Money Monday · Uncategorized

Money Monday | Entertainment

As someone who is proudly trying to be a cheapskate, I am happy to say that I have found many ways to cheaply entertain myself, from a young age, much to the chagrin of my parents.

 

It started with books.  I learned to read at a very young age.  Also, I was not allowed to watch a good portion of television offered to people my age.  Books gave me an opportunity to see a world much larger than my very small one.  I won’t lie, I did spend a lot of money on books.  Mostly because I got an allowance and because my mom would take me to the shopping mall instead of the library (though we did go to the library a few times).  Libraries are awesome.  I mean, there are more free books to read than you have time for.  And if you have the patience (always have patience, it’s a virtue for a reason) you can request pretty much any book your heart desires.  AND libraries have free events.  Mine has knitting, which I haven’t taken up yet.

 

Books kind of put this weird romantic ideal in my heart:  that the world was made for exploring, and the woods were a beautiful and mysterious place.  I would dig in my backyard pretending to be Indiana Jones.  Once I set up a detective shop in my backyard so I could be like Nancy Drew.  When we moved to a wooded area, I’d hike and pretend like I was in Narnia or like I was queen of the forest or something.  You guys, hiking is free.  There are also a ton of parks near me.  While I am a SUPER anxious person that is afraid of being the jogger in the park who gets murdered, hiking is a great thing to do with friends.  As someone who has overstayed her welcome at local diners, talking to a friend for more than 4 hours, hiking is great.  No one gives you looks.  Heck, no one might even see you.  You get to talk with a friend while leisurely walking at your own pace.  You get to see the great outdoors.  Also, it’s exercising without even trying.  Which, let’s be honest, is the best kind of exercise.  Also, there tends to be limited cell reception, which, while probably great for murderers, also great for having uninterrupted conversation.  However, let’s face it, I’m an introvert, give me one on one time, or give me time by myself.  I hate crowds.

 

Honestly, I have no idea what advice to give to people who love crowds…except one idea.  Basically, a potluck.  I do love food.  With a potluck, no one has too much work to do, or too much money to invest, but everyone benefits from the diversity.  I’m also pretty sure that everyone has some random table top game they can bring, and games can be fun.  Heck, you could even just play with a deck of cards.

 

But let me get to the part where I let down my parents (outside of the book reading that prevented me from being more social than they would have liked).  When my husband and I started dating we were in high school.  Neither of has jobs.  He couldn’t take me on expensive dates.  We would hike (see above) or ride bikes or watch movies from the extensive collection his parents had.  I loved every second of it.  My parents thought he should be spending a lot on me.  Now that we’re technically adults, we’ve eaten at some expensive places, gone out to movies, but here’s the thing:  I genuinely don’t care about expensive restaurants.  Any restaurant that has strangers at it, is a restaurant that I am probably not going to enjoy.  So, at least being cheap would make me happy (see small, local diners and fast food).  Sure, I like me some sushi, and cheap sushi isn’t something I necessarily want in my life, but those are VERY special events (where my husband wouldn’t be included anyway because the idea of sushi makes him uncomfortable).  I do kind of love the movie theater experience, what with the big screen and the special popcorn and the fancy seats.  BUT…remember where I’m not a fan of strangers?  Let me go on a rant about a certain kind of stranger I don’t like.  The people who look at their cell phones during movies.  The people that scream continuously through horror movies.  The people who clap during movies.  I want everyone in the movie theater so sit down, shut up, and not talk until the credits roll.  Sadly, that is not the world we live in, so I will probably never have a perfect movie experience.  Basically, I’m a cheap date because I’m an introvert.  Also, I can’t tell you how many times my parents have told me that my husband should be taking me on expensive dates.  I’m the one with the money skills, yo.  I’m just lucky I have a husband who thinks Taco Bell is a delicacy.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized

Working Wednesday

I am not at a point in my life where I plan these posts in advance. My blog life is like my financial life, I know just enough to know I need to get better, but I’m not there yet. 
This blog is for me, to keep me on track. I want to keep mmyself working on the things that really matter to me. Which is why Working Wednesday is so important to me. It reminds me that what I do can have value. That I have projects. 
But today, I’m going for a jog and then to the movies and then to bed. 
No anxiety. Some days you just need to live a little. 
-Smudged 

Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday | Office Design

Nothing too fascinating today.  I’m trying to design an ideal office for myself.

 

I would like (in perfect dream world):

Office Corner

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Filing Cabinet

Sewing Corner

  • Sewing Machine
  • Dummy
  • Materials

Art Corner

  • Easel
  • Drawing Table
  • Light box
  • Small Table to Hold Paints

 

And obviously a rolling chair and a stool.  And possibly some bookshelves.  And if we’re going full out perfect dream world, I want a hammock too.

Uncategorized

Money Monday | Exercise

I’m all about not spending money. I’m also all about getting exercise. I’m not paying for a gym membership. My sister-in-law snuck me into her YMCA a few times, and though the classes were fun, it wasn’t for me. Number one, if I have to travel (which takes time) to go exercise? It’s not happening. Number two, I felt really sleazy sneaking in. She was cool with it, but it wasn’t my thing. Number three, I called to inquire about prices (it was like $75 a month per person, no freaking way), they absolutely do not let you pay per class. At least at that YMCA. 
I was discouraged, to say the least. That’s about the point I decided to start the Couch to 5k program (that I never finished). It was a great start and got me consistent. I quit because I was really sick of timing myself and even more sick of pushing myself. I just wanted to get the recommended amount of exercise and be done with it. So I kept jogging, but without the timing (which is irritating AND stresses me out) and without pushing myself (it was hard enough to get myself outside). I may walk up hills, but at least I’m exercising (also, not running up hills seems to be good for my feet). There is a VERY serious problem with jogging in most locations: weather. I’ll happily jog in mild rain. I’ve even jogged in temperatures that were technically freezing. But I won’t jog when there’s thunder. I won’t jog when the sidewalks are covered in ice. I will try to jog when the humidity is making it hard to breathe when I’m walking, but I will  take it easy on myself. I was afraid to break the habit. Had to keep the chain going. So, when I can’t go outside, I find videos on YouTube. 
There are so many great options. So many. Including some unexpected ones. While I recommend Pop Sugar Fitness, Fitness Blender, and Yoga with Adrienne, you can find some options that will make you laugh while you exercise. Once, I aerobocized along with a video clearly from the 80s run by a mother daughter duo. The mother, for whatever reason, would gleefully cheer “hot dog” when she liked the direction the exercise went. I felt ridiculous, but no one could see me. Here’s a fun thing my high school friends would do: ironically AND un-ironically watch/exercise to Richard Simmons videos together. No idea why, but it’s a treasured memory. 
For your viewing pleasure (also, my bad, it’s early 90s): https://youtu.be/LSvkG2xa3xs
-Smudged

Famous Artist Friday · Uncategorized

Famous Artist Friday | Karen LaMonte

Sometimes I just look at someone’s art and am awed at what they can do.  And also wonder how on earth they even came up with the idea.

 

Enter, Karen LaMonte.  She makes large, glass sculptures.  They. Look. Like. Ghost. Dresses.  I am in love.

 

Just, look:

Evening_Dress_With_Shawl
Source

 

I’m still confused about using pictures.  All I can say is that she has a gorgeous collection of pictures of her art, and that she inspires me to go re-read some Nancy Drew books with fake ghosts.  Looking at her art makes me feel like a kid who wanted to solve a mystery that involved a ghost in fancy dress-ware.

 

-Smudged

 

Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday | Lists

I love lists.  I have so many to-do lists.  I have a little notebook dedicated to lists.  Lists of songs to listen to in order to get myself pumped for the day.  Lists of fruits and vegetables I’d like to try to grow someday.  Lists of really cool artists.  Once (HUGE nerd alert), I would open the dictionary at random, find interesting words, and write them down in a little notebook (mixed with words I didn’t know from books).

 

But my favorite list right now is my clothing do’s and my clothing don’ts lists.  See, I used to shop a lot.  An unhealthy amount.  Product of my raising.  Product of my culture.  I had an unbelievable amount of clothing.  My mother would try to be helpful, if it isn’t completely satisfying when you try something on, then don’t get that.  But I fell prey to other people thinking things looked good on me.

 

Also, I’m working on being a part-time minimalist.  I hate thinking too much about what I’m going to wear.  It stresses me out.  How about I just look nice all the time (unless I’m working and messing up my clothes)?  I know VERY well, now anyway, that there are certain things that I will refuse to wear, no matter how much I liked it in the store.  Why waste my time and money?  Also, why not make my life super easy and make all of my clothes match?  I can just grab things at random and just automatically look good!  That’s all I want in my life.

 

I make my lists based on me.  On my body shape, on my skin tone, on what makes me feel comfortable, on what makes me feel nice.  I think everyone should personalize lists like this to themselves.  It’s a little bit of work to make so much of your life easier.

 

My (personal) clothing don’ts:

 

  1.  Visible elastic
  2. Bright colors
  3. Awkwardly short shirts
  4. Mini skirts
  5. White socks
  6. White
  7. Bulgy pockets
  8. Cap sleeves
  9. Empire waists
  10. Words/symbols (unless band/movies I love, I don’t generally advertise for free)
  11. Tight skirts
  12. Platform shoes
  13. Too warm colors (yellow and orange, gross)
  14. Ruffles
  15. Puffy sleeves
  16. Itchy sweaters
  17. Turtlenecks
  18. Slacks
  19. Anything that causes me pain.
  20. Anything that rides up and needs fixed constantly
  21. Transparent clothing
  22. Brown (I can wax poetic on my hatred of brown clothing/accessories.  I’m a cool skin tone, so it isn’t great on me anyway.  Also, there’s like a billion shades of brown, good luck matching your belt and your shoes and your purse.  You know what’s good?  Black.  Black always matches black.  Black always matches gray.  And white.  But brown?  Not for me.)
  23. Bedazzling
  24. Knee high boots (or higher)

 

My (personal) clothing do’s:

 

  1.  Stripes (I love stripes passionately)
  2. Black clothing
  3. Teal clothing
  4. Gray clothing
  5. Burgundy clothing
  6. Deep green clothing
  7. Sweaters
  8. Dresses cut at my waist
  9. Simple designs on jean pockets (no bedazzling, no sparkles, but not just blank)
  10. Socks for flats with grips
  11. Plain t-shirts
  12. Tank tops that perfectly hide my bra straps
  13. Skirts that dance when I spin
  14. Short boots
  15. Black socks (particularly ankle cut)
  16. Big, comfy hoodies
  17. Clothes made to fit me
  18. Hidden, good-sized pockets
  19. Blue jeans that actually fit my hips/butt, which is no easy feat

I would love to see other people think of something like this.  I mean, you go shopping, you find something you think you like, but it has something on the don’t list?  Don’t get it, you won’t wear it.  You know you.  You do you.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday | Peripheral Research

 Things I would like in order to really sell my art: printer (for fancy prints), printer (for invoices), scanner, art computer.
Fancy Color Printer: I want the colors to print how they look on the screen. No streaks, no stripes, no weird alterations. I understand that really good printers get very expensive (especially the ink/toner). I also understand that this could possibly be the last thing I purchase, and only purchase after I’ve been working for a while. Honestly, a good Fed Ex printing office can handle this fairly cheaply, it just takes effort to get there.
Mediocre Invoice Printer: I need a printer that I can access quickly so I can print off invoices or receipts. I’d like to be able to do this sooner rather than later because even though I’m not making a lot, I’d like to make my life easier now. Plus, it’s just nice to have a printer around. Alternative, I could go to the library and spend ten cents on every page I print. Or I could spend money and set up one of those cool phone swipey things, but I’m just not in deep enough for that.
Scanner: oh my gosh, this is important. Look, I prefer traditional mediums. Like, a lot. But that’s in part because it’s hard to draw on a screen. If I can get the sketch done on paper first, I’d be more comfortable. Also, I’d really like to digitize my records, for easier tax accounting purposes.
Computer: ok, so I clearly have a computer. But, I share it with my husband, which means it’s impossible to use when he’s home. My college laptop is very broken. Also, his music files and programs take up a lot of that computer. Honestly, I would like a laptop, even better if I can use a pressure sensitive stylus on the screen. I’m sure that drawing with a mouse builds character, but I’m too old for that nonsense. My time on this earth is ticking away and I’m not wasting it redrawing my shaky mouse drawings.
I’ll have to start digging in to this research.
-Smudged
Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday | Primary Colors

So, I decided to try two things today.  One, a drawing from a reference.  Two, using three colors (the primary colors) and seeing what I could mix.

 

Here’s my reference (thanks Google and The B in Apartment 23…which I highly recommend, great show) (also, look how lazy I am, didn’t even bother to cut the top off):

 

Screenshot_2017-06-13-17-55-46 (1).png

 

Preliminary sketch I didn’t even try to fix:

 

20170613_181308

 

Added layer of yellow:

 

20170613_181513

 

Added layer of red:

 

20170613_182002

 

Added a layer of blue:

 

20170613_182518

 

Realized I forgot to color her shirt:

 

20170613_182701

 

Layer of yellow on shirt:

 

20170613_182758

 

Added some fix up colors???:

 

20170613_182929

 

Lazy background and ink:

 

20170613_183616

 

Yay!  I did something!  I just love the idea that if you have the three primary colors, you can just make all the other colors.  It’s very exciting.

 

-Smudged

Money Monday · Uncategorized

Money Monday | Short Update

Car repair is important.  I do appreciate my car taking me to my job.

 

Honestly, an emergency fund is for that kind of thing.  Like the flat tire my husband got.  It gives relief when things go wrong.  Now, I’m going to re-fill my emergency fund with money I would have paid toward my loans, but still.  I’m not going to stop kicking my student loans’ butts.

 

Maybe I’m being silly, but the world seems like it’d be a lot freer of a place if debt wasn’t weighing me down.  Like, a job loss wouldn’t be so terrifying if I didn’t have that weighing over my head.  I could breathe and move on.

 

It’s a dream that makes me happy.  I know, however, that debt can hit you very suddenly out of nowhere.  In particular, medical debt.  You don’t choose medical debt, it chooses you.  There’s only so much you can plan, outside of a nice emergency fund of who knows how much money.  You could get hit by a car and your insurance might only cover part of it, you could suddenly get cancer, you could suddenly develop a mental illness (just so you know, schizophrenia frequently makes its first appearance in your 20’s in lots of cases, random bit of information) and need lots of treatment and meds…forever.  And if that happens when you’re just starting to dig yourself out of debt?  That’s rough (honestly, it’s rough in general, this is just insult to injury).  Or right when you’ve gotten out of debt only to be buried again?  For something out of your control?

 

Anxiety can be a very bad thing, but I can’t say that it has ever kept me from being prepared.  Well, there was this one time I was afraid to look at my bank account for a few months…but I got over that.  Now I just plan and plan and plan and plan.  I like planning.  I like knowing what to do when something unexpected happens.  I do kind of hate the part where I don’t actually have the supplies yet to pull off the plan, but I’m getting there.

 

-Smudged