19 June 2011

Buy Nothing Summer: End of Day One

I would have preferred for my first day of the challenge to be one where I completely avoided temptation, but I needed to go to Michaels to pick up wooden spools for a project I'm doing with my students this summer. [You may remember that one of my exceptions to the Buy Nothing Summer challenge I've set for myself is that I can still buy supplies for the arts classes I teach for teens.] Luckily, even though Michaels is packed full of crafty goodness, I knew I could resist buying anything, especially if I stayed away from the clearance aisle. I do shop at Michaels, but generally it's for class supplies, not as much for myself. I buy most of the supplies I use online, in thrift stores, at yard sales, or at Jerry's Artarama. Michaels I can handle.

I walked in and headed straight to the wood crafts section. I didn't look around, I didn't meander, I didn't check out the clearance area. I found the packages of wooden spools. I grabbed what I needed and beelined right to the register. Nick didn't say anything at the time, but later he told me he was impressed at how quickly I was in and out. I was, too!

After Michaels, we headed to Target, since Nick needed headphones. He suggested I check out the sports tops, since I've been saying for weeks I need to buy new ones. Luckily sports top are not remotely close to craft supplies, so I didn't feel all that bad about spending $3.74 (Yes!!!) on a cute tank top with a built-in bra. I'll be wearing it to the Zumba class I'm taking with my friend Jen on Wednesday. [In addition to losing lots of crafty supplies, I need to lose some serious weight!]

I think there's a definite danger in swapping buying crafts supplies with buying something else, but I gotta say that I don't feel like spending money is my problem. I am a cheap ol' miser girl if ever you met one. I rarely go out to eat since I am a good cook and enjoy preparing my own food. I hardly ever drink, and you will never find me in a bar unless I have been coerced with the promise of free drinks and no pressuring of oneself to sing karaoke. (Why do I fall for it?) I have a bad habit of wearing clothes until they literally fall apart, and I probably look like a bag lady half the time because all of my shirts are splattered with paint and dried up gel medium. Likewise, I wear shoes until it is physically unsafe to do so, and I swear I felt like a big spender when I paid $25 for a pair of clearance brand-name sneakers last summer. I haven't paid for a haircut in at least five years. (No wonder my hair reaches halfway down my back, eh?)

My problem is sheer accumulation of stuff: I went for a spell when Nick and I were searching for curb alerts every weekend. I came home with all sorts of wonderful, weird items, some of which actually got repurposed as planned, the rest of which is now in boxes in my apartment or, more likely, returned to whence it came. {One of my favorite finds from last summer is a vintage photograph of an older woman under a curved dome of glass in a gold frame. Josephina is now my crafty muse. I'll post a picture as soon as she's settled into her new home!}  Like most people, I cannot resist a good deal, particularly when said good deal is a lifetime supply of beautiful hemp for $4 or scores of pretty zippers in all shades of the rainbow for $16. I have the hardest time resisting a seriously good deal.

While I might not have purchased any crafty supplies for myself today, I didn't exactly make any progress on using up what I've already got either. Part of this is because we spent the afternoon with Nick's Memere, who was initiated into Moira's Sweat Shop. Together, the three of us bound over 50 handmade journals for use in my summer classes! Wow! Oh, wait, I guess I did use some of the beautiful hemp for that purpose! Hurray for me; I destashed, what, 1/10000th of my stash? Well... it's a start!

Tomorrow, I start my new job and will be teaching 16 kids how to make fabulous buttons in the evening. Before that, my goal is to set some sort of crafty schedule, as suggested by Laila, and to choose 5 specific items that I want to work on destashing this week. In addition, I have decided that you, yes you!, out in the blogosphere can help me with my task! I am going to start a collection of items that I will put up for grabs in a giveaway at the end of Week One of the Eleven Week challenge I have set for myself. Stay tuned soon for details on what you can win and how you can win it. (Hint: you will definitely get hemp and zippers!)

See all of the Buy Nothing Summer posts here.


  1. I'll be following along. Would love to connect for coffee one day (we can bring our own travel mugs and meet in a park LOL -- from one miser to another!). We can swap numbers in case you are in dire straights and need someone to talk you out of spending :o) You can do it! Plus, I didn't see anything in your rules to yourself about swapping...if, when August rolls around, you are running low on something, I'm sure you can swap for what you need.

  2. Hey! Coffee in a park sounds like a plan to me! What's your schedule like? Mine is all over the place but I know my schedule through August 20th so it's easy to plan. I totally didn't include anything in my rules about swapping on purpose! I didn't know if I'd find anyone to swap with me, but I wanted to leave that open in case I did! That would fit in with my rule that if I get something for free, I have to get rid of something immediately. Swapping fills that requirement!


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