Thanks, everyone, for all the great comments lately. A few of you expressed concerns about my bead buying budget so I thought I'd address that.
No, I am not rich.
Yes, I spend a bit too much on beads.
Not a lot too much - my bills are taken care of and the kid has shoes and real food to eat (not cat food) and we don't live under a bridge in a cardboard box.
But I could probably stand to cut back a bit.
Most of my bead money comes from sales of my existing jewelry. Also, any time I get Christmas money or birthday money or a gift certificate or a work bonus or tax refund or whatever, I set aside a portion of it for bead money. This past year alone, I got almost $300 in Fire Mountain gift certificates from getting my work published in "Bead Trends."
But the real truth is this - I used to be a major fashion addict. Clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, etc. Since Dad had his stroke and then passed away 6 months later, all that has gone out the window. I've gained too much weight to fit into cute clothes any more and my knees have apparently gotten too old to tolerate high heels and I no longer care about makeup.
Soooo...guess where all that budgetary money has been shifted? Yeah, I bet you got it in one.
The question is - is this a bad thing? Beads make me happy. They are the only thing I do for myself for pure enjoyment value. They have no purpose other than to be pretty and make me smile. I don't think you can put a price on that - especially since there's not much else that DOES make me smile these days.
Then, of course, there's the fact that I'm a good bead bargain hunter. I get a lot of stuff for $3 a strand or $5 a strand or 3 strands for $10 at shows. A lot of times when the picture I borrowed from Etsy shows a whole bunch of strands twisted together - well, what I actually got is a package of 6-10 bead for $2.50. Plus, there are certain vendors that I only buy from when they are having a sale or offering a coupon. If you can get to the Rings & Things traveling trunk show it's WELL worth it. 50% off + an additional 15% off if you have a resale permit (which I do).
And that's another thing - my resale permit gets me lots of deals in addition to not having to pay sales tax.
Okay, hope that addresses all the questions and concerns. The kid and I are in no danger of being homeless or hungry any time soon.
Still, a little more restraint in the shopping department wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Except then how would YOU get your bead porn fix? Hmmmm????