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Archive for December, 2008

Black Books @ Year's End

December 31st, 2008 at 11:24 pm

The numbers are crunched, the bottom line is in, and....

Pretty Cheap Jewelry finished the year in the black for the 3rd year in a row. And I promise there is very little creative (read 'crooked') book keeping involved.

The expenses? $2,000 for a long, but simple total of supplies, postage, some office items, event fees, and a very little bit of miscellaneous.

The income? $2,300 steady, sometimes small, sometimes moderate monthly sales in a good variety of venues including shops, weekend markets, internet site and specialty shows.

I'm happy with the results, but am committed to *increasing profit* in 2009.

Comments welcome, especially other home biz readers ....and of course, here is the other black book the title refers to!

BIG LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Hand bound, hard back slim journal filled with 24 pp of reclaimed office graph paper. Covered with faux suede, sexy to the touch. Ready for those important numbers, emails, appointments, and dates.



Quickbooks Pro 2009 FREE after rebate today (Mon) 12/22 only @ Staples

December 22nd, 2008 at 03:32 pm

Just thought I'd pass along this offer, posted by a crafter on another forum.

Fairly high priced but powerful home accounting software.

Here is the Staples link for details:

http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/StaplesProductDisplay...

Relieved

December 18th, 2008 at 02:29 pm

Guitar lessons are over. (see my last entry called 'Discouraged').

Just before going to the 'delayed' lesson my kid said quietly he didn't want to go. He wanted to quit, he didn't like lessons.

Without much drama (again) I asked him if it was him, me or just why. He said him and me. That the music was becoming a chore (dreaded chore!), that I was too stressed in getting him to practice, and so forth.

We taked a little more, ie remembering whey he started lesson in June, summer vacation, to try it out when there were fewer demands on time. And that the goal was met in giving it a try, seeing if he liked it, learning to read the music. Success!

So happy and proud that both of us were calm and rational, that we spoke honestly and from the heart. Believe me, we are both fairly high strung and sparks fly.

So sorry to make that call to the teacher, but I was candid and he was great. One of his messages was 'If it isn't fun for a kid, time to re evaluate.' Even the guitar teacher is going to have reduced income in this economy, sad.

OK. This wasn't about money at all. But it is all a big relief to me now.

Discouraged

December 16th, 2008 at 07:01 pm

A couple hours ago getting the kids off to school. It is 37 out, sunny but cold. My kid refuses to wear a coat. Without much drama, I gave him the choice, the coat or no guitar lesson today after school.

He picked no guitar lesson. Unfortunately wearing a winter coat regularly brings out his stubbornness. He really likes the lessons, but is a typical kid in practicing too little, too fast, and trying to wear me out getting around the house rules (believe me, I'm am tired).

Over the many past months it has taken alot of will power (and I am a disciplined person) to resist picking up the phone and just ending the music lessons. The making him practice ... the using lessons as a reward for what should be helpful work around the house, etc.

It costs $100/mo, not more than we can pay, but I'm constantly discouraged with the present situation struggling wills with him.

What a relief it would be to just remove this source of conflict.

Yes, to the detriment of his future. A music education is very important, I know, I had one as a kid too.

Anyway...
I had a good idea just writing this entry. Am going to call the guitar teacher and ask him to change our lesson to tomorrow or the next day, instead of cancelling. I hope the delay is enough to make my son make a better decision next time.

The bannister and steps, the prettiest place in the house.

December 9th, 2008 at 01:16 am

Want to judge? Here is the best spot of the house decorated.

The bannister is covered with fresh juniper branches (harvested from the country). Alternate post openings show off satin covered balls on gold and red metallic thread. More finery include loops of gold colored and pearl strands. The finishing touch are red velvet bows spaced evenly up the steps.



Our stockings are hung on the wall next to the steps, and on the landing is a collection of snow men, (a wooden deer is on the floor not visible).

We have no mantel so this is where I make it prettiest. We also have an artificial tree therefore, here originates the pine scent.

Frugal but Warm Fuzzy Generous Feeling

December 4th, 2008 at 05:16 pm

Joy!

I 'got rid' of 2 cumbersome items from home by posting to my local www.freecycle.com

1. A queen mattress. Used only a couple dozen times, no box springs, no frame. These are hard to get rid of (or so I thought!). A fee for disposing at refuse facility and the thrifts won't even take them. NOT A PROBLEM, I had a waiting list of 3 that wanted it.

2. A 13" black and white TV. Hoarded this in the closet for several years thinking it could be used by a kid/relation for a dorm room or some starter location. Husband laughs and then reminds me it will be completely obsolete in early 2009 when digital signal only arrives. Oops! Also would cost a fee to dispose at refuse facility.
But someone wants it for those last few months for a little happy surprise gift this year!

The feeling of joy to me is more 'giving material goods extended useful purpose' and 'helping someone in need' and less clutter-freeing my house.

Am I nuts? It cost me nothing but I feel happy and like I contributed 'goodwill toward man'.

If only all my gift giving could be transformed into this kind situation.

...must...resist...

December 3rd, 2008 at 09:02 pm

the temptation to just complete the TO DO list barring all costs!

Mostly the TO DO list involves completing gift shopping. When time becomes short, I start feeling desperate and blinded!

Daughter-getting interested in American Girl dolls. Is there any way possible to get involved with these at an affordable cost??? Peeked at Ebay, not a pretty sight.

Should I or shouldn't I? that is the question! Spend another $25 (approx) on small starter 14K gold pierced earrings? She is allowed to get her ears pierced this year. Or maybe give her a jewelry box (nice one with drawers)? They are inexpensive at JC Penney. Or wait on the whole thing cause her birthday is in February????

Son. His watch went in the washing machine. Died. It was my old watch and he loved it. Finally wore it everyday to school (5th grade). Go to Target and get him a watch to stuff his stocking???

Husband-haven't stepped in the Patagonia outlet yet (they have an 'unknown' store about 4 blocks from their factory that most folks are unaware). Was thinking to look for a UV protection shirt for him cause he works outside alot at our weekend property. Or maybe a protective hat. Just not time.

Neighbors-YaY! I brought back lots and lots of juniper greens from our ranch! SMELL GOOD! Will craft into swags and wreaths for the good friends on our street (2 or 3 families). Add nice generous ribbon, and few sparkly or rustic touches (already have). Cost?? TIME.

Work-My boss is taking her birthday off! I had bought her a small $10 gift, but won't see her for 3 days later (my day off, then the weekend). Soooooooo, I am going to use the gift instead for the office Christmas party exchange. It is a small artwork nicely framed and good for any person.

Gotta run, anyone with time to sell?