Sunday, December 19, 2010

MORE paper, glue, and glitter

I'm still working on projects around here.  
Today I worked on more of these...
and these....
 The scent of these candles...
The second project of the day called for these supplies...
and a little of this...
I cut the newspaper into scores of ruffled-edged circles of different sizes...
then I layered them into piles of 4 or 5 pieces,
and carefully burned the outer edges of each piece...
{NOTE: do not do this in front of your small children!  Also, I found it easiest to burn my 
pieces in front of the fireplace since several of them caught completely on fire and had to be 
tossed in to avoid catching my sweater on fire!}

 I glued each piece to the one on top of it, added a glittered button to the center and that's it!

 I'm planning to use them in one of my Christmas projects, but I can't show it here yet...
don't want to ruin the surprise.

I'm working on another project, inspired by this plague I found HERE:

 more to come later...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shhh....don't tell...

On a roll...finally seeing some gifts completed....
Candles all glittered and dressed up...

{each candle/matchbox gift cost $3 and change}

A work in process....
but it's a secret, so don't tell...

{supplies for this project cost $8-ish}

Reminding myself NEVER to try to cut foam board again...
Can't show what it became...
maybe after Christmas

There's still a lot to finish up...
and next week the baking-gifts start, 
but stress is not allowed,
so I'm pacing myself.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A little crafting...

So this week it's time to get started on the projects that I'm making for Christmas gifts. 
 I'm not sure why I always put things off until the last minute, but I always do...
My pile is ready and tomorrow is the day it all starts.

And just when I thought I had it all figured out and had all of my supplies ready,
 I came across THIS
Isn't it the cutest??!
You can find the instructions to make it HERE

Looks like another trip to Michaels.

Merry crafting!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas coupons...

I'm off to do a little Christmas shopping today.  We're totally cutting back this year and focusing in a different direction than "us".  So anyone on my Christmas list will likely be getting something homemade or extremely on SALE.  

Here's a few coupons I'm using today that you might find useful too!

You'll be prompted to put in your zip code to find your nearest store, 
then you'll see a link to their current coupon.
{I had trouble printing it out--it was HUGE--you'll need to resize it in your printer options}

I looked and looked for a ready to print coupon, but didn't find one in the amount of time I wanted to spend looking.  Eventually I signed up for BB&B emailing list and was immediately sent a 20% off coupon.

You could also click HERE for coupons for a large list of stores and restaurants.

Also, if you have lots of time on your hands before you head out to shop, 
click HERE for a host of thrifty shopping ideas and deals.  

One more great coupon HERE if you're into shoes and boots that are practically FREE!

Off to AC Moore where I will hopefully be inspired to be creative...
Here's hoping!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas bargains...and remembering the Gift.

We're always on a budget around here, and Christmas time is no different.  So, to kick things off this season, I unwrapped my decorations to see what was needed.  We're in a bigger house this year, so it was almost necessary to add a few more things to stretch what I already had...

Of course, I had to stop here:

{Print a $10 OFF coupon HERE}

and here:

{They posted a few Holiday budget tips you might want to read HERE}

Merry Christmas sign $2.99
Pink Christmas tree $2.99
Silver glitter electric candles $1.99-$2.99
{Silver and Green Christmas trees unwrapped from last year...}

{7' Fraser Fir- Costco $33.99}
Silver glitter words $1-$2.99

 Silver tinsel wreath from last year
{Made with a Dollar Tree wreath and balls}
Goodwill Christmas ball wreath  $3
"Joy"- free
Glitter birds- $1
Blue mercury glass votives - $1

I found a few non-Christmas items on one of my recent Goodwill trips...
LOVE these pink veggie dishes. 
 I paid $4 for both!

I spied these beauties hiding in a corner but couldn't think of a reason to buy them for myself, so I picked them up for a photographer friend to use in her photoshoots...
there was a bonus cosmetic bag inside the small one!
Aren't they sweet!?!  
I can't wait to see how she uses them..

{I'm sure she'll put them to good use!}

23 more days until case you've lost track.
Take a moment to reflect on the Greatness of this season.

Stop here:

have one or two of these:
I mean, at this time 
NEXT year will your family 
remember the gifts you were so 
stressed over finding and wrapping THIS 
year?  And, in TEN years will they even remember
 ANY of the gifts you've stressed over all these years???

Remember the original Gift...and don't stress over the imitations....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It's been a while since I've signed on I'm redeeming my absence by tipping you off on a great giveaway you might want to run out and enter.

Check out the camera strap giveaway on Simply Handmade by Paige.  
You'll be suprised to find that Paige is 14 years old...She's amazing! 
Peruse her blog while you're there and check out her etsy site, too. 
 Paige has alot of talent and a great future of design and fashion ahead of her!

Paige's giveaway is a camera strap created by Ruthanne at "Eclectic Whatnot"
 My favorite by far is the Pink Lady on the top left corner of the picture...♥♥♥

I'm certainly hoping that will pick me!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Free to me...

The other day I grabbed my computer and a notebook and headed to FAVorite spot to sit and catch up on important things.  I spend alot of time's kind of like my winter home.  I try hard not to break my food budget there...and can really be happy with a refillable cup of coffee or iced tea.  {unless someone beside me is indulging in something better} 

 They don't know me by name in there...but they do recognize me.  For instance, when I showed up the other day to buy an iced tea, the cashier was shocked to find out that I did not have a Panera Rewards Card, and said, "For as much time as you spend in here, I'm really surprised you don't have a card yet!" 
 Guilty as charged.  

So, here's where the good stuff comes...the reason why this post exists on my "budget-friendly" blog.  Not only am I now the proud owner of my very own Panera Rewards card, but just for signing up my card now has on it a FREE LATTE for me!  Mind you, I've never actually PURCHASED a latte at Panera {I'm cheap, remember?} so to have one waiting for me for FREE...that's my kind of deal.  Not only that, but I discovered that they have all kinds of their recipes on their website.  {those are FREE too...bonus!}
I wonder if I will ever forego this:

in order to make it cheaper for myself at home? 
 I should...I'm just not sure I can give up my second home.

It's supposed to be a little cooler around here tomorrow...
sounds like it may be a LATTE DAY for me.  

If you have not retrieved your own Panera Rewards Card yet, do NOT hesitate any longer.  
You have a freebie waiting for you!
...and check out those recipes - they are FREE too!

Then head on over to WISEBREAD and read this article about the "Latte Factor"...
what do YOU think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a SmOkIn HoT facelift...

 I'm not a brass lover. 
So when I look at something like this, I'm not sure what to do with it.  My parents lived in this house most of my life and my mom always wanted to give the mantel a facelift, too.  It started out a dark, drab brown...she gave it a coat of white paint...she hung pretty plates across it...and I'm sure it had all manner of looks over the years that I can't even remember.  But the bones of it stayed the same. 

I think it's time for a little more change...
I'm just not sure where to start.  It has start with eliminating the brass accents SOMEhow. 
I've thought about a coat of paint...but the heat could cause it to bubble.
And I've thought about ripping the doors off and eliminating them altogether...but that multiplies the chances of having critters flying in. this point I have no real plans...except to admit that something has to be done.

I found some other people with similar dilemas who solved them like this:

and this:

and this:

I'm loving on this:
it's the cutest resin applique that I think would look great in that big blank space on the mantel.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Fall is coming and because I've never had a fireplace in my own home before, I have a feeling this one will be burning alot this this project is on the front burner...
stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

table dreams and rescued chairs...

In August I blogged here about an empty spot in my sunroom that needed a small table.  In my mind's eye I had the exact table picked out.  I don't know where I'd seen it before, but I had the scalloped edges and twisty legs all dreamed up...all that was left was to actually locate it.  So, the space remained empty and an amount of $100 was put aside that I was allowing myself to spend on it.  After many repeated trips to all my local "Thrifty spots", I finally discovered THE table...the EXACT one that was in my mind. 
Funny thing is, it was owned by a friend of mine, Vern, who hosts several large Barn Sales a year...
and apparently she had been trying to sell it for quite some time. 
{Duh, probably saw it in her barn and overlooked it at a time I wasn't looking for it!} Vern had given her a great paint finish-which was even MORE appealing to me.  Better yet, by the time I found her, she was marked down to $35 dollars! 
So here she is, in my sunroom on the day I brought her home.

Her scalloped edges were exactly as I "remembered" her....

I added a set of plank-bottom chairs I've had for about 20 years.  I've never really loved them, but I already owned them so I wasn't about to purchase more.  Unfortunately, they made the table look dingy and lifeless.

...So, they got a paint job, too...

Paired with a chandelier, I think they look alot better...although they are still awaiting a coat of glaze that will darken and age them just a bit. 
For the price of about $50 my space is filled and it works.
Another recent thrifty purchase is this chair...
she's a little shabby...but sturdy, and with a paint job I love...

So, for $5 and the addition of a chairpad I bought years ago for about $2 at Goodwill... was the perfect piece to accompany this...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

a little re-do...

With our recent move has come many projects.  Sometimes those projects create more projects.  I'm always trying to save a dollar, so I try to either reuse what I have or redo something I find to fit both my style and my budget.  If you recall, I've been on the hunt for a table for my family room. 
 I wrote about it here
The search has taken me on several trips to different Thrift shops, Second-hand stores and yard sales.  I try to go in with only this purchase in mind...but sometimes I get distracted from the goal and find another project in the making. 

Like this little beauty I found recently at Goodwill for $5.
It reminded me of a frame I fell in love with recently at IKEA.
 I stood beside it and struggled over buying it, but ended up leaving it
 there because I couldn't justify the price.  {$24.99}

I had a mirror that has sat for years in my attic because I loathed the goldish finish, so I decided both would get the same makeover and be used in separate rooms.  I've struggled to find just a couple of touches of turquois in both my family room and my half bath and these were the perfect inexpensive solution.

The frame joined an ongoing collection of mirrors...

And the mirror covered up an empty wall in the family room...

I already had the can of paint, so this project ended up costing only $5...which is my kind of makeover!
As for the table I was originally looking for...I finally found it. 
But I'll save that story for another day.

"The best way for a person to have happy thoughts is to count his blessings and not his cash."
--Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The hunt is on...

Summer has officially ended for us around here.  School has started and taken with it our carefree way of life.  The day now starts at 6:00am instead of whenever I feel like it.  As much as I am a morning rebel, I kind of like that we've been forced back onto a seemingly normal schedule.  We've had a strange summer of painting, packing and moving....and then again paperwork, packing and moving of my college-bound son.  All of which has been well-worth the effort, but makes me even more blissfully aware of the new-found quiet that greets me the moment the bus takes off with my kids each morning.  It won't always be this way...I'm on a job hunt...but for now, it's affording me the time to catch up on things like bills and undone projects leftover from our move. 

One of the things I've put in the back of my mind all summer is the search for cushions for my kitchen island stools.  While the chairs are terribly uncomfortable right now, it just hasn't been a priority to sit online for hours and search for the ones I've dreamed up in my head. I did find a website, though, that has me curious. 
Check it out.  If I can't find exactly what I'm looking for here, with all of the styles and variety, then I'm not sure I'll find them elsewhere.
Here's a few that caught my eye:
I like the stripe ok, even though I'm really looking for a floral.  But priced at $14.99 each...I might be persuaded to become a striped fan.

This floral is a little closer to what I'm looking for and only $19.99 each, but still, not the right pattern.
This is the closest to what I'm looking for on the Bed Bath Store  website.  The price of $27.99 each is NOT going to happen, but I'm getting closer.  I like how they're made- with the tufting and the piping.  But I'm afraid that my biggest hindrance is the fact that I've got fabric sitting next to my sewing machine that I'm really sold on using. 

 I have been saving this Cath Kidston fabric for just the right project, and I think this is the one.  I love all the quality and the styles of the ones I saw on the Bed Bath Store site, but I'm not sure I want to attempt making them...So I guess I'll wait a little longer and keep hunting for a solution to the dilemma.

I got distracted on the Bed Bath website, because the store is so big.  I hopped around from Chair pads, to furniture, to bedding, to rugs, to storage solutions, to the Clearance section and still didn't see the whole website!  Although I won't be purchasing chair pads from them, I've added them to my favorites for the future.  It will probably come in handy once I start working on all my unfinished projects.
{I'm starting to think about enjoying my fireplace in a few months...maybe by then this little beauty will have found its' way to the Clearance section!}
 With the free shipping offer {on purchases over $89} I'm sure I'll be returning!