What a great weekend I had! I have been rather muddled because I have so many loose ends that I need to tie up and while I don’t mind working on more than one thing at a time, I think things were just getting to me a bit.
My laundry list of work last week included taxes, two small projects for my site, finishing up the project for the magazine, writing an article for the magazine, and making a short video to accompany it. In addition to that, I had a couple of issues that were going on with my computer, and I needed to attend to that, which meant making a full backup of everything that was on it in case of disaster. Needless to say, I wasn’t sleeping great thinking of all that could go wrong.
After our appointment with the accountant on Thursday, I thought of several ways that I could improve the way I kept my books and records. As our business grows, not only does it become more complicated, but it also become more imperative that we really keep track of what is going on. Besides the fact that I file taxes in two different countries, with two different sets of laws, I also need to keep meticulous records as to what I am paying Keith and all the additional expenses that go with working from two countries. I am not saying that it is difficult to do, but starting out right and setting up good spread sheets is something that is really important. Especially since we are now adding our sales of Ebay into the mix.
Ebay sales complicate things a great deal, as there are the Ebay fees as well as the Paypal fees that are deducted. Then there is shipping. And it doesn’t help that a buyers Ebay ID and their Paypal ID can be different. And the fact that sometimes the Ebay buyer doesn’t necessarily pay for the transaction on the same day. While some of the payments are instant, that isn’t always the case. And since I accept Paypal through my website as well as process Ebay payments through Paypal, it can get mighty confusing. I need to stay on top of things or it will easily get away from me.
But I think I have things set up now where I will be able to keep good track of everything and be able to log everything accurately. I have never felt that I was great at numbers and this is something that is certainly a challenge to me. But I feel good about my new system and I think it will make things really easy in the long run.
The computer issue was weighing heavily on my also. There were a couple of damaged files in my Windows 7 operating system that were preventing me from getting the proper updated that I needed. My son has worked with computers all of his life. Besides being head of technology for the Joliet Police Department, he also has his own computer hosting/repair business called Iceberg Computers. When I noticed problems I naturally went to him for advice and after spending some time last week troubleshooting my computer, he decided that it needed to do what is called a ‘non-destructive reformat’ in which all the Windows files are replaced, yet all my programs and preferences stayed intact.
I had done this before when I was running WindowsX XP, but I had not known that there was an option to do this for Windows 7. While Phil told me his success rate was 100% with doing this type of repair, I still was nervous about it. If it failed it would mean that I would have to start from scratch and re-install all of my programs (there are many) and preferences (there are many more) and more or less set up my entire computer again.
Everything was backed up, so I wasn’t worried about losing anything, but I didn’t want to spend the time re-loading everything if something went wrong. But things went seamlessly. While the repair took a couple of hours, everything worked fine and by evening I was back in good shape with all my Windows files clean and in order.
What helped was that Phil has the technology to work on my computer from his own home. I signed into his site and he was able to access my computer through it as if he was right here with me. While I had this occur a couple years back when I had a Dell computer and needed support, seeing him work in it from my own living room was pretty impressive. It sure made things easier for everyone! I think the most difficult thing was for me to leave my computer alone all day while it was being worked on. But it was a good chance to work on my article and do some off line things.
Yesterday I had some quiet time here, as Keith was gone for the afternoon. I decided to shoot a video to go along with the article that I am writing for Creative Woodworks and Crafts on embellishing projects with rhinestones. My editor loved the “America!” video and loved the idea that when I write an article that I could reference my videos to our readers. I have had many requests for me to show the process of applying the hot fix rhinestones to a project, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do so.
The link to the video is here:
It is much shorter than the one last week, but since the process is very simple, I think it still gets the point across. I am still nervous when doing the videos, but hopefully if I do more of them I will get over it. This time I saved it in the proper aspect ratio so I only had to upload it once. (Score one for me!) I think it is a nice addition to my video library, and I hope my editor likes it too.
I could go on about the projects that I worked on, but I will show them as I complete them later in the week. This morning I need to pack a box up to send out to the magazine with both my own and Kieth’s latest projects in it. So I will stop here for today.
I feel great that everything is in order. Not only my computer, but also my books and filing system. The past couple of weeks have been somewhat stressful because I felt as if I was working all the time but not accomplishing much. But setting up these systems was a very good use of my time, as it frees me to do what I love to do – create and design. My idea book is filled with new projects for the future and I look forward to seeing each one come to life.
I wish you all a great Monday! Have fun and try to do something you enjoy!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"