Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sometime you really can't see what's right under your nose!

Last night we had some in-depth discussions about the merits of this blog.
On the one hand, it gives us both space to vent. We both say things on here that we don't say to each other and this has opened up a whole different level of communication between us. It's good for our relationship.
On the other, it is very time consuming. We were both hoping that it would be getting enough readers to make a little extra money on the side, but we are not quite at that stage yet. My husband posted last night asking for
some feedback on how we are doing?......whether there are things our readers feel are missing?.....where improvements can be made? etc etc. (Please comment on this if you have time, so we can make any necessary amendments!)
Don't get me wrong.....we both enjoy doing this, but our goal was to help raise money for the adoption and, as yet, the time it is taking is far exceeding the benefit. We are planning to do an advertising campaign on it in the near future to increase the numbers, but we want it to be something that's actually worth advertising. So comment away.....positive or negative...we really don't care. As long as it help us to make it more worthwhile.
That said, we are still looking into other ways to make some cash. Those of you who read these pages regularly will recall that I have already sold the gold and begun to sort through the unused and discarded items around the home, with a view to selling them on.
Yesterday evening I got all excited when sorting through the closets. I found a box containing a play station 2, about 50 games, the controllers, a steering wheel and many other gizmo's and gadgets besides. Unfortunately, after much research on e-bay and other similar sites, I found that the games console that cost over $300 just 3 short years ago, is now worth nothing. In fact, it would probably cost more to mail it out than we would make. (Why do they have to upgrade these things so quickly......they could at least do a trade in scheme, so when you upgrade, you get cash back!!!!)
Anyways, into the trash it went and I moved on to the next room, which just happened to be the Allen household launderette. Usually you can't move in this room as it is so inundated with clothes waiting to be washed, clothes waiting to be ironed, and clothes that probably ought to be thrown away, but we can't bear to part with them, so we will leave them here!!
However, in my efforts to rid myself of the guilt of missing my fathers 60th birthday yesterday, I actually sorted through it. You can now clearly see that it has a floor (strange, I had forgot about that!) and I can now get to the shelves hidden behind curtains, that contain lord knows what.
So as I was rummaging in the depths of this long forgotton space, I came across a very large box........
When we moved here over two years ago. the Military gave us $1300 to pay for curtains. Me being ever the optimist, decided not to buy curtains, but instead to invest in a sewing machine and material to make my own. It took a few attempts, but after the third or fourth window dressing was done, I actually became quite good at it.
Anyway, when I had done as much as I needed to, the machine went back in it's box and was (apparently) thrown up on said shelf in the laundry room, never to be used again.

I can't believe I never thought of this before! It's funny that when you are searching for answers so badly, you cannot actually see that they are literally right under your nose.
Over here in Mississippi, everybody loves 'home made' stuff, whether that be, scented candles, jewellery, clothes or greetings cards......they don't really care. The words 'home made' apparently have more appeal than the items themselves.
So, as my brain started to work in overdrive, my fathers words came flooding into my head......."you can do anything if you put your mind to it".
Of course, he is absolutely right! I am a capable machinist and my husband has a good business head, so why not put them both together and start making things to sell.
The question is.......sell what???
My first thought was to make little dresses and matching hair bows/ bands. People are always having babies and they want their little girls to look cute. Dresses are so easy and adaptable. I could even do some plush toys, baby quilts and personalized fleece blankets.
Then when I went to work today, someone said I should try doing some really cutesy dog clothes. Many of our customers moan that there aren't many cute and frilly items available for their pampered pooches, so I would already have a customer base on hand.
Now I am excited. Partly because extra cash is always welcome, but also because I will really need a good distraction to fill the gap my husband will leave when he goes away next month.
It could work. What I do need though, is for you guys to come up with any other ideas or sewing projects that you think would be worth a try. Send us a message with your thoughts on this.......


Lori said...

Well, this might not make you any money, but it would help fill the time. When my son had his tonsils out, the nurses gave him a little stuffed whale. Very simple, just 2 sides sewn together all the way around and Sharpie marker for the eyes and mouth. But he loves it. The ladies do this for free for the kids in the hospital. It was such a nice thing for him to get at the time, as he was scared and needed something to cuddle with that was smaller than him (he was being cuddled by Daddy at the time). Just an idea...

Kirsten said...

I know you're probably gonna hate this idea but is there any way you could post up a 'Donate Here' bit?? Even if each of your friends put just £5 or $5 in surely that would help out, you know what Tesco's says.... Every Little Helps!! I would be very much glad to donate and I'm certain the people that care about you and Don and love you enough would not feel guilted into donating, yes it might sound like cheeky begging but this is not a trivial matter, this is for a much wanted child who I know would have be brought up brilliantly by you. Anyway, just an idea. There's always bake sales, sponsored silly things??? Love ya's x x x

Sarah said...

Thank you ladies......was thinking about little cuddly toys a short while ago and there are plenty of patterns to follow, available on line.
Kirsten.....we added a paypal account to the site about 4 days ago. I didn't mention it cos I'm still a little ambivalent about it. I kinda felt it was like begging (maybe I'm a bit too, but people had been asking for it. Should be on right hand side towards the bottom xxxxx. Also thought about a bake sale,but it's so hot here right now, it would have to be an indoor event and then you have to ask where???

ChaosMandy said...

You could set up an etsy store to sell any homemade goodies you make.

On the subject of the blog, sometimes the posts are a bit rambly and hard to follow. I know I have a tendency to ramble, so I try to have one subject when I blog and stick to it.

If you have FB, Twitter, or Google +, you might want to think about linking ever post you make to your social network. And if you don't have a public social network account, it's a good idea to make one (my Twitter is my public account) to get traffic to your blog.

Donald Allen said...

ChaisMindy, you might be right. I tend to wander a bit. I'm so used to trying to hold the attention of my class, and my writing is just the words I would normally speak. That said, I'll definitely try to keep a tighter ship on my end. get one point.

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