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The backyard is finally done. Still need to follow up on a few nagging details (the guys broke a board on the gate and left a bit too much gravel in the front yard lawn for my taste) but I will take and post pics this weekend for sure. It's everything I dreamed of when I asked for the back yard to be done. It has also resulted in a surprising turn of direction for phase 2... I wanted a pergola over the hot tub for privacy, but I'm thinking I would rather have the open view of my yard than save the neighbours from viewing the naked hot tubbing. I just think a pergola would make it feel cramped and right now it is gorgeous and serene. Phase 2 is probably still 2 years down the road though, so plenty of time to think about my options.

Beagles seem to agree with the changes so far. Anna has found a new favourite spot to sun herself and they haven't eaten anything other than a few mouthfuls of mulch.

All that's left to do is the annual oiling of the patio furniture and we're off to the races. G has been a bit ratty the last few days though, so I figure I won't do that until the weekend when Jason is here to entertain her.

Tonight's project... new title/banner for my website:

Oh, and the hunt for living room storage was totally successful. I even managed to assemble it and put it to use already. Go me!
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Time for another website overhaul. My Geocities page will disappear from the web some time in the next week, I forget the exact date, but it's not important. I've bit the bullet and bought some hosting and registered for my own domain. I went with because it was cuter and catchier than evethejust. [ profile] ashendari helped me to set up both the website and a new e-mail addy last night. Not sure what I'll do with the new addy. Part of me wants to move all personalized correspondence over there and leave the old one just for mailing list subscriptions. Part of me is thinking maybe use this new one for contact through the website and people who I meet in the SCA by way of classes, but that would mean I'd get very little mail and probably check it very infrequently. I don't know. I'm feeling mailing list overload again. Mostly the usual annoyance with the "me too" people and the chattiness that is neither relevant nor interesting to me. I hate low signal:noise groups, and sadly that is the standard, not the exception.

Anyway, time to do another website re-design I think. I've fallen out of love with the old black and green colour scheme. Yes, maybe it is time I admit that it's hard to read. I'm also thinking now that I've got my own catchy domain that it might be time to invest in some more professional-looking and unique stuff. Like make myself a logo and a pretty background instead of just a solid colour. Nothing hideous or distracting, I'm thinking something in a lightly textured tan or grey. Something that evokes a carved wood, stone, or leather look.

I'm also tossing around thoughts of what to do with my life. I'm almost at the point that the government of Texas considers the end of the standard maternity leave. And while I might disagree with their notion that 12 weeks is the right time to get back into the workforce, I don't think it's too early to start considering what the future might bring.

I don't like being a leech. I'm not good and consistent enough at housework to feel like I'm earning my keep on that one. And of course, the more we make, the more freedom we will have to do the stuff we want to, like go on vacations, pay the mortgage off, get a second vehicle and send Georgia to college. I'm just not sold on the idea of being a full-time-career mum. I was never that in love with having a desk job, and I'm not sure it's worth the sacrifices that would come with it. That said, it does seem like the easiest way to actually contribute to the family coffers. I'm wondering if there's any skill that I possess that might allow me to work either part time or from home that will bring in enough income to make it worth doing. And further to that, if I should be leveraging the website to market said skill.

The sad truth about creative products is that people are seldom willing to pay anything near the value of the time it takes to produce it. Even if I assume the cost of materials is $0 (of course it never is) and value my time at a mere $5/hr, less even than minimum wage down here, people balk at the cost. It's hard to compete with 3rd world slave-labour, and sadly, that's what I'm up against. Then there's the issue of wanting to do things repeatedly. I like doing all kinds of projects once, but I'm pretty resistant to doing the exact same thing again. Take the mobiles for example. Doing a single piece of the mobile was fun. I enjoyed the challenge of finding the right patterns and discovering which stitches would look best and create the right effect. But then duplicating the effort to make the rest of the parts for a balanced mobile was tedious. And while I loved the viking ships and mice and desperately want them in my house too, Georgia still doesn't have a mobile. The proof is in the pudding there.

About the only thing I can do repeatedly and not get bored of it is glass beads. But I have a damn hard time estimating the cost of materials, I don't have any facilities here to get my beads annealed, which is a must if I'm going to sell them, and I'm slow. Here's where we get back to those 3rd world artisans. Their beads might not be as perfect as mine, nor will they be willing to research and ensure they are accurate period reproductions, but they whip them off in a fraction of the time, they have their glass purchased for them in bulk, and of course they are content to make $5 a day or something ridiculous. When faced with purchasing a bead from a craftsperson in the civilized world that demands a premium for their work and picking up something in the "eh, close enough" range from Michael's at a fraction of the cost, you can guess where most recreators are going to go. And then there's the problem of competing even with local talent. Lampworking is fun, so many people are taking it up, and SCA people have a bad habit of consistently undervaluing their time and skills.

So yeah, I'm back on this tired merry-go-round pony and looking at what I want to be when I grow up. And I still haven't caught the ring. I wonder if I ever will?


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September 2010

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