13 April 2024

I've got 10 minutes

 Let's see how much I can get down in that time. 

Well, it's been another week gone by. I tried some things with my laser and they weren't working so that's a bummer. Then I didn't really do anything to get ready for the show I have today.. I have some things, so I'm hoping for the best. I would very much like to actually sell some stuff and make a profit. We shall see how that goes. It's a rescue event and a lot of my stuff is dog related so I'm optimistic. 

It was testing week at school, so pretty uneventful. Did get some things done though and that is always good. 

Not much else to say. Up early to get ready for the show. Going to be a longish day. I just hope things go well. 

Okay, I'm off and it's only been 4 minutes. 

07 April 2024

It's been a week

 After last weekend's productivity, this weekend was a bit of a letdown. But there is good reason for that. Let me explain. 

Last week we had Monday and Tuesday off. So on Monday I scheduled a demo of the xTool P2 down in Tucson. We drove down, spent an hour with the guy showing us how it works and giving us the rundown on it. It was good because not only does he use one, he has a laser business himself and has one of his own. It was awesome. Then we went to lunch in Tucson and drove home. Hubby was of the opinion that I should get one. So I did. It was delivered on Friday. 

Friday morning the science club went to the worm farm. It was actually pretty cool and I learned a lot. It also got me inspired to revitalize the garden in our backyard. But it was a very early morning and I was excited because my new laser was coming. We got home around noonish and I dove into tearing down my D1 laser. Also, we were planning on having a garage sale on Saturday so there was that to get ready for. After my laser was torn down, I made some signs for the sale with my vinyl cutter. While this was going on, my new laser was delivered. So once I finished the signs, I dove into setting up my new laser. It came with a base that had to be assembled. Then the laser itself had to be lifted from the ground to the base on my craft table and that sucker is heavy. It took Hubby and I some careful planning to get it up there, but we did. I got it all set up only to discover that I did not have any distilled water for the CO2 tube. By this time it was 6 or 7 and I called it a night. 

Saturday morning we were up early getting ready for the garage sale. What a flop that was. Literally the only person who stopped was a friend of ours. A few cars drove by but didn't stop. Ugh!! What a waste. But I had the opportunity to work with my small laser. I worked on a full tumbler wrap and it worked. I need to master that but it's not that hard. We shut the garage sale down about 11 am and packed everything all up. Took the time to organize things because we have a show next week, so that was good. Once that was all done we went shopping and grabbed some lunch and picked up distilled water. It is now about 1pm and I finally get to my laser. Got it filled and primed and fired the puppy up. It is so exciting to be able to cut acrylic. It cut well. 

When I purchased the laser, I purchased a bundle that has an extension on it so you can cut material up to 3 meters long. I was excited for making big things. But the arms of the extension would hang off my table. I needed to figure out a way to make them fit. This morning I got up with the idea of turning the laser around. I currently had it set up landscape on a landscape table. What if I put it portrait on a landscape table? I did some measurements and it looked like it would work, so I spun that puppy around. I put the extension on and it fit great. Yay!!! I figured out how I could use the extension. I then spent the next hour or so trying to figure out how to work it. Once I got that down, I was excited to make something large. My first item I discovered a major problem with the extension. Normally the laser head moves back and forth and up and down to cut the pattern on the material laying on the bed. Well with the extension moving the wood, the laser head just moves back and forth. If there are little cutouts, they fall to the bottom and just stay there with the laser going back and forth over them. I watched little fires keep starting. I was afraid that a real fire would start and I could not figure out how to get the pieces out of the way. So I stopped it. Most of the things I create have small pieces cut out of them. This was not going to work. So I decided that I would use the extension only when I needed it and proceeded to take it off and spin the laser around again. 

All this is to say that I had no time to really make anything or work on anything. That means I will have to be on it this week and next Friday. I also have to figure out how to get the wood I have cut down to fit inside the bed. 

So while a very busy weekend, I did not get anything done in terms of my business. I will need to work on that this week. 

01 April 2024

The follow up

 After Saturday's post, I really dove into my business. I finished up about 50 pairs of earrings that I made about a month ago and they were in various stages of completion. I have cut a number of things I've been wanting to make, I haven't been able to paint them yet because it's been raining here. I came up with ideas and immediately started putting them into action. I have some ideas for things I want to sell that are different and unique and I'm working on that. Just admitting that I had been treating this more like a hobby has seemed to release the floodgates. Saturday I worked at this for like 10 hours. Yesterday I worked at it for about 6 hours and then some friends came over. After they left I worked at it for another couple of hours. I sat on Saturday night and got posts made for a week. That's the kind of work that I need to do. Not just when I feel like it, but all the time. Today we are heading down to Tucson to get a demo of a laser I am interested in. I really want it because it will do things my little diode can't, but I want to see it in action first. Considering I bought this laser not even really knowing what a diode was, I decided to be a little more adult about the next one. So I want to get a few things done before we leave here, but the rest of the day will be spent on the road. 

I am feeling so much better about this thing. I have some ideas I need to work out and I think I can do this. 

30 March 2024

Hobby or Business????

 I've really been struggling with my business since the first of the year. I have unmotivated and just not very inspired to do much of anything in regards to it. I have a couple of leads on sales and have I followed up on them? NO!!!! Have I done much of anything to promote my business? NO!!! Have I really put in the effort to make this thing successful? Kind of. I did do a lot of shows towards the end of the year last year and was very, very disappointed with how they went. I got few sales and overall think I made a little over $600 for the year. Not good. It really got me down and in the beginning of this year I just didn't want to do anything with my business. I went for weeks without using my laser. It was not good. I have actually been considering shutting the whole thing down. But the fact is, I enjoy making things and I just need to get my act together with the business side of things. Part of the problem is that I keep saying I don't want it to get too big too quick because I still have a regular job. Well, what if it did take off? Would that be horrible? I have about 12 days every month that I can devote to it so I could keep up. If I push myself and had a plan or a system. It could be done. I have been treating it like a hobby and not like a business and I need to change my mindset. I need to put myself out there. Whatever that means. On social media. At shows. With people I meet. I just need to do it. When I first got into this, I read a post of girl who sells earrings and she said that her biggest way to sell it by wearing her earrings. Why can't I do that? Every single time I wear some of my own stuff, I get compliments on them. Why don't I get my earrings up on my website and carry some cards with me when I'm wearing them? Why don't I push them? I am in the process of designing earrings with beads and such. I will need to wear them and be ready to promote my business if anyone asks. 

The bottom line is that I have to start treating this like a real business. I have created a work flow chart on my whiteboard to keep track of what I need to do: 

This eliminates the whole, what do I want to do? Also, I have a habit of getting things half done and then not finishing them. Or even worse, not taking pictures and posting on website. This way, as soon as I do something I can move the item to the next thing to do. This way I can keep track of everything that I need to get done. 

Also, I need to find some craft shows to do. This is ridiculous. People are not going to buy my stuff if they can't see it. I also need to build up my email list and that is the best place to do that. 

Okay, I'm feeling a little better about this. I need to find the right combination of work/sales/profit/etc. and I just haven't been putting much effort into it at all. Time to change that. I'm taking a trip to Tucson on Monday to look at a laser. The laser that I have is really very limited in what it can do, I would like to do more. Especially with earrings. So I'm going to look and check it out and make a day in Tucson. All business stuff. 

Alright, off to get things rolling with this today. 

22 March 2024

Another week down

 Well the first week back from spring break wasn't bad at all. I was looking forward to the weekend though, so I'm very glad it's here. 

This has been a strange year. First of all, it is hard to believe we are weeks away from summer break. In many ways it feels like we just started. Second, it feels like we've been going from break to break. We have a long weekend, then a break, then a long weekend. It seems we are moving from one break to another and that's kind of weird. But here we are just 9 weeks from the end of the year. Next week is a regular week. Then we have a 5 day weekend followed by a 2 day week. Then we have a week of testing where the kids will come in for testing in the morning and then go home. All school work will be done online. After that it will be 6 weeks until the end of the year. Crazy. I have not made any plans for a summer vacation yet. I need to get on that. 

Other than that, there is nothing to report. On April 1st my Medicare becomes effective. Oh, I have to pay that too. So I have contacted the place I want to go to get an appointment set up so I can get started and get caught up on all my medical things that I am so far behind on. I am looking forward to having a regular doctor again that I can call for anything. Which reminds me, I need to cancel my Forward membership. That was handy but now it's over. I just went and did that. I have it until the 7th so I can get my records forwarded to my new doctor. 

Okay, I'm done. I got nothing to say. I've already got things cutting on the laser and I'm going into a making mode today. Time to up this game. 

17 March 2024

Conversation with Hubby

 So yesterday morning I presented my idea of working out at home to the Hubby. Once I presented it to him, he said he was in. I told him I had ordered the walking pad (which is 9 stops away as I type this) and that I would be bringing the weight bench in the house on the days I workout. He can join me and we can do it together. I will also be using the walking pad for when I'm watching TV or just need to get some steps in. He was all for it. I know that he would like to lose a little weight and I think he really doesn't know how to go about it. So this will be good for all of us. 

Yesterday we went to the Aloha Festival and I walked 10,954 steps. I could feel it in my hips and legs. This morning Mavy wanted to walk the canal. So it's 10:30 and I already have 5,743 steps in . I will definitely hit my 10,000 today. I will work at hitting my 10,000 steps today. Plus in a few minutes I'll have a walking pad. 

Okay, so tomorrow is the big day. We start our workout program at home. I'm going to go to the gym 3 days a week I think. I'll go Tuesday Friday and Saturday. I think that should work out okay. 

Anyway, off to have some breakfast. 

16 March 2024

Post doctor conversation thoughts

 So on Friday I spoke with my doctor. And it was much as I imagined it would be. The best thing I can do for my health, including my high A1C, is to lose some weight. So I need to do that. Much like I wrote in the last post, I just need to do it. I need to move more. Even after my awareness and outlining how much I sit, I still sat most of Thursday and yesterday. I need to move more, absolutely no doubt about it. The doctor suggested that I take a walk for30 minutes, 5 times a week. Then also add in some weight training and some higher intensity workouts a couple of times a week. Which then led me down the rabbit hole of considering my workout choices. I've been going to the gym, though not consistently, for a few months now and doing some pretty strenuous hiit workouts. That led me to thinking, am I doing too much? Should I not be doing the HIIT? Maybe I should start slower. Focus on walking and doing some strength workouts at home? But then I think, I won't follow through with them. I'll blow them off like I always do. But then I think, we have the workout bench, I can just bring that in the living room and workout while I'm watching TV. Also, doing that may inspire Hubby to workout also. I have all that is necessary to workout at home. I have the weight bench, I have adjustable weights, and I have a workout book to guide us. So I could come home from work, go for a 30 minute walk, and then workout for an hour or so. Three days a week workout with the weights, and two or three days a week do some HIIT. Then I could also do my stretching, which I desperately need. I can add in Supernatural in the mornings. On paper this sounds perfect. I just went and looked at one of those walking pads. It would fit perfectly under the couch and I could  just pull it out to walk instead of sitting on my ass watching TV. So again, on paper this sounds perfect. However, I already know the resistance I will run into, both mine and Hubby's. 

1. Energy. I know when I come home from work I'm tired. I want to just lay on the couch and do nothing. I'm going to have to fight that with all my might. One way to fight it is so not put my pjs on. When I come home change into my workout clothes instead. Another way, and this is for me only, is to just put it into my head all day long. I'm working out when I come home will be my mantra all day. I know that will definitely help and  get me moving. It actually makes me look forward to workouts. 

2. Once it starts getting hotter, that will be an excuse. It's too hot, let's just hang out in the pool. I will have to work it out so that we hang out in the pool for a while and then I workout. I will just have to do it and be adamant about it. Once summer comes it will actually be easier because I will be able to workout whenever I want to. But for the next 2 months it will be a struggle. I just need to be stronger than my excuses. 

3. The old do it later mentality. I need to change how I view exercise and working out. I need to view it as something that I get to do and not that I have to do. I have to keep in mind at all times that I still have the ability to move and workout. There are many, many people who can no longer do that. I should be thankful that I still can and do it as often as possible. 

Okay, I'm doing it. What I'm going to do is start this program while still keeping my gym membership. That way if it doesn't work out, I still have the gym. I have seen with my Lumen how working out helps switch from carb burn to fat burn. I need to exploit that without killing myself. 

Okay, I'm in. Ordering the walking pad right now. Going to present this plan to Hubby this morning. 

I've got 10 minutes

 Let's see how much I can get down in that time.  Well, it's been another week gone by. I tried some things with my laser and they w...