Friday, December 10, 2010

Invisible Net

Wow.....I've severely neglected this blog! Let see..where did we leave off? Jim was either about to leave or had just left his job with Verizon. After working for the company for almost 20 years, the last few of which were spent commuting about an hour each way, they moved his job even further away! His commute would have gone from an hour each way to two hours each way. The cherry on top is that the company wouldn't change his hours to accomodate carpooling with anyone. Yup, with almost 20 years of seniority, he was still being trumped by people with even more seniority, and had pretty much the worst hours in the department. So he'd have been getting off work at 6:30pm and not getting home til about 8:30pm. Anyway...the company offered a voluntary separation package and he decided to take it.

Paging back a bit - I also worked for Verizon, for 17 years. I got laid off due to company-wide cuts four years ago. After a couple years attempting to run a dog training business in a bad economy (FAIL), I'm now selling hand-carved stamps full time in my Etsy shop. Now Jim and I are going to try to make a go of BOTH of us being full-time artists. Yes....we're on the verge of losing our house (yup, that's still going on), are broke.....and we're risking it all in the hopes of being self-employed doing something we both actually enjoy and care about. I know. Crazy.

We've obtained a good screenprinting set-up on a sort of indefinite loan basis from a good friend - and we print tshirts for his resturant in return for the use of it. So that's one avenue. We also just spent a large chunk of Jim's severence money on a really high-end printer that's capable of producing professional grade art prints. It can also print transfers that can be heat-pressed onto tshirts. We also got a vinyl cutter for making custom decals. So....we're apparently going to be doing tshirts, decals, screenprinting...in all sorts of forms. Plus I'm still doing stamps, but am moving away from hand-carving them. I just bought a new polymer stamp making machine (a way better setup than the first one I tried last year) and am going to start producing all of my stamps that way, with the exception of custom hand-carved items. Right now I've actually stopped taking new stamp orders so that I can catch up on the orders I already have, then I will begin producing the polymer stamps.

We're working with a law firm trying to keep our house, since we got denied for a loan modification for the THIRD TIME now. So let's see.......neither of us has a stable job with benefits and a predictable income, we're trying to start a new business (incidentally we have to learn to USE all the gear we just bought..not a simple task by any means) and our future in this home is uncertain - and we NEED the home in order to run the business, AND I'm changing my method of stamp production totally. Adding to that is some really aggravating family drama that we're trying our best to not get sucked into. Oh, and Jim's dad's alzheimer's continues to get worse. We try to get up there and visit/help out every couple of months. No stress here!!!!! No sir.
So..from here out I'm going to try to blog a little every day, to chronicle our adventures as we try to build a life out of the various pieces of wreckage left from our "old" life. Stay tuned, it should be interesting...

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About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.