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Friday, April 20, 2007

SBQ: The Wagon

A "Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week" arrived in my mailbox this morning!

This week's SBQ was suggested by Danielle:

Are you on "The Wagon?" If so, how long have you been on and how "serious" are you about it? If not, have you considered it?

First, for my friends who aren't active in some of the stitching forums online, let me take a step back and explain what this means! The idea behind "The Wagon" comes from some of the 12-step programs like AA, NA, etc. In these programs, "being on the wagon" means that you're refraining from the activities that brought you to the group in the first place, whereas "falling off the wagon" means you've slipped into old habits, however temporarily.

For stitchers, this phrase is in regards to stash enhancement. It's easy to get caught up in buying much more than we can possibly stitch, resulting in melted credit cards, especially after industry trade shows when lots of new beautiful designs debut! When a stitcher is "on the wagon", it means that he or she is refraining from buying new stash, or at least being very selective about it - setting a budget, setting up rules for what can or cannot be purchased based on limited availability, imminent plans to stitch the item, etc.

Now, to respond to the question! I am not really "on the wagon", but I have become more discerning regarding what I purchase. I have a long time until retirement, yet I have enough stash to likely make it to retirement and beyond! Because of this and my tastes in stitching, I don't buy a lot of new projects.

I have developed a few rules:
  • If I know something's going to be around to purchase when I actually think I'm going to stitch it, then I won't buy it now.
  • I will take a second look if I know there is limited availability on a piece, or if I'm visiting an out-of-town shop and they carry something I like that I can't easily get at home.
  • I will (and do) invest in class projects, both via correspondence and in-person, because I like learning new stitching concepts.

Here's a few examples of how I've spent my stash money over the past year or so:
  • I have 5 guild GCCs (group correspondence courses) due before September (2 finished, 1 in progress, and 2 unstarted), and I'm signed up for 2 more to start later this year. I'm also going to the Mid-Eastern Region EGA seminar next month and am signed up for two classes.
  • As I've mentioned before, I am subscribed to Jim Wurth's Dodecagon Series of ornaments, which are kitted and come every other month. When I signed up, I promised myself I'd keep up with stitching them, because these kits are costly enough that I don't need 12 of them sitting there, still waiting to be stitched, at the end of the series. So far, so good!
  • I'm also getting the monthly installments for the Redwork Mystery by Gay Ann Rogers, but that was all paid for up-front, so there's no more $$ being spent there! I'm also keeping up with this project (although I've only received two installments so far!).
  • Ok, I admit it. I'm a sucker for the multi-color Quaker samplers. These are about the only "regular" charts I've been buying recently, mostly because many of them are so limited in availability.
  • I purchased 4 repro sampler charts from a local historical society. These were reproduced from the exhibit they've got until June. I don't know if these charts will be available for very long after the exhibit closes!

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