The Angst of Buying a Blender

Daily married life, thus far, hasn’t proved to be an entirely different experience than when my husband and I were just “boyfriend-girlfriend.” I take comfort in that.

However, one subtle shift has taken place: buying things for the home. Unless I purchase something completely personal to me that doesn’t wipe out our savings, everything else is a “joint purchase.” There are those little words again: we…us…ours.

Something that has been on my list for some time now is a blender. We have an outdated crappy one, albeit with a glass carafe. That was about its only redeeming quality.

The hubs could not understand why we needed one. He kept insisting that our old one worked just fine, despite the fact that anytime he even wanted to make a protein shake, of which the ingredients are powder, ice, and milk, he would have to physically shake the blender while it was on to assist in shifting the ingredients around in the pitcher. Not ideal.

In researching blenders, I came to find out that along the blending spectrum, there is a sharp increase in price as blending technology improves. You’ve got your $30-40 Cheapo brands, which means purchasing one equates to throwing one’s money in the garbage, your mid-priced brands with name recognition–and decent-but-not-great blending functionality–in the $70-150 range, and then you immediately surge up to the $400-600 blenders that promise to change your life FOREVER, which of course means it’s a VitaMix, the Holy Grail of blenders. Not sure what the issues are in blending technology that it takes making a blender that costs someone upwards of $600, but apparently only the wealthy (or irresponsible spenders) are allowed to benefit from it.

It looks like a regular blender, right? But....$500?

It looks like a regular blender, right? But….$500?

As I had no desire to spend an entire year of my life saving up for a blender, we did what most people do: scrounge around for a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond and hope they have something decent in the mid-priced range that will do what it’s supposed to do.

Aside from being slightly disappointed at the lack of inventory in stock (and then remembering that, including myself, most people are buying items online nowadays), what surprised me was that blenders with glass pitchers have now gone the way of the black rhino–only a few are in existence.

The only one I saw was a $40 crappy one that I staunchly avoided. Sadly, everything is plastic now, even when you are willing to spend $100 or more on an appliance. I am sure the savings are passed on to the consumer but if I had my druthers, I prefer glass and would pay a little more for it. Aside: my dear father, who is rather old-fashioned, was aghast at this plastic-carafe news when I told him about it. He suggested I try finding a replacement glass pitcher for the Ninja Professional 1000. I love that guy.Ninja_zoesays

Moving along. We had done our proper reviews research (promptly ignoring the one-star reviews from those people who don’t know how a blender works or were mad that the box was dented when it arrived) and with a little leap of faith, we invested in a Ninja–the Professional 1000, to be exact. A Ninja blender sounds straight out of SNL or Made-for-TV Land, but it is, in fact, a legit brand. This thing has three tiers on the blade and when it’s on, there is no doubt that something is being pulverized. Admittedly, it’s loud, but it works.

After the first go around with the blender, in which my dear husband overfilled it and we had a near disaster on our hands, I took over the smoothie-making in the household and lovingly demonstrated the proper proportion of fruit to protein powder to ice to liquid.

Result:

Ned Ryerson

Since the implementation of successful blended drinks has taken place, we are blending fools, making one healthy smoothie after another. Our little Ninja is proving itself to be quite the decent purchase, thank me very much.

I am sure we will eventually find our way to discovering other uses for the blender….perhaps we’ll get creative and make Adult Smoothies when we want fruit and a relaxing drink. (I believe they’re called “daiquiris.”)

booze

A successful foray into Joint Married Purchases, if I do say so myself.

On Making and Selling

Well hello, friends! It’s been a little while. Here are some thoughts I jotted down about being an artist and making money at it.

While there are some questionable “arts” out there, generally speaking, I think it’s safe to say that most people who create can be termed an artist of some kind. Not everyone earns money or an actual living from their art, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with art for art’s sake. (Take this blog, for example! I write because I like it.) But it is a heavily sought after dream.

Artists who create with fabric or yarn know that it’s not only popular because it’s fun, challenging, relaxing, and rewarding, but as with any creative endeavor, making any kind of money from this passion is not an easy feat.

Essentially, anyone who knows how to make something out of fabric, yarn, or thread can sell it. That’s the beauty of having an Etsy shop, really. (Or Facebook, for that matter.) I’m no exception to that. I’ve sold a few crocheted things from the shop and I’ve made a few dozen custom orders from people who have seen my finished works on Facebook. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ll earn some pocket money from your craft in addition to having fun making the end products. Win-win. Silly baby whales

While there are certainly people out there who have mastered selling finished works and make a pretty penny off of it, it is my observation from both the photography world and the crochet world that the real money is in selling to the artists. I have mixed feelings on that. On the one hand, it makes sense, and bravo to those who have figured it out. On the other, I wish it appeared to be more prevalent that the artists themselves had more success than the teachers, marketers, and “gurus.”

When I was immersed in All Things Photography for the first couple of years, it became overwhelming to muck through all the businesses out there who marketed to photographers who were just trying to earn some money taking portraits. My email was dinging every few seconds with promotional email after promotional email. I even worked with a “photography business consultant” for a little while, until I realized that she had never had a successful photography business herself. (Seriously.) Eventually, when I realized that it was not going to be the business I thought it would, it was a tedious chore to unsubscribe from most of the companies that had my email address. Now I enjoy photography on a much more leisurely basis (see: Pho-chet), and I’ve realized that, at least for this period of my life, it’s what works best.

When I jumped into crochet in 2013, the same thing happened where I realized that the gurus exist who are quite successful, and most of them have marketed patterns, classes, or how-to videos on YouTube. (Don’t get me wrong–YouTube is a fabulous tool for learning a craft like crochet for free!) Fortunately, I had learned from my mistakes with photography, and I did not sign up for too many groups, emails, classes, etc, though crochet is a completely different beast than photography.

Aside: I won’t deny that I may have a slight yarn addiction but I think most crocheters and knitters have one. Becoming a yarn snob is something I’ll save for another post down the road.

Before a couple of years ago, I had not browsed Etsy for much of anything. Now that I have my own shop, I have made a point to buy unique gifts for friends and family from others who share their beautiful artistry with the world. Pretty much anything you can think of–and a lot of what you can’t–can be found there. (Here are things I’ve favorited, if you’re into that kind of thing.)

Again, just because one has a shop, it does not mean that people will buy. Standing out from the herd of millions proves to be a frustration for many, myself included. Crochet and photography shops are a dime a dozen and, once again, those craft shops who stand out seem to be doing something truly unique OR they’re marketing to people like me, who are passionate creators but are not necessarily blazing a trail in the design world.

Perhaps designing is in my future; it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But for now, I am a happy little maker of things. Speaking of which….I know it’s a shameless plug, but it ties in so nicely with my topic here, so I hope you won’t mind too much.

I started this post a while back and by the time I’ve gotten around to publishing it, I happen to be having a canvas sale in the Photography section of my shop this week. And if I’m being honest, which I am, it’s a good one.

I’ll just leave this here and if you or someone you know needs some wall art in your life, well then…..yay!

And now I slip quietly back to my creative dungeon…until next time.

Wed

Being super "we" and "us" makes me feel like Meg and Hamilton Swan sometimes.

Happy New Year, friends! I took a little sabbatical from posting in the latter part of 2014 and there is good reason for that. On October 25, 2014, I married my best friend and the most wonderful man I know. After almost two whole years of engagement, planning a wedding, and designing a honeymoon that […]

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Letting Go, Letting In

A Friend

Recently, mid-week insomnia led me to my computer to write on something more personal and that which has sat in my heart and my Drafts for months. Truthfully, I have been mulling over this particular topic as a post for so long I can’t remember when it actually germinated. I’ll start with this: If you […]

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Baby/Blanket Fever

Happy Friday the thirteenth and full moon! Though the number thirteen and I are not friends, it is a beautiful and quiet day in my neck of the woods, so I thought I would send out a project update. Crocheting has proved to be an aid in more regular blogging, it seems. This way, I […]

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