Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm Going on a Diet

Last week, I ended my post with the announcement that I would be taking a "supply diet."  I plan on it being for the month of October, but I might extend it or bring it back depending on how it works out.  For me this means no buying new supplies for crafting, which include:
  • Thread and yarn
  • Patterns
  • Books
I am doing this in order conserve several resources.

1.  Money--I got a bump in my hours at work.  Basically, it is enough to go from extremely part time to just regular part time.  Since then, I notice I've fallen into the mental trap of buying things more often on the grounds that "I can afford it."  That won't be true for long if I fail to set limits for myself!  I also have a tendency to justify purchases based on my mood.  If something good happens, I would reward myself with craft supplies.  If something bad happens . . . . I console myself with craft supplies.  I didn't think much of this until a woman at my synagogue gave a presentation on shopping addiction and how the retail industry supports this line of thinking.  (She began her presentation with a photo she took of a Hallmark card in a store that said, "It's not a shopping spree--its 'retail therapy.'")  I want to stop myself from falling into that pattern. 

2.  Space--I live in a 2-bedroom apartment, and one of those bedrooms is being used as a computer/storage room.  Guess what percentage of that room is taken up with my craft supplies . . .

3.  Time--Because of spending #1 and #2 on crafting supplies, I feel pressure to devote more time to crafting in order to justify my purchases and relieve some of the crowding in my craft corner.  Crafting is a relaxing way to spend time, but not if it is tinged with guilt or pressure to finish things by a self-imposed deadline.
     I've also realized that devoting too much time to a project can take away time from other important things--like TV.  This might sound odd, but TV has always been a passion of mine.  I discuss it online, show TV episodes to groups to discuss different topics, and I've even presented papers about TV at academic conferences.  When I started crafting while watching TV, I felt superior somehow because TV watching was no longer "idle time."  My progress on projects improved, but my enjoyment of TV did not because I was distracted from what I was supposedly watching.  I obviously don't want to swing wildly to the other end and do nothing but watch TV.  However, I have set a daily habit on HabitRPG to make sure I watch one TV episode or movie a day without simultaneously crafting or browsing the Internet.  It is not idle time if I am focused on a good story, recharging my batteries, and sharing time with my husband.

Can I last the month?  After 7 days, I am still going strong.  Granted, 25 hours of that was devoted to a holiday where spending money is forbidden, but I think I am off to a good start.

The last few entries I have done have been pretty heavy, so here is a long-overdue project update!

I finished the last part of Mysterious Halloween Town.

What do you think?  Is this a future State Fair entry?

I also completed Part 1 of Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Autumn Harvest Festival.

I liked the cursive writing combined with variegated thread.  I tried to make the stitches in the order that I would have used to write out the letters by hand, so the color changes would flow in the same way.  I am also trying out this project using the English method of cross-stitching.  That involves making each X one by one instead of completing one set of legs (///////) followed by the other set (\\\\\\\).  I can't decide if it has made a big difference.

There was also the September square for Once Upon a Time--Rapunzel.

Other updates:

  • The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ladies decided to give me and another woman a prize for entering our projects in state fairs and encouraging others to do so.  I'll find out what it is this month . . .
  • &Stitches e-zine is holding a contest, Old Stitches New Tricks.  The goal is to take something old (vintage pattern, materials, historical stitching technique), and find a way to update it to a new purpose.  I've started a project that I've been wanting to do for a while and would be perfect for it.  Hopefully I can get it done by the November 17 deadline.  It's not complicated, but it has a lot of personal meaning for me.

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