Saturday, June 30, 2007


I have two of these pretty pink puppies growing in my front yard. I honestly don't remember planting them, LOL! Aren't they gorgeous? I'd say they're about 8 inches across.
Yes, that is a fake bird behind the flower.
Yes, it's a lily. That was 'puppies' I meant to write in the first line...not a mix-up with 'poppies'!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

He doesn't just work in cardboard

My son James, of the cardboard suit of armor, built this cabinet during his senior year of high school. He's taking liberal arts in college, but I wish he could find some way to apprentice with a carpenter. Or at least find something he can do to make a living that involves 'putting things together.' I think he could end up being a Master Craftsman, if only he knew where to study such a thing. Alas, there isn't much call these days for hand-made things. At least, not enough for him to one day support a family! But still, I hope someday he finds a direction for this God-given talent he has (but doesn't think he does!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

When my son is bored at work

This is James, who is 20 years old. He's the guy who will steam your lobsters, open your clams or filet your salmon at the fish department at our local supermarket. Sometimes, things are verrrry slow and boring. So my son took some old boxes and made himself some armor and weaponry. I don't know what that big axe is called, but I'm glad it isn't real. Then he says to me later that he has to go back to work because he forgot something. "Something" was a shorter shield and a sword of about four feet in length. Again, I'm glad they're only cardboard!
James, aka Jamie, said he had a great sword fight with one of the guys from the deli department!
Boys and their toys...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Now that I have it, what do I do with it?

I'm pretty good about not buying 'just anything' at garage sales--which means I look for useful stuff. But combine unusual with cheap and I can't resist! This box cost me all of $2. It is made of wood and rather heavy. My guess is that it was meant to hold two bottles of wine and...what? I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I just knew I'd regret not getting it for that price. Somehow, somewhere, I'll be hit by that bolt from the blue and know exactly what to use it for!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday: Skirt and stuff

Here is a skirt, headband and makeup bag I made. I had a lot of leftover fabric from the skirt, plus some other projects, so I made the bag and headband out of it. The headband pattern can be found at It is beginner easy and I think I'll make more of them! I'm sorry, I don't know where the makeup bag came from. If I figure it out, I'll post it. I changed it, anyway. It's supposed to have a zipper, but I didn't feel like fritzing around with a zipper this week. So I used some velcro.
I'm taking my husband out to dinner tonight and I'll wear this with maybe a turquoise or pink top.
Please click on "Waiting for Him" over there in the sidebar to see some other nice creative projects!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I love Free Stuff!

Especially BIG free things. My daughter's boyfriend's parents are the nicest people, but they are also the types that buy something and decide to get a new version of it long before the first one wears out. Case in point: a washer and dryer they only had 2 years and were going to throw out when they found something better! So my maybe-future-son-in-law hauled them over here and we stored them in our garage.
Well, what do you know? Yesterday, my own washing machine died. I could hear the motor running but it wasn't spinning.
No problem! While I was at work, Mike and the kids switched the machines around. I just used the 'new' one and it's great!
I still have the dryer, but mine's working fine. Still, it's nice to know there's a backup waiting out there in the garage. So much more frugal than either paying a repairman or buying a new one! (Or hauling over to the laundrymat!)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday: CD Bag

Please visit this link for some nice, creative inspiration!

Not feeling particularly creative today, so this is something I just threw together. It was originally supposed to be for pencils, but it isn't wide enough. Then I found out it is exactly right to hold a few CDs in their cases. I had copied all of my pictures off the old computer onto discs. Now I have a nice place to store them!

Basically, it is one long and one short piece of fabric. I folded over the short edges of each and sewed them to the zipper. I didn't have a short enough zipper, so I just cut this one to size. That's easy to do with a nylon zipper...just run a few stitches right over the teeth to make a new 'stop' and then cut away the excess.
The picture on the left is the front. I'll tell you all something silly. I left part of the seam open so I could turn the bag right side out. Dopey me, after I was done I realized I could have turned it through the zipper opening!
The picture on the left is the back. As you can see, I didn't fold it where I attached the two pieces of fabric together, but folded it so the zipper would be a little ways down.
Now that I see how easy it is to make one of these, I really will make something for pencils and pens!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday: Blouse

It's time to show off our crafts at "Sew Crafty Friday" again! Here is one of several WIP I have going:

The blouse is meant to be sleeveless or have cap sleeves. But I think the color is more appropriate for fall or winter, so I'm going to borrow long sleeves from another pattern. It is Butterick Pattern 4799. It is princess line with a button front. I'm hoping I have enough fabric to make matching seam binding for around the neckline, but if not, I'll either match whatever buttons I get or pick a color out of the ribbon trim.

The ribbon edges some extra pieces I added to make a sort of yoke. I traced over the shoulders and made two pieces, one a bit longer than the other. They are layered on top of each other and not sewn through the ribbon, so you can put your fingers under each layer. I'm sure there's a name for that technique, but it escapes me!
Please visit the link about to see more of "Sew Crafty Friday"! Oh...and you don't have to sew to join in!


I haven't been to the local Salvation Army Thrift store in years. Last time I went, I found it a little scuzzy. Well, I decided to take a chance and have a look yesterday. I was amazed. Instead of disorder, it was clean and well-organized. Furniture was off to one side in a large 'alcove' instead of in the middle of the floor. Clothes were hung on racks not only by type, but also by color! The outer perimeter featured knick knacks and household items, and the like. It was like walking into a HUGE garage sale.
My favorite colors are red and purple, so I went right to those tops. Didn't find anything red, but I did get a nice lavendar t-shirt for 2 bucks. The color is still 'true' so it doesn't look like a throwaway. That's one thing I would refuse to do at any sale, garage or thrift: I wouldn't buy anything faded or worn.
I also found the most adorable bunny candy dish to put away for Easter. It is white, round and has bunnies all around it's outer edge.
With tax, I spent a little over $4--not bad! I'll definitely be going back again.
Speaking of bunnies...last night my husband managed to rescue a baby rabbit before my two cats could eat it. They had the poor thing cornered and Mike heard it crying. I had to hold it for almost an hour before we were able to lure the cats back into the house. Then I let him go and after a few minutes, he hopped away. I hope he found his mama right away! I also wish the mamas would 'get' that my yard has two cats and a dog, and stop bringing their babies here. Melody, the cat in the picture up to the right, got a baby starling the other day. I got it away from her, and it seemed able to fly.
This is nature, every year. I think it's time to keep the cats in after least for a few months!

And here's a question: why do we see little baby bunnies who are just leaving the nest...and big bunnies...but never any medium-sized 'teenager' bunnies?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

An open freezer is NOT frugal

A few of my blogger friends have posted about freezers popping open, or electricity going out. Sorry, I can't remember who they were...but it happens to all of us at some point.'s happened 3 times in the last few years. Last year, in the heat of July, the freezer top of the garage fridge (you know how an old fridge gets put in the garage or the basement) popped open and no one knew for 3 days. So...there went about $85 worth of meat, including half-priced ribeyes. The food was warm so it all had to be thrown out. Sad, sad, sad.
The time before that, I caught it at the point where most of the stuff at the back was still frozen solid and the stuff in the front was still cold. I just had to cook up what had thawed.
Yesterday, it was all thawed, but at least still ice cold. I had some pre-made dinners in there, and some ground pork tenderloin to add to beef for meatballs. Fortunately, most of my meat is upstairs now. But I had to cook the dinners. I had two crockpots going all day. The pork for burritos, now that it is cooked, will be refrozen. We'll have the sesame pork and chicken enchiladas for dinner this week. I'll get the ground beef, make meatballs, and either freeze the cooked ones or we'll have spaghetti and meatballs or heroes one night.
The big dish I made is called "Western Hospitality Casserole." It is a family favorite. You cook meat in a wine sauce for several hours, then you put it over noodles and bake it for another hour. And then you add cheese until it melts! That's more of a special occasion dish...but I guess I'll make up a special occasion this week, LOL!
Most of what is thawed out is vegetables, so we'll polish those off all week long. The only real loss is a box of Texas Toast and some Jamaican beef patties.
Oh! And melted Breyer's Coffee Ice Cream makes a great milkshake.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday: Baby Dress

Here is one of numerous 'works in progress' I've got going. This little sundress isn't for anyone in particular. I had made a dress from this pattern for a bigger child, and since the pattern for a 'small' was still useable (you know how cutting into one size messes up another size), I decided to make use of some extra fabric I had. Sorry the picture is blurry--those are daisies on the two different fabrics. So...when I finally figure out where I put my buttonholer...the dress will have daisy-shaped buttons! It has a pair of bloomers and a mob cap to go with it.

This is a frugal use for extra fabric--make a coordinating trim on a garment! That's what I did with the darker pink.

Once this dress is finished, I'll pack it up and save it for a gift!

Please visit "Waiting for Him" and join in Shereen's "Sew Crafty Friday!"