The end of today starts the beginning of my hell week. I’m actually dreading this more than finals, though admittedly it’s a little bit better since I managed to wiggle around my work schedule – otherwise I wouldn’t have had a single day this week without something going on in the evenings. Several of those are Abbey meals and, don’t get me wrong, those are refreshing and valuable, but it also means I feel a little added stress to squeeze in time for making something, and trying to make sure everything is clean.

My PACT is…not due, per se, this week, but requires some significant work. I don’t feel like explaining it exactly, but I’ll put it this way: if you ever find yourself in a room filled with pre-credential or first year teachers, mention something about PACT. Just try it. The entire room will groan. The full-fledged assessment is saved for actual first year teachers, but I’m doing a “mini-PACT” (named CATS for some reason…wait…wasn’t a standardized test I took in elementary school called the CATS? STOP CHANGING YOUR ACRONYMS, CALIFORNIA!).

My feelings toward it alternate between

It's really just a glorified lesson plan.



And yes, searching for those images just made me feel significantly better.

Last night while babysitting the Price’s kids (a.k.a. letting them watch a movie and then sending them off the bed. Then a few trips back and forth for water, blankets, and “RACHEL! I heard footsteps in my room!), between shuffling back and forth to their rooms I read The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Books Locally, Globally, and Online, which Joshua thoughtfully picked up for me while snagging some art kits for art workshop this week.

For the first chapter or so I was really inspired; it was about keeping your creative juices flowing, getting past art blocks, finding ways to organize your materials and your thoughts, and generally just encouraging the reader to do what we love – create things. Additionally, I was thrilled and heartily impressed to see a panel of interviewees that included the people behind Etsy, Craftster, and Ravelry (links for those of you too lazy to move your mouse a few inches to my sidebar =P).

The next few chapters were the nitty-gritty, the stuff that I didn’t really want to have to think about but that made a lot of sense – researching and declaring a business name, deciding what kind of business to be, dealing with taxes/profit/IRS/filing/etc.

And then it just all went downhill from there. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that any kind of business – cottage or not – requires a logo, branding, and advertising. A huge portion of the book is dedicated to that topic, and by the end it felt like to follow those techniques would be more about selling me than selling something I make. Yes, a little piece of me goes with everything I make, but I don’t like the idea of crafting every word I put on the internet and every article of clothing I wear to reflect some version of me that I’ve put in a box and put a price tag on. I don’t like the idea of shoving a business card in the face of anyone who mentions they like something I’ve made; I certainly wouldn’t enjoy being on the other end of that scenario.

She used “schmooze” un-ironically. Seriously. By the time it got to the section on Twitter, I was pretty checked out. I skimmed the last 50 pages, though admittedly the last 20 or so seemed to have some good information, by that time I was cranky enough that I still didn’t read it too carefully and should go back to it later.

And after all that, I had one thought that brought me some peace as I went to sleep. I may not have a defining unique style, or really all that much skill at sewing, knitting, crocheting, or painting. I don’t know if I’d even want to do any one of those everyday for a long period of time. I do, however know one thing that I would love to do every single day.

I would love to bake.

I’ll likely get a little bit of fun poked at me for that, but that doesn’t change my mind. Even when what I try doesn’t work out, when you hear me moaning and groaning about how I lost track of time and left something in too long or something didn’t rise or whatever, please know that I’m still happy. Because I truly enjoy the process of baking, even if the end result isn’t quite what I hoped.

So I fell asleep last night with visions dough and spices, and how I feel when I smell yeast in the air.  And was then woken up with some weird police encounter in the shopping center right by our property. But you get what I mean. =)


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