I actually read a large variety of blogs throughout the week. Retirement blogs (frugal and otherwise), baking and slow cooker blogs, travel and road tripping blogs, and art and craft blogs just to mention a few. I enjoy my allotted morning time, as I scroll through the blogs and websites of the day. But I have to say that the blogs, that draw me back the most often are the so called frugal blogs (whether the writers are frugal by necessity, choice, environmental reasons or all of the above)
Why? Put simply, frugal people are creative and original. At a level beyond many other folks, and often share more creative projects than some of my so called creative blogs do. Now, I'm not just talking about DIY stuff here, though that is included. I'm talking about creativity in all aspects of life. And since one of my internal goals is to be more creative across the board this year (as well as be more cognizant of waste at all levels), I look to these blogs for inspiration. Because another thing that is true is that creativity in general tends to inspire creativity.
Sometime back I read that studies show that creativity thrives best in a limited construct and my experience is that is true in my own life. Contrary to all those cooking shows that folks watch, if you tell me I can cook anything I want, I'm liable to stew for a good hour. On the other hand, if you give me a "chopped" scenario (for those who watched said show), and tell me I must use chicken and I have an hour, I fare much better and my end result will probably be more original. I can look at a closet full of fabric for days, but if I tell myself I simply must use up the leftover pieces of last year's fall fabrics in whatever I make for this year, I am on a roll.
Now, creativity doesn't have to do with cooking as such, or quilting. We can be creative in every life aspect, from travel to home management to hobbies to exercise. When we come up with original solutions that are unique to us, we are being creative. And frankly, necessity being the mother of invention is more than a cliche. I have been fortunate beyond belief to have visited large numbers of museums and historical sites in Europe and the Middle East from my youth to late adulthood. I am always appreciative of the large cathedrals, beautiful art and more. But I am more appreciative when I learn WHY a certain castle/church or other building was constructed a certain way (often as much a result of necessity as art). And I am completely intrigued by the tools, dishes and like that were created to serve a specific purpose in a specific place. Especially in more ancient times.
One of my favorite blogs (I really need to link it up here), Life After Money, is written by a truck driver who took early retirement and lives on a very limited income. Very creatively!! In fact, she just had her first art showing. And every single piece of art was made from reclaimed materials or thrift shop finds, from plastics to everything else, and her art is often backed with everything from metal mesh to shoe racks. She has even made a piece of art from parts of the body of a car. She also built her own summer house (she-shed to some of us) from found materials such as doors.
But creativity comes in smaller doses as well. After spending just a few minutes this morning, I found all of the creative and mainly new (to me) ideas. Since my goal is to try as many of these as possible, rather than linking, I'll wait until I do my version and share, if that's okay.
- How to make your own facial masks from things around the house
- making fall decorative swags from found object in the yard and ribbon
- Easily re purposing old sweaters into decorative pillows and pillow covers
- How to use dried beans and popcorn and mini pumpkins to make a fall centerpieces
- Methods for substituting boneless thighs in recipes that use chicken breasts (we prefer dark meat and recently got alot of chicken thighs for like $1.30 a pound. Is it me, or are chicken breasts getting large and thick month by month?). Something I probably should have thought of before but had not.
- Multiple suggestions for cooking and freezing (including for just two) from large amounts of meat like my 90 percent ground beef that was on sale in a five pound roll (it will end up being individual lasagna and bacon casseroles).
- More ideas for re purposing clothes or cutting them up before throwing out than I can count (not just from today)
- How to turn my old brightly colored colander (rusted on the inside, not on the outside) into a hanging planter!
- An idea of something creative to do with a group of completely mis-matched glasses I have that I don't want to donate. My version coming soon.
- How to make both slime and scented play-dough for free from stuff at home or a few pennies of stuff from the grocery store. I plan to do this as gifts for the homeless shelter.
- More fall decor and entertainment hacks than I can list here.
- Interesting articles on "car camping". While I could not just stop at a rest stop, I could see outfitting my SUV a big and either using an occasional camping space or spending the night at a safe walmart between two RVs. Interesting for the discussion at least.
- A group of healing skin recipes to make with basic drug store products and essential oils (along with being cheap, we have multiple allergies and sensitivities in this house, so homemade neosporin alternatives are a good thing, as Martha would say).
And that was just my Monday morning post breakfast wanderings. Unfortunately, what I did not find was an alternative to jelly for the million crab apples that now adorn my front lawn. Feel free to drop by my house and grab as many as you want. Seriously!!
I doubt that I will ever have the time or the energy to try out every creative idea or solution I read about. But the more I read about other creative solutions, the more it encourages me to try my own. This afternoon, I am going to try and cut some very bright, too big cotton dresses into sections to make gift bags. Failure or success, who knows?