Monday, December 20, 2010

things that are worth it


It's different for everyone - the things they consider worth the effort, and the things they wouldn't do in a million years. I won't sew knit shirts of any kind, it's not worth the heartache and expense. And I won't sew jeans, never ever - I'd much rather buy. I won't sew adult pants except for pajama pants, and I have to be doing a whole big batch of them to value the energy expense.

I will never sew Barbie clothes, you couldn't pay me to do it - but I will (and have, just recently) sew doll clothes, within certain reason of ease and size.

I sew dresses and skirts, pants and jackets for Bean, but probably wouldn't do the same for myself.

I love to knit and have done several scarves and hats, but try as I might I can never get through an entire sweater, and until we live in a world where it costs more than $15 to buy a toddler-sized sweater, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to justify the hours of time and energy it would take to make one myself.

I bake my own bread, but you'll never catch me making cinnamon rolls unless I have up and lost my mind - the homemade ones are delish, I know because mom makes them, but they are Labor Intensive (capitalized), and I just don't see myself taking the time to do it right now.

I won't bake bagels when I can buy them.

I won't bake rolls unless I have oodles of time.

I won't make tortillas (does anyone?).

I will make cookies.

I will make cakes-from-scratch, but not very often. We're mostly box-cake type of people except for our chocolate cake recipe, which nothing can compete with if you ask me.

I've tried to make Christmas ornaments and decorations with varying degrees of success, but ultimately I'm a buy-your-Christmas-decor kind of person.

I cannot imagine a world that has me making my own soap or shampoo or lotion or make-up type of item, ever.

I won't sew underthings or swimming suits.

I have stripped and scraped and repainted tables and chairs and cabinets for repurposing, but I'm not sure if you'll ever find me making my own furniture.

I've sewed curtains but will not consider making a slip cover.

It's worth it to me to can fruit and make jam, but I don't see myself ever making huge batches of pasta sauce or salsa.

Ultimately, the line between Worth It and Not is a thin line, a wobbly line, a line that squirms between one thing and another without a lot of sense in between. I can't see myself ever making my own candy but I think making caramel is perfectly acceptable - and there isn't much I can do to explain why I'll do one and not the other except to say, some things seem crazy-undoable and others just seem crazy, but within reach.

I'm curious about you. What's worth it to you, and what's not?


Sibley Saga .... said...

Mmm-being from NM and secretly being a salsa and tortilla snob I think it's definitely worth making those from scratch. I do the homemade salsa way more than the tortillas. As for the tortillas I can tell you it's DEFINITELY worth dragging yourself to church potlucks when there are local who are REALLY good at the tortillas.

I'm slowly teaching myself to sew and so right now it's sooo not worth the pain and beating my ego takes to eeek out an outfit for London. It's totally worth a trip to our favorite thrift store and get adorable clothes for less than 2 bucks an outfit.

Shelly Overlook said...

I just wish I could sew. Period.

Andrea said...

Interesting post! For my life, where time is at a huge premium, I only do things I love...I make a bushel of apples into apple butter and can it, make chutney, crochet scarves and shawls, sew things I think up (different from what's out in the stores); I do make cookies and cakes because they're far better than anything you can actually buy....I've always wanted to make soap so I could put my own herbs in it (no time yet, but someday)...oh, and I grow all kinds of herbs! I think your post was about what you do to not buy stuff...but I do a lot of that just because I enjoy it!

Bird said...

I'm with Shelly, I wish I could sew.

I think home-baked goods are worth it but am undecided about bread. I like home made cards (will never, ever buy a card) and other somewhat artistic crafty endevours specifically for small gifts.

I've made pasta and its good but not worth it. I think gardening (flowers) are also good but not worth it.

ixBeths said...

Almost all the things you think are worth it aren't worth it for me because I don't know HOW to do them. Too much effort would be required to learn and do.

I wish I could sew. I wish I knew how. I wish even more that I'd LIKE sewing, but I kinda think I wouldn't. In 1980, my mom sewed my aunt's wedding dress, her bridesmaids' dresses, and my (flower girl) dress. I inherited none of that talent.

I wish I could knit. I wish I knew how. I wish even more that I'd LIKE it, but I kinda doubt I would.

I don't bake my own bread, but I think it'd be worth it if I were home more.

I'll make cookies, but generally only ones I know are good (recipes I've gotten from my mom), and box-type cakes/brownies.

We've made Christmas ornaments before for gifts, but they never turn out really STUNNING or anything, so not worth it.

Making soap sounds fun! But I don't know how. I also don't really use a lot of soap. I know that makes me sound gross, but my skin is really dry, so I'm protective.

We got a really great salsa recipe from a Mexican woman I used to work with. I will make that shit til the cows come home because it's sooooooo good. However, it IS a lot of work - blending is involved - so it really doesn't happen very often.