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Dremel-Distressed Jeans

Distressed Jeans

Hooray! I'm back in my pre-pregnancy jeans, and man do I feel good. A couple weeks ago I was able to go through and bring some pieces back into my wardrobe. That felt great!

While I was sorting to donate some pieces that didn't look so great, I found a pair of jeans I have loved to wear for the past 5 years. However, they were at that level of worn out where they didn't look new anymore but they just sorta looked crappy in some spots. I decided to take my Dremel with a sanding ring to them and distress them to the point of being fashionably destroyed.

I loved these pants to begin with. They were just a tiny bit commercially distressed when I bought them, but over time the bottom of the pant legs have frayed completely out. I also may have helped them along after the backs started to go, but that's ok.

I'm really enjoying them! They're cute, they're comfy, and now I have a nice set of extra-worn-in jeans without investing another 5 years of wearing them constantly to get them to that point.

Making friends with blogging again

I used to write. A lot. I used to write so much that I'd just fill notebooks with my ideas and blatherings and research and inner dialogue to the point where I'd buy the college-ruled notebooks by the five packs, and buy two. I'd doodle, leave shopping lists, write little stories and poems, and keep my to-do list all right there. I carried a backpack constantly, so I always had room for a notebook.

At some point, I seemed to lose my connection to paper. I still love notebooks, though. Often, I buy a book I think is pretty and would have filled from cover to cover in the past. Now, more often than not I've got most of these books on a shelf, maybe with a few pages written in one here or there. I've stopped carrying a notebook with me everywhere, and instead always have my phone or laptop.

Does this disconnection with the physical tend to make me less creative? I feel like I've connected to other people and been able to reach out more, offer more of my thoughts and ideas to share, but that I personally have lost a bit of the inspiration to write and create. I pick up notebooks, but that need to scribblescribblescribble and write and fill the pages has evolved to a more compartmentalized view. I tend to keep one book for one project, one thought process, and I like that a lot. But, I'm missing that free-flowing, open feeling of writing whenever it comes to me.

The opportunity to do so is still in the palm of my hand, figuratively and often quite literally. I have technology strapped to my hip at all times, much like I once always carried a notebook. Between my phone, laptop and its tablet pen, and a huge selection of creative software, I've got the ability to do just what I used to do. I just haven't rebuilt the habit.

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. I've been feeling a little lost lately, and I'm thinking it's time to incorporate some new habits into my routine. I think it's time for me to make peace with the technological creative process, to make friends with sharing myself again. I think it's time to rededicate myself to blogging, even if I don't have a pattern or a project to share today. Every day there's something to write about. Every day is a new day, and most of those days are a blog entry just waiting to happen.

What do you think, those of you out there reading this? I know there's a few of you out there, but even if there isn't, nobody but Lilli ever saw my notebooks filled with yammering before anyway, and I still filled them up! I hope that if you're reading, you enjoy seeing more of the process of my inner workings. It's a little weird in this head of mine, but things are usually pretty good.

Enjoy. <3

Savings Experiments for New Year's Day, 2011

A few years ago, I consolidated almost all of my credit debt. Since then, I've been steadily working my way out of debt and working toward getting my financial life on track.

Now, with things most of the way paid down and everything under control, I have started to think about a word I usually dread: SAVINGS. I've been realigning my priorities with money and what I really want lately, and this has included realizing that I don't need nearly as much stuff as I previously believed to keep myself happy. What I do need is less stress, some stability, and a focused drive to improve my life. At one point, every extra dollar went to paying down my high-interest-rate credit cards, and I've eliminated all but two accounts: one business account that acquires miles and one personal account to a favorite clothing company. I'm currently in the process of paying those accounts down from almost-maxed to within 10% of their balances.

With all this money going to correct purchasing mistakes from my past, and the rest going to support my business, I wonder how I ever have any money at all. But then I look around and realize how much money I spend on superfluous things, such as some new craft kit or a new ball of yarn that I just had to have when I haven't gone through hardly any of what I got the time before, or even the occasional hundred-dollar stack of books I walk in the door with. I decided that I had to stop telling myself "I don't have enough money to put into savings."

I started a few months back with a monthly account transfer into 2 accounts: my shared savings with my husband and my smaller, personal savings account. I figured if I had an automatic transfer, I'd kind of set it and forget it, and just notice that ok, 25 has gone here and 10 has gone here. I've been working off that method for a while, and I'm never put back by the small amounts of money leaving my account at 2 different points during the month.

Then, I started thinking. At the very, very least, I make $10 an hour at work. Usually more, but at the very least, $10. I thought, why do I not think my future and finances are important enough for me to invest what equates to usually less than 1 hour a week of my time and money? I needed to give at least $10 extra a week to myself to put aside for either emergencies, or for whatever future plans require - college funds, maternity leave (ahem, eventually) or vacations my husband and I want to take together.

However, since my industry is a per-customer situation, my income is not always consistent from week to week, so a certain amount per month on a certain date other than my prerequisite phone bill or credit payments always makes me nervous. I decided to see if I could trick myself into not noticing myself saving money by doing smaller increments, but a lot more frequently. And when I say small, I mean small.

I decided that I'd add a couple more transfers to the list. One day a week, 3 dollars comes out of my account and goes into my personal savings account. Originally I was hoping to set up a $5-a-week payment to my credit card, but I wasn't able to set that up. That's when I decided that I'd save the whole $10 a week I was thinking about originally, and just make an outside effort to pay my cards down instead of buying unnecessary items in 2011. Instead of changing my 3 dollar transfer to $10, or adding another transfer day, I decided to break up the remaining 7 dollars, and transfer $1.40 every business day to my account.

This way, 5 days a week, I'm paying myself $1.40. 1 day a week, an additional transfer of $3 goes to the same savings account. 1 day a month, an additional transfer of $10 goes to that same account. And finally, 1 day a month, $25 goes into my shared account with my husband.

With less than 2 dollars a day coming out of my account, I don't have to stress whether or not my savings transfer is going to threaten my account into overdrafting, and I'm already used to the higher two amounts from coming out of my account.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but with this system, I'll be bringing my savings from what was before $420 a year, to a total savings of $940. And hopefully, I'll barely even notice.

Nap Cat says Don't Bug Me

image1366394538.jpgDiz is a-snugglin in fresh-from-dryer blankets. Go ahead. Move her. IF you're brave.

On the spindle: September 7, 2010

image578505484.jpgThis week I've been working on another set of hand-dyed silk hankies. I dyed one set in a variegated teal green, and another set in teal green, green, yellow, and orange. I've spun each ply to about 40 wpi and am now spinning both singles together. Such a pretty color combo, and so shiny and soft. Can't wait to put something together with it soon!

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