Monday, November 19, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: Budget vs. Binge -- Yarn



I have two modes when purchasing yarn for projects: budget or binge.  Usually binging wins out and I end up with way more yarn than what I need.  I end up buying too much because I but it online.  One of my favorite resources for all things yarn is  When I get on the website to order the color and quantity I need for a new project I end up getting distracted by all the other colors available.  I think to myself, "Well, that's a really pretty color and I can always use that in another project."

Well, now I have ended up with 6 bins overflowing with various yarn - some colors I have never used.  So I still end up binging, but I have made myself practice discipline when it comes to new projects.  

Are there situations where it is actually good to binge?  The answer is yes.  I am constantly re-ordering my neutrals.  White, Cream, Tan, Camel, Light Brown fly out of my bins faster than anything in my hobby room.  I also make baby blankets so colors like the softest shade blues, greens, purples, pinks, and yellow are good to have on hand in larger quantities. Crochet is one of my most participated in hobbies so I do dedicate more of my hobby spending money and organization space to yarn.  I still order my neutrals and baby blanket colors online when I am running low and order large quantities of them.  I have been mid-project and lost steam to finish it because I needed more of a color.  However, I have started practicing budget when it comes to special projects and non-typical colors.  

One thing that really undermines my budget mentality is when I go to the store, they don't have the yarn I need, and I have to go online to order it.  My binge temptation is always online, but yours may be when you go in the store and see all the lovely colors and types of yarn.  Know your weaknesses and try to use avoidance as a method of dealing with it.  If you can be disciplined online then don't drive to the store or stay away from the yarn section when you are there for something else.  If online shopping makes it too easy for you to order en mas then drag yourself out to get supplies for the project that you are starting.  (Project planning helps with sticking to your budget - post on this topic coming next week.)   

When to budget - when your spending money is tight.  To help budget:
  1. Plan out your project.
  2. Look at your inventory - can you adjust your plan to use something you already have?
  3. Shop around - don't just go to Michael's: look for prices online (don't forget to add shipping into the price/skein), think Walmart, and use coupons ( always has 40% coupons).
  4. Only buy what you need.
When to Binge - when all three of the following are making the perfect storm:
  1. When you have extra cash on hand.
  2. When you have a need for yarn (some of you standard colors are low/gone in your inventory)
  3. There is a sale on yarn.
So, keep in mind that planning, budgeting and discipline help eliminate overspending, overflowing mess, and unnecessary inventory.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: Finished Hobby Room



My new Ikea Storage

My brother re-purposes the old shelves to clean his room up.

Finally have room for my dress form in my hobby room.  
(You can see all the mess I still have to sort through on the side)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: Fake It



Chair from Arhaus furniture

"I decided that I am sick of buying generic wall art even if I get it cheap from somewhere.  I figure... even though I don't really know what I am doing.... I can fake it.  I recently made a series of wall art for my kitchen makeover.  I was inspired by a new chair with a unique pattern that my husband let me get for our anniversary.  I really wanted to tie in the pattern, colors, and feel of the chair into my whole living space.  I started by taking pictures of different "pieces" of the pattern that I liked.    I got these photos printed in the size of the canvases I was going to paint on.  I got a cheap 10 pack of canvases for about $10 at Michael's for this.  I probably could have achieved the same look by just framing the prints, but I love the texture that canvas and real paint add.

I then traced the larger shapes and parts of the pattern onto tracing paper in order to make a stencil.  I used an exacto knife to cut out pieces of my homemade stencil and then traced the overall shapes onto the canvases.  For example: in the following picture I first cut out the "meat" of the bulb and the stem shapes.   You can see on the left where the red arrows are pointing on the photo.  I after I had the basic shapes traced on the canvas I added in the details by hand.  As you can see the patchwork pattern on the largest part of the bulb is not remotely the same, but it still gives the overall appearance and feel of the original pattern.  

For paint I had already purchased sample interior latex paints from colors in the pattern to decide what colors to carry over onto the kitchen walls.  I used the sample paints to paint in the details of the patterns.  I ended up doing at least two coats of each color.  The paints cost about $3 each for a total cost of $39.  I would have used regular acrylic paints, but didn't want the sample paints I had already purchased to go to waste.  In total the project cost me $49 and gave me a large statement wall in the kitchen. 

It took me about 2 hours to complete each canvas.  The latex paint dried fast and I was able to start the second coat as soon as I had finished the first coat.  When I finished all of my canvases I just arranged and re-arranged them on the floor in front of the wall they were going on until I had what I wanted. 

For those that will look at this and say, "I am not artsy at all.  I don't know how to paint."  Try this for a similar look.  Get stencils of patterns at your local art/craft store.  Stencil the patterns on various canvases and then paint them in.  (If you want to do it really fast you can use spray paint or roll one color on with a mini roller!)  You can do the same pattern with the canvases facing different ways like above or you can really mix it up and paint the pattern in a variety of colors and color combinations to make your own one of a kind wall art.  

You don't have to be a trained artist to have original art hanging on your walls - just fake it with confidence.  If you have any suggestions of DIY wall art add it in the comments!"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: Monday Motivation



"On New Year's Eve I was over our friends house and saw a shelving unit in her children's playroom that made me go ooooooohhhhhh! I was immediately inspired to organize my room of shame. The shelving system was from Ikea and although it was designed to be storage for children it is perfect for my craft room.  Then the next day I got this article in my email  Better Homes and Gardens - tips for organization room by room.  While the rooms didn't include an office, craft, or hobby room alot of the tips are applicable.  

TROFAST storage (credit
 So now thoroughly motivated, I dragged poor Ben (husband of 5 years) out and then spent hours and hours in Ikea. I will say that I had some extra cash so I was able to get 5 of the shelving units which gave me 5 shelves and 27 bins worth of storage for a cool $313.  Now if you have to purchase organization that is not to bad as far as cost goes.  By the by.... the other storage I had in the room which didn't hold all my things that well and I had slowly purchased on what I thought what was the cheap over the years actually had cost me  $518.21!!! 

Not to name names, but this system was from a large chain with a distinct red circular logo.  (Lest you think me wasteful it is bring re-purposed in other room closets for storage.  Now that I added it up and know how much in total it cost it's getting used until it falls apart.)

Drawer Storage -
 If you do not have the extra money lying around, however, and you already have plastic storage units I would recommend using the bins you already have to save money. Another out of the box, cost-saving storage unit is using bookshelves purchased from yard sales, flea markets, Craig's list, or even better free on and utilizing extra boxes and baskets as the organization bins.  (The dollar store does have small plastic craft organizers and baskets.)  

Does anyone else have any out of the box storage ideas? (Comments and ideas welcome!)"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: "Let It Go"



"Have you ever looked at a tarted up, wrinkly old lady in Juniors glittery pink tank top, skinny jeans, and a pair of heels, her over-bleached hair stiffly framing a botoxed face, and thought to yourself, "Just let it go already!"? Well, sometimes when it comes to hobbies and craft projects-- specifically your own-- you are just as blissfully unaware as that old lady.

Oops... that's not an old lady... other stuff still applies. 
(Photo credit: 

It is really hard to let projects go. Every time you pass that half finished thing you think, "I am going to finish that...can't throw that away!" Well, you need to let it go. Let that bad boy get into the figurative age appropriate shapeless track suit and let it be comfortable in its sunset years.
Go through your supplies and projects and organize them into something resembling the following piles:

This will be divided up into multiple per type of pile

1) Haven't used in over 2 years.
2) Less than 25% complete.

3) 50 % done.
4) Almost complete - just some finish work
5) Still in the planning stage
For pile #1: Any craft that you haven't participated in for 2 years needs have some serious thought given towards it leaving your supply pile. Ask yourself (and be honestand realistic) Am I going to use this stuff anymore? If the answer is no - and it should be no if you haven't used something in over 2 years.. find someone to give it to or harvest it for parts.
P.S. If your answer was yes you can apply to be on the show hoarders here.

For example: I have a glaring pile of wrinkly old lady cleavage in the form of a paper making supplies, a pile of denim, and yards and yards of fringe. I haven't used the paper making stuff since before I graduated high school (over ten years ago). The denim was a DIY project when turning a pair of jeans into a cute funky skirt was popular - seams were split and then promptly shoved in a corner (at least 7 years ago). And the yards of fringe I ordered for a great deal on eBay and when it came instead of the lovely silvery blue in the picture it was more of a garish royal blue. (about 5 years ago)

Here's how I dealt with the items. The pile of denim was irredeemable. The denim was stained, bleached out. ripped apart, and let's face it the project is never going to happen. I have long gone all establishment on my former inner-hippie. I have no reason or inclination to dress in a multi-denim DIY skirt. So I relegated these particular items into the rubbish bin and called it a day.

The fringe was harder to let go of. While to most it probably would look like I murdered cousin it and hid him in the bottom shelf of my craft room. I have an unnatural affinity towards fringe and just seeing that perfectly great pile of it that I had forgotten I even had brought back urges of holding on. "I could use this for something" I thought to myself. And then I remembered why I was doing this to free up space in my room of shame. So before I could hang on I put it on free cycle. It isn't bad quality and I had managed to bleach it out to a pleasing bronze-beige color. If someone else has something they can legitimately use it for then it shouldn't go to waste.

Finally I got to my paper making supplies. I remembered fondly that I loved making paper. I would use my mother's blender to make pulp....add in rose petals and lavender to sent the pages. I used to make it all the time for homemade cards and little love notes. I thought I should use this again. (No one ever said letting go was easy!) Then I remembered that the screens were broken years ago and all I had left of the stuff was what was in this box - bits of cut up construction paper, lavender so old it had no smell any more, and a disreputable moldy looking sponge. The top of the box was pretty damaged but the base was good. The stuff and lid joined the denim and I re purposed the base of the box to as a drawer organizer to hold my paints.

So for stuff you haven't used in over two years try to ask yourself the hard questions:
Do I need it?
Am I going to actually use this?
Is it usable?
Can someone else use it? ....and....
Are there things I can use in hobbies I actually still participate in?"

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shoe Addict Thriving: New Focus -- New Blog



"To see my history visit...

I may occasionally post some Melanoma related things on this blog, but mostly I will be showing my many projects I get myself involved in. I am one of those people that loves to get into everything. And I do mean everything... I have piles of half finished projects lying all around the house. I am constantly signing up for lessons of some sort and I have a "room of shame" full of supplies for crafts some of which I haven't actually done in years.

I have learned a whole lot of lessons of the years of getting into  every craft known to mankind a bunch of different hobbies. I plan to share the projects, tips and tricks to doing them, and what I have learned about being a hardcore crafter. "