Posts Tagged ‘frugal’
I love making handmade ornaments every year for family and friends (and for my tree too!) It’s a tradition that I started years ago thanks to my friend Heidi- I think that means I’ve done it 13 years in a row now! (Hi Heidi!)
This year, thanks to Pinterest I had some great ideas rolling around in my brain. Of course, when I tried to make my first idea it totally flopped. So back to Pinterest I went where I found this cute ornament and this cute ornament. I decided to meld the two ideas into my own creation. I’m allowed creative license, right? I loved how they came together, and I loved that I only had to buy the wooden balls for the heads, I had the felt and yarn on hand. Since I made 24 this year I needed them to be inexpensive and fun to put together. These were perfect. (It doesn’t hurt that since I’ve been pregnant 3 of the past 5 Christmases I seem to have babies on the brain either!)
Aren’t they so sweet? It made me happy to make an ornament this year that honored Jesus on His birthday.
Happy birthday, Jesus!
I saw this idea on Pinterest several months ago and I knew it was what I was going to do for teacher gifts this year.
Don’t those look delightful? Since I always make fudge I thought these would be perfect. I found a cute set of cookie cutters 75% off at Hob Lob and decided to make two flavors, Peppermint Fudge and Orange Almond Fudge for each teacher.
Here’s how mine turned out.
I learned a few lessons in the process that I’ll keep in mind for next year. I think I slightly overfilled the cookie cutters- next time I’ll leave a little more space on top. I was also worried that the fudge would dry out in the fridge overnight, so I used press n seal on top, but then I ended up with some smudges and texture from the press n seal on the “pretty” side. Oops. Next time I think I’ll put the foil in a tupperware or something for while it sets up in the fridge. I decided to leave the snowman and star plain while I decorated the tree and the snowflake with some crushed candy cane. Had the texture been smooth and pretty it would have been even better! In the picture above I have the star and snowman flipped over so you are seeing the bottom- sadly it’s the prettier side with the marks from the press n seal on the other side. Oh well- it’s still yummy!
I wrapped each cookie cutter in a baggie and paired it with a coordinating pot holder. Oh, and here’s a simple trick for little bags of treats- grab a fold top sandwich bag and use scissors to cut up the seam where the fold is. Then place your treat inside and tie off the top with some curling ribbon. It’s much less expensive than buying bags designed for gifting!
Hopefully Ms. Sherri and Ms. Connie will enjoy their treats!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
One of my favorite blogs is MoneySavingMom.com. Crystal offers tons of money saving tips, from shopping deals, to ways to earn extra income, to ways to budget and spend less. I have saved so much money by using her site this past year! Needless to say, when I heard she was coming out with a book I was excited. And when I found out I could get a copy of her book for free by writing a review for it on my blog I was even more excited!
The Money $aving Mom’s Budget is full of practical advice and helpful hints to help anyone start saving money. Her plan is simple and easy to understand. She provides detailed instructions on how to implement a budget, how to save money when shopping, how to simplify your life and how to switch to a cash only lifestyle. She makes it easy to start small and adds new steps only when you’re ready to move on to the next level- which means you won’t burn out after only a few months from being so overwhelmed. She also provides worksheets and appendices to get you started.
I found that this book is a nice complement to her blog. It takes a step back and starts with the basics to help you maximize the information she provides daily on MoneySavingMom.com. I highly recommend it for anyone who is ready to take control of their finances.
And guess what? I have one copy of her book to give away to one of you! Winning is easy. Just comment on this post and let me know that you’d like to win. This giveaway will be open until noon on December 23.
Legal disclaimerese- I was given this book to review by Crystal Paine at no cost to me. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!
I made 4 capes- one for each of my younger nephews and for my kids. Cutting them out took only a couple of minutes (literally less than 5 minutes), so I decided to embellish them with an emblem and each kid’s initial from the scraps. And of course that is when my sewing machine decided not to work. Oh yes, my brand new, 3 month old, I’ve hardly used it but I love it, new sewing machine. So after a frustrating few hours I decided to iron on the embellishments. (I plan to go back and sew everything in place as soon as my machine is repaired- under warranty, thankfully!)
Ready for the big reveal? I think they turned out so fun!
Here’s an up close look at the detail- I just freehanded everything, so they’re not perfect.
We celebrated an early Christmas yesterday with my brother’s family, so here are a few pictures of the kids with their capes. They were a hit!
Of course it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a picture of all four kids in their capes. Maybe someday… when they are all grown?
I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, but it’s hard to sum up what I’ve been doing instead. Hmmm… lets see. Raising a 3 year old and an 18 month old. Growing a human being (we just found out that it’s a boy!). Napping as often as possible. Hitting the fall consignment sales and garage sales for bargains. Making more denim purses (apparently I’m taking orders and selling them now!). Making more jewelry. Swapping out Kate’s 12 month wardrobe for her 18 month wardrobe (yes, she’s 19 months!) and finally hauling all of her 6 and 9 month stuff down to the basement. Swapping out my regular wardrobe for my maternity wardrobe. Hanging out with my parents for 2 weeks. Dealing with the stomach bug that worked it’s way through each member of our family. Dealing with the cough/cold that’s still working it’s way through each member of our family. Celebrating my birthday with week long festivities (lunch and pedicures with my sis in law, date night, Rockies/Giants game, family birthday party, party with girl friends). Setting up the new sewing machine I got for my birthday (hooray!). Watching the first 3 seasons of Bones on Netflix (I love this show, but sometimes there are serious plot flaws. Really? Addy? Not to mention it’s pretty gross). Grabbing a free dresser from the side of the road. Grabbing another free dresser from a family at church. Painting both dressers white. Buying 2 bookshelves for $2 each at a garage sale and settling them in the basement closet for more storage. Surfing the blogs and pinterest for inspiration. Experimenting with styling my cute new hair cut.
I don’t have pictures of everything that’s been going on, but here’s what I’ve got…
JT made a “bee costume” and ran around the house buzzing for days!
Silly Kate is reading a book upside down and through her legs!
Pink and red necklace, earrings and bracelet.
Blue and black set, I think it’s my favorite one that I’ve made!
Turquoise (teal? aqua?) The strands are separate so I can wear one or all three!
First purse I’ve tried with anything other than jeans- I like how it turned out!
So I made a second one that way!
I also added these little bows that I made to coordinate.
This bag is made out of toddler jeans- so cute and a great gift for his mom!
Fabric for 3 more bags.
Still looks good a week later!
New sewing machine- it has so many great stitches! I can’t wait to experiment!
It’s a boy!
This dresser will go in Kate’s new room when we get the guest room cleared out. We have crystal knobs that match her desk for it.
This dresser will go in the nursery. I picked it up from the side of the road on garbage day. It had at least 4 (some had more) holes in each drawer for different knob configurations over the years- and no two drawers had the same configuration! I had to fill a lot of holes.
Cute blue and white hardware we picked up at Hobby Lobby (or potty dobby as JT called it!)- the knobs will go on the tall dresser that’s already in the nursery (since I’m stealing the crystal ones for Kate) and the pulls will go on the new dresser. I got the knobs on clearance- hooray!
More storage in the basement for $4! This closet now houses all of my wrapping supplies, birthday and Christmas gifts (I love to buy early), our 2nd crib, and some craft supplies. We’re still in the process of clearing out the yellow room so Kate can move in. These empty shelves won’t stay empty for long!
The storage in the garage that I never showed you. It’s so nice to have all of this vertical storage and get everything off the garage floor! There are a few empty shelves behind the counter top (that STILL hasn’t been installed in the kid’s bathroom) for our Christmas decor- rather than hauling it up from the basement now only to move it back into the house after Thanksgiving we’re just waiting until we are ready to pull it out. Behind the drape we have some of our tools and chemicals (up high and locked!) that we don’t want curious hands to get into.
So that’s been my life lately. I’ve missed you! Thanks for checking in with me now and again.
Tis the season- for babies! Two of the ladies in our Families of Faith group are due the first week of July and we decided to celebrate their little ones by combining our monthly family lunch with a baby shower. I decided to go with the tried and true- I made each mom a diaper cake and 3 burp cloths.
One of the babies is a boy- I found sweet little owl flannel for one side and blue dots for the other side of his burp cloths.
The other baby’s gender will be a surprise. Joann’s didn’t have much selection of gender neutral snuggle flannel, but I was happy to find these two sophisticated prints- a brown and cream and a brown and seafoam green. (the colors aren’t coming out super well in the pictures, but I think you can get an idea in the second photo)
For the diaper cakes I found coordinating ribbon for each set-
I rolled up the burp cloths and tied them with some leftover ribbon-
I think everything turned out darling. Don’t you?
I made my second denim bag the other day for my girlfriend’s birthday. This time I found a cute cargo skirt at Goodwill and some fabulous fabric at Joanns. I added a garage sale belt and I love the combination! Since the skirt had a bottom hem I just sewed right along the bottom edge and then created a flat bottom where the hem is. This bag is much bigger than my first one- it’s more the size of a small tote- with lots of pockets.
Unfortunately my sewing machine was possessed by an evil spirit during the making of this bag. I don’t know what was going on, but the whole process took several times longer than it should have and I ended up hand stitching several areas so I could finish it and go to bed. Of course when I used my machine today it was working fine, so I don’t know what the problem was- although I’m glad it’s resolved itself!
Here’s my finished bag- didn’t it turn out great? If I were a better blogger I would have taken a picture of the bottom and of the back. But I’m not. Sorry!
Tuesday night I went grocery shopping. While I was checking out I noticed the lady next to me had a cute purse. I kept eyeballing it. Surreptitiously, since she didn’t look all that friendly and the man with her looked even less friendly. But glimpses out of the corner of my eye just weren’t gonna do it. I needed details. So I turned and asked her, “Did you make your purse?” And she lit up- “Yes I did!” ”Do you mind if I get a closer look?” I asked. ”I love it and would like to see how you did it.” She was happy to show off her creation- showing me how she lined it in such a way as to make it reversible and pointing out a few of it’s details.
I got home, unloaded the perishables and made a beeline up to my sewing room. So what if it was 9:30 on a work night… I had a purse to make!
I had a pair of jeans with a small rip (you can actually see it in the pictures up near one of the belt loops) that I sacrificed for the cause. I cut off the legs right at the inseam and sewed a line straight across the bottom (I did a straight stitch and then I did a zig zag that went over the edge to help prevent fraying). Then I rummaged through my fabric stash and came across a two pack of handkerchiefs I had purchased about 6 months ago at the dollar store. I held one up to check the size and realized I wouldn’t even have to trim it- I was able to just sew up the two sides and had the perfect fit for the lining. I folded the top of the lining in and sewed it on- I just decided to go with a top stitch to make it easy on myself (and it’s not like I’m selling it- my sewing is terrible, but it’s good enough for me!).
I had originally planned to use a belt for my strap, but since I had a second handkerchief in a coordinating color I decided to try that first. I cut it in half, rolled each piece up and tied them together. Then I just tied each of the ends onto a belt loop! (I also tried threading the strap through the belt loops thinking it would cinch the bag closed and I could grab the opposite sides for two shorter handles but I wasn’t as happy with that look.)
As I started playing with it I realized that I actually preferred the purse with the floral side out and the denim side in. It’s a little dressier that way and it puts the pockets on the inside. I’m still not thrilled with the way the bag gapes open. Right now I’m using a hair band around the button and the opposing belt loop, but I’m still rolling ideas around my brain to see if I can come up with something better.
For some finishing touches I sewed a piece of grosgrain ribbon over the label (St. John’s Bay doesn’t have the same appeal as a GAP logo might have had) and pinned on a denim flower I made several months ago.
An hour and $1 later I’m pretty pleased with my new purse… hooray!
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