Saturday, September 12, 2009

Words to live by...

Recently while searching the internet, I ran across this blog called The Non-Consumer Advocate ( and while running the risk of sounding dramatic, I learned a phrase there that has completely changed my life.  The phrase is "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  Well, my family and I have taken those words and have completely run with them.  I was constantly on the search in my house for things to use up and get rid of and wear the life out of.  And here is what happened. 

First I set off to attack USE IT UP.  And I love to knit.  And it has always been on my heart to use the gifts that the Lord has given me to bless others.  And mostly, preemie babies have been on my heart because I was so fortunate to give birth to strapping and healthy babies while others have not been as fortunate as me.  So, I first attacked my knitting basket.  And I found many small balls of yarn that really wouldn't have been able to used for anything other than hats for these precious angels.  So, I set my hands to work and here is where I am at:
Okay, next scenario: My husband was really struggling to fix this cabinet in our kitchen.  He usually can fix ANYTHING but for some reason he just couldn't get this particular cabinet to work properly.  So, I came up with the brilliant idea of taking the doors completely off and hanging a cute little curtain instead.  So, I sewed a little curtain and I excitedly said to my husband, "I can go to Target tomorrow and buy a tension rod to hang it so we won't have to worry about hardware."  So, he then said to me, "Wife, you don't even have to because I have a dowel that I have been wanting to use!"  As I was a little disappointed that I couldn't stroll the aisles of my beloved Target I knew staying home would SAVE MONEY.  And then I thought with one fail swoop we tackled USE IT UP (extra material from my fabric stash) and MAKE IT DO (dowel instead of tension rod!)  Here is a picture of our beautiful handiwork:
So proud.  So thank you Katy Wolk-Stanley, I don't know where you live (except on the internet) but you reached into our little home and you changed this little family in Connecticut!!!! 


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. Your tiny preemie hats are a fitting homage to the "Use it up . . . " mantra for me, as I work as a labor and delivery nurse at a high risk hospital. Lots of preemies in our NICU.

And your kitchen curtain? Terrific, and actually looks really cute!

My "Use it up" challenge at the moment is all the slightly-filled cereal boxes that clutter my cabinets. I did get three of them finished up today by suggesting to my 11-year-old son and his sleepover guest that they pick from the "really cool" cereals for breakfast. You gotta sell the sizzle!

Katy Wolk-Stanley
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

Jinger said...

Your baby hats are sweet. Can you post a link to the pattern? I want to knit a newborn hat to go with a baby quilt I am sending to a special friend.


Jen said...

Here is the link for the hats. Remember, they are designed for preemies, so you might have to adjust the size. Glad you like them!

Marie-Jolie said...

My friend Gabrielle and I live/walk/eat/breathe/sleep the mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!" We write a shared "re-craft" blog on this very topic, which you can see here:
And I write a knitting blog here:

I used to do tons of re-craft projects on my Permission to Unwind blog, but recently turned it into a knitting-only blog and have been shifting my re-craft projects over to French Picnic. Anyway, love what you're doing! Hope to run into you again in blogland. -Marie

Beth said...

What a great post! Thank you for your inspiration to use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. I just told my dear husband last night that I will be sewing at night to diminish my 3 huge boxes of fabric my mother gifted to me last year. This should be fun!