It’s no secret that our budget is constantly taking a hit (and not in a good way). A new year means a new deductible, and I am always having medical procedures. Then it was $500 to get Aubrey home (which was a BARGAIN, trust me!! Truly, it was a gift from a friend…). Then there’s Matt’s tuition, my books, Matt’s books, paying for work on the house to someone that bailed…all this adds up to BROKE. In response to our current fiscal crisis, my husband issued an executive order that until April 1st, I am not to buy anything for the house. I am to spend nothing on the house. As he said, teeth tight, jaw clenched, voice deathly quiet, “NOT. ONE. CENT.”
Normally, I would just say “Uh huh” and do whatever. But this time, I know he’s dead serious, and I know he’s absolutely right. We are cutting it ever closer every pay period, and we do need to gain some control. So instead of getting pissed off and thinking (or saying), “Fuck you,” I decided to turn it into a six week long challenge, and blog about every project that Aubrey and I manage to do with only what is free, given to us, bought with a gift card (I have a bit on a Lowe’s card from returns), picked up on craigslist curb alerts, traded for, bartered for, or that we already have. For the average person, that might be really difficult. Fortunately for us, we have a LOT of crap and we’re really good at tetris-ing stuff into our car.
Not only did we move from a three bedroom with two living areas into a two bedroom with two living areas, but when we moved in here, we inherited two decent sized sheds, one of which was full of stuff. The people before us liked to think they were home improvement experts, and left behind various cabinets, pieces of wood, hardware…in the house they left hideous curtains, curtain rods, mini-blinds, and a whole lot of ugly.
While I don’t believe I will finish my house in six weeks, especially since I’ve been working on the bathroom for going on eight weeks now, and still I’m nowhere near the end, I do believe we will get a lot done, organized, built, fixed, and generally dressed up a bit. Although I usually only post to this blog, I have decided to start another: The Upcycle Shed (http://www.theupcycleshed.wordpress.com)
All of the posts for The Upcycle Shed will either be about a project, a product, how-to, etc… There will be pictures, instructions, and helpful tips (I hope!). There will be a lot of sacrificial IKEA furnishings, as I mutilate my current furniture into something else. Yes, I just may chop up that $150 ebay Anthropologie duvet, two standard shams, and two euro shams…I’m not sure.
The only rule is that I cannot spend ONE CENT for anything, no matter what I may need. This is going to require some creativity; fortunately, Aubrey and I both have that in spades. We will be whipping out the sewing machine, the pry bar, and racing around the city to get various free objects. We are not experts, and I can guarantee we will be doing things in ways that will make Bob Vila cringe. At some point, someone will require a trip to an emergency room. Indeed, I can guarantee there will be blood. There will be many posts with the warning, “Don’t try this at home!”
Along the way though, you might just learn something new, be inspired to create something new from something old, or just read in horror and think, “Oh God, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!” One never knows what one will find in The Upcycle Shed!
“I AM WOMAN!”