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21  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Granny Square Tetris Blanket on: May 25, 2009 11:31:44 AM
That is amazing.  I do not like where that red one is headed though...  it needs to move over a notch.  The Tetris freak in me would be insanely and illogically bothered by that.
22  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Re: Landscaping on a Shoestring Budget on: May 02, 2009 05:22:09 PM
I got more bottles.  Hooray for Freecycle!  I'm not sure when I'll have time to finish it, but I'll post pics when I do.

Thanks for the seed suggestion.  I did start a lot of seeds, most of them I bought from the dollar store for 10 cents a pack.  There's a great plant sale that the horticulture club of my community college does every April.  I was out of town for it this year, but I had my dad pick up a butterfly bush for me. 
23  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Landscaping on a Shoestring Budget on: April 26, 2009 07:32:15 PM
I'm a broke college student a month away from graduation, but I'm also a homeowner enjoying her first spring in her own house (er...  building).  I wanted to do something to spruce up the yard, but money is tight and I can barely justify buying potting soil.  Also, it's a hugely intimidating project and I had no idea where to start.  Luckily, someone on my local freecycle offered two boxes of empty wine bottles and I knew just what to do!  I've seen this on here before, I think, or somewhere in the vastness of the Internet, but I can't remember where.

So, it's not finished yet.  I need to collect more wine bottles.  That photo shows you that part that is finished.  I used brick to mark out where the rest of the wine bottles will go while I wait for freecycle to deliver more goodies.

This is right at the start of the project.  You can clearly see that I have a lot more work ahead of me.  The tree rings where a yard sale purchase last summer.

A little further along, before mulch.  I used newspaper instead of landscape fabric because landscape fabric costs money and newspaper is free.  The newspaper is also being reused and it's biodegradable.  I do need to spring for another bag of mulch.

24  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Vinyl Tile vs Real Tile for a bathroom on: March 24, 2009 10:22:22 PM
If you know someone who can install it for you, sheet vinyl is the way to go.  If your bathroom is small, you can probably find a nice remnant to save even more money.

Also, a previous poster said to seal around your toilet with caulk...  my step-dad who works in a flooring warehouse and used to install has told me to never ever do that.  You seal the moisture under the toilet that way.  If you do get a leak, you may not know it until much damage has been done to the flooring and the underlayment.  I'm not sure what the benefit of sealing it is...  but I'm certainly no expert.
25  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / Where To Find Things To Recycle / Re: free or discounted books? on: March 22, 2009 12:02:03 PM
I also used to work for Borders.  The thing that no one has mentioned is that taking those cover-less books out of the dumpster is illegal.  It is considered theft.  It is stupid and senseless, but it is the truth.  Because the book store is getting credited from the publisher, the book has not been paid for.  That's why book store dumpsters are usually locked behind 8 foot fences.  Just know that diving these dumpsters is decidedly more risky.

I worked in the cafe, when we were slow they would put me on strip-the-magazine duty and I HATED it.  I felt like I was killing the Earth with every rip and tear.


On the upside, when they remodeled the store, they threw out some nice bookshelves and let the employees take them on a first come, first serve basis.  Somehow, I single-handedly fit three of them into the back of my hatchback.  They were the perfect size for storing CDs, DVDs or paperbacks.

If you know a store is remodeling, watch the dumpsters closely.
26  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: Empty cat litter buckets on: March 22, 2009 10:24:21 AM
Outside stools is a great idea.  I'd use the kind that the whole lid comes off, and make a cushion for the top. 

The spray paint for plastics works okay, but the ones I painted last year definitely show wear.  Used inside it might be a different story.  I wonder if using regular old cheap spray paint and just roughing up the plastic a bit with some sandpaper wouldn't work better, or at least just as well.

I'd love to see pictures if you use them for something.
27  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Empty cat litter buckets on: March 21, 2009 10:03:09 PM
Here are some things I've used them for, but I'm looking for new ideas...

Storing pet food, the ones with the flip top lid are perfect for this.
A trash can, have one in the laundry room.
Storage for all sorts of things, they are stackable.  Nice for books.
Camping.  Nice for tossing in the canoe on a float trip, too.  Not waterproof if you tip, but drier than the bottom of the boat.
Planters.  Drill holes in the bottom.  Paint.
Mop bucket.

I drilled holes in one of the flip top style and buried it in my yard so that it was level with the ground.  It serves as a miniature septic tank for my dog's poo.  There are products that do the same thing that cost $50 or more.  Mine was free.  It's still in the testing stages, but so far there's no smell. 

I want to make a set that will hang on my bicycle for storage.

I've used them as travel kits for my dogs.  Put a supply of food in the bottom, store toys, bowls, leashes and other supplies on top of the food.  At a resort where my dogs had to stay in an outside kennel, I hung the bucket on the chainlink with a giant carbiner.  It kept the food up and away from bugs, yet still handy and accessible.  I used another bucket for water. 

I plan to make one into an emergency kit for each species of pet that we have.  Each will include food, water, ID, medications, extra leashes, etc.  If we ever have to evacuate due to zombies or if that supposed enormous earthquake hits the Midwest, we can grab the pets and be ready to roll.

How have you reused these buckets?  Anything to add?  We go through so much litter and I'm running out of things to do with them.  But I cannot stand throwing them away.  I'm also looking for better ways to "pretty them up" as planters other than paint.  Please share.

28  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: Fitted bed sheet on: March 21, 2009 09:38:58 PM
We have several fitted sheets we use as futon covers.  We have many pets and the fur gathers pretty quickly.  When we change the sheets, we always put two layers on.  When the top layer gets to hairy, we peel it off and use the fresh one beneath.  Way easier than vacuuming.  Plus, each different sheet gives our living room a different look.

This may work for the backseat of a car.  I haven't tried it.

I used an old fitted sheet that had torn as an impromptu cover for our table leaf while in storage.  The elastic helped keep it wrapped around it.

29  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Re: in need of large tomato pots but can't spend too much money....please help! on: March 21, 2009 06:04:58 PM
If you have cats or know someone who does, the empty litter buckets are great planters.
30  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Re: New to Container Gardening - Where to Start? on: March 21, 2009 05:42:37 PM
Oh, please don't use any insecticides against bees.  Honey bees are dying and insecticides are a possible contributing factor.  Please don't hurt the bees!  Instead, don't plant things that attract bees.  Anything recommended for butterflies or hummingbirds will attract bees as well.  Water will also attract bees, so don't leave water out.  I've noticed that bees love my white sage when it blooms in the spring.

As for your garden, I would put as much outside as you can.  I've done herbs in containers for a few years now, but I've never tried veggies.  For cheap recycled containers, cat litter buckets are wonderful.  You can spray paint them if you like.  I buy most of my herbs as plants.  If you are only buying one plant, it can be cheaper than buying a packet of seeds.  I've never been able to start mint from seed.


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