Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DH's Been Hanging out with Other Women

I am often asked what I do for a living, followed by the question of what hubby does. DH and I have a unique working situation – both of us are stay at home parents. That's a blog for some other time so I'm not going to go into detail. We both feel it's great that the kids have the opportunity to get to know him so well so early in life. While my day consists of taking care of the usual kid/family stuff, going to the gym, BzzAgent and my blog, his follows the more geek/tech route.

His interests typically revolve around things that are computer related. Sometimes he’s doing graphics stuff or tech support for family, other times it’s website related. But since he isn’t “working”, he tends to look for projects to keep his graphics skills from disintegrating (not to mention to keep his brain in check).

Recently, he found something a little different to occupy his time, put his graphics skills to work and help a bunch of people. He started off by examining family crests for our genealogy research. One thing led to another and he ended up on a forum for people who do embroidery using one of those fancy computerized sewing machines.

What he discovered is that the regulars on those boards aren’t really graphics people. They have limited access to free patterns for embroidery – custom patterns typically cost quite a bit. Then comes hubby… he started converting clipart into the file format needed for the machines. He posted a few samples to the boards and was blown away with the response he received. He progressed into designing new patterns and uploading them and was overwhelmed by how many people liked them, downloaded them or just plain appreciated them. It’s a completely win/win situation because he is able to keep his graphics skills sharp and the embroidery forum members are able to get some very cool new patterns for their hobby.

A few have mailed the designs stitched on scraps of material; one even sent us a baby bib with one of his designs on it. Most designers charge for their patterns, so I asked him why he doesn’t do the same. After all, he’s putting in a lot of time on those patterns and the people he’s giving them to are accustomed to paying. He said he doesn’t want to. I guess it’s because he is enjoying what he’s doing and likes being able to offer this to such a welcoming community. All I can do is sit here and smile – because I spend hours on the blog for no other reason than that I enjoy it.