Friday, June 20, 2008

What Paycheck?

My accomplishments over the last week are pretty scant. I went to Embroidery Club at my local sewing store and managed to not buy any new embroidery designs. That's a pretty big accomplishment, believe me.

I got a bit accomplished on Stealth Project 2, but I can't show it yet. I also started and completed another Stealth project, but that will have to wait till later, too. I know, such a tease.

I did finish a bunch of stitch markers for knitting:

Yeah, I know, it's another crappy picture, but I don't have a close-up lens for my camera. I made a total of 21 stitch markers, and that's 12 of them. The other 9 are destined for a friend of mine. I more or less followed the instructions here. I used a few of the toggle rings in the instructions (mine actually fit up to a US size 10.5 needle), plus some solid rings I found that will fit up to a US size 15. They turned out okay, but the little seed beads at the bottom of some of them cracked when I was winding the head pins. They were from a really cheap multi-pack of colored seed beads I picked up at Joann's or Michael's, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. If I decide I need more than these, I can dive into the not-insignificant bead stash and make some more. I have a few of the toggles and rings left over still.

I've been reading Crazy Aunt Purl's blog (there's a funny picture there of what happens to a candle in 108-degree heat, btw). She's decided to take the rest of the year off from spending. She's still buying the necessities - food, gas, etc - she's just not buying anything she doesn't really need. Sounds like a really good idea to me. Today was payday and I paid all my bills (except the natural gas bill, which mercifully isn't due till my next paycheck) and... I'm broke. Okay, I'm not completely destitute, since I do have some savings, but my paycheck is gone. These gasoline prices are killing me. I drive a fairly fuel efficient car and I averaged 30 mpg on the last tank. But my daily commute is about 45 minutes each way, and it's adding up fast. I find myself consciously planning my week so I don't have to make too many trips to the same place. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's something I didn't think much about before the prices went up.

My other problem is a shopping habit, which leads to a few credit card bills. I admit to spending money on lots of crafty-quilty stuff, especially if it's on sale. That's why not buying embroidery designs last weekend was an accomplishment. I also went to a quilt shop on Wednesday night with a friend of mine, and didn't spend a dime there. Since I learned to knit, I've accumulated a decently sized stash of yarn, needles and other gadgets. I want to make everything I see, all at once (see previous posts about "startitis" and "finishitis"). The same thing happened when I started quilting 15 years ago and hasn't really stopped since. My eyes are bigger than my free time.

But I think I have all the fabric, thread, beads, yarn, knitting needles and embroidery designs I need to keep me busy for the foreseeable future, so I'm going to try an experiment. For the next month, I'm going to follow Crazy Aunt Purl's lead and not buy anything I don't need. I realize that I may live to regret this, especially if I see a really deep discount on something that looks like it would be a lot of fun to do, watch or read. I have lots of projects in the works, and a big stash of HSYs (Haven't Started Yet projects) , I'll work on those instead of buying something new. I have access to the library and Netflix if there's a book I want to read or a movie I want to see. Not to mention whole shelves of books at home that I haven't read yet.

Just to make things clear, this moratorium does not apply to dining/entertainment. John and I don't go out much. We order pizza or Chinese on Friday nights, but generally stay home. I go out to lunch with the girls from work on Fridays, and a few times a month (or so) I have dinner with various friends of mine. Those things keep me sane, and they will stay. It's the stash-accumulation binges that I'm avoiding. If I survive the first month, I'll go for two.

And while I'm feeling virtuous, I plan to spend some time this weekend cleaning house. Not just dusting, etc, though heaven knows that needs to be done. I mean finishing the stack of filing that's been sitting here for months, and actually shredding the stack of stuff next to the shredder. I mean taking the old magazines and catalogs in the basement to the recycle bins at the school. I mean hauling the 3 boxes of books I sorted out months ago to my car so I can get them out of the house, along with any other books I can part with. I mean going through the shelves and cabinets downstairs to find stuff I can take to Goodwill or try to sell on ebay. That's the kind of cleaning house I'm talking about.

I'll save weeding the sewing/craft stash for another weekend - when I'm feeling the urge to buy more stuff. :-)

I'll let you know how it goes....

No comments: