Monday, February 28, 2011

An Adventure-Filled Weekend

I think Max is going to be a mechanic. He loves hanging around in the garage for car tune-ups, he didn’t freak out when the impact gun started taking the bolts off the tires last month, and he’s fascinated watching the mechanics do their work. And he had his first tow truck ride Saturday and calmly fell asleep for the ½ hour ride.

What’s that? Max rode in a tow truck? Why, yes he did. Why is that?

Because apparently it’s bad when there’s coolant in the cylinders. We found this out the hard way when our car overheated and died three hours into a road trip this weekend, an hour away from our destination.

Thank goodness we have AAA, and wonderful parents who drove those three hours to come and get us and bring us back home.

So, the car is at a garage, miles and miles away from home, waiting for the guys to give it a look over and see what else may or may not be wrong before we decide the car’s fate. It’s a 1999 Subaru Legacy with 175,000+ miles on it. It may be entirely possible to revive it and have it run for another 100,000 miles, these cars are pretty indestructible. Or, it may be time for a new car.

Or, see if we can survive with just one car. Hubby works 1.25 miles away from home, and it’s entirely possible for him to walk to and from work every day. We’re going to use this week to see if we can manage it, and see if we might be able to do this for the long run. It would save us the cost of repair or payments on a new-to-us car (his car was paid off), and insurance, maintenance, etc.

I've heard of other people who have managed using one car in rural areas with both adults working out of the home. There may be some creative scheduling taking place, but we may be able to make this work.

I’ll keep you posted! (haha, posted. Get it? Because it's a blog? I think I need some more sleep...)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! And for my fellow snow-bound people - stay safe out there!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chopping Magazines – Or Creating an Idea Book

I love magazines. Home magazines in particular. The glossy pages, the pretty pictures, and the awesome ideas I get from looking at those amazingly decorated rooms and manicured gardens… <sigh> I almost cried when Cottage Living was discontinued.

I used to keep my magazines in stacks here and there, wherever I could find space. Then that collection got a little too cumbersome. Not only was it taking up a lot of space, but I couldn’t find those particular articles or pictures that I wanted to reference which was why I was keeping the danged things in the first place. So, I made myself an Idea Book.

An Idea Book is really a glorified name for a binder with sheet protectors.

I went through all of those magazines and cut out pages and pages – articles, pictures, snippits – and put them in sheet protectors and neatly arranged them in my binder. As I went back through those magazines, sure that I was going to need five binders to encompass all of the awesome information I was sure I needed, I realized something. Most of the magazines really didn’t have more than a few pages each that I felt the need to save. Yes, I had really enjoyed reading it the first time, but it’s not like a classic book that I’d be reading and re-reading. I had absorbed the information I needed to, and the things that I wanted to remember or wanted a specific photo of were relatively few.

My first Idea Book, a lovingly created and decoupaged binder from my college days, grew and evolved so now I have a few different binders:

  • Home – Divided by room, this binder has all of the photos and articles that currently inspire me in regards to decorating and renovating the interior of my home, including tutorials on d├ęcor type crafts.
  • Garden – Gardening, landscaping, and plant articles of all kinds reside here, loosely categorized. I also have houseplant items in here.
  • Personal/Beauty – Pretty self explanatory, and also has exercise tips and routines.

How do you organize your magazines?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making Fabric Yarn (or T-Shirt Yarn)

I confess: I’m a slob. I constantly drop or dribble or slop food on my shirt on that inconveniently placed bulge a few inches below my chin that my son (and husband) appreciates so much. Because of this I try to buy relatively inexpensive shirts, mostly made of jersey aka t-shirt fabric, since they’re versatile, cheap, wear well, and when I’ve stained them beyond repair I can cut them up and make fun things out of them.

I recently went through my pile of unwanted clothing and sorted it into three piles: donate, give to mom (she took a sweater and two sweatshirts), and shred create. My create pile looked something like this:

And with some elbow grease, a sharp pair of fabric shears, and some time it started to look like this:

I cut the shirts into strips about 1” wide and try my best to be creative in my cutting to get as long of a string as possible and have as little waste as possible. I don’t worry about perfection or avoiding seams (as long as they’re not too bulky) because I usually use my new yarn to crochet things like this:

(the basket, not the sweater)

I have a bunch of balls in the cupboard waiting to be used. I just keep adding to the collection until I have enough or am inspired enough to get out my enormous crochet hook. Currently I’m hoping to collect enough white to make an area rug for the living room. But I’ve got a lot of collecting to do considering that the basket, which is about 10” tall and 10” in diameter, took 6+ shirts to make. I’ll probably stake out the local thrift stores for white T’s that they’d otherwise throw away rather than relying on my husband’s undershirts.

I have a few more ideas – like dying random colors and leftovers black, making a thinner thread and knitting with it (which I’m in the process of cutting), making a ball with a jingle inside as a toy… there are so many applications!

I thought I had this wicked original idea when I first thought of doing this a few years ago. After a few internet searches, it turns out it’s not so original. But, it’s still cool. Do you have a few shirts you’d otherwise throw away or turn into rags that could become something else?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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