I don’t know about you, but I have gone through many phases in my life. When I was in my early twenties I was busy raising my daughter…by myself. And at that time I barely made enough to pay the bills and put food on the table because daycare pretty much wanted an arm and a leg, know what I mean? If I start to think about how much I paid in daycare I would probably get sick.
So when I was first starting off as a mom I didn’t have the money to buy myself anything, let alone decor, but that didn’t change the fact that I WANTED those things. I wanted to provide a beautiful home for my daughter and I always worried about how the people I invited into my apartment would perceive the “decor” I did manage to scrape up. I remember our first apartment and by the time I was able to achieve that I had my very first real job at a mortgage company “stacking papers”. It was basically a process where I took a homebuyers file (that was YES real actual papers) and I would sort their documents in a standard order. This was all during the REFI BOOM back in the early 00’s before Subprime hit us hard. But I digress. My daughter was two years old so before my first apartment I lived with my mom. That wasn’t easy but I won’t go there.
When I moved into that first apartment, regardless that I had NO couch, hardly any kitchen utensils, no food in the fridge, it was still the best feeling in the world. Thinking back to the furniture I somehow managed to put into that apartment I honestly cannot remember how I got it, because I can tell you I didn’t buy it! I had two beds, one for me and one for my daughter and they were hand me downs. From who…I don’t know. Scary.
But when you are a single mother living check to check…that didn’t matter.
I had a TV in the living room that sat on the floor, again no clue where I got the TV from and only because I have a horrible memory. I do remember spending a weekend here and there with a friend who helped me “decorate” this was my PRE CheapCraftyGirl days. Ironically enough you would think that is how I became Crafty from a point in my life where I didn’t have money to spend so I had to find a way to be frugal. Nope. I had expensive taste then. I was in my twenties and I simply wanted my apartment to look like it came out of a home and garden’s magazine and I thought to achieve that look the only way to do it was to purchase already made decor from expensive shops like Pottery Barn and Pier 1 Imports. It’s funny how things change as you get older.
I didn’t start to get Crafty until I had a career change. I was so tired of riding the Mortgage wave, it was getting to a point where I was always afraid. Every time the market was great it was easy to be hired on and every time the market went down I was always one of the people that were let go or laid off even though I worked harder than anyone and I had an acute attention to detail AND I did my job in less than HALF the time it took others. I never quite understood what I was doing wrong. I loved how when Subprime happened the president helped the people who owned homes but he didn’t help the people who lived in apartments and were just as affected by the subprime issue. I won’t go there either. All the while I’m a single mom paying taxes, paying for others to have welfare when I needed that money, the government did nothing to collect child support for me, paying for Social Security that I might not even see one day, and not to mention that when tax season rolled around I made “too much” to qualify for earned income credit. I was $100 shy. Wow. And during those days there was no asking for “Go Fund Me” account. I spent a lot of time not feeding myself so I could feed my daughter.
When my career changed for the better, which is a story for another time, I was also at a point in my life where I had experienced what it was like to make friends at work and then realize I couldn’t trust them. I had a lot of bad experiences with co-workers turned best friends turn back stabbers and learned so early on that everyone is just always watching out for themselves. I was so honest and innocent and pure and that hasn’t changed about me. Because of that, because of who I am, I stopped trusting people and till this day I’m still very much guarded in that area. I show up to work, I smile, I treat people with respect, I do my job and I leave. That’s it. I don’t get personal, I don’t get close. And because I was a young mom, and a single one at that, I didn’t “fit in” with the moms of the daughters that were my daughters age. Those mother’s were at least 8-10 years older than I was. So there I was…in my upgraded apartment, on the first floor, with an attached garage (I felt I had made it) and I was lonely. I had no friends, I had no relationship. So I turned to crafting and found my best friend, my soul mate, and that…my friends…is how CheapCraftyGirl was born.