2015 Use It Up Challenge
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  1. #1
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Default 2015 Use It Up Challenge

    Another year, and still stuff to use up! It's easy not to over buy boring things like toilet paper and socks, but when it comes to our hobbies and things we enjoy doing, the shopping is almost as much fun as the projects themselves. In this challenge we focus on using supplies on hand as much as possible, rather than buying more.

    We aren't too obsessive about that, because after all, fun things are fun, and a little shopping is allowed - your stash, your rules. It can be supplies or materials for any leisure activity - needle and yarn crafts, DIY projects, art, scrapbooking, beading, reading - whatever you do that has a stash that seems to be getting a little (or a lot) out of hand.

    We share what we are working on, what we use up, and yes, what we add as well. It's all about Stash Control.

    Come join us!

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Here are my goals for the year:

    1. To use up all my Caron One Pound yarn
    2. To start using up Hobby Lobby yarn - depending on how long #1 takes
    3. To read as many of my paper books as possible to cull the collection
    4. To spend nothing on craft/hobby supplies

    As I said, my stash, my rules. As to number 4 - for craft supplies, a Christmas present will be ok. For books - I will certainly buy books along. They're like groceries for the mind. Also, this applies to hard copy books. I want a net loss in necessary shelf space there. Kindle books and audiobooks are off the table for this challenge. By the end of the year, I would like for the bookcase to contain nothing but definite keepers.

    As a note to the de-cluttering report at the end of last year's challenge, I forgot a big item - the crochet and cross stitch patterns. I chucked all but one or two downloaded/printed crochert patterns. With Ravelry, there is no need for that at all. I also moved out some crochet pattern books. Now I have just a core collection, mostly stitch dictionaries. A couple of books with actual patterns, and The Crochet Answer Book.

    I also went through all the cross stitch patterns. That took a long time because as I discarded, I had to update my spreadsheets where I've listed patterns by subjects and by size. The size is great. If I have a 6x6" piece of fabric, I can see quickly what patterns will fit on it. I kept only a few intact books, with most I removed the patterns I liked, and discarded the rest of the book. All the lose ones are in sheet protectors. I had them in a six drawer plastic unit, full. When I finished, I have the few complete books and two binders of individual patterns. It's much more compact and easier to find what I want. And I still have more patterns than I could do in three lifetimes.

    The one I could not bear to part with yet, though I know I will never make it, is the magician I foolishly bought on ebay without ascertaining the size. Gadzooks! It's enormous, even on very high count. But it's such a cool picture....

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I will have to give some thought to what my use-it-up goals are for this year. I think I might just go with trying to use up one item, or finish up one UFO, every week. I'll think about it anyway.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    For this year I want to do a no new yarn year. Probably a no new fabric year as well. I am not counting the recycled fabric I add to my collection when I go through old clothing.

    I am going to start a keeping a little log of the weight of yarn I used up.

    I am on the fence about getting some flannel (probably a sheet because it is cheaper than fabric) to make a flannel skirt or two for myself. I have two flannel skirts (made from recycled material) I wear mostly around the house that are very comfy. My husband bought some new flannel shirts last week and a queried him if he was getting rid of some old flannel shirts. He said no, but if I really wanted to make some flannel skirts I should just buy a cheap sheet or two.

    I did buy some other craft things this year. I bought some markers and a small loom. I may buy more markers and some loom accessories.

    Really I do not see many other craft purchases this year. I will have to think of what else to spend the money on.

    This year I want to do more recycled crafting. I think I will start a recycled craft challenge.
    KathyB

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    It's sad, but it seems there is always something to spend craft money on. Just when I think I have all I need, I spot a shiny for a new craft and - want, want, want! I cannot allow that to happen this year, if this is indeed a year I buy a mobile home! Maybe I just need to start a list of all those other things I come across that look like so much fun.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Making a list of the stuff you have already and the work load you have might help you avoid buying more, too.

    Kathy, it's been my experience that cheap flannel sheets tend to pill. If you're only going to wear it at home though, that probably wouldn't matter.

    I cut a board today for another little jar storage system for the sewing room. I went through all my canning jars today and found some I want to get rid of, so I'll use some of them for that. It'll be nice if I get that done tomorrow. It's a start.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I finally found the perfect product I want to route the water away from our garage and driveway. $100 per forty inches! We'd need about 120 feet. I think we'll be sticking with good ol' trusty PVC sewer line, or maybe some drain tile with some clean-outs installed periodically.

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Good grief! It ought to be gold plated for that!

    Sigh. I just did a really rough guesstimate on federal taxes. I've made so many changes I could not even predict how it would turn out. It looks like I'm going to owe them this year, but not a lot. That means I probably will on state tax too, and I've bought so much on line I also owe them a bunch of sales tax, which is usually covered out of my federal refund. I'll have to wait to get everything and do it online for a final, but this gives me something in the ballpark. Probably.

    Another reason to skip any craft spending.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    I finally found the perfect product I want to route the water away from our garage and driveway. $100 per forty inches! We'd need about 120 feet. I think we'll be sticking with good ol' trusty PVC sewer line, or maybe some drain tile with some clean-outs installed periodically.
    It seems like often when I read of something that describes itself as "the best" the price is fairly high. Often times the second best thing is a LOT cheap and still pretty good quality.

    I often find that for craft supplies. There are a lot of really expensive things out there, but often times there are cheaper substitutes that are still pretty good. There is a whole advertising mentality that tries to make you feel bad if you cannot afford the best. In an old crochet group I was on I said something like "I can afford to by the yarn that is $15 a ball. I just choose not to." I do not think I was popular there.

    It messes with people's self esteem.

    People have this "because I am worth it" mentality about pricey things.
    I say "My self esteem is not dependent on buying an expensive brand."
    KathyB

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Everyone hates paying taxes, and we all have pet peeves about it when the money goes to projects we don't necessarily agree with. I just keep reminding myself about all the good that tax money does, and how it benefits us directly and indirectly. We pay just about the highest state income taxes in the nation, but we drive on roads that are well-maintained in the winter, and we have one of the best state parks systems in the nation IMO. Having lived where there is no state income tax and seen the result of the state not having the money to maintain winter roads, and having visited many state parks in other states and seen how they don't have the funding for the maintenance and improvements they need, I appreciate our parks and don't begrudge the enormous amount of money it takes to make them what they are.

    I agree with everything you said, Kathy. We can afford the expensive drainage system, but I don't want to pay that much, although we're at the point where if we have to, we probably will. Getting dirt work done with heavy equipment to repair the dang driveway every couple years isn't cheap, and a good drainage system will pay for itself fairly quickly. I have a couple months yet before we have to decide what to do, so I'll see what else I can come up with. The reason I want a system that looks like a trough instead of an enclosed pipe is because I know it's going to fill up with dirt and/or ice, and it might not be that easy to clean it out when it does. With a trough system, we could lift the covers off and clean it out, or salt it if there's water frozen in it and clogging it. I hope I can figure out something cheaper though.

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    I think I have it!

    I can buy a 20 foot stick of 6" PVC pipe for $75 and split it in half, making two 3" deep troughs. I would need four or five sticks, I think. I haven't measured yet so if I'm lucky I'm overestimating. Then I could make a cover for the trough using decking and 1x2s.

    I'll have to give this some more thought. It seems like it would be fairly quick and simple and would also minimize digging in rocky, difficult soil. We'd be able to DIY the whole thing instead of having to have our dirt guy drag his trencher out here, which probably wouldn't fit in beside the garage anyway. I like it. It would still be expensive but not having to pay for the trencher would offset the cost quite a bit.

    Deeper would be better, so I might have to see about the cost of bigger PVC.

  13. #12
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I am thinking about my office space. I had one stray thought and now I am just off and running with it. I plan on redecorating.

    Some of it will be things I have made with recycled materials and stuff I have on hand. Other bits will be stuff I a buying.

    Stylistically, I am all over the place. I am very artsy, but I feel like I do not do a good job in the interior decorating area. It feels like I just threw a bunch of decorative stuff on my cubicle, which is kind of what I did.

    I am thinking of the concept of curating. This is a concept from museums and art galleries. Curating is the art of knowing what to put next to each other, what to exclude and what to include. When the curator has done her job well, no one notices it. If she messes up, the exhibit feels off, because there are pieces that look good individually, but do not look good how they are grouped together.

    I need to curate the artsy crafty bits on my desk. I am pretty sure curators have some type of degree and actually study how to display and group things. I will just have to wing it. Maybe I will see if I can find any tips. Or maybe I just need to give it some thought. It may be as simple as grouping like things together.
    KathyB

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Here's the new and improved cat tree, finally. And a nice view of the stuff I've been sorting in the LR. Mostly that's assorted storage containers. We won't be keeping all of them, but until we get through the organizing phase around here, we have to keep them till we know what we'll actually need.


    Here's the little Coleman lantern I converted to electricity today. We like it. I have at least four vintage Colemans and will eventually use at least three of them over the TV, just so we're not sitting here in the dark. The pic doesn't do it justice because the flash washes out the color. It's just Christmas lights stuffed into the lantern's globe. We didn't have any clear lights so will have to see if we can still get some.


    And here's the bike desk. I've added some stuff to it since this pic was taken. I put a wire basket on the front for holding yarn or thread if I want to knit or crochet while I pedal, a book, whatever.

  15. #14
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Good work, SD. The lights in the Coleman lantern are interesting, and I'm sure the kitties are happy with their tree. If you can't find the clear lights in stores, you could probably find them online, and they are light, so shipping shouldn't be too awful.

    Kathy, it may just take playing around with what you have to use in the cubicle until you find what's most pleasing to you. Interior decoration does have rules and guidelines, but I think a lot of the things professional interior decorators turn out are dreadful, because it's not my taste. I wish I had a personal space at work but I work at a shared desk, so no decorating. Happily, before long, I'll have a whole new house to play with.

    SD - i agree about taxes. I don't like paying them, of course, but I definitely like the public services they buy. I usually get a small refund; this is the first time I may owe in a long time. But then, as I said, it was just a guess.

    I did a whole new craft! Monday I had the iron out doing some hemming (that's not the new craft but an odious old one - I despise having to mess with clothes), so I got out the new fusion beads and made a small pull for the light on the bedroom ceiling fan. I'd had a yarn tassel on it, but it was beginning to come apart and drop strands. It was usable, but not exactly a success. The ironing will take a bit of practice to get it right. I melted one side too much, and on both sides, it was apparent that I iron harder on the right side of the iron. Practice will make perfect, though, I'm sure, and it was fun. I just took time to make that one little things. Playing with beads probably isn't on my list until next year.

    I had planned not to move until I actually retired because I didn't want the long highway commute late at night and because of the timing of my lease, but I've decided I will move as soon as it's feasible, which probably means mid to late summer. There are so many things about the mobile home that will make my life easier (big kitchen, washer/dryer, shower instead of tub top the list) and nicer (no shared walls with neighbors) that it will be worth the commute. The rep at the dealership is sending my plan off to the company and will be able to give me some cost estimates next week. I'm sure it will prove once for all that I have that proverbial Cadillac appetite on a Ford budget, but I eager to find out what I'm looking at.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm excited for you, D! You're going to love having your own space, made just the way you want it!

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