Monday, September 21, 2009

Saving The Date, Part 2.5: The Importance Of Math

Alright, I'll be the first to admit, I suck at math. Seriously! It wasn't always that way, in fact, in 7th grade I got straight A's and they let me skip a year in math classes. And that was probably my down falling. I skipped pre-algebra and went straight to 8th grade algebra...and proceeded to go from an A, to A-, to B+, to B....until come college and I was totally stoked to get a C- in my business calculus class.

I already mentioned that Mr. Cola is a really smart dude, so if I'm trying to figure out something other than budgets or accounting stuff, I usually ask him. This generally happens when we're laying in bed, trying to fall asleep.

So the point of this whole post is, double check your math when figuring out how much to buy for your DIY projects. Obviously, this isn't a new concept, you're probably thinking in your head, "duh, I always do!" But thank god I did, cause I was thinking that I needed to buy 600 yards of ribbon for the belly bands of our STDS!

In bed the other night, I was trying to figure out my ribbon needs, and so I asked Mr. Cola, "what's 11 (number of inches I need to go around the STD) x 82 (number of STDs), divided by 3 (to convert to yards), times 2 (to account for the 2 layers of ribbon on the belly bands). He figured it out in his head and told me it equaled 601 and some change.

Do you see where I made the mistake?


I went to bed that night depressed, thinking I needed 601 yards of ribbon. That was going to be expensive, and hard to find, since I'd been cleaning Michaels Crafts out of their 3 or 4 spools of the chocolate grosgrain every time I went there.

So the next day, eager to start stockpiling more ribbon, I decided to hit the 4 Michaels along the peninsula on my way home from work (as you can tell, I've gotten over my intimidation/fear of the craft store!). I went to the first one, and they had two spools of the chocolate ribbon I needed and 5 of the purple satin ribbon. I again looked at the chocolate ribbon label: 3 yards, and proceeded to double check my math (or really, Mr. Cola's math, but he told me later if I would have explained the random numbers I was asking him to multiply and divide, he would have told me then that I was doing it wrong).

I stood there in the store, with my cell phone left on the charger in my car, so I was calculator-less, and thought about it. Since it's only 3 yard spools, I have to round up to 12 inches instead of 11 for the length of the belly band. So that would be 9 belly bands I could do per spool. Right, RIGHT? I thought to myself? But then that would only be 9 spools to do 81 STDs, HUH? I stood there and scratched my head for a minute, still not really sure how much ribbon I needed, but then decided to just go buy the 2 they had available and figure it out later.

So, long story, uh, long, I went to 4 Michaels stores, cleaning them all out, and came home with 9 spools of the chocolate ribbon and plenty of the purple ribbon (it came in 10 yard spools). The moral of the story, always double check your DIY math, and, I'm a dork.


Did you ever screw up a DIY project by under or over calculating the amount of supplies you needed? Or come close to screwing up and then feeling dumb?

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