16 March 2010

Hair bits for the Bridesmaids

I told Vytas he should love me. After making these I saw pretty much the exact same things--literally the only differences were five pronged combs and two flowers, but seriously? If I can do this, I could do that as well--in a David's Bridal catalogue. They were $49.95. Each.

These, even if I didn't already have bits of stuff leftover from everything else still would have cost me less than $15 to make. And for that price I would be able to make thirty of them or more, not the ten I made (didn't photograph them all). Those ten by the way took me less than twenty minutes to make. While chatting on skype with Stevie and casually playing WoW.
Stevie tells me my problem is "maker's mentality." It's not so much a problem that I often insist on making things myself rather than buying them, but that I get indignant and mad at stores and consumers alike for overcharging/paying for things. Don't even get me started on Target clothing.

And maybe she is right. But I think it is a combination of being "crafty," an adjective I hate but am often labeled with (all I can think of is a fox gluing glitter and bits to paper when people call me crafty) and growing up po'. Yeah, that's right. Not like filing for bankruptcy, being on food stamps and welfare poor, but my mom and dad faced a lot of hard times when they were raising my sister and me. My dad was laid off when my sister was little, but they were awesome and rebounded in time to have me, then rebounded again in time to pay for all of my sister's nursing school while paying all the bills. There were lots of hotdog and buttered noodles and Aldi frozen pizzas dinners, sure, but they always made sure to save so we could have family vacations and lots of presents at Christmas. Really, they were amazing.

But now I'm just bragging. What I was getting to was that it gave me a sense of how tight money can be, and well, still is. It makes a person more creative, I think. I'm not saying that if you want to be the next greatest artist whoever lived go into poverty. I'm saying it makes you creative in the sense of well this item has served its purpose can it be used for anything else? Sort of that Great Depression creativeness. It is the reason I save the styrofoam trays that my soup veggie mix comes on to use as paint pallettes.

It allows you to get the most for/out of your money. In some cases, mine for example, it makes you obsessed with getting the most for your money.

It also makes a person cheap. I am the best clearance shopper you'll ever meet. Next to my mom that is. Again, I'm bragging.

Back to this "maker's mentality." Stevie describes it as being a person who not only makes a thing--potholders or scarves for example--but knows how to make or of how to make a vast array of things. Dabblers, if you will. Therefore they've at least countlessly browsed through all the aisles--even the ones they don't need--of fabric, hardware, art, and yes, craft stores. They know average prices and average sale prices.

They therefore can look at a $989 lace, sheath-silhouette wedding dress with a slight sweep train and say, "Well that is stupid. Even with lace that is $75/yard, I could make this for $300 or less!" (Luckily for me, my mom, as part of my wedding gift, insisted on buying me my dress that also went on a rather super sale because the style is being discontinued!) They look at K-mart quality clothes for not-on-sale-Kohl's prices at Target and get mad. They see their sister looking at a length of plain tulle strapped to a bit of hair comb for $90 and say, "I'll just make you a veil, AND it will be hand-beaded, AND I'll do it for less than $12!" They get mad that they do not have a kiln for firing or a forge for metalworking.

I'd like to know I am not alone in this. But as I rant and rave about the simple styles and fabrics I want for my bridesmaids and the exorbitant costs that are so outrageous and how I could just make all five for less than the price of one, everyone, including my bridesmaids, tell me not to worry, not to care. To pick something (pre-made) and they will pay for it and wear whatever I tell them to.

Stevie assures me this is because most people neither know how to make things, nor how much money/time it goes into making things. Mostly that they can't be bothered. So they are willing to spend tons.

Ideally, my goal in life is to live with Vytas on a big lot of land with several small eco-green buildings and with Stevie as either a permanent or part-time resident and be as self-sufficient as possible. Raise small batches of crops for preserves, canning, and the like. Make our own soaps and detergents. Make great big batches of things naturally or I suppose organically. Bread from scratch. Wheel-thrown bowls. So forth and so on.

Sorry this got so far away from little hair bits I made for my bridesmaids.

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