Saturday, August 27, 2011

10 New Uses for Old Clothespins

 OK, I'll admit it...I love clothespins...old ones, new ones. little and big...

 Those with clips...

 And the big fat round slotted kind...
I can't pass them up. at garage sales and flea markets. Here are a few ways I use them...

1. As a "Guest Book".
When we owned a camp on a lake in Unity, Maine (isn't that a great name for a town?), we were first introduced to this tradition. Two older men from the local area came to help us work on the camp and, when they left, they asked me for two clothespins...which each proceeded to sign and date.
They explained that along the lake, people who visit your camp sign a clothespin for you to hang on the wall for Good Luck. We loved the idea and enjoyed continuing the tradition when friends and family came to visit. A piece of twine with a loop at the top was hung on a nail and each visitor added their personal message on a clothespin. Although we no longer have the camp, we have saved our "Clothespin Guest Book" from Unity to remind us of the people we shared summer memories with there.
We've since adapted the idea for our Casita.  Everyone who visits our campsite signs a clothespin and these are strung just inside the camper door. Sharpies work great for this...I keep plenty on hand!

2. As a "Travel Journal".
My "clothespin guestbook" was pretty primitive, but it fit the rustic decor of the camp. For my more recent clothespin projects, I've added color to the clothespins with spray paint and rubber stamps...just be sure to use stamp  pads with permanent ink.

I plan to use these as a "Travel Journal" in our camper. I'll string them up along the soffit of the camper and add the name of each new campground we visit. Like this...

Here are some more uses...

3. As Personalized Gift Tags.

4. As Placecard Holders.

5. To Hold & Color-code Scraps of Yarn & Ribbon.

6. As Bookmarks.

7. To Turn any Shutter Into a Photo or Memo Board.

8. As Basket Markers.
Baskets are great for storage but hard to label. With just a clothespin and a Sharpie, I can now keep my office and craft supplies organized.

9. To Help DH determine whether the Dishes in the Dishwasher are Clean or Dirty.
I just used my Sharpie again and stuck a little magnet tape on the back of each clothespin.

 10. And those old clothespins still work to hang clothes outside on a late summer day.

What other uses have you discovered for old clothespins?

I am happily joining the following blog parties:

Rust-Oleum Projects Linky Party at Kissed By A Frog
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Transformation Thursday Button

The Shabby Nest


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Do I Teach?

This post was written by my sister, Nancy, on October 6, 2008, on the first year that school began without "Mrs. Tufts" in her classroom. I'd like to dedicate this post to all the students, teachers, and support staff who are returning to school this week...and to the parents who work so hard to get the children ready. Although Nancy passed away two years after she wrote this post, her spirit lives on through her Elise.

Why Do I Teach?

Every once in a while, since I've been home sick, someone will ask me if I miss teaching. After 32 years, it probably sounds pretty good to be able to stay in bed after 5:15 am. instead of getting up for school. I really miss the kids but tell myself that they are probably just fine and don't even realize I'm not there. Then out of the blue a note, or in this case an e-mail, will just touch your heart and remind you that sometimes your efforts do make a difference in a child's life. I got one of those the other day, when I was feeling especially down and wishing this whole cancer thing wasn't a part of my life. The email is from the Mom of a terrific girl, Elise. I had Elise for the last two years in my grade 3/4 looping class. She is just a gift--smart, kind, funny, unique... the kind of student every teacher wishes they could have just once in their career. I hope that Elise's Mom, doesn't mind me posting her email on the blog:

I have an angel of a daughter fast asleep with you in her heart.
She had heard rumors of your health. In fact the other day I held my precious daughter in my arms as she sobbed.
I have to say...once have no idea what you did for my daughter or the magnitude of love she has for you. I'm not sure I have any idea either HA! But somewhere in third or fourth grade Elise made a life long connection to YOU!
She misses you and longs to see you.
UGH!!! I feel so stupid. You have cancer. A cancer that left and was never supposed to return. I just have a daughter who loves you to pieces and wants to hear from you.
Tonight, as we drove home from Open House, Elise said," I just wanted a hug from Mrs. Tufts."
Elsie went to bed holding you in white healing light and I am doing the same.
Be well!
Thanks! Oodles of blessings!

So for everyone who wonders why I teach--these rare gifts are the reason why--thanks Elise and Mom, you made my day--I'll fight on!

Posted by Nancy 10/6/08

Friday, August 19, 2011

Why Do We Blog?

Why do we blog?
As busy as we are, many of us choose to spend a good deal of time working on our blogs. I wonder why?

Is it our love of the written word? 
I know that's part of it for me...I love to write...and blogging allows me to write for a "real" audience. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are quick and fun but they just don't provide the same kind of opportunity for creative writing that blogging does.
"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say."  ~Sharon O'Brien

Is it our love of photography?
Since I've been blogging, my camera has become another means of self-expression. I never leave home...or work at home...without it nearby.

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."  - Elliot Erwitt

Is it the love of our homes?
We spend so much time creating a home that reflects our personalities and interests...

Collecting and displaying favorite vintage objects...

And painting, hammering, sewing and gluing together little patches of our lives...
That sometimes we just can't wait to share them with others.

Is blogging about a need to record our leave something of ourselves behind?
This is my diary from 6th 1959. My blog is like my e-diary...I like being able to look back through previous posts ...just as I did years ago with written journals. I especially love rereading the posts that my sister, Nancy, wrote, when we blogged together at It's Always's like hearing her voice again.

Remember diaries with keys?  An Internet diary has no key ... your sisters and brothers finally get to read your "diary"!

Do we blog to connect with others?
For me that is a big part of blogging.

It sounds counter intuitive that the busier we are in today's world, the more time many of us spend on the computer...blogging and commenting back and forth with one another. But maybe it is exactly because we are so busy that we enjoy our blog friendships so much.

We may not have the time our mothers had to visit each other's homes for coffee...
But, through our blogs, we can make new friends with similar interests...from all over the world...and keep in touch with them at a time that works best for us. For me that's often at 1:00 a.m., when the house is finally quiet, or very early in the morning before I leave for school. that I've 'fessed up. I'd love to hear from you.
Why do you blog?

Today I am linking up to:

link up every friday!

<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>

French Country Cottage

Show and Share Day

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating