My Dirty Little Crafting Secret

February 12, 2016




Crafting is my thing. It's my outlet and passion and I am lucky enough that I get to do it several times a week. Some people run, others like to cook, but not me.

Nope.

I am happiest with a glue gun in one hand and paint in the other.

The process simultaneously provides me with a thrill, a feeling of zen and artistic outlet. Although, I really am more of a product girl. I think that is where my true excitement comes from, seeing the look of my newly decorated room, once I have added my handmade creation.

It's a real rush and so I'm kind of a prolific DIYer.

But crafting can be a pricey endeavor. I am a budget girl, but even with a coupon, the supplies are not always cheap and when you're buying a lot of different kinds of materials, like I do, it can be quite an investment.

Plus being a crafty girl, who is also pretty fickle when it comes to decorating, just compounds the problem. I end up with a lot of stuff to store. In addition to supplies, I have a stash of finished products that I rarely reuse. I may make a wreath for spring one year and then decide that it bores me the next.

Like I said, fickle.

In the last three years, I have had three different Valentine banners hanging in my kitchen. Am I displaying the others in the living or family room?

No.

I am not.

They are tucked away for future use. I like them a lot, so I keep them intact, safely stored for someday, but many of my other projects? Um, no. I live in a small cottage and lately, I have been on a simplifying kick.

So, what happens to these creations, you ask? Where do they go when I fall out of love and am itching to make something new? How do I get my hobby to fit into my budget and my tiny house?

Well, I'll tell you my dirty little secret.

I don't keep most things for a very long time.

Yup. You heard me.

I take them apart, reuse the supplies to create something new or combine projects.

I recycle and upcycle my own crafts on a very regular basis...and it's not because of the blog, I have been doing this for years...and it's not because I don't value my crafts.

I do.

Very much actually, but I like change and I would rather have the supplies used and on display in another form, than stuffed in a drawer, unseen for years.

Of course, like the aforementioned banners, there are some pieces that I love, get emotionally attached to and will never dismantle.

My red hydrangea wreath is one. Those flowers will be on my range hood until they literally fall off.


Sewing projects are another type that generally stick. I am not into seam ripping and as a reluctant seamstress, they usually take me so long to put together, the thought of taking them apart is not something I can even contemplate.


Wooden signs, however, are a completely different story. I adore my sticker creations, but some are seasonal and cannot stay up all year.


In that case, I turn the board around and use the back. Dual purpose, no need to store them away when the holiday is over and no need to spend money on new board.


There are also times when I am just done with the sentiment or style altogether. In that case, I simply peel the sticker off, repaint the board (or not!) and slap on a new saying!


I don't generally get attached to faux floral creations either. Wreaths?


Well, besides that red hydrangea, I have been known to rework or cannibalize their parts to make something brand new.


I seriously do this all the time.

Sometimes, I combine separate crafts into a totally new creation. This leaves the DIY intact, but I get a fresh look and the thrill of fussing with my supplies.


 The Wooden Cake Plate I made this past fall + 




 = a brand new centerpiece! 

You see, when it comes to the big elements in my home, like floor choices, wall color, cabinets, tile and furniture, I tend to make a decision and stick with it for the long haul. I mean, my kitchen is over ten years old and it looks the same today as it did on the day I added the last curtain clip.

I can honestly say that with the exception of my kids' rooms and my white living room sofas, everything has stayed the same.

And I'm ok with that, because I adore my choices. However...


...it can get a tad bit boring, especially for a girl who craves eye candy and change ~ and that's where the recycle crafting comes in. By using and reusing supplies, I get my decor fix on, I don't have to store a lot of stuff and my biggest expense is mini glue sticks!

Not bad for a girl with a potentially bankrupting kind of addiction.

And there's no running or cooking involved.

Even better.

Do you sacrifice your old crafts to make new?




Want to see where I keep my crafts? Check out this post.


Looking for my kitchen? You can start here.













   

78 comments:

  1. I am in love with your red hydrangea wreath! I too have been know to take things apart so I can reuse them in other crafts but you take it to a whole new level! ;) Thanks for the inspiration to go searching through my wreaths and things and to get going on creating something new to me with what I have on hand. Be blessed!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. Sometimes I do feel bad when I get ready to dismantle, but if I get that feeling in my stomach, I hold on to it for a bit more. However, after a while if it's still not used...it's reused! ;)

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  2. Yes Kim, crafting can get very expensive! I love your ideas for creating new projects using items you already have from other crafts! I love that banner.
    Wishing you a nice weekend and a Happy Valentines Day.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie! I knew you'd appreciate that banner. I bet you could whip up a sweet one in no time! :)

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  3. I love how you flip that board over and use the other side. So smart! That red hydrangea wreath has always been a favorite of mine. :) Happy Valentine's weekend!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! The blank back of the board just seemed so wasteful…and another area that was calling out to be decorated! ;)

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  4. Hi Kim, yes, I take lots of my creations apart and reuse, redesign and repurpose. Except those things that are sewn kinda like you said too. I've also flipped banners and re-lettered on the backside for a 2 for one banner! I just love your hydrangea wreath. Such a beautiful statement.
    Everything in your house is gorgeous!! Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. Love the banner flip idea, Celestine Marie! I may have to try that one next! :)

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  5. Shoot, I so rarely have the time for crafts, I don't even know what I have to make them with.
    Brenda

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    1. Brenda, you are super creative and have so many lovely touches in your home. I always enjoy peeking around!

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  6. That chair! I went straight to your link and read through how you did the upholstery. You are brilliant!! I have a wing chair in the basement that would love this treatment. Thank you!

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    1. I am so glad!! You have just made my day. That is the entire point of sharing and when someone really finds a useful idea here, I am thrilled! If you makeover that chair, let me know. I would love to hear about how it goes. Good luck! :)

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  7. Kim, I do the same thing! In fact, on the rare occasion I can get by without gluing something I do. Thrifty minds think alike ;) Have a lovely weekend!

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  8. I have to say I used to be quite crafty and had supplies galore...but when I got divorced I pared down and now I'm starting from scratch. I buy something as I need it and store the leftover supplies in my office nook or utility room until the next project comes along. But there haven't been a ton just yet. Someday I will make that red hydrangea wreath, though - and then we'll be twinsies!! :)

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    1. Twinning sounds like fun! Does that mean I get a view of pretty horses? Haha...if only!! ;)

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  9. I love your redo craftiness! You are brave to share the reality of what it means to live in a small space, and things regularly have to be recycled or upcycled or they have to go. I am learning that now! I enjoyed your article, and now I am thinking what I could upcycle! I certainly have lots of them hanging around from craft projects in previous years. I've dabbled in so many different ones. Right now, my sewing machine is getting the most attention, lol. Enjoyed your post, and hope all is well with you! Love the splash of red tulips in your kitchen! Have a great day!

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    1. It is definitely challenging to live in small space, but then again, if it doesn't fit, I probably don't need it! There is a learning curve, no doubt, but since this is my second small home, I'm pretty accustomed to the idea that less is more! :)

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  10. i never craft! but boy how i love posts by those of you girls who do! like this one. sheer fun.
    i stand in awe.
    my mother used to LOVE to change upholstery! she taught herself.
    her favorite thing was to take an old chair and completely refurbish it.
    that impulse and gift never rubbed off on me sadly.
    i say keep up the great work! or creations! in a minimal way of course. hee hee.
    xo♥

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    1. That's funny Tammy, my mom was not a crafter. Maybe it skips a generation! ;)

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  11. Hi Kim, I'm am going to take a page out of your book. I tend to make something and get tired of it but put it away for another time. Does that other time ever come? Who knows! Evidently not! I am running out of space so I have got to do something..Happy Weekend..Judy

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    1. It’s hard to dismantle things Judy, I get it. It takes a lot of thought, time and effort to complete a craft. In the last few years, I have been doing more quick and easy crafts, so I have felt ok about taking them apart! I don’t think I would be unraveling an afghan though if I were a knitter! ;)

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  12. I would keep that hydrangea wreath forever too! I confess. I do not repurpose old crafts. I just let them die somewhere till I find them moldy and then have to throw them away! I just found a ribbon heart shaped wreath I made in the 90's. The ribbon was so dirty and bent I had to pull it all off. Now I need to do something with that heart shaped wreath! Oh, I know! I'll hang it in the closet with multiple other wreaths I've made and don't use anymore!

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    1. I've been there, AnnMarie! I literally had a coat closet full of wreaths to hang on my front door, but never did! AND we had no room for coats! ;)

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  13. I think I was reading about myself. I do the same thing.

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    1. As Cecilia said in the comments, thrifty minds think alike! ;)

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  14. I think you are really smart, Kim. You are recycling and you can definitely go on a crazy buying spree in craft stores so again. good going!

    Jane

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    1. I could totally go on a crazy buying spree, Jane! It would be very easy, trust me. Sometimes, restraint is hard! ;)

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  15. Great post. I don't take stuff apart. Sadly,I do tend to store stuff--often to never use again. I love the people who shop their house or swap out seasonal stuff. My new plan is to try to winnow down my stash so lately i have been working on my fabric pile. Some pink solid and blue solid and a pink and blue print are going to become an Easter table runner. I haven't decorated for Easter in a long time so should be fun.

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    1. Oh, that sounds like fun and super pretty, Lorri! You've got me thinking about spring which is awesome, because right now the wind is whipping and the temps are below zero. Bring on the pastels!!

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  16. What a great idea to flip the sign. I'm not sure if I recycle crafts, but I do recycle linens for crafts, and I paint over my canvases. I agree about going broke. Sometimes I ask myself if I should make it or buy it. xoxo Su

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    1. I think that recycling linens is a great practice, Su. I don't often use fabric when I create, except to sew, but I really should think about that more often. I have a ton of linens and I see a ton at the thrift stores that I am taken with...but I never know what to do! Maybe I should hit your blog or Pinterest!!

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  17. You are just so creative, and re-cycling is a good idea.

    Happy Weekend Wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan and I totally agree about recycling!

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  18. Kim you are a crafter after my own heart! I totally get you. I also take things apart and reuse them. The best is painting them, to get a new look. And yes this can be a potentially expensive hobby! I even mix my own paint colors.

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    1. You are very crafty with paint, Mary! I think that's awesome!

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  19. Happy Valentine weekend "Miss DIY Crafter Extraordinaire Recycler!"
    LOVED the kitchen pic . . . and two vases of RED tulips . . .
    You're the best IVORY and RED ever!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! You just sent me a giant smile! Hugs to you for a lovely Valentine weekend as well! :)

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  20. I love the idea of re-using what you are tired of to make something new!

    I had to laugh at the sewing / seam ripper part though...There's no way I'd do that either! :) I have to use the seam ripper on my mistakes enough; no one would use it on purpose, haha!

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    1. Oh my gosh, Deb, can you even imagine?? You are an expert seamstress...I am sure you rip way less than me! :)

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  21. The answer to your query would be yes and no....how fickle can one person be, right? I think I'm kind of a hoarder when it comes to crafting supplies. The Man would probably love it if I had more of your attitude, but doesn't bother me about it at the present, while we are living in a fairly large home. I do, however, recycle some projects like wreaths and floral arrangements. Some I just tweak & others get completely ripped apart. Your red hydrangea wreath is so pretty and looks perfect on the white range hood.....I'd never get rid of that either!

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. I have seen your craft room, Carol and if I was lucky enough to have that kind of space, I might just be a yes and no girl, too!! :)

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  22. I am constantly redoing my wreaths...I love changing them out, kind of like changing accessories. I also love decorating for the seasons. I think that keeps me content with my home. It's not a lot of effort or expense to change like a remodel.

    I keep my craft fix going without filling my house with stuff by giving a lot of things away as gifts. Last week, just by chance, I went thrift shopping & found a birch bark vase that I loved! Even better, it had a heart carved on the side with my son & daughter-in-law's initials in it.....can you beat that?! So of course I bought it & made them a snack bouquet for Valentine's Day. My son doesn't really eat candy so I chose their favorite snacks instead (chips, jerky, popcorn, ect). It turned out really cute & they both loved it.

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    1. I really should give a few things away, too, Jenny. Right now the kids are at home and their rooms are already overstuffed! ;) I have thought about doing giveaways occasionally, but I always think, who’d want this? Maybe someone would. I guess I could ask!

      Thanks for the tip and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  23. You ar creative and I also reuse wreath and the accessories that come with them. Love the flip sign idea. I reuse things by restyling with them. I have 4 seam rippers and always find myself using them to recycle fabrics. I've been working on my craft and no matter how much storage I add their just isn't enough space to put everything I like to keep things changing cause I get bored too, hubs kids me the furniture moves faster then he can, men!

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    1. A girl after my own heart! I love the way you move things around, Cathy. You're Charmer is always full of inspiration. I especially love it when you feature fabric and textiles!

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  24. I think it's rather ingenious to reuse your crafting supplies! I wouldn't know anything about it though because I'm not a crafter! We're the opposite: I love to cook. :-)

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    1. Ah, but you can eat your delicious creations! Glue is not that tasty! ;) It’s funny, Melanie, lately, I have been more interested in cooking. I thought about your soup recipe a few times today. I used to cook all the time when the kids were little. Then dinnertime became that time we just ran around while my husband was working. Now that everyone is home more, I have been craving elaborate meals and watching cooking shows. Maybe a change is on the horizon!

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  25. Hi Kim,
    I like to recycle too. I love your sign idea. :-) That really makes sense.
    Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
    Carla

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    1. Thanks Carla! I’m all about making the most of my supplies.

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  26. Hi Kim,
    I love how you repurposed your rose wreath into a centerpiece!
    I recycle a lot of my craft projects into new ones too...no place to store them all, or I get bored with them.
    Happy Valentines Day! Hugs, Kimberley

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    1. Great minds think alike, Kimberley...or maybe it's the name!! ;)

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  27. I adore dirty little secrets but I'm not sure that yours counts :-) I feel that you should get double the points for creative recycling and kindness both to the environment and your wallet.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh, what a lovely way to look at it, Amalia! I'll take it, thanks! ;)

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  28. Hi Kim, I also recycle my crafts and to cut the expense of supplies, cause yes I am a craft addict, I look for items at garage sales and thrift stores. I got a huge wreath this year at a community garage sale that was ending at 2. I came in at 1:30 and scoured the tables first. I came back to the wreath at the end cause it was so large to carry. The owner was packing up and she said you can just have that. Well it was sad with a few sunflowers poked into the base. I took it home and removed them. Then at Xmas I refashioned it with faux pine branches and cones and it looked awesome! I have been collecting furniture, small china cabinets and other pieces and painting with chalk paint to store my fabric and in the bottom paint supplies etc. I am into making my sewing/craft area look nicer. I had a large sewing room before about 12 X 16 and downsized to another house and my sewing area is in the basement. I looked for ways to make it nicer cause it was so dismal. I recently bought a tall filing cabinet to store fabric in, wrapping it around cardboard to make it stand up and you can still see the fabric without searching through a box. Darn Pinterest has given me umpteen ideas!! I also repainted a canvas that I was tired of the print and it did not work in this house, why buy a new one and likewise I purchased vinyl lettering to put on it for Christmas. I was moving it the other day and thought I have to look for new lettering for that and re-use it. I drive my husband nuts with the way I change things around and now I kind of rotate with the seasons, and instead of buying new I just recycle or add some fresh touches. I love seeing what you are doing, you inspire me all the time!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Maureen. I am glad that you find inspiration here. It makes me smile! You sound like a very crafty girl and quite the upcycler, too! Lots in common! I have seen pins about the fabric in the file cabinet. That sounds like a great idea! I'll have to add it to the list!

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  29. I love that you said, "cannibalize their parts," too funny! I think frugal and resourceful are at the heart of crafting, just makes us that much more creative!

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    1. I agree totally, Audra! I’m not sure if I would be anymore creative on a huge budget, I think a lot of my inspiration comes from what I have on hand. Thanks for weighing in! :)

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  30. Oh yes, I sacrifice my old crafts to make new. It keeps things interesting. In fact, I have a heart pillow in our bedroom that I've been eyeing. I made it a couple of years ago and now want to take it apart to reuse the vintage buttons and crocheted lace on something else. I love your red hydrangea wreath and totally understand not changing that! Hugs, Nancy

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    1. That sounds like a lovely repurpose, Nancy. I hope you show us the new craft made out of your old supplies when you tackle it! The words vintage buttons and crocheted lace have peaked my curiosity! Hugs!! :)

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  31. The only crafts I generally do would be wreaths. Yes, I definitely do cannibalize those! Why not? I don't want to hang the same exact wreath year after year so a little ripping and tearing is in order.

    This year I've been so inspired by all the handmade Valentine's cards and gifts. I really want to try to get my craft on soon. :)

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    1. I say go for it, Stacey! I can't wait to see what you create! :)

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  32. I too am a craft recycler. I also happily give my crafts away. I adore your sweet kitchen banner. So inspiring!

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    1. I really should give more away, Laura. Poor sweet little crafts would at least stay intact! ;) Thanks for the visit!

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  33. I do that too! LOL! It's both practical and sometimes, challenging to do so, but more fun!

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  34. Love this post, Kim. I've been known to pull all the flowers off a wreath and recycle but you have the whole re-use thing down to a science. Good job!

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    1. Some days, Susan! Other days, I see something pretty at Micheal's and that plan's out the window! ;)

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  35. Love your little secret. It makes perfect sense. I used to craft all the time years ago. Now, I craft a little here and there. Your kitchen banner is so sweet. Thanks for stopping by Kim. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Linda. It’s my therapy! :)

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  36. I am a craft recycler too. Not only does it save money but the bigger thrill for me is the challenge to come up with a new idea/project.

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    1. Yes, that is the fun of it for me, too, Kristi! I like a design challenge!

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  37. I do the same thing. After moving to this small, mice-infested cottage, I find that keeping lots of supplies just encourages the little suckers to make more nests and have more babies. So if I can tear something apart and use the raw materials again, I will.

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    1. Ha! Yes, I can see how that would be a fabulous motivator, Kirby! ;) Thanks for the visit!

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  38. I need to learn to do more recycling! I have truly run out of space! They say you can't teach an old do new tricks, but maybe! Love your fingernails! So cute! Have a great week, Lynn

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    1. Oh I love those pretty nail patterns, too, Lynn. Thanks! I haven't done them in a while. I should put some new pretties on. They're a DIY in themselves! ;)

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  39. I love your craft projects and think it is awesome that you keep some and reuse some! Since most of my craft projects are epic failures, they crawl down the street to the local Goodwill...in search of a new home...to spend time in more capable hands than mine! Hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs!

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    1. I have seen your projects and you don’t give yourself enough credit! I say craft away!! :)

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