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Instead of posting links to Making Do Ideas on this blog now (I'll just post my own projects here though they are few and far between now), I'm now posting them on my Pinterest Board named Making Do Stuff.
You do not have to have a Pinterest account to see it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Automatic Chicken Door Instructions or USA Provider

So, in yesterday's post I showed you my scrap chicken coop, but I have to admit I bought the automatic chicken coop door. Quite a hunk of change in my book, and I normally regret spending huge amounts of money on things, but I don't regret this one. Because I'm such a lazy butt in the morning every day without this door my chickens were in danger of being roasted alive in their coops during the 100 degree weather we've been having. I'd prefer to roast them dead.

Besides, I found a good enough deal that it didn't cost that much more to buy it.

I bought mine from the Chickencoopdoor. The only US provider I found for $150.

Here are directions if you want to do it yourself. The second link says he paid $120 for parts. When I saw that, I decided $150 wasn't bad.

Dinousaurs and Robots Chicken Door and BuildEazy Chicken Door

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Scrap Wood Chicken Mansion and Roost

We used our scrap lumber from tearing down our humongous balcony, leftover siding and metal roofing from the shed we tore down, a window and screen off of the window guy's truck from a house he'd replaced windows from, plus some new lumber to build a Chicken Mansion. If we ever get rid of the chickens; it's big enough for storage. The vents were made of PVC pipe covered with more of the extra screen from window guy. We still have to insulate the interior walls but that will have to happen later.

But the best thing about it is the automatic chicken door. It's set on a timer to let the chickens out in the morning and to put them in at night. Came in real handy while we were gone for the weekend a few weeks past, no one had to come let the chickens in or out and the best thing is I don't have to remember to do it!

But the really fun scrap project was the gigantic roost made from scrap lumber and tree limbs from off the property. We could roost peacocks or even emus in there I think. ;P Obviously, you could easily size this down for a normal sized chicken coop and normal sized birds.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Baby Food Jar Chandelier

Do you have a lot of baby food jars, chain, wire and can find two barrel hoops? Then you have the makings of a cute little tea light chandelier. Natural Home Magazine has directions for making a baby food jar chandelier.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baby Sensory Tag Toy

I'm needing to make a number of baby gift items here lately, and one idea I had was a tag toy. I know how babies love on the tag of a stuffed animal, so a stuffed animal with tons of tags would be an even better toy, right?

I saw this tag monster and then this simple square tag toy with crinkly cellophane for noise. (I had planned on using a cereal bag liner instead of cellophane, but the contrast of fabric textures of my scrap choices made me decide it might be sensory overload, so I didn't put it in.)

But I want to use real tags. Repurposed tshirt tags from my tshirt fabric pile and other scraps with different feels because I'm all about making do with what I have in the pile.

So I cut off a handful of silky t shirt tags (nicer shirts don't have these tags, bummer),grab a pair of silk pajama pants and a polar fleece scrap from the fabric pile.

Then I cut a square of each fabric. On one square I arranged the tags somewhat symmetrically on the square pointing in. I tacked those down onto the yellow square. Don't stick the tags all the way to the corners, so you don't have to cut them out of the corners like I did.

Then I put the right side of the other square facing the tag side of the other square, leaving a gap to turn the item right side out.

Then after turning outside out, tack it all down around the edges and close up the hole to finish.

Making Do may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but I think it's cute. And my three year old has already taken to fingering it, polar fleece and fake silk is a good combo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cutting Down Time-Spending for an Organized Life

Honestly, I could spend all day reading and writing. When I was a kid and had no pressing responsibilities, it wasn't uncommon to see me in bed all day reading two or three books without getting up for anything but the bathroom. Ask my mother, it was difficult enough to get me to stop reading to eat.

Now that I've added writing and blogging to my literary fun, there are days when my house just crumbles around me, but just like those childhood days, it'

I've heard of Flylady and other such plans, but anytime I go to those sites, I am overwhelmed by the amount of reading just to figure out the system. (Funny, I like reading, just not about stuff I don't want to do.) I actually like being organized, but I have this aversion to organizing my house chores. And not sure I would keep up with it anyway if it wasn't super simple.

So, I have made a simple flexible chart to help me keep up with what I should do.

House CleaningHouse Maintenance
kitchenorganizing spaces
utility roomhouse construction/repair
downstairsweekly food preparation
outdoorsoutdoor maintenance

So, I have six days of separate projects. I have to do one from each category before I allow myself to do my fun stuff. The other work of the house I am pretty good at making myself do consistently, these things however I don't do so well at.

Cleaning the house and house maintenance stuff I used to do in spurts wither when I couldn't stand it anymore, or when I got really interested in doing it. With this chart, I can pick what I do. Maybe one week the kitchen really needs the refrigerator clean, so I pick up and clean the fridge. But the next week, the kitchen pantry needs organized, so that week I do that and general pick up in the kitchen. Whatever seems most crucial in that area when I attack it.

I can do these in any order and let's say I am really eager to get back to my book one day and cleaning the bathrooms is really easy but the upstairs isn't, I'll choose the bathrooms on that day, etc. The key is I have to do something in every one of these areas each week, except Sunday.

Not sure this is "frugal" in the literal sense, but I thought I would share how I am trying to force myself to scale down my expensive time habit of reading and writing to do the things I ignore best. It's worked for 2 weeks so far, hopefully I can keep it up.