creative license with the compact

Talking about how Compact my life is can be…well, compact.  Sometimes there’s just not much there.  Because of my husband’s and my decision to have another child instead of sending me back to work (thank you husband!), we are also living a more cost conscious life.  Call it frugal if you must.  I call it…our life.

So this blog has become something of a morphosis project for me.  It is a platform for me to talk about what’s on my mind.  Whatever that is.  Like, how can we get back to Laura Ingalls as a role model for our little girls instead of Britney Spears.  No, that wasn’t really on my mind.  But now it is.  Glad I have boys.

All digressions aside, I just don’t have anything to say about how living a Compact life has affected me today.  Instead, I”ll tell you how it’s going to affect me in the future.  Here are six projects I’d like to try.  Why are they Compact?  Because they all involve using recycled materials.  And isn’t that the basis of how to live a Compact life?  That was rhetorical, I just want to see how many times I can say Compact in one post.


You still there??

Thought I’d lost you.  Back to the projects…


I am a sucker for a monogram.  I might be working on this one tomorrow. Round up scraps of pretty patterned paper and a few frames. Cut a piece of patterned paper to fit the frame opening. Die-cut or hand-cut an oversize monogram and, if desired, a mat. Mount the initial to the patterned-paper background with adhesive foam, add the mat, if using, and slide the assembly into the frame.


I have a mission.  Collect as many frame pendants and frame pendant wanna-be’s that the thrift stores have to offer.  This may take a while, but I think this project might be worth it.  Love the charm of it.  (sorry couldn’t resist.) Use up even the tiniest pieces of leftover or favorite fabrics with these wineglass charms. Cut small squares of selected areas of the fabric and insert each into a frame pendant. Earring-hoop wire threaded through the pendant loop makes it easy to attach the charm to a wineglass stem.


I love decorative balls.  All the different kinds Crate and Barrel, Anthroplogie, Z Gallerie and every other corner design store have been pushing as must haves for the well photographed home.  Now who’s got the last laugh?  And the last dollar saved? An easy craft to make, these fabric-wrapped balls use up scraps from your stash and can be displayed in a pretty bowl. Cut strips from coordinating fabrics and use glue to adhere them to foam balls. Select a variety of fabric patterns and use both small and large balls for extra interest.


This is a definite favorite!  I always said I can’t draw without a ruler.  Now they have an even better use in my studio. Use a miter box to cut old yardsticks to length, creating colorful and graphic photo mats that turn basic frames into works of art.


Next time I see a Hannah Montana suitcase at the thrift store I’m grabbing it.  I always worried about the girls that just had to have such things.  Guess they have a higher purpose after all. A small suitcase from a secondhand store becomes a graphic and colorful storage unit when prettied up with paper and paint. Remove and paint the hardware. Decoupage the case with scrapbook paper. Replace the hardware, securing it with metal glue and decorative brads painted the same color.


I’m more of a favorite old mug kinda gal, but any excuse to have a wood plane sitting on my desk has my attention. Turn an old wood plane into an all-in-one desk set simply by drilling a few holes. Look for inexpensive or damaged planes at flea markets, garage sales, and auctions.

All images and ideas borrowed directly from the Better Homes and Gardens website.

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4 Comments to “creative license with the compact”

  1. Hey- some great gift ideas! I love the pendant wineglass charm.

    Also on Laura Ingalls Wilder vs. Britney Spears- I second that emotion! I can’t imagine having a little girl these days…

  2. Totally dig the wine glass pendants and the ruler frames!

    I made the mistake of purchasing one of those decorative balls years ago, though mine is wicker, and it’s been an irritant ever since – truly useless (even the cat won’t play with it).

  3. Can you do a project of making those pendants as necklaces and as wineglass charms and then write a post with instructions? I would love to do that for gifts. Most of that kind of thing is too crafty for me, but those two items would literally cover over half of my gift recipients.

    That would be a great post!

  4. emma, sometimes the most useless objects can still be pleasing to the eye. Think P. Hilton. Oops, was that out loud?

    Angela, I will definitely work on some posts with instructions. As soon as I get some put away in my own gift box!

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