ravan: (Cast Off? - sunyata__)
( Feb. 28th, 2010 01:47 am)
I hate being poor. I went to Stitches West on Friday, along with my SO. It was in Santa Clara, so not a long drive, free parking, and we had discount coupons to get in. So, not even as much as the Quilt, Craft Sew disaster.
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So, this last weekend we went to a Sew, Craft and Quilt show. I hoped we'd find some bargains on fabric - you know, below the $5.99 - $9.99 a yard that the fabric stores are charging as regular price for plain cotton single side prints and solids. Seriously, I have a gut level aversion to paying more than $4/yard for a single-sided light-weight cotton print that really has no great artistic "zing". It may be cute, but seldom is anything $10 + per yard cute. $8/yard is about my limit if it is well done and has metallic inclusions. Don't even try to get to look at "licensed" media stuff.
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So, I was looking at various stuff online and in the stores this holiday season, specifically purses, bags and the like. Most of it was sheer, unadulterated crap - ugly, all that same thrown together look, regardless of "brand", like it was made in the same third world sweatshop. Yeah, the labels were different, but the workmanship, the colors, and the designs were all the same nauseating garbage.

I went to four different fabric stores. The notions were all the same, even though the brands were different - except for the high end one, that had a few added different things. The pattern selection was limited, and was was supposedly "fashion" was ill-fitting crap too - sloppy necklines, narrow sleeves, pants without pockets, blah, blah.

Same thing with manufactured clothing. Cheaply made, trashy looking, priced like it was fucking haute coture. Sorry, but why should I pay business suit prices for cheesy whore clothes?

People cry about manufacturing jobs going overseas, about small businesses vanishing. Well, when you have to pay the city bunches of money for the privilege of making stuff to sell in your own home, that's why. When it's easier to wear garbage than to make something that looks decent, that's why.

I used to do flea markets 15 - 20 years ago, and people used to look at my hand made jewelry and sneer, saying they could buy "better" for less at WalMart. No, assholes, you can't. You can buy mass produced crap at WalMart and Target. I couldn't even make my booth fee. Craft fairs were out of the question - they wanted too much money for the privilege of being sneered at.

Now, at least there is a resurgence in interest in hand crafts, in things like knitting and quilting, and sites like Etsy.com. I'm hoping that American cottage industry comes back, that people with money not time start putting that money back into the US economy, not send it overseas, and the people with time not money start spending their time making things for sale.

Someone was commenting about them outlawing plastic grocery bags. A sucky idea, even though I actually like reusable bags, and try to remember to bring mine, I don't like being ordered to do so. But to crochet a string bag only takes me a few hours, and not all at one sitting. If you do it while commuting by bus or train, you can churn out about one a week. All you need is a cone of butcher's twine - between 16 and 30 ply - and a G or H crochet hook (size depending on the thickness of the twine). It's time you would otherwise be sitting around.

So if you have money, not time, spend it on stuff made where you live, please. The livelihood you save may be a friend. Plus, it's "greener" - it didn't have to be shipped from sweatshopland in nasty plastic packaging that cuts you.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2005 04:53 pm)
My blueberries have started ripening. Breakfast this morning was a few blueberries and a strawberry. Our Roma tomatoes are still green, but there are a lot of them. The mint under the faucet is growing big, too. The rosemary died because one of my roomies turned the water down too far... ;-)

I have completed 58/58 yellow, 30/39 black, and 1/95 grey granny squares for my smiley face icon afghan. I'd have more of the black done, but I didn't bring enough black yarn with me to florida (I only brought two balls, and I should have brought 3).

[livejournal.com profile] weofodthignen apparently has arrived at [livejournal.com profile] ertla's, but her computer isn't there yet, and neither of them has called me or stopped by. *sniffle*

The soapmaking project is proceeding. This week I bought a cheap pH meter with thermometer (surprisingly good for the price), molds, gloves, tea tree and neem oils, and a wooden spoon. I may use one of our spare crock pots, with the understanding that it only is used for soaping after that. I need to find my safety goggles, and I like to have a rubber/plastic apron, too. Yes, I'm an ex-chemist, and lye is caustic.

This coming two months will a little hectic, with SiliCon PR #2 and the SiliCon Program book due in August and September, respectively.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jul. 2nd, 2005 11:45 pm)
I hatvested and ate the first few blueberries today! The romas are coming along nicely, but still green. The strawberries are producing a few, but the snails get more than their share, IMO.

I'm buying two scales, one 500g and one 2000 g, so I can play with making soap. Damn, they're getting cheap now - on both the shipping is more than the item! Now all I need is a crock pot or something to mix it in, and maybe a mold or three. Since the commercial idiots can't be bothered to leave the fragrance out, I'll just make my own.
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