Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Snow Day Sewing - Day Two



The sun is shining today and even though the temperature hasn't risen above freezing, the road in front of my house is just about clear. Despite the improved weather today, our power was off for three hours so the power company men could repair broken lines in another part of the county. AND you really, really need electricity to sew, so I didn't get as much done today as I had planned.

I'm still finding fabric combinations in my stash that I am pleased with.



I had been eyeing this fabric for a while not knowing how to use it. I went through my ribbon bag and came across this pink with black dots and decided this would make a cute purse. I love this one!

Snow Day Sewing - Day Two



Like all of the other bags I have made this week, this "HEARTS ALL AROUND" bag was made from leftover fabric from a previous project.



I really like the bows tied on the handles of the bags. I have lots of ribbon, so I usually have a matching one.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One More Snow Day Bag


In an effort to use up some of my stash, I made this little girl's Tinkerbell purse from leftover fabric used in a custom order purse I made a year or so ago.

I'm still snow day sewing, but I don't think I'll post anymore projects today.
Tomorrow I will be snowed in again. The roads are a sheet of ice already, so I definitely won't make it to church with my elderly mother tomorrow. I hope to post more projects tomorrow.

Have a great night!

MORE SNOW DAY SEWING.....

Still Snowed In...

Still Have Power...

The sewing continues:







More updates to come.

Snow Day Sewing!

Today happens only about once, maybe twice, a year where I live. It snowed!!! North Carolina is the absolute best place to live when it snows. It is so exciting. So far we still have our power, which is a very good thing, since my fun at home depends on electricity.

Here's what is so good about today:

1. I get to stay home all day with my hubby

2. I made a big pot of vegetable soup:



mmmm good, but really did need salt! We are cutting back on salt, so its ok.

3. I decided to take a holiday from cleaning and SEW!!!! So far today I have completed one small tote:



I'm off to work on another sewing project. If I complete it I'll post another picture. Won't you join me for some Snow Day Sewing?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh the possibilities of a few humble scraps.....



I have been trying to figure out something to make from the leftover scraps of "juicy lemons" fabric I had in my stash. There wasn't enough to make a clothespin bag or another fabric grocery bag.

I came up with this small tote which is a great size for many things, especially a lunch bag. I even had just enough quilted lining fabric



This bag is in my Homemaking Dreams Etsy Shop.

I have a few more juicy lemons scraps left. I am brainstorming for even more ideas. Perhaps a .... key fob, a wallet or a tissue holder. We'll see.

The weather forecast here is for ice this weekend! Possibly no power!!!! If our power holds up, I am going to make more bags like this one from from my stash.

Hope you have a great ice-free weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One More Project

For more project ideas please go to "MY COUNTRY HOME" for Whatcha Working on Wednesday.


I made another bag loosely based on the pattern found HERE on the P.S. I Quilt Blog. I love these little bags and must admit the pattern is easier than my own tutorial.

I needed this bag to be a little larger, so I used more strips than the pattern called for which added to the size of the bag. I also increased the height of the bag. The original tutorial makes a bag 5 inches deep by 7 inches wide. This bag is 6 1/2 inches deep and 11 inches wide. The straps are a little longer too.



This one is already spoken for, but I intend to make myself one to use as a lunch bag.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend Sewing

There's not much of a market for clothespin bags in January, but I have been making some to restock my Etsy Shop. I hope to have a good supply on hand when the weather warms up and the urge to get outside and hang clothes hits America!

I made these last week after work and over the weekend:





I also made this fabric bag from blue and white polka dots:



I worked on a couple of other really cute projects also, but won't show them on the blog until a later date.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Our Hot Spot


The first time I heard the term "Hot Spot" was when reading Flylady's website. In case you don't know what a hot spot is, its a place where stuff accumulates very quickly. This is our kitchen table this morning. I really need to put out the "hot spots"!

I have to be diligent in order to keep the kitchen table looking neat. This means I have to throw away junk mail, put away good mail, and clean up after myself when sewing, since I use the table for cutting fabric.

Other hot spots in our home: On top of the washer and dryer, beside my chair and beside my hubby's chair.

Oh well, the "hot spot" in the picture above shows that we are a happy, normal family!

Do you have a "HOT SPOT"?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simple and Frugal Beauty Routine

I'm a little hesitant to call my morning "wash my face and put on a little makeup routine" a beauty routine! But, it does help me to be presentable to the general public and to not frighten any children. :o)

I wanted to share with you the facial cleansing product that I have finally decided would be the only one I'll buy. I have tried many of the more expensive cream cleansers, pump cleansers, age rewind cleansers, etc., using coupons combined with sales and extra bucks from CVS. I will be honest with you, they don't really clean my face. It takes at least two repeats and even then when I would dry my face the towel would have a little make up on it, and I don't even wear that much makeup. I really don't like those that have the little cleansing beads in them. They are so hard to rinse off.

This simple facial soap made by Neutrogena is inexpensive and works really well. I recently bought this one at Walmart for $2.24 using a $2.00 coupon good on ANY Neutrogena product. For 24 cents, it will clean my face really well the first time and will not dry my skin. It also comes in a sensitive skin formula. My face feels naturally clean, not greasy or dry. One bar of the soap lasts a long time, also.



It simplifies my morning routine too. Its inexpensive enough that I can buy an extra one which goes in the shower to be used when taking a morning shower. I also place one in a plastic soap container on the bathroom vanity for washing my face there.



It also simplifies my shopping, since I no longer need to worry about which one of those expensive cleansers to buy and how to get a good deal on them. I do try to use a coupon on the Neutrogena soap, but if one isn't available, the price isn't too bad without one.

Do you use a beauty product that works really well, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg? If so, I'd like to hear about it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Sewing

Well, its back to work today.... in just a few minutes to be exact. It was an extremely busy weekend, but I did manage to make a few small projects.

This is a small tote bag I made using the tutorial found at the P.S., I Quilt, Blog HERE. It is a cute size, perfect for carrying around a camera, cell phone or to use for a small gift bag or little girl's purse.



This bag uses 5 inch strips and since I had some 5 inch charm squares in coordinating colors I used a blue theme for the one above. Here are three more sets of charm squares in other color schemes that I may make more bags from -- Lavender, yellow/blue and green/burgundy/black.



I also started restocking my Etsy Shop with clothespin bags in preparation for Spring. Here's one:




Right before bed last night I threw this fabric bag together. The lemon fabric was left over from a project make by my daughter a while back. It might find a home with her. :o)



Have a great day and HAPPY HOMEMAKING!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Real Secret to Housekeeping


I have discovered that the real secret to good housekeeping is MAINTENANCE. Now, that might not seem earth shattering to you, but I've come as close to staying on top of my housework in the last 2 months by doing regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning, than I ever have before.

Sure, I have always done basic housecleaning every week, such as clean the bathrooms, vacuum and do laundry. But by scheduling regular maintenance cleaning, I have kept my house really clean. For Example:

1. I have a really dusty house. In the past I would dust the entire house and then let it go until it really needed it again. Meanwhile I was constantly complaining about how dusty our house is and how there must be some problem. I finally came to the conclusion I just wasn't dusting often enough. Now that I dust my house every single week, alternating extra attention in certain areas, I feel that I have finally conquered the "dust monster" in my house. Even the ceiling fans are dust free!!!!

2. I now sweep the kitchen/laundry room area of the house every single day. I never have to complain about all the dirt I feel with my bare feet anymore. I also mop every week, but can go as long as two weeks, if time is not available for this. I still believe that there's no need to clean it if isn't dirty! I plan to do a focused mopping about once a month which means that I do an extra good job.

3. We have two bedrooms upstairs that don't need vacuuming as often as the rest of the house. I tend to let these go for a long period of time and then, as you would guess, it gets bad. So now I make sure that I vacuum the upstairs and the stairs themselves every 2 weeks. About once a month I will do a detailed job of this.

4. Bathrooms. We have 2 bathrooms. I clean both every week, but alternate doing a detailed job. One week, the floors, rugs, and entire room gets cleaned really well in one bathroom, and the next week I concentrate on the other one. Daily I check to see if the potty and counter need wiping off in between more thorough weekend cleanings.

5. All Around Deep Cleaning. Every week I try to do one or 2 small jobs that need to be done, but seem to get postponed. One weekend I washed 2 windows and the mini blinds for those windows. Another weekend, I cleaned out the spice cabinet. I can also do small jobs like cleaning out a junk drawer while something is cooking or while on the phone,etc. Ever get up on the counter and look at the space above cabinets? Well that was a job that I got done one weekend.

6. The living room gets vacuumed every week, but I do a detailed cleaning of it once a month. This means getting out the crevice tool and moving some furniture and other items.

7. I am in the process of setting up a maintenance schedule for things like washing windows, cleaning the oven, changing out seasonal clothes in the closet, etc. that only need to be done about every 3 months.

Every weekend I now strive to keep what's already been cleaned.... clean. The best thing about keeping the house maintained is that it gives me more free time in the long run. If I am through cleaning the house, I really enjoy sewing and quilting much, much more!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Does everyone have on their "POSITIVE THINKING" hats?



Just for today: Make the best of your situation. Like the guy above with the cat on his head.:o) And like the saying goes, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade".

My Bible reading today was from Acts: 27 13-26. It seems that Northeasters were bad even in Biblical times. But, in the midst of the storm Paul was not afraid. I love this part: "For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship and he said, "do not be afraid, Paul".

So for today, whether you are going about your mundane activities, trying to survive the aftermath of an earthquake, or facing whatever giants you have in your life, remember to think positive, for God is there with you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My First Quilt Finish of 2010

"EARLY AUTUMN"


The plans for this quilt were first born in my mind well over a year ago when I posted about my plans for the cozy cabins pattern found in the January, 2009 issue of Quick Quilts in these posts: HERE,HERE and HERE.

The year 2009 for me was a year of learning new quilt making techniques, especially free motion machine quilting. I really love this quilting method and am so happy that I am able to free motion quilt on my vintage Singer sewing machine SHOWN HERE. I hope to improve my machine quilting skills this year and to learn to "draw with thread" other patterns in addition to the meandering style of this quilt.







Now that this quilt is finished, I have many plans and dreams for more quilting in 2010. I plan to continue on with completing the quilts I have in progress as well as starting some new projects. I really would like to make a table runner, which should be a quick project.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

These are the days that memories are made of.


I'm so excited about what the year 2010 may have in store for me. My themes for this new year are "Trust the Lord" and "Positive Thinking".

Don't you love the sunflowers on the journal? This is a great find from the Dollar Tree, that I pulled from my basket of stationary and notebooks. In this I am writing things I am learning about trust. I am beginning my Bible study this year by reading in my Women's Devotional Bible all the entries about trust.

Since I was born in February, 1958, the first devotion I decided to read was on Page 258. :o) I love God's humor sometimes. This particular one was about how we trust the green arrow on a traffic light more than we trust God. Well.... if you have been reading my blog you know that traffic is one of my weaknesses in the trust department. So, yes Lord, I am listening!!! (psst... I really don't trust those green arrows!)

And yes, this will be a year of memories to be made!

Recent memories:

The Christmas stockings of 2009, ready to be stored away!



I finished machine quilting my first large quilt. Here's the back. I'll work on binding it this weekend and hopefully show a finished picture next week.



More posting about trust and positive thinking to come. But, just for today, if you have a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Sometimes we get in the habit of thinking negative thoughts and this translates into what we say and do and we don't even realize its happening.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Real Estate Anyone?

If anyone is in the market for real estate in the central North Carolina area (Raleigh/Wake County, Johnston County and surrounding counties), please check out my daughter's real estate blog, The Raleigh Suburbian.
Thanks!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Frugal and Earth Friendly



Here are some ideas for saving money at CVS this week.

CVS is offering the little green leaf shaped tag that you can see attached to the reusable shopping bag above. The tag costs 99 cents initially. Then every time you shop at CVS, bring your reusable bag and have the cashier scan the tag. Every four scans will earn you a $1.00 extra buck.

I think this is a great idea because after only four scans you will have earned back your investment, while being a good steward of the Earth at the same time. The tag can be attached to ANY reusable bag, not just the CVS ones. The bag I am using above was a freebie from our local telephone company. I will keep this bag in my car so when I make my CVS trips, it will be handy.

Now for the best deal at CVS this week, which is also an earth friendly product:

Buy 1 GE Energy Smart spiral fluorescent bulb for $2.99, receive $2.00 in extra bucks. I printed a $1.00 off coupon for this HERE. I rolled $2.00 in extra bucks from last week's trip, making this absolutely free. Now I have $2.00 more in extra bucks to roll for other CVS deals.

Also there is a scanning machine located near the front of the store. Scan your CVS card and if you are like me, a $2.00 off any $10.00 CVS purchase will print out. This has happened two weeks in a row, so it may be printing out for everyone. I always try this because you never know what coupons you will get. I think the coupons will print out for you at the cash register anyway, but this way you can have them before checking out and possibly make better use of them without having to make an extra trip.

There are 2 ways to use this coupon this week that might work out to be good deals:

1. CVS brands are on sale buy one, get one for 50% off. Combining this sale with the $2.00 off coupon might get you some needed items for good prices.

2. There are several two-packs of CVS brand items that are generating extrabucks. The extra buck deals are shown on the front of the packages and these packages are grouped together on the isle near the seasonal items in my store. Check to see if you can earn some extra bucks on items you need, as well as make use of the $2.00 off coupon.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Christmas items are now marked down to 75% off, so if you will be needing Christmas paper, etc., check this out. I bought 4 rolls of paper and 2 stuffed snoopy dogs to go in my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes next Christmas. The dogs are small enough to fit in the boxes and only cost $1.25 each. I didn't find any Christmas cards, so I will need to look at some other stores, even though I only plan to shop at CVS and Food Lion most of the time.

I hope this is helpful to you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Some Food Lion Deals

Be sure to sign up for Food Lion's weekly email which usually includes some great store coupons. The coupons are good for a couple of weeks. What I do is check to see if the items are on sale the first week that I get the coupon. If its not on sale that week, it might be the next week. If it doesn't go on sale and its still a good coupon, I will make sure I use it before it expires. I especially appreciate it when Food Lion issues coupons for fresh meat, produce or dairy products.

In order to stay on top of the Food Lion and CVS deals and many other deals I regularly read these blogs: Thirty Dollar Grocery Challenge, Frugal Frenzy. and Southern Savers. It is amazing to me the amount of work that goes into posting all those sale prices and coupons!

Here are a few items I bought this week at Food Lion using coupons and/or sales.

3 jars of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce for $5.00. I really like this brand so I bought 6. When I got to the register two $2.00 off your next order coupons printed out making the actual cost of the jars $1.00 each.

Jimmy Dean Sausage two for $4.00. I had a Food Lion coupon for $2.00 off 2 rolls, making these $1.00 each.

Food Lion Brand frozen pie shells (deep dish/2 to a pack) on sale for $1.69. I used a $1.00 off 2 packages making these $1.19 each. These will be handy for making my new favorite dish - Quiche.

12pk cans of 7UP on sale for $2.75. I had a Food Lion Coupon for $1.00 off making these $1.75. My guys love finding the occasional treat of cold canned drinks in the fridge!

Swiss Miss hot chocolate on sale for $1.00 each with a Food Lion Coupon of $1.00 off making it free!!!

Ten pound back of Russet potatoes for $2.88. These are so nice to have on hand for making baked potatoes.

It will be worth it for me to make a second trip to Food Lion this week, after I get today's coupons. If you buy any 5 Special K products you get $5.00 off. It is my understanding that the coupon inserts today will include Special K coupons. IN ADDITION, I will use my two $2.00 off your next order coupons earned from buying the Ragu above to minimize my out of pocket cost, not to mention the fact that the $2.00 coupons are only good until January 7th!

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