Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Day after Christmas everybody!

I hope everyone is enjoying their post holiday day. I started off my morning by taking down most of the decorations on the bookshelf, and changing some people out of their Christmas garb. Artemis was the first to go back to her usual look. After that it was Modern Circle and Blaine. But that's all that I changed back, although I did confiscate Joe's Santa hat from him. Everyone else stayed in their Christmas clothes, but for several different reasons. Ashley because she just got her new outfit and it felt too soon to change her back, Vanessa, Midge, and Mary Clair because I like their Christmas outfits better than their usual clothes (I also gave Mary Clair's shoes to someone else), Charlotte because I just like seeing her in her's (and I'm not ready to stick it on a hanger), and Joe, because he was wearing the same thing he was wearing before Christmas just with a Santa hat (now without). I also put away the Christmas tree on the Momoko shelf, and the Christmas cards. Still haven't put away the Nutcrackers yet. So for the most part, Christmas is cleaned off the bookshelf, except for Charlotte's shelf. But my day was not always so relaxed, it was not one where I could sit back and take it easy. Since my family knew we were holding off Christmas we've been a little lax with getting ready for it. We didn't have much of anything yet, but since Christmas was over it was time to stock up, or else miss our chances with the after Christmas sales. So today we went out to brave the stores, in order to reap the post-Christmas (to most people) sales.
First up on the destination list was Hallmark. My sister likes their ornaments and asked for some for Christmas. I like their ornaments and their sales after Christmas. This year they had a forty percent off their Christmas stuff sale. I thought last year it was fifty, but last year I don't think I went the first day after Christmas, maybe eventually it goes up to fifty. Either way, I got a superhero ornament for my brother-in-law, and two ornaments for my sister. She likes cute ones, but I really couldn't find any that seemed "cute". I ended up picking up two that were mystery ones. There's three paint variations to get and you buy the sealed box and part of the surprise is opening it. Thought that might be interesting. Plus... they were cheaper (only six dollar each after the forty percent off) (and don't tell her I said that). I didn't find any "Our First Christmas" ornaments (that's what I wanted to get her personally), so I guess I need to keep looking for something for them. They're the only ones that I haven't gotten anything for yet, everyone else I already have their present in hand, except my brother's who's still in the mail. Maybe I'll just get them cat toys and be done with it. Well, at least I have that option if I can't find something better before the "big day" (whenever that may be).
I also hit up Hobby Lobby, not to check out their Christmas clearance (66 percent off), but to find some tiny craft hook screws. (I'll tell you why later). Sadly they didn't have any in the size I needed. They did have some screw eyes, and I technically could use pliers to open them, and make them into hooks, but thought that was too much work, and too great a chance for failure to spend my money on that. I didn't want to spend my money on something that I might not end up using. So I didn't get them. I also checked out the fabric section. With so many of the dolls staying in their Christmas clothes because I liked the new ones better, I decided to look for some fabrics that I could use to replicate their Christmas dresses, but in non-Christmas fabrics. I was mainly looking for a white with red pattern cotton for Midge. Sadly, they didn't have anything that I liked that worked in the scale, so I didn't get any fabric. I didn't however leave the store empty handed. I ended up heading back to the Christmas section. Truth was, there was something I wanted there. Over the past few weeks I noticed that they had some spools of tulle. 100 yards for ten dollars. They did fall under the half off sales that Hobby Lobby has been posting for Christmas stuff (Although I did wonder if it was part of the sale, tulle wasn't mentioned in the paper ad taped on the Christmas racks). I've been thinking about getting some since I've been using it in my sewing a lot lately. I bought that 25 yard spool I bought a while back, and haven't used it all up yet, but I'm sure I'll reach the end eventually. On sale these spools were a pretty decent price. I decided to get it, but hold off until the prices went lower. I thought I'd be fine waiting until they were 80 percent off, but today when I checked them, a lot of them had already sold. So I decided to not risk it, and get them. I bought two spools, one in white and one in black (the only colors they had left). 66 percent off is still a good deal. Now I don't have to worry about them running out, or me running out. Since I've been using the 25 yard spool pretty haphazardly and haven't reached the end yet, I doubt I'll use this much up for a long, long time. I might not even need to buy any again next year. But even though I have a massive amount of tulle, I will say when things get cheaper and they have any left... I might pick more of it up. It's a sick, sick compulsion. But at least it's cheap, right? These two spools cost me 7.27 including tax, that's less than four cents a foot! The other tulle spools, when on sale, cost exactly six cents per foot, that's a savings of over two cents! TWO CENTS!
After Hobby Lobby I headed off to Lowe's Home Repair. I was still searching for those screw hooks. This may be the first time I actually headed into Lowe's by my choice. Hate that store, going there just means another house project I'll be forced to help with. Just walking in the doors makes my stomach turn, it's very Pavlov's dogs. But Lowe's had exactly what I wanted! Tiny little 1/2 inch screw hooks, they were perfect! Except they cost a dollar, for two. I guess because they were made of brass, but was not willing to pay that much, for so few, so I was forced to get something else. I ended up picking up some larger zinc screw eyes. At least with those I got six for a dollar, and hopefully they would work out. I got two packages, not as much as I needed, but I wasn't willing to buy more in case it didn't work.
And boy, did it not work. I eased the eye open with some pliers, and when I screw it into the wood I was working with, it just cracked the wood. The screw part was just too thick for the size of the dowel I was using. And to make matters worse, the eye when opened was oddly shaped and I couldn't use it. So that was a waste of a dollar. (I had only opened one package, so we're going to return the other one) So not a happy camper from that.
I ended up going out again later in the day. Needed a few more things from the store, plus we had another task... getting my mother a Christmas present. There's a book she's been wanting for a while, and we found it at a local antique store a while back. I was hoping to find it online for cheaper, but adding in shipping it wouldn't be much cheaper. So today we went back and got it. Since my parents have a "no present" rule for each other this Christmas it's going to be coming from Santa than my father. (They have this rule, but they've both cheated on it!) After there we headed to a local hardware store. I was hoping that they would have a better selection of screw hooks, one I could both use and afford. And they did! They had some brass 1/2" hooks. They were a little thicker than the ones at Lowe's, but were much cheaper. I got six of these for a dollar. They had a collar thing on them, and I tried finding them without it, but the guy selling it (who was hovering over us while I was trying to decide) said that's how they all came, which wasn't the case at Lowe's (just sayin'). Although my Dad kept trying to talk me into getting screw eyes, even though he knew that's not what I wanted. Sometimes he won't listen! I ended up getting two packages of hooks, and hoped that these would work.
I had to wait until we were home before I could find out if these would work, if not I just wasted another dollar. I screwed the first one into the dowel, and got the same cracking as when I used the eye screw. It was a smaller crack, but still a crack. I decided that since it was just a small crack, and it was merely an ascetic issue I could live with it. What I was making was just for me anyway. I also had to ease open the hook a little to make it fit around what I needed it to fit around. And you want to know what I was making?
I was making hangers! I've been complaining so much about not having enough, I thought I'd make an effort to make some. I tried making some out of paper clips, but my efforts were clumsy and it looked terrible. I devised this wood/hook idea yesterday. After we were done with Christmas dinner I spent some time cutting dowels to size, then filing down their edges. I made 31 wooden parts, and gave myself a repetitive stress injury at the same time. Had I known the issues with finding decent hooks, I wouldn't have bothered making so many of them. I ended up making all twelve hooks into hangers. They're far from perfect (I would never offer these for sale), but they work. I ended up putting away the remaining dowels. These work for hangers, but since it's just a bar, and the hook isn't that long if the clothing you're hanging up on it has any collar that stands up, it interferes with how it hangs. It works well for dresses with flat collars. So I'd say this sort of worked, but it's not the best solution. I guess I'm just going to have to break down and buy a lot of hangers offline, since I'm not totally pleased with my own creation. At least I tried right?
After I was done with the hangers and used several of them, I turned my attention to the presents that have been piling up in my room. I've been meaning to wrap what I had, but the wrapping paper was in the basement and I wasn't that motivated in getting it. But today with all the new stuff I figured I might as well wrap everything and get it done. I wrapped everything I bought today, plus the few things that I had before. I even wrapped the March Angel that's for my Mom. I won't lie, I'm going to miss her, she was pretty to look at, even though I was terrified she was going to get damaged while in my care. Maybe it's time to look for a June Angel? I will point out/ complain that right now I'm the only one without a wrapped present.

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