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Soapbox 11: The False Illusion of Childhood Prevents People From Growing Up

September 29, 2015

I hear the phrase “let kids be kids,” but what they never say is when kids grow up. Today, we have 30-year-olds who refuse to have responsibility and leech off of their parents. There has to be a balance between never growing up and having a child grow up too soon.

I would venture to say that childhood is a construction of our culture rather than a solid period in a person’s life.

One huge problem we have are helicopter parents who hover, never allowing their child to make mistakes or reap the consequences of their actions. This causes many problems.

  1. Because a child never fails, they don’t know how to deal with failure. Rather than seeing failure as a natural part of the exploration process, they see failure as the end of trying or even as a negative thing.
  1. Because a child never gets a negative consequence for their actions, they don’t feel responsible for their own actions. They never have negative consequences, so why should they care? Instead of learning that they should do or not do things, they learn that they will be protected from consequences, so they can do anything they want.
  1. Because they don’t have consequences, they can feel entitled to things they do not earn. I have seen many examples of this. My fourth grade teacher had an ice cream party at the end of the school year. Each of the children had equal opportunity to earn different parts of the ice cream by learning their math facts. At the end of the year, some kids earned no ice cream because of the choices they made. Instead of it being a fun learning experience, many parents came in to complain about how unfair it was that ice cream was eaten in front of their kid. They felt like their kid was entitled to the treat, even though they didn’t earn it. In turn, their kids felt the same way.
  1. Because they do not have the opportunity to do things on their own, they don’t have pride in their own work. They don’t have to work hard to get what mom and dad will give to them anyway, so why should they work hard? If they did not work hard, why should they care about their work or have pride in it? One of the best ways a child can learn confidence and pride in themselves it to allow them to work through something by themselves and come out on the other end successful. This could be art, a puzzle, a craft, or anything at all. The look of joy on a kid’s face when they do something without an adult for the first time is priceless.

I believe that as a child’s capability goes up, so should their responsibility. Here are just a few of the ways that giving responsibility helps a child.

  1. Money

Once a child can count money, they should be in charge of buying their own snacks. This gives your child a sense of the value of money. Rather than mom and dad being a vending machine, they can have a set amount of money to buy their snacks. They first learn to count the money, then learn that if they buy what is on sale, they can get more, and to save up for the more expensive items, delaying gratification now for gratification later. When they are older, they can get a budget for more expensive things, such as clothing or games. I fully plan on making my kids buy their own game systems by earning money around the house. This way, they will be more likely to take care of the item because they will have to replace it if it breaks.

  1. Chores

As soon as your child can pick up toys and put them away (around 1.5 -2 yrs old) they should have chores. It starts with picking up their own toys and as they grow older, simple things are added, such as sweeping, wiping down a table or stirring food. By giving children chore responsibilities, they will learn essential skills that will help them when they move out and are on their own. These skills include: sewing, cooking, cleaning, mending, laundering clothing and getting out stains. You would be surprised how many people I met at college barely knew how to boil water and couldn’t sew two pieces of fabric together. I have done super basic mending jobs for many people who thanked me sincerely, even though it was really simple and easy.

  1. Budgeting

Many people live outside of their means and spend more than they earn. This causes problems and chains people down to debt. Because of this, I plan on teaching my children how to budget and save money. There are many different techniques and many of them are just as good, even if they have different ways of going about it. I recommend teaching your kids the way that you do it. Because I coupon, I plan on supplementing budgeting with couponing and letting kids make a family mean for a set amount of money (teaching them how to stretch the dollar).  By teaching kids to live within their means, they won’t be chained down by debt and they often learn to be happy with the things they have or know how to pinch pennies enough to purchase the things they want.

In summary, I firmly believe that giving kids responsibility enhances their life and does not prevent them from having a fun childhood. If anything, it enhances it and as a side effect, we get kids who are responsible and resilient.

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New Speed Paint: Little Silver Quill

September 22, 2015

This time, my inspiration is drawn from Silver Quill, the handsome hippogriff off the MLP reviewing world. I was already drawing baby oc’s so I thought I’d try my hand at a baby Silver Quill. It is just a simple design sketch. For the most part, I am please with how he came out. I find it easier to do curves on paper rather than my tablet, but I am starting to get used to it. I started with a sketch I made and then inked and colored it in Gimp. I am getting more used to using Gimp and so I am starting to get quicker at both inking and coloring.

If you would like to see a speed paint of this, click here. If you would like to see this on DeviantArt, click here.

Little Silver Quill

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Soapbox 10: Why Being Called Domestic Rubs Me the Wrong Way

September 15, 2015

Domestic. A Google search defines the adjective use of the word as follows:

Adjective:

  1. of or relating to the running of a home or to family relations
  2. existing or occurring inside a particular country; not foreign or international.

When someone calls a woman domestic, they mean the first definition of the word, not the second.

The urban dictionary defines domestic being used as an adjective as follows: A woman worthy of keeping in your house. A traditional type of woman; not an independent type of woman. A woman who could potentially be girlfriend or wifey material. Possibly a mistress.

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There have been many times in my life when someone starts to get to know me and then calls me ‘domestic’. This has always rubbed me the wrong way because my first thought when someone says domestic is the old fashioned, smiling housewife who has a dinner made from scratch ready for her husband and is stuck washing laundry and dishes all day. This is not me. My husband doesn’t lord over me or rule me. We rule our house together, hand in hand. He does some things, I do others.

If you mean that I can run my home, then yes, I am domestic. My husband honors my opinion as if it was made of gold. He knows I think things through before I come to a strong opinion, so if I warn him or make a strong suggestion, I am correct.

If you mean that I CAN cook and clean and mend clothing, yes, I can because I am self sufficient. Do I do these things alone? No, I don’t.

When you go to call someone domestic, think about what you are saying. Many people won’t take it as a complement. If you mean that they put effort into something, say that. If you mean it is beautiful, say that. Even saying something like, “You are so good with your hands,” “I couldn’t possibly…. Knit… crochet… fix a fence…mend… paint… etc,” would be better.You will come off as more clear and your message will be clear as well.

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New Speed Paint: Mad Munchkin

September 1, 2015

I have uploaded a new speed paint. This time, it is Mad Munchkin. I was day dreaming and started sketching. I drew a few small sketches and then for some reason, my Mad Munchkin came out. I drew her without her traditional scarf and hat because I wanted to do it a bit differently.

If you want to see how I drew this, click here to see the speed paint. You can also click here to visit my DeviantArt page.

Mad Munchkin HappyRecolorSm Mad Munchkin HappySM

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Soapbox 9: When a Tightwad Will Fork Over Good Money

September 1, 2015

I consider myself a bit of a tightwad. I live life according to the idea of “buy it new, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

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Ways I save money:  (Skip to the other dashed line if you want to skip this part.)

  • Clothes: I will wear my jeans until they fall off of me because my size doesn’t change and I buy jeans that are neither trendy nor out of style. I like a more classic look that is more timeless than ‘in’. I also wear my shirts until they stop fitting properly, get holes or stains that cannot be removed (I am no stain wizard).
  • Shoes/Jackets/Purses: I buy black shoes, jackets and purses so they match with everything, making choosing shoes for the morning super simple.
  • Car Filters: I will also never pay someone to change the filters in my car because it is super easy to do it myself if I just buy the filters.
  • Gloves/Scarves: I won’t pay for gloves or scarves because I can make them myself and customize them to my heart’s content.
  • Ice Cream: I would rather pay for a gallon of ice cream at the store than go to Cold Stone or another creamery. I get more ice cream for less money.
  • Meals: I make a large meal at the beginning of the week and take left overs to work instead of eating out.
  • Couponing: I coupon when I can. (Thanks grocerysmarts.com, Hip2Save, Living Rich With Coupons and Fabulessly Frugal for making couponing a breeze.)
  • Hair Cuts: I don’t get my hair cut. My husband is vain and doesn’t like the job I do with our clippers, so he gets his hair cut at a salon for about $10. To offset this, I get mine cut every few years. Because of this, I can also donate my hair or keep it in case my mother or I need a wig later in life. With my family history, this is a high probability.
  • Gardening: Gardens can easily pay for themselves, especially on years when produce prices go up because of a crop failure. Setup is the most expensive part, but even a small garden can save you a lot of money. My favorite crops are squashes, tomatoes and melons.

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Now that my thifty nature has been established, I will admit that I do spend money on things.  Here are the main reasons:

  1. Some things are more expensive to make at home. Clothes, for example, are far more expensive because of the current technology, let alone the time it takes to make them. This includes sewing shirts or even knitting socks.
  2. Sometimes it is impractical to make everything at home, even if it is cheaper. I do not make my own pasta or bread each week because of this. Working a full time makes time a very precious resource
  3. Can I say enough about quality? I hate when I buy something, just to have it break and have me have to get something new. I buy metal nail files, specific brands of ice cream, certain pasta sauces, and Oreos. Some things just aren’t the same if they are not name brand because the quality is superb when you buy name brand items.

Items I buy because of quality. Here are some of the things that I buy for quality, not for price:

Cameras:

Recently, I have purchased a very expensive camera. I had been buying ~300 cameras, but every 2-ish years, some little piece of the camera would break and I’d have to invest in a new one. That means that by 10 years, I’d’ve spent $1500 on crappy cameras! To avoid this, I researched and looked into a high quality camera that I could take care of and that would last. Eventually, it will pay itself off with the savings from not having to buy another junker.

Dishwashers:

I have had my fair share of junker dishwashers in my house that leave deposits of soap and silt on the dishes. Why did I waste my soap, hot water and electricity on something that doesn’t even clean my dishes? At that point, I may as well have done them by hand.

Can Rotating Shelves:

If you have the room, this one can also pay for itself over time. Instead of having to clean out your pantries and finding can after can of items to throw away, you can get a can rotating shelf that keeps your cans organized and easily accessible. Less food waste and less time spent organizing. Enough said.

Soaps/Shampoos/Laundry Detergent:

I have seborrheic dermatitis (dry, oily skin that gets inflamed and itchy). If I use things that are scented or have harsh chemicals in them, I have a good chance that my skin will be irritated and then I will be itching all night long, cutting into my sleep and all day long, embarrassing me at work. I even got my husband some Old Spice body wash that he liked and then I found out that he’d been putting his luffa above mine after his showers and that was why my skin was becoming inflamed. I will spend extra money to make sure that my dry skin is taken care of and that I am not suffering because of something so simple. This same concept applies to laundry detergent.

Computers:

A good, new desktop computer will last you years and years, while a poor one will have you cursing at its loading speeds and shaking your fist when you try to stream movies. Newer desktops are also very easy to upgrade when something fails or when you need a better system.

Cars:

Getting a good car is worth the money. Any money you save by buying a junker is outweighed by the money you will spend keeping it running.

DDR pads:

Most DDR pads are flimsy and break within the first few uses, making the games unplayable at worst and difficult at best. Getting some good quality dance pads is the only way to go.

Phones:

When I upgraded to a smart phone, I decided not to get the top of the line in order to save a little money. The phone I opted for had great ratings, but almost immediately I found that I was running out of what little RAM the phone had just by running a few apps concurrently. (Greenify app, thanks for making my phone usable.) When I upgrade this next time, I will get the best phone that still fits in my pocket, not the next best thing.

Knives:

Using a dull knife to cut through something is like pulling teeth. It sucks. When I was married, my husband and I invested in a good knife block that has lasted us for many years. Yes, we need to sharpen them occasionally, but the quality of the knives makes cooking less of a chore. If you’ve never used a high quality knife before, go get yourself one. Find a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon and invest. You’ll never turn back.

Bed:

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. If you skimp here, prepare for years of unrest as your sleep is less deep and less restful. Do yourself a favor, get a good matress. (Also, get a good frame that supports your boxspring or mattress because elsewise, the boxspring can break. We had that happen twice before replacing our supporting frame.)

Summary:

In summary, I like my items to be quality over quantity. If you can convince me that your item will save me money over time or will work in a more efficient manner that saves me time/money/effort, I will probably buy your product. If your product is low quality, meant to break after a few years or is a pain to use, I will pass your product over.

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New Holder Line: Super Hero

August 24, 2015

I wanted to make a holder that spoke to the nerdy side of my interests, so I made this superhero themed holder with a comic book interior. I love the bright colors and the way it nods to the comic book roots to the characters we love.

To see my current stock of crochet hook holders, click here. For my dpn holders, click here.

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Outside

Inside

Inside

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Rolled Up

 

To see my current stock of crochet hook holders, click here. For my dpn holders, click here.

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New Speed Paint: Rush

August 24, 2015

Recently, I have purchased a new tablet and started drawing again. I was able to get a fantastic deal on Corel Paintshop Pro X6 and so I started learning that. This is my first work of art on it: Rush from the Mega Man series. I wanted him to be a bit cuter than the show art and sprites. Mega Man was one of my favorite video game series to play with my brother growing up, so it was a pleasure to test a new software on it. I didn’t have the proportions on the tablet set correctly, but he came out well despite that. If you would like to see the speed paint of this, click here on my YouTube channel or feel free to follow me on DeviantArt.

Rush