And no, this is not a smarmy way to get comments from you people (though I would appreciate more than I get since about 1% of you all let me know you're here; if it wasn't for StatCounter, I'd think I was alone and unloved in the blogosphere). Here's a special thank you to Michelle, for being a constant commenter (I think they named a tea after her).
So I want to make some money. I desire fulfillment and self-worth and a sense of accomplishment. I'd like to manage this by doing something at which I excell and that I enjoy . More than anything, I need to cover the growing feed and vet bills. Believe it or not, in the week before the great "Lauren Breaks Her First Bone" issue made the newsstands, I was hitting the pavement in a whole different way looking for gainful employment. Unlike the aforementioned Michelle who plans on selling this year's crop of lambs with the exception of a ram which she plans on castrating, I want to keep my sheep. They are my babies, my family, my pride and joy, Stevie Ray, and I can't imagine selling them to another household. Would these folks, nice as I'm sure they'd be, give them oatmeal cookies and rub their chins for them? Would they sit in the dirt and poo with them and tell them notorious family tales (just so you know, Pop Pop didn't really marry a hooker; Gramma just called her one)? Would they sing "Sweet Baby James," "Father and Son," and "You Are My Sunshine" to them? Would they love them as much as we do? Most of all, would they never ever "cull" them and put them in the freezer? How can I possibly know these things and how would I be able to sleep at night wondering how they were doing and if they missed their family? I swear; I'm beginning to hyperventilate just thinking about it and they aren't even weaned yet.
Back to the issue of feed funds. Since between toddler-raising, teenager-refereeing, and farm-maintaining, I need to find something with flexible timing. I actually was thinking about going back into the restaurant business and working in the evening, thus freeing up my days for the aforementioned tasks. With a broken ankle and iffy health, however, I cannot do that right now and would like some feedback from you all as to what you think I could do that is marketable. I don't need to make a mint (or a Peppermint Patty); I just need to score some alfalfa ;-)
I am an artist by talent and think that concentrating on an area in mid to high end crafting would suit me best for both the flexibilty and enjoyment factors, but with the low cost of labor, I can't decide what I could do that would compensate me adequately. Knitting is too slow; designing knitwear is too risky at my skill level. Handspinning yarn is a slow process for me and, therefore, unprofitable as well. Painting is too subjective and I don't think that is where my greatest strengths lie. Glass work is a possibility though hard on me physically so I'd like to miniaturize what I used to do and perhaps make cabochons for use in jewelry.
In fact, jewelry is where I am leaning, both with beads that I make and purchase and wrapped sterling and gold wire. I plan on opening an Etsy shop or perhaps offering my wares directly from a new page on Pretending to Farm. I was also thinking about selling high quality notecards featuring photos of both desert scenes (cacti, flowers, animals) and farm settings (sheep and the rest). I'd like to offer one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and home decorations. My big fear is that I would drown in a sea of starving artists, going largely unnoticed by the buyers to the point where I would undercut my prices and lose any hoped-for profit.
Soooo... What do you think?