Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sample Sale Cards: Cute Letterpress

I like going to Egg Press’ sample sale (of often older or slightly off) letterpress cards that are all $1 each. I love letterpress cards, but I’ll admit, I’m generally too cheap to buy them full price and I rarely use cards in general. So getting the cards for less is great because I buy them because I like them and want them (not so much that I’ll actually use them—although I’ll be ready if a situation presents itself).

I bought more cards than I anticipated. There were a lot of different cards there, some I liked and some I wasn’t crazy about, and in the end I bought 28 cards for $28. The cards look better in real life as the color is much better; this is especially true for all of the cards that use metallic ink. I scanned the cards instead of photographing them, so the metallic ink looks dull and not so metallic-like anymore.

I’m going to break them into sets (for this and following posts). The first set are the cute cards that quite cheerful.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

But it’s Free…

Free! This magical word instantly piques people’s interest. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Even if you don’t want the thing that’s free, somehow you’re still willing to get it just because it’s free. It’s a popular ploy to draw you in. There are buy one get one free offers. There are free gifts with purchases. There are free trials. There are free store reward cards. There are free songs and books to download. There are movies and TV shows that can be watched for free. People just want something for nothing.

But the cost of “free” can be higher than anticipated. Do you spend the extra money to push you over the minimum purchase requirement in order to get the free gift? Do you have a free trial of a service (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) and forget to cancel it before it charges you? Do you spend more so you “save more” on your store rewards card? There are a lot of ways that “free” doesn’t equate to free.

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, I’m sure I’ll be seeing more “free” stuff that tries to entice me into spending money. I’ll admit that “free” may initially grab my attention, but I try to ignore it and buy items I would get regardless of the “free” aspect tied to it. I like free stuff as much as the next person, but it always comes down to: is it worth it? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t—it often depends on whether or not you find the strings attached to it acceptable. [Pause.] For me, I usually forgo the freebie to avoid the strings altogether.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Altered: Navy Coat

When I got this navy coat at an estate sale months ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep it. I bought it (along with everything else), mostly on a whim. I think I tried this coat on and thought it fit well enough to get, even though I wasn’t necessarily happy with the entirety of its design. But for 50 cents, I wasn’t going to be super picky. As it was summer, I didn’t have an immediate need for it so it just sat in a corner for a while.

Once the weather started to cool down, I was more motivated to take a look at this coat again. I decided I liked the general shape of the coat, but disliked certain design details that I felt dated it. As is, the coat looked like it’s from the early 1980s. I didn’t like the stitching detail on the collar and the cuffs. In fact, I didn’t like the cuffs at all; I just wanted a straight sleeve, which meant I needed to sew fabric to the ends of the sleeves.

I didn’t want to try and match the navy color of the coat because I thought it was bound to be off, so I decided using a different color would be best. And while I thought a cream color would make an excellent color combination with the navy, I decided to go with black because it’s more practical. I can easily see a cream sleeve brushing against a wet dirty car and getting dark smudges all over it (and no doubt that would happen if I were to wear it). [Sigh.]

I removed the stitching on the collar and removed the cuff part of the sleeves. I just attached the black fabric to the ends of the sleeves in a way that made sense to me. It wasn’t very difficult and took an afternoon to do. Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the result; it’s a small change but I think it makes a large difference.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DIY: Spool Banner

When I went thrift shopping with a friend, she bought a bag of thread that had older and newer spools. She just wanted thread and didn’t want the empty wooden spools, and I gladly accepted them when she offered them to me.

Looking at the spools, I thought I could make a cute banner with them. They could be used for place setting names on a table for a party or a special message for someone.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Forgotten Sweetness

I don’t eat candy often. Gummi candies don’t really interest me. Some hard candies I like but don’t eat often. When I want candy, I want chocolate, and I’ll occasionally have it, but it’s dark chocolate. I tend to avoid the mainstream cheap candy bars that are just too sweet for me. I’ll see TV commercials for them and feel nothing (well, maybe just a bit skeptical at their claims). When I’m at the supermarket I never look at these candy bars (that are supposed to be “tempting” at the checkout line) with desire, so I don’t buy them or eat them.

A co-worker brought unwanted Halloween candy to work and left them in a bowl in the kitchen for anyone to take. These free small candy bars were sitting there and I’ll admit, my resistance was low. My brain said, “Don’t eat them. You know they’ll be too sweet.” But my stomach said, “Go ahead, have some. It’s been a long time.” And it has been a long time. I’m guessing the last time I had any of these sugary concoctions was last Halloween. [Pause.] I’d actually forgotten what a lot of these candies taste like.

So I ate some Halloween candy. The Almond Joy was pretty good because I like coconut and almonds enough that I could over look the milk chocolate coating. I’ve always been ambivalent of Snickers, but when I had them this time, I liked them even less—they’re just too sweet. As a child I liked Kit Kats, but when I had them this time I was overcome by its cloying sweetness. Luckily, Halloween candy is smaller than full-size candy bars, so I only had a couple of bites of these “fun-size” candies—which was more than enough for me. I came to conclusion that, yes, my brain was right: stay away from these overly sweet sweets. If I’m going to eat candy, I’m getting chocolate that actually tastes like chocolate, not candy that just tastes like sugar.