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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blessing or curse

You can't fix what's broken until you understand what's broken. 

Before I can prevent myself from becoming a full fledged hoarder, like you see on those tv shows, I need to understand why I've started accumulating so much stuff over the last few years.  I need to understand what's broken.  I'm going to document my backward journey to a simpler life in a series of blog posts so I can refer back to these posts now and then.  When I see myself slipping back into hoarding tendencies; reading the posts may help me remember.  Senior memory is not as good as it once was ya know.   My journey won't be fast and it won't be slow.... just steady.  Or at least that's my hope.

One reason I accumulate so much stuff comes from seeing the "potential" of many things.  It can be a blessing to know how to reuse items because it saves money in my budget.  It can be a curse because it creates a tendency for hoarding. 

Let me give you some examples that I found around my house yesterday.  Here's one.  Orange peels.  You may see something that should go into a compost pile or in the trash.  I see their potential for keeping stray cats from using my garden for a potty.  If these were Clementine oranges then the peels would be turned into Clementine powder to use as flavoring for cakes or cookies or ice cream.

Here's one of the oddities I save because I see it's potential.  It's a cassette tape I found in my yard just the way you see it.  I picked it up thinking it should be thrown away before the wind blew it all over the place.  Just as I was putting it in the trash I saw it as plarn (plastic yarn) instead of trash.  So I rescued it.  Plarn can be knitted, woven, braided, or crocheted into many useful things.

I saved these yardsticks I get from the fair.  I've been saving for several years because I need 22 and I get only a couple each year.   Why so many yardsticks? 

These are to be used inside my window quilts as the risers.  They can be cut to just the right size for each window.  I could also use the yardsticks for curtain rods.  Why not just buy some yardsticks?  Well, money of course.  Buying is using money, these are free.

Another oddity I rescue.  Thread tails.  When machine quilting I pull up the bobbin thread to start which creates a thread tail.  This thread tail is cut and saved.  Why am I saving thread tails?  My hope was to eventually create the fabric for a coat for myself.  It would be placed between two layers of water soluable stabilizer, stitched heavily to make the fabric, then cut into pieces for a coat of many colors. 

Want another oddity?  Here's one.  Soda bottles.  What on earth could these be used for? 

Cut the bottom out like this.  Drill a whole in the cap.  Place upside down in the garden next to the plants for slow watering containers.  I will pour some water in them each morning and the water will slowly drip out to the plants.   This saves water because I won't be watering anything but the plant.  Not the area around it.  Saving water means I can keep the water bill low. 

You see these?  These were given to me by a customer.  She got them from a florist.  I'm not sure what the florist uses them for but they would eventually be thrown away.  What will I use these for?

Thread cone covers to tame my quilting threads.

As you can see, I have a lot of thread cones.  I also have several drawers full of threads.

Speaking of thread cones.  I save the empties too.  What will I do with empty thread cones?

There is a lot of potential for thread cones.  As risers for multiple trays in the freezer when I flash freeze food.  As the base for pretty curtain tie backs.  You know what I'm talking about?  The rope thingies used to hold curtains open.  Hmm.... tie backs made from plarn or thread tails maybe?  The cones could also become the knobs for cardboard furniture. 

Cardboard.  You know how I do love using cardboard for other things.  Ok, here's one box that is not to be cut up.   It's a shoe box.

It became a portable light box.  Oops, I noticed this box has some really cool micro sized flutes.  Micro fluted cardboard is hard to find.  I may have to find another shoe box for the light table. 

Many quilters know about dryer sheets.  These make great foundations for string quilts or as a stabilizer for embroidery.  I see other potential for them as well.  I'm thinking maybe these could be dyed and used in art or possibly woven into a very soft rug. 

Another example of cardboard rescued from the trash.  At first I was only rescuing it to cut the recipe off to save.  Then I saw the potential. 

I used a part of it for making a quilting template.  I needed a square so I cut one.  Then added a bit of tape to use as a handle.  I never know when I'm going to need a template so I save boxes.

This is the template being used on the quilt currently on the machine.

Here is a weird oddity I've saved.  These are buttons that hold objects in a package as a deterrent for thieves.  I plan to use them as a base to make handles for cardboard furniture doors.

This is the plastic sheet that comes inside of packages of bacon.  These make great quilting stencils.  Draw a design on with permanent marker, stitch along the lines with a domestic machine, no thread, then use powdered chalk to pounce the design on the quilt.   

Some things I've saved for many years because of an idea; but, the idea doesn't get made.  For example this laundry starch.  I bought it when my daughter was very young.  I planned to make silly putty and paint and slime for her to play with.  If I'm lucky, I might manage to finally make those things for Ladybug.

To be continued......

1 comment:

Joyful said...

Wow, you have a very inventive mind but no wonder you have a lot of "clutter". Is it really worthwhile to keep everything that might possibly be used one day? My mother did that too and when she had to go to nursing home, I couldn't give half of her things away. I had to throw a lot in the trash due to limited time to get rid of it. I managed to give some away, give a lot to charity and bring some home, but a lot was trashed. So sad.