Posts Tagged ‘bargains’

And yes, it is high praise indeed when I come right out and recommend a company. Too many small companies are just subsidiaries of large corporations, and I’m not a big fan of large corporations.  In fact, this situation can get downright depressing at times.

But I am not here to bury small business. I am here, just as I said, to praise it!

Lucky and astute is the person who already patronizes American Science & Surplus, either through the company’s mail order catalogue or at one of its retail locations (in Chicago & Milwaukee). These fortunate customers have access to so many interesting and useful things, things you just don’t see anywhere else (well not at these prices, anyway).

AS&S (I vow that I am not in any way associated with this fine company except as a thrilled customer) is pretty much what it sounds like — surplus items, many of a scientific nature. But such surplus! You should check out their website (where you can also order a catalogue) and see for yourself how varied and rich and CHEAP is their selection, how clever is their commentary, how lovingly they put the whole thing together.

This is the only catalogue I read cover to cover. Yes, even the science section because EVERY section in this catalogue is likely to have something of use to me as an artist, and to open up my imagination in a way that those cookie-cutter magazines and their associated ads mentioned in my previous post can never ever do.

What have I received and put to use from AS&S? Hemostats! Silver paper! Wooden objects such as unpainted dice & round wheely type things! Doll heads! Doll legs! Twine! Cord! Ribbon! Fabric! Tweezers! Scissors! Wire! Chinese Rifflers! Rubber mats for cutting on! Lots of things to cut WITH! Paints! Beautiful glass bottles and jars to store paint and other things in! Cheap brushes for when I don’t need the fancy kind! And, really, so much more!

Let me just say that with AS&S, the possibilities really are endless. It’s icing on the cake that they’re so nice, and friendly, and funny.

I’m always telling people to patronize independent businesses, and AS&S has been chugging along like the Little Engine That Could since 1937 or thereabouts. They are unique and wonderful and you should be inspired by them and their offerings — so inspired you might order something today!

Okay, that’s enough exclamation marks for one post. (And one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to swear off exclamation marks … ah, well, so it goes …)

Anyway, here’s their website – have fun – (I personally have my eye on 2 pantographs for $4.95, you can’t beat that) – http://www.sciplus.com/s/c_2

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You may have noticed in last week’s post that while I was talking about organization, I didn’t dwell on tossing things away. In fact, I am not entirely in favor of the anti-hoarding movement of the past few years. You know what I’m talking about; you’ve seen the shows on TV. Tiny houses filled to overflowing: some with actual, disgusting garbage (ugh, yuck), but some with a mixture of the usable and the unusable.  Enter “hoarding experts” (who are these people, by the way, and where do they get their certification?) who proceed to convince the owners to throw away most of their possessions, until the houses are left as bare as one of Jack Webb’s old Dragnet sets or a vacant motel room.  Guilt is used as leverage, i.e., if you don’t throw out your stash of beloved objects, it means you love them more than you love your family. Now, in some cases that may be true, but to act as though this bit of psychobabble applies in every case is just plain silly.

J at worktable

Here I am, happily working on a few small pieces in the small allotted work space at my work table. I’m using some of the chipboard that I’d acquired for cheap a few years back — hundreds of pieces of it, which I kept stored in a box, waiting for their time to shine.

I’d hung on to them because I was sure I’d eventually find a use for them. And I did. They’re great as miniature book-casings and as the foundation for the small purses I’m making here. The “hoarding experts” would without a doubt have torn these seemingly useless pieces of board from my hands, insisting that unless I threw them away I’d be proving myself to be both crazy and selfish.

To tell you the truth, I’m perfectly capable of loving both my husband *and* the chipboard, just in very different ways. My husband understands and does not feel threatened by the chipboard or any other materials I keep on hand.

At any rate, my point is simply that if you see a bargain and you are absolutely positive that you will have a real use for it even though the project might not start today, tomorrow, or even next week, go for it. Remember those swell vintage ties I mentioned last week? I have  now stored them neatly in a stackable bin with the rest of my fabric. I know I’ll use them; I even have a few ideas roiling around in the back of my head already. Those hoarding experts may consider this an affront to their calling, but I’m keeping them just the same.

PS  My husband, naturally, has been given first choice of any ties he might want to keep for himself.