Monday, April 13, 2009

Frugality is Back, and Not a Moment Too Soon

All recycled: The floor lamp, chair, bedside chest, shelf, candy dish, dresser scarf

I've always been frugal. There, now you know. Maybe it's because I was born a Yankee, but when I first read or heard the phrase use it up or wear it out, make it do or do without, it was with a great feeling of recognition and relief. So that was what was wrong with me, and why I never liked shopping.

Nothing makes me happier than using someone else's castoffs. I guess you might find that scary, but it certainly means that I am easily entertained. 

Take a look at these photos from the room that I recently painted and redecorated. Practically everything in the room was someone else's trash that has found a new life. The old metal bedstead was left behind by the occupants in a house I bought long ago. The floor lamp in the top photo and the table lamp in the bottom one came from the Swap Shop at our dump/recycling center in New Hampshire, as did the lace curtains, the picture frame, the candy dish (don't know what else to call it--it has a pressed glass bottom, divided into sections, and a carved aluminum lid), and the dresser scarf (hand-painted). The little shelf unit on the wall was probably fished out of the burn pile by my sister, and some of the glass items on it came from an ancient dump out by the stone wall of our old center chimney colonial house, also in New Hampshire.  

The wing chair was always mine but could have been tossed out when a puppy ate the upholstery off twenty years ago. I've made set after set of slipcovers for it since then. 

See how much fun I'm having?


Linda said...

You are indeed a creative woman. I can't imagine making several sets of slip covers for that chair. I made drapes one time and covered a sofa but I only that that one time. Your new room looks very pretty. I also like used things, things that provide a story. I frequently haunt the Goodwill stores here.

Keep us posted on other creative things you come up with.

clairz said...

Linda, I'm afraid that my secret to making slipcovers is not to worry too much that they fit really well. Now that I think of it, I've made at least three for this little wing chair, one for a futon, another for a sofa, and at least two for another upholstered chair.

I used to help my mother make covers for a three-piece sectional sofa we had at home, and that got me over my initial fear. You just make a pattern with paper, cut out the fabric pieces, pin them together with the wrong sides together and try them on the chair or sofa. Then you make a few adjustments and re-pin, then sew.

Gosh, it does sound like a lot of work, but that's just what Yankees do. Besides, I've bought those ready-made slipcovers and don't like the way they fit. Naturally, I ended up taking them apart and re-making them.

I think I'll go lie down now. I've tired myself right out.

Beth said...

Well, Clair, you don't have to be a Yankee to be frugal! :-) I'm a life-long Southerner, but was raised by parents who grew up during the Depression and taught me the value of making do with what I have. Most of my furniture and many of my other household items were either given to me or "appropriated" from a dumpster, a thrift shop, or a yard sale. It makes, I think, for a very eclectic and interesting decor.

Judy said...

Count me in! I love finding things at yard sales, consignment shops, flea markets. It is something I not only have saved a lot of money doing but enjoy as well. I think your room is very pretty.