Month: December 2020

Turn Your Hobby into Cash: Teach Workshops

Ten years ago, I signed up for a Collage Workshop, because I had learned how to make paper in my backyard and didn’t know what to do with the paper I had made. I signed up for a collage workshop, and then I spent the next few years learning the craft and eventually I was good enough to begin selling my work. People began asking me if I taught classes on how to do collage. I thought I would give it a try, and now, a few years later, I have my own studio where I teach weekly collage workshops. I am meeting interesting people who share my passion for being creative, and making some extra money in the process.

If you ever thought about teaching workshops to share your passion, here are some tips to help you get started.

Workshop Topic

What’s your specialty? Cooking, sewing, camping, gardening, or are you a whiz with computers? Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Is there anyone else in your community teaching this topic right now? If not, then this is your chance to see if people what to learn what you know about. And even if there is someone else teaching this topic, you should still give it a shot, because you will be able to offer a new perspective.

 

Workshop Structure

First, you will need to think about the format of the class. Will you simply talk about the topic, do a demonstration, go on a field trip, or do an interactive workshop? What materials and supplies will you need? Do you already have them on hand? How long will the class be? A few hours? One day? Or will it run for a few weeks? Will the participants need to bring any materials with them? Do the students need to do any work prior to attending the class?

Target Audience

Think about who might be interested in this topic, then gear your class for that audience. For example, kids’ classes will need a different approach than one geared for seniors.

Promote Your Workshop

How will you get the word out? Craigslist.org, your local paper, other online sources, postcards and fliers are all excellent ways to get the word out. Check with your local community center or adult education program to see if they are interested in putting your class into their schedule. If you’re teaching a class about gardening, for example, contact your local gardening clubs to see if they can help promote the class. Or, if you’re teaching an art class, call your local art museum! Would your workshop be a good theme for a kid’s birthday party? What about a local women’s group or church? Think about offering a free “teaser” presentation to some groups so people can get an idea for what you are offering. Check out Meetup.com to see if it makes sense to publicize your classes there.

Workshop Logistics

What will you charge? Think about the preparation time involved, set up, clean-up, and the actual class time. You should also consider how much people in your town would be willing to pay. Will you need lots of tables and chairs or special lighting or electricity requirements? Will you be creating handouts for the participants? Will there be significant printing costs? Some instructors ask for an additional “materials fee” to cover extra paper, paints, or other materials used in the class. Where will you hold the workshop? At a community center? Church? Library? Art Gallery? School? Art stores? Is there a cost associated with this?

Teaching a workshop about your hobby or passion can be a rewarding and lucrative experience. Doing your research and being prepared is the key to success!

Aquarium Hobbyist Supply Kit: Items to Have on Hand for Treating Water and Fish Diseases

In the tropical fish keeping hobby, having only a fish net and fish food is not sufficient for taking care of your fish. Pet shops offer a wide array of essential aquarium supplies but many of them also carry items that are not critical, though they may be nice to have. How do you know what is a necessity and what is not?

Here is a list of basic items that you should have on hand in order to be prepared for quick action when you discover your fish are sick or for routine checking of water quality in your aquarium:

  • PH test kit for acidity in water
  • DH test kit for water hardness
  • Nitrate and Nitrite test kit
  • Ammonia test kit
  • PH Up and PH Down in case the PH levels of water have to be changed
  • Aquarium salt, sea salt, rock salt, and or pickling salts which inhibit bacterial growth
  • Malachite Green which treats a wide range of basic aquarium diseases
  • Methylene Blue which treats a wide range of fungal diseases.
  • Bleach for disinfecting tanks that have been emptied and (rinse well before adding new stock)
  • Antibiotics capsules – tetracycline is readily available
  • Antibiotic fish food sometimes needed for internal diseases
  • Copper tablets to fight parasites. Place the diseased fish in a hospital tank and use with caution
  • Mercurochrome or iodine for open sores or wounds on fish, only if you can quickly apply it on the fish
  • Q-tips to apply some medications to your fish

Experienced hobbyists observe their fish and learn what each fish is like in temperament, eating and swimming habits. When one of their fish starts behaving out of character, they know there could be something wrong. This should trigger a series of tests.

Use all the test kits for checking the water quality. If the PH balance is not within the acceptable range, use PH Up or PH Down to adjust it. Do a 25% water change to reduce ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. If the water is too hard, there is a hardness reduction chemical. You can also collect rainwater to use in your tank.

Check the temperature of the water. The ideal temperature should be 82F. You can add 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water in order to keep tanks healthy. If your fish have a bacterial disease, you can increase the water temperature to 85F and use 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.

Some of the more common causes of diseases are temperature changes, overcrowding, lack of hiding spaces and bullying. You may have to add another tank in order to alleviate the crowding or isolate more aggressive fish. Be sure to provide hiding places with rocks, plants or decorations.

If you check everything out and can’t identify the problem, do some research on the Internet or look in reference books or ask experienced staff at a pet shop. You can also try joining a fish forum and ask for advice from other members.