Monday, February 1, 2010

Love at Home

I was reading a book this weekend called Love at Home, which is about how to embrace being a stay-at-home mommy and using a budget. After some calculations for our house buying escapades this weekend as well, I was hoping the book would be a great resource. The author had talked about herself and how she used to be the epitome of the "disposable society" that we now live in, and how if you can "eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" you can save money and live in your budget.

"Wait a sec", I thought, "I already do that?!" I was hoping that this book could give me some inside tips, but it actually instead reconfirmed what I already think about things and such.

"What is it that you think about things?" you ask...

Well, I am a fixer, I hate wasting, and I do like nice things. And I don't want to hurt the things feelings. To me, if I think about it long enough, sometimes things have feelings. Have you ever seen the movie "Brave Little Toaster". So when I buy something, I really think about it, and that I'll use it. That is why I'll usually wait and save, and get a nicer thing. They usually last longer as well. But not always, just most of the time.

I decided to make a list of things that I've been able to fix or reuse while still feeling like I have nice things:

1. Blue Comforter~ Ah, a favorite of mine. Right after we were first married we got our navy blue comforter on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond with money from our wedding. I love that thing. Well, I decided to wash it, and it got caught on the inside of our used washer machine in Texas. I pulled it out after the buzzer went off, and to my grief and surprise, there is a HOLE and TEAR in the side of it! Some of the fabric had been pulled so tight it was now a whiteish color too. I called Nathan at work in tears saying I had "ruined the comforter". He couldn't understand through the tears and thought I had said I "ruined the car". Once that mess was worked out, he didn't mind, and I went to working looking for another. Couldn't find one. Anywhere. So then I decided to try to fix it. I put a patch over the hole (which was on the side) out of the same color fabric, hand stitched it, and fixed the piping along the side. It actually looks really good, you can't really see it, AND it cost about $5 at the most to fix for thread and the fabric. Now I love it even more because of that patch.

2. Vaccum~ Our vaccum had stopped working, had a short in the handle, and wouldn't suck anymore. Time for a new one according to Nathan. We looked around, but man, vacuums are expensive! So I opted to try out the vacuum repair shop down the way just to see if it could be fixed and for how much. Easy cheesy lemon squeezy! All it needed was a new handle (that you can apparently just switch out), and hair removed from the bottom where it had gotten entangled. Nathan even replaced the handle himself, and $35 later, we had ourselves a vacuum that worked like new :)

3. Pack-n-Play~ This got a hole, and a BIG one at that. I couldn't figure out how either, it was in the meshy part on the side, and James hasn't even used that part yet. Well, I wanted to fix it. So I went to the store and found the right sort of thread, and sewed it back together. The lady behind the counter said I shouldn't even try, to just get a new one. What?!? I don't think so. Expensive, and I love my safari animal one that goes with everything, and they don't carry that one anymore, and again, expensive! $3 later, good as new!

Well, you get the idea. I've had a bowl and a cup from my blue plate set that I've fixed, multiple buttons, turning pants into shorts, reusing glass baby jars for multiple uses, refilling our own ink cartridges each time now, using that crazy puddy stuff that is super strong to fix trim on a car, etc. I think I'm doing pretty good.

What is the most memorable thing that you've fixed?


Angela said...

I definitely think living the poor student life makes you come up with creative/cheap ways to do things! Jeff is a mechanic in his 'spare' time fixing just about everything on our cars. It's amazing what a coat of paint can do for 'new' furniture. We like to shop ebay, craigslist, & the thrift store for various things & clothing (especially for kids' clothes & shoes that are used for at least 3 children). I think it's great!

Breanne said...

I can't think of anything that I've fixed recently, but I love to refurbish furniture. We've gotten two hand me down dressers that I've painted, and they look better than new (they were pretty dated) and I love making something look great when it's old and ugly.

Kate Bailey said...

Good for you! I'm impressed at what you've been able to do! I agree, it can be really rewarding in so many ways to fix something up rather than buy a new one. I haven't really had that many things break on me, but I have been able to make a lot of things for our home rather than buying them to save us money... I've made curtains, our upholstered headboard, multiple decorative items, etc. I've always been picky about trying to find a good deal... like whenever I need a lot of fabric for something, I try to find sheets on sale rather than buying fabric by the yard. I refinished that little table and chairs for Hannah, and although it didn't come out as planned, I learned a lot in the process about how to do it next time! My next big ambition is making us a big dining room table that can seat 8-10 people. We'll see how that goes! :)

Jason and Jackie said...

My motto is if it's not on sale, it's not worth it. I also will get things second hand and fix them up. My favorite thing right now that I've made are my ruffled curtains-so cheap and exactly how I wanted them. Good to see you guys are doing so well!