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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Martha Stewart Meets McGuyver

I haven't posted in a week because I didn't feel like it. Yup, I said it. I have just been having a week where nothing seemed to want to come out of my hands to the keyboard and I didn't have the oomph to try to make a post happen despite that so, I just didn't. No biggie! We shall just pick up like nothing ever happened! Lots went on around the house last week so I will just cruise through it to catch y'all up, 'k? (I KNOW you have been on the edge of your seat waiting to see what went on during my life.....) I got lot of little projects done and it felt good to be creative again. I love to create and make stuff-this blog first began as a knitting blog, btw-and a lot of that has taken a back seat for several months because life just got in the way of being able to create much other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich-and apparently my ability to write normal length sentences also has been arrested. Anyhoo, I spent several days in a creative whirlwind and I need to note, my first priority in being creative is doing it frugally. I prefer to spend as little as possible in my projects and using stuff I have to make something new so what follows is a heap of cheap fun stuff :). First, I made a skirt out of a bed sheet a la this tutorial. It was a fun easy little project that made me feel like I made something real. Here is a picture of me wearing it (and looking dorky in mid conversation since my hubs took the picture of me w/o my knowledge) a few hours after it's completion:
Next, we had a need for a lamp in our family room but it had to fit on top of a piece of furniture we had that only had a limited amount of surface depth. I saw a lamp at my friend's house that was like a flatish rectangular shape and thought it would be perfect, but I couldn't find one anywhere and as she is a friend, stealing hers would be wrong--well, it would be wrong even if she weren't a friend I suppose....... So, we took and old sheep planter we had and broke a hold thru the bottom, used a cheapy Ikea lamp base to thread up through the hole and made our own lamp! Here it is in all its sheepy glory before we found a lampshade that would work:

(Incidentally, I have since found one exactly like I wanted, but since we made our own, I chose to ignore it and pretend like it wasn't even there) Also in the lamp department (my stars, this blog post is RIVETING, isn't it??) is my exciting discovery that is probably only a discovery to me, but it is my blog so I can act like I am smart on it and you are free to roll your eyes at my true simpleness if you'd like. So, I often see great lamps at TJ Maxx in the clearance section that have the finial-the little screw on top knobby thing that holds on the lampshade-broken off and it always seems like a waste because the lamp is in such great shape otherwise. So, I found this great lamp in such condition, and we actually needed another lamp in another room-little to no overhead lighting in our home so we need a lot of lamps around here-so I snatched up my $15 lamp with glee. I thought I could super glue it and I did and I was all proud of myself and put it all back together-and then it fell back apart. Hmmmm...I was determined not to lose because hello?! I got it on major sale and I needed to be able to say "check out my lamp that was on sale but I totally fixed with my brilliant McGuyveresque skillz" (yeah the "z" gives it that hip edge, dawg). After a few minutes (read:hours of frustration and cursing the inventors of the chintzy super glue that would in no way hold a constrution guy to a steel beam), I think about if I can take apart our old lamp in some way to use the parts. Well, voila--this part that was broken just pops right out and I swapped it with the one from the old lamp and put it on the new cheap lamp and I totally fixed it with my brilliant McGuyveresque skillz:
Ok, no more lamp stories, sadly enough. But, look, a CURTAIN story y'all! I had some white sheers I had hung up in front of our Sliding Glass Door of Light That Bleaches All Things. I also had a nice white rod that wasn't long enough. I had a rod extender, but it was brass and the curtains were sheer. I also happened to literally be in the midst of tossing out this prop from one of my girlies' dance recitals:
It is a star mounted on a piece of black PVC pipe-wait, was it black? Oh no, it was just covered with black electrical tape, which means it is WHITE PVC pipe, white like my curtain rod and wouldn't that just make a terrific rod extender?? Yup, it fit just right so, victory!

Finally, for now-I know you can only take so much--AND I don't yet have a picture of my favorite DIY project we did last week, we will see how cheapo, er, creative, I really am. In our powder room, we have had the same little silly take-up-space-but-don't-use fancy towels on the extra towel bar for the last 6 years and I was sick of looking at them. I knew I wanted something with red on it and set out to just buy some nice ones at TJ Maxx, when I got my cheapy lamp, of course. But not a red towel to be seen to I headed to another mecca of cheapyness-Big Lots. I found just what I wanted-in a large bath towel. So, I decided I could make it into what I wanted AND only spend $6 total. I cut it up the center and folded both sides in and stitched them down so it cannot be unfolded. I also stitched the raw edged end with a zigzag stitch so it would not continue to unravel. Finally, I cut off the opposite end which had a nice coordinating decorative border and made a tiny towel out of it in the same manner. I figured these towels would never be used, just merely need to look pretty so if you come to my house, do not take them off the bar and look at their silly back side where you see weird sewn down edges and such, just look and see this:

And, the true cheapness revealed: on the way out of Big Lots, I saw the same towels in hand towel size, but to buy them I would have to spend $12 rather than $6 so yes, I cut it all up and Frankensteined it to save $6. 600 pennies saved is 600 pennies earned, right???

Ok, thanks for putting up with my fascinating review of my home improvement projects of the week. DO you like to do home improvement stuff? WHat are your favorite projects? How do you save money?


Tisha said...

Dang girl. I wish I was creative enough to just do one of those inventive things. Good job!!! I am not creative at all. My house is a decorators (crafty persons) worst nightmare. :)

Michelle said...

fun stuff

Mandy said...

I love doing crafts but I'm a total perfectionist about them (just my own - not others'). Then, because they have to be perfect, I either don't get them done because I don't have time to do it right, or I spend way too much money on them and it would have been cheaper just to buy something cute. But, I do enjoy the process, so I'm trying to get over the perfect part so I can get more done.
I love what you've been working on. Great job!

Dawn said...

Good job crafty mccrafterson! I think you need to Zoe & Callie's curtains now - get crackalackin cause I want to see them by the end of the week - get to work.

Melanie said...

I thought your post was funny and clever! So were the projects!