Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For buyers and sellers of handmade goods...

For those that that sell handmade goods, it is difficult (at least for me) to completely track all my expenses. Of course I get excited when I make a sale and record all the information, deduct fees and shipping...but what about all the supplies I purchase? Ad space? Seminars or classes? Somehow I *forget* to write down everything I buy and there are two reasons for this: 1. I get lazy and 2. I'm scared to see how much I REALLY spend.

I promised myself last year that I would keep a better record of things, and I have...... of sales. Supplies though? Not so much. After about March I just stopped recording things. Next year I promise to try harder! Is record keeping as hard for everyone else as it is for me?

And for buyers of handmade goods (that includes us sellers too!): Buy less, spend more! Try to go all handmade and make gifts more personal. Not only will you search for the 'perfect' gift for the recipient, but you will also be supporting an independent artist rather than the children in china making plastic toys for $2/month.

As for myself, the majority of gifts I'm giving this year are handmade by independent artists (or by me) and just a couple of them are store bought. It's hard to go completely handmade (I want to meet the person who builds TVs from scratch AND keeps them at a reasonable cost!) but I definitely did try my hardest!

This post was inspired by The Long Thread

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

The past couple of weeks have been quite hellish. I started my new student teaching placement in mid October. Every class is extremely rude, loud and quite disrespectful. I've been cursed at and even asked "can we have a real teacher now?" Yes, and the specific kid that said that to me is in 10th grade and his average for the class? A 26%. I'm pretty sure a monkey could do better than that.

Then I started to panic because my husband is coming back from his deployment and starting at Marshall in January. I graduate in December and haven't found a job yet so I started to panic over money. He helped me out while I was in school and now I feel it's my job to provide so he won't have to kill himself working AND going to school full time.

I can't seem to keep the house clean. During the week I come home exhausted from teaching. The weekend I'm out doing shows to make money. I feel like a horrible mom to my Puggle because she's left alone. Money is so tight we decided to cancel our Christmas trip and stay home....

Then today happened. I got to sleep in because I had my Capstone Presentation at Marshall. The final thing that determines whether I graduate or not. I already passed my PLT and Biology content knowledge Praxis II and I got all "excellent" on my student teaching the first 6 weeks. At my capstone presentation I have MY university supervisor and my all-time favorite professor at Marshall. I lucked out. Then I was able to thank her for being such an awesome professor and it was because of her I did so well on the PLT. I also was able to vent a bit about my experience now student teaching.

I leave my capstone presentation pumped. I can feel the adrenaline. I stop to 'treat' myself to some Starbucks. I order a grande pumpkin spice latte, and again luck out. Their computers are down and they are not able to process payments so all the drinks are free. Could my day get any better?

I get a phone call from someone from the Marshall Community & Technical College that I met this weekend at my show. She wanted me to possibly teach a jewelry making class in the spring semester (6:30-8:30 on Thursdays). Usually when people say stuff like this to me it's too good to be true and they never actually end up calling you. She did call and also sent me an email asking for a course supply list, a course description and a syllabus. I would be getting paid $25/hr and become part time faculty at MCTC. PART TIME FACULTY at 25 years old. Ahhhhhhhhh I got excited!

I then went to Kroger to do some much needed grocery shopping. (I haven't had milk in the house for about a week!!!) I used coupons coupled with the 'buy 10 items, save $5' thing they have in the store and end up saving 43% of my total bill just with manufacturers coupons and in store sales. Awesome!

At my capstone presentation, my past professor suggested I look for a job in the Putnam county schools, so when I got home I did. I saw a long term sub position for general science and biology - my exact content areas! I called the woman there to see if student teachers are able to apply and use a 'Letter of Completion' until they receive their actual teaching certificate. She said YES!! She was excited that I called because they cannot find a sub in this content area and would have to have someone else that doesn't know a thing about science. She asked me when I graduate, I said December 5th. She said I could start working the 6th if I am truly qualified.

*a sigh of relief*

I also check my email and my husband is finally in Norfolk checking out of the Navy. He initially did not expect to be back home until December but now it's looking closer to Thanksgiving. He's getting really excited to come home as well. I can't blame him; it has been a LONG deployment for the both of us.

I finally feel as if things are really looking up and falling into place. This Thanksgiving I feel that I truly have things to be thankful for!

...Now, only if I'd sell some things in my shops or on eBay so I can treat myself to some supplies ;)

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