Thursday, December 21, 2017


I know it is close to Christmas, but at G's suggestion I sat in front of my sewing machine today.  I had intended to make several of these for family members, but time just got away from me...and the bug that has been making its way through my family finally cornered me!  I feel yucky!  G and I thought that maybe doing some sewing would take my mind off of how bad I feel.  It did, lol, until I realized that I had misread the instructions!  Ack, I do feel a bit loopy from the medication.  I made extra sure I was using good sewing safety since I'm out of it slightly, but I should have used extra READING safety, too!  Oh well, I finished it up anyway and used a bit of Liquid Stitch where things were not secured properly.  I haven't decided if I will give it to my aunt to try for a while, with a promise of a new (properly sewn) one after the holidays and this bug are over, or keep it to try in our house.  I may give it to her anyway.

I will admit that G's suggestion of sitting down to sew was a good one, however I think I will wait until my head is firmly attached to my body, LOL


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gift for Mommy and J...

My Dear Grandson wanted to make an ornament for his Mommy and J for Christmas.  I saw this simple ornament made from clothespins and thought it may be perfect.  This morning I showed him the video on how to make it and his huge smile told me it was a winner!  As per the instructions, I grabbed 8 clothespins from my bag and he happily began twisting them apart.  A few were a bit ornery and grandma helped yank them apart.  Then came the dangerous part!

While Grandma used the hot glue gun to arrange the pieces into the proper shape, K went through my ribbon drawer and picked out the perfect ribbon to hang the star from the tree.  He measured off a 14" piece of ribbon and after I made the cut I fashioned it into a loop and glued it in place.  There is a little more glue glopped onto the back than had been used in the video but the glue was just not holding well.  Does anyone know if glue sticks have a shelf life?  No worries, though, as I pulled the thin plastic from the inside of a pill bottle lid and wrote on it his name and the year with Sharpies.  When the ornament is finished the label will be glued onto the back.

Next comes the painting.  Of course I have absolutely NO acrylic craft paint in my supply cabinet!  What kind of crafter is without acrylic paint?  Once I drop K onto the school bus I will run to JoAnn's to pick up some paint and also some iridescent glitter.  Glitter wasn't part of the video, but he wants his star to shine!  He also wants something blue and shiny on the front!

While the paint may not cover every inch of the star, he had a BLAST painting.  While the paint was still wet we sprinkled on some super fine glitter.  I don't think I will ever get all of the glitter out of my sewing room rug, but that is what childhood is about, right?  A bit more glue glopped onto the heads of the upper portions of the clothespins and the "blue shiny button" stayed in place.  I just hope he can keep quiet until Christmas morning to give it to them!  He is SO excited!!!

Today he and I played chess.  It has been quite a while since we played and surprisingly he still remembered everything.  Now that he is really beginning to strategize it is even more fun.  We have a "standing date" for noon Monday through Friday before he goes off to school.  I will get his "little gray cells" all warmed up for his afternoon kindergarten.

Life is good!


Thursday, December 7, 2017


It has been almost a month since Dear Hubby and I returned from our two week vacation.  We stayed at our usual beach front resort in warmer climes and I feel emotionally rejuvenated and ready to make 2018 our most frugal, CALM year yet!

As part of my mounting frugality I have begun a "Money Stash" book.

In this book I track my "change stash", ie all quarters and dimes that I have saved.  If I have either $1 in quarters or $1 in dimes I drop them into a large jar and log them in my book, calculating the running total each time.  If I cannot make $1 in quarters or in dimes I put the coins in a cash box until I have enough to transfer to my jar.  Any other coinage is dropped into Dear Hubby's 5 gallon coin jar.  Our change is taken to the credit union, counted, and deposited frequently because it doesn't take many coins to weigh a whole lot!

I am also trying to stash "paper cash" for Dear Hubby's impending retirement.  With the state of employment in the U.S., I fear he could be forced into retirement before his intended date and we are NOWHERE near ready!  So, any cash I have left in my purse at the end of the month, dollar bills I receive as the result of a store transaction, and any "found money" (such as the $20 bill I found in the street while on vacation!) is placed in an envelope and logged into my book.  When the envelope stash hits a point where I am uncomfortable with it hanging around the house, it is immediately (and I mean IMMEDIATELY) transferred to a bank account.  I struggled too hard to have the fruits of my labor stolen in a home invasion!  An MP3 player and about $10 in change for tolls was recently stolen from Dear Hubby's our driveway!  I fear our once peaceful and safe neighborhood is headed downhill.

I have also continued the purge of our home.  After almost 29 years we have WAY too much "stuff" in here to live a calm, comfortable life.  Certain things have "gotta go"!  So I have been listing items on eBay to see if I can recoup at least a portion of the money we spent on the item.  Money from any  eBay sales is directly deposited into a Paypal account and logged in my book.  Anything not sold after a few listings is immediately donated.  For some reason sales have been down, but at least I can get a tax credit and someone else can benefit!

I am also trying to watch videos and do searches through MyPoints or Swagbucks.  When I have enough points I redeem them for gift cards that I can use for practical living expenditures and gifts.
For years now I have made purchases through MyPoints to help build my point tally.  Over the years I have experienced many occasions when MyPoints failed to issue earned points.  In order to keep a tighter reign on this issue I have begun a small notebook where I list the name of the company and the date I made the purchase through MyPoints.  It really is keeping my points going where they belong!  I can question missing points and provide proof much more quickly and will not lose out due to waiting too long to submit the query.  I have also begun purchasing through Ebates when the store is not MyPoints eligible or when I will get more "bang for my buck"with Ebates cash!  I track these purchases, too, though I have yet to experience a loss of credit through Ebates.

In addition to our finances, I am trying REALLY hard to address the stress in my life.  Stress is hard on any body, but especially on a body already compromised by various medical conditions.  I have begun to faithfully use my essential oil diffuser and my salt lamp.  When I began delving into oils, I set up a storage system to house these precious liquids.  However, accessing them is far from convenient and sometimes I was just too tired or just too sore to make the effort.  Bad me!!!

So, I pulled out a few of my favorite oils and placed them on a small table right next to my diffuser.  However, the oil could do major damage to the surface!

Five minutes in front of my sewing machine and I had a cute little mat to hold a few bottles.

I truthfully haven't accomplished much in the way of sewing since we got back, but I feel like I have established a solid foundation to move forward with a frugal, creative, healthier new year. 

What are your plans?