Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of a Kind!

I had to laugh at myself this morning when I noticed that I have a matching Bible cover and microwave heating pad. I've got to be the only person in the world with such a set, especially since the fabric has cows, chickens and tractors on it! I made them at different times without thinking about them matching. It would be cozy to heat up the pad and put my feet on it while reading the Bible on a cold early morning. Add a nice cup of hot coffee flavored with pumpkin spice creamer, and that just completes the picture. Of course the coffee cup is a Christmas themed one that hasn't been put away yet!

My blogger friend, Penny, recently made a beautiful Bible cover here. She made it extra nice with gorgeous quilted fabric. I would love to get her instructions and make one just like it! (hint, hint Penny:o)

I made mine a year or so ago. Its just a book cover, but here is where I got the instructions for it if you wanted to make one for your Bible or other book.

Don't forget to leave a comment on my previous post to be entered into the drawing for the pocketbook set!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Homemaking Dreams Give Away

This is a pocketbook, matching mini wallet and tissue holder I worked on yesterday. The fabric is red with little tiny white hearts and black trim. It is lined with back and white dotted fabric. The inside has 3 deep pockets on one side and 1 smaller pocket on the other side.

In celebration of the upcoming St. Valentine's Day holiday and the official opening of my Etsy Shop this Friday, February 1st I would like to have a drawing for this set.

Everyone who leaves me a comment on this post will have their name put in a hat for the drawing. I will draw the name Friday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Frugal Friday - Recession Ready

It seems that every time I turn on the news these days there are warnings of recession in our country. I did a quick search to see what one should do to prepare for a recession and these are the 4 major things:

1. Build an emergency savings account. This should contain funds equivalent to 3 to 6 months income or living expenses.

2. Pay off debt.

3. Have a disaster plan.

4. Have an alternate income source.

I don't think this list is anything new. We know that we should do these things anyway. We just need to be reminded to consistently work toward these goals.

The good news is that if you have been participating in and/or reading Frugal Friday tips you are already well on the way to being prepared for a recession and have some skills under your belt if things get bad at your house.

The other good news is that if we have a recession, it is predicted to be a light one and short lived. We'll see!

The one thing I didn't find when doing my "recession ready search", Do your best to be prepared, pray and Trust God to take care of the rest.

For more Frugal Friday Tips to to Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Electric Bill

Our electric bill came for January and "YIKES" went up $50.00. Now I know its supposed to go up during high use months like January and July, but this bill was based on December, and we had a mild December.

So in any event, I immediately went into action to try to slow this down a little. I haven't been hanging clothes because its winter time, but we having been having some nice days and I do have a nice laundry rack. So I am making more of an effort in this area. I found a good spot to put the laundry rack that is over a heating vent and out of the way. I'll be prepared to hang out clothes when the weather cooperates and especially since Winter's days are numbered and Spring is on the way.

Our dryer is really old and may not be too energy efficient anyway. It's probably a good idea to avoid using it as much as possible to prolong its life.

A couple of months ago we got rid of a 1970ish refrigerator that was in the garage and served as a beverage center and over flow refrigerator. I felt the old fridge was adding quite a bit to the monthly bill.

Our hot water heater had a bad thermostat which was making the water boiling hot and that has now been repaired. This may have been contributing to the high bill as well.

I need to go around the house and check for ways to cut the bill even further. I know a couple of places that could use some weather stripping and/or draft dodgers!

Sounds like another simple sewing project to me! See this link for how to make simple draft dodgers

I am thinking of using rice in these because I have a huge bag of rice that I use to make microwave heating pads.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two More Tissue Cover Tutorials

These are really cute too!!! I like the way these are turned using 2 pieces of coordinating fabric with no interfacing. You can use your creativity and come up with many different ones.

Tissue Tutorial #2

Tissue Tutorial #3

Simple Sewing Projects Instructions

I posted Monday about some simple sewing projects I was making which included a mini wallet and tissue holder. Angie requested instructions for making them as she would like to make them for her daughters.

This is the site for the tissue holders. Aren't they cute? There are lots of really cute examples.

This is the site with the instructions for the mini wallets. There are so many good craft ideas out there.

Thanks Angie!

Store Brands Work For Me

There are certain store brands that are always the best buy unless you have a great sale combined with coupons. I have experimented with different ones to see if they are any good. I'm not brand loyal at all and there are some items that the store brand works just as good. These are some of the ones I regularly use:

Soap: I'm not talking about fancy, smell good, moisturizing soap. Just plain old fashioned deodorant bath soap. We like Dial Gold. Usually the store brand of this is just as good. Recently Walgreens had their store brand of soap on sale 5 for $1.00. I haven't used their brand before and they were sold out of the gold. All they had left when I got there were the blue ones that "compare to Coast". I thought for 20 cents a bar, what did I have to lose? So I bought 5 bars for $1.00 and will definitely be buying it again. It works just as well as any I've used before. In fact, I like it alot.

Tea bags: The men at my house drink about a gallon of sweet tea a day. I have found that the Dollar General store brand of tagless tea bags work well. There are 100 bags in a box for $1.00. I like not having to remove the tags too. I'm sure that someone who drinks hot tea would not want this tea, but for the amount of tea that is consumed at my house this works for me.

Fabric Softener Sheets: The ones sold at Dollar Tree are the best deal. They have a box of 55 sheets for $1.00. I save even more by cutting them in half.

Rice: Walmart's brand of "converted rice" is good. It has to be the "Converted", not the cheapo one. The Walmart brand is much, much cheaper than the name brand converted rice and cooks well. Its a little over $1.00 a bag.

Its a good idea to experiment with some store brands for items that you're not totally brand loyal on. There are some store brands that aren't good at all and you might not like the ones I've listed, but purchasing these work for me!

Please share with me the store brands that you like and regularly use!

For more "Works For Me" ideas to to Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Simple Sewing Projects

These are some of the things I worked on this weekend. The tissue holders and the mini wallet match pocketbooks I have made. I plan to make some of the tissue holders in red for a small Valentine's Day gift for friends. I can make use of some of the vintage trims I was given. I'm also thinking of including a tissue holder as a surprise in eBay packages.

I covered the buttons with fabric and will sew them on the pocketbooks made from the same fabric for the top closure. I made one pocketbook with a magnetic snap closure which turned out well.

Well, I'm off to play grandma today!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter Dreams

What a wonderful, perfect weekend!

I have a three day weekend off and the weather has been perfect for cocooning, cooking, and sewing and I have partaken of all three!

Yesterday, my hubby bought the groceries again so I could just stay home. I sewed nearly all day, with just a few household chores mixed in.

For lunch we had clam chowder. I make mine by mixing 2 cans of Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder, a large can of clams, drained, a large can of whole new potatoes, drained and cut into quarters, and milk. I simmered it about an hour and we ate hot soup mugs of this with saltine crackers off and on all afternoon. I also made a big pot of spaghetti which my son had for supper after he got home from work.

NC State finally won a basketball game!

It rained all morning and changed over to big white fluffy snow flakes by mid afternoon. We had just a little accumulation and the roads were not affected too much.

On the left hand side is what it looks like out my front door this morning. The flag says "Snowed INN". I would love to be snowed in for 2 or 3 days.

For lunch today we are having pot roast with potatoes, onions and carrots cooked together, corn casserole, baked sweet potatoes, field peas and biscuits. I took out some frozen chocolate chip cookie dough to have a couple dozen hot homemade cookies this afternoon. We have a fire going in the wood insert in our fireplace, which we only use occasionally. A finishing touch to this cozy winter day are "homemade apple pie" candles.

My sewing projects this weekend include more pocketbooks with matching pocket Kleenex holders and mini wallets. I am in need of a new sewing machine needle, but will have to make do, because no way am I going to Walmart today!

My Daughter, son-in-law and grand baby are coming for lunch and I am going to spend tomorrow at their house to babysit and give them some time alone together. I understand that sweet grand baby likes a lot of attention and I'm more than happy to give it to him!

My eBay auctions are going well. One exercise DVD is up to $7.00 and one is up to $5.50. The stainless steel mixing bowls are up to $5.59. I have plenty of watchers but I don't think that means there'll be big bids at the last minute, but maybe.

Hope your weekend is a cozy and nice as mine is!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ebay Secrets?

I have been steadily educating myself on how to make money on line and am having some success!

Several other bloggers advised me to list the auctions so that they would end late Sunday night. I was such a new Ebayer, I hadn't even thought about this. So now I start my auctions on Tuesday nights for 5 days or Thursday nights for 3 days. I might even consider a 10 day auction started on Thursday night which will let the item run for 2 weekends. This would only be worth it if the item is apt to earn a large amount of bid.

Some bloggers also directed me to some good internet sites with good Ebay information. Thanks for everyone's help!

The reason for this Frugal Friday post is to share these two library books I am reading. I saw an infomercial on TV for a product that was supposed to help a person earn thousands on Ebay. I watched it and was a little tempted to buy it.

I'm sure lots and lots of people do order it. But, why pay for something like that when there is so much free information out there? A quick search of Amazon shows that there are lots of books that tell you how to use EBay. There is lots of information on line as well.

I have also learned that timing is important. Right now since it is January and lots of people are trying to get in shape by exercising, I am selling the exercise dvds that I'm not using or don't like. I am having a lot of in interest in these. I actually sold one for $11.00, plus shipping. I haven't used this dvd in about 2 years and wasn't apt to again, so WOW, I'm hooked!!!

For more Frugal Friday tips, please visit Crystal's blog at Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Frugal Husband Strikes Again!

Wednesdays are exciting at our house. "Why?", you might ask. Well on Wednesdays the new Food Lion sales paper for the week comes in the morning paper! What could be more exciting than that?

Our paper lady is not an early bird, like we are, so we don't get to see the paper most days until we get home from work that night. When I got home last night my hubby had beat me home by a few minutes and had already scanned the Food Lion sales paper and had found the best buys and those that he could combine coupons with. There are some good deals this week! Here are some of them:

1. Scott or Cottonelle Bath Tissue, 12 rolls, $4.99. We have 2 $1.00 coupons for the Scott Tissue and so we will buy two 12 packs of this. So that will be 24 rolls for $7.98 or 33 cents a roll. That's really a good deal. Usually the drug store chains have Scott tissue on sale for $6.49 for 12 rolls, so $4.99, plus a $1.00 coupon is an exceptional deal.

I really recommend Scott Tissue, especially now that they make it in "extra soft". The Scott tissue lasts WAY longer than any other brand I have used. When I do buy another brand I feel cheated because the roll must be replaced so often. The Scott tissue is so much better in my opinion.

Also if you are really short of money and HAVE to have some toilet paper, you can buy just one roll. Its the brand you can buy one roll of at a time.

We also have a Cottonelle coupon, but I'm not sure if we will buy that also. Maybe.

2. Peter Pan peanut butter is on sale for buy one get one free. So that's 2 for $2.19. We have 2 $1.00 coupons so that would make the price 2 for 19 cents or 9 1/2 cents per jar. We can always use peanut butter, but it would make a great item to donate to our church food pantry too.

3. Ragu pasta sauce is on sale for 99 cents per jar. That's a good deal. I don't have any coupons but will definitely stock up on these. I use lots of pasta sauce in a jar to make lasagna and spaghetti. With a little browned hamburger it makes a delicious and "quick" meal.

4. We also have $1.00 coupons on any 4 or more Scott paper towels. The Scott paper towels are on sale, an 8 pack for $3.99. I don't know if the $1.00 coupon will work on this, but it should. I'm not sure if it has to be 4 or more individual rolls. We'll see.

5. I like to have some frozen pizzas in the freezer for those times we need a quick and easy weeknight meal. Tombstone pizzas are on sale buy one get one free. So we'll probably stock up on a few of those as well.

6. Value packs of split chicken breasts are on sale for 50% off. I'll have to check the store to see what the 100% price is before making a decision as to whether or not this is a good deal. I would like to stock up on these if they are a good deal.

7. Quaker instant oatmeal is on sale for $1.99 per box. I had a 70 cent coupon on this that I already used, but if you have that coupon use it now! I have been eating a lot of oatmeal lately.

You might want to try the Dollar General "Clover Valley" brand oatmeal packs. They are $1.00 per box all the time and are pretty good. Just be sure to use milk instead of water to make these instant oatmeal packs. They are so much better that way. I don't like them made with just water. Also if you have any instant dry milk you could put a tablespoon or so (to your taste) with the water and that's pretty good. Its a good way to improve the taste and the nutrition of the oatmeal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sewing Machine Stories


One of my favorite blogger friends, Penny, posted yesterday about getting out her sewing machine after it had been in storage for a long time and making a project. Click here for a picture of her machine. Penny's machine was a gift to her from her husband the first Christmas she was married. I'm sure she has memories of sewing on that machine for her children and while the children were playing or sleeping nearby. She can pull out quilts and other projects that bring back memories.

It got me to thinking about the stories and memories associated with sewing machines.

One recent story involves my daughter. Her grandmother died in a car accident in the year 2000. Her belongings had been sitting in her house until recently when the house was being cleaned out. My daughter was given her grandmother's Kenmore sewing machine. She was very excited about it, even though she hasn't sewn very much. Just the fact that the machine belonged to her grandmother was special to her and she had some curtains she wanted to hem that were too long for the windows in her new house.

No one knew if the machine would even work as it had been stored in an old house all these years. She took the machine, which is mounted in a cabinet, home "as is". When she opened it up the machine was still threaded from the last time her grandmother sewed! It was almost like her grandmother was there helping her, because she didn't really know how to thread the machine or anything.

I would love to help my daughter learn how to operate this machine and work on some projects with her. She would like to make some curtains which would be a great beginner's project. I plan to spend my next day off (Martin Luther King's Day) with her and so maybe this is something we can pursue.

I own my grandmother's old sewing machine too. It is an old treadle sewing machine. It would need extensive work to be operational. The cabinet it is in is in very bad condition and the machine is rusty. This machine is very, very old. My guess would be it was from the 20s or 30s. Some day I would like to have the machine and its cabinet refurbished. It is stored in my garage right now, but would make a beautiful piece of furniture if it was redone. When the machine is closed up there is a wooden panel that goes across the front with beautiful wood carvings in it.

My current sewing machine is a lot like Penny's, just a little older. It's a Singer Fashion Mate that originally was used in a high school home economics class. The machines were all sold and my sister in law was a teacher who was able to get it for me. I think the first thing I sewed on it was a baby quilt, bumper pads for a cradle, and cradle sheets for my daughter, before she was born. I also made a little pink seer sucker outfit she wore to her first birthday party.

I'm sure if my machine could talk it could tell lots of stories of its days in the high school class room. The cabinet it is in has a name carved on it, "Norwood". Don't know who Norwood is or was, but I bet he'd find it funny that his name is on a sewing machine cabinet in my house after all these years.

Do you have any sewing machine stories or memories?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Do you enjoy being in your kitchen? Or, do you dread going in there at all because it just means more drudgery?

Just think how much more you would enjoy cooking for your family if your kitchen was a place you love to be!

Emilie Barnes is one of my favorite authors and the first book of hers that I read is called "Welcome Home". My tips for today were inspired by the section in this book about the kitchen called, "A Place You Love to Be."

Your kitchen doesn't have to be the perfect kitchen. Even the smallest kitchen can be efficient, organized and inviting.

Do you have special memories that took place in the kitchen? I think most people do. I remember big family Sunday dinners at my Mama's and Grandparents' houses. I remember birthday cakes that were not that pretty, but tasted great and were made with love. I remember my daughter, who was very young, saying, "I HATE MEAF LOAF". I remember my son saying he wanted more "Maize" (mayonnaise). My husband remembers his daughter yelling for more "grice" (rice). I'll never eat any spaghetti as long as I live as good as My Mama's. And my children say the same thing about mine. Who could forget those spaghetti covered toddlers' faces?

Spend a little time organizing and planning in your kitchen. You don't have to spend any money or little at all to make it an inviting, pleasant and easy to work in place! You can set up a "baking center" or "beverage center" (coffee, etc.)

Add small touches that will help make your kitchen a place you love to be. Examples: 1. Light a small candle, 2. change your kitchen decor to go with the seasons, 3. keep counters free of clutter, 4. display foods in baskets or jars, 5. new, pretty dishtowels are an inexpensive way to brighten up the kitchen, 6. Place a small picture of loved ones or other item you love near your kitchen sink.

Your kitchen should be a welcoming place for your family and you. Its a place where we show our love through the foods we prepare for them. Its often the place everyone wants to gather. Its a place to spend time with our children and grandchildren teaching them to cook.

I think that if our kitchen is a place we love to be, that love will be passed on to our family and friends. Its not just another pot of spaghetti, its a pot filled with love and memories!

This is a stained glass sun catcher my husband bought me this past November. It hangs in my kitchen window. Every time I work at the kitchen sink I see it and remember the day he bought it for me. Its just one of the many things in my kitchen that I love and that bring back memories for me.

For more kitchen tips, please visit Tammy's Recipes.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend Update

We are having a quiet Sunday. The weather is cool and cloudy here after another week of above normal temperatures. Its so nice to be able to stay inside and relax. I've already had a power nap!

Yesterday was spent doing household chores and sewing. I finished a pocketbook I was working on all week and completed another one. We ate mugs of chili all afternoon while watching our team lose badly to our hated rival.

Today after church we had Crock Pot Roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fluff, garden peas and crescent rolls. This time I put a topping on the sweet potato dish of brown sugar and pecans as well as marshmallows. It was too sweet, but still good.

This is a picture of the amazing growth of my Paper Whites. My husband bought me this kit for Christmas and I planted them less than two weeks ago. Can they be planted outside after they bloom? I don't know.

I have been watching my E Bay listings with anticpation. I have 4 auctions that end tonight around 9:00. I have a 99 cent bid, a $3.50 bid and a $7.50 bid. These items also have several "watchers". One item has no bids or watchers, but I'm still holding out hope. I'm already coming up with my items to sell this week. I think I'll try to list items on Tuesday nights for 5 days which means the auctions end on Sunday night, as I was advised by more seasoned E-Bayers. When yard sale season starts up in full force I hope to find items to resell on EBay.

Ideas for items to sell this week are 2 stainless steel mixing bowls I've had since 1976 that came with an electric mixer. The mixer is long gone, but the bowls are good and I haven't used them in years and years. I checked E-Bay and they sell pretty good. Also I have a couple of more exercise DVDs and I think I'll try to sell a "grab bag" of 2 1/2 inch wide quilting fabric strips. I enjoy buying fabric scraps on E-Bay, so maybe someone would want some of mine.... Maybe.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Frugal Friday


ONE: My husband has done the grocery shopping at my house for the last two weeks and even offered to work on the coupon clipping, purging and organizing last weekend. He likes for the coupons to be clipped very neatly. I was busy sewing and was happy to let him take over this chore, even though its a chore I usually enjoy. I can't hog all the fun...

I gave him all the coupon inserts and my coupon organizer and he threw out all the expired coupons, clipped the new ones and this is how I found him:

He was making his grocery list based sales prices combined with coupons! He spread out all the new coupons in like piles on the kitchen table and opened up the Food Lion sales paper for the week in order to figure out the best deals. I think this is a pretty good idea!

He put together a "care package" of soups and cereals for my daughter and son-in-law and also some items for me to donate to my church's food pantry. In addition he stocked us up on several items. I think I'll name him the "COUPON KING"! Thanks Honey for the help! I really appreciate it!

You can go to "The Frugal Husband, Part One" if you missed it.

TWO: Crystal at Biblical Womanhood asked for ways we saved money last year and here are some of mine:

1. We stopped eating out except on rare occasions. This has saved us anywhere from $20.00 to $50.00 per week, depending on how expensive the restaurant(s) would have been.

2. We cut our Christmas budget in half.

3. We regularly clipped coupons and combined these with sales and rebates at CVS, Walgreens and Food Lion.

4. We plan our meals based on what is on sale that week as well as what is in the pantry and freezer.

5. I did not make special trips into town on the weekend due to the price of gas. This also saved money just because no money can be spent in town if you stay home! LOL.

6. I have been educating myself about online sales such as EBay and Amazon and have been slowly achieving success in that area.

For more Frugal Friday tips go to Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dave the Dog

This is Dave, our dog, hitting the books!!! The notebook his head is on contains hubby's business bank statements, check stubs, etc. I was supposed to be working on this as a big deadline approaches, but sewing, blogging and ebaying are so much more fun... At his back end is the howling wolves quilt I gave to him for a doggie bed. I made the mistake of trying to make him lay on it and now he despises it! I put it in his favorite sleeping spot and he avoids it as much as he can. He would rather lie on the notebook than the quilt.

Input requested: Dave is really old now and has always been a house dog. He has always been perfectly house trained. For about a month he has been having a lot of accidents. As in puddles on the floor. We take him out as much as we can, but it is inevitable that he will have to go for a few hours during the work day without going outside. Its sad for animals to get old. I know he can't help it. He is also almost completely deaf. I'm thinking I need to put him in the laundry room during the day and at night so at least the floor would be easy to clean up. What should I do? He could live for years like this.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A slice of my life

What's going on in your day to day life?

Here's what's going on in mine.

1. I finally sold an item on EBay! The final selling price was $3.75 plus shipping. A small success is better than none at all! I made money on the item, since it was purchased at a clearance sale for 50 cents.

A couple of comments on my Frugal Friday post of 1-4-08 suggested listing my items so that the sale ended on a Sunday or Monday Night. So last night I listed 3 more items for 5 days which would make the sale end Sunday night. Again I started the bids out low and this morning I already had one beginning bid on an item I had previously listed in November with no bids. I feel that between now and Sunday night there will be more bids. Hope so anyway! This item was purchased at a book sale for $1.00. The other 2 items are exercise DVDs. January is the time to sell those I would think!

I sold another book on Amazon.com. Patience is the key in this.

I decided to transfer all Amazon money into a savings account that is linked to my checking account. All money made on EBay is going to remain in my PayPal account for the time being. This will keep my on line sales money separate to be used for a specific purpose, yet to be determined. The amounts are small, but I think will add up quickly.

2. I lost weight without really trying! I've been avoiding getting on the scales for a few months because obviously I had gained some weight. I had to buy some pants in a bigger size in order to have something to wear to work during the last year.

During December I had a bad cold, cough, etc. and wasn't all that hungry and on January 1st I weighed myself. I weighed about 5 pounds less than the last time I weighed, many months ago. This motivated me to go to the library to get some weight loss books. I checked out the FIBER 35 DIET. (see the Amazon thingie on the sidebar) This diet stresses eating 35 grams of fiber a day as well as cutting back some on calories and exercising.

So I made an effort to incorporate more fiber into my diet. Now mind you I didn't eat that much fiber before. Now I am eating oatmeal, apples, beans, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, etc. I don't think I am hitting the 35 gram mark, but am eating much, much more. This has also helped my digestive health tremendously and after some intestinal surgery 2 1/2 years ago, believe me this is good!

Yesterday I wore a pair of the bigger size pants and they were baggy, so I got on the scale this morning and I had lost another 5 pounds! I am amazed. I have walked on the treadmill a little. 10 or 15 minutes a day maybe 3 days a week, but not really enough to make that much difference. I also walked on my lunch break yesterday for about 25 minutes since a 65 degree day in January doesn't come along every day usually!

I like Total raisin bran cereal and some times will eat it for supper. One night last week we had pizza and I ate one slice of pizza and 2 small bowls of the raisin bran cereal. This way I didn't feel deprived. I am making myself eat a small breakfast even though I am not really hungry until about 10:00 A.M. I have some milk in the fridge at the office and some instant oatmeal packages. I can make myself a pack of oatmeal when I first get to work to eat while getting started on the work day. I also love yellow apples. I have been eating one about 11:00 A.M. and this takes the edge of my hunger at lunch. Then lots of times I will get chili from Wendy's which has beans in it. A large chili is $1.99 and is very filling. One afternoon snack I have is a small bowl of dry honey nut cheerios. Last night we had spaghetti and salad for supper. I made myself some whole wheat blend spaghetti and have some left over for today.

I'd like to lose 5 more pounds and if they come off as easily as the first 10, wow!

The Fiber 35 diet is also on line and has lots of information at no cost.

3. I ran into one of my best friends from high school at the post office yesterday and wished her a happy birthday this weekend. I happen to know how old she will be since I will be the same age in February! If I tell you we were the graduating class in the bicentennial year you can figure out our ages..... LOL.

I would like to go to the supply closet at work just one more time in my life and actually know what I went there for. I did that twice yesterday. I needed a certain supply and when I got there, I didn't know what I went for. I stood there for a few minutes trying to remember. I refuse to go back to my desk to figure it out! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

4. This struck me funny yesterday: We have a new Mexican restaurant in the small town where I work. Its located within walking distance of KFC. I was at the bank located between the two. You guessed it, the workers walked over to the KFC and bought a BUCKET of chicken and other stuff and carried it back to the restaurant. Now, are they going to resell it, or do you think they are tired of Mexican food! Too Funny!

5. I need to do a series on post office sightings because every time I go to the post office I see such interesting things. People are just interesting. Last week I saw an older lady who evidently didn't have any legs getting around by using her hands. She was in line with everybody else. She wore heavy-duty men's work gloves on her hands to protect them from the ground and cold. Maybe she couldn't afford a wheel chair or maybe she plain old likes to get around on her own power. I wish I could help her, but what do you do. I smiled at her, but didn't want to stare so I'm not sure what her disability was. I admire her for going on about her business and making the best of her situation. I need to never complain about waiting in line at the post office, at least I can walk around easily!

6. My entire family slept through a neighbor down the road's home burning down. We were told that several fire trucks, ambulances, etc. came by with screaming sirens and we didn't even turn over. Didn't even know about it until a fireman apologized to my husband for waking us up and my husband said, "What are you talking about". No one was hurt, but the home is gone.

7. I am diligently sewing more tote bags. A few minutes in the morning and few minutes at night. Slowly I will get some things done. My job and housework really get in the way of my sewing!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

My tip for this week is to really make use of your timer.

I have a fairly old stove (1984), but it still works ok, except the oven heats hotter than the temperature you set it at. It has a timer on it that Buzzes very annoyingly (is that a word?) until you come and turn it off. I remember the days when I would forget to turn off tea that was simmering or burn biscuits that had stayed in the oven 5 minutes too long.

For years now I have set the timer for almost every thing I cook, even if its for 2 minutes. Why... because I will forget it every time if I don't stand right there and look at it. I am always multi-tasking, especially when cooking a meal and this helps me to get it all done at the same time, well almost.

Its also a safety measure. If I am cooking while cleaning the house or sewing, this insures that I won't forget it. Also I can leave something cooking for my husband to finish and he knows that when the buzzer goes off he is to take action. I know that the buzzer will keep him from forgetting to take something out of the oven or off the stove.

There are also many other uses for the timer. I use it to time myself when I want to spend 30 minutes cleaning and then 30 minutes doing something fun like sewing. I have used it to try to do a "Flylady Home Blessing Hour". You know, spend 15 minutes doing 4 different things, or ten minutes doing 6 different things and when the hour is up you stop!!!

My 20 year old son can tell you how I used the timer for his time outs when he was younger. 1 minute for each year of his age. He broke the portable timer I had, but the stove timer survived those years!!! LOL

For more Kitchen Tips go to Tammy's Recipes!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Saturday Sewing

Another great day spent at home is coming to a close and I wanted to share with you what I accomplished.

Up early... you know that by now! There's nothing better than getting up at 4:00 A.M. I didn't quite get up that early today... ratz

Started laundry as soon as my feet hit the floor. Gathered up hubby's and my laundry and brought downstairs with me.

I decided that I really wanted to finish my daughter's new pocketbook today so I could give it to her tomorrow when she and her hubby come for Sunday dinner. However, I had SO many other things that needed to be done. So I decided to sew 30 minutes and do "work" stuff 30 minutes. I kind of followed this schedule all day. 30 minutes of drawing quilt lines on the panels, 30 minutes of cooking lunch; 30 minutes of sewing the quilt lines on the panels, 30 minutes of vacuuming, 30 minutes of quilting the lines on the panels, 30 minutes of mopping the kitchen..... Hubby bought groceries for me from a list I made, so I didn't have to leave the house. I love not leaving the house.

By 2 or 3 o'clock, I had morphed into ONLY sewing. I tend to go kind of into a zombie state when trying to finish something and can't rest, eat or do anything else until its done and ITS DONE!!!!!

Here are some pictures of the progress and the end product!

The 2 pocketbooks I made recently had a 2 inch diamond shaped grid quilted on the panels. My darling daughter wanted 1/2 inch diamonds. This took quite a bit of time, but I do love her so much, it was worth it. The quilting turned out really well with NO PUCKERS OR PLEATS!!! I couldn't believe it. I was really careful about pinning and sewing from the center out and it worked out really well.

This the the process of drawing the 1/2 inch lines diagonally in two directions to create the diamonds. I drew the lines on a light colored piece of fabric the same size as the fabric to be used for the pocket book.

I then made a quilt sandwich and quilted from the bottom. These lines will be covered by the lining of the pocketbook and will never be seen.

One panel finished!

Once the quilting was finished it was time to make the pockets. I made 2 pockets like this and also several deep pockets from the solid blue fabric. These were sewn onto the lining.

This is the inside of the pocketbook.

This is a picture of the pocketbook with a picture of my sweet daughter as a child.

This is a close up of the finished product. The button was covered with matching fabric using a button covering kit.

I bought enough of this fabric to make "maybe" 2 more pocketbooks and also some magnetic closures for pocketbooks to try, as well. Hopefully I can get one made to help stock the Etsy Shop. My goal is to have enough items made to open it by February 1st, if not earlier.

I didn't finish many of the "work" things that I should have done today, but you know what, ITS OK!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Frugal Friday


I am still trying to become a success as an Ebay seller! I just need to actually sell something... LOL

This week I listed for sale the remaining "Howling Wolves" quilt panel that I have in my stash. I checked for other panels like it and of course there were about 15 other people selling the same item. They were trying to sell them at a fairly high starting price. The E-Bay site suggests starting out really low, so I started mine off at .99. AND I ACTUALLY GOT A BID FOR .99 and have one person watching. I had one question about the measurements of the panel (which I should have put in the description to begin with). The bidding ends this afternoon, but I'm happy to have a bid of any kind. The other items I listed in the past didn't even get a bid.

I have also sold several books on Amazon AND when I checked to see the progress of the Amazon Associates Program (the sidebar thingie) I have earned about $7.00 so far. Thanks to every one who ordered from Amazon by getting to Amazon's site through my blog! I appreciate it so much!

I am working really hard to sew some items to stock my Etsy Shop. On New Year's Day I made a pretty pink floral totebag/purse which I was pleased with. I have so many ideas for this and hope to open the Etsy Shop soon.

Finally, I would like to keep the income and expenses from my on-line sales separate in a separate checking account so I can see how it adds up. I know the amounts I am making are small, but will add up as time goes on. If it is in a separate place I can see how it grows and use it for a specific purpose like Christmas 2008! So I hope to open one of those "free" checking accounts soon and see what happens!

Even though I am starting out really slowly in making my millions on-line, it is fun and exciting. I might even start my own E-Bay store!

Be sure to go to Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday ideas!

Sew Crafty Friday

This is a Christmas gift I made for my wonderful son-in-law. He and my daughter met during her two year stay in Boston. He was really happy when the Red Sox won the World Series this year so I came up with this. I cross stitched most of it while riding in the van on our anniversary trip to Tennessee in November. I designed it using parts of different patterns in a library book. Some of it came about by accident, because of mistakes I made, but I think it turned out pretty good. Working on a project while driving through the mountains on I-40 helps keep my mind off the tractor trailers who might run over us!

Be sure to visit Waiting For Him for more Sew Crafty ideas.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fabric Treasures

On my lunch break yesterday I went to Walmart with the sole purpose of purchasing more of the blue fabric from which I had previously made my daughter a small wallet. She would like a tote bag to match and I am happy to oblige! I found the fabric which thankfully was not sold out. She plans to use it as a combination purse/diaper bag.

But the real treasure was the Christmas fabric that had been marked down to $.99 per yard.

I purchased 3 yards of this "dreamy" star fabric. This picture doesn't really show how pretty it is. It is perfect for a table cloth, child's angel outfit, and many decorating ideas. I plan to use it on my table next Christmas with a solid fabric underneath. Midnight blue would be beautiful. I would also like to use it to accentuate my nativity scenes, or it could be draped across the mantel, etc.

The neat thing about this fabric is that it can be used at other times besides Christmas. I think it would make a beautiful table for parties such as bridal showers, baby showers or Fourth of July. Just change the fabrics that you use with it to match your theme!

I also found this really pretty "Debbie Mumm" fabric. The Santa Claus fabric will be the outside of a pocketbook and the matching checked fabric will be the lining and/or outside pocket. I found Christmas pins marked down to $.25 and plan to use them as the "button" to use with a loop for the closure on the top of the pocketbook. I have quite a stash of Christmas fabric that I have been collecting at after Christmas sales for a few years now and plan to have some Christmas crafts all ready by November 1st, 2008!

This is a Debbie Mumm book that I have which just so happens to have some Christmas projects in there.

These are the other pins I got for 25 cents.

Also I am a sucker for Christmas fabric with Cardinals and holly, so I bought a couple yards of this fabric.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Happy 2008 to you and your families!

I am looking forward to 2008 and am in the organizing, exercising, eat more healthy, cleaning, etc., etc., etc., mood!!! Starting a new year is just the motivation I need to improve many things.

I've already started planning Christmas for 2008! I haven't been taking advantage of the deals at Walgreens and CVS for about a month now, didn't have the time to even look at the sales ads. But yesterday at lunch I went to Walgreens and purchased my Christmas cards for 2008. They have beautiful, high quality cards at 75% off. I bought 30 nice cards for $2.24. I plan to start addressing them this month. The cards I bought are SO PRETTY! There are 2 each of 15 different designs. I saw each design being sold in a box full of just that design, but this box has 15 different ones.

I also bought a package of gift tags for 24cents. I don't need any wrapping paper, as I have several rolls that weren't even opened this past Christmas, so I passed on that. But if you need any its 75% off at Walgreens. I find that the Seasonal items at Walgreens and CVS hang around a while and get marked down even further as time goes along, whereas at Walmart and Dollar Tree, the items sell out pretty quickly.

Here's my to do list for New Years Day:

1. Finish taking down Christmas decorations. I already took down most of them, just need to un-decorate the tree and store things. All of our Hallmark ornaments that we have collected for 20 plus years have to go back in their individual boxes and this takes a little time.

2. Work on bookkeeping for husband's business. Month end and year end stuff.

3. Cook black eye peas, etc.

4. Clean bathrooms.

5. After the tree is taken down I can set up my sewing machine again and need to plan and work on some projects.

6. Watch football with husband as it will be on from sun up til when ever today!


Its also time to start thinking about tax time. Last weekend I started a "tax box". In this I have placed all 2007 information we have accumulated all year and have a place to put all in coming stuff. We've already received tax booklets from North Carolina and in the box they went. Every time a 1099 or W-2 comes in I just throw it in the box. This helps to keep it all together and I can start working on it all along. My son just needs his W-2 and we're ready to go on his. Sure hope he gets back some money like he thinks he's going to! LOL

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year. Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. ...