Posted by: Hannah | 11/11/2012

spendy spendy

This afternoon we went to a Christmas craft show.

I like to go to at least one every year. I get decorating or crafting ideas, sample local wines, the kids buy fudge… it’s nice.

(This year I was also doing some market research for my father’s furniture business, Heart’s Inspired Furniture. I always suspected that his pieces were second-to-none in terms of quality and craftsmanship, and nothing I saw today changed my mind. There are some very nice folks selling some not-so-nice stuff out there.)


Craft shows are for me the Land of Impulse Purchases. We are currently instituting a ‘money jar’ system a la Gail Vaz-Oxlade from ‘Til Debt Do Us Part. Every week we take a certain sum of money and divvy it up among jars:

  • Home – basic home repairs & maintenance, water system maintenance, major appliance repair / replacement, lawnmower & snowblower maintenance
  • Car – car repairs, tire purchases, oil changes
  • Christmas – any & all items purchased for Christmas, including presents, tree, food
  • Vacation – our vacation fund!
  • Pets/Other – Salty’s glucosamine supplements, vet visits, dog registration, flea meds
  • Meat – we purchase either a quarter or half share of beef once a year, plus we’ll be buying half a pig once we free up some room in the freezer

This isn’t exactly Vaz-Oxlade’s system – we don’t have a ‘food’ jar, for example, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t suggest a ‘Christmas’ jar – but it is inspired by her, and it’s working well for us so far.

And thank god for the jars, because otherwise I would have bought the following Utterly Useless If Charming items this afternoon:

  • a paint-your-own-pillowcase kit with professional-grade fabric paint (so soft! so bright!)
  • a hideous ceramic table-top Christmas tree because my Nanny had one when I was a kid
  • a magic wand made of real wood that was all polished and lovely, and would give JK Rowling fits if she saw it because it was advertised as a “Magic Academy” wand
  • a British china tea set patterned with primary-coloured polka dots
  • men’s all-in-one long johns, complete with trap door, tie-dyed & smelling faintly of patchouli
  • a hooked rug
  • a working clock made of beach sand
  • a six-pack of gourmet hot sauces
  • hand-knitted mittens
  • more jams, pickles, and preserves than I could possibly eat in one season
  • and a $26 wheel of gouda

As it was, I bought two bottles of wine at a show discount, the kids spent their allowance on fudge, and Michael bought one bottle of hot sauce because it is delicious and also diabetic-friendly.

I am not now sitting on the couch surrounded by stuff and feeling buyers’ remorse.

I’ll be working at a show in two weeks’ time, with my dad. Glad for the jars! They should keep me out of trouble.




  1. You’d get on well with my husband. He loves going to craft shows. Also: farmers’ markets, antique fairs and bookstores. I do not.

    • I’m with you on bookstores – I get so banjaxed in bookstores. But I do love farmers’ markets and craft shows. Antique fairs would just put me into deep, deep debt. BUT IT WOULD BE FUN.

      • “All of these are free at the library” I say to him we go to bookstores. “These are cheaper at the thrift store” I say when we go antiquing. “There are so many dirty hippies here” I say when we are farmer’s markets.

        • Everything smells like patchouli and self-righteousness. 😉

          • I love this comment.

  2. If that cheese is from the cheese guy in NS, it’s WORTH IT. BF takes the odd trip there for cheese 😀

    • I may buy a gouda wheel come December. I will definitely be buying his dragon’s breath blue, which is the Most Delicious Cheese, Ever.

  3. We would need a food jar. Most of our overexpenditures are from ordering out on nights when we’re too lazy to cook.

  4. I am in desperate need of a jar system. I am going to a Christmas craft show on Wednesday. I am not even going near the whole bookstore thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: