adventures in craft shopping

(I went to go write this onto tumblr and realized that it was really long, so I deleted it and decided to write about it here)

Jamie and I went to a local craft store the other day. Our area has a handful of craft stores and, hell, even some of the local Walmarts have a decent craft section (not as amazing as they used to be back in the day, but working their way back to it). This particular one I wanted to go to because they have a better fabric section.

Jamie and I went wandering through some aisles, wandered through beads and papercraft sections, the woodworky things and the kidstuff. I found a kid’s dress and pointed out that a) Cricket would look super adorable in it and 2) I could probably make one myself. Jamie agreed on both things (it was one of the dress-up dresses. sequins and tulle. I don’t do sequins as a craft because of childhood and the constant dealing with sequins)

Jamie found a couple things that he wanted to try/play around with, so he grabbed those. I found some yarn on sale that was really pretty and really tempting. But, I reminded myself that I have no room for more yarn and while the stripe-gradient thing was really cool, I have no idea what I’d make with those. I have a skein of one of those stripe-gradient yarns and I haven’t messed with it. I have a plan for it, yes, but I’m not sure how it’ll go. And, I was mainly here for fabric.

Like I said, this particular craft store has a better fabric section. So, off to fabric we went, circumventing the yarn area. We found some fun print fabric that would be cool to use, some glow-in-the-dark fabric that was more expensive than I’m currently willing to pay (I have small projects and I’m cheap. cheap also means more various fabrics)

I’ve been looking, off and on, for a specific fabric for a few years:: white with red polka dots. I’ve found white with pink-and-red or pink-and-purple polka dots, I’ve found white with green-and-blue polka dots, and I’ve found red with white polka dots. White with red polka dots is hard. I had figured I’d have to use red felt, red fabric, or even a red fabric sharpie (which I have all three), but, just in case, I’d like to look.

I found white organza with red polka dots. Score. I can work with the see-through fabric, I have white fabric at home. So I go to the counter to get it cut.

sigh.

I am ignored by the woman at the counter, who has seen me walk up, and continues working on folding fabric in front of her. Ok, cool, finish up what you’re doing (the retail monkey in me is screaming “acknowledge your customers!”) and I can wait patiently. I work retail, I’m not going to be a dick. I was also raised to be polite and wait patiently despite my grandmother’s best efforts otherwise.

Another woman comes up and another customer just dumps all this fabric onto the counter, joking about finding more stuff (a woman after my own heart. more power to you lady). The employee asks if she has her ticket and calls out a number.

There’s a ticket system? Since when?

There’s no notation to “take a ticket” or “please have numbered ticket ready” or anything like that. The woman who has steadfastly ignored me demands to know if  I have a ticket. I told her: I’m sorry, I didn’t know I needed one. So she calls out another number.

Are you fucking kidding me.

A woman who has grabbed a ticket from a pull-out machine that I had no idea was there because it blends in with the surrounding area hands me her ticket. I told her I could wait, no worries. She insisted I take her ticket and she grabs another. She was super cool and I thanked her and said “Shows how often I’m here, doesn’t it.” and we chuckled a bit.

The woman who has ignored me and gotten mad at me about this whole ticket thing calls out the number and I smile and ask for half a yard please. She unrolls it and I can see where someone just eyeballed it and cut it haphazardly. She measures half a yard, does a cut, and then uses the handy-dandy little pre-made cut area in the counter to cut the fabric. She doesn’t smooth it or even seems to care when it bunches up.

I don’t care, I want my little bit of fabric so I can get out of here. It’ll be enough for what I need.

Without looking at me, she tells me that this fabric is non-refundable.

Really? Really. It’s fabric. It’s cut fabric. Why would I want to return it anyway? I tell her that’s fine, take my ticket and half-assed folded little peice of fabric, and walk away.

We walk away far enough and Jamie can see that I’m a little mad at the whole encounter. I point out that I’m glad I didn’t have a lot of fabrics I wanted cut and that I’m not going to come back for fabric, I’ll just shop online or something. (which sucks because I prefer physical contact with the fabric I want. I want to see it and feel it before I make a decision).

We go up to stand in line and the woman in front of us insists we go ahead of her because she “has so many things” and we have one or two (we had like five but they fit in the palm of Jamie’s hand). The teeny tiny girl in her early 20s was there ringing people out. She’s super nice and even if I look at her name tag I can never remember her name. She always has a smile on her face and is always wonderful. I like her.

We had a better experience with the cashier and the couple of fellow customers than we did when dealing with the fabric people.

As we were halfway across the parking lot, I told Jamie: the longer I work in retail, the more I fucking hate people. Jamie told me it’s because I have higher standards because I work in a retail environment and have higher expectations.

I looked down at the fabric in my hand as I sat down in the car and saw that the red polka dots that I saw in the store are bright neon pink.

Jamie told me it was ok and I told him I can easily fix that. Hey, I’ve got fabric markers, I can do it.

 

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Weekend adventure

Saturday morning, Jamie plopped on the bed, wished me happy birthday, and asked if I wanted to go yardsaling. He’d found a few places that posted on our local craigslist that cited Craft Supplies and Books. (it’s weird knowing that Roanoke has its own little craigslist thing but it helps when looking for yardsales).

We decided to go to the Salem ones first that Jamie had found, hitting up the walmart first to get some money and try our luck at the claw machines. Jamie won me a fox and I failed at every. single. machine. I tried. Oh well. I found it funny. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We found the first one and I ended up buying a pile of fabric from a nice woman who said that she just ran out of room. They had a small selection of books, but we decided to pass. Nothing really grabbed Jamie’s attention and so we headed off to the next spot Jamie found.

There were a few cars parked and staked signs pointing to yard sale. A note on the door read “Just open the door” (or something similar) as we were greeted by a woman who told us that there were 3 rooms dedicated to the sale. We didn’t open the door because two other ladies were just a few short steps ahead of us.

We didn’t check the first room, there were people milling about everywhere, and there were folding tables set up against a main wall full of craft supplies and little trinkets already made. There was a dining room table and counterspace crammed with china and glassware, some boxes on the floor of old yarnwork magazines and beads.

I walked into the third room, Jamie following silently behind me getting more and more uncomfortable as the seconds ticked past, and came across a room of nothing but fabric cuts and boxes of yarn. I wound up grabbing a box of gallon bags, labeled with requested prices, of yarn and we paid the gentleman before leaving quickly.

We were in and out in under 5 minutes. It felt like longer.

As we got into the car, I told Jamie that I felt terrible for the woman whose things were being sold. We had been informed that the room we were in was “jam-packed” with all these craft supplies and that the woman’s family had decided it was “best” if things were sold.

I’ve been to many estate sales (most of them were because my grandparents had their own estate sale business), but this is the first time that I’ve been to an estate sale where the little-old-person whose estate is being practically liquidated was alive. Jamie and I agreed that we think we just went to an estate sale to sell off this woman’s things so her family could either move her in with one of them or move her into some sort of assisted living situation.

We ended up going from one semi-awkward situation straight into another. There was a yard sale doodad being held at a local business where the employees were trying to raise money for one of their co-workers. Jamie ended up speaking with someone we kinda-sorta know while I walked around and bought a milk crate full of chunky yarn (and possibly other things. I saw chunky yarn)

Hopefully they made a good chunk of money for their coworker.

The last place we hit up was a massive church sale. I love church sales. You find all kinds of weird shit at church sales.

They had little-kid plastic chairs. The kind of chairs I remember from elementary school (except my school’s were dark blue) and I told Jamie I wanted one. He told me I couldn’t fit on one but Snooch might. There were so many people. We went with the flow of traffic and wound up staying at the one corner that was stacked with books.

They had a Bentley Little novel.

Jamie found books he wanted, I found books I wanted (including the Bentley Little novel. now I have a kindle version and a physical copy! woo). I found a book for his grandmother and ran across the paperback version of a book that Jamie bought me for my birthday two years ago and I loaned to someone, who after 4 months swore they “couldn’t find it” when I asked for it back. Hey, maybe it’s a sign. I grabbed the book.

The people running the church sale were thrilled when we walked up with like 20 books. It was great.

When we got home, I looked at one of the hardbacks I grabbed and found that some pages are missing. No biggie. But, with how the pages are missing, I realized that it is a great book for story inspiration. So yay.

And then I went to work.

One of my regulars came by last night, pointing out that her daughter is in college but her daughter doesn’t seem to understand how expensive it all is. I ended up telling her that my mom insisted I go to college, but said I could pick whatever I wanted. So now I have a degree in art.

She asked if I use it and I said no, not really. She asked if I had any plans for it and I told her that I’d done a little commission work a few years back for a short web-series and did a couple pieces here and there. She said something else and I wound up telling her that currently I’m working on making a few things, working on a novel and working on a horror anthology.

I realized that voicing the whole “working on writing” bit was strange. Strange to me, anyway. It sounded like what you hear/read about when someone makes an offhanded comment about how you can always find someone in customer service (waitstaff, café people, etc) who have a manuscript just lying about.

But I also find it hilarious. Sure, I’m working on an anthology. That’s the main goal for right now (especially if I can find the finished pieces so I can edit them and whatnot). And it’s not really a novel–the goal is to make it at least a novelette.

Instead of working on writing, what am I doing? Cutting up pieces of fabric into strips so I can have fabric-yarn so I can make hideous things. Working, albeit slowly, on a new hat for Jamie. Going through the mental plans for some stuff I’d planned to make off and on for the past few years, and kind of thinking about making a blanket for a friend’s baby.

Ambition? Drive? What’re those?

Fridays off are weird

I’m not used to being off on a Friday. This is weird.

I work retail, I am a low-tier manager in a retail store. Being off on a Friday is like somehow managing to get off on a major holiday. Maybe it’s just me.

My plans for today have been thwarted by the lingering migraine that went from “I am going to ruin your day off” to “haha, now you have to call out, sucker.” It backpedaled a bit and then has come slowly trudging back to “I am going to make you sick, everything you eat or drink, or even take to alleviate this, will make you sick.” blegh.

I’m in this weird flu-like feel of “I have eaten, I have had caffiene and willow-bark capsules. My eyes are crossing, I feel nauseous, and now all I want to do is sleep because reading isn’t working.” Which sucks because I’ve got shit to do today (clean the craft room, work on making fabric-yarn, basic house cleaning/care, hose down the indoor/outdoor carpets that needed to be hosed down last week, bathe the dogs because Cricket stole flour and is now partially white)

But no. I am sitting here, with a very fat cat purring on my lap and wanting to just close my eyes.

Anyway.

I made Jamie a hat. It is too small. Did I mention this already? I can’t remember. If I did, whoops. It’s a brown gradient and super soft, and there’s little crocheted ears on it so it’s a bear-hat for my Bear. I’m making another because I’ve got enough yarn to do so and the more I use up the yarn the faster I can get rid of it.

Because if I let myself think about it and pay attention, the yarn looks like…legs. Fuzzy legs.

And that’s all I’m saying because I will freak myself out if I continue.

Beyond that:

I’ve finished a short story (yay, it’s been so long) and I emailed it to Jamie to look over so he can let me know how it looks/feels since it kind of went in another direction than I had originally anticipated. But, he’s yet to read it. I’m tempted to ask a friend of mine to check it out and see what she thinks of it before I post it anywhere, mainly because of a small chunk of it jumps from one spot to another. I haven’t re-read it all the way through since I finished it, and I kind of don’t want to, but I know I need to.

I’ve been using WIP names for various stories. Attempted Novelette and Weird Grandpa are the two main ones. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on either one, like really. I have to re-read what I’ve got for Attempted Novelette because I forgot who my characters were, which seems much more ominous than I totally forgot where I was going with this.

This is my life.

I thought I was a few months behind, but I find out that, depending on what’s going on and such, I’m like well over a year behind on everything. Time is wibbly. And it’s true, the older you become, the more you go “Wait, wasn’t it just ___?” It’s  strange. The concept of time is strange.

Instead of working on Attempted Novelette or Weird Grandpa story (both of which are at a standstill because I can do awesome intros, I just suck at everything else), I’ve been working on a different idea all together. Asking myself questions, writing notes to myself, making quips. And getting shit for having “so many pens” in my hair (different coloured pens helped while I was working through some stuff for it so pffff)

And now I’ve got bits of fabric that I’ve cut into strips because I’ve gotten the brilliant idea to Make Something for a friend of ours. Who knows how long this will keep my attention.

 

making things

+ I finished the Combo Breaker blanket, it is folded up and sitting on a shelf until Jamie remembers to take it to work to give it to the parent. lol

+ I made Jamie a Bear Hat. It is a smidge too small, but he thinks it’s awesome. So, I’m working on making another one (I have the yarn so why not?) I still have a few more months before it gets cold enough for him to wear a hat, so I have the time to work on it.

+ I keep staring at the same documents doing nothing.

  • Weird Granddad story is just…there. I am at a point where I don’t remember exactly where I was going with it
  • Attempted Novelette is at a standstill. I’m at the point where I can’t remember whose name is for which character except for one, and that’s mainly because I keep making terrible jokes about it.
  • I’ve been jotting down notes for another story idea to try to get bits together with it

+ Nothing is finished and I don’t know if I’m fine with that. I don’t know if it’s an epic brain fart or just extreme apathy.

+ Bug and Firefly got into it the other day and Firefly needs to learn that Bug is getting her back for when they were younger and Firefly got Bug because Bug was too nice. Now Bug is a tank of a dog and has power behind her snaps.

Firefly is fine, we carted her butt to the vet, where her head was cleaned and parts were shaved. I insisted we take her because of the puncture under her jaw (which is fine, just squicky) and we learned that she’s got a couple more punctures than I had originally thought. She’s on antibiotics and has been happily spoiled by getting to sleep on the couch, getting various pieces of human food (cheese, peanut butter, things like that), and snoring on the bed.