Expensive Hobbies

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Life is about change, so the saying goes.  Sometimes things shift seismically, and sometimes gradually,  But nothing living holds still for long.  And since I count myself among the living, I too am subject to change.  One thing in my life that doesn’t seem to change, though, is expensive hobbies.

Started with a sewing machine

I started sewing in elementary school.  By high school I was funding my sewing with income from putting zippers into ladies’ fancy party dresses, sewing stuff for my “steps,” and babysitting.  I made most of what I wore, shopping at a remnants store for my fabrics.

I also read voraciously and bought a ton of books.  For a while shopping was my hobby, but that ended when we moved away from malls.  I didn’t like them too much anyway.

Up here in the woods, I started quilting.  That takes tools, cloth, batting and more cloth–and plenty of thread.  Quilts became a big deal for me, but I couldn’t sustain the practice well and work too, so back to reading I went.

Textiles 2.0

At a meeting of fiber artists I was invited to, I finally broke down and tried spinning wool.  That worked out and I had a job so I could save for a wheel and get some wool to spin, all commercially prepared.  I could also get fleece to prepare myself.  But that took cards.  And so on through the tools and types of fiber.  I became a prolific producer of yarn, and even won prizes for it at fairs.

But there wasn’t anything to do with this yarn so I taught myself to knit from a book.  More books followed, then magazines, you know the drill.

My spinning teacher was also a weaver.  I’d wanted to learn to weave since childhood.  At summer camp we had a crafts teacher who had looms there and wove as we fumbled through our little projects.  But we didn’t weave at all so I put that on the back burner.

When my spinning teacher offered to sell me a little loom and teach me to use it, all for $300, I couldn’t say no.  I spent another $500 on another used loom, much bigger and differently configured, once the limitations of the little loom became an irritant.  As most of my yarn was big and wooly, and most of my projects smaller and more cottony, again, purchasing ensued.

Then I learned to dye, buying cheap dyepots and using castoff drainers and other things to mix, dispense, and apply dye to wool.

By this time I had tons of yarn, bags of knitted things and woven items all around the house.  Since few of the people I give gifts to would want such things, I donated some warm stuff and found a consignment store for handcrafted items and put some out for sale.  I lose money on the knit stuff because of all the time that goes into them.  Not only that, my woolens are inherently more expensive than acrylic items, but they’re my competition!  Still, the extra money helps replace raw materials.

Why tell you this?

Well, this blog is another of my expensive hobbies.

I originally started it with the idea that it should support itself by now.  I was well informed as to the mechanisms available and I did try some of them.

What happened was that I don’t know squat about the Internet and got all sorts of confused and wound up about it.  I’ve made mistakes that I cannot correct.  I’ve gotten myself into so many paid fixes for my ignorance that what the blog is is another very expensive hobby,  One that I can’t see supporting any more.

I loved writing the posts, don’t get me wrong.  The blog itself was a joy to me and I hope that what I wrote helped in some way.  That was the original intent.  Hearing feedback from people was so encouraging!  Old friends found the blog and got in touch.  New friends shared how they were getting along.  This was such a good experience!

On the other hand, the technology is overwhelming.  I’ve been struggling with it since Day 1 and it’s tiring to say the least.  I haven’t read a book since starting the blog and that’s not good!

The new plan for expensive hobbies

So sadly, I will discontinue Time For Retirement and it will shut down in February.  This is so I can concentrate on expanding ways to get rid of my surplus wooly products for money, downsize the house, and read some books.

For those still in the retirement planning stage, make sure you plan for extra expenses when budgeting.  I admit I could have done better at that.  And if you have expensive hobbies, as I do, make sure you can handle the expenses ongoing, or find a way to monetize those skills.

And who knows?  At some later date another blog could bloom, just not as expensive as this one got!

To everybody who spent time looking at Time For Retirement, thank you so very much!  May your retirement adventures go well!




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