We are getting creative in our storage of deconstructed ugly sweaters!
In the last 4 months I have unraveled sweaters in all the following places….
at basketball games
on the couch while watching classical movies
in the car…but not while driving
diners on Sundays
Girl Scout meetings
*several* birthday parties
on the phone while finding solutions to all the world’s problems
in bed watching the news
Facetiming with long lost friends
at least one staff meeting
while waiting for my 4ft friend to finish dinner
over fancy drinks
on the porch in the sunshine
Cheers to trashy…I mean upcycled…temperature blankets.
Cheers to tiny houses and making everything fit.
Cheers to projects. They keep life so full.
My sister made this stain glass piece for me when I went to college.
Daisies of course.
It fit down into an end table and a piece of glass sat over top it; very functional and one of my favorite pieces of all time.
It moved with me from one dorm, to the next.
From one apartment, to the next.
From one home, to the next.
When we were building the tiny house, I knew I would have to part with the end table, so I planned to incorporate the piece into a kitchen cabinet door. The designs changed as the house took shape and the glass instead hangs in our window.
The sun dances thought it as it sets in the west every evening and makes parts of the couch appear a different color.
I love it.
I love what it reflects.
I love her.
Cheers to sisters with amazing talents.
Cheers to handmade gifts.
Cheers to only keeping what matters.
It has moved with me to every room, every apartment, every house and now to my very own little home; my home of hand-mades.
For my 21st birthday, my mom measured, remeasured, cut, grinded, sanded, foiled and soldered all these little pieces to make up the lampshade. She hasn’t made another one since.
I totally don’t blame her.
I love it.
Sometimes it sits beside my bed. I pull the chain to turn it on every morning. It starts my day.
Sometimes it sits on my table. It helps me work and create every evening. It ends my day.
I love it.
I love her.
Cheers to handmade gifts.
Cheers to only needing one fancy, dancy lamp.
Cheers to surrounding ourselves with only the objects we love that remind us of the people we love.
Three years ago, my dear friend gave Cubby these playing cards for her 4th birthday. These custom-made cards, with their photo on the back, were the *perfect* gift.
*perfect* because we met up with this couple for a card party every month. Their home was deemed the “Party House” due to a little table always arranged with finger foods conveniently within the reach of Cubby. Also, the “Party House” always seemed to be playing her favorite music.
*perfect* because she taught my little one how to play her first card game before Cubby could even recognize and recall the numbers.
*perfect* because she knew we were dramatically downsizing in order to move into the tiny house. Only the objects that are functional and hold true meaning deserved a spot in the house. This deck could replace our old deck that held no sentimental value and would defiantly get used regularly.
The night she gave them to Cubby, in celebration of her birthday, was the last night we saw her.
I remember a few days later one of my sisters saying the cards were even more special, even more *perfect* now.
At the time I wanted to punch those words in the face.
Now, I understand *perfectly*
Cheers to gifting, may we always give from the heart.
Cheers to the holidays, may we remember small acts of kindness can go a long way.
Cheers to friends that live on with us everyday, may we always feel their hugs.
Oh…and cheers to never punching anyone in the face when we do not like their words. It might take 3 years, but chances are, with time, you will understand them.
Tiny House, Trash-Free Food Challenge, Trash-Free Kitchen, Trash-Free Little Ones, Trash-Free Shopping
After many distractions this week, we finally made it to our favorite bulk food store! We stocked up on our staples including lots of chocolate!
We love food!
I own eyeliner.
She owns “perfume”.
Both are stored in this room.
So I guess it is appropriate to can call it, “The Make Up Room”.
It is also the home of the dragon.
The dragon is really the water pump that gives out a roar when we turn the water on in the morning.
We chime in together, “Good morning Dragon” when she first makes her presence known.
She has become our friend.
Cubby gets one side of the closet and I have the other. The baskets were handmade by my sister and I, and hold our underwear, socks, leggings and other wearables that can not be hung up.
Slowly, I am replacing the plastic hangers with antique wooden hangers.
Wooden hangers create charm.
Wooden hangers make my clothing look adventurous.
So, there you have it. This is where we keep our clothes. I will never go back to owning more clothing than what I can wear in a week. It simply does not make sense to do otherwise.
Cheers to less decisions in the morning.
Cheers to the same about of laundry.
Cheers to dragons and other mythological creatures that live it the corners of dark closets everywhere.
Cubby works hard at school to complete several worksheets and homework assignments daily.
She brings them home.
She shares them with me.
We place them in a box under the kitchen cabinet.
Then, when the urge hits us to draw, we have the backsides of a zillion papers to choose from!
Some in COLOR!
Do I keep every single worksheet,
every single homework assignment,
every single drawing she has ever produced.
That would be silly.
We hang and rotate a few of our favorites in the house but when new favorites are created, we take the old ones down and put them back in the box in the kitchen.
A few of her drawings have really tugged on my heart strings. I will admit, some hang in our tiny house a little longer then a week. I am sure every mother has their version of them. With these treasures, I take a quick photo of them and save them to a digital file on my computer.
Just a few.
Just a few of my ALL TIME favorites.
My plan it to add them to a digital book at the end of each year. When Cubby is older, I will give her a copy of the file to reminisce and share. If she wants to print them, it will be ready for her. If she chooses to travel the world with all she owns in a suitcase, she will have a flash drive to pull out on homesick days…or whatever the newest digital saving device is a decade or two from now.
Hopefully this will create a balance between the extremes. When she moves away from home and starts her life independently she will have the drawings of our large heads with lop sided eyes and super long squiggly arms, hugging each other. She will have the note she wrote the Tooth Fairy explaining why her missing tooth is somewhere under her grandparent’s deck. She will have her first A+ Spelling Test that prompted a happy dance from Mommy. The drawing of her fairy friends and their home will be hers again. And the note of warning she gave Santa, to not let his reindeers track mud into her grandmother’s home, will be safe. They will be hers. She will have all these things without me burdening her with a trunk full of tubs and boxes of paper. She will have them digitally or printed off in one book as a childhood keepsake.
So what do we do with all the papers now?!
Cubby has kept me hopping. She gives me tips before bedtime on what to work on next and shares her thoughts on design at the breakfast table. She worries about giving one with a heart to a boy and which one should go to her grandma. Letting her and our trash, lead our creations has been a crazy, fun adventure!
If a stack of 10 uniquely made Valentines for $10 will make your heart smile, send me an email (email@example.com) with your address and PayPal account and I will send you our trash…I mean treasures. Shipping is free. If you live locally, we can drop them off to you this week when we are in town running errands.
Cheers to decluttering the paper in our house.
Cheers to teamwork.
Cheers to creating.every.single.day!
Monthly Trash Totals, The Challenge to Create 30 Toys in 30 Days, The No-Trash Project, Tiny House, Trash-Free Little Ones
One of my favorite 3 foot friends came knocking on my door early in January, with a detailed description of a dinosaur he needed as a nighttime snuggly toy. I know, how cute?!
How lucky am I?!
I quickly realized my knowledge of all things dinosaurs needed a refresher.
Thank you Internet!
I had him draw his idea out on paper while I set up the sewing machine and dug into a tub of fabric that was donated to me from a friend down the road.
We then set out to make the perfect little dinosaur, one limb at a time. Adjustments to the design were made.
…and actually, I was informed, a whole new dinosaur was created. Thankfully, he was okay with the new guy and erased parts of his drawing and redrew what I had made.
But then I was left with my first piece of trash for 2016; the plastic spool that held yards of thread.
It sat on the counter for a couple of days staring at me.
I stared back.
Then it hit me.
You see, I work at two elementary schools so I have access to a lot of trash cans.
A lot of trash cans with really cool stuff being thrown away.
I found this wooden thingy and brought it home. I set it on top of the plastic spool and before you know it a little person was formed. The hair is made from the wool strings found in the inside of a baseball that was going to be thrown away. The scarf and bow was created from an old tshirt that was found in my tub of scrap fabric.
I know I can find wooden spools of thread with cotton instead of a petroleum based materials, but I have not found them yet.
I know they are out there.
Until then, I am using up my stash of thread. This year my goal is to let my trash guide my art making. I could not be more excited for this fresh new year!
Cheers to toy making.
Cheers to zero trash.
Cheers to little kids and the joy they bring to life.