Sunday, July 14, 2013

Works of He{ART}

Wouldn't it be great if...

 I could actually make a little money doing what I love to do?!

Since I've been in this location, I have been unemployed, or rather, not working for money.  My mother, a widow, needed help managing her day to day life.  Her body was failing, but she was sharp, alert, and loved both her home and her community.  She wanted to stay home until she couldn't.  I could make that possible, but it meant giving up my job.  With my husband's support, I became my mother's companion/caretaker, a job that I took seriously.  I was paid in hugs!

As with all decisions, there is a "cost", but I have never regretted our decision to keep my mother comfortably at home for her last years. Sadly, my "job" came to an abrupt end as those jobs do.  My husband retired (he's a wee bit older than I am ;-), and once again, I have to reinvent myself.

Once again...

Life is about change.  We like to think we are ultimately in control of our destiny, but, if you are afforded the luxury of a long life, at some point, you DO realize that you have limited control!  For every action we take, there is a reaction.  Sometimes we can predict outcomes, and sometimes we can't!

I love being a part of this rural community.  I share a beautiful home with my husband, our two dogs, and two cats (both cats inherited!).  My days are busy with friends, volunteer activities, creating, cleaning (okay, I don't do this as often as I should!), reading...but really, I need to supplement our, now, somewhat restricted, income.

A teacher by training, my certification has lapsed.  I can get that up to speed but to what end?  They're NOT hiring.  If they do have a vacancy, well, it goes to the young, the inexperienced with a bit less education than I currently have because, we all know, it's all about the money.  The young do, of course, need those jobs and are perhaps better suited to the demands of today's classroom though there is something to be said for experience!  It's funny isn't it!  I remember a time when the interview process focused on lack of experience.  The tables turn!

I am also at a stage where flexibility has appeal.  A job at a craft store would be just my speed.  I'd love to interact with customers, to teach classes...  There aren't any craft stores within, oh, at least 40 miles of here, and those are the big chain stores.  It hardly makes sense to commute 2 hours round trip for a minimum wage job, if I were able to get one.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me to create custom cards for her---and she paid me!  Several other friends saw the end result and urged me to put together a price list, create a brochure and some business cards.  Hmmm...

I am currently working on a brochure for custom cards and scrapbooks.  How does one determine prices?  I set about researching what others are charging for their creations and developed what I hope is a competitive price list.  I'll never get rich!  Materials are expensive.  Scrapbooks are labor intensive.     I don't honestly know if people will want what I can do!  Time will tell!

I've decide to call this little adventure, 


by AE designs

I actually tried this once before, after the death of both my father and son.  My husband was transferred which required me to give up my job.  It was a terrible year.  Who was I, if not my father's daughter?  Who was I, if not Erik's mother?  What was my purpose, if not to teach?   It was a period of reinvention, redefining who I am and what I do.   My husband suggested I try creating scrapbooks for people, but I didn't know anyone and was clueless about marketing.  Happily, I found a job as a director of a preschool and did some teaching for a homeschoolers cooperative.  I scrapped in the evenings and on weekends just for fun!  

During that period, I did take some online classes at Big Picture.  I developed a logo of sorts when taking a Big Picture class with Donna Downey.  It was the only thing I did in that class that got high praise from Donna...I'll take it!  That was 7 years ago, so with the original in hand, I decided to update it a bit.  This is the 2013 version-just a few tweaks!

When I joined my mother here, I had limited time and few materials.  My workspace was a t.v. tray in the family room.  It was then that I discovered card making and "digi" stamps.    I also discovered an online community of crafters who were my source of support and inspiration while I was pretty much house bound with my Mom.  I applied for a few design teams and began working for digis!  Those opportunities introduced me to a new world of people and creative expression.  I am forever grateful! 

Once again, I'm going to put myself out there.  This has NEVER been easy for me.  I am not a hard-sell-I am not good at selling myself (or anything else, for that matter!)  I am not aggressive, not even assertive, really.  Whatever I do, someone else can certainly do better.  However, what I can do is TRY!  Whatever I do, I do it to the best of my ability.  I AM a hard worker.  I do have an artistic eye---or so I've been told (and not just by my Mom!)



  1. Oh my sweet friend. This post has touched me beyond words (I'll email you privately lol). I so wish you good luck on your new adventure. I want to be your first paying customer, not only because I admire all your work, but because you are YOU! So I need deets!!!!!

  2. I think your work is absolutely gorgeous!I look forward to checking your blog regularly to see what you've been up to. I hope you do very well with your new venture.

  3. Ann, I've read every word and so think you can do this. You are so talented and your every creation is beautiful.

    I am a teacher, experienced. I will tell you my story sometime via email. I just want to let you know I am gonna cheer you on. Live my dream.

  4. Ann, what a beautiful post. I think you've come up with the perfect job, and YES, I do think you will be successful. You don't need to SELL yourself, just hand them a scrapbook, some cards and other creations. Your works SELLS you.

  5. WOW Ann! I agree with Shirley. . .what a beautiful post!!!!! You will be a HUGE success! Just saying. :) Keep us all posted.
    Thanks for joining us in the Sassy Cheryl's Show Me Thursday fun!!


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