Category Archives: Living on an Artist’s Budget

Be Aware of the Signs…

Lately, I’ve been on this internal, self-development, personal awareness kick where I’m trying to pay attention to external, visual signs, especially out in nature on our little five acres here in rural middle Tennessee.

Okay, if you don’t understand what I just wrote, then simply ignore it. Honestly, it often confuses me at times.

Anyways, the other day, I was out doing errands and one item on my list was to buy a replacement for my garden knife. I broke it the other day, but lucky for me it was a Fiskars brand, which has a lifetime warranty. So I wanted to replace it as soon as possible.

However, while at the store, I saw so many other gardening tools I wanted, but with Mr. Basketmaker and myself being self-employed artists, we are on a self-imposed, semi-strict budget. And I need to adhere to it majority of the year (I say “majority” because so far we have allowed a couple of sins between us… hence my usage of “semi-strict budget”).

So I replaced my garden knife but was enticed by all the other bright, shiny garden gadgets in front of me. Which I must add here, promised me, an ashamed-to-admit, non-green-thumber like myself, easy garden success.

Could a cynical, previous-employed advertising creative buy into such a claim? Yes, I was buying it! Well at least one other tool: a much-needed and nifty weeding tool.

fiskars-garden-tools-me

When I arrived home, I was excited to show Mr. Basketmaker that not only did I replace the “lifetime warranty” garden knife that I broke but I also “got me a weeder.”

He enthusiastically said “cool.” And quickly blurted, “Hold on… I need to go get something to show you.” And he turned around and disappeared into his workshop.

From behind his back, he brought out two garden tools, he bought just for me, earlier that day, while I was out doing errands.

fiskars-garden-tools-eric

A multi-functional hoe and a brand new, shiny trowel! I was ecstatic to see the trowel because I came into this marriage with two of them and as of yesterday, found myself with only one of them, and a very beat up, dried out, splintered and dinged one at that. But marriage is about compromise so I was okay with that beat-up, abused, hardly-cared for trowel that I had since 1998. Whose keeping track anyways, right?

So when I saw my new two garden tool additions, I thought it was a total sign, and that Mr. Basketmaker and I are meant for each other. Not that I was questioning it, mind you…

fiskars-garden-tools-complete

…Just paying attention to life’s little signs. I now have a little set of new, shiny gardening tools… happy day!

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Humiliation at the Genius Bar

So we visited our friends Jud & Suzanne last weekend and on our way to dinner on Saturday evening, all four of us brought my iMac into the Apple store to be looked over at the Genius Bar.

If you are not familiar with Apple, they have a Genius Bar and the people who work behind this bar are all called the Geniuses.

My iMac has not worked for the past few months. It simply would not turn on or power up. Even Mr. Basketmaker tried to get it running to no avail.

First of all, if you have been in an Apple store then you know that it is ALWAYS packed — Like a subway train at rush hour kind of packed. It’s maniacal. And if you are bringing in a computer older than a decade, like my eleven-year-old ‘apple antique,’ you are getting some stares.

This is my current iMac computer…

iMac-desktop

And here’s a screen shot of the latest iMac from the online Apple store…

iMac-desktop-2015

Look at how thin the whole computer is! Even though mine is a 21-inch screen and is less than 2 inches thick, it might well have been two feet wide with how the other customers were looking at it, sitting there on the Genius Bar. Even the guy next to me leaned over and said “What year is that desktop?” With the same fascinated look as someone viewing an old relic from the 18th century would have.

I then lied and said “Hmmm… I think it’s a 2008.” A seven-year-old machine didn’t seem as distressing as bringing in an eleven-year-old machine to the Genius Bar. I mean, you can buy my same computer for 30 bucks on ebay! I never thought I’d see the day where I, me, was the one using an archaic machine!

Well, my uncomfortableness was about to turn into utter (genius bar) humiliation.  The female Genius who was helping me out, took my power cord, plugged it in and when I heard the infamous “bong” coming from my computer, I wanted to simply crawl out of the store. Before she could ask me “Did you try plugging it in?” I quickly exclaimed “How could that be? We tried plugging it in at various outlets many times! It just wouldn’t turn on!”

Thankfully, she was not an obnoxious Genius. She replied, “you know… I had someone else who brought in a very old (very old? Come on! It’s not that old!) desktop like yours where it wouldn’t power up and when I plugged it in here, it turned right on, exactly how yours just did.”

Well, I don’t know if she was just saying that to make me feel better but I appreciated it. She then powered it off and Eric grabbed it and headed straight for the door, behind Jud. Suzanne and I were close behind them. I then leaned over, midway through the crowded store, and said to Suzanne, “Right about now, she (the Genius) is whispering in a fellow Genius’ ear, “there goes an idiot who forgot to plug in her eleven-year-old computer.”

I’m currently saving up for that beautiful new iMac pictured above. Since we are ‘artists on a budget’ hopefully I can get it before my antique one really breaks and doesn’t work again no matter what the Geniuses do to it!

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Lonely? Go Thrifting!

So people ask me all the time, “What do you do when Eric is away teaching?”

Honestly, my initial reaction is to try not to take offense to that since I believe it’s simply an innocent question. I don’t actually think that people believe I’m in a catatonic state without him. Nonetheless, I don’t want to sound insensitive either, because I really do miss Eric when he is away! Like this week. He is teaching at John C. Campbell and I stayed home so the dogs wouldn’t have to go into a kennel for seven days. And it has been even more quiet because we recently had our nephew and my Dad here all week and Eric left the next day after they flew out. So it went from people around all the time with lots of things going on to just me and the dogs.

So it was a little odd to have it abruptly quiet here. But I pretty much do what I normally do every day… work! I have a lot of freelance projects going on and I’ve been catching up on my lengthy “to do” list. But late afternoon, it gets pretty quiet. I am used to walking into the workshop and seeing what Eric is in the middle of. And majority of the times, I like doing something annoying if he’s in the other room with the planer on… like rearrange his neatly piled materials on his work table, or write a note in the middle of his job list… something like “I need to tell Lynne how fabulous she is.” I like to leave little reminders so he doesn’t forget about me! lol.

So what did I do the other day after I finished my work and there was no Mr. Basketmaker around for me to go visit? Go to the thrift store of course! I love thrifting. And this is what I came home with…

vintage-thrift-store-textiles

I love vintage textiles. And I was excited to find these two, sweet yellow ruffled pillow shams. The price? $1.99! How could I pass that up?  I couldn’t… Where am I going to use them? Don’t know yet. But I’m sure I’ll find something to do with them!

vintage-thrift-store-textiles-2

And this cute, abstract crochet doily! Love it! I was looking for over a year now for a little doily to sit under a gorgeous piece of pottery we got as a housewarming gift from very close friends of ours. We like to display the bowl in the middle of our dining table, which used to be Mr. Basketmaker’s grandmother’s table. And because we didn’t want it to get scratched, I folded up a quilted placeholder to sit underneath, knowing I would eventually find the perfect little “something” to sit under it.

And it is perfect! The bowl has dark greens and brown tones and when it sits on this, only little hints of red peek out and then the light gray yarn frames the bottom rim which creates a great contrast. We love mixing colors and patterns in our home.

That’s why I couldn’t pass up on this pillow. I love vintage patterns. I think Mr. Basketmaker will like the other two items I bought but I’m pretty sure he will say “do we really need another accent pillow”? Well, I don’t think he will use the word “accent.” But I got this for $2! Who could say “no” to that? Not me!

vintage-thrift-store-textile-pillow

So what do I do when Eric is teaching out of town? I work, I organize the house, I miss him lots and of course, fit in a couple “thrifting” excursions. All of this makes the time go by really fast until he returns.

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