Saturday, November 9, 2013

Save it, baby.


Here's what. Saving is good. It's good to have a savings account where you can set aside some money for upcoming projects or for the infamous rainy days, having it generate more money through interest by just sitting there, etc. All of that is sensible and smart. I recommend it to everyone. Save so you'll have a safety cushion and you don't have to worry about your finances if times should get rough. At least not as much as without any savings. 

But, let's not forget about the peanuts! 

It's also nice to save on the small scale. 

If you put aside your change every time you go to the supermarket, then after a while you'll have enough for a special treat. Or if you're a smoker and want to quit, every time you'd usually buy a new pack you can instead put that money aside and then get something really nice that you've been wanting for a while but that was always just a little out of reach, financially. Or if you're like me and you just hate walking with coins - in a country where coins signify small money, that is. I'm not talking about one and two euro coins. Or Colombian pesos in general, where every coin buys you something. If that applies to you, then I recommend getting a piggy bank.

But here's the thing. We want to save, so why would we spend money on a piggy bank? Doesn't make sense, does it? 

Nope. 

So, Kwesi had this brilliant idea recently that I decided to use for myself and then tell you about. Make your own piggy bank. And I'm not even talking about a big effort, crafts or anything like that. Had a soda recently? Had some ice tea? Then you're set. 

Rinse out the can when you're done drinking your beverage and the let it dry out completely. Then, if you want, take off the opener thingie on top and, if you want, bend the broken seal further back. And now: TADAAA you have a piggy bank. 

Here's mine:


Cherry Cola - gross, but the can is pretty.

Whenever the can fills up, take it to the bank and, depending on the options the coin counting maching gives you and what you want, put the money on your account or exchange for notes. And, voilà, that dinner at the nice restaurant is yours. Or that cute pair of earrings. Or that awesome new album your favourite band just released on iTunes. Or something even bigger. Trust me, a lot can go into these cans! 

I'm looking forward to the 83 piece tool set I'm going to get with this money that otherwise would just be clinking around at the bottom of my handbag, because that's where it goes whenever I get a handful of coins for change, which I don't understand, because it's not like you can even buy anything with any coin that small here in Trinidad, which makes it such a waste, why are they still minting these itty bitty good for nothing bits of metal?... </rant>

So yeah, Cherry Cola Piggy Bank. 

What will yours be? 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Be your own fashion designer!


A while ago (a very, very long while ago...) I posted about upcycling, a few times, actually. One of the posts was about how to make a DIY racerback tank top. Making that top from a t-shirt inspired me to remodel part of my wardrobe and make more DIY tops. 

I lovelovelove Threadless.com and have bought a lot of shirts from them over time, for myself and as gifts for others. Even my only jacket (not really a jacket, but kind of) is from there. They have awesome and incredibly creative designs and their clothes are of high quality. Really, I mean it, nobody is paying me for this. 

There is only one problem. They sell t-shirts. How is that a problem? Let me explain. 
Here in Trinidad, the climate is hot. Very hot. Hothothot, to be exact. Therefore, I can’t really wear things that cover too much of me. I mean, I could, but I’m never very happy when I wear anything that covers even my shoulders, let’s not even think about covering my whole arms. That’s why most of the tops I own are tanks or spaghetti straps or some other flimsy concoction that covers as much as possible while allowing the breeze to go everywhere to cool me down. See the problem now? T-shirts cover a lot of the wearer’s torso. Can’t be done. Impossible. No. 

So, because I love my shirts but I couldn’t possibly wear them as they were, I got a big pair of scissors, had my mom explain how to use her sewing machine and got to work. Seamstress for a few weeks! Not, like Terry Pratchett’s seamstresses, mind you. I’m talking needles and threads. 

Here are my results: 






Whereas the first top was inspired by a tutorial found online, I didn’t follow any instructions (because I didn’t look for any) for the tops you see in the above pictures. They all just happened, if that makes any sense. I also didn’t take pictures of the process. But it’s really easy to make them. You just take a t-shirt and cut off the parts you don’t need and then you sew what remains into the shape you want it to be. 

Good enough explanation? I’ll assume so. If not, if you want to know how to make one of these shirts or part of one, just let me know and I’ll explain in detail. I can even draw the how-to for you. 

And when you start sewing yourself, share pictures with me!