Monday, February 13, 2012

Contented with what we have {It is so much more fun to make something than it is to buy something}

  We have had a really fun weekend. Yesterday we had a good morning at church followed by Ken and I going downhill skiing (beautiful weather- lots of fun fresh air and exercise!) and the children spending time with Grandpa and Grandma and finished off with a fun supper and visiting at my parents.

  Saturday we enjoyed just staying home, relaxing and creating.
 Jonathan went out into our woods with the axe and came back with some lumber that he had plans of turning into something. He made a little wooden knife and then was working on a new spoon and had plans also for another sword I believe. I love seeing his progress in the area of carving.
 Mara spent some time on the computer using a table that Ken helped her to set up and creating teeny tiny books for the Barbie house bookshelves. She had helped Megan clean the barbie house all up and thought that they needed more books for their shelves. She used teeny tiny font to put some of her stories in books that are readable (as long as you have good eyes).

  Meanwhile my office was in need of a cleaning. I made progress on the cleaning by working on some projects using the things that were laying around. I made several denim projects which I will try to share this week. They were unique and creative projects and I had lots of fun with them!

 I also did another project which I had been thinking about doing for a while. Mara has been growing out of her shoes lately and actually shares a shoe size with me now. We have shopped for shoes in the past for her but struggle with finding shoes that she likes (nothing too weird!) that are also affordable. When she mentioned that she would like new dress shoes- I kind of despaired of shopping for her and also right now we are trying not to shop.

Since we now share a shoe size I could share shoes with her except that she doesn't like mine. I had a pair of flats (that I had bought at Walmart a year or so ago for $1) which she didn't like but then I came up with the idea of changing them. Mara thought it sounded like a good idea.
 So armed with old black lining fabric (saved from an old wool skirt), modge podge, black ribbon and hot glue I got busy.

I pulled the bows of the toes of the shoes and then cut a piece of fabric that can fit over top and the sides of the shoes (with excess). Next step was to brush modge podge all over the shoes and then fit the fabric on cutting off the excess. I did hot glue the fabric seam at the back of the shoe. after I had the fabric all in place then I modge podged all over the outside of the shoe to seal it all in place.
 The next step was to put ribbon all around the top edge of the shoe (folded in half over the edge) and glue in place with hot glue (carefully smoothing things so that there weren't any bumps).

 Mara thought it would be fun to have some straps and she decided on this look. We used ribbons for the straps. They looked cute for a while but didn't actually hold up while wearing them all day today. (the ribbon wasn't very sturdy.) I will try to figure something else out for them.
I am also thinking about flowers that can be put on or taken off of the toe area but I haven't gotten them made yet. I think it would be fun for her to have a little variety in her shoes that way.

 I really enjoyed fixing up some old shoes into shoes that Mara liked and was happy to wear. What a fun way to recycle AND save money (and not go shopping)!

  Speaking about not going shopping- I have some confessions to make along that line. :-) Since I last reported we have done pretty well to use what we have on hand (even while having various company) but there were a few times of buying things. Here is my confession list: :-)

~A week ago on Saturday Mara and I went to an all day beekeeping class. We actually packed a lunch but then when lunch time came around they were offering taco salad and chocolate cake lunch for $1. That really sounded better than what we had brought and so we "splurged".
~On our way home that Saturday night we went to the grocery store. I had unsuccessfully tried to barter for salt and I didn't feel like we could manage much longer without it so I bought salt. This store also had butter on a pretty good sale and though I had been able to barter for 1 lb of butter I knew that wouldn't last to long (a week or so) and I really prefer to buy butter on sale rather than full price so I stocked up on butter- enough to last for several months.
~Ken stopped and bought 4 gallons of milk one evening.

That is all the "confessions" that I have so far but this evening we have a meeting over the supper hour at a deli in the grocery store and I do plan on eating out again! I also am going to splurge and buy some fruit and maybe a couple other things while I am there.

 I was, as I mentioned, able to barter a pair of pants for a pound of butter. I also bartered for a gallon of milk, 4 jars of peanut butter and 2 cans of tuna. I have another barter lined up to get toilet paper. I love this concept of getting rid of things we don't need in order to get things that we can actually use.

  Meanwhile we are still for the most part eating up and using things that we already have on hand and if we really were in a desperate survival situation we would really be eating well even without the butter, milk and salt. It has been a lot of fun to be able to eat meals that are mostly comprised of things that we had put up from our garden or things that we bought or gleaned locally like grain, potatoes, berries and beef.

 On Saturday I was making Galbi (a Koren BBQ beef) which calls for carrots and I was thinking it was neat that we still have carrots from our own garden and that they are keeping pretty well. Now mind you they are very tiny (I didn't thin them this year and that showed!- Next year I will do better.) but they are still yummy and good. There is only enough for one more meal but keeping til the end of February is better than we had done before.
 I have been really enjoying this whole time of getting by with less. It has been a cleaning out time for me. Cleaning out of our freezers (we have three though I think I can combine the two big ones now and turn one off), cleaning the odds and ends out of our cupboards and also cleaning out throughout the rest of the house. Over all in our house it felt like we had too much stuff and as I don't like just pitching things (I really hate waste!) I would rather make myself use what we do have or find someone that will use it and meanwhile not buy anything.  I love the out of the box thinking that this sort of project encourages.

 Though it seems that we are getting low enough on some things like fruits and veggies that we might have to buy a bit more in the way of food in the next while- I am going to continue in my goal of shopping just as little as possible and try to eat and use what we have as much as we can.

I am linking this to Homestead Revival.


La famille NB said...


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Clint Baker said...

Just stopped of the Hop and have enjoyed what I have read. I would like to invite you to my give away! God Bless!

Travis said...

Mara's shoes turned out very cute! I have a bunch of cut rags in my house now. I am going to try to get a rug done soon. I bought a crochet hook today, so now I have to remember how to get the job done. ~Anna

Anonymous said...

Now that is inspiring! God has given you a gift of creativity! Love the cute shoes!!


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