS mentioned there is nail polish that does the same. I now have pink polish that turns purple in the sun, and lavender that turns pink! A blend of pink and purple - how very symbolic of our relationship!

Ok, on to the photo posts!

Diet Mountain Dew - Old School, New School contest

When I was lamenting the additional money I had to put out to stay an additional day in Atlanta with GS, and waiting for the 15 minutes to pass until I could check in for my flight online, I decided to actually try out the game Mt. Dew had going. I had an account, because I had entered one cap from home. I had tried to get the plasma TV and X-box 360. No luck.

When we left the ER to get prescriptions filled from CVS, I grabbed two Diet Mt. Dews as an afterthought. I went to the contest site while I was waiting around later. First cap - nothing. Second cap, on a lark, I changed my selection to the 'Dale Jr. Prize Pack'. Wow. I thought there had to be a mistake and there was no way I actually WON that.

After coming home, sure enough there was a priority letter for me that was my eligibility form. It had a prepaid priority envelope in so I didn't even have to pay to mail it back. Last week, everything arrived!!!!

Here's a teaser shot of all of the items:

And here you can go see more detail shots

I can't believe my luck!
Dance in the rain

Corporate America, meet small business

I am actively seeking a job, but with the state of our economy I haven't even heard back on a single application. Only one company even acknowledged that I applied! The rest were just thank you pages on the web site.

Last week, I started thinking about what I could do if this turned into a long-term unemployment. I mean, the first time Scott was unemployed, it was for a year when the kids were babies. This last year, he was out for nine months. We have NO savings left. No credit left either.

I made a decision to not sit around waiting for another IT/Corporate job and instead try to make money doing things I enjoy. I'm putting a lot into it and this way, I wouldn't be desperate to get a job and end up somewhere I wasn't happy.

Here is my plan and why nobody has seen me lately. It's a bit scattershot right now and needs to be narrowed in scope, but I think it all ties in nicely. We'll see what works best.

- The jewelry I have already designed will be for sale, but I will only make other custom pieces if asked. Instead, I will focus on 'home' items, such as fan pulls and bookmarks. I'm even making a beaded pull for a friend to replace the cord on the pull-down door to her attic.

- I am looking into teaching jewelry classes at one of the local craft shops. You get a discount on supplies and you keep 100% of the fees for your classes. The store gives you the classroom space, they market it in their store class schedules and on their web site, and you set the time, days and price for the classes. If I set up a kit to make a bracelet and a fan pull, do a 2-week course for $60 per person, or break that into two types of one-night classes for $40 per person.

- Next week I am going to a party with the Southern Living At Home consultant I've used in the past. Gail Pittman will be there to talk about her designs and I can take some of the stuff of hers I own to get it signed. YAY! On a side note, Gina (the consultant) and I will be talking about me becoming a consultant. I wouldn't have this as my only source of income, but I think it would fit nicely with my goal of 'home decoration items'. It, like the classes, would allow flexibility in my schedule for my family and my health.

- Finally, I've started painting again and have two things on the burner. The first is a friend who is starting a dog-related business wants me to design her logo and also create products for the company. These are things like raised feeding stations, leash holders, yard signs, collars, etc. The second is to go along with my decorative sales. I have been creating for years things that I recently realized I should expand on. I've always made custom painted outlet covers and switchplates for any room I redecorate. Now I am adding tissue box covers, storage units, vases, serving trays, murals and other items. I made zebra strip covers for the daughter of a friend, and her other daughter wanted me to make some for her. I'll be making the outlet and lightswitch covers and also painting designs on the blades of her ceiling fan. I am documented all I am doing in photos, and have started a 'portfolio' of work I can carry around with me. When I figure out pricing for things (my worst area - everyone tells me I completely underpriced my jewelry) and add it to the book. If things seem to take off, I could talk to smaller, independent shops around here to carry my pieces.

Here are some pictures of some of the things I've been making lately

So tell me what you think! Does this seem like a viable option for me? Do you think that these four things are all related or that it is spreading too thin? Where would you expect to see some of these items/services priced?