Sunday, March 6, 2011


Be Creative

One day my son said, “I am going to go to the Pet Store to buy a collar for my dog.
“Wait,” I said. I ran to my closet and took out an old belt and gave it to my son. He shortened it, put holes in it and then buckled it on the neck of his dog.

You don’t have to buy everything. You can sometimes make do with what you have. I made my own pads for my babies. I took several layers of cotton and hemmed them and then quilted them. My babies had new pads. I also made them tiny drooling bibs so that I wouldn’t have to change their clothes so often when they were teething and drooling particularly in cold Amarillo, Texas. I used corduroy to make the bibs a little bit thicker. Then when the baby drooled and the bib was wet, I replaced the wet bib with a dry one.

Hobbies of all sorts allow you to make and then give very nice gifts, some of which you can’t find in the store. For example, I knit a hat that looks like a strawberry, and that is a favorite baby shower gift. Where can I buy that? a common question upon seeing the strawberry hat.

Gardening is another hobby that allows you to grow a plant or vegetables and give them away as gift. Who does not appreciate fresh lettuce or a fern you have grown from a sprig of a fern.

I’ve also made booties, scarves, aprons, and other things. I have fun and the recipients seem happy. Not only that but folks look forward to receiving some gifts from folks they know are good with a particular craft.

Just think about what you can do, and then do it.

More later…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recycling Before it was Recycling

When we first married I realized “two cannot live as cheaply as one”, a saying many repeated often. One of the ways I found to deal with the limited income was in the area of recycling, although we didn’t utilize that word back then.

I had a dress with a wide skirt which I couldn’t use anymore. I took the dress apart and from the wide skirt I fashioned a top and another skirt that required less fabric. I was very happy with my “new outfit”.

Later on I was pregnant. One of the outfits had a top with pleats that were permanently pressed; knife pleats they were called. When my daughter was about three, I took the maternity top apart and with the bottom part and the top part I made a gorgeous child’s dress with a yoke and a pleated bottom. It looked oh, so, tailored.

I also took apart some jeans and made my small boys short pants with bibs. Nice and fun, and still durable as denim jeans are. Since then I have made blankets with blue jean squares and interspersed the denim squares with medium weight cotton. Durable and heavy.

An older friend told me to tear old sheets into strips, sew the strips together and using a large crochet hook, crochet a rug. I also used my fabric scraps to crochet colorful rugs which I placed in the kitchen and by the back door.

Two friends gave me wool which they had purchased at a fabric store sale. It turned out the wool had many flaws. No problem. With the scissors I cut the wool into strips and after deciding on the color scheme, I took out my large crochet hook and, voila, I had a beautiful wool rug which now lies on my bedroom floor.

More later…