I do not intimidate easily.
When you travel as much as I do, you really can't intimidate easily... especially when visiting abroad. Because if you don't speak the language and don't know much about the culture, you just have to dig in as politely as you know how and hope for the best. Otherwise you'll end up hungry... or lost... or worse.
As I mentioned previously, I am taking an awesome basic sewing class from Whipstitch. Up until now, it's been basic stuff like cutting fabric in a straight line and practicing stitching on a sewing machine. But now we're starting to sew actual projects, which means I have to go buy material and thread and supplies and stuff.
Which means a trip to the JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store.
A place that intimidates me more than just about anywhere else on earth.
Mostly because I don't really understand the place or how to shop there, but also because the people there are mean. I don't know if it's because I'm a guy... or because I'm a newbie... or because they just don't like my face... or what. But every time I've gone to JoAnn I end up feeling stupid and embarrassed because everybody there (employees and customers alike) seems annoyed with my questions and total lack of knowledge. To them, sewing is important business, and I guess I'm just wasting their time.
So, after what few projects I've taken on, I've learned to not ask questions when I go to JoAnn.
Instead I just blindly wander around looking for stuff I think I need and hope for the best. Until now I've been sewing for myself, so it doesn't matter if I goof up and I really don't care if my Halloween costume is made wrong. But this time I'm sewing for a class, so I wanted to do things right. When you don't know what you're doing and are too afraid to ask questions, this can take a while.
The first thing I had to do was buy fabric for upcoming projects. The problem is I don't know what kind of fabric to get... and there's tons of it to choose from. Since I don't know any fabrics by name, I decided to shop by feel. "Well this kind of feels like a placemat" or "I guess this is what a tote bag should feel like," I'd say to myself. Who knows whether I ended up getting the right stuff... but I do like the colors I found, so I guess that's something.
After that I tried to buy the accessory stuff that's on my supplies list... and failed miserably. The lesson says drawstring and elastic, but there's like a gazillion different kinds and I have no idea what to get. So I get nothing. I guess I'll have to write the class for help and make another horrible trip to JoAnn next week.
Next up I had to buy thread to match my fabrics. I thought this would be easy, but thread spools come in all kinds of different sizes and shapes. I decide to go for the "traditional" spools that I recognize, but the colors don't match very well. So instead I get these tall skinny spools that have designer colors. Hopefully they fit on my grandmother's machine.
Lastly I wanted to go drool over proper 8-inch Gingher dressmaker shears and see how they match up to my 2-inch pink Fiskars. My intent was to just look. But they were on sale for 30% off, so I decided to go ahead and get them. The sale shouldn't have been an incentive since it seemed as if EVERYTHING was on sale at JoAnn, but I do love the sexy bastards, so I guess it was worth spending money I don't have...
And now it was time to have my bolts of fabric cut. This meant interacting with JoAnn employees, which I dread. The last time I needed some fabric cut, the woman started asking me questions I didn't understand and couldn't answer. Not knowing what to do, I told her "I'll just take the fabric please" which only seemed to piss her off. Apparently the stuff I was buying required special handling or something, and the fact that I didn't know this made me stupid.
This time the lady behind the counter seemed very nice, which was a relief. She didn't pitch me any crap while taking care of my fabric, so I felt confident enough to ask her questions like... "Will these scissors work for a right-handed person when it doesn't say so on the box?"... and "Do you know what in the heck 'Wonder Under' is and where I can get it?"... and "Is this 'Sulky' stuff on my list something I can buy here?" She answered me without eye-rolling or a condescending tone, which was a pleasant surprise.
And so tomorrow I can (hopefully) get caught up with Friday's tote bag project and make me a placemat. Though I didn't buy any of this "interfacing" stuff that I apparently need for the placemat, so I might be screwed there.
Oh well. Tonight I'm going to sleep with my new shears and dream about stuff I can cut with them...
...which may or may not include cutting a bitch. Though I'd then have to worry about how tough the bitch was, because I don't want to dull the blades.
Nothing ruins a sexy pair of new scissors like dull blades.