Keeping a Creative Outlet

Sorry about the construction going on here. I am searching for a new header photo, but haven’t found one I like, yet.

Last time I touched base with you all, I was gearing up to start a new business with my husband. We were pretty sure we could make it work. It was basically selling business education, which is ironic, coz we got educated. We went through a three-month training course and were ready to fork over a $60,000 investment which would have covered more training in Fiji, Costa Rica and Malaysia. The company was run by an Aussie and many have had much success. We were in communication with top earners around the globe. We had some grandiose ideas.

Two days before we were to hand over the money, the Federal Trade Commission shut them down and flagged them as an MLM scam. Now, we did purchase products from them, which I liken to tuition for business school. And we’ve gotten our money back for everything except a $3500.00 payment to a loan originator. My husband says he learned more in those three months than he did getting his MBA. (He did that while we were dating in 2006.)

There are literally thousands who are out their investments and can’t turn a dime now, coz all their websites, back offices, front offices, online products pages, sales funnels…everything, gone. The owner, who is now worth $153 million, is paying his fines and retributions and cutting his losses. He’s moving into resort development now that he owns an island in Fiji. Everybody else depending on the company lost everything in the blink of an eye.

We still have retirement dreams that include travel, but we’ve found a rather unconventional way to afford it with International Pet Sitting. We connected with several house-sit platforms and an academy that helps you get set up and offers tips and tricks for sitting and travel. Again, we are in communication with people around the globe who are doing this and we’re pretty excited about it. We both love animals and lost our two doggies last year, but didn’t want to replace them coz when Greg retires we want to be free to travel. Many are doing this exclusively and don’t even own a home.

House sitting for two weeks to several months, caring for other people’s beloved pets, we’ll be able to fully immerse ourselves in other cultures, while getting our animal love fix. Greg speaks a few languages and looks forward to learning more. We have a website. It’s not fully completed, but it’s live now. (You can check it out HERE.)

I still have my writing. It’s slower than molasses though. I get a creative spurt and make it through a chapter. Put it down for a couple of months. Go back to it and trash another chapter. Writing has always been a hobby for me and I certainly never expected to make a career out of it, but it’s more than disappointing to spend so much time creating a good story, investing in good editing and cover art, then not even being able to break even. Have no earthly idea if or when I will finish book two in the Naked Eye series. I’d like to say by next summer, but I know we just finished home renovations and we have to install entirely new landscape in the backyard this winter. We are constructing a xeriscape with a couple of pergolas and a nice water feature made from a large blue temple jar. We have purchased a few colorful boulders as sitting stones for the meditation garden. It has rained heavy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. this summer. So we can’t start that project until things dry out.

My daughter, the professional student, has started back to school, so we are watching after the grandkids quite a bit more than usual. They will be with us for a whole week in October. That’s going to be interesting. Me getting kids off to school and playing “soccer mom” again.

I don’t get onto WordPress like I used to, but I still read a lot of your posts and try to keep up to date on who is involved with what, even if I can’t always comment. There are a ton of old-timers no longer blogging. These are people who were online when I started back in 2013.  I miss the way things were. A few are FB friends, so we keep in touch. Life changes.

I have thrown myself into painting this last month. I have to keep up a creative outlet or I’ll go stark raving mad. I painted in oils and did ceramics in my teens and twenties. Oils are expensive and messy. My back won’t let me throw on a pottery wheel like I once did. There is a place to paint bisque in Winter Park, but they want a small fortune for little pieces. Britt-David Park in Columbus, GA used to provide all of the clay you needed for free, and you paid a very small fee to use their space, wheels, and kilns. They taught raku and other forms. I sold pieces at local art festivals back then. Smashed seventy-five pieces of pottery when I was going thru my divorce…but that’s another story.

I dabbled a tiny bit in watercolors when Greg and I first married, but they didn’t like me. I was heavy handed with my paints and they seemed to have a mind of their own. It was fun and relaxing, but about all I accomplished was a parrot, some Bird-of-Paradise flowers, Native Americans in a canoe, and a tree. So far, I have completed eleven paintings in acrylics using mostly YouTube tutorials. A couple are my own designs or inspired by something I’ve seen. I’m using the tutorials to build technique so I can paint my own stuff better. Much cleaner than oils, but it has its issues. Paints dry super-fast, so there is little, if any, time for blending. Using paint retarders just makes them tarry and sticky, or else I haven’t learned to use them, yet. It’s progress, not perfection. Here’s a little gallery of what I have painted this past month.



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15 thoughts on “Keeping a Creative Outlet

  1. I am so glad for you that the operation was shut down before you lost your 60k! What a nightmare for all those people who did lose money. Pets are great, aren’t they?:-)

    I’m struggling with the comment section on my blog. For some reason, half the people who try to comment tell me their comments disappear, and I never see them and don’t know how to make the site work so they will show up. It’s always something with blogging!

    1. I have never been on Blogspot, but the happiness engineers at WordPress have a history of “fixing” things that aren’t broke. I guess it’s a job security thing for them. Yep…two days shy of losing sixty grand. We’ve made some mistakes, but never on that costly. Our guardian angels were working overtime.

  2. S. K., love those paintings! You have real talent there! You could sell those! The sky and the water in the sailboat one… the variation of your subject matter… impressive. Sorry about the loss of the money from that scheme. That’s craziness. Glad it got shut down before you threw more money into it. Close call. International pet sitting sounds AMAZING!!! Would love to see some blog posts while you’re doing that!

  3. Good luck with your newest venture. It sounds interesting!

    I’ve been wondering about WordPress and the blogging community around here. I started in 2012 and there was a really robust community. Not so much anymore.

    Anyway, I love your paintings. Keep it up.

    1. Most definitely. We won’t start house sitting until Greg retires, but that’s not so far away. I don’t get around to blogs like I used to. It’s really kinda sad. Lost touch with so many people I really cared about. Loving the painting.

  4. Susan, the paintings are gorgeous! My favorites are the woman with the Eiffel Tower, the sail boat, and the woman in the field, yet they’re all stunning.How wonderful to be multi-talented!

    My mouth dropped when I read about scam. I am so glad you got out before you were more heavily invested. What a tragedy that people must prey on others. On the upside, the pet sitting/house sitting/boat sitting (I visited your new website) sounds like a fun thing to do in your retirement. I use a pet sitting service every time I go away, and always request the same person. Once someone connects with you, they’ll stay with you,

    Lovely to see you online!

    1. Nice to see you, too. Every once in a great while, I run across you on FB. FB is such a time suck tho. WE got real lucky with the MOBE scam. They’ve made millionaires out of quite a few people but the average earner made $250-700 per YEAR. And they heavily invested. We’re like that tho…both of us are bipolar and we’re off onto the next great project at the drop of a hat. My personal favorite is the little bird on a branch next to some leaves that appear to be a second bird on a branch. It’s the illusion that I find so interesting. Congrats on your latest book! I just have no idea how you guys push thru to publish so much so quickly. I am in awe.

      1. I completely agree with you about FB, LOL.
        So, so sad, about all those people who invested. I’m glad you’re looking to the positive and moving onto a new adventure 🙂

        Thanks for the congrats on the latest book. Sometimes I’m not sure how I manage to get them done by deadline, LOL!

  5. Thanks for the backstory her. Susan. I’ve been following your painting on Facebook; you obviously enjoy vivid color and detail. You know I’m still blogging and writing memoir. I’d better see a 2019 copyright on my manuscript or I’ve bitten my nails for nothing. 🙂

    1. All but two of my paintings are tutorials. I cannot get away from being detail oriented, even when I try….lol I don’t choose the colors. The little birds/leaves on was my version of Olgen Oleg Shuplyak ‘s painting. Getting things published is not the really hard part. Selling is hard.Wishing you the best of luck with your writing. I know you have been at it a while and made many friends on your journey. You could write a book on writing memoirs.

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