Fun with next to nothing

Stuck between the John R. Rice  and C. H. Spurgeon Bible commentaries and the children’s Sunday School curricula, mom had a book titled Fun with Next to Nothing . The authors complied a bunch of crafts and projects for kids, the supplies for which (they believed) most mothers would just have on hand. (In my memory, the crafts were all really horrible–macaroni and cardboard and glue –yuck! we were always cooler than that.) I don’t think we ever actually used it–creativity was rarely lacking in our house– but given my recent transformation from the gainfully employed to the not-so-much, this idea has been frequently in mind. I’ve been experiencing the occasionally infuriating, but overall exhilarating, situation of really having to make do with what I have.

I like to shop. My brain operates as commercials try to–I see a beautifully shaped bright turquoise bowl, and instead of being a bowl, it’s an opportunity to buy a little bit of happiness–eating cereal in the sunshine out of that bright blue bowl.  Of course, I know that it’s foolishness; making myself aware of what I’m actually expecting from that bright blue bowl usually keeps it on the shelf at the store.  However, frugality-inducing mental games aside,  broke-ass window-shopping just ain’t fun, so I stopped doing that when I stopped, you know, having money.

This change has forced me to re-vamp my current wardrobe instead of replacing it. So, to that end, I’ve been donating things I never wear so I can actually see what I do have, and remaking or re-purposing anything and everything that I possibly can. This serves a dual purpose: not only do I (sometimes) get something wearable out of something previously un-, but I’m also feeling ever-so-much more handy when I use something I made, altered, fixed, crocheted, knitted or dyed.

Today’s project: (backstory here) Last year, as I was first learning to knit and crochet, I began making this crushable crocheted cloche hat incessantly (from this pattern on Etsy.) It really is super easy and (by all accounts) very cute. Eventually I got all brilliant and tried to adjust the pattern: I eliminated the brim once to make a beret, I added a lot of stitches once to make a floppier hat, I changed up the stitches once just for funsies… several of my attempts are really quite horrid.

So today I frogged the hats that were unwearable, and am starting over, thus (a) saving myself the storage space that was being wasted on all of those ugly hats, (b) giving myself the opportunity to get it right this time and make something wearable, and (c) giving myself something to do while I watch Glee tonight. So hippity hooray. Who needs money?

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