Sunday, March 11, 2012

Signs of Spring and New Beginnings

Like many this year, we had a very mild winter with very little snowfall here in Maine. The snow is receding little by little from the garden revealing a fresh slate...a new beginning to the garden season.


The onion, leek, and herb seedlings are growing well under the lights and we have been enjoying the trimmings on pizza:

Onion and Leek Seedlings

Cilantro

Basil

Lettuce, arugula, and spinach seeds were started this weekend and we are eager to have fresh salads once again. Some of the lettuce seeds are old, so I am pre-sprouting these like I did with my tomatoes and peppers last year. Once sprouted, the seeds will be moved to waiting soil blocks.

Pre-sprouting Lettuce, Spinach, and Arugula

Arugula Sprouted in Less Than 24 Hours!

I have also been busy planting seeds of another sort: marketing myself as an Independent Graphic Designer.

It has been a rough ride at the place where I have been employed for 10 years as a Graphic Designer. The poor economy has taken its toll and layoffs have occurred frequently over the past couple years. About a year ago, my workweek was reduced as business continued to decline. As of two weeks ago, my status has been changed from an employee to a contractor.

I knew that times were tough and did what I could to prepare for the inevitable. My choices were to try to find employment elsewhere or stay the course until something happened. I decided to stay the course and began working as a freelance Graphic Designer nights, weekends, and on my day off from my regular job. 

Luckily, I have gained some ongoing quality clients that are benefiting from my services and provide ongoing work. Now I can add my former employer as a client. I am thankful for the clients I have, but will need more to feel more financially secure. 

I wish my former employer the best and hope that business improves. The sales people who have survived the layoffs are all very strong individuals and are fighting very hard for success right now.

Working as in Independent Graphic Designer or Freelancing has been a dream of mine for a long time. I have always been a hard worker who will work hours necessary to meet deadlines for my employer. The idea of doing so directly for my clients and myself seems much more rewarding. 

Will the dream become a reality? Only time will tell. Wish me luck.

14 comments:

  1. You have all my best wishes. It is a brave thing to run your own business, but the only real proven path to financial freedom - all the risks, but all the rewards.

    I love how you used the plastic egg carton to presproutthe different types of seeds - very clever!

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    1. Thanks Laura! It is both frightening and exciting at the same time.

      It is unfortunate that all the organic, cage free, etc eggs in the grocery store come in plastic egg cartons. At least I can put it to good use.

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  2. Good luck with your new venture as an independent designer. I hope the clients come knocking!

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  3. The best of luck in your new venture!

    Your seedlings look great, your garden looks cold....brrrrr!

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    1. Thanks Granny! According to the weather, the rest of the snow in the garden should be gone by this week.

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  4. Wishing you the very best of luck. Thanks to your inspiration, we are trying onions from seed this year.

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    1. Thanks, Michele! Good luck with the onions :)

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  5. LIVE THE DREAM BABY! I have nothing but good feelings about this move. How awesome!

    I have the hardest time growing cilantro. I hope this year will be better :-)

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    1. Thanks Liisa! I too have a difficult time with cilantro. I can grow it in pots ok, but it tends to bolt quickly in the garden. I need to try to make an effort to sow seeds more frequently this year.

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  6. I wish you the best of luck with your new career path, may God bless you and guide you down this new path in your life.

    I agree with Granny, the picture of the snow in March makes me shiver!

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    1. Thank you Kris! Last year we had 2 feet of snow covering the garden. I was one impatient gardener. As you can see, there is a lot of garden cleanup I need to do. Maybe after this week the snow will be gone and the ground will dry out a bit.

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  7. May your freelance design business grow as well as your garden!

    Hasn't this spring weather been amazing? I actually got out yesterday and began cleaning up some flower beds -- a good month earlier than I have done this in the past. -Jean

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    1. Thanks Jean! Spring break spent in Maine this year is actually spring-like. It is hard to believe that one year ago we had almost 2-feet of snow on the ground. What a difference a year makes.

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