The government has - for months - been saying that Canadians have too much personal debt and that while we should not stop spending, we should cut back and keep our spending within affordable limits. I'm not sure that's possible if the percentage of the population identified is as over extended as indicated. They'd have to quit spending completely for quite a while just to catch up.
Perhaps that message has gotten through because an interesting observation I've made over the past week is that there's a shift happening in the economy. Last Saturday, when I went to Salmon Arm, the highways should have been busier, it should have been difficult to get a parking spot, the sidewalks and stores should have been more crowded, and there should have been a wait for a table at lunch. Instead, the town wasn't crowded at all. The same thing happened when I went to Vernon on Wednesday. Less people on the highway. Less people in the shops and those that were "shopping" didn't have packages.
There are also houses for sale everywhere but few sold signs. One of my friends has a condo for sale and has had one viewer in three months. Another friend has a house for sale and has had no showings in the same time frame. In our complex, there are four units for sale (one for nine months so far) and in the complex just up the road, there are five units for sale. Normally units in either of these complexes would sell quickly.
Coincidentally, on the news last night, they were talking about housing prices and sales in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary - Canada's three largest cities. In Vancouver prices went down and sales way up. In Toronto, it was the opposite and in Calgary both prices and sales were up. That's good news for my daughter's family as they have a house near Calgary to sell. For me, it's thoughtful information.
I've spent a lot of time praying about this possible new direction and won't make a change to hairstyling without due consideration. In some cases it feels like being between a rock and a hard place with no good choices - only the best of the worst. Howard and I started out this year with some pretty hard financial knocks and we're only just getting back on track plus with interest rates so low right now, we've been making progress on our top financial goal of paying off our mortgage so...
... I'm not keen to rock our financial boat in any way including spending a lot of money upgrading and then having to work for years to pay it off. That defeats one of the main points - earning income. I'm also not keen to deplete our retirement investments since we're too close to retirement for that and with the world economy and the predicted length of time it'll take to recover, we may not make a great return on our investments before we need them. Ditto savings. Ditto a loan. You see what I mean? Rock and hard place which to me means doing due diligence.
Yesterday, I went over to talk to the hairstylist I did my apprenticeship with to see if there was any possibility of working for her again in an apprentice-like, refresher course, kind of way. She recently downsized the size of her shop and staff to half and she wasn't sure that she'd have enough work to keep me busy... which is why I went to the mall... where I hadn't been in seven months... because I wanted to see what it looked like.
Quiet. There were few shoppers and most of them were of retirement age. Five shops and two food outlets were boarded up. There were few families and fewer teenagers and almost no-one carried a package. Most of the shops were empty and the two hair salons had no clients sitting in either the chairs or the waiting area. Driving across town, I noticed that two second hand clothing stores had closed - one ladies fashions and one children's wear.
This is not only an interesting observation - and possible answer to prayer - it is - as I told my boys last night - the warning sign of a possible trend and one to pay attention to. If you want to buy something, there could be some good deals coming up soon otherwise, manage your money. Don't over extend yourself. And think through purchases carefully... which leads me to...
... the advice my former employer gave me. She didn't think that I should go to Vancouver for a color course. She felt I could learn what I needed to know from an on-site workshop through a supplier using salon product and that a shop's product is best learned with on-the-job training because of the differences between products and that my background and color understanding would be enough.
Each course, including tuition, tools and supplies, and travel and accommodation, is $3,000 - $4,000 so it's definitely something to consider. I'll ask my hairstylist what his opinion is first and then decide. If I am going ahead with hairstyling, the cutting course is more crucial although - depending on what advice I get - I have until mid August to decide about it as well.
I'm meeting with my past employer again for coffee on Saturday morning and will see what she says about me getting back into hairstyling. What I loved about doing my apprenticeship in her salon was the weekly customers, the focus on basics, and the lack of politics. It'd be great to work for her again.
What interesting observations have you made lately?
Juliane wrote - Can you explain in more detail how the godets were constructed? I can't seem to wrap my head around it and it sounds like something I'd like to try too.
These are rough drawings but I hope they'll help. Above, imagine that you've cut a slit 6" long into the edge of your garment. The corresponding rectangle would be...
... 12" along the one side. The mid point would match to the top of the slit and 6" would be sewn to each side of the slit. The depth of the rectangle would fall in points from the end of the slit as you can see in the picture below.
Sewing the rectangle around the top of the slit is the tricky part. With this t-shirt, they rounded out the corner to whatever degree they needed to avoid puckers. It's quick and dirty sewing. With a shirt placket - which is why this reminded me of it - you'd make a Y cut at the top of the slit the depth of the seam allowance - clipping - too allow you to turn the corner. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - noticing things, paying attention