Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Why Shop for Supplies?

I don't know about  you, but when I see someone on YouTube, or in the media, use a product that I think would be nice to try, I make note of it on my wish list. I may put it in my online shopping cart and let it sit there for a while and after some consideration, I will either move it down on the list or eventually order it. I think long and hard about my purchases and am not an impulse buyer . . . well, I am usually not an impulse buyer. There are those times however, when I am in a store and see some really great art supplies, quilting or sewing notions, or a nice sweater, that I break down. I am careful, though, and inquire about the store's return policy. I don't want to get something home, and have buyer's remorse, only to find out that the item cannot be returned for a refund. I am completely okay with returning unopened items or clothes that still have the tags on them. So, my impulse shopping doesn't feel all that bad!

For instance today. . . yes . . in April . . I just looked out the window and guess what? It is snowing. Yes. Snow. I am composing this on a Sunday afternoon. I love Sunday afternoons, but don't always want to spend them inside! However, it is just bone chilling cold in the 20's and low 30's. I've really had enough of this kind of weather. So, it is a good afternoon to watch a few more YouTube videos before I head down to my studio to clean off my work table that I left a mess after my last creative flurry yesterday! I might just find more things to add to that wish list.

Getting back to the idea I had when I sat down to write this post . . . Do I really need to shop for supplies? The answer is "no". I know it. And I can prove it. For instance, our living room clock stopped working recently. It had served us for fourteen years and after trying a few things to see if it could be saved, we determined it was time to get a replacement. My husband was about to wrap it up in newspaper and give it a proper burial in the trash bin when I stopped him in his tracks. He could tell by the look on my face that I had other plans for the clock's remains. He handed it over and said it was a good thing that I walked in at that moment, or it would have been out by the curb the morning. He offered to take it apart for me, and when he was finished, he gave me the empty housing, face, hands and a few other little metal objects. I am not sure yet just exactly what I will do with all the goodies, but I have a few ideas.

Our beautiful mantle clock will have a new life in a future project.
You can click on the photo for a closer look.

Amused by my excitement over the salvaged broken clock, my husband reminded me of the stories I have told him about my childhood . . . and what it was like to be raised by a couple of real "savers". Even though his parents had lived through The Great Depression, just like mine had, he said they didn't save a lot. But, then, he didn't live on a farm where you have lots of room to keep things . . . just in case you need them someday. His parents moved to the city and had adapted to city life early on, after leaving their rural and farm homes. My husband was used to going to a nearby store when he needed something and had lots of choices. It was different for me living five miles from the closest village. When my father had business dealings at the kitchen table with a seed salesman, or an insurance man, he would keep any carbon paper from the forms he signed and hand them over to me to play with. I loved getting that carbon paper! I even liked how it smelled. I would draw pictures and write letters and numbers on it until I had exhausted every little part that had any blue ink left on it. I was sad when it was all used up.

My recent effort at saving has been to keep all the tea bags I have been using to brew tea this winter. The hot tea helped keep me warm on cold days! After the bags are dry, I open them carefully and shake the tea leaves out. Then I remove the string, and slowly pull the bag open at the seam that is hidden inside. The colors left on the tea bag paper are really pretty and depending on the kind of tea, they range from a soft pink to a cinnamon brown color. I used one last week in an experiment to see if I could decoupage with it. It worked!

A few of the teabags that I dried.
You can click on the photo for a closer look.
I  sometimes keep the wax paper envelopes that the postmaster puts the stamps in when we buy them, and occasionally I use part of a Tyvek mailing envelope in a project to give it extra strength. That stuff does NOT tear!

So, after my post last week about shopping for supplies, my husband said he doesn't know why I need to go to the store when I can just scrounge things up from the mail or the kitchen! He said he wishes he had known me years ago when he used lots of carbon paper in his office. I would have been in carbon paper heaven! And he is right! If I see pretty ribbons on a gift, or an especially pretty postage stamp, I keep it. I have a box in my studio labeled "ephemera." It has broken jewelry, game pieces, a few coins from trips to the Caribbean, and any other little bauble that is too precious not to keep!

Why, then, do I feel the need to check out the art supplies and sewing notions when I go shopping? I really don't need to shop for supplies. As I have often written, I can shop my own hoard vault and find lots of useful items! I am trying to limit my purchases to the stuff I know I will use up . . . like adhesives, fancy pens, art pencils and paper pads. But on my way to the checkout, I will often pass by the clearance aisle . . . you know . . . just to take a look. That look sometimes ends up with something totally unplanned for landing in my shopping cart. Amazing, huh? I brought home a few of those finds on my last visit to the store. I pulled one of them out yesterday and put it smack dab in the middle of my work space. It will be used this week and not get stashed away! I am hoping this will become my new tactic to use what I buy before it goes into the vault, and by the time I write my next post, there will be something finished with it that I can show you. Yes. Used and finished!

In the meanwhile, I have continued to enjoy the online group I joined on Facebook. Below is a photo of what I made for the challenge this week. The topic was "Tags." Working on these weekly challenges has really helped me with channeling my ideas for making things with my stash. :-)

Mixed Media
6" x 6"
I used 90 lb. mixed media paper, acrylic paints, rubber stamps, ink, colored pencils,
black cardstock, word beads and eyelash yarn. All from my stash!
You can click on the photo for a closer look.

Thank you for stopping by and taking a few minutes out of your day to read my post. I welcome your questions and comments. I do read them and I will reply. You can leave them here or on Facebook. As always, it is my wish that you and those you love are healthy and happy. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.