Sunday, June 23, 2013

Artfully Repurposed

It happened again.

I woke up a happy camper!

Every bone in my body aches, but I am figuring if I meditate hard enough, that will vanish plus I am smiling and laughing determined to make it go away.

It's a great day!  Life ain't perfect, but it's pretty darn close. Yippee!

I am always looking to repurpose junk or to make something provide multiple uses to justify the space it consumes in my life. I bought this sturdy directors chair for a bargain. Sadly, two years later it dry rotted.  I had sewed up a new back, but when the seat gave out, well the frame isn't made for a removable seat to be made.  The tools to make one by hand were going to be pricey and I'm not sure the end result would have been worth having.

The frame is so sturdy and folds up compactly, that I kept it to see what I could do with it. I discovered I can put one or two of my leveling boards on top of it to make a nice side table. Also boards and a pillow will hold a hefty person, I still have the back piece I sewed up. So it makes a good sturdy chair if someone is afraid of my other chairs.

For you non-Rv-ers, leveling  boards are what a simple RV uses to level up the RV on a slope. Sometimes I have to park over a thick board or several stacked under one or two tires to make the RV level. Many times I don't even need the boards, but I have to travel with them anyhow. It's good I can use them for multiple purposes.

Recently I discovered my box fan fits on the chair frame perfectly without even needing a board. How cool is that.

Below is a recliner chair my friend gave me. It is now covered in my comforter. The one I washed outside, then it was too heavy for me to pick it up off the patio.

Finally it partially dried enough for me to put it on the recliner chair. Oh my, once it's dry I could just take a comfy nap under the fan. When I lay in this chair, Harley dog likes to curl up on my tummy and snooze too. We must make a funny sight!

Harley dog is not immune to dumpster diving. His little blue camp chair is from a dumpster last year. It's small and partially broken. It can't hold a 100 pound person, but it can hold one ridiculous 3 kilo dog (6.6 pounds) and his quilt.

It puts him up near level with the humans, he can see over his domain, plus the added benefit of not being stepped on or tripped over. He hides treats and toys in his quilt.

I called his name and he looked at the camera. But the camera is so cantankerously slow these days, that by the time it snapped, he had turned back to watch the park.
Saturday was $5 coupon day at Dollar General. They have raised the stakes to spend $30 get $5 off. Instead of realizing 25% freebie, it's now 20%. I drove 4.5 miles down this beautiful country road to their store. Harley dog and I arrived there early Saturday morning in the rolling dog house. By going early, we didn't have to run the generator for cooling.

I picked through their sale items, their reduced rack and the dent and scratch.  Lots of stuff there we couldn't have cause it was sugary or junky, but we did manage to snag some great edible stuff that was drastically reduced. At the checkout, they took another $5 off my purchases. We made out like bandits.

My pantry consists of bargains and it sure comes in handy when times are tight. I even bought some jalapeno crackers in a crushed box severely reduced, but since the crackers were loosely packed and not stacked in a row, they were fine. Only problem is Harley likes them too. He loves spicy stuff, especially jalapeno cheese.

My friend was visiting and opened up some spicy cheese he bought. It was so hot he couldn't eat it. I said I bet the dog will love it and he said no way.

Well, Harley fooled him!

Harley even got a bargain toy. It was in the reduced rack because it was opened and dirty like somebody had stepped on it with dirty shoes. It was a cute little rubber blue pig that oinked. I bought it since it was discounted to 30%.  Later I scrubbed it up clean for the dog.

He was thrilled and dragged his clean pig outside to toss about the yard and make it oink. Now it is as dirty as when I bought it. With all the spare change we have been picking up while snatching errant litter, he had enough for the toy with leftover change. I'm teaching him to be frugal with his found money.

When all was said and done, Dollar General gave me a $5 coupon to come back again next week.

Oh my. They probably like the way I haul most of the crap off for them.

Florida foods and supplies are much more pricier than South Carolina. Last winter I managed to stay in Florida, after arriving with a pantry full of bargains and supplies I accumulated from coupon days, dent and scratch and so on in a cheaper economy. Where there is a will, there is a way.

If you have a ton of patience, you can make a wee bit of money go a very long ways.

I was enjoying the same sunshine in Florida that others had spent ten to twenty times more than me to enjoy. Life is funny.

America and much of the world offers tons of opportunities, but many are very obscure. There are poverty stricken folks who live off a great deal more than me, but have so much less to enjoy. It's all about choices and thinking outside the box.

Below is my bargain umbrella. I wrote about the awful sudden storm that damaged it while I was soaking wet trying to fold it up awhile back.  It's a little mangled now, but still functioning fine. I am afraid if I try to straighten out the bent ribs, they might break off entirely, so I just use it all wacky like.

I guess that blends in with the rest of me. Dent, scratched, warped, broken and used but artfully repurposed.

Matter of fact in dissecting this picture and picnic table...
Umbrella bought was reduced 75%
Chair was given to me used (zero cost)
Pillow was given to me used (zero cost)
Table Cloth is my old ripped RV awning recut and repurposed (zero cost)
The rugs on the benches were bought deeply discounted over 3 years ago for inside winter use in the motorhome. When the rubber backing wore off from repeated washings, I upcycled them as bench covers, adding a bungee cord to hold them in place (cost minimal)
The brown 9x12 foot patio mat was from dumpster diving (zero cost)
The spool of white Christmas lights (waiting to be strung up as night lights for the patio) were bought at an after Christmas sale (minimal cost)
The empty Kleenex box is stuffed with a zillion grocery baggies which I use as garbage bags (free)

Harley's stainless steel water bowl on the table was bought heavily discounted for a mere 40 cents. It's on the table so he doesn't knock it over with his tether. He stands on two legs on the picnic bench to drink out of it. I keep trying to get a picture, it's so cute the way he does this.  I cant seem to teach him any tricks at all, but he makes up his own. Very strange little canine. 

There is one thing I actually paid full price for, and that is the umbrella clamp that attaches to the picnic table. I searched high and lo for such a gadget for years. I tried to make my own several times, but I have no welding skills. 

Since I love outdoor living as a way of expanding my mini motorhome, the umbrella clamp provides me a lot more shade and well worth the cost of saving up to acquire it. 

And to think I started out with just a picnic table that typically comes with the vast majority of camping sites. 

A little ingenuity, tons of patience, dumpster diving and a lot of angels. 

The flip side would be to go shopping and buy all that stuff brand new. The cost would have been over 20 times more than what I finally spent. Amazing.

I'm living the dream!  

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great "inventions" from things that would have been thrown away!

    My dog Cali actually turns her head the other way when I take her picture - I don't know why she does that! It's hard to get a good shot of her...


Life is goof!