I shut down my Pintrest account about a year ago (you can read about WHY I did that here.) But I am still crafty and ingenious when it comes to making do with having less. I don’t need a Pintrest page… I live it! Let me give you some examples of making do and repurposing items that I’ve had to come up with here in Costa Rica.
Our kitchen is actually very American in size and style. But one of the things it’s lacking is drawers. So I had to find a place to put the silverware. I bought four green glass blocks and a long piece of wood at the hardware store to build a shelf over the back of the sink right under the window. Then I found some decorative jars to put on the shelf to hold our silverware. It’s super convenient and now I’m sure I can never go back to putting silverware in drawers. I also bought several large flowerpots to store spatulas, tongs and large knives right on the counter where they are always handy.
You can see my silverware jars in the background.
Another way that I’ve repurposed items is in my bedroom. I have a lot of necklaces and other jewelry. At our local discount store I found several cooling racks for baking. I bought adhesive hooks to hang the racks over my desk. Then using S-hooks I hang my jewelry on the wall like art! Pintrest eat your heart out! (This week I asked my daughter to organize my jewelry by color. She was exceedingly excited for this project. Girl after my own heart.)
You can see the jewelry, cooling racks on the wall above my desk.
When we first moved to this house I was really bothered that there was no closet or coat rack by the front door. Shoes and jackets and bags just piled up behind the door. I drove me crazy. So I asked my husband to build me something. He thought it was insane when I first explained that my idea was to use doors to hold coat hooks and a bench that doubled as a shoe rack. But he indulged me and followed my instructions even though he couldn’t imagine what it was going to look like. Now he proudly accepts all the credit for building one of the coolest coat racks that anyone has ever seen. Everyone who sees it wants one too. (Of course I just let him soak up the praise… because I’m going to need him to build the next thing I dream up.)
My amazing coat rack made of doors and a shoe rack. Thanks Babe for listening even though you thought I was crazy!
But my most recent (and currently my favorite) Pintrest worthy craft is in my office at school. Unfortunately it’s so new that I don’t have a photo yet. However, I found these amazing square, bamboo bowls for about $4 each at our discount store. The next time we took a family day at the beach, I planned ahead. I brought home two large cream cheese containers full of black volcanic sand with a stunning gold fleck in it. I already have buckets full of shells that my kids have collected, so I just combined the sand and some shells in my discount bamboo bowl to make my own zen garden for my desk top. You would not believe how therapeutic that pretty little sand box has become. No one can resist sticking their fingers in that fine black softness and scooping around with the dainty shell cups. I’m pretty proud of that stroke of genius and I didn’t even need Pintrest to show me how.
While the kids are creating crafts, I am crafting creative kids.
If you come to our house on any given Saturday morning you will find the TV off and the living room vacant. In the kitchen/dinning room you will hear us rocking out to super stimulating music like Coldplay, Jamie Grace, Toby Mac or sometimes Christmas Carols on an internet radio station if the season is right. The table will be covered with newspapers. There might be wads of paper towels tossed on the floor. We will all still be in our jammies. My coffee will be cooling in the mug off to the side. There might be paint under my fingernails or glue in my hair. It’s a beautiful scene of creative mayhem.
The craft of the day will be spread all around the room. Sometimes we paint. Sometimes we cut and glue. Sometimes we draw. And sometimes we sew. I try to keep the craft to a level that they can manage with success. My goal is to help them create something they can be proud of with as little help from me as possible. Ultimately I want to help them become creative individuals. While they are making a project for the day, I am making a project for a lifetime.
I really think that children have great creative potential. It needs to be encouraged. It needs to be exposed to resources like paint and glue and paper and glitter. It needs to be stimulated with new ideas. It needs to be challenged with inspiring surroundings. Creative potential should be unleashed and set free!… all over the kitchen table. Then the results need to be praised and admired because that primes the pump for more creativity to flow. The potential to create something fantastic is in each of us, I believe. It only takes a little planning and a little tolerance of the messy process for each child to find what they love and what they are good at. I love that process!!
So if you drop by my house on a Saturday morning, the place will be a bit of a mess. But we are working on creating a masterpiece- we are making creative people. And it’s a whole lot of fun!
Making homemade Valentine's cards
I’m a starter. I’m one of those people who starts strong and then sputters out before I’m done. My interest is in launching, not finishing. I get great satisfaction in planning to do something and then starting it. I just don’t feel rewarded by completing a project. I’m more of a dreamer and less of a doer. I set fantastic goals but when the path to my goals gets hard, or mundane, I lose interest. Sometimes I think it would be easier to be the kind of person who doesn’t have goals. I mean, I get it. It’s a lot of work to push towards a goal. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind being a coaster, or a follower, or an underachiever, or a quitter. I get it. Why work so hard? What’s the big deal about actually finishing something? (Please hear my sarcasm, this is humor… don’t take this for theology or even advice.)
Entering a new field of interest is difficult too. There’s usually a high learning curve. Lots of time spent researching and practicing and, well, learning. And a lot of money spent on acquiring the tools needed to DO a new hobby or job. Actually, this is the part that I love about starting something new. I love accumulating new knowledge. I love buying new gadgets and supplies. It’s all the set up that I enjoy. When I was a little girl I loved dressing my Barbies and getting the dollhouse all set up… and then I was done! I drove my sister nuts. Just when she was ready to start playing I was losing interest in the game.
I like crafting, but I have about a 3-month attention span. For about 3 months I eat-sleep-breathe- and live whatever I’m interested in. Once I drill that thing into the ground, I’m bored. Once I get good at it, or at least as good as I WANT to be, I’m ready for another challenge. I am a “binge crafter.” I have done charcoal drawing, colored pencil drawing, pastels, stamping, embossing, sewing clothes, quilting (that lasted a long time), jewelry making, watercolor painting (didn’t have the patience to let the layers dry), oil painting (too difficult to clean up), and acrylic painting. I never got into scrap booking because it was too commercialized for my tastes. I did the old fashioned scrap booking in High School when it was cool. But my point is, I have dabbled in a lot of art to find what I like and what I’m good at. I still have a long list of things I’d like to try.
And because I’m a starter, I probably won’t…