I went to CNCH (the Conference of Northern California Handweavers) over the weekend, and had a wonderful time meeting old friends and making new ones, strolling through the galleries and marketplace, and taking a spinning class with Gwen Powell. And I came home with two prizes! My musk ox scarf won second place in its category, and “Goodbye, Ma” (the phoenix) came in third in a different category. (Both awards were “People’s Choice”, voted for by the people who visited the galleries.) So I now have two prize baskets, in addition to my Marketplace purchases.
Here is my loot:
The prize baskets were donated by members of the Del Oro Weavers’ Guild, so a big thank you to them for their generosity!
Since some of the items in the baskets are duplicates of things I already own, I’ll probably be passing them on to other people in my guilds. Must share the loot, after all.
I’m also making progress on the threading:
I’m also thinking about what to do next, in terms of supporting myself financially. There are two obvious sets of choices, but I’m trying to open up to new opportunities. A point made in one of the TED talks I’ve been listening to struck me as cogent to my situation: If you are surrounded by people who think one way, you will tend to think the same way. Most of my friends either work in the software/high-tech industry, or in textile art. In software, the obvious money-earning choices for me are: be a project manager at a high-tech company, be a contractor at the same, or start your own software company. In textiles, the dominant paradigms are either selling your work or teaching in your craft. I do not feel that any of those options are the best ones for me. But because almost all my friends live in one world or the other, it’s been hard to see the other options. So I have been actively trying to expand my worldview.
What do those possibilities look like? Well, in addition to a project manager, I’m also a writer. I could make money by creating a subscription-based website, writing and teaching about the creative process. I could contract as a ghost writer, or an editor. I could combine my project management skills with my writing experience to coach people through their writing process. I could teach chocolatiering. And so on. Having skills in many different fields opens up a lot of possibilities. And not just the typical opportunities in each field, but opportunities that arise from combining those skills to create an entirely new niche. My plan is to generate a bunch of ideas in the next week or two, then narrow it down in late April. I’ll start seriously researching the best ideas in early May.
I’m not expecting to make a ton of money at the outset. I expect to spend about half my time doing pretty mundane contracting to bring in cash. But I want to work on developing something new, something that aligns with my values and the things I enjoy doing. It will be very interesting to see what grows out of this.