Thursday, January 31, 2013

Getting Creative

First off, THANK YOU!!  Seriously, I was in a low, low spot last time we talked and you girls did a fantastic job at pointing me back to The Truth and letting me know I am not nuts to feel all lonely and weird.  You guys rock!  And I hope some of you who were right there with me in the Pit of Despair found encouragement in the comments too.

And yes, this last week has been much better.  We were able to make some connection at a church we've been attending, we invited some acquaintances over for the day and my two big boys went to day camp for two days giving me the break of having just the baby and the puppy.  Funny how that seems like a break now.

Ok, so now on with today's thoughts.

Something I really have enjoyed about living here in Costa Rica is the challenge of creating things that most people just run to Target and buy.  Like these coasters for example.  I made these yesterday out of fabric from my stash.  Our dinning room table has issues with watermarks and we needed something to help prevent that. 

There is something very important about creating, using the skills God has given us to make our environments better, more efficient, more pleasing.   I believe it's part of what makes us Humans, created in the image of God.  After all, He is creative God.

I think we probably would agree that a cultural value in the US right now is one of consumerism.  Instead of making, people buy.  Instead of using what they have, they buy something, usually plastic, to solve a problem.  Now, hear me out, I am not saying buying things or plastic is bad, but there is another way.  One that seems to be forgotten in my home country.  Honestly, I am glad I have been forced further down this path of making and creating to keep my family clean, feed and living in lovely surroundings.

In the hopes of inspiring you to continue what you are already doing, making do and making it awesome, here's a few of my favorite projects from the last few months.
Here in Costa Rica, so often what you're looking for doesn't exist, or is so astronomically expensive, it is out of reach.  And I realize Costa Rica is overflowing with variety when compared to some of the place you all are living in! 

Por ejemplo, baby swings.  When we came in September, Quinn was 3 months old.  We had to leave his baby swing in the States and I knew there was no way we could afford one here (somewhere in the $250 USD range).

My babies love to swing.  Quinn is no exception.  So I got to thinking, and with the help of a friend, found a baby swing idea, found a tutorial online and made it.

And before you think I have all sorts of mad seamstress skills, I sew straight lines.  That's it.  See, both sewing projects have straight lines?  Well, the coasters have some wonky ones too, but really, those are suppose to be that way.

I don't know about where you live, but here mold can become a problem.  Most people don't have dressers for that reason.  So when it came to clothes storage in our bedroom, we had to think outside the box dresser.  Here's what we came up with.

Now yes, we have to make sure to keep our clothes neat and tidy, but really, it's been working out just fine.  And the baskets are good for all our unmentionables.  Oh, and because things like dresses and dress shirts really should be hung, here's what my husband rigged up.

 And one last one.  Quinn is at the point where mobiles are great.  Again, many baby things here are a fortune, and really, I don't like the look of most mobiles anyway.  So for Christmas, I made him this bird one.  Again, I used fabric from my stash, found the cute bird pattern online, and stuffed them with old rags.  Then I went to our back yard, found two sticks, tied them together and tied the birds on.  He loves it!  He laughs and wiggles every time he sees it. 

Ok, so now I want to see what you amazing people have done with your God given creativity!

What is one of you favorite projects you've made to solve a problem (chances are, one of us is having the same problem, so help a sista out!), to make a more lovely environment, or to help your family in some way?  Make sure to link us to a photo if you have one!   


  1. I LOVE your swing! Where did you find the tutorial?? I was dying for a swing when Asher was a baby and we couldn't afford one. Maybe I'll try to make one for the next baby.

    Love all your other craftiness, too :) I made cloth napkins not long ago because I don't wasting paper ones, and the British just don't do cloth napkins for everyday use. We use them all the time.

    1. I'm consued Chrysti...this documentary I've's called Downton Abbey I think, made me think all you British dress in white tie for dinner and use cloth napkins and china and crystal every day!! Hahhahah! What type of fabric did you use? I made us some simple everyday ones with white cotton because with this many boys I need to be able to bleach them!!

    2. OH!!! and the baby swing tutorial I found here

      And you can do it!!

  2. I love your baby mobile, Liz! How creative! I'm not as crafty as you are when it comes to making things to solve problems. My 13 year old daughter makes all kinds of things though.

    I do enjoy taking time to create and to make my home more beautiful. I recently made a shadow box with with a significant photo and objects from my sister's wedding last year. I also make greeting cards, which are unavailable here.

    1. That's great!! The shadow box sounds so fun! And greeting you have a specific way you usually make them, or just do whatever strikes your fancy at the moment?

  3. The other ladies on our team and I recently made coasters out of tiles, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge (a Pinterest idea!). We now all have some coasters in our homes and used the rest for Christmas gifts.

    I love all of your ideas -- and I especially love the mobile. We have a bird bedroom here, so I might have to use that idea!

  4. Sarah, the birds were soooo easy, and just plain fun! I think I could become a crazy bird lady if I am not careful! :)

  5. Art "canvas" from cereal boxes taped together!

    color on the walls! filling our home with handmade beauty!

  6. Such great ideas! I've really enjoyed exploring my creative side, something I never thought I had.

    For Christmas, we drew three chalk prints for the wall, then framed them in simple glass frames. With dry-erase markers, we wrote PEACE, JOY, and LOVE on the frames. I never posted pictures of them because we found the easy-to-draw designs on a site that was selling their prints, and I wasn't sure they'd appreciate our copycatting. ;)