4 foes of frugality - Page 3
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  1. #31
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Some types of furniture are more DIY friendly than others. Simple benches, shelves like the ones I built under my craft table, many storage shelves, the wooden chairs we built for the dock, headboards, bunkbed frames, pot racks, storage racks in the sewing room, custom stereo cabinet, cat trees, etc, etc, are a few of the things I've built. None of it is fine furniture, but it's sturdy, practical, and inexpensive. Often I custom build something that has to fit a particular purpose and/or space, so if I didn't build it, we would have to spend a lot to get a custom item. I think lots of people build simple types of furniture. Heirloom quality furniture would be less common, due to the training and skill required, cost of specialty tools, cost and challenges of working with hardwoods, and other factors. But lots of people have small shops in their garages like I do. Carpentry is a hugely popular hobby.

  2. #32
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have lived my whole adult life in apartments and a condo. I think carpentry might be a little noisy for my neighbors. I think the materials take up a fair amount of space as well.

    I am reminded of a humorous (fiction) story I read. A lady moved into an apartment only to be tormented by her noisy neighbors. One neighbor was into woodworking, one was in a death metal band and the other one....like to cook. Part of the humor was that the lady who like to cook was just as loud as the other two. This was never fully explained.
    KathyB

  3. #33
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm just saying building furniture is not unusual, although it may be in your particular situation.

    Construction can be noisy, but I wouldn't put a lot of credence in a fictional account of noisy neighbors.

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  5. #34
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I've known people who live in apartments who have wood shops in their garages. I don't know what percentage of urban people own some amount of woodworking tools vs rural people, but I would guess it's fairly high all over.

  6. #35
    Registered User Precarrious's Avatar
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    Great thread. When I stopped working in eduction 6 years ago home economics no longer existed. Honestly, I cannot remember what it was called!! They completely cut out the sewing lessons. I wonder if they still have the cooking lessons? Shop no longer existed. It was called Technology. The kids were not allowed to use the tools at all. It just seemed crazy to me that these skills would be lost. I doubt many of these skills are being taught at home.

    I love sewing, when I have the time. My favorite sewing past time is to take and item of clothing and upcycle it. Turn it into something new. I don’t mind doing minor repairs on clothing either, it helps them last longer. I’ll even sew around the edges of towels and wash rags so the aren’t so ratty and last longer. It’s fun to add holiday themed material to plain kitchen towels for myself or gifts.

    I enjoy looking online and at social media. Maybe I can make the item or find something similar cheaper, if I really need it. I love getting ideas for crafts and decorating from social media too. It’s fun for me. I do not like shopping. I’d rather look around online. Plus you can read reviews of products.

    I find that when it comes to being frugal it is easier when you are around like minded people. However, if I am not around people who share my values I do not give in or get embarrassed. I enjoy my life. Do I wish I had more money? Of course. Would it really make me happier? Probably not. My dad and his wife have money and they are miserable people. Money does not buy you happiness.

  7. #36
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Today we got another reminder of one reason why schools may not want to let kids use power tools. We took an adult ed shop class in the early '90s. Long story short, Husby got his hand in the shaper he was using. We were building 2x4 furniture at the time and forgot we still had the pieces up in the garage rafters and found them today, still full of huge bloodstains. I would guess the liability insurance a school district would have to carry on a shop full of dangerous tools around easily distracted kids would be astronomical. But I do think it's unfortunate kids don't get as much of a chance to try out a trade. Kids seem to be taught everyone needs college, and that's why the country is crying for welders and plumbers and other types of blue collar professionals who do the jobs that make everything work.

    I made a minor piece of furniture today, a platform for the back of our truck. Our folding recliners will travel there, out of the way unlike the annoyance they've been till now. It's a simple thing requiring only basic skills, but will make a big difference in organizing the truck. If I didn't have basic skills, we would have to do without this item. Nah. 🙂
    4 foes of frugality-20190823_104059_1566611148492.jpg

  8. #37
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    here they still teach shop cooking etc but under diff names and after gr 8 it is not mandatory. They do basic cooking and sewing plus art by gr 8. They can use power tools here.

    Basic skills I think are always handy in all areas of life. even just basic things like knowing how to turn off the water in your place, replace a washer. cooking because then you can please yourself even with some basic foods. having to eat out all the time ugh. I think the difference is you had to knit and sew in my moms day. 75 now and got in trouble going to kindergarten and not knowing how to knit. she made dresses for me and my sisters when we were young like many others because cheaper and lack of money. now it is too pricey to make everything.

    now depending where you live is what skills you need more ..farm, urban rural because even shopping for deals is a skill.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Precarrious View Post

    I love sewing, when I have the time. My favorite sewing past time is to take and item of clothing and upcycle it. Turn it into something new. I don’t mind doing minor repairs on clothing either, it helps them last longer. I’ll even sew around the edges of towels and wash rags so the aren’t so ratty and last longer. It’s fun to add holiday themed material to plain kitchen towels for myself or gifts.
    I have sewn a little bit, such as making Halloween costumes and doing minor repairs. I have a hand towel and a shopping bag that I plan to repair today. Other than minor repairs or making grocery tote bags and such, my sewing machine is seldom used.

    You've probably seen the story of Marisa Lynch and her 365 days of dresses, $1 a day, upcycling thrift dresses into something fabulous. She did this back in 2010, I think, but thought I'd share this video. She's very clever and talented. www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0dCtzekHJs

  10. #39
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I just looked at Marisa Lynch's website. It is pretty cool.

    I upcycle things, but it is generally it is things I already have that are worn out or stained. I did do two pillowcase skirts and a tablecloth skirt though.

    The thrift store I visit is pretty large. I generally am able to find plenty of things that fit me as is, so I just get them.

    Thrift stores seem to be cheaper almost everywhere than they are here. Of course it is a high cost of living area, so that is to be expected. Dresses were around $10-$15 last time I went. I do no think I have ever found a dress for as low as $1.

    I have vague memories of home ec. I think it was only a year or maybe even a semester. We did not really learn much. I think we made two or three meals. I remember there was a sewing project, which I did horrible on. I got a B -, but I think the teacher was overly generous. We were given very little actually sewing training before we asked to pick a sewing project and do it. No really learning curve. A little time on basic skills and one project. There really was not enough training and practice to get good at something.

    I also remember one or two we has to listen to these "you can be anything" recordings. Basically it was encouraging girls to have careers.

    I remember my guidance councilor telling me the "homemaker" was a waste of my brains and not a valid career choice.

    But what they did not seem to acknowledge is that women with careers still need to know home making type skills. Cooking and baking is important to know even if you have a full time job outside the home.

    In the late 70s/80s there was this misguided belief that "liberated" women should shun traditional home making things. Hopeful, we seem to be moving past this.

    Not like I am still bitter about this....but I feel like my life would have been better if they actually did a decent job teaching this stuff instead of doing a few token things.
    KathyB

  11. #40
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    Yeah, I remember being sneered at and then ignored by a few career women who dismissed me once they found out I was "just a housewife." I had a bunch of kids who had physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges and massive behavior problems, all of which required a full time parent to keep the chaos at home down to a dull roar, and attend endless appointments at schools, doctors, and therapists. I remember one 5-day week when I had 23 appts dealing with kids, and none of them were in Minneapolis where we lived at the time. In my spare time, I cooked, sewed the majority of our clothes including Husby's suits, canned some of our foods, baked, gutted and rebuilt our main bathroom, and did all kinds of nontraditional chores. I repaired our appliances, including installing a new water heater while my son was in surgery, because that was when I had time , and because a family of 10 with no hot water isn't a pretty site. The list goes on but you get the idea. It would have been nice to have a career, but looking back, I don't know what I could have done differently.

  12. #41
    Registered User Scarlett_Kaye's Avatar
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    Precarrious, I am so sad that they took both home ec and shop out of the schools ... Home ec was one of my favorite classes. I guess things change but man, they both teach usable skills that will benefit the kids in their every day lives ... you'd think they would have been important enough to keep, ya know?

    Another thing since I'm on the subject of school and classes - WHAT the heck were they thinking when they took cursive writing out of schools? To me, that is totally insane! I don't get it ... I just don't get it.

  13. #42
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    Sometimes I feel a bit envious of those who are stay at home moms. I think the mommy blogs I occasionally look at for craft patterns show a rose colored view of it. It looks like people spending their days cooking, making clothes and stuffed animals for their kids and playing with their kids. All stuff that is more fun than work.

    I like my job okay. The pay is decent. I am good at it. I get along well with my coworkers. But I do not feel like the job defines who I am. It is more like something I do in order to get money to pay bills and buy hobby supplies.
    KathyB

  14. #43
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    Kathy-
    I'm with you. My job is a income source to pay bills. I like my job for the most part and stay late every night, but it's not a reflection of my personality or life. I don't feel that wanting to be home is enviable because they have youngsters and deal with the sports activities and teacher conferences and such. It's a different dynamic and we were constantly on the go when all of that was happening. Now, we work and come home to peacefulness. Quiet. No drama.

    I'm not a crafty person by any stretch. I'm able to cook, install flooring, paint, grout bathroom, fish, and do other household things. DH is an engineer, so we've done a lot of things in our home. Our next project is to get plywood and bring it up to the attic to use as flooring. The opening to the attic is a small 2' x 2' ceiling panel. So we will have to cut down the wood to get it up there. Then drill into the beams so the panels stay put. It will take all day to do this and bring items up there but I wanted to bring collectibles up there years ago.

  15. #44
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I suggest planks instead of plywood. They may go up through the opening in one 8' ft length, reducing the amount of cutting needed, and be easier to handle. If the planks are exactly 8' long and the attic joists are 2' on center, they would work out nicely. 12" planks would fit through the attic access with plenty of room for easier handling. Just a thought.

    Screws are also faster, less noisy, and less tiring than nails, if you have a good drill. I recommend Torx six-lobe drive screws over Phillips or square drive. Torx bits seat better in the screw head and don't twist away from the head nearly as much, so they're easier and more consistent to put in.

    Thus ends my unsolicited advice for today. Regardless of how you do it, you should end up with some helpful new storage space.

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