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Saga Of The Traveling Table & Torn Cardboard 1 freebie  

Today I'm going to share a big, fun project with you, but first you need a little background to truly appreciate it...LOL or to even understand why anyone would do such a thing!

Just like a 12-step program I have come to realize that my "kitchen/office/Bible class storage and creation area" is out of control and has become unmanageable. Originally my office was in a tiny dark corner of our garage that was converted (tragically without heat or air) before we bought the house. Murky dismal, freezing and a sauna. I worked there 12 and more hours a day for YEARS until termites devoured the walls around me. The astonishingly expensive treatment filled the walls with poison foam, they said - to the top. I don't care how much they say it's safe, it's always 25 years later when everyone has cancer that it hits the news and lawsuits break out. I wasn't willing to sit in the corner of those two walls that many hours a day seven days a week. No. I try to be a good Christian wife, but I said NO!

We have a completely empty upstairs now with the girls long grown and gone, two bedrooms and a bath, but I can't do the stairs. Such a waste. Our only option was to move my office into our little kitchen. Yup! The nice thing is that I'm now in a lovely bay window overlooking our beautiful yard and what ever degree of heat or air we are splurging on I can take advantage of. Among the bad news is that the brilliant sun so messes with working on the computer, especially colors, that I have to block the largest of the three windows with cardboard all the time and all afternoon I have to do the same to the side window the sun is shining through. Looks really lovely - not! LOL This leaves me the stunning view of the side of our outbuilding 2' away and a section of fence! But still it's so much nicer than a dark corner with no windows, heat or air. And what about the heat and air in my kitchen/office...well, the vent is right under my desk and even the heat is icy, so Boo and I are wrapped in a comforter from the waist down through the cold months as it blows on us.

Another drawback is that whereas I had a round table in the bay window and all my cobalt blue and blood red glasses lined up on it in the window looking oh so lovely as the sun shown through them from inside and outside, now the glassware is crammed into a cubby hole and the table fills the middle of the room pressed against the build-it-yourself cabinet on one side. If you need to come to my desk or cabinets next to my desk, or Boo's food, water and bed next to me, you have to shove the table against the sink and cabinets on that side. If you want to get in those cabinets, use the sink or walk through to the converted garage (where Pastor Ken has his recording studio and the only way to get there), you have to shove the table against my desk on this side. And...no, not done yet with the saga of the traveling table, but to do any cooking you have to slide the table out to the side as it's against the cabinet where all my cooking utensils live and that blocks the stove and the entry into the kitchen up against the frig. Ahhhhhh....

No, not quite done yet laying the background for this project....So you know I gave you freebies and Bible lessons every single day for a year and a half, then a year ago in January, I had to slow down my gifts to you as I started teaching all the children at church in one class for all ages. I have shared that the church is very small and doesn't have funds to purchase curriculum and it's up to me to create everything myself. Ok, so the church building is an hour away each direction in another state, so storing supplies there doesn't work. It's all done here...right here in my little "kitchen/office/Bible class storage and creation area".

As I started buying supplies for lessons and activities for each lesson, I got a small cart with plastic drawers from Sam's for $27 and stored the left over supplies in it, nestled into the last surviving couple of inches of open wall in our bedroom. Over time, you guessed it, I way outgrew the little cart. My bedroom floor filled with a bag of construction paper, a bag of empty paper rolls, etc. The clutter is oppressive. I am someone who has a place for everything and everything in it's place!

Over this year of teaching class, my bedroom and kitchen ... yes it spread to the kitchen with the only surface I can work on (that round table). They have become UNMANAGEABLE and UNLIVABLE! There is nowhere to sit anything down. The counter is small and just a few dishes waiting to be washed (no dishwasher) fills it. The table is full of the next lesson I'm working on and the activities I'm making to go along with them, supplies, half done projects that are in progress for future lessons, new posters I've made for class, decorations I plan to change the classroom for spring/summer with, special treats for fellowship meals and such.

When Ken or I have a client, they have to come to the kitchen for my office or through the kitchen to his studio. We no longer have any semblance of professional appearance here and it's EMBARRASSINGLY messy. So...

With my success making the spice shelf submit I turned my attention to this challenge. No, I don't have time to deal with it, but it was no longer an option. I need at least part of my table empty to use! LOL I can't even find a space of table to take tutorial pictures on! I have to Photoshop the table empty around the project!!!!

Now on to the project! (Thanks for hanging in there!) So I surveyed my resources and goals.

  • My goal was to find a way to store things more effectively leaving most of the table available for work and LIFE!
  • Possible space to add storage...nill. Every inch in wall space is used except a few inches next to the window up higher. On the floor under the window I have metal storage for reams of paper that I bought from a closing store. Above them I had a few inches between the window and the make-it-yourself white cabinet I use as a pantry.
  • My resources...$0, of course. LOL
So...time for some creativity! I had to go to Sam's to print my newest class poster about the lineage of Abraham, the 12 Tribes of Israel and a map of Egypt and the Holy Land to help in learning all about the 10 commandments now that we've finished the 10 plagues and have been divinely delivered from slavery. While there I got to thinking, they always save the empty boxes and offer them for us to carry our purchases home in. I don't take them as it would just be more trash and I try not to throw much away - landfills. I started looking for sturdy usable shaped boxes about the width between the window and cabinet. Tada! Turned out that the Energizer battery boxes they had were more perfect than I could imagine. I made three trips to the two Sam's in our area to collect 11 empties.

They have a nice dark exterior and have very interesting parts loose inside. I cut them apart and saved them to use for a weaving project with the children with a future lesson.
In the picture below, the Energizer boxes at the bottom still have their fronts. In the middle you see a box where I cut the front out and the top boxes show where I have slid boxes into each of the new "shelves". To build the tower, I ran a bead of hot glue down the top edges of both sides of the box and pressed another box on top.
I had several empty envelope boxes from when I used to make custom cards. To my delight they slip perfectly into each opening! I knew I saved them for something! I slid them in label end first so they didn't show.
But the edges where I'd cut were very rough and didn't look good. Again, with $0 available for the project, I ended up running masking tape up each side and trimming then folding the tape to the inside and outside to cover the edges. Then I did the same for each "shelf" edge. Not gorgeous, but it does look better in my opinion.

At this point this is how it looks. The top shelf is two boxes high. One box was attached as usual then the last one was inverted and glued edge to edge instead of top edge to bottom of the next one. This gave me a taller area and a solid top to avoid dust. I didn't have enough envelope boxes for every shelf, but the shelves still work great for some items. The white shelves next to the new tower of shelves is another build-it-yourself item that had been discarded by others. I was so tired of reaching for something in it and having an avalanche. I used boxes in some of the shelves to solve that problem (I save all nice boxes for future re-use). On top of it all is my Fiskars trimmer and some larger items that don't fit on a shelf such as large paper shields from Hobby Lobby to be a class project when we study the Armor of God. On top the metal paper holders on the left is a bag of tissue paper I got at a store closing.
So, is this my first choice? Do I think it looks nice? No, but I am very satisfied that I was able to make do with what I had and also keep some things out of the land fill. I hate how crowded and cluttered my home has become because of this, but honored to be entrusted with sharing the Gospel of Christ with children again. My husband for some reason is very concerned that I label each box. I pretty well know where things are for now without it. Some boxes have termite damage on them and I am considering possibly designing something pretty to cover the fronts of the boxes with. Maybe the same for the large white boxes in the big shelves...just to make it look deliberate. Maybe. But for now...I have MOST of my table back!!!!! There is always my green plastic bag for my next week's lessons to deal with. And there's a small pile of plumbing things I bought to try to fix my bathroom sink and have not had the nerve to try yet...and a big bag of napkins because my husband loves napkins and they don't fit anywhere. But I can see table now! I can use most of the table now and I am so happy!

I challenge you to use found items to solve some of your home needs and I'll post any of them that you send me! Maybe we can start something fun AND good for our pocketbooks AND the environment! And it is satisfying. :)

It just seemed fitting after this long project made of re-purposed cardboard boxes - today's gift for you is this torn piece of cardboard! Enjoy!If you like it well enough to download, please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post as I have disabled 4shared comments. Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you!Download here for 24 hours, then available in my store. If you can't find it, e-mail me. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.The password is jesuschristislord.Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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