Being resourceful

Often I find myself thinking of ways to make things that I want to buy. It’s not so much about the money, I don’t think, because I can usually buy books and yarn without much hesitation. But for certain things I think it’s the gratification of coming up with a solution and enjoying the result of it that motivates me to think rather than just going out and buy. It’s not just about being frugal neither, although frugality has a lot to do with it. I think my parents taught me well. But I don’t think my parents are just being frugal. I like to call it being resourceful. And I think creativity and resourcefulness can bring joy to life.

I visited them last weekend, and saw interesting and delightful things around their house.

Yes, it is a roll of toilet paper. In a CD canister. Having a box of Kleenex is of course much more presentable than having a roll of toilet paper on the coffee table, but for the everyday sniffles toilet paper would do just fine, and it’s much cheaper than facial tissues in stylish boxes. This may seem strange to North Americans but growing up in Hong Kong that’s what most households would have in place of boxes of Kleenex. They even make all kinds of dispensers for toilet paper rolls. For example, here’s one that looks like cup noodles.

And you dispense the toilet paper by taking out the cardboard tube in the centre (squashing it on its sides a few times helps). Anyways, I never thought of using a CD canister and it actually fits perfectly :D Perhaps one could even make the CD canister look like a cup noodle. Now that’s an idea for a new project.

And then in another corner of the house I discovered this…

Dried mandarin peel! My mom uses it mainly in soup. It’s supposed to be good for you in some ways, especially if you have a cough, and phlegm. One can definitely buy this at the grocery store (especially the Chinese ones), but it’s actually not that hard to make. Peel mandarin orange. Eat mandarin orange. Save mandarin peel. Lay on plate/tray to dry. It takes patience though, because I think it needs to dry for months before it can be used. But definitely not difficult. I actually took the picture mainly because the orange peel looks rather striking on the blue tray.

And finally, I found a popsicle in the freezer.

It has nothing to do with resourcefulness, I just thought the colours were pretty. It’s cotton candy flavoured. Didn’t taste as good as it looked (it basically tasted like frozen sugar water), but the popsicle stick has a nice shape.

Two nights ago I was looking at this stick at my messy desk and was wondering what I can make with it. I thought of making a cotton candy fairy so I took apart a fake fabric rose for it. But then I left my glue gun at work and PVA glue is just useless for porous materials, and I wasn’t too thrilled about the cotton candy fairy anyways. So I set it aside and thought perhaps I will come across other things that I can use the stick for… and I did! And you will see that project in the next post, tomorrow! :D

And just looking at the picture of it now I think it would make a good burnishing tool, or bone folder. Will have to try that out.