Unless you are wealthy, you will need to have a day-job if not for a part, then for all of your art career. It is just a fact of life for creative entrepreneurs, and you are an “entrepreneur” if you are trying to make a living from your creative abilities.

The ideal day job is one that has health insurance, retirement, paid vacation and sick leave. It also needs to not mentally or physically drained, so you still have the energy to create when not on the job. Even better is one with the flexible hours. Cream on the top is one that does not drain you but enriches your creativity.

There are plusses and minuses to having a day job. If can drain you as mentioned above, but it can also give you the financial freedom to explore creative areas you may be hesitant to look into if not for the security of knowing the necessary bills paid.

I currently have a day job, in a small rural public library. It forces me to step away from my house and out into the world of humans. If I did not have it, I’m not so sure I would step out of my home office/studio nearly as often as I do. My plan initially was to work there for one year. That was roughly fifteen years ago.

One of my coworkers retired over the weekend. It has made me stop and REALLY look at where I am in my work. Honestly, I am not where I want to be at all. There have been some personal hiccups the last few years I could use an excuse. But, the fact is I have not been giving it the attention it needs to thrive.

So what do I do?

  • I look at where I am right now, with open and honest eyes. I need to ask myself where are things are going and what do I need to change? This is continually happening if you are in charge of creating your own income.
  • What new skills do I need to obtain to get things back on track? Where can I receive them to fit my budget and schedule? This is somewhere where my day job is aligned almost perfectly with my side hustle. Many things I can use for one, I can use for the other. There are those sweet times where I get paid to learn something that benefits both.
    Day-job for creatives

    Inservice for day-job meant getting in on a Skype conversation with the Managing Editor of Snopes.com

What makes the perfect day-job for a creative entrepreneur, from your perspective?

Blocking Knits eBook Progress:

Blocking knits shawl in progress

The goal is to have an ebook on blocking your knits available by November the 7th, 2017. All swatches are made, and a rough draft created. As some of you might recall, I initially started this ebook about a year ago. Life and other priorities caused it to be put on the back burner, so I am anxious to get it completed and up on the site ASAP.

Of course, I need a full-size shawl to also block as an example. It’s October, our local school district colors are orange and black, so it’s not difficult to guess the color of yarn I chose to use.

Artist Alley 2017

The passing of September here in southeast Kansas also means that we JUST enjoyed Artist Alley in Chanute, Kansas. I can’t help but also include a few images of some of my favorite pieces and a short video.

http://www.humemarbleco.com

Dew Baskets on Facebook

BTW by purchasing a local artist work, I was able to publically say: “He’ll be dropping my pot off later,” and not worry a person in uniform would show up at my Kansas doorstep. I should also note that living in a small town has its perks: I can plot a murder mystery while out to dinner together with hubby, and know that if anyone overhears me, they would not be concerned for someone’s safety.

Bob Cross on Facebook

The goal this weekend was to spring clean my side hustle. I watched a video by Secret Blogger, suggesting every so often we need to dig in and get those necessary mundane tasks completed. Doing so will help our workflow better the rest of the year. Labor Day is the perfect time to do this since I want to dive back into this thing head first

side hustle

I work a part-time day job elsewhere, and my work schedule there changes when we go to Winter hours. I know, it’s Kansas, Labor Day, and not Winter, but that’s what we call it. (Summer/Winter)

So anyway, I decided to use her tips as a guide as to what to accomplish this weekend.

To paraphrase:

  • Physically declutter the workspace. File everything that needs to be presented, clean EVERYTHING off the actual desktop and clean up the digital files on your computer. Then decide if your space need a lift. Does it need a new plant? Does it need Inspirational quotes, etc…

Mine could need all of the above. The wine helped. Don’t judge.

  • Clean up your routine and systematize two or three tasks. Create checklist(s), for each task.

Working on those items, I feel better just knowing, I now know for sure what I need to systematize.

  • Spring clean business commitments. Get rid of tasks you realllllyyy don’t want to do, or that just don’t serve you.

This one was easy. I have gotten very good at saying “No.” It has taken me a lot of years. No need to explain why I can’t.

Just, “No.”

Next!

  • Spring clean those little business tasks that you need to finish that you keep putting off for another day.

That day is today. Sort through those papers, make those phone calls, and FIND that phone number you need to complete that task.

My goal is to have these spring cleaning business tasks done by the end of the day. I can then start the week hitting the ground running. BTW this blog post was one of those things I needed to complete.

Side hustleOn another note:

I have wanted to find somewhere I can locally take my laptop and get work done, outside of the house. Monday’s and Tuesdays are the tricky days. As much as I love my hubby, his schedule has him home those days, and I find I get less done when he is home.

This is one reason why I am SOOO happy to see a new pizza restaurant open on the local town square. It is within walking distance, reasonably priced, and the hours they are open work perfect for me. I live in a town of less than 2K, so when the Public Library is not open, my options are limited.

We must have gotten there today before the other locals discovered it was open. An hour later most all tables were full.

So, the unofficial fall has begun. Let’s kick its booty!

Bullet JournalAt the end of 2016, I decided that 2017 had to be better than 2016. 2016? Well, it sucked. For a lot of reasons. I needed to step up my game, and the best way was to have everything in one place.  To do that, I chose to use a bullet journal, to track goals/tasks/info.

Maybe you’ve seen them? If not, take a moment to Google “bullet journal.” You will find a plethora of images using washi tape, drawings, paintings, and creativity far beyond what I put into mine.

To see how to set up a traditional bullet journal, visit the website bulletjournal.com.

Mine is primarily used for lists and tracking goals. It is minimalist setup, choosing function over form. Neither is better than the other; it just needs to work well for you as an individual.

Making lists has been a necessity of mine for as long as I can recall. Likely due to ADHD.  Bullet journaling is a way for me to organize what’s going on in my head, in a visual manner. The most useful aspect referred to as a “brain dump.” This involves putting down everything on paper that is Website informationrattling around in my noggin’. All my “should’s,” “ought to’s,” and “some day’s.” Laid out for me to examine and attempt to discover their purpose.

One thing I do differently than a traditional bullet journaler is a separate journal or notebook, for the “brain dump.” I do not bother to carry the brain dump around with me, as it often contains ramblings and information that is of no real importance. It turns out it is also a good way for me to use up those journals that are odd sizes, which don’t fit in my traveler’s notebook (leather cover).

Looking for inspiration? Bullet journaling (or bujo) groups on Facebook offer a wealth of information on types, styles, and spreads. I decided a traveler’s notebook was my logical solution. It looks old school, and I could insert/remove sections at my discretion. It also offered a way for me to use some blank journals in a systematic fashion. The box of journals I own is testament to the fact that I am in fact, a journal junkie.

Bullet Journal CalendarInexpensive journals found at Dollar Tree and moleskins are my favorites to use for inserts. Travel journals (leather cover), and inserts can, of course, be found online, especially at ETSY.com.

Bullet journal created and goals set. It’s time to get this year going!

knitting hat

The last few weeks I have been regrouping and reorganizing. I am bitten by the knitting bug, or is it re-infected? As I have mentioned before I tend to have Creative ADD.

If you are a knitter you probably know of Elizabeth Zimmerman. A Facebook group I joined is working our way through her “Knitting Workshop”. A new edition was recently released that has peaked interest.

First up is create a hat with Fair Isle accents. We gave ourselves two weeks to complete the hat, using Zimmermann’s guidelines.

Knit hat elizabeth zimmermann

Next up is making a sweater. Her method is such that it encourages you to design your own items. And since a purpose of all this is to offer knitting patterns here, it is a perfect match.

Another thing that has been on my to-do list was to make looms for my grandkids to use. OK, truth be told the grandkids are just an excuse. I want to do a bit of weaving with some of the less expensive yarns I have on hand. I mean I need to make sample…..right?!

I wound up making a few different sizes using the guidelines found at CraftLeftovers.

Weaving

I have a small exhibit now hung in Chanute, KS at the Chanute Art Gallery. it will remain there throughout June. On the 16th there will be a public reception. As I am well aware I am not the best speaker or socially smooth person, so it all is being kept casual and low pressure.

"knit 1" Oil on Canvas

“Knit 1” Oil on Canvas

I still am working on the knitting designs and I have an eBook on knitting in progress.  But from the looks of an informal survey I conducted over the last 24 hours, it will need to be put on the back burner. Oh, I will still knit. But, realistically getting eBooks completed and on the market sometimes trumps our obsessions. So, it will get completed, just not before the things that pay the bills. As they say, “Girl gotta eat!”

Knitting Lace Shawl in Progress

Knitting Lace Shawl in Progress

Glen With Boys - Just Before Shipping Out

Son-in-law (Glen) With Boys – Just Before Shipping Out

So, today is Memorial Day. Today I am thinking on my goals, as to what to accomplish before Labor Day.

Like many, I have too many irons in the fire. So this weekend was spent narrowing things down and getting focused. Which, lets face it is ALWAYS a battle for me!

I need some input. Which would you find more useful?

1. A guide to painting portraits. In the studio step-by-step.

2. Information on how to publish your own eBooks. A step-by-step on how to have a passive income from your art skills and knowledge.

3. An instructional on knitting lace shawls. Six new patterns to make yourself, along with information on the types of shawls made historically.

People have already been responding on my Facebook page(s).  But feel free to also leave a comment below!

Sitting here at my computer, it is a blustery day in Kansas. So windows are shut tight and allergy problems are being attempting to be avoided. I did get out over the weekend though.  Sunday marked the annual Neosho Valley Art Exhibit at the Chanute Art Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded the Best of Show for the second year in a row.

Derosa critiquing exhibit

Mike Derosa critiquing exhibit

Mr. Derosa of Coffeyville judged and critiqued the show very professionally. But probably the best comment I heard was ‘The best thing Bob Ross ever did was die.”

BOS entry over the weekend

BOS entry over the weekend

Aside from the award it was amazing seeing everyone again.  Many of these people I have known close to twenty-five years. Hubby even came with me. :0)

In the studio/office I am working through the piles of “stuff” I have let get away from me. Again I have a VERY large pile of books sitting on the floor, checked out from the library. I prefer to work in an orderly environment and like many always attempting to tame the clutter.

Smaller piles

Smaller piles on side work table.

Aside from the expected knitting and art books I also read a number of business books. One particular book that is resonating with me is “Overcoming Underearning” by Barbara Stanny. Women and creatives seem to have a big problem in this area. or, at least I do and many around me do! (Note: Link on cover goes to Amazon, but I am not currently an affiliate.) FYI The copy I have checked out is covered with Post-It Notes for areas I need to look into further.

"Overcoming Underearning"

“Overcoming Underearning”

Easter is going to be here before I know it and we are hoping to have grandkids here that weekend. Oh and their parents too of course. So mentally I am thinking of what I need to get accomplished before then. On the top of the agenda, after getting all the books under control, is to have a painting currently on the easel completed and a shawl for the month of April begun.

The painting is for inclusion in a solo exhibit coming up in June and the shawl is for a collection i want to release later on in the year.

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