Lately I have been giving some thought to living with less. Don’t get me wrong, I love my things, I love collecting things and having nice things around me but, if I were to say, move to place where I could only take a third of what I have, could I do it? My house has a total of 1,600 square feet (including the basement). Could I downsize in order to live in 600 square feet or less?
This year, I’m going to attempt to start this process by taking baby steps towards recycling some of the things I love so that it serves a real purpose and purging some things that I have loved but can do without.
For example, I have a lovely vintage suitcase that belonged to my aunt Dotti. It usually sits on display somewhere in my home and that’s about all. Until now.
I've seen upcycled dog beds made out of luggage before, but most came with a hefty price tag or were DIY projects that were either too time consuming or resulted in taking apart the suitcase, which I didn’t want to do. So, I came up with a way to give my chihuahua Lily a new bed that required only a couple of hours and simple sewing skills.
[images: portrait of Lily by Judi Pudge, photos of Lily's bed by Lynda Felton]
First I gave the suitcase a good cleaning inside and out. Then, using some vintage bark cloth I had left over from a previous project, I made a pillow to fit the inside of the suitcase. My Covet Garden colleague Rhonda had given me a small sheepskin rug she had found at Value Village and it has now become Lily’s winter bed topper. And, because I was on a roll I also made Lily a new bark cloth blanket thus using up even more spare fabric I had lying around. I think you can see for yourself the result is a success.
• I started with 1,600 square feet
• Suitcase + fabric + sheepskin = 6 square feet
• Lily's dog bed = 2.5 square feet
New total = 1,594 square feet