Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finished Object Roll Call: August 2016

The whole knitting, and sewing thing, has majorly slowed down over the summer for me. But, since I'm not working a 9-5 anymore, I have a little more time to work on things. So here ya go! 


Another Baby Sweater: I used the leftovers from the dress I finished a couple months ago. 


If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook.  You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Taking the Plunge

Well folks, here we are. It’s the halfway point in August, children have headed back to school, parents are recovering from vacations, and the population in general is hoping for cooler weather now! (at least where I live, it’s been ridiculously hot.)

As the new school year begins, children are eager to start a new adventure. University students are looking forward to their semester, some with dread (shout-out to the grad students out there!). While we often focus on the New Year as a time for new beginnings, the beginning of the school year is just as much a new beginning as the New Year is.

And I am making a new beginning this month. A big, scary, exciting beginning.

You see, when my summer job ended this month, my husband and I decided that I would not go back to work. Full time freelancing it is! This is a temporary experiment, but if it goes well I will not go back to work full time as a teacher.

Those of you who know me, know that not having something to do is absolutely insane for me. I can’t just sit and do nothing. I’m just no longer working a 9-5 job, with bosses and co-workers and rules and stuff.

I’m full time freelancing. And hopefully it works out. Last year I was able to actually pay rent a couple of months from my freelance income, but being a full time student and having two jobs, freelancing was way too hard emotionally and physically. This girl needs her sleep! So I stopped all my income streams except for one job to focus on finishing my Masters and getting my big girl job.

At the beginning of this summer I slowly began to re-start my income streams. It’s slow going, but of course it was the first time around too. Only this time, it’s lot more scary. I mean, before it was ‘extra’ income to go toward debt repayment, retirement, and savings. Now, it’s gotta pay the bills for real.
He seems awfully cheerful for an octopus...

I once heard (possibly on Pinterest) about the octopus method of income. Meaning, you need to create multiple income streams, so if one has a bad month or quarter, you still have 7 more to fall back on. While I don’t have 8, I do have a few up my sleeve.

Here’s the plan:
  • ·         Editing and Proofreading: I’ve reopened my gigs on fiverr. So far I’ve had a few takers, and they are pretty easy. The difference on fiverr this time around though, is I’m not offering APA specific editing. I did last time around and that was the bulk of my work.  Unfortunately, that opened me up to being asked to write term papers for people, not just edit them. I actually contacted the advising professor of a doctoral student who solicited paper writing services from me. If I had to write all my papers for my degrees, you can suck it up and write them too. The upside to now is that most books are quite a bit longer than term papers, so I get a larger payout per job.

  • ·         Etsy: My etsy shop has been hugely neglected. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I got on there and updated. Now that I have more time, I plan to get a lot of sewing done, and post a lot of it on etsy. I’m convinced that while you really want to do a quality job and post amazing, wonderful creations on etsy, it’s also a numbers game. The more items I get up on there, the more likely it is that people will see my work, the more likely I am to find buyers. Right now this isn’t a huge focus of income for me, but it is there.

  • ·         Teaching Lessons: At the beginning of the year,  I posted on takelessons as a sewing and knitting teacher. I’ve gotten a few students, but these students tend to want to learn one skill and then are good. It’s a good temporary income for me. If I can get a few more students, and have them leave positive reviews, it will hopefully lead to more students. I’ve even had people contact me through this venue to inquire about seamstress services such as hemming and custom making skirts.

  • ·         Writing- I’ve been looking at various ways I could make a little money off writing. I’ve loved writing since I was a very young child and have always done it. Most of my writing is what I would consider “closed door” writing, never to been seen by actual people. But, in past years (thank you university) I’ve found I quite enjoy writing for other people as well. Hence the blog. I would like to move the blog to a better platform, and potentially connect it with a shop so I no longer have to rely on etsy for online sales. I’ve also started drafting some tutorial type articles to post on fiverr, and have even submitted some to takelessons for their blog series. Now that I have more time, I will be researching other venues and start submitting to them in the hopes of bringing in a few dollars here and there from something I already am doing.

  • ·         Arbonne- I’ve become an Independent Consultantfor Arbonne this summer. And I LOVE IT. It allows me socialize, and share about some wonderful products that I use and love as well. It helps my little introverted self meet new people, and it will get me out of my house on a regular basis, because let’s face it, I could sit at home and knit and sew and edit and write all day. No matter how introverted you are, that’s not exactly healthy. And I seriously have fun doing the spa parties. Seriously.

And there it is. The multiple income stream plan. It has already led to some blog posts being written, and I’m sure it will be a grand adventure. It might work out beautifully, and I never have to go back to work, or it might be a bit of a flop and I will go back to teaching in a couple months. We will just have to see. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

All the Noise

I often feel like the Grinch in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the real one, not the remake with people and Jim Carey) when he says he can’t stand “All the noise, noise, noise, noise”.  Why are people so noisy? Why is life so noisy?

Recently my husband and I went to shop for a major purchase, we entered a store and were immediately approached by a salesperson. I expected this, however I did not expect the disrespectful nature in which this salesperson treated us.

We told the salesperson that we were not ready to purchase, we just wanted to look and see what our options are so we can plan for the purchase. The salesperson started to talk to us about the options we had.

And did not stop talking for the next hour.

I’m not even joking. Even when it got to the point that I was over-exaggerating looking at my watch, mentioned that we needed to get my husband to work (we really did), and both of us stopped making eye contact and stared at the door. I was about 10 seconds away from just walking out with the salesperson still yakking away at us. That or just yelling “Would you. Just. Shut. Up.”

During the entire interaction my husband and I did not have enough time to ourselves to discuss which options were actually within our budget. What brand we felt was the best deal. Or even if the timeline we had in mind was reasonable now that we knew prices. When we finally escaped, the first thing I said to my husband was:
                “We are not buying from them. Ever.”

Contrast that with the next store we went in to. The salesperson again approached us a few seconds after we entered. They asked us the same types of questions, and pointed us in the right direction. There were plenty of pauses in the conversation for us to process what information was being presented to us. And, most importantly, the salesperson physically walked away every few moments so we had time to discuss options with each other. At one point they said, “I’m going to leave you here for about 5 minutes to talk things over together. And then I’ll check back in with you.”

And they did.

There is a life lesson here, I can’t help but point out. It’s an issue I run into quite a bit in my life. Having quiet time is essential for people to ponder, process, and learn things. You need time to think, and in order to think clearly, you NEED those moments of silence, isolation, and calm.

I recently realized something about a place that we visit . Every time we visit this place, I end up feeling tired and horrifically grumpy. And it’s not just because I’m tired or not getting balanced meals. It’s because this place is never quiet. The people there do not talk to each other, they yell. (This is a volume issue, not an anger issue.)Of course perhaps they are always loud because the tv is constantly on. Once I was up at 2 am, and lo and behold, no one else in the place was awake, yet the tv was still on. It is literally never quiet there.

And without quiet I can’t think. I can’t recharge. And honestly, it really affects whether I can be in a good mood or not.

My family used to joke that you shouldn’t talk to me before 10 a.m., but it was one of those funny because it’s true jokes. I need silence in the morning. Don’t turn on the tv. Don’t talk too loudly to me, and don’t talk a whole lot either. Let me have my quiet. 

This is important to me so I have a chance to read my scriptures, have a few moments to gather myself, and take the time I need to pray.  And when I don’t get that silence, I don’t get that routine, I don’t get the Spirit, and I don’t have a chance at being in a good mood.

Part of my quiet morning routine is listening to a General Conference talk on my way to work, or as I’m getting ready for the day. Recently I heard this in a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin, in combination with the salesperson incident, I knew it was time to write and publish this post.

“We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes.”  Elder Joseph B Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift”, April 2003

For me this isn’t just some nice advice. It’s something that I’ve lived without even realizing it. I need to quiet the noise of the world in order to feel good about things. That quiet allows me to learn and grow. It allows me to plan and prepare. It allows me to become what I am meant to become and accomplish what I must accomplish. It allows me to be happy.

And, as I learned, most importantly, it allows you time to actually have the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life and home. That place we stay? I actually said to my husband last time we were there that I hate it because I can’t feel the Spirit there. It’s too noisy, and the people there are too preoccupied with worldly things to allow the Spirit in. I don’t feel welcome, and I can’t be comfortable without the ability to feel the Spirit.

So PLEASE: Stop talking. Turn off the tv. Shut down the computer, phone, and music.  And allow yourself and those around you some nice, quiet, time to think.