My Blunder At The Craft Store, Or, How I Spent $94.28 On...


What is up with that?

My office is in a mixed retail/office complex and one of the stores in the lower section is a well-known crafts supplies retail chain. I had this brilliant notion that I would buy a cheap bell or two like we have tied to our office door (left over from Christmas, it alerts us when clients walk in, otherwise they have about seven steps into the office before we are aware they are there. This is to alert us to go on “professional mode” and stop baying like hyenas at someone’s joke, complaining about owners, or gossiping about tenants, etc. when the jingle jingles.). The bell was to put on my home front door so the dog will learn to bat it when she wants to go out for a pee, instead of just sniffing around the door silently.

Or so I hope the dog will learn. If not, our door will just jingle.

Anyway. So it’s Friday night, and it’s been a long and brutal week in the world of property management, in the summertime, the most busiest time of the year, with hoards of students descending upon town, looking for homes, and the usual 31st/1st week’s normal spike in paperwork, phone calls, madness, and so on.

On my way to pick up the dog after work, I pop into the well-known crafts supplies retail chain. I haven’t been in that store in about two years.

Because I am not a crafts person.

I do not scrapbook. I do not paint wooden objects. I do not crotchet. I can knit and sew, but that isn’t the same as crafting to me as it can produce both useful and attractive garments, but I don’t have the time any more. I do not play with clay, ribbon, or make things, or make things prettier by gluing on cutesy things or flowers or bunnies. I loathe cutesy, I loath “country”, and I loath the overwhelming stench of potpourri that seems to emanate from Mic–I mean, the well-known crafts supplies retain chain store. All the people I see going in and out of that store do not look like the kind of women that I would have a rapport with. I am not a crafty person. I don’t have anything particularly against crafts, it just seems about as alien to me as spending time watching golf on television. Different pastimes for different folks.

Then I remembered, on the search for the jingle bell, that bracelet that another woman in our office was wearing. She’d made it, and it was lovely. Gorgeous beads, beautiful colours, and it went so well with her outfit… Gee, didn’t she say it was easy? And creative? And fun to do? And didn’t she mention that there were beads at Mich–at the well-known yada yada?

Yes, there were beads there. Not as many or as beautiful as at the store downtown that sells nothing but beads, the store I went into once, then never again, because I knew I would buy bead and after bead after bead, just because OOOH… SHINY! OOOH… PRETTY!

Damn it. $94.28 on Ooooh Pretty.


On beads.

Please don’t tell my husband, after I made some snarky remarks on our habit of spending money on non-essential items.

And now, I guess I better get back to that Google search on "jewellery making for dummies’. (Or “jewelry” so I could get US results, too.)

Now, is that a huge amount of beads or just a handful of extra pricey ones?

Ale, who has ocasionally blown more than a reasonable sum of money on crafts but by Jove, 94 bucks worth of beads!?

They probably cost so much because they are dishwasher-safe?

Ugh. I’ve done that before. And I actually bead, so I try to curb my spending sprees to $60-70 or less. Sometimes it works. Beads! Little, teensy shiny things, you strand on glorified dental floss. Thankfully I get some use out of it, as most of my jewellery is stuff I’ve made myself, but still. It’s all a bit much.

These days I won’t walk into a craft store unless I have a very specific project in mind. I, too, hate “country” crap, or that homemade glurge on a stick made with tin and drawn with a colgate smile to look like a kindergartener made it. (It’s one thing if your kindergartener did make it. Sure! Display it proudly! But it’s quite another thing when an adult goes out of his/her way to make something that looks… pathetic! On purpose! By accident I can even understand, but on purpose?! Ueeeragh! Ah, well, to each their own.) I love to do stuff with my hands, so I’m a knitter/crocheter/sewer. I love beading, as mentioned. The other stuff I can usually avoid. However, I must make a trip on my next day off to a nearby craft supply store to buy a purse handle. I’m making a decoupage purse out of a cigar box to give to my manager, who gave me the beautiful boxes in the first place. I’ve never done decoupage, however, after seeing some beautiful examples, and knowing the style she will like, I find myself in need of a trip to the craft store. Sigh. Thankfully, with decoupage, I already have what I need here at home. No fancy papers or tools. I have magazines and a printer and clipart and white glue. So none of that. My goal is to get a little fabric to line the inside, fabric glue, a purse handle, and some small, fluffy gonks with large-holed beads to hang jauntily off of the end of said purse handle. I told my husband it shouldn’t cost me more than $20, tops. Let’s see how that goes. :dubious:

I’m not a particularly crafty person, but I do enjoy doing things with my hands. It used to be beads for me, but then I realised that no matter how many make-your-won-pretty-jewelery books I bought, I couldn’t make it pretty like the professionals. So, I turned to scrapbooking, and there are a lot of pricey oh-so-pretty 3D stickers. Not that I’m crafty in terms of scrapbooks either. It’s basically just a bunch of photos slapped onto a 12x12 piece of paper with a bunch of cute fancy stickers. Both of these ran me dry pretty quickly, but it’s worth it to have something to do with my hands dammit!

Scrapbooking…now *that’s * a cult! I wandered into the local scrapbook supply store because I was doing a “This Is Your Life” thing for my Dad’s 75th birthday.

$100 later, I lugged all the stuff out to my car, grateful that I didn’t get roped into the Scrapbooking Lock-In. Yes…they lock themselves in the store overnight and scrap themselves silly.

I’m currently hooked on gourding. You can’t get gourds at the craft store, so I order those on line. But I also incorporate paint, beads, macrame, horsehair, and all kinds of shit into my gourds, so it can get expensive in a hurry. I fear the craft store.

I make polymer clay jewelry to sell in my sister-in-law’s internet store. I use metal and/or glass beads as spacers. Those craft stores scare me. I can spend sooooo much money in there, so fast…

I could easily have done the same.

Just don’t fall into my idiocy…“I love these beads, but they’re too pretty to use. I’ll save them until I can think of something really special to use them in. And now, since I’m not going to use these beads, I need some more beads to replace them…”

A note on the bell for the dog:

We’ve trained out dog to ring a bell when she wants to go out. One of the most useful things you can teach a dog. (THE most useful is “going” on command). I would reccomend attaching the bell to the door frame next to the door within easy nose reach for the dog. If the bell is hanging from the knob or somesuch, so that it often rings when the door opens (and the dog is not going out) it will be harder to convey the purpose of the bell to the dog. You might even create unwanted habits, like the urgent need to go out anytime the door opened and jingled.

Just hit the bell with the dogs paw EVERYTIME you take him/her out to potty. Eventually (s)he’ll “get it”. Then you might have a brief spell of the dog ringing the bell frequently just to go outside. THAT habit takes a little while to break too. But once the bell is learned you should pretty much never have an accident in the house. If the dog is on the verge of having one, that bell will ring urgently and frantically and you’ll come FLYING to the door… (hopefully!)


Either you’re implying what I’m inferring, in which case ew, or you’re not, in which case I have a filthy mind.

Get outta my head, you!

Yep. Been there, done that. Except it was 140 bucks on a bunch of beads, containers to store the beads, equipment to work with the beads and also a few different sizes of wire. And a couple of books to tell you how to do all the above. You see, I suddenly thought I would indulge my longtime interest in beading and jewelry making and it was a fine plan except for one thing. I have no talent whatsoever in crafty things, including beads. No talent. Zero, zip, zilch. Six months and several hapless attempts later, I gave all my beading supplies to my sister who is now turning out incredibly beautiful braclets, rings and necklaces with very little effort. :o

I have gold satin, black satin and red velvet, if any of those strike your fancy. I buy useless fabric scraps at thrift stores. 3 yards of the gold satin was $2.00.
Let me know, and I’ll bring it Tuesday, if you can make it, I will too.

Opps, it appears trivia has moved days and locations. The new location is in a questionable area, I’ll let you know.
(end of high jack)

Well, it was several, uh, many, packets of beads, an earring kit, some black stretchy stuff I thought you’d put beads on for necklaces, but doesn’t appear to be, and some other things that looked like they were useful for jewellery making. And the dog’s bells.

I don’t think they are dishwasher safe. :slight_smile: The beads, I mean.

In the bead-buying moment, I forgot that I have really bad eyesight, and am somewhat inept with my hands and do not possess much in the way of fine motor skills…

But these pretty beads go so nicely with the collection I started when I cannabilised necklaces I wasn’t wearing and others my mother had bought and the collected beads from necklaces that had broken, and I thought of re-stringing “someday”.

Should have bought a book about simple jewellery making, but oh, no–didn’t want to spend too much money! I will go to the library and cruise around online for tips on my lovely beads.

However… I have three new necklaces and a pair of earrings to match one of them. And I incorporated some beads from an old necklace of my mother’s.

Tip: do not knock over the cute little box with all the separate compartments for beads/tackle/whatnot onto the textured oatmeal carpeting in the living room. I think I got 97% of them picked up, but I know I missed some teenytinies that had from a previously-broken necklace. I fear those will next emerge from the dog’s poolitzer prize. (She’s already eaten some of the trim off a spangly top that I left within mouth-range. Spangly poo! Bling-bling in the doo-doo! Again.)

Shai’tain, that’s a great tip! I will move the bell off the doorknob to beside the door. And we’ll ‘paw’ the bell together every time.

NO more playing with the beads in front of the TV for me today. It’s sooo warm and sunny out. Time to shower and take the dog out.

Nowhere near the craft store.

It could have been worse. You could have gotten a Ronco-matic Rhinestone kit.
Honey. are those rhinestones on your panties? Yes. Wait until you see what I did to your socks.

For me these days, its the quilting stores I have to avoid. I can walk into one and walk out an hour later with several pieces of fabric, and at least one or two patterns.

I don’t know how much money I have tied up in bead, mostly because I fear the numbers (easily a couple thousand :eek: ). I haven’t worked much with them in the last year. I should finish up the project I started for my BIL. :::moseys off to craft closet:::

craft store are to women as hardware stores are to men.

i’m not sure which i am as i can go crazy in either.

they get ya with the 1.99 or 2.99 for a pack. you mosy on down the isle, only 2 or 3 dollars here, 2 or 3 dollars there. then register shock when you go to pay.

i’m glad i finally found an outlet or 2 for some of my bead stuff. i’ve already saturated the family and friends block.

Heh, I don’t spend that much at one sitting, I can’t afford to. I do love beads though, and have four cases of them plus a couple of tins with packages that I don’t have room in my cases for, bought over time. I was lucky enough to get quite a few of them on clearance at the local craft store. Anastasaeon try using tigertail (doesn’t have to be that particular brand, that was just the first link that called the stuff tigertail) instead of the “glorified dental floss”, it works so much better. I tend to use toggle clasps, but whatever clasp you use, will work with tigertail. This is the method I use to finish my piece.