Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another Cloth & Random Thoughts

Another facecloth for my Apple:


Ignore the splotchiness, I'm blocking it in this picture and it's half wet. I made this one out of Knitpicks Shine in their "Green Apple" color.

This time in a lace pattern you can find here. I didn't give proper props to the apple pattern. You can find it here. I know if I had spent the time designing a cute little washcloth and someone posted a finished one on their blog I'd want at least a linkback to the pattern.

Speaking of which, for those of you that requested, I have posted the pattern for my headband. I didn't really write down the pattern like I did with the black widow baby hat as I was knitting it, so my apologies if it doesn't turn out perfect.

I have a lot of admiration for large project knit pattern designers. I can't imagine having to make a pattern for something with different sizes. For me, the hardest part is condensing a pattern. I tend to spell it all out, row by stinkin' row, stitch by stitch, as opposed to writing it: "Repeat as in Row X" or using various methods to indicate a stitch sequence is repeated in a row.

I guess writing a good pattern is like learning a new language and at first you write and speak it very properly. For example, in Spanish, when I was first learning it, I would always say: "Yo vivo en Texas." After you get the hang of a language you can shorten it a bit and not spell it out so much. Again like in Spanish: "Vivo en Texas." You can drop the "Yo" without losing the meaning of the sentence. What can I say? I think in analogies quite a bit.

Moving on, now that we're done with potential student interviews, in between fielding phone calls from said potential students wondering when they're going to get an acceptance/declination letter--I don't know about you but when I was applying to college I NEVER thought to call the college to bug them, talk about rude and impatient, but I digress--I've had a lot of time to think on my hands.

So I've decided to create a little challenge for myself: The Cheapass Christmas

With The Mad Scientist soon to be sans paycheck and I on a paltry state employee's salary and the sole breadwinner, things this Christmas will be tight.

Starting next week in the same vein as Penny Karma and T.'s weekly features on their blogs (lord, I'm such a bandwagoner!) I will document my Cheapass Christmas planning.

My goal will be to spend $250 or less in Christmas gifts, cards, decorating, Christmas dinner, the tree, and other miscellaneous prep.

Each week I'll attempt to tackle one aspect of the Christmas melee and keep it on the thrifty side and document it here on the old Random Meanderings. At the end of each weekly post I'll break down the cost of that particular week's expenditure and update the running total.

I wonder if I can do it? I love a good challenge especially when it comes to being a cheapass.

However, I must preface everything by saying I do have it easier than a lot of people. I only have one kid who is still relatively young (i.e. easily impressed by simple shit) and I have no immediate family in the area to deal with. Plus I was lucky enough to grow up "enlightened" as my mother likes to say. That's a nice way of saying we was po'. Let's just say my standards of fulfillment are probably a little lower.

I'm hoping this challenge to myself will get me more into a Christmas mood since this year the holidays have been or will be a real bummer without my husband around. And of course you can't forget that I'm living in my own climactic version of hell where people think nothing of scantily-clad-Christmas-carolling because it's 90 degrees outside. I guess you have to be from here to think that that's Christmas-y.


Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

When under/unemployed, as I find myself often these days...I just cancel holidays. But that's super fab easy when you don't have a hubby or child. Last turkey day I made game hens. I think I might do that again as even my boyfriend is being guilted into going down to CA.

I still have to be "good sister" and "good auntie"...grumble, but 3 presents are not all that expensive.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Starfish said...

oooh! Can't wait for those cheapass ideas! Not only are we on a tight budget 'cause of the adoption, but I don't like to spend one cent more on my SIL than I have to!!!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Sherry W said...

My folks scoured the second-hand stores before the holidays fro good stuff. They managed to collect a huge pile under the frickin' tree, cheapass.

Sometimes they even found brand new toys and kids clothes. I didn't even know where they came from when I was a kid (the Elves sometimes didn't have packaging for like new/without a box toys).

10:26 PM  
Blogger janna said...

Oh, yes - I could tell you some stories about "your" students...... They're mighty impressed with themselves.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

I look forward to seeing what your creative mind comes up with!! :)

1:04 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

The wash cloth is very pretty.

I think there is too much emphasis on christmas being a big, lavish expensive affair. It should be about spending time with your family and not all the associated crap that gets foisted on us. I bet you'll have a fantastic time regardless.

You need an answer phone message - "We'll call you".

5:55 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Here's a great Cheap Ass Xmas tip: after all the college kids leave on break, drive by the sorority and fraternity dumpsters. Really, all the places where university trash goes for pick up. You should find a tree for the taking.

Or, wait until just before Christmas and negotiate with the guy on the tree lot. About Dec 23, they just want to sell out and go home.

My husband gets dismayed with the depths of my cheap ass behavior sometimes. Oh well.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Cheapass is always good for any reason.

But...hey! You won one of the DOTD prizes! Send me your snail mail address (my email's amycrea AT comcast DOT net), and I'll send it out ASAP.

9:08 AM  
Blogger The Fluffy Ewe said...

Being from Ohio, I can sympathize with your feelings of "90 degree weather ain't Christmas". I could never live in a warm climate for that reason. Heck, I get pissy if there's no snow on the ground Christmas Day. Christmas is also all about travelling in crappy weather to the 15 million places you have to make an appearance.

The facecloth for Apple is very pretty. She will love it, I am sure of that.

We are on one income as well so Christmas is a pinch for us, too. Luckily Toddling is very small is is really kinda clueless and Tater, well Tater is just oblivious to it all. Hehehe. So we can get away with skimping without anyone noticing.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Go Cheapass!! I'll take any tips yer passing, having grown up "enlightened" myself!! My family for the most part has given up on the gifting, except to spoil the lil' ones.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Dh and I invested in a nice (for us...) artificial tree last year. Now we have a free pass until it dies of old age. Although, I do miss the real trees. Here's a twofold tip: people who don't know better are still happy to get handmade items, even if they're made from cheapo acrylic. And part two: kids don't know better. Only half-kidding. I'm about to start Christmas shopping on ebay, but if you'll excuse me, my fridge is being delivered. O_o

11:35 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Good luck with the $250 goal!

I bet you can do it or come very close!

I'll be watching!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Ceallach said...

Bezzie, I hear you on the lean Christmas....we too are there, but mostly because of the crown, the car repairs, the new stove, and other circumstances mostly out of our control.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Connie said...

Congratulations on the DOTD win! Now - for the cheapass Christmas - I am really looking forward to following this. I have 5 children, 2 grown - 1 in college, and 3 elementary kids. I also have 1 grandchild. In the past I was also purchasing gifts for 4 nephews, 2 sisters, inlaws etc. A couple of years ago I remembered a game my aunt used to do (she always hosted a big event with a lot of friends and family)- during the year she would pick up really inexpensive items, wrap them in newspaper, and we would do a dice game. People sit in a circle, shake dice in a pan and pass to the next person. If you rolled a double you picked an item from the center. When the items in the middle are gone, you start taking from each other. It is really fun - we did this and the kids LOVED it! I find that the food thing can get kind of expensive - even with keeping the menu simple and making it by hand.

1:19 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

With your super crafty ways, I have no doubts you'll come up with some fantastic cheapassyness. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

P.S. Great job on both face cloths, so pretty!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Bufanditas said...

Let me recommend the Dollar Tree for decorations and wrapping paper, Chicho Boys on Laredo St. for inexpensive produce, Target's 75% off clearance sections, Big Lots for toys, Craig's List for misc.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

haha! I love "enlightened". I'm going to have to tell my mom that. Most of my life was with a single mom and two siblings. It was hard. Some christmas' were definately more thrifty than others. The only thing that matters though is that your chunky has a special magical day. Good luck on the thrifty xmas!!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Denice said...

I need to learn not to read your blog with a drink in hand. I keep almost spitting diet coke onto my screen.

And I'm definitely doing a cheapass Christmas this year, as I've done for the past few years. We're "enlightened" here, too. I plan to hide some of my son's toys and wrap them up for him to open on Christmas this year. Good thing he's only 2 so he won't notice. I can't wait to see what you do with your fake credit cards. What a great, hilarious blog.

6:05 AM  

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