Sunday, January 8, 2017

Spending to Save

I keep finding myself wide awake at night and sleepy all day.  The bigger problem than the havoc it's wreaking on my work life is the one it's causing financially.  Long story short - I shop when I'm awake in the middle of the night.  Amazon Prime might very well be the worst thing that's ever happened to me, because excessive shipping fees is usually what stops me from hitting the submit button on other sites about 75% of the time.  Lately, it's been the desire to buy really good quality paper since I'm into lettering and calligraphy and journaling and whatnot.  I really enjoy dot grid paper, but heavier weight than what my Leuchtturm A5 notebooks come with.  So Rhodia dot grid notebooks seem like the way to go, but they range from $9-13 for the A4 size, which isn't even a standard size in my country (USA), so it's not the easiest to convert into a binder, etc.  Enter a link I got from the Fountain Pen Network for a square dot grid generator and some HP Premium Laserjet 32lb paper, and I've got the potential for quite a few notebooks worth of paper for the cost of a ream of the paper and my monthly printing subscription with HP Instant Ink.  For Prime members, Amazon has this paper on sale for $9.39 a ream.  I pay $9.95 for 300 pages of printing a month.  As I got about half way thru my last ream, I panicked and bought 2 more tonight.  They cost the same as 2 notepads I would have bought if I was going to, so I spent the same but got a lot more for my money.  Trust me on this.  I also stumbled onto a daily deal to get my kids some Pilot Namiki ink for their fountain pens for a good price, so I'm not feeling too bad about the purchase.

After confirming that printing it myself was still cheaper than Kinkos with my company discount, I printed out 125 sheets of the dot grid paper and bound it with binder clips and a few sheets of 110lb cardstock as a backing.  I'd really like it turned into a glue-top pad, but this will have to do.  I was going to print the dots on both sides, since the paper is heavy enough to handle fountain pen ink on both sides, but I decided that I rarely write on the back, so it's not worth it to pay for the 2nd page to be printed.  If I find myself really going to write on the back, I'll print the next batch double sided.

While I was going thru printer paper like it was water, I also printed out the #ShowMeYourDrills sheets several times so I can write directly on them instead of tracing.  I made about 4 copies so that I can get more than one row of practice in each day.  I am also loving the lettering sheets from Random Olive and got her free Bullet Journal-inspired sheets and printed those a bunch of times, and bought the days & months package so I can practice those as well.  I find copying/tracing someone else's writing is so soothing.  And I love doing it with watercolors and a waterbrush.  It's hard to screw that up, and you can change colors whenever you feel like it.  I keep a washcloth (I bought a 48 pack from Amazon so that I can ruin a bunch and still have plenty) next to me as I work and just squeeze & brush the waterbrush on the cloth until it's clean and then change colors.

My order from Paper & Ink Arts came in today with my pen holders and nibs for my Amy Style pointed pen calligraphy lessons that I bought from Lindsey Bugbee at The Postman's Knock months ago and then promptly forgot about.  I printed those lessons but I need to go back to the basics of faux calligraphy to get her letter shapes down first.  I am enjoying working with a pointed pen though.  I can't wait to get working on that later this month when I get caught up on a few other things like finding my desk that's been buried under craft supplies for over 2 months now. I have too much to do and not enough time to do all my hobbies! My yarn is being neglected in favor of ink & paints right now.  At some point I will need to get back to my Sonnet sweater, which I am about 20% done with the first of the sleeves, but the body is already finished.  At 3 sts per inch, it works up fast enough.  Maybe I will work on that one day this week instead of lettering.  We'll see.

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