A Cautionary Tale Regarding Dye Lots

Well not much of a tale, but a bit of a gripe and some mild self-kicking, and advocacy for buying “the fabric” when you see it…

I’m planning my next home décor project, which is this – Golden Tapestry by Anita Goodesign. I spent time in January and February auditioning many different color and fabric combinations, and decided on – wait for it – navy blue and gold silk dupioni, ha.

Sadly I won’t be able to use my sample blocks in my project, darn.

But the navy blue and gold I sampled is not the navy blue and gold that was available this week when I ordered. In the case of the navy, it was a matter of dye lot, which as anyone who has worked with fabric in any way can tell you, can vary wildly depending on the quality of the manufacturing process.

There’s not enough left of the samples to do the whole project

As for the gold, it was a matter of product change; I didn’t notice when, under My Account and Previous Orders, I clicked on the link of my previous purchase, I was taken to a page with the label “New” at the top. So even though I thought I was ensuring that I was getting the same product, the store changed the link on me. Curses. It’s not really the store’s fault; I didn’t notice, and they couldn’t get the same item anymore (I’m assuming), thus the “new” label.

All of which is to say, or rather encourage you, to buy it when you see it! Especially when you’re doing a big project like this and are making samples with specific fabrics and threads.

I guess they match well enough, but I’m none too happy

I’ve Been Reading…

Wasn’t that the name of a book review show? And I have been reading, or re-reading, a book by Linda Przybyszewski – The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish.

A really good book, especially if you like fashion history

I’ve been on a mini hiatus the past few weeks, and was reading to pass the time. You see, I’m in the generation that is currently middle aged, so the mantel of care has been passed to me, and I have a number of older friends and relatives who need to be checked on regularly, so between phone calls and travel, I have been busy with other things this past month or so.

(And yes I am middle-aged, as in, no longer young. I’m sorry to disappoint my good friend of 30 years and my doctor [who are my age] but we are not-young-any-more. They both get so upset when I say that… but it doesn’t either mean we are old, or that older people are necessarily old, but none of us are still young, deal with it.*)

Which brings me back to the book. In it, Ms. Przybyszewski talks about the women who used to be “Dress Doctors”, those who, not so much dictated what women should wear, but who used art principles to help women decide what to wear, what was becoming and age appropriate. She also explores how we as a culture came to the idea that young is good, old is bad, and we need to look young all the time. And in my lifetime American culture has more than bought into the idea.

I won’t get into too much detail – Ms. Przybyszewski does it better, get her book – but I very much like the idea that there are things, styles, colors, jewelry, that are more appropriate for the mature woman. Not old woman, but mature; the woman who has life experience. And that experience gives her the mien to wear more sensual clothing, clothes that have gravitas a 20-year-old just can’t pull off.

So I will let my sense of self inform my own personal style – and that self is squarely middle-aged, thank you – along with a little guidance from the Dress Doctors. I hope what I convey is that I am an experienced, worldly, adult woman, and I don’t need to wear a mini skirt to prove it.

I love the idea that only an older woman could have worn this dress! If you can’t see in the photo, she’s also wearing strings and strings of pearls… coupled with the yards and yards of chiffon, it makes for a very luxurious effect.

*As an aside, I’m reminded of an episode of Frasier, where he is complaining to Niles that he’s 51, and that’s only middle age… Niles quips back, “so you’re planning to live to be 102…”

Thoughts on Sewing Your Own Clothing

Something pretty to look at, as I don’t really have a photo specific to the post.

My friend Jodi recently shared an article with me from Seamworks Magazine1, in which they try to compare and contrast buying clothing and making your own. I think they make an honest effort, though as they themselves note, there are so many variables it can be very difficult to make a direct comparison.

We in the sewing world talk about this all the time, and my initial knee-jerk reaction is, of course it’s not cheaper to sewn your own clothes. I get questioned all the time, “can you make shirts for me too?” when others see the shirts I make for my husband. Sure I can, if you have the budget and time for a fitting fee, multiple sessions, and don’t mind each shirt costing between $150 and $300 – or more.

Afterwards, the more Enlightened (or perhaps just polite) will say they didn’t realize it cost so much to make a shirt. The less enlightened just start in on how they can get shirts at the chain store for $30, and I should be selling them cheaper, and how dare I? Then depending how much mental energy I want to expend, I might engage then for longer, and remind them that I would be one person, making a one-off custom shirt, and that I can’t even get the fabric (even “cheap” fabric) for $30.

The article does a good job of discussing things like bulk purchasing, manufacturing at scale vs. single-person whole-process, and reminding us of the human cost of making things as well: all the things I usually don’t have the mental energy to explain to the complainers.

But I digress; as Jodi said, the article is a good conversation starter, and it certainly got me thinking. Since I get so many requests to share my clothing making, even though this is ostensibly an embroidery blog, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

My initial thoughts back to Jodi were this: It is an interesting article, but I think they forgot to talk about one thing: the value and longevity of clothing that fits the individual. If I have a pair of jeans that fit really well, I might keep them longer, be inclined to repair them repeatedly, than I would a pair that are only “good enough”, and remind me they are uncomfortable in some way with each wearing. Too, with such cheap fashion available, I imagine the human psyche would value them less and feel more at ease tossing and buying cheap clothing more frequently. (Never mind that they are usually of such terrible quality that you only get a few wears anyway.) Even if I spend $300 on a good blazer, if it doesn’t fit well, I’m still going to get much less use out of it and get rid of it sooner than if it fits, so in a way, I think sewing for yourself, or having your clothing made for you, can be less expensive overall. And Jodi also remined me of other reasons we sew, like how much joy it brings us to create, which makes sewing for yourself more valuable.

So in a way, making your own clothing can be less expensive, especially when you consider the costs of buying clothing; not just the financial cost, but the mental, physical and emotional cost. How many of us have spent the entire day (or two days) scouring every store in a mall, only to walk out empty-handed? And while my tribulations clothing-shopping are related to my shape, it’s not only the large-busted who can’t find anything. I know many smaller, taller, shorter and larger people who just don’t fit into ready-to-wear. For instance, I can go into a “plus-size” store, try on their largest size blouse, and it can still be gaping and pulling at the front buttons, while the back is so capaciously large, I could put a friend in with me. Why? Because my 52” bust is not split 26 inches in front and 26 in back as the blouse is. My back is all of 18 inches wide, and the rest is up front. There’s no way anything off the rack will ever fit. So, I sew.

I know, all of this has been said before, and I am very much aware of the privilege I enjoy in having the budget and free time to sew. Most people won’t though, and it pains me. This is especially because so many of us are judged on our appearance (or perhaps I should be more direct and say so many of us judge others based on their appearance), and much of what people find negative in our appearance is due to ill-fitting clothing. Yes, this segues into a whole other subject, and no, custom clothing for everyone won’t cure the world’s ills, but think of how often you judge someone because their clothes look poorly, and it’s just because they don’t fit.

I will finish up by saying that, whether in the end it is cheaper or not fiscally to sew your clothing, I think, considering the pleasure of well-fitted clothes and the joy making something can give you, it is far more valuable to sew for yourself.

1 Seamworks Magazine “Is it Cheaper to Sew Your Own Clothes” March 2022 issue

An Update on MDA Software

Image from Floriani’s website

You remember my previous post reviewing Floriani’s My Design Album Software; I thought it was OK, but not terrific. My biggest disappointment was that it was such a basic software for the price. Well I decided to streamline my review a bit and post it on the company’s website, where it garnered a response.

They were open to my suggestions, though, perhaps predictably, attempted to counter and “correct” my thinking about the software. But no amount of “but it works this way” will ever change my experience of “it doesn’t quite do what I would anticipate this type of software to do based on its description.” But I did feel heard, and they did state that many of my complaints are going to be addressed in an upcoming update. They also said that they will be making more educational videos for MDA, and will have a look at their manual for it as well. Hopefully future purchasers of MDA will have an even better experience.

As for what else is up for February, it probably won’t be much, because guess what, I re-arranged my sewing studio again. Not a lot, but I did finally get new storage, and only a whole year after we moved in, ha! But everything is back in place now, and I’ll be working on a new project soon, so I’ll have lots of embroidery and tips to post in March. Take care and see you here soon!

It’s January Again!

Hello again everyone! As I’m writing this on January 6th, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! And Happy Mardi Gras of course…. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your holidays and are refreshed and relaxed.

I was uncertain what to post first after coming back from my hiatus: I had a few inquiries over December that I want to answer; I also debated whether to wait until I’d finished my next project so I’d have photos to show you. But instead I want to spend a few minutes talking about something that most people do this time of year, “Risolations;” or resolutions if you’re not a “Silly Ol’ Bear.”

No matter what you read or who you talk to right now, people are all about their resolutions: forums, blogs, twits, news articles – about what to choose or advice on “how to finally do it this year….” I understand the appeal; a new year feels like a new start, or a chance at one, and starting something new feels so exciting!

Please keep in mind, I bear no one any ill will whether you choose to make them or not – your traditions are up to you! But people inevitably ask me what mine are, and for many years now I’ve answered “none.” It’s not that I don’t think making plans or having goals are important, but I always felt such pressure to make resolutions, and make “good” or grand or worthy ones, let alone the pressure to keep them, it just seemed as if I was setting myself up for failure.

I personally prefer to honor and experience the cycling of the seasons, the sense of continuity: the days are now lengthening and will continue to get longer over spring until the summer solstice, when the days will start shortening again. And with that shortening I prepare for (as much as we ever have them in Houston) the coming of fall and winter. To me this is much more calming and comforting, instead of that frantic feeling at the end of the year over not having done what I resolved to do, and needing to resolve to do it again or find yet something else by midnight on December 31st. When time instead feels continuous, I’m much more relaxed about accomplishing my goals: I didn’t finish that, but I can do so in the future – if I want to. Or maybe I decide to leave it behind, for whatever reason, and pick up something else instead. It’s up to me, and there’s no pressure.

I think it plays very much to that American need to be productive, which I read about recently in an article in the Atlantic. I found the author’s final paragraph especially insightful, where Ms. Beck states “…hard work, achievement, productivity. Those aren’t bad things but are they really more important than relationships, contemplation, rest?”

So yes, having goals and plans are all well and good, but don’t forget to sit and do nothing, except maybe enjoy the view and occasionally contemplate deeply about what you are seeing.

And if you’d like something fun and awful (the old meaning; entry 1, #3 – or 4a) to look at, try this photo essay, also in the Atlantic this month.

More Organizing in the Sewing Room – And, a Product Review

Many, but not all, of my physical embroidery files – and loads more that are just digital!

Like many embroiderers, I have a terrific number of embroidery designs – egregious might be a better word. And while I do my best to keep my files organized, I lose track of what I have, and have had several near-misses in regards to purchasing the same item a second time.

Too there is the difficulty with design names – something like Celebrations might be appropriate, but without context, what does it mean? Holidays? Birthday-themed? Balloons and candles? When I save designs to my computer, I do try to label them with something descriptive, like monogram frames, or greetings cards, or animals, children’s… but then we are also limited to 250 characters in a file path name, and can only label them so much.

Enter database software. Yes, if you are inclined, and have a copy of it, you can use something like Microsoft Access. Me, I’m lazy, and don’t do well with computers so I prefer someone else to set up the database for me, and I don’t mind paying for it.

If you have Baby Lock’s Palette 11, you can use their Design Database software. It will let you add keywords and search and create catalogs of your designs, among other functions. Even if you don’t have Palette 11, you can download the software from their website, and use it to transfer designs wirelessly from your computer to your Baby Lock Wi-Fi capable machine. And you can still sort and print catalogs of your designs, but you can only add keywords within Palette.

I do have Palette, and I did try to use Design Database, and while I got it to work once in a test, I can’t get it to work again so I have a ticket in to Baby Lock and we’ll see if I can learn to use it. If I do, I’ll tell you about it in a future post.

This post though is about Floriani My Design Album (MDA). It’s one of the few embroidery-design specific database softwares out there. It’s also the most expensive, stand-alone software at $499.

It does what it says it does, but I would qualify that with “just barely”, and “not as well as you would think it should.” Floriani does have very responsive customer support, so you can ask them questions, they just don’t always have an answer that will help your situation.

With the Floriani software you can add your designs to different categories, and you create the categories so you can have exactly what you want and need. You can also add keywords to the design files, and you can search by keyword, file type, and file name. You can also view image files and cut files, like SVG, which can also be categorized and keyworded (is that verb?) They have several videos on their website that demonstrate the software and all that it can do.

And it comes with other software: Image Maker, which gives you pictures of the designs in File Explorer – but only for Large and Extra-Large icons; and Thread Converter, which is self-explanatory. Not to mention a pretty good editing program too, in case you don’t have any other embroidery software. And – bless them for it! – they give you two licenses, so if you have two computers – say a desk top and lap top – you can put it on both.

But… (which is the whole point of this post, isn’t?) there are several quirks of the software which make it not as useable as I would like.

Firstly, nowhere in the manual, or in any videos I have seen to date, does it say that you have to categorize a file first before you can add keywords. While this is fine, the situation is further confused by the fact that there’s a Keyword button in the main screen, and it shows up while you’re in the File-View window; if you can only add keywords while you’re in the Category window, why is it available elsewhere? If you’re in File View, you can click on it, type in the dialog box that comes up, and even hit OK – but it won’t actually save anything. I wasted a lot of time and energy tilting at that particular windmill….

Then there is the fact that, once you’re in a Category, it gives you everything in that Category, so if you’ve already put in 300 designs, you’ll have to remember the files names you’re currently working with. If you’re lucky, they’ll all start with the same number so you can whittle it down in the Name search box. If not, then you’ll have to look for each file individually. Personally, I would prefer to add keywords in the File View window, since I know when I select a specific folder, I’m only working with those files.

Keywords, once created, cannot be altered or deleted. So if you misspell a keyword, say “Quitl Blocks”, you can’t correct it. Yes, you can add a new keyword, Quilt Blocks, and then make sure not to add anything to the misspelled one, but when you’re selecting from the keyword list, it’s very easy to select the wrong one.

In the search area, you cannot use multiple keywords, only one. It seems to me if you can add multiple keywords to a file, you should be able to search with multiple keywords. Also, the search box for Keyword doesn’t show you a drop-down list of the keywords you’ve created, so you’ll have to be very certain of which keyword you added to the file you’re looking for. Which rather defeats the purpose I think… and if you’ve misspelled it, heaven help you to remember your misspelling!

You cannot move or rename files, not even within the software. I can understand that if I move files while outside the software, the link it created will be broken. Fine. But if I’m in the software and move a file, why can’t it rewrite the link? Other database software can do this; I know my Photoshop Elements does it. And if I move a file outside of the software, Elements will let me run a search for broken links, and lets me fix them by locating the file. Often it can even do this on its own, with no input from me. With MDA, you have to delete the broken links from the Category, then re-categorize and re-keyword your files again. So you’d better be quite sure of how you have your files organized to begin with.

I will however concede that while Adobe has millions upon millions of users, Floriani customers are probably only in the thousands, and economics likely plays a role in how they design and update their software. (But this customer is complaining, so if you’re listening….)

Then there is the oddity of “no information”. An embroidery design file is created with things like stitch count and size, and embroidery software can create an image for you to view within the program. However, several times now I have come across files that present as having no stitch count, no size, just a big goose egg of info. Or, they’ll have all of this info, and it will show up in the information pane at the bottom of the window, but it will still not be able to create an image for you, so you have to open it in other software to see what it looks like. When I asked, I was given no information other than “no, it doesn’t show up on my computer either.” Hmm. I have found that if you re-save the file it will correct it nine times out of ten.

Well, that was exhausting – now you know how I feel when I try to use computers! For those of you who touch a computer and make it sing, may karma continue to smile upon you. But for people like me, when we touch a computer, it’s more like un-tuned saws with nails on the blackboard as an accompaniment.

I hope this review was helpful to you in deciding about Floriani’s MDA software; if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them below!

Acquisitions Management

Fabrics acquired for my stash, which align with my acquisitions management policies… i.e., they go with my color plan.

…or building your stash. I was discussing stashes not long ago with a sewing friend; she’s rather new and asked me how I built my stash, as she wanted to consider one for herself and didn’t know where to start. The truth is that I did it painfully, haphazardly and with an unfortunate amount of excess spending.

As with all new interests, especially the creative ones, we’re constantly trying out new methods, materials and techniques, not to mention being dazzled by all the pretty things… and cool things, fun things, useful things, which exposes us to a lot of stuff to buy.

And honestly, I wish I had someone to tell me when I started that I should kinda hold off on starting a stash (I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, so I forgive myself) until I had more information, like what kind of sewing I want to do (luckily I like to do all of it), what kind of things I want to make, what my personal style is, what colors I prefer. Knowing these things can help you define a process for acquiring new things – not just for your stash, but for all of your sewing equipment and supplies.

I essentially left my friend with a bunch of questions to ask herself, and these help form the basis of Acquisition Management Policies, and, by extension, Inventory Management. Sounds fancy, I know, and many of us probably do these to some extent already in our day-to-day lives, but if we do it with purpose we can have a highly functional and personally pleasing stash.

I came across the idea while I was looking for a way to inventory my stash. As you may recall, I tried several different ways, to no avail – I decided on a spreadsheet with photos on my computer. But while I was looking for this miracle inventory method, I came across an article on the why of acquisition and inventory. I’m sorry I can’t find the reference to that article, especially since it gave me so much insight into the process, but it’s out there, as are many other articles on the same subject.

The notes I took to help me define my own policies are below, as well as some other hints and help I’ve picked up along the way.

-Reason for your purchase – what problem does it solve?

-Why now? An impending project? Insufficient fulfillment by a previous acquisition?

-Plans for use of the new acquisition – what is the specific project or schedule?

-What else has to happen to use the new item?

Now, not all of these questions have to be answered for each new item, but they can help you take a step back and think more about the item you’re considering, and whether it fits in your stash.

Other more sewing-specific questions to consider are:

-Can it be used in your sewing plan/ wardrobe plan? If your plans include swimwear and vacation pieces, will buying a piece of wool fit in?

-Do the colors fit with your preferences? I had a big problem with this one myself – always buying black and white fabrics, and I don’t even like to wear black, or much white.

-Same for prints; if you don’t like polka dots, why are you buying them?

-Is there enough to make a project with? You may love the fabric and it may fit all your other guidelines, but if it’s only 5/8ths of a yard, what would you be able to make with it?

-Is there an extenuating circumstance? Is it from a small weaver in Ireland from local sheep that you won’t be able to buy anywhere else? Is it antique, handmade, lace trim from a shop in Paris that you’ll never find the likes of again? Is it a quality piece of fabric that’s in a color or pattern you’ll use in a project and enjoy wearing, and it’s on a great sale?

I hope the above gives you some ideas to for starting your own acquisitions policy; you may come up with different parameters for yourself, and remember, not every new piece is going to always fit all of them – you’ll have to decide on a case-by-case basis which guidelines to apply.

Book Suggestions – And a Tip

My go-to sewing reference, and it’s quick look-up companion

I frequently see posts on forums and other sites bemoaning the lack of instructions in sewing patterns. People ask how they should finish a seam, or how to sew on a button, or what kind of treatment to use – fusible interfacing? Sew in? And how in the world do you do even do hand stitches?

Well the answer is – your library is incomplete. Or perhaps your training is, but it can be supplemented by adding certain books to your library. You see, sewing patterns are really more of short hand, especially patterns from the well-established companies; the Big 4(5) as they call them. That’s because long ago when learning to sew was a more everyday occurrence, you were taught a lot of basics – like choosing a seam finish, buttons or snaps, how to sew in a hook and eye – and myriad many more things in the course of learning to sew. That’s not to say you learned everything, though, and that’s why many companies put out books – sewing companions or primers – with sewing techniques.

My favorite is Vogue Sewing, Revised and Updated, ISBN #1933027002. It’s no longer in print, but if you come across a copy for less than $40, grab it. The price can get crazy online, so be careful. I would say this was an excellent book, except for one tiny thing: it has some, “health” advice? in the introductory chapter. Nothing bad, but telling people if they don’t like the way they look in their clothes that they should diet, well, really doesn’t belong in a sewing book I think. Getting your clothing to fit well is a much easier and more productive use of your time to look better in your clothes, and this book can help.

But my goodness, the amount of information this book has – about so many things. It will help you choose a seam finish, explain all the types of fasteners and when it’s best to use which, what the pattern instructions mean when they say certain things, a lot about fabrics and notions and tools, types of sleeves, types of bodices, types of necklines, types of pants… it really has so much!

Another good one is The Complete Book of Sewing by DK Publishing ISBN #0789496585. While not as detailed as the Vogue, it’s still an excellent reference. Unfortunately I lent mine out a while back, and I don’t think I’ll see it again. Sigh.

Singer also has great books too, like Sewing Essentials. Actually, most of the Singer books are really good.

Sadly, all are out of print, so you’ll be scouring those tiny little out of the way books stores in each small town you visit, looking to see what they have. And you never know what you’ll find – I scored an excellent book about draperies and other window treatments.

And don’t be afraid because the pictures are old or seem dated – the fashions may have changed but the techniques are still very useful, and can still be used.

But back to my tip, which is – you need a companion book. Where the pattern instructions stop, these books pick up. I share the rest of my library below; what are your favorite sewing references?

Older reference books that have some different and interesting techniques
I use this one a lot to refer to hand stitching
Other books on various subjects to round out my fashion sewing
Books I find very useful for home decor sewing, as almost no contemporary guides exist
And finally, just fun and informative books I’ve found on subjects that no modern sewing instructors touch on – I guess they think we only want “basic” sewing

No, I’m Not “Ready for Fall”

Nothing like white linen to give you cool thoughts… even if it isn’t cool out.

I guess our fellows in the north get excited around mid-August, maybe they even feel a change in the air; but here, in Houston (and the New Orleans area where I grew up and used to live) it’s still hot. Damn hot. And will continue to be hot for weeks, if not months. So no, I’m not ready for fall sewing, fall fashion, fall baking – and I’m really not ready for holiday plans.

But it’s not just people in the north, people here get into this, I don’t know, false-fall mode? Media, the news, stores, restaurants – there’s even a pseudo-holiday when Starbucks announces its pumpkin latte flavor is back on the menu… I hope they serve it well chilled.

Why can’t we embrace our own seasons here in our part of the country? Why do we have to follow trends and declare that it’s fall, and start trying to wear sweaters and boots and coats, and drinking hot coffee that tastes like melted pie?

Do not mis-understand me; as an amateur astronomer, I am especially appreciative of the wonder that is nature and am happy to celebrate its cyclical nature, and acknowledge the shortening of days with the summer solstice, and then to later acknowledge the more quickly lengthening nights with the autumnal equinox… and I love pumpkin pie, but only serve it if it’s going to be cold on Thanksgiving, which it so often is not here.

I feel though that fall is forced on us, that we’re left celebrating or at least moving to a schedule that isn’t really our own. Perhaps a hang-over from our culture centering on trends from places like New York and Paris? I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest this, but maybe we should have our own seasons, and call the coming months second summer – or at least acknowledge that autumn for us is decidedly not cold, and is usually even warm.

Maybe I can rally my fellow Houston Fashionistas (our local sewing club) to create a style or wardrobe that is unique and specific to us, instead of looking to the northern climes for boots and sweaters and coats – and whatever other inappropriate things show up in our stores come the beginning of September.

What do think? What should we put in our closets to reflect our local seasons? Share with us in the comments!

Why I Have a Fabric (and Pattern, and Button, etc.) Stash

My stash at my old house – the stash looks pretty mcuh the same, photos to come!

It’s been noticed – and noted – that I have a very large stash. Yes, I do. Like most humans and bowerbirds, I’m a collector at heart. I tend to collect around my hobbies, like sewing and cooking. I also think it’s part and parcel of being creative – we collect things around us to inspire us. And so it is with my stash; it’s meant to inspire me.

I also keep a stash because I’m lazy and forgetful, as well as easily distracted: when I go to work on a project, I want to work on the project. And, because certain things aren’t in constant production, like fabric.

When I first started sewing, I would see a project or idea or fabric that I really liked. But I would get home and forget about it, or decide to buy the fabric later, only to find it sold out, or forget what the pattern was or where I saw it, so couldn’t go back and get it. I also hate having an idea and not being able to act on it immediately – my inspiration is fickle and fleeting! I also really, really dislike going out to get supplies for a project. If I don’t have the ingredients in my pantry, or the supplies in my sewing room, I’m likely to skip it and choose to do no project instead.

So, I have a store of ingredients in my pantry, and a stock of fabrics, patterns and notions in my sewing room. Some may enjoy coming up with an idea, then figuring out what they need, then running around town getting it together, but I don’t. As I said, I’m lazy, find crowds and driving exhausting, and even with 2-day shipping that’s too long and I’ll get distracted by something else and the project will get pushed to the backburner, and I’ll find the components stuck in a drawer months later and wonder what I wanted all that stuff for.

What do you keep in your stash and why?