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You have to spend money to make money?

March 31st, 2006 at 05:02 am

Is this true?

I know our $20 challenge is about making money without spending much, but can we do it without spending anything? With using only what we have already?

This is where I'm getting hung up.
DH loves to teach. His working on weekends has been giving talks. They're part of his job, so he can't get paid for them, but it's something he likes and is good at. He wants to be an adjunct professor, but can't without a grad degree. This sucks.

I'm thinking that right now the only thing I could do that wouldn't require spending money is growing produce. And even then, I'd have to pay market fees to sell at the farmers' market (but I'm going to volunteer for their committee, so I'll see if I can get space for free or discounted).

DH also wants me to develop a market gardening talk. The only way our farmers' market is going to take off is to get small, "backyard", gardeners. The large scale operations are locked into contracts with wholesalers. And truthfully, the average backyard garden can produce enough produce to allow you to have a small retail stand. If we could get enough growers, and get them to branch out from tomatoes and peppers and go for diversity, we could have a great market. But people need to be taught.

Did I mention I suck at public speaking? That the thought of even calling in to a radio show leaves me in tears and shaking? Yeah.

First day of spring

March 21st, 2006 at 01:38 am

It's a great day. Warm, hot even - 88F. Nothing much changed, spring doesn't exactly "spring" here. The flowers were already in bloom.

I spent today working on practicing drawing and getting ready for my website. Of course, I still know nothing about web design, but that's okay. There are several steps to my idea and all will require development.

Website Update

March 20th, 2006 at 05:15 am

I'm still working on the planning stages. DH went from being reticent about putting his photos on it to being somewhat excited about it.

So, now I have to get it up and running. Of course, dh is now talking about the lenses he needs to get better pictures.

For instance, he wants a polarizing lens before we go on vacation this summer. Now, I've seen the difference and I know this lens will make his photos much more professional and that without it, his photos will look just like everyone else's vacation photos. But, it's a minimum $500. And he's never sold a single photo.

I found a kids' magazine which looks perfect to help me develop my ideas for my kids. I want them to have a section on the website, but up until now, it's just been vague ideas.

Now, I "just" need to learn to do website design - LOL. I have a copy of dreamweaver somewhere, but I don't know anything about it. Eek. This is the kind of thing I hate.

Frugal crafting

March 11th, 2006 at 05:26 am

I had to have my light at work worked on. It flat wasn't working.

I came in today and found my trash can full of electrical wire. I ignored it at first, but then I was throwing some stuff away and noticed it was pretty copper wire under the plastic coating. So I snagged it. It's a lot. I just stripped a section and OMS it is pretty. And it bends perfectly.

I was planning on buying so copper wire and now I don't have to! Yay!


Legal Documents

March 10th, 2006 at 03:43 am

So, I'm transferring my domain registration. This is not a secret.

I got the email from the registrar with their agreement. I went to print it out and my DH acted like I was too anal for words. Rolling his eyes, etc.

But really, who doesn't read a contract? And if you don't, how do you know what kinds of charges you will face later?

This man drives me nuts. I'm trying to set up an amortization schedule for his car and I can't get it to work out. I don't have the interest rate but I have 4 months of statements. So, I've been looking at those and trying to figure the interest rate from them and it isn't working. So, he brings in his book and says "well, the last payment in July 2008." "Yes, dear, I know that was the scheduled maturity date, but we paid extra" "well, just work back, it doesn't matter".

It doesn't matter? They could be charging him tons more interest than in his agreement and it doesn't matter?!!?? Seriously, how can he be so cavalier about it? Especially since what they are doing makes absolutely no sense at all.

"Well they charge what they charge and it isn't like there is anything we can do about it." There is lots we can do about it. If they are breaking the contract, I can file a lawsuit. I can sue for damages, etc. We have legal remedies. We aren't helpless here.


Update on my website

March 7th, 2006 at 06:21 am

Siteturn insists they've updated my information and removed the lock. Whois doesn't show the update (which they said was done on Friday), but I'll give it until tomorrow.

Now, I need to get serious about planning my writing. I know I want more of a nature journal with the information about temps, etc than a standard blog.

I need to figure out how to load blog software on my site and then customize it for what I want. So, I'm going to have to learn webdesign. Fun.

Anyone have any good book recommendations for website design? I know it will be good to learn this, it's an important skill to have and it will allow me to use the websites we own (we have 2 others) more efficiently. DH's idea was for me to take a class, but this is the kind of thing that I have to learn as it is relevant, not something I learn in the abstract and then try to apply later. I know my brain, and technology just doesn't "stick" unless I'm doing it.

New idea to make money

March 1st, 2006 at 03:56 am

or, rather, revisiting an old idea.

So, I'm working on revamping my website. I have a new webhost and am working on getting my registry info changed to get a new registrar.

Once that is done, I'm going to load some blog software on my site and start a naturalist blog (and use some of the google ads).

Okay, all that is stuff I've mentioned before.

My other idea is to use it to sell DH's nature photos. He has some amazing photos and by combining my blog to draw traffic (I have a set of friends who will be willing to link my blog) and cafepress, we can sell a line of products with no real outlay of cash. We will also do a set of limited edition prints for higher quality photos (which we will print when we get orders).

I hope to also develop some art skills (just line drawings) to add to my blog (one of dh's new toys is a printer/scanner/copier).

I want to also get my kids involved and maybe give them their own blog on my site.

Necklaces I made

February 23rd, 2006 at 03:37 am

I'm going to try to post pics here. We'll see if it works.

I've made 3 necklaces, 2 sets of earrings (only one is pictured) and a bracelet (not pictured).

These are what I'd like to sale. We'll see if I can get any interest locally.

Made another necklace

February 16th, 2006 at 06:30 am

I wore the first set to work and my friend thought they were nice, but I was too chicken to ask if she would consider selling them in her shop.

I realized that they'd make great eye glass chains, so that may be another avenue to explore.

I made a necklace between last night and tonight. I think I'm getting quicker at it. I really like this one, the other one is okay, but this one is much nicer.

I'll find a market yet. If I get busy with growing greens and veggies, I could sell this at the farmers' market with my greens.

What is a good price for a wire necklace and earring set? I probably have less than 50 cents in materials (cheap beads, but they don't look so cheap), but 2-3 hours.

Oh well, I have time to think about it.

Finished the necklace

February 15th, 2006 at 05:50 am

I finished my first necklace. I'm trying to plan what to wear tomorrow so I can show it off. I have the earrings and necklace set.

Now I've started on a new set that is a different pattern (more my own pattern). I'm about half way done. I'd say it takes about 3 hours to make a set. I don't know if that's as quick as I will get or not, but I figure it's 3 hours I'm sitting in front of the tv or computer anyway.

I made a pair of earrings!!

February 14th, 2006 at 04:46 am

I dug out an old jewelry kit that I was never brave enough to try, found some other wire and beads (I didn't want to waste the good wire and beads) and in about 20 minutes I had a brand new pair of earrings.

Unfortunately, they're black and blend right into my hair - LOL. I guess I need to find a blond to give them to. Or sell them.

I'm going to make a matching necklace and take them to work with me to show my friend who sells at the monthly market days. I've already got the wire cut, I just need to bend it and add the beads. The necklace uses no findings at all. I had findings for the earrings.

Does anyone know if patterns are copyrighted? If so, how much do you need to change before it's no longer in violation? For instance, I used smaller beads, so I used 2 instead of one, would that be enough or do I need to find a whole new twist pattern?

$20 Challenge update

February 13th, 2006 at 04:03 am

well, I didn't meet either of my goals this week. I'm so not good at calling people. I'm going to have to do better next week.

I went through the boxes and dug out all my beading stuff. I have findings, wire and beads. Now I just need to figure out what to make and do it.

Then I'll need to figure out a market.

$20 Challenge update

February 6th, 2006 at 01:22 am

DH is not on board with the paper making. At all.

His idea is to grow salad greens for sale at the new farmers' market. This could work, it only meets once/month (I really have to contact the market manager and discuss that). We do live in a very hot area which is bad for salad greens (they bolt and get bitter) but if I plant them the week before and harvest them small, they should be sweet and good.

I already have the seed. It's old, but it should still sprout (just not at as high a percentage as it would have).

So, my job for the week is to contact the market manager to find out her guidelines for getting in, the costs, and the rules. I've been meaning to call her anyway, I opened and managed a market a few years ago and while I don't consider myself an expert, I do have some experience that I could pass on.

Then, I get to figure out where to plant it and figure out how much time it takes to get a marketable crop.

I'm still working on the mystery shopping, but so far there hasn't been a good opportunity.

Need ideas

February 4th, 2006 at 06:26 am

I would love to participate in the $20 challenge, but I'm having a hard time coming up with something to do.

Yesterday when I was at the library I checked out their book sale. They have a lot of books that were donated and are in great shape (no writing, etc). I wrote down ISBNs on about 7. I tried to choose a mix: textbooks, new bestsellers, "classic" authors, etc. Ebookdrop was not accepting any of them and had 2 dozen listings and none of them for the amount it would cost.

So I'm thinking books are not the way to go, at least here.

I live in an area where services are cheap, cheap, cheap, so that's not an option.

We have local flea markets where they bring things from across the border, so handknit items won't sell for enough to even pay for the fiber.

I'm stymied. I'd like to participate but every thing I think of turns out to be impractical.

One idea I am considering is recycling junk mail into plantable cards (homemade paper with flower seeds added). Since the cards are made to be planted, you don't have to worry about acid-free, etc. I can get access to scrap paper, already shredded, at work. But, I'm not sure if I can buy the equipment for papermaking for $20. The seeds also aren't an issue. Seeds are really cheap and I have access to tons of free seeds.

I need to talk to a couple of people in town, I have a friend with a booth at "Market Days" and I know the owner of a gift shop. I'll speak to them to see if this is something they'd be willing to carry for me. Then I need to figure out how we can get the equipment for papermaking. I have an old blender that I can use for the slurry, it's the vats and screens I'd need to get.

Another idea I had was to start mystery shopping again. I've been looking at my sites and so far they haven't had any shops that would be worthwhile. One shop requires a minimum $75 purchase (which you can return, but I find that returns take so long that I end up making about 50 cents/hour). The others are 30 miles away and with gas being what it is, the fee would barely cover the gas.

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