Monthly Archives: October 2015

Frugal Find: Headphones

For about a month my earphones have been hanging on by a thread. Well, one cord because only one earbud works. ¬†Since they still function to a degree I’ve been keeping them in use and salivating over this colorful pair:

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Skullcandy headphones

Maybe I’ll still get them at some point, but while I was de-stashing my craft room I actually found a pair of headphones! And dang, the bass sounds good ūüôā

I’d like to get to the point where I’ve sorted through and trimmed down every room in the house–that’s a pretty big goal so I’m tackling one stack at a time for now. For my craft room, the end game is ¬†to make better use of the space I have and be able to display some of my vintage feather weight sewing machines. Plus, there’s fabric and materials that have been hanging around in excess of five years. ¬†“I might…make something out of/use/need that later!” ¬†That’s my eternal cry, but being able to donate¬†craft and sewing supplies to The Scrap Exchange¬†makes the process less fraught. Finding things I forgot I had¬†is even better!

Bullion stitch for the win

I’m beasting the crochet hook. Maybe besting is the better word? Whatever, the point is that I can now crochet a bullion stitch. BOOM. In a circle yo.

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Up close and personal:

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That is all.

Is it charming or fugly?

Is the pattern boldly florid? Is it useful and colorful? Chances are I truly like it, or it’s ugly enough to be awesome. Case in point:

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(Excuse the poor photo; the rug truly is rad)

I think this hand crafted rug is awesome. I was browsing a flea market near my parent’s house in the Appalachians Mountains, and I started talking to one of the sellers. As it turns out, she was downsizing and moving to Florida and her good friend hand hooked this rug about thirty years ago. At two dollars, and with that shade of avocado, I just ¬†couldn’t pass it up.

It makes me wonder about who decides what ‘good taste’ is or what ‘classy’ looks like. Does it look like this to you?

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Yup, it’s Crate & Barrel.

I feel more comfortable in surroundings where my personality is given free range, ¬†and I place value in the¬†history, color, and functionality of my selections. I’m waving my yo-yo bracelet-ed arm goodbye to that streamlined, sterile living room…

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Heck yeah I made this bracelet, and I’ve worn it to work too.

…and picking up the next book on my reading list–Deborah Cohen’s Household Gods: The British and Their Possession. As discussed in this blog post:

But what interests me most here is the tension that she [Cohen] establishes between the home as site for self-expression and as a site for identification with others. To a large extent, I think this is correct. When we design our homes for resale value, we’re no longer thinking of our home as ours, but as an investment that will someday have to suit the needs or tastes of someone else.

I think it’s an interesting idea, but I’m still renting. There is no investment other than what I’m willing to spend on a wooden painted parrot to sit on a bookshelf. This house is a shell and when I leave all my goodies are coming with me! Would¬†a doorknob shaped like a fish head put off the hypothetical buyer of my future house? Will the purpose¬†of my decor change once I buy a home? Did yours?

I don’t believe we are defined by our possessions. I do think, however, that your life is enhanced when you can operate in an environment that makes sense to you on a personal level.

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Kitchen Bake

It’s…not a breakfast casserole.¬†Not quiche.¬†Not Mexican dip.¬†It’s not exotic enough to have the kitchen sink in it either so I’m calling this a kitchen bake!

It started out as a way to use up a big bag of kale, and you know, I think kale is great. Kale goes in smoothies, transmogrifies into stir-fry, and I guess you could crunch on the odd leaf by itself. I don’t really get that last urge…the stems can get awfully tough. So after I’ve eaten through a bagful for a week and the kale STILL isn’t gone, I have to think of new solutions. I¬†didn’t want to toss the rest so I decided to cover it in cheese instead. This is what I did:

  • Grease a large pan
  • Dump all the kale in
  • Toss in a can of black beans and a can of diced tomatoes
  • Crumble up some frozen hash-browns on top
  • Smother in an egg mixture (includes 6 eggs, half a cup of milk, a packet of taco seasoning and some hot sauce)
  • Cover in shredded cheese, bake for forty minutes

I am in love. It’s like I used a recipe or something; it tastes legit. I automatically favor any meal that only requires four dishes to make it, and when I tally up the ingredients, I’d say each serving cost about a dollar to make. Not bad for a Monday!

Singer: Leather machine belt

Leather machine belt

Leather machine belt

Kind of looks like a goat chewed on it, right?

After a bit of google-fu, I have determined that the belt on my Singer would be fairly easy to replace. Essentially, it’s a four sided cord that can be purchased in lengths of 25 feet and cut down to size. The finicky bits would involve punching a hole in either end and clamping with what looks like an industrial strength staple into it so that a continuous loop is threaded through the wheels.

Today was not the day I replaced the leather belt.

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Oh yeah. I went there.

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Worked like a charm. But then I noticed the leather was pretty dry and flaking little pieces of leather/dust onto my work space ūüė¶

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So I broke out some elbow grease and saddle soap and went to town. Bonus: had a little extra time and now my shoes look great too.

If feels a bit¬†sacrilegious to be honest, like taping up an antique book cover instead of getting ¬†a plastic protector (BTW NEVER GONNA DO THAT). But I’m satisfied that the materials to update it correctly are easily accessible, and that can be a project for a future to-do list.